Saturday, April 6, 2013

What You Should Know

How Bills Become Law

By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York

How Bills Become Law

You should know that there are many theories about how human beings learn and how human behavior develops.  Philosophers and psychiatrists continue to study and compare nature vs. nurture.  Some, like John Locke, believe in the Tabula Rasa theory, believing that the mind is a blank slate and children learn by experience. He and Freud emphasized how early experiences in life shape children.  Others, like G. Stanley Hall, believe that human behavior is strongly influenced by genetics.

Regardless of how corrupt politics may appear, if we go back to those theories, we can assume that many politicians learn by observing and by following their leaders, just as children learn by following the examples and characteristics of their mothers and fathers.

The title of this article has been pulled from the front page of today’s New York Post where it shows many dollar bills and the title “How bills become law” - meaning that the only way bills become law is when people use money and influence to buy the will of elected officials.

The Post article quotes US Attorney Preet Bharara from Thursday’s news conference asking: “How many other pending bills were born of bribery? How many passed bills were born of bribery?”

With all due respect to the US Attorney Preet Bharara, shouldn’t we also ask: “How many pieces of legislation have already passed with the help of Bloomberg and Cuomo?  Was New York’s gay marriage bill “born of bribery” by the Governor of New York State and the Mayor of the City of New York?”

While I am happy that the Post and others are covering this story, it concerns me that Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo practically used the same tools, techniques and theories to push the gay marriage bill through the State Senate.  We all know that Mayor Bloomberg gave tons of money to buy the votes of four Republican Senators.  We all know that Governor Andrew Cuomo called those four Republicans to his office, promised them money and support, and told them that he would campaign with them at election time if they voted for the gay marriage bill.  How is it that the New York Post or the Daily News or other papers had nothing to say about that bill which was clearly "born of bribery?"

Does anyone else find it appalling to read that Governor Andrew Cuomo is “appalled” by the corruption allegations in the Senator Malcolm Smith case?  (Does that Claude Rains scene from Casablanca come to mind again?)

When minor politicians follow the very same techniques and examples used by Bloomberg and Cuomo, authorities arrest these people.  They put them through hell.  On the other hand, we know how they praised and supported the very same methods used when Bloomberg and Cuomo pushed the gay marriage bill through.

We all know that Michael Bloomberg was a Democrat who wanted to run on the Republican line, many years ago.  In the beginning of his political career, he gave not thousands, but millions of dollars to the Republican Party and their Chairmen in the five local counties in order for them to allow him to run on the Republican line.  He made huge donations to party coffers trying to purchase ballot lines.  We all know that Michael Bloomberg gave large sums of money to the Independence Party headed by Lenora Fulani in order for her to let him be on that ballot.  They all sold their lines to Bloomberg for money, and Bloomberg bought their lines with money.

So what is the difference between Michael Bloomberg buying the Republican and Independent Party lines and Senator Malcolm Smith (allegedly) trying to buy the Republican line?

The crime seems to be the same, but the only difference is that Bloomberg wrote checks and Smith (allegedly) used an envelope.

The only difference, I repeat ladies and gentlemen, is if Senator Malcolm Smith would have written a check, I’m pretty sure that everything would have been okay - or okay as far as New York standards go, business as usual.

To the New York Post and to the Daily News and to all of those newspapers and tabloids that act so surprised to see how politicians can be bought, and how others have sold their souls for money: Where have you been?  Take the bandages from your eyes and see that Michael Bloomberg’s money can buy everything money can buy, including politicians and pending pieces of legislation ... and I’m pretty sure he can buy newspapers and reporters, too.

I am Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.

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