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A Chicken Ain't A Chicken
July 16, 2004: Come July it's just too darn hot to cook. Lucky QT does takeout. Goodies-to-go include:

1) Jersey Jimbolaya

Fresh faced New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey is rolled in 100% organic mulch by Democratic fundraiser David D'Amiano, who was indicted in early July for allegedly gathering and channeling graft. Both mulch and alleged graft are artisan crops from the Cornell Dairy Farm in Middlesex County. The farm's owner hoped to buy a better buy for his government condemned property. After an implied dip in the D'Amiano indictment, McGreevey stews slowly in a federally forged frying pan. Surrounded by a peck of sullied members from his inner circle. As the Jimbolaya simmers it's stirred with a special hooker wielded by McGreevey's top campaign contributor, developer Charles Kushner. Kushner was indicted in mid July. Kushner has contributed a total of $1.5 mil to McGreevey's pot. McGreevey wanted Kushner to be chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. A Godzilla agency. But the NJ Senate choked on Chuck. No sweat. Kushner fills his time by allegedly cooking up X rated schemes to silence federal witnesses who say bad things about his campaign contributions. One such witness is his brother-in-law. Kushner's sister hit the ceiling when she saw tapes of her hubby with the hooker Kushner allegedly hired. Sis went to the feds. The Jimbolaya is ultimately plated Louisiana style, on a bed of dirty rice. Sprinkled with code words for graft. A presentation developed by mulch man David D'Amiano - who allegedly feared someone might wire a rat and steal his recipes.

Note: Jersey Jimbolaya is similar to Connecticut's signature dish, the Governor John Rowland Roll-Up.

2) Albany Double Faced Burgermeister

For beef lovers: a mound of ground round from upstate New York. On July 13th Governor George Pataki and the multi agency, crime fighting Project IMPACT flip flopped Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings onto a crunchy Weed & Seed bun. Topped with layer upon layer of his own contradictory statements about crime. Yes, we have no gang members! And: HIDTA is an acronym for Highway Interstate Drug Trafficking Area-- not High Impact Drug Trafficking Area. Side that Burgermeister with a tangle of deep fried interests and a loomin' heap of cop related slawsuits. The beverage? Through the revolving door of police leadership comes the sound of a blender whirling stats. Suddenly you crave a smoothie. Like former Public Safety Commissioner and urban planner Jack Nielsen reportedly said about neighborhood revitalization by bulldozer-- don't bother trying to stop it! Besides, with Jack off in Haiti we can Blame It On The Bossa Olda.

3) Asselin Family Stir Fry

First, catch your Asselins. Politically prominent and native to Massachusetts, the Green Beaked Asselins nest throughout the Springfield, Massachusetts Housing Authority. According to the FBI the Asselins live on a diet of pilfered federal housing dollars and like magpies, will filch anything that glitters. Including quarters from public housing washing machines. In mid July, State Representative Christopher Asselin of Springfield and his father Raymond Asselin Sr. were arrested along with a flock of other family members. For feeding on bribery, racketeering, conspiracy, extortion, mail fraud and witness tampering. Raymond Asselin Sr. was executive director of the Springfield Housing Authority (SHA) for 34 years. While Ray ruled the roost the SHA allegedly paid for the Asselin clan's home, yard and auto repairs, plus helped with Christopher Asselin's 2002 re-election campaign. The SHA wasn't the only entity feathering the nests: contractors seeking business with the SHA also contributed. Mightily. Among the many alleged gratuities was a truckload of loam for Christopher Asselin. Green Beaked Asselins are known to eat soil; giving them an aftertaste some find unpleasant but others relish. Ray Asselin Sr. perched atop the SHA for decades and it took years of effort by several federal agencies to net the Asselins. So Asselin Family Stir Fry, like Peking Duck, must be ordered far in advance.

Note: There seems to be a national trend emerging of entire families engaging in political corruption, public contract scams and real estate frauds. Sometimes in combo platters. When the law comes knocking, family members frequently turn on each other and cut deals. In the Asselin case, Christopher Asselin's sister-in-law (now in witness protection) wore a wire. When crooked houses of cards collapse, so do the families. Which would be Greek tragic if it weren't black funny.

4) Mold On A Raft Of Federal Charges

A rich stew of environmental abatement fraud with culinary roots in upstate New York. Where environmental clean-up scamsters seem as plentiful as apples. Who can forget the fraudulent father & son team of Raul and Alex Salvagno? Their specialty was asbestos. Though competitors abound on the friable front, none dish it like these two. Particularly in elementary schools. Now add mold-- or God knows what-- to the grade school menu via the alleged activities of Ronald "Ron" Schongar of a mold abatement company called Air Quality/Microb Phase Environmental. Aka "Microb Phase". Schongar hails from suburban Clifton Park in Saratoga County. He was arrested on July 15th on charges relating to Microb Phase contracts with schools in several Connecticut districts. No one seems sure just what Ron Schongar has been using to battle mold. The sole company that makes the product (Microbe Shield) Schongar supposedly employed, say they have no record of doing business with Microb Phase. Right after Schongar and Microb Phase de-moldified the Samuel Staples Elementary School in Easton, Connecticut, students and teachers experienced breathing problems, rashes and nausea. Parents and teachers tried contacting Schongar to inquire about his secret ingredient. They called, faxed and sent certified mail. No reply. Many more questions about many more Schongar jobs have arisen in many more places. Schongar, who has a larceny record that goes back to the early 80's and is on probation from a 2002 conviction, is being investigated in 5 states: Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and South Carolina. Microb Phase is incorporated in South Carolina but investigations are focused on his upstate New York office. Ron Schongar says no biggie. He's just been meeting with the federal investigators to "clear up some misunderstandings". And maybe share a few regional recipes?

Bon Appetite!

Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff

"A chicken ain't a chicken less it's lickin' good fried."

Chef Donna Malone of Maryland

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Copyright (c) 2004 by Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff. This material may be freely distributed subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License. This license relieves the author of any liability or implication of warranty, grants others permission to use the Content in whole or in part, and insures that the original author will be properly credited when Content is used. It also grants others permission to modify and redistribute the Content if they clearly mark what changes have been made, when they were made, and who made them. Finally, the license insures that if someone else bases a work on this Content, that the resultant work will be made available under the Open Publication License as well.

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