Author: ACT NOW

Governor Cuomo Is Not A Friend Of Progressives

Progressives are finally waking up to the fact that Governor Cuomo is not our friend. Will he face a progressive challenger on the Working Families Party line?

What Can We Do About Albany Corruption?

Call Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390 and tell the person who answers that you want Cuomo to keep campaign finance reform with matching funds in the budget. As ACT NOW activists I know you are asking what can be done about the endless stream of corrupt Albany legislators. One answer is campaign finance reform with matching funds for small donations coupled with increased disclosure requirements and tighter donation limits. This was tried with great success in NYC and Governor Cuomo has … Read More

#TopTenAlbanyCrooks #1: Malcolm Smith

Malcolm Smith, felon-in-waiting, remains in the state senate and plans to run for reelection. He requested that his trial be postponed until after the primary! Smith faces corruption charges because he tried to buy a spot on the Republican line for the 2013 NYC mayoral election by bribing Republican officials. Smith, a Queens Democrat, held the title of Majority Leader for 6 months before being replaced in June 2009 by a bipartisan group of senators, one of the events that … Read More

#TopTenAlbanyCrooks #2: Vito Lopez

Vito Lopez, Brooklyn Assemblymember and Chairman of the Kings County Democratic Party, was a classic party boss who also sexually harassed his female interns. The Daily News said he was “an old-time political boss who rewards loyalty and tries to stomp out opposition. As party boss he controls — with an iron fist — the selection of Brooklyn judges.” Rumors of corruption were often centered around his control of a senior citizens council which received over $100 million in government … Read More

Now’s The Time

In today’s political climate, progressives have learned to temper any optimism with caution, and there’s particular need for it as New York State’s budget approaches final passage next week. Campaign finance reform, the best hope short of a Constitutional amendment for stanching the flow of money that poured into the political process after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, appears to be viable in Albany. Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Assembly and the New York State Senate have all … Read More

#TopTenAlbanyCrooks #3: Pedro Espada

Pedro Espada stole from Soundview Health Center, a federally funded health care clinic in his low income Bronx district, to fund a extravagent lifestyle including parties, vacations and lavish meals. He spent $20,000 on sushi alone! The Attorney General claimed that he looted Soundview for $14 million: $1.7 million in wages, $900,000 in personal expenses including a Mercedes-Benz, and a $9 million deferred compensation deal. Soundview paid $2,500 a month for an unoccupied Bronx apartment so that Espada could claim … Read More

#TopTenAlbanyCrooks #4: State Senator Hiram Monserrate

State Senator Hiram Monserrate was both a crook and a creep. In 2008, he was arrested for slashing his girlfriend in the face with a broken glass, and a security camera captured him dragging her down a hallway by her hair and forcing her outside. The state senate eventually voted 53 to 8 to expel him, but in the meanwhile he and fellow State Senator Pedro Espada formed a coalition with the Republicans in a coup that left the senate … Read More

#TopTenAlbanyCrooks #5: Carl Kruger

Brooklyn Democrat Carl Kruger headed the state senate’s powerful Finance Committee. He took over $1 million in bribes in return for legislative favors. Kruger was one of the “Four Amigos” who threatened to abandon their party to caucus with the Republicans in 2008, setting the example for the current group of renegade IDC Democrats who now give the Republicans a working majority in the state senate. Kruger’s bribes bankrolled a lavish lifestyle including a $2 million waterfront home and a … Read More

#TopTenAlbanyCrooks #6: Joe Bruno

Republican State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno got $3.2 million in private consulting fees for helping entities with business before the state. His downfall began with an FBI investigation into misuse of state aircraft and free private jet flights from a businessman who also turned out to have given Bruno $200,000 for consulting work that was never performed and $80,000 for a worthless horse. During his trial, Bruno’s senate lawyers testified that they had advised state senators to hand-deliver annual … Read More

#TopTenAlbanyCrooks#7: State Senator Shirley Huntley

Democratic state Senator Shirley Huntley only served her Queens district from 2007-2012. While being investigated for embezzling $88,000 from a taxpayer funded fraudulent charity she controlled, she invited political cronies to her Queens home and recorded them for the FBI. Despite the recordings she didn’t get much of a deal from the feds. They felt that the answers she provided in meetings with them were frequently “false, implausible and inconsistent.”