FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2010
CONTACT: Dan Branda, 845-453-5854
ASSEMBLYMAN BALL SEEKS ETHICS INVESTIGATION AGAINST TAX HIKE MIKE
Tax Hike Mike’s Tainted Funds Climbs to $707K
“Sampson and Smith didn’t win this money at the race track. They stole it from the taxpayers. Stolen money is stolen money. If Tax Hike Mike spends a dime from the DSCC, he’s just as guilty as Sampson and Smith,” said Jim Coleman, spokesperson for Greg Ball’s campaign, who knocked on Tax Hike Mike’s door for the second straight day today to demand that the now $707 Thousand in tainted campaign money be returned.
Following the NYS Inspector General’s report that linked Tax Hike Mike to more than $191 Thousand in tainted campaign contributions, Greg Ball and his campaign repeatedly asked Tax Hike Mike to return the money, just as Democrat candidate for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman did and Democrat Senate candidate Joanne Yepsen did. Tax Hike Mike also agreed to only give back $4,500 of the $191,000 and refused to call on his party leadership to resign. Since that promise, which he has not yet fulfilled, Tax Hike Mike has taken even more money from Sampson and Smith, who have transferred $945 Thousand into the DSCC.
“We know that Tax Hike Mike received $707 Thousand in tainted money from a backroom deal with Sampson and Smith up in Albany,” Coleman said. “He says he’s for reform, but behind closed doors all Tax Hike Mike does is take more money from the taxpayers, just like he did when he got Doc Cavallo a $55 Thousand no-show job.”
Mr. Kaplowitz directly benefited from the illicit behaviors of Mr. Schwartz and Senators Sampson and Smith, receiving more than $707 Thousand in campaign contributions tainted by this bid-rigging scandal, including:
- $394,592.60 directly spent by the NYS Democratic Senate Campaign Committee on behalf of Mr. Kaplowitz, as reported in the DSCC’s 11 Day Pre-General Election Disclosure Report, Schedule R
- $84,647.00 transferred from the NYS Democratic Senate Campaign Committee to Mr. Kaplowitz’s campaign on September 30, 2010, as reported in the DSCC’s 32 Day Pre-General Election Disclosure Report, Schedule E
- $84,647.00 transferred from the NYS Democratic Senate Campaign Committee to Mr. Kaplowitz’s campaign on October 7, 2010, as reported in the DSCC’s 11 Day Pre-General Election Disclosure Report, Schedule E
- $84,647.00 transferred from the NYS Democratic Senate Campaign Committee to Mr. Kaplowitz’s campaign on October 18, 2010, as reported in the DSCC’s 11 Day Pre-General Election Disclosure Report, Schedule E
- $55,612.00 transferred from the NYS Democractic Senate Campaign Committee to Mr. Kaplowitz’s campaign on October 25,2010, as reported on the Committee’s 24-hour notice
- $1,000 donated to Mr. Kaplowitz’s campaign by Malcolm A. Smith for New York on October 5, 2010, as reported by the 11 Day Pre-General Election Disclosure Report of Committee for Michael Kaplowitz
- $2,500 donated to Mr. Kaplowitz’s campaign by Committee to Elect Eric Adams on September 30,2010, reported on the 11 Day Pre-General Election Disclosure Report of Committee to Elect Eric Adams but omitted from the legally required 11 Day Pre-General Election Disclosure Report of Committee for Michael Kaplowitz
It is important to note that Senators Sampson, Smith, and Adams have donated at least $945,000 directly to the DSCC.
Ball Files Ethics Complaint Against Kaplowitz, Seeks Investigation
Assemblyman Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) is calling for a full ethics probe into the relationship between Legislator Mike Kaplowitz, County Executive Andy Spano, and the Aqueduct Architect Larry Schwartz, who is a major figure in the Inspector General’s October 2010 report of what Governor Pataki called “stealing from the public by bid-rigging a multi-billion dollar contract.”
According to the letter from Ball’s office, “Mr. Kaplowitz has repeatedly been afforded the opportunity to return this money, as fellow Democratic candidate for Senate Joanne Yepsen and Democratic candidate for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have done. What exactly did Mr. Kaplowitz know about Mr. Schwartz, when did he know it, and why did he refuse to come forward?”
Striking in the Inspector General’s report is the involvement of Larry Schwartz, the former top aide to Andy Spano, with whom Ball says Kaplowitz has a “long and intimate knowledge of the business practices of Mr. Schwartz.” In 2009, before Larry Schwartz headed to his 6-figure job in the Governor’s Office, where he was intimately involved with the Aqueduct Fiasco, Kaplowitz was the architect of a sweetheart payoff to give Schwartz, his friend who was also at that point a county employee, a $83k payout for unused sick and vacation leave.
At the county level, questions of impropriety have also been raised about another deal engineered by Schwartz and pushed through the Budget Committee on June 23, 2008 by Kaplowitz: the expenditure of $13.3 Million for a vacant building at 450 Saw Mill River Rd, a property whose owners had financial ties to Westchester County’s Democratic Party.
“At the county level, questions of impropriety have also been raised about another deal engineered by Schwartz and pushed through the Budget Committee on June 23, 2008 by Legislator Michael Kaplowitz: the expenditure of $13.3 Million for the purchase of a property at 450 Saw Mill River Rd, Greenburgh, NY,” Ball’s letter states. “The property, which had been vacant since 2003, required substantial renovations to remove asbestos and mold. The property’s owners, including Jon Halpern, have been repeatedly identified in media as substantial contributors to the Westchester County Democratic Party, and have hosted fundraisers for County Executive Spano and his favored colleagues, including Legislator Kaplowitz, who served as Vice Chairman of the County Board of Legislators at the time.
“Mr. Halpern also was a business associate of Vice Chairman Kaplowitz as a fellow board member at Westchester Medical Center. Rather than abstaining from the vote due to these clear conflicts of interest, Vice Chairman Kaplowitz voted in favor of Mr. Halpern’s business dealing with the county six (6) times in June and July 2008.”
In July 2008, the Board of Legislators voted along party lines to purchase the building, an act immediately questioned by Minorty Leader George Oros for its legality.
“This building is a proverbial white elephant that has been sitting there for three years with no buyers, yet we’re willing to pay more than three times what it’s worth,” Oros remarked in a July 2008 Press Release. “For months this administration came up with every excuse why this building was the only option and in the end backed into reasons. It’s about time we level with the people of Westchester County.”
Oros, along with Legislators Maisano and Burrows, also stated the $13.3 Million price tag for the project violated County Law, which requires a public referendum for any Capital expenditure over $10 Million.
Last week, Governor George Pataki joined Ball’s call for Kaplowitz to return the money, saying of the leadership, “They are not just corrupt in a political sense. They are corrupt in a criminal sense and are trying to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from the taxpayers of this state.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2010
“This backroom deal makes Governor Blagojevich look like a girl scout. Tax Hike Mike, and his handlers, have been caught red handed by offering, and delivering, the Chairman of the Independence Party a ‘no-show’ state government, taxpayer funded job in return for the Independence line. If you ever needed a law school example of political quid pro quo, this is it,” Coleman said.
The Cavallo deal is one of several unethical back room deals cut by Democratic Senate Leadership to support Tax Hike Mike. They have also given Tax Hike Mike more than $707 Thousand in campaign money from the AEG Scandal, money that Tax Hike Mike refuses to give back even though he admits the money is dirty.
The details for TONIGHT’s event are:
WHO: Jim Coleman
McGrath the Crime Dog
WHAT: Asking Independence Party donors to support an investigation into Doc Cavallo’s no-show job with the Democratic Senators
WHERE: Travelers’ Rest
One Route 100
WHEN: Wednesday, October 27, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 24, 2010
Contact: Dan Branda, 845-453-5854
County Executive Astorino To Endorse Greg Ball for State Senate
At a press conference Thursday, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will endorse Greg Ball’s candidacy for State Senate.
“Rob, a real fiscal conservative, served alongside my tax and spend opponent in the county legislature, and I am deeply honored to have his endorsement. Rob Astorino is doing the tough work in Westchester, undoing years of excessive spending and taxation, and I pledge to be his strongest partner in the Senate,” Ball said.
The details for THURSDAY’s Press Conference are:
WHO: County Executive Rob Astorino
Assemblyman Greg Ball, Candidate for State Senate
WHAT: Endorsement for Greg Ball for State Senate
WHEN: Thursday, October 28, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2010
Contact: Dan Branda, 845-453-5854
Ball Campaign Releases “Outrage: Back to Issues” TV Ad
The Ball Campaign has released a new 30-second television commercial, which is now airing throughout the 40th Senate District. The ad can also be viewed online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25blvVwxVos