NBC 4 New York
Democratic State Sen. Malcolm Smith, Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran and four others were arrested by the FBI Tuesday morning. Jonathan Dienst reports.
Advocates for campaign finance reform say the latest in a long string of political scandals shows the ongoing need to remove money from Albany politics.
While acknowledging the bribery charges Tuesday against state Sen. Malcolm Smith involve his effort to run for mayor of New York City, which already has public campaign financing, the government watchdog groups say they included a promise of state money.
They say Albany's "pay-to-play" culture must go.
Karen Scharff of Citizen Action of New York says many legislators first get elected intending to work for their communities then learn they are in a system where money determines outcomes.
Barbara Bartoletti of the League of Women Voters says New York also needs strict campaign finance enforcement and has no investigators at the state Board of Elections.