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Getting Caught Keeping Your Hand in the Cookie Jar

In New York City, US Politics on June 12, 2006 at 11:55 am

From Sunday’s Albany Tribune:

“Three people who worked at Bronx charities created by Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. say the state senator secretly gave them currency or money orders and instructed them to personally contribute the cash into his or his son’s campaign accounts. Two of the charities have been heavily financed by special legislative grants of taxpayer money — called “member items” — arranged by the senator’s son, Assemblyman Ruben Diaz Jr. State law makes it unlawful for a person to give money in someone else’s name to a candidate’s campaign, but that is exactly what Sen. Diaz did, three former loyalists said in interviews.

[…]

Soundview Community in Action is a Bronx nonprofit group that formerly employed Sen. Diaz, his wife and his former wife, the mother of Assemblyman Diaz. Soundview received hundreds of thousands of dollars in so-called legislative “member-item” funds through the senator’s son while his family members were employed.

This isn’t a new story, either. Here’s a piece from 2004 on investigations into Soundview Community in Action. ACORN ran a free tax preparation site for low-income taxpayers out of Soundview in 2005. Here is where you can read about Soundview being plugged into a federal appropriations bill under the Juvenile Justice Programs section. And a press release about US Representatives Crowley and Serrano forking over 50 grand to Soundview, in which Rep Serrano states, “Soundview Community in Action provides an important service to our community… Congressman Crowley and I are proud to be supporting the Soundview community.”

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