By Jon Campbell,
ALBANY Nearly three quarters of New York voters want the state Moreland Commission to continue its work, though about the same amount said they weren't familiar with the anti-corruption panel or had no opinion of it, a poll released Monday found.
Seventy-two percent of those surveyed by Siena College said the commission should continue to investigate public corruption rather than issue recommendations and disband.
But 71 percent said they had neither a favorable nor unfavorable view of the Moreland panel's work and 79 percent weren't closely following news regarding the commission.
"Well, New Yorkers may not know what the Moreland Commission is, or what it does, or who its members are," Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement. "But if the choice is for the Moreland Commission to disband or to continue investigating political corruption, the answer is clear. Keep investigating, New Yorkers say."
The Moreland Commission, which is comprised mainly of sitting district attorneys across the state, was created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman earlier this year and tasked with investigating corruption in government.
The panel, which is required to issue a preliminary report by December, has found itself locked in a tussle with state lawmakers over a request for information on legislators' outside income and a list of their legal clients. After the late August request was rebuffed by attorneys hired by the Legislature's majority conferences, the Moreland Commission signaled last week it would resort to issuing subpoenas for the information.
Also Monday, Siena found little movement in New York voters' feelings on a proposal to amend the state constitution to allow for up to seven private casinos.
When asked whether they support allowing "non-Indian, Las Vegas-style casinos" in New York, 49 percent of those polled said they're in favor of it, while 45 percent said they're opposed.
When read the actual wording of the proposed amendment -- which touts the potential for "job growth" and "lower taxes" from casino revenue -- support grew to 56 percent, while opposition fell to 40 percent. The numbers were virtually unchanged from Siena's poll last month.
The casino amendment will be on the statewide ballot on Nov. 5.
A total of 822 registered state voters were polled between Oct. 14 and 16, according to Siena. The poll carried a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.