Speaking Of Felons…
It turns out that not just one, but two former political heavyweights who did time on tax evasion charges are connected to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s April 4 campaign fund-raiser in Tarrytown.
As we reported earlier today, former Republican Sen. Nick Spano, who was released from prison last spring after pleading guilty in 2012 to tax evasion charges, sent an email to his contacts announcing that his lobbying firm is hosting the event, and trying to drum up attendance.
Upon reading that blog item, a source emailed to say that he had received an invitation to the fund-raiser via email from Paul Adler, the former chairman of the Rockland County Democratic Party who pleaded guilty in 2001 to bribery and tax evasion charges.
According to Adler’s email, which was forwarded to me by the source, the “Hudson Valley for Cuomo Reception” is an annual event – a “tradition” that began in 2009, Adler wrote, “when we all urged Andrew Cuomo to run for Governor of the Great State of New York.”
“In one short term in office, Andrew Cuomo has worked hard to put NYS back on track. The Governor’s leadership has shown the impact that a responsive and effective government can have on the lives of its people,” Adler continued.
“Now, we need to demonstrate our support for the Governor and his re-election efforts in 2014. Your early and continued support is greatly appreciated and the Governor has committed himself to seek another term to finish re-building NYS back into the Empire State.”
“With your generous support at this event, Andrew Cuomo can continue to: Create Jobs, Cut Taxes, Put Students First, Reduce Gun Violence, Provide Affordable Housing, Make Casino Gambling a Realty and finish the construction of the New Tappan Zee Bridge on time and on budget.”
Attached to Adler’s email is the official invitation to the Cuomo reception – the same invite Spano attached to his email.
The Spano email didn’t make it clear whether Cuomo’s campaign committee was connected to – or aware of – the ex-senator’s efforts on the governor’s behalf. Spano urged recipients to direct questions to him. Adler, on the other hand, includes the phone number and email address of Tom Giordano, the managing director of Cuomo 2014.
I emailed Josh Vlasto, who recently left the administration to work full time on Cuomo’s re-election campaign, to ask if the campaign planned to continue having Spano as a host of the April 4 event. So far, I have no recevied a reply.
Adler is a well known real estate broker and Democratic operative in the Hudson Valley. He was a prominent supporter of Hillary Clinton’s when she ran for the US Senate in 2000. Last year, Adler and his wife, Mary, co-chaired a fund-raiser headlined for Clinton on behalf of then-NYC mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, who was the campaign manager of Clinton’s Senate run.
Adler was sentenced to 19 months behind bars in 2002 after pleading guilty to federal corruption charges - including accepting bribes from developers and attempting to influence members of a local zoning board. He also pleaded guilty to tax evasion for failing to report $150,000 worth of income.
In addition, Adler’s files were reportedly seized by the FBI in 2001 as part of a probe into President Bill Clinton’s commutation of the sentences of four Orthodox Jews who had been convicted of stealing federal anti-poverty funds in New Square.
The clemency came on Bill Clinton’s last day in office, and after the Hasidic town had overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton for Senate by a margin of 1,400 to 12. The federal probe was subsequently dropped.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on March 4, 2014 at 12:51 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo, Democrats, Fundraising. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|