corruption

Vito is up the Sleazy River

And heading just plain up the river.

NYC newspapers like the NYT and the NYPost have had stories recently about Mr. Charm, Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the center of a sexual harassment scandal, and the story even made its way into the Ithaca Journal.  Corruption, as well as all-around slimy behavior, is so endemic in NYS government it hardly causes a raised eyebrow:

And now the story has acquired legs outside of NYS...Jazz Shaw writing at Hot Air—such poetry:

We normally focus on political news at the national level here, but every once in a while a story congeals like scum on the surface of a state level pond which merits attention. Such is the case in New York State this summer. The tale actually began a while back, when an investigation into the , er… “affairs” of State Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) determined that he had sexually harassed two young, female staffers, leading to his censure on the Assembly floor. And if the story had stopped there it would hardly be unusual enough in Big Apple politics to merit a column.
 
But that event turned out to be the the pebble which started a series of ripples across the pond. Now we find out from the Wall Street Journal that more ethics investigations are underway, this time into the involvement of the Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver. It seems that Shelly didn’t want to bother the busy folks on the ethics committee when he first caught wind of this story and decided to settle things the old fashioned way.
In other words, with payoffs funded with taxpayer dollars.
...The National Organization for Women and Common Cause, a government transparency group, submitted the formal complaint, calling for a probe into Mr. Silver’s approval of a secret $100,000 taxpayer-funded payment to settle accusations by female employees against Assemblyman Vito Lopez...

...The Republicans traditionally control the state senate (by a razor thin margin) but it’s not “the Democrats” who control the Assembly… it’s Sheldon Silver. And he’s held that body in lock-down for nearly two decades. He’s the most powerful Democrat in the state – even more so than the Governor, according to many accounts...
 
...Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is trying to wiggle out of any responsibility for the secret payout. That won’t be easy because an e-mail trail shows his office helped Silver craft the agreement and the confidentiality clause...
 
But wait, there's more.  You'd really have to suspend your disbelief to accept that state Comptroller DiNapoli isn't involved in all of this as well. In the NYPost:
...The two [AG Schneiderman & DiNapoli] swear that neither was personally involved and tried to shift any blame to subordinate staffers — saying the AG’s office was merely contacted “for an informal consultation” and DiNapoli’s general counsel was asked about “income tax implications” regarding “a pending legal settlement.”
 
Frankly, it defies belief that high-powered pols like Lopez and Silver could be negotiating a six-figure sexual-harassment payout without Schneiderman and DiNapoli being aware of every detail. Both officials come out of the Legislature, after all...
So there's Silver, Schneiderman, DiNapoli...can Mario's kid be far behind?
 
Meantime, in the midst of all this, Schneiderman and DiNapoli issued a joint communiqué about—surprise, surprise—more corruption, this time on the state Senate side:
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced a superseding indictment against New York State Senator Shirley Huntley for falsifying business records, conspiracy and tampering with their joint investigation of a scheme to steal taxpayer dollars using a sham not-for-profit that did not provide services to the public. In addition to Senator Huntley, the new indictment charges a close aide and her niece with stealing funds from a member item sponsored by the Senator, and a third individual with aiding the cover-up...
Nothing like a little misdirection to help take the heat off.  Pure as the driven snow.
 
So Vito may be heading up the river—he'd hardly be the first Assembly member to do so—but he really needs some company, don't you think?
 
...I also reiterate my request that Governor Cuomo send the Executive Order No. 41 proceeding "back to the drawing board" in order to make sure that the shale gas industry will be regulated without the taint of corruption...
Way to go, Babs!  If it's the stench of real and seemingly neverending corruption you're looking for, how about checking right under your nose first?
 

More than just a losing crap shoot

This is really a very thoughtful cartoon on a lot of levels...there is no "green" on a roulette wheel...there is a roulette wheel...Obama's betting it all..."investments" is in quotes.

Ah.  Maybe that's the key.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu not only has the gall to lecture us on light bulbs as one of our moral and intellectual superiors in the Obama administration, he also expects us to believe this:

...that he was unaware of predictions by DOE staffers in 2009, before the Solyndra loan was finalized, that the company was likely to face severe cash-flow problems in the future...
 

...[that] Solyndra’s demise [was due to] the “unanticipated” deterioration of the solar-panel market over the past several years...

...that “political considerations” had [no] influence on the DOE’s decisions regarding Solyndra...

...[that] he had “just learned” about this [the postponement of the announcement of layoffs of Solyndra employees until after the 2010 midterm elections], and insisted that “no pressure” was exerted by the DOE to convince Solyndra to postpone the layoffs...

There's more.  Read the whole thing.

Can you imagine the caterwauling if this had happened—I was going to say in a Republican administration, but really, in any administration prior to the current one?

When is the light bulb going to come on?

h/t Tom

 

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