There's one of the vaunted "three men in a room" in Albany discussing with his son how sad he is that the governor has banned fracking - something he himself says has little support - because his son stood to gain financially from the procedure:
The recordings were admitted into evidence during the testimony of Senator Avella, who gave the jury a primer on the Senate. A prosecutor in the case, Jason A. Masimore, then questioned him about legislation that the government has alleged was part of three schemes under which Senator Skelos used his position to obtain more than $300,000 in payments for his son.Mr. Masimore, using emails and other documents along with the tapes, walked Mr. Avella through some of the evidence that prosecutors say shows how the schemes worked. He asked the senator if he would have voted the way he did on certain bills if he had known that Senator Skelos supported them, and that his son had in some ways secretly benefited from them.In one instance, he showed Mr. Avella a draft agreement under which Adam Skelos would have received $1 per barrel of fracking waste water treated by a company, AbTech Industries, that paid him as a consultant. Mr. Avella said each fracking well produced tens of thousands of gallons of contaminated water a day.The prosecutor then asked if Mr. Avella, a leading opponent of fracking, had known that Senator Skelos had asked his staff to set up a meeting on the subject between AbTech and state officials. He said he had not, and when asked if that would have mattered to him as a state senator he said, “Without question.”“Given the fact that this is one of the most significant environmental considerations that the State of New York has probably had to decide in a hundred years, that influences being made on behalf of a family member is inappropriate and, in my opinion, absolutely disgraceful,” he said.
The wiretap also makes clear how Skelos and Senate Republicans used the turncoat Dems of the IDC to maintain control of the state Senate and how he had worked with Cuomo in the past but after the fracking decision, would no longer be "buddy-buddy" with the governor:
The son used an anatomical term to refer to Mr. Cuomo, and asked, “How do we beat him, Dad?”
“We will,” the senator replied. “I’m going to run against him.”
“I wish you would, Dad,” the son said, his mood seeming to lift, adding with coarse language that he “would be so proud” if the senator soundly defeated Mr. Cuomo.“You watch what I’m going to do in the next couple of years with him, especially starting this year,” the senator said. “No more, you know, buddy-buddy and all that stuff,” he continued, and then referred to the governor with an expletive.
Today Glenwood bagman Charlie Dorego is expected to continue his testimony and explain how Glenwood doled out millions in campaign cash to politicians through LLC's:
Mr. Dorego, as part of his testimony, gave jurors a brief primer on limited liability companies, or LLCs, explaining that each of Glenwood’s 20-plus buildings was owned by such an entity, and that each of those was in turn owned by the Litwin Family Trust. Prosecutors are expected to show during the trial that Glenwood used the LLCs to shower millions of dollars in campaign contributions on political candidates, including Senator Skelos.
Dorego, btw, just got finished testifying in the Shelly Silver corruption trial - how's that for synchronicity? - and Governor Cuomo's biggest donor was Glenwood, so the other two "men in a room" in Albany are coming up in this trial too.
Speaking of Silver, the prosecution rested their case yesterday and Silver's defense is not expected to call any witnesses, just introduce documents to the jury that will try and bolster their argument that Silver's financial dealings were not quid pro quo crimes but simply business as usual in Albany.
Quite a show we've got going on right now and with the feds investigating Cuomo's Buffalo Billion Project and campaign donors, the show may get even better before it's all said and done.
Something tells me that much hinges upon on the Silver case.
Given the evidence in the Skelos case, it's difficult to see the prosecution not getting convictions in the trial.
But the Silver case is much more complex and Silver could walk.
If that happens, the feds may be a little more circumspect in how they work through the Buffalo Billion Project investigation and the remaining Moreland cases (including looking into Cuomo's shutdown of the commission in return for a budget deal.)
But if they get Silver, well, if I were Sheriff Andy, I'd be worried about them going for the trifecta.