Campaign For Accountability Highlights Ex-senator Al D’amato

PAC Project Dedicated to Exposing Tricks and Political Machines in Elections

Washington, DC.- May 27, 2010 What does an out-of-control state or federal deficit have to do with campaign tricks and political machines? According to America Outraged Political Action Committee (PAC), plenty. Political trickery or “machines,” methods that prevent a popular candidate from achieving nomination or election, are used specifically for the purpose of usurping the process that ensures the voters’ interests are legitimately represented. When this occurs, the small segment of supporters expect a return for their campaign “investment” such as salary or pension hikes. The voters who were not legitimately represented are then disadvantaged still more, because they are left with the bill.

America Outraged PAC wants to stop this form of “taxation without representation” and is initiating a series of blog projects aimed at exposing the unsavory practices of political “power brokers.” Lynn Yowell, a co-founder or America Outraged PAC, announced today that the organization’s first project is “Stop D’Amato,” an effort aimed at informing the public about how the ex-Senator from New York, Alfonse D’Amato, uses various tactics in the nominating and endorsement process to control who gets the nomination. “The voters in New York State have been dissatisfied with elected officials—from the high spending to the frequent scandals,” Yowell said. “It all starts with the candidates. While we can’t ensure a high-quality slate of candidates, we can provide transparency and dissemination of critical information and evidence.”

Yowell went on to say that D’Amato is the “poster child” of back room dealers. “It’s obvious that promises had to have been made to a number of donors, she said, “and the chits start being collected in the form of pay and pension hikes. We see this with the teachers’ unions, for example.” Pensions, like Medicare and Social Security at the federal level, can balloon rapidly, well beyond affordability for a state.

America Outraged PAC has developed a blog site that contains information about D’Amato’s past practices and relationships relevant to the current statewide elections in New York. Web visitors can view a social network chart of D’Amato’s relationships, such as his association with Kirsten Gillibrand, the Democrat candidate and current office-holder whom he recommended to New York Gov. David Paterson to replace Hillary Clinton. D’Amato surprised Republicans when he endorsed and threw support to former Nassau County Legislature presiding officer Bruce Blakeman, a local politician without any significant experience or accomplishments. Political observers have commented that D’Amato’s backing of Blakeman has been, in reality, a way to ensure that his protégé Gillibrand wins the Senate seat to which she was appointed.

The “Stop D’Amato” blog can be accessed at http://StopDamato.wordpress.com/.

About America Outraged PAC

The mission of America Outraged PAC is to achieve accountability and responsibility in government, by communicating the voices of U.S. citizens who:

• Demand accountability of those holding elected office, those appointed by elected officials, and those professing to be unbiased reporters of news and facts
• Demand that lawmakers read and understand the legislation they vote on
• Urgently require a limit on spending
• Oppose Congressional perks while the nation endures a severe recession • Oppose bureaucrats making life-and-death decisions about individual citizens’ health.

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Under D’Amato’s guidance, Pataki led New York State to the edge of bankruptcy

from  “RINO Fixers Are Part of the GOP’s Problem,” by Deroy Murdock, National Review Online, February 26, 2009 4:00 A.M.

At the state level, governors like New York’s George Pataki and California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger pandered to government-employee unions and opened the spending spigots, to taxpayers’ ongoing horror.

Other culprits include the state-level influence peddlers who seem more interested in cash than in free-market and conservative principles. New York ’s former U.S. senator Alfonse D’Amato is a perfect example of this breed. “Senator Pothole” personally discovered an obscure state senator, George Pataki, from Peekskill, N.Y. After being muscled through the state GOP convention, Pataki scored the party’s nomination and won the governorship in 1994. After some limited first-term tax cutting, Pataki’s spend-o-rama began, swelling the state budget 79.5 percent — from $63.3 billion in 1994 to $113.6 billion in 2006. This was nearly double the inflation rate. D’Amato served as Pataki’s chief cheerleader and arguably has become New York’s most influential Republican — to the degree that party label still fits.

D’Amato most recently raised eyebrows while he stood shoulder to shoulder with prominent New York Democrats as Gov. David Paterson introduced Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand as the Empire State’s new U.S. senator. Gillibrand replaced Hillary Clinton after she departed for the State Department.New York Republicans thought D’Amato looked perfectly at home among the state’s top donkeys.

As Wayne Barrett reported in the January 27 Village Voice, D’Amato hosted a $1,000-per-plate fundraiser for Paterson last November 2. D’Amato’s ambidexterity also led him to host a benefit for GOP senator John McCain last March.

D’Amato’s New York- and Washington-based lobbying firm, Park Strategies, has served him well. He famously earned $500,000 for making just one phone call in 2004 to persuade former Metropolitan Transit Authority chairman E. Virgil Conway to help facilitate a $230 million loan to the company that owns the bus and subway agency’s headquarters building. D’Amato’s client in that transaction, Tamir Sapir, is a partner in a company called Bayrock/Sapir. It, in turn, donated $5,000 to Paterson last September.

So D’Amato is the deal-maker or go-between, among other roles.  He lines up big donations, and then ensures that the elected official delivers.  It is also obvious that he “advises” as part of his fee for fundraising or matchmaking.