What's in It for Me?

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9780060179731: What's in It for Me?
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Describes how a small-time gangster posed as a mafia capo to ensure that a bill legalizing gambling in Arizona would be passed

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Grimly hilarious expos‚ of Arizona pols on the take; by Stedino, a former mobster writing here with Matera (coauthor, Quitting the Mob, 1991, etc.). ``Desert Sting'' required imagination and about a million dollars, and it worked: Stedino, a three-time loser posing as Tony Vincent, set out ostensibly to legalize gambling in Arizona--by buying votes. With the skill of a Vegas con artist, Stedino made his contacts and proceeded (on videotape) to purchase legislators of every variety--men, women, white, black, Mormon, Hispanic, Native American. The cast is pure Damon Runyon in the desert: A covey of cops in the room next to Stedino's bugged office direct him by phone and high-five him after a score; a local mafiosi- wannabe drops in and loses his moll to Stedino, who uses her as a lure for legislators; an iron-pumping policewoman babbles to everyone about her new undercover job; a Porsche-driving porn-film hustler hustles Stedino; a demented one-legged deputy moonlighting as a contract-killer offers his services. There's a potent authenticity in this detailed account of venality, sex, and corruption, powered by a driving, hypnotic narrative as Stedino climbs from the periphery of power up through a cast that includes the top power-brokers in the state. Politicians, judges, and lobbyists push and shove each other out of the way to get at the money, while over all looms a mature corruption, heritage of S&L- king Charles Keating, who already owns as many players as he needs. The Phoenix police come off as shrewd, gutsy, honest, and eventually unnerved by the enormity of Stedino's success. Stedino and Matera seem made for each other, creating a narrative voice that's half wise-guy, half collegiate philosopher. Very hard to put down. (Eight pages of b&w photographs--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

This is the story of the recently concluded Operation Desert Sting, or "AzScam," which exposed widespread corruption in Arizona politics. Launched by the county attorney in Phoenix, the sting was masterfully run by Stedino, a.k.a. "Tony Vincent," who posed as a Mafia type eager to exchange cash for favorable votes on legalized gambling. Based largely on the secret audio and videotapes of the operation, this is a tale filled with malicious gossip, greed, and hypocrisy. Matera, coauthor of Quitting the Mob ( LJ 2/15/92), has succeeded in presenting an entertaining, often humorous account that underscores why politicians are held in such low esteem. True, some legislators rejected Stedino's overtures, but too many just wanted to know "what's in it for me?" Recommended.
- Gregor A. Preston, Univ. of California Lib., Davis
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780061099847: What's in It for Me?

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ISBN 10:  0061099848 ISBN 13:  9780061099847
Publisher: Harpercollins, 1993
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