Missing a Rattner Link
April 16th, 2010

Steve Rattner, who now stands accused of paying kickbacks to win business from the state pension fund, was President Barack Obama’s auto czar. You know that if you read the News and the Times accounts of the agreement by Rattner’s old firm Quadrangle Group to pay $7 million for its role in the state pension fund scam — and to pin the blame on Rattner.

But what the Times and the News apparently do not find noteworthy are Rattner’s close ties to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The Post, is a bit more upfront here, referring to Rattner as a “Bloomberg pal,” and going on to say of Quadrangle: “Two months ago, Bloomberg revealed he would move $5 billion of his personal fortune out of the firm’s asset management unit — along with the people who managed Bloomberg’s money.”

And even out of city papers caught on to the connection, with the Los Angeles Times, for example, noting that Quadrangle’s clients ” included billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”

No allegations of impropriety here, but we can’t help wonder whether the press would not mention the link if another mayor or governor (one who, perhaps, isn’t a billionaire) had such close ties to someone who is now accused of in corruption. And the omission raised questions among those commenting on the News site. “The bottom line was Mike stealing a third term was like a professional wrestling match and Steve Rattner aided and abetted him. Both guys are arrogant and confident the laws don’t apply to the[m],” one reader said.

In agreeing to pay the settlement, Quadrangle said, “We wholly disavow the conduct engaged in by Steve Rattner, who hired the New York State comptroller’s political consultant, Hank Morris, to arrange an investment from the New York State Common Retirement Fund. That conduct was inappropriate, wrong, and unethical.”

But Bloomberg apparently is standing by his man. In an email to the Oberserver’s Azi Paybarah, spokesman Stu Loeser said, Rattner is “a friend whose advice the mayor has, and continues to, rely on.”

Or as Ben Smith wrote in Politico, “Rattner retains his high-profile backers in the stratosphere of New York’s nexus of money and media power. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is also the richest man in New York, recently shifted his personal fortune from Quadrangle to a new firm being established with Rattner’s help.”

By on April 16, 2010, 11:14 am
In category: Albany,Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing | Comments Off on Missing a Rattner Link

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