May 30, 2023

THE POLITICAL PONZI SCHEME: Black Families in New York are Not Part of the Agenda of Billionaire backed Elected Politicians

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Organizations funded by wealthy New Yorkers who give money to New York politicians play a crucial role in influencing legislation and spending decisions. They often have extensive political experience, having served as lawmakers or held positions within government agencies or as legal advisors to high-ranking officials. This background gives them valuable connections and insider knowledge of how the government operates, allowing them to shape political outcomes on behalf of their clients. In Albany, lobbyists are a constant presence, tailoring their arguments to address the specific concerns of influential individuals, strategically shaping media narratives, and capitalizing on the fast-paced legislative schedule to maximize their impact.

This year, the lobbying group American Opportunity, which is affiliated with the Democratic Governor’s Association and is backed by the billionaire Michael Bloomberg, has spent more money than any other organization to exert more influence over state policy. In the previous two months, they have spent a total of $4.7 million, most of which was spent on television advertisements broadcast across the state. The state’s Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government has revealed this information to the public. According to a recent survey by Siena College, the timing of this discovery corresponds with Governor Kathy Hochul having her lowest approval ratings since she took office.

The large expenditures made by American Opportunity, which transcend those of any other lobbying institution in the state, illustrate the group’s intensive efforts to affect the state’s budget deliberations. American Opportunity has spent more money than all other lobbying entity in the state combined. Governor Hochul says she was not actively involved in this activity, similar to a campaign.

TV advertisements received $3.6 million of American Opportunity’s budget, social media advertisements received $380,000, and mailings received $328,000. Companies that had previously collaborated with Hochul’s campaign and were commonly used by Democrats around the country were responsible for producing the political advertising.

American Opportunity has acknowledged lobbying a total of 28 state lawmakers even though it is registered as a lobbyist for the executive chamber and Governor Hochul. Lobbying efforts were focused on State Senator Neil D. Breslin and Assemblymen John McDonald and Phil Steck in the Capital Region. Many of the senators whose districts the organization targeted also got mailers with messages from the organization. One of the messages asked voters to push Senator Breslin to support the budget proposal proposed by Governor Hochul.

According to reports, in February, the social welfare organization known as American Opportunity was launched in Washington, District of Columbia. Jon Berkon, a lawyer at the Elias Law Group who is recognized for his work supporting Democratic groups, was the one who submitted the forms necessary for the group’s formation. In addition, the organization registered in New York as a lobbyist under the same name while using the exact location of the Democratic Governors Association.

Michael Bloomberg, a former mayor of New York City and currently one of the wealthiest persons in the state, contributed $5 million to the lobbying activities, which helped to strengthen their overall effectiveness. Before this, proponents of increasing taxes on the affluent, as well as certain good government groups and legislators, had asserted that Hochul’s backing from Bloomberg was the reason she rejected the plan by the New York State Legislature to increase taxes on the state’s wealthiest individuals.

When will Black people ever realize that casting their votes will only result in the election of a candidate who will serve the interests of wealthy donors? Black communities have never changed because people who genuinely provide money to politicians have no interest in transforming black neighborhoods. This is the reason why Black communities have never changed. Organizations such as American Opportunities have put New York’s families in last place, throwing African-American families under the bus and into the negative

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