CHARTER GROUP TO SPONSOR DIAZ XMAS PARTY—Capital’s Eliza Shapiro: Families for Excellent Schools is co-sponsoring State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.'s Christmas party, according to an invite sent Friday by Diaz's office. The party, which will take place Dec. 19 at a steakhouse in the Bronx, is also sponsored by the food delivery company Fresh Direct. A spokesman for F.E.S. declined to say how much the group is paying to co-sponsor the event. Diaz, a Bronx Democrat, has been a longtime supporter of charter schools. In a brief interview on Friday, Diaz initially said of F.E.S., "I don't even know who they are," but then said he had worked with "every single group" in support of charter schools, including F.E.S. No children are allowed at the party. F.E.S. spent nearly $9 million in the first ten months of 2014. http://bit.ly/1BEuNqt
Eliza Shapiro and Bill Mahoney at Capital NY had reported last week that Families For Excellent Schools was on track for 2014 to spend the most on lobbying for any lobbying group ever.
It now seems that the "lobbying" from Families For Excellent Schools is taking the form of bribes to Ruben Diaz Sr. (the only one of the criminal group the Four Amigos who managed to skip prison time) for his entertainment expenses.
I'm sure both F.E.S. and Diaz would say "co-sponsoring" Diaz's Christmas Party is actually a legitimate "lobbying" expense.
But to anybody outside the corrupt political game, "co-sponsoring" Diaz's party looks like a bribe.
Diaz is already deform-friendly, but you can be sure he'll be even more friendly after the F.E.S. largesse.