Good Political News in NY… not so much

At first glance, I was happy to see some good news about a couple politicians.  First, former Congressman John Sweeney is going to receive some jail time.  Additionally, Governor David Paterson has thrown in the election towel.

Sweeney, a Republican, previously held the 20th Congressional District seat.  He lost the seat to Kirsten Gillibrand, (now the junior senator from New York).  Since then, Sweeney has a couple DWI’s under his belt.  According to the Albany Times Union Sweeney now faces 30 days in jail, has to pay a $1000 fine, has to wear and pay for an alcohol-detecting ankle bracelet, will serve three years of probation, and must perform 300 hours of community service.  Ok, we’re holding a former politician accountable for his actions.  In general that makes me happy, until I look a little deeper.  With this plea deal, Sweeney is avoiding a felony charge that could cost him his law license.  And his community service will consist of pro bono legal work.  Ya’ gotta be kidding me.  I’d rather see him lose his law license and instead put in some good manual labor as community service.  How can you practice law if you can’t even obey the basic rule of “don’t drink and drive”?  Harsh you say?  Natural consequences of his actions is my reply.

And then there is our governor.  I am glad to see Mr. Paterson will not seek election.  I don’t think he’s up for the job.  To be fair, he had it about as tough as it can be.  Gov. Paterson took over mid-term for a disgraced Eliot Spitzer.  He faced a tremendous economic crisis.  Definitely not fun.  However, he handled it poorly.  I was amazed at how he could so thoroughly annoy Republicans and Democrats, almost simultaneously.  And most recently, the scandal involving one of his aides shows that Gov. Paterson cannot be trusted to surround himself with ethical people.  (Harsh again?  You bet!)  So, it’s a good thing that he will not be running for governor.  Or is it?  That means that there is an awfully good chance that we’ll get a Cuomo in his place.

I’ve gotta find some optimistic political news.  Sigh.

Leave a comment


  1. Lee Abbott

     /  February 28, 2010

    I say that Mr. Sweeney’s pro bono work should be devoted to helping people who have been seriously injured by drunk drivers. 300 hours of exposure to their pain might drive home the lesson.

  2. An excellent idea. Hopefully the court system thought of that, too.


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