New York State’s hideous culture of corruption
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In the latest allegation of corruption, a State Assemblyman from the Bronx, for the sum of $20,000, sold legislation so that only one particular business would benefit in his community. It prevented other enterprises to even explore the opportunity of opening and bringing jobs and commerce to that area. This particular politician is on the record for maintaining an air of confidence in fending off criminal charges easily, due to the numerous past examples of elected officials easily getting off the hook with merely a slap on the wrist instead of an appropriate sentence of jail time.
In these corrupt politicians’ minds, there is no deterrence from accepting bribes; it’s all too often considered “normal.” Guess what? It’s not. It’s illegal, immoral, unethical and just plain wrong.
There have been several attempts to revoke an elected official’s pension if they are convicted of criminal activity. I wholly support such proposals, but believe it does not go far enough. Legislators accept taxpayer money to act as a representative of their community. When indicted and arrested for criminal activity, those politicians have proven they do not have the interest of their people at heart.
That’s why it’s time for true Ethics Reform in New York State, not merely something that sounds good in the media. I am in full support of Governor Cuomo’s proposal to increase criminal penalties and create new ones for elected officials who violate the public trust.
However, at the same time, I oppose the Governor’s plan to bring public campaign finance to New York State. Public financing of private campaigns is not the solution to political corruption. In fact, public financing of campaigns, as highlighted by the recent allegations lodged against State Senator Malcolm Smith, will lead to more political corruption, not less.