HYPOCRISY IN MONROE COUNTY POLITICS
Jesus said that before you can remove the mote from the other fellow’s eye, you must remove the beam from your own.
He also said don’t be a dick.
Or something like that.
Either way, the two political parties in Monroe County are getting it wrong. Because there’s a lot of condemning the other guy going on, and a lot of being a dick going on.
Right now, in Monroe County, there is an incredible amount of self-righteous finger pointing being done by both political parties. Each is demanding an investigation of the other’s ethics, while stonewalling a similar investigation of its own.
It’s the pot calling the kettle black.
On Tuesday, the Republicans in the county legislature rejected a Democrat call for a committee to investigate potential misdeeds by the Republican county executive’s office in regard to confidential information from the industrial development agency being passed to the county Republican Party chairman.
On Wednesday, that same Republican Party chairman called for a state board of elections investigation of seemingly illegal political contributions being funneled by the last Democratic Party chairman to a state Senate campaign that was run by the current Democratic Party chairman.
And speaking of the Democrats, they are crapping their pants over one Republican crony passing secrets to another Republican crony while saying absolutely nothing about recent revelations that the two largest political contributions in Monroe County Democratic Committee history were dirty as hell.
Here’s that convoluted story: Commie lib Bill de Blasio decided he wanted Democrats to control the state Senate. He picked three New York City unions and three upstate Senate races and told the unions to give big money to the races.
Insert the word “allegedly” just enough to avoid getting sued.
In New York, there is a cap of just over $10,000 on how much a union can give a candidate. But rules are for suckers. So de Blasio’s alleged plan was to allegedly have the alleged unions give the alleged candidates far more than $10,000 by allegedly passing it through the alleged county Democratic parties in these alleged Senate districts.
Which, in Monroe County means that three New York City unions – which had never donated to the county party before, nor have they donated since – gave the Democratic Party $250,000 over a 24-hour period. That’s almost half of all the money the county Democrats raised that year. Then the party turned around and gave that money – minus an apparent handling fee of $7,000 – to the campaign of Democrat Sen. Ted O’Brien, a former chair of the Monroe County Democratic Committee.
It is worth noting here that the Monroe County Democratic Committee for years and years prior to this had not transferred a dime to any candidates’ campaigns. Bought things for them, yes. Provided services in kind, yes. Just written them a check, no.
But the New York City money did a quick pass through and was handed to O’Brien’s campaign manager – the current Monroe County Democratic Committee chair.
I’d say more, but why steal thunder from Preet Bharara’s next press conference.
So, local Democrats are in the manure up to their eyebrows.
And they’re standing on their tiptoes to condemn the mote in the Republicans eye.
While the Republicans, for their part, are doing the same.
After the Republican Party chairman’s imbecilic attack on local development I-Square when the governor appointed a Democrat to be county clerk, a mess developed that quickly claimed the career of newly elected Republican County Executive Cheryl DiNolfo’s right-hand man. That left her with her first scandal and a new administration surrounded by exactly no one she could truly trust.
Having made bold statements on integrity, people expected that she would demonstrate some.
That would have required an investigation and public vetting of how her assistant came to be a mole for the Republican chairman.
That would have required an interim appointment to the empty ethics office, or a committee of the Republican-controlled legislature. But the legislature president won’t allow a committee and the county executive won’t make an ethics appointment. So – surprise, surprise – the Republicans have decided not to investigate the Republicans.
But the Republicans do want to investigate the Democrats.
And the Democrats do want to investigate the Republicans.
And this is why people are voting for Bernie and Trump.
Because everybody’s being a dick.
Integrity is blind. Justice in impartial. Right is right and wrong is wrong and it doesn’t matter what team you’re on. People of good conscience, people with values, denounce misconduct wherever it is found – even when it hits close to home.
Transparency and impartiality are essential to any system claiming to be fair. Rule of law says there is one standard and all must abide by it, and those who fail to do so are treated equally, but their wrongdoing is not ignored.
In an arena of integrity, Democrats and Republicans alike would call for investigations, not to damage their opponents, but to assure their mutual virtue, to do their shared duty to the people.
Wrong is wrong, even when you do it.
Monroe County finds itself in this election year in a situation where neither of its political parties is acting with integrity.
And people wonder why voter turnout is so abysmal.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2016