Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cuomo's New York State Of Crime

A commenter on the Bill Mahoney Capital NY piece about Cuomo taking $250K from the guy in charge of land development in the Village of Kiryas Joel in return for vetoing a bill that passed the New York Legislature with wide bipartisan support in both the Assembly and the Senate that would have given Orange County some say in the annexation of some land next to Kiryas Joel:

Apologies to Billy Joel but;

"I'm in a New York State of Crime..."

As I posted last night, Cuomo's campaign got the $250K in eight checks from four different LLC's all linked to the same guy who's in charge of land development in Kiryas Joel and owns quite a bit of the land Kiryas Joel wants to annex into the village.

The checks came a few days after Cuomo vetoed legislation that would have allowed the county to review the controversial land annexation plans Kiryas Joel has for hundreds of acres adjacent to the village.
Here's how the Times-Record covered the story before it was revealed Cuomo's campaign was paid $250K from the land development guy in Kiryas Joel:
Cuomo, lobbied fiercely by both supporters and opponents of Kiryas Joel's potential expansion, waited until around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday - less than two hours before his deadline - to announce his veto. He said in his message that the measure would violate the state constitution by giving counties "control over local annexation petitions that would not impact a county's boundaries," an argument Kiryas Joel's attorneys also had made.
Skoufis, D-Woodbury, called Cuomo's reasoning "flat-out wrong" on Thursday, pointing out that the clause in the constitution about annexations specifically says that "the consent of the governing board of a county shall be required only where a boundary of the county is affected." He noted that his bill didn't involve the county's governing board - the Legislature - and didn't require consent, since county planners would only have made recommendations.

“Sadly, Governor Cuomo's veto message appears to be nothing more than fabricated reasoning to reach a predetermined outcome," he said in a statement. "It is extremely disappointing that the governor chose to ignore the voices of thousands of residents from every municipality in Orange County.”

"Fabricated reasoning to reach a predetermined outcome" - that's a statement that applies to much of Andrew Cuomo's record as governor of New York.
Here's how Kiryas Joel officials reacted to news of the veto:
Kiryas Joel officials applauded Cuomo on Thursday, contending the bills were intended to prevent Kiryas Joel's expansion and would have hindered other annexation efforts in New York.

“We appreciate that Governor Cuomo was able to see through the angry rhetoric being advanced by Assemblyman Skoufis and looked at these bills for what they really were, a thinly veiled attempt to stop the natural growth of the peaceful, family-oriented community of Kiryas Joel,” said Ari Felberman, the village's government relations coordinator.

That's right, Governor Cuomo was able to see through the angry rhetoric being advanced by Assemblyman Skoufis and understand that if he did the right thing and veto these bills, he would, you know, have God's light shine on him - as well as some cash.

Here's how Assemblyman Skoufis responded to news of the veto:
Skoufis lamented that Cuomo "decided to play politics with the Hudson Valley" by blocking the bills.

"This bipartisan legislation would have provided significantly increased scrutiny of the current Kiryas Joel-initiated bids as well as all future controversial annexation proposals throughout the state," he said.

Yes, but vetoing the bills would have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to Governor Cuomo as well as potential future votes from the citizens of Kiryas Joel (some of whom apparently vote early and often, sometimes in both Orange County and Brooklyn.)

Andrew Cuomo is definitely in a New York State of Crime these days, what with the hedge fundie donations and fundraisers in return for the pro-charter and pro-education reform agenda, the Glenwood and REBNY cash in return for the pro-real estate industry agenda, the Hollywood donations in return for the movie and TV tax credit program and now the Kiryas Joel donations in return for the veto that will help them expand and make money on the deal (since the guy who donated to Cuomo owns a lot of the land in question.


  1. The state of Albany politics, especially under this governor is beyond ridiculous. If something isn't done in the next year or two to clean up that cesspool the exodus of residents from this state is going to increase tremendously.

  2. At what point does this become bribery?

  3. Well it turns out this story isn't really going anywhere. Its been reported on the sort of intra-NYS political spots, but it seems to have stalled there. It is bribery. It is quid pro quo. It is shady. It is all F'd up. But its actually legal. Unless there is documentary proof of Cuomo himself saying "I am taking this money and will veto this because of the money you are handing me, Andrew Cuomo." That wont ever happen. So its legal. Thats the new bar. Done. More than money-taking-for-veto, this was VOTE BUYING! This one wasn't so much about the money. Really. Its the votes. In this case follow the votes. I hate to be a cynical douche, but remember his trip to Israel back right before the primary or whatever. That was Cuomo pandering his ass off. That wasn't about him being cool culturally. Its about grabbing a super stable, dependable, and yes, often double-voting-and-nobody-questioning-it block of 10s of thousands of votes. Its true. Sorry.