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Some questioning Moreland Commission report

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Albany/HV: Some questioning Moreland Commission report
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The preliminary report released this week by Governor Cuomo's Moreland Commission focused primarily on rooting out corruption in Albany when it comes to campaign finance reform. But as Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman explains, there are many good government groups buzzing about what's not in the report.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The 101 page preliminary report from the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption is scathing in its assessment of ethics and campaign fundraising in the state Legislature. But no mention is made of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has at least $28 million in the bank for his own re-election campaign.

"We don't know all the things that the Moreland Commission is looking at. This is only a preliminary report and if there are issues in the executive branch, then they should follow them up," said Blair Horner, NYPIRG Legislative Director.

The issue of the commission's independence was renewed this week after Onondaga County Executive and commission member Joanie Mahoney said in a Capital Tonight interview it would be a mockery if the commission were to probe Cuomo, or state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Commission co-chairman Bill Fitzpatrick said he disagreed with Mahoney's comment and insisted the panel remains free of Cuomo's influence.

"You know, just because they're not mentioned in the report, should not be construed to mean we didn't look at fundraising by the governor and the attorney general," said William Fitzpatrick, Moreland Commission co-chairman.

And in a radio interview Wednesday, Cuomo said the focus should be on the legislature because of the series of corruption cases over the last decade.

Cuomo said, "There has not been rampant corruption among DAs, or in the AGs office or in the comptroller's office or in the governor's office. This is in response to a situation in reality."

But Cuomo in July, as he was creating the Moreland Commission, noted the panel wasn't just about the legislature and had free reign to probe whatever it wanted.

"It's an independent commission that is free to investigate whatever they believe needs to be investigated on the merits. But it's not about the legislature, it's about enforcing the campaign finance laws in this state," Cuomo had said in July.
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