Posted by: vernacularsnoop | August 21, 2008

Democratic New York state senator pushes corporate lobbyists to invest in NY Democrats

“…the minority leader, Malcolm A. Smith of Queens, told lobbyists at a golf outing that they should contribute money now, implying that if they did not and the Democrats won control of the Senate, they would be sorry, according to reports attributed to people who heard Mr. Smith’s remarks.

The people who heard the remarks, according to reports on Monday in The New York Post and The Daily News, said that Mr. Smith likened the situation to an initial public offering for a corporation, saying it would get more expensive for donors as time passed.”

Of course, Smith claims to have been joking, but this joke just has too much truth in it to be very funny. The only part that made me chuckle is that the equally corrupt NY Republicans are pretending to be outraged by Smith’s frank admission that New York politicians are for sale to the highest corporate bidder. By the way, this is only a few weeks after Republican Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (who built a baseball stadium in Troy with taxpayer money and named it after himself) retired from the legislature to take a high-paying corporate lobbyist job with a firm that lobbies for contracts with the state government.

Smith’s comments were made at a golf fundraiser for NY Senate Democrats at which about 75 lobbyists paid up to $75,000 each. The worst part is, the only thing that’s surprising about this corruption is how blatant it is. Albany’s pay-to-play culture is a big part of why a 2004 Brennan Center report called New York’s legislature the most dysfunctional in the US.

Full story here at the New York Times.


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