Sunday, April 25, 2010

Random Thoughts on "The Market," Racinos, Carl Brizzi's Amazing Luck, and Larry Brodeur's Bad Fortune

For the second time this year, insurer Wellpoint announced that it will delay rate hikes on individual policies in California. Did “the market” make Wellpoint wait, or was it fear of government scrutiny or regulation? Even those who despise “government” have to admit that it’s a useful vehicle for reigning in prices when the market doesn’t (which is a strange notion because isn't the market already supposed to deliver the lowest price?) Sometimes the thing that drives “the market” to innovate quickest is the fear that if it doesn’t, government will step in. This is probably why after President Clinton took a swing for the fences in 1993 but failed, medical inflation still slowed.

Regarding “the market,” if Republicans so detest government bailouts, why would any self-respecting GOP member vote for slot machines (or anything else) for racing tracks to “keep horseracing viable” (i.e., to keep an unprofitable product afloat)? Why don’t Republicans let this industry fail? Does it have anything to do with the fact that a lot of wealthy Republicans are the ones who raise and race the horses? Seriously, can you envision in your wildest dreams Republican legislators voting to let Navistar put up slot machines?

Speaking of hitting the jackpot, this weekend Carl Brizzi did an interview on WIBC with Steve Simpson. It was too maddeningly incomplete and evasive to recount blow by blow, but the most intriguing tidbits are these:

1. When Carl Brizzi and Paul Page bought a building in Elkhart for $825,000 as co-owners, they didn’t put any money down.

According to Brizzi, the purchase “was collateralized by the building and the lease(s).” But only one lease has been disclosed – the one with the State of Indiana for over one-quarter of the entire purchase price per year. Friends, would any bank give you a loan in such a circumstance without a signed lease? No? Then wouldn’t that mean that BEFORE Brizzi even obtained the building, the State had a deal with him? If so, the State could have bought the building itself and saved hundreds of thousands over the building’s life. If anybody in real estate can explain how something doesn’t smell rotten in this transaction, I’m all ears.

Also, I'm still waiting for Brizzi to explain how he happened to be trolling around Elkhart looking for office space. My thinking is that if I had a really good friend (cough - John Bales - cough) in real estate whose job is to get governmental units office space, he might know about an agency looking for some space, and he might know where and when they need it.

2. When speaking about the Mobarecki plea deal (you know, the one where Brizzi gave a guy with five pounds of dope, sixty thousand worth of drugs, and sixteen thousand in cash in bags of chicken in his freezer just a D felony plus ten of his cash back), Brizzi threw an unnamed John Doe on his staff under the bus.

What Brizzi said was that he had to be so lenient because "serious allegations" had been made against somebody in his office about what the deal for Mobarecki's cooperation was. Can anybody envision how that could be anybody but Larry Brodeur, the prosecutor who was on the case whose e-mail went public on Brizzi's bad decision? How awesome for Brizzi. By pulling the old "I can't say why because it's a personnel matter," Brizzi leaves us to infer, and there's only one person we know of who could be under that microscope - the guy whose e-mail hosed Brizzi publicly.



Anonymous said...

Former deputy prosecutor here.

I know both Carl and Larry professionally and personally.

Larry is a prosecutor's prosecutor. He would make a great elected prosecutor, but he can't deal with the politics. He's civil, he treats opposing attorneys with respect, and he pushes his attorneys to be better prosecutors and advocates. He epitomizes the role of prosecutors as administrators of justice. In return, he is seen as the best supervisor in the office to work for. People fight to get in the narcotics unit, and they don't want to leave once they get there, even foregoing higher paying positions to stay there.

In my conversations with those prosecutors still in the office, Larry really put his neck on the block by sending those emails. Carl was less than amused. That's what Larry does-he stands up for what is right and worries about the consequences later. Larry has the backs of his deputies--that's why he is universally admired and respected.

How about Carl let Larry talk to the press? Let him give his recollection of the Mobarecki case. Larry won't lie.

If Carl thinks he can win a battle of integrity with Larry, he's going to come up way short. Both Curry and Massa would be smart to keep him in place if they won.

Anonymous said...

I think Carl Brizzi is not a crook. I think he's psychic. After all, he just guessed to locate a building in Elkhart in time for a 10 year triple net lease at no less than 2x the average mkt lease rate, and guessed that the bank would allow, as collateral, a hypothetical lease with these exact terms.

And, he guessed to buy--or accumulate, cuz we really don't know who bought the stock--hundreds of thousands of shares of Cellstar at the very same time Tim Durham had assembled his 13D group to buy the very same stock just in time for Brightpoint to buy Cellstar! You know Brightpoint, that Indianapolis company run by Durham business partner Dan Laikin's brother Bobby Laikin--the same Brightpoint Tim Durham had his other "hunch" on. (We all know what kind of businesss skills Durham has--none.)

And Carlito has employed Brizzi's honor with yet another spectacular accumulation of boiler room Red Rock Pictures--approximately 1,000,000 shares~just in time to be pumped. Oops, right after Carlito came into possession of this stock, Dan Laikin got arrested--for pumping Red Rock!

So, we are all wrong. Carl is not a crook. He is just smarter than all the men in the room.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Anonymous regarding his/her assessment of Brodeur and Brizzi.

If Brizzi's implications about unethical behavior by his narcotics division deputies was true, wouldn't he be ethically obligated by the Rules of Professional conduct to report them to the Supreme Court? Wouldn't it all end up being made public at that point?

That's right, he's full of crap and flailing around desperately to cover his ass--no matter who it hurts. Surprise surprise.