By Roger Stone

Andrew: Hope for the future
Supporters and admirers of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo were shocked to learn that New York's cretinous former U.S. Senator Al D'Amato is hosting a fundraiser for Cuomo. Just last week newly appointed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was criticized for her relationship with D'Amato who the New York Times described as her mentor. When not providing character references for organized crime figures, D'Amato works as a lobbyist and influence peddler. D'Amato, who embarrassed New York State in the U.S. Senate for 18 years with his crude antics, was bounced by the voters in 1999. Who can forget D'Amato donning a pig mask on the U.S. Senate floor and singing "Old Macdonald had a Farm" to protest federal pork spending, or his racist impression of a Japanese-American Federal Judge on the radio. D'Amato's lobbyist brother was convicted of illegally using his brother's U.S. Senate Stationary to forge a letter to help one of his clients. The conviction was over-turned on a technicality on appeal. Gillibrand will surely face a primary for re-election in 2010. Even if the first tier candidates, such as Rep. Carolyn McCarthy drop after D'Amato and his henchman and Gillibrand's father lobbyist Doug Rutnick, pile up a huge special-interest funded war-chest. D'Amato will be the principle issue in that primary. Why would Andrew Cuomo, on the ballot the same year, want any of that to splash on him?

D'Amato: Known hoodlum
I first clashed with D'Amato when I handled New York State for Ronald Reagan in 1980. D'Amato was also elected to the Senate that year by a plurality. I had the quaint notion that those who had worked for Reagan should actually be rewarded with Presidential appointments. D'Amato seemed to think that all Federal jobs in New York were his as if he had been elected President and he always seemed to have an unqualified used-car dealer from Long Island for every Federal position. During the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 Presidencies, I had to mount an intense effort to block D'Amato crony Charles Gargano from becoming Ambassador to Italy. The late Lee Atwater blocked Gargano during the Reagan Administration utilizing information from the FBI regarding Gargano's associations and business relationships. Friends at the FBI moved to block Gargano under both Bushs. Former New York Governor George Pataki was elected in 1994 in a surprise victory over incumbent Mario Cuomo, largely due to the $14.5 million raised by wealthy developer Gargano. Pataki's Finance Chairman made his fortune in the private sector as an executive at a construction company, fined for bid-rigging in Long Island sewer contracts. Never personally snared in that 1970s investigation, Gargano entered campaign politics. As Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago under President Ronald Reagan (a consolation prize given to Gargano to appease D'Amato), he was widely criticized for being AWOL when Muslim fundamentalists staged a bloody coup on the island nation. As Chairman of N.Y. Inaugural '95, the private group behind Pataki's widely criticized glitzy inaugural, Gargano shook down corporations doing business with the State for up to $25,000 donations each, raising $500,000 for what was historically a staid ceremony and celebration. Sources of that cash were never revealed - a move endorsed by Gov. Pataki - and Pataki's governorship began with many IOUs. Widely known for dabbling in penny stock companies, Gargano served on the board of publicly traded companies accused of securities fraud - facts that came to light when he was appointed head of Pataki's Empire Development Corporation and as Commissioner of the Port Authority. From his seat at the State's official developer, he oversaw the (non) reconstruction of Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks of 2001. This major project and others, including Moynihan Station, were so mired in politics and controversy that in 2008 media commentators still called the failed efforts doomed by screw-ups that were squarely his and Pataki's fault. In charge of billions of contract dollars, Gargano was widely criticized for culling political donations from companies which then conducted state business. According to the New York Times, "it was hard to know which Charles Gargano was sitting at the table -- the one asking state business leaders for [campaign] money or the one giving them the taxpayers' money." Criticized for tens of thousands of dollars in questionable expenditures as a public servant, Gargano resigned all his government posts soon after Pataki left the Governor's office. Today, he's back to his old tricks in penny stocks and has brought along his pal Pataki to cash in on the scams. In June 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission began an investigation into Perf Go-Green, Inc. where they both serve on the board of directors. The company's volatile stock doubled and then halved as pictures of Pataki and Gargano were used in spam emails pumping the stock. Are the foul-mouthed Fixer Al D'Amato and his bagman Charles Gargano really the guys Andrew Cuomo wants to associate with?