Anti-Gun New York Senate Majority Leader Indicted

Anti-Gun New York Senate Majority Leader Indicted

Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

We have come to expect nothing from Democrats, especially the New York variety. So we often are forced, like it or not, to hang our hats on the Republican Party. That is often disappointing, as it was when New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos connived with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pass the anti-gun SAFE Act in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.

That repressive measure was passed in the dead of night under special rules that easily could have been thwarted had Skelos sided with us instead of Cuomo.

So it was especially satisfying to see Skelos arrested for influence peddling that benefitted his son Adam. A six-count criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Manhattan alleged conspiracy, extortion under the color of official right, honest services wire fraud and bribe solicitation.

Skelos' arrest comes three months after Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver stepped down after he was similarly charged with bribery and kickbacks.

Graft-busting U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is conducting a reign of terror on Empire State pols, and the only thing wrong with it is that it didn't take place 50 years ago. Even the most die-hard state's rights fundamentalist will have to admit this is a proper function of federal law enforcement. Corruption in New York is so systemic it's hard to imagine people within the state rooting it out with anything short of the guillotine.

Now, I'm not going to say that every politician who's anti-gun is a crook, but it sure seems to happen that way a lot. In New York corruption is clearly a bipartisan activity, and many Republicans are no better than their opponents. Skelos immediately set about promoting one of his Long Island cronies, Sen. John Flanagan, for his post. As one observer put it:

"The fact is that Long Island Republicans, with few exceptions, are no different than the Democrats: They love Cuomo, they favor big government, they like big spending, and they're hostile to the Second Amendment.''

If you're an anti-gun crook, the Democrat or Republican label becomes irrelevant. You need to go. Bharara may have overstepped his bounds in some Wall Street prosecutions, but when it comes to cleaning up Albany, the iron fist is clearly called for.

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