Corruption is a big problem for New Yorkers too

New York, April 19 (IANS) Government corruption isn’t a big problem in developing countries like India alone, but nearly half the New York state voters also think it is a “very serious” problem for them too, according to a new poll.

The poll by Quinnipiac University found that 48 percent New York voters thought corruption in state is a “very serious” problem, the highest number since it began asking the question in 2003. Another 39 percent said corruption is a “somewhat serious” problem.

By a margin of 47 to 34 percent voters said the governor, not legislative leaders, should have primary responsibility for cleaning up legislative corruption, the poll found.

But only 37 percent said current governor Andrew Cuomo’s clean-up efforts are “excellent” or “good,” while 52 percent said “not so good” or “poor.”

Despite low marks for handling legislative corruption, voters gave Cuomo a 57 – 29 percent overall job approval rating, including 48- 39 percent approval among Republicans.

Legislative leaders got no votes for excellence in cleaning corruption, with 16 percent “good” and 75 percent for “not so good” or “poor.”

Officials convicted of a felony should lose their government pensions, said voters 84 – 11 percent, with support of 71 percent or higher among all groups.

New York State voters opposed 53 – 37 percent campaign financing for candidates to statewide office and the State Legislature, with no group in support. Public financing of campaigns would not help reduce corruption, voters said 55 – 35 percent.

“The State Legislature and its leaders are, as usual, unpopular, and more voters think that shared Senate leadership is a power grab rather than an effective way to get business done,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“They think it’s the governor’s obligation, more than the Legislature’s, to drain the cesspool and they’re not convinced he’s doing a good job.

“Would public financing of campaigns help clean up the mess? Voters don’t think so. They would like to see officials convicted of corruption lose their pensions,” he said.

The poll of 1,404 registered voters was conducted by telephone April 9 – 14.

It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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