Someone should tell Malcolm Smith that the weather’s warming up and indeed spring is nigh.
The state senator from Hollis seems stuck in wintertime. Maybe the harsh season gave him a bit of cabin fever. Or maybe there’s some other explanation for the oddball fundraising “event” he has planned for March 24.
It’s a “virtual golf outing” advertised on his campaign website, which declares, without a trace of irony, “That’s our Malcolm!”
Credit Smith with originality. No other politician we can think of has tried to hold a “fundraiser” that apparently entails nothing more than sending the money and not even getting up off the couch.
Where do you play? Nowhere. Where do you eat after playing your rounds? Nowhere. What do you eat? Nothing.
What do you get out of it all? That’s hard to say.
We know what Smith is hoping to get: cash to fund his re-election campaign and, possibly, his defense in the federal corruption case against him. Smith, you see, has only about $23,000 left in his account. And he’s facing some tough charges and has a well-known lawyer, Gerald Shargel, who doesn’t come cheap.
Maybe that’s why he’s charging $100 for one person, $250 for two and $500 for four. Usually the price per player is lowered for pairs and groups at such events. But this apparently is bizarro world, where everything’s backwards.
Smith is at the center of a bizarre scheme in which he allegedly sought to bribe Republican Party officials into letting him run for mayor on their line last year. He, along with then-City Councilman Dan Halloran and four other people, were indicted nearly a year ago. Two of the lesser players in the alleged conspiracy reached plea agreements with federal prosecutors, but the others, including Smith, continue to fight the charges.
Smith even asked the court to delay his trial until after this year’s state primaries, since he’s going to be facing at least two challengers, but that request was denied.
Good. This is no virtual trial. Unlike Smith’s planned golf “outing,” it’s very real. And if convicted, he could wind up paying a very high price, one far beyond just losing his cushy job in the state Senate.
Smith’s campaign didn’t return a call seeking comment on the golf event. Which is too bad, if only because we’d like to know if the virtual senator would take Bitcoins, the virtual currency, for his virtual golf outing. Why not? It’s hard to believe anything about this is real.