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A Nation of Corruption

In case you missed it, the feds recently arrested state Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver. Accused him of taking money secretly, in return for peddling favors.


The U.S. Attorney in charge tells us we should be mad. Not just about Silver. But for what he calls the “cauldron of corruption” in Albany. In reality, the cauldron encompasses our nation.


We have some corruption on a low burner. Such as town supervisors and highway superintendents who haul in flat-screen TVs at Christmas. Gifts from suppliers. 



And a judge I know who moved a zoning case forward. He ruled in favor, after receiving a two-month rental of a Winnebago from the outfit that sought the ruling.


And, local government jobs that go to people not-so qualified, because they are part of the family, or bedmates. 


We have employers hiring and over-paying spouses of politicians — for virtually no-show jobs. The employers are expecting the politicians to shunt a little government money their way.


We have corruption that we downgrade, or ignore, because we like the politicians. A woman connected to a famous fugitive spent many a night at the White House with Bill Clinton. And, donated half a million to his library. And voila: Clinton granted her favorite nefarious fugitive an executive pardon. We have Goldman Sachs shelling out two-thirds of a million for three ho-hum speeches from Hillary Clinton. That is called paying for favors-to-be — if she reaches the White House.


We have lobbyists, companies, and fat cats paying hundreds of millions — to buy the ears of politicians up and down the food chain.


We have influence buyers dealing with influence peddlers. The deals are greased by sexual romps and exotic junkets.


We have education unions dumping millions into campaign war chests — to buy protection from politicians. We have companies paying millions to the politicians to buy tax breaks.


We have pols helping each other in crime — by creating secret or camouflaged slush funds. They do it with taxpayer money, for their pals to slather as they wish. It’s usually in return for secret payments.


We have politicians allowing a comptroller to be the sole trustee of billions — in state and city pension funds. One politician to decide where mountains of money get invested. So tempting, which is why recent comptrollers have gone to jail. They took kickbacks from outfits that wanted to manage some of the billions.


We have comptrollers who reward fellow politicians, by “investing” millions in projects in their regions. All while the politicians collect paybacks from the projects.


We have massive no-bid contracts going to companies that don’t qualify — except that they are tied to Congress people, or to their spouses. Such was just revealed with a retiring U.S. Senator.


We have countless pay-to-play situations. In the nooks and crannies of federal, city, and state governments. The bribe is usually disguised as something earned. Often it gets paid to a politician’s charity. The charity just happens to be where his sister or pal work. This sibling or pal happens to collect more money than such a job calls for and happens to funnel some of that money back to the politician. 


The U.S. Attorney asks how many pending bills in Albany were born of bribery. “And worse, how many past bills were born of bribery or improper influence?”

He quotes two crooked pols. One of them said, “Money is what greases the wheels. Good bad or indifferent … That’s politics. That’s politics. It’s all about how much, and that’s all our politicians in New York. They’re all like that. All like that.”


The other said, “Bottom line — if half the people up here in Albany were ever caught for what they do, they would probably be in jail.”


From Tom…as in Morgan.        


Tom Morgan writes about political, financial, and other subjects from his home near Oneonta, in addition to his radio shows and TV show. Contact him at


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