Monday, February 14, 2011

Fair Courts in New York

While I may be living in Rhode Island, as a native New Yorker, I'm also inclined to keep up with my home state's politics - especially regarding fair elections. And fair election related news in New York has been exciting.

New York has some promise for fair elections - Andrew Cuomo, newly elected governor, has publicly supported fair elections in the past. The Senate Democrats are currently trying to push through "ethics" legislation, including a fair elections system and disclosure bill. New York City actually has a matching system for elections, where small contributions are publicly matched in a 6:1 ratio. With hard work and luck, hopefully New York will be the next state with fair elections.

In addition, the New York Times reported that reforms are being put in place for judicial elections. New York has partisan elections for judges - something I always thought was normal. I was wrong, since Rhode Island, and many other states, do it better - appointing judges based on merit. Apparently, it has been found that judges are influenced when a lawyer or party in his/her case has contributed to the judge's recent election fund. The new system will not allow a judge to be assigned that that case. Two words: common sense.

Here's hoping that this basic idea - that money does in fact influence decisions - is given equal attention in the legislature as well.

Read the full article on my homepage,

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