Editorial: Politics on public’s dime

  • This photo shows an exterior view of the New York state Capitol Monday, April 1, 2019, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink) Photo: Hans Pennink / Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

THE ISSUE:

State lawmakers resist a proposal to end their use of staffers on political campaigns.

THE STAKES:

Why should taxpayers foot the bill for this cozy, questionable practice?

State legislators have argued for years about public financing of campaigns, but actually, taxpayers were paying for a small army of political operatives all along. They just didn’t know it.

Oh, and we still are, because those same legislators blocked a plan to end the practice.

The game works like this: Employees of elected officials — such as state legislators — supposedly rack up bunches of compensatory time during the legislative session. Some — no one has quantified how many — then take that time off in the election season to work on campaigns of their bosses or of their bosses’ political pals. In off years, when legislators aren’t running, these workers are available to help out local candidates.

It’s a sweet arrangement: The “volunteers” keep drawing a state paycheck and don’t have to use vacation time. Politicians get free and often seasoned campaign staff.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed to end this wink-and-a-nod…

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