you know you're in trouble. Interesting factoid in today's NY Post: Many contractors have stopped donating or slashed the amounts they give to political fund-raisers ever since New Jersey enacted a law to stop so-called pay-to-play transactions in September 2004. For example, a third of the money the Democratic State Committee raised in 2004 came from contractors but it totaled just 6 percent last year. We wonder what these numbers would look like in New York, where the State government has assiduously resisted ending its "pay to play" culture. In New York (in contrast to New Jersey and Connecticut, where real reform seems to have a chance), lobbyists, businesses and unions with public contracts continue to provide politicians with huge sums of campaign cash. In a typical session in New York, a recent report has noted, lawmakers are scheduled to be in Albany for 60 days, including 40 nights. In that time, as many as 200 Albany-based fundraisers can occur. The result is a "widespread public belief [in New York that lobbyists] are 'paying' those officials to 'play' with the government." New Jersey, point the way . . . Categories: General, Government Ethics, Campaign Finance