Earlier this year a veteran New York political operator named Hank Morris got served with a 123-count indictment alleging he masterminded a brazen scheme to sell investments from the New York state pension fund $35 million or so in kickbacks.
Today New York reports that the case has politically-connected New York money types wondering, “Did one of their tribe, enamoured of his own cleverness, cross the line?”
You heard that right, folks. The case does not have politically-connected New York money types asking: “Gosh, how many billions of dollars do you think this guy’s magnificent dearth of ethics cost state employees?”
Nor does it have anyone asking, “Is it possible to have a political party that isn’t so hopelessly beholden to big finance that it willingly whores out the retirement funds of its voters members so that the superrich might become even richer?”
What people want to know about the Hank Morris is whether he crossed the line. To put it differently, their reaction is to think about the alleged crook’s mentality rather than the potential costs to those who might have been injured by the corruption. It’s totally self-centered, as if they were saying, “There but for the grace of God go I.”
Morris was a longtime campaign fundraiser and political adviser who, as soon as his friend Alan Hevesi won the state comptroller election, (allegedly) set into place a scheme by which the $150 billion state pension fund would not make an investment unless he received at least a 1% cut of the deal. The cost to public employees is not yet known, but surely these folks deserve some consideration.
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