Mikey Suit's Got Talent-- But Not The Musical Kind... Nor Even The Legislative Kind
Mitt Romney seems to have picked a criminal operative as his main NY surrogate
The New York Times is on the Mikey Suits case-- big time. Mikey Suits? We first ran across him-- a dirty cop connected to the myriad scandals swirling around Thomas "Gus" Kontogiannis and Duke Cunningham. "Suits" was an FBI agent-gone-bad but after he was booted out of the FBI he went even worse-- way over to the Dark Side, so far over that he's wound up a Republican congressman from Staten Island-- Michael Grimm-- who, a freshman, is already mired in so many scandals, no one can keep track of them all! Tomorrow morning the Times has another story about his shady business connections. Grimm is the nexus between Congress and organized crime, although he always hides behind his service as a marine and as an FBI agent.
Although the NYC media is all over the stories, the heavy lifting is being done by Alison Cowan and Willie Rashbaum at the Times, two of the best investigative journalists in America. Last month they got the ball rolling with a campaign finance scandal that's proving to be just the tip of an iceberg. Short version: hundreds of thousands of dollars laundered from foreign sources not by Grimm operatives but by Grimm personally. But that's his cowboy/mobster style-- like when he came roaring into a Manhattan bar at 4am with some armed thugs, screaming "All the white people get out of here," so he could deal with the nonwhite people without white witnesses. He's even brought his thuggish demeanor to Congress, suggesting that Members carry guns.
Grimm is just another Republican-- a junior more gutter version of Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Spencer Bachus (R-AL)-- using his position to rake in the dough, stinking to high Heaven but being protected by John Boehner who, not so long ago, vowed a "zero tolerance" stance towards corrupt members of his own caucus. Even before the heavy duty connections between Grimm and Kontogiannis become public, the drip, drip, drip from Grimm's sewer would have seen him suspended from the House Financial Services Committee within moments. But he's still participating on both his very sensitive subcommittees, Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit and Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises. This week the NY Daily News makes it clear to its Staten Island readers that another Grimm bribery scandal may be conveniently legalistic... but it's certainly still bribery.
Seven months after sponsoring legislation to run a pipeline under Jacob Riis Park, the freshman congressman has collected some $3,000 from its backers.
Grimm, a former FBI agent, won his Staten Island campaigning as an outsider who wasn't going to buy into the crippling go-along-to-get-along ethos of inside the Beltway.
"The American people are sick and tired of the way Washington works," Grimm told the Daily News last May. "It's broken and I'm here to do things in a different way."
But the intersection of money, power and legislation is highlighted in the latest campaign financial disclosure statements-- not just for Grimm but others in the New York delegation.
"It's truly a system of legalized bribery," said Meredith McGehee, policy director of the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center.
"You can't go in and say, 'Please vote for this bill, or kill this bill and I'll send you a check.' But you can go in and say, 'We'd like you to be a leader on this issue.' That's perfectly legal," she said.
A recent example where money follows legislation is Grimm's bill to allow the Williams Companies and National Grid to run a natural gas pipeline under Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways.
Remember when one of Mitt Romney's top surrogates was Larry Craig-- just before Craig was caught in a public toilet soliciting sex from a male undercover cop? If you thought that was embarrassing for the clueless Willard campaign, just watch what happens when the Grimm-Kongtogiannis scandals start rearing their heads in the media.
UPDATE: Fall Out On Staten Island
Guy Molinari, still il duce of Staten Island Republican politics, in a move to protect his brand, replaced the tarnished and exposed Grimm as a Republican presidential convention delegate.
A borough Republican suggested that the Romney campaign was looking to distance itself from Grimm, who has been accused of taking illegal campaign contributions. Grimm has denied the allegations... The Romney campaign declined to comment.