What Causes Corruption? Insanity, Insecurity And Alcohol

The trial of State Sen. Malcolm Smith, former Councilman Dan Halloran and former GOP honcho Vincent Tabone  has yielded some interesting news items, most notably the defenses of the three men for what they are accused of doing.

TaboneThe three men who were arrested for allegedly scheming to put Smith on the ballot as a Republican in last year’s Mayor’s race have had some interesting excuses for their actions.

Tabone claimed that he was too drunk to realize that what he was doing was illegal, saying he had consumed too many vodka tonics before being approached to accept a $25,000 bribe on behalf of Smith. In cash. In a car parked outside a Manhattan restaurant. At night.

Halloran attempted to gain some sympathy by invoking the brain tumor he had removed in 2012 as clouding his judgment in participating in the scheme.

While no one would joke about the serious medical condition the former Councilman faced, his last-minute attempt to dodge responsibity for his actions seemed to be a “Hail Mary” play, quickly dismissed by the judge in the case because the time for pre-trial motions had passed.

Finally,  Smith, who was ousted as State Senate Majority Leader during a shake-up in 2009, was said to feel “marginalized” about what he called a “coup” and was looking for other avenues to reassert his power in the political spectrum.

When asked to testify, State Sen. Diane Savino, another member of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, said Smith’s plan to run for Mayor as a Republican was “goofy,” but that he was serious about it.

The scheme that resulted in these three men standing trial may have been goofy, but their reasons for being put in this situation may actually be crazier.

Only time will tell if the defense holds up…