Nursing Homes, their Attorneys, Cuomo, His Donor Pool and Those Who Reaped the Rewards of their Campaign Contributions

Andrew Cuomo campaign donations interactive map.
Mapping campaign donations to Andrew Cuomo For New York, Inc. during years 2014-2019. 
OPENTHEBOOKS.COM

Dear Readers:

New York is a cesspool of corruption; and sadly for those of us for whom this State has some sentimentality, we may be deluding ourselves into believing it can be fixed. absent tearing down the entire system of government and rebuilding it. It does not help that there is very little in New York that is transparent and, more to the point, even transparency is shrouded in secrecy. For instance, most states prohibit vendors who have significant state contracts from donating to politicians within the state. Sounds logical. But New York does not have such a prohibition. Couple that with the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010)), which paved the way for mega-donors to give money in secret, and you have a recipe for unending money-meets politics power brokering. And the players have learned to game the system like a BlackJack card-counter plays a hand. New York has no safeguards against running amok either. And it has.

Moreover, for those of us who misguidedly thought it could not get any worse, Covid-19 made corruption that much easier. While all eyes were on the extraordinary havoc Covid-19 was wreaking on the state, and while many of us chose Cuomo’s news briefings over those of the President at the time, Cuomo was constructing a return to his donors. He had made promises that needed to be kept if he ever wanted to be President. While New Yorkers were dying, Cuomo was devising the “quid pro quo”. Sadly, the real difference between Cuomo and Trump is political sides. Both played to their acolytes similarly. Interestingly, many of Cuomo’s top donors in New York and the greater Tri-State area were also Trump’s top donors. There is an heir of true opportunism in that.

Real Estate moguls who had donated large sums (either themselves or through their attorneys) were given an “essential business” pass to continue building, or operating when all other businesses were shut down. Hospitals and nursing/rehabilitation homes were given the well-touted immunity from any and all liability for deaths that occurred during the height of the Covid-19 spread. It does not matter what was the cause of death. The immunity is very broad. Any accountability for the negligence of nursing home owners, operators and staff, if not gross negligence got a Cuomo signed pass without accountability. We have dubbed those provisions the “Granny Killer Immunity” provisions, and it is noteworthy that these hugely significant provisions were snuck into a well-needed budget bill.

And, for those mega-donors who did not need global sweeps in return for their investment in Cuomo: including exceptions to rules, regulations, standards of behavior or full on immunity, Cuomo returned his donor largesse into important and influential political positions. Some of the megadonor law firms, those responsible for deciding the political slate of Democrats who run in many counties, most notably Kings County were the beneficiaries of client satisfaction. Moreover, to add icing to the cake, the person tasked with investigating the wrongdoing within Cuomo’s administration, notably the nursing homes and the Cuomo sexual harassments allegations is also the beneficiary of many of those donations. Her hands are largely tied, the question is how she will play the political chess game.

It should be clear that where Cuomo did not directly reap the benefits of the nursing home lobby, the major New York hospital chains and the related unions, Cuomo had the benefit of donations from their lawyers and accountants, who stepped in and donated big. Some of the highest donations to Cuomo’s campaign came from law firms representing nursing homes, real estate magnates, construction contractors, their lending banks and finally union members. And, to add insult to injury, some of the top donating law firms also requested and received some of the most extensive PPP loans.

One might consider that the PPP loans actually went to donations to Cuomo’s campaigns if it all comes out in the wash.

We are not providing you with information you could not find on your own. There are countless articles that have questioned the Cuomo donations over the years. Few have connected the dots. We are directing you to the most intriguing of the articles, but there are many more. The following we have only excerpted . We encourage you to read the entire article. It tells an important historical story of who has been scratching who’s back, the graft, the political PAC’s that help to make it possible and the incestuous web of political ties and money. And… this was before Covid-19.

The following is from Forbes October 2020.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Reaped $6.2 Million In Campaign Cash From 347 State Vendors Who Pocketed $7 Billion Since 2014

[EXCERPTED]

Our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com found 347 state vendors that gave $6.2 million in political donations to Cuomo over a six-year period (2014-2019). Meanwhile, these companies reaped $7 billion in state payments.

These donations represented the equivalent of more than half of the current cash on hand – $11.9 million – in the governor’s campaign committee as of 12/31/2019, according to disclosures.

We created an interactive map displaying by ZIP Code all of the governor’s campaign contributions since 2014. Just click a pin (ZIP Code) and scroll down to see the results that render in the chart beneath the map.

Hospitals – Covid-Positive Patients Transferred To Nursing Homes

The Greater New York Hospital Association (Association) funneled $1 million to Cuomo’s re-election through the state Democratic party in 2018. That same year, the Association and the healthcare union, 1199SEIU, backed Cuomo’s healthcare “reforms” and spent $5.9 million lobbying in Albany.

By February 2020, Cuomo appointed the Association’s past chair and board member Michael Dowling along with 1199SEIU President Dennis Rivera as co-chairmen of the “Medicaid Redesign Team.” (State Medicaid was $4 billion in the red because of Cuomo’s accounting gimmicks.)

Just six weeks before the governor’s appointment, Michael Dowling gave Cuomo a $5,000 campaign donation (12/14/19). (Dowling is also the CEO of Northwell Health – which received $10 million in state payments in 2019.)

Twenty-eight days before the governor made 1199SEIU president Dennis Rivera co-chairman of his Medicaid Team, the union gave $15,000 to Cuomo’s re-election fund (1/6/2020). Since 2014, 1199SEIU backed Cuomo with political endorsements and $95,250 in campaign cash.

Real Estate, Development, and Construction Companies

Between years 2011 and 2020, real estate tycoon Scott Rechler, owner of RXR Realty, LLC, his wife, children, and affiliated LLC businesses gave $540,000 to Cuomo’s campaign fund. Family donations amounted to $385,000 and multiple LLCs funded another $155,000.

Scott’s brother, Todd, Chief Construction and Development Officer at RXR Realty, also contributed an additional $90,000 to Cuomo during the period.

We found four real estate leases owned by RXR Realty affiliated LLCs and signed by two state agencies: Office of Inspector General and Commission on Judicial Conduct. These leases were signed in the years 2014, 2019, and 2020 and are worth $41 million with $13.7 million already paid out. (Note: In 2014, RXR bought the building and the state agencies were existing tenants.)

The public has a right to know whether Cuomo was serving the public interest or his private political interest when his administration negotiated these leases. Every single transaction is a potential conflict of interest.

Furthermore, in 2011, the governor appointed Rechler to the Board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, where he became chairman. In 2017, the governor nominated Rechler to the Board of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and he served until 2019.

Big Four Accounting Firms – $360,000 in campaign cash

The independent accounting firms, Deloitte; Ernst & Young (EY); KPMG; and PriceWaterhouseCooper collectively gave Gov. Cuomo $360,000 in campaign donations during years 2014-2019. The firms reaped $258.8 million in state payments. 

Between 2013 and 2015, New York regulatory agencies and the governor investigated Deloitte, PwC, and EY for alleged wrongdoing. The firms paid $45 million and other penalties to settle the various claims.

Are these firms “independent” auditors with a fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers? We found that the firms coordinated their campaign cash to the governor giving the same amounts on the same days in the same years.

Three of the Big Four – PwC, KPMG, and EY – each gave the exact same amount of campaign cash to Cuomo during the six-year period ($88,333.33). Deloitte contributed another $105,000.

Andrew Cuomo's circle of influence has been shrinking lately.
Andrew Cuomo survived without indictment and denies any connection between campaign contributions … [+]
 
OPENTHEBOOKS.COM
Closing the LLC loophole resulted in a steep drop in campaign donations to Andrew Cuomo.

Granny Killer Immunity Not Just Lobbyists, But Nursing Care Magnates, Also Donated to the Campaigns of Cuomo and James: Dear Mr. Kim

Dear Legislator Kim:

Your piece in The Guardian speaks to the lobbyists who donated vast sums of money to Governor Cuomo’s campaign, thereby explaining why a toxic immunity provision “The Granny Killer Immunity” cleverly wound up a part New York’s budget. But your piece fails to mention the nursing home owners, operators and managers, not only those who run the facilities but those who own the property and the buildings, the magnates, who also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not collectively millions, to the campaigns of both Governor Cuomo and Attorney General Tish James. While she has promised to investigate, don’t hold your breath. And her pre-emptive strike of a promise to investigate means violating the relationship with her donor pool and voting bloc. In our opinion, it likely “ain’t gonna happen.”

Those of us who have been following these stories for years, even absent Covid-19, know the numbers, we know the finances, we know the attorneys representing the homes and the individuals, sometimes at odds, and we know about their donations to politicians, to lobbyists, to political parties, to anyone who could help increase profits and minimize attention. Some of those same attorneys are also instrumental in getting Democrats elected statewide. It is not just the lobbyists who wanted the benefit of the Granny Killer Immunity protections, it’s also everyone in the food chain who makes money from the industry. And the net profit is almost unquantifiable.

Legislator Kim, in addition to everything else, with immunity came an additional source of profit – the sale of inventory. Many nursing homes at the very start of the pandemic had a stockpile of PPE, just as they should have. They obtained that equipment from Medicare, Medicaid, Insurance, private pay, accumulated over years, all a cost of doing business. All things considered that stockpile should be a requirement of the industry. But, many did not use that equipment in their own nursing homes and rehabilitation centers to protect their patients and staff, instead they raped their own facilities of that protective gear and sold it on gray markets.

Let me restate: when it seemed there was going to be a shortage, and potentially a salable need for Personal Protective Equipment, many nursing home owners and operators began to drain PPE from their properties. This meant they were making money off of the deprivation of their employees and those entrusted in their care to make an additional buck. And it was not just a single dollar. N95 masks were being sold from warehouses in New York and New Jersey to hospitals in California willing to pay upwards of $5.50/mask, out of fear of a shortage. There were brokers and middle men and procurement officers all benefiting from these sales, some unknowingly breaking the law and some irreverent.

Continue reading

Remember the GIANT Bobov Wedding in Borough Park? Police Claimed it was Legal…. Dozens are Getting Sick – Covid

Major Covid-19 breakout of huge Bobov wedding last week and Hebrew media with recording from Bobov warning their masses about it – לאחר חתונה המונית: עשרות נדבקו בקורונה – כיכר השבת

Dear Reader:

The following is in Hebrew. Loosely it is a warning that those in attendance at the wedding last week in Borough Park should be aware that dozens are getting sick from Covid-19.

We here on this blog wonder when Governor Cuomo is going to view these events as acts of bio-terrorism and not religious celebrations of marriages, Bar/Bat-Mitzvot, somber Funerals. We wonder when the Supreme Court is going to view the reality of these events – that they are dangerous for those in attendance and those they come into contact with.

Until that happens, New York, Belgium, England, Israel, New Jersey should take this as a warning:

So long as religious rituals of any kind are permitted to continue unfettered and unhindered, people are going to get sick. And, it won’t just be those in attendance but also those they come into contact with in their daily lives. These events, in our view, are acts of bio-terrorism. They are no different than strapping on an explosive vest filled with nails and metal balls and setting a timer waiting to see who explodes and who just gets injured.

לאחר חתונה המונית: עשרות נדבקו בקורונה

שבוע לאחר השמחה הגדולה בחצר חסידות באבוב בארצות הברית – בהשתתפות המונים, החלה התפרצות קורונה בקרב עשרות חסידים • הודעה דחופה נשלחה לכלל החסידים (חרדי)

דאגה גדולה בחצר חסידות באבוב, לאחר שבימים האחרונים, החלה התפרצות מחודשת של נגיף הקורונה בקרב החסידים בבורו פארק, כשבוע לאחר שמחת החתונה ההמונית שהתקיימה לבן הזקונים של הרבי.

בהודעה דחופה ששוגרה לכלל החסידים נאמר כי לרגל המצב, כל מי מי שחש תסמינים, אפילו הקלים ביותר שלא יסתובב בין אנשים וכמובן שלא יגיע לבית המדרש, אפילו אחד שפיתח נוגדנים בגופו.

בנוסף נאמר בהודעה כי כל מי שעבר את גיל 60, ואין לו נוגדנים, או שנמצא בקבוצות סיכון, שיישאר בבית, ולא יסתובב בין אנשים.

יצוין, כי לשמחה הגדולה הגיעו חסידי באבוב רבים שמתגוררים בישראל, וכי מרביתם הספיקו כבר לחזור ארצה – טרם סגירת שדות התעופה.

Vizhnitzer Rebbe – DO NOT EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN IN ADVANCED STUDIES!

Vizhnitzer Rebbe condemns advanced academic studies

Yes keep them chained in poverty and in ignorance ……so that we keep shnooring for them ….

At a recent meeting of the Organization of Principals of Haredi Seminaries, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe expressed his strong opposition to haredi girls learning in university, likening advanced academic studies to the “Greek wisdom” that Torah sages have been traditionally opposed to throughout Jewish history, and asserting that the underlying purpose of introducing haredim to advanced university studies is to “implant ideas of heresy” into their minds.

“We are now approaching the festival of Hanukkah, and as is known, one explanation for the Torah verse describing how the ‘earth was empty and formless and darkness was upon the face of the deep’ is that it refers to the rule of the Greek Empire, and the attempts of the Greeks to cloud the vision of the Jewish People via their decrees,” the Rebbe said. “Their sole desire was to teach the Jewish People their Greek wisdom and to separate them, G-d forbid, from the Torah of G-d. Therefore, we use a specific term that hints at this ‘darkness’ when we refer to their attempts to make us forget our connection to Torah, because being connected to G-d and His Torah comes from a place of light, whereas the opposite comes from darkness.”

The Rebbe then linked his words to the current trend of university learning, saying, “I came here in order to arouse the listeners to the urgency of this matter of advanced academic studies which are forbidden, and indeed it should be obvious that such studies are in opposition to the wisdom of the holy Torah which enlightens mankind – they achieve the opposite effect and bring about only darkness.

“Such is the situation today as well,” the Rebbe continued, “in their attempts to convince us with nice-sounding phrases and persuade us that this will enable us to earn a respectable income, and from there things just deteriorate.”

Referring to the commonly made claim that having a degree enables a person to earn a higher income, the Rebbe said that given that this is accompanied by a decline in a person’s spiritual level, it should not be a matter for serious consideration, as “no G-d-fearing person wants his spiritual state to decline, regardless of possible material gains.

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If you are Not Americans, Why Are You Afforded the Right to Vote ? – Zali – Satmar Pronouncement

We are not Americans,’ says Satmar grand rabbi

The Satmar Rebbe of Williamsburg Zalman Lieb Teitelbaum speaking to French Jews, July 2017 (photo credit: AVRAHAM BLOOM)
The Satmar Rebbe of Williamsburg Zalman Lieb Teitelbaum speaking to French Jews, July 2017
(photo credit: AVRAHAM BLOOM)

The Grand Rabbi of the Satmar Hassidim community of Williamsburg, New York, Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, has said that his hassidim should not consider themselves as American but rather as Jews in exile.

The rabbi made his remarks on Sunday night during an annual commemorative event for the rescue of Satmar founder Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum from the Nazis on the Kastner train in June 1944.

“Jews were drawn to American politics and greatly broke the distinction between Jews and the nations,” said Teitelbaum in comments first published by KAN News.

“We need to understand that we are in exile, we live here but we are not Americans,” the rabbi asserted.

To continue reading in The Jerusalem Post, click here.

This blog takes on issues and stories that the local newspapers in the United States and elsewhere are frightened or too intimidated to cover. The subjects of these stories believe that a Moser – a “snitch” is worthy of a death sentence sanctioned by Jewish law. In the absence of using internal methods at silencing detractors, they have taken to using a judicial system, to which this article suggests they do not even espouse loyalty, to judicially abuse those who speak out against them. The ONLY way to scrutinize the activities of the Satmar and fundamentalist Jewish groups like them, without fear of being labeled an anti-Semite or internal reprisals, judicial terrorism and other more nefarious methods, is to support bloggers like LostMessiah and others who have taken to speaking out.

As such please donate to the site on its donation page. That money goes to supporting the efforts to obtain information, either by FOIA request, other journalists or people within the communities. Alternatively, please donate to help defending an abusive lawsuit playing out in Kings County, New York, a Satmar stronghold, and simultaneously the Appellate Court in Kings County, a largely Chabad supported stronghold.

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Scheduled Massive Funeral Happening Now! Is this Any Different from a Suicide Bombing or Bio-Terrorism? – Covid-19, NY

Breaking news tip happening NOW!

It is with deep regret that New Yorkers have additional concerns. We have been informed that Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bill De Blazio will not disperse the huge crowd, of their very lucrative bloc vote, forming as this gets typed!

https://mobile.twitter.com/satmarhq?prefetchtimestamp=1607355301416…

We have been advised that a massive funeral taking place now at 152 Rodney Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211 which is then heading at about 3:00pm pm to the new Kiryas Joel Cemetery at Rawood Rd or or Rawood Drive to the Zalman-Brooklyn Satmar faction plot in the rear of the old cemetery where the the followers of Aron Teitelbaum will historically not permit the followers of Zalman Teitelbaum to be buried.

We are being advised that this funeral is for a very popular and influential rabbi who was the rabbinical advisor to the younger brother in Brooklyn Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum who helped orchestrate pushing out the older brother, Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum, from downstate Satmar leadership, thereby making room for Zalman Teitlebaum to take control.

The deceased was 94 years old and tens of thousands of Satmar Hasidim are expected to show up mask-less and pushed together for the funeral. It is anticipated, given the numbers that they are likely to infect and potentially to kill off the sick and old from the Covid-19 pandemic, who are both the most vulnerable and the most likely to have family members in attendance.

BD”E: Harav Yisrael Chaim Menashe Friedman, Zt”l, Satmar Dayan

https://hamodia.com/2020/12/07/bde-harav-yisrael-chaim-menashe-friedman-ztl-satmar-dayan/

[QUOTATION OPEN]

NEW YORK –

The Satmar community of the Rebbe Harav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, shlita, and the Chassidic world at large, mourn the petirah of the Dayan Hagaon Harav Yisrael Chaim Menashe Friedman, zt”l, on Monday morning.

Harav Friedman was 94 at his petirah.

In recent years he was weakened and hospitalized. On Monday his condition deteriorated and many tefillos were held for his refuah, yet the gezeirah was sealed and his neshamah was returned to its Maker.

Harav Friedman served as Rosh Av Beis Din of Satmar for many decades, and he left his mark on the world of dayanus. He was notably niftar on 21 Kislev, the day of the saving of the Satmar Rebbe, Harav Yoel Teitelabum, zy”a, from the Nazi regime.

The levayah will be held at 12 midday from the Satmar beis medrash at 152 Rodney St. Williamsburg.

Yehi zichro baruch.

[QUOTATION CLOSED]

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