So US Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara got himself a twitter account recently, though he didn't issue any tweets or follow anybody with the account.
Today Governor Andrew Cuomo was making a big announcement about his $2 billion dollar economic development program that has been dubbed the "Hunger Games" by critics.
It was a big deal for the governor, since he's lost much of upstate in his two elections for governor and is looking to make political gains there as he did in the Buffalo area after he started his Buffao Billion Project.
And guess who took that very moment to issue his first, rather interesting, tweet?
As alleged, this is my official Twitter account. And this, allegedly, is my first tweet. Stay tuned. . .— US Attorney Bharara (@PreetBharara) December 10, 2015
This isn't the first time Bharara's taken some actions that short-circuited Andrew Cuomo's political plans.
Bharara arrested Shelly Silver one day after Cuomo's much-heralded state of the state/budget address last January, leaking the news the night before so that whatever momentum Cuomo hoped to gain for his agenda from news of the speech was lost in the bombshell that Silver would be arrested the next day.
It's unlikely that Bharara chose that very time to arrest Silver accidentally, more that the arrest was meant to send a message to someone that he's not the only alpha male in the state's political strata.
Now we have Bharara issuing this very coy and curious tweet at the same time that Cuomo's having his Hunger Games dog and pony show.
Message being sent?
It sure seems that way.
The feds are reported to be investigating Cuomo's other big development program, the Buffalo Billion Project, with subpoenas said to have gone out to Cuomo donors and state entities involved in the bidding process.
Sure seems weird that Bharara would choose the very moment Cuomo's having another big development project announcement to issue another one of his "Stay Tuned..." statements unless he was deliberately toying with him.
Here's some reaction:
If that doesn't qualify as Preet trolling Cuomo, I don't know what does.— Jimmy Vielkind (@JimmyVielkind) December 10, 2015
Wait, in the middle of @nygovcuomo's presentation, did @PreetBharara just tweet his first ever tweet???— Liz Benjamin (@CTLizB) December 10, 2015
Preet's sense of timing, as always, is fascinating.— Nick Reisman (@NickReisman) December 10, 2015
Indeed it is.
I know I'll be staying tuned.
check out Mulgrew email just sentReplyDelete
Nahh - I can't. I'm sure he's declaring victory, but it's not anything of the sort. They'll rig the "educator panels" for standards development to make sure something quite Common Core-like ends up replacing Common Core, the test score delinkage is just a moratorium and the receivership program is still in place.Delete
Victory it ain't!
Hopefully the parents see this for what it is and the opt out movement grows. First sign of weakness, go for the throat!Delete
Is Cuomo about to be charged for not paying child support?ReplyDelete
In the wake of the Every child Left Behind rewrite and the Task Farce of Common Core's latest gibberish I have to thank Preet for bringing a little sunshine to my day even if it is Dec 11 and 52 degrees in Buffalo.ReplyDelete
I sent the State of Politics link to someone via email and she wrote back:Delete
Is Preet fucking with Cuomo?
The answer is, he sure is.
That exquisitely timed tweet yesterday must have kept Cuomo up all night.
The reptilian Skelos's have been convicted on all counts.ReplyDelete
RBE, do you have a tap on Preet's Twitter account? From your mouth to Bharara's ears:
'Minutes after the Skelos verdict was given, a Twitter post went out on Mr. Bharara’s account: “How many prosecutions will it take before Albany gives the people of New York the honest government they deserve?”
There's been a lot of skepticism on the blog about this, which I understand. To have a U.S. attorney take down a sitting governor who is a member of the same party as the president - it's not often done.Delete
That said, I've gotten more optimistic since September that this is the end game. The leaks about the Buffalo Billion investigation were big - Preet leaks as a way to set the stage for eventual criminal charges. He did it with Silver (leaking a couple of months before the criminal charges in January, and he did it with Skelos, leaking first in January, then again in May right before the criminal charges.)
If the pattern is followed, the leaks about subpoenas going out to Cuomo donors didn't just drop out of the sky. They came from Bharara's office and they were a shot across the bow, aimed at The Good Ship Cuomo. Cuomo heard the shot, you can be sure, because he got very defensive (this is the way business has been done for over 100 years in this state is what he said) and has gotten even more defensive since. Witness the "extended interview he gave to the Buffalo News trying to defend the Buffalo Billion Project.
Yesterday's tweet during Cuomo's Buffalo Billion Mach II announcement was another shot at Cuomo, and not all that subtle, since "Stay tuned..." is what he said at the Silver presser when asked if more criminal charges for Albany pols were coming.
I'm staying tuned, all right. To nail Skelos was easy - the wiretaps made that a slam dunk. The Silver conviction was harder - a bank shot, if you will, to get a jury to convict a guy on a quid pro quo that was never explicitly proven.
Now we come to Cuomo. Preet's looking into the donors, he's already got two of Cuomo's donors with NPA's in the other cases (that would be Dorego and Bonomo) and I wouldn't be surprised to learn those guys are telling tales on Cuomo too.
We'll have to stay tuned to see how it all shakes out. Perhaps nothing comes of this and Cuomo has the last laugh on Preet (and us.)
But given the leaks about the Buffalo Billion investigation and now yesterday's tweet during Buffalo Billion Mach II, I wouldn't bank on that.
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