Wednesday, June 4, 2014

With Haggerty seeking retrial and Hynes using drug money for campaign consultants, will campaign finance laws ever be reformed ?

State Sen. Malcolm Smith goes to trial for trying to buy the GOP ballot line just days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo "secures" the Working Families ballot line.

A strange convergence of four different election scandals is taking place this week. Former Queens GOP operative John Haggerty, Jr., requested a new trial on technical ground for stealing $750,000 from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg during the 2009 mayoral election as it was revealed that former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes was using the seized criminal assets in the District Attorney's Office to pay for a campaign consultant.

As if it couldn't get any worse, two politicians are being treated different by prosecutors for essentially having done the same thing.

Why is State Sen. Malcolm Smith facing a corruption and bribery trial for making deals and proposing bribes in order to make a "deal" to get his name on the GOP ballot line in last year's mayoral race, at the same time that newspapers widely reported that Gov. Andrew Cuomo made his own "deal," including offering to contribute to a possible $10 million election fund, to get on the Working Families Party ballot line on this year's gubernatorial race ?

The pattern of corruption in the Haggerty-Hynes cases show how political operatives and elected officials themselves are so starved for corrupt campaign finance money that they will go to great lengths to misuse other people's money. Mr. Haggerty was already convicted in a trial, whereas Mr. Hynes is said to be awaiting possible criminal charges. While State Sen. Smith faces trial over his efforts to buy the GOP line, there's not even a hint that Gov. Cuomo may face criminal charges for trying to possibly buying his way onto the WFP line.

The apparent similarities in these cases, but the unequal application of the law, seem to point to even added corruption in how prosecutors decide which politicos to charge with election and campaign finance crimes.

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