Political anger could fuel change in New York: Activist Groups

State Senator John Sampson charged with embezzlement and

State Senator John Sampson charged with embezzlement and obstruction of justice (Credit: State Senator John Sampson charged with embezzlement and obstruction of justice./Patrick E. McCarthy)

The recent indictment of several New York elected officials has some Gothamites throwing their hands up at the entire political system.

Between the scandalss, such as the Monday's arrest of state Sen. John Sampson, and the level of partisanship in the governing bodies at all levels, New Yorkers say they've had enough.

"I can barely turn on the television when I get up in the morning without wanting to bile," said Charles Mark, 25, an NYU graduate student from Bushwick.

That disgust, however, will just continue to fuel the corruption if not channeled in the right direction, political activist groups said.

Russ Haven, the legislative counsel for the New York Public Interest Research Group, said he is concerned about the growing number of corruption probes among state leaders and the voting poll is the best medicine to cure the disease.

"Now's the time for New Yorkers to double down and have their elected officials clean things up," he said.

Ashton Stewart, the executive director for the New York City League of Women Voters, agreed and added that New Yorkers should also push for campaign finance and ethics reform laws.

So much money is up for grabs with little transparency and that leads to more elected officials down the path to unethical behavior, according to Stewart.

"We feel it is part of the current state of Albany. If there was more openness oversight there will be less chances of cheating the system," he said.

Riley O'Neill, an NYU student from Long Island City, said that he's grown up with so many examples of pols behaving badly that it's going to take a major overhaul for him to trust elected officials.

"I think it's been a long time of them not representing the people, especially with Washington," he said. "How it's working right now, it just doesn't work."

Tags: NEWS , John Sampson , NYPIRG , New York City League of Women Voters , Anna Sanders , Ivan Pereira , Albany , ARTICLE , AMNY , HOLD

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