“Transactional lobbying” and congestion pricing in New York

Even when Republicans do the right thing, they do it corruptly.

I’m glad to see Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Spitzer lining up together behind a congestion-pricing plan to reduce traffic in Manhattan. I’m disappointed but not surprised to learn that many of the Democrats in the State Assembly are against it. But I’m pleased to find that the Republicans are true to their principles: since Bloomberg has personally donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to their campaigns, they’re going to give his ideas the same respectful attention Republicans always give the man with the fat wallet.

The threat to democracy from wealthy political novices buying office is bad enough; the threat from wealthy office-holders buying support from other office-holders is worse. But at least in this case Bloomberg’s corrupt influence is being used in a socially beneficial direction

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com