Lotta news being made the last couple of days on the ethics front. Complaints, indictments, denials expressions of disappointment and of course the calls for TRANSPARENCY and ETHICS REFORM. Yet again.
Anyone that has followed the blog knows I'm a big fan of irony with a low tolerance for bullshit and shallow analysis when it comes to ethics.
So with that thought in mind I just wanted to comment on some things I noticed in the recent criminal ethics scandal which certainly feels a lot like all the previous ethics scandals of the last decade or so. In fact it reminds me of a novel I wrote last summer and published on the blog. Read it and tell me I'm not the master of the Albany ethics scandal genre.
First - How did people this stupid end up in positions of power and authority in government? Has no one learned the lesson not to use criminal nicknames (Herb) and the phrase ziti in emails about your bribery schemes? What ASSHOLES
Second - Speaking of assholes why is it the good government groups and editorial boards keep trotting out the same old tired themes of more disclosure and ethics reforms every time some asshole gets caught? Here is a simple question for Blair Horner or any editorial board, what laws would you pass that would have prevented this bid rigging and bribery scandal? No I'm serious, don't just say more transparency and more ethics laws be specific. "Herb" Percoco listed his kickbacks on his financial disclosure report and no one at JJOKE did anything about it, other than make up a bullshit excuse that he didn't have to file a separate report for the period after he returned. Unbelievable, what good is transparency if no one uses the data? Could it be because the head of JJOKE, Seth Agata, may have been responsible for this lapse in oversight? Was Seth Agata involved in providing "Herb" guidance on his little sabbatical to replenish the Percoco coffers? Remember Agata was the same lawyer that asked Cuomo gopher Ellen Biben for permission for the governor to make it rain with his book. And as to more ethics laws, read the complaints. We have plenty of laws federal and state that can be used to prosecute when the prosecutors want to. What we don't have is competent independent regulators to snip this criminal activity in the bud before it grows into the serious violations that result in front page headlines and perp walks. Do you think Dr. K wears his jeans to court? and where will he park that Ferrari? If that gets forfeited to the government I guarantee that I will be at the auction to try to buy it. I can't think of a better advertisement for my consulting practice. I even have the specialty license plate all picked out "LOOPHOLE".
Which brings me to my third point - if the good government groups and editorial boards really want to try to stem the tide of corruption they will start sermonizing on the fact that we don't need more laws we need more independent regulators. Starting with calling for the resignation of Seth Agata. The Sgt. Schultz act that JJOKE is using just isn't working. "I know nothing, absolutely nothing"