Posts Tagged ‘Guy Velella’

28th March
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, March 28, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

Good government types are quick to limit and monitor contributions to political campaigns. After all, we don’t want Assemblyman Jones to be unduly influenced by the $250 contribution sent by Citizen Smith who works for a bank that just happens to have legislation pending before some committee on which the good Assemblyman serves.

The problem is that the real corruption occurs not when the money comes in, but rather when it goes out. Scrutiny of this may be the sea change that will come out of the remarkable events in Albany these past three weeks.

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18th December
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, December 18, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

George Washington Plunkitt, the state senator and Democratic Party leader of a century ago, would be proud. Today’s Bronx politicos have taken his concept of “honest graft” and kicked it up a notch. As the Bronx continues to deteriorate, seemingly stuck in a permanent mode of decay and depression, political leaders find new ways to line their pockets as their constituents suffer.

This was driven home dramatically this past week with the unsealing of a new indictment against a Bronx state senator, Efrain Gonzalez. His constituents are among the poorest in the most poverty stricken county in the state. Yet when given the opportunity to bring some resources back to his district, Mr. Gonzalez, prosecutors charge, instead stole the money to finance a lavish personal lifestyle. (more…)