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Blog: Anthony Weiner or Cuyahoga County probe?

7:54 PM, Jul 28, 2013   |    comments
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If the Cuyahoga County corruption scandals came out years earlier, before the trials convicted anyone, would you have re-elected or hired any of them?

While sexting led the seven-term Democrat Anthony Weiner to resign from Congress on June 16, 2011, his decision to run for NYC mayor, even as more post-resignation sexting and inappropriate behavior is revealed now, seems unfathomable.

His Congressional resignation came after discussions with his wife Huma Abedin, whom he had married just 11 months earlier. She continues to stand by her man but we are not sure if she is standing by Weiner or his nom-de-Twitter "Carlos Danger."

It is reminiscent of Lori Dimora standing by her man -- former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora -- throughout his two-month trial in 2012.

She was only absent two days and it's quite telling that those two particular days where when the prostitutes were on the witness stand to confirm their "experiences" with Dimora.

If his wife couldn't bear to hear about her husband's unfaithfulness, though certainly not criminal acts, how can NYC voters consider electing a man who was sexting and sending Twitpics of his private parts to women half his age?

How embarrassing, to say the very least, that Weiner now has people dressed as Carlos Danger showing up at his campaign events. It may be funny but I think these latest sexting recipients -- whom Weiner says he will not name -- will come forward. 

While Weiner is not accused of steering county contracts to friends who had bribed him with meals, money or home improvements, his moral compass is so far out of whack that I would not want him representing me in any capacity.

The latest cover of The New Yorker magazine has Weiner straddling the tip-top of the Empire State Building while taking a picture of himself with a camera phone. There are helicopters buzzing him ala King Kong. Political cartoons are among my favorites but even thick-skinned politicians have their limits. 

If Cuyahoga County voters had found out about then-Commissioner Dimora's dalliances with prostitutes at Stonebridge condominions, on a trip to Windsor Ontario casinos and in Las Vegas, or even his two trysts with Gina Meuti-Coppers, then 38, at the Holiday Inn in Independence, would they have voted for him had there been a re-election bid?

Meuti-Coppers is the daughter of the late Bedford Heights Police Chief Dominic Meuti, who was chief when Dimora was mayor there. Coppers asked Dimora to help get her a job at Bedford Municipal Court, something which she got.

And once Dimora was convicted in July 2012, voters that November voted 67 percent to 33 percent to remove Dimora's name from the Jimmy Dimora Community Center and it is now the Bedford Heights Community Center.

On Saturday, Weiner's campaign manager Danny Kedem, 31, quit after new revelations that Weiner continued to send salacious messages online to women, even after resigning from Congress.

Kedem worked on Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and he quit Weiner's campaign because it was too much to handle with the sex revelations.

He stayed on a campaign for Hillary despite all of her husband Bill Clinton's White House/Monica Lewinsky baggage so that must tell you how bad Weiner's situation is. 

One woman, Sydney Leathers, 23, of Princeton, Indiana -- near Evansville -- appeared on TV and said she was the recipient of sexting messages from the 48-year-old man which later progressed into phone calls where she says they had phone sex. 

The Democratic mayoral primary is Sept. 10.  If no candidate gets more than 40 percent of the vote, a runoff will be held Oct. 1.

Forty-three percent of Democratic primary voters say Weiner should quit the race, while 47 percent say he should continue running for mayor, according to the survey released Thursday by NBC 4 New York, The Wall Street Journal and the Marist Instiitute for Public Opinion.

The tumult in Weiner's staff was first reported by The New York Times. Hours later, City Council Speaker and NYC mayoral candidate Christine Quinn repeated criticism on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday morning that Weiner has displayed "reckless behavior" and "immaturity."

Weiner has steadfastly rebuffed calls that he quit the mayor's race, despite calls to resign from top Democratic leaders such as national party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Now I haven't mentioned other Cuyahoga County corruption players who have pleaded guilty or been found guilty but I mentioned Dimora because the FBI always saw him and former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo as the big fish in the corruption scandal.

Russo entered into a plea deal and then testified in trials against other defendants. Russo was in it for the money -- about $1.5 million -- not the sex but one of the revelations soon after the this all became public was that Russo, who had been divorced from his wife for years, had a gay partner, Michael Calabrese.

Any media that dealt with Russo after his divorce were well aware of Calabrese and that he and Russo lived together. It was never alluded to, even in media coverage.

When the FBI investigation broke, Calabrese was described as housemate, domestic partner, best friend....not once did I see him painted as Russo's gay companion.

Russo himself described Calabrese as " life partner..." while on the witness stand Feb. 15, 2012.

As far as other defendants in the county corruption probe, many pleaded or were found guilty of felonies, something that would keep them from holding office again.

Those defendants who are attorneys themselves face uphill battles when they try and resume working again. And even if the counts are misdemeanors, anyone found guilty or pleading guilty may not be considered a good risk as an employee.

So while damaging revelations may come out after someone is elected to office, it would seem unconscionable for voters who have a normal moral compass to elect someone like Weiner.

It's even more unconscionable that Weiner decided to run for mayor at all. We'll see how the week plays out.




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