Capitol Pressroom

May 8, 2014: Tim Hoefer, ethics legislation, remembering Attica

In a 6 to 0 decision, the New York State Court of Appeals reversed several lower court rulings this week when it decided the names of government pensioners may be made public. It’s a big win for the Empire Center for New York State Policy. Executive Director of the center Timothy Hoefer joins us with details.

Can Albany clean itself up? Senate Democrats are optimistic. This week they unveiled another comprehensive package of ethics reforms including public financing, lowering campaign contribution limits and prohibiting the use of campaign cash for legal fees. Joining us to discuss the package of legislation as well as Governor Cuomo’s recent essay in Huffington Post about public campaign financing are Manhattan State Senator Daniel Squadron and Rochester State Senator Ted O’Brien.

It is still the bloodiest prison uprising in US history. The 1971 rebellion by inmates of the Attica Correctional Institution saw corrections officers taken hostage, failed negotiations with state officials, and the state police and national guard called in by Governor Nelson Rockefeller – a decision that lead to the deaths of 43 people including 10 hostages.

In April, state Supreme Court Justice Patrick MeMoyer agreed to a partial release of the Attica records: all portions not related to the grand jury testimony. Today my guests, including 2 staff attorneys for the Attica Brothers Legal Defense Elizabeth Fink and Joseph Heath, as well as Mike Smith, a guard who was taken hostage and subsequently wounded by police fire, discuss what they think of the ruling, and why they’re pushing for more.

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