Earlier today we wrote this article about Joe Petty’s slum sociable to Grafton Hill with some business developer who is looking to build some high rent apartments on Wall Street:
For those of you not familiar with Wall Street, it is not nearly as glamorous as it sounds. It’s filled with discarded couches and broken dreams. We went through all of the pictures on the Masslive story about it, and we noticed that almost every single person on the walk about was a politician there for the photo op. Kate Toomey must’ve been stuck in traffic because she rarely misses an event like thi. As a matter of fact there was only one person who worked in the private sector – the guy with the blueprints in this picture:
Gotta love how they’re all just standing in a pile of shit while Petty desperately tries to suck in his gut as it sags over his pants which are clearly too small for him. Worcester is where everyone wants to move to though!!!
Anyway, we did a little Google search on the guy with the blueprints. His name is Robert Branca. He owns Branded Realty Group LLC and his family owns at least 70 Dunkin Donuts in New England.
And look what comes up when you Google him:
We’ve actually written about this guy before. Very savvy and successful businessman with a reputation for urban development. And donating money to a political campaign is pretty standard. But here’s the thing – Branca asked for $1.2 million in tax breaks for this development project. And this came AFTER he gave $300 to Petty’s campaign:
A $1.2 million dollar tax break is being considered to help local company Branded Realty Group LLC build market-rate apartments on the long-abandoned parcel at 100 Wall St., once the home of the popular El Morocco Restaurant. Under the proposed agreement, Branded Realty Group LLC would receive a 70 percent real estate tax exemption over a 15-year period. The property would actually qualify for an 80 percent exemption, according to a letter to the council from City Manager Edward Augustus Jr.
The three City Councilors who served on the economic development subcommittee and would ultimately decide whether to grant this gigantic tax break to a Petty donor were George Russell, Sarai “Ti-ti ho” Rivera, and Dicky Rushton. All three of them are well known soldiers for the Petty/McGovern crime family. And not surprisingly they had nothing but great things to say about Mr. Branca:
Russell and fellow subcommittee members Frederick Rushton and Sarai Rivera praised the work of Branded Realty Group, citing the locally-owned company’s long history of development in the city, including several properties on Shrewsbury St., as well as its civic donations.
“They don’t just come in in the middle of the night, they are very visible in our city,” Rivera said. “You can see that by the level of investments they have made.”
This is how politics works in Worcester. You throw some money in the canteen fund and you get $1.2 million in tax breaks from the machine that you financially support. Don’t forget – the democrats are the party of the little guy!!! They hate big business and corporations that try to evade taxes!!!
But wait, it gets better. Robert Branca doesn’t get to where he is if he didn’t learn to hedge his bets. What if Petty lost the election last year? Then he’d be proper fucked begging Michael Gaffney for $1.2 million in tax breaks. That’s why he did this:
LOL. He gave Gaffney $100 as insurance in case he won. I gotta give it to the guy, I admire his hustle. He understood that a tax break from Petty would cost three times as much as he hoped a tax break from Gaffney. He paid what it took to get the job done.
If you keep looking up the name Robert Branca on the OCPF’s website he’s also given given $950 to Petty over the years
$100 to Ti-Ti Ho
$50 to Kate Toomey
$300 to Phil Palmieri
and $50 Dicky Rushton
At the time Palmieri was the district councilor where this land is located, so it makes sense that his payoff was higher. Why did Kate Toomey get the cash? Probably because he figured throwing her a bone would make her feel like she was a part of the team. That’s all she really wants. It’s also hilarious that even though Ti-Ti Ho and Dicky had the same power and served on the same economic development committee, Ti-Ti Ho got twice as much as him.
Honestly, I’m kind of surprised. I thought it cost a lot more than $100 to buy off Sarai Rivera. I thought she charged at least $500 so she could buy some more t-shirts for every 15 year old she could find in Main South. But I guess all it takes is a Benjamin for a savings of $1.2 million. At least Petty makes him pay for the tax breaks. Rookies.
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