Karimov Comes to Town

by Nathan Hamm on 10/20/2008 · 3 comments

130197.jpgCityfile decided to play a prank on a handful of New York politicians by sending a letter claiming to be from Alisher Vohidov, Uzbekistan’s consul general to the United Nations, regarding a planned visit to the city by Islom Karimov. The letter claimed that the president wished to meet with these officials, and to give the recipients extra incentive to respond, they said that Karimov was looking for ways to invest parts of a $1 billion investment fund in New York City’s economy.

Seven of the fifteen recipients bit, calling back the number the letter provided.

A rep from City Councilman John Liu’s office was so excited that she left both her office and cell phone numbers and promised that our “delegation” would be treated to a tour of City Hall. A rep from Alan Gerson’s office was equally enthusiastic, calling three times in three days to leave increasingly insistent messages about locking in a date. We heard from State Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver’s office in Albany, who said Silver would be happy to meet with us, but then left another message a few days later to explain that, unfortunately, Silver would be out of town the days we proposed. Councilmember Daniel Garodnick gave us a yes. So did State Assemblyman Dov Hikind and Councilmember David Yassky. Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum’s deputy chief-of-staff replied by email and said Gotbaum would be “honored” to meet with the President.

Among those who did not respond was Mayor Michael Bloomberg. For excerpts from some of the phone calls, visit Cityfile.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Joshua Simeon Narins October 20, 2008 at 9:44 pm

Graydon Carter, then editor of Spy Magazine, sent 1 cent checks to the (?) Forbes 400 list of richest Americans, to see who would cash them.

Donald Trump had his cashed.

Now he runs Vanity Fair, which has had some of the more interesting reporting in the last 7.7 years. Don’t tell “the man!” He’ll be sure to try something.

Vadim October 22, 2008 at 9:35 am

doesn’t surprise me a bit… I would be surprised if no one was willing to meet him…

Vadim October 22, 2008 at 9:36 am

doesn’t surprise me a bit… I would be surprised if no one was willing to meet him…

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