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Letter: Simple steps can reduce government corruption

Simple steps can reduce government corruption

While campaigning at the homes of voters this last year for the New York State Senate, a frequently asked question is: “Why is there so much government corruption?” My response is because our government is for sale.

Government is controlled by political party bosses, special interest groups and the wealthy who profit off of our government. Due to our system, elected officials and judges are beholden to those who control their appointments and endorsements rather than to the voters.

The next question is usually, “What can we do to reduce government corruption?” My response is:

Make it illegal to give money to elected officials and judges who are running for office. This is where influence starts that eventually leads to corruption.

Institute term limits.

Give the voters the right to recall elected officials and judges who engage in bad behavior.

Re-enact the Moreland Commission to independently investigate government corruption.

Allow voters, rather than party bosses, to pick the judges to run for Supreme Court.

Void the pensions of all elected officials and judges who violate the law.

Encourage more primaries so the power of the party bosses is diluted and that of the voters is strengthened.

Lower the cost for challengers to communicate with the voters.

Make it illegal for judges, their law clerks and staff, and their family members from holding public office or engaging in politics (other than exercising their right to vote).

With these changes, the power will be taken from the corrupt and returned back to the voters where it belongs.

Kevin T. Stocker

Candidate for State Senate

Independent-Republican

Tonawanda

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