Social Network Concept of the Gillibrand – D’Amato Influence Machine
May 26, 2010 6 Comments
Kirsten Gillibrand’s Network of Influence
* Convicted on two counts of mail and wire fraud.
** Partner in First Grafton Corp., source of evidence in Joe Bruno corruption trial.
*** Contributed $25,000 each, exactly one month prior to Paterson’s appointment of Gillibrand to U.S. Senate.
**** Instrumental in Gillibrand’s election to House, by reportedly leaking domestic violence report about opponent one week prior to election.
The diagram above is a social network-style representation of just a few of D’Amato’s political connections. Nodes on the network are colored based on assumed political affiliations and sized based on the volume and distribution of the connections. Arrows represent relationships and transactions. The diagram illustrates several network “transactions” — for example, the financial assistance Myron Shevell gave his daughter and then-son-in-law Bruce Blakeman enabled them to donate to George Pataki’s campaign chest. Pataki, in turn, appointed Nancy Shevell Blakeman to the Metropolitan Transit Authority Board and husband Bruce to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The diagram will be updated with new information and augmented to reflect past relationships and transactions. Ultimately it will represent the former senator’s sphere of influence over politics in New York state. Contributions have obviously spread from D’Amato to all manner of Democrats and Republicans in New York, and most likely elicited “repayment” or favors in some form or another. D’Amato’s $250,000 funding boost to David Paterson, for example, enabled D’Amato to push the governor for Kirsten Gillibrand to take the reigns in the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton.
Now it seems D’Amato is hell-bent on getting Bruce Blakeman to win the GOP primary to challenge Gillibrand, even attending his official Senate announcement. Has there been a change of heart for the man in the middle, or is it just another ploy to eliminate the strongest competition his darling Kirsten Gillibrand faces from the opposing party?
In either case, D’Amato’s influence runs deeper than many are willing to admit. Now is the time to shut down the machine.