Get Involved In Politics
It is painful to see elected political leaders use their offices for personal gain rather than for the public good. State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno set up a sham business to take illegal payments. State Senator Carl Kruger and Assemblyman Tony Seminerio were convicted of similar crimes. Senator Pedro Espada required health center employees to work on his political campaigns. The legal cases were investigated and prosecuted by federal authorities.
With the efforts of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and State Comptroller Tom diNapoli to follow money used for member items by state legislators we have a better chance of detecting and prosecuting cases of fraud. Unfortunately the timing of the indictment of Senator Shirley Huntley will make it impossible for Shirley Huntley to be cleared before Primary Day, September 13.
Local citizens have a part to play in selecting and keeping honest politicians in office. We should contribute to local candidates of our choice. We should review the contributions received by candidates to detect unusual large sums from outside the district. We should also check that funds obtained by local legislators go to known groups that actually serve the community,
Attend meetings and ask questions. If things don’t look right notify the NYS Attorney General and look for another candidate. The press can help by making financial disclosure information easily available. With the hundreds of millions being contributed, often anonymously, on the federal level we must keep our local government honest if we are to have any hope of having a government that actually serves the public good.