Leland Yee, the former state senator from San Francisco, has pleaded guilty "to one count of racketeering of taking part in a criminal enterprise to use his political position to accept bribes" as reported by KGO.
Malcolm Smith, the one-time majority leader of the New York State Senate, was sentenced yesterday to seven years in a federal prison "for consenting to the payment of tens of thousands of dollars to Republican Party leaders to permit him, as a registered Queens Democrat, to run for mayor in 2013 on their party's line" as reported by Joseph Berger for The New York Times. His co-defendant Vincent Tabone, the former Queens County Republican vice chairman and a real estate lawyer, got 3 1/2 years for "receiving a $25,000 cash bribe in a sport utility vehicle parked outside a Manhattan restaurant by promising to deliver the county's support for Mr. Smith's mayoral bid."
The Mexican cartels move $50 billion in bulk product and bundled cash across the border each year, and have established supply lines, distribution networks and operational cells in hundreds of communities throughout the United States, and there is no way that such a well-entrenched operation could be so successfully accomplished without a little help from well-placed friends.
It turns out that the Obama Administration "does not want agents to make drug busts and has taken away their ability to do so" according to "far-reaching and damning accusations from agents working entry points in Arizona, Texas and California" as reported by Nigel Duara for the Los Angeles Times: "there was a lot of pressure for us to get out of the [drug] interdiction game," said Shane Gallagher, an agent in the San Diego sector.
The U.S. government long has been accused of allowing the Sinaloa cartel to move drugs over the border and otherwise becoming "an accessory to all sorts of criminal behavior" according to the recent BBC documentary Secrets of Mexico's Drug Warsas reported by Tim Dowling for The Guardian.
Indeed, the Sinaloa cartel has turned Chicago, IL -- Obama's political stomping ground -- "into one of the nation's largest drug trafficking hubs, replete with the violence and related crimes that come with that designation," and it's taken root in the Mexican neighborhoods as reported by Andrew O'Reilly for Fox News Latino: "Cook County police say that the neighborhoods of Pilsen and Little Village, both of which are about 82 percent Hispanic according to Census data, have become hubs for Sinaloa Cartel associates who traffic heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine across the city and -- with easy access to the Stevenson, Dan Ryan, and Eisenhower Expressways -- across the country."
Organized crime cannot exist without public corruption, and Obama's policies certainly seem to favor the Sinaloa cartel.
The premises has existed as a gay bar since 1958 when it was opened by George Fluss; however, it was a short run for Fluss. He lost his liquor license in 1959 for permitting "homosexual activities" on the premises according to New York State Liquor Authority records. Fluss went on to work at other gay bars and restaurants in the early 1960s including at the Pines & Dunes Yacht Club on Fire Island and the Coat of Arms at 140 East 53rd Street.
Ralph Pansini took over the 309 Amsterdam Avenue space in 1960 under the name Candlelight Lounge, and continued to operate it as a gay bar. Pansini wore a wire for New York District Attorney Frank Hogan's investigation into corruption at the State Liquor Authority. The investigation brought down SLA head Martin Epstein and agency fixer Hyman Siegel who specialized in licensing cases. Siegel inherited his law practice from Louis Lefkowitz who in 1957 had become New York's Attorney General. Al Scotti, then head of the DA's Rackets Bureau, reportedly said that he also had a solid case against Lefkowitz: "I had Lefkowitz in the palm of my hand, but the statute of limitations ran out." The SLA scandal was a black eye for Governor Nelson Rockefeller who appointed Epstein to the SLA and counted Lefkowitz as his closest advisor. Governor Nelson infamously declared in September 1970 that he didn't know anything about the role of the Mafia in gay bars.
Suspected Genovese associate Jennie Tobin at one point allegedly had an interest in the Candle Bar at 309 Amsterdam Avenue. According to court documents, the State Liquor Authority revoked the liquor license for the Candle Bar in 1978 because the disclosed principals, Jean A. Sabathe and Helen Linsalto, "were charged with not being the true and/or sole parties in interest in said premises, but that William Elmer 'Sonny' Tobin, Jennie Endicott [a/k/a Jennie Tobin], his wife, . . . also have an interest therein." Sonny was whacked in 1978 before Jennie's eyes in their Queens home.
In 1980 Robert E. Ader, a gay attorney, took over the Candle Bar. Curiously, Ader had a previous relationship with the Tobin family going back to at least 1975. Ader died of AIDS in the early 1990s, and apparently his sister Michelle Ader since has operated the premises. There is no allegation that either Ader were involved in any wrongdoing or had any mob involvement.