The seven-count guilty verdict of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver just puts a legal stamp on what everyone has known for years. The people of New York are not surprised that Silver has been illegally buying and selling access to further enrich himself and his wealthy friends–they are only surprised that he actually went to trial and was convicted.
The Green Party of NY is pleased to see that even the top tier of New York's corrupt legislators cannot evade the consequences forever. In recent years, New Yorkers have witnessed politician after politician being led away in handcuffs while our rents skyrocket, jobs disappear and our infrastructure crumbles.
Sheldon Silver's crimes may be some of the most egregious to date, but this graft will continue unless there are real electoral and campaign finance reforms. Porous regulation like the so-called “LLC Loophole”, which allows corporations and individuals to bypass campaign limits and donate millions of dollars in state elections, practically begs legislators to put democracy up for sale. We call on the NY State Board of Elections to immediately close the LLC Loophole to signal their commitment to real change.
Gloria Mattera, Green Party of NY Co-Chair: “Corporate influence and the 1% trump people's needs when millions of dollars pour into campaign coffers. Our political media most stop parroting the band-aid fixes commonly promoted by liberal Democrats and their affiliated groups–many whom have endorsed Silver numerous times over the years. Only full public financing of elections will put an end to this ‘pay to play’ system.”
Peter LaVenia, Green Party of NY Co-Chair: “The stranglehold of the two corporate parties must be broken by instituting proportional representation and multiparty seats in the State Legislature. We need a system that opens the door to electing candidates who are independent from party machine loyalties or quid pro quo deals. Without these substantive changes, ethics reform can only go so far.”
The Green Party of NY looks forward to the upcoming 2016 State Legislature elections and is committed to fielding candidates who are inspired by principles and not patronage.
Green Party of New York