Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 28, 2007

GIULIANI'S CLIENT LIST....A year ago, the senior managing director for Rudy Giuliani's consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, said, "We bend over backwards and are very careful about who we do business with, for the most obvious reasons -- from the beginning, Rudy's brand of integrity and ethics always had to be preserved."

In retrospect, the comment seems almost comical. The latest dubious client to draw scrutiny is Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of OxyContin. The NYT's report details the extent to which the former mayor went to bat for the OxyContin makers, in exchange for a small fortune, lobbying prosecutors, meeting with DEA officials, persuading lawmakers, and winning public-relations battles, all for a company led by executives who later pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

For those keeping score at home, the list of controversial clients, none of which Giuliani is willing to acknowledge publicly, is getting pretty long. There's the Hank Asher controversy, the business relationship with a Qataran emir accused of sheltering dangerous terrorists (including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed), and the Hong Kong organized crime figure with reported ties to North Korea, among others.

Of course, these are just the ones we already know about. Why, pray tell, won't Giuliani come clean about the others? Jonathan Chait takes a look today at the former mayor's list of excuses.

Giuliani's first defense is that he cannot divulge his clients because they asked to sign confidentiality agreements. In fact, Giuliani Partners, not its clients, is the party that requests confidentiality.

Giuliani also says we shouldn't worry, because most of his clients have been revealed in the press, anyway. "Just about every single client of Giuliani Partners, which is my security company, has been discussed, has been examined, certainly every significant one," he told Russert. Just about every client? This is approximately as reassuring as a murder suspect who tells the police they can search just about every room in his house.

Giuliani has further insisted that every one of his clients is upstanding. "None of them," he told Russert, "amount to anything other than ethical, lawful, decent work done by both companies, sometimes of the highest standards, always ethical and decent." Not only is this obviously false, if you think about it, it has to be false. Giuliani is in the business of selling his reputation. What sort of firms need to buy that product? Not the Boy Scouts of America. It's drug smugglers, scandal-plagued firms, and others who need the imprimatur of Giuliani's 9/11 halo.

But that's fine, of course, because "Rudy's brand of integrity and ethics always had to be preserved." Please.

Steve Benen 9:02 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (13)

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Romney and Giuliani, Giuliani and Romney. Each time I see the one, I think I like the other better.

Posted by: anandine on December 28, 2007 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, Rudy's brand is being preserved all right. In the annals of one of the worst-run candidacies ever. He took the projected goodwill of the no-nothing lemings and threw them over the cliff.

I expect an indictment of The Rudester himself ere long.

Posted by: bigcat on December 28, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

I dunno, who better to take the helm of one of the world's biggest crime syndicates than a seasoned criminal like Rudy Giuliani?

Posted by: rabbit on December 28, 2007 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Wingnuts froth over the "criminality" of the Clintons. Righty blogs would have you believe the couple rival Bonnie & Clyde in their misdeeds. Meanwhile even a cursory exploration of Rudy's affairs reveal him to be a mendacious, venal hoodlum of the lowest order. Bill Clinton catches hell for his trysts but no one ever accused him of having the Secret Service squire around Monica Lewinsky on the taxpayer dime. Where is the outrage? The hypocrisy and duplicity of conservatives in matters such as these expose them as fools.

Posted by: steve duncan on December 28, 2007 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Qatari, not "Qataran" - really if you're going to make snide remarks about "poof" in re hair... As for the smear, while Guilani may deserve it, being a loon, the guilt by 3rd hand association is precisely the sort of thing you typically decry when directed at your Left politicians.


Posted by: The Lounsbury on December 28, 2007 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm, Lounsbury. That's a sassy one, attempting to characterize Giuliani's (note correct spelling) handpicked clients as a "third-hand association." You get points for moxie, if not for credibility.

Posted by: shortstop on December 28, 2007 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Steve: Excellent piece! Yes, Giuliani seems more and more exposed as a pathetic caricature of his would-be "lofty" self-image.

Couldn't happen to a "nicer" (or at least, more fitting) guy, I suppose.

Posted by: Poilu on December 28, 2007 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

"Rudy's brand of integrity and ethics" has always been for sale. He's just the latest sleazemeister offering to cover up others' criminal activities with a veneer of respectability.

Posted by: CN on December 28, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Rudy pretty much has Limbaugh's vote now, doesn't he?

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on December 28, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Hnmmm" yourself, my dear knee jerker. I have no fight in your domestic politics, however if you read the underlying news for understanding, the accusation is indeed third hand.

A Qatari minister, accused, but the contract is with the government, not the person. Given the accusations that one typically sees flung about re "Al Qaeda links" with but the weakest hearsay support I would hazard the opinion that were this about someone on your "Left" side, you'd be rightly questioning the bloody damned relevance.

Standards, like I said mate, standards. Bloody well ask yourself if this thin gruel of criticism would stand up if it were not someone you hate.

Posted by: The Lounsbury on December 28, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

If it were someone I liked, his candidacy would already have been vaporized by "this thin gruel of criticism."

Posted by: SqueakyRat on December 28, 2007 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

I rather doubt that mate, I rather doubt it. Partisans and standards rarely meet - I should however underline I speak to the thin gruel of the supposed Qatari "scandal." Other Guilani items may be more substantive, but I did not have much use for the lunatic when I lived in his city while he was mayor and I don't now - however it's your bloody problem and not mine unless you morons elect another lunatic to the Presidency.

Posted by: The Lounsbury on December 29, 2007 at 7:45 AM | PERMALINK

"The hypocrisy and duplicity of conservatives in matters such as these expose them as fools." Actually, conservatives can`t stand Giuliani.

Posted by: On Holiday on January 2, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK



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