If things weren’t bad enough for Rudy Giuliani, he just accepted the endorsement of radical conservative Steve Forbes. In accepting the endorsement, Giuliani even touted Forbes’ signature idea, the flat tax he had called a “mistake” and a “disaster” in 1996 when Forbes was running for president. Of the income tax—one of just a few progressive taxes in the United States, a country in which the rich/poor gap is greater than at any time since 1928—Giuliani said: “Maybe I’d suggest not doing it at all, but if we were going to do it, a flat tax would make a lot of sense.” Wingnut alert, y’all!
Today’s New York Times also reports that Giuliani was briefed on Bernard Kerik’s ties to a company with ties to organized crime before he appointed Kerik as police commissioner. Giuliani would go on to support Kerik’s nomination for secretary of homeland security. Giuliani claims not to remember the briefing, but hasn’t denied it happened.
The charges against Kerik are significant not just because he was ascending towards the nation’s top law enforcement positions, but also because he pleaded guilty last summer to letting the “connected” company, Interstate Industrial Corporation, do $165,000 worth of unpaid renovations to his apartment just before Giuliani appointed him. The problem for Giuliani gets a little stickier, too, when you factor in that the ex-mayor’s private company does background checks for businesses.