And the fun continues…

Shock and awe.  That has to be what the reeling ex-Mjaority Leader Malcolm Smith is feeling right now.  And it just keeps piling on..

From the latest news reports, Smith has lost it all, even if the Democrats somehow regain control of NY’s Senate chamber.  The latest indictaes that even if the Democrats retake control, Smith will be ousted from any and all leadership positions.  Even the efforts of The One’s political team are sacraficing Smith in a counter-coup bid.  The problem with this is that if the Dems do regain control, then who will be elevated to the vaunted leadership positions?

That’s the question for the Democrats.  If not Smith, then who?  Carl Kruger and Tom Stachowski are two options, but the rumor mill, from many sources, seems to point to them flipping sides to join Espada and Monserratte.  But I would venture that if Smith is sacraficed, then these two would “remain in the fold,”   especially if they are offered the top two slots as President of the Senate and Majority Leader.  However, given their generally more conservative leanings, I doubt they will be acceptable to the City-crats.  Reuben Diaz sr could be the wild card in all this.  He’s stated that he won’t switch sides, but will he support a counter-coup  if Smith is involved?  Diaz was one of the “gang of four” who threatened Smith to back the GOP back in January.

Then there’s our accidnetal governor, David Patterson.  He’s losing ground at every turn.  The latest polls show him to be the least popular governor in the nation.  That’s pretty impressive given his predecessor’s antics, and the ancilliary hubub concerning former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.  Patterson is being put to the test here, and is failing each and every time.  Is it any wonder that AG Andrew Cuomo has not weighed in on this business?  Not really, as the weaker Patterson is, the easier his time to get the gubenatorial nomination will be.  Provided Patterson decides to run that is.

But it gets worse for the “reform agenda” Democrats.  NYPIRG, the NY Public Interest Group, a noted left leaning organization, has come out in favor of the GOP’s coup. “We believe, on first cut (the new rules) are another step in the right direction,” said NYPIRG Legislative Director Blair Horner.  Ouch.  That one goes straight to the Democratic agenda.

Oh for sure some have come out vocally against this move, beyond the politicians that is.  A few hundred gathered at the Capital to voice their displeasure.  A survey of those involved, from watching the news coverage, shows the usual lunatic leftist, and a fine selection of various special interest groups who stand to have thier own agendas side lined by the loss of their political allies.

I fully expect this to end by Friday.  I doubt any serious legal action will happen, more so as AG Cuomo seems to be trying very hard to stay out of teh fray.  Going so far as to ignore Smith’s “extortion and influence peddling” charges against Espada and Monserratte.  No matter what the DNC robocalls are encouraging those involved to report to Cuomo.

Ah, NY politics.  Gotta love it.

Some reading links:

Fred Dicker (NY Post)

NY Post Coverage

Capital News 9

Joe Bruno on the events

Trooper-Gate information released

http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2008/aug/06/0806_troopergate/

http://capitalnews9.com/content/top_stories/121504/more-details-gleaned-from-troopergate-papers/Default.aspx

http://www.nypost.com/seven/08062008/postopinion/editorials/soares_troopergate_swill_123282.htm

http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=709537&category=&BCCode=&newsdate=8/6/2008

http://wnyt.com/article/stories/S534883.shtml?cat=10114

http://www.nypost.com/seven/08062008/news/regionalnews/papers_bare_soares_lovefest_with_spitzer_123249.htm

For a couple of guys who promised to “clean up Albany,” both ex-Governor Eliot Spitzer and Albany County DA David Soares fell far short of the mark.  The 8500+ pages of interviews, emails, and other documents from Soares’ “investigation” of the Trooper-gate scandal show exactly how Soares and his office bent over backwards to assist and white wash what Spitzer and his top aides did.  How this is supposed to be “better” than what previously went on in Albany is lost on me.

Spitzer is likely to be facing charges from this, not from the DA, who may also face ethics charges, but from the Public Integrity Commission, which has already charged several former Spitzer aides in the scandal.  The Commission has already taken copies of those documents to review for further charges.  The real intersting bits are from former SP Superintendent Preston Felton (who apparently was pissed off about the leak), and the internal emails about making statements “perjury proof,” and that there was a concerted effort to damage Bruno through potentially illegal means.

Of course, according to Eliot Spitzer, laws are for little people, those with out power.  He certainly acted that way.  Laws applied to others, not him.  If one bothers to look, one can see that this was a clear trend, and attitude, dating back to his assistant DA days in NYC.  He thought he was immune to any sort of legal action.  He was the “Sheriff of Wall Street” after all.

Soares is just a chump.  He tried to distract attention away from local issues, from the Spitzer scandal to local crime issues, through his Steroid investigation, which garnered him a lot of national, and even international attention.  He wants the limelight, to be a news figure, but not actually do the job he was elected to do.  He needed the support of the ex-Governor to maintain his position, thorugh political and fund raising contacts, so he bent over for Spitzer to help try and diffuse and white wash the Trooper-gate scandal.

Spitzer’s inaugural address had the line “On day one, everything changes.”  He was right, just not in the way he intended.  His fiefdom was destroyed in a little over four days.  His opponents sailed off into the sunset, holding thier heads up high.  He’s still slinking off, avoiding everyone.

Ain’t this grand?

Ah, “civilized political discourse.”

http://www.nypost.com/seven/04232008/news/regionalnews/police__bush_basher_smashes_disabled_tee_107782.htm

As if all the corruption issues with the City Council’s “slush fund” wasn’t enough.

Beating up on a diabled girl, just beacuse she happens to like Laura Bush, and for her work with literacy, is just so mature.  I just bet there are at least several “big name” liberal bloggers who are now luading this individual.  Bah.  Hope he gets 3 years at Rikers.

NY State Police to be Investigated (Small Update)

The fall out from Eliot Spitzer’s brief term as Governor continues unabated.  The latest, as reported by Fred Dicker and the NY Post (HERE), is that Governor David Patterson has asked AG Andrew Cuomo to begin an investigation into the NY State Police, and their involvement not only in Spitzer’s call girl fetish, and the Joe Bruno scandal, but into several other political shennanigans as well. 

According to Dicker (HERE), the AG will be looking into “a rogue element with in the force,” that was used, and acted for “political purposes,” not only by Spitzer, but George Pataki before him.  This “hatchet squad” was supposedly run by Pataki’s former SP Guard Detail commander (and Spitzer friend) Daniel Wiesse.  This group with in the State Police gather information on anyone deemed “dangerous” or was an “enemy” of certain powerful people (John Sweeney).  They would apparently harass, and otherwise make difficulties for those so targeted. 

While it’s been no secret that the State Police have made things diificult for people who make their lives miserable, this is above and beyond that, if proven true.  Now, for all this to be true, it would require a lot of effort, not only at implementing such a scheme, but controlling information regarding it.  It’s Nixonian over tones, with more than a touch of J.Edgar Hoover, seems almost implausible.  Add to this the time frame for how long this has been going on, and it boggles the mind.

I have no doubt that some individuals have acted in a political manner regarding information leaks (show me a government agency on any level where this doesn’t happen), and have certainly taken personal grudges too far.  But this?  This I think is a bit too much, but makes not only for a good story and press, but excites the imagination of many people, more so in an election year.  Next I’m sure the story will involve Black Helicopters, Alien Abductions (Is Dennis Kucinich coming to town?), and the ever popular New World Order.  I’m sure we can work in Majestic 12, the Bildeburgers, and the Council on Foreign Relations as well.

This is not to absolve, or mitigate, or even trivialize what has happened.  But in any and every organization, there are those who will abuse their positions for personal gain (and it does not have to monetary).  But this “Star Chamber” type scheme I personally find to be a bit over the top.  I highly doubt it was ever as well organized as it’s being made out.  Instead, I expect that a few key players, such as Daniel Wiesse, will be the only ones who were full involved.  Others will have been brought in for “one off” type efforts, especially if the “recruit” already had a grudge against the target.  But I don’t believe that there will be this mass conspiracy and rogue operation as has been implied.

This hasn’t hit anywhere else as yet, just at the NY Post, so take it for what it’s worth ATM.  But expect this one to hit the National News circuit real soon.

UPDATE:

The Schenectady Gazette has picked up the story HERE

The only thing from the Albany Times-Union is an entry in their Capitol Confidential blog covering Sheldon Silver’s response to Patterson’s request to the Attorney General.  I doubt we’ll see much else from the T-U, as both Rex Smith and Jerry Odato will probably be subpoenaed if not directly investigated as a part of this.

Time for a Special Prosecutor

The depth of the morass that is Eliot Spitzer’s “dirty tricks” scandal keeps getting deeper and deeper.  With reports from various sources (legitimate and not so legitimate) indicating a wider “conspiracy” than just Spitzer’s operatives, and rumors running rife, I think it is now time for AG Andrew Cuomo to appoint a Special Prosecutor, with full powers, to properly, and independently investigate this mess.

The latest, coming mainly from the NY Post and Daily News, has not only Albany County DA David Soares being complicit in a cover up (that went south once Spitzer got caught in the prostitution sting), but that Albany Times Union Editor Rex Smith and reporter Jerry Odato were also complicit in fostering and aiding in the dirty tricks.  This could be, if even 1/10th of what is rampant rumor is true, it could be very damaging to a lot of folks and institutions here in the Albany area.

Even if neither accusation is proved to be true, they still need to be thoroughly investigated.  It has become obvious that the Albany County District Attorney’s office has been compromised in this, and needs to be taken off the case.  The State’s “Public Integrity Commission” also is so compromised as to be a potential “co-conspirator” in a cover up.  Nor can the Senate’s Investigations Committee handle this, as the specter of political pay-back (no matter how well deserved), will taint any and all efforts they make.  The only answer is to get a Special Prosecutor in to wade through it all, and produce a full and comprehensive report on the matter.

It is in the best interests of the State to do this.  As anyone who has watched Albany politics for any length of time knows, stuff like this usually ends up as “back page news,” if it gets reported beyond the initial scandal at all.  This one is worse, in that a major, and previously well respected newspaper, the Times-Union, has been implicated in this scandal.  We need a proper, and full accounting of what transpired, who was involved, to what degree, and when.  We know that Albany politics is dysfunctional, and this is an opportunity to do a little house cleaning, and get rid of some people with more ambition than integrity, and to restore some degree of “trust” in institutions such as the DA’s office, and the local press.

And The Fall Out Continues

It looks like “client #6” has been outed.  According to the NY Daily News, The Duke of Westminster was also a regular client of the Emperor’s Club.  The Duke, aka Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, a former offical at the UK’s Ministry of Defense, and a Labour Party official, had quite a few trysts.  Despite being England’s wealthiest individual, he haggled with at least one girl over price.    STORY

I fully expect more clients to be named as the week goes on.

The now infamous “Kristen” has been identified.  The NY Times, probably in a desperate search for readers, was first on this: HERE  Not to be outdone, the NY Post has also picked up on this: HERE

CNN has some more details on how this all got started with the bank.  And that the February 13th tryst was his 8th, at a minimum.

Oops.  Looks like we have had 1 Governor impeached, William Sulzer in 1913.  Have to look into that one a bit. This from the Times-Union.  I understand the comparisons to Al Smith and Nelson Rockefeller, but Teddy Roosevelt and Thomas Dewey?  Not in my opinion.

“I really don’t feel vindicated. But I do feel when you look at the things I tried to raise in the campaign, one of the many things I said was that Eliot Spitzer had one set of rules for himself and one set for everyone else. I never would have imagined it could be so glaring.” — John Faso, the former Assemblyman and Republican candidate who lost to Spitzer in 2006.

Other reactions HERE

Link to Joe Bruno’s news conference.

Link to Spitzer’s resignation announcement.

And here’s some morning reading for those who are interested:

Ben Smith at Politico on David Paterson

Susan Estrich takes Spitzer to task (this one’s a political ouchie!)

Charles Gasparino at the NY Post

Campaigns and Elections

WSJ on Eliot and the media