Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch tells a story in his recent mass e-mailing about the political power of big oil.

“Having served in Congress, I can tell you that the members of oil states were the most effective. The famed Charlie Wilson, Congressman from Texas and subject of the movie “Charlie Wilson’s War,” was a friend of mine. I trusted him. On one occasion, I rushed to the floor to vote – 15 minutes was allotted – and not having been on the committee that debated the bill, I looked to a friendly face – in this case, Charlie Wilson’s – for guidance on how I should vote. Wilson gave me a thumbs up, so I voted yes with my plastic card.

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Fortunately, a fellow New Yorker saw my vote on the flashing board, came over and said, “Wrong vote, Ed,” explaining it was providing subsidies to the oil industry. Of course, I changed my vote. I went over to Charlie and said, “Charlie, how could you do that to me?” He replied, “Ed, you can trust me on anything else but oil.”