Friday, December 11, 2009

Carlito Brizzi's Way? Forget the Unforgettable, Lawyer the Rest

Unless Carl Brizzi is an extreme glutton for punishment, he will not be Marion County prosecutor much longer.

I am not predicting shocking new revelations, though anybody who has studied his "Statements of Economic Interests," his divorce settlement, and the records at the recorder's office knows the math doesn't add up. (Stay tuned...unless I get scooped, good post coming!)

But what really doesn't add up are Brizzi's comments.

WTHR-13 asked Brizzi point blank whether Tim Durham loaned him money to buy stock. Here's what Brizzi said:

"Not that I can think of, no. To the best of my knowledge. I'd have to go back. I haven't explored any of that in terms of those stocks," Brizzi said.

Are you kidding me?!? Not that you can think of?!? I can tell you everybody who loaned me more than $5 over the past five years for any purpose, and Brizzi can't remember if he got money to buy a stock that his friend was, just coincidentally, investing in massively that year?!?

Nothing Brizzi says adds up, logically or mathmetically. For example, Brizzi told the Indianapolis Star that his Cellstar stock is worth $7,500. The day he made that comment, it was trading at $.10 per share, which means he has approximately 75,000 shares.

On Abdul in the Morning, however, Brizzi made the following comment when asked about the Cellstar investment and where he got the money:

I started buying Cellstar back in 2005. I don’t remember how much the initial investment was. It was far less than $10,000. Where did I get the money? Uh, I don’t know. It was in my bank account. I didn’t take any loans…or…umm…from Fair Financial or Fair Holdings. And it wasn’t a gift. I paid for it. Just like any of us…just like you would make an investment. My friends and I were looking at different stocks, different investments…I’ve been doing this now for almost fifteen years…

(Quick aside, at a holiday party last night, someone said a telltale sign of lying is when you repeat the question back. Her: "Were you cheating on me, Tiger?" Him: "Was I cheating on you?!!?" I'm not saying I buy it, but it's funny Brizzi did that with Abdul).

Here's the problem. Had Brizzi somehow gotten lucky enough to buy 75,000 shares on the day of its lowest offering price of that year ($.32 per share), it still would have cost $25,500. Of course, were that true, how could he have also told the Star he lost money on the stock? It ultimately paid dividends of $2.10 per share. So the math would be 75,000 x $2.10 = $157,500 - $25,500 (initial buy-in) - $16,500 stock value loss = $115,500. How is that an unrealized return on investment?

But when you really look at Brizzi's comments, you see the lawyer at work. He doesn't say he only bought Cellstar once. He says his "initial investment" was less than $10,000. The truth might be that he bought the stock repeatedly throughout the year, but if we knew the true purchase prices, we might wonder where he got the cash.

If you follow Brizzi's statements, you'll also see he's mastered the fine art of the misplaced modifier.

Permit me to explain.

You're at a party where your host has made some tasty potato salad and some hamburgers you wouldn't feed your dog. He asks, "How was the meal?" You don't want to hurt his feelings, so you reply, "You sure made some tasty potato salad and hamburgers." His mind will emphasize the adjective to conclude he made tasty potato salad AND tasty hamburgers. But you know you're emphasizing what was made - some tasty potato salad AND a non-described batch of hamburgers.

You may ask, "Well, how in the world does Brizzi go from knowing with certainty he didn't get money from Durham on Abdul to not being sure? Observe closely the quote:

"Where did I get the money? Uh, I don’t know. It was in my bank account. I didn’t take any loans…or…umm…from Fair Financial or Fair Holdings. And it wasn't a gift. I paid for it."

See the modifying phrase? Brizzi didn't take any loans....from Fair Financial or Fair Holdings. That's not the same as saying he didn't take any loans from Durham.

Say Durham gave him a wad of cash and said, "Pay me back whenever." Brizzi put it in his bank account, then he bought the stock. Under this scenario, everything he says is true. It wasn't a gift. He did pay for it. He did get it from his bank account.

See the fun you can have with words?

Carl Brizzi also wants to draw attention away from the GOP, so on Abdul he makes the following statement: “Tim has given generously to both Republicans and Democrats…”

When I heard the quote, it reminded me of when Jack Haley described his debut in the NBA as "the night Michael Jordan and I scored 52." (Jordan got 51 of those).

Brizzi wants us to believe that Durham has given generously to Republicans and given generously to Democrats. But what he really means is that (1) Durham has given generously collectively; and (2) he has given to both Republicans and Democrats, which is true.

In Tim Durham's entire life, he has given $1,000 to the DNC in 2000, $250 to former Bloomington Mayor (and now Obama appointee) John Fernandez in 2001, and $4,600 in 2007 to Congressman Baron Hill, a fellow Seymour resident.

Contrast that $6,000 to Dems with the half-million total donated to Richard Lugar, George W. Bush, Jon Elrod, the Indiana State Republican Central Committee, Brose McVey, the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rudy Guiliani, Lawrence Mayor Paul Ricketts, State Representative Mike Delph, David McIntosh, Governor Mitch Daniels, the Marion County Republican Central Committee, Attorney General Greg Zoeller, Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard Mourdock, House Minority Leader Brian Bosma, the House Republican Campaign Committee, the Greater Indianapolis Republican Finance Committee, Aiming Higher (Daniels PAC), now defunded Sheriff candidate Tim Motsinger, and, of course, Brizzi.

Yeah. Durham is bi-partisan.

But no amount of wordsmithing can save Brizzi. I'm basing this on political reality. Tom John, the Marion County Chair, knows full well that if Brizzi ran, he could not win now. The GOP's best chance to retain the prosecutor's office is to find quickly a substitute with prosecutorial bona fides who can put some high profile cases under his/her belt. As the Governor and the state GOP know full well that the Marion County prosecutor can investigate them, I'm getting from the grapevine that everybody is scouring the landscape for a quality replacement.

The sand in the hourglass is almost out.



M Theory said...

Great post. As I listened to Brizzi's interview, I noticed this too.

I've not followed your blog closely like I have Advance Indiana, but I think you are one of the better blogs.

But tell me. Would you call to task the Democrats as hard as you are willing to do so to the Republicans?

That's what makes me loyal to Gary Welsh's blog. He rats out the honorless sociopaths in both parties equally.

Meanwhile, do you think the Governor should dig into his own personal assets to pay back the money Durham gave him if Durham is found guilty of the ponzi scheme?

Anonymous said...

Oh, you are so clever, what fabulous writing! The Gs--Gary and Greg--have competition.

Darling, you missed a point. Carlito had to give up half to the misses, er ex-misses Melanie. So, you need to multiply the profit x2 to see what he got.

Judging by the divorce papers his spending patterns mirror Tim's in that he spent everything he got his little hands on!!!

Anonymous said...

Are Brizzi's divorce records online somewhere? Please link.

Anonymous said...

Question: it is a violation for felons to communicate with each other, right?

If Durham and Brizzi are convicted of felonies not only willthey not be allowed to vote they won't be allowed to hang around Dan Laikin, right?

Anonymous said...

You know your career is over when small town newspapers statewide start sending their own reporters to cover the story. The link at the bottom shows the Anderson newspaper and its twist.

The first link shows Durham's hometown paper in Seymour, Indiana and its coverage. Note the earlier post about Durham being inducted into Seymour's Hall of Fame.

I nominate a new category: Indiana's Hall of SHAME. My first three nominees are Tim Durham, Dan Laikin and Carl Brizzi.

And, I will amend that nomination to feature a very prominent relative of one of the thre if the feds charge RICO.