Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The President: Where There's Smoke ...

The standard approach to President Bush's recent batch of pardons seems to be to brush them aside. After all, there were no "big names." No Scooter Libby. No Conrad Black. No Dick Cheney. No Donald Rumsfeld. Etc.

But "big" just might be in the eye of the beholder. Maxine Wilson is more than a little perturbed that the name of Isaac Robert Toussie sits in the list of 19 pardons. Says Wilson, "It's almost as if our pain and our hurt and our hardship really doesn't matter." Beverly Sanchez calls Toussie's pardon a "slap in the face." Peter Seidman calls it "a kick in the teeth." Suffolk Legis. Ricardo Montano (D) is "baffled" and Assemb. Ginny Fields (D) says Toussie "did a tremendous amount of damage to Suffolk County, and it's irrevocable."

You see, Toussie was a Brooklyn developer who masterminded a massive real estate scam. As a result, he pleaded guilty to charges in two separate cases, admitting he made false statements to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and pleading guilty to falsifying loan documents illegally qualifying about 100 home buyers for HUD-backed mortgages. In another case, Toussie pleaded guilty to having a friend send the county a letter that falsely inflated property values.

Some will focus on the fact that Isaac's father, Robert Toussie, donated $28,500 to the Republican National Committee this year. And that is fair enough. But perhaps the most notable fact PardonPower sees floating around out there is the fact (reported in the New York Daily News) that Isaac's pardon application was received on August 7, 2008. That is a red flag of several sorts. See great reporting on this story here and here. Consider this story "developing" ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It looks like President Bush reversed his decision today on this pardon. Do reversals happen often?

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