Pataki's Favorite Conservatives

Mike Long's party is feasting at the state trough

The largest party benefactor has long been cosmetics king Ron Lauder, who's given $201,980 since 1994. Lauder is so close to the governor he's got First Lady Libby on the company tab for $80,000 a year. The governor's also made over $70,000 as a paid speaker appearing before groups tied to Lauder. Pataki appointed Lauder to chair his council on privatization, and Lauder installed Conservative Party national chair Allen Roth as the council's executive director.

A registered Republican, Lauder ran for mayor in 1989 on the Conservative line. Lauder also bankrolled the 1989 and 1993 efforts to get a term limits referendum on the city ballot, a campaign that was led by Conservative Party honchos Atanasio, Marrone, and Roth. John Buttarazzi, whose family has long been associated with the party, also worked on Lauder's term limits campaign. He is now the senior vice president for privatization at the Empire State Development Corporation.

The party has just about taken over the Workers' Compensation Board, with the former Manhattan county leader Mike Berns as a commissioner and three party operatives in top staff positions.

Jerome Becker, who changed his registration to Conservative in November 1995, was an appointee on the HFA, SONYMA and other state development boards under Cuomo. He's been elevated to chair under Pataki and has become a frequent donor to the party, as well as friendly with Long. Atanasio's firm, Bear, has repeatedly acted as senior manager on bond offerings issued by these agencies.

Rob Ryan, who was Pataki's campaign manager in 1994 and is now an executive at Empire State, became active in the party during the Barry Farber mayoral campaign in 1977 and was brought into the Pataki inner circle by Long. Like Ryan and Atanasio, Tony Casale, who served until recently as the head of the State Liquor Authority, is a Republican with even stronger ties to the Conservatives. A periodic donor to Long's party, Casale's SLA selection in 1995 was seen in part as another Conservative appointment. Research: Nicole White

Pay to play?

Conservative Party Donors Who Do Business With the Port Authority



Number of contributions 1995­98:

1. American Stevedoring & four affiliates



2. A.C.E. Elevator



3. Duty Free International



4. Howland Hook Container Terminal



5. Quadrozzi Concrete (and Davidoff & Malito)*



6. New Connecticut Limo



7. Marine Shipping Line



8. Continental Terminals



9. Port Authority PBA



10. Lansdell Protection



11. Genesee & Wyoming Railroad & affiliates



12. Phoenix Marine



Friends in high places

Pataki Appointees With Links to Conservative Party

Family Contributions 1994­98


State Position

Party Ties

Total/no. of contributions

1. George Marlin

Executive Director, Port Authority (1995­97)

Enrollee, 1993 mayoral candidate


2. Ann Paolucci

Chair, City University Board of Trustees

Enrollee, wife of a state vice chair


3. Paul Atanasio

Trustee, School Construction Authority

Former enrollee and congressional candidate


4. Patrick Foye

Deputy Chair, Long Island Power Authority

Enrollee, deputy counsel & executive committee


5. Michael Berns

Commissioner, Workers Compensation Board

Enrollee, ex-Manhattan county chair


6. Anthony Rudmann

Executive Director, Workers Compensation Board

Enrollee, former Conservative Party executive director


7. Jerome Becker

Chair, Housing Finance Agency & two affiliates; Vice Chair, SONYMA



8. Candace deRussy

Trustee, State University

Republican, eight-year Conservative Party donor


9. Gerard Kassar

Member, Interstate Sanitation Commission

Enrollee, Chair, Brooklyn C.P. and executive committee


10. Joan Cusack

Chair, Crime Victims Board



11. Sean McSherry

Member, Parole Board

Enrollee, son of former comptroller candidate


12. Irene Platt

Member, Parole Board

Republican, longtime family donor


13. Allen Roth

Executive Director, Research Council on Privatization

Enrollee, National Affairs chair


14. David Donohue

Chief of Staff, Workers Compensation



15. Joseph McHugh

NYC Director, Workers Compensation



16. Fran Vella Marrone

Special Assistant to Trustee, School Construction Authority*

Enrollee, Executive Committee & Brooklyn vice chair


17. Gary Marrone

Project Officer, School Construction Authority*



18. Rob Ryan

Senior VP for Communications, Empire State Development Corp.

Republican, closely associated with C.P. since 1977


19. John Buttarazzi

Senior VP for Privatization, Empire State

Republican, three family members associated with C.P.


20. Maria Padilla-Orasel

Director, Minority and Women's Business Division, Empire State

Republican, longtime family Conservative Party donor


21. Michael Buttino

Director of Information Services, Higher Education Assistance Corp.

Enrollee, ex-Greene County chair


22. Rosemary Braatz

Citizen services representative, governor's office

Enrollee, ex-Putnam County chair


23. Viola Hunter

Assistant director, State Fair, Department of Agriculture

Enrollee, executive committee


24. Robert G. Smith

Member, NYC Financial Control Board

Enrollee, a Conservative Party founder


25. Ed Bergassi

Commissioner, State Insurance Fund

Republican, fundraiser and donor to CP


26. James Gay

Senior Community Relations Representative, Power Authority

Enrollee, Treasurer


27. John Stump Jr.

Building Superintendent, General Services

Enrollee, Regional vice chair & Delaware County chair


28. Keith Zobel

Project Assistant, Commission on Corrections

Enrollee, son of Conservative Party executive director


*The Marrones resigned from the SCA this year.

**This total includes donations from Caroline Quartararo, who shares the same address.

With special reporting by David Shaftel and David Kihara

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