Newsweek is out with a piece detailing all of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’s Law Firms clients with state business. Now the question is what will anyone do with the information? And this is where the goo-goos and editorial boards miss the point. Would a law that required the disclosure of the same information Newsday just published be helpful? I’m pretty sure if Newsday could get the information anyone else that put a little effort in could as well. This data is not the nuclear launch codes. A law that required the disclosure of information does make it easier for John Q. Citizen to have access to the data but just as I wrote about the governor’s girlfriend and those that want disclosure of her financial relationships at some point you have to stop being an integrity peeping tom and clean up the red light district.
Here’s an idea the Public Officer’s Law already has revolving door restrictions for AFTER you leave state service lets start applying them while folks are still IN state service. All it would take is holding the public official’s employer (law firm, bank, Association etc) responsible for employing an individual who still works for the State. If the employer would be barred from state work or receiving the benefit of the public employee’s knowledge I’m pretty sure most of them would choose NOT TO employ the public official.
Prohibiting the employer from doing business with the state if they benefit from the public officials position would stop the perceived violation of the Public Officers Law.
Then the goo-goos and the editorial boards could move on from the guilty pleasure of peeking thru the windows of the strip club that is Albany and focus on getting a cop on the beat that will actually arrest the hookers and the johns in the strip club and leave the strippers alone.
I never understood what value there was in looking if you couldn’t touch. I’ll leave the ethical voyeurism to those that derive pleasure from just watching.