Moreland Commission – Continued

So just to drive the point home, one of the allegations of the New York Times article goes like this:

Word that the [Moreland Commission's] subpoena had been served quickly reached Mr. Cuomo’s most senior aide, Lawrence S. Schwartz. He called one of the commission’s three co-chairs, William J. Fitzpatrick, the district attorney in Syracuse.

“This is wrong,” Mr. Schwartz said, according to Mr. Fitzpatrick, whose account was corroborated by three other people told about the call at the time. He said the firm worked for the governor, and issued a simple directive:

“Pull it back.”

The subpoena was swiftly withdrawn. The panel’s chief investigator explained why in an email to the two other co-chairs later that afternoon.

“They apparently produced ads for the governor,”

 

Nothing to see here, right?

Besides, the Commission Chair William Fitzpatrick, in his three page letter, had this very detailed response to this specific allegation:

 

“Fuck you.”

 

Okay, that wasn’t really what Fitzpatrick said.  What he really said was a far more egregious gesture of contempt, something to the risible effect that he always gave a lot of thought to issuing subpoenas because that’s “serious”; and the Commission reissued the subpoena a few weeks after it was retracted; and finally, the suggestion that the Commission was interfered with by such things as, oh, the Governor’s henchman aide Schwartz telling the Commission to “pull it [the subpoena] back” was – and I quote – “absurd”.

Of course, it’s not like that kind of thing happened except for that one time, though.  Right?

 

According to a subpoena that had been prepared, investigators wanted to examine the real estate board’s political donations, its materials related to a valuable tax break for new housing, and its communications with public officials, including phone calls with lawmakers…

Whereupon Mr. Cuomo’s office stepped in to shut it down.

Mr. Schwartz, the secretary to the governor, telephoned one of the commission’s three leaders in a fury, according to four people briefed on the call. There would be no subpoena to the real estate board, he said.

Ultimately, the commission merely sent the real estate board a letter asking it to provide information voluntarily, which it did.

 

Apparently the Governor’s office got advance notice of objectionable subpoenas because the Governor had a spy lackey close associate as one of the Commission’s co-chairs.  Her name is Regina Calcaterra.

Investigators began to suspect that Ms. Calcaterra was monitoring their activities and reporting back to the governor’s office:

  

Ms. Calcaterra repeatedly pressed Ms. Perry [another investigator with the Commission] not to serve the subpoena, emails show. Yet the commission backed Ms. Perry, and on Aug. 19, she wrote to the co-chairs that she would be sharing a subpoena with them “shortly.”

 

I don’t know what is more laughable – or depressing, depending on your mood:  the Commission itself, or Fitzpatrick’s & Cuomo’s when-you’re-caught-just-deny-deny-deny defense.  Ugh.

I mean, this shows the “Commission” was just a toxic mix of tawdry skullduggery and highly dishonest political posturing by the Governor’s office.  The Feds tried to criminalize such conduct through some statute or other regarding public officials’ failure to render “honest services”, but that was held unconstitutional.  And I don’t know if criminalizing is the right way to go, or even remotely effective.  Given day to day realities of the political system in the US I’d tend to say no.  In any event, I’ve made my suggestion and that has nothing to do with putting anyone in prison.

This does not, of course, indicate that the entrenched corruption of the political class is not a serious problem; indeed I wish we could overcome this vague belief that unless the government is prosecuting someone the wrongdoing, if it exists at all, must be trivial.

Our ‘leaders’ do not so much lead us as reflect us.  We tolerate in them the kind of wrongdoing we tolerate in ourselves.  Thus we like a little bit of ruthlessness in our politicians, it seems.  Unless we’re on the receiving end personally.

We’ll improve the character of our political class when we improve our own.  Until that happens, “Moreland Commissions” are worse than a waste of time; they are a farce.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Moreland Commission – Continued

  1. Corruption is as corruption does.

    Family as AG, as Gov, as (Pretender) of cracking down on corruption.
    (Which would take 20 years and thousands to do in NYC alone)

    Like

    • This is probably OT, but nevertheless I’ll mention that I often cite the prevalence of family continuity in high government positions (Kennedys, Cuomos, Bushes, Clintons) as proof that monarchy is the natural form of government. Any thoughts on that?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Perhaps George W. Bush’s greatest public service was to ask QE2, “I’m the black sheep in my family. Who’s your family’s black sheep?”

        Maybe we have a more natural monarchy than the British have (Teddy Kennedy notwithstanding; good grief), insofar as the British have to keep calm and carry on with whomever is elevated to their country’s throne, although they seem a lot more enthusiastic about the royal project now that Will, Kate and baby George are on the scene to distract them from the impending reign of Charles III. And let’s not forget his loyal consort Camilla. Class can skip a generation in either kind of royalty.

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        • William does seem to be one of those royals that royalty seems to just fit. And then he rescues fair maidens with his RAF helicopter. And now he’s going to make a habit of that.

          Royalty fits his grandmother, too. She was crowned at what, 22? If she’s made any missteps in the 60+ years since then I’m not aware of any.

          Even Charles doesn’t seem like such a bad sort, though he’s a bit odd for my tastes. I’d like to think he’ll abdicate in favor of William. I think that’s what his mother wants.

          Not that I follow those people all that closely, but I do have these connections to Canada, and a fondness for constitutional monarchy as the most natural and unobtrusive form of government.

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          • Wow – that’s a little bit mind boggling. You stipulate that you find

            “constitutional monarchy as the most natural and unobtrusive form of government

            Please explain?

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            • “Most natural” because history shows governments tend in that direction, just as it has in the US. We have a ridiculously small group of people whose descendants more or less inherit status and position, an aristocracy of court hangers on identified by Ivy League degrees, and the rest are peasants and bureaucrats. Painting with a broad brush, obviously.

              And I’m fine with that, for the most part.

              If we were more explicitly a monarchy there wouldn’t be all this pointless striving and clawing to advance one’s social status and position. When your position’s a given most people accept what is and that can be a very good thing, freeing up effort for more profitable pursuits.

              On the other hand I certainly accept that our regime is a good deal more nuanced than “monarchy” or “oligarchy” or “republic”. In many ways we are none of the above.

              Like

  2. There is a bigger story of Moreland commission corruption that is not been being reported in the MSM: the suppression and alteration of citizens’ testimony at the July 17th 2013 hearing, and the subsequent banning of there public from the Public hearings:

    http://www.blackstarnews.com/us-politics/justice/%E2%80%A8the-moreland-commission-exposed.html

    Like

    • Only in the world of New York politics could the public be banned from public hearings and a corruption commission collapse into the same cesspool of corruption it is supposed to investigate.

      People have to care, though. And it seems they don’t. Yet.

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    • Thanks – Will, for the heads up on additional info germane & important.

      BTW – I need a co-director for Project Greenlight submission on Friday
      (a 2 minute trailer on “Romney – a Racketeer?”)
      You don’t have film directing credits (presumably) – and could co-op
      (or – do you know somebody game)

      Like

  3. On the issue that “the powers that be” support themselves to remain in the positions of powers that protect “the powers that be” –

    I concur.

    Though the Cuomo, Bush and Kennedy names glare – So does Lyndon B appointing Warren and GWB appointing Kean.

    Eric Holder doesn’t have B.O. family history line;
    but he’s an attorney from a firm that protects “the powers that be”
    (lest we not forget B.O./Michele met at S&A – {S&A now rich resultantly})

    Romney’s actually a cousin (distant) of Bush family.

    It’s that “THEY” know whom they can trust to keep the status quo.

    I’m just sayin………

    It’s the corruption/cover up/ gobble up – game “THEY” be playin…

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  4. I (and others much more important than I) deeply appreciate all the truth works you seek to do. My lawsuit against Romney may not make it out of the 9th Cir.; but I’m going to give it one good try.

    We (the people) are the reason corruption exists.

    ————– If we don’t care, they will care to go further there!

    Like

  5. Thanks for explanation.

    In essence, we agree, the powers that be tend to remain as the powers that be. ( It might blow your mind to know “Everything” about Obama).

    I cant say i disagree.

    So how does change come?

    Like

    • How, indeed. I recently offered my own opinion here.

      This is not to say that everyone should convert to Catholicism, and an oft considered antiquated version of it at that. The concepts involved are not just Catholic ones.

      But it seems to me change comes one case at a time, one conscience at a time. Punishment for wrongdoing has its place, certainly, but although I’m not a geriatric case yet I am old enough to have lived through and observed the cyclical political scandals and prosecutions that quite obviously ultimately change nothing. Meanwhile, we do a terrible job of compensating victims of wrongdoing.

      Justice is payment for the wrong done, to balance the scales. In criminal cases we make the wrongdoer pay the sovereign with his freedom, or in rare cases his life. In civil cases we make the wrongdoer pay the wronged. The latter is more important, more in line with what justice requires and more efficacious than the former in directly addressing the injustice.

      I think lawyers – private, independent lawyers – need to be taken more seriously and need to take themselves more seriously. I think criminal prosecutions should be scaled back but civil lawsuits should increase – lawsuits for corporate malfeasance, government corruption, fraud, and on and on.

      I think people should be encouraged and taught to scrutinize their own behavior, their own motivations being guided by the traditional criteria for examining the conscience. They should worry less about others’ consciences and more about their own. If they have been truly and specifically wronged in some way by more powerful others they should seek a lawyer. And if the lawyer finds a legally cognizable claim with a fair chance of recovery he should bring it, especially when it involves the relatively weaker wronged by the relatively stronger. Indeed the lawyer should relish such an opportunity. And the courts should welcome the claim.

      As things stand now it’s the opposite. ‘Lawyers’ try to attend the ‘best’ law school that will put them in a position to work for and join the powerful against the weak. The profession has made itself little more than adjutant to the rulers over the ruled. The courts are highly accommodating to the claims and even the machinations of the strong – and hostile to the claims of the weak.

      That temptation is always there. But there have been times when it has been better resisted. For some time now it hasn’t been resisted in any meaningful way at all; institutionally it has been wholly embraced.

      That, in my opinion, is where the problem and the solution lies.

      Like

      • It many ways, I concur.

        I,ve always felt legal 101 should be a high school class. Better informed clients should result in less jam of the courts and more productive cases actual.

        Unfort unately, the reality is, there,s not much profit in ” just causes” ( of seak being viilated by the powerful). Such as my cases against Romney, Bain Cap. N Goldman Sachs. Not because the cause has no verity nor the defendants no wear with all to pay. But do to the fact that (even if the 9th Cir. Orders a full trial process) the bad faith defendants are allowed their “rights” to appeal (delay a decade).

        To make sure other pursuers for justice see that there,s no profit in it.

        Example
        In .our eToys cases we are rven blessed with confessions of intentional fraud on tge court; but the judge is upon the open Transcriot record ststing that we dont have her permission to inform her about the frauds.

        Her Honor (sic) allowed those who confessed lying under oath (deliberately) to present a forgery ststing I waived my rights to be paid ($3.7 million).

        This includes the fact Her Honor,s Order approval guarantees legal fees and a rock solid Indemnification clause that mandates my protection against willful miscknduct and negligence. (Yes- the term gross is vacant).

        Her Honor concludes that shes Not going to hear about fraud on the court by officers.

        Then states (on the record) she has to get back to Tweeter.

        Like

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