ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Less than two weeks after two legislators were implicated in two separate federal corruption scandals, Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a powerful new enforcement unit to crack down on campaign abuses and corruption to help build public trust.
Gov. Cuomo wants an enforcer with subpoena power to investigate schemes like trying to buy elections, abuses a federal prosecutor has said are widespread in Albany.
Those duties could fall to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. But Cuomo says he wants an independent investigator within the State Board of Elections, which he would appoint. The choice would be subject to Senate confirmation and Schneiderman could be a fallback.
The governor also proposed eliminating 'Wilson Pakula' which requires candidates seeking to run on the ballot line of a party other than their own to get the approval of party leaders.
Instead, candidates would only need to collect signatures from registered members of the party.
Cuomo also recommended allowing voters and candidates to switch their party enrollment closer to the date of an election.
Cuomo appeared willing Tuesday to accept further campaign reforms without a voluntary system of public financing for campaigns. Senate Republicans have been critical of the measure strongly supported by Democrats in the Legislature.
A liberal national group is trying to pressure Cuomo on the issue by targeting presidential primary voters.
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