If you are undecided about whether Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been unfairly harsh on Steven Rattner in the New York state pension fund investigation, check out the settlement he just reached with Albany lobbyist Patricia Lynch. She pays a $500,000 fine and agrees to a 5-year ban on contact with the state comptroller's office, for conduct that seems far worse than anything Mr. Rattner did. The attorney general, by contrast, is seeking from Mr. Rattner at least $26 million and a lifetime ban from the securities industry in New York.
What accounts for the different treatment? The New York Times front-page article today on the Lynch-Cuomo settlement doesn't even raise the question, let alone answer it. The Times article also today does not mention that Ms. Lynch gave four campaign contributions to Mr. Cuomo in 2006 totaling $8,000, while Mr. Rattner gave not a cent.