Kruger, Weiner Back in Spotlight

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Carl Kruger is pleading for leniency in his sentencing.Former Democratic Brooklyn State Senator Carl Kruger has asked the court for mercy as he faces the possibility of getting sentenced to eleven years in prison. The disgraced ex-Senator claimed in a statement to the court that he led “a humble and model life” and did not in any way benefit from the $500,000 in bribes he deposited to his friend Michael Turano’s bank accounts, according to the sentencing memorandum he filed last week in Manhattan federal court.

With Kruger’s attorney stating that his client is “deeply remorseful, humbled and humiliated beyond words,” Kruger himself asked for a reduced sentence. The former elected official wrote, “My contrition, sadness and remorse is overwhelming,” and asked the judge to take into account his “birth into fatherless poverty.” Kruger, 63, and Turano, 50, were set for sentencing in Manhattan federal court this week.

However, federal authorities responded by urging the judge in the case to ignore Kruger’s plea for leniency, noting that the crooked politician was soliciting bribes while other convicted officials were being sent to prison. The Manhattan federal court’s filing highlights the cases of Anthony Seminerio, Brian McLaughlin, Miguel Martinez and Efrain Gonzales, who were all jailed at the same time that Kruger was doing his dirty work in Albany.

Meanwhile, a new book is claiming that scandal-scarred former Congressman Anthony Weiner consistently exhibited arrogant behavior well before the revelation of improper photographs led to his resignation from office.  Passages of the book – “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives” by journalist Robert Draper – portray the ex-representative from Brooklyn and Queens as a politician desperate for greater fame who was not hesitant to push his way into the spotlight. Weiner “would enter his office in the Rayburn Building screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘Why the ____ am I not on MSNBC?!’” the book says. His desire materialized when Weiner became the liberal spokesman for President Obama’s healthcare plan. “He was now on MSNBC every week, sometimes every day — to the point where he was carrying his own makeup kit. (Or rather, his press guy was.)” Draper wrote.

Weiner is severely castigated in the book for his relentless self-promotion. “When the health-care debate kicked in, Anthony Weiner became the one-man standard-bearer for the single-payer system,” the book says. Then Weiner apparently became a “loose cannon,” conducting himself publicly as he pleased without consulting with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Neither Pelosi nor anyone else deputized him to speak for his party,” Draper’s tell-all claims. “But as the ultimate freelancer, Anthony Weiner had discovered that if you go on TV often enough and say something catchy . . . your point of view . . . can actually become the conventional wisdom.”

The book asserts that Weiner’s inflated self-regard became so high that he even harangued President Obama on how to convince the American public to embrace health-care reform while the two were flying aboard Air Force One. “In September 2009, after spending a day with Obama in New York to promote a financial-reform bill, Weiner hitched a ride back to Washington on the president’s private plane — and, being Weiner, couldn’t resist giving the leader of the free world some advice on how to achieve health reform,” the book alleges.

“‘Mr. President, I think you’re looking at this entirely the wrong way,’ he said. ‘You need to simplify it. Just say that what we’re doing is gradually expanding Medicare,’ ” Draper writes.

“At least Obama had a sense of humor,” the author notes. “‘Well,’ [Obama] said with a grin after their conversation, ‘Enjoy your last ride on Air Force One.’ ”