Albany's Crime Wave Continues
December 14th, 2006

Another state lawmaker, Efrain Gonzalez, has been indicted on corruption charges (again, actually), and many see it as the latest strike in a crime wave that Henry Stern has said is gripping the state capitol for months.

Gonzalez’s alleged crimes are similar to those of Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin (they both, for instance, were indicted for allegedly looting Little League teams. The Politicker has a diagram illustrating them.

Gonzalez is accused of steering state-funded grants, or member items, to local non-profits which then used the money to pay his personal expenses. These grants have long been seen as a murky, corrupt part of Albany’s daily business. The Daily News says that “no one should be surprised that Gonzalez’s alleged misdeeds stem from what are politely called member items; until a recent court ruling, these were doled out in secret without any oversight or rules.”

It wasn’t just Gonzalez who was up to no good, the Post writes. While he was being indicted, it agues in an editorial, “there’s no honest way to sugar-coat this – lawmakers were milling about … while their leaders negotiated ‘yes’ votes on several bills in exchange for a pay raise. (Can you say bribe?)”

The pay raise deal didn’t go through, however. The Post dismisses the idea that this is evidence of a new Albany conscience about such dealings. So maybe it’s another illustration of that other much-discussed Albany attribute — the inability to get anything done.

By on December 14, 2006, 5:44 pm
In category: Albany,Gotham City | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “Albany's Crime Wave Continues”

  1. Larry Littlefield Says:
    December 15th, 2006 at 8:07 am

    The whole member item package costs $200 million. Not nothing, but well less than the $219 billion in direct state and local government spending in NY State in FY 2004. The budget of the legislature, including its pay, is similarly large, but not in proportion.

    The real scandal is the other $218.8 billion. With unmet needs, nation-leading taxes, and debts and other obligations shifted to the future. And no sense that it is public services and benefits, rather than money for interest groups, that is being paid for.

    I suspect that legislators meekly vote “yes” on the bad deal we get for the $218.8 billion in exchange for their little piece of the $200 million, which matters to us not at all. That is how it hurts us the most.

  2. Jackie Longman Says:
    April 8th, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    An additional issue is that video games can be serious as the name indicated with the key focus on learning rather than amusement. Although, there’s an entertainment element to keep children engaged, each and every game is usually designed to work with a specific group of skills or program, such as numbers or technology. Thanks for your publication.

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