How government truly works: perks and possible corruption in Albany

As the Democratic Party takes over the NY State Senate, they are interested in exposing secret perks and a network of possibly unnecessary employees that the NY State Senate created under the Republican Party. As a third party activist, I wonder what would happen if we could all look at the other side – what the Democrats (now in power at every section of state government in NY) have set up for themselves in the NY State Assembly that they have held for decades. So, the article interests me, though, in a different way then Associated Press spun it…
(excerpt from) / AP
Senate GOP had secret Long Island TV studio  / February 12, 2009

ALBANY Republicans in the state Senate reportedly accumulated quite a few perks during four decades of power — including a small television studio on Long Island, 800 highly coveted parking spots near the Capitol and a $50,000 van specially fitted out for their leader. Months after winning a thin majority in the Senate, Democrats are still trying to find out how the chamber’s nearly $100 million budget was spent, how perks were distributed and even how many people were on the payroll under the GOP, The New York Times reported Thursday. There have been some surprises. Democratic staffers recently realized there are about 75 employees working at the Senate printing plant outside of Albany producing legislative bills, mailings and brochures…

The new report shines a light on the much-maligned political culture in Albany, where the division of taxpayer-funded resources has traditionally been lopsided in favor of the majority party. “Every time we nail something down, we uncover another rock and there’s another 30 people there — it’s all over the state,” said Angelo J. Aponte, a top aide to Democratic Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith. Aponte told the Times that Republicans are not cooperating as he investigates payroll records and the money trail. He said an audit would be conducted, either by the state comptroller or an outside accounting firm…

Smith believes there were 1,200 to 1,500 people on the Senate payroll, but he’s not sure. “We don’t even know where everybody is,” he said.

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