Sunday, March 1, 2009

Obama's "Urban Czar": Are Alfonso Carrion's Campaign Donations Pay to Play In The Bronx?

I know. I know. This is just how New York works. Call it pay-to-play, call is bribery or call it politics as usual, but it's oddly reminiscent of the way Chicago politics works.

And despite all the BS Team Obama rhetoric, my prediction is Washington will be full of examples like this as all the CRAPulus, Bailout, Omnibus, etc cash is handed out to "infrastructure", "shovel-ready" projects and other useless non-stimulating earmarks.

From The Daily News:

The man who is President Obama's newly minted urban czar pocketed thousands of dollars in campaign cash from city developers whose projects he approved or funded with taxpayers' money, a Daily News probe found.

Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion often received contributions just before or after he sponsored money for projects or approved important zoning changes, records show.

Most donations were organized and well-timed.

In one case, a developer became a Carrion fund-raiser two months before the borough president signed off on his project, raising more than $6,000 in campaign cash.

In another, eight Boricua College officials came up with $8,000 on the same day for Carrion three weeks before the school filed plans to build a new tower. Carrion ultimately approved the project and sponsored millions in taxpayer funds for it.

Carrion resigned as borough president effective Sunday and begins his new job as director of the White House Office on Urban Policy Monday.

Saturday Carrion declined to answer written questions about his receipt of timely campaign contributions. Instead, he issued a terse statement:

"Thousands of people who share the Borough President's vision for building a stronger Bronx and a stronger city have contributed to Carrion NYC. Teachers, parents, police officers, firefighters, members of the business community and concerned citizens have all contributed to the borough president's efforts to strengthen the Bronx and stimulate the local economy and he is proud to have such wide-ranging support."

The Daily News goes on to list the specifics.

I'll let you decide.

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