There are a few people in this town who I listen to carefully when they talk about ethics.
Fred LeBrun for example usually has a very good ear for what's really going on.
Gary Lavine and Pat Bulgaro were folks who I thought were truly smart people when it came to the reality of how Albany works, my opinion of both has become tarnished as a result of their service on JJOKE. I still would pick up the phone if they called but I'd be leery of their motives now.
Darren Dopp, stop laughing, Darren has experienced Albany's corruption first hand and how the ethics agencies are used to protect and punish. In addition he talks to everyone, both in the media and in government, some of them, if you believe Darren, even listen to him. More importantly Darren gets how flawed the media is when it comes to reporting on ethics so he is a very valuable tool and sounding board. And there is no better way to plant an ethics story in Albany then to swear Darren to secrecy and then tell him a rumor. It's a bulletproof way to get a story in the media.
There are others but not many. One of them called me after the gov announced the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption (I wonder what acronym the media will come up with? CIPC . . . Simpsee (phonetic) . . . Siptee . . . Sip the tee . . . Drink the coolaid . . . Coolaid? best I could do on short notice I'll keep working on it JJOKE took awhile too) This individual may be one of the smartest people out there when it comes to Albany corruption, he doesn't just talk the talk he has walked the walk. So when he had some questions I paid attention.
His questions are as follows:
1. Why do all the DA's on the panel need the jurisdiction of a Moreland Commission?
2. Doesn't a DA have independent jurisdiction to investigate activity in there own county?
3. Why haven't these DA's been bringing political corruption cases themselves? why has it been the feds?
4. Shouldn't David Soares explain why as the DA of Albany County he has been unable to put the brakes on corruption at the state capital?
5. Will there be public meetings where these law enforcement allstars will be available to answer questions about cases they are involved in?
6. How do you make a complaint?
7. Will they keep case records for review after they are done so we can see what they did or did not do?
8. How many cases of political corruption have these DA's made in their careers?
9. Did anyone notice the connection a few of these members had to Joe Bruno? Pat Barrett and William Fitzpatrick were Glenn Suddaby's political patrons, Suddaby was the USAttorney that stalled the Bruno case until he got his judgeship. Maybe the Moreland members can have a private conversation with Barrett and find out what role he really played in the Bruno case (there has to be a reason Joe got so pissed did he think he got doublecrossed? was the fix in? those are my questions)
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY
WHY DO WE NEED JCOPE AND ITS $4 million dollar budget if the Moreland Commission is doing the work JJOKE already is empowered to do?
That last one is a great question.
Let me add to it will the governor now admit his last ethics reform, JJOKE, has been proven to be a complete failure?
Comeon gov sack up, man up, bite the bullet and show some backbone and admit JJOKE was a failure. It's the elephant in the room. And by the way it wasn't the idea of JJOKE that was the failure it was the people you selected to run it.
CIPC? more like oopsie