New Obama pay-for-play scandal: Adolfo Carrion

posted at 11:06 am on March 2, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The media hailed Obama transition at one time as the best in modern history, but that assessment takes yet another hit as yet another Obama appointee carries pay-for-play scandal baggage to his new office.  Adolfo Carrion, named as Obama’s “urban czar”, took thousands of dollars in donations from developers as Bronx borough president just before and after the developers scored big with approved projects:

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.

Some will say that this is just a coincidence.  If so, then Carrion has to be one of the luckiest fellows in New York.  The Daily News details a few of the highlights in Carrion’s ledger and in Bronx development over the last few years:

  • Jonathan Coren started fundraising for Carrion three weeks before getting permission to build 166 units of affordable housing.  Cohen had never raised funds for any politician before then, but managed to raise over $2500 for Carrion before getting the project.  He raised over $3000 in a few weeks afterwards.
  • Boricua Village first hit the books in March 2006.  Three weeks later, its backers raised $8750 for Carrion — all on the same day, from eight separate donors.  Over the next year, Carrion would get almost $70,000 from Boricua College and Atlantic Development sources, and it paid off as Carrion approved the project.
  • BTM Development Partners needed a critical zoning change for a project that elicited a large number of complaints about potential traffic and other problems in the community.  Its executives began writing $1000 checks to Carrion.  Three months later, they announced plans for hotel-retail complex, and four months after that, Carrion and the Bronx approved the zoning changes necessary.

After Bill Richardson and Hillary Clinton, one might think that the Obama vetting team would have learned something.  Apparently not, although in this case, they may not have to worry much.  An “urban czar” doesn’t require Senate confirmation, which would have derailed Richardson and should have derailed Hillary.

Even apart from this, though, why does Obama need an “urban czar” at all?  Wouldn’t any of the tasks assigned to Carrion normally fall under the aegis of Housing and Urban Development?  Shaun Donovan must wonder why he’s attending Cabinet meetings.  Does a Secretary outrank a Czar?  If so, why have the czar at all?

One thing is certain.  Obama ran on a pledge to change the way Washington works.  Who knew he meant that he would increase the power of cronyism, payoffs, and patronage?*

* – We did.  We warned people constantly about Chicago Machine politics.  Too bad people didn’t listen.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Becoming a familiar refrain for me…

“What did the president know, and when did he know it”

You just know that its coming, don’t you?

That might be pretty close to his goal. The market must be crashed and the middle class eliminated. Obama and his Dem congress have made tremendous strides in that direction in just a couple of months.

neuquenguy on March 2, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Yes, sir. An explanation that includes malice by the Obama administration does go a long way to explaining the situation that we are observing right now. Wall Street in a nose dive and Washington seeming to want to light the afterburners.

Its all going according to plan – their plan.

turfmann on March 2, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Eat our lawn grass? Heaven’s no…

I am planning on using my lawn grass to make my own Zubrowka.

We must never underestimate the resiliency and the perverseness of the American people.

Can I make beer out of lawngrass? Because that would be really cool.

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Can I make beer out of lawngrass? Because that would be really cool.

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 12:33 PM

No, but you can grow your own hops. I have neighbors who do, and have made their own beer for years. Besides, once the water shortages and rationing start we won’t be able to have lawns anymore.

rockmom on March 2, 2009 at 12:41 PM

No, but you can grow your own hops. I have neighbors who do, and have made their own beer for years. Besides, once the water shortages and rationing start we won’t be able to have lawns anymore.

We will, however, be free to keep our photographs of Great Leader, for the daily hour of devotion.

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 12:49 PM

No, but you can grow your own hops. I have neighbors who do, and have made their own beer for years. Besides, once the water shortages and rationing start we won’t be able to have lawns anymore.
We will, however, be free to keep our photographs of Great Leader, for the daily hour of devotion.

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 12:49 PM

Not to mention, we will also have His Little Blue Book handy to help direct our devotionals more properly….

On sale now on Amazon.

dmh0667 on March 2, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Vetting process has nothing to do with it, they know exactly what’s going on with their picks and UHHHHbama doesn’t care because he knows he can pretty much get away with anything (and well, he does).

SoxNation on March 2, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Even apart from this, though, why does Obama need an “urban czar” at all?

To subvert the Constitution?

Buy Danish on March 2, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Welcome back my friends to the con that never ends.
We’re so glad you could attend. Come inside, come inside.
Soon the Commie King in a glaze of vasoline
Will present his guillotine what a scene, what a scene.

thomasaur on March 2, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Where do these names come from? Carrion? This guy’s name is Carrion? It doesn’t even sound real. Even Dick Armey sounded better.

Goldenavatar on March 2, 2009 at 1:12 PM

“This is becoming as predictable as Pavlov’s dog in a bell-testing factory”

Johnny Dollar

An oldie but a goodie!

Obama cabinet vetting process the most rigid on record

Nominees quizzed on finances, foreign travel, mental health history and brushes with law

Ever taken a puff of marijuana? Overlooked a work permit for your household help? Grazed with a lobbyist at Washington’s top tables? Slung a “friendly” arm around an intern? Or been a titch too relaxed with your taxes?

If the answer is no, you can pass go and hand in your

application for a job with Barack Obama’s new administration.
But don’t be too confident. Obama’s vetting process, the most stringent on record,

TheStar.com | USElection | Obama cabinet vetting process the most …
Nov 19, 2008 … Obama cabinet vetting process the most rigid on record. Then-Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Sen. …

DSchoen on March 2, 2009 at 1:15 PM

HA double-standard: Ed and AP keep posting about Obama administration scandals but nothing about the sun rising every day.

neuquenguy on March 2, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Even more offensive than the fact that these public officials sell out is that they sell out so cheaply. They take a lousy $6,000 to grease the skids on a $10,000,000 project? That is 0.06%! That’s scandalous!

gridlock2 on March 2, 2009 at 1:20 PM

More people in cities means more control of the population by mayors who are usually Democrats.

rockmom on March 2, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Spot on perfect! What do the top 10 cities with the highest poverty rate all have in common? I need to check dates, but I think I am close…

Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961;

Buffalo, NY (2nd)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1954;

Cincinnati, OH (3rd)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1984;

Cleveland, OH (4th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1989;

Miami, FL (5th)…has never had a Republican mayor;

St. Louis, MO (6th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1949;

El Paso, TX (7th)…has never had a Republican mayor;

Milwaukee, WI (8th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1908;

Philadelphia, PA (9th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1952;

Newark, NJ (10th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1907.

Need I say more?

Kevin in Washington State on March 2, 2009 at 1:20 PM

Need I say more?

Kevin in Washington State on March 2, 2009 at 1:20 PM

Well, done! The Democrats doom-and-gloom campaigns are self-fulfilling prophesies.

neuquenguy on March 2, 2009 at 1:27 PM

The Mrs. and I lived in the Bronx for several years together (she all her life) before we moved to SC> Th News doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty of what Carrion was up to and his worse crime, taking money from “hot sheet motels” in return for protection when Rudy was looking to shut them down.

Still a sore spot for many of us who watched our neighborhoods decline while hookers and drug addicts overran whole sections of the Bronx, and Carrion’s wife was involved as well. When we heard he was appointed we knew how truly corrupt Obama’s administration is. My wife has written about this aspect of Carrion’s betrayal of the Bronx with more details.

Rob Taylor on March 2, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Remember the “Pocket Obama”? The “Little Blue Book”? Just like Chairman Mao’s “Little Red Book”. Thought it was a joke, right? Available from Amazon for $5.95. A “must read” for the Obamanation”!

codekeyguy on March 2, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961;

Buffalo, NY (2nd)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1954;

Cincinnati, OH (3rd)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1984;

Cleveland, OH (4th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1989;

Miami, FL (5th)…has never had a Republican mayor;

St. Louis, MO (6th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1949;

El Paso, TX (7th)…has never had a Republican mayor;

Milwaukee, WI (8th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1908;

Philadelphia, PA (9th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1952;

Newark, NJ (10th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1907.

On the good side though, they’re all relatively crime free and all have top-notch public schools.

Oh, you mean they’re all crime-ridden hell holes and the only contribution their public schools make it to graft for public officials?

Never mind.

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Remember the “Pocket Obama”?

Is that a book full of half-baked socialist cliches or are you just glad to see me?

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Hey, this is nothing new and to be expected. He will fit in very well with all the tax cheats, lawyers that got special political contributions in exchange for favors, a lawyer that defended the porn industry, and other questionable members. Why is it that I am not surprised?

DL13 on March 2, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Even the New York Times has an article documenting what a complete incompetent this guy is. This is about his borough:

the borough’s unemployment rate, at 9.6 percent in December, is the highest in the city and second-highest in the state. Last year, the Bronx, the second-smallest borough by population, had the city’s second-highest number of homicides, and there is no shortage of motels charging $50 for a few hours’ stay.

So Obama-Mugabe brings this clown, whose borough declined rapidly during a period of relative prosperity, is getting a promotion?

His corruption is beyond the point, he’s a Democrat, so corruption is a given.

This guy’s not even close to being competent.

Although that’s pretty much a given for a Democrat as well.

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 2:04 PM

I quote from “Pocket Obama”:
“It is an unofficial requirement for every American citizen to own, to read, and to carry this book at all times. Printed in a size that easily fits into a pocket or purse, it is comprised of quotations borrowed from the President’s speeches and writings. His guiding principles will enlighten the minds of the people and prepare the way for a new era of change.
In order to master the president’s idealogy, it is essential to study many of the basic concepts over and over again, and it is best to memorize important statements and apply them repeatedly. Learn earnestly and dilligently.
Together we can bring about the next great chapter in the American story.”

So remember: READ, MEMORIZE, APPLY!!!

(When I first heard about this, I assumed it was to be a book of blank pages!)

codekeyguy on March 2, 2009 at 2:17 PM

So remember: READ, MEMORIZE, APPLY!!!

I will go straight to the toilet and appropriately apply the pages of this sacred document.

Hope for Spare Change.

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 2:23 PM

I’m sick of all this “czar” stuff. What is this, Russia?

Alana on March 2, 2009 at 2:56 PM

I’m sick of all this “czar” stuff. What is this, Russia?

Alana on March 2, 2009 at 2:56 PM

No. Not yet. But, hang around a while longer, and it’ll be sooner than most can imagine.

coldwarrior on March 2, 2009 at 3:08 PM

Do you ever wonder how surnames originated? Carrion is an odd one, even for a sinister man.

obladioblada on March 2, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Good grief, this guy is such a slime that some folks in the Bronx put together a website about him

adolfocarrion.com

rockmom on March 2, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Good grief, this guy is such a slime that some folks in the Bronx put together a website about him

adolfocarrion.com

If Carrion has done very little to develop housing in The Bronx, he has done nothing to develop small businesses. The “hot sheet” motels that clutter the Northeast Bronx still sit there, choking any potential redevelopment of that area.

I see now why Obama-Mugabe covets Carrion’s skills.

We can base our economy on hot sheet joints, where the American people get f-ed out of our tax dollars by the Obama-Mugabe regime.

Regime change in the US. Abort the unwanted Obama presidency.

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 3:43 PM

I’m sick of all this “czar” stuff. What is this, Russia?

Alana on March 2, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Urban Czar? Where in the hell is my Rural Czar?

I’m being discriminated against. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!

hillbillyjim on March 2, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Urban Czar? Where in the hell is my Rural Czar?

I want a Czar for my septic tank and I know just the man for the job.

B. Hussein Obama-Mugabe.

Maybe he can root around in there and fish out my IRA, since he’s also the one that dropped it into there.

NoDonkey on March 2, 2009 at 4:03 PM

Wow. This Carrion is so corrupt!!

I am getting the impression here that Carrion has been chosen because he is a hustler. By that I mean that he asks for campaign funds to get projects happening. Why is it that he has not been prosecuted for these crimes?

What is wrong people? You need to start making more noise about this corruption.

It is very alarming that these other appointments are happening because without the vetting process there is going to be a lot of cash flowing to the Democrats in order to get projects accomplished.

maggieo on March 2, 2009 at 6:07 PM

Urban Czar? Where in the hell is my Rural Czar?

I’m being discriminated against. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!

hillbillyjim on March 2, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Obama will appoint someone to uncling you from your Bible and guns. Now shut up and grow me some arugula;)

Laura in Maryland on March 2, 2009 at 7:55 PM

PARTIAL LIST OF DOCUMENTS THAT BARACK OBAMA REFUSES TO RELEASE -. OBAMA’S SECRECY AND “CLOSED RECORDS” POLICY
Indonesian Passport – Not released
Application for U.S. Citizenship (as former citizen of Indonesia) – Not released
Immigration Records – Not released
Original Vault Copy Birth Certificate – Not released
Certificate of Live Birth – Counterfeit Version on Obama Web Site
Obama / Dunham Marriage License – Not released
Soetoro / Dunham Marriage License – Not released
Soetoro Adoption Records – Not Released
Fransiskus Assisi School Application – Not released
Punahou School Records – Not released
Selective Service Registration – Counterfeit version generated
Occidental College records – Not released
Columbia College Records – Not released
Columbia Thesis – Not released
Harvard College Records – Not released
Baptism Certificate – None
Medical Records – Not released
Illinois State Senate Records – Not released
Law Practice Client List – Not released
University of Chicago Scholarly Articles – None

searcher484 on March 2, 2009 at 8:27 PM

Comment pages: 1 2