Graft

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January 6, 2020  

Who’ll Fill Collins’ Vacancy in CD-27 (with Beth Parlato and Rob Ortt)

Back in October, 4-term Republican congressman Chris Collins resigned his seat representing New York's 27th District upon pleading guilty to insider trading, setting up a fierce competition to replace him, first in a special election this April, and again this November for a full term.

The 27th is one of those few deep red districts in New York, so the winner of the GOP primary is virtually guaranteed a seat in Congress. Today, we're talking with two of the leading candidates in that primary - first the outsider, attorney Beth Parlato, then the insider, State Senator Rob Ortt.

Beth Parlato's campaign site

Rob Ortt's campaign site

To subscribe or to contact the show, visit us at graftpodcast.com, email [email protected], or call (646) 450-4060.

Theme Music by Jay Lifton (www.jaylifton.com)

December 13, 2019  

Confessions of a Political Assassin (with Randy Koniowka)

Buckle up listeners, because we're going back to Cohoes, NY. This is our 4th episode on Cohoes and former mayor Shawn Morse.

And why can't we quiet this tiny upstate city? Because it's simply the most fascinatingly dysfunctional political scene in New York and that's a high bar.

The recently ousted Morse, awaiting sentencing on a federal fraud charge, has long maintained he'd simply fallen prey to a coordinated political hit job. Now it appears he may have been (at least partly) right.

So is Morse a villain, a victim, or both?

Our prior Cohoes episodes:

Apr 30, 2019: Spindle City Summit (with Shawn Morse)
Apr 25, 2019: Return to Spindle City (with Randy Koniowka)
Feb 28, 2019: Bonus Minisode: Spindle City Takedown

To subscribe or to contact the show, visit us at graftpodcast.com, email [email protected], or call (646) 450-4060.

Theme Music by Jay Lifton (www.jaylifton.com)

November 6, 2019  

Long Island Throws Out Some Bums, Keeps Others (with Brad Schwartz)

Yesterday was Election Day in New York. Joining us to gawk at the results of the biggest (downstate, non-NYC) races is Brad Schwartz, host of "The Big Fish" podcast (www.thebigfishpodcast.com), a fantastic new show focused on Long Island's biggest, fishiest political movers and shakers.

To subscribe or to contact the show, visit us at graftpodcast.com, email [email protected], or call (646) 450-4060.

Theme Music by Jay Lifton (www.jaylifton.com)

October 17, 2019  

Albany’s Lecherous Moral Hazard (with Bob Confer)

Here's an uncontroversial statement: New York taxpayers shouldn't pay for lawmakers' sexual harassment settlements.

And yet we do, to the tune of millions of dollars.

With us today is Bob Confer, author of a recent op-ed exposing this dirty little secret and offering lawmakers a variety of proposals for them to ignore on how to fix it.

To subscribe or to contact the show, visit us at graftpodcast.com, email [email protected], or call (646) 450-4060.

Theme Music by Jay Lifton (www.jaylifton.com)

October 11, 2019  

Tilting at Puppy (and Patronage) Mills (with Diane Madden)

Today we're joined by Diane Madden, animal advocate and an independent 2019 candidate running on the brand new Libertarian line for supervisor of the Town of Hempstead, NY, America's largest town.

Central to Madden's anti-corruption campaign is her ongoing exposé of the jaw-dropping waste and mismanagement at the Hempstead Animal Shelter.

Should the party-backed candidates be nervous? Let's find out.

To subscribe or to contact the show, visit us at graftpodcast.com, email [email protected], or call (646) 450-4060.

Theme Music by Jay Lifton (www.jaylifton.com)

October 8, 2019  

Cuomo Double Dares You To Hate School Kids (with Chris Paolillo)

Last month, Governor Cuomo signed a new bill called the School Bus Camera Bill. A bill for the kids that no one can disagree with, which aims to stop people from bypassing stop sign arms on school buses.

But Chris Paolillo, a member of the West Babylon School Board, is joining us today to tell us why this bill may not be everything it's cracked up to be.

To subscribe or to contact the show, visit us at graftpodcast.com, email [email protected], or call (646) 450-4060.

Theme Music by Jay Lifton (www.jaylifton.com)

September 4, 2019  

The Hypsochromic Hypothesis (with Melanie D’Arrigo)

A couple weeks ago, we aired the explosive episode On Your Left, featuring Michael Weinstock, a progressive primary challenger to the Democratic incumbent from NY's 3rd Congressional District, Tom Suozzi. But Weinstock's not alone in taking the self-styled centrist to task over his self-styled centrism.

Today we're joined by another 3rd District Democratic hopeful, Melanie D'Arrigo, who aims to prove that in the era of Trump and AOC, machine-backed moderate Democrats - even in purple, suburban districts - have vulnerable left flanks.

To subscribe or to contact the show, visit us at graftpodcast.com, email [email protected], or call (646) 450-4060.

Theme Music by Jay Lifton (www.jaylifton.com)

August 28, 2019  

Anyone Left In Mount Vernon Who Isn’t Mayor? (with Mayor Andre Wallace)

If you remember our July 15 episode, The Supernumerary Mayors of Mount Vernon, you know that city just north of NYC was experiencing a remarkable power struggle between two men, Richard Thomas and Andre Wallace, both of whom claimed to be mayor. Department heads, city employees, and citizens didn't know quite what to make of it. At one point, the newly appointed (though naturally contested) chief of police was arrested when he arrived for work. After a few weeks, a judge's ruling seemed to quell the crisis. And then it got suddenly worse.

Today, actual mayor Andre Wallace joins us to discuss.

To subscribe or to contact the show, visit us at graftpodcast.com, email [email protected], or call (646) 450-4060.

Theme Music by Jay Lifton (www.jaylifton.com)

August 16, 2019  

How Epstein Cheated the Hangman (with Wardens Catherine Linaweaver and Cameron Lindsay)

Today we’re probing the ignominious end of Jeffrey Epstein’s ignominious life. The circumstances of Epstein’s death are suspicious, whether or not you subscribe to the more fantastical conspiracy theories. While the details of timelines and security lapses remain sketchy and incomplete, what we know is that the highest profile prisoner in the federal prison system died of unnatural causes, in the special housing unit of a facility used to incarcerating mob bosses, drug kingpins, and terrorists - a facility that hasn’t seen a suicide in over 20 years.

Here to help us make sense of it are two fantastic guests - Catherine Linaweaver, the former warden of NY’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (the facility in question) and 2012 Warden of the Year; and Cameron Lindsay, the former warden of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, that borough’s 3x larger equivalent to Manhattan’s MCC.

Lindsay and Linaweaver of course have uniquely well informed perspectives about what happened here, where and why the breakdowns occurred, what to do about it, and where the investigation goes next.

To subscribe or to contact the show, visit us at graftpodcast.com, email [email protected], or call (646) 450-4060.

Theme Music by Jay Lifton (www.jaylifton.com)

August 13, 2019  

On Your Left! (with Michael Weinstock)

In the era of AOC, NY's Democratic incumbents are sleeping with one eye open, even in the suburbs. Congressman Tom Suozzi (Nassau, Suffolk, and Queens) has attracted at least two challengers from his left flank.

Today, we sit down with former sex crimes prosecutor Michael Weinstock (weinstockforcongress.com), one of those progressive Democrats looking to snatch the 3rd District nomination from Suozzi.

Weinstock blasts Suozzi not only for being a "fake Democrat," but over his support for a convicted felon and political ally, who Weinstock alleges criminally sexually harassed him.

To subscribe or to contact the show, visit us at graftpodcast.com, email [email protected], or call (646) 450-4060.

Theme Music by Jay Lifton (www.jaylifton.com)

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