Paul Krishnamurty is the Political Gambler. You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but he knows more about politics than any man alive. He tells us when to hold ’em, and when to fold ’em. He moves his money around, constantly, picking up the easy money from the schmucks.
I decided to try my hand at this game, so I called my law school buddy Tom Pitaro in Vegas. Tom and I used to go down to see the Friday night fights at some boxing arena in downtown L.A. There weren’t too may Anglos there. Tom was from Brocton Mass., the home of the Brockton Blockbuster, Rocky Marciano. He retired undefeated. You can see why Tom liked to go to the fights. I was a big fan of Marciano. I saw him fight some Englishman, who was an excellent defensive boxer. Marciano couldn’t get through his defenses, so he just started hitting his arms. This guy was such a powerful man that he broke all the blood vessels in the Englishman’s arms, and he finally let his guard down. Then it was over very quickly. Marciano’s knockout rate was 88%.
I asked Tom if he could lay a legal bet on the Presidential race for me. I’d pay all the taxes if I won. He called back and said no dice. It’s illegal in this country, which makes sense. The last thing we need in our politics is gambling money. He said he’d heard a rumor that there were these guys called “bookies”, but he wouldn’t recommend using them for the bet I wanted to make, which was a 50-1 shot. I wanted to put down some serious money, and might not get paid off on a bet like that.
Tom’s a criminal defense lawyer, who accepts appointment by the federal court to defend indigent criminal defendants. The feds don’t have a federal public defender. They like to appoint Tom because they have confidence that he will provide an adequate defense. He fights like hell, but he fights within the rules. He thinks Cliven Bundy will be brought in for arraignment soon, and will ask for a “public defender”. This is the kind of high profile case that calls for an experienced, competent defense lawyer. Not many will take such an appointment because the compensation is below market. Tom may well end up defending Bundy. He said he’d bring me in as co-counsel if he’s appointed. Wouldn’t that be fun?
I wanted to bet that Ted Cruz is the next President. This morning it was 66-1, now it’s down to 50-1. It’s like money laying in the street, but I can’t pick it up.
When I passed the Alaska bar exam in October of 1974 I couldn’t get a job. All the guys I studied with got jobs, but not me. So I accepted appointment to defend criminal defendants, just like Tom does. They paid $20 an hour, and I was glad to get it.
You’ve got to start somewhere.