Sunday, May 21, 2006


Some interesting contributors to last year's unsuccessful Democrat Rebecca Aaronson & Barbara McMorrow campaign.
Contributions totaling $10,800.00, were made to the campaign during the summer of 2005 from nine sources in Palm Beach County and Broward County.
I get the impression that these contributors are not from someone's retired uncle.
Here they are:

Angelo Scardina,
of Boca Raton; President, Villages of Windsor by Ansca Homes LLC, $2,600.00, June 25, '05.

Richard Finkelstein,
of Ft. Lauderdale; President of Kenco Communities, $1,000.00, June 25, '05.

Stuart Cohen,
of Boca Raton; retired, $2,600.00, June 26, '05.

Bruce Grunot,
of Boca Raton; Paramount Builders Corp, $500.00, June 28, '05.

Triad Title Agency,
of Boca Raton; $500.00, June 29, '05.

Ned Siegel,
of Boca Raton; The Siegel Group, $500.00, June 29, '05.

Stephanie Siegel,
of Boca Raton; "homemaker", $500.00, June 29, '05.

Note: Paramount Builders, Triad Title and The Siegel Group are all located at 5000 T Rex Ave., Boca Raton. Stephanie Siegel is the wife of Ned Siegel.

Joseph Lelonek,
of West Palm Beach; Southland Centers LLC, $1,300.00, July 20, '05.

Robert Bentz,
of West Palm Beach; $1,300.00, July 20, '05.

Note: Both Lelonek and Bentz are reported as "Developers" on this report.

It's interesting as to why these people from so far away are so concerned with Monmouth County Politics.


William H Seward said...

Palm Beach County has a Commissioner named Aaronson.

Maybe there's some long distance wheeling going on in the family.

William H Seward said...

A little more searching reveals that Rebecca Aaronson's son is a legislative aide to US Senator Bill Nelson, D-Florida.

Honest Abe said...

What I find interesting is the fact that all of these contributors seem to have one thing in common: They're developers!
Siegel's father, Howard, was a Monmouth County developer in the 60s & 70s - he frequently named streets in his developments after his sons, i. e. Ned Drive.
And Scardina started out as a developer on Staten Island.
I wonder if there's any redevelopment or eminent domanin schemes up someone's sleeve.


ok, all things being correct...what did those people GET from aaronson and mcmorrow? since the two didn't win they COULDN'T have gotten anything.

for this to be wheeled or pay to play, there has to be a carrot at the other end of the hook for the contributors. no carrot and no impropriety.

with respect, that's the nature of quid pro quo. that is why democrats on the county level, at this point, cannot have a case of wheeling, because to wheel someone must get something out of a contribution or at least have the APPEARANCE of impropriety. for example, DEVELOPER A gives money to PAC A, and then PAC A gives money to CANDIDATE A. CANDIDATE A wins and votes or allows DEVELOPER A to get a contract from the governing body they sit on...municipal, county, whatever.

Honest Abe said...

JIM_PURCELL addressed...

"that is why democrats on the county level, at this point, cannot have a case of wheeling..."

Come on, Jim! You can do better! A lot better!
Your response sounds like "Calypso Louie" Farrakhan saying black people can't be racist.
It is what it is, Jim.

Now, in fairness, I wouldn't call this case "wheeling", but it's developer money and that's usually dirty.
Sorry, I just don't think these guys did this out of civic-mindedness.

William H Seward said...

"wheeling n. 1. in the electric industry, the transfer of power between utility companies, especially through the networks of one company on behalf of another. 2. the transfer of money between political organizations in order to skirt campaign funding laws.

Editorial Note: The second sense appears to be specific to New Jersey. Etymological Note: Both senses are jargon versions of a more general meaning of wheeling ‘a turning aside or deviation"



Wheeling occurs irregardless of the success or failure of the campaign contributed to.

In these cases, there could have been a quid pro quo in another jurisdiction, i.e. Scott Aaronson asking a developer to help out his mother's campaign and promising to do get the Senator's attention on an issue of importance to the contributor(s). I'm not saying that happened, I'm saying it could have happened. This is all purely speculation over the curious donations from Florida.

I don't know if Commissioner Aaronson is related to Rick and Rebecca...again speculation.

William H Seward said...

Honest Abe said...

" but it's developer money and that's usually dirty."

Respectfully, Mr. President, I think you are over generalizing to say developer money is usually dirty

Honest Abe said...

Commissioner (What Florida's calls their freeholders) Aaronson's bio does say he's from NJ.

Honest Abe said...

Jim actually is starting to sound like the professor here.

William H Seward said...

Honest Abe said...
"Jim actually is starting to sound like the professor here. "

Now you're going WAY too far!


wheeling: quid pro quo by any other name. i GIVE you something and you GET something.

pay to play: developer gives money to candidate and gets approvals when candidate is office holder. the same is said of political patronage to professionals. wheeling: developer gives money to pac that gives it to candidate, who becomes office holder and developer gets something. same goes for professionals. something is't action is purchased in advance, or in reciprocation. in any event, action is purchased. the trail is the money, which precipitates the action by candidates that become office holders.

developer money ISN'T usually the greatest sin on earth. campaigns on BOTH sides of the aisles are funded by them to varying degress. Hovanian...would anyone like to crack THAT one on either side? No, i suppose not. it doesn't make a lot of practical sense. their money is everywhere. it shouldn't be. candidates that take it are just crap...but there's so much of it that it drowns the system. still, hovnanian runs a tight ship, loses the occasional battle before an angry mob despite the objections of the odd lawmakjer or so who usually says something like "Well, we should give them a chance..." We've all heard the song, and the ELEc report gives a hint about the dance.

T&M...we can stop that right there. No, i do not believe that T&M is the great Satan, they just look like that. i think T&M made its money on supporting candidates for many years and i don't think they're in the business of buying office anymore...directly. it doesn't excuse the past, but they're the ones with the work right now and there isn't going to be a change to that anytime soon, is there?

T&M bought a lot of its prosperity. still, they got a job that was there to get via patronage and so it is, like it or not. and gibbons, del deo...what is there to say? but the same goes there.

i'm not throwing stones at professionals there to get work that is going to partisan firms, though i think that's garbage. and there are responsible develoeprs, albeit they walk a thin line. hovnanian is not great, in my opinion, but they aren't the worst of the lot. they've tainted their company by the politicians they've underwritten, but such is life until real reform.

no...where a thing can be linked directly to a donation. it's the boldest of the bunch that need to be brought in now. courier found clifton. regardless of the motivations, there it is. action, money...the works. i'm sure it's there with dems, it just needs to be found in concrete. where is the action and where is the money? otherwise, we go on all day about the legion of democrat and or republican firms that bought their way to the good graces of this one and that. action. money. i think that's where the argument is for now.

higher values? i'd LOVE to see them. but you can't get to it without skimming the top first and there is quite a bit lingering on the surface from both sides, i think.

Honest Abe said...

JIM_PURCELL addressed...

"develoeprs would be a flashpoint, that's for sure." (4/30/06)

"developer money ISN'T usually the greatest sin on earth." (5/22/06)

Which is it, Jim???


developers earn the reputations they make. Hovnanian has done some harm, but they haven't circumvented the system. A donation from them, while not great, probably doesn't mean they'll "...stop at nothing to develop whatever."

meanwhile, jack morris has EARNED his rap. he walks around BRAGGING about the influence he buys.

ANY developer is going to raise an eyebrow, but what the individual developer has DONE and what they have EARNED by way of a rep says something too.

Cottage Gate did everything they were supposed to to make that work for the community. Centex snuck in so fast people barely knew it was happening... one day people are wailing about "No Town Center" and the next "BLAM!" a flashy new housing development right down the road. How'd THAT happen? What about THAT "pristine open space"?

No public hearings, no news articles, no "grassroots outcry" nothing. Just...there. And the Township Committee was acting like they barely knew anything was happening. Far cry from OTHER developments.

Nope. Developers earn their reps and what they expect from lawmakers is evident, depending on the developer. I'd be the first one to say "Ban them all." But that isn't real. Instead, how about "Check them all out and make sure it's a straight game."

William H Seward said...

"Check them all out and make sure it's a straight game."

That works for me.

Honest Abe said...

Is it because these developers are extraordinarily civic-minded Americans who have a deep, abiding interest in local pols doing their jobs of serving their constituency? Might it be that these developers just love participating in the political process?