Campaign 2010

Mar 10, 2009

Tedisco’s Shady Ties Pick Up Where Sweeney Left Off

Disgraced former Republican Congressman John Sweeney's unethical influence is alive and well in Republican politics across New York's 20th Congressional District.  Career Albany politician Jim Tedisco is picking up where Sweeney left off, apparently not realizing that the voters he's trying to court sent Sweeney packing in 2006 because of his shady behavior. 


It has been widely reported that the disgraced former Congressman had been making phone calls on behalf of Tedisco in an attempt to shore up support for the career Albany politician. This is a particularly troubling revelation considering the Albany Times Union reported this morning that the FBI subpoenaed the state's Olympic facilities agency in their ongoing investigation into former U.S. Rep. John Sweeney's publicly funded sporting retreats for lobbyists and campaign contributors. [Daily News, 1/27/09; Times Union, 3/10/09] 


Sweeney's influence on the Tedisco campaign doesn't stop there, however, as one of his former staffers has lined up to raise money for the career Albany politician at an event in Washington D.C. today.  Amanda Cernik, a long time aide to Sweeney who attended a sports retreat that is at the heart of the FBI's investigation, is listed as the point of contact for Jim Tedisco's fundraising luncheon this afternoon. [Glen Falls Post Star, 3/28/07]


Jim Tedisco's questionable ethics are nothing new; the career Albany politician sent a letter supporting a lighter sentence for one a felon campaign contributor who was convicted of mortgage fraud. 


"Career Albany politician Jim Tedisco is picking up where the disgraced John Sweeney left off," said Jennifer Crider, Communications Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 


"Tedisco's consistent pattern of unethical behavior is not what voters want from their elected officials.  Someone who puts felons first and relies on the disgraced John Sweeney for fundraising and political help can't be trusted to represent the 20th district in Congress."  




Former Congressman John Sweeney was making calls on Tedisco's behalf. [CBS 6 Albany WRGB, 1/27/09]


Sweeney participated in an NRCC conference call.  In January 2009, Daily News reported that Sweeney, retired Rep. Tom Reynolds, and the three remaining Republican Representatives from New York all took part in an NRCC conference call on January 26, 2009 to weigh in on who the party should choose to run for the vacant 20th district seat. [Daily News, 1/27/09]


Tedisco's fifth highest contributor was convicted of mortgage fraud; Tedisco wrote a letter requesting a lighter sentence.  Tedisco Wrote Letter requesting Lighter Sentencing for David Silipigno who was Convicted of Defrauding Mortgages. Silipigno later founded a new company which became Tedisco's fifth highest campaign contributor. [The Times Union (Albany, NY), 12/9/03; Campaign Finance Data]


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