Friday, May 17, 2013

The Teflon Dons

It’s well known that Power can corrupt. But what few understand is that sometimes Power corrupts without meaning to, which is why those who wield it need to be so firm in its use.

In March of 1980, John Favara of Howard Beach, NY, drove into the alleyway behind his home. Suddenly a mini-bike driven by a 12 year old boy jack-rabbited from behind a dumpster. Favara couldn’t stop in time.

Police and witnesses concurred that it was a tragic accident. But Favara worried that he might still be in serious trouble. Y’see, the kid was the son of John Gotti, New York’s reigning Mafia Godfather.

Gotti was known as “The Teflon Don” because no matter how hard law enforcement tried, they couldn’t convict him of any crimes. And while it was reported that he had not ascribed blame for his child’s death, either publically or privately, Favara decided that moving might be the smart thing for him to do.

Unfortunately, he didn’t move fast enough.

Shortly after the accident, he was dragged into a van by several men and never seen again. Through wire-taps and confidential informants, police became reliably certain he had been abducted by underlings in Gotti’s Gambino family, brutally slain, dismembered and disappeared.

The Godfather didn’t have to make his desires known through direct deed, word or action. His followers knew what he expected.

There’s currently a scandal brewing with the Internal Revenue Service in the United States with journalists and partisans desperate to find links to the highest office in the land.

It’s the latest in a series of scandals nobody has so far connected to the Oval office or the President’s inner circle.

Except maybe by the few who realize direct connection is not how true Power works.

In 2011, leading up to the 2012 Presidential campaign, Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot made a large financial contribution to the Mitt Romney campaign.

The Obama campaign immediately labeled him a wealthy individual with a “less than reputable reputation”. He soon learned that a campaign research firm was trying to access his divorce records. Days later, the IRS began audits of VanderSloot, his wife and his business.

The audits lasted 20 months, resulting in no fines or penalties. They found nothing amiss. But they cost VanderSloot, who had never had a previous IRS issue in either his personal or professional life, $80,000 in legal fees and claimed what he called untold damage to his personal and business reputation.

Read the full story here.

John Gotti was eventually brought down when his most trusted lieutenant, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, decided he wasn’t taking the fall for everything they had done together.

Now, I’m not sure if Hillary Clinton will one day decide she’s not taking the rap for Benghazi or some other well known Washington name or IRS underling in Cincinnati will opt out of their oath of Omerta or refuse to fall on their swords for some greater good.

But I do know that retaining a Teflon coating requires that a lot of people who know what’s “expected” of them take an undeserved and potentially lethal hit for their loyalty. And I’m feeling that, no matter their political leanings, such magnanimity is not what most true believers signed on for.

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