Sunday, May 16, 2010

The List-Makers: Scenes From A Sunday Morning At The Office Of The District Attorney

Allegheny County District Attorney surveillance transcript, May 16, 2010, 8:01 a.m.
NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION outside personal files of the District Attorney upon penalty of INDICTMENT.

Stephen the Elder: Everybody here?
Stephen the Younger: Uh, yeah, Pop. Except Luke.
Stephen the Elder: You check with our guy on his police detail?
Stephen the Younger: Yeah, and it turns out . . .
Yarone the Ambitious: Last night was Donkey Punch Night at Bossa Nova, sir, which is just a block from the old Edison . . .
Stephen the Elder: Jesus Christ, Yarone . . . remind me again exactly why we keep you around?
Yarone the Ambitious: Well, sir, I make sure . . .
Stephen the Elder: Rhetorical question, you putz.
Yarone: Oh, right. Sorry, sir.
Stephen the Elder: All right, let's get started. Putz number two gets here when he gets here. (Turns to Stephen the Younger) Junior?
Stephen the Younger: Well, everyone, we called this meeting to talk about this List thing.
Gregory the Incarcerator: Yeah, well, it's about time. I want it stopped and I want it stopped now.
Stephen the Elder: Quiet, son. Let your brother speak.
Charles the Croupier: Greg has a point. I'm tired of this.
Gregory: You're tired of it? You are tired, Mr. "Reply All?" If you could handle a simple goddamn e-mail without screwing it up, this List crap wouldn't have been on the front page of the paper in the first place, and I wouldn't be reading about every goddamn deal I ever did for this family every stinking morning on the Internets . . .
Luke the Boy Mayor: Hey, everybody!
David the Exchequer: Whoa! Who's the broad?
Gregory (looking down; hasn't seen Luke yet): That's my sister, Michele, and if you ever call her a broad again . . .
Stephen the Younger: Not her. (Pointing to tipsy blonde on Luke's arm) Her!
Luke: Oh, right. My bad. Hey, everybody, I'd like you to meet . . . uh . . . this is . . . uh . . .
Candy the Latest: It's Candy, everyone. You know, like in something sweet.
Stephen the Younger: Little early for candy, ain't it, Luke?
Candy: Oh, it's not early, silly. I mean, we just left the club, which means technically, for us, it's still last night. So it's late, not early.
Stephen the Elder: Good morning, young lady. Candace, am I correct? Yes, well, Candace, we are assembled here to discuss some business with our associate, Mr. Ravenstahl.
Candy (tickling Luke): He's my associate, too.
Stephen the Elder: Yes, of course. Well, Candace, you see, young lady, our business is somewhat . . . private. I'm sure you understand.
Candy (staring blankly): I do?
Luke (quietly): Cathy, I think he might be asking you to wait outside . . .
Stephen the Elder: No, actually, I am requesting that she allow one of my associates here to drive her home. (Nods to associate, who takes Candy's arm)
Luke (whispering): Look, Cathy, please don't do anything with this guy, OK? He's just a bodyguard. I am the mayor, remember? I'll be over just as soon as I can. Wait for me, OK?
Stephen the Elder: Tony, please take the young lady wherever she wishes to go.
Tony the Big Ben Bodyguard: Sure thing, boss. (Whispering on way out) Hiya, Candy. You know, you look very familiar to me. Ever been to the Cabana? The Fox and Hound, maybe?
David the Exchequer (quietly): You sure meeting in your office here was a good idea, Stevie? I told you Gateway Center was . . .
Stephen the Younger: It's fine, David. No problem.
Greg: You kidding me? Somebody gonna show up at this place on a Sunday morning? Stevie here is the only one who ain't in the union.
All: [Laughter]
Stephen the Elder: Now, does anyone mind if we return to the business at hand?
John the Intermediary: Thank you for meeting with us, Judge.
Stephen the Elder (staring at Stephen the Younger): [clears throat pointedly]
Stephen the Younger: That's 'Justice,' John, not 'Judge.' 'Justice.' My father was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Gregory (with an edge): Yeah, you gotta show more respect.
Stephen the Younger: My father worked very hard to achieve his position. Do not make that mistake again, John. Please.
Stephen the Elder (waving hand): Well, I am not one to stand on formality or vanity in these things, but my sons, they are protective of me. Thank you, boys.
John: No offense intended, your honor, sir. Well, Mr. Justice, sir, I think something needs to be done. This 'List' and 'List-Makers' thing is getting to where it could interfere with business.
David: I must agree, Justice. Our friends in the political world are starting to become . . . uncomfortable.
Stephen the Elder: Their comfort is not my concern. (Looking at Luke and Yarone) Our friends in politics work for us, and they must remember that, and if they do not remember, they need to be reminded. But my reputation . . . my family's reputation . . . all of our reputations . . . this most assuredly is my concern. Junior, who the hell are these Infinitonomous people?
Stephen the Younger: Well, I been working on that, Pop, but it's not so easy to find out. There's only so much . . . I mean, there are pretty tight rules on accessing . . .
Stephen the Elder: I did not ask about rules. I asked my son, who has the powers of a district attorney, a simple question about names.
Luke: Hey, guys, I have a, like, this SUV with all sorts of serious electronic stuff in it, most of it stamped, like, "Homeland Security." Spy stuff. Maybe I could . . .
Yarone (whispering to Luke): Not now, Luke. I don't think you should . . .
Luke: Or, I could, like, put a surveillance camera, like, you know, right on this joker's house, and that way we could . . .
Greg: Hey, Yarone, if you can't keep your little chihuahua here quiet while my father is speaking . . .
Luke: I just thought . . .
Stephen the Younger: That's a problem, Luke. You, trying to think.
Stephen the Elder: And do you know, Luke, where to find the homes of these Infinitonomouses, so that you could know where to place your camera?
Luke: Well, no, but that's what the camera would be for, to show us which house it is. See?
David (quietly, to Greg): Told you guys we shoulda gone with Shields.
Greg (quietly, to David): For the hundredth time, we get it already. You told us. You were right. Kid's a putz. Move on.
Stephen the Elder: Luke, young man, we have been over this before. You do what he (pointing to John) tells you to do. You go where and when he (pointing to Yarone) tells you to do it. No thinking. At all. None. When you think, we are all at risk.
John: He understands. No need for the personal . . .
Yarone: Yeah, no need for you guys to always be so condescending, acting like you're so smart and we're so dumb. 'Cause from I've seen, you guys aren't so all that and a bag of . . .
Michele (sharply): What?
Greg (agitated): What did you just say to my father?
Michele (under breath): Freakin' putzes.
Greg (menacingly, to Yarone): What did you call us?
Yarone (sheepishly): I just meant, nobody's perfect, you guys don't have to be so . . .
Greg (on edge of chair, poised toward Yarone): Don't go there. Don't even say another goddamn single goddamn word, you cliptipped little . . .
Yarone: Oh yeah? I've had about enough of this. I got something for you, (reaching inside jacket) something that might change your mind, right here . . .
Greg (wrestling Yarone to ground with Charles and Stephen the Younger, as a bodyguard pulls a gun and places it against Yarone's temple): Got him! I got him!
Yarone (muffled): Whoa! Ease up. (struggling weakly) Hey, I just want to show you . . .
Charles: Keep your hands still, you little jerk, or we'll break 'em off and shove them . . .
Yarone: Wait! It's OK. It's cool. It's just a list. I just want to show you . . .
Stephen the Younger: A what? You reached for a freakin' list? What are you, crazy, making a move like that in here?
Yarone: I just wanted to show you all the things we've done for you, how we have done our part. So you would see you should start treating him like the mayor, not like some little kid. And I'm the chief of staff. I deserve some respect, too. We're both tired of the way you always . . .
Luke (warily): Look, I don't know what he is talking about. I am in no way tired of anything.
John: OK, everybody, we're all on edge a little here with this List crap. Let's just calm down.
Greg: Shut up, doughboy, and stay out of this. This is about respect, all right, but you got it all wrong.
John: I'm just saying . . .
Greg: Say nothing. Got it? Was a time when all three of yinz would have taken an ice pick to the base of the skull for such disrespect of a man such as my father.
John (looking plaintively at Charles): Charlie?
Charles (staring straight ahead): I am in no position to help you, John. You are my partner, but this is my family.
Stephen the Younger: Sorry about this, Pop. (Looking at bodyguard still holding gun.) And put that thing away, Annie Oakley. (Smiling) Geez, you're gonna make me have to check for permit and registration on that thing. (Gesturing around his office) I am the D.A., after all.
All: [Laughter]
Michele: Good one, Stevie. Or should I say, "Mister D.A."
Stephen the Elder: All right, that's enough.
William the Insurer: If I may, Justice, I believe David is right about this. We have a problem. We need your guidance, a solution. This is starting to make people uncomfortable, bringing attention to our affairs, and with this parking deal coming up, I am concerned. Rendell even brought this up when he called me on the Turnpike thing.
Stephen the Elder: I understand, Bill. I understand your position.
Charles: It's like they have our black book.
Michele (staring at Luke and Yarone): Or maybe somebody's been talking too much, out of school.
Stephen the Younger: Let's not lose our heads here. We've come through worse, much worse. Hey, Greg, remember that city pension thing? We thought that was gonna be the end of the world. Uncle Charlie, what about that Ohio work comp thing? All that money, Lay went to jail, we didn't take a scratch. Or that lawsuit from those pazzos on the Butler school board? Those fancypants from Simpson Thatcher cost JP Morgan almost a mil, we didn't pay a cent. Or even this thing from Scranton, with the judges, the thing with the kids.
Stephen the Elder: You know I never cared for the kids-in-jail thing. It's like the narcotics in the 60s. Nobody cared about gambling or girls, but when people started with those drugs . . .
Greg: Yeah, I shoulda listened, Pop, but I never thought . . .
Stephen the Elder: Again with the thinking. The more you people think, the more things for me to take care of.
Greg: Sorry, Pop.
Stephen the Elder: It's OK, son. You've always been a good earner. I know you mean well. Now, look, everyone, here we are at each other's throats over what, some kid in his pajamas in a basement somewhere, putting names on a list that nobody pays attention to anyway? What is this? Are we this weak? I understand it makes some people uncomfortable, some of our friends, and so I will pay attention to this, and I will handle it. But I will decide and I will do what is necessary. No one else. Is that understood?
All: Yes, sir.
Stephen the Elder: Fine. Now, what's the status of the water thing, that thing with the pipes. Have we been paid?
Yarone: If I may, sir, um, not all of it, sir, not yet. It's complicated. They had to let people opt out, and a bunch of them did, and now there are lawsuits, an investigation, and the legal fees are . . .
Stephen the Elder: None of this is my concern. Those are your problems. Payment is due as originally agreed. Understood?
Yarone: Yes, sir. We'll, uh, (looking at Luke) we can take some money that was budgeted for the library and . . .
Stephen the Elder: I do not need the details. I just need payment. In full. By Friday. Now, about this Tuesday. (Looking at John) Our friend is gonna be OK?
John: Well, Mr. Justice, sir, I've examined all the polling tracking, with a particular focus on the most important trends, and considering that we've sabotaged the Wagners so effectively, and positioned this Williams character in Philly to siphon off . . .
Greg: Aw, Jeez, shut your fat yap. Look, Pop, he's running against a mick, a schvartze and a four-eyed commie. Plus, he probably figures if he don't win, he'll get whacked for blowin' all that dough, so I'd say he's properly motivated. It's in the bag. Forget about it.
Stephen the Elder: See? These are the important things. With Dan in the governor's office, Bill here on the Turnpike, Junior as the D.A., Dave and Bill here still working on that pension thing with the city, our casino connections . . . and Michele, sweetheart, my dear Michele soon will be a judge, God willing . . . with all of these blessings, everything is going to be fine. I just need everyone to keep your wits about you. No more slip-ups in the newspaper. (Looking at Stephen the Younger) No more overreactions.
Stephen the Younger: Pop, if you're talking about the Ories . . .
Stephen the Elder: Of course I am talking about the Ories, Junior. Searching her office, yes, that was a good idea, with the way she was mouthing off. But criminal charges? No. That they must respond to, son. You should have known this. Do you not understand? You went after three of their women, son, three of them. One on the Supreme Court, where even I must be careful. This they can not let pass. They will look for a way to hurt us, any way they can find. It is going to take all of my powers to keep us all safe. Please, son, you must recognize that this was a bad thing. You know, I will not always be here to . . .
Stephen the Younger: But, Pop, they messed with my fam . . .
Stephen the Elder: Yes, son, I read about that part in the newspaper also. (To everyone) My son, he's in the papers so much, maybe I should have made him a journalist instead of making him the district attorney? (Back to Stephen the Younger) You think that was easy, Stephen, getting those judges to vote for someone with no experience? Do have have any idea what that took?
Stephen the Younger: Please, father. Why must you hurt me like this?
Stephen the Elder: No. No more discussion, Stephen. You were wrong. You brought too much attention, you have provoked our enemies. If the Wagners and the Ories, God forbid, if they ever get together, there could be trouble. Please, learn from this mistake.
Stephen the Younger: Yes, father.
Stephen the Elder: And you, Gregory, no more deals for a while. Not until I am sure this Orie thing is taken care of.
Greg: But, Pop, the parking garage thing is just about to . . .
Stephen the Elder: No. Not now.
Luke: You mean I should hold up on the parking deal? Because I thought . . .
Stephen the Elder: Again with the thinking, this kid. (Rubs Luke's head) When it is time for you to do something about parking garages, or on anything else, John will let you know. Until then, you wait. You are not to contact me, or anyone in my family. And you are not to do anything, not until you are told. Is that clear?
Luke: Yes, sir.
Stephen the Elder: (Grabs Luke's cheek, less pleasantly) And if you ever bring another . . . (turning to Michele) pardon me, sweetheart . . . if you ever bring another drunken piece of ass floozie to a meeting, a meeting with us, a business meeting, here, where she can see all of us, all of us together . . .
Yarone: I can assure you it will never happen again, sir. He'll be more careful. You have my word.
Greg: He'll have a lot more than that, Smithers, if it happens again.
Stephen the Elder: I believe that concludes our business this morning. When it is time to reconvene, I will let you know. And let's have no more talk of this List. We have more important things to attend to. Now go out, everyone, go out and prosper.
End of Transcript, May 16, 2010, 8:44 a.m.
NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION outside personal files of the District Attorney upon penalty of INDICTMENT.

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