Friday a jury found Former New York State Republican Senate leader Dean Skelos and his son guilty on eight counts of corruption. So US Attorney Preet Bharara proved Albany is corrupt. What’s next?
Read Jimmy Vielkind’s weekend story on Politico New York – many believe the convictions of Skelos and former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver won’t lead to real change. Even though Bharara sees valuable lessons in their trials, there’s no consensus so dark forces can stifle reform.
[GOP Sen. Tom] O'Mara said all politicians were hurt by corruption, and other Republicans have noted that Democrats, too, have been convicted and they made none of the changes they are currently promising when they held the majority in 2009 and 2010.
[Larry Levy, who leads the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University] put it bluntly: “There's no consensus on what it takes to accomplish reform. That makes it very easy for people who don't want to see change to keep it from happening.”
Corruption is a way of life in Albany, and voters suspect the same lawlessness in Washington. Donald Trump ally Roger Stone wrote in RealClearPolitics that people believe Trump is incorruptible and could take on a dirty political system.
Trump’s fundamental appeal is based on a voter perception that he is not part of the "political class" and that because he is self financing, he is not beholden to any special interest, corporate interests, billionaires, or Washington insiders. Voters believe that Trump could therefore take on a fetid system that they see corrupted by corporate money and highly paid lobbyists.
But I wonder: Preet Bharara, Donald Trump - can anyone really clean up this mess?