Common Cause/NY Responds to Daily News Exclusive about Adolfo Carrion & Peter Fine
NEW YORK, NY (02/28/2013)(readMedia)-- In response to today's Daily News report about Adolfo Carrion's relationship with developer Peter Fine, Common Cause/NY Executive Director, Susan Lerner, released the following statement:
The public should be deeply concerned about revelations in today's Daily News that Adolfo Carrion intervened with city agencies on behalf of a developer, Peter Fine of Atlantic Development Group, who provided him with an architect. Although Carrion has paid a fine for his inappropriate relationship with the architect, the incident highlights the persistent problem of pay to play in our political culture.
Mr. Fine is among the most prolific political donors in New York. Since 2004, he has personally given $458,130 in donations to state and city politicians and committees. During this same period, aggregate donations from Atlantic Development Group, Mr. Fine and his wife, and Atlantic Development Group co-founder Marc Altheim and his wife total nearly $1 million.
Between October 2004 and June 2006, Mr. Fine personally gave $51,000 to the Bronx Democratic Trustees Committee, with an additional $8,650 kicked in by his partner Mr. Altheim and the company directly. And on the same day in July 2007, Mr. Fine and his wife each gave Carrion donations of $4,950, the maximum allowed under City campaign finance laws. Mr. Altheim's wife also gave Carrion the maximum donation of $4,950 in 2007.
It is therefore not surprising that Mr. Carrion was so motivated to intervene on Atlantic Development Group's behalf. Ultimately, Mr. Carrion's efforts were successful and he won approval of a $300 million project for Mr. Fine which became Boricua Village. That's a great return on investment for Mr. Fine and a bad deal for Democracy. Obviously Mr. Fine got his money's worth.
Mr. Carrion has also decided to exempt himself of the City's public financing system, claiming that the City can't afford such an indulgence. Despite the fact that in 2009 citywide candidates received $15 million in matching funds; a sliver of the City's $66 billion budget, the public financing system also helps candidates remain free from undue political influence. In fact, it would seem from the Daily News report that Mr. Carrion can't afford not to wean himself from big dollar donors.