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.
Who cares about his personal life? I don’t. If he had broken the law, he should have been charged
I don't buy this stuff about a mayor needing a 24 security detail. I suspect the reason he won't talk about ALL the threats is that some of the threats were from husbands of some of his adultery partners.
I think providing any mayor with 24 hour security is clearly a waste of the taxpayers' money. People like Rudy just couldn't care less about taxpayers.
Hardly anyone will care once his candidacy is snuffed out. But, a lot of us feel you have to choose between being president and being a pervert. That only seems like a lofty standard to the elitist wing of the party.
Yeah it's just sex, can't we move on and overlook Rudy's disgusting morals? 9/11 NEVER FORGET! Let's also apologize to Bill Clinton for criticizing him as well.
But, but, whine, sob, cry, he cleaned up NY City!
I don’t like Guiliani and I don’t want him to represent the GOP.
However, the kind of person that will vote for him won’t care about the stuff posted here. They already know he has low morals and they obviously don’t care.
Most have already made up there minds, regardless of what candidate they support and all posting “negative” stuff will do is to further solidify them in there choice.
I’m convinced it is folly to try and switch someone on this forum from thinking they way you do, so I’m pretty much out of the biz of slamming a candidate and praising another. It is a no-win scenario.
If he really cleaned up NYC's crime problem, why did he need such massive security??
Totally different situation. There are geopolitical implications with the President of the United States having sex with a naive intern.
If some one were ask Rudy if he was going to take a mistress in White House, then I would say it would be fair game. However, I could care less if he had an adult mistress as mayor of New York.
Did Rudy lie about his relationship in a civil proceedings?, not that I am aware of.
There are many things with which I disagree with Rudy Guiliani and I would rather discuss those issues. Those issues are more important than who he had sex with 8 years ago.
Agreed. The same type of people that would vote for Billy C. again a third time if they could.
The voter cares and is fed up with this nonsense. One of the big reasons why Clinton’s negatives are so high is because of 8 years of this kind of sleaziness. The Republicans lost congress because of these kinds of problems.
This story isn't just about who Rudy had sex with 8 years ago. The most significant part of the story concerns the fact that Rudy was running up huge hotel and restaurant bills for police officers so that he could engage in illicit affairs.
Each time Rudy did that he made choices. Each time he chose to take such a trip when those hotel and restaurant expenses could have been avoided had he just stayed home at night with his family. And, each time he also chose to drag along a security detail of officers who incurred all those hotel and restaurant expenses. Each time he could have chosen to take the trip on his own without dragging all those police officers around.
The choices he made make it absolutely clear that Mayor Rudy thought it would be cool to stick it to the taxpayers. He just took all that money and used it for his own very personal purposes. And he's the guy who says he wants to go to Washington to get control of government spending?
This story isn't just about Rudy being a pervert. It's also about Rudy being a thief.
The pubs lost partly because they acted as RINOs or dem lites, partly because the demographics in the NE have turned blue, and partly because they infuriated their own voters.
Nuanced spin that would make Clinton himself proud.
As I said before, if he broke city, state, or federal laws, he should have been prosecuted for it.
“The pubs lost partly because they acted as RINOs or dem lites, partly because the demographics in the NE have turned blue, and partly because they infuriated their own voters.”
Actually, I think we lost because the war in Iraq has gone on so long (at least that is the public perception - I DO NOT agree with this perception). The Dems used this war fatigue against us. President Bush, God Bless him, was right to fight, but I’m afraid he hired the wrong staff to run the fight, and it has hurt him and us (GOP). I have deep affection and respect for President Bush, and I don’t relish admitingly he made errors (or his staff did - but the buck stops with him).
Now at this point I’m dropping all attempts to be objective. I personally think we have not done better faster because we stopped being on the offensive and naively assumed a defensive posture early in the conflict. We should never have let Iraq assume sovereignty until we totally pacified the area. That means getting rid of ALL armed combatents - especially militia like Sadr’s.
Rudy911 team Busted in a lie......
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.