Monday, March 12, 2007

A few reasons Rudy Giuliani shouldn't be president

Talking Points Memo has a list of reasons Giuliani shouldn't be president based on his association with and continued giving of high-profile jobs to Bernie Kerik:
They seem to be stipulating to their knowing about and being untroubled by a) Kerik's long-standing ties to an allegedly mobbed-up Jersey construction company (see yesterday's piece in the Daily News and tomorrow's in the Times), sub-a) that Kerik received numerous unreported cash gifts from Lawrence Ray, an executive at said Jersey construction company (Ray was later indicted along with Edward Garafola, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano's brother-in-law, and Daniel Persico, nephew of Colombo Family Godfather Carmine "The Snake" Persico and others on unrelated federal charges tied to what the Daily News called a "$40 million, mob-run, pump-and-dump stock swindle." b) that Riker's Island prison became a hotbed of political corruption and cronyism on his watch, c) that he is accused by nine employees of the hospital he worked at providing security in Saudi Arabia of using his policing powers to pursue the personal agenda of his immediate boss, d) that a warrant for his arrest (albeit in a civil case) was issued in New Jersey as recently as six years ago, e) that as recently as last week he was forced to testify in a civil suit in a case covering the period in which he was New York City correction commissioner, in which the plaintiff, "former deputy warden Eric DeRavin III contends Kerik kept him from getting promoted because he had reprimanded the woman [Kerik was allegedly having an affair with], Correction Officer Jeanette Pinero," or f) his rapid and unexplained departure from Baghdad.
Pretty much the most generous interpretation of all this is that Giuliani was guilty of amazingly poor judgment in giving Kerik all these plum assignments. And it strongly points to a tendency on Giuliani's part of bad judgment with a strong penchant for surrounding himself with cronies and yes-men.
TPM Reader RR notes that the list above is by no means exhaustive. And he's definitely right. This was just the most convenient catalog of sins and ridiculousness that I found with the TPM search function. For instance it doesn't include the Judith Regan/Luv Shack scandal that broke I think the day after post above ran. This was the case in which an apartment near ground zero -- made available by a New York real estate developer -- for off-duty cops to relax while taking a break from clean up duties ended up being commandered by Kerik so he could use it as his off the books bachelor pad for doing the wild thing with celebrity book editor Judith Regan.
To add to that list, The Smoking Gun obtained a copy of the April 8, 1993 "Rudolph W. Giuliani Vulnerability Study" which was commissioned by Giuliani's NYC mayoral campaign, all copies of which were supposed to be destroyed. The Smoking Gun comments:
He surely could not have been pleased to read that his "personal life raises questions about a 'weirdness factor.'" That weirdness, aides reported, stemmed from Giuliani's 14-year marriage to his second cousin, a union that he got annulled by claiming to have never received proper dispensation from the Catholic Church for the unorthodox nuptials. "When asked about his personal life, Giuliani gives a wide array of conflicting answers," the campaign report stated. "All of this brings the soundness of his judgement into question--and the veracity of his answers." The internal study also addresses prospective charges that Giuliani dodged the Vietnam draft and was a "man without convictions" because of his transformation from George McGovern voter to a Reagan-era Justice Department appointee. "In many ways Rudy Giuliani is a political contradiction...He doesn't really fit with the Republicans. Too liberal. Giuliani has troubles with the Democrats, too."
Also at The Smoking Gun is a summary of some of the revelations in Wayne Barrett's biography of Giuliani.

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