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PB at His Best

May 4, 2015

We’re admirers of precision and poise.  And PB sure had it today. His news conference on the Skelos matter was flawless.

There was none of the cutesy stuff that was so off-putting in previous appearances. There were no quips. No smirks. No overstatements.

It was just the facts. It was dispassionate.  And it was powerful.

Even our friends in the Senate GOP said as much. They expressed surprise — and certainty that Dean has to step down now as leader.

The wiretaps, of which we’re sure to have been given only a small part, were damning.  Many people expressed the view that it was “so unlike Dean” to behave in such a manner, but there it was in his own words.

Innocent until proven guilty, yes.  But at the same time, it’s clear that there’s really no explanation or excuse for his repeated intervention on behalf of his son.

He crossed the line. What line exactly?

It’s one thing to ask someone:  “Would you take a call from my boy?”  You do that and then step back and hope your boy acquits himself well.

It’s something else when you get involved thereafter on the substance. In fact, what should have happened in these situations is that Dean should have recused himself entirely from anything that involved his son.

That said, when this case gets untangled, it’s possible that a long complaint gets pared down to two or three critical issues.  But even then, it is much stronger than the Silver case. If the information in the indictment is accurate, then you can say, yeah, this conduct is criminal. It fits the description of established crimes.

The only mitigating thing, perhaps, is that the whole of it amounted to about 200k that went to the son in compensation over two years.  That’s not a huge amount. And yet, if he didn’t deserve it, and it only occurred because his father intervened in a coercive way – it is, or will be, a crime.

One final thing that jumped out was the extent and sophistication of the surveillance. The Feds were watching Skelos and Mangano at a cop’s funeral.  We can’t wait to hear how they did that. Skelos and Mangano apparently were walking together in a parking lot outside the funeral home. Was Mangano wired? Did the Feds have a directional mic on them? Were the Feds in an operations van parked at the funeral? This tidbit, plus the revelations about numerous wiretaps, gives the whole thing a Mission Impossible feel.

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