Monday, August 30, 2010

Ziggy for Pollard: a not-quite-Atlantic Yards connection in the 18th District Senate race

State campaign finance filings (32-day report, July periodic report) show that Mark Pollard, the pro-Atlantic Yards challenger to state Senator Velmanette Montgomery, has paid $8000 in consulting fees to Brooklyn Sports MMM, which just happens to share the same address as Brooklyn USA Basketball.

Both Brooklyn Sports Management, Marketing, and Memorabilia and Brooklyn USA Basketball are the work of Thomas (Ziggy) Sicignano, coach of a traveling basketball team that's gotten $10,000 in funding from Forest City Ratner and whose players have bolstered some Atlantic Yards rallies.

(He's also notorious for cooperating in a federal investigation of racketeering at an Atlanta strip club he managed. Correction August 31: Sicignano points out that he did not receive probation, as reported in the Brooklyn Paper.)

Family connection

Sicignano, who told me he got his start in politics in several 1970s political races, said he's worked on a few races more recently.

His work for Pollard--organizing petitions, volunteers, campaign advice--stems from a familial connection to the candidate; Sicignano said his father, a retired court officer, and attorney Pollard are friends.

Ratner connection?

Sicignano said he's not working for Pollard at the behest of FCR, though he does think it would be "good for Brooklyn that we have a Senator who can deal with the developer."

He noted that he's also working for Andre Soleil, who's challenging Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, an AY supporter, in the 50th District. "As a consultant, Atlantic Yards is not dictating who I work for," he said.

Pollard's campaign manager is Jennifer Joseph, who's worked on several judicial races in recent years.

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