Want to know how corrupt NYS politics are? Here's the latest from Fredrick U. Dicker of the NY Post, in another great expose. This one's about NYS Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith, who expects to be majority leader after the Nov. elections. (link)
SENATE Minority Leader Malcolm Smith told a conclave of lobbyists in Kingston last week that their clients would be shut out of a Democrat-controlled Senate in January if they didn't pony up large contributions now, a "shocked" longtime lobbyist has told The Post...
..."The whole thing was incredible. Malcolm got up there and thanked everyone for coming and told them we should think of his fund-raising event as being like an IPO, an initial public offering.
"He said we should get in early because then it doesn't cost as much. The longer you wait to get in, he said, the more it will cost you and if you don't get in at all, then it will be painful after November, after the Democrats win the majority," the lobbyist continued.
"Then he referred to [Bronx state Sen.] Jeff Klein about four times as his 'enforcer,' who is going to be brutal, aggressive, about collecting the contributions, and that he was the one managing the IPO."
Linking campaign contributions to future government actions is illegal under New York law, legal experts told The Post.
These guys are the real government mafia, folks. The Dems control both other branches of government already, as well as the Assembly. The Senate is down to a 1 seat majority for Republicans, and when that ends, it'll be "open season" on anything that generates revenue, specifically taxpayers. If you've ever been "shaken down" before, or even if you had your lunch money stolen as a kid once, you know how I feel, living in NYS.
Gov. Paterson, a Democrat, has become the heavyweight promoting spending restraint, but it's unclear how much power he has in the process, other than calling a "special session" during the summer recess to deal with the issue (which he has done). The Republican senators are walking on pins and needles, because "cutting" spending (slowing the rate of growth, actually) could cost them the majority. ASSembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is the "godfather" of the left-wing special interests, and one tough nut to crack, regarding control over legislation. He is the source of Smith's, and the NYS Democrat party's arrogance, as they abuse the public six ways from Sunday.
If you think I'm exaggerating about this, here's an excerpt from the follow-up story, as Republicans called for a criminal probe (link)
Smith refused for three days to discuss his remarks, but late yesterday, in response to the GOP attacks, he issued a statement claiming his remarks were meant to "entertain" the lobbyists who attended the event.
"We were, on the day in question, at a golf outing [and] rain forced us indoors," said Smith. "And, like any good host, it was important to entertain all guests. That is simply what occurred. And nothing else."
Look, if the lobbyists are dropping dimes on pols "shaking them down," imagine how I feel as a (non-union) taxpayer living in one of the most corrupt states in the nation, and paying the price of the shakedown, without even having a lobbyist at the table!
Gov. Paterson should call on AG Andrew Cuomo to investigate this, and prosecute both Smith and Klein, if the charges are true. Someone needs to step up on this, as Patterson has on the budget.