Media misses key ethical questions in U.S. Senate race in NY

Lack of insightful media coverage of political dirty tricks leads to “Stop D’Amato” Facebook campaign

Washington, DC.- May 27, 2010—You’ve seen Facebook sites that try to find a million fans of something. Now, thanks to inadequate media coverage in New York, a Facebook fan site is being used to educate the voting public. Created by America Outraged Political Action Committee, the recently launched “1,000+ People to STOP the D’Amato Machine!” (http://www.facebook.com/stopdamato) seeks to find over a thousand people by May 28 to “like” the page and voice their disapproval of political power broker and former U.S. Senator Al D’Amato.

The site argues D’Amato is engaging in cronyism for future political kickbacks and wielding “quid-pro-quo” influence over a U.S. Senate race in New York by having supported both Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand as well one of her weakest Republican opponents, Bruce Blakeman.

“Ever since he lost his U.S. Senate seat to Chuck Schumer, Al D’Amato has used the tactics he developed in Congress to ‘mentor’ younger politicians, exercise his political clout for favors, to usurp the law, and leave taxpayers with the bill as he lined his pockets,” the page reads. “He has received as much as $500,000 for a single telephone call.”

Lynn Yowell, co-founder or America Outraged PAC, said the Facebook page was part of an ongoing effort aimed at informing the public about how D’Amato uses unsavory tactics in the nominating and endorsement process to control who gets the nomination. “We’re tired of unelected influence-peddlers with far too much influence over the political process, the legislative process, and the taxing and spending habits of local New York legislatures,” Yowell said.

The Facebook page also features a fan-created YouTube video of D’Amato set to the James Brown song, “The Boss,” showing various clips of D’Amato expressing his love for the “combat” of poker juxtaposed with video of him supporting different candidates and cursing on the Howard Stern show.

America Outraged PAC has also started an educational “Stop D’Amato” blog that 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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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.