Martins has said he would continue to work at his practice if elected, and he cast doubt on whether or not he would continue to serve if anti-corruption reforms banning outside employment for Senators were enacted
Conversely, Kaplan, who dedicates her full time to being a Senator and has no outside employment while serving the public, has been a leading voice advocating for a ban on outside income to combat the corruption seen during Jack Martins’ time in Albany
GLEN COVE, NY (October 23, 2022) – With voters heading to early voting polls in less than a week, New York State Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-Port Washington) is blasting her opponent for his refusal to commit to working as a full-time Senator if elected to office. As reported by The Island 360, “Martins, a local attorney, said he would continue to work at his practice if elected,” and “if the state were to implement a ban on outside employment, he would have to decide what makes sense for him and his family.” Martins, who maintained outside employment during his previous tenure as Senator, made the explosive comments on the topic during a candidate forum held by the League of Women Voters Port Washington-Manhasset branch.
Senator Anna M. Kaplan said “as an elected official, I work for the people I represent–and no one else. Being a Senator is a full-time job, and if you can’t commit to doing the people’s work on a full-time basis, you shouldn’t be doing it at all.”
For years, good-government groups such as Common Cause NY, the New York Public Interest Research Group Fund (NYPIRG), and Reinvent Albany have advocated for a “ban and cap” approach to the issue of outside income and second jobs that would closely follow the Congressional model, which limits the amount of outside income earned to 15% of a legislator’s salary, and prohibits legislators from engaging in services that involve a fiduciary relationship, such as the practice of law.
In 2015, NYPIRG, Reinvent Albany, and Common Cause NY teamed up on a report called “Serving Two Masters: Outside Income and Conflict of Interest in Albany” to examine the role of outside income in the ongoing corruption scandals enveloping Albany during Jack Martins’ tenure in the Capitol. The report poses the question “Can lawmakers serve ‘two masters?'” and finds that “the answer is clear: The state Legislature should do what Congress did after Watergate: dramatically restrict outside earned income for lawmakers…following the congressional model.”
In March, 2019, following the high-profile arrest of Republican State Senate Leader Dean Skelos on corruption charges, and tireless efforts by Jack Martins to keep his corrupt leader in power at any cost, Common Cause NY took a fresh look at the issue in a report titled “Ban & Cap: The Future of Outside Income in the New York State Legislature”. The report reaches a conclusion that “Restrictions on outside income are right for New York. Citizens should never have to question the loyalty of their elected representatives to the public interest. Conflicts of interest, perceived or actual, erodes faith in our democratic institutions.”
While Martins flaunts his disdain for the common-sense anti-corruption measure, Senator Kaplan has been a leading voice advocating for a ban on outside income to combat the corruption seen during Jack Martins’ time in Albany.
Senator Kaplan concluded “Having officials with divided loyalties is corrosive to public trust in our institutions, and we’re all sick and tired of seeing politicians caught trying to cash in on their connections to power. If we are going to truly stand up to corruption in New York State, we need to eliminate these conflicts of interest entirely. It’s shameful that Jack Martins refuses to do the right thing and commit to only serving the public if elected.”
ABOUT THE NEW YORK PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP FUND (NYPIRG): The New York Public Interest Research Group Fund (NYPIRG) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to effect policy reforms while training New Yorkers to be citizen advocates. NYPIRG’s full-time staff works with citizens, produces studies on a wide array of topics, coordinates state campaigns, engages in public education efforts and lobbies public officials.
ABOUT REINVENT ALBANY: Reinvent Albany advocates for more open, transparent and accountable New York State government. Reinvent Albany is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization.
ABOUT COMMON CAUSE NEW YORK: Common Cause NY is the statewide New York chapter of Common Cause, a good government watchdog group dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that empower ordinary people to make their voices heard. As part of that core mission, Common Cause NY works to promote high ethical standards for government officials at the local, county and state level.
ABOUT SENATOR ANNA KAPLAN: Anna Kaplan is a former child refugee who has devoted her life to public service as a way of giving back to the country that has given her so much. Now serving her second term as a New York State Senator, Anna is fighting hard for Long Island and delivering results for our community on important issues like middle class tax relief, women’s rights, and keeping our communities safe from gun violence and hate crimes. For more information about Senator Anna Kaplan, visit www.annafornysenate.com