BY NICK REISMAN CITY OF ALBANY
PUBLISHED 3:50 PM ET APR. 21, 2022
It's a question that's been asked of candidates running for statewide office in New York for nearly a generation: How will you combat corruption in state government?
The question is once again being spurred following the resignation of yet another statewide officeholder, former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin. The Democrat faces five counts of bribery and fraud stemming from donations for his unsuccessful campaign last year for New York City comptroller.
And, after Republicans have been shut out of statewide office and power for the last two decades, candidates running on the GOP ballot this year hope voter fatigue with the endless parade of arrests will give them a chance at the polls this fall.
"When you have complete one party control of any state or an entity, it breeds corruption," said Paul Rodriguez, the Republican running for state comptroller.
Rodriguez, along with Republican candidate for attorney general, Michael Henry, was in Albany on Thursday to blast the arrest of Benjamin and pledged efforts to provide better oversight of state government if elected.
Corruption, of course, has been a bipartisan problem in Albany. The top Republican leaders in the state Senate were ousted following corruption convictions as well as the Democratic Assembly speaker following blockbuster arrests.
Henry, an attorney in private practice, also pointed to the issues of one-party majority rule. But he added much of the problem is also baked into the culture of state government.
"It's not even a Democrat or Republican issue overall. It's just a level of people being too entrenched in government," he said. "I think it's a culture people become a part of."
Article via Spectrum.