The Cathedral Club: The Tammany Hall of Bay Ridge? – An Introduction
This past October, I discussed how The Bay Ridge Cabal of the Brooklyn GOP was directing all party events to its local domain. In fact, it has been common knowledge for some time that the Brooklyn GOP is synonymous with Bay Ridge.
But we’ve come to realize here at Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn that the network of Bay Ridge mavens is even more extensive than the party leadership itself. All of the major players in this network have one glaring connection, one link that stands out above all else.
They are all members of the Bay Ridge society known as The Cathedral Club. And as we’ve come to learn through our research, their tentacles likely run as far north as Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards and Borough Hall, forming a multi-million dollar indirect consortium that connects charities with politicians.
The connections are so great and so extensive; I believe they must be introduced part-by-part so that you don’t lose sight of all the different factors and individuals involved. As such, I will only be providing you with a mere introduction today to this even more extensive Cathedral Club Cabal. Over the next few weeks, I will try to connect the dots among the orgy of evidence drawing our attention to this little known society outside of Bay Ridge.
Let’s start with the history of their club.
This is what’s posted on their website about the history of the Cathedral Club:
The Cathedral Club of Brooklyn is a Catholic lay organization founded in the Diocese of Brooklyn, on March 1, 1900. The original Spiritual Director and guiding light at that time was Father George Mundelein, who was later to become George Cardinal Mundelein of the Diocese of Chicago. Since that time it has been customary for the Bishop of Brooklyn to serve as the Spiritual Director of the club.
In 1907 the club took possession of its last permanent clubhouse at Sixth and Flatbush Avenues, where it remained until 1974.
At that time the membership decided that the Club should not maintain a permanent clubhouse; instead, it should utilize existing facilities within the Borough of Brooklyn for meetings and other functions.
As stated in its original certificate of incorporation, the object of the founders was to make the Club the principle Catholic Club in the Diocese of Brooklyn &,to advance Catholic interests, to promote the moral improvement of its members, to foster among them a true Catholic spirit, and by frequent social intercourse to unite them more closely in the pursuance of these ends. Over the years the Club developed an extensive series of events and activities to fulfill this objective.
Among these events, the Club sponsors a forum each spring on a public issue of interest to the community of Brooklyn. In the fall it holds its Annual Memorial Mass in honor of deceased members, which is celebrated by the Bishop of Brooklyn.
The Club established a scholarship program for worthy high school students in the Diocese. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of need and scholastic ability.
The Club’s Annual Dinner is the highlight of its social calendar and from the proceeds a donation is made to the Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, for his favorite charity. Other events include a golf outing, roast of its past president, and various other social and fundraising events.
Now entering its second century, the Club looks forward to its future, keeping in mind the original intent and objectives of its founders.
Seems innocent enough, right?
Here are the Officers of the Cathedral Club:
James B. McHugh, President
Robert W. Johnson, Vice President
John Heyer, Treasurer
Martin J. Cottingham, Financial Secretary
Michael E. Glynn, Recording Secretary
Now, look at who’s on the Board of Governors of the Cathedral Club:
George R. Prezioso, Ex-Officio
Craig A. Eaton
Martin J. Golden
Robert Charles Golden
Joseph B. Guarinello
William R. Guarinello
Michael R. Long
Richard E. Re
Recognize anyone we know?
The most obvious name is State Senator Martin Golden (aka “The Golden Prince”), who is all but assuredly the ringleader of the Brooklyn GOP leadership. Next to that is his irrelevant Brooklyn GOP Chairman ________ “The Duke of Bay Ridge” _________. You also have Robert Charles Golden, whom we believe is related to the Senator, but we do not have confirmation of that just yet.
Next, we have Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long–a big name–involved in the club. The Conservative Party and the Brooklyn GOP are very connected, as you all know. You might recall Brooklyn Conservative Party Chairman Jerry Kassar is a minion and vassal of The Golden Prince; he is an employee of the Senator. There is and always has been a very close relationship between Catholics in New York State and the Conservative Party, which is frequently the source of blog news.
But it gets even more interesting than that.
At least eight of the members of their Board of Governors are “friends” of or directly connected to HeartShare Human Services, a charity which will be examined extensively in relation to the Cathedral Club in this series. In fact, William Guarinello, one of the members of the Board of Governors is the President and CEO of HeartShare.
These links between the Bay Ridge Cabal and various charities will not be so surprising to those of you following the connections between Marty Golden and his Duke of Bay Ridge.
In the period between 2008 and 2009, The Golden Prince coughed up an astounding amount of money to his handpicked receivers. All in all, he gave $2,878,000 in pork, from churches to charities…
Included in these millions of pork was $5000 to Chairman Craig “The Duke” Eaton’s charity, the MHE Research Foundation. While no one questions donations to good causes (which MHE certainly is, by my assessment), conflict of interest questions arise, given that The Duke has already given $18,000 to The Golden Prince over the past nine years. In fact, one comment posted by an Atlas reader notified us that The Golden Prince and Mayor Bloomberg were both in attendance at a recent MHE Research Foundation event, during which Sen. Golden was honored. It seems somewhat troubling that two men that Eaton received favors from and has personally favored are always nearby. One with sizable donations and the other with a 50k-100k Wilson Pakula vote.
The Brooklyn GOP itself sent over a cozy $2000 to HeartShare recently, as well.
Furthermore, there are connections between Cathedral Club members and the controversial Atlantic Yards Project, including some associations that have raised eyebrows among many Republicans and Democrats.
Not the least of these associations is between ACORN’s Bertha Lewis and Marty Golden, who both appeared at a pro-Atlantic Yards pow wow. Here’s the evidence of that unholy alliance:
I thought Republicans had a hardline stance against corrupt organizations like ACORN?
Well, I guess when you detente with Democrats, you’re willing to do anything.
Less noticed at this pow-wow was John Heyer, Treasurer of The Cathedral Club, in the background and newly minted Queens Republican City Councilman Eric Ulrich.
Also of great note, the Cathedral Club membership might have some serious connections with the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office. Just ask Bob Capano, former candidate for city council, who used to work there. He would be merely one beneficiary of this vast Bay Ridge network.
So as you can see, the relationships of The Cathedral Club are worth exploring. They remind us at Atlas of another social/political club that had much greater influence in this city for decades but operated in the same suspicious way: Tammany Hall.
While the goals and stated missions of many of these connected organizations might seem benevolent, the members within the organization might be using the club for less than beneficial means.
While I cannot always promise outright proof (how often do you ever find that?), I will promise that that the connections that exist between this organization, the Brooklyn GOP and Conservative Party, numerous charities, and many other important Brooklyn political groups will demonstrate that the people within this organization need to be monitored and these dealings need to be professionally investigated.
Taxpayer money, party money and personal wealth are flowing back and forth between the individuals in the Cathedral Club, their satellite organizations and various politicians.
Something is afoot in Brooklyn, and we hope you’ll join us in figuring it all out.