It has been around forever

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Report Out on "Crime Wave" in State Government

Citizens Union is out with a very provocative report on the turnover in the NY State Legislature. The report states "that a crime wave is accelerating as the number of legislators who left in the past six years because of ethical and criminal misconduct has tripled over that of the previous six years." Before calling for ethics reform, the report goes on to say that "since 1999 one of every eleven legislators who left office did so under a cloud of ethical or criminal misconduct." I don't think many of us are surprised by these statistics, but you have to give Citizens Union credit for not mincing words.

One bright spot was that more legislators (13) lost their seats outright (not counting those for whom ethical and criminal issues played a factor in their defeat) than at any time in the past twelve years of tracking. The previous high was 7 in 2004. However, in spite of 13 legislators being defeated, the incumbency re-election rate for state legislators remains high. The twelve year incumbent re-election rate still averaged 96% from 1999 to 2010.


  1. On page 11 of the Citizens Union report, the authors claim that Pedro Espada, Jr. had a "20 year career" in the NYS Senate. This is a fairly simple fact and CU got it completely wrong. Espada had 3 separate, non-consecutive terms in 2 different districts here in the Bronx. That is a 6 year career -- nowhere near 20.