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Bipartisan bribery: A Democrat and a Republican in handcuffs

Man in handcuffs
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In a true act of bipartisanship, both a Democrat and a Republican were escorted away in handcuffs.

New York state Sen. Malcolm Smith and city Councilman Dan Halloran were arrested Tuesday morning by the FBI for allegedly plotting to rig this year’s mayoral election through fraud and bribes, according to The New York Post.

The politicians are charged with forming an alliance to get Smith — one of the state’s top Democrats — placed on the GOP mayoral ballot, sources told the Post. In all, six people have been charged.

“I have no idea,” was Halloran’s reply when asked by a Post reporter if he knew why he was being arrested.

“I’m sure the truth will come out once I have an opportunity to find out what’s going on,” he added.

Of course, he may find spinning the truth is a little harder in the legal system than it is in the halls of the state House.

Smith had no comment as he was hauled off.

In a released statement, US Attorney Preet Bharara said in part:

“As alleged, Senator Malcolm Smith tried to bribe his way to a shot at Gracie Mansion – Smith drew up the game plan and Councilman Halloran essentially quarterbacked that drive by finding party chairmen who were wide open to receiving bribes. After the string of public corruption scandals that we have brought to light, many may rightly resign themselves to the sad truth that perhaps the most powerful special interest in politics is self-interest.

“We will continue pursuing and punishing every corrupt official we find, but the public corruption crisis in New York is more than a prosecutor’s problem.”

Tom Tillison


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