Which state is the most corrupt in the nation? The shenanigans in Illinois over the years have been legendary, just ask former Governor Rod Blagojevich and prosecutor Kim Foxx. New Jersey can make a strong case, and we cite former governor James McGreevey, current U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, and the late U.S. Senator Harrison Williams of ABSCAM fame as examples. But with the news out of New York this morning, it appears the Empire State is hellbent on taking the title.
According to a New York Times report, current Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin has surrendered to authorities and is expected to appear in federal court later today. Multiple recent reports have indicated that Benjamin has been under investigation by the FBI for an alleged campaign finance fraud scheme. Additionally, investigators were examining whether Benjamin had knowingly distributed state tax dollars to certain projects of various campaign contributors.
An indictment has been filed that accuses Benjamin of receiving campaign contributions from a real estate developer in Harlem in exchange for Benjamin later delivering a $50,000 state grant to that same developer.
It is alleged that the developer had written two $10,000 personal checks to Benjamin under the names of relatives with different surnames. According to the indictment, the developer allegedly played the shell game with his relatives’ names to hide any direct connections to the contributions.
The apparent downfall of Lt. Governor Benjamin comes only eight months after former Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace after multiple accusations of sexual assault and harassment, not to mention the cover-up of his mishandling of nursing homes during the COVID pandemic.
Benjamin’s arrest also reminds us of scores of other scandals involving New York Democrats, including:
- The resignation of former governor Eliot Spitzer in 2008 for “personal failings.”
- The conviction of late Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for receiving $4 million in bribes.
- The imprisonment of a former state senator from Buffalo, Marc Panepinto.
It remains to be seen what other New York politicians may or may not be implicated with the Benjamin investigation, but we would not be surprised to see other officials going down in flames as well.
By Jess Lawson
Jess Lawson is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative and a passionate, conservative millennial who loves America.
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Featured photo by New York Senate Photo, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons