Several people sent me this article from Daily Politics. Seems city council candidate in Queens, Michael Cohen, was caught in corruption charges against former Liberal Party boss Ray Harding. There seems to have been a corrupt bargain wherein Harding worked with Gov. George Pataki's office to get Cohen a well-paid job in exchange for Cohen giving up his Assembly seat so Andy Hevesi could run for it. Cohen also endorsed Pataki at the same time, making it like so many other corrupt deals in NYC where favors, money and endorsements change hands.
There are several interesting threads in this latest scandal to hit a city council candidate. First off, I can't help but be reminded of the DiBrienza scandal in Brooklyn. Cohen is vowing to stay in the race despite the scandal...much like DiBrienza did. I suspect Cohen's continuation of his campaign will end up much like DiBrienza's as well: rapidly ended.
Second, this is a reminder what a nest of corruption Queens is. I usually write about Brooklyn corruption, but Queens clearly has its share as well. read more »
Alan Hevesi is expected to step down Friday, reports The Albany Times-Union.
State Comptroller Alan Hevesi will agree this week to resign to avoid an indictment stemming from an ethics scandal in which he used public employees to chauffeur his wife, according to sources familiar with his decision.
Hevesi, one of the state's highest-ranking elected officials, will consent to stepping down from the post he has held since January 2003 by Friday morning at the latest as part of a plea deal with Albany County District Attorney David Soares.
The comptroller, a 66-year-old Queens Democrat, will also plead guilty to a criminal charge, which will not be higher than a Class E felony and will not require him to spend any time in jail, according to the sources.
The next steps in the process are unclear; the governor, George Pataki, could in theory name a replacement to serve out the remainder of Hevesi's current term, while governor-elect Eliot Spitzer and the legislature will no doubt wrangle over whom to appoint in Hevesi's stead for his next term, for which he was just elected.
Stay tuned. read more »
In a bit of colonial effrontery, NASDAQ announces a $5.1 billion takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange.
The New York Times: Governor Pataki (remember him?) gives the special counsel investigating the Hevesi scandal subpoena powers.
Also in the Times, a closer look at the goals of Attorney General-elect Andrew Cuomo:
â€œWe started this campaign talking about a reform agenda,â€ Mr. Cuomo said. â€œAnd we laid out specific legislative priorities. I think thatâ€™s the mandate from the people. They want reform in Albany. They say: Clean it up. Fix it. There is a lack of trust between the people and the government. Itâ€™s not a perception problem. Itâ€™s a reality.â€
The Washington Post: Charlie Rangel calls for a draft, again; John McCain says U.S. troops are "fighting and dying for a failed policy." Way to go in helping the terrorists, attacking the troops, blaming America first, blah blah blah, Senator.
The Albany Times-Union: The best-kept secret in New York, Lieutenant-Governor Mary Donohue, may be kicked upstairs for a nine-year term on the Court of Claims. Still desperately sucking at the taxpayer teat, republicans are; isn't it odd how they never seem to head to that private sector they always extol, unless there's a government-dependent lobbying job, that is?
'Spitzer is likely to seek Hevesi's ouster', says The New York Times.
Also in the Times, a portrait of Steny Hoyer, the new House Majority Leader.
The Albany Times-Union describes 'a bid to lock up' that 911 report re: John Sweeney, wifebeater. Isn't that what's commonly referred to as a coverup?
Via AmericaBlog comes this from Bob Dornan: "I can't stand the thought of my party having as its three front-runners three open adulterers, Newt Gingrich, Giuliani, and McCain." Wifebeating and page groping too, Bob.
Charles Krauthammer in The Washington Post figures out what the problem in Iraq is: it's the Iraqis. They're just too distracted by that looting and killing stuff to see the upside thereof, it seems. Neocon self-delusions continue undisturbed by facts or any sense of, say, their responsibility.
USA Today: Iraq is set to surpass the expense of World War Two; it has already taken more time, so that's fitting. It's already been more expensive than Korea and more expensive than Vietnam.
The question is, should Bill Thompson start looking for real estate up in Albany.