A Generation of New York City's Corrupt Pols Laid Low
Steven Rattner, former New York Times reporter, failed media investment firm founder, friend of Bloomberg and Sulzberger, and Car Czar, is one more former political star caught up in the New York pension fund scandal.
As the Times and Journal report today, the SEC is investigating Quandrangle Group founder and crazy social climber Rattner for paying $1 million to play with the state's massive pension fund.
The state pension fund was just a hilarious morass of corruption, mostly revolving around former comptroller Alan Hevesi, who was the sole trustee of the whole system. Charges have been filed against former deputy comptroller David Loglisci and Hevesi pal (in Post parlance) Hank Morris. Morris, a Democratic political consultant who ran Chuck Schumer's '98 and '04 campaigns, was the man to send your massively inflated "finders' fees" to in exchange for pension business. Morris and Lovlisci made tens of millions in kickbacks, because they directed the "alternative investments" wing of the $122 billion fund.
And just this week former Liberal Party chair Ray Harding was charged with accepting $800,000 in reward money (from the Morris kickback pool) for some favors he did for Hevesi. Is anyone else growing to like this Andrew Cuomo kid?
So! Quadrangle—meaning Rattner—paid $90k to acquire a shitty movie Loglisci produced, and three weeks later they were doing $100 million worth of business with the pension fund. Shortly after that, Quadrangle paid $1.1 million in fees to Hank Morris.
Here is the film, Chooch, that actual legitimate investment firms invested in, in order to get that sweet pension business. Let's just quote the entire plot summary:
The life of Queens resident Dino Condito is about to take a surprising turn. After letting down his softball team by striking out in the bottom of the ninth against Hoboken, his crew brands him the chooch. Trying to cheer up his cousin Dino, Jubilene Condito cashes in his savings from his first holy communion and springs for a vacation to Cancun. You mean leave Queens? asks Dino, as if the thought had never occurred to him. But there's a mix-up on the way to the airport involving a mysterious bag of money. As soon as Dino and Jube land in Mexico, they're abducted by a pair of thugs and left in the desert at the mercy of a trio of soldiers. It takes reuniting Dino's old Queens crew, including Dino's beloved pet dachsund, to save the two cousins. Only after a jail bust, donkey ride, chicken coop explosion, and a life-changing love affair at the local bordello does the crew finally arrive to save the day. Returning home in triumphant glory with his reunited crew and newfound love Ladonna, Dino discovers the meaning of family, friendship and neighborhood.
Oh man. Rattner paid almost six figures for the rights to distribute the DVD of this heartwarming action-comedy. The only user comment is a 2-star pan from someone who knows an actress with a bit part in the movie from back home in Denver. Hah. Chooch: the shitty low-budget mob mix-up comedy that brought down a large segment of the early-2000s New York political establishment.
And now Rattner will save the auto industry for Barack Obama, who hired him because Rattner millions in donations to get himself out of the investment business and into Democratic politics.