Sam Roberts reports in Sunday's New York Times that upstate voters have lost hope that either political party is really interested in bettering the plight of upstate New Yorkers: Decades of campaign promises from both parties to make upstate more competitive, and their mixed records on redeeming those promises, have left some New Yorkers skeptical that either party has the will or the ability to fix the foundering economy. One of the great tragedies of the last couple of decades in New York has been the failure of the government to find and implement creative solutions to economic problems outside the New York City metro area. It's no wonder so many New York residents have stopped paying attention to what local candidates are saying. What can politicians do to gain credibility with New Yorkers from across the state? Here are some ideas: commit to adopting legislative rules changes that will take power away from leadership and return it to individual legislators, and make the legislature more transparent, so that voters can hold their representatives accountable when they fail to follow through on their promises. And how about enacting comprehensive campaign finance reform, so that politicians worry more the voters than big-money lobbyists? This blog will be devoted to exploring these issues and how implementing the right kind of reforms can help create a more responsive, effective state government for all New Yorkers, upstate and down. Categories: General, Campaign Finance, Government Ethics, Legislative Rules, Voting