The Kessel NYPA Watch, March 22, 2010 – By George J. Marlin

Observers of Richie Kessel’s career know that he started as an inconsequential consumer gadfly and worked for the inconsequential Mark Green before leveraging himself into an inconsequential post for then Governor Mario Cuomo who Richie served as Chairman of the Consumer Protection Board.  Senior advisors to the Governor have in the past remarked that Kessel was one of their worst appointments.

On Long Island, Richie positioned himself for political advancement by opposing the Shoreham nuclear power plant and attacking never popular rate increases—how brave!—and making silly press statements on Sunday when a news-hungry press would lap up all that Richie dished out.

Interestingly, Kessel’s career was picked out of the dustbin of history following Governor Cuomo’s loss to George Pataki in 1994.  Richie enlisted his lobbyist friends and had Al D’Amato and political boss Joe Mondello carry his water.  Given their Long Island provenance they had Kessel installed at LIPA where he did incalculable damage to Long Island to support his ego-driven need to have his picture in Newsday and on News12.  When reform Governor Eliot Spitzer fired him early in 2007, Kessel once again went back to his base—Albany lobbyists and Republican political bosses—and had them pressure the unengaged and incompetent David Paterson to install him in an even bigger sinecure, as CEO of NYPA.

Richie now repays his political patrons by pushing the wind mill project in the Great Lakes which is unlikely to see the light of day, but will generate lots of work for politically connected lawyers like Pataki and lobbyists like D’Amato.

Kessel’s world has now come full circle. In order to repay his lobbyist base, Richie now proposes a massive industrialization of the Great Lakes that he surely would have opposed in his days as a young activist.  And just as Richie’s line of demagoguery worked in advancing his career, tomorrow’s young activists and future candidates for office oppose his billion dollar boondoggles.  As County after County and community after community comes out in opposition to the GLOW (Great Lakes Offshore Wind) project and fishermen and boaters and sailors oppose the project that will enrich lobbyists and other rent seekers all over the State, our Richie has morphed into the caricature he once opposed—a cynical insider dealing with the politically connected against the public interest.  Just ask businesses and consumers on Long Island paying the sky-high bills he left behind.


Explore posts in the same categories: Richie Kessel NYPA Watch-SCC

9 Comments on “The Kessel NYPA Watch, March 22, 2010 – By George J. Marlin”

  1. Resistance is Futile Says:

    In addition to the list of names posted by Pasnytech in comment posted 3/21 in earlier article, here’s another hire (part-time and $78,000 for Elise Cusack) at this link -

    After awhile, I’ve become numb to the disgust and nausea. I feel like a prisoner with a death sentence waiting for the end to arrive. Rumor has it, Richman Kesssel is looking to sell off NYPA assets. I hope the end comes soon.

  2. colleague1.0 Says:

    It would be truly wonderful if the letter to all of the Trustees and Regional Managers could be posted here for the rest of us to see. Equity & fairness out of Richie (and Gil)? Who is he kidding. Two of them have brought in somewhere between 10-20 unqualified, incompetent know nothings whose only “skill” is guess what……their political connections that Richie thinks can help him hang on and keep sucking what little life (read $) that is left in PASNY. He has already forgotten the empolyees because he doesn’t give a damn about them in the first place; only for PASNY’s balance sheet…so he can use it to hang on and keep sucking the life out of PASNY!

  3. Laying low at NYPA Says:

    The buffoon said, at his all hands meeting, “Everyone has to be treated equally from now on.” “Equity & fairness is critically important at NYPA.” Then why dumbass is the union continuing to get their raises & nothing for management for the last 2 years & potentially 3?

  4. Fed up at Clark Says:

    This week a letter went out to all of the Trustees and Regional Managers. A few employees here got copy too. It has been making the rounds. It blasted Kessel and mentioned that the trustees and management have no courage. It spoke strongly of a management union. Lots of people would sign on if given the chance.

    The funniest line in the letter was when they called Kessel a “buffoon”.

  5. pasnytech Says:

    Just remember – what goes around comes around. He and his cohorts will come to a sticky end once the IG office wakens up, or the NY Post reads their email….

  6. NYPA GUY Says:

    If Kessel was a true leader & really cared at all about NYPA employees, he would have grown a set, challenged the Governor’s misinformed & unfair dictates & done what he & everyone else at the company knew was right! Instead he rolled over like a fat bloated political cow to save his own neck & personal empire. What a gutless buffoon!

  7. Niagara Plant Mgmt Employee Says:

    As long as blowhards like this whale are allowed to be in positions of power, NYS will continue to hurt. I work at NYPA. We make a great, inexpensive reliable product. This guy is undercutting everything that people have done for the last 50 years. He is so hungry (look at him) for political power and prestige that he would and has sold his soul.


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