Friday, December 21, 2007

Giuliani the Crook

Okay - so perhaps didn't shift money around to hide his extra-marital trysts (see New Yorks Times report today; Chris Matthews made much hay of this.)

Just in case you're tempted to think that Guiliani is simply a persecuted victim of an unfair press (sounds like the Clintons) - but you've got to read this lengthy Vanity Fair article, A Tale of Two Giulianis from the January Issue.
Last year, when a binder full of confidential Giuliani campaign documents was either stolen or lost in Florida, and the contents found their way to reporters, a handwritten list of potential trouble spots in the candidate’s résumé seemed especially revealing. There, with the obvious sticky subjects—the messy divorce from Hanover, and subsequent wife Nathan—was a single word: business.
And this piece outlines all of that and it's very shady, very corrupt, very evil.

A revelation hit me in reading this piece. Since Reagan's election in 1980, the Republicans have run on a platform to shrink the government. In fact, given Clinton's presidency, they seem to have won the argument that small government is good governing. Clinton shrunk many governmental functions as well.

We already witness that antipathy toward government translates into incompetence. If you don't respect what government can do and don't believe government should do, then you get ineptitude and criminal neglect (Katrina).

But now the eggs have hatched, and we know another result of their small government platform.

Small government under the Republicans doesn't mean fewer government functions - it means outsourcing the jobs to private entities - a.k.a. private contractors. "Republican small government" results in higher costs, enriching private companies, outside law, no public accountability. We've privatized half of the armies' functions, including the security of visiting diplomats in Iraq. But I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about roads in America.

Why would an Australian colossus like Macquarie buy a money-losing U.S. investment bank? Perhaps because Macquarie is making inroads—literally—in the U.S., acquiring the leases on state highways and operating them as toll roads, in Indiana and Illinois, with more states to follow. The toll-road business is highly controversial and involves politics right up to the top. It can’t hurt to have helped out a man who might be the next president. (A Macquarie spokesperson says the only reason for the purchase of Giuliani Capital Advisors was “new sectors and new locations for us,” and that Giuliani “was not involved in discussions for acquisition of G.C.A. by Macquarie.”)

Even before the deal, there had been only one degree of separation between Macquarie and Giuliani. Macquarie’s partner in a $3.8 billion Indiana toll road is a Spanish company called Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A. Cintra, in turn, is represented by a Texas law firm once known as Bracewell & Patterson, now called Bracewell & Giuliani.

Read it and weep. And he shows no shame.

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