25 Apr
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Politics As Usual For NYC?

Queens senator Malcolm Smith (Democrat) pleaded not guilty this month to charges that he bribed to get onto the Republican mayoral ballot. He got caught while talking to co-conspirators for hours with an undercover FBI agent posing as a wealthy real estate developer. Smith agreed to use the power of his senate chair to get state money for the suburban town Spring Valley, which the FBI agent’s “company” was hoping to develop.

Queens Councilman Dan Halloran (Republican) is charged this month for offering bribes using his delegated taxpayer-funds.

Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson (Democrat), who is involved in The New Age Social Adult Day Care Center, was charged this month for bribing to pass legislation that would block other adult day care centers being opened near his.

Malcolm Smith’s lawyer told reporters that “Smith is a dedicated and highly respected public servant.” If Smith’s lawyer had paid attention to a recent poll that shows 91% of New York voters believe “legislative corruption is a serious problem,” he would realize no one is going to believe him.  In addition, 81% of New York voters believe more corruption stings will come. The poll also pointed out that a third of voters actually believe it will be their senate or assembly representative that could get busted. Now, New York City has had its fair share of corrupt politics (Tammany Hall comes to mind), but what’s disturbing is how New York voters suspect it could be the very elected officials who they put into office. What does that say about the voters in this city? And what does that say about the faith they place in their choice in elected officials?


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