Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's All About The Billionaires Baby

Forget the "benjamins", in New York power and influence requires the cash that only billionaires can muster. Due to an extremely dysfunctional and corrupt state government, the people who have power are those that can spend gobs of money. With weak leadership from the Governor and the Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, politicians who regard ethics as a joke and reform as a campaign slogan are willing and able to through a wrench in the system if the price is right.

El Diario/La Prensa highlights two of those billionaires:

Golisano had a tantrum over the state budget earlier in the year because one of its outcomes is that billionaires like him would have to pay more taxes. He publicly announced that he would leave New York as a result and move to Florida. Instead, he encouraged a takeover and promised to back the ambitions of self-serving politicians.

Apparently, Golisano and others dismissed the desires of millions of New Yorkers who pulled levers on election day last fall. Why respect a mandate from voters when you can buy a politician and plot a takeover – all in the humorous guise of reform?

But Golisano is not the only billionaire dismissing the expressed wishes of voters.

Bloomberg pushed an operation to overturn term limits so he could run for office again. This, despite the fact that voters had already decided in favor of these limits in referendums. As part of this operation, heads of nonprofits organizations were called by Bloomberg administration officials to testify in favor of the City Council overturning these limits.

It can be stated enough about how corrupting money is in politics and especially in our state. El Diario/La Prensa has given up hope with these legislators and their sugar daddies and rightly states that it is up to us, the people of New York to push back. First we have to vote people like Monserrate and Espada out, then we must advocate like we have never advocated before and get a clean election law passed like the one that exists in Arizona and Maine. Without a comprehensive overhaul in that area, the Bloombergs and Golisanos will always be able to crush the will of the people with the will of their own.