It is such a simple word and yet when applied to New York State Government and especially ethics or the lack thereof I don't think most of the people that use it have a clue what it means.
And yes I am referring to the elected officials that announce they are going to reform this or that every press conference. Somebody please ask them to define reform the next time they overuse it
And I am referring to the Goo Goos who can't seem to get enough reforms into every press release they send out and yet never follow up to see if the reform actually worked. Think about it, in 2007 they agreed with Spitzer to reform the various ethics commissions which spawned Herb Teitelbaum's PIC. Once the scandals hit PIC it was reformed into JJOKE, once the resignations and revolving door of executive directors ends it too will be reformed as part of the push for campaign finance reform. Don't laugh this is serious important reform we are talking about.
And we in the media bear some responsibility. Every time someone says reform our Pavlovian reaction is to dutifully report it as if the new reform is a step in the right direction.
With the foregoing in mind I've thought of a couple of reforms I'd like to see discussed. Notice the distinction between discussing a reform and announcing a reform. One requires a vigorous debate and the intellectually ability to support your position the other just requires typing 6 letters.
Reform #1 - Campaign finance reform. Let's reform the system by establishing a newly reformed (see how easy typing reform is) Board of Elections to establish a donation repository. All donations must be made to the depository who will then distribute the funds to the intended campaign accounts. And while the repository will have the donor identification information the recipients will not. In fact we create a reform of the Penal code to make it a felony to disclose the identity of campaign donations even by the donor themselves. Now lets see how many donors donate because they support the positions of the candidate as opposed to the legal bribery the present unreformed campaign finance system results in and by the way no need for a taxpayer match since once we reform the pay or pray system to my new reformed anonymous system the candidates with the most support for there positions will receive the most funding. In reality my guess is if donor's identities can not be known (no more fundraisers) it will take a lot less money to be competitive.
and speaking of taxpayers and competition
Reform #2 - Lets reform this one man one vote principal. From now on we use proportional voting. That is your vote is proportionally weighted to reflect the taxes you pay. If I own a couple of shares of Microsoft I cannot expect that my vote at a Microsoft shareholder meeting will have as much importance as Bill Gates's vote. Works pretty well in the corporate world. You want a bigger say in how things run put your money where your vote is.
Now you may not agree with my reforms but since they are reforms they must be for the better . . . right?