Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chapter 23

“Denny Dejardin, may I help you?”

“Yea Denny it’s Leathers, can you come in for a chat?”

“To your office?  Must be important, when?”


“Can’t do it, I’ve got my kids baseball game”

I paid Denny a lot of money but he was infamous for playing by his own rules and if he decided he was going to go watch his kids baseball game there was little I could do about it, but I would try anyway.

“Denny I have you on a monthly retainer for which you do very little work I think the least you can do is come see me if I ask”

“Leathers you pay me the same amount as my other clients do and for which I am available to discuss matters with you 24/7.  Now I picked up the phone and I’m happy to talk to you but our retainer does not specify in person visits nor do I need to physically see you to help you with whatever problem you are having.  So either start telling me your problem or fire me, I’ve got a game to watch in an hour”

Denny was perhaps the most arrogant person I knew in a town full of arrogant assholes, but that in itself made it worth paying him his retainer.  And I knew if I fired him he would just fill my slot with someone else, probably a competitor and I’d be hard pressed to get him to work for me again.

“Okay Denny relax I just thought it would be easier in person.  I’ve got a problem”

“”I assumed as much when you called.  Compliance or strategy?  Must be strategy or you wouldn’t be so worked up.  Long term problem or short term?”


“Start from the beginning and tell me the relevant facts in order oldest to newest”

“It started with Ravi getting arrested DWI while getting a blow job from a hooker”

“In the McLaren?”

“No in his wife’s jag”

“That makes sense, most things in this town start with a blow job in a luxury sedan”

“Right, so I then learned that Richard got Ravi bailed out and that Ravi and Richard were working on getting a marijuana license to use as the basis of building dorms with retail marijuana dispensaries on the ground floor”

“And Ravi used to be your client but now he is Richard’s?  Let me guess dorms built on land owned by Ravi?”


“But with money provided by someone else?”


“State grants?”


“So someone else’s money because Ravi and Richard don’t have that kind of financial liquidity”

“Correct, the financing came from the Jewish mafia in the form of an Israeli gangster named Lev Behuda who also provided the hooker that was blowing Ravi”

“Jewish mafia? Any violence yet?”

“Lev allegedly killed Jim Stork who was acting as the front on the real estate deals”

“I heard about that, a pickle barrel drowning right?  And I’m sure knowing Stork he couldn’t help himself from skimming the real estate deals, which gets him killed makes sense.  So how are you involved with the marijuana scam?”

“I got hired by a client to prevent the state from issuing any marijuana licenses”

“Who was the client?”

“Well that’s part of the problem, Roland referred them to me and it was supposed to be a routine assignment for a company by the name of Masilla at $5000 a month, but instead a guy named Alex Shimmel took the meeting and retained me to the tune of $50k a month, I think he is CIA and I’m pretty sure his partners are South American drug dealers”

“Let’s start with Roland, that prick still hasn’t hired me and it’s not the money it’s the fact that he thinks he doesn’t need me, as if he was smart enough to do it himself.  Which he might be since he got you to become involved with these people and he didn’t have to.  Remember that in the future, Roland is smarter than you think, or has a better survival instinct than you do.  Now this Shimmel guy what do you really know about him?”

“Only what I see, he travels on private jets, shows up at all hours, in all places seems to know everything and is constantly taking calls from everyone from the President to Tom Brady”

“And you think he is CIA?”

“Every company he seems to be associated with has the initials CIA”

“Meaningless, have you ever seen him actually speak with or meet with these people on the phone?”


“And have you actually been able to verify that he owns the jets or any other trappings of wealth?”

“Well no”

“So all you really know is that some individual has the financial wherewithal to rent a jet and pay you $50000?”

“I guess but come on who would do that?

“We will get to that, what happened after you met Shimmel?”

“I started to spike the marijuana licenses and before I know it Behuda and the Italian mob in the form of Jelly and his Uncles have joined forces and want me dead”

“That’s a problem”

“No shit”

“But you are still alive why is that?”

“Because Karp convinced them if they let me live that I would stop working for Shimmel’s guys”

“The same Andy Karp that’s been using you as a confidential FBI informant for the last 20 years? And did you fire Shimmel?”

“Yes that Karp and no because Shimmel said he could protect me from Behuda and the Italians and his people would chainsaw us to death if the marijuana dorms became a reality”

“Rock and a hard place for sure.  Anything else?”

“Yes I’m worried that Ping is going to issue a RICO indictment of the entire legislature and executive branch this week which will result in a federal monitor being appointed to be the fourth man in the room and lobbyists as we know them will all be out of work”

“I heard that’s what Ping was working on, actually a brilliant move but why this week?”

“Because the New York Times is doing a Sunday feature on sex and the legislature after Jenny Whorehouse was recorded listing all the sexual connections that occur between lobbyists, legislators, media and prostitutes”

“Well she would know wouldn’t she?”

“This isn’t funny Denny, your business relies on the status quo too you know”

“Relax Leathers this is manageable, let’s start with Ping and the end of lobbying as you know it.  Let Ping do his thing, embrace serendipity, unfurl your sail and go with it.  There will always be lobbying you just adapt to the newest model”

“How can you say there will always be lobbying?”

“Because there always has been.  Even in the Garden of Eden the snake got eve to take a bite of that apple.  That snake was the original lobbyist and ever since every lobbyist carries that snakes DNA.  The real question is who was the snake’s client?  Think about that the next time Jamie wants to tell you an Amish fable.  So after Ping cleans out the legislature and the executive branch he will get elected himself to some office and join your world of corruption as a participant, hell after that fundraiser he already has and he is pretty good at it so let him do his thing and be there to pick up the pieces with the new governor and the new legislature.  It has to happen every 30 years or so.  It purges the system.  Think of Ping as Ex-Lax and the RICO indictment as a colonoscopy.  Have you ever had a colonoscopy Leathers?”

“Sure when I turned 40, some chick stuck a hose up my ass and charged me a $20 copay, best deal in town for a little anal action”

“And what was the first thing you did after the procedure?”

“I had lunch, ate everything in sight I was so hungry and relieved”

“Same thing will happen after the RICO indictment the lobbying business will boom just with new players, let Ping do his thing and focus on having a say in the monitors appointment”

“But some judge will appoint the monitor”

“Exactly and you don’t think the judiciary is capable of being corrupted?  Be a lobbyist for fucks sake.  Now the marijuana dorm is a different problem, criminals and drugs are a different type of game entirely.  You can’t beat them at that game you will just get yourself killed if you try to lobby criminals instead use your skills in an arena you understand and they don’t”

“How so?”

“What does government always do to appease different groups without actually doing or achieving anything?”

“Appoint a commission or blue ribbon panel?”

“Bingo.  Get a study panel appointed to investigate and review drug dorms.  It should take six months to appoint a panel of well-respected experts, then Ping will convict the appointing members and they have to start over that should be a year at least then the panel will take 18 months to issue a report recommending more study meanwhile everyone gets put on hold.  The Italians are not happy but they won’t kill you since you didn’t spike there deal, Shimmel’s guys are happy because no drug dorms right now and who knows what happens in the next two years, it’s a model that has worked before and it will work again.  Remember you are a lobbyist Leathers live by the simple rule of taking credit for the work of others and avoid responsibility for anything that upsets anyone . . . and always get paid”

“You are a genius Denny”

“I know, gotta run Leathers I have a little league game to watch.  Those little league coaches and parents are the real political gangsters, cold hearted crazy motherfuckers, every one of them”

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