The New York State Banana Republic

Good for the Gov. He has signed up some heavies. To root out corruption in New York’s political machine. He has appointed current and former prosecutors. As well as city police commissioner Ray Kelly.

They can subpoena records from lawmakers. They can force them and their cohorts to testify. They can do the same with lobbyists. And with people and records from not-for-profits. And with local agencies.

The Gov says he wants his guys to follow the money. Lawmakers take cash from guys who want laws written to favor them. “Guys” like unions. And businesses. And special interest groups. And wealthy birds.

Once the money lands in their campaign coffers they write laws to favor the contributors. This is known as, ahem, graft. Or…if the lawmaker asks for the dough it is known as extortion. The lawmakers also funnel grants to their own charities. Where their sisters work for scads of money. Some of which they kick back to the brothers. Or sisters. The crooks in the legislature. Albany is one big, happy, crooked family. A kinder, gentler Soprano-land.



If you did not know this stuff is routine in the state legislature you must have just moved to the state. From the moon.

It is the oxygen of the state government. In too many departments you will not do business without paying off somebody. In most cases it is not the civil servants who are on the take. It is the political appointees above them.

By the way, the first reaction from the GOP leader of the state senate was to threaten Cuomo. He suggested the gov’s campaign chest could also do with a little investigating. What an interesting reaction. Instead of the usual “We join with the Governor in this fight against corruption…” Hmmmm.

The Governor probably saw he had little choice in this. Lately the state has become a banana republic. It makes the Philippines look virgin. So many elected guys have been exposed, the legislature could convene in Rikers Island.

Some kids probably think the state constitution requires candidates be crooked to get on the ballot.

The Governor likely wants to run for the White House. With so much corruption in this state, his campaign would have to hide that he was governor here.

Seriously, he sees that if he cleans out some of the manure in the state political machine he would look good for the big campaign.

He would. Fighting corruption wins votes. It helped Thomas Dewey become the gov 80 years ago. He put his name in lights by nailing big-time crooks. As a federal and state prosecutor. He still basked in that reputation when he ran for the presidency.

He ran against Harry Truman. Truman was a little-known senator. Until he led a committee that exposed crooks among wartime contractors. Without the publicity, it is possible he would have remained as “Harry who?” to Roosevelt. He might never have been ordained vice-president.

Good luck with this, Gov. If you want to dig into muck you can send guys to the stables at Aqueduct. Or to the stables known as the state legislature. You will find more at the latter.

From Tom...as in Morgan.

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