Since January, more than 100 new voters with addresses in buildings owned by developer Shalom Lamm have registered to vote in the March election in the tiny 400-person village of Bloomingburg, New York – more than 20 of them allegedly live in one small two-story building. 39 allegedly have not lived in the town long enough to vote – or, opponents allege, do not live in Bloomingburg at all. Among them? Shalom Lamm himself.
Modern Orthodox Developer Aiding, Abetting And Instigating Voter Fraud In Conjunction With Satmar Hasidim, Opponents Allege
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Since January, more than 100 new voters with addresses in buildings owned by developer Shalom Lamm have registered to vote in the March election in the tiny 400-person village of Bloomingburg, New York, the Times Herald-Record reported, confirming fears of residents that Lamm purchased the buildings in order to throw the election in order to secure permits needed to complete Lamm’s controversial Satmar-only 396-unit townhouse development there.
A New York State judge has already issued stop work orders on any new construction at the development and smaller related projects have been halted by voters.
"He (Lamm) is moving in anyone he can so they can register to vote and get who he wants elected, whether it's [current Mayor Mark] Berentsen [who was allegedly bribed by Lamm to secure his support for the Satmar development] or a write-in," said Bloomingburg's Amanda Conboy, who told the paper that the families of Lamm and his business partner Kenneth Nakdimen recently registered to vote in the tiny town. More than 20 people who allegedly live at one small two-story building owned by Lamm also registered, she said. "It's voter fraud, and it's happening right in front of our eyes.”
39 of the new voters have been challenged by locals who allege the new voters don't actually live in their alleged place of residence or haven't lived there in the town for the legally required 30 days before an election. Locals claim some of the buildings are actually empty.
"It's important to understand that to vote, you have to be registered for 30 days," says Cracolici, whose own residency was challenged by Lamm. "And we're providing evidence that they didn't."
Lamm refused to respond to questions posed by the paper on the voter challenges or respond to them.
But Lamm filed what is being called a frivolous suit against the Sullivan County Board of Elections to try to throw out all of the petitions against the Satmars and others who suddenly registered to vote in the tiny village.
A small number of protesters gathered in front of the building where Lamm wants to build a private Satmar girls' school Friday to protest what they say is an illegal mikva – first reported by FailedMessiah.com – in the building, which lacks the proper permits or, allegedly, a certificate of occupancy.
The school is meant to serve Lamm’s development.
The town’s Planning Board voted it down in December, causing Lamm to sue – and, not fo rthe first time, to cry anti-Semitism.
The protestors claim the building is now being used as a mikvah — a ritual bath — without approval.
"Just because someone claims something to be illegal, does not make it so. The protests are just an attempt to intimidate residents of Bloomingburg who wish to observe Shabbat. It is a sad day that in 2014 Jews cannot move somewhere and practice their religion without threats of disruption and harassment from ill-intentioned people,” Lamm said in statement Friday that appears to acknowledge the building is in fact being occupied and used for th purposes protesters claim.
There were no known hasidic or Orthodox Jews living in Bloomingburg until the past few weeks.
Lamm, who is Modern Orthodox, is a son of former Yeshiva University chancellor Rabbi Norman Lamm.
Lamm’s development appears to violate the federal Fair Housing Act and, although this has not yet been litigated, it is being investigated by HUD – as FailedMessiah.com exclusively reported Wednesday.
But even if Lamm, Satmar and the Satmar newspaper Der Yid are eventually found to have violated the Fair Housing Act, it is unlikely the bell could be unrung and the housing put up for sale on the fair open market in a legal fashion, meaning that facts on the ground, even if illegally achieved, probably mean more than the law itself – unless federal or state prosecutors move to prosecute violators for racketeering or related crimes, if any have been committed.