Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-C-I-Lewiston, is calling on lawmakers to disclose details about their outside income to the Moreland Commission. Recently, elected officials in both the Assembly and the Senate denied a request by the Moreland Commission, which was appointed by Gov. Cuomo to clean up corruption in Albany, to turn over information about their outside income. Ceretto maintains revealing such details will help increase public confidence in government.
"Disclosure of outside income is a simple step we can take as lawmakers to increase the people's trust in their elected officials," he said. "Transparency in government is a good thing, and I welcome the chance to show my constituents that I am not beholden to special interests.
"I hope my fellow lawmakers will take this opportunity to listen to their constituents and be open about their outside income. It is the right thing to do."
In response to the recent corruption scandals in the state legislature, Cuomo formed the Moreland Commission to investigate corruption in Albany. Lawmakers in both the Assembly and the Senate have denied requests by the Moreland Commission to disclose details about their outside income, claiming the commission is unconstitutional because of separation of powers between the branches of government.
Ceretto's camp said disclosure of outside income is a very important tool in cleaning up government corruption. Outside income can create a conflict of interest if a lawmaker stands to gain or lose financially from pending legislation. This creates the possibility of lawmakers voting based on their personal finances instead of for the good of the people.
"This is a simple issue to me. We should disclose our outside income because the people want assurance that their representatives are honest. After all, if we have nothing to hide, then no harm comes from disclosure," Ceretto said.
Ceretto said he chooses not to have any outside income. He said he works on behalf of the people 100 percent of the time because he takes his responsibility to his constituents seriously.