A mysterious New Yorker and IU grad is making some shadowy waves in the national political scene – and he’s got the feds worried.
Some fellow by the name of Bob Williams is giving away a boatload of cash – more than $900,000 – to both parties this cycle. His political insights have also landed him an appointment on New York GOP Chairman Ed Cox’s advisory committee. But despite his nondescript name, this kind of activity itself isn’t troubling. Far more worrisome is the fact that no one knows how Mr. Williams makes all his money. As the NY Times reports (and you can read the full story here):
According to documents at the New York Department of State, Mr. Williams has formed at least 25 companies, most of them based at his apartment on 170th Street in Jamaica. But there is little evidence of their existing beyond incorporation papers, and most are now inactive.
Records also show he described himself as a lawyer, though the school he says he attended — Indiana University — has no record of it. The law firm he indicated he worked for says it never employed him.
And despite the donations he has showered on politicians of both parties, those who have received the contributions say they have little idea of how he makes his money.
The New York Times asked Republican Party officials how Mr. Williams was selected for appointment to the panel by Mr. Cox, known as the Chairman’s Advisory Council, and for the honor of corporate citizen.
The state party referred a reporter to a public relations representative for Mr. Williams. But the representative said he could not answer questions about Mr. Williams, or be of any assistance, because Mr. Williams had disappeared after learning of the reporter’s interest.
“Mr. Williams has become completely unreachable,” Andrew Moesel of Scheinkopf Ltd., the public relations firm, wrote in an e-mail. “If he ever does emerge and contact us, you will be the first to know.”
Becky Miller, a party spokeswoman, later sent an e-mail saying, “Bob Williams is one of several men and women from all walks of life and every corner of the state who provide support and guidance to the New York State Republican Committee.”
Safe to say, this story is a little fishy. A man named Bob Williams holds a degree from a college that doesn’t know him, worked for a firm that never employed him, owns 25 companies on paper in Jamaica and is shovelling money to political campaigns in opaque fashion? You read it right.
Federal election authorities are looking into Mr. Williams’s activities. No surprise there.