Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Schneiderman's Politicizing Law Enforcement

The NY Times is reporting that NYS AG Eric Schneiderman is going after not for profit groups that are-in his view-illegally using their tax exempt status for campaigning: " Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York has begun investigating contributions to tax-exempt groups that are heavily involved in political campaigns, focusing on a case involving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been one of the largest outside groups seeking to influence recent elections but is not required to disclose its donors."

This is clearly a political move since the AG is focusing on groups that are aiding Republican candidates and causes-as the Times points out:

"Mr. Schneiderman’s investigation is the first significant one in years into the rapidly growing use of tax-exempt groups to move money into politics. The biggest such groups, including Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, which was founded by Karl Rove and other Republican strategists, are expected to spend hundreds of millions of dollars this year on issue advertisements against candidates to sway the outcome of the presidential and Congressional elections."

That brings us to the question of the old double standard. Keep in mind-as we have continually pointed out-that the AG's office has been sitting on an investigation of the improper lobbying of a Claire Shulman led local development corporation-an entity that is barred from lobbying by New York statute. In this case, however, the group is heavily backed by Queens Democrats-and Shulman herself is a longstanding member of the Democratic establishment.

Keep in mind that the AG is still claiming-after three years of shucking and jiving-that there is an ongoing investigation-as Crain's reported: "Schneiderman's spokesman said: “We cannot comment on an active investigation.” Can't comment? Here they are issuing press releases and talking their heads off about the US Chamber of Commerce but they can't say a darned thing about crusty old Claire?-after three years!

This rope a dope tactic of both the current as well as former AG is a disgrace-and leads one to believe that when it comes to justice in New York it is "just us."