Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Columbia University's "Dinkinsgate Scandal" Connection--Part 7

After New York City voters decided in the 1993 mayoralty election that David Dinkins did not deserve a second term as New York City’s mayor, the Columbia University administration hired the local Democratic Party politician to be a professor “in the practice of public affairs” at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. And during the last few years Columbia University Professor Dinkins (http://www.sipa.columbia.edu/academics/directory/dd98-fac.html ) has apparently attempted to use his remaining special political influence in New York City politics to help his private employer undemocratically implement its land-grabbing campus expansion plan north of West 125th Street in West Harlem, despite the objections of local community tenant activists. Not surprisingly, when Columbia University Professor Dinkins tried to sell Columbia University’s expansion plan to the 700 community residents who attended the local community board’s hearings in August 2007, the former New York City mayor was booed, hissed and shouted down by West Harlem residents and their Columbia and Barnard student supporters.

Following, is another section of an article on “The Dinkinsgate Scandal” which first appeared in the August/September 1991 issue of the Lower East Side newspaper, Shadow:

On May 8, 1972—while holding a “public service” office of President of the New York City Board of Elections—Dinkins became a founding shareholder of the privately-owned Inner City Broadcasting Corporation by purchasing 50 shares of stock for $5,000. By December 31, 1985—while holding the “public service” office of New York City Clerk—Dinkins had increased his holdings in the privately-owned Inner City Broadcasting Corporation to 588 shares.

By February 4, 1983, the market value of Dinkins’ $5,000 investment in Inner City Broadcasting Corporation stock had increased to $1,009,230. The privately-owned broadcasting corporation, which he and Sutton directed, then owned WLIB and 7 other radio stations in New York, Michigan, Los Angeles, San Antonio and Berkeley. That same year, a subsidiary of Sutton and Dinkins’ Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, Queens Inner Unity Cable System, won the bidding for a lucrative cable-TV franchise in Queens which was awarded by the then-existing New York City Board of Estimate. Inner City Broadcasting Corporation then-Chairman of the Board Sutton, of course, had been a member of the Board of Estimate for over 11 years, prior to getting it to award his company the lucrative Queens cable-TV franchise. According to The Permanent Government: Who Really Rules New York? by Jack Newfield and Paul DuBrul:

“Advances in satellite, electronics, and computer technology have made this the period in which fortunes can be made in cable television…A 20 percent return on investment is predicted for the companies that win the bidding.”

By the 1990s, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation brought in over $19 million per year from its annual business operations and then-Chairman of the Board Percy Sutton’s son, Pierre Sutton, was the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation President; while Columbia University Professor and former New York City Mayor Dinkins’ son, David Dinkins, Jr. was a major Inner City Broadcasting Corporation stockholder.

Next: Columbia University’s “Dinkinsgate Scandal” Connection—Part 8

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