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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New York City's Bid Rig: Rigging The Mayoral Race

The 2013 New York City mayoral race just got very crazy, with a still-emerging breaking news story of multiple arrests of name elected officials and Republican Party leaders in New York City.

(Also see this report from the New York Daily News which includes a link to the federal complaint and the FBI agent's affidavit.  The affidavit recounts in excruciating detail the specific meetings at which bribes were discussed.  Many meetings occurred as recently as ten days ago.)

The arrests -- at least six -- involve bribery to get State Senator Malcolm Smith (who was arrested) to switch his party affiliation to the Republican Party, as well as the use of straw donors.  All arrested are to appear today in federal district court in White Plains (part of the Southern District of New York).

Ballot access -- namely, the ability to get one's desired endorsements -- is central to this case.  But make no mistake about it, candidates can get on the ballot, can win their primaries, can raise funds -- but it takes a great deal of effort.  Those who take shortcuts -- well, this emerging story is about them.

These arrests are reminiscent of the legendary arrests in July 2009 of numerous New Jersey politicians, elected leaders and rabbis in the Bid Rig corruption scandal.

This is still breaking.  

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