Tuesday, September 15, 2015

That didn't take long

To those that think my blog is only read by my immediate family consider this.  Five days ago I wrote the following at the conclusion of yet another diatribe about how bad ethics enforcement is in Albany:

"By the way given what I know and what I've done for the last 20 years can someone explain to me why that review board looking at JJOKE hasn't reached out for my thoughts?  I know Patty Salkin, I'm not a fan but I know her, you would think she would want my input if for no other reason than to learn the real problems with huge stinking piles of ethics reform bullshit before she stepped in one."

This morning I received the following email:

To: ""

Cc: "Crowell, Anthony" , "Dvorkin, Ariel"

Subject: Request to meet with the JCOPE Review Commission

Date: Sep 15, 2015 8:36 AM

Attachments: JCOPE Commission.pdf

Good morning David,

I hope all is well with you. It has been a long time!
As you may know I am a member of the JCOPE Review Commission. Our statutory mandate is to review the work of JCOPE and to report on whether they are meeting their mandate and offer any suggestions to help in this endeavor. I am attaching the precise language of the statute for your information. As part of our outreach efforts we are scheduling a series of meetings in Albany on Monday, Sept, 28th, and we are finalizing details on a public hearing in Albany for Wednesday, October 7th. It would be terrific if you would be available for either of these dates. If they do not work for you, please let me know and we can try to find another time. I look forward to hearing from you. Patty
Patricia E. Salkin Dean and Professor of Law Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center 225 Eastview Drive Central Islip, New York 11722 Phone: 631-761-7100 Fax: 631-761-7109
I haven't stopped laughing long enough to respond but I will save this entry and do so at this time.  Then I shall return and post my response.  After which we can discuss it.
Here's my response:
Patty it has been a long time, I think the last time we spoke I was still in charge of the Temporary Commission on Lobbying.  In case you were not aware then Governor Spitzer, then Senate Majority Leader Bruno and then Speaker Silver abolished that Commission to form the Public Integrity Commission.  Following scandals too numerous to list then Governor Pattison, then Senate Majority Leader Skelos and then Speaker Silver replaced that failed ethics agency with the current Joint Commission on Public Ethics , known as JCOPE or JJOKE. As an aside the then governors and/or legislative leaders responsible for the Lobby Commission's demise and JJOKE's birth have all faced significant ethical and criminal violations, trials and indictments of their own.  Some, myself included would call that ethics karma others just business as usual in Albany.  I welcome your invitation, as I'm sure you are aware I urged you to do so publicly five days ago.  Your review commission has been in existence for over three months and your report will be due approximately one month from when you wish to speak with me so I am sure you have collected voluminous information from the usual cast of characters that surround "ethics reform" in Albany, yet none of them would be in a position to comment meaningfully on JJOKE's "activities and performance" without the relevant information regarding that activity.  Do you have available a list of investigations opened by JJOKE? Or copies of investigation files for those cases that have been concluded? How about copies of the minutes of all executive sessions engaged in by JJOKE? Transcripts of interviews of past and present JJOKE commissioners and staff? If you have these items I would be happy to review them prior to my appearance before your review commission so as to provide meaningful input on JJOKE's "activities and performance".  If you do not have the items set forth above or will not share them with the public I would still be happy to appear at the public hearing, if for no other reason than to point out the futility of holding a hearing regarding the performance of JJOKE without knowing what JJOKE has or has not done.  One need only think about how well the Moreland Commission's activities and performance has been received by the public to understand the point I am making.
So count me in for October 7th and forward any information you can share before that date so I might provide cogent analysis.
Lets see what happens next.


That didn't take long.  Here is the latest Salkin email and my response

-----Original Message-----
>From: Patricia Salkin <>
>Sent: Sep 15, 2015 9:54 AM
>To: "<>" <>
>Cc: "" <>, "Crowell,Anthony" <>, "Dvorkin,Ariel" <>
>Subject: Re: Request to meet with the JCOPE Review Commission
>Thanks David.  Actually I am not aware of what you said 5 days ago...what was the outlet so I can find it? 
>We are collecting information and meeting with as many interested individuals and groups as possible. Your views on what the Commission should review and your ideas about what is or is not working would be great.  

I said it on my blog which can be found at  Many people interested in the topic of JJOKE read it regularly and you will find numerous postings that analyze and discuss what is or is not working at JJOKE along with the general state of ethics enforcement in New York over the last 5 or 6 years.  You already have my views on what your commission should review from my previous email.  I would suggest that if you haven't requested or reviewed those items nothing else you do will have any value or worth, if you have reviewed them please provide me copies so that I might provide you my ideas about what is or is not working, as you requested.
I look forward to appearing at your hearing on the 7th.  How much time will I be allotted?

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