Blog

PA Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Extortion Charges, Resigns

Rob McCord, Treasurer of Pennsylvania, who ran and was elected as a "reformer" in 2008, resigned last week from his post and pled guilty to extortion charges. McCord was also an influential board member of the state's pension funds. McCord recently also ran, unsuccessfully, in the Democratic primary for Governor.

By Kate Giammarise/Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau; From www.post-gazette.com

February 2, 2015 - HARRISBURG -- Former Pennsylvania state Treasurer Rob McCord was charged with two counts of attempted extortion, according to documents filed Monday in federal court that describe conversations in which he tried to leverage the power of his office for contributions to his failed gubernatorial bid.

The Democrat resigned Friday afternoon, after admitting he would be pleading guilty to charges that he attempted to strong-arm potential donors.

Read more...

Ex-CalPERS official Villalobos commits suicide

With "pay to play" indictments or convictions having taken down the former Comptroller of New York State (the single trustee of the New York State Common Fund), and the CEO of CalPERS in recent years, the greed syndrome seems deeply rooted in our investment and political culture. Sadly, Albert J.R. Villalobos, one of the figures in the CalPERS scandal and a former state pension board member, committed suicide on Tuesday, January 10th, just weeks before the start of his federal trial on bribery and fraud charges.

By Marc Lifsher; From www.latimes.com

January 14, 2015 - Sacramento -- A former state pension board member at the center of a long-running influence-peddling scandal that rocked state government committed suicide Tuesday, just weeks before the start of his federal trial on bribery and fraud charges.

Police in Reno confirmed that former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Alfred J.R. Villalobos, 71, took his own life in the city where he lived in recent years. The Washoe County medical examiner's office declined to provide further details.

Villalobos was a California Public Employees' Retirement System board member from 1993 to 1995, and then became a high-stakes placement agent helping hedge funds and others win CalPERS business.

Last year, he was indicted in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on corruption charges in connection with his efforts to influence the pension funds' investment decisions. Villalobos, who pleaded not guilty, earned about $50 million between 2005 and 2009 as a middleman in winning CalPERS investments for private equity clients.

Read more...

Amalgamated Bank Hires White House Aide Sam Brown To Lead Business Development

Former Director of the White House Business Council Will Lead Amalgamated Bank's Outreach to Progressive Organizations and Political Groups 

NEW YORK, N.Y, December 5, 2014 - Amalgamated Bank announced that Sam Brown has been selected to lead the bank's business development team and will expand its outreach to core constituencies such as unions, progressives and the Democratic Party. Brown joins Amalgamated Bank after serving in various positions with President Obama over the past eight years, most recently in the White House's Office of Public Engagement, run by Valerie Jarrett. Before serving as Director of the White House Business Council, Brown was the founding Chief Operating Officer of Organizing for Action. From 2011 to 2012, Brown served as Finance Chief of Staff for the Obama-Biden 2012 campaign.

"We are a bank invested in serving working people, and Sam's deep understanding of progressive organizations combined with his financial expertise makes him a perfect fit for us," said Keith Mestrich, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank. "Sam joins a strong team and will further grow our outreach to progressive communities, harnessing our reputation as the leader in progressive finance."

Read more...

Ullico Makes Major Infrastructure Investment

ULLICO BULLETIN Vol. 2, Issue 3, 2014 

Ullico Inc. recently closed an approximately $75 million investment in the Neptune Regional Transmission System (NRTS).  The NRTS is a 65-mile, 660-MW high-voltage direct-current submarine transmission cable connecting New Jersey and Long Island, New York. 

"This recent transaction is another example of how labor capital plays an important role in investing in energy infrastructure assets throughout this great country," said Edward M. Smith, president and CEO of Ullico Inc. "At the same time, infrastructure investments are an example of one strategy that we utilize to achieve our goal of generating the returns needed to keep our union members' pensions safe and sound."

Read more...

©2015 Heartland Capital Strategies