Monday, January 28, 2008

This is how pols-turned-lobbyists do it

Paul A. Tokasz, a former Assembly majority leader, has put his campaign war chest to work since leaving the Legislature to become a lobbyist.

Former Assemblyman Spreads the Largess as a Lobbyist

Mr. Tokasz, a Democrat from Buffalo who left the Assembly’s No. 2 post in 2006, has donated more than $57,000 from his campaign account, Friends of Paul Tokasz, to government officials — most of whom his firm has been lobbying.

While the practice is not illegal or unique, it has raised questions about weaknesses in state and federal campaign finance laws. Last year, The New York Times reported on a similar strategy employed by Robert G. Torricelli, a former United States senator from New Jersey who became a lobbyist.

Referring to campaign finance laws, Barbara Bartoletti, the legislative director of the League of Women Voters of New York State, said, “There are so few things in New York State that are illegal, and that’s exactly the problem.”

“Can’t you just see the interoffice memo? ‘Welcome Paul Tokasz,’ ” she said, adding, “ ‘By the way, he has “X” number of dollars to contribute.’ ”

Very simply:
1) Raise money, but don't run
2) Become lobbyist
3) Use money to bribe people who do run


Anonymous said...

In our country's political supermarket.....
we only get to choose a product
(the one we think will do the best job)
from among those that are offered for sale to us
by the political distributors......
or let's just say....the wholesalers!

In this case, the clubhouse/party
are assuming the role of the food brokers
who deliver the goods to the market place
and stock the shelves.

There may be FAR BETTER political products
out there to choose from.....
because many such candidates
CAN'T AFFORD to get on the ballot.....
in the "supermarket" to speak!

And does anyone out there still believe
in the fairy tale that we live in a democracy ?

Now these former office holder/bench warmers
get to move up in their careers to longer term jobs and are permitted to take their
political campaign war chests. with them

Is there any elected official in our system
who is going to vote in favor of abolishing
this unethical practice?

It's not very likely ? !!!

Anonymous said...

The Queens political scene is one of the most corrupt in the nation - I read somewhere fully 50% of all litigation in this country is in NY state - and a good portion of it are motions filed by the machine to crush locals without the machine's blessing who actually believe they have a right to run for office.

The really neat thing is how NY's chattering classes get their drawers in a knot over Dafur and gay rights and immigrant rights and the like but remain quiet when their own citizens are treated like the third world.

Anonymous said...

This is because in todays personality driven culture, unless you have juice, you do not exist.

I love how the media spent an entire week on Keith Ledger's death and only an afternoon on Jimmy Stewart when he died.

One role, Brokeback Mountain, that catered to the right group, can do that for you.