NEW YORK – City officials today announced a watershed moment in bipartisanship within New York City politics with the arrest by the FBI of both Democratic State Senator Malcolm Smith and Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran for the same election-rigging conspiracy.
“His arrest is yet another example of the bipartisan spirit that Senator Smith has been known for his entire career,” said Smith’s spokesman Todd Shapiro. “He has always worked for the good of whomever has offered him the most in campaign contributions- regardless of their party affiliations.”
According to the FBI, Smith and Halloran were at the center of a plot to rig the New York City Mayoral election by bribing New York City officials to get Smith, officially a Democrat, on the ballot as the Republican candidate.
“When Malcolm came to us with an offer of $40,000 up front and another $40,000 later for our crucial support, we jumped at the chance,” said Bronx Republican Chairman Joseph Savino, who was also arrested for his part in the conspiracy. “The opportunity for us, as Republicans, to demonstrate our bipartisanship by throwing our support to a Democrat who wanted to run on the Republican line was something we simply couldn’t pass up. We wanted to be a part of bipartisan history.”
Queens Republican Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone, who was also arrested, agreed. “Too often politicians in this city blindly vote the party line,” he said. “I wanted to show my kids that, for the right price, you can vote for anybody.”
“When we started our investigation in 2011, we thought this was a run-of-the-mill influence peddling case involving the highest office in the largest city in America,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “We never dreamed we were onto one of the most ambitious bipartisan political smorgasbords of graft and greed in the history of the state.”
For his part in arranging the meetings between Smith and various Republican officials, Halloran received almost $45,000. “But really, the money was secondary,” he said as he was arrested. “What really turned me onto this was the chance to reach across the aisle and get something done.”
In addition to Smith, Halloran, Savino, and Tabone, Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Spring Valley Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret were also arrested for their part in the bipartisan scheme, only adding to the bipartisan-ness of the affair.
“I’m very proud to have been a part of such a noteworthy, bipartisan effort. I only hope that others follow our example and begin to work together, regardless of party,” said Mayor Jasmin. “Imagine what could happen if Washington worked together like this.”
Sadly, the spirit of bipartisanship Smith and Halloran worked so hard to create was already showing cracks in the wake of the FBI’s arrests. Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio lashed out at Republicans Halloran, Savino, and Tabone for their part in the election-rigging plot. “Those Republican politicians are exactly what is wrong with the City Council today,” he said, conveniently ignoring Democrat Smith’s involvement. “Every time we extend our hand in bipartisan friendship, they bite it off.
“Hell, you can’t even rig an election with the GOP without them screwing it up.”