Saturday, March 15, 2014
Interesting story about developer and voter fraud
From CBS New York:
The struggle for control of a small town in Sullivan County has drawn the attention of federal agents.
As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported Friday, newcomers have been pitted against longtime residents of the village of Bloomingburg, in what is now a voter fraud investigation.
Some residents of the village at the edge of the Catskills welcomed the FBI agents who poured in on Thursday. One resident took photos as more than 40 agents raided over a dozen locations — the offices and property of developer Shalom Lamm.
“We were hoping to get, you know, things investigated, and maybe it’s finally happening,” said Bloomingburg resident Teek Persuad.
They are worried about a takeover of the village, beginning with Lamm’s controversial townhouse project that is currently under a court challenge. The project would triple the population in the town.
Meanwhile, numerous building renovations started without permits have been ordered stopped, and a series of rental properties also owned by Lamm, have led to a sudden flurry of voter registrations in the last month – right before an election last week.
“You have to be a resident to vote,” said attorney Jonathan Chase. “You don’t vote and then become a resident.
“These people don’t actually live here,” said resident and development Jim O’Shea. “They move in on the weekend, and then they go back to wherever they come from.”
The people whom O’Shea was talking about are all Hasidic or ultra-Orthodox Jews, and critics have said the sudden property purchases and development seem designed to turn Bloomingburg into a religious enclave like some others closer to the city in Rockland County.
An attorney for Lamm acknowledged the voter fraud investigation.