Update: April 3, 2013, 3:10 PM
New York's local political landscape was rocked yesterday morning when bribery, extortion, and fraud charges were unveiled against a group of local politicians and Republican Party officials. According to Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the centerpiece of this "unappetizing smorgasboard of graft and greed" was a "bribery scheme" to secure State Senator Malcolm Smith a spot in the Republican primary in this year's New York City mayoral election. But the bigger irony, according to Big Apple campaign insiders, is that city's GOP party line has already been effectively purchased by others -- both effectively and legally. And one of those buyers is current Mayor Michael Bloomberg! Smith probably could have accomplished his goals without resorting to such risky measures if he'd just gone by the standard campaign cash playbook.