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Worked Up

February 16, 2015

Daily, if not hourly, we lurch back and forth between thinking that Preet is doing God’s work and he’s full of crap.

Our latest conclusion is the later. Why? It’s because he gave this comment to the Buffalo News edit board on Friday: “If I could put 50 prosecutors on public corruption in Albany, they certainly wouldn’t be lacking for work.”

With all due respect to the US Attorney’s office in New York City, that’s excrement.

Fifty prosecutors were on the case already. It was called Moreland. And they found what? A bunch of foot faults. Lawmakers could have been better at itemizing their expenses. George Maziarz gave an inexplicable contribution to a girl’s softball team in Binghamton.

Think about this: There were 13 DA’s on the Moreland panel. They saw all the evidence. Were they all incompetent? Were they all stupid? Were they all corrupt?

Well, that’s what Preet is saying. The DAs, plus all the others associated with Moreland, including the AG, were all idiots. They had the evidence in their hands. They were deputized. They could have prosecuted any case at any time. But what happened? They looked at the evidence and couldn’t make a case. Yes, they encountered a lot of silly stuff, but it wasn’t criminal.

Preet gets the same evidence and suddenly it’s a “cauldron of corruption.”

But at last the lawmakers are pushing back – ever so slightly.

Ken Lovett, the great Ken Lovett, wrote about it this weekend. God bless Ken for asking the simple question of lawmakers: What do YOU think about Preet’s characterization that you’re all a bunch of crooks?

Ken interviewed a dozen lawmakers and they all said the same thing: “Cut the grandstanding. Stop exaggerating. Stop overreaching. Stop promoting yourself in media markets outside your home territory. Make a real case if you can, but enough of your self-righteous pronouncements. You have no business opining on three men in a room or any other aspect of state government.  Prosecute a larceny. Uncover a fraud. But stop inventing political crimes.  Go catch a fucking terrorist.”

This is a cool little media moment. It’s the first time there’s been a counterpoint to Preet’s “let me play to everyone’s worst suspicion that every lawmaker is a bum” narrative.

Again, forgive us for overworking this construct, but think about it: Are the cases Preet has made so far really, really profound? Is there there there?

Don’t hyperventilate now…

Gabby Rosa married someone without loving the person.

Tom Libous couldn’t remember exactly how his son got a job.

Nelson Castro wore a wire for two years and it caught a freshman lawmaker in a 10k bribe sting.

Shelly Silver, ten years ago, gave 500k to a hospital for cancer research.

Malcolm Smith bribed someone to get out on a ballot.

(To be fair: The Kruger and Leibell cases were really solid – but only make the others look weak by comparison.)

Cauldron of corruption?  No.

Some b-level stupid shit without a victim that needs to be corrected? Absolutely.

And one more thing, while we’re on a roll here:

Jesus, Mohammed, Buddah, Odin and Gaia, choose your deity, how is it that the greatest fundraiser in New York State history has never so much as raised an eyebrow in Preet’s office?

How is it that the person who invented and perfected legal pay-to-play in New York has never come under any scrutiny whatsoever from the Southern District?

Could it really be the case that the person who is head and shoulders above anyone else in terms of hitting up the wealthy Wall Streeters while authoring scores of bills that impact the sector has done it perfectly, pristinely without so much as the appearance of a conflict of interest?

We’re talking about Chuck, who happens to be, in our view, a brilliant man and great Senator.  But the notion that Chuck is different and better than your typical state senator or assembly member is preposterous.

Albany is the minor leagues. Chuck is the major leagues. Between his personal account and his SDCC account he has raised more contributions than anyone in political history. Period.

In this regard, you simply cannot… you simply cannot…you simply cannot raise the amount of money he has without doing the pay-to-play game to the max.

Revile us. Think us shills for the corrupt status quo. Believe that we’re on some crooked pol’s payroll. Dismiss us as awful people – but try to deny the truth of that fucking statement. You can’t do it.

But there’s Chuck – Preet’s former boss and mentor, the person who got Preet his job, the person Preet talks to every single day – sitting tall in the saddle.

Think about it: Chuck, product of the New York State Assembly, the state and nation’s leading fundraiser of all time, has never done anything wrong at all – but everyone else is a piece of shit?

Tell us, how does that work? How does it square?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2015 4:20 PM

    Reblogged this on SquarePegDem's Blog and commented:
    How did I miss this bit of insight from NT2? Yes, Sen. Schumer is the KING of political fundraising from Wall Street, deconstructor of Glass-Steagal & architect of the 2008 financial meltdown. Yet, my hero, Preet Bharara hasn’t turned his proctoscope on his political rabbi and mentor. NT2 raises an uncomfortable question that no one else has had the temerity to ask out loud.

  2. February 24, 2015 4:33 PM

    President Lincoln turned to Albany men skilled in the dark arts to bring him victory in passing the 13th Amendment. President Clinton turned to a former Albany man to bring him the support of questionable Wall Street financiers. So there may be something to the opprobrium regarding the Albany political culture. Or there’s something in the water in the State Capitol Building.

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