Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cuomo's Flip-Flop On The Moreland Commission

When it comes to how stunningly full of shit Andrew Cuomo is on corruption, this William Rashbaum tweet puts it all in perspective:

With Shelly Silver convicted on all seven corruption counts and Dean Skelos all but assured of being convicted in his corruption trial, no wonder Cuomo wants to rewrite the history and make believe like the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption wasn't actually supposed to investigate or prosecute anything or anybody.

It's worth revisiting the NY Times piece by Craig, Rashbaum and Kaplan on how Cuomo "hobbled" the Moreland Commission that ran on July 23, 2014 because it gives much insight into why Cuomo would want to have the public forget the truth about the commission.

In the piece, we learn that Cuomo tried to exert control over the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption through its executive director, Regina Calcaterra, who fed everything that was happening there back to Cuomo's office, sometimes literally in real time via her phone .

We know that whatever the commission knew Cuomo likely knew too because Calcaterra was feeding it back to his office.

So Cuomo's office likely knew that Silver and Skelos were both under investigation, yet he made the deal with the two then-legislative leaders to shut down the Moreland Commission in return for a budget deal that contained a lukewarm ethics reform package in it.

There sure is a funkiness to that budget deal that resulted from the Moreland shutdown that ought to be looked at now that Silver's convicted and Skelos is soon-to-be convicted.

In addition, we know that when the commission got too close to Cuomo's own donors in the real estate industry with a subpoena, Cuomo's man Larry Schwarz, told them to "pull it back."

We continue to learn more and more about all the money that was going from real estate interests to Cuomo's coffers - including how the real estate developer at the center of the Silver and Skelos trials who gave Cuomo over $1 million in donations last election cycle either individually or through connected entities also gave $500K to Cuomo's allies at the Committee To Save New York PAC back in 2011:

If you're tallying it all up at home, here's the total from Glenwood and/or Litwin to Cuomo or Cuomo-controlled entities and/or allies:

Glenwood and Litwin gave Cuomo’s committee $1 million during the last election cycle, more than any other donor. They also gave his 2014 running mate, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, $19,700 and the New York State Democratic Committee $450,000.

The $500,000 given to the Committee to Save New York thus brings the total from the developer that went to support the governor during his first term to $1.97 million — about 32 times the campaign contribution limit imposed on donations from most individuals.

Cuomo attempted to cover up his connections to Glenwood, claiming that even though they were donating this dough to him, he wasn't meeting with them - but that statement turned out not to be true and Cuomo had to retract it:

ALBANY—Governor Andrew Cuomo appeared to misspeak on Wednesday when he said he had "never" discussed rental control with executives of Glenwood Management, the real estate company whose alleged efforts to influence legislation in Albany were at the center of a criminal complaint against Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos that was released this week.

Glenwood Management has not been accused of any illegal activity, but it has been widely identified as “Developer-1” in criminal complaints against Skelos and former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver.

On Wednesday, Capital asked Cuomo if Glenwood had ever brought up rent control with the governor or any members of his administration.

“No, never,” he said.

But a review of Cuomo’s public schedules indicates he met with executives from Glenwood three times in 2011 to discuss "rent regulations," according to the schedules. The meetings took place in the months before rent control laws were set to expire.

“The Governor did not remember off the top of his head three meetings from five years ago, two of which also included many other industry advocates,” said Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo. “What is clear to everyone is that we emerged that year with the strongest rent regulation laws in decades, which included the creation of a tenant protection unit that has returned more than 37,000 unlawfully deregulated apartments to rent regulation."

The Moreland Commission could have uncovered some of this stuff had they been allow to investigate Cuomo's donors at REBNY but Cuomo made sure the investigation into his donors didn't pick up speed and then shut down the commission not long afterward.

You can see why he'd now want to rewrite the history and make believe that what he said about the commission having investigatory and prosecutorial powers wasn't actually said.

Because there sure is a lot of smoke around Cuomo, his donors and the Moreland Commission shutdown and you know he doesn't want anybody to remember that.

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