NY Lt. Gov. Resigns Following Indictment

    Photo: The New York Times

    The Facts

    • Brian A. Benjamin, Lt. Gov. to NY Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), has resigned after being indicted on campaign finance violations.

    • The five-count indictment stems from Benjamin's days as a NY State Sen., when he allegedly conspired to help direct state funds to a friendly real estate investor in exchange for illegal campaign contributions.

    The Spin

    Republican narrative

    The corruption of the Democratic political machine runs deep in Albany, where lawmakers continue to serve as their own ethics police. No wonder that in this case, like in so many others before, it's federal prosecutors who have to bring these crooks to justice.

    Democratic narrative

    Conservative media outlets are gleefully reporting on this scandal, but it's worth asking: would Benjamin have stepped down if he were a Republican? The GOP as an institution has become one big permission structure for ethical lapses and impunity - just look at the case of Texas AG Ken Paxton.

    Cynical narrative

    Sure, Benjamin resigned. But will he face any real consequences? Recent justice department losses at SCOTUS have allowed many people in power to avoid serious punishment, which encourages this type of behavior.

    Political split



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