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Saturday, April 7


VILLAGE VOICE 2000 - The Voice's revelation this month that Rudolph Giuliani's father served time in prison for robbery and later worked as a collector for the mayor's mob-tied uncle gave birth to a wide array of reactions. . . Wayne Barrett, the Voice senior editor who disclosed the information in Rudy! An Investigative Biography, a new book about the mayor, was simply capitalizing on the public's lust for "the allure and intrigue" of Mafia tales, said former governor Mario Cuomo. . .

"Rudy Giuliani is being smeared with the dishonest blood of family members," wrote Stanley Crouch, also in the News. The other, more muted response was one of consternation and anger at a mayor who had judged so many others so harshly.

"I come from a family that is extremely proud of its Italian heritage," said Chiara Colletti, a vice president with a college testing organization and former spokeswoman for the Board of Education. "We are much more sensitive to Italian stereotyping than we ever let on. But what [the book] revealed is relevant to the life of a public figure because this is a person who casts judgments on others who are involved in crime, even exposing the pasts of others for his own convenience."

Louis Mangone, an attorney active in Italian American affairs, remembered hearing the mayor extol his father's honesty at a gathering at the Columbus Club, the city's premier Italian gathering spot. Giuliani, whose prosecutions as a U.S. Attorney had been targeted at friends of many of those present, got a chilly reception. "You can't visit the sins of the father on the children; we know that very well. But he's been so sanctimonious on this very issue with others," said Mangone.

And then there was the response of Sal Mondrone, who so far has been unable to qualify for a waste-hauling license. "I was told by my lawyer I knew too many people," he said. "I think it's two standards here. [Giuliani's] father hung out with gangsters. His cousin had mob affiliations.". . .

If anyone made the mayor's father a worthy subject for further exploration it was the mayor himself. He has cited his father's influence to every journalist undertaking a profile of him since he first made headlines as a prosecutor in the mid-1980s. As recently as this April, when he announced his prostate cancer, he described Harold Giuliani as "a very, very important reason for why I'm standing here as the mayor of New York City."


- A former top Giuliani administration official insisted mental illness made him do "all these wacky things" -- like embezzling hundreds of thousands of city dollars -- but a federal judge Thursday didn't buy it, sentencing him to 63 months behind bars. Russell Harding, 40, former president of the New York City Housing Development Corp., pleaded guilty in March to stealing more than $400,000 for his personal use and possessing child pornography.

Prosecutors charged that Harding spent thousands on trips to Hong Kong, Las Vegas and Vancouver, a bachelor party dinner for a friend and spa treatments he listed as agency expenses. As part of the probe, the child porn was found on his computer. . .

TOM ROBBINS, VILLAGE VOICE, 2004 - Lou Carbonetti, Rudy Giuliani's childhood pal and failed patronage appointee, stood repentant before a Manhattan criminal judge last week to confess three counts of perjury. It was his fourth scandal in less than a decade and his first conviction, making his the toughest hard-luck story in an administration with an otherwise charmed life. Carbonetti, 56, admitted to Acting Supreme Court Justice Brenda Soloff that he had lied when he told the city's Department of Investigation last year that while serving as director of the Fulton Mall Improvement Association in downtown Brooklyn - a post he owed to his friend, the former mayor - he'd never been hired as a consultant to drum up business for Techsolve, a Long Island-based computer firm. The question was important because Carbonetti had awarded the firm a $25,000 contract to design the association's website. He'd lied as well when he said the firm never paid him any money. He'd lied again when the question was repeated in a slightly different form intended to cover all bases. . .

In fact, as prosecutors revealed last week, the computer company and Carbonetti had signed a contract in March 2000, back when Carbonetti still had strong connections in City Hall. . .

If the emblem of the Giuliani years seared in public consciousness remains the hard-charging, crime-busting mayor with the unfortunate combover, then its flip side is poor Lou Carbonetti, a schlepper whose repeated city appointments gave the lie to Giuliani's claims to have staffed his City Hall only with the best and the brightest. Time and again, the affable yet feckless Carbonetti was boosted aboard the mayor's political gravy train only to slide miserably back off again.

WAYNE BARRETT, VILLAGE VOICE, 2002 - With facilities in three cities and an 18-year history, Fortress's packing, transport, storage, and management have earned it, according to the company's brochures, "the coveted Highly Protected Risk rating from the worldwide insurance industry." Inside the Fortress are the records of the eight years of Rudy Giuliani's City Hall, transferred there at the end of December. Included are the ex-mayor's appointment books, cabinet meeting audiotapes, e-mails, telephone logs, advance and briefing memos, correspondence, transition materials, and private schedules, as well as his departmental, travel, event, subject, and Gracie Mansion files. In addition to the mayor's records, those of his chief of staff and every deputy mayor, together with their chiefs of staff, have all been secured at the warehouse, which charges $3430 per month for the use of 1000 square feet.

Even Giuliani's "World Trade Center files" and "Millennium Project files," together with 6000 files of photographs, 1000 audiotapes, and 15,000 videotapes, are stored there. So are "200-250 feet of gifts such as plaques, awards, personalized clothing, and other items presented to the mayor and deputy mayors, as well as World Trade Center-related materials."

Virtually everything at the Fortress is public property, hijacked by the mayor in a secret agreement signed by George Rios, the city records commissioner he appointed. The agreement was executed amid a flourish of stadium and movie studio transactions for friends - on December 24, one of the final, busy days of an administration that departed with just as little regard for the law as when it governed. The 12-page contract was also signed by lawyer Saul Cohen, a longtime friend of Giuliani's, who lists himself as the president of the Rudolph W. Giuliani Center for Urban Affairs Inc., the institute incorporated on December 6 that now controls these records. The Voice obtained a copy of the agreement under the freedom-of-information laws after the Daily News reported the records transfer early this month.

Calling the "official papers" of Giuliani a matter of "great historical significance" and "unique value," the agreement acknowledges that "the documents are the property of the City" and that "under the City Charter," the Department of Records "is ultimately responsible for the preservation and organization" of these materials. Yet the contract conveys the records to a Giuliani nonprofit so new it has no board, no director, no site, and no identifiable archivist, permitting the center to catalog, organize, and "permanently" maintain them. . .

Rudy Giuliani has spent a lifetime dictating his own legend. When he was U.S. attorney in Manhattan, he abruptly ended the longtime practice of publishing annual reports, making reporters and others utterly dependent on his version of how productive the office was. And now, while peddling the story of his mayoralty for millions to publishers and moviemakers, he's gained exclusive control over a public record ordinarily available to all.


At 3:03 AM, Anonymous said...

If Rudy makes Prez., it will be Bush x2.

- Strelnikov

At 11:05 AM, Anonymous said...

Fortunately, however, the media was quick to alert us to his propensity for cross-dressing, as well as his fondness for having his falsies nuzzled by Donald Trump. Never let us accuse the media of witholding the REALLY important information from the people.


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