Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bill de Blasio and New York City's Clintongate Scandal: A Tale of Three Phonies--Part 4

(A shorter version of this article originally appeared in the Winter 2013 issue of the Lower East Side underground/alternative newspaper, “The Shadow”)

Bill de Blasio’s Peter Vallone Sr./C&V Connection

During the 1990s, de Blasio also served as a senior aide to a Democratic Speaker of the New York City Council named Peter Vallone, Sr. Coincidentally, de Blasio’s former boss has, in recent years, been a “Principal” in the for-profit lobbying firm of Constantinople & Vallone Consulting LLC [C&V].  As the website of former Speaker of the New York City Council Vallone Sr.’s C&V lobbying firm notes:

“Peter Vallone, Sr. is a New Yorker…Vallone served as Speaker of the New York City Council from 1986 through 2001… As Speaker, Peter was the City’s top legislator… Peter’s ability to reach all levels of New York City…government is unparalleled, and his vast experience results in the achievement of short and long term goals for C&V clients….Peter’s `Safe Streets — Safe City’ rebuilt the police force from 26,000 to 41,000 officers...

“Constantinople & Vallone Consulting LLC is a results oriented government relations… firm with a strong record of success…C&V provides customized, hands on consulting services to a select group of clientele….We at C&V believe that effective government relations is not just who you know, it's knowing who you need to know. C&V's principals bring a unique combination of experience and expertise in the sectors of government…C&V believes in creating and fostering an open dialogue with government officials...Constantinople & Vallone guides you through the entire governmental process…C&V has vast experience in dealing with both the New York City and State Executive branches and Legislatures…We get you in the door at every level, from staff to principal…We at C&V utilize the same strategy that served Peter Vallone, Sr. so well throughout his tenure at the City Council... For each project that we accept, C&V designs a strategy that touches all the bases necessary for success…”

So, not surprisingly, an article in the Nov. 17, 2006 issue of the New York Sun contained the following reference to Donald Trump and the lobbying firm of De Blasio’s former boss:

“The city is set to grant building permits to developer Donald Trump to construct a 45-story condominium hotel in SoHo...According to land use filings, the owners of the SoHo development site include Bayrock Development, the Sapir Organization, and Zar Realty Management….Over the last year and a half, Zar Realty has paid more than $150,000 to Constantinople Consulting, the lobbying firm of a former speaker of the City Council, Peter Vallone Sr. On behalf of the developer, the firm lobbied the department of buildings, the planning commission, the City Council, the office of the Manhattan president, the office of the attorney general, and the office of the deputy mayor, according to filings with the state….”

Coincidentally, according to the Office of the Public Advocate website, de Blasio has met at least four times in his public office with lobbyists from the Constantinople & Vallone firm during his term as New York City’s Public Advocate. On Sept. 21, 2010, for example, de Blasio had a meeting with Peter Vallone and Anthony Constantinople; and on July 27, 2011, Aug. 2, 2011 and Mar. 1, 2012, de Blasio had a meeting with C&V lobbyist Anthony Constantinople alone.
(end of part 4)

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