Last month, Psychology Today had an article about "This and That", saying, when someone lies about not doing "that", it means that a "this" exists. The subject didn't do "that", but did do "this", without "that" being defined. This violates principle #3 of the reliable denial. Here is an example from politicians. Note how close they come to issuing a reliable denial but cannot:
Claiming she spent a marathon 12 consecutive days in Albany on “legislative business,” Queens Assemblywoman Vivian Cook pocketed $171 for each reported overnight stay — a total $2,197 in taxpayer money from March 21 to April 1, 2010.
The Legislature was in session just three of those days — and Cook was absent for all three, records show.
“Me? You’re kidding! No! I didn’t do that,” she told The Post.
Note the response with a question is a pause due to the sensitive question. Note that this is not a reliable denial. First Person Singular, "I" is used; Past Tense Verb, "didn't" is used; but.. She cannot bring herself to identify the specific allegation/event, instead calling it "that"; indicating that she did "this" instead, which may prove to be a slight detail off from "that."
“I don’t lie, I don’t cheat, and I don’t steal,” said Cook, whose nonprofit Rockaway Boulevard Local Development Corp. prompted an investigation for allegedly misusing taxpayer funds.
Note the change from past tense to present tense. Present tense is not reliable.
In 2010 and 2011, Cook collected a total $17,035 in daily and overnight stipends, plus other travel expenses — on top of her $79,500-a-year state salary. During the 2010 legislative session, she missed 51 meetings of the Assembly, 63 percent of the sessions.
“I was sick for a very long time,” she said of her absences, but could not recall the dates.
She’s one of scores of legislators who claim more than $10,000 a year in “per diems” — a daily payment lawmakers can collect if they sleep over in Albany or travel more than 50 miles from home on legislative business.
The sleepovers add up. The Assembly and the Senate have socked taxpayers with more than $32 million in travel-related expenses in the past decade.
The Post obtained vouchers and receipts submitted by all Assembly members for parts of 2009, 2010 and 2011 through a Freedom of Information Law request.
The per diem system grants state senators and Assembly members $165 a night, reduced from $171 last year, for food and lodging. Lawmakers who stay in apartments or second homes in Albany can still collect it.
If they don’t spend the night, they get a $61 per diem.
Those who drive can also get 55.5 cents a mile, plus repayment for tolls. Taxi, train and plane rides are reimbursed. Some lawmakers submit travel receipts; many don’t.
But the policy requires no proof that they hit the hay in the capital.
In one case, Queens Assemblyman Bill Scarborough submitted vouchers claiming $825 for spending five nights in a row in Albany: Sunday, March 13 to Thursday, March 17, 2011.
That Thursday, he attended a town meeting from 6 to 9 p.m. at York College in Jamaica, Queens, according to news accounts. Jamaica is three hours from Albany by car.
“I may very well have gone to that meeting, turned around and gone back to Albany that night,” Scarborough said. “If we arrive in Albany before midnight, we’re entitled to put in for the night.”
Scarborough, chairman of the Assembly’s Small Business Committee, said he attended meetings before going home again on Friday.
He was not required to submit any hotel receipts, he told The Post, and said it was too long ago to look for one.
“I don’t think I have to give you proof,” he said.
In 2010 and 2011, Scarborough racked up $59,085 in per diem payments, plus other travel expenses.
The highest per diem collector is Long Island Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper. In one week she submitted two $58 Amtrak tickets, one to Albany on Jan 17, 2011. The return-trip stub to Penn Station is dated Jan. 19. But Hooper also claimed $165 for spending the night in Albany on Jan. 19.
“That must be a mistake by Amtrak,” Hooper said. “I have never, ever put in for something for which I am not entitled.” signal of deception
But she conceded she may have “messed up” that week’s voucher.
In 2010 and 2011, Hooper claimed $61,592 in per diems, and another $12,000 in travel expenses.
In an ongoing probe, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is scrutinizing the travel records of Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., who was indicted last year on federal corruption charges.
Assembly and court documents show that Boyland in 2010 claimed multiple per diems for work in Albany on days he met with undercover FBI agents in Brooklyn and Manhattan to discuss bribes.
Boyland collected $46,685 in per diems in 2010 and 2010, plus at least $7,340 for other travel. His lawyer, Michael Bachrach, declined to comment.
The system is ripe for abuse, said one Assembly member who asked to remain anonymous, because lawmakers can claim expenses on days when there is no session, or if they play hooky.
“You can spend a lot of time in Albany — or you could lie about it,” he said. Fraudulent vouchers, which are signed by lawmakers, “may be a felony or misdemeanor offense,” the Assembly travel policy states.
Gov. Cuomo may seek to end or curb per diems after the November elections, when lawmakers are expected to seek a pay hike to $100,000 a year.