Koch: Finding Rivals to Silver, Sampson Not 'My Burden'

Former Mayor Ed Koch is pushing candidates for state and federal offices in New York to sign onto a pledge saying they support non-partisan re-districting, expanded ethics rules and a state budget crafted by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

He’s also open to supporting another reform issue that’s being pushed by Mayor Bloomberg: non-partisan elections.

When I asked if he supports the measure, Koch said, “Up to now I have not, but I’m considering changing my position. Most of the large cities in the country do have a non-partisan elections.”

“There would no longer be primaries, anyone running for mayor,” he said, “you could identify yourself as Democrat or Republican if you wanted to.”

Turning the focus back to Albany, Koch reiterated his position that Senate Democrats will lose control of that part of the state legislature since most of them have not signed on to his reform pledge.

Koch has singled out the Democratic leaders of both chambers, Speaker Sheldon Silver in the Assembly and Conference Leader John Sampson in the State Senate, as “enemies of reform,” for refusing to sign the pledge.

But neither of them face Democratic primary challengers, nor any real general election opponent.

Koch said Silver and Sampson will get re-elected, “but they can be thrown out if the membership changes in the house that elects them.”

So, who would Koch like to see as the new Assembly Speaker and Conference Leader?

“I’m not involved in that,” Koch said. “That’s not what my burden here is.”