New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is stepping down after being arrested on multiple corruption charges.
Silver is being charged with “two counts of honest service fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit honest service fraud, one count of extortion under color of official right and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right,” said Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Silver obtained a substantial amount of money through attorney referral fees, real estate kickbacks, awarded grants to hospitals that referred their patients to him if they needed a lawyer and interfering with a public corruption investigation.
With these charges, Silver could still remain New York state assembly speaker, however, he has felt pressure to step down, especially from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It looks very bad for the state of New York to have their Assembly speaker arrested, especially with corruption.
Silver made the correct decision to step down. If he stayed in office his arrest would be a distraction and may get in the way of important decisions that need to be made. The assembly could also lose credibility and respect.
When some people think about politics, the first thing that usually comes to mind is corruption and dishonesty. Therefore, it is not a surprise when a lawmaker lives up to the stereotype.
In the history of the United States, there have been countless cases of lawmakers committing illegal, dishonest and unethical acts. Some influence the nation as a whole, while others only affect a select few. Even though a person is not directly impacted, it changes how they view the United States political system.
We the people elect these lawmakers to some of the most powerful positions and trust them to make decisions that will be in our best interests. It is hard to trust another human being with our best interests when we have seen the track record. A lawmaker will preach about all of the wonderful things they will accomplish while they are in office, how moral their standards are and how ethical their decisions will be. We the people elect them, and most of the time our faith and trust is broken when they go back on his or her word.
It is hard to have trust in people who are only in politics for the money and do not care about the people. It is alarming. These lawmakers are making decisions every day that affect every New York state resident’s taxes, education and the way we live.
Silver stood in the way of an investigation of campaign finance reform which is necessary if there is any hope that decisions and elections will be solely based on the people’s best interest rather than money.
Today, politics is becoming all about the money and less about the well-being of society and the Silver case is a perfect example of this.