“The more money taken from thee, the more there is for me.” — A classic phrase representing one of the basic principles of communism. And it’s happening in the Empire State.
A federal investigation spearheaded by U.S. Attorney Prett Bharara reveals that staff and contractors working for the Cuomo administration may have ““deceived” and “defrauded” New York State.
Allegedly, improper lobbying and undisclosed conflicts of interests are also part of what is being called Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” boondoggle, which also involved top Cuomo donors winning contracts for an economic development initiative in western New York.
The Daily News reports:
Joseph Percoco, who until recently was Cuomo’s $169,000-a-year executive deputy secretary, and had long been his political enforcer and close personal friend, is said by sources familiar with the investigation to be a key target. A source with knowledge of the situation said Percoco failed to accurately report outside income he received came from entities with business before the state. He also seemingly failed to report potential conflicts of interest to the Cuomo administration or recuse himself from projects he had ties to, several sources said.
In response, Cuomo’s counsel released a statement, which in part said, “This investigation has recently raised questions of improper lobbying and undisclosed conflicts of interest by some individuals which may have deceived state employees involved in the respective programs and may have defrauded the state.”
From The Observer:
The joint statement from Cuomo counsel Alphonso David and former federal prosecutor Bart Schwartz dropped shortly after 5 pm on a Friday, a classic tactic for burying potentially damaging news. Just minutes earlier, the Daily News reported that Joseph Percoco—the governor’s former executive deputy secretary and close personal and political confidante—may have engaged in “self-dealing” by taking work from a lobbyist while still employed by the state.
The New York Times added that investigators were determining whether or not Percoco and his wife might have profited by tens of thousands of dollars from a design and engineering firm involved in the Buffalo Billion project.
One state source is shocked by this revelation, telling The Buffalo News, “the devastation is acute” and “everyone is literally flabbergasted.”
Percoco, described as “hulking” by The Observer, has long been Cuomo’s strong arm man.
Rusty Weiss, of MentalRescession, writes that “when the investigation into Cuomo’s shuttering of the Moreland ‘ethics’ panel was heating up, Percoco called several of the commissioners on the ethics panel and ‘encouraged’ them to make public statements in support of the governor. He intimidated the members, even allegedly offered to write their statements for them, and suggested that these commissioners use private e-mails rather than New York state accounts.”
Sounds like more sour apples in a barrel of communist swank. Use taxpayer money for an economic development program to bring jobs to a dead area of the state where no economic growth has existed for years. Siphon state money through contracts for personal profit. Everyone is equally scammed and less financially secure. Government money is wasted and lost, likely to be unrecovered, and the masses lose, while those in power profit. No economic development is achieved other than the money the boondogglers swindled.