Big GOP Contributor Gets Bang for His Buck, Tools Around in $260,000 Ferrari
By Frank Parlato
The Niagara Falls Reporter has previously questioned why Niagara County entered into no-bid leases at 1961 Transit Road property in Newfane for voting booths and storage of records.
At first it seemed like a sweetheart deal, made between big-time GOP campaign contributor David Ulrich of Lockport and the Republican-dominated Niagara County Legislature.
Ulrich bought the 60-year-old warehouse on Transit Road for $75,340 in 2004. In 2008, he got his first no-bid lease, a five year deal that paid him more each year than he paid for the property. At $86,400 a year, for five years, and another one year renewal, Ulrich earned a cool $518,400 to store voting booths that might have been stored in any number of county-owned buildings for free.
In 2012, Ulrich got another no-bid lease for the storage of county records for $128,160 per year, for five years, for a total of $640,800.
In order to justify this expenditure, the county had to declare the 10-year-old, $500,000 storage facility they owned, and did not have to pay rent on, was in need of repair and could not be expanded.
Today, Ulrich collects $214,560 per year for a warehouse he paid $75,340 to purchase. All told he will get more than $1,158,000 in rent from county taxpayers from his current leases.
Of course, it is not all clear profit.
Ulrich has higher fuel costs.
Not for his warehouse, but for his Ferrari which gets 11 miles per gallon.
Then there is the insurance cost - not on the building - but on his Italian sports car, known for its power and precision.
His 2013 Ferrari 458 Spider, whose base model retails for $260,000, costs about $10,000 per year to insure.
Ferraris are also expensive to equip and repair.
Because no one can drive a Ferrari all the time, Ulrich had to purchase a more modest car.
A Bentley's gas mileage is worse than a Ferrari.
Ulrich had other expenses, too.
He donated more than $100,000 to elected officials.
Some of these costs were offset by the Niagara County Legislature handing Ulrich leases with Social Services, the Veteran's Office, Probation, Board of Elections, the Office for the Aging, the Department of Motor Vehicles, Human Resources and Niagara County Community College on other properties he owned.
Thankfully he made a modest profit, when, in 2005, after getting new county leases, he sold three buildings, with an assessed value of $985,000, for $9.1 million.
Still, the expenses kept piling on.
How could he say no when asked by Mark Hamister to be one of the guests at a Buffalo party, in June 2012, where Mitt Romney would appear, and for $10,000 a guest could attend an hour-long party and have a photograph taken with Mitt.
Ulrich donated to Brian Higgins, Chris Lee, Chris Collins, The National Republican Committee, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Henry Wojtasjek, George Bush, George Maziarz, Alphonse D'Amato, The New York Republican Committee, Various PACs, Nancy Naples and just about anyone else.
Back in 2007, he hosted a fundraiser at Kleinhans Music Hall for Giuliani, at $2,300 per person, where attendees got a photo-op and hung out for a half-hour with the former New York mayor who was trying to become the Republican candidate for president.
Ulrich raised more than $300,000 for Giuliani, something the gent would not have forgotten had he become president and had federal leases to hand out for vacant warehouses.
If not for his large expenses, Ulrich could be behind the wheel of a Bugatti Veyron, which at $2,400,000, is 10 times as much as a Ferrari, or the Aston Martin One -77, which retails at $1,850,000.
Ulrich also has an Aston Martin, but a much more modest model retailing closer to the $300,000 range, suggesting that the regal understated presence of the man proves that when you have it there is no point in flaunting it.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
OCT 08, 2013