Friday, November 30, 2007


Ray of Light

Concluding a fun week into the world of Rudolph Giuliani: Current Police Commissioner Ray Kelly declines to corroborate the Rudy team's alibi explanation that the odd accounting was necessary to speed up credit card reimbursements to the members of the security detail:

"I don't recall anybody, any statements about delay," Kelly told reporters.
He said all bills for the police details for Dinkins and now for Mayor Mike Bloomberg are handled directly "through the police department."
Meanwhile, Team Rudy has decided the best way to handle this story -- is to stop responding to questions:

In South Carolina today, Giuliani declined to offer any further explanation, saying, "We've already explained it."
Giuliani's staff made "a concerted effort" to keep reporters from coming near to the candidate, according to ABC News reporter Jan Simmonds.
"At least three Giuliani press staffers loudly instructed the press to stay within their cordoned-off area and were warned not to approach the candidate," Simmonds reports.
Geez, talk about taking a page from the Clinton book of scandal damage-control.

ABC's Blotter also revealed this week that Giuliani's security contract with the Gulf state of Qatar was overseen by the government minister who once harbored Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the mastermind behind 9/11. With those connections, you'd wonder why Qatar would feel it would even need security "advice" from the former mayor.

Well, this might just turn out to be one of those less-than-six-degrees-of-separation issues. However, it sure does make one wonder what other Giuliani clients might cause embarrassment if their names are revealed. Guess that's why Giuliani is trying to keep that info on the hush-hush.

UPDATE: Dick Polman effectively summarizes why some people -- including this and other Republicans -- believe that the driving-to-Miss-Judy story is important as a spotlight into Rudy Giuliani's character. I will only disagree with part of this statement: "On the other hand, if the guy has been spending the taxpayer's money and squirreling it away in obscure public agencies in order to lead that checkered private life...well, that makes it the public's business."

This is half-right: Polman is wrong to imply that the transgression here is that the mayor was "spending the taxpayer's money" with his trips to Long Island. Giuliani is correct when he says that as mayor, he had 24/7 security. Where he goes, his security goes. It's going to be paid for by the taxpayers regardless.

The issue is the hiding of the money trail. There's a reason why the phrase "follow the money" came out of Watergate: When public figures try to keep the source or destination of a certain amount of money hidden, it is for some specific reason -- either to influence someone or something or to keep under wraps the reason for the expenditue. That's what was going on here. If that wasn't the reason, what was?

Polman is absolutely right in noting that Rudy's five "explanations/ alibis/excuses" in 48 hours speaks volumes as to heart of this matter. And yes, that does make it the public's business.

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