Meet Carl Heastie, the (likely) new New York Assembly Speaker…

…same as the old Assembly Speaker: “The Bronx Democrat on the verge of becoming the next Assembly speaker paid his baby mama $2,500 from his campaign treasury — raising ethical concerns following disgraced Sheldon Silver’s corruption bust, The [New York] Post has learned.” It’s a fairly picayune, yet hardly uncommon, maneuver: take someone who you’d like to give some money and hire him/her to do a specific job. S/he doesn’t know how to do it? Well, subcontract it out! If you’ve thought ahead then you’ve already overpaid him/her by enough that s/he can just hire somebody to actually do the job at the regular market rate and still come out ahead on the deal. Best part of all? If you do it with campaign money, it doesn’t count.

…As I said: picayune. The details of this maneuver – I would call it a ‘scam,’ except that it’s almost certainly perfectly legal* – are not what makes Carl Heastie similar to Sheldon Silver; it’s the attitude.  Of course you use Other People’s Money to solve your own personal problems. That’s what Other People’s Money is for, right? …I freely admit that this is an attitude that’s probably shared by most of the rest of the New York state legislature, at minimum.  It’s probably even shared by a distressingly large percentage of politicians in general.  But I think that it would behoove the New York Democratic party to find somebody who doesn’t have this attitude, and make that person the next state Assembly Speaker.  If only for the novelty value.

Via @TheRickWilson.

*I assume.  One of the perks of doing political corruption is that corrupt legislators are by definition in a situation where they can make their corruption legal …enough. I think that it was the movie The Firm that codified the principle: I don’t care if there’s an audit; I just expect to win it.