Thursday, June 28, 2012

More on Schneiderman's Partisan Law Enforcement

Yesterday we took a look at NYS AG Eric Schneiderman's partisan approach to law enforcement-going on a well publicized fishing expedition against the Chamber of Commerce-and by extension, the Supreme Court's decision allowing corporate contributions to political campaigns. Over at Contentions Jonathan Tobin takes this criticism one step further:

"Liberals are still seething over the way the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Citizens United decision in the Montana campaign finance law case where state restrictions on political spending were rightly overruled. But this defense of free speech rights will not go unanswered by a Democratic Party that thinks allowing citizens and groups to support ideas and candidates is a scandal. That’s why New York’s left-wing attorney general is launching a brazenly partisan attack on the right of political speech in the guise of an investigation of alleged violations of the tax code."

What's our fair and balanced AG doing here? "New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is a hard-line liberal who has been itching to use his post to both fight for restrictive campaign finance laws and to garner the publicity that will enable him to advance his career. On the surface, Schneiderman is merely conducting a probe into contributions to tax-exempt groups. But by focusing his attention on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a pro-business conservative group, the political intent of the investigation is obvious."

On the other hand, as we pointed out yesterday, Schneiderman has a slam dunk case against Claire Shulman, Sterling Equities-and the whole gang over at the Willets Point, Flushing, Corona LDC-for violating the strict NY State prohibition against any lobbing by these local development entities. And that illegal lobbying paid off handsomely for Sterling when the mayor handed over acres of city property for $0.

But because of the Democratic support for this group Schneiderman does nothing-while pretending otherwise to the press. He's the same kind of guy that will always be screaming about the perfidy of his political opponents-and now he is exposed as a hypocrite.

As Tobin goes on to highlight, any not for profit could be targeted under the Schneiderman rules: "The same amorphous questions could be put to any non-profit involved in public advocacy. But political observers on both sides of the aisle understand that when probes like this are conducted, the only possible motivation is not respect for the law but a desire to criminalize political opponents."

And in the case of Eric Schneiderman-self righteous to the max-it also means to stonewall investigating obvious wrongdoing by his political allies-a situation that would call for a special prosecutor if NY State had any semblance of bipartisan political balance.