New York's Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, is in the midst of a two-year investigation into kickbacks paid to state political staff in exchange for the opportunity to
profitably manage the investments of New York State's public pension
fund. That investigation has now prompted a national effort with a multi-state task force and the Securities and Exchange
Commission working together to uncover rampant pay-to-play abuses.
Nationally there is over $2 trillion in US public pension assets.
Just as corporate lobbying corrupts
the legislative process,
the scramble for government contracts corrupts the executive branch and
agencies. Ohio has seen multiple pay-to-play scandals in
where campaign contributors illicitly received unbid special counsel
general's office, no-bid contracts from the secretary
of state's office, and control of workers’
compensation investments in the notorious
Coingate scandal. Similar
have enveloped public officials in New
and other states across the country.
A number of states have taken action
to assure greater
accountability in the public contracting system through common-sense
Campaign Contributions by Contractors:Seven
have some form of pay-to-play contracting law to bar
on contracts from making campaign contributions to government
officials, and in
2005, New Jersey passed the nation’s most
in the wake of local contracting scandals.
Contracting Standards: The tighter the
standards for the
bidding processes and the work done, the less likely incompetent or
companies can buy contracts with campaign contributions.