Loyal to a Vault

Lazio Breaks the Bank at His Neighborhood EAB Branch

During 1999, he raked in nearly $1.8 million in contributions. By December 31, his war chest contained nearly $3.4 million, $120,000 earned that year from his EAB accounts.

Last week, Lazio's crew prepared to move his headquarters to Manhattan to really do battle with Hillary. He's still taking care of bankers' business in D.C., however. One of his current bills, H.R. 2441, would lower the transaction fees paid by mortgage companies and borrowers that support the operations of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The booming economy has produced millions of surplus dollars in such fees. Lazio's pals want to pay less to support the agency that regulates them.

No politician has suggested viewing that money as a "peace dividend" to spend on construction of affordable housing—like the still unfinished South Wind Village project of affordable houses and town houses on the north side of dilapidated downtown Bay Shore.

Naturally, EAB is participating in this federally backed venture, along with a host of other companies. This desperately needed project will cost $12.4 million. If it's completed, its new mortgages will mean new fees to lenders like EAB. But private lenders are putting in only $4.9 million. The rest is corporate welfare, courtesy of taxpayers.

Another thing Lazio is leaving behind is a brand-new, $20 million minor-league baseball stadium in Central Islip, just north of Bay Shore, that's entirely funded by public funds. Team owner Frank Boulton, a Lazio contributor and fellow resident of Brightwaters, the ritzy suburb next to Bay Shore, will of course get to keep much of the income generated by the new stadium, which, incidentally, has been named EAB Park.

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