An overwhelming majority of New York voters – 84 percent – support the idea of elected officials bring required to disclose the sources of their outside income and investments, a new Q poll found.
A smaller number, but still a majority of 64 percent, also believe the spouses and girlfriends of those same officials should be required to make public the source and size of their respective incomes. (The poll did not differentiate between legislative and executive disclosure proposals, which is the focus of debate between the governor and the Senate Republicans).
“Follow the money, New Yorkers say,” remarked Q pollster Mickey Carroll. “Overwhelmingly, they want legislators to tell how much they earn. Legislators say spouses and companions of government folks should have to tell all, too. Voters agree.”
Eighty-nine percent of poll respondents said government corruption is a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem in the state today, but only 45 percent support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s threat of holding up this year’s budget in order to force the Legislature’s hand on ethics reform.
Fifty-four percent of voters disapprove of the way Cuomo is handling ethics in government, and 47 percent believe he’s part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Cuomo might be able to take some solace in the fact that 62 percent of New Yorkers disapprove of the job the Legislature is doing, compared to its 55-28 job approval rating last December.
There is strong support – 76 percent – for the idea that lawmaker convicted of a felony should lose their public pensions – a proposal included in the two-way deal struck by Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, but one that requires a constitutional amendment to achieve. Support for this idea is strong across party, age, gender and regional groups, the poll found.
As for the claim that is widely made by good government groups and left leaning reformers that establishing a public campaign finance system would go a long way toward getting big money out of the political system and reducing corruption, New Yorkers aren’t really on board. Fifty-four precent oppose the creation of such a system for statewide elected officials and the Legislature.
Fifty-seven percent voiced support for a full-time Legislature with a complete ban on outside income, which is what reform advocates and AG Eric Schneiderman have been pushing – a proposal that goes considerably further than the governor wants at this point.
Speaking of Schneiderman, his approval rating is 45-22, while state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli came in at 35-19.