Dean Skelos has been arrested on corruption charges.
You may not be shocked, but you should be angry.
Of the three men in the room who control our state, two have been arrested (Silver and Skelos), after the third, Governor Cuomo, shut down the Moreland anti-corruption commission, saying its work was done.
You should be angry for all the kids who are ignored while Albany serves other interests, for the anemic infrastructure support, for the refusal to serve New Yorkers instead of friends and donors. You should be angry because according to the charges, the state is serving Glenwood Management’s interests, instead of your interests.
If you live in New York City, you should be angry when you look out at the new skyline, built on tax breaks for wealthy developers, while many people can barely afford rent. The Skelos indictment details how Glenwood Management (the company that also gave Cuomo over $1 million through the LLC loophole) funneled money to Skelos’ son in exchange for Skelos pushing for tax breaks for Glenwood, and against rent regulations.
Glenwood, with ties to all three New York leaders, is the power behind the throne, using legal and illegal bribery to reshape our state in its image, instead of with our visions.
We’ve got a fight on our hands. But the distance between the state we are, and the state we could be, is just a few feet, if we leap over the chasm of corruption.
I believe that love, hope, and anger are the heart of building a powerful populist fighting force, one that works for the people. But along with love, hope, and anger, we need to break down the toxic system of legalized corruption and build up a new system, structured on people, not money.
I’m happy to be a broken record on public financing of campaigns until we get it passed state-wide. Right now, the doors to Albany are barred to would-be candidates who don’t have rich friends. If we want a new crop of public-spirited lawmakers, we need to pass public financing and open the doors.
Andrew Cuomo defended his record as an anti-corruption reformer this spring by saying that too many lawmakers were judged by a “few bad apples.” When two of the three biggest apples in the state are arrested, it’s not just bad apples. It’s the crop.
PS: If you want to follow the details of the Skelos case, and corruption in Albany more general, follow https://twitter.com/albanyproject. They’ve been providing great coverage.
Zephyr for New York · 225 Broadway, Suite 1902, New York City, NY 10007, United States