Are Manhattan Democrats going to sit still while their chairman works as a lobbyist — or will they dethrone Keith Wright? Wright’s old job representing Harlem in the state Assembly presented no conflict of interest. His new one with the lobbying firm Davidoff Hutcher and Citron plainly does. His spokeswoman insists, “It is legal” — but even if so, it’s wrong.
As John Kaehny of Reinvent Albany notes, “The potential for abuse and corruption is . It’s the worst of Albany culture. ” Take it from the late Stanley Friedman, longtime Bronx Democratic leader until he was convicted on corruption charges in 1987.
As he told The New York Times in 1992, “If a political leader is going to represent private industry in matters before government . . .
he’s dead meat. If you control votes and you’re asking for government contracts, somebody’s going to think you’re getting two for the price of one. ” It reeks — and if Manhattan Democrats go along with it, so do they.