Blakeman’s Actions And Reputation Hinder Suitability As Candidate In U.S. Senate Race

America Outraged Pac urges Republicans to nominate high Integrity Candidate

Published on June 02, 2010

by Official Wire

(OfficialWire)

WASHINGTON, DC

New York Republicans are gathering at the Sheraton in Manhattan to air their differences and present a slate of electable candidates for statewide offices. Republican leaders, pollsters, and political commentators believe they have an excellent chance for gaining a majority in the Senate if they can unseat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, appointed to the position by the embattled New York Gov. David Paterson.

The candidate that can beat Gillibrand should have a proven record of legislative accomplishment and experience with the economy, but also come from outside the establishment and not owe favors to power brokers. A key issue is ethics, especially in the scandal-ridden New York political scene.

America Outraged PAC, a political action committee formed to promote accountability and responsibility in government, has uncovered information that should raise major questions about the suitability of one of the Senate candidates, Bruce Blakeman.

Formerly a Nassau County legislator and head of the Budget Review Committee, Blakeman overspent on projects and ran a hefty deficit. Not only is his record devoid of any accomplishments, his past connections with shady New York businessmen include his own father-in-law, Mike Shevell, who has been tied to the Genovese crime family. Additional information is being uncovered that relates to his position as Commissioner on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

In a 2007 Village Voice story, writer Tom Robbins relates a “seamy tale of nepotism on the Brooklyn waterfront,” in which an influence peddler secures a meeting with Commissioner Bruce Blakeman for a political favor.

Earlier, Blakeman, also from his perch as Commissioner, wrote a letter to federal court urging leniency for Charles Kushner, a real estate mogul and political donor who “pleaded guilty to 18 felonies, including filing false tax returns and campaign finance reports, and retaliating against his brother-in-law, who was cooperating with federal authorities in an investigation against him. Mr. Kushner hired a prostitute to seduce the brother-in-law, then sent a secretly recorded videotape of the encounter to the man’s wife, Mr. Kushner’s sister” (Robert Hanley, New York Times, January 13, 2005). Prosecutors, who included now-Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, claimed that Charles Kushner “failed to accept full responsibility for his outrageous criminal conduct.” Blakeman bowed to pressure to assist Kushner and wrote that Kushner was full of remorse and deserved a lenient sentence.

Despite Blakeman’s letter, the sentencing judge agreed with Christie and gave Kushner the maximum two-year sentence.

According to American Outraged PAC, Blakeman’s repeated associations with criminals and influence-peddling disqualify him as a viable candidate. “When is the Republican Party going to stop contributing to scandals and unethical politics by eliminating candidates who, at best, are of questionable character and exchanging influence for favors, and at worst may be ‘on the take,” said Lynn Yowell, co-founder of America Outraged PAC.

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.

Contact
America Outraged PAC
L. Yowell
outragedpeople@gmail.com
Tel: 18042050895

Sleeping With The Enemy? Loyalty Questions Plague U.S. Senate Race In NY

Ex-Senator D’Amato under fire for tilting election to Gillibrand at Republicans’ expense

Published on May 27, 2010

by Official Wire

(OfficialWire)

WASHINGTON, DC

While the media continues to call the New York Senate race a done deal in favor of Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand, shady subplots involving her rise to prominence remain unexamined. America Outraged Political Action Committee has been seeking to expose what it calls “an egregious case of political cronyism” involving former Republican senator and political power broker Al D’Amato and Gillibrand, the daughter of a prominent lobbyist.

Among the connections:

Gillibrand’s father, Doug Rutnik, a contributor mostly to the Democratic Party, “is an Albany insider and lobbyist whose ties to former GOP powerhouses Joe Bruno, George Pataki and Al D’Amato are legendary.” –Village Voice (1/22/09)
“Gillibrand won her seat [after being down 19 points] when a state police domestic violence report about the GOP incumbent, John Sweeney, was mysteriously leaked, ostensibly with the acquiescence of the Pataki administration.”—Village Voice (1/22/09)
Rutnik is also one-time boyfriend of Pataki Chief of Staff Zenia Mucha; Pataki has chosen not to run against Gillibrand even though polls showed he had the best chance.
Gillibrand worked for both D’Amato and Cuomo, who never conducted an investigation when he was attorney general of the Sweeney leak.
D’Amato was front and center on the same platform with Gillibrand the night she was appointed senator.
D’Amato, who controls many country chairs that have fallen in line to support Gillibrand, has also given his own personal support to weak Republican candidate Bruce Blakeman, which could easily be viewed as gift-wrapping the election for Gillibrand.
Lynn Yowell, co-founder or America Outraged PAC, says the group recently launched “1,000+ People to STOP the D’Amato Machine!” (http://www.facebook.com/stopdamato) that seeks to find over a thousand people to “like” the page and voice their disapproval of political power broker and former U.S. Senator Al D’Amato. America Outraged 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.

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.

###

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.