Wednesday, October 15, 2008

NY Post: Bloomberg administration has given $2.7M+ to Markowitz's nonprofits

From yesterday's New York Post, following up on last week's report on Atlantic Yards-related gifts to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz's charities, and previous reports that the administration of Mayor Mike Bloomberg had given $900,000 to Markowitz's concert series:
Since 2003, the Bloomberg administration has handed out at least $2.7 million in taxpayer cash to three nonprofit groups Markowitz set up to fund "free" concerts and other pet projects, a Post investigation has found...

Dick Dadey, executive director of the government watchdog group Citizens Union, said the matter deserves scrutiny from the city Comptroller's Office or Department of Investigation.

"It doesn't smell right that he's getting so much city funds for nonprofits serving his interest," Dadey said. "Why does it have to be Marty's nonprofits that get the money to send kids to camp or promote Brooklyn, when there are so many other qualified independent nonprofits?"

None of the city's other borough presidents have come close to receiving as much City Hall support as Markowitz. In fact, the nonprofits they've set up are minuscule in comparison...

While political candidates face strict limits on how much they can receive in campaign funding from donors, a loophole in the law allows donors to be as generous as they want for a politician's pet projects.

Since 2003, Markowitz's nonprofits have received between $3,323,424 and $5,644,124 in taxpayer funds from government agencies, according to city Conflicts of Interest Board records.


This time, at least, the story made the New York Times's Morning Buzz. But it deserves some follow-up, given that money can't hurt the mutual admiration society Bloomberg and Markowitz have fostered.

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