Well, as the Popeils like to say, "But wait! There's more!"
ABC News is now reporting that Bing has close and cozy ties to a Colombo mob family hitman, Dominic Montemarano (aka "Donnie Shacks"), whom law enforcement officials describe as Bing's "friend and business partner":
Fattest CatBing's mob connections make me wonder what he whispers in John Edwards' ear during their "private lunches."
Officials: Democrats' Biggest Money Man Has Mob Connections
By Brian Ross
B O S T O N, July 28, 2004--As Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards arrived in Boston today for the Democratic National Convention, so did the California man who is their single biggest contributor.
He is Stephen Bing, a wealthy film producer who, with little fanfare, has managed to steer a total of more than $16 million of his money to Democratic candidates and the supposedly independent groups that support them.
"To most of the people who track money and politics, they're like, who the hell is Steve Bing?" said Chuck Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan watchdog organization.
Bing is perhaps best known for sparking a tabloid frenzy when he publicly expressed doubt that he was the father of actress Elizabeth Hurley's baby. (A paternity test proved he was indeed the father.) He repeatedly has refused to say why he is funneling millions of dollars to the Democrats.
. . . .
In fact, Democratic Party officials said they knew nothing about the man who law enforcement officials tell ABC News is Bing's friend and business partner, Dominic Montemarano, a New York Mafia figure currently in federal prison on racketeering charges.
Montemarano has a long criminal record and is known to organized crime investigators by his street name, Donnie Shacks.
"Donnie Shacks' main activity was murder. No question about it. That was his main function for the Colombo family and for organized crime in general. He was one of the top hit men in the New York area," said Joe Coffey, a former NYPD investigator.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Bing paid Montemarano's legal fees after his most recent scrape with the law. Montemerano's lawyer said his client was an employee of Bing's.
After a recent private lunch with Democratic vice-presidential candidate Edwards, Bing also declined to answer questions about his relationship with Montemarano.
Bing and Montemarano were such close chums that the mobster was given a staring role in one of Bing's movies, Night at the Golden Eagle, even though Montemarano doesn't seem to have had any prior acting experience. Maybe Bing owed him a "favor." (The film, like the rest of Bing's cinematic efforts, was a dismal failure.)
Around the same time Bing was trying to make Montemarano a star, Montemarano was relieving the stresses of his budding acting career by beating the holy crap out of his girlfriend. At the sentencing hearing, Bing was right there to offer the convicted mobster and wife-beater "moral support":
. . . .Colombo soldier Dominick (Donnie Shacks) Montemarano pulled out all the stops this week in a losing effort to avoid going to jail for beating up his girlfriend when she arrived home too late for her own good.A word of advice: Don't hold your breath waiting for the Dems to return the $16 million they've received from Stephen Bing.
The courtroom was packed with relatives and friends, including film producer Steve Bing and the girlfriend Montemarano battered 17 months ago, but Superior Court Judge Arthur Jean ignored the show of support and focused on the events of October 3, 2001. "When you strip a woman of her clothes, throw her out of the house and kick her in front of her children, that is cruel and vicious," said Jean, who gave the aging and ailing gangster the maximum, four years.