Friday, August 21, 2009

Times exposes Bloomberg-EDC-Parkside-Shulman corruption

From the NY Times:

In late 2006, as the Bloomberg administration girded for what promised to be a bruising rezoning fight over the Willets Point section of Queens, it enlisted the help of Claire Shulman, the former Queens borough president.

At a meeting in City Hall that December, Ms. Shulman and Daniel L. Doctoroff, then a deputy mayor, agreed to form a nonprofit group with city and private money. Its primary purpose, Ms. Shulman said, would be to lobby on behalf of the mayor’s plan to turn the long-neglected area near the New York Mets stadium into a thriving hub of shops, hotels, condominiums and a convention center.

The group, the Flushing Willets Point Corona Local Development Corporation, eventually received hundreds of thousands of dollars in public and private money, and spent much of it to help push the plan through the City Council.

It hired the Parkside Group, one of the city’s best-known lobbying firms. It brought in the Glover Park Group, the powerful political consulting firm, to bolster its media campaign. And Ms. Shulman, as the organization’s president, made countless personal appeals, promising to meet with every member of the City Council as it prepared to vote on the plan last fall.

“That was the whole idea,” Ms. Shulman said in an interview. “The idea I had with Dan Doctoroff was that we would help the city do what the mayor wanted, to clear Willets Point and develop it in the best interest of the city, and that’s what we’ve been trying to do.” In other words, Ms. Shulman added, “We lobbied the city for the city.”

Local development corporations like Ms. Shulman’s have been around for decades. Ranging from tiny neighborhood groups to giant quasi-public agencies like the city’s Economic Development Corporation, these loosely regulated organizations are designed to encourage businesses and industry to invest in local areas.

But one thing they are not supposed to do is lobby.

State law says local development corporations are not permitted to “influence legislation by propaganda or otherwise.” Ms. Shulman’s group eventually reported spending $450,000, roughly half its total budget, on lobbying, city records show.

Half the group’s revenues came from the Economic Development Corporation, which is also barred from lobbying. The other half came from corporate sponsors, including the Mets organization, which has long eyed the property, and several developers and construction firms that are expected to vie for lucrative redevelopment contracts when the city puts out requests for proposals in coming months.

The group, known as Willets Point United, has asked Andrew M. Cuomo, the state attorney general, to investigate the organization’s lobbying efforts.

“They knew what they were doing,” said Gerald Antonacci, the leader of Willets Point United and the president of Crown Container, one of the area’s more than 250 companies that will be required to move when construction begins. “This was all planned out. They knew she was hiring lobbyists. This wasn’t a mistake.”

The attorney general’s office is reviewing the complaint. In recent months, the office has been looking into lobbying by local development corporations, and has identified a “small but not insignificant set” of groups that appear to be improperly lobbying, said a person briefed on the attorney general’s initial review.

The administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg says that it never encouraged Ms. Shulman to lobby and that the $450,000 it gave to the group was not used for that purpose.

Ms. Shulman, borough president from 1986 to 2001, provides a starkly different account. “We hired lobbyists from the time we began, because we were told it was something we were supposed to be doing,” she said.

Ms. Shulman, an 83-year-old veteran of Queens politics, seemed a natural ally for the city. After retiring from office, she remained well regarded in the community and continued to serve on various boards. And she had long had her sights on Willets Point.

As borough president in the early 1990s, Ms. Shulman rejected as shortsighted a city economic development study that said development would flourish on its own if the city provided sewers and basic services to the area.

Instead, she proposed her own plan, which included a pavilion for international trade.

But like various redevelopment plans dating back to the era of Robert Moses, who unsuccessfully sought to turn the area into a park and parking lot for the 1964 World’s Fair, her vision went unrealized.

Harry Giannoulis, president of the Parkside Group, which lobbying records show got $125,000, said Ms. Shulman hired it to lobby, among other duties.

So to recap:

Claire not only admits that she illegally lobbied but that she was told to do so by Bloomberg's deputy mayor (who later left to work for Bloomberg LP).
Parkside backs her up on this.
EDC denies everything.
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating and he's rumored to be running for governor next year so he may actually do something about this.
A Federal investigation is sure to come.

And one more thing...


(See previous post.)

Photo from Times Ledger


Suzannah B. Troy artist said...

Thanks Queens Crap, I posted on two of my blogs.

Ahhh, this is like the film Scrooge with no happy endings.... the ghost of Dan Doctoroff makes an appearance.

Corruption and denial are two of the hottest "accessories" at City Hall....We are lucky City Council man actually pleaded guilty and admitted he was stealing tax pay money from the get go.

If only the hottest fashion accessory at City Hall were handcuffs -- ditto for Albany with lots of cameras capturing the guilty being escorted out.

Gordon Gekko, the film "Wall Street" "Greed is good." is the mantra at City Hall and under Bloomberg there has been the most shameful abuse of eminent domain city wide by Columbia University mass evicting Manhattanville to Willets Point to Ratner in Brooklyn, I am told the NY Times building got built thanks to eminent domain -- you tell me yes or no? And there is more.... And the horror show at Coney Island -- did you ever get the feeling your existence is an inconvenient truth. We have yet to be offered one way air plane tickets by the mayor but I always said the only thing John Sexton, president of NYU, Mike Bloomberg and socialite mega millionaire city planner haven't done is provide NYU buses, trains and trolleys to move us out.

Mike Bloomberg and his socialite city planner who act like they do not represent the people but greedy community crushing developers posing as higher ed and greedy developers not posing do not get their legacy is an ugly one and added denying us a referendum to Bloomberg's stained legacy of shame.

NYU and Cooper Union don't even need to abuse eminent domain to get the job done and they use their not for profit status like a tax shelter for land grabs and I mean vertically busting through zoning. Cooper Union has done one build that feels criminal by the black cube at Astor Place which has nothing to do with higher ed but great real estate holdings and ditto for the next act which again feels like a criminal act aided and abetted by socialite mega millionaire city planner Amanda Burden, tearing down their little yellow Science Building across the street to supersize and again lease for 99 years.

Under Bloomberg it has all been a sham and a shame. The people of this great city have been betrayed at every level by the people supposedly representing them with a few exceptions.

Mayor Bloomberg you are a disgrace.

raffie said...

these s.o.b. HOW THEY FIX THINGS TO BETTER THEM SELFS what bullshit this old bitch should go to jail

Anonymous said...

what a joke money money fuck people out of there land and do it any way you can

PLEASE VOTE THEM ALL OUT lets have a better life

Taxpayer said...

This is too delicious.

The Commissar needed to pay a lobbying company to convince him to seize private property owned by people who operated businesses there for generations, and employed upwards of 2000 union employees.

So he (the Commissar) could then deliver that stolen property to his extremely wealthy developer cronies.

In turn, his extremely wealthy developer cronies would deliver giant heaps of cash to the Commissar.

And we need this lying property thief for a third time around?

For what? So he can seize and bulldoze entire residential neighborhoods for delivery to his already extremely wealthy developer cronies?

So extremely wealthy tourists (from the middle east) can lounge where our families used to enjoy simple middle class lives?

But the tossed-our former residents and homeowners will be allowed to take jobs serving these wealthy thieves. The kids can be hired to walk the pooches and pick up the poop (of the pooch owners).

Yes sir! Let's be sure to rehire this captain of industry, the titan of commerce - whose company is now failing. He needs our money to survive.

Anonymous said...

Coincidence that Deputy beep Karen "Ronald McDonald" Koslowitz hired Parkside in her run for council too?

Everyones getting something under the table except the constituents

Anyone but Koslowitz in 2009!

Jerry Rotondi said...

Anyone remember those "Pigs In Space" episodes featuring that Muppets' starlet "Miss Piggy"?

Shulman needs to be confined in a very tight space...a federal prison cell!

She's little more than a crook just like her old boss Manes!

Anonymous said...

They're gonna have a helluva hard time squeezing lard ass Evan into a prison cell.

Anyone got a shoehorn for mamma Toby too?

Stavisky's all catching up to you ain't it? !!!

Anonymous said...

Bloomberg, Shulman, Doctoroff, Koslowitz, Stavisky, Katz, Ratner, Silverman, Merdoch.
Its clear whats going on and who says the Kosher Nostra or Pirate goverment doesnt exsist ?

Snake Plissskin said...

lets seee how the Queens weeklies handle this


Alan said...

My favorite line from the last paragraph of the NY Times article, “We didn’t want to do anything improper,” Ms. Shulman said. “We have been working very hard to try to do something that is in the best interest of the city, and we did what we thought was correct.”

Yeah, right! Do they make those orange prison jump suits in size bovine?

Anonymous said...

Thanks carolyn. Now I could buy a second mansion with all the press.

Anonymous said...

make room Brian M. McLaughlin your fomer chief of staff is coming to live with you

linda said...

have to agree with alan! and i hope she becomes someones bitch in jail.....

i'm going to take that property and any other properties. she is the bitch that started domain back in the day with PS 58...... i pray to god now she gets her ass thrown in jail and i can have the last laugh......

chris flash said...

Apparently, old crooks, like Shulman of the Donald Manes-Stanley Friedman gang, don't die -- they become lobbyists!!

Shulman ought to keep a low profile after avoiding going down the drain with the rest of her gang -- her efforts to sabotage Willets Point are a clear indicator of her arrogance!!

This parasite should have her ill-gotten gains confiscated and then rot in jail. For a long long time....

Anonymous said...

Lock her sorry old ass up!

Anonymous said...

Notice how Toby and son of bitch Evan are extremely quiet these days.

I think the ax is about to fall on the Stavisky dynasty.

Maybe Mc Laughlin is giving up some more names and revealing some more corruption schemes to slice some more years off his jail term.

Anonymous said...

Someone's bitch?

I think even Rosie O'Donnell would puke at the site of that decrepit old cow!

Shulman's got an extremely bad case of the xactlys.

Her face look xactly like her ass!

Anonymous said...

How can Evan go to jail is Bloomberg is not only paying him but using DOI to cover up for him?

Anonymous said...

Damn mainstream media and their investigative reporting!

Anonymous said...

“We didn’t want to do anything improper,” Ms. Shulman said.