Morning Read: ‘An Official Corruption Coat of Paint’

"You Snake" directed at Senator Sampson. (Photo: Newseum.org)

“You Snake” directed at Senator Sampson. (Photo: Newseum.org)

Headline of the Day: “Insert your Weiner joke at own risk.”

Alternative: “Hard ‘labor’ as unions whack Weiner.”

Later this morning, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz. Jr will endorse former Comptroller Bill Thompson for mayor. “Bill Thompson was the right man to be out mayor four years ago, and he remains the right man for the job in 2013,” Mr. Diaz told City & State in a statement. “Bill has a long record of accomplishment, and will be a strong mayor for all five boroughs.”

The New York Times looked into the woes of John Catsimatidis‘ “unloved uncle of the New York City grocery scene,” Gristedes: “Mr. Catsimatidis’s voice began to rise when asked about the legal troubles. He dismissed the lawsuits as the work of ‘ambulance chasers’ seeking millions in legal fees from local businesses. When an aide attempted to interject, Mr. Catsimatidis waved him off, saying, ‘I got to finish, because I’m emotional!’”

The Times also editorialized about the recent arrest of State Sen. John Sampson, noting, “For all the talk among Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other leaders about cleaning up New York’s rancid state government, it is the F.B.I. that is doing the cleaning — indictment by indictment,” adding, “It will take more than public shaming to the Albany crowd to do things right.”

Perfect: “Today’s arrest of ____ brings to ___ the number of current and former government officials arrested on public corruption charges (pick one) this week / this month / since you started reading this paragraph. The allegations were brought by (pick one) the dogged U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York / the persistent U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York / any prosecutor adept at shooting fish in a barrel.”

While State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins stopped just short of calling for Mr. Sampson’s resignation. “I find it difficult,” she said of his ability to focus on his district. “All of the charges, frankly, are very, very serious. I would think that in order for him to really focus that he would probably would need to pay [the] most attention to get out of the trouble that he’s in.”

For his part, Mr. Sampson pleaded not guilty. “This is an ordinary case that has been given an official corruption coat of paint,” his attorney Zach Carter said. “I believe that is unfair and prejudicial.” He explained, “The Senator does not stand accused [of] … any misuse of his office as a New York state senator. Period, full stop.”

And Congresswoman Yvette Clarke provided a notice to her constituents yesterday about the Boston bombing, as if the attack had happened yesterday: “I want to encourage everyone to cooperate with law enforcement authorities as they work to identify whomever is responsible for these senseless attacks and increase public safety. I want to applaud our first responders for their heroism.”