Monday, August 24, 2009

Cover Up: City Knew Shulman was Using EDC Funds to Lobby

Cover Up City Knew Shulman was Using EDC Funds to Lobby

Daily News October 5, 2008
Willets Point group claims Claire Shulman is lobbying illegally

From the Daily News Article in 2008:
City law defines lobbying as efforts to influence elected officials or the Planning Commission on issues such as zoning or real estate "subject to city regulation."

At the Planning Commission hearing on Willets Point in August, Shulman said: "I hope you will strongly consider adding your voices to those people supporting this project."

Shulman has vowed to meet every Council member before they vote on the plan next month.

The City's Answer to Willets Point Group Claiming in 2008 that City Funds were being used to lobby the Planning Board and the City Council
"The spokesman noted the city funds dozens of similar groups that "promote local economic growth and job creation." Daily News October 8, 2008

What did the City Clerks Office Find with their Investigaiton in 2008?

"Acting City Clerk Michael McSweeney declined to comment. But a source said the City Clerk's office is "looking into it." DN October 8, 2008

The Daily News should ask for the files of the City Clerks investigation. Did they write a letter to the mayor's office looking into to the illegal lobbying charge?

Willets Point I: Should Former Queens BP Shulman File As Lobbyist? NY Observer February 22, 2008

"Former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman has been pushing hard for the city-led plan to redevelop Willets Point, leading an advocacy group, the Flushing, Willets Point, Corona Local Development Corporation (which is funded in part by the city), and pushing elected officials and community leaders to support the multi-billion-dollar redo of the 61-acre manufacturing and auto-repair district by Shea Stadium. " Observer 2/22/08

“The LDC has always and will always meet all requirements of the lobbying law, and we’ll check with the city clerk's office,” said Evan Stavisky, a partner at Parkside. The law says that anyone who expends, incurs or receives more than $2,000 in lobbying compensation and expenses should register. " Observer 2/22/08

Willets Pt. Landowners Charge Shulman Is Unregistered Lobbyist Queens Gazette October 8, 2008

"Shulman's most recent action as LDC president on behalf of the Willets Point plan was an appeal to every city councilmember urging each one to vote in favor of the redevelopment plan when it comes before the council in November for a final vote. If the council does not approve it, the plan cannot go forward. . . In addition to her appeal to the council, the WPIRA letter says, Shulman is also allegedly lobbying state and federal lawmakers promoting the project and seeking their support. Efforts to reach Shulman for comment on the WPIRA charges, either at the LDC or at the Parkside Group, which handles the public relations of the LDC, have been unsuccessful.
Just before the Gazette went to press yesterday, former Assemblymember Barry Grodenchik, a spokesman for Shulman, told the Gazette that the former borough president, indeed, was a lobbyist. "We are updating our city filing and are moving to update our state filing," he said.
Grodenchik added that there was no conflict between Shulman's lobbying for the city and being president of the LDC, which strongly advocates for the Willets Point project.
"It's a community job, not a government job, and part of her job is to advocate for this major improvement in Corona [the Willets Point project]," Grodenchik said" Queens Gazette, October 8, 2008

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