Social Network Concept of the Gillibrand – D’Amato Influence Machine

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.

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Al D’Amato will continue to damage New York politics unless you stop him now

“Gillibrand’s Dirty Tricks Will AG Cuomo Get The Facts ?” at STONEZONE by Roger Stone, January 25, 2009.

We lead with this post because it relates directly to the current Senate race and the upcoming conventions in New York state.

The appointment by New York Governor David Paterson of Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to the vacant senate seat of Hillary Clinton raises serious questions surrounding the illegal dirty tricks employed to elect Gillibrand to Congress in the first place.

In 2006 Governor George Pataki’s Chief of Staff Zenia Mucha illegally obtained New York State Police records regarding a domestic dispute between then Congressman John Sweeney and his wife.


Wiese: Got the police docs

The records were obtained by former State Police captain Daniel Wiese, who functioned as a dirty tricks operative for Pataki and later Governor Eliot Spitzer. Wiese was also the operative who pressured State police Superintendent Preston Fenton to utilize the State police to spy on Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno and to fabricate records to smear Bruno. Fenton was forced to resign over the Bruno smear effort.

Mucha, a former aide to Senator Alfonse D’Amato, was the live-in girlfriend of Gillibrand’s father, Albany lobbyist Doug Rutnick. The State Police records were leaked to the anti-Sweeney Albany Times Union,


Mucha: Had the docs leaked

perhaps the most biased newspaper in the nation, just six days before the election, causing Sweeney’s defeat and Gillibrand’s election. Prior to the leaks Sweeney lead in the race by 19 points according to the New York Times .

Sweeney was targeted by Mucha and the Pataki dirty tricks operation because of his growing criticism of Pataki’s move to the left and his alliance with 1199, the Public Employees Union. Pataki’s agreement with the union in return for endorsement of his re-election virtually bankrupt the state.

To recap:

1) Governor Pataki was a protege of Al D’Amato’s when he was in the state legislature.

2) Gillebrand’s father was living with his girlfriend, Zenia Mucha, a former aide to D’Amato.

3) Police records concerning a domestic dispute between then-Congressman John Sweeney and his wife were illegally obtained by a Pataki operative and then leaked conveniently to an anti-Sweeney newspaper just before the election. Gillebrand won.

Equally troubling is Gillibrand’s former internship with Senator D’Amato who’s misdeeds date to his illegal requirement that Town of Hempstead employees kick back 1% of their salaries to the Nassau County Republican Organization.

That Governor Paterson allowed D’Amato to stand front and center at Gillibrand’s announcement press conference , although no doubt good for D’Amato’s influence peddling business, has inflamed New York Democrats and virtually insured public scrutiny of D’Amato’s and Rutnick’s Washington lobby clients and Gillibrand’s votes and activities impacting them.

The shady circumstances surrounding Gillbrand’s first election and her conservative record also insure a Democratic primary for the seat in 2010. The idea that up-state voters would cheer Gillibrand’s appointment is ridiculous- voters in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse have never heard of her.