Lawmakers in Albany really don't like having to disclose how they make their money. They hate it so much they sometimes even fail to disclose everything they are required by law to do. And now they're spending $1 million of your money on lawyers helping them keep their outside incomes secret.
New York taxpayers are on track to spend over $1 million to help state lawmakers keep details of their outside jobs secret.
According to data released by the state comptroller's office, a firm hired by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was paid an additional $397,000 in November for its work to quash subpoenas originally issued by the now-defunct Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. Leaders of the State Senate's Republican and Independent Democratic Conference also filed legal contracts for the same purpose totaling $300,000.
You see, Cuomo's Moreland Commission on ethics, the one that was totally independent until it totally wasn't, issued subpoenas to many of the powerful law firms and other business that also employ lawmakers in hopes of finding out how much they were paying these legislators and what exactly they were paying them for. A number of these firms joined forces to fight these subpoenas. They really didn't want to have to disclose things client lists to investigators.
So lawmakers, specifically Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Dean Skelos and his Senate Republican conference and Jeff Klein and his band of IDC grovelers banded together to support the business fighting to quash these subpoenas...with your money.
The Moreland Commission sleeps with the fishes, but US Attorney Preet Bharara has been reviewing the commission's files. He recently began issuing his own subpoenas to the employers of these lawmakers. So the fight goes on and good lawyering isn't cheap.
Silver extended the Assembly's defense contract from $55,000 to $845,000, most recently in November. Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos and Independent Democratic Conference leader Jeff Klein had previously agreed to contracts that paid Michael Garcia of Kirkland & Ellis a sum of $150,000 and the firm of Loeb & Loeb$150,000 for their respective defense.
Please note who isn't fighting these subpoenas, Senate Democrats and Assembly Republicans. The folks out of power in both chambers don't seem all that interested in fighting with your money to keep their outside hidden from you.
(image via Buffalo News)