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The Recall Effort That California's Gov Just Survived Could Never Happen In New York

 Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks from a podium in this undated image.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo/Flickr
Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks from a podium in this undated image.

New York voters would not have been able to recall former Gov. Andrew Cuomo like California just attempted with its governor. Yet there are still some options in the Empire State.

Bob Spitzer, chair of SUNY Cortland's political science department, said the best route is to enact stronger ethics and campaign finance laws that would help curb wrongdoing in the first place.

“If the state of New York is serious about wanting to improve its mechanism to hold its elected officials accountable, that's where the emphasis should be, not in trying to adopt the recall-type provision for New York," Spitzer said. "I don't think it is a remedy that would address the problem of corruption that we have had in New York."

But Spitzer said if the public does want to oust a sitting elected official, they must seize the opportunity during scheduled election cycles because recalls aren’t possible in New York. In the absence of that option, another avenue is the impeachment process, which Spitzer said sort of forced Cuomo out.

"I think you can argue that the specter of the impeachment device in the New York State Constitution was key to pushing Cuomo out of office," he said.