- Don't really know what we're going to talk about between now and the Preakness. The race would seem to have as much suspense as tonight's West Virginia primary. My favorite Preakness news of the day is this:
Hall of Famer Bill Mott caught Riley Tucker, fitted with his new blinkers, going five furlongs in 1:04 today, though the Belmont clockers got him two seconds slower because Mott said they were watching a different horse. [Schenectady Gazette]Maybe that was Z Humor. Can we rescind Mott's Hall of Fame spot if he keeps running unqualified horses in Triple Crown races?
Anyway, let's talk about other stuff:
A commenter on this recent post about the continuing Bruno investigation sent along a link which shows, as he or she claimed, that Pat Lynch was a lobbyist for Delaware North last year; for part of that time, the company was still associated with Empire Racing. She, along with Brian Meara, also listed as a lobbyist for the firm, are former top aides to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Ms. Lynch worked with Silver for eight years, and is described as having been a top staff member. She formed her own lobbying company in 2001 (which now employs Spitzer's former communications director Darren Dopp).
Of course, there's nothing wrong here in a legal sense, and it's certainly not the first time Ms. Lynch has lobbied her former boss (among other things I'm sure, she worked for Madison Square Garden against the Jets' stadium, which Silver single-handedly killed). She was properly registered as a lobbyist, as opposed to the cases of Richard Fields and Jared Abbruzzese, both of whom, as you may recall, were investigated for being unregistered lobbyists early in the franchise campaign. (Fields was fined, and I don't know what the hell ever happened with Abbruzzese.) It's up to you to decide if it's proper for a person to lobby a public official with whom he or she has had close ties; but it's, of course, common practice at all levels of government.
I don't know if Ms. Lynch is still lobbying for the firm. It would make sense given their bid for the Aqueduct racino (though she surely hasn't been successful if she's tried to convince Silver to allow slots at Belmont). I'm curious to know, but when I tried to access further information on the NYS Temporary Commission on Lobbying website, I found that it's a private site. ID's are available for lobbyists, public corporations, and clients only. It's their own private little world, quite typical of Albany. Why should us voters know just who is getting the ears of the public officials that we elect?
As long as I'm getting annoyed, I've mentioned here briefly, as much as my tangents from our main subject matter allow me to stray, Andrew Cuomo's investigation into alleged political meddling and dirty tricks by the NY State Police. You may recall the urgency with which Governor Paterson authorized the probe, and Cuomo's pledge to conduct a wide-ranging investigation, even calling on a former prosecutor from the Knapp Commission. Joe Bruno said that the probe will "bring more clarity to this disgraceful situation."
But what are we talking about here that has these guys so riled up? Perhaps the police might have exposed one governor's use of public money to facilitate rendezvous with prostitutes? And another governor's use of taxpayer money to pay for motel trysts with his mistress? Or a Senate Majority Leader's use of state aircraft for his own political purposes? Oh, the horror!
So where the hell is the outrage over things like this? Or this? Or this?
Or this? Do you think these cops would still have jobs with the police department if they fired 50 shots into a car with some well-connected white kid in it? How long do you think the NYC cops' stop-and-frisk program would last if Pat Lynch was searched? Just thought I'd ask.
- Temeka Lewis is expected to plead guilty for her involvement in the prostitution ring of which former Governor Eliot Spitzer was a client; and the Times reports that two of the three others arrested are close to pleas as well.
Several former prosecutors and defense lawyers said the movement toward resolving the charges against Ms. Lewis and her codefendants suggested that prosecutors were nearing a decision on whether to prosecute Mr. Spitzer. The pleas do not indicate clearly what decision the government might reach, they said.
“It’s an indication — it’s not definitive” that a decision is near on Mr. Spitzer, said Patricia A. Pileggi, a criminal defense lawyer who served for 25 years as a federal prosecutor.. [NY Times]