November 14, 2016

America Rising Launches First 2020 Hit: Pay To Play Allegations Rock Andrew Cuomo

An explosive story published by the Times Union over the weekend must have had Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) burning up the phone lines with his lawyers all weekend. The story details how Cuomo’s administration bought a piece of land for $4.05 million from Columbia Development. Suspiciously, two weeks after that real estate deal, Columbia Development turned around and gave Cuomo campaign contributions totaling $150,000:

“The 82,000-square-foot Capital Center is being built on four parcels Columbia Development sold to the Albany Convention Center Authority that year for $4.05 million. Public records indicate the sales took place about two weeks before a limited liability company run by Nicolla and involved in the land deal gave $50,000 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s campaign fund -— among $150,000 in donations reported by the governor’s campaign that day from LLCs tied to Columbia.”

Who wouldn’t trade $150,000 for $4.05 million? That’s not a bad return on investment for Columbia Development. Significantly, this is not the first time a Columbia Development donation was shadily close to a big money deal with the Cuomo Administration:

“Less than a year earlier, another LLC tied to Columbia gave $25,000 to the governor’s political fund the day after it was announced that the company would rehabilitate the shuttered DeWitt Clinton Hotel and connect the new hotel to the convention center with a walkway. Columbia received $4 million from the Empire State Development Corp. for the project.”

These new developments also come on the heels of the FBI raids against some of Cuomo’s top advisers and the criminal complaints filed by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for alleged bribery schemes:

“In September, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara rocked the state Capitol with the release of a criminal complaint alleging that some of Cuomo’s most generous donors systematically bribed state officials or agents. The federal complaint targets former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, lobbyist Todd Howeand Kaloyeros, as well as executives from Syracuse-based COR Development, Maryland-based Competitive Power Ventures and Buffalo developer LPCiminelli, who are all accused of paying bribes for official favors that included advantages in multimillion dollar state contracts.”

The Democratic Party just lost a presidential election because their candidate was extremely untrustworthy and ethically challenged. With these latest allegations against the Cuomo Administration, he might be out of the running for 2020 before the race has even begun.