There was a man called the dirtiest player in politics, and he almost deserved it. The meeting was set for half past noon. On the 7 train express, about to enter the Sunnyside tunnel we glanced back into the abyss as our comfort zone slipped away into the darkness. We were midtown bound, there was no turning back. Entering the mile high office, the cold passed reluctantly from our bones, and the retiring fogs revealed the revolving door of a lobby that stretched across an entire floor. The elevator was a quick ride, the doors opened and a young blond secretary scurried about her desk. “Who are you hear to see?” she asked. We replied almost in unison. “We’re here for our 12 o’clock with Hank,” and she said to have a seat, he’d be right out to see us.
It was a gaudy office with over the top paintings complimented by a Manhattan arrogance. My partner eyeballed the room – occasionally glancing at a copy of the New Yorker strategically placed on the burgundy coffee table.
He welcomed us with a chagrined smile. Seconds later, his phone rang. “Sheinkopffffffff” he answered as if his name was both a hello and what do you want from me? Seconds later, another phone call, “Helloooo Mr. President,” Sheinkopf quipped as he cupped the mouthpiece, glanced over the phone and gave us the this will take a second finger. He must take this call – it’s the President of the Congo.
Our patience grew thin at the tawdry display. My partner sent me a text. “This guy has clients in third world countries whom might be human rights abusers? Maybe he’s not a Democrat or Republican, he might be a torturer.”
To many, Sheinkopf had a decent reputation for going against the Democratic County organization. Some call it an independent streak, but others call him a gun for hire because he is overly aggressive, he attacks, attacks, and attacks again.
You see, in politics communications is the name of the game and Scheinkopf was said to be the best, he even told us he was.
Prior to the meeting an old friend had given us the scoop. “If you’re looking for a consultant – you don’t want Evan Stavisky, he’s like an old Buick and Schenkopf is like the Rolls Royce of consultants, bonus, he’s willing to work for anyone but you must proceed with caution, Sheinkopf comes with a ton of unwanted political baggage, he represents criminals, oh did I mention that he’s a lobbyist too?”
Sheinkopf is an interesting character. He’s a rabbi and a family man living a double life where the lessons of the Old Testament, despite knowledge of sin, with no remedy in sight, provide only misery to his enemies. Amongst his client roster are folks and corporate entities that he’s protected such as a sex offender, a child rapist, and multiple scandal-ridden projects such as unsuccessful lobbying work to acquire the Aqueduct casino where he was in the position to have one of his cohorts leak internal memos regarding his client, AEG intended to help them move up in the bidding process.
When he was questioned, Mr. Sheinkopf had a sudden case of memory loss, declined to answer any questions, and invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Speaking of integrity, it’s ironic how a rabbi, who once worked for the Catholic League lobbying for laws that would protect children from sex offenders, takes a pedophile as a client simply because he had a robust bank account and was overly generous when facing a prison sentence.
And Rory Lancman hired him.
How can Scheinkopf represent a child molester? Did he learn anything from the lessons of the Old Testament? It seems that Old Testament values have become distant and forgotten by Mr. Scheinkopf.
But most people ignore this and look the other way just like Rory Lancman did when he hired him to run his campaign operation.
Scheinkopf already had most of the Unions in his pocket, so he must have asked himself, hey why not have them endorse the candidate that I tell them to?
There you have it, a lobbyist, a hypocrite, an influence peddler, a pedophile’s advocate, now running political operations for a Congressional candidate. Jack Abramoff eat your heart out.
In the past, Schenkopf had worked for the Mayor and incurred the wrath of many prominent Democrats for what they saw as a sign of his paper-thin loyalties. They considered it as a forfeiture of his principals for a paycheck.
Some called him a loose cannon, a rebel rouser, yet he does decent work. “He’s pretty well-known by the press corps for his colorful comments and his phone calls go a long way, but he’s not loved, he is feared,” according to a party official that wished to remain anonymous.
Birds of a feather flock together. Scheinkopf has his work cut out for him after acquiring Rory Lancman as his client.
Lancman has a reputation of a political guy, and no one likes that. He’s been hanging around political meetings for twelve years and ran for everything imaginable. Tell Rory about it and he might run for it. He’s never stopped whether it is for Padavan’s seat, Gennaro’s seat, or for Attorney General, comptroller or even threatening to run against Queens’ senior member of Congress, Gary Ackerman. Scheinkopf, who likes to buck a trend here and there, had the perfect opportunity to go against the Party by signing on Lancman as a client.
Mr. Lancman has become his golden egg, and his fingerprints are all over his campaign exploiting racial tensions through an anti-Asian sentiment. He’s also very adept at knocking good people off the ballot that wanted to serve the constituency and not themselves.
The race for New York’s 6th Congressional District is having more negative turns perhaps this is because Lancman has hired one of the more venal, nasty, and vindictive people known in politics.
When Rory Lancman was fishing for a consultant, he must have been wowed by the hot blond in the office, or the fancy coffee table, or a promise that Scheinkopf understood his dilemma and offered a solution: Hire me and my Union clients will endorse you. But even if the conversation was more subtle, Lancman was the perfect opportunity for Scheinkof to do what he does best, and that is to be a lunatic, even if he really is past his prime.