Cabs, Fundraising, Mateo, Bundling, de Blasio, Straws?




Mayor de Blasio, the money, the fundraising, the people involved, it is all a loop. It’s like riding a roller coaster of loops. Now we add a cab driver and “religious” opportunist to the mix and we have, well… we really can’t use the expression in present company. 

How does this fit in with the site’s theme regarding the poor behavior of the Jewish community? We are not sure yet but are willing to bet we are going to uncover some interesting connections between Mateo and our R&R friends and maybe even a few gems of information lying around…. 

Advocate says he funneled de Blasio donations in pay-for-play scheme

A high-profile cabby advocate whose wife needs the city’s OK for a women-only livery service admitted to The Post on Monday that he raised campaign cash for Mayor Bill de Blasio and funneled it through an unemployed Brooklyn woman.

Fernando Mateo, founder of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, came clean about the blatant violation of election law after The Post learned he had personally solicited a donation for Hizzoner and then had Ahlam Jaoui take credit for it.

The 31-year-old Bay Ridge woman, who has no political or fundraising experience, claims in campaign finance records to have collected 15 donations totaling $18,800 that were given to the de Blasio campaign in January.

One of those contributions came from Oscar Herasme, a Florida lawyer, who confirmed he gave $2,500 to the mayor’s 2017 re-election bid — but when asked about Jaoui said, “It wasn’t through her.”

“I find it odd that the bundler for any donations is someone I never met,” said Herasme, who declined to say who solicited his contribution.

Another $2,500 donor, Damian Rodriguez of First Class Car & Limo, noted he has no particular loyalty to de Blasio.

“Fernando Mateo called me and asked me to give some money to that woman,” he said. “I’ve known him for a long time, since 1997, so I help him when I can.”

The revelations come as de Blasio’s fundraising operations are being probed by both New York US Attorney Preet Bharara and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

Mateo, a well-known Republican supporter, told The Post that he “called my people” to give money to Democrat de Blasio’s campaign and had Jaoui take credit for the donations. Mateo’s name does not appear on Jaoui’s January campaign finance report.

He claims that his motive was to help Jaoui land a city job.

“That’s the way politics works,” Mateo said. “If Ahlam worked hard for his candidacy, you’d think [the mayor] would say, ‘I employ thousands of people, why not at least bring her in for an interview?’

“But she didn’t get s–t. That’s a pisser because I thought she would get something out of it,” he added. “There are people who raise millions for a president and earn an ambassadorship. When you work hard, you get rewarded or at least remembered.”

Mateo denied that he was seeking to curry favor with the administration to get his wife

Stella’s app-based car service off the ground, explaining that while he and de Blasio “haven’t always seen eye to eye, I think he is an honorable man who can do good for this city and that’s why I tried to raise money for him.”

“I’m the epitome of what it is to be a good New Yorker,” said Mateo, who is also president of the group Hispanics Across America.

In 2014, Jaoui was photographed wearing a Muslim headscarf and was quoted as saying how she wanted to be a driver for Stella Mateo’s SheRides business.

“It’s an opportunity for Muslim women,” Jaoui said at the time.

Stella Mateo has since renamed her business either SheHails or SheTaxis, although it appears the project is currently on hold.

“The people developing the app weren’t as good as they said they were going to be,” Fernando Mateo said. “So we’re still working on it.”

Taxi and Limousine Commission spokesman Allan Fromberg said the Mateos sought information about getting licensed in March, but “nothing came of it.”

Jaoui appeared with Mateo at a 2013 rally protesting the suspension of Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez for using performance-enhancing drugs, and she’s being represented in a pending Manhattan DWI case by a lawyer who has joined Mateo at several news conferences.

Jaoui’s role as a de Blasio fundraiser was first reported Monday by the City Council Watch blog.

‘I thought if I helped raise some money, I can get a job. But that didn’t work out.’

 – Ahlam Jaoui

“I just looked at the filing and didn’t recognize this name, so I thought I would try to figure out who she was,” blogger Seth Barron said. “Typically, bundlers are fairly well-known or powerful people . . . It seemed totally anomalous.”

To continue reading click, here.


Mayor de Blasio’s “Straw Intermediary”

Campaign finance intermediaries or “bundlers” are typically well-connected, wealthy and powerful people who collect a lot of money for a candidate in order to demonstrate their influence.

So how is one of Mayor de Blasio’s significant bundlers a 31-year old underemployed aspiring taxi driver who lives with her parents in Bay Ridge?

Look at the list of de Blasio’s bundlers…right between Harold Ickes and Suri Kasirer—two of the biggest players in city lobbying—you will find Ahlam Jaoui, who raised $18,800 for the mayor in January of 2016.

A graduate of the College of Staten Island, Ms. Jaoui was on the swimming team, and later worked as a swimming instructor for autistic children.  She lists her employer as “Two Dots Marketing” of Torrance, California.  Two Dots is an agency that books people to work at trade shows or marketing events as “brand ambassadors.”

Ms. Jaoui was in the news in 2014 when a new woman-operated ride-share app was introduced. “SheRides,”also known as “SheTaxis” or “SheHails,” was advertised as a safe way to connect women livery drivers with women passengers.  The service’s publicity campaign focused on Muslim and Orthodox Jewish women—both drivers and riders—who only wanted to deal with other women.

Ahlam Jaoui featured prominently in several articles about SheRides.  In the Daily Newsshe was pictured wearing a hijab, explaining that she wants badly to become a taxi driver.  “I’m so excited to be part of this movement … This gives us the opportunity to feel empowered while keeping our traditional values … We as women can overcome this male-dominated industry.”

Elsewhere, Jaoui was quoted saying, “This is an opportunity to make money and also have my religious beliefs.”  She added, “I have a lot of family members that are (male) drivers, but (they) wouldn’t feel comfortable with me driving other men.”

Ahlam Jaoui: modern woman


Ahlam Jaoui may be very religious, or have her own standards of religiosity of which it is not our place to judge.  However, her Facebook profile contains a number of revealing bikini shots that would seem to belie her stated need for cloistered modesty.

Clash of civilizations??


Additionally, Ms. Jaoui appears to have been arrested for drunk driving in September, 2015.  She filed a motion to dismiss the charges of “driving while intoxicated” and “driving while ability impaired” on the grounds that the court violated her right to a speedy trial; the motion was denied on May 16.  Naturally the presumption of innocence obtains in this unresolved case, though if Ms. Jaoui is guilty, then it might be hard for her to get a TLC license, and her strict religious practice might be brought into question as well—although only God is the true judge of that case.

SheRides, or SheHails as it is now called, was founded by Stella Mateo, the wife of Fernando Mateo, the prominent and controversial founder of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers.  Fernando Mateo, a native of the Dominican Republic who now lives in tony Irvington in Westchester, made a fortune in carpets before organizing mostly Latino livery drivers uptown.

Mateo, a noted Republican fundraiser who brought Texas governor Rick Perry to Inwood in 2012, makes the news frequently.  A few years ago he raised eyebrows when he called on taxi drivers to racially profile their hails.  More recently, as an investor in the well-known Dyckman Street waterside club La Marina, Mateo offered to have a boxing match with his partners in order to settle a contentious business dispute.

SheRides/SheHails was launched in 2014, but questions regarding the legality of hiring only women as drivers forced the service to go on hiatus.  Reconfigured to allow for both men and women drivers, the company is attempting to get around New York City’s Human Rights Law by letting the passenger choose the driver.  Supposedly the company will re-launch this summer with its new business model.

The donors whom Ahlam Jaoui bundled on behalf of Mayor de Blasio seem to travel in orbits that she would be unlikely to enter or influence on her own.  Two of the largest donors, Antonio Cabrera and Damian Rodriguez, are Dominican-American owners of major car service companies in Upper Manhattan who contributed $3500 and $2500 respectively to the 2017 de Blasio campaign.

Jaoui also raised $2500 from Jeannette Castillo, an unemployed Yonkers woman; $1000 from Wendy Estevez, a “consultant” to Washington Heights nightclub Arka Lounge; $3000 from Bronx daycare operator Luis Ducasse; and $2500 from New Jersey attorney Oscar Herasme, a former assistant DA in the New York County District Attorney’s office who specializes in anti-money laundering and immigrant affinity fraud matters.

Now it may be the case that Ahlam Jaoui of her parents’ house in Bay Ridge, who is signed up to find work as a trade show brand ambassador, who is willing to pose wearing a hijab and say that she wants to drive a taxi, and whose LinkedIn profile lists her as still working for an out-of-business investment company, is also a well-positioned power broker who can convince lawyers and business owners in Westchester and New Jersey to contribute thousands of dollars to Mayor de Blasio’s re-election campaign.

To Continue reading click, here.


2 thoughts on “Cabs, Fundraising, Mateo, Bundling, de Blasio, Straws?

  1. “There are people who raise millions for a president and earn an ambassadorship. When you work hard, you get rewarded or at least remembered.”

    God bless America!

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