Giuliani’s Tenure: How did the Candidates Run Their Shops?


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While there have been fifteen U.S. Senators in American history who became President, only Warren Harding and John F. Kennedy went directly to the White House from the Senate.
Americans seem to want to see some kind of executive/management ability in their president typically, and thus all politics and political affiliations aside, candidates like Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Bill Richardson, and Rudy Giuliani have something in their portfolio a bit different than those who vote but don’t get the frills and problems of the buck stopping with them — like Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, Fred Thompson, and Ron Paul.
But for those who were governors or generals, the spotlight will then go to how did they actually perform as chief executives, and were there any shenanigans that raise serious doubts about competence, self-dealing, or blurry ambiguities that simply ought not to be there.
Ben Smith and Politico have discovered under a Freedom of Information Act inquiry some material exposing Rudy Giuliani’s bureaucratic technique of hiding and/or billing travel and security expenses incurred during a marital affair within what appear to be inappropriate agencies in New York.
Read the whole article, but here’s the core of what’s at issue:

As New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons, according to previously undisclosed government records.
The documents, obtained by Politico under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, show that the mayoral costs had nothing to do with the functions of the little-known city offices that defrayed his tabs, including agencies responsible for regulating loft apartments, aiding the disabled and providing lawyers for indigent defendants.
At the time, the mayor’s office refused to explain the accounting to city auditors, citing “security.”
The Hamptons visits resulted in hotel, gas and other costs for Giuliani’s New York Police Department security detail.
Giuliani’s relationship with Nathan is old news now, and Giuliani regularly asks voters on the campaign trail to forgive his “mistakes.”
It’s also impossible to know whether the purpose of all the Hamptons trips was to see Nathan. A Giuliani spokeswoman declined to discuss any aspect of this story, which was explained in detail to her earlier this week.
But the practice of transferring the travel expenses of Giuliani’s security detail to the accounts of obscure mayoral offices has never been brought to light, despite behind-the-scenes criticism from the city comptroller weeks after Giuliani left office.
The expenses first surfaced as Giuliani’s two terms as mayor of New York drew to a close in 2001, when a city auditor stumbled across something unusual: $34,000 worth of travel expenses buried in the accounts of the New York City Loft Board.
When the city’s fiscal monitor asked for an explanation, Giuliani’s aides refused, citing “security,” said Jeff Simmons, a spokesman for the city comptroller.
But American Express bills and travel documents obtained by Politico suggest another reason City Hall may have considered the documents sensitive: They detail three summers of visits to Southampton, the Long Island town where Nathan had an apartment.
Auditors “were unable to verify that these expenses were for legitimate or necessary purposes,” City Comptroller William Thompson wrote of the expenses from fiscal year 2000, which covers parts of 1999 and 2000.
The letter, whose existence has not been previously reported, was also obtained under the Freedom of Information Law.

I maintain my view that Romney would be a more formidable candidate for any of the Dems than Giuliani — though a good number of Dems disagree with me.
However, I think that these kinds of shenanigans during Giuliani’s term would help fill in the long, tedious months between February 6, 2008 and election day.
— Steve Clemons


17 comments on “Giuliani’s Tenure: How did the Candidates Run Their Shops?

  1. karenk says:

    If Guiliani wins, get ready for the White House being run Sopranos style! He’s dirty, crooked like his buddy Bernie who, btw, used to come into our ER every time a cop got shot cause he was police commish-he struck me as a real AH-the type who sneers like he’s too good, then leers, you know,unabashedly gives a woman the once over up and down look(unless of course you have two heads or a big wart covering your face or some other terrible anomaly!) Guiliani himself showed the respect he has for women by the way he treated his second ex Donna-smearing her in public and dragging dirty laundry out that way.
    One big question to which people need to know the answer- why aren’t the firefighters backing Guiliani, Mr 9/11, for president?


  2. Kathleen says:

    On second look at that picture of brotherly love, I can’t help but imagine Rudi in drag, one of his cherished pastimes…playing dress-up that is.
    Calling Jeff Gannon…Code Orange: We wanna play “Officer and a Gentleman”…


  3. Kathleen says:

    Don’t you mean “extra-maritial affair”?
    I don’t see how so-called “values voters” can square Guiliani’s serial adultery and his request to the Court to allow his mistress to move into Gracie Mansion while he was still married and his children lived there, with their so-called Christian morals.
    Rudy is the perfect candidate for angry white men who find it easier to forgive themselves their moral lapses than to forgive anyone else. In fact Rudy is the perfect candidate for AWM who just want to flex muscle and bomb the sh*t out of anyone, to aleviate their insecurity and compensate for their need for Viagra.
    Huckabee’s answer to what Jesus would think about capital punishment was nauseating and revealed his basic lack of understanding of what Jesus actually stood for. He fu**ing flunks.
    There’s not a serious brain in the whole lot of them. Baasasrrrfff. It’s enough to make me want to move to Italy where they have the good sense to throw the bums out every two seconds. Actually, in Italy, the gov’t has the good sense to step down when they lose the consensus. I think we could learn something from them.


  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Of course, he doesn’t believe in evolution, but how many Republicans would refuse to vote for him for that reason?”
    Interesting. You don’t think it matters to most Republicans that he seeks to shift science into reverse? I would have to disagree. I think it is a small segment of the Christian population, Dem or Republican, that chooses to throw all reason and common sense out the window. I have argued with creationists before, and their arguments are not only remarkably unbelievable, they can only advance those arguments by completely denying reality and science. I find it hard to believe you can attribute such ignorance and fanaticism to such a wide swath of our citizenry. But, then again, we aren’t rioting in the streets of Washington DC demanding representation and Bush’s head, so you might be right.


  5. carsick says:

    The CW is a potential Guiliani/Huckabee ticket (I agree with this CW). Huckabee’s congenial but his stances on issues turn off Independents though he would shore up the South and evangelicals for Guiliani. Guiliani’s a 9/11 convert to almost every issue the Huckabee supporters like except the ones he can’t get away with because of his long recorded stances or actions. Romney, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have potential strategic running mate among the expected also-rans along the lines of what Huckabee would bring to Guiliani. I don’t see the possibility of a Romney/Huckabee ticket.


  6. jonst says:

    Wait till they scratch the surface on Huckabee. He is a thin skinned, petty, prick. And they used to say this about the Clinton’s, but, count the silverware before you let Huckabee in or out of the White House. See his record, or, at least, one rendition of it, while gov.


  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    McCain should give up on his candidacy, and lobby for the humane treatment of military and political prisoners worldwide. His passion and conviction when responding to the question about waterboarding was a refreshing bit of honesty in a sea of deception and posturing.
    These youtube debates diminish the integrity and the respectability of modern american politics and the electoral process. Humor and silliness has no place in a political debate being waged at a time when we are responsible for the deaths of over two million Iraqi citizens in less than two decades.
    I am embarrassed by debates such as last night’s, and can only hang my head with shame when I think of how our stature in the world community is affected by such sensational displays of arrogance and fecklessness.


  8. SJH says:

    I have to disagree with you on Romney. He comes across very poorly. Less skeletons in the closet, but Guiliani is a much more polished and experienced liar. I know Romney does better in speeches than debates, but he was horrid last night and even worse on CNN this morning. I have a hard time seeing Romney put up much of a fight.


  9. Steve Clemons says:

    Chuck Dupree — interesting comment, but I think Huckabee will be the Republican’s VP candidate…no matter who wins the nod, other than him.


  10. carsick says:

    You got it all wrong. Rudy was meeting and doing business with associates of bin Laden because he was using his God Given American initiative and know-how on a counter intelligence operation. Can you really find fault with that?
    And, as far as billing various government agencies for his extra-marital work, he needed to provide cover for his black op activities. The secret communications command center was in a cave below Judy Nathan in the Hamptons. Kind of like Batman’s cave with super hero costumes and everything.
    Think of it this way, Mr. T and the A Team didn’t always work on official government “sanctioned” operations. But, they got the job done didn’t they?
    Seriously, you’re right. Guiliani’s the easiest to disassemble but Romney has serious hurdles of his own. Not to mention video of him trying to out liberal a Kennedy. That won’t go over too well with his potential base.


  11. Dave Wilde says:

    Paging Mr. Lazio.Mr. Rick Lazio, please pick up the GOP courtesy phone. Mr. Rick Lazio…..


  12. jonst says:

    Love how the sex story makes the news. Not the Qater story.,barrett,78478,6.html
    It never fails. But then again, this is one of those things that reads like a conspiracy story. And we can’t have those. No way, conspiracy stories are verboten here.


  13. Chuck Dupree says:

    I dunno, I think Huckabee has a better shot than Romney. For one thing, he comes off as personable and likable, not completely fake like Romney. Also, a lot of the Christian right doesn’t consider Romney to be a Christian, whereas Huckabee still operates like the Baptist minister he is. He’s not a wacko in policy areas; for instance he thinks all kids should be educated, even if their parents are illegals.
    Of course, he doesn’t believe in evolution, but how many Republicans would refuse to vote for him for that reason?


  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Guilianni truly underscores just how low this nation has sunk. We should hang our heads in shame that such a perfect piece of shit could actually be considered for the presidency.
    And Romney??? Gads, the guy opened the very first Republican debate by LYING to us about why the UN inspection teams weren’t in Iraq just prior to Monkey Boy sending the troops in. Why in God’s name would we want yet one more unabashed liar in the Oval Office??
    Its sure a shame that the Democratic “hopefuls” are no better than the garbage on the right. Truth is, a vote for anyone of these pathetic posturing clowns is a vote for the further decay of our nation.


  15. sdemetri says:

    BraveNewFilms has several shorts on Giuliani’s facade of leadership, especially from the firefighter’s point of view. 343 firefighter’s died on 9/11, most if not all due to that lack of leadership. That’s an old story, but worth dredging up as he rides on his sexed up reputation on his role that day. All indications are he behaved in a very ordinary, mediocre way. City policy in a crisis, especially after the 93 bombing, was to set up a joint police and firefighter command post. Although he was in the presence of those necessary to that task several times on 9/11, it didn’t happen. The sham 9/11 commission report attributed the firefighters’ deaths at least in part to that failure. It took seven hours for a command post to be set up at all.
    A bit I wrote elsewhere:
    See also this, though off topic:


  16. downtown says:

    I guess now we know why, at the end of his term, he moved his administration’s records to a private warehouse in Queens rather than turning them over to the Municipal Archives. Every mayor since La Guardia has turned his records over to the Municipal Archives.


  17. Kevin Hayden says:

    I agree with you.
    I labeled Romney the best bet back in February and the only variance in that was the entry of another executive – Huckabee – into the race. And this judgment lapse on top of so many others, just rang the bell on the Rudy campaign, imo.
    On the Dem side, however, I epected a stronger showing from Richardson. I suspect the issue of ‘electability’ weighs heavier than usual on the minds of Democratic voters after watching two losses that looked like winners even after Election Day. And with immigration a GOP issue, that’s also worked against a very competent man.
    So yeah, Romney poses a big challenge to any of the top three Dem candidates. However, considering the swing state impact, Romney only swings New Hampshire. Huckabee could lock out the Dems from anyplace in the South, except Florida and Missouri.
    The big money’s on Mitt, so that’s still the best guess, but either of the two should make it a competitive race.


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