Archive for February 2016

The Jon Kaiman for Congress Watch, February 23, 2016 – By George J. Marlin

February 23, 2016

On Saturday, February 20, 2016, Newsday reported, “The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery began sending out debt notice letters this month to applicants the agency believes were ineligible for housing rehabilitation and elevation money or received payments for the same work.

“About 25 to 30 letters will go out in the initial batch this month—mostly to applicants in Nassau and Suffolk counties—notifying people the state wants the money returned.

“The amounts so far in question range from $4,500 to $180,000….”

Andrew Cuomo is a tough task manager. He expects his appointees to work hard and get it right. So, the news that the Governor’s Storm Office would be requiring Sandy victims to return up to $180,000 could not have been well-received. Anyone who has ever worked with FEMA knows it is…slow. Slower than a sloe gin fizz. Slower than a North Hempstead building inspector. Hence, it is likely that FEMA told Kaiman and the State weeks ago that the State would have to “clawback” (in the vernacular) funds from Long Islanders.

Kaiman and his agency dropping the ball may explain Kaiman’s abrupt departure from State service and his bizarre Newsday telephone interview announcing his candidacy for Congress.

Residents of the Town of North Hempstead who lived through the scandals at the Town Building Department, subsequent arrests, lengthy trials and criminal convictions should not be surprised by this turn of events.

Questions:

Mr. Kaiman: You were paid $153,000 annually, to serve as Special Adviser to Governor Cuomo on Long Island Superstorm Sandy Relief. Under your watch, how and why did ineligible Long Island residents receive disaster recovery money?

Mr. Kaiman: What exactly did you do every day to earn your $153,000 annually?

Mr. Kaiman: Will you release your meetings/luncheon calendar for the period you were Special Assistant to Governor Cuomo on Long Island Superstorm Sandy relief? If you decline to do so, please explain?

Did you abruptly resign your Special Assistant post in February because you knew the Newsday story, “N.Y. Sends Out Letters: Sandy Victims owe $59 Million” was about to be published? Or did you resign because you feared you would be fired?

Mr. Kaiman: Will you publicly apologize for being asleep at the switch when you were Special Assistant on Long Island Superstorm Sandy relief?

Stay tuned….

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What is Social Justice? – By George J. Marlin

February 20, 2016

This article I wrote appeared on The Catholic Thing web site on February 20, 2016.

Clarifying NIFA’s purpose for county – By George J. Marlin

February 19, 2016

This column I wrote appeared on February 18, 2016 in Long Island Now and in Blank Slate Media newspapers.

The Jon Kaiman for Congress Watch, February 11, 2016 – By George J. Marlin

February 11, 2016

The “Friends of Kaiman” Board of Elections disclosure lists on August 25, 2015, an expense at the CYMAX store for $1,481.43. According to the CYMAX website, this online retailer specializes in “quality furniture and home décor at unbeatable prices.”

Question: Mr. Kaiman, since you were a state employee and not a candidate for office at the time of the CYMAX purchase, why would “Friends of Kaiman” need to purchase $1,481.43 worth of furnishings? Did the furnishing go to a “Friends of Kaiman” office? If so, why is there no disclosure of rent paid for the office space in “Friends of Kaiman” filings? Or are the regular payments of $239 for “Public Storage” really payments for office space? If so, did you ever spend time there during state working hours? Also, Mr. Kaiman, please explain the September 4, 2015 “Friends of Kaiman” expense of $449 at Modern Office Systems. If the CYMAX and Modern Office System purchases did not go to a “Friends of Kaiman” office, where did they go?

“Friends of Kaiman” listed on October 2, 2015 reimbursement to Jon Kaiman of $650 for the purchase of a phone.

Question: Mr. Kaiman, since you were a state employee and not a candidate for office when the phone was bought, what was the purpose of the purchase? Did Adam Skelos text you on a “Friends of Kaiman” purchased phone or your state phone?

On August 31, 2015, “Friends of Kaiman” reimbursed Jon Kaiman $200, and there were no explanations for the reimbursement.

Question: Mr. Kaiman, why were you reimbursed $200? Please give details.

“Friends of Kaiman” disclosed in Board of Election filings between December 3, 2013 and June 8, 2015 that it paid for various breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings at restaurants totaling $1,784.74.

Question: Mr. Kaiman, since you were a state employee and not running for public office during that period, please explain the purpose of those restaurant meetings. Did you attend any of those restaurant meetings during state working hours?

Stay tuned….

2015 Survey: Persecuted Christians in the Middle East – By George J. Marlin

February 6, 2016

This article I wrote appeared on The Catholic Thing web site on February 6, 2016.

Beware of city-county consolidation – By George J. Marlin

February 5, 2016

This column I wrote appeared on February 4, 2016 in Long Island Now and in Blank Slate Media newspapers.

The Jon Kaiman for Congress Watch, February 2, 2016 – By George J. Marlin

February 2, 2016

In September 2013, Jon Kaiman resigned as North Hempstead Supervisor and accepted two appointments from Governor Cuomo. They were Chairman of the Board of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority and Special Adviser to Governor Cuomo on Long Island Superstorm Sandy Relief, a post that pays $153 thousand annually.

After Mr. Kaiman took up his new positions, his campaign committee, “Friends of Jon Kaiman,” lumbered on and made required filings with the N.Y. Board of Elections.

According to Board of Election filings, since Kaiman went to work as a state employee he continued to fundraise and there were numerous disbursements from “Friends of Kaiman” including (but not limited to):

1-18-14     Costco                                                        $548.12
1-19-14     Westbury Liquors                                   $394.08
1-19-14     Waldbaum’s                                              $199.99
10-1-15     Costco                                                   $1,500.00
10-5-15     Westbury Liquors                                  $238.80
10-8-15     Mineola Card & Smoke Shop              $383.41
10-13-15   Party City                                               $313.39
10-15-15   Great Neck Wine                                    $148.71
10-16-15   Great Neck Wine                                    $169.36
10-19-15   Westbury Liquors                                  $385.40
10-19-15   Triple Crown Sports Memorabilia   $1,000.00
10-20-15   P. Schneider Design Consultants     $2,305.00
10-26-15   Associated Supermarkets                   $108.99
10-26-15   Westbury Liquors                                 $164.97
10-26-15   Costco                                                       $574.59
10-27-15   Associated Supermarkets                 $181.72
10-29-15   Colbeh Restaurant                               $626.00
12-21-15   Costco                                                       $845.50

“Friends of Kaiman” disclosed in Board of Election filings that these expenditures were for “fundraising” purposes.

Questions:

Mr. Kaiman: Did you alert your employer, Governor Cuomo, or any of his staff members, “Friends of Kaiman” were holding political fundraisers?

Mr. Kaiman: Since you were not a declared candidate for office in 2014 or 2015, what was the purpose of the fundraisers? Was your mentor and friend, Gerard Terry, a guest?

Mr. Kaiman: How much money was raised at the fundraisers? If none, (as it appears) were the alleged fundraisers merely parties paid for by “Friends of Kaiman”? Where were the fundraisers or parties held? Were they held in your home?

Mr. Kaiman: Were purchases made by you for the fundraisers made during state government working hours? (Fifteen of these purchases were made on work days.)

Mr. Kaiman: Did you comply with Governor Cuomo’s executive order concerning political activity restrictions of state employees?

Mr. Kaiman: If your salary as Special Advisor on Long Island Superstorm Sandy Relief is funded in whole or part by Federal dollars, you are subject to Hatch Act rules which prohibit certain political activities. If you are covered, did you comply with Hatch Act rules and regulations concerning political activity?

This installment of The Jon Kaiman for Congress Watch has focused principally on the food and beverage expenditures of the campaign committee (as well as one payment to a concern which generally sells signs and bumper stickers). A thorough review of “Friends of Kaiman” expenses is being performed.

Stay tuned….