68° Good Morning
68° Good Morning

Count remaining ballots, but don’t stall Sen.-elect Kaminsky

Democrat Todd Kaminsky, left, led Republican Chris McGrath

Democrat Todd Kaminsky, left, led Republican Chris McGrath by less than 800 votes in a special election to replace former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. Credit: Daniel Goodrich / Howard Schnapp

Don’t let the paper chase in the 9th District fool you, Todd Kaminsky is on his way to the State Senate.

The votes are not there for Republicans to make up a 780-ballot lead the Democrat has in the special election to replace Dean Skelos. Yes, do an audit and open the absentee ballots, but don’t needlessly delay the swearing-in of Kaminsky for the job the people of Nassau County elected him to do.

The 2016 legislative session is scheduled to end June 16, so there isn’t much time to get some important work done, especially the passage of stronger ethics laws and voter-friendly election reforms. Some who tried but couldn’t vote in Tuesday’s presidential primary learned the hard way about the need for reforms.

Kaminsky, a former federal prosecutor, made passage of stringent reforms on the income and pensions for public officials the center of his campaign in the brutal fight with Republican candidate Chris McGrath. The modest reforms lawmakers passed as part of the budget deal earlier in the session really didn’t go far enough. Kaminsky wants a cap on all outside income and passage of a constitutional amendment to revoke the pensions of convicted public officials. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the Senate had agreed to a pension-stripping bill last year, but the Democratic-controlled Assembly refused to go along. Meanwhile, the GOP-controlled Senate refuses to accept any limits on outside income.

Kaminsky’s win was a devastating blow to the fragile GOP Senate majority that needs to convince Long Islanders it deserves to stay in power. With Kaminsky in their fold, the Democrats will be on the offensive to take control of the chamber. Both parties need to understand that Kaminsky’s win was a message from voters that corruption must end. — The editorial board