Breaking: WFP/ACORN Takes The Fifth On Corruption Suit.
[FURTHER UPDATE] Welcome, AoSHQ readers. Note the petition below.
[UPDATE]: Thanks to Randy Mastro and our own Francis Cianfrocca – who will have a lot more to say about these races – here’s the petition cataloging said skulduggery; and you will not find it dull reading. (If you’re having trouble reading it, try here.)
It’s not that our opponents are geniuses at skulduggery. It’s that they’re unaccustomed to being challenged on it. When they do, they make mistakes:
A City Council hopeful won’t cough up documents related to whether the Working Families Party is scamming the campaign finance system — because the case could involve “criminal liability,” according to documents released yesterday.
The bombshell development was revealed at a court hearing where lawyers for the WFP and the campaign of Staten Island candidate Debi Rose tried to get a suit against them tossed.
Former Giuliani administration Deputy Mayor Randy Mastro, the lawyer opposing the Rose campaign, called it an “extraordinary development.”
The suit itself – I’m working to get a copy of it sent to me – alleges that WFP (which is, of course, a front for ACORN) is violating campaign finance laws by having WFP front group Data and Field Services provide “canvassing and other services for [City Council candidate Debi] Rose in her primary campaign against [current Conservative candidate* Ken] Mitchell for which the firm received far less than the market value.” In that context, trying to avoid financial disclosure on the grounds of possible self-incrimination is at the very least eyebrow-raising; which is why they tried to walk back on it before 24 hours had passed. It should also be noted that the Rose race in Staten Island is not the only one where this sort of thing went on; Queens City Council candidate James Van Bramer is likewise heavily involved with WFP/Data & Field Services, as this diary from the Daily Kos (of all places) makes clear. I’m sure that his campaign is watching this case unfold with great interest.
The moral here? Well, aside from the obvious one of “ACORN taints everything that it touches,” it’s this: one-party rule makes people stupid. And stupid people make mistakes. Keep that in mind the next time you’re trying to decide whether or not to fight City Hall.
*Who is actually a Democrat. Welcome to New York fusion politics.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.