In our study on lobbying, we go on quite the rabbit trail again this week as we look at a culture of corruption in New York.
Like our most recent paper on the subject, we understand that we are being somewhat tangential. However, we continue to believe that loose laws and a culture where influence is held by the few leads to other problems.
Consider one such example in the handling of stipends given to committee chairpersons. The system, which needs to be reconsidered even without this example of corruption, was recently openly abused. The New York Times authored a disappointing piece detailing the illegal transfer of the stipend for the chairperson to someone who is not the chair. There is no path for this in the law, and the only reason the stipend is being transferred is because the recipient, entitled to only one such stipend, has opted for a higher amount. This was the case in seven instances as outlined in this article.
The stipends, which range from $9,000 to $34,000, are another avenue for corruption and self-enrichment. More information can also be found here.
While we plan for future articles on the lobbying subject to be more germane, we want to convey the parallel growth of the influence industry and avenues for corruption. Again, lobbying in and of itself is not evil. However, when the industry and money flowing in that industry grow, there are naturally more and more openings for our politicians to be influenced. Such a culture leads to entitlement, self-enrichment, and a lack of respect for those who elected the officials to serve.
What do you think about the lobbying growth and spending in New York and the corrupt culture there? We would love to hear from you. Join the conversation HERE and continue to check Take Back.org for the latest thoughts on reform.