Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cuomo involved in the patronage he vowed to stop; Ghost of Donald Manes haunts CD19 race

From the NY Times:

New York State’s economic development agency created a new position last June, and then found a candidate to fill it: a young man named Willard Younger, who had just graduated from Colgate University with a degree in classics and religion. He became a special projects associate, at a salary of $45,000 a year, according to state personnel records.

His father, Stephen P. Younger, is a lawyer and power broker in legal circles who was a member of one of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s transition teams. He has also donated $26,000 to Mr. Cuomo’s campaigns over the years, disclosure records show.

The next month, the agency hired 23-year-old Andrew Moelis, a University of Pennsylvania graduate, for another new position, strategic planning associate, at a salary of $75,000 a year.

Shortly before Mr. Moelis’s first day of work, his father, Ron Moelis, a prominent real estate developer, gave $25,000 to Mr. Cuomo’s re-election campaign, according to the records.

Since taking office in 2011, Mr. Cuomo has repeatedly pledged to bring a new approach to Albany, where politicians of both major parties have long rewarded supporters with jobs that are not open to the general public.

But an investigation by The New York Times into hiring by the agency, the Empire State Development Corporation, shows how Mr. Cuomo’s administration has engaged in some of the same patronage practices that have often prevailed here.

The investigation was based on personnel records obtained through a Freedom of Information request, as well as campaign finance and other state records. Numerous interviews were conducted with state officials, employees and outside experts.

Well, now we know how Austin Shafran got his job there. The Shafrans have been hooked up since the days of Donald Manes. In fact, Austin's campaign contribution list reads like Donald Manes' rolodex.  Here are some of the contributors:
  • Lester Shafran (and wife Beth) - Uncle, ex-head of the PVB, found guilty in the scandal.
  • Sid Davidoff & Stephen Malito - Davidoff was Manes' best friend and lawyer, pushed for the Grand Prix raceway and represented the USTA for their expansion in 1993. Davidoff and Malito are political fixers, bar none.
  • Then we have Sean Crowley working for Davidoff.  Another lobbyist involved in some not-too-civic friendly projects from another family that thrives only on nepotism.
  • Michael Nussbaum - Manes' bagman in a bribery scandal - $250,000 to get a cable television franchise - who had his conviction reversed and now is in sole control of the Queens Tribune.
Here's a summary of where some of Shafran's current contributions come from (total = $58,802):
Political / Elected Officials /Candidates /Government $9,890
Donald Manes Associates and Intermediaries $4,200
Lobbyists (they show up on the NYC Lobbyist search) $1,500
Unions $8,450
Real Estate / Developers / Construction $4,275
Lawyers $1,675
Employees of:
Epoch Times $1,850
Union Plaza Nursing Home $1,350
Parker Jewish Institute $800

This constitutes 58% of Shafran's contributions.

Do you folks in eastern Queens want to return to the days of Donald Manes?


Jerry Rotondi said...

The Donald Manes and Claire Shulman administrations, were responsible for the fate of the historic RKO Keith's Flushing Theater. Tommy Huang was merely their demolition contractor.

At one point in time, Sid Davidoff's law firm represented that notorious criminal "developer", Tommy Huang.

Jeffrey Chester, of that same firm, represented the USTA while David Dinkins was mayor.

That was when the first sell out of Flushing Meadows Corona Park occurred.

Of course, this was aided and abetted by those "wonderful" folks at Community Board #7!

Let's see how much of Willets Point they will be
giving away at their May 13th ULURP hearing.

BURP! I've had more than my fill of their shenanigans! Have you?

Abolish ALL community boards!
They are little more than toy governments full of tin demagogues.

Its members work the system to benefit themselves.

Anonymous said...

Let's call it the Great Democratic Patronage Mill.
Not that the GOP hasn't one of its own.

Look at the way the party recycled former councilman and convicted rapist, Dennis P. Gallagher.

They got him a job as Peter Koo's advisor.

Anonymous said...

Locate Mane's grave and employ professor Van Helsing to drive a wooden stake through his heart.
Vanquish that vampire for good!

Then give pink slips to the Albany pirate crew,
starting with captain Andy, commander of the vessel.

You voters had better wise up soon!

Anonymous said...

Just another phony lying politician.
Remember what we did at HUD that caused the mortgage/ housing disaster.

georgetheatheist said...

Crapper. Beautiful use of the semicolon in the post's title. Very erudite AND a maintenance of grammatical standards in these days of sloppy everything. Kudos!

This site is s-o-o educational. (In more ways than one!)

Anonymous said...

That Shafran kid never had to struggle in a job search, he's had connections since the day he was born. That's just how the world works.

And two of his opponents also have dynastic connections to public office- a Duane and a Vallone.

If you want this country to be a true meritocracy, stop electing dynasties. No more Cuomos, Kennedys, Bushes, Crowleys, etc.

Anonymous said...

How about making sure that we DON'T elect one of these dynasties, whether through the Ghost of Manes (Shaffran) or Vallone/Duane?

We have an excellent option:

Paul Graziano for CD19!

The guy is clean as a whistle and has a great track record for helping our neighborhoods stop being fed on by political parasites like Shaffran, Vallone and Duane!

Anonymous said...

Ed Cox is giving Elliot Spitzer the Wilson Paluka against Cuomo

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Shafran is a real douchebag to deal with. He couldn't even keep a wife for a good amount of time.

Anonymous said...

How about making a decision on fracking until 2016?? And hillary will be a dried up 69 yr old in 2016.She has no chance to win the dem primary. Obama only won because people voted against her,not FOR him!

Anonymous said...

His mom, Phyllis Shaffran,
was an old Donald Manes era "party girl".

She also "worked" for Brian Mc Laughlin.

Anonymous said...

"Ed Cox is giving Elliot Spitzer the Wilson Paluka against Cuomo"

Ha! That'd be a hoot!

Anonymous said...

Yea what happened to Shafran's wife? did she get smart?