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Senator Klein And The IDC Have Seen The Light

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Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz

You should know that on February 10, 2015 the Albany Times Union's Capitol Confidential reporter Matthew Hamilton published an article titled "IDC proposes banning outside incomes for legislators."

In this article, Mr. Hamilton reports on a plan released by IDC Leader Senator Jeff Klein on behalf of the IDC (Independent Democratic Conference) that: "would not permit any state lawmaker to earn outside income."

After reading this IDC proposal for ethics reform, I have no other words than: Surprise, surprise!  For six consecutive years, I have sponsored Senate Bill S.111 (the previous bill numbers were S.384-A, S.284-A and S.3149) which "Prohibits a member of the legislature from engaging in any outside paid activity during his or her term of office."

My dear reader, in 2009 I saw the light and I called upon Governor Andrew Cuomo - who ran his campaign on the promise that he would clean up Albany - to attack the problem once and for all by banning legislators from engaging in outside paid activity during their term of office.

In a January 7, 2011 Legislative Gazette article titled "Sen. Diaz: No outside income for lawmakers" Simon Garron Caine documented my effort: "I realize that several proposals have been discussed to require legislators to report outside income. However, by allowing legislators to continue to receive outside income, there is no doubt in my mind that the problems, of which we are all aware, will not be resolved," said Diaz.

You should know that neither Senator Jeff Klein nor any member of his IDC have ever supported nor co-sponsored my bill. When I called upon my colleagues in the State Senate to co-sponsor my piece of legislation, only a very few ever did (former Senator Eric Schneiderman and Senator Adriano Espaillat, to be exact) - until last week when Senators Adriano Espaillat (for the third time) and George Latimer both jumped on board and asked to co-sponsor it.

This week, I am so glad that Senator Jeff Klein and his IDC Members have finally seen the light and are going to embrace something very important that I started several years ago. I can see no reason why Senator Klein and his IDC Members wouldn't be anything except eager to co-sponsor S.111. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I look forward to hearing from Senator Jeff Klein and each IDC Member to hear from them that they would like to co-sponsor my piece of legislation.

This is Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.


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Thomas Lockhart

was born June 8, 1953. Mr. Lockhart is a former Bronx resident from the Marble Hill section, and attended The Bronx High School of Science and Manhattan College. A former All-American basketball player at both institutions, he left for Europe in 1976 to pursue a professional career after a brief encounter with the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. Continuing his education he actively plunged into corporate marketing communications with international companies like Philips, Alstom, Qiagen Instruments, KPMG, European Space Administration, ABN-Amro Bank and the Port of Rotterdam, while continuing to play ball and coach. Teaching English and advertising in Holland led to the setup of Ideas Unlimited, his own International Business Communications firm. Mr. Lockhart has lived and worked in various countries for the past 33 years, speaks German, French, Dutch and is currently learning Italian. Now residing near Zurich Switzerland, he has three children, Jarrett, 31 Chief of Staff with the Bronx City Council, 14th District, Maraya, 21 and Malik, 11. Tom is currently serving as Communications Manager and Asst. Operations Coordinator of the Marble Hill Reunion and Development Project.