This is a really odd story:
A top New York State lawmaker was arrested early Tuesday morning for what federal prosecutors said was his central role in a brazen series of bribery and corruption schemes, including an attempt to buy a spot on the ballot in this year’s race for New York City mayor.
In outlining the charges against the lawmaker, State Senator Malcolm A. Smith, as well as five other politicians and Republican Party leaders, United States Attorney Preet Bharara said the case was but the latest evidence that corruption in New York was “pervasive.”
“Every New Yorker should be disheartened and dismayed by the sad state of affairs in this great state,” Mr. Bharara said.
Mr. Smith, a Queens Democrat who rose to become the first black president of the State Senate, was accused of conspiring with City Councilman Daniel J. Halloran III, a Queens Republican, to get his name on the ballot for mayor as a Republican, which would require approval of a majority of the party’s leadership in the city.
The others arrested were Joseph J. Savino, the Bronx G.O.P. chairman; Vincent Tabone, vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party; and Noramie F. Jasmin, the mayor of the Rockland County village of Spring Valley, and her deputy, Joseph A. Desmaret, according to a criminal complaint.
The complaint details a scheme hatched in a series of clandestine meetings in hotels, with cash passing hands in parked cars and hushed conversations in a restaurant on Valentine’s Day and even in Mr. Smith’s office in Albany. The meetings, recorded by an undercover agent or a cooperating witness, were primarily among Mr. Smith, the undercover agent and the witness, and Mr. Halloran and the agent and the witness. The scheme involving the race was one of three bribery schemes charged in the case.
Does anyone know what the logic or reason behind this was? I remember a while back when the issue of gay marriage was being discussed in NY and there was all sorts of party-switching mayhem, but NY politics is so obscure to me that I can’t really grok what this was all about.
If only there were some bloggers from the NY area who could explain this.