Monday, September 22, 2008

The Most Corrupt, And Weird, Party In America

When then-Republican John Lindsay ran for mayor of New York City in 1965 columnist Murray Kempton wrote: "He is fresh, and everyone else is tired." Forty-three years later, it applies to his former party.

Only, New York Republicans are not merely tired.

They're exhausted.

Republicans in control of the Senate will likely lose their slim 32-30 seat majority on Election Day. It will engender little sympathy because Albany's Republicans and Democrats reach agreement so often it's nearly impossible, ideologically, to distinguish between them.

Even worse, Governor David Paterson has skillfully positioned himself to the right of the state G.O.P., especially on property taxes and cutting government spending. Our liberal Democratic Governor has become more of a Republican than Albany's Senate Republicans on the two most critical issues facing our state.

But, there is one difference between Albany's two parties, and it's significant: The legislation proposed by Senate Democrats as well as the appalling behavior of New York Democrats in general.

The New York Democratic party is infested with corruption.

Congressman Charles Rangel's rent-controlled apartments scam is merely warming up in the unethical bullpen. His party's Assembly Sopranos have been forced from office with one felony conviction after another. Gloria Davis, Clarence Norman, Diane Gordon and Brian McLaughlin, among others.

So it was no surprise when Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Soprano Seminerio was arrested for accepting $500,000 in bribes two weeks ago. The 17-page indictment is rife with Seminerio's greed and narcissism.

"I'll break his balls. And I know what to break his balls about," Seminerio boasts to his bribe-paying hospital executive who was angry with a senior Department of Health official for not helping him fend off "cuts" to his budget.

It's unrelenting with Albany's Democrat La Cosa Nostra.

Don Speaker Sheldon Silver's former chief counsel, J. Michael Boxley, a man he vigorously defended against rape charges, is now a registered sex offender. Comptroller Fredo Corleone Alan Hevesi resigned in disgrace because he was using state tax dollars to chauffeur around his wife. And New Yorkers know well how Luca Brasi Eliot Spitzer made our state a national laughingstock.

This is not normal for a state party as a whole.

If the New York Democratic Party is not the most corrupt state party in the country, what state, either Republican or Democrat, outperforms its sleaze?

Tell me.

Tell me what state party, blue or red, is more corrupt.

I want to know.

Despite their undefined and undisciplined existence, New Yorkers should vote to keep the Senate Republicans in the majority. Why?


* Nearly every Senate Democrat has been endorsed by the Working Families Party, which favors a "progressive" tax system, and they will undoubtedly be a major force in leading the effort to raise taxes on every New Yorker;

* Brooklyn Senator Eric Adams supports legislation that gives illegal aliens and convicted felons the right to vote, and he's in line to become the Chairman of the Senate Crime, Crime Victims and Corrections Committee;

* Westchester Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins introduced legislation that would make obtaining an abortion so convenient that her colleague, and ordained minister, Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. called it "one of the most dangerous and radical pieces of proposed legislation in New York State that I have ever seen"; and

* Manhattan Senator Liz Krueger has pronounced a revived death penalty bill will never receive a vote in a Democratic Senate (this is also the same Senator who told New Yorkers to "drive less" while gasoline prices were exploding and she voted against suspending the gas tax for the summer months).

If New Yorkers believe the future is dire now, just wait until Senate Democrats move to implement their agenda. Tax hikes, voting rights for illegal aliens and convicted felons is merely the beginning. They will also revisit the attempt to provide driver's licenses to illegal aliens despite the intense backlash when Spitzer proposed it. And we'll witness more criminal convictions.

When Senate Democrats inherit the majority this January, upstate and Long Island will be completely dominated by New York City interests. Once we have statewide one-party Democratic rule, it's the kiss of death. New York won't recover for a generation.

Paul Tonko: The Triumph Of Mediocrity

Chichester's op-ed in The Sunday Gazette of Schenectady on soon-to-be Congressman Paul Tonko.