Jun 17th - 2:16 pm
Roger Stone this morning came to the defense of John Haggerty, calling Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s indictment of the Queens operative “outrageous” and insisting that Mayor Bloomberg would have faced a $15 million to $20 million GOP primary last year had it not been for Haggerty’s efforts.
Stone’s comments came during a radio interview with Curtis Sliwa, who asked how it could possibly have been legal for Haggerty to (according to Vance) spend $600,000 of the $750,000 he received from the state Independence Party for his poll watching services to buy out his brother’s share of their father’s house.
“It depends on the documents, but if as I believe the agreement between John Haggerty and the Independence Party gave Haggerty the discretion to spend that money and achieve the goal…people don’t remember how important white turnout was in the outer boroughs in a very, very narrow election win for Mike Bloomberg. If Haggerty had the full discretion to spend that money then I don’t think there’s any crime here.”
Jun 17th - 1:22 pm
Just to close the loop on the whole microstamping mess…during an interview that aired on “Capital Tonight” yesterday, Sen. Marty Golden revealed that had he been in the chamber, he would have voted “no.”
The Brooklyn Republican would not tell me what pressing “business” he had to conduct when he took the well-timed phone call that brought him out of the chamber at the exact moment the slow roll call vote was underway.
Some believed Golden was purposefully absent to avoid casting a vote that would be a direct “screw you” to one of its biggest supporters (not to mention the Senate GOP’s biggest individual donor), Mayor Bloomberg. But the senator rejected that suggestion, saying:
“I don’t think the phone call had much to do with anything. Had I have been on the floor, I would have voted ‘no.’”
Golden said he continues to consider Bloomberg a “close friend,” and insisted his relationship with the mayor has not been strained by his stance on microstamping. Golden also maintained the mayor would continue to be supportive of the Senate GOP, to which he has contributed more than $1 million since 2003.
As of late Thursday afternoon when we recorded this interview, Golden had not spoken to Bloomberg in person, but did speak to members of the mayor’s staff.
He didn’t want to discuss the details of that discussion. He did, however, confirm the “passionate” exchange that took place behind closed doors between Sen. Tom Libous and Bloomberg during a GOP conference before the vote.
You can watch the entire interview with Sen. Marty Golden by clicking here.
Jun 16th - 10:17 am
The near-defeat of the microstamping bill yesterday may very well signal the end of the long – and lucrative- relationship between Mayor Bloomberg and the Senate Republicans in a crucial election year when the minority can ill-afford to lose the billionaire mayor’s financial support.
“I would say the relationship suffered a major setback,” said a source intimately involved in the debate.
“The mayor cares very much about guns. If the Republicans couldn’t give him three votes on a microstamping bill, what does that mean if they take back the majority? They’ll never put a gun bill on the floor.”
Bloomberg, who made a special trip to the Capitol (a place he is widely known to dislike immensely) to lobby in favor of the measure, had a heated exchange during a closed-door meeting with Sen. Tom Libous, a Binghamton Republican, in advance of the vote that saw the measure abruptly yanked from the floor before it went down in flames.
Sources with knowledge of the meeting confirmed the “passionate” debate between Libous, the deputy Senate minority leader, and the mayor, during which voices were raised on both sides.
Jun 15th - 7:13 pm
The Senate Democrats pulled the microstamping bill off the floor late this afternoon after it became clear the bill would not pass if the vote was allowed to finish. Now the majority conference is pointing the finger of blame across the aisle at GOP Sen. Marty Golden, who wasn’t in the chamber while the slow roll was called.
“Today Senator Martin Golden and his Republican colleagues struck a victory for gun criminals and a blow to law enforcement,” said Senate Democratic spokesman Austin Shafran.
“It is a disgrace that a former cop took a walk from the chamber and refused to stand up for law enforcement and let politics get in the way of public safety.”
“Microstamping gives law enforcement the tools they need to catch dangerous criminals and protect New York’s families. Unfortunately, the special interests won out over public safety. We could say we saw Senator Golden at his worst, but we did not see him at all – he was absent when it counted most.”
The “special interest” in this case is the gun lobby, which was opposed to the bill.
Jun 15th - 5:12 pm
The race is on to replace Deputy Mayor Robert Lieber, who will depart City Hall at the end of June to take a private sector job, and Robert Steel, the former CEO of Wachovia Corporation who served in the Treasury Department under President Bush, is a leading candidate to take the job, a source confirms for NY1′s Grace Rauh.
(H/T to Crain’s Insider, which is, sadly, not linkable).
The position is one of the most high-profile jobs within the Bloomberg administration. If hired, Steel would be the city’s top economic development official.
Steel is certainly a heavyweight, but there could be some problems with his candidacy.
To start, Steel doesn’t actually live in New York City. His home is in Greenwich, CT, although he could move to New York if tapped for the job.
He was also a vice chair of Goldman Sachs, which has been taking some heat as of late. What’s more, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2009 that the SEC was investigating remarks Steel made about the future of Wachovia (where he was CEO) the day before the bank began discussing a potential merger with Wells Fargo.
That merger did go through in the end. Steel serves on the board of Wells Fargo as well as on its credit and finance committees.
Jun 15th - 9:24 am
AG Andrew Cuomo’s rationale for accepting the state Independence Party line while taking a pass (for now) on the Working Families Party line despite the fact that both were embroiled in investigations has been that the former is not the target of its probe, while same cannot be said for the latter.
Here’s what Cuomo said when asked about Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr.’s investigation on the day he stood with state Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay in Troy and accepted the executive committee’s endorsement of his gubernatorial bid:
“That investigation did not involve or suggest wrongdoing by the Independence party as an entity. It was focusing on an individual. And then we’ll see what happens with that investigation.”
Jun 14th - 12:49 pm
Here it is…
Mayor Bloomberg had no comment at his Q&A with reporters today (as per NY1′s Josh Robin), saying he was instructed by the Manhattan DA’s office not to talk.
Jun 14th - 12:18 pm
As I reported in my DN column this morning, (second item), GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino is not jettisoning John Haggerty in the wake of his indictment by Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr. this morning.
“Unlike a typical career politician, Carl Paladino doesn’t throw his friends under the bus,” said Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo in a statement.
“John Haggerty joined our campaign just 45 days ago and he quickly became a part of our family. He’s a loyal and straightforward man of character.”
“And, like all Americans, he enters this investigation with the presumption of innocence. We are satisfied with John’s version of events and he will remain on our team in his present capacity.”
Jun 14th - 11:25 am
Now it’s official.
NY1′s Grace Rauh reports:
Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr. announced the indictment of Queens GOP operative John Haggerty, accusing him of creating a “sham election company” (Special Election Operations) and stealing approximately $1.1 million from Mayor Bloomberg.
Haggerty was charged with grand larceny, money laundering and falsifying business records.
UPDATE: That $1.1 million is almost the entire amount ($1.2 million) Bloomberg personally contributed to the state Independence Party in two $600,000 contributions sent to the party’s housekeeping account in October and November.
The party only reported sending $750,000 to Haggerty’s firm, which wasn’t officially incorporated with the state Secretary of State’s office until after the November elections.
Jun 14th - 11:12 am
An indictment scheduled to be unsealed today by Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr. will contain a long-expected charge against Queens GOP operative John Haggerty in connection with $750,000 worth of Mayor Bloomberg’s cash he received through the state Independence Party, multiple sources
As I reported this morning, Carl Paladino’s campaign, for which Haggerty now works, has been bracing for this moment, expecting him to be slapped with a grand larceny charge.
A source familiar with the case told me Vance rejected Haggerty’s offer to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge, insisting he spill details about Bloomberg’s campaign or face jail time.
“Taking Haggerty is aimed at Bloomberg because of (former Manhattan DA Robert) Morgenthau and Vance’s hatred for Bloomberg and vice versa after that stupid squabble about (Morgenthau) hording money that wasn’t really his,” the source said.
“This is just a guy who’s getting screwed in a proxy war between Vance and Bloomberg,” the source continued. “It’s political persecution, pure and simple. But it’s not in his nature to rat.”
“The guy is a hard-nosed Irishman from Queens who believes he’s done nothing wrong…where he comes from, if you rat out other people you’re a scumbag.”