August 18, 2008

Malcolm Smith Squeezes Lobbyists

We've talked about the fact that the NYS Senate GOP majority hangs in the balance, and why it would be a bad thing if the Democrats controlled the both of the state's legislative branches as well as the Gov's seat, especially when the Dems are heavily influenced by NYC interests. Not that we need any more of a justification, but the following story by NY Post's Fred Dicker scares the hell out of us even more. Here is the story in its entirety:

Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith told a conclave of lobbyists in Kingston last week that their clients would be shut out of a Democrat-controlled Senate in January if they didn't pony up large contributions now, a "shocked" longtime lobbyist has told The Post.

The Queens-based Smith, whose party is given a good chance by political experts of winning control of the Senate in the November elections, also made what the lobbyist called "an inappropriate and offensive" sexual joke about marital infidelity.

"It was a shocking set of remarks and people were looking around the room in disbelief," said the well-known lobbyist, who has strong Republican and Democratic ties.

"It was far more blatant a threat than anything we're used to hearing from many of the leaders," the lobbyist continued.

"The whole thing was incredible. Malcolm got up there and thanked everyone for coming and told them we should think of his fund-raising event as being like an IPO, an initial public offering.

"He said we should get in early because then it doesn't cost as much. The longer you wait to get in, he said, the more it will cost you and if you don't get in at all, then it will be painful after November, after the Democrats win the majority," the lobbyist continued.

"Then he referred to [Bronx state Sen.] Jeff Klein about four times as his 'enforcer,' who is going to be brutal, aggressive, about collecting the contributions, and that he was the one managing the IPO."

Linking campaign contributions to future government actions is illegal under New York law, legal experts told The Post.

The lobbyist, meanwhile, also said Smith, the married father of two who fathered an out-of-wedlock child with a woman other than his wife three years ago, made "an inappropriate and unprofessional" sexual innuendo at the event, a Senate Democratic golf outing at the private Wiltwyck Golf Club, attended by about 75 lobbyists who paid up to $75,000 each.

"The golf was called off because of rain, so the program was being shortened and the dinner was held early," the lobbyist recalled.

"Smith was up there joking about what was going on, about the dinner ending early, and then said something like, 'If anybody needs a permission slip for their spouse so that they can say you were here for a few hours more, I'll say you were here until 8. You're covered until about 8.'

"There was only one way to interpret that - cheating on your spouse - even if it was a joke," the lobbyist recalled.

Repeated attempts to reach Smith for comment were unsuccessful, and he didn't return messages left on his cellphone.

Curtis Taylor, his press secretary, also refused to discuss the specifics of the event, even though he was among those present.


Anonymous said...

So the DEMs raised over 5 million in one shot and they want more...Please shoot me.

The sad thing is that even if, the DEMs had every office in Erie and Niagara County, WNY will still get screwed.

Wake up, people. We are in a down state / update civil war here ane WNY is the south.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who votes for Democrats outside of New York City will get what they deserve-nothing, while our dollars flow to NYC.

Mr. Pink said...

Look, we all know that this type of stuff goes on, but to be this blatant about it says something about the type of leadership we can expect.