Bazzo Says: Cleaning Up New York Corruption, will Ball lead?

Bazzo Says:

TITLE: Cleaning Up New York Corruption, will Ball lead?

Using the numbers included in Bill Hammond’s piece in the Daily News last Friday, in the last decade there have been 35 state politicians either charged with or convicted of corruption. According to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the past 10 years have seen more elected officials resign their seats because of corruption then have been defeated at the polls. Most recently, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was recorded as saying, “If half of the people in Albany was ever caught for what they do, they would probably be in prison.” Being that Assemblyman Stevenson did not know that he was being recorded, one must take him at his word when he says that Albany is awash in malfeasance.

It seems that when it comes to illegally screwing the people of New York, there is bi-partisan cooperation. Ultimately the fault lies with us, because we put these crooks in power and we continue to re-elect them unless they are convicted. More on that later.

Westchester Legislator Mike Kaplowitz (D-District 4), a recent guest on the Volpe/Bazzo Report, and Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, are of the opinion that the system is broken.

Forget the Governor Cuomo on this scourge, he is as useless a Bermuda Shorts in Antarctica, despite what Al Gore wants us to believe. Cuomo is part of the New York City political machine which so far has produced 26 of those 35 politicians mentioned above, not including those under investigation or convicted on the City Council. There is no way our governor will institute a State Moreland Commission which would have subpoena power over the legislature. I believe Cuomo is afraid that Stevenson is right about the corruption in Albany, and worries that his friends and allies would be courted off to jail. Still, if he continues to do nothing but mutter “stuff happens,” he will be rightfully held accountable for dereliction of duty as the U.S. Attorney does the job our governor should be doing…maybe. You see it is up to you to hold him accountable and so far you haven’t. You are more pre-occupied with what are proven now to be secondary issues (according to polling) such as gay marriage. Your primary focus should be on the integrity of our government. You must for now, stop focusing on party affiliation and instead focus on the character of the candidates on the ballot.

With all due respect to Legislator Kaplowitz and Assemblywoman Galef, I sumbit that the system is not to blame, as honest people cannot be corrupted. On my TV show, Kaplowitz talked about people of good intentions becoming corrupted by the system. He is wrong. The system, money, etc. are inanimate objects, as they cannot do anything. No, it is the character flaws in those people, their actions that are at play. You find this more and more in this era of the professional politician and one party rule. In Albany you have Democrats and DMARs (Democrats Masquerading As Republicans).

The answer is not public campaign financing, as Kaplowitz offered on the show. It would only open another source of taxpayer money and another system those with larceny in their hearts can game. Just look at New York City where they have public financing. You have a number of council people charged or convicted of using straw (fake) donors to game that system. This includes the City Comptroller John Liu and State Senator Malcolm Smith who allegedly tried to buy his way on the mayoral ballot as a Republican (even though he is a Democrat) to get into the city matching funding system.

As I said, it is the people, not the system. Look at our local and county governments. Neither rely on public financing, and neither have been in the U. S. Attorney’s crosshairs. They prove the system works if people of good character are in it. I believe those that advocate public financing are just too lazy to ask for donations. If your platform has enough good ideas, people will contribute. Besides, as long as incumbents can pass out goodies, their challengers will never get enough public money to make a difference. Remember all campaign finance reform laws are written by those already in office. Those incumbents would have to be nuts to believe they would write laws to make it easier to defeat them. Campaign finance reform is just incumbency protection on your dime.

Now, people of good character can certainly be enablers of their corrupt masters in politics. This is partly your fault. If our state or county representatives do not tow the party line, they will not be allowed to give you government goodies when they run for office. They will not get party help when they run. Or worse, the party will finance a challenger to primary them. These representatives do not believe you will continue to vote for them if these things happen. You must allow them to stand up to their party leaders when those leaders enable corruption.

Assemblywoman Galef’s character cannot be questioned. Yet, she still voted for the 2013-14 State budget that bribes families with children by sending them a check next October. So, when those with larceny in their hearts see this kind of thing sponsored by the governor, their leadership and their brethren, they have no problem saying “show me the money” when someone wants something from them.

State Senator Greg Ball is also an honest man, yet an enabler. He has become part of the system. He turns a blind eye to the naked corruption around him to be part of the club. There was a time when he would have led the charge to clean up Albany and take on his leadership. There was a time when he not only took on the opposition party but his own and defeated them. Now he is silent. He goes along to get along. He does this because he believes you would not support him if he did in the Senate what he did in the Assembly. What hurts so much is that Greg has the tenacity to take on the leadership and win! He could be the lightning rod that drains the cesspool of corruption that plagues Albany. Instead of being a Galef-like follower, he could be a leader. There would then be no telling how far his star would rise in New York politics.

The history of New York is filled with reformers who parlayed that leadership to higher office, with the likes of Grover Cleveland, Teddy Roosevelt, Al Smith, Franklin Roosevelt, Hugh Carey, Ed Koch, These people bucked not only the system but their party and the people rewarded them. They trusted that the people would reward them for their efforts. It is too late for Galef and Cuomo. It is not too late for Senator Ball to take up the baton of past greats which has sadly been dropped. He can either seize the opportunity the U. S. Attorney has presented and achieve greatness, or he can be just another go along to get along and slide into anonymity sooner rather than later.

Yes Greg, I still believe in you. You entered politics for the right reason. I saw it. The voters saw it. Take on this cause, and the people will see it again. Become the Greg Ball you were in the Assembly. You can achieve greatness. Don’t buy the people, lead them. If you do, I will have your back.

This is what I say. What say you?



Wednesdays at 9:30 P.M.
channel 74.
Yorktown – Putnam Valley – Bedford – Bedford Hills – Mount Kisco – Katonah – Lewisboro – North Salem – Pound Ridge – Purdy Station – Amawalk – Granite Springs – Lincolndale – Somers – Baldwin Place – Shenorock – Mahopac.
04/17 & 04/24
MIKE KAPLOWITZ & BRETT FREEMAN (Westchester County Issues)

05/01 & 05/08

Wednesday 9:30 P.P.M.
Channel 15
Philips town – Cortlandt – Peekskill – Ossining and Briarcliff., Mt Kisco , North Tarrytown

04/10 & 04/17
MIKE KAPLOWITZ & BRETT FREEMAN (Westchester County Issues)

04/24 & 05/01



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