The big cities are not strangers to scandal in city government. Detroit has almost become known for its city’s corruption, but the biggest city on earth is attempting to rival their reputation with a “massive pay-to-play mayor’s race conspiracy.”
New York City’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg is serving his last year as mayor and potential candidates are scrambling for the opportunity to run. Malcolm A. Smith, New York state senator representing the 14th senate district, has been caught trying to buy his way on to the mayoral ticket. Instead of appearing on the ballot, he’s now the face of a criminal complaint.
On Tuesday, Smith, a Republican City Council member from Queens, Daniel J. Halloran III, and two Republican leaders from Queens and the Bronx, Vincent Tabone and Joseph J. Savino were charged with wire fraud and bribery. The senator was also charged with extortion.
Have they not learned anything from the fiasco that happened in Chicago with our President’s senate seat when Illinois’ governor Rod Blagojevich was found guilty of the exact same charges of bribery and extortion when he tried to put President Obama’s seat up for sale to an unconfirmed Jesse Jackson, Jr.?
The scandal goes even deeper when Smith, who is a Democrat, wanted to also run as the Republican frontrunner on the mayoral ballot. According to the New York Times report:
“The complaint described envelopes of cash trading hands in Manhattan hotel rooms and restaurants, payments of thousands of dollars to persuade Republican leaders in New York to put Senator Smith, from Queens, on the Republican ballot in November. The bribes were to be paid to obtain certificates authorizing him to run for mayor as a Republican even though he was a registered Democrat.”
Blagojevich got 14 years for his part in his scheme to sell the senate seat. Let’s see what they have up their sleeves for the three stooges and Senator Smith. We will be watching this story as it develops.
Read more here.