The NY Times has an amusing post trying to spend $20,000 on sushi. For those not following NY politics this is in reference to the civil suit by NY Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo against Pedro Espada Jr. and the FBI's investigation of Mr. Espada, who is suspected of siphoning off $20,000 from his non-profits to pay for sushi. In addition to the sushi money, the investigation also involves a less headline grabbing $14 million used for other purposes, some of them dull political matters.
For a moment's serious reflection however, there are a few thoughts I'd like to mention. First, the idea of someone in office doing this is worrisome, especially since he seems so incompetent about it. If you're going to practice graft, don't be this incompetent about it.
It also makes me really reflect on my life that someone this incompetent had $14 million to siphon off and I don't.
How can anyone even consider voting for this guy after there are accusations like this?
And, finally, and more seriously, what is the proper balance between scrutiny of public officials because of alleged malfeasance such as this and the danger of increased scrutiny preventing honest people from running because of fear of politically motivated scrutiny (and perhaps trumped up allegations), as well as the possible undermining of trust in functioning institutions due to the inevitable attacks on investigation as being politically motivated? While Mr. Espada always seemed kinda shifty to me so I'll take this as is, there are some deeper questions worth reflecting on in regards to the threats from criminality in government as well as the threats from trying to root out that criminality. I've got no answers on this one, just something that's going to be in the back of my mind for the next little while.