Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Levy on Account of Levy?

This Blog has had prior occasion to mention Steve Levy, the County Executive of Suffolk County, NY. Steve is once again in the news; specifically, his political career is now on indefinite hold after it came to light that, notwithstanding Steve's public pronouncements of the need to reform the campaign finance laws, his own campaign contributors have included many contractors working on Suffolk County public projects.

This posting will leave to other pundits the issues of the extent of Steve's questionable doings, (2) the terms, if any, of any deal that may have been made with the Suffolk County District Attorney regarding Steve's nonprosecution, (3) the effect of the current Steve Levy scandal on New York politics in general, and (4) speculations regarding Steve's short-term or long-term political future.

What this posting will note is the reactions of two Suffolk County Legislators to the Steve Levy scandal.

Legislator Jay Schneiderman (a political Independent) announced that he wishes to reanimate his proposed legislation to ban "pay to play" political contributions. Schneiderman's bill would impose fines and/or jail time for the tendering of contributions by County contractors and the acceptance of same by officials and candidates.

Legislator Jon Cooper, who co-sponsored Schneiderman's legislation in the past and is doing so again this time around, would go even further. Cooper wants to create a commission to oversee campaign finance in Suffolk County.

In an already overtaxed county, Cooper (a Democrat) seeks to add another governmental agency! This, in my view, is a cure worse than the disease.

Cooper's proposed solution is just so Democrat and Obama! Government bureaucracies cost taxpayer money! While some bureaucracies are needed, the excessive proliferation of bureaucracies is an engine of tyranny, and a menace to our personal freedoms.

What should be done is to add to Schneiderman's bill a provision to provide for the compensation of whistleblowers, or, perhaps, a False Claims Act type provision allowing private parties to initiate lawsuits against contractors and/or politicians who violate the law. This approach could use the existing bureaucratic infrastructure, and not create any new tax-guzzling bureaucratic apparatus.

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