Monday, April 8, 2013

Unbelievable – Story of New York City Democrat Bribing Republicans to be the Republican Nominee for Mayor

It Doesn’t Get Any Stranger Than This

The city of New York will elect a new mayor this fall, and nobody outside the city pretty much cares.  In fact, it is hard to see how even potential candidates care very much.  The job is probably the most difficult municipal job in the world, and it leads to, well, nowhere.  New Yorkers should thank their stars every day that Michael Bloomberg was willing to do it for three terms.

Adrees Latif/Reuters
State Senator Malcolm A. Smith, a Queens Democrat, at a White Plains courthouse on Tuesday. Mr. Smith is accused of trying to buy a slot on the mayoral ballot.

It turns out that the way to get to be the Republican nominee is to bribe Republican party officials something that apparently everyone knows but only just recently has the FBI been able to bring the alleged perpetrators under arrest.

Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan whose office is prosecuting the case, said the arrests demonstrated that “a show-me-the-money culture seems to pervade every level of New York government.”

The complaint described envelopes of cash trading hands in Manhattan hotel rooms and restaurants, payments of thousands of dollars to persuade Republican leaders in New York to put Senator Smith, from Queens, on the Republican ballot in November. The bribes were to be paid to obtain certificates authorizing him to run for mayor as a Republican even though he was a registered Democrat.

We will let others talk about the politics and other serious aspects of this case.  But this Forum will function on just how absurd the whole thing is.

  1. The individual charged with trying to bribe his way onto the Republican ticket is a Democrat.  Apparently this had absolutely no bearing on the Republican process of selecting a nominee.

  1. It turns out the price is negotiable.

Mr. Savino, the Bronx Republican chairman, wanted $25,000 for his signature, the complaint stated. “In an envelope,” Mr. Halloran suggested. Mr. Savino eventually settled for $15,000, the authorities said.

  1. A lot of the negotiations took place in parked cars.  Exactly where in New York can one find that many parking spaces when you need to?

  1. How inept were the alleged schemers here, they couldn’t even find the wire on the person recording all of this.

Valentine’s Day was a busy one. The agent met separately with Mr. Savino and Mr. Tabone at Sparks on the East Side of Manhattan, presumably amid couples celebrating the day. Both men stepped outside with the agent and accepted envelopes of cash, the complaint stated. Mr. Tabone even paused to frisk the agent for a wire. He failed to find it, and the recording continued without interruption.

  1. And yes, Sparks restaurant is notorious, it is where a big time criminal, Paul Castellano was murdered. 

Constantino Paul "Big Paul" Castellano (pronounced cass-TAY-lah-noh) (June 26, 1915 – December 16, 1985), also known as "The Howard Hughes of the Mob" and "Big Paulie" (or "PC" to his family), succeeded Carlo Gambino as head of the Gambino crime family, then the nation's largest Cosa Nostra family. The unsanctioned assassination of Castellano by John Gotti would spark years of animosity between the Gambinos and the other New York crime families. (Wikipedia)

There’s a lot more, but everyone gets the strong odor of farce here.  The famed New York writer Jimmy Breslin, whose most well known book was about incompetent criminals and titled “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” could not have made up a better story.

One wonders if the ironyin all of this was lost on these participants.  And does anyone else see a revival of The Sopranos here?

Malcolm Smith, the Democrat who wanted the Republican nod, is of course presumed innocent and has of course retained an attorney.  The good news for the rest of us is this.

Gerald L. Shargel, a lawyer for Mr. Smith, said: “The allegations in this complaint do not tell the whole story. I think there is a lot more to the story.”

“A lot more to the story” !!!! We can hardly wait.

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