Below is a reaction piece to what we posted yesterday on U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's latest investigation straight from the famous blogger Reality Based Educator who we all miss. Arthur Goldstein authenticated in case you think this is a fraud RBE.
It's great to have RBE back blogging for a day.
Saw your post from this morning. My sense of the story is this:
1. The story is partly political, coming as it does just as BdB was putting a rough stretch behind him, solidifying his poll numbers, and scaring off potential opponents for 2017 in both the Democratic primary and the general election. The Post has gleefully jumped on the news and will run with it, as will the other Murdoch outlets, trying to pull down BdB's numbers and help recruit some opponents in both the primary and the general because they really want to see him knocked off.
2. So too does Cuomo - he was supposed to be trying to actively recruit Hakeem Jeffries or Ruben Diaz Jr to run against BdB. That seemed unlikely to happen given BdB's strong polling in the last round, but with this going on, I would expect Cuomo to start pushing again for someone to primary BdB. Doubtful that Cuomo is behind the leaks (especially given how it reminds one of Cuomo's own Glenwood mess and the Buffalo Billion subpoenas), but it certainly is making him happy since it weakens his "good friend" Bill de Blasio. Especially since he just lost his state police chief over the "feud" he's got going with BdB:
3. Given the amount of money Cuomo took from Glenwood Management and the companies subpoenaed in the Buffalo Billion investigation, the de Blasio rake in from the two guys at the center of this mess isn't that much - nonetheless, it's a problem that could widen if the feds find more good stuff there after they started looking. And given the rumors around de Blasio's fundraising, that's certainly a possibility. It would be ironic to see BdB go down for the chump change involved here (less than $100,000 total) given how Cuomo lapped up millions from his donors in direct quid pro quos (see Kiryas Joel, for example, on top of the Glenwood/421a and Buffalo Billion thing), but it could happen.
4. Rumors have swirled around Norman Seabrook for a long time - the powers that be want to break that union and "corruption" will be the excuse to do it. "Reform" will come to Rikers even if they need to cart Seabrook off in order to get it (See the NY Times from 2014 for how Seabrook "stands in the way" of that reform):
Overall, I am lukewarm to de Blasio but am concerned about what will follow him. I'd rather six more years of someone who isn't actively out to get teachers (like Bdb) than two more years of BdB and eight years of a charter-friendly replacement like Jeffries or Diaz following him. That's what Cuomo is pushing for, that is certainly what Eva and her charter cohorts want, and that definitely could happen, depending upon where this goes from here.
That's my take until the next slate of leaks...