Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, February 6, 2015

David Sirota: Andrew Cuomo Benefited From Same Real Estate Figure That Shelly Silver Did

David Sirota at IBT:

A careful review of state documents reveals that Cuomo and Silver are connected by a key figure in the scandal. Both lawmakers have a financial relationship with the same New York real estate mogul, Leonard Litwin, who has in turn relied upon them for preferential tax treatment and other government benefits.

Silver is alleged to have benefited personally from Litwin’s spending -- and there is no dispute that Cuomo has benefited politically from that same largesse.

Litwin contributed $1 million to Cuomo’s reelection campaign and another $500,000 to the New York Democratic Party, making him the largest political donor in the state. His money flowed through 27 subsidiaries of his firm, Glenwood Management. Those subsidiaries were also clients of the real estate law firm that paid referral fees to Silver. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has alleged that Silver "induce[d] real estate developers with business before the state" to employ the law firm, which in turn made payments to Silver.

...

The Cuomo-run New York State Housing Finance Agency, for instance, approved a $260 million state-supported low-interest loan in 2014 to finance Glenwood’s new luxury apartment building in midtown Manhattan. At the time the loan to Glenwood was approved, the NYHFA was headed by Cuomo appointee Bill Mulrow, an executive and registered lobbyist at Blackstone, a private equity and real estate firm. Mulrow was just appointed to be the governor’s chief of staff. According to NYHFA documents, Glenwood also has had other business with the agency.

Similarly, Cuomo in 2011 signed Silver-backed legislation reauthorizing a then-expired property tax abatement for real estate developers called the 421a program. Cuomo also signed an extension of that program in 2013. Litwin’s firm used the 421a program for its Midtown Manhattan project, according to the New York Times. Glenwood has also used the 421a tax break for some of its other properties in the city.

You of course remember Larry Schwartz, Cuomo's secretary, had the Moreland Commission "pull back" subpoenas to REBNY, which Sirota notes has Leonard Litwin as its "honorary chairman."

Funny how Cuomo's secretary didn't want that link between REBNY and Cuomo investigated.

I dunno if Preet Bharara and his feds picked up that investigation or not.

But they certainly should have.

And if they did, I bet Cuomo's got trouble.

Because all that money from Litwin to Cuomo didn't come without strings.

7 comments:

  1. Oooh, wouldn't it be fitting if our monster guv gets snagged. Man, we will be dancing in the streets.
    I mean, honestly, what Spitzer did was nothing compared to this
    and look what happened to him. Yeah, I know Wall Street wanted to bring down Spitzer, so this is waaaay different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly - Wall Street wants Sheriff Andy in place because he gives them what they want - and many had a jones to get Spitzer. That said, there are other neo-liberals who can replace Cuomo and give them what they want too, so if he becomes a liability, they'll toss him under the bus. It's said that Preet Bharara, whom Bloomberg likes for a future in politics, has eyes on either mayor or governor in the near term..

      Delete
  2. Cuomo will get caught - it's only a matter of time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not that optimistic about it, but there's little doubt in my mind that if the feds dig even just a little, they'll find quid pro Cuomo stuff to nail him on. There's a reason Cuomo wanted those subpoenas to his donors "pulled back" and it wasn't just so as not to inconvenience them.

      Delete
  3. I rarely believe a word I read in Fred Dicker's column and I doubt that the Guv will be indicted himself, but I am willing to believe what Dicker reported about Andy's fretful nights and anxious days calling-around-the-clock to get the latest news.

    I know that folks who give ulcers for a living don't usually get them but one can always hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dicker is self-serving, but I think his columns are useful at times to get insight into behind the scenes reality in Albany. We know that Cuomo panicked after the NY Times story in July about his Moreland meddling. Even though much of that report was already known via Ken Lovett at the DN, the Times story was damaging to Cuomo and he certainly overreacted to it, having Percoco draft statements of support for former Moreland commissioners and the like. I have to think that overreaction wasn't an accident - it was out of fear.

      Delete
  4. When Cuomo is indicted lets all meet for a major public celebration in NY city. Music, Dancing and let's bring out at least one million folks.

    ReplyDelete