The Democratic State Senate Committee and Conference Leader John Sampson have spent over $300,000 with two companies run by the same consultant, a shadowy operative named Melvin Lowe who had worked on only a few campaigns prior to being brought on in the wake of the Senate coup last year.Here's brief coverage from 8/31/09 about Lowe's DSCC hiring, his role in Ridge Hill, and reports of consulting work regarding Atlantic Yards.
...Several people familiar with the DSCC and Lowe have expressed mystification at what his position entails to justify being paid this sum, and the DSCC itself declined to provide details.
Lowe, who was brought on to provide oversight for the DSCC, is the principal of both Prestige Strategic Communications and G&L Consulting, which, as reported on Wednesday by Liz Benjamin on the State of Politics blog, share an address at 350 West 110th Street...
Before the massive influx of money to the campaigns in the last 12 months, Lowe had retained only a handful of clients... $16,000 paid to him by former Council Member Tracy Boyland in her 2006 race against State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery that was paid to Prestige...
Immediately before starting with Sampson and the DSCC, Lowe was a lobbyist for Forest City Ratner Companies, helping lobby on behalf of the Atlantic Yards. While at that job, Lowe got involved in the Ridge Hill development in Yonkers and is among the people mentioned in subpoenas that came out of the local U.S. Attorney’s office related to the passage of that project.
My search of city and state databases, however, has not turned up any data regarding Lowe and his companies.
The Boyland connection
News to me from the City Hall News story: Lowe was paid by Boyland's campaign. That reinforces suspicions that Boyland's shadowy run was connected to Ratner.
Remember, Boyland used the same consulting firm--Knickerbocker SKD--that FCR uses for its deceptive Atlantic Yards mailers and Boyland told the Brooklyn Papers that she's friends with FCR's Bruce Bender, a former top City Council aide.
The Mealy connection?
Also note that a self-employed consultant named Melvin Lowe, whose zip code is 10026, in Central Harlem, gave $2750 to City Council incumbent Darlene Mealy last year, who was being challenged by Boyland.
Same person? Well, Lowe's companies noted above are in the 10025 zip code.
And Mealy was and remains an Atlantic Yards supporter.