Tuesday, May 06, 2008

New York Pols Take Crime To A Whole New Level

We aren't called the Empire State for nothing and our elected officials (or at least a percentage of them) want to live up down to a certain level of ethics. The scandals that we have seen here in our state seems unparalleled. Sure, politicians commit crimes no matter what city, state or country they live in, but in New York it is bordering on the ridiculous. Clyde Haberman of the New York Times dived into the muck today to show us how bad it's been.

From The New York Times:

Crime in New York, as everyone knows, is way down from where it was years ago. Thank goodness, we have the political class to take up the slack.

In the last few years, startling numbers of New York elected officials have been investigated, indicted, convicted or imprisoned for a strikingly broad range of misdeeds. We have seen them charged with sex crimes and with drunken driving. We’ve had one state senator accused of punching a police officer and another of throwing hot coffee at an assistant. We’ve had an assemblywoman who stalked an old boyfriend and an assemblyman whose crimes included the Dickensian theft of money from Little League teams.[...]

The lineup of New York politicians who have landed on the dubious side of the law, whether found guilty or just arrested, is impressive. It includes names easily recognized by even casual students of local politics, people like Alan G. Hevesi, Brian M. McLaughlin, Dennis P. Gallagher, Guy J. Velella, Clarence Norman, Diane Gordon, Kevin S. Parker, Adam Clayton Powell IV, Ada L. Smith, Efrain Gonzalez Jr., Gloria Davis, Roger Green, Karim Camara and John D. Sabini.

Then there are those who figure prominently in continuing investigations, like Joseph L. Bruno and Christine C. Quinn. Oh, we almost forgot: There is also a fellow named Spitzer.

The latest entrant in the rogues’ gallery is Representative Vito J. Fossella of Staten Island and Brooklyn, who was arrested a few days ago in a Virginia suburb of Washington and charged with driving while intoxicated. His blood-alcohol level, the police said, was 0.17 percent, more than twice Virginia’s legal limit for drivers.

Haberman goes on to poke fun at poor Vito, who couldn't even recite the alphabet. Then however, he revisits New York's past, full of corrupt Aldermen and party bosses. Though it is different from then to now. Politicians are (and I mean no disrespect to Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed) more clever than they used to be. People knew from the very start that their leaders were shameless crooks in suits. Today quite a few of the politicians we elect say they are one thing and do the opposite. Perhaps it is the advent of the PR world, but in our current society we somehow expect better, yet haven't been rewarded with it as of yet.