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News Link • Voting and Elections

NY voters shoot down constitutional convention proposal

• By Carl Campanile and Kirstan Conley

The question is asked of voters every 20 years to determine whether to convene delegates to amend the state constitution and take up issues that have been rejected by the state Legislature — such as term limits and stricter ethics laws that could bar lawmakers from earning outside income.

But Big Labor claimed that the convention, which would be run by delegates elected across the state, could jeopardize pension protections enshrined in the state Constitution.

Supporters complained opponents ran an effective scare campaign.

Gov. Cuomo came out against the Con-Con just before the vote.

"It's always in the details and unless we know who controls the convention and who the delegates are to the convention, then I think it's a very risky proposition," Cuomo said after voting in Mt. Kisco Tuesday night.

"Especially in this environment where big money can buy everything and there are no controls over who could be a delegate and how delegates are financed . . . The idea of a constitutional convention, yes, but not unless you can limit special interest money and not unless you can make sure the delegates are actual citizens and not just the continuation of the elected officials."

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