Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Why isn't JJOKE pursuing illegal gift cases involving free travel provided to public officials from registered lobbyists and their clients?

That's a long question with a simple answer.  They choose not to.

In the old days when I was running the lobby commission those airplane cases were my bread and butter.

They were easy to prove and the media loved reporting about them.

The only people that loved free airplane travel more than the media were the public officials that just could not help themselves.  The lure of the perk of being on a private plane or having someone else pay for the trip was like drawing bees to honey or flies to horseshit   worked every time.

Well half that equation still holds true the politicians still love those free trips.

In the last couple of weeks I've read about Cuomo buddy Andrew Farkas acting as a travel agent for the Governor and soliciting SONY in trying to "hitch a ride" back to NY. 

Both Cuomo and De Blasio took Caribbean vacations recently and neither provided any proof that they paid for their trips themselves.

And just today I read that Mayor De Blasio is using a previously registered lobbying entity to foot the bill for his travel to promote his progressive agenda including issues of income inequality (how is that for irony?).

Now I would never dream of telling JJOKE what to do but it doesn't get much better than this.  An airplane trip that doesn't involve the governor (who knows Cuomo may even enjoy watching De Blasio twist in the wind while JJOKE investigates) financed by some shadowey group that was registered in 2014 but isn't in 2015 (you get a gift case and an unregistered lobbyist case all in one).

All that would be missing to ignite the media story is a leak that JJOKE has opened an investigation.

Let me provide that leak.

I just spoke with JJOKE and asked if Campaign for One New York was registered as a lobbyist in 2015.  When they asked why I wanted to know I explained the facts set forth above would make a good gift case.  At that point I was told that the JJOKE chief investigator Patrick Coultrie (not sure of the spelling) was "all over it".  And just to warn Milgram before he calls me a liar I was on a speaker phone with 3 JJOKE senior staffers when the conversation took place.

There you have it.

JCOPE is investigating Mayor De Blasio's acceptance of gifts from a group, being used by the Mayor as his personal slush fund, who is or should be a registered lobbyist.

This could be the dawn of a new era at JCOPE.  Lets hope so.

No comments:

Post a Comment