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New York: Democratic leader convicted

The New York Times reports: Clarence Norman Jr., the leader of one of the largest Democratic party organizations in the nation, was found guilty today of soliciting illegal campaign contributions, representing a stark fall from grace for the son of a prominent Brooklyn minister who grew up to practice law and become the ultimate insider in New York's political system. ...

Mr. Norman was accused of soliciting contributions from Ralph Bombardiere, a lobbyist for 3,500 retail gas stations, totaling $7,423.30 in 2000 and $5,400 in 2002, knowing that those payments exceeded state limits. There was no accusation that the money had gone into Mr. Norman's pocket. Rather, it was used to pay expenses for the primary elections, like printing and shopping bags.

But the prosecution contended that Mr. Norman had tried to conceal the contributions, because he knew they exceeded the $3,100 allowed by state law, and made much of the fact that he was deputy speaker of the Assembly, "a favorite son of Brooklyn," who had, in the prosecution's words, "sacrificed his integrity" to win an election. -- Clarence Norman Is Guilty of Illegal Campaign Contributions - New York Times