Thursday, July 20, 2006

Reason 20: Corruption, Corruption, Corruption

Reason number 20 may seem personal, but it's really all about our collective good - as a district and as a nation. Reason number 20 to vote for Michael Arcuri is that Arcuri is not associated with William Teator. Ray Meier is.

Who is William Teator? He's a Washington D.C. lobbyist. You know what lobbyists are, don't you? Their job is to influence members of Congress. Jack Abramoff was a lobbyist.

Jack Abramoff was a slippery lobbyist, but in the end, he wasn't really very smooth. Taking the top procurement officer of the United States government on an all-expenses paid trip to Scotland wasn't smooth. It was obvious corruption.

William Teator is a much smoother lobbyist than that. How can I say such a thing? Well, unlike Jack Abramoff, William Teator managed to get the public official to pay for the trip so that they could schmooze.

Republican Congressman John Sweeney, who is facing a tough challenge from Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand this year, used public money to pay for a gigantic weekend ski trip up to the Adirondacks for him, his staffers, campaign donors, and a whole bunch of lobbyists.

William Teator was one of those lobbyists.

The official purpose of the trip? To promote the idea of tourism in New York State in Congress. The problem with that explanation is that John Sweeney organized the trip, and he's already in Congress, see, so it seems that he really didn't need any convincing.

Bob Bissen, with a firm called Petroleum Solutions, was invited. What does Petroleum Solutions have to do with promoting New York tourism? Lisi Kaufman was there. She's with a company called United Technolgies - not well known for tourism promotion. Kaufman is also the sister of Brad Card, who donated to Ray Meier's campaign this quarter but left his employment entry mysteriously blank. Ian Paul Steff, of Semiconductor Industry Association, was skiing right alongside William Teator and John Sweeney. You think tourism promotion, and you think semiconductors, right?

William Teator has been a lobbyist for the Livingston Group (and his alumni bio page at SUNY Binghampton indicates that he maintains active there), but now he appears to be working for the lobbying firm Capital Advocates, LLC.

William Teator is listed in the top 100 contributors to the Majority Initiative to Keep Electing Republicans Fund, which in turn has paid money to Congressman Tom DeLay, who has been indicted on multiple charges of corruption.

William Teator sent a check to Ray Meier this year. Ray Meier decided to keep that check.

Michael Arcuri has not taken any money from William Teator, or anyone who works for Capital Advocates, LLC.

To me, that's a damn good reason to vote for Michael Arcuri for Congress this year.

I ought to point out that William Teator has not been indicted on any charges of corruption. Still, I'm not left feeling comfortable with his influence with Ray Meier. Are you?


la la la I can't hear you said...

The official purpose of the trip is supposed to be for congress to "inspect" the facilities. That is what Sweeney claimed he was taking his son there in the past.

Then when all these lobbyists were there he tried to pretend that the event was to promote tourism not to raise funds for ORDA in congress. Of course it is hard to say the event is about raising funds in congress when the only people there are lobbyists and your campaign donors.

I don't know if the events prepared Sweeney for this slippery slope that he's on. Thanks for this post!

Anonymous said...

What a boatload of nonsense! The only thing Meier is doing is accepting money from campaign contributors. While your little connect-the-dots game is fun to dream up, you have offered no evidence that Ray Meier is corrupt, or will be corrupt in the future. These loose associations mean nothing.

Yes, many of these contributors HOPE that Meier will vote in their favor in the future. However, there is no guarantee that he will.

And, yes, you have given examples of corrupt politicians, but Meier was not involved in ANY of those cases you mention.

So, for fun, here are some against Arcuri...

Hillary Clinton is married to Bill Clinton, Bill Clinton got a BJ from an intern, Hillary helped Arcuri's campaign. Therefore, if elected, Arcuri will support blow jobs from interns.

Or maybe more realistic...

Mike Arcuri received money from Power Line Constructors. Power line constructors are, obviously, in favor of building power lines. If elected, Mike Arcuri will be in favor of the NYRI power line project.

Just because you accept money from a PAC or individual does not mean you are just like them. In fact, in your examples, none of the corrupt individuals directly gave money to Meier anyhow. They are just related, or associated by party, to someone who did.

Anonymous said...

Power line constructors is an established LOCAL commercial and residential electrical company located in Clinton NY that has been around for a number of years, female owned, and often a contributer to democrats since republicans don't particularly like females doing important macho things like that, do they now? This company has NO connection whatsoever to The CANADIAN company that is trying to stick towers in people's front lawns--and you know it. You also know that that the Canadian company has its own crews as well. But that won't stop you will it? Of course not. After all, Power Line Constructors has the misfortune of having a name that you can use to mislead people, a name that has been in existence long before NYRI.

The individual engineer who contributed from that company is also a long time democrat as well.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be interesting to ask Ray Meier what he relationship is with Walter Rich of Susquehana RR and NYRI fame. He did throw some interesting fund raisers with plenty of perks to the tune of millions. Do you really think that Boehlert didn't run again because he wanted to spend more time with his family? When that scandal breaks out, we will see who NYRI has been sleeping with. That might explain why NYRI walzed right in and Ray Meier didn't seem to know a thing about it. Right...

Anonymous said...

NYRI has it's own construction crews? Please explain how a company with no employees has it's own construction crews.

Power Line Constructors stands to make millions of the NYRI project, no matter who owns it. The day they put out a press release saying they oppose the project and will refuse any involvement with it is the day I'll believe they don't have a vested financial interest in it.

Anonymous said...

Imagine all those years that Power Line Constructors were religiously donating to Democrats, they were psychic all the time and knew a company from Canada that intends to build towers themselves were going to show up? Who knew? Talk about "strategic planning"! And best yet a thousand or so in donations will do it for them! What a bunch of crap. If you can't make Ray Meier look good, work on making Arcuri look bad. Ten years in the senate, are there ten achievements that moved his district forward. How about five? Nevermind. It's easier to list the losses. I suggest Ray Meier knows Mr. Rich. Well. That explains his silence before these parasites marched into his district. Ray Meier. The 90 pound weakling.

Anonymous said...

Next thing we will see is the Electrical Union is in on the "Plot" and have been psychicly donating to democrats for decades too.

How come long time "powerful" senator Meier can't stop this? Do you get the feeling nobody in real charge cares what he thinks? They get the chip plants, we get the sex offender wing of the psych center. Ray Mier's idea of "Growth".

Anonymous said...

Will you wahoos in Utica give this NYRI thing a rest? You're wasting resources on an issue the majority of the district just doesn't care about.

This powerline thing is a small, neighborhood issue that has nothing to do with what really matters in this election.

Anonymous said...

8:56 Fine. Why don't you volunteer to have a 115 foot electrical tower in your back yard and then the rest of the EIGHT counties, of which Oneida County is only one and Utica is only a small piece of, that are going to be eminent domained can rest easy knowing you and your shit kicking friends volunteer to take their places. Bug off you phoney progressive, and dont you ever tell me what I have to give a rest to.

24 Independent said...

1:21 - You're missing the point. Argue that it's an important issue all you like, but it's not an issue that's going to carry this congressional campaign. Only a minority of likely voters know and care about the issue, so it's time for Arcuri and his supporters to move on to more relevant issues, and stop wasting time with this pointless criticism of Meier that boy, he may say that he's against NYRI, but he's just lying - you can just tell. Sorry, but that's not enough to make it a winning campaign issue.

Anonymous said...

The day after the election we're going to be cursing ourselves for letting the machine in Oneida County run this race. This power line thing is a needless distraction of the bigger issues we need to be paying attention to- stopping the war in Iraq, ending illegal spying, and fighting for equal marriage rights for all Americans.

Maybe it's time for another Democratic organization to take the reins from the Utica area. They obviously aren't paying attention to the big picture while squabbling about this trivial local issue. Take NYRI up with your state representatives- this election is a national fight about national issues.

Curious said...

They're both publicly against the powerline. Jon's right; that takes it out of the running as a campaign issue. What's MA gonna say--I'm more against it than he is? I'm really really against it?