By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
A Word or Three about Yellow Journalism
You should know that the Saturday, October 27th New York Post column“State Dems shaking off scandals in polls” used the photos of three minoritySenate Democrats: Pedro Espada, Jr., Hiram Monserrate, and Shirley Huntleyto highlight corruption in the State Senate.
The New York Post, apparently disappointed with recent polls showingthat New Yorkers want the Democrats to take back control of the State Senate,pointed out how Black and Hispanic Democrats have been indicted, belongin jail, or are accused of corruption. This New York Postarticle includes Senators Malcolm Smith, John Sampson and Eric Adams intheir story, despite the fact that none of these Senators has ever beenindicted of nor found guilty of anything – except being Black.
New York Post readers need to be wary because the Post somehowcontinues to overlook the corruption that is, has been, and continues toexist in the Republican Party by those Senate colleagues.
Lawmakers facing corruption charges are not exclusive to Democrats, norare they exclusive to Black and Hispanic Senators, but the New YorkPost seems to make believe or ignore these facts. It may be thecase that they are using their paper to slant their story or lie to theirreaders.
There are many ways of lying. You can lie by purposely ignoring thetruth or speaking in half-truths. You can lie by only releasing thepart of the story that you want to release. You can lie by makingpeople believe that “this” is the whole truth while you knowingly hidethe rest. You can lie by slanting the truth.
In this case, the New York Post exposes and accuses only DemocraticSenators – highlighting Black and Hispanic Senators – while hiding thetruth that there are at least as many among the ranks of the Republicansin the New York State Senate who have been accused of corruption and havebeen or may belong in jail.
Let’s start at the top.
Republican Senate Leader Joseph Bruno’s corruption was so egregious thatit resulted in the Public Corruption Prevention and Enforcement Act. (I have no recollection of any stronger piece of legislation that resultedfrom the scandalous acts of any Black or Hispanic Senate Democrat.) Judge Gary L. Sharpe chastised Republican Senator Joseph Bruno during sentencingby telling the Republican Senate Leader: “You trampled on the integrityof the State Legislature.”
Disgraced Republican Senator Guy Velella ended his political career inthe New York State Senate after he was convicted of bribery and went toprison.
Republican Senator Vincent Leibell is a convicted felon, guilty of takingkickbacks from a charity he founded which was funded with millions of taxpayerdollars. He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and tax evasion.
Republican Senator Nick Spano pleaded guilty to tax evasion. Duringhis sentencing, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “When NicholasSpano took the oath of office, he swore to uphold the law, and yet he didexactly the opposite. There is absolutely no place in government for lawbreakers,and we will continue to do everything within our power to prosecute andpunish them.”
There are calls to investigate Republican Senate Deputy Majority LeaderTom Libous about a downstate law firm hiring his son, which, accordingto a witness in a recent federal corruption trial, was in exchange forthe promise of more business.
Let’s not forget the story about Republican Senator Jim Alesi, who doesn’texactly make the Republican Party shine. Senator Alesi trespassedon a homeowner’s property, fell and broke his leg. Although the ownersdeclined to press charges against him, Senator Alesi proceeded to sue thebuilding contractor, DiRisio Builders. The New York Daily News editorial“State Sen. James Alesi is suing constituents when he should be apologizingfor acting like an idiot” began with the following: “Remember the oldjoke about the kid who murdered his parents, then pleaded for mercy ongrounds of being an orphan?”
While there is so much more to share about the Republican Senate, I willstop here, for now.
I ask my readers to always keep in mind that just because something appearsin a newspaper, in a tabloid, or on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true.I also ask my friends in the media to keep in mind that just because themajority of New Yorkers want to see Democrats control the New York StateSenate doesn’t mean that the New York Post or anyone else shouldengage in the use ugly racial tactics to try to undercut these hopes.
Remember God hates ugly.
This is State Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.