I don’t know why this isn’t bigger news, at least in New York State.
Read the transcript of the testimony yourself.
The press makes sure to note that the testimony comes from a “disbarred” lawyer facing 45 years in prison. The gist of the testimony, though, is beyond dispute. The basic facts are that the state Senator’s son was briefly employed at the lawyer’s firm. Eight months. You could say it just “didn’t work out”, or you could go with the more obvious explanation: the usual nepotism and influence peddling.
The Senator was “glad” to come out with his own statement denying everything, and of course saying that there was no quid pro quo, although the cases are legion that no specific quid pro quo is required for a crime to have occurred. He, too, is anxious to point out how much more credible he is than the disbarred attorney.
It’s not that I am sure any crime really occurred here, even assuming the truth of Mangone’s (The “disbarred attorney”. I thought perhaps that had been said enough and used the guy’s name.) testimony. Or at least, any crime worth prosecuting.
What I’m wondering is: how does the economist’s model account for the employment of the Senator’s son? Is this an example of “bargaining power” at work? I imagine it is.
But let’s not delude ourselves that this is the only, or even the best – or even an appropriate – way to describe what occurred.
The other thing that strikes me is this: it’s a tawdry little episode, nothing all that unusual, but the “mainstream” press reflexively defends the establishment interests by under-reporting the story and going out of its way to discredit the accusations through the easy target witness, even though the accusations really don’t depend entirely on the witness.
They’re not investigating anything themselves. They know accusations of this kind could be made against just about every single official in Albany and elsewhere in the state. It’s the way business is done.