[This is a reposting of an article written two years ago. It's a continuation of "Peddling the Dream."]
Citizen Action of New York released a report in June 2006 titled "Pay to Play in Nassau County: Campaign contributions to Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi from firms that received contracts with Nassau County." The report defined "pay-to-play" as “the practice of awarding contracts to campaign contributors” such that “it creates at least the appearance of a conflict of interest.” This practice is not necessarily illegal; furthermore, it is not unique to Nassau County or a specific political organization. Citizen Action of New York examined "whether Tom Suozzi has stopped the practices he condemned or has continued the practice of awarding Nassau County contracts to campaign contributors." The report concluded the latter.
Urbitran, the author of the Glen Cove Ferry Terminal and Boat Basin study, the Downtown Gateway Revitalization Plan, and the Cedar Swamp Road Corridor Study, was one of many organizations that paid to play. From 2004 to 2005, it donated $9,250 to "Friends of Tom Suozzi." On December 6, 2005, it received a $24,000 contract from Nassau County.
Before being acquired by AECOM Services, Inc. on July 28, 2008, Urbitran donated to various politicians and organizations. The New York State Board of Elections posted Urbitran’s donations to political organizations with roots in Glen Cove:
- $1,500 Friends of Tom Suozzi, January 30, 2006
- $1,250 Friends of Ralph Suozzi, May 26, 2006
- $400 Glen Cove Democratic Committee, August 30, 2006
- $110 Friends of Ralph Suozzi, February 2, 2007
- $400 Friends of Ralph Suozzi, April 9, 2007
- $850 Friends of Ralph Suozzi, May 30, 2007
- $400 Glen Cove Democratic Committee, August 29, 2007
- $150 Friends of Ralph Suozzi, March 7, 2008
- $600 Glen Cove Democratic Committee, March 20, 2008
- $850 Friends of Ralph Suozzi, May 30, 2008
From 2004 to 2008, Urbitran gave a total of $15,760 to organizations that controlled the political landscape of Glen Cove. (It appears that the only Democrat organization Urbitran skipped during this time was “Friends of Mary Ann Holzkamp.”)