Oy Vey!

The Big Rotten Apple

April 12, 2013

Multiple Pages
The Big Rotten Apple

Examining New York politics is like dipping a ladle into the sewer: Any random sampling will yield nothing but toxic shit water.

New York City’s 2013 mayoral election is seven months away, but the stench of New York politics is already intense enough to make you gag.

Early this month, State Senator Malcolm Smith was charged with bribing his way into the mayoral candidacy. On page 27 of the Criminal Complaint against Smith is a taped conversation where he offers to help out someone’s kid in exchange for allowing Sen. Smith to be reborn as Mayor Smith.

SMITH responded, “You know what you do? Tell him, tell him ‘I got a kid in Albany that needs to be born. So, when you birth him, when you birth my child up in Albany, I’ll help you with your kid.’”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver claims the Smith scandal and the seemingly endless other examples of recent corruption are simply a matter of a few “rotten apples.”

Along with Smith, three other “rotten apples” were arrested as accessories. Last summer Smith told lobbyists:

The longer you wait to get in…the more it will cost you and if you don’t get in at all, then it will be painful after November, after the Democrats win the majority.

In February, he was accused of blowing $100,000 in campaign funds on himself.

“Political corruption in New York—both the city and the state—didn’t end with Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall. That whole scandal was more like the ribbon-cutting ceremony.”

Smith was involved in the “New York State Leadership Crisis” of 2009, which occurred shortly after the Democrats won the upper chamber for the first time in four decades. A “Gang of Four” senators refused to recognize Sen. Smith as their leader. The gang became known as the “Gang of Three” after Queens Rep. Hiram Monserrate split to do a curious deal with Smith that included appointing him the chairman of the Consumer Protection Committee. Ex-cop Monseratte was facing serious jail time for allegedly slashing his girlfriend in the face with a knife but was acquitted around the same time the deal was struck. It was now up to Sen. Pedro Espada to run the Gang of Three’s bizarre coup, but his rap sheet was so chockablock with allegations of embezzling, corruption, and tax fraud, he appeared to spend more time in court than in office. Ultimately, the Gang of Three bungled their mutiny and the Democrats lost their majority.

Smith’s rotten-apple career and the fermented cider in which it stews isn’t an exception in New York politics. It’s the rule.

Two days after Smith’s bust, Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was charged with accepting $20,000 in cash bribes. His secretly taped conversations sum up New York politics nicely:

Bottom line…if half the people up here in Albany were ever caught for what they do…they…would probably be (in jail). So who are they bullshitting?

When US Attorney Preet Bharara revealed the corruption charges against Smith and his cronies he was so jaded by it all he said, “Every time a politician is arrested in New York it should not feel like a scene from Groundhog Day. Yet it does.” This is the OB/GYN through which our mayors are born.

Political corruption in New York—both the city and the state—didn’t end with Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall. That whole scandal was more like the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

In March, Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr. was charged with embezzling.

In 2011, Assemblyman Anthony S. Seminerio died in prison while serving time for influence peddling.

In 2009, labor leader Brian M. McLaughlin got ten years for racketeering.

That same year, Assemblywoman Diane Gordon was jailed for bribery.

Spitzer told us he was going to clean up Albany, but even he got caught with his pants down. You’d have to be blind not to see how corrupt it all is. Fittingly, Governor Paterson is both corrupt and blind.

Mayor Michael “I’ll Crush Your Freedom” Bloomberg turns his nose up at Smith’s follies, but the whole thing is rooted in Smith switching his registration from Democrat to Republican because it’s easier to win as mayor in a crowded Democratic field. Bloomberg’s changed parties so many times I’m not even sure what he is now—Independent? It’s hard for a billionaire who made his money trading stock tips to complain about powerbrokers running politics. Especially when he changed the term limits from two to three (don’t get any ideas, Obama) under the auspices of helping us with the Wall Street crisis. This “help” has left the next mayor with a projected budget hole of “at least $3.1 billion.” There is an entire website devoted to listing Bloomberg’s lies.

One of the biggest proponents of Bloomberg’s third-term shenanigans was City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Coincidentally, many see this feisty lesbian as the mayoral frontrunner in 2013. Like Bloomberg, Quinn seems to feel justified in abusing her power. When a recent TV ad attacked her by claiming “NYC is Not For Sale,” she threatened to sue Time Warner Cable for airing it. If she’s elected into office, TWC’s existence in NY will depend on her approval. This is the same woman who told Chick-fil-A, not “in my city.” Other potential candidates include Alec Baldwin, Tony Danza, Kelsey Grammer, and of course The Rent is Too Damn High guy (who may not pay any rent).

They’re in good company. Before Bloomberg, we had Giuliani, who cleaned up the city by arresting everyone, including people who dance. He also assigned a police escort to his mistress and then made his driver the police commissioner.

Giuliani beat out Dinkins, who’s been accused of letting the Crown Heights Riots roll on for days so his brothers could let off steam. Dinkins was elected on the heels of rampant corruption charges against Ed Koch.

The affable fag Koch was probably our best mayor, but things were still so bad during his tenure that when Bernhard Goetz shot some black kids for trying to rob him, a “Bernie Goetz for Mayor” campaign started. (Goetz ran years later after he got out of jail for his vigilantism.)

Finally, The New York Times announced on Tuesday that the King of Dick Pics is considering running.

But amidst all this putrid filth, a philanderer who Tweets his erections to strangers looks like a saint. The New York Times piece about Anthony Weiner this week was fawning to the point of being obsequious. Their chronology of events made Weiner look noble, while they called Breitbart “not entirely reputable.” However, they rightly point out his only other huge blunder was acting like a complete fucking lunatic on the House floor when discussing 9/11 compensation. Those are the only two major screw-ups. The Times didn’t have to spin his career into a fluffy PR piece. All they had to do was hold Weiner up next to all the other mayors and the history of New York politics in general. In that sense, Wiener’s a winner. And, as is the case with most of politics, we’re the real losers.

 

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