Friday, November 09, 2007

the company he keeps

As Rudy Giuliani’s one-time police commissioner, one-time business partner, and oft-time chauffer/spy/enforcer Bernard Kerik is brought before a federal magistrate this morning for arraignment on a number of tax evasion and corruption charges, I thought it would be nice to have a little photographic memento of the relationship that presidential candidate Giuliani was, um, embracing as recently as Monday. As you (once again) evaluate Giuliani’s judgment, let's take a look at just a sampling of the behavior of the man that Rudy thought should be the head of the federal Department of Homeland Security:

— Allegedly traded $165,000 worth of renovations on his house from a contractor who wanted a license from the city.

– Quit his post training a new Iraqi police force in 2003 after just four months on the job, telling reporters “he needed a vacation.” [Washington Post]

– Used the apartment donated for weary Ground Zero rescue workers into his own personal love nest to use with his mistress. [NY Times]

– Was named in a civil suit in 1999 as “the architect of a system to force prison guards to work for Republicans in their off-hours.” [Newsweek]

– Had mob ties that include the best man in his wedding, Lawrence Ray, who was indicted in 2000 along with other organized crime figures in a scheme to manipulate the stock market. [Washington Post]

– Is now being sued for stiffing the law firm that kept him out of jail for more than $200,000. [NY Daily News]

Almost overnight, Giuliani has gone from flat-out defending Kerik to copping an “ends justify the means” excuse for his relationship to his BFF Bernie. (A heavy lift, considering that there wasn’t much good in the way of “ends,” and the “means” seem all about helping Bernie and Rudy at the expense of public coffers and the rule of law.)

Giuliani claims that he “made a mistake in not checking [Kerik] out more carefully” before appointing him to top cop. That in itself is a telling (and disturbing) revelation about the way Rudy rules, but even more problematic is that Giuliani is lying. Reports already show that Giuliani knew about Kerik’s mob ties and unethical behavior well before he pushed him for head of DHS, and Rudy knew about the very problems in today’s indictment even before he appointed Bernie to head the NYPD.

While Kerik was neither very ethical nor very good at his job, he was very loyal to Rudy Giuliani. Hmm, a possible president that values loyalty over expertise or ethics. . . sound like anyone you know?

(Funny enough, it turns out that I used the same headline almost exactly a year ago while talking about the current president. . . what a coincidence.)

(cross-postedf to The Seminal)

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