Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chapter 3

When I got back from Eggy’s my assistant Pat had a stack of phone messages for me and a termination letter from Ravi, which at least solved one problem.

Pat had been with me from the start, everywhere I have gone she has followed.  She was in her mid-fifties now and still an attractive women.  I first met her when I started in the legislature and she was working for then Senator now dead Senator Vito Falcon.  Falcon was actually a pretty solid guy by Albany standards, a wife and kids, no mistresses and no out of wedlock children.  For Albany legislators that made him eligible for saint hood.  But Vito did enjoy having a lot of pretty women work for him.  They were known in the halls of the capital as Falcon’s angels and many young male staffers called his office Candyland.  Pat was one of Falcons angels but of the high end variety.  I still remember the day I went to deliver something to the Senator and one of the angels was working as the receptionist at a glass desk with no underwear and a miniskirt.  The mere thought of her shaven vagina on display brought a smile to my face, this was after all 20 years ago when the full bush was in vogue and a shaven vagina was only found in pornos and California.  What was her name?  Tina something or other.

“What are you smiling about” Pat asked

“Just thinking about how underpaid you are”

“That’s complete horseshit, I’m not underpaid in fact you pay me about 50% too much it’s the main reason I’m still here”

She was right, apart from Karrie Jones’s lobby firm Leathers and Lace paid some of the highest support staff salaries in Albany.  And Karrie Jones only paid more because in her twisted mind if she paid the most that somehow meant she had the best staff. 

“After a meeting at Eggy’s only 2 things would make you smile, either you thought of a way to ruin Richard’s life or you are thinking about that little slut Tina Laggert’s miniskirt from Vito’s office”

God that women is scary good at what she does.

“Fuck off Pat and get me a meeting with Bob Haxter for drinks at 9 at the Groverneurs club, a table where everyone can see us.  And bill Ravi an extra $60000 as a termination fee, copy all his files, put the copies in the trunk of the Audi and shred the originals”

“So it’s both Tina’s miniskirt and screwing Richard, well enjoy yourself but be careful”

As I sat at my desk I started to read the phone messages, there were 17 plus the 30 voice mails I had ignored on my cell phone which meant I’d be busy for the next couple of hours.

That was another lesson Cadillac Curtis had taught me, return every phone call within 4 hours.  If you weren’t going to return it by then throw the message away it wasn’t worth returning.

The first call on top of the pile was from Roland.

This would be boring but might be profitable.

“Roland what can I help you with today?”

“Well first thing how am I supposed to get truffle butter in a bill?  I had to ask my 14 year old daughter what it meant because I heard it in a Niki Minage song she had playing in the car.  Do you know what truffle butter is?  My god I will never forgive Bobby.  My daughter thinks and I quote her now that I’m a creeper.  My wife says I need counseling and wanted to know how I even knew to ask what it was.  And then told me in no uncertain terms I would never and I repeat never be able to even see her naked again much less create any truffle butter”

I merely chuckled, Roland’s wife had to be one of the nicest women in our social circle and my guess was if Roland knew even the slightest thing about women she would have been more than happy to can some truffle butter for him.  But Roland knew less about women than anyone I’ve ever met.

“Yea that’s going to be a tuff one to win, Rollie, maybe do a sexual harassment bill”

“I can’t ask any of my associates to research truffle butter much less write it into a bill that I could get passed but that’s not why I called, we have a conflict with one of our corporate clients.  They have a small research division that wants to compete for one of the medical marijuana licenses.  That’s just not the type of work we want to be involved with, drug dealing is not within the scope of our expertise”

No shit I thought.

“Who’s the client and what will they pay?”

“It’s Masilla Corp. and they should be good for $5000 a month plus a bonus if they get a license”

“You know that bonuses for lobbying are illegal Roland”

“And yet you keep collecting them”

“I have the best compliance consultant on retainer, you should try him”

“Denny Dejardin? That fucking guy is crazy how can you trust him?”

“He is crazy and he is a genius and I’ve never met anyone I trusted more as long as he gets his monthly fee”

“Whatever, FBH would no sooner hire him than we would represent drug dealers”

Which was why Leathers and Lace made 5 times the profit FBH did.

“Have Masilla call me, do you want a piece as a referral fee?”

“Not a referral fee but if I lose this bet I’d appreciate it if you would cover half of it”

“Consider it done Roland”

Next on the pile of phone messages was Sean Flynn, all 5 foot 3 inches of him, the mini mick as he was known behind his back. He was In house counsel at PonyXpress a startup company trying to rip off the Uber app by using a network of drivers traveling for personal business to deliver packages, supposedly cheaper and quicker than FedEx or UPS.  I don’t know if it is real and they could only afford a $2500 a month retainer to get a bill passed limiting their liability to the drivers in their system.  They had enough funding for 6 more months so no reason to call the mini mick back today, throw that one away.

And so it went for the next hour or so.  In the end I had two messages I still needed to return.  One was Flick Feerdom the CEO of Patsy Whitney Inc. one of my largest and oldest clients the other was Richard Siler.  I had to do Flick first because I could not risk talking to Richard and being upset when I spoke to Flick but Flick never did anything fast which meant that was going to be a 30 minute call.

I had an idea.

I dialed Richards’s cell.

“Siler” he answered.

“Hey Dick its Leathers GO FUCK YOURSELF” and I hung up and quickly called Flick.

Let Richard think about that for a bit.

The call with Flick took 23 minutes, involved scheduling two conference calls with his outside and inside counsels and an appearance before his board next week.  All to make sure the Senate Majority Leader would not publicly support eliminating the LLC loophole from campaign finance reform legislation.  Flick had at least 60 LLCs he used to make campaign contributions and didn’t want the risk of any politician closing his loophole.  The Senate Majority Leader, Homer “the hose” Hibert was no more likely to close the loophole than he was to let the minority in the senate have decent office space but Flick didn’t need to know that.

Hibert was an interesting guy.  He was known as “the hose” by those in the media for his reputation of helping all the volunteer fire departments in upstate New York with member item money.  He was known as “the hose” by those of us in the lobby world that really knew him and his many, many girlfriends for the size of his legendary penis.  The last time I checked in the clubs locker room it had to be 11 inches long if it was an inch.  Lord knows how big it got when it was angry.  Many a female staffer had to take time off after serving on the senator’s staff.  The only bigger dick than Hiberts penis was his son Oscar.  Oscar had the intelligence of a slug and the creativity to match.  He was presently the town clerk in East Bumblefuck or some such town in Daddy’s senate district.  But young Oscar wanted more, he wanted to be a lobbyist.  And “the hose” made sure we all knew it.  “The hose” expected a bidding war for Oscar’s services and the top ten firms would all have to bid.  The loser in this case was whoever bid the most and had to hire Oscar.  The only catch was “the hose” was going to review all the bids.  Piss off “the hose” by bidding too little or not bidding at all and you and your clients would be dead in the senate until “the hose” was either dead or in federal prison.  But I had an idea I just needed to talk to “the hose” privately and show him a better way for Oscar to get rich, for the rest of us to stay rich, for “the hose” not to get angry and for no one to go to jail, other than Richard if things went just right.

No more putting off the call to Richard.

I dialed his cell again.

“Siler and don’t you ever tell me to fuck off again”

“FUCK OFF” and I hung up.  I crack myself up.

My cell rang it was Richard.

“Leathers, how can I help you?”

“What is your fucking problem?”

“Richard what are you talking about?”

“You just told me to fuck off and hung up on me . . . twice!”

“Are you back on the mushrooms again Richard?  I haven’t spoken to you in a week why would I? I’d rather slam my dick in a car door than talk to you”

“You just called me”

“No I didn’t, get professional help Richard I think you are cracking under the stress”

“Fuck you, I only called to get Ravi’s files”

“What files?”

“You know what files, Ravi’s research and deal files for your work for him”

“Richard I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about I don’t have any Ravi files in fact I don’t have any client named Ravi.” Then I hung up on him for the third time.

Maybe instead of solving “the hose’s” employment issue for his son I’d just rig the bidding to make sure Richard hired the little shit.

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