The fact that she had a security detail while they were publicly dating has been common knowledge for years, the rationale being that anyone, er, intimately related to the mayor will also need protection from his enemies. The Blotter story claims that New Yorkers were paying for her security even before anyone had reason to associate her with him — and that the main duty of the cops assigned to her wasn’t exactly to jump in front of bullets for her. If true, it would theoretically move yesterday’s Politico piece out of the realm of “sneaky but not necessarily illegal” to a more nuanced level of impropriety. Says Ed Koch, Hillary supporter and author of “Giuliani: Nasty Man”:

Koch, who served as the mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989, said that the episode gave off the appearance that Giuliani, who was at the time married to his second wife Donna Hanover, was trying to hide his affair. He also argued that providing Judith Nathan her own personal protection (when she was not a member of the first family) constituted an even more flagrant misuse of taxpayer money.

“I found it strange that his lady friend was given protection,” said the long-time New York politico. “That was bizarre. She’s not the city’s responsibility. Rudy is the city’s responsibility. Your wife and his children get protection, and that’s understood. But certainly not your lady friend.”

Rudy’s going to be on Jim Cramer’s show at 6 p.m. to talk about this, assuming Cramer lets him get a word in edgewise. Here’s the video of Cooper asking him about the Politico piece last night, wherein he both ignores the main charge, that he deliberately NYPD expenses in other agencies’ accounts to cover up his affair, and claims not to know how things were accounted for. After the debate he called the story a “hit job.” His spokesman offered a fuller explanation today that really doesn’t explain much of anything. Their strategy after tonight presumably will be to keep quiet and hope it goes away. It’d be absurd with all the knocks against him for being a RINO if this tawdry nonsense ended up knocking him out. But no matter; if Politico doesn’t do it, Huck eventually will. And don’t think I’m kidding.

Below the debate video you’ll find his newest ad. Glad to see he took my advice to stop mentioning New York.

Update: Here’s his response to the charges per an interview with Katie Couric:

The story turns out to be a totally false story. This practice was going on in my first term as mayor. It didn’t just happen in my second term as mayor. The police department paid for all of these expenses. But since the police department would sometimes be slow in payment City Hall would pay it first then the police department would reimburse every single penny of it and now we’ve been able to confirm that. So this was really, I know what this was. This story is five years old. It came out two hours before a debate. It’s a typical political hit job with only half the story told…

The fact is, that by doing it that way, it was more discoverable. Had it been paid by the police department, it never would have been discovered because their records are security records and they can’t be discovered. The reality is: all those agencies that you’re talking about, all of it was fully reimbursed within that year. They’re all in the mayor’s office. This was a way of expediting payment. All of it on the record, all of it discoverable, all of it going on for five or six years. And perfectly appropriate and three budget directors have asserted that but of course the press doesn’t cover that.

Tags: New York