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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Political Bribery: Follow the Money

The ongoing criminal investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney into the alleged misuse of funds originating with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, then going to the New York State Independence Party and much of the funds ultimately going to Republican campaign operative John Haggerty will be interesting.  A New York Post report (http://www.nypost.com/) on Thursday, June 17th suggested that state party chairman Frank MacKay and another man, Sean Connelly, received ambiguous payments from the party after Mayor Mike Bloomberg paid over $1 million to the state party. 

What may also be interesting: any parallel (and separate) criminal investigation by the United States Attorney's Offices in either Manhattan, Albany or Brooklyn. All could have jurisdiction over such a case (the party is based in Albany and Haggerty's actions may have occurred in Queens, where he lives).

Just wondering: If Bloomberg were brave enough to run as a small "I" independent, or as a Democrat, none of this would have happened.

Just wondering: Isn't a $1.1 million payment to the state Independence Party, in which one is not enrolled and thus needs the legal "Wilson-Pakula" authorization to run, suggestive of a quid pro quo? (Others have gone further, suggesting Bloomberg literally financed his own endorsement by the Independence Party. Read http://www.bloombergwatch.com/ and various Tom Robbins and Wayne Barrett stories at http://www.villagevoice.com/.)

Also wondering: Does anyone doubt that if New Jersey's new Governor Chris Christie were the U.S. Attorney, he would have initiated a criminal investigation of his own?

Think of the elasticity of the phrases, and underlying concepts of, "corruptly influenced" and "under color of official right."

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