I could probably save myself a lot of time if I just created a blank template to use every time one of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s associates is arrested, goes on trial or heads off to prison. That way I could just fill in the name and hit the publish button because all of these stories wind up sounding the same.
This time the guest of honor at the sentencing party is Alain Kaloyeros, the man Cuomo once referred to as “New York’s secret weapon” when it comes to generating new business and growth. Sadly, what Kaloyeros was actually generating was a ton of money for big dollar Cuomo donors by steering huge contracts their way. It was all part of the grand scheme that Cuomo dubbed The Buffalo Billion. And now New York’s Secret Weapon is heading for a suite with bars on the doors. (NY Times)
Alain E. Kaloyeros, the central architect of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s largest economic development efforts, was sentenced on Tuesday to three and a half years in prison for his role in a bid-rigging scandal involving the governor’s signature upstate revitalization plan, the so-called Buffalo Billion.
Dr. Kaloyeros, 62, whom Mr. Cuomo once called a genius and described as “New York’s secret weapon,” had conspired to steer hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts to favored firms in Buffalo and Syracuse, prosecutors charged.
His conviction further tarnished the reputation of a Capitol already known for corruption headlines, and cast a shadow on the development projects that Mr. Cuomo has made a centerpiece of his administration. (The governor has not been accused of any wrongdoing.)
Notice the parenthetical disclaimer that the Times felt obligated to include at the end of that excerpt. “The governor has not been accused of any wrongdoing.” The more technically accurate thing to say would have been, the governor hasn’t been formally charged with anything.
This is how New York politics works and, unfortunately, how much of the media coverage of these politicians plays out. We’re apparently being asked to believe that one person after another, including big donors and personal aides to Cuomo from the center of his inner circle, could have been up to all these hijinks for all these years and the Governor was somehow blissfully unaware that all this was going on.
I am shocked… shocked … to find that gambling is going on in this casino.
This is of a piece with what happens in City Hall down in the Big Apple. As you may recall, there was one donor in New York City who literally pleaded guilty to bribing Mayor Bill de Blasio and was convicted of that crime. And yet, the Mayor was never even asked about it. How do you bribe someone without them knowing about it?
More of those corruption trials are still playing out, including one featuring some of the Mayor’s generous friends, the head of the NYPD and private planes full of hookers flying out to Las Vegas. It boggles the mind. But to avoid trouble, I should probably include the same sort of disclaimer that the New York Times uses.
Mayor de Blasio has not been accused of any wrongdoing.