Talk of a new museum set in Albany showcasing our nation’s history of political corruption has raised eyebrows among the citizens of New York. The idea of Albany’s Museum of Political Corruption sounds like a joke at first, but after thinking about Albany’s place in statewide and national scandals throughout history, it is the perfect home base. The fact that Albany has picked up this vile reputation should be embarrassing to the residents of New York. We elect our state officials and we have been let down by numerous politicians and lawmakers. The corruption throughout New York is rampant and shows no sign of slowing down.
Political corruption has been a staple in New York’s history, but it is time to make it a thing of the past. In current news we are faced with a mayoral candidate facing his second sexual scandal since coming into the public eye, a candidate for New York City comptroller who was forced into resignation as New York’s governor after public humiliation for becoming involved with prostitution, and problems within the state with investigating internal issues. And those are just today’s headlines.
Issues faced by Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer are part of their personal lives and although they impacted the public’s opinions of them, it did not necessarily change their work or their missions for New York. After it happens, there is not much the politician can do except to apologize and try to move forward. Internal corruption issues, on the other hand, must be recognized and solved.
Recently, issues have come to light that reveal state employees disregarding their jobs’ duties. Sexual harassment has been ignored and physical abuse against disabled patients has been disregarded. Politicians such as Democratic Assemblyman Micah Kellner have been able to get away with sexually harassing his employees without action being taken against him. It is believed that the feebleness of our arbitration process and the strength of public sector unions, particularly the Civil Service Employee Association, in the case of the workers working with disabled patients, have allowed state workers to continue working even after being recommended by the state to be fired. These issues should not be swept under the rug. It is the responsibility of New York residents to make changes in their government to avoid future problems of this nature.
Changes need to be made within the government that will allow state officials to intervene in toxic situations and allow them to weed out employees who put others in danger or wreak havoc on the state and its residents. Investigative actions must find people guilty of their crimes against the state and remove them from their positions immediately rather than ignoring the issues. At this point, New York will need its own wing within Albany’s Museum of Political Corruption.