RUDY UPDATE….Michael Cooper of the New York Times rounds up a few of Rudy Giuliani’s recent campaign trail whoppers and writes:
All of these statements are incomplete, exaggerated or just plain wrong.
Rudy’s official response appears to be that he’s only lying a little bit, not a lot, and anyway, everyone knows in their hearts that he’s really right. Or something. In any case, I count eight separate whoppers debunked in the article. Go read.
Elsewhere in Rudy-land, Josh Marshall is keeping close tabs on the creative accounting that Rudy used in the waning days of his mayoralty to hide expenses for his trips to the Hamptons to meet up with his mistress:
Rudy’s defense in all this has been that there’s nothing wrong here because this Enron accounting he was using in the mayor’s office wasn’t specifically to conceal the Shag Fund. And we’re getting the sense that he’s right. At least in part.
It seems more likely in his final years and months as mayor Rudy was living larger and larger on the NYC dime. And a look at the book-keeping details that are emerging suggests a very conscious effort to use these squirrelly accounting techniques to hide Rudy’s high-living ways from public scrutiny. Some of it was Shag Fund spending, but not all, probably not even most.
The problem is that even though the accounting techniques were part of a general effort to hide Rudy’s living the high-life on the city’s dime, it’s now shined a bright light on the Shag Fund. And the Shag Fund was evidently spread more widely than the stuff accounted for with the squirrelly book-keeping.
Josh also notes that Rudy’s current explanation for all this, namely that this creative accounting was actually a big-hearted attempt to reimburse cops for their expenses more quickly, is pretty weak stuff. The idea that the NYPD might be slow in cutting checks for expense reports is easy to believe, but do security detail cops really have to rent their own cars, instead of using city cars? And if it was really all above board, why scatter the expenses into half a dozen weird little agencies? And why refuse to explain it when the comptroller started asking questions? Stay tuned.