Senator Golden Directs Taxpayer Funds To Group He Founded

State Senator Marty Golden has been pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds to a nonprofit group he founded, which in turn uses the funds to promote the local pol.

City & State analyzed Golden’s member-item spending – taxpayer funds given to each member of the state legislature to distribute within their communities – and found that the Republican lawmaker has steered at least $770,000 to the Bay Ridge-Bensonhurst Beautification and Preservation Alliance since 2005.

The group used that money to sponsor the “State Senator Marty Golden Concert Series,” as well as to operate a Bay Ridge van service for seniors dubbed the Golden-Harbor Bus Loop.

The amount given to the group may have been well over $1 million, according to City & State, but the State Senate was not required to identify the sponsors of member items before 2006. Records show that in 2003 and 2004, the group received $480,000 – though no names are attached to the funds.

The group is currently run by Patrick Condren and shares its office with Condren’s lobbying firm. Condren has lobbied for legislation that was later sponsored by Golden.

The Alliance also employs part-time Golden staffer Emil “Chip” Cafiero. Cafiero collected $13,000-a-year as Golden’s Community Events Coordinator from 2003 through 2007, while he simultaneously worked as a paid consultant organizing the Alliance’s festivals and parades which were funded by Golden. Cafiero has also received at least $90,000 in Golden-steered taxpayer money through other groups he operated while on Golden’s staff.

Golden founded the Bay Ridge – Bensonhurst Beautification and Preservation Alliance in 1994, while he was owner of the Bay Ridge Manor. He stepped down from the group’s presidency in 1998 after winning a seat in the City Council.

The Bay Ridge Manor is still owned by Golden’s family, and in 2008 made headlines when the Village Voice discovered that the lawmaker was steering campaign and taxpayer funds to the establishment to host fundraisers and constituent service events.