India Abroad May 2, 2014 A33 US NEWS
Venture capitalist and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla’s daughter, Nina Khosla
was victimized by her ex-boyfriend,
who threatened to publish her naked
photographs online as part of an extortion plot.
Douglas Tarlow, 27, was arrested by
the Federal Bureau of Investigation
after a complaint was formally filed by
federal agents in the Federal Court in
San Francisco in March.
“Yes, we did make an arrest. He
(Tarlow) was arrested in Ohio last
week,” Peter D Lee, media spokesper-
son, FBI, told India Abroad. “The sus-
pect will be making his court appear-
ance here in the Northern District of
California. This is a federal case because
there is a multiple interstate nexus and
that constitutes a federal crime.”
According to US State District Court
Southern District of Ohio at Columbus
documents, Tarlow was arrested April
18. He appeared in the District Court of
Ohio and on the orders of Magistrate
Judge Norah McCann King, he surren-
dered his passport. Tarlow is not in jail.
William Bastone, editor, The
Smoking Gun, which broke the story,
told India Abroad that he spoke to
Nina, but she declined to answer questions about the case.
‘I’d prefer that you didn’t write about
that,’ she told him, adding that her family had contacted law enforcement soon
after receiving threatening communications.
According to the court document
Tarlow, a Stanford University graduate,
met Nina in 2007. In 2009, Nina voluntarily sent him her nude photographs through e-mail and instant messenger.
The relationship ended in 2010.
Despite that, Nina’s mother Neeru,
founder CK-12 Foundation, hired
Tarlow in July 2011 on an annual salary
of $125,000, but his contract was terminated in February 2012.
The suspect allegedly started black-
mailing Nina on September 3, 2012,
when he sent her a text message, con-
taining her photographs. He wrote,
‘Shall I call you Paris?’
According to the affidavit, he also sent
the photographs to her mother, saying,
‘It seems you’re going to be the mother
of the next Paris Hilton.’
He also told Neeru that she owed him
$72,000 from his tenure at the compa-
ny, the report alleged. The blackmailing
continued for more than a year. Tarlow
allegedly threatened that he would post
the photographs on Reddit.
He kept sending the duo photographs
until the FBI arrested him.
On November 2, 2010, in his accept- ance speech on being elected Governor of New York, Andrew
Cuomo declared, ‘We got such fantastic help
from our brothers and sisters in the labor
movement,’ and then rattled off half-a-dozen
names, including that of labor union activist
Last month, the media-shy Corona,
Queens-born and New Jersey-raised
Kwatra, 39, was hired by Cuomo as his chief
strategist for his re-election campaign.
Kwatra’s enviable network of contacts in
labor groups and government would be
indispensable not only for a decisive gubernatorial victory, but possible for a
Presidential run in 2016 where Cuomo
would be up against Hillary Clinton, Vice
President Joe Biden, and Maryland
Governor Martin O’Malley among others
vying for the Democratic nomination.
Most recently, till he founded his own
company — Metropolitan Public Strategies
— last year, Kwatra was chief of staff for New
York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
From 1998 through 2007, working
through the ranks he became the influential
deputy director of the Department of
Strategic Affairs at Unite Here, followed by a
stint as political director of the New York
Hotel and Motel Trades Council.
As he has done since the time he was with
Unite Here, Kwatra, who has been interviewed and profiled only by Crain’s New
York Business magazine, despite persistent
efforts, shied away from talking to India
Abroad, saying he was prohibited from discussing his new position and his specific
responsibilities, but promising to talk after
When he was hired by Schneiderman in
January 2011, Crains headlined its report,
saying, ‘Union hotshot to run new AG’s
office: New York Attorney General Eric
Schneiderman taps the Hotel Trade
Council’s political cloutmeister, Neal Kwatra,
as his chief of staff.’
It said that ‘in less than three years as
political director at the hotel union, Kwatra,
helped turn its 30,000 members into some
of the most sought-after ground troops in
any campaign in the state.’
Crains said the ‘hotel union had played a
key role in then Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s
re-election last year (2010), helped numer-
ous candidates win City Council races and
poured resources into Mr Schneiderman’s
effort to replace Andrew Cuomo as attorney
It also noted that ‘Mr Kwatra was offered a
job in the Bloomberg administration last
year, but decided to stay with the union.
Joining Mr Schneiderman’s team gives Mr
Kwatra a chance to work alongside an elect-
ed official who ran to the left of four rivals to
win a Democratic primary, someone closer
to his roots in the political world.’
Crains later reported how Kwatra had
been indispensable to win a stalemate with
California Attorney General Kamala Devi
Harris regarding a mortgage settlement she
was drafting with some of the biggest banks.
At the time Crains quoted Kwatra as say-
ing, ‘Everything in life is organizing, build-
ing relationships, understanding what moti-
vates people and figuring out the power
Kwatra was always a social activist, partic-
ularly during his college days at Rutgers
University in the mid 1990s, from where he
received his bachelor’s degree in political sci-
ence and journalism.
It was shortly after college that he got
hooked on the labor movement while campaigning with janitors and riverboat casino
workers in St Louis.
He brought to New York from HTC’s parent union, Unite Here, where he was instrumental in orchestrating card-check deals
that more easily paved the way for unioniza-tion drives at dozens of hotels across the
In July 2008, Crains reported how after
Kwatra arrived in New York, it didn’t take
him long to get chummy with the power brokers in city politics.
It said, at a party of labor movement leaders, attorney Kevin Finnegan expected to
introduce Kwatra around the room.
‘Then a number of people came up to Neal
to give him bear hugs,’ Crains quoted.
Finnegan, a partner at the law firm Levy
Ratner, which represents the union and that
‘I was dumbfounded by how quickly he had
Kwatra has been quoted as saying that
‘being a person of color makes you more
aware of the inequities in society,’ and that
family vacations in India and seeing the
gross inequities there was what has inspired
him to be a social activist.
According to him, his parents, had hoped
that their son would become a doctor or
lawyer, and weren’t keen on his career choice
at all. His father, a civil engineer for the Port
Authority of New York and New Jersey, and
his mother, who also worked outside the
home, he told Crains, had once compared
his devotion to the labor movement to joining a cult.
But that was then. Now his mother Pam
Kwatra, also a longtime community activist,
and an Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipient, cannot stop mentioning how proud she
is of her only child, and while apologetically
saying she cannot convince her son to talk to
the media, religiously sends India Abroad all
of the articles written about him or documenting his activism.
Delhi born Pam Kwatra, whose parents
were born in Jammu and Kashmir, but
moved to Delhi where they settled, told
India Abroad, “We are so very proud of Neal,
especially for the kind of human being he is
— because ultimately, that’s what matters in
Neal Kwatra to head New York governor’s re-election campaign
Dr Shanti Gandhi, a great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, is seeking a sec- ond term in the Kansas House of
Representatives from the 52nd District.
So far the Republican has no competition
in the primary. There is time till the end of
May, Dr Gandhi said. Last time he won the
primary in a three-cornered contest.
Though in the last election, he did not
want the media to play up his connection
with the Mahatma, many people now know
about it after it was widely reported.
Dr Gandhi said he does not want to use the
Mahatma for electioneering this time too.
“I am doing well and it (hisfirstterm) has
Shanti Gandhi seeks re-election to Kansas House
been a worthwhile experience. All of the leg-
islature and the leadership have been very
gracious to me. I have been fortunate to
make unfettered decisions since I did not
have any major sponsors who helped me get
elected,” Dr Gandhi said. “I am impressed
with the group of young Republican fresh-
men as part of a two-third majority in the
House. However, I do not believe they are a
rubberstamp majority and cannot be
dubbed as a veto proof majority in any sense.
Hence I am seeing real democracy at work in
He said, “Ihave not been a very pro-