Skip to comments.Rudy Giuliani campaign team backtracks on tryst talk
Posted on 11/30/2007 5:02:39 PM PST by neverdem
The uproar grew Thursday over expenses for Rudy Giuliani's protection during his trysts with Judith Nathan as his campaign's initial defense - that its accounting methods were the same as previous mayors' - unraveled.
Joe Lhota, a deputy mayor in Giuliani's City Hall, told the Daily News Wednesday night that the administration's practice of allocating security expenses to small city offices that had nothing to do with mayoral protection has "gone on for years" and "predates Giuliani."
When told budget officials from the administrations of Ed Koch and David Dinkins said they did no such thing, Lhota caved Thursday, "I'm going to reverse myself on that. I'm just going to talk about the Giuliani era," Lhota said. "I should only talk about what I know about."
The embarrassing backtrack comes as Giuliani rushed to network airwaves to defend himself against allegations his administration deliberately attempted to conceal the taxpayer cost of his NYPD protection while he engaged in secret Hamptons liaisons with Nathan, his then-mistress and current wife.
In interviews on CBS, ABC and CNN, Giuliani portrayed the allegations as a political "hit job" and "dirty trick" unleashed hours before a big Republican debate. The story was first reported Wednesday on the Politico.com Web site.
"This was really done to try to focus on my personal life," Giuliani said on ABC. "It was a perfectly appropriate set of expenses," he added on CNN.
"I was covered by the police for 24 hours a day, every day that I was mayor," Giuliani said. "I was covered because there were threats to kill me. Contracts back from when I was United States attorney, all kinds of things."
Denying any effort at concealment, he said, "All the billing is open - that's how you can find it."
As questions swirled about Giuliani's bookkeeping methods, others were focused on the potentially damaging political cost of the scandal.
Fran Reiter, former deputy mayor under Giuliani who is now supporting Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, said the biggest problem for him is the renewed spotlight on his adultery.
"Was there a corrupt activity? Were there expenditures that shouldn't have been expensed? Clearly no. The mayor has 24-hour, 365-day a year security. It should be paid for by taxpayer dollars," she said.
"The only political issue is any potential embarrassment because he was going out to Long Island to meet with Judith."
Records obtained by Politico.com through Freedom of Information laws showed for the first time this week how the Giuliani administration scattered travel costs totaling thousands of dollars among a slew of small city agencies, such as the Loft Board, which regulates the conversion of lofts in the city.
"I don't understand when it started. I don't understand why it started," Lhota said. "But I do know one thing: It was consistently done ... in no way shape or form did it imply a coverup."
Former Mayor Ed Koch and City Controller William Thompson, along with budget officials from the Koch and Dinkins eras as well as independent budget experts, described the bookkeeping practice as shoddy and wrong.
"It's simply an effort to fool the public," said Koch, a longtime Giuliani critic and supporter of Clinton. "I haven't got the slightest idea for his motivation other than it appears he wanted to disguise it so people wouldn't know what was happening. It's asinine."
Thompson, a Democrat, said the accounting practice "does not promote open government."
"It's not the way you want to see expenditures handled," Thompson said. "It creates just a more opaque, more difficult situation to track and to follow."
Dinkins declined Thursday to comment, but Carol O'Cleireacain, who served as his budget director, said Giuliani officials scattered expenses because they "didn't want anybody to know about it."
"This was the least transparent administration in a very long time," she said. "I have no trouble saying that."
Officials at the Independent Budget Office and the Citizens Budget Commission also slammed the practice, saying it severely undermines budget transparency.
Asked to respond to budget experts' criticism about the lack of transparency, Lhota replied, "They're out of their minds and you can quote me saying that."
"It's not a coverup," he said. "If you want lack of transparency, the costs would have been borne exclusively by the NYPD - it's total lack of transparency at the NYPD."
Thursday, a spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg appeared to back up Team Giuliani's assertion that all of the security money ultimately came from the NYPD.
"During the Giuliani administration, we believe that security expenses that were originally paid by the mayor's office were ultimately reimbursed by the Police Department," Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser said.
If Hillary gets elected President, I hope you enjoy paying for Charles Rangel’s tax reform.
So, I'm wondering where Giuliani's support goes when it bleeds away. I can't see it going to Huckabee.
Free health care too under Hillary. YES!
Obviously, Rudy hid and buried all these transactions in order to avoid being prosecuted. Maybe now that a lot of this stuff is coming out, he will be.
He's the type who might really enjoy living in a men's prison.
We don’t need a president who thinks that personally shuffling money around and hiding expenses among unrelated agencies is perfectly OK.
Not only is what he did wrong, but he obviously had to intimidate auditors to keep them from bringing it up/
It makes you wonder what kind of police force he would create as president and what agency’s funds he would raid to pay for it.
Well, he broke his marital vows to his 2nd wife. I guess breaking religious laws is less important than government laws.
That’s silly. Since you cannot prove a crime, it must be only because the evidence was destroyed.
The sad truth of Rooty’s sordid personal behavior emerges. Taxpayer funded bimbos make him the Republican version of Slick Willy.
That’s between Rudy and God, we don’t live in an Islamic Republic.
Well, you know - no controlling legal authority.
And, beyond that, I think you're making a mistake if you think the American people are going to be impressed by a candidate's claim that this clear abuse of his position must be excused unless he is first convicted of a crime. I think Rudy's candidacy is effectively over.
And that's the way God wants it.
He's running for the world's most powerful office. So it's relevant.
If he was Joe Blow from the street I wouldn't give a feces.
Yeah but that magical R label works wonders. Kind of like what spinach does for Popeye.
Really? Serious, credible threats? I'd love to see some evidence of that.
Were there threats to kill your mistress, too? Is that why she was offered the NYPD as her personal taxi service?
Rudy was visiting Judith in South Hampton on these little trysts. Is that one of the toney Hamptons, home of the super rich and famous? How did Judith afford a home there? I thought she was a nurse from a coal town in Pennsylvania. Did Rudy set her up in a little love nest that he paid for? Just wondering.
If he uses taxpayer dollars to fund his folly, I care.
I think it's safe to assume that. Apparently, Rudy also had a love nest with Bernie Kerik near ground zero.
It’s looking more and more like Rudy is a Republican version of the Clinton’s.
I guess when he said that his policies were almost identical to Bill Clinton he really wasn’t lying, was he!
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Im pro-choice. Im pro-gay rights, Giuliani said. He was then asked whether he supports a ban on what critics call partial-birth abortions. No, I have not supported that, and I dont see my position on that changing, he responded. Source: CNN.com, Inside Politics Dec 2, 1999 http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/Rudy_Giuliani_Abortion.htm
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES (November 14, 2006)
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: I'm pro- choice. I'm pro-gay rights.
KING: Giuliani supports a woman's right to an abortion, and back in 1999, he opposed a federal ban on late-term abortions.
GIULIANI: No, I have not supported that, and I don't see my position on that changing.
KING: Immigration could be another presidential landmine. Back in 1996, Mayor Giuliani went to federal court to challenge new federal laws requiring the city to inform the federal government about illegal immigrants.
JEFFREY: He took the side of illegal immigrants in New York City against the Republican Congress.
KING: Giuliani opposes same-sex marriage but as mayor, he supported civil unions and extending health and other benefits to gay couples. He also supported the assault weapons ban and other gun control measures opposed by the National Rifle Association.
GIULIANI: I'm in favor of gun control. I'm pro-choice.
Republican Big-Wigs Support Pro-Abortion Event in NY
Pro-abortion Governor George Pataki and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who also supports unrestricted abortion, are co-chairs of the 2000 Choice Award Presentation to be held on May 30 at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. The event is sponsored by the Republican Pro-Choice Coalition, a group that is campaigning for the removal of the pro-life plank from the Republican National Platform.
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