PUBLISHED : TUES, 01 JUL 2014, 02:11 PM
UPDATED : TUES, 01 JUL 2014, 04:35 PM
Corrupt Politicians and Lobbyists Get Most of Their Power From the Bottom in Charge of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office
POLITICAL BLOGGERS and government reform activists today expressed frustration that another corrupt New York City Council speaker was going to use her control over a large multi-million slush fund to reward her lobbyists and campaign consultants, and there was nothing that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was going to do about it.
Press reports from The New York Post and Crains New York Business show that the Hispanic Federation consistently funnels money back to Mr. Miranda's campaign consulting and lobbying firm, the MirRam Group. Steering flush fund money to charities that then act as a "pass through entity" back to favored lobbyists and campaign consultants is business as usual in the City Council. Political bloggers and government reform activists alleged that Speaker Mark-Viverito's predecessor, Christine Quinn, did the same thing, reportedly using the High Line park as the "pass-through" to ultimately benefit Bolton-St. Johns, the lobbying firm headed by former Speaker Quinn's best friend, Emily Giske.
The political, campaign, and slush fund corruption in New York City comes from learned behavior about how to rig the broken political system to keep enabling still yet more and more corruption. The possibility that Council Speaker Mark-Viverito's allocation of large, six-figure sums to charities that pay some of their money back to Speaker Mark-Viverito's political operatives is a blatant conflict of interest. Is this part of the way that the Council speaker "compensates" her campaign consultants through transactions that circumvent the city's campaign finance regulatory authority, the Campaign Finance Board ? The optics of these kinds of financial arrangements merit investigation, possible charges of corruption, and at the very least the issuance of new ethics rules of recusal and oversight. But we live in a city, where District Attorney Cy Vance is Mr. Fix It. Corrupt politicians, lobbyists, and other permanent government insiders know that D.A. Vance won't prosecute anybody, meaning, "the fix is in." Former Council Speaker Quinn and Ms. Giske got away with it, and Speaker Mark-Viverito and Mr. Miranda are gambling that they will, too. So, the crooked politicians keep exploiting the system.
Does that mean D.A. Vance is a power bottom for every crooked politician in this city ?
(No offense to power bottoms.)
Corrupt politicians know that the prosecution of significant political or government individuals pose special problems for local and state prosecutors.
Voters can tell how the clients of lobbyists and campaign consultants get preferential treatment over other schmucks, who lack the political connections with prosecutorial insiders.
When Crains New York Business requested the e-mail correspondence between the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and his ex-wife, political consultant powerhouse Jennifer Cunningham, the attorney general denied the Freedom of Information Law request.
Similar to how the attorney general appears to be protecting his ex-wife from media scrutiny, some political bloggers and government reform activists charge that the attorney general protected politician clients of Ms. Cunningham from scrutiny. Ms. Cunningham worked on former Council Speaker Quinn's mayoral campaign at a time when activists were demanding investigations into allegations of corruption during former Council Speaker Quinn's administration of the City Council, investigations which never came to pass.