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Carrion, Adolfo Jr. (Urban Affairs Czar)

Title: White House Director of Urban Affairs
Reports to: President Obama
Department that handles similar issues: Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
Duties: Coordinating transportation and housing initiatives, as well as serving as a conduit for federal aid to economically hard-hit cities

  • Born in March 1961 in Manhattan, New York
  • Is of Puerto Rican heritage
  • Earned an undergraduate degree in world religions from Kings College
  • Worked as a public school teacher in the West Bronx, New York
  • Became an associate pastor at a Bronx church
  • Earned his master’s degree in urban planning from Hunter College
  • Served as a New York City Council member (1998 to 2000)
  • Was Bronx Borough President (2001-2009)
  • Has been President of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials since 2007
  • Has pushed for increased Latino voter participation
  • As Borough President, Carrion emphasized the construction of new homes for moderate- and low-income residents. “We can’t keep throwing money at a housing policy that concentrates poor families in massive housing projects and hopes for the best,” he said in a 2007 speech. “We must stop treating the poor as laboratory subjects that we tinker with in our pricey think tanks and universities.”
  • Was arrested and sentenced to forty days in jail for protesting near the U.S. Navy bombing site on Vieques, Puerto Rico with Al Sharpton and three Puerto Rican politicians
  • Endorsed Hillary Clinton early in the 2008 presidential race
  • After Clinton was defeated by Obama in the primary, Carrion became an active campaigner for Obama, focusing particularly on states with large Hispanic populations
    Michelle Malkin reports that “[a]s a reward for turning out the Latino vote, Obama handed [Carrion] the keys to the urban czar’s office – where he will have power to shower dollars on urban areas.” (Culture of Corruption, p. 148)
  • Supports New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to charge drivers a fee to enter Manhattan between the hours of 8am and 6pm in an effort to reduce congestion and air pollution in the city
  • KingstonHouse.gov reports the following scandals in which Carrion has been involved:

    Has been the subject of several investigations by the New York City Daily News and was suspected by an ethics watchdog group of participating in pay-to-play schemes
    Pocketed thousands of dollars in campaign cash from city developers whose projects he approved or funded with taxpayers' money
    He often received contributions just before or after he sponsored money for projects or approved important zoning changes, records show.
    Most donations were organized and well-timed. In one case, a developer became a Carrion fundraiser two months before the borough president signed off on his project, raising more than $6,000 in campaign cash. In another, eight Boricua College officials came up with $8,000 on the same day for Carrion three weeks before the school filed plans to build a new tower. Carrion ultimately approved the project and sponsored millions in taxpayer funds for it.
  • In her book Culture of Corruption, Michelle Malkin reports:

    (a) Carrion illegally accepted home-improvement renovations as a gift from an architect seeking to secure business from the city
    (p. 151)
    (b) “City records showed that in his last two years as Borough President, [Carrion] squandered nearly $20,000 on a teleprompter, stage equipment, and lights to conduct lavish 'State of the Borough Tours'; spent $24,000 on overnight travel and conferences, including $5,295 at a four-star San Juan Resort and Casino; charged a satellite radio subscription to taxpayers because it was important to keep him 'mobile'; $8,000-plus for picture frames and mats; and was the only Borough President in New York City to stick the public with his $13,000 bill for membership to a county executive organization.” (p. 153)

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