Former ESDC head "Ambassador" Gargano, "classy political opportunist," now a leader of EB-5 firm promoting Atlantic Yards investment
The "Ambassador" is back, and the circularity is stunning.
|Charles Gargano, official handout|
photo from U.S. Immigration Fund
“At first, we were sort of scratching our heads, thinking, is this real?” Kimball said. “The next thing we knew, we were falling out of our chairs.”
Question No. 4: Are there good alternative uses for the EB-5 money? One of the oddities about the EB-5 program is that the U.S. government is giving out the green cards, but the entrepreneur who puts together the investment gets the money. This scheme seems inefficient and open to corruption. If our government really believes that it is a good idea to sell green cards, maybe we should drop the pretense that this is a job creation program. It might be more efficient to have the money go directly to the U.S. Treasury and reduce the deficit by billions of dollars a year. In fact, the U.S. government could auction off these green cards and perhaps raise even more money.
In March, when Gargano's appointment was announced, photo distributed (above right) shows him posed in front of an American flag.
|Gargano promotes 101 TriBeCa|
Mr. Gargano is the colorful, sometimes controversial, immensely successful chief fund-raiser who collected $14.5 million to finance Mr. Pataki's upset victory last fall and who continues to be chairman of $1,000-a-plate Republican fund-raising events.The latter, most likely, was in evidence in 2006 when, dissembling about eminent domain, Gargano was said by WNYC's Brian Lehrer, who typically avoids harsh judgments about Atlantic Yards, to have displayed "classic political evasiveness."
Mr. Gargano is also the Commissioner of the State Department of Economic Development, a job he has held since February that gives him enormous leeway in handing out millions of dollars worth of contracts to businesses across New York.
At times these last seven months, it has been hard to know which Charles Gargano was sitting at the table -- the one asking state business leaders for money or the one giving them the taxpayers' money.
In March 2007, the Village Voice's Tom Robbins found "several cases in which Gargano had the public pay his fare and ignored his own agency's stiff standards on expense reimbursement."
The press release, in full, issued 3/26/14:
U.S. Immigration Fund Appoints Ambassador Charles Gargano as Executive Director
NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - March 26, 2014) - U.S. Immigration Fund, a national leader in EB-5 financing, appointed Ambassador Charles Gargano as Executive Director of the organization March 1, 2014. In this role, Gargano will oversee the future development and success of the U.S. Immigration Fund portfolio of USCIS-approved Regional Centers.
Charles Gargano has spent more than 20 years in public service at the State and Federal level, serving Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, and New York Governor George Pataki. His governmental roles have included:
Deputy Administrator of the Federal Urban Mass Transportation Administration in 1981;
Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago from 1988 to 1991;
Chairman and CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation and Vice Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from 1995 to 2007.
Prior to entering public service, Mr. Gargano, a Professional Engineer, was a partner in Posillico Construction and Engineering Corporation for 21 years.
As Executive Director of U.S. Immigration Fund, Gargano will be responsible for business development and relationship management, project negotiation and operational oversight.
"I am confident that Charles Gargano will be an undeniable asset to our company," explains Nick Mastroianni, President of U.S. Immigration Fund. "His successful career in both the public and private sectors is indicative of his drive to form reliable, long-lasting partnerships and dedication to improving not only New York City, but the U.S. as a whole, through well-planned growth and development."
Mastroianni continues, "We look forward to a long and prosperous future with Mr. Gargano."
Mr. Gargano will primarily represent U.S. Immigration Fund's New York Regional Center, a Manhattan-based operation that will facilitate over $1 billion in EB-5 financing through 2014.
About U.S. Immigration Fund
U.S. Immigration Fund provides worthwhile opportunities for foreign investors and their families to obtain permanent U.S. residency through the EB-5 Visa Program. U.S. Immigration Fund has partnered with investors and leading developers to facilitate more than $3.5 billion in real estate development and more than $900 million in EB-5 financing, which will create more than 27,000 U.S. jobs.