Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mark-Viverito, Garodnick, Weprin Skirting Campaign Finance Law, Ethics

Update ! Melissa Mark-Viverito Lobbyist Firm Never Quit, Continued Lobbying Despite Investigations (Mise à jour : samedi 21 déc. 2013 14:45)

Melissa Mark-Viverito is not alone in skirting ethical edge in race for speaker.

Scott Levenson, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Daniel Garodnick, Mark Weprin : Call the ethics cops : Running for speaker in a race without rules

From the Editorial Board of The New York Daily News : Call the ethics cops : Running for speaker in a race without rules :

Would-be Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has stopped accepting freebie consulting services from a lobbyist whose clients would come begging to her as boss of the municipal legislature. Well, duh.

Mark-Viverito had to distance herself from influence-trader Scott Levenson as she seeks to rise from councilmember representing East Harlem and parts of the Bronx to the city’s second most powerful post. Her coziness with Levenson put Mark-Viverito on the wrong side of ethics rules, demands investigation by the Conflicts of Interest Board and should rule her out of consideration for speaker.

Meanwhile, Mark-Viverito and competitors are playing money games in the race for the speakership. There’s no public election for this job. Guided by Democratic county leaders, the Council will vote one of its members into the position. It’s an insiders’ play — one not fully covered by the city’s campaign finance rules.

Mark-Viverito has opened a campaign account under state regulations. She is apparently accepting contributions and apparently paying different consultants to advance her cause. Who’s giving her money and who’s getting her money will not be disclosed until after the speaker’s contest is settled.

At the same time, hopefuls Dan Garodnick of Manhattan and Mark Weprin of Queens are dipping into campaign accounts to give tens of thousands of dollars to fellow councilmembers and party organizations.

None of this is acceptable.

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