Thursday, August 6, 2015

Baffling New York Corruption Case Is Baffling


Yesterday a politician in New York plead guilty to corruption charges. This is nothing shocking - it is New York, after all. But what's completely and utterly baffling about it is who the politician was, and what the charges were over.

Here name is Melinda Wormuth, and she was the Town Supervisor for Halfmoon, a town outside of Schenectady (which isn't far from Albany). The FBI got her to accept money in exchange for favors in a sting. The pretense of the sting? Mixed martial arts.

Here's the Albany Times-Union:
The investigation broke open in August 2013 when Wormuth was confronted by FBI agents in a Hampton Inn hotel room in Albany. The agents entered a sixth-floor room in which Wormuth had just accepted a final cash payment from an undercover FBI agent in exchange for lobbying state legislators and the Saratoga County board of supervisors on behalf of the mixed martial arts industry.
In the federal case, prosecutors say Wormuth accepted $7,500 in cash bribes to lobby on behalf of people purported to be seeking to legalize MMA in New York.
First of all, who in their right mind would want to bribe a lowly town supervisor over getting MMA legalized? I mean, what the hell is a town supervisor actually going to be able to do about the issue? Cold call an Assemblyman? That's insane.

Then there's the paltry $7,500 bribe. If your bribe to get a state law changed is less than ten grand, you're just throwing money away. Interest groups are donating big bucks in campaign contributions to the relevant politicians; $7,500 won't move the needle.

Anyway, another New York politician busted. Scratch her off the list of good ones.

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