From the NY Post:
Democrats in the state Senate are up for sale — and they don’t come cheap!
The Capitol’s scandalous “pay to play” culture descended to a new low as Democratic lawmakers told top labor leaders that they would have to pony up $50,000 each in donations if they want special access, The Post has learned.
In a shocking letter to union bosses who are battling state budget cuts, state Sen. Jeff Klein of The Bronx offered to sell them "chairmanships" on a newly created "Labor Advisory Council."
"Advisory Council chairs will have the unique opportunity to advise the Senate Dems on the structure and focus of the Labor Advisory Council," says the letter from Klein, chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.
"In addition to all meetings, conferences and events that are included with Advisory Council membership, the advisory chairs will be invited to an exclusive meeting with the Senate majority leaders," the letter states.
It also promises that Advisory Council members "will actively participate in the essential policy conversations that help construct our 2010 campaign strategy."
All state lawmakers are up for re-election this year, and the Democrats' narrow control of the state Senate hangs in the balance.
For labor leaders unwilling to kick in $50,000, Klein offered a second-tier "general membership" at $25,000 apiece.
"This is 'pay to play' run amok," said a longtime Democratic activist. "In the current climate of Albany as an ethical cesspool, how could they be so blatant?"
From the NY Post:
Mayor Bloomberg yesterday branded efforts by state Senate Democrats to extract $50,000 campaign contributions from union leaders "the ultimate pay to play," as outraged good-government groups urged a criminal probe of the blatant fund-raising demand.
"Pay to play is just something we shouldn't have," declared Bloomberg.
That's right. Real men just buy their support.