Connecting The Dots In The Lowe Complaint
The federal fraud complaint filed against Melvin Lowe has touched off another round of political guess who in NYC and Albany circles, and illuminates the deep and complex connections the veteran Democratic consultant had to a number of high profile players who right now might be just a teensy bit concerned for their own hides.
As Jimmy Vielkind points out, fianncial reports filed with the state Board of Elections by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee seem to indicate that the New Jersey firm through which Lowe funneled $100,000 worth of the Senate Democrats’ cash is Cornerstone Management Partners.
Specifically, the DSCC sent two payments of $50,035 to the Teaneck, NJ-based firm in June 2010 for “literature” for an unnamed campaign that was, according to the complaint, “non-SD” – in other words, not related to any Senate campaign.
Of that cash, Cornerstone allegedly kept $5,000, gave $75,000 to Lowe and another $20,000 to “political consultant #1,” who is described in the complaint as a New York City-based individual who had served as a staffer to unnamed New York City elected officials.
The unnamed principal of “vendor #1” – presumably Cornerstone – told a federal investigator he understood the DSCC invoice for the $100,000 was fraudulent and its sole purpose was to “generate and disburse the funds as as directed by Lowe.” At the time the invoice was received, the vendor in question had provided zero printing services to the DSCC.
“Political consultant #1” told the feds she had done no work for “vendor #1” and didn’t even know who the vendor was. He said several days before Lowe called him to inform him of the arrival of $20,000 in his bank account, “Senator #1” had promised him a “benefit” for previously provided – and undescribed in the complaint – assistance.
Any number of individuals fit the description of this consultant, including Michael Cohen, former chief of staff to ex-Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson, who brought Lowe into the DSCC following the infamous 2009 Senate coup and was heading up the conference at the time the events laid out in this complaint took place.
Among the elected officials Cohen worked for was NYC Councilman Mathieu Eugene, a Brooklyn Democrat. Cohen earned $10,000 a year as a “special assistant” in Eugene’s district office in 2008 and 2009 while simultaneously working for Sampson.
Cohen and his best friend, Elnatan Rudolph, were the subject of an exhaustive City & State story published in August 2010. The story noted that the two were childhood best friends and had grown up together in an Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn.
Rudolph moved to Teaneck, NJ in his early 20s and was hired to work as a consultant for the Sampson-run DSCC, earning a cool $100,000 in a single month through his company, Cornerstone Management.
He also worked for another consultant who once had close ties to the Senate Democrats: Hank Sheinkopf. In fact, in an interview with City & State, Rudolph attributed his DSCC contract to the work he and “Hank” had done for the campaign committee before Rudolph left Sheinkopf’s firm in November 2006.
Despite his work for the Senate Democrats, Rudolph was actually the protege of a rather infamous Republican: Self-professed dirty trickster Roger Stone. In 2010, Cornerstone Management did work for Carl Paladino’s gubernatorial campaign, thanks to Stone’s connection to the Buffalo businessman.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on October 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm, and is filed under Democrats, State Senate, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|