Wednesday, April 16, 2014

True News Wednesday Update

Back to the Future Sharpton D’Amato Gambling Joint, AEG II?

Whoa. This is Heavy Doc, Marty McFly
Al Sharpton pal wants to open $400M NY casino(NYP)A controversial Alabama gambling operator who boasts of his ties to Al Sharpton wants to open a $400 million resort casino at Stewart Airport — just 60 miles north of the Big Apple. Luther “Nat” Winn, CEO of Greenetrack Inc., serves as a board member of Sharpton’s National Action Network. For his part, Sharpton, in a recent Post interview, insisted he had nothing to do with Winn’s New York gambling venture and was not playing holy roller for a casino. “I don’t know anything about that,” Sharpton said of Greenetrack’s casino bid. “They haven’t talked to me about it.” Greenetrack has strong New York political connections. Charlie King, a former executive director at both Sharpton’s NAN and the state Democratic Party, is a Greenetrack lobbyist. Juanita Scarlett, a member of Al D’Amato’s Park Strategies firm who used to work for Mario Cuomo and Eliot Spitzer, is the group’s publicist.

Corrupt Albany Holds A TOGA Party
What Do You Do When You Close Down the Moreland Investigation That Could Put Some of You in Jail and the U.S. Attorney Reopens it, You Throw A Toga Party

Albany On Double Secret Probation
State senator proposes dorm for legislators in Albany(NYP) A Long Island lawmaker is channeling his inner “Animal House” with a plan to build a college-style dormitory for legislators in Albany. The “legislative dormitory facility” would save taxpayers the cost of lodging state politicians in hotels while they’re in the Capitol

Big Union Party 
De Blasio’s union allies blew $800K on year-end party(NYP)The hospital workers union that rode Bill de Blasio’s wave to City Hall spent nearly $800,000 on a year-end blowout — where the mayor and his wife made a guest appearance, records show. Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union East — a 300,000-member working-class outfit — rented out three floors of the Sheraton New York for a holiday soiree that doubled as a political victory bash. “[There’s] a phrase we use in New York City politics: We say, ‘We remember who we came to the dance with,’ ” de Blasio told the raucous crowd, a YouTube posting of the speech shows. “And all I can say, on behalf of Chirlane and myself, is we came to the dance with 1199 — and we are very, very proud of that fact.” As public advocate and during last year’s campaign, de Blasio made keeping open struggling medical institutions a priority. Local 1199 returned that support — shelling out $231,000 in independent expenditures for advertisements and flyers backing their candidate.The filings newly show that the union spent more than $361,000 on politically-related mailings to its members — money that isn’t required to be publicly reported under city campaign-finance laws.

Mark Green Goes Rogue Also
"I’m happy to grade these power-players because I don’t need to have lunch in this town again" Green

 NY1 Online: Green, Reporters Discuss Cuomo-Bharara Feud Over Moreland Commission * Gov. Cuomo's ad for anti-corruption Moreland Commission criticized by former public advocate Mark Green (July 2013 NYDN) * The men behind the masks(Mark Green, NYDN) After a big week for Mayor de Blasio, Gov. Cuomo and Rev. Al Sharpton, The News asked Mark Green — who’s been in the arena with all three of his fellow Dems — to rate how they are doing. Cuomo has an unusual style of governance – avoiding nearly all TV interview shows and largely operating behind the curtain via staff and spare rehearsed lines. The Albany cliché is three men in a room running the show, but Cuomo has increasingly become the singular man behind the curtain. And that’s worked well him if you believe the metrics of polls, campaign contributions and, he argues, results.

Ravitch Spill the Inside Albany, Cuomo and Peterson Beans

Lt Gov Ravitch's memoir provides insider view of Albany's dysfunction; shows Cuomo role before he was elelected gov (Newsday) Ravitch insists there were still many admirable politicians and staff workers in New York politics, but their best efforts and reputations were compromised by an Albany obsessed with scandal and political power plays.Paterson then had to deal with scandals in his administration, including reports that he interfered with State Police to benefit a close friend who also was a top aide. "The scandals reflected not just the governor's weaknesses," Ravitch writes in the memoir obtained by Newsday, "but also a state political system that had lost its ethical gyroscope. It oscillated between insensitivity to major offenses and hot pursuit of minor or imagined ones."

"There probably weren't many senior state officials who didn't keep at least one eye on the need to cover themselves." While Paterson dealt with scandal, the Senate was in turmoil. In the summer of 2009, Republicans who lost their half-century control of the Senate mounted a coup with three dissident Democrats. That power struggle gridlocked the legislature for weeks until the dissidents struck deals for lucrative leadership posts in return for going back into the Democratic fold. "It was about this time that Andrew Cuomo, now viewed as the inevitable victor in the 2010 gubernatorial election, began to make his presence felt within the Paterson administration," Ravitch writes. Ravitch wrote "it was clear" that Lawrence Schwartz, both Paterson's chief of staff and now Cuomo's top aide, "was already taking directions from the attorney general. Cuomo had the good taste not to try to pre-empt Governor Paterson's authority explicitly, but everyone inside the apparatus had a clear sense that the transition of power was well on its way." Ravitch said Cuomo's criticism sank the fiscal rescue Ravitch was appointed to create in the wake of the state's worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression. Later, when speculation ran rampant that Paterson would resign, Ravitch said Cuomo called to ask whom Ravitch would appoint as lieutenant governor.  Ravitch, a Democrat who had key roles in the 1970s in saving New York City from bankruptcy, will release his memoir, "So Much To Do: A Full Life of Business, Politics and Confronting Fiscal Crises," on April 23. Public Affairs is the publisher.* Former Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch wrote in a memoir that in the latter days of the Paterson administration, top officials answered to then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo more than the governor, Gannett Albany reports:

Possible Shakeup of Control of the State Senate Dance
Oliver Koppell Sets New Easter Deadline for Bid Against Jeff Klein(NYO)
NY1 Exclusive: Rumblings Indicate Possible Shakeup in State Senate Leadership(NY!)
Oliver Koppell, a former Bronx councilman, assemblyman and state attorney general, says he’ll decide whether or not to challenge Jeff Klein after the Easter holiday, The Observer writes:

NYPD Ends Muslim Tracking Unit

NYPD has disbanded unit that tracked where Muslims ate, prayed & shopped, in major change under de Blasio & Bratton(NYT) * New York Drops Unit That Spied Among Muslims(NYT) * NYPD disbanding Muslim spying unit(NYP) * John Miller vows to dispel some NYPD mysteries(Capital) The focus will remain where it needs to be, depending on where the threats are coming from at any particular time or where the suspects are coming from. … But the idea of surveilling an entire community or religious group, that’s not what we do. We go to where the issue is, or where the threat is. And that is usual ly a relatively small group, not a nationality or religious group.* City Disbands NYPD Surveillance Division Created to Spy on Muslim Communities(NY1)* NYPD decision to drop spy unit lauded by Staten Island Muslims (SI Advance)

20 Days Ago Obama Said He Worries About A Nuclear Weapon Not Going Off in Manhattan

Former Modern Orthodox Met Council Head: Help Me Raise $$ So I Can Stay Out Of Prison

William Rapfogel"…Last night, as I hugged one of my grand kids who turns 7 in April, I wondered how many birthdays of hers and my six other grandkids that I would miss.  My  youngest son is 22 and "in the parsha" and my wife was talking with a shadchan last week (I cannot begin to describe how I fear my situation has impacted him) and it dawned on me that I might not be at his aufruf, or his wedding, or sheva brachos.…"
William E. Rapfogel

From the Failed Messiah Blog
The following email is allegedly circulating in Modern Orthodox circles. It contains instructions for where to send money to help former the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty CEO William E. Rapfogel get a lighter sentence in the $7 million dollar theft from the Jewish Community's New York City anti-poverty arm. Note that Rapfogel is concerned about the embarrassment he caused to the Jewish community and through it to God's name, but he does not write that he is concerned about the very real hurt and damage his alleged stealing has done and continues to do to New York City's Jewish poor:
More on Rapfogel's Non Profit Tax Shelters Connects to political payoffs

Brooklyn BP Aide Private Contract Under Investigation
City investigating nonprofit run by Brooklyn president’s aide(NYP)A nonprofit run by a top aide to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is being investigated following stories in The Post that exposed potential conflicts of interest.The mayor’s Office of Contract Services is reviewing city contracts awarded to Valerie Oliver-Durrah and her Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic, officials said Tuesday. The taxpayer-fueled group says it specializes in helping other nonprofits raise funds — and is based out of Oliver-Durrah’s Brooklyn brownstone. The New York City Mayor’s Office of Contract Services is reviewing city contracts awarded to Valerie Oliver-Durrah, a top aide to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and her Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic nonprofit

Speaker Against Vacation Time
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito opposes a bill that would require businesses with 10 or more employees to provide paid vacation time, Crain’s Insider reports:

 Newspapers False Hope Disconnect

How NYC is Losing the Middle Class
amNewYork writes that New York City must preserve its road to the middle class and can do so by building more affordable housing, a reliable health-care system, more good jobs with decent pay and a public education system that works for all* The Daily News writes that with New York City’s growing wealth gap becoming harder to bridge, the real challenge for leaders is to build an economy that creates good-paying jobs that move people up the income ladder: * New York improves business tax climate: report(NYDN)

Daily News Joins NYP and NYT Effort to Save the Horse Carriages

Horses’ asses (NYDN Ed)Animal rights extremists should leave the Central Park carriages drivers alone*Liam Neeson: Mayor's proposed carriage horse ban is a 'class issue' and puts drivers' livelihoods at risk in favor of real estate-funded animal-rights groups(NYDN) *Tuesday Carriages Belong in Central Park(Neeson, NYT) *Monday The New York Times writes that Mayor Bill de Blasio would do better to break his promise to ban horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park: Let the carriages and the horses alone. Let this small business survive. Side with the drivers and do not add fleets of new cars, electric or not, into the streets and parks.”* Why de Blasio can't ban horse carriages | New York Post * Horse Carriage Supporters Ride Momentum as Opponents Plan to Unveil Alternative (NY1)

More on the Horse Politics

Breaking News Exclusive? NOT

Daily News Gives An Exclusive to A Petition They Dreamed Up? 

A Failed Candidate Who Got Just 4.9% of the Vote for Mayor Predicts the Winner of the Rangel Race
The Daily News Continues Their Rehabilitation Mission of the Weiner

Anthony Weiner says Rep. Charles Rangel’s chances of winning re-election have become slimmer with shifting demographics in his district and that the close margin of his victory last time around was telling, the Daily News reports:  * Rep. Charles Rangel is nearing the end of his political career as the Bronx Democratic Party backs challenger state Sen. Adriano Espaillat and Comptroller Scott Stringer is expected to follow suit, Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News writes
More on the Rangel Race   

Secret City Contract Negotiations
Teachers As contract negotiations continue for New York City teachers, an issue has arisen over how to handle teachers who lost permanent jobs but keep receiving full paychecks as they fill in for absent staff from school to school for brief periods, The Wall Street Journal writes: * Parents and students may not be part of New York City teacher contract negotiations, but they should get a voice in the debate and common-sense language that any reasonable observer would see as important for the contract to include, Campbell Brown writes in the Post:

Real Tale of Two Cities Grows Wider . . . Mayor Powerless to Change
Governing by Rederick
The real job(NYDN Ed) The city's wealth gap is getting wider, and harder to bridge. An analysis of tax returns by the Independent Budget Office shows that members of the city’s top 1% saw incomes surge by a more-than-healthy 17% between 2009 and 2011 as Wall Street bounced back from the Great Recession. Paychecks for the 90%, meanwhile, barely kept pace with inflation, growing 5% overall.

A Tale of Two or Three Taxpayers
Tax documents show a stark contrast between the incomes of de Blasio and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, while they also show that the advance Gov. Andrew Cuomo received for his upcoming book was more than his salary as governor, the Times writes:

Leader of the Progressive City Council Gave Zero Dollars to Charity . . .  Only Generous With the Tax Payers Money
Mark-Viverito gave zero to charity: tax records(NYP)


Rev. "Godfather"Sharpton Poker Showmanship Magic Walk Through Life  

Mohamed Ali
Pulling Tricks From Everyone’s Sleeves(Powell, NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio can swell with enthusiasm for people and movements and moments progressive.  So he showed up at the Sheraton last week for the National Action Network’s convention to offer a rhetorical bear hug to that cat with 43 lives, the Rev. Al Sharpton. The mayor spoke of the ever-more diminutive and nattily tailored reverend in tones so reverent that reporters craned their necks to see if the reincarnated Martin Luther King Jr. had taken a seat on the dais.  . .

Buying into the 's many alibis: “If I played poker, I would want the mayor at my table,” Powell
Our mayor employs Mr. Sharpton’s longtime top assistant as the $170,000-a-year chief of staff to his wife, Chirlane McCray. Mr. de Blasio sounds ready to swallow whole Mr. Sharpton’s rap. . . “He was asked by the F.B.I. to support their efforts, and he agreed to help,” Mr. de Blasio noted. “And that’s what a citizen should do.” If I played poker, I would want the mayor at my table. In fact, Mr. Sharpton began working for the F.B.I. after agents showed him a video in which he nodded sympathetically as another gentleman — an undercover F.B.I. agent — discussed major cocaine deals.
The many willing partners of : from drug kingpins to , from to Zuckerman

A man on a first-name basis with a striking number of made men from various and many Mafia families. A Genovese here, a Gambino there, Baldy, Fritzy, Vinny the Chin, the reverend was nothing if not ecumenical.  . . Mr. Sharpton has Muhammad Ali’s ability to slip a punch; dodging these latest accusations offered child’s play. . .  The truth is that you approach writing about Mr. Sharpton with great reluctance. He’ll denounce you in the morning and prove a charming dinner companion in the evening. It’s as if he’s the love child of Houdini and P. T. Barnum. In 1986, Mr. Sharpton endorsed United States Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato, a Republican, against a liberal Democrat challenger. Afterward, Mr. D’Amato steered a $500,000 federal grant to Mr. Sharpton to establish an antidrug program in Brooklyn. Mr. Sharpton’s partner in that effort, Robert Curington, was another music producer. Mr. Curington was also a “Class 1” trafficker. The grant was later canceled. Years back, some brave black leaders, Major Owens and Al Vann, challenged the corrupt Brooklyn machine. A young Al Sharpton was aligned with their opponents, and tried to bring them down.
They sort of forgave him; everyone does.  Mr. Sharpton as a Judge Judy type. James Rosemond, his business partner, paid the airfare and hotel for this expedition, The Smoking Gun noted. Mr. Rosemond was a music industry executive. As the United States attorney for the Eastern District pointed out, Mr. Rosemond also went by the name Jimmy Henchman. He was sentenced last year to life imprisonment for running an organization that moved 50 to 100 kilos of cocaine each month.

The thing w Rev. Al is if you wait long enough, he'll say anything, some good, some atrocious & often self serving
More recently, Mr. Sharpton entered an alliance with the former schools chancellor Joel I. Klein to back charter schools. Mortimer B. Zuckerman, the publisher of The Daily News, wrote a column in which he kvelled about this strange new alliance.Maybe it wasn’t really so strange. A hedge fund backer pumped half a million into the bank accounts of Mr. Sharpton’s nonprofit.This is a well-practiced move. A couple of years back, Comcast desired a $30 billion merger with NBC. It needed federal approval. So Comcast, as the reporter Wayne Barrett pointed out, pumped $140,000 into Mr. Sharpton’s coffers. Voilà. Mr. Sharpton supported the merger.“He’s the real thing,” Mr. de Blasio said last week. Yes, he is. The real “what” is the question. * Uncle Luke Slams Rev. Al Sharpton's Past As FBI Snitch The Urban Daily

Cuomo's Trust is Everything to Me Ad

Transcript of Cuomo Ad:
Trust is everything to me. That why for all we accomplish to fix state government. Our job is not done until we clean up the legislator’s corruption in Albany. So I am appointing a new independent commission lead by top law enforcement officials all across this great state government to investigate and prosecute wrongdoing.  The politician will not like it. But I work for the people and will not stop fighting until we can have a government we all can trust * In TV Ad, Cuomo Vows to Clean Up Corruption - NYTimes

City and State Exposes A Stacked Deck At the Moreland Commission

EXCLUSIVE: INSIDE MORELAND: Moreland Commission sources say an assistant counsel to the governor, who professed himself to be the author of the SAFE Act, was selected as the lead writer of the panel’s December 2013 report after several independent candidates for the position were nixed.  An assistant counsel to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who professed himself to be the author of the NY SAFE Act, was ultimately selected as the lead writer of the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption’s December 2013 report after several independent candidates for the position were nixed, according to multiple sources within the Moreland Commission.Alex Crohn, the self-proclaimed author of the SAFE Act, had not been the Moreland Commission co-chairs’ first choice to write the much-anticipated report the Commission released on Dec. 2. . .

City & State - Co-Chairs' Picks To Write Moreland Report Were Nixed For Second Floor Insider
City & State brings the latest round of intrigue regarding Gov.  Cuomo and the Moreland Commission. Mr. Cuomo’s office reportedly pushed one of its own staffers–who lacked “professional expertise in ethics reform, campaign finance, the penal code or any of the other areas principally germane to the Commission’s work”–to write the reports.

According to the dozen Commission sources interviewed for this article, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to anger the governor’s office, Calcaterra was open with the Commission’s staff and commissioners that she was closely coordinating with the governor’s office, and that in many instances her demands were extensions of orders handed down by the Second Floor, in particular from the Secretary to the Governor, Larry Schwartz. Calcaterra, who did not return calls for comment from City & State, had been appointed executive director of the Commission by Gov. Cuomo when he announced the Commission’s creation on July 2, 2013. Just days earlier Calcaterra had wrapped up her work as the governor’s appointee as executive director of the previous Moreland Commission he had called, which focused on the Long Island Power Authority and released its final report on June 22. Sources say that after Calcaterra threatened to resign over Camarda’s hiring, the governor’s office made it clear to the co-chairs that Calcaterra would be staying on, and that the executive chamber would not agree to the hiring of an independent, good government report writer.

Moreland Dirty Tricks?
Commission sources say that by Crohn’s own admission, he was an unusual fit for the job, lacking, as he was, in professional expertise in ethics reform, campaign finance, the penal code or any of the other areas principally germane to the Commission’s work. Despite this dearth of qualifications on-paper, Crohn would not only serve as the lead writer of the Commission’s preliminary report—which, with the shutdown of the Commission, now appears will be its only report—and sources say he also wrote the much talked about dissent to the section of that report which recommended the introduction of publicly financed elections in New York State. “It’s crazy,” said the source. “It’s nothing short of crazy. It’s just completely counterintuitive.”

The Split Over Telling the Gov Causes No Trust Among Commission Members

After Perry completed the executive summary in November, the co-chairs refused to show it to Calcaterra, convinced that Calcaterra would instantly share it with the Second Floor. In response, sources say, Larry Schwartz called the co-chairs directly and insisted that they turn over the executive summary. But, Commission sources say the co-chairs were adamant in refusing, particularly Kathleen Rice, and the ensuing dispute caused a further breakdown in the co-chairs’ already icy relationship with the Second Floor. Though the co-chairs would eventually yield and turn over the executive summary to the governor’s office, thereafter the relationship between the two sides—the co-chairs and the executive chamber—would be characterized by mutual distrust.  Sources say the simmering tension split the Commission into two distinct factions: on one side, the three co-chairs, the lion’s share of the commissioners, Perry and the investigations team, and the vast majority of the staff; on the other, a few commissioners like Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, and staff members directly selected by the governor’s office, namely Calcaterra, Crohn, and the Commission’s press secretary, Michelle Duffy.* NY Minute: Cuomo staffer & Safe Act author wrote Moreland Commission report instead of panel's choice of outsider( * Cuomo’s tarnished victory(NYDN) A deal with the devils * Fallout from Cuomo's Decision to Disband Anti-Corruption Commission Continues(NY1) * Bharara Blasts Cuomo's Ending Corruption Panel The Chief-Leader* The New York Observer says Cuomo “clearly over promised” when he created the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption. The Preet Goes On(NYO)The Daily News recently noted that the commission’s co-chair, Kathleen Rice, the Nassau County district attorney, received nearly $300,000 in campaign contributions from plaintiffs attorneys Perry Weitz and Arthur Luxenberg and their wives. Their firm, Weitz and Luxenberg, employs Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a calcified symbol of the status quo in Albany. (Messrs. Weitz and Luxenberg have also been generous with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, to the tune of at least $25,000, which has raised questions about the AG’s deafening silence regarding any involvement Mr. Silver might have had in the scam allegedly perpetrated by William Rapfogel, whose wife, Judy, is Mr. Silver’s longtime chief of staff.)* Twisting and turning over ethics (Newsday) At least fights over 'reform' this season defy cliche. Dems hate the public-finance 'pilot' more than the GOP* * The corruption is a stench that is on all of us because of a few,” says as part of critique of Moreland Commission. * Gov. Cuomo's tough talk on Albany corruption was just that -- talk (Editorial) * Astorino on Moreland Commission: "We need answers from the governor"* Cuomo breaks a promise by halting the Moreland corruption investigation Buffalo News * Cosentino: The demise of the Moreland Commission Auburn Citizen

Taxi Speeding Tech
City Explores Ways to Curb Taxi Speeds(NYT)
The Taxi and Limousine Commission has issued a request for information concerning “anti-speeding vehicle technologies,” including anti-speeding devices for cars.

Cuomo Charter $$$ and Honors Well Earned and Deserved
Cuomo to be ‘honorary chair’ of pro-charter retreat(Capoital) Education Reform Now, run by hedge-funders, gave Cuomo $65,000 through its PAC since 2010

Fact the 1% Pay Half of NYC Taxes Confuses de Blasio's Tale Message
35,400 Tax Filers Pay 46% of the Total Collected
DE BLASIO AND THE 1 PERCENTERS(Capital) Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose campaign focused on the city's income disparity, expressed his gratitude for the city's top earners on Monday. - A New York City Independent Budget Office analysis shows that the top 1 percent of city taxpayers—those making $598,000 or more per year—pay $3.3 billion in city taxes, which is 46 percent of the overall total, :Top one percent pay almost half of city income taxes: IBO(NYDN) * New York collected $3.9 billion from tax scofflaws in the 2013-14 fiscal year

Harassment and Discrimination Protections Rights for Interns
De Blasio Signs Bill Giving Unpaid Interns the Right to Sue for Discrimination(NYT)Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill that extends harassment and discrimination protections to many of the unpaid young workers who flock to New York City in the summer.

Is the LICH Hospital Plan A Real Deal?
An ‘optimistic’ real estate proposal for LICH(Capital)

How plausible is Brooklyn Health Partners' plan to build 1,000 new housing units? New high-rise residential tower could push development price tag to nearly $1 billion

Conservative Ready to Go It Alone Against DiNapoli With or Without GOP
State Conservative Chairman Michael Long says his party is prepared to run its own candidate for state comptroller against incumbent Tom DiNapoli if the Republicans can’t find someone.

Rubber Barons
Dominican Condoms Paid for By New Yorkers

 Large numbers of New York City-branded condoms distributed for free across the five boroughs under a taxpayer-funded city Health Department program are being smuggled into the Dominican Republic, where they’re sold for cash, the Daily News reports: 

Schneiderman Gets involved in the Herbalife Pyramid Scheme
NY attorney general probes Herbalife: sources(NYP) New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating Herbalife over claims it is a pyramid scheme. The Los Angeles distributor of nutritional supplements is already the subject of federal civil and criminal probes over pyramid-scheme allegations.A report on Friday that the FBI and Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara had launched criminal probes of the $5 billion multilevel marketer — which sells its products worldwide through a network of 3 million-plus distributors — spooked investors and sparked a 17 percent stock sell-off.
Herbalife hired law firm Dickstein Shapiro to lobby state attorneys general on its behalf, said sources close to the situation, who noted that Schneiderman is a top focus of that effort. Dickstein gave $30,000 to the Democratic Attorneys General Association in the 2012 election cycle. Herbalife donated another $10,000 to the group in May of last year.
Last week, Herbalife raised the stakes, hiring political advisory SKD Knickerbocker Group, where Schneiderman’s ex-wife, Jennifer Cunningham, a powerful state lobbyist, is a managing director. Cunningham, the former legal counsel to state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, previously advised Schneiderman in his campaign for attorney general. Cunningham will not be on the Herbalife account, Herbalife said. “They [SKD Knickerbocker are not lobbyists and do not communicate with state attorneys general or elected officials on [Herbalife’s] behalf, nor will they in the future,” the company said in a statement.

NYP Reports Mayor's Appointment Delay May Hurt NYC's Film Business

De Blasio’s inaction may hurt NYC’s film business: insiders(NYP) New York City, which has more than quadrupled the number of TV series filmed in the city over the past 13 years, is at risk of losing that momentum to rival cities if City Hall doesn’t move on a clear and positive filming policy, entertainment insiders tell The Post.

Daily News Investigate DA Hynes

The Daily News editorial board called for ex-Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes to be probed: “There could hardly be a more grievous violation of legal ethics than for a prosecutor to allow a wrongfully convicted man to remain imprisoned after a miscarriage of justice has come to light.”

Cuomo Who Watch His Father Lose to Unknown Republican Pataki in 1994

PM Update
Several members of the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption said on the record that it could have done more, and some disagreed with its abrupt ending as part of the budget negotiations, Gannett Albany reports: 
Views from four Moreland Commission members (Lo Hud)
* Moreland corruption watchdog chair says he met weekly with Cuomo, AG Schneiderman; negotiated bills with Legislature  

Worried Because of Moreland FU
Following criticism of Cuomo’s decision to disband the Moreland Commission and of the state’s new public campaign finance system, top Democrats are starting to view Cuomo as potentially vulnerable to Republican challenger Rob Astorino
Cuomo, amid Moreland struggles, realizes he might lose(Dicker, NYP) After his worst week in office since becoming governor, Andrew Cuomo is now viewed for the first time by important Democrats as potentially vulnerable to Republican challenger Rob Astorino The changing sentiment results from the extraordinary criticisms Cuomo received last week from corruption-fighting Southern District US Attorney Preet Bharara — because of the governor’s summary dismissal of his anti-corruption Moreland Commission panel — and from an assortment of “good-government’’ over his transparently phony plan for a severely limited system of publicly financed elections.

Several Democratic strategists said Cuomo’s eroding support among politically powerful New York City-based unions, including those behind the influential Working Families Party, all but assures an unusually low turnout among the city’s heavily Democratic voters, normally the foundation for a statewide Democratic victory. A source said Cuomo was told what he already knew: While the union-controlled WFP’s leadership would like to “do’’ Cuomo as the party’s nominee, widespread unhappiness with Cuomo’s support for business-tax cuts, spending restraints and a fatally flawed publicly financed campaign system is making that difficult. * How about it, Gov. Cuomo?(NYP ED)

 NYP Cuomo Should Volunteer to Test Public Financing Andrew Cuomo meets a formidable foe(CrainsNY) If Cuomo is as serious about public financing as he claims to be, instead of trying to impose a pilot program on a fellow Democrat he’s been sparring with, he should be stepping forward to volunteer himself. * CP chair Mike Long on GOP search for a comptroller candidate. "No one has stepped forward yet. It's weird."Editorial: Feds right to review Moreland probe files(Newsday)   Cuomo Beats Sharpton for Loser of the Week* Preet Bharara’s criticism of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s shuttering of the Moreland Commission and subsequent move to take over the commission’s work earned him the designation of winner of the week. Meanwhile, Cuomo was the runaway loser of the week after taking criticism from multiple directions on multiple issues.(City and State)* Bully Meets Bully Cuomo will not be able to do to a federal prosecutor what he did" to DiNapoli, Schneiderman or de Blasio.Cuomo gets a critic his own size(Capital) * DA Fitzpatrick suggests size of Moreland Commission - 25 members - too big, laments leaks. (Huff Post)

Multiple outlets have taken a look at Mr. Cuomo’s current standing after last week’s scrutiny from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “Until the U.S. attorney explicitly says that the governor is not under investigation, Cuomo could have a cloud over him that his Republican opponent Rob Astorino will be sure to exploit,” Capital New York‘s Blake Zeff writes.* Cox: Cuomo ‘Corrupted His Own Anti-Corruption Commission’(YNN)

DN Says Cuomo Need to Control, BS He is Saving His Ass Insiders say the latest controversy surrounding Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the Moreland Commission can be traced back to his need for control, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett writes: “This was always a risk,” one source told Mr. Lovett. “He has a tendency to try and get involved in everything. He can’t help himself.”MTA, primarily a state agency, has subway ads thanking Gov. Cuomo alone among electeds for $4b in fed aid for repairs.

de Blasio Puppet Speaker Attacks Cuomo II
Mark-Viverito, displeased with Albany, seeks clarity on mayoral control(Capital)City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito may be relatively docile when it comes to criticism of City Hall and her ally, Mayor Bill de Blasio, but she seems very much up for a fight with Albany and Governor Andrew Cuomo. Last month, she took to Twitter to chide Cuomo for his “silence” after a gas explosion. In an interview with Capital, Mark-Viverito said she had nothing else in particular to say about Cuomo, but criticized the state for approving an “irresponsible” budget that undermines mayoral control of schools by guaranteeing charter schools certain protections and funding.* * New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito blasted Cuomo for an “irresponsible” budget and suggested she may push for non-citizen voting without de Blasio’s support, Capital New York reports: * Melissa Mark-Viverito Still Hasn’t Opened Bronx Office(NYO)

Is Dicker Day Dreams Or Reading the Players Right?

Many Democrats see the influence of the state’s senior US senator and a longtime Cuomo nemesis, fellow Democrat Charles Schumer, behind Bharara’s stunning criticism of the governor over his handling of the Moreland Commission panel. Bharara, once Schumer’s chief counsel, is widely believed to have political ambitions, including, possibly running, for the office Schumer himself once planned to seek: governor of New York.“Preet thinks of himself as a Democratic Rudy Giuliani, a crime- and corruption-fighter who can parley the US attorney’s job into elective office,’’ said a longtime political consultant with ties to Bharara’s office.\ “To the extent that the bloom is off the rose when it comes to Cuomo, that may open the door for Preet to run for his job sometime down the road,’’ the consultant continued.
 “Preet thinks of himself as a Democratic Rudy Giuliani, a crime- and corruption-fighter who can parley the US attorney’s job into elective office,’’ a consultant “with ties to Bharara’s office” told the New York Post‘s Fred Dicker. “To the extent that the bloom is off the rose when it comes to Cuomo, that may open the door for Preet to run for his job sometime down the road.’”

Daily News is Right de Blasio is Staying Close to Clinton . . . Wrong That is Listening to Cuomo's Advice

Mayor Clintons
de Blasio is So Happy That Cuomo and Albany Closed the Moreland Commission. By the Way the Clinton's Also Lose Thanks to A U.S, Attorney
Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted that being mayor brought a new intensity to his life that can be unnerving and said he has stayed in close contact with the Clintons and Cuomo for advice, the Daily News writesMayor de Blasio overcomes intense 100 days in office, seeking advice from Bill and Hillary Clinton. In an interview on the steps of City Hall, de Blasio spoke candidly about his life since becoming mayor. To keep his perspective, he's spoken to both Clintons 'a few times.' The conversations were enormously helpful, he said.* De Blasio on the next 100 days(WNYC)

Sharpton Also Has the Mayor's Ear
The Rev. Al Sharpton’s relationship with de Blasio has given the preacher his closest access to the city’s most powerful position since he became a top activist during the Ed Koch era, Newsday writes: * Video of the Day: “Saturday Night Live: ‘Undercover Sharpton.’” “There’s always an open line of communication. Always,” said Rachel Noerdlinger, a former top Sharpton aide who now works in the de Blasio administration. “I know there hasn’t been a thing that we have asked Mayor de Blasio to do that he hasn’t done.” Former Public Advocate Mark Green held little back in a weekend Daily News column blasting Mr. Sharpton, Mr. de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “I’m happy to grade these power-players because I don’t need to have lunch in this town again,” Mr. Green writes. Mr. Sharpton, he says for instance, has “such a high regard for the truth that he uses it sparingly.”

 The Real Tale of Two Cities Racial Segregation

Thanks to real estate developers and the hipsters gentrification creates integrated for a while

Another view of diverse, progressive NY.

Mayor's NYCHA Repair Numbers Spin, Now Teacher Teacher Retention # Off

Respecting Teachers First
Bid adieu to NYC school reform(NYP Ed)They say it’s all for the children in New York’s public schools, but somehow it always ends up being about the teachers — as Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s ode to joy at Columbia University’s Teachers College on Saturday morning made depressingly clear. “We all know that teachers play the most critical role in shaping the lives of children,” said Fariña, a former teacher. “It’s time we give teachers the respect they are due and give them room to do what they do best — and in the process return joy to the classroom.”
Spinning UFT Report Numbers
A Union Making the Case for A Raise De Blasio exaggerating number of teachers that resigned(NYP) Mayor much-hyped 100-days-in-office speech last week, declaring that 43 percent of “mid-career” teachers “resigned” from the city public-school system last year — when the actual percentage was in the single digits
Mayor's Speech May Not Have GivenWhole Picture of City Housing Authority Repairs (NY1)
Mayor Bill de Blasio listed plenty of accomplishments on the 100th day of his administration, including speeding up repairs at the city's public housing projects.
"Last year, on complex repairs needed in an apartment, major plumbing problems and other things that took very skilled labor, a typical resident waited, on average, 250 days for a repair," he said Thursday. "Now, this year at the same time, they wait 50 days."
"It takes longer than that," said Katyria Sabino, a housing authority resident.
- See more at: Bill de Blasio listed plenty of accomplishments on the 100th day of his administration, including speeding up repairs at the city's public housing projects. "Last year, on complex repairs needed in an apartment, major plumbing problems and other things that took very skilled labor, a typical resident waited, on average, 250 days for a repair," he said Thursday. "Now, this year at the same time, they wait 50 days." "It takes longer than that," said Katyria Sabino, a housing authority resident. As of Friday, it took 126 days on average to get a repair done that required skilled labor. That's two-and-a-half times what de Blasio said. "It took them 120 days to paint my apartment after I took them to court," Sabino said.
More on the NYCHA 

NY Government Officials Fear Emails, Misread Bharara Warning . . . Albany Ignored Bharara Warning
Sunday Update
Members of Gov. Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission detail frustrating environment curbed by administration (NYDN) The Daily News spoke with close to 10 sources tied to the soon-to-be-defunct panel, and a number of them denounced what they said was interference from Cuomo's office. One commission member was so angry that he wouldn't take a call from The News, signaling through a secretary that he was afraid of what he might say.Another source called it the worst time in her professional career."It was an exercise in frustration," said a third source.
The commission formed to root out corruption in state government was often divided, with the investigators on one side and Cuomo's $175,000-a-year executive director Regina Calcaterra on the other. "There was no trust there," said the first commission source. "It was pretty widely understood that anything Regina Calcaterra knew, it would immediately be on the desks of" top Cuomo aides Larry Schwartz and Mylan Denerstein. Denerstein was described as "measured" but Schwartz as aggressive. "I heard the word 'bully' mentioned more than once," said the source. The panel's zeal to investigate was repeatedly curbed by the governor's office, the source said. The commission wanted to subpoena prior ethics complaints from its ineffectual predecessor, the Legislative Ethics Commission, but was ordered not to, sources said. The frustration mounted when subpoenas were held back from entities with ties to Cuomo, including the powerful Real Estate Board of New York.Another subpoena earmarked for the state Democratic Party was initially killed. And one that had actually been served on the ad firm the party used to promote Cuomo's agenda was rescinded after Cuomo aides erupted in fury, the sources said. After the Daily News detailed the problems in a series of stories in September, the commissioners met behind closed doors, with some threatening to resign and others vowing to go public if the pressure from Cuomo's office didn't stop, sources said.The commission co-chairs, Kathleen Rice, William Fitzpatrick and Milton Williams, relayed the panel's frustration to the governor. The interference eased.Fitzpatrick acknowledged "input" on some decisions from Team Cuomo, but denied the commission was ordered to withhold subpoenas.At least two other commission members back him up. "I think a lot of times (Cuomo aides) were trying to be helpful," said one.

NY state government officials shunning e-mail: sources(NYP) Government officials are so worried about leaving an electronic trail as investigations swirl around the capital that some are now shunning e-mail, sources said Friday. “I sent an e-mail to someone and they called me back, ‘Are you out of your mind? Never e-mail me again,’ ” said one lobbyist, recalling a recent conversation with a high-ranking official. He and others are going back to old-fashioned forms of communication: Cellphones are out and land lines are back in, the lobbyist said. “They’re more secure,” he explained. The fear instilled into Albany’s political world comes from US Attorney Preet Bharara, who has taken possession of the records compiled by the anti-corruption Moreland Commission panel.

Cuomo Moreland Will End If Albany Approves His Ethics Plan
Cuomo: Moreland panel will shut down(TU)  In a 45-minute conference call with reporters, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his Moreland Commission panel on public corruption will be mothballed if the state Legislature approves the ethics reform components including in the just-struck $138 billion budget deal. Cuomo said the panel had helped bring legislative leaders to the point where they’d agree to the package of reforms, which creates an independent enforcement unit within the state Board of Elections, new public corruption felonies and tougher bribery laws, and steps up lobbying disclosure.* Gov. Cuomo is set to pull the plug on anti-government corruption commission with ethics reform package(NYDN) * Cuomo bails out on fighting corruption — Adirondack Daily Enterprise * A group is spending $300K on an ad in Syracuse & Buffalo knocking Cuomo's treatment of ethics (CS) * US Attorneys Seize Documents from Moreland Commission(City and State) * "Half a decade ago, Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo were a pair of untouchable lawmen who could do no wrong." (Politico)
More on Moreland 
More on US Attorney Preet Bharara 

Will Bharara Go After Cuomo's Pay to Play Real Estate Deals?

Cuomo Tax Breaks Development
Gov. Cuomo received $76,000 from real estate investors weeks before giving their property a tax break on bill (NYDN) Three partners at Fisher Brothers, which owns the New York Curb Exchange at 86 Trinity Place, each gave at least $25,000 to Cuomo weeks before he approved the tax breaks. The location is one of five Manhattan properties that was singled out for tax relief in a January bill.* Months before J. Patrick Barrett was named to Cuomo’s Moreland Commission to investigate public corruption, he threw a fundraising birthday party for friend and soon-to-be commission co-chair, Onondaga County DA William Fitzpatrick, netting him thousands in campaign cash.* Follow Cuomo’s money, too (NYDN Ed) As it explores how luxury condos got big tax breaks, the Moreland Commission must also probe donations to the governor's campaign* * City developer, long-time donor to Gov. Cuomo, increased donations when it stood to save $35 million with new tax breaks(NYDN) Corporations and people affiliated with Extell Development made more than $300,000 in donations to Cuomo since May 2012, around the same time the governor and lawmakers were weighing a housing bill that would save Extell millions over a decade.* Two corporations tied to Extell Development each contributed $50,000 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign the same day the Assembly passed a housing bill with tax breaks for five developers, including Extell, the Daily News reports:

True News Tuesday Wags the NYP on NY's  DA's Who See No Corruption
Why Are NYC District Attorneys Not Indicting Pols?

Insiders describe it as an inherently “political animal” that can often have trouble indicting members of the party—which in New York City is the Democratic Party—that controls who serves in the local legal system. To some extent, every Democratic district attorney has close relationships with Democratic Party leadership. With the singular exception of then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s takedown of Hevesi in a pension-fund scam, virtually all the New York anti-corruption action since 2006 has been undertaken by federal prosecutors and the FBI. Local DAs remain as quiet as the proverbial church mouse. And that’s especially true of Albany County DA David Soares, who by virtue of geography and the law is particularly well-positioned to pursue corruption.
Albany Corruption

Moynihan's Defining Deviancy Down Explains Lack of Reaction to Corrupt Politics

As the Mayor Looks to Restore NY's Liberal Tradition He Will Find the City's Political Passion Gone
In 1993, a man from the greatest generation who were  not afraid to say what they believed, Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan published one of the most important pieces of social theory entitled "Defining Deviancy Down." Moynihan believed that there is a limit to the amount of deviant behavior any community can "afford to recognize" The basic idea is that we had moved the bar for what we, as a culture and political behavior, defined as acceptable, down. Moynihan believed “we have been redefining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where political  behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard.”  Moynihan would not be shocked by the fact that voters have continue to reelect their Albany legislatures despite the dysfunctionalism and corruption that has destroyed the economy of the state and sent dozens of elected officials to jail. 

DOE Punishes Bad Teachers Who Make News

Press Control A+
DOE charges teachers with causing ‘negative publicity, ridicule’(NYP) The city Department of Education tosses an extra charge at teachers and staffers whose screw-ups make the news — claiming they “caused widespread negative publicity, ridicule and notoriety” for the agency. The DOE’s use of the bad-rep rap has risen with the explosion of social and other online media.The DOE contends bad publicity hinders employees and schools in educating students. Critics say the charge has a chilling effect on free speech. * Bronx teacher thrown in jail after criticizing principal(NYP)School probe finds 104 staff-student flings since 2009(NYP)

NYP Back to the Future Social Promotion?

Monday Education Update
Rating teachers (not)(NYP Ed) Will New York ever be in a position to fire bad teachers? That’s become more unlikely, now that Gov. Cuomo is questioning the new Common Core tests* City will spend $10M to raise starting pay for pre-K teachers (NYDN)

Sunday Education Update
New York City Schools Chancellor Calls for ‘Back-to-Basics Approach’(NYT) New York Chancellor Details Schools Plan At a speech on Saturday, Carmen Fariña said she would aim to reduce class sizes and curb the use of suspensions at the city’s public schools.Here's the full text of Fariña's speech marking her first 100 days * Rating teachers (not)(NYP Ed)
Will New York ever be in a position to fire bad teachers? That’s become more unlikely, now that Gov. Cuomo is questioning the new Common Core tests, which serve as the basis for weeding out ineffective teachers.* Schools boss Fariña hints at 'new ways' to measure city schools(NYDN)Speaking to a crowd at Teachers College, Columbia University, Fariña said that in the coming months, the city Education Department would study how to best give parents information about the quality of schools, without slapping them with an 'often arbitrary' letter grade. Bloomberg-era tests no longer top criteria for student promotion: Fariña(NYP The de Blasio administration Wednesday scrapped the results of standardized exams as the chief measure for determining promotions in grades 3 through 8.  Undoing one of the major policies of the Bloomberg administration, schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said teachers and principals would now adopt a more “holistic” approach that relies on everything, including classroom attendance, to determine which students move ahead and which get left back.Test scores would no longer be used as the “primary” or “major factor” in making those decisions, Fariña said.

“This new way forward maintains accountability, but mitigates the unintended consequences of relying solely on a single test,” Fariña said. Education reformers immediately questioned if the city was returning to the days when kids were promoted as they aged, regardless of their ability to make the grade. It also raised red flags because teachers have a stake in promoting students, since their evaluations are based, in part, on how well those students perform.* No child held behind(NYP Ed) * Educators might get to pick which students advance(NYDN) * What kids must learn(NYDN) With assurances galore that the city is not on the brink of returning to the bad old days — when students would be passed from grade to grade while learning squat — Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña rolled out a new policy weakening the role of state test scores in summer-school and student-promotion decisions. * What kids must learn (NYDN Ed) Fariña must avoid backsliding on social promotion in city schools. Carmen Fariña on her first 100 days(Capital) Picture  That Julia Louis-Dreyfus tattoo Rolling Stone cover is completely historically inaccurate! John Hancock didn't sign the Constitution, he signed The Declaration of the Independence

Will Education Changes in Promotion, Common Core and Testing Lead to A Better Education for Students?

Saturday Update
NYC schools protest ‘unfair’ state English tests(NYP)
Bill’s stranded children(NYP Ed) Among the accomplishments Mayor de Blasio cited in his speech Thursday, one was missing: classrooms for 500 charter-school kids whose space he swiped. Because he has yet to find them...* Charter school supporters, thanking Gov. Cuomo via direct mail. 

Friday Update
Common Core Gets Strong Defense From State Education Chief(NYT)
John B. King Jr., the education commissioner, fought back at criticism of the state’s efforts to adopt the standards and said there was no turning back.* The Daily News praised state Education Commissioner John King’s speech on the Common Core, in which he refused to back down from supporting the controversial curriculum:* More Than 2 Dozen NYC Schools Expected To Rally Against Common Core Exams(WINS) * The Daily News praised state Education Commissioner John King’s speech on the Common Core, in which he refused to back down from supporting the controversial curriculum:  *Education Commissioner Pushes Ahead(WSJ)
More On Education and the new Chancellor, Charter Schools

Homeless Shelter Capacity Cut
City slashes capacity at Upper West Side homeless shelter(NYP)

Affordable Housing Goes Hand and Hand With Low Wages and Cheating
The Daily News Exposes the Under Belly of the Small Group of Developers Who Control Affordable Housing Construction

(NYDN) Mayor de Blasio promises to build more affordable apartments in New York City, but several contractors working on these projects have been cited for wage cheating and dangerous working conditions. These big players have paid out a total of $11.1 million in back wages in the last three years, records show. Their shady track record doesn’t keep them from working on new city projects. The mayor's campaign to build more affordable apartments has a dirty little underbelly: Many of the contractors who build cheaper units have been cited repeatedly for cheating workers out of a decent wage, a Daily News investigation has found.An affordable housing project a few blocks away, builder MDG Design and subcontractor F. Rizos, settled federal wage-cheating charges in April 2013 by agreeing to pay $960,000 in back wages. Just one month later, MDG was hit with more wage-cheating charges on another city project, this time for $4.5 million in back wages, a city record. Workers not included on certified employee lists are told to hide when inspectors show up. Contractors write checks at prevailing wage rates, then make workers kick back a percentage to keep their jobs. “Over and over again, HPD goes back to the same small group of contractors that it has done business with for years,” said Robert Bonanza, head of the 17,000-member Mason Tenders District Council. “Regardless of their status with other government agencies, and regardless of the crimes they have committed against workers, HPD continues to do business as it always has.” Domingo Reyes, 46, who also has four children, said he was “promoted” to foreman but continued to get the same paycheck as the workers he oversaw. His boss instructed him to hide the cheating from inspectors by keeping some workers off the “certified” sheet submitted to the city: “We are 30 people working and there are half of the people on the sheet. This happens every day at 3 o’clock.” To date, the biggest wage cheating case in the city involves MDG Design. The $4.5 million decision ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor found MDG owed back wages from work at an HPD-funded project called Grand Street Guild. MDG has contested the finding. Despite this black eye, HPD then announced MDG’s involvement in building 55 affordable units at a city-owned warehouse at 337 Berry St. in Williamsburg. On its application for this job, MDG did not mention the pending case involving the Grand Street Guild project. Developers Oppose Landmarking Older Buildings A bill proposed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer would allow for a 30-day landmarks preservation review for older buildings set to be demolished, to the chagrin of developers, construction unions and affordable housing advocates, the Post writes:

How the Bad Developers Get News City Contracts
James Capalino Lobbyists for Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP for the benefit of MDG Design & Construction LLC 
Lobbyists Lined Up To Help Host Million-Dollar Bill de Blasio/Hillary Clinton Fundraiser(NYDN). Among those on the host committee for the Roosevelt Hotel soiree: James Capalino, who in the past lobbied for Rudin Management, which is developing high-end condos near the site of the shuttered St. Vincent's Hospital, and A-list lobbyist Suri Kasirer, who has met with de Blasio on Atlantic Yards project. Also Lobbying for MDG Design and Construction  Bolton St. Johns. * L+M Development Lobbyists 99 Solutions  principal is Jacqui Williams, has represented a diverse roster of clients across many industries. Notably, for the past two years, she has been a Partner with one of the state’s top lobbying firms, Patricia Lynch Associates (PLA). Prior to joining PLA, Jacqui was Senior Vice President of Land Use and Corporate Affairs for Bill Lynch Associates. She has also served as Senior Account Executive with Yoswein New York.* L & M Development Partners close relationship with elected officials * The Committee to Scam New York - Public Accountability ...

One of the biggest builders of affordable housing in the city — L+M Development — is currently using another “enhanced review” contractor Contractors are held liable if their subcontractors break the law. L+M has received millions of dollars in tax breaks and taxpayer-subsidized low-interest loans to build 6,500 affordable units across the city. It’s now working on five projects and will likely bid on more. One of L+M’s subcontractors at a city-supported project at 11 Broadway in Williamsburg was MC&O Construction of Queens.MC&O has been hit with $266,000 in federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration fines for dangerous work-site conditions in 14 incidents since 2004, starting with a worker who fell 64 feet to his death at a job in the Bronx. To date the firm has paid $149,000 to settle the cases.  L+M recently hired MC&O for a luxury rental building in Long Island City — even after its owners pleaded guilty in 2012 to criminal charges of tax evasion and paying workers off the books. In October, OSHA cited the firm for job safety violations at that site, but they settled without demanding a fine.  More on L+M Development  *** DeBlasio admin slashes capacity at homeless shelter by half (does operator Aquila still get $47 million?)

Not Only are Most Airbnb Rentals Illegal in NYC, Now They Turning Into Sex Dens
How Many Apartments Have Been Taken Off the Market by Airbnb? Has Airbrb Raised the Costs of NYC Apartments?

AirbnbBolton St Johns Screws New Yorkers
Hookers turning Airbnb apartments into brothels(NYP) Hookers are using the controversial Airbnb home-sharing Web site to turn prime Manhattan apartments into temporary brothels, The Post has learned. “It’s more discreet and much cheaper than The Waldorf,” said the sex worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The prostitute, a buxom brunette who charges up to $500 an hour, said her escort service generally rents an Airbnb apartment in the Financial District or Midtown West for up to a week at a time — then cycles numerous hookers through the place for trysts around-the-clock.

How Does Airbnb Get Away With Crap in NYC Ask Their Lobbyists Bolton St. Johns $$$

Airbnb renter returns to 'overweight orgy' | New York Post * Airbnb's New York Problem : The New Yorker * Long Term Residents of San Francisco Pushed Out of City  * New York today: the real story - The Airbnb Public Policy Blog * Airbnb is Illegal in NYC, But When There Are Dollars to Be Made… * Two-thirds of Airbnb listings in New York City are illegal ..* Turning your NY apartment into a hotel is illegal | New York ... * Williamsburg bursting with Airbnb rentals - New York Daily ...* New York Lawmaker Warns That AirBNB Could Be Used For Gambling And Drugs Next (Business Insider)
Lobbyist for Airbnb in NYC is Bulton St Johns 

Landlords Always Pushing People Out in Changing Neighborhoods

Brooklyn lawmakers push to criminalize ‘rent sabotage’(Capital)Tenants who've spent many years in the same apartments without problems have accused landlords of sending in men with sledgehammers and power saws to make the properties unliveable.  “It's a situation that's ongoing within my district, where we have landlords that are basically destroying their properties so they can get rent-regulated tenants out of their apartments so they can get increased rents,” state Senator Martin Dilan, a Democrat, said of the practice. In many Brooklyn neighborhoods, market prices can be several times what some rent-regulated apartments cost.* Brooklyn landlords pushing black tenants out for whites: suit(NYP) * Rent-stabilized black tenants in Prospect Lefferts Gardens sue landlord, claim racial cleanse bid (Brooklyn Paper)

More Sunday News
City’s hospital specialists are raking in millions of dollars(NYP)
City restaurant health inspection grades a shame: expert(NYP)

The Manhattan Bridge Apartments 
A View Without A Room
Vagrants take shelter within Manhattan Bridge’s frame(NYP) Crafty homeless are turning the Manhattan Bridge into a veritable shantytown, complete with elaborate plywood shacks that are truly “must see to believe.”One of the coffin-sized living spaces — which have been built into the bridge frame near the Manhattan entrance — is secured with a flimsy bike lock and bolted to a metal beam by its inhabitant.

de Blasio Puppet Group Not Only Opposes Rangel But Works to Split the Harlem
New York Communities for Change Endorses Mike Walrondfor Congress(NYO)

A community organizing group close to Mayor Bill de Blasio has endorsed Pastor Mike Walrond’s bid to unseat Congressman Charlie Rangel. The influential group, formerly known as Acorn, is a staunch opponent of charters and praised Mr. Walrond for appearing at a rally opposing one of the co-locations of Success Academy founder Eva Moskowitz’s schools. NYCC, backed and funded by several labor unions, achieved a degree of prominence after endorsing Mr. de Blasio’s mayoral bid early into last year’s race. They proved able to marshal ground troops on behalf of candidates in heavily minority areas like central Brooklyn and southeast Queens, but will be testing their clout this year in a district that spans uptown Manhattan and parts of the Bronx.* Walrond Gains Support of Early de Blasio backer(YNN) A community organizing group close to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has endorsed Pastor  Mike Walrond’s bid to unseat Rep. Charlie Rangel.
ACORN, NY Communities for Change

Fourth of July fireworks will return to East River this year(NYDN) * July 4th fireworks move to East River will cost NYC extra $500K(NYPMoving the 38th annual Macy’s pyrotechnic extravaganza to the East River – rather than keeping it on the Hudson River across from New Jersey, where it’s been for the past five years – will run the city an additional $500,000 in security costs, officials said Monday.* Fourth of July Fireworks Show Will Move Back to East River(NYT)

As of Friday, it took 126 days on average to get a repair done that required skilled labor. That's two-and-a-half times what de Blasio said. - See more at:

TV Thanking the Mayor for Pre-K Ads Aim to Fix His Weak Poll Numbers
Mayor's Speech May Not Have Given Whole Picture of City Housing Authority Repairs - See more at:

"It's fascinating to me that an individual who has a very significant taxpayer-paid-for communications department, who is trailed by countless numbers of reporters and cameras across the city, doesn't feel that he has a way to communicate with the public through that very obvious means of communicating," said Susan Lerner of Common Cause New York. A television ad starring Chirlane McCray looks a lot like the ads Mayor Bill de Blasio ran during his campaign for City Hall.However, the mayor is not paying for it out with campaign money. A nonprofit group, staffed by former de Blasio campaign aides, produced the spot. The group is spending more than $1 million to keep it on T-V for the next few weeks.

The NYP Exposes de Blasio Pre-K PAC  
But Say Nothing About the Corrupt Election PACs Involved in 2013 Local NYC Elections
NYT Silent On Local Impact of Citizens United on Public Financing
NYT's + Media's Blind Side The NYT has written several times on the national impact of Citizens United but never on the impact of that  special interests big money supreme court decision on the 2013 NYC election. The press is focused on  a preacher and 4-year-olds, while not reporting on how our city government was mugged by special interests Citizen United PACs and the lobbyists political consultants who do their bidding in the last election. Have these PACs made NYC government worse (if that is possible)? Have these PACs and lobbyist consultants committed crimes? stay tuned.Bill’s secret donors(NYP Ed) Are the “evil” Koch brothers funding Bill de Blasio’s pre-K lobbying group?It’s impossible to tell, because UPKNYC won’t disclose its donors. And the mayor — once a champion of transparency for political donations — has gone radio silent. Most likely, it’s the city’s public unions that are forking over the big bucks here. If so, New Yorkers ought to know — because these same unions are now negotiating contracts with the mayor. The United Federation of Teachers, for one, might also stand to gain if Albany funds a pre-K expansion that requires hiring more teachers.  How different de Blasio’s silence today is from 2010, when he blasted the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling: “Removing transparency, and the accountability that comes with it, have clearly made it easier for special interests to fund negative campaign ads without repercussion,” he said. “This unprecedented anonymous spending threatens voters and investors alike.”He could have been talking about his own group. Run by many of de Blasio’s campaign aides, UPKNYC has reportedly spent more than $250,000 on the mayor’s behalf. In February, it said it would voluntarily disclose its donors in the coming weeks, but never did. Campaign Reform and Media Cover Up of Citizens United On Local 2013 Election

de Blasio Wants Control of All the Jobs
De Blasio Administration Wants Total Control of Hiring Process, Memo Shows(DNAINFO)
Mayor Bill de Blasio is demanding total control over the hiring process in his new administration — including direct oversight of deputy commissioners, chiefs of staff and press secretaries — and those with inside knowledge say it could be slowing down the process. * Mayor de Blasio wants control over top-level hires: memo(NYDN)

Another Break In to the WTC, PA Subpoenas

Freedom of Speech Lawsuit Against Tenants
EXCLUSIVE: Harlem homeowners hit back at 'rich, powerful' real estate developer who slapped them with $4.25M lawsuit(NYDN) Three Harlem homeowners in a city-subsidized co-op want one of the city’s most prominent real estate developers to pick on someone his own size. The lawsuit was filed by Madison Park Development Associates, headed by BFC Partners managing principal Don Capoccia, who has also had a somewhat antagonistic relationship with buyers at his Downtown Brooklyn project Toren, as well as... well, most of the people he seems to come in contact with. (Capoccia told The Real Deal in 2008. * Don Capoccia: Not afraid to do battle - The Real Deal(2008) * Donald A. Capoccia - The New York Times
* Capoccia rose as a housing developer as he donated thousands of dollars to the campaigns of Mayor Giuliani, Governor Pataki, and President Bush. He recently told the newsletter The Real Deal that he launched his career by using a truck full of day laborers hired from a street corner.(Village Voice)
Lobbyists for BFC Partners Mercury Public Affairs, LLC, Michael McKeon, Jonathan Greenspun, Violet Moss,The Carey Group LLC , TLM ASSOCIATES LLC

The revolving door to decay(NY World) A jail sentence for its landlord grants little reprieve for a suffering Bronx apartment building, now slated to go to auction

No Investigative Journalism Allows Corruption to Grow U.S. Attorney Bharara (Update)

NY's Media Gang Ignores Bharara
As the media goes after every detail of Gov Christie defense of closing a bridge, not a Preet is heard about Albany Speaker Silver and the rest of the crooks cutting Moreland's investigation funds.  New York City's media seems to have an on and off switch on investigative journalism or who they go after.  Ask Liu or Spitzer. Every elected official and the flacks, media barrons and prosecutors who protect them understand that only media attention to government scandals can cause enough public pressure to an demand investigation. Over 90% of media coverage are press releases or tipped stories from lobbyists, flacks or elected officials. Today's new generation of journalists think publishing information first is more important than independent analysis to inform the public what is really going on. They have become dependent on the lobbyists, flacks to get them their fix of breaking news which usually is limited to who an elected officials will appoint, new programs and the spin of the day coming from people payed to cover up the truth. Helps create batzarro politics where pols take credit for what they promise not how well they deliver services or make proper decisions.

NYT: Albany Will Never Clean Itself Up
Mr. Cuomo’s Gift to the Cynics(NYT Ed) So much for the governor’s promise to fight corruption in Albany. He shut down the independent ethics commission before it had a chance to do its job. Nine months ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo looked New Yorkers in the eye and said, “Trust is everything to me.” Don’t believe it. Mr. Cuomo uttered those words in a campaign-style TV ad announcing that he was creating an independent Moreland commission of “top law enforcement officials” to “investigate and prosecute wrongdoing” in New York State politics. “The politicians in Albany won’t like it,” Mr. Cuomo said, “but I work for the people, and I won’t stop fighting until we all have a government that we can trust.”

The U.S. Attorney Takes Control of the Moreland Files
Well, Mr. Cuomo stopped fighting. He has pulled the plug on the commission. Its website still promises the delivery of a report or reports by next January, but that’s not going to happen. Whatever records, files and leads it has accumulated over nine months have been taken away in trucks sent by the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara. Well, Mr. Cuomo stopped fighting. He has pulled the plug on the commission. Its website still promises the delivery of a report or reports by next January, but that’s not going to happen. Whatever records, files and leads it has accumulated over nine months have been taken away in trucks sent by the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara.

The Governor Used Moreland As A  bargaining Chip To Pass His Budget
Mr. Bharara said on Thursday that he was taking over the commission’s work, with a sharp rebuke to Mr. Cuomo for dismantling it so early. In a letter to the commission this month, Mr. Bharara said it was hard to understand why Mr. Cuomo would shut down its “aggressive, active and ongoing” work before it was finished. He voiced concern at the appearance that the investigations “have been bargained away as part of the negotiated arrangement between legislative and executive leaders.” Commission members had already complained that the group was subjected to meddling and micromanaging by Mr. Cuomo’s office. One member told The Times that top Cuomo aides — his secretary, Lawrence Schwartz, and counsel, Mylan Denerstein — “would routinely call and say, ‘How can you issue a subpoena like this?’ or ‘These people shouldn’t be on it.’ ”

Mr. Cuomo’s aides dismissed reports of interference in the Moreland Commission by the governor as “fiction.”
The Daily News reported last fall that Mr. Cuomo’s office had reined in the commission when it was trying to investigate tax breaks for the powerful real estate industry, persuading it not to subpoena the Real Estate Board of New York, whose leaders gave generously to the governor’s campaigns and supported the Committee to Save New York, a business coalition that spent millions on ads supporting the Cuomo agenda. Mr. Cuomo’s aides dismissed reports of interference as “fiction.” Mr. Cuomo insists that the commission was no longer needed because — believe it or not — Albany’s ethics problems have been solved, by a package of reforms that was part of the negotiated budget deal.

Last Week True News Said Albany Kills the Investigator, Friday the NYT, NYP, DN Agrees
But the changes — like tougher penalties for bribery — don’t come close to the large-scale reforms Albany needs. They don’t fix New York’s notoriously weak campaign-finance laws, reduce contribution limits or close loopholes that leave the capital awash in money, the fuel for its corrupt pay-to-play culture. Instead of enacting statewide public campaign financing, the package created a pilot program that provides public funds for one office, state comptroller, just for this year. Mr. Cuomo calls this a victory, but it only proves cynics right: Albany will never clean itself up. The commission should have been given the time it needed to complete its daunting task, wherever it led. It should have been allowed to put cases before prosecutors and a spotlight on the many rotten and entirely legal practices used by Albany politicians and lobbyists for their own gain.  That job was abandoned. We’re still waiting for a government we can trust, but Mr. Cuomo has moved on.

NYP  and Daily News
Also Cheers the Federal Investigation of the Albany Men's Club
Sitting Preet-y(NYP) A funny thing happened on the way to disbanding the Moreland Commission Gov. Cuomo set up to investigate the state Legislature: It may end up as a federal investigation of the governor. Now someone outside the Albany men’s club will be taking a closer look at what Moreland unearthed. While it is true that the Moreland Commission was supposed to be temporary as Cuomo said, New Yorkers expected it to finish its work and not have the rug pulled out from underneath it * U.S. Attorney Takes Over State Probe(WSJ)

DN: Bharara Goes After Albany's Culture of Corruption

DN: Go, Preet, go
Happy hunting” writes the Daily News Editorial Board, saying Bharara must do his darndest to salvage the Moreland Commission’s work and follow the evidence wherever it leads, no matter to which branch of government. Happy hunting to Bharara, who must now do his darndest to salvage a sweeping Capitol fumigation that never should have been abandoned. Few people put elected thieves behind bars with the prowess of Bharara. It was, in fact, a flurry of indictments from his office early last year that helped prompt Cuomo to demand reform from the Legislature in the first place. Give Bharara loads of credit for frontally challenging the deal in a letter to the commission.

“If you begin investigations and you begin them with great fanfare, you don’t unceremoniously take them off the table without causing questions to be asked,” Bharara told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer. The commission — knowing better than to pick a fight — responded by agreeing to turn over all of its case files, giving Bharara free rein to comb through, top to bottom. Bharara should go further and spotlight standards and practices that may not qualify as bribery or fraud but are nonetheless creating a climate rife with double-dealing, conflicts of interest and influence-peddling. An especially egregious example: the sweetheart tax breaks awarded to the One57 luxury condos in Manhattan — after its developers and others pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into various Albany campaign accounts. The commission had also subpoenaed records of lawmakers’ murky outside income, including upwards of $500,000 that Assembly boss Sheldon Silver collects from a personal injury firm, and at least $250,000 that Senate chief Dean Skelos is paid by a Long Island firm that also happens to lobby the Legislature. The Albany housecleaning is dead. Long live the Albany housecleaning. * 'WE'RE GOING TO SEE WHAT THE FACTS ARE:' U.S. Attorney won't rule out ethics probe into whether Gov. Cuomo interfered in anti-corruption commission(NydN) * ‘Not my choice’(Capital) Moreland chair on Cuomo, Silver and the load of Albany dirt headed to the U.S. attorney* Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is trying to raise money off of editorials slamming Cuomo for shuttering the commission.

The U.S. Attorney Who Has Put Corrupt Pols in Jail Does Not Understand Why the Moreland Commission Was Ended

Albany Games Corruption
U.S. Attorney Criticizes Cuomo’s Closing of Panel(NYT) A commission on public corruption, whose credibility had been questioned by watchdog groups, was disbanded by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as part of budget negotiations. Mr. Bharara sent the commission’s chairmen and top officials a letter saying he was “disappointed to learn” of the commission’s “premature end,” acknowledging that its work was “aggressive, active and ongoing,” but incomplete, and calling its shutdown “difficult to understand.” In the letter sent April 3, Mr. Bharara asked the chairmen and the commission’s staff — all of whom were appointed by the governor — whether Mr. Cuomo had abandoned his commitment to fight corruption for a short-term political gain. Bharara will take possession of all of the panel’s case files. *Bharara: "I don't have any interest in politics" Bharara won't rule out ethics investigation into Cuomo's involvement in Moreland Commission * U.S. Attny Bharara Doesn't Rule Out Probe into Cuomo-Moreland (Audio, WNYC) * Bharara on the premature end of Cuomo’s ethics commission(Capital) * ‘Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day:’ Preet Bharara Continues Cuomo Criticism on Anti-Corr...(NYO)

Daily News Hinting Bharara Vs. Cuomo, Ben Smith Bharara and Shumer Vs Cuomo
Preet Bharara won't rule out ethics probe into Gov. Cuomo(NYDN) US Attorney Preet Bharara of the southern district Thursday did not rule out investigating whether Gov. Cuomo and his aides improperly intervened with the investigations undertaken by the governor's anti-corruption commission. "We're going to look at the documents, we're going to see what the facts are, and if there are questions that are appropriate to ask, as I think the public knows by now, there are strong-willed and aggressive--but fair--people in my office who will ask those questions," Bharara said during an appearance Thursday morning on WNYC public radio's "The Brian Lehrer Show."The News also detailed last fall involvement by Cuomo and his aides in the operation of the Moreland Commission. Cuomo aides, the News reported, ordered the panel to withhold certain subpoenas that were set to go to interests with ties to the governor, including the Real Estate Board of New York and the state Democratic Party. The News also reported last fall that Cuomo and his staff met directly with the commission's co-chairs last September. Bharara called such revelations troubling, if true.* Who gets possession of the NSA analytics software? Cuomo, Schneideman, Bharara? What's nexus btwn bills, donations, etc.?
So Schumer & Cuomo worlds have some overlap... but are they about to go to war? Any chance Preet wrote that letter without consulting Chuck?*
Schumer spox : "There is no way Preet would consult Chuck on something like this..." 1/2

Hidden Party Housekeeping Accounts Continue

Ending Moreland Fiction?
“Gives the appearance, although I am sure this is not the intent, that investigations potentially significant to the public interest have been bargained away as part of the negotiated arrangement between legislative and executive leaders.” Bharara

“The sequence of these events gives the appearance, although I am sure this is not the intent, that investigations potentially significant to the public interest have been bargained away as part of the negotiated arrangement between legislative and executive leaders,” he wrote.Mr. Bharara requested that commissioners and staff members preserve the panel’s investigative files.On Wednesday, in a letter addressed to the 24 members of the commission, Mr. Bharara reported that the panel’s chairmen — William J. Fitzpatrick, the Onondaga County district attorney, and Milton L. Williams Jr., a former state and federal prosecutor in Manhattan — had agreed to turn over the files. The sudden turn of events raised the possibility that Mr. Cuomo’s dealings with the commission, which once seemed likely to burnish his reputation as a reformer, could now become an embarrassment for the governor. A spokeswoman for the governor, Melissa DeRosa, said: “The Moreland Commission was designed and formed to be a short-term, temporary commission to recommend and spur legislative action, which it did successfully. The order establishing the temporary commission directed referrals upon its conclusion to the attorney general, district attorneys and U.S. attorneys and that’s what it is doing.” The move by the United States attorney, Preet Bharara, amounted to an unusual rebuke of Mr. Cuomo, a former prosecutor himself, who swept into office four years ago promising to clean up what many have called a culture of corruption in Albany. Asked to comment, Matt Wing, another spokesman for Mr. Cuomo, said, “The Times’s dependence on anonymous sources is once again turning their stories into fiction.”* * The Moreland Commission spent more than $1 million since its creation last July, but, with its disbanding through the state budget, it’s unclear what return on investment New York taxpayers will receive, the Gotham Gazette writes. And, in other news, Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s administration does not appear to be a fan of the Times, lashing out against today’s report, on criticism against his anti-corruption efforts, by declaring, “The Times’s dependence on anonymous sources is once again turning their stories into fiction.”
Why did Giuliani keep the taping of Sharpton quiet all these years?
Giuliani implies he was involved in helping wire Al Sharpton in the 80s * Rudy Giuiani Implies He Was Involved in Wiring Al Sharpton(NYO)

"Preet Bharara stands tall vs. Cuomo's Moreland Commission shutdown"

In NY Pols Kill the Corruption Investigators
Is Liu Leading the Fight To Block A CFB Investigation of the Role Citizens United PACs, Lobbyiss Played in the 2013 Campaign?

NY is so corrupt the DAs look the other way and investigations of political corruption are stopped in the political system with the media looking the other way

The Moreland Commission is quietly shutting down.

 Monday Corruption Update
A PAC formed by Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans running for Congress raised nearly $1.8 million, though just $91,500 was used for candidates, the New York Post writes: 

Sunday Update
Gov. Cuomo calls in his probers, and Albany keeps dancing. Secrets and money go together in Albany — and the parties that have traded in both can rest easier with the demise of Gov. Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission. "Despite the CFB’s accolades, [former city Controller John] Liu’s lawsuit brings to the fore a larger question that has been quietly debated by campaign finance experts and candidates for some time now: whether the weight of carrying the campaign finance reform banner has become too heavy a burden for the agency," C&S reports 

William Fitzpatrick, a co-chair of the Moreland Commission, said the panel would refer criminal findings to other agencies and eventually make them public if the Legislature shuts it down, the Syracuse Post-Standard reports: *DA Bill Fiztpatrick called Speaker Sheldon Silver’s condemnation of the Moreland Commission as a fishing expedition “the dumbest thing I’ve heard in four decades of public service.”* New NYPIRG analysis shows hedge fund founder James Simons legally gave $1 million to State Dem Housekeeping account in 2013.*NYPIRG: Cuomo Biggest Beneficiary of NY’s Mega Donors(YNN) * Document Drop: NY's Biggest Donors Of 2013 | New York Daily News More on Simons' Cuomo connection here:* A big part of the Cuomo legacy is tied to the fate of the Moreland Commission, will he agree to kill it?(NYDN)*Cuomo says he wants campaign reform, but then lets BIG money win yet again! (TU) * Casey Seiler explains how the 2nd Law of Cuomo came into play during the public campaign finance debate.More on the CFB PAC Investigation of the 2013 Election  *Campaign Reform and Media Cover Up of Citizens United On Local 2013 Election * Lobbyists the New Permanent Government  * US Attorney Preet Bharara * Moreland Investigation Updates or Media Cover-Up * Astorino: Investigate Silver(YNN)

Buzz: CBS Playing the LA Move For Cover of NY Tax Break That is Coming Their Way?
CBS Wined and Dined
Colbert seen as likely to keep ‘Late Show’ in New York(Capital) "The Late Show" is likely to stay in New York City when David Letterman leaves and Stephen Colbert takes over, sources familiar with Colbert's thinking told Capital today. And the rank and file at "The Colbert Report," his Comedy Central show, are operating on the assumption they are invited to follow the comedian to staff "The Late Show," and stay in New York, someone familiar with Colbert's transition plan told Capital.* Hello Deli Owner: 'I Haven't Watched Too Much' Colbert(WSJ)

Trump Golf Course Costs 10X More Than Original Price $236 Million
Gonzalez: GROUND HOG! Trump's golf course at Ferry Point will cost city $236M — ten times more than the original cost when construction began 14 years ago(NYDN)

de Blasio 100 Days Speech
Going My Values Father Speech
With 100 days in office under his belt, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is pledging to focus more on the grassroots-activist style he brought with him to the job 

Friday Update
Preacher Not Manager
the speech was criticized for being low on specifics. “So maybe he will eventually figure out that constantly preaching to his own choir, despite the hallelujahs and amens he gets from that choir, is no way to run any big city, particularly this one,” wrote Mike Lupica in the News. “A hundred days in, you get the idea: The de Party is doing just swell. If you don’t believe that the city is being transformed, and this quickly, you just don’t get it.”

Mayor de Blasio still sounds like a candidate in his speeches and acts like he was elected to govern only those who think exactly the way he does, the Daily News’ Mike Lupica writes:

Brooklyn bishop's brother-in-law tapped to mark de Blasio's 100th day(NYDN)
Missteps Aside, de Blasio Looks to Focus Anew on Activist Style(NYT) After 100 days as mayor, Bill de Blasio is sleeping less than six hours a night, stealing downtime with his son and pledging to “focus even more deeply” on the grass-roots-activist style he took to City Hall. * De Blasio: ‘You Can’t Be Passive in a Role Like This’(NYT) * Mayor Bill de Blasio has had mixed success in the early months of his administration, from his Pre-K victory to his struggles with the media, City and State  *  

The Daily News writes that the 100-day mark of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s mayoralty demands that he learn the right lessons from the beginning of his term to embrace more pragmatic leadership on top issues: * The Post writes that marking de Blasio’s 100th day in office isn’t about his record as mayor; rather, it’s about how he sees himself as a national spokesman for progressivism: * Twenty de Blasio promises, 100 days in(Capital) Status report on a promised transformation* De Blasio Memo Previews Tomorrow's 100-Day Speech(NYDN) * Grading Mayor de Blasio’s first 100 days(NYDN) * The next 1,000 days(NYDN Ed) Lessons from Bill de Blasio’s rocky start * As Mayor marks 100 days, find out what guides his deputies: At City Hall, the New Face of New York(WNYC) * Mayor de Blasio on always being late: Hey, at least I’m not George W. Bush.(Always on Time) NY Mag * .: "I spend so much time out with people around this city that I can tell what is registering.”* . & have not spoken since inauguration day * City & State tracked three successes and three failures of the de Blasio administration thus far. One cited failure is “Media mishaps”: “[T]he mayor has been less than transparent on several seemingly minor issues, giving relatively meaningless stories extra legs, when simply being forthright in answering questions would serve him best.”* Rudy Giuliani Says ‘There’s No Hope’ for Bill de Blasio if He Keeps Being Late(NYO)

de Blasio Ad Aims to Improve Poll Numbers

The campaign is not over, where is the govern

UPKNYC, the Bill de Blasio-backed nonprofit supporting his agenda in Albany, has turned its focus to New York City, where they are running a new $1-million ad campaign declaring victory on the pre-K battle, The New York Times reports. “From our family to yours, thank you,” says Mr. de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, in the ad. (UPKNYC wouldn’t disclose the source of their funding.) Pre-K Victory Ad With Mayor de Blasio’s Family Aims to Help Him Regain His Footing(NYT) The commercial begins with a photograph of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s smiling children as toddlers.

As a piano plays softly, his wife, Chirlane McCray, appears on the screen, extolling the education initiatives her husband has spearheaded in City Hall. Allies of Bill de Blasio spent nearly $500,000 to put the ad on the air, and they plan to spend more to keep it on through the month —and are expected to spend more than $1 million to keep on air this month—.  Scoop from : Bill Hyers is now advising de Blasio again, this time at City Hall as mayor resets:* Hey, de Blasio, what’s your plan for better schools?(NYP) * After nearly 100 days in office, it’s time for Mayor Bill de Blasio to provide specifics about his education plans, not just well-crafted rhetoric, New York City Parents Union founder and President Mona Davids writes in the Post: * De Blasio has hired Adam Cohen, who had been a special adviser to Andrew Cuomo and worked for NYT edit board (Capital)* 's first 100 Days: a mix of promises fulfilled and missteps, all dominated by pre-k fight:(AP) “Bill de Blasio, New York City’s first Democratic mayor in a generation, has been in office nearly 100 days, a time marked by political hardball over pre-kindergarten, second-guessing over snowplows and an unfortunate attempt to eat pizza with a knife and fork.” * Poll: NYers Don't Like What Mayor Has Done So Far With Charter Schools   * John Del Cecato—the political consultant behind de Blasio’s campaign ad featuring his son Dante’s Afro, and the mayor’s “tale of two cities” message—has been helping de Blasio craft his 100-day address, the Daily News writes

City Council: NYC ID Cards, Photo Evidence for Violations
A bill set to be introduced to the New York City Council would make municipal identification cards available to all city residents regardless of citizenship statusBill Would Establish City ID Cards(WSJ)Council Bill Would Require Photo Evidence When Issuing Violations(NY1)

NYCHA Soylent Green Seniors

Seniors face eviction if they don't move to smaller apartments: NYCHA(NYDN) More than 6,500 seniors living in public housing face eviction if they don’t agree to relocate to smaller apartments, NYCHA revealed Wednesday during a City Council hearing.  Questioning from City Council members and Public Advocate Letitia James at the hearing centered around the sick and elderly who go through tremendous shock or strain if moved to a new, unfamiliar apartment that may not be suited to their needs.

de Blasio Changing and Testing Relationship With the NYPD

De Blasio’s surprising praise for the NYPD(NYP) De Blasio should be congratulated for celebrating the intertwined spread of peace and prosperity throughout New York. Those triumphs occurred before his watch, however. Check those same crime and property-value maps in another five years to see whether de Blasio’s own policies have benefited the city or set it back. 
More About Bratton and the NYPD

Crime Rate Trending Up
According to the latest CompStat, the murder rate is up 18.2% over the last 28 days

Cop in Coney Island Fire Has Died
NYPD cop declared brain dead as a result of a fire started by a "bored" teen(NYP) Officer Dennis Guerra, 38-yr old married father of 4, who gave his life keeping NYers safe.

  1. It never made any sense that Sharpton survived Tawana Brawley. Makes a little more sense now. The Al Sharpton story always an odd one more and more seems to be a helluva one--mostly still unwritten, too. But suddenly clearer.
    Why did Al Sharpton allow FBI to wire him? Patriotism or blackmail pressure?

GOP To Use de Blasio Low Poll Numbers On Staten Island in Congressional Race
In an effort to keep the Staten Island congressional seat held by Rep. Michael Grimm in Republican control, the GOP plans to tie de Blasio and his drop in popularity since his election, to Democratic challenger Domenic Recchia, the Daily News writes:

Weak Law Past By Albany Weakens Ethics and Campaign Finance Enforcement
While legislative leaders touted a piece of the budget that they say creates a test case for public campaign financing, some lawmakers and advocates say the deal quietly weakened ethics and campaign finance enforcement, Newsday writes: 

Traffic Control Spin

Charges dropped against Manhattan man, 84, given a jaywalking ticket by cops: lawyer  (NYDN)Kang Chun Wong was stopped by police on the Upper West Side in January for allegedly jaywalking. During the encounter, he was knocked to the ground, struck his head and blacked out.*An Atlantic Avenue slowdown, absent speed cameras(Capital)Today the de Blasio administration put Atlantic Avenue drivers on notice.* Brooklyn’s Atlantic Ave first to see speed limit drop(NYP) * Atlantic Avenue Speed Limit Lowered to 25 Miles an Hour(WSJ) * Atlantic Avenue first city road to go to 25 mph(NYP)

Gillibrand Attacking Sexual Assaults Everywhere But Albany? Why?
'UNACCEPTABLE': Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand targets sexual assault on college, university campuses(NYDN)
Vito Lopez Lawsuit Filed in Manhattan
Women who accused Vito Lopez of sexual file updated lawsuit in Manhattan court (NYDN)* Vito Lopez sex-harass accusers sue state(NYP)
From Hush Funds to Court Media Cover-Ups
Silver’s robed protector (NYDN Ed) In an ridiculous ruling, a judge shields the Assembly speaker. 
More on the Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline 
 More on Kellner and Albany's Sexual Abuse
More on Speaker Silvers Corruption

Fariña: From Competition to Collaboration
In 2005 Fariña said “impressionable” students could believe their school is identified with a particular religion if services are held on the premises.
Fariña: From Opposition of Religious Services in Schools to Quiet
In a shift from Bloomberg policies that encouraged competition, New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña introduced a plan to pair schools with certain strengths to share practices and establish collaboration, The Wall Street Journal reports: * Despite testifying in 2005 that she was opposed to allowing religious services in public schools, Fariña is quiet on the topic now; though an advocate close to her says the chancellor is expected to follow de Blasio’s lead on the issue, the Daily News writes:* Schools as Allies, Not Rivals(WSJ) * Schools boss Fariña silent now on prayer issue(NYDN) Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would allow religious services in public-school buildings, contradicting statements made in 2005 by current schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, who originally opposed the idea but now agrees with the mayor, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * With groups largely coming out against the Common Core standards, Higher Achievement New York has been created to help better explain the standards and how they will benefit students, WNYC reports: 

New Council Spends More $$$ Already
City Council plans 10 percent raise in its budget(NYP) The move by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito follows five years of relative austerity under her predecessor, Christine Quinn, who ended her tenure with a $51.5 million budget. The new budget for Fiscal Year 2015, which starts on July 1, will be $56.9 million.

New Head of NYSUT Will Not Endorse Cuomo

New NYSUT President Karen Magee said she can’t imagine the union’s teachers would consider endorsing Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and she added—regarding backing Rob Astorino—that the field is open as to who gets a potential endorsement, the Buffalo News writes: Karen Magee is only the 3rd president in 's 42-year history, following Tom Hobart and Richard Iannuzzi  * Gov. Andrew Cuomo called new NYSUT president Karen Magee today after her election this weekend, but Magee said the union still is unlikely to back the governor’s bid for re-election, Gannett Albany reports:

With the Smith Trial Date State A Chain Reaction That Bags the AIG Pols?
Sen. Smith’s fraud and bribery trial set for June(NYP) A federal judge on Monday ordered state Sen. Malcolm Smith’s fraud and bribery trial to begin June 2, quietly rejecting the powerful Queens Democrat’s bid to push the date back a few months so he could smoothly seek re-election. Tabone is accused of pocketing $25,000 as part of a failed scheme to get Smith — one of the state’s top Democrats — on the 2012 Republican line for mayor. Smith’s lawyer, Gerald Shargel, told The Post “we’ll be ready for trial” June 2 .* In State Report on Casino, a Few Cameos for Sharpton(NYT)
More on the AEG Cover Up
More on the Malcolm Smith Scandal

Barron Heckles de Blasio Feels Left Out of Housing Plans He Voted for In the Last Council

Former councilman heckles de Blasio at press conference(NYP)  “I just wanted to come and let you know some of the other players that might have been left out of this, and that this process was long on the way, and we approved it in the last council administration,” Barron interjected mid press conference, chiding the mayor for not inviting him to the event. The mayor promised that East New York would get more attention in the future. It was actually the Bloomberg administration that launched the $90 million project in 2012. But de Blasio will be responsible for providing the low-income tax credits. The mayor has promised to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing during his tenure.* Whether de Blasio achieves his ambitious housing goal could depend on how he measures “affordable” * Livonia Developer Took Fee Cut(NYDN) Martin Dunn, the developer of the Livonia Commons complex in East New York, Brooklyn, took a 15 percent cut in his developer's fee to help Mayor Bill de Blasio achieve his affordable housing goals.

New Finance Dept Head Question in Hevesi Pension Scandal  . . . Saw Reported What?
.’s appointee to lead Finance Dept., Jacques Jiha, had, in 07, been questioned about Hevesi activity:

New finance commish: city property-tax system needs change*NYP)

From NY Sun 2007 Several weeks ago, investigators with the state attorney general's office and the Albany County district attorney's office spent hours interviewing Jacques Jiha, who served as deputy comptroller for pension investment and public finance between January 2003 and April 2004. In his position, Mr. Jiha, who worked previously as a deputy New York City comptroller under Hevesi, was in charge of managing the assets of the New York Common Retirement Fund, which was valued at the time at about $120 billion. Mr. Jiha told investigators that Jack Chartier, Hevesi's former chief of staff, would frequently approach Mr. Jiha and encourage him to meet with private equity managers about handling pension fund investments.NY Mag "As of Hevesi’s election, no one was better connected than Morris. Investigators say he helped force out Jacques Jiha, the chief investment officer for the state’s Common Retirement Fund, when Jiha didn’t pay enough attention to the equity-fund managers recommended by Morris and Jack Chartier, Hevesi’s chief of staff. Morris, investigators say, helped select Jiha’s replacement, then-33-year-old David Loglisci, a former investment banker."* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Jacques Jiha as commissioner of the Department of Finance, and Jiha said the city was going to take a close look at property tax inequities, Crain’s reports:* De Blasio Picks Immigrants to Lead Two City Agencies(NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio announced executive appointments Tuesday, including Jacques Jiha as finance commissioner and Feniosky Peña-Mora as Design and Construction Department commissioner.*Pension Fund Stringer pushes for supply-side diversity(Capital) The city comptroller asks companies held by NYC’s pension fund to disclose numbers on supplier diversity programs.

Schumer Send Our Regards & Government $$$ to Broadway

Tax Breaks to Broadway Shows Who Shuffle Off to Upstate
The Post writes that a piece of the state budget that makes Broadway shows that rehearse in upstate theaters eligible for cash grants worth 25 percent of their costs could lead to bizarre politics if Maryland’s example is any indication: * With The Phantom of the Opera, Chuck Schumer Pushes Tax Break for Broadway(NYO) * U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is proposing a bill that would allow Broadway show backers to expense $15 million worth of costs for U.S.-based projects and provide a tax break on income that lasts until a show starts turning a profit, the Post reports:

 Much About Public Financing Reforms in Albany, Results in Nothing
“Let me be that I am, seek not to alter me.”

Wednesday Update

Planned Failure
Classic Albany *Reform* Exercise: Create a public financing system for the comptroller that the comptroller won't use  Comptroller to Opt Out of Public Financing System(NYT)
Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York State’s comptroller, says the system just enacted is a badly written, sloppy piece of legislation that was obviously rushed into effect. Thomas P. DiNapoli, the state comptroller, is the first to admit that what he plans to do is hypocritical. But it is true.  By adhering to the system, Mr. DiNapoli would have to forgo more than 70 percent of the roughly $2.1 million in contributions he’s raised.

DiNapoli Who Push For Public Financing Will Not Participate in the Test Program
After decades spent calling for the public financing of political campaigns, Mr. DiNapoli, a Democrat, says he will opt out of a public financing system that New York lawmakers have just enacted, in time for this fall’s elections. Then again, Mr. DiNapoli says the new system is a badly written, sloppy piece of legislation that was obviously rushed into effect — “a Frankenstein monster,” he calls it — and he fears that it may actually have been designed to fail, by lawmakers who either do not really believe in, or do not understand, public campaign financing at all.*Election reformers push Cuomo on public campaign financing(NYP) Activists say Cuomo’s failure to deliver what advocates deem to be a stronger statewide public campaign financing system means the Working Families Party will likely endorse someone else in the November election, the Post’s Fred Dicker*Updates  DiNapoli: I Won’t Be A ‘Sacrificial Lamb’ For Public Financing(YNN) * What’s the point of that DiNapoli-specific reform plan?(Capital) * Cuomo Admin ‘Suprised’ DiNapoli Opting Out Of Public Financing(YNN) * Cox Suggests Public Financing Program Is Political Payback(YNN) * Silver Hopes For ‘A More Realistic’ Public Financing Program(NYP)

NYPIRG's Horner Great At Chasing Headlines, Not Reform

Goo Goos Its A Job 
With the feds apparently taking a closer look at the travel expenses claimed by state lawmakers, one government reformer says it’s time to rein in the system. “The system cries out for an overhaul,” said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. Lawmakers receive a flat $172 for hotel and food for each day they are in Albany. But they do not have to provide backup material to prove they were there in order to get reimbursed. “There’s enough examples that exist that shows the honor system is not good enough,” Horner said.

de Blasio's Learning Curve 100 Days
Report Card Grade Pending
“He has shown less aptitude for managing a complex city government and navigating the city and state’s turbulent politics.” “He hasn’t convinced the average New Yorker that he’s a manager,” Columbia’s Steven Cohen said.  A Learning Curve for New York City's Mayor(WSJ) While Mayor Bill de Blasio has shown he can drum up energy around a cause in his first 100 days in office, he has shown less of an ability to manage city government and navigate the city and state’s political structure * After 100 days as New York City Council speaker it’s not clear how Melissa Mark-Viverito plans to distinguish herself from the mayor, whom she largely agrees with, save for a few instances, the Journal reports: Pre-KPre-K Plans Set a High Bar(WSJ) * An interactive graphic from The New York Times breaks down the numbers from the NY1/New York Times/Siena poll on de Blasio’s first 100 days in office:*Charter Schools De Blasio’s move  The Post writes that despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s coolness to charter schools, the imbalance between demand for and supply of charter school seats is a powerful argument for immediate expansion* 67 charters left out of Cuomo's budget(NYDN) * Bratton Report Card Bratton Balancing Community Outreach, Officer Morale(WSJ) 

Mark-Viverito Report Card Speaker Mark-Viverito, Mayor de Blasio Largely in Sync(WSJ) * 55 Apartments A Day Much Yet to Do on Affordable Homes(WSJ) To reach the goal of delivering 200,000 units of affordable housing, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration must build or preserve apartments at the rate of about 55 a day. Almost 100 days in, they are behind.*de Blasio 100 Day Poll Poll Respondents Have Wide Range of Opinions on de Blasio's Tenure So Far(NY1) * Poll: De Blasio's Approval Rating at 49 Percent(NY1) * 49 Percent of New Yorkers Approve of de Blasio’s Performance, Poll Says(NYT) A survey by The New York Times, NY1 and Siena College shows a gap between the mayor’s expectations and his day-to-day ability to make social progress.  * Interactive Graphic: Mixed Marks for the Mayor’s First 100 Days(NYT) * Gov. Andrew Cuomo is more popular in the Big Apple than Mayor de Blasio, according to a poll released Monday night, Fermino writes. Nearly two-thirds of registered city voters — 64% — said they approve of the job that Cuomo is doing, according to a New York1/New York Times poll of 1,190 city residents. The mayor’s approval rating was just 49%. But New Yorkers do think de Blasio handled himself well in his budget negotiations with Albany, with 66% saying they approved of the way he pushed for a tax hike to fund prekindergarten. * De Blasio’s Google hangout ended up being a back-patting session with supporters.* De Blasio’s first Google Hangout was a back-patting session with supporters, including campaign donors and a transition team member, who were selected by the city’s Community Affairs Unit, DNAInfo reports:

NYT Wants to Charge 10 Cents 4 Plastic Bags

Good for Me Not U

Ten Cents a Bag? That’s About Right(NYT Ed) The city should go farther and find a way to rid itself of a bad habit that prizes convenience over litter, wasteful energy use and environmental damage. Until then, 10 cents a bag is a start. The bags are no good. Their use should be curtailed. The bill should pass* Senator Savino Slams ‘Half-Assed, Feel Good, Limousine Liberal’ Bag Tax Proposal(NYO)
How about stopping the NYT door deliveries in plastic? 

Pig Kellner Member Item Pork on Hold

Amid Assemblyman Micah Kellner’s appeal of sanctions from the Assembly Ethics Committee, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver put on hold $185,000 worth of funding secured by Kellner for various Manhattan community groups, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett writes: 
"Nearly 20 Manhattan community groups have been caught in the crossfire of an ugly battle between Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and embattled Assemblyman Micah Kellner. The Assembly Ethics Committee found Kellner created a hostile work environment and violated the chamber’s sexual harassment policy by making inappropriate comments to staff members in 2009 and 2011."
More About Kellner

Also in the News This Week

Tourism Cuomo says state invested $60M in tourism ads; revenue up $4B in NY
Port Authority  A Rush to Overbuild Downtown(NYT) The developer of the World Trade Center site is seeking a better deal from the Port Authority to build the next tower. The agency should stick to its original plan. Brooklyn DA Brooklyn DA fires opponent supporter’s son(NYP) Andrew Vecchione, 26, is the son of controversial former rackets chief Michael Vecchione, whom Thompson sharply criticized during his bitter campaign against former DA Charles Hynes last year, vowing to fire him once he took office in January. But the elder Vecchione retired in December, before Thompson could carry out his vow *B’klyn DA Thompson slow to fix wrongful convictions: critics(NYDN). MTA Metro-North Records show that federal inspectors found more than 7,100 defects and deficiencies in the Metro-North Railroad over the last decade, but regulators launched a full investigation only after two major accidents last year, the Associated Press reports:   * Sleep Disorder and Schedule Change Cited as Possible Factors in Train Derailment (NYT)*Tax Break One57 Midtown’s One57 residential tower hit with 19 civil suits(NYP) State Senate Dem Takeover Hard "As uphill a battle 2012 was for the Senate Democrats, 2014 will be even steeper," writes C&S. * City's finance commissioner resigns (CrainsNY) * Affordable Housing De Blasio broke ground on Livonia Commons, an affordable housing project Capital New York reports:  * The acting commissioner of New York City’s Finance Department resigned, leaving the agency that oversees $30 billion in tax collection without a leader, Crain’s reports:  Races Assemblyman Felix Ortiz has a primary challenger.Subway Breasts MTA officials agreed to reconsider their advertising standards after a top aide to Cuomo objected to a cleavage-baring ad for breast enhancement.

The Markowization of New York City
ForgetAboutIt Manhattan Elitists

The Brooklyn Revolution

Brooklyn Takes Over 100+ Years After the Merger. 
East and West Siders, This is No Trick or Treat Nightmare
De Blasio's cabinet mostly resides in Brooklyn(NYDN) Of the 23 commissioners de Blasio has appointed since taking office, 13 call themselves Brooklynite* "In de Blasio’s press team, nine of 10 flacks live in their boss’ favorite borough."Someone is watching the press NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has tapped Tom Finkelpearl, the executive director of the Queens Museum, as the city’s next cultural-affairs commissioner.* Museum Director to Be Commissioner of Cultural Affairs(NYT) Mr. Finkelpearl after spending 12 years with the museum, will be the city’s point person on the arts, overseeing a $156 million budget.* De Blasio Taps New Cultural Affairs Commissioner(WSJ)

New Yorkers Leaders In Not Trusting Their Government and Political Leaders, Why?
Challenge for restoring trust in govt. NYS ranks low in new ranking(Wash Post)

A Lobbyist and a Columnist Get Married At City Hall, 1st Marriage By the Mayor

Lobbyists Reporter Joined 
De Blasio Performs First Marriage at City Hall(NYO)“Yup. i got married yesterday to sid davidoff. the mayor presided at city hall and it was his first wedding,” tweeted Linda Stasi, a columnist for the Daily News. 

No Public Trust: Clue 2

Unions Have Their Own NY Citizens United To Control City and State Elections

The Politically Impotent Average 
New Yorker

Look for the union label(NYP) Even as New York legislators decry the corrupting influence of money in politics, they’re busy protecting their union pals from the annoying glare of having to disclose how much they spend to promote their candidates during political campaigns. Exhibit A is the recently passed state budget. This budget requires more disclosure of spending on issues and advocacy. Except for one thing: It exempts spending by labor unions on campaign messages that target their members and retirees. The exemption also applies to spending corporations direct at their members and ­retirees. But because union spending on such messages dwarfs that of corporations in New York politics, this special carve-out has a disproportionately favorable impact for unions. If this all sounds familiar, it should. Last spring, the City Council voted to give unions the same exemption in city races. Then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed it, but the council overrode his veto. Now Albany has basically adopted the same provision at the state level. New Yorkers are going to know less about the real moneybags behind our campaigns. The example Crain’s noted was the massive campaign on behalf of Bill de Blasio by 1199 SEIU. It was exempt from reporting on the grounds that officially the health-care workers union was only targeting its members. * Cap NY: "A vote by a state teachers' [union] to overhaul its leadership may be a sign of trouble for [Cuomo]."

No Public Trust: Clue 3
Arrested Pols Take More Shady Money

Sen. Malcolm Smith, Sen. John Sampson and now former Assemblyman Eric Stevenson have all run up thousands in travel expenses, according to records. All three also have run up per-diem reimbursements throughout the year; not just through the legislative session  – even on days the Legislature wasn’t in session. Until October, state lawmakers received a flat $165 per day for travel expenses every time they traveled to Albany for an overnight visit. The rate has since increased to the current $172 a day.
More on Albany's Voucher Corruption

Senior Prisoners Of NYCHA Rising Crime
Where Are the City Council Hearing About the Increase in Crime in NYCHA Buildings?

Monday Update  
City politicians push for more cops in crime-ridden NYCHA buildings(NYDN) With major crimes shooting up 31% at public housing projects, Public Advocate Letitia James and Councilman Ritchie Torres are calling on the NYPD to assign more officers and add features to make residents safe. * UNSAFE AT HOME: Residents live in fear inside New York's public housing as crime skyrockets — the Daily News investigates(NYDN)  In the last five years, the New York City Housing Authority projects saw a 31% spike in major crimes, while the rest of the city experienced a 3.3% increase, records obtained exclusively by the Daily News show. Some public housing residents say they are afraid to leave their homes or even open their doors. “It’s out of control. It’s out of hand,” declared a frustrated Patricia Herman, 61, who’s lived in the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem since 1979. At Lincoln, murders, rapes, assaults, robberies, burglaries, auto theft and grand larcenies — known as the “seven majors”— nearly doubled from 33 in 2009 to 60 last year.
Flashback  In 2010 the city was sued for NYPD vertical patrol at NYCHA buildings. What do you think the tenants living in fear today in public housing think about the vertical patrols ending?* CM Williams Goes After Bratton's Subway Crackdown of Minor Crimes Councilman’s idea to stop NYPD’s ‘minor’ arrests is wrong(NYP) City Councilman Jumaane Williams, one of the highest-profile foes of stop-and-frisk policing, now wants the NYPD to stop arresting people who commit “minor” crimes on the subway — because, he says, being arrested is “very disruptive” to the perps’ lives. Since Commissioner Bill Bratton took over the NYPD, subway arrests have tripled over the same period a year ago. With stop-and-frisk problematic, it seems Bratton is ramping back up a tactic he pioneered in the early 1990s, as head of the MTA police.

Mayor, Bishop, NYPD, Transparency Meet Nixon's Rosemary Woods 18 1/2?
Wednesday Update
 amNewYork writes that the more time that passes without answers about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s involvement with the legal case of Bishop Orlando Findlayter, the more questionable the mayor’s position becomes:
Monday Update
"I dont comment on the details of the FOIL process," de Blasio says ...*
De Blasio Dodges FOIL Questions(NYO) * Asked about FOIL requests, de Blasio says he’s no lawyer(NYO) * De Blasio said he was “not a lawyer” when asked about his administration’s refusal to release documents related to the arrest and release of a political ally, Capital New York reports:

No Emails Exist? 
After 3 Months and A Foil Request Mayor's Office Reports That They Never Existed
De Blasio’s Office Says No Bishop Findlayter Emails Exist (NYO) The Wall Street Journal, which first reported Mr. de Blasio’s inquiries into the status of Mr. Findlayer after the bishop, an early campaign supporter, said specifically that, “The mayor’s office sent emails to the NYPD officials and Deputy Chief Royster said Mr. de Blasio called her to inquire about the arrest. He didn’t ask that the bishop be released, she said.”
Capital New York detailed its extensive efforts to get Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s administration to release information on the arrest of Bishop Orlando Findlayter. In short: Records officers appeared to do their best to ignore and delay repeated inquiries before one said that “he had not been authorized to release the information.” Mr. de Blasio championed information transparency as public advocate.
Mayor de Blasio First 3 Months 
de Blasion 2.0 After the Albany War 

 Journalism in NYC is No Profile in Courage
NYC Media Run Away From the Observer's Email Story Even WSJ Which Was the First To Report on the Emails has No Story 
Update: CapitalNY Has A Story Also
De Blasio FOIL: No record of Findlayter correspondence(Capital)

New York Emmy Awards Journalism Winners No Profiles in Courage

Taco Mayor Scandal. January 24, 2012. (WPIXTV).Mario Diaz, Reporter
Occupy Wall Street Erupts October 5, 2011. (WABC-TV).Jeff Pegues, Reporter
Mace In Your Face? May 7, 2012. (WABC-TV).Sarah Wallace
9/11 We Remember. September 10, 2011. (WNBC-TV).Chuck Scarboroug

NYT de Blasio Pre-K Winning Email Dumping

The Computer In Box is the New Spin Room
Michael Powell offers a cynical take on Mr. de Blasio’s pre-K victory. “O.K. It is a splendid advance, and the mayor deserves credit for his doggedness, not to mention his ability to never lose his grin even as our governor offered a 43-part seminar in intricate ways to humiliate a new mayor,” he wrote “City Hall, however, might consider tempering the stream of triumphal emails, which now seem to arrive in reporter inboxes at a rate of two an hour.”*Testing Effects of Pre-K Asked if city will study effects of expanded pre-K, says quality is very important, but doesn't explain how city will measure.* Massive City Hall PR push for pre-K will include ads on buses, robocalls to families in public housing, multilingual canvassing effort.* Cap NY: "Beyond ensuring that charters can grow without having to pay the city a dime, experts say [new] laws also accomplish something much broader, and potentially more consequential: the erosion of mayoral control of schools."* What the state’s charter push did to mayoral control(Capital) Experts say new charter school protections in the state budget diminish the powers won by Bloomberg* Being able to serve new communities, to provide more parents w/ great educational options, is what drives us to continue to open new schools* Charter schools in demand despite City Hall disdain(NYP)

No Fault Education Failure, Tefon Pols
Media Does Not Focus On Education Results Mayor Reason Public Does Not Hold Elected Officials Accountable for the City's Education Failure . . .

NY No Bang for the Education Buck 
Media Does Not Ask Why?

90% of Bronx Students Not Ready for College
90 percent of high school students in five Bronx neighborhoods not ready for college-level work, new analysis finds(NYDN) Annenberg Institute for School Reform study shows shocking disparities in city. Findings run contrary to Mayor Bloomberg's claims, reveal students from poor areas struggled regardless of where they went to school. If you're a kid in the South Bronx, you may graduate from high school — but, odds are, you’ll flunk out of college. A stunning 90% or more of high school students in five Bronx neighborhoods are not ready for college-level work by the end of four years of high school, a new analysis finds.

Black & Hispanic pass rates drop in elite high school exams Where is the UFT's Explanation?

Black & Hispanic pass rates drop in elite high school exams(NYP) More black and Hispanic students took the entrance exam to get into the city’s elite high schools this year, but their pass rates were as dismal as ever, officials said Tuesday. Of the 5,096 students accepted by eight specialized schools, just 5  percent were black and 7 percent were Hispanic. Nationally recognized Staten Island Tech won’t have a single black student among its incoming class of 344 freshmen.

Last year, it had five. Even Brooklyn Tech, which Mayor de Blasio’s son, Dante, attends, will welcome just 127 black students and 130 Hispanics among 1,844 in its freshman class of ’14. Of 27,817 students who took the entrance test last October, 46 percent were black or Hispanic. That’s up from 43 percent in 2012. * * Data shows that the racial demographics for incoming students at some New York City specialized schools remained stagnant, prompting Mayor Bill de Blasio to call for increased diversity at schools, The New York Times writes: * At Top City Schools, Lack of Diversity Persists(NYT 2010)

Lobbyists Rise and Fall As Their Political Pimps Careers Rise and Fall 
Corruption is growning by Lobbyists and elected official tag teams raking in gov $ 

Elected LobbyPimps
Behind every lobbyists is an elected official
Among the firms with the biggest growth in business was Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, which helped Melissa Mark-Viverito in her race for City Council speaker and then began lobbying her on behalf of clients.  The firm’s business jumped 30.4% in 2013 over 2012. * On the flip side, Patricia Lynch, a one-time top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was hit by a 17.5% drop in her business in 2013.Patricia Lynch Associates, which in recent years faced tax problems and downsizing, sank from being the second biggest lobbying firm to the sixth as its compensation dropped to $5.54 million in 2013 from $6.7 million in 2012.*

A Tale of Two Albany's

Lobbyists ready to get to work now that state budget is completed(Buffalo News)

Fake Public Albany
The list of end-of-session priorities for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders reads like a song verse stuck in your head: campaign finance law changes, job creation incentives, minimum wage increase, special protections for women in the workplace, and state aid for children of illegal immigrants.

Real Lobbyists Albany
But behind the scenes, most of Albany’s special-interest groups pay little attention to such matters. Hospitals, unions, car dealers, energy firms, pharmaceutical conglomerates and others spend their time caring about the likes of complex civil liability laws, tort insurance, regulatory rules and other issues that the public pays little attention to but can be of great financial value to these special interests. Doing their bidding are 6,383 registered lobbyists in Albany, retained for a record $191 million, according to a state ethics agency report.

Lobbyists Kill NY's Democracy to Make $ 

The Big Lobbyists Has Have Taken Over NY's Campaign Consultating to Ensure Future Business with Government

Organized Crime Lobbyists Run Candidate to Own Them

Parkside working for The Real Estate Board of New York's PAC Jobs4NY worked for and against 35 candidates in the 20 competitive council races.  The Advance Group working through 4 PACs NYCLASS, United for the Future, Citizen Action and Hotel Workers for A Strong Middle Class worked for 27 of candidates in the 20 competitive council campaigns. Of the 21 candidates supported by Parkside Jobs4NY 17 were run by the big 8. Another candidate Dickens who had no race is running for speaker and some Jobs4NY money went to a republican candidate. Of the 44 council candidates supported by PAC in which Advance worked for or had a relationship with 34 when to candidates run by the Big 8.  Half of the other 10 went to incumbent candidates who had no races. The big 8 worked for council candidates who may be running for speaker, who had no races.  Berlin Rosen Daniel Garodnick, Red Horse and Hudson TDG James Vacca, Hudson TG Mark Weprin. Multi-Media run by newspaper publisher Michael Nussbaum have been doing printing for the Parkside Group for years in the dark pools because state election law does not require subcontractors are reported. Red Horse worked alongside Parkside for DSCC where Melvin Lowe was indicted this week for fake printing invoices. Red Horse has at least 20 interest group clients. This summer the New York World reported Hudson TG LLC – offer lobbying services to represent special interests with the officials they have sometimes helped to get elected. The only campaign consultant that does not directly lobby is Brandford Communications. But Brandford's Ernie Lendler did pull a Melvin Lowe when he gave convicted Brooklyn Boss Norman fake invoices.  Lendler did not get indicted in exchanged for testifying against Norman Background on the Big 8 Consultants as Lobbyists * CrainsNY on The Advance Groups Double Dipping (CrainsNY)* 8 Lobbyists Consultants and Citizen United  Campaign Reform and Media Cover Up of Citizens United On Local 2013 Election
CFB PAC Investigation of the 2013 Election  Dark Pool Politics  Organized Crime Politics: IE PACs  * Lobbyists the New Permanent Government

Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin Makes the Speaker and Cashes In

Meet the New Progressive City Council, Sock Puppets for Lobbyists
A consulting firm—Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin—that helped Melissa Mark-Viverito in her runs for City Council and Council speaker has lobbied her on behalf of four clients, the Daily News reports: Disclosure reports show an advocacy group, the East Side Alliance Against Overdevelopment, paid Pitta Bishop $15,000 in November to fight a plan by Memorial Sloan-Kettering hospital to build two towers on city-owned land on E. 73rd St. Pitta Bishop lobbied Council members from Manhattan, including Mark-Viverito — who represents East Harlem — to vote against the project when it came before the 12-member Manhattan Borough Board on Nov. 21. Mark-Viverito voted no, but the project was approved 6 to 4. Mark-Viverito’s spokesman said her vote had no connection to the lobbying by her consultant. In January and February, Pitta Bishop lobbyists also met with Mark-Viverito’s staff on behalf of another client, the Vera Institute. The goal? Vera’s request for additional Council funding of a pilot program providing legal aid to immigrants. Vera received $500,000 in funding last year and wants $5 million more this year. Pitta Bishop also lobbied Mark-Viverito in January and February seeking “support for museum programming related to anti-bullying” run by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Manhattan. She was asked to speak at an anti-bullying event targeted to children, which she agreed to do, her spokesman said.

Lobbyists Political Consultants Cut Themselves Into Permanent Government Since Jack Newfield Wrote the Book 1977 

Kings Makers Eat the Kings Meat
Former Borough President Molinaro joins high-powered consulting firm with strong Staten Island ties(SI Advancew)  Molinaro has joined the Pitta Bishop Del Giorno and Giblin LLC government relations and consulting firm, a company with strong ties to the Island. In his role as senior managing director, Molinaro will oversee the firm's new satellite office in St. George, close to many of the economic development projects that Molinaro helped become a reality during his time in office. Pitta said that the Wheel development as well as other Island projects, including the development of the Stapleton home port and the re-development of the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility in Charleston, "are sure to spur further growth, opportunity and investment across all of Staten Island." Jon Del Giorno of the politically-prominent law firm Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin LLC (which manages Melissa Mark-Viverito campaign finance filings) also helped pave the way for the councilwoman's deal with Brooklyn Boss Seddio.Feds charge Senate Dems' operative (CrainsNY) Michael  Cohen, who now works for the New York lobbying firm Pitta Bishop Del Giorno and Giblin, did not return a request for comment made through a firm spokesman. Pitta Bishop lists crisis management among its specialties, and is affiliated with the law firm Pitta & Giblin. Ms. Mark-Viverito was escorted around Brooklyn's Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club recently by Michael Cohen

True News Wags the DN on Lobbyists Controlling the the Council

Village Voice Reporter Wayne Barrett Said in 2010, Lobbyists Political Consultant " Hank Sheinkopf makes kings so he can then make deals with the kings he’s made."Familiar Consultants Hired by de Blasio’s Pre-K Drive(NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio’s privately financed campaign to offer prekindergarten to all 4-year-olds in New York City paid consultants in his election run much of the money it spent in recent months. Those consultants, who were paid not by the city but by a new nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York, included BerlinRosen, a public affairs firm that took in $43,950 in fees and expenses, and an affiliate of Hilltop Public Solutions, which was paid a $16,500 “management fee,” according to a filing with the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics. Hilltop hired Bill Hyers, the manager of Mr. de Blasio’s mayoral campaign, in December, the same month Mr. Hyers established the Campaign for One New York, which quickly branded itself as UPKNYC. Genova Burns Giantomasi Webster, a law firm that worked on Mr. de Blasio’s mayoral run, was paid $23,467 in fees.

Acres, the media production firm that helped mold Mr. de Blasio’s campaign commercials — including a pivotal advertisement featuring his son, Dante — was paid $16,900, according to the filing. Jessica Singleton, who was digital director of the de Blasio campaign and now works for the mayor, received $2,500 in fees for “brand design” and “digital strategy” before she joined the administration. The nonprofit also paid $40,000 to the North Star Fund, a foundation that supports grass-roots organizations, which added money of its own and spent it promoting “the need for high-quality, universal pre-K and after-school and the UPKNYC plan to pay for these critical investments” within “grass-roots communities,” Dan Levitan, a vice president at BerlinRosen, said by email. Mr. Levitan, who was also the spokesman for Mr. de Blasio’s mayoral campaign, said.* Group Lobbying for Pre-K Plan Closely Associated With Unions, Mayor's Campaign Staff(NY1) The group is run, in part, by the mayor's former campaign aides. Its lobbyist works for the city's massive hotel workers' union, JOSHUA GOLD and his contract allows him to work for both groups at the same time.
More on Lobbyists the New Permanent Government 

Top Lobbying Spenders and Lobbyists
On NY1 Lobbyist Pretend Journalist D'Amato . . .  Shill for Himself and His Clients

Teachers And Tobacco Topped Lobbying In 2013(YNN) The United Federation of Teachers, based in the city, spent $2.5 million.Also spending big in 2013: the Greater Hospital Association of New York at $2.1 million and The Public Employees Federation, a union of white-collar public workers that spent $1.4 million.Park Strategies, the firm led by former Sen. Al D’Amato who has close ties to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saw the largest surge in business, with reimbursed expenses and compensation jumping nearly 62 percent.Another big winner in 2013 was Mercury Public Affairs, where partner Michael McKeon is leading a Republicans for Cuomo group. Mercury saw a jump of 25 percent in business over last year.Meanwhile, compensation for in-house and retained lobbyists totaled a record $191 million last year, JCOPE found. The top lobbying shop in New York remains Wilson Elser Moskotwitz Edelman & Dicker, which reported $10.3 million in 2013, following by Kasierer Consulting at $6.45 million. Greenberg Trauri came in third at $6.2 million. The $210 million spent though did not reach the record of $220 million, set in 2011 when the Committee to Save New York, a coalition of businesses and private-sector labor groups that supported Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s fiscal agenda, spent heavily on an ad campaign on his behalf.* NY teachers unions spent $4.8M on lobbying in 2013(NYP)

Cuomo's GOP Lobbyists
Special interest groups spend $210M lobbying state, local governments (NYDN) Cigarette giant Alria Client Services spend the most- $3 million- in 2013 to fight a tobacco display ban in New York City. At least two Republican-dominated firms with close ties to Democratic Gov. Cuomo experienced booming business in 2013, the lobbying report showed.Park Strategies — headed by former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato — saw its total compensation grew by 61.9% in 2013 over 2012. Mercury Public Affairs, whose partner, Michael McKeon, is a former communications director for ex-Gov. George Pataki and a prominent figure in Republicans for Cuomo, saw a compensation jump of 25% in 2013.
NY1 Wiseguys Lobbyist Al D’Amato
Lobbyists the New Permanent Government
Corrupt lobbyist 

Afghanistan Women Facing Danger Shame New Yorkers' Low Voters Turn Outs

2013 Lowest Turnout Since Women Given Right to Vote, 200,000 Votes Less Than 2009. Below Afghanistan Woman Vote Defy Threats of Violence
KABUL, Afghanistan Vote
New York City Vote
A Little Over 1 Million NYC Voters Show Up At the Polls Yesterday 
Lowest turnout since women won the right to vote in 1918 
Only 1.7% of all the registered voters voted in the city voted for Bloomberg in 2009. The mayor received 585,000 out of the 4,657,516 New Yorkers Registered. 1.2 Million Voted. New York: Turnout Appears Headed for Record Low

More on the New York's Decreasing Voter Turnout 

de Blasio's DOI and Council Unexpectedly Going After BOE Corruption
City Councilman Ben Kallos rips Board of Elections for dodging blame after probe revealed problems(NYDN) Kallos slammed the Board of Elections on Wednesday for dodging blame when responding to a scathing Department of Investigation probe. Kallos had told the board to hand in a plan on how it would fix problems identified by the Department of Investigation. Instead, officials sent in a response that dismissed most of department’s recommendations as outdated.
More on Corruption at the BOE  More 

Stringer Goes After IT Contract Corruption
Stringer to Increase Oversight of New York City’s Computerization Contracts(NYT)
The city comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, is issuing a directive that he says will standardize how information technology contracts are handled across all city agencies. Comptroller Scott Stringer is moving to step up oversight of information technology contracts by issuing a directive that he claims will standardize how the contracts are handled across all city agencies

What Happen to the Criminal Investigation of 911 That Liu Called For?
Flashback Bungled 911 Call System Redo Cost Taxpayers Millions, Audit Finds(WNYC) The city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications bungled the contract with by Hewlett Packard, Liu said, causing the upgrade to incur as much as a $362 million cost overrun over the initial budget for the integration. The comptroller’s report, based on a 15-month review, also found that the department allowed Hewlett Packard to “drastically mark up subcontractor bills resulting in questionable billing. Liu said he referred the audit to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.  As reports of problems with the project surfaced, city records show that Hewlett Packard  was spending six-figures to registered city lobbyists making the case for HP behind the scenes.  HP advocates at the time included Comptroller Liu's campaign spokesman George Arzt , who billed HP $15,000 between 2007 and 2008,  attorney Steven Polan and former Republican state legislator John Faso whose lobbying firm charged HP $167,000 for 17 months of procurement work. All three declined to comment.

Klien and Skelos Give Tax Break to Developer Friends
A bill opposed by the Bloomberg administration last year that made it into this year’s state budget will provide millions of dollars worth of tax benefits to a Bronx condo complex built by a politically connected developer
Late bill in state budget benefits Bronx condo complex(NYP) Tax benefits to a Bronx condo complex Harbor Pointe at Shorehaven Condominiums, built by a politically connected developer. Budget deal, was engineered in the state Senate by co-leader Jeff Klein, a Democrat whose district includes the complex.The same bill was introduced last year but didn’t make it through the Assembly after the Bloomberg administration warned it would cost taxpayers $17 million and set a dangerous precedent. But Bronx Assemblyman Marcos Crespo said the de Blasio administration signed off on the deal. The complex was constructed by the Beechwood Organization, which calls itself the largest residential developer on Long Island. Its president, Michael Dubb, was named to the board of the New York Racing Association by Long Island Republican Dean Skelos, the other co-leader of the state Senate. * * The developer of the Brooklyn Domino Sugar factory and the mayor together have a responsibility to ensure that all construction jobs for that project provide good wages, benefits and training, Terrence Moore of Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 46 writes in the Daily News:  *De Blasio blindsided by Bronx condo’s tax break(NYP)
Bronx Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, who sponsored the condo tax-break bill, told The Post he notified officials in the administration about it before it was passed.

Samuels Tries to Start An IDC War By Himself With His $$$

Monday Update
The left is really gunning for IDC Leader Jeff Klein.
Bill Samuels says the governor has lost many liberal supporters “permanently,” adding: “I don’t have one friend who is a Cuomo supporter.”

Bill Samuels says that if state Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeffrey Klein does not rejoin the mainline Senate Democrats and Oliver Koppell runs against him, Samuels would look to raise money for Koppell, Crain’s reports: “It’s not my first choice, but Klein has a choice to make,” Sanuels said. * Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to name Michael Schlein, “a close friend with deep ties to Wall Street,” as the unpaid chairman of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, the Times first reported last night. The paper describes Mr. Schlein, who goes back years with the mayor, as “the banker he knows best.” * CUOMO’S LEFT FLANK—Working Families Party executive director Dan Cantor, speaking to Chuck Todd on MSNBC: “We think there's a big audience, a big market for common-sense progressive ideas, they're very mainstream ideas that we're talking about. We shouldn't be giving enormous tax breaks to the banks and Wall Street, we should be investing in education and infrastructure and culture and transit—all the things we want together. We proudly endorse Democrats like [Syracuse Mayor Stephanie] Miner, and we've stood against others when we've felt they weren't being in favor of the middle class and the working class and poor.” Will you endorse Cuomo? “We'll see how things play out—there's a lot of debate internally on that.”* Dem fundraiser ready to support Klein challenger - The Insider Blog | Crain's New York Business * Facing criticism from the Working Families Party, Howard Glaser, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s director of state operations, defended the state budget, saying it would be hard to find a more progressive budget, the Observer writes:  * Progressive Budge? Glaser says "has a progressive record that is stronger...than we’ve seen for many, many decades" in NY(NYO) Cuomo Aide Insists Budget ‘Very Progressive’ Despite Working Families Party Claims * Public Employees Federation President Susan Kent said the state Democratic and Working Families parties should find a primary challenger for Cuomo, who she said hasn't lived up to the parties' ideals, Gannett Albany reports: * WFP: This Is Not A ‘Progressive Budget(YNN) * Larry Schwartz called criticism of the budget “very silly” and “short-sighted,” adding: “The people that are criticizing it are the same people who for the last 30 years haven’t been able to get anything accomplished.”
More on IDC GOP Senate Coalition Using the Budget to Surrvive

Court Rules City May Stop Churches From Using Public Schools

de Blasio Supports Worshiping in Schools

Wednesday Update
De Blasio Says He'll Work With Religious Groups That Use Public Schools to Worship

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the New York City Department of Education may restrict churches from using public school facilities for religious worship services.* New York City Can Block Religious Services in Public Schools, Appeals Court Says(NYT) Though a federal appeals panel ruled that New York City can prohibit religious groups from holding services in public school buildings, Mayor Bill de Blasio maintained his stance that he supports groups’ rights to worship in schools * Court Upholds City Ban On Church in Schools(WSJ) * Let them worship, Bill(NYDN Ed) The mayor seems to understand that the city has no business defining prayer* Push de Blasio to Let Them In Members to Rally de Blasio to End Policy He Opposes * Pastors are hoping de Blasio will allow worship in schools(NYDN)
NY1: "The Bronx church at the center a nearly 20-year lawsuit against the Department of Education held services Sunday for the first time since a court ruling upheld the city's right to ban religious services from public school buildings."

Brooklyn Finest Pols Run Again
Former assemblywoman Diane Gordon, who spent two years in prison for taking bribes, has filed to run for district leader against New York City Councilwoman Inez Barron, the Observer reports:* Former New York City Councilman Charles Barron filed to run for the Assembly seat vacated by his wife, Inez, a move that Barron has hinted at for months since he left the City Council due to term limits, State of Politics writes: 

Is the Above-Market-Rate Affordable Housing in Brooklyn Fueling Gentrification
Progressive groups are calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to create more affordable housing in Brooklyn after only five of 61 buildings built in the borough from 2008 to 2012 that will receive tax breaks included below-market-rate apartments, the Daily News reports:

City Council Living In A Different Economic World
City Council Ignores the Effects of High Taxes on Job Creation 
Paid vacation could become city mandate through new bill(NYDN)
Councilman Proposes Bill to Alert Neighborhoods When Hotel Construction Is Headed Their Way 
NY state has highest 2011 tax burden: report(NYDN)
Taxed to the max(NYP Ed) Just days after noting our surprise that Gov. Cuomo was consulting with the same Tax Foundation his aide once dissed as a biased, right-wing think tank, the group has come... * The Post writes that with New York ranked as having the highest local and state taxes, the state needs radical overhaul aimed at making New York competitive with the top and a governor bold enough to do that:* Councilman’s idea to stop NYPD’s ‘minor’ arrests is wrong(NYP)

A Political Corruption Trial Legal Trick?
Federal prosecutors allege former Queens GOP Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone is violating conflict-of-interest laws by using a law firm whose lead partner is running for Congress for his trial for public corruption charges.
GOP operative could be violating conflict of interest laws: feds(NYP)A Queens Republican operative fighting public corruption charges is hurting his own defense — and potentially violating conflict-of-interest laws — by continuing to use a law firm whose lead partner is running for Congress, the feds allege in new court papers. Assistant US Attorney Justin Anderson asked Manhattan federal Judge Kenneth Karas on Monday to “conduct an inquiry” into the potential conflict over ex-Queens GOP Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone using a Mineola law firm partnered by Republican Grant Lally. The Post reported in February that Lally was raising eyebrows in political circles by telling people he’s running for Democrat Steve Israel’s Congressional seat on Long Island. In light of his campaign, Lally later handed over the assignment of representing Tabone — who is accused of pocketing $25,000 as part of a failed scheme to get state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) on the 2012 GOP line for mayor — to other lawyers at his firm, including his wife Deborah Misir. “Under counsel’s reasoning, it might be the case that calling a particular witness would be helpful to Tabone’s defense but cast Mr. Lally’s political party or his interests in an unfavorable light,” he noted. “Under that scenario, the decision to call such a witness might be influenced — consciously or unconsciously — by Mr. Lally’s concern for his electoral interests.
More on the GOP Bottom Feeders and Corruption
Queens Brooklyn GOP Civil War

Malcolm Smith Trial Starts June 5th

No Delay in Smith Trial
Judge Refuses to Delay Sen. Malcolm Smith's Trial - Hamodia WHITE PLAINS - A New York state senator accused of corruption won’t be able to delay his trial until after his primary, a federal judge said Monday, setting the trial for Malcolm Smith, a Queens Democrat, to June 2
Legislator Up for Re-election Wants to Delay Bribery Trial
(NYT) Senator Malcolm A. Smith, who has been charged in a plot to bribe his way onto the ballot to run for mayor of New York, says his trial would interfere with his re-election campaign. * No delay on Smith trial - Queens Chronicle: Editorials * Judge refuses to delay Malcolm Smith's NY trial -
More on the Malcolm Smith Investigations
More on the AEG Cover-Up

Monday NYT Budget Stops the Corruption Clean-Up Tuesday AlbanyAnswers FU
Wednesday Moreland Leader Spins The budget deal contains a set of ethics laws that give real teeth to New York’s district attorneys trying to fight government corruption, former Moreland Commission Co-chairmen William Fitzpatrick and Milton Williams write in the Daily News: 
The band plays on (NYDN Ed)

Secrets and money go together in Albany — and the parties that have traded in both can rest easier with the demise of Gov. Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission.
The governor disbanded the panel to win from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos bills that move New York toward greater transparency and tougher ethics enforcement.
While Cuomo’s advances are significant, Silver and Skelos exacted a shamefully high price that buries a multitude of sins and protects their own incomes from proper scrutiny.

The Jewish Voice on the death of the Moreland Commission: “Shame on Governor Cuomo for sending his own pet project to the gallows in exchange for yet even more political patronage.”

Budget will disband the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, known as the Moreland commission before the very corruption issues brought up by the commission have been solved

Tuesday Update
Capitol Corruption Panel’s Demise Angers Watchdogs(NYT) Cuomo said the reforms he wanted would be accomplished by new laws that he had persuaded legislative leaders to support as part of the budget accord, including tougher laws on bribery and corruption, and improved enforcement of election law. That, he said, would eliminate the need for the panel, known as the Moreland Commission. Lawrence Norden, the deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, said the commission’s most insightful observation — that many seemingly unethical acts in Albany, involving money and policy making, were technically legal — had been largely ignored by lawmakers. “What the Legislature and governor came up with did not address that at all,” he said. Advocates’ hopes for the commission had been lifted last fall, after supportive remarks by the federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Brooklyn, among others. But there was resistance from the Legislature, which refused requests for information about lawmakers’ outside income, leading to a legal battle. And there were accusations of interference by the governor’s office, which asked the panel to limit the scope of some of its investigations. Public financing advocates razz comptroller-only plan(TU0

Weak NY's Good Government Groups Enable  Albany Mob Corruption, Inc

Goo Goos are Great About Getting in the Media But  Have Not Forced Any Strong Reform for or Stopped Corruption in Decades.  Does Anyone Believe the Senate and Assembly Will Agree to A State BOE Watchdog?  That Office Will Remain Vacant an So Will the Promise Reform to the State Board of Elections. Most of the Goo Goos are nice people who are just ineffective and clueless others are shills for the corrupt pols.  How could any anyone call themselves a good government leader and listen to these ass holes in Albany promise campaign reform by 2020.  And redistricting reform by 2022 an not be shamed?*Soros Son Taking Credit for What? Soros’ son pushed Cuomo, legislature into campaign funding(NYP)

Goo Goos: Reforms Have Their Press Conferences . . . And Nothing Happens

Did the Gov Create Moreland to Keep Albany in Line to Pass His Budget and Help His Re-Election Campaign?
Goo Goos Hide
A conspicuous failure in this budget package is its minimal concern about arrests, investigations, convictions and other political scandals in Albany. After months of promises from Mr. Cuomo and legislative leaders that they were truly going to clean up the statehouse, the deal announced on Saturday doesn’t do the job.The most fundamental reform — public matching funds for small donations in all state races — is missing. In its place is a very limited pilot program that provides public financing for candidates running for one office, state comptroller, and for this year only.
More On US Attorney Preet Bharara Corruption Fight
Albany Corruption 
Moreland Investigation Updates or Media Cover-Up
Dark Pools Lobbyists Campaign Consultants and Money

Moreland Ends and the Progressives Say Nothing, Busy Fighting Traffic Accidents
"Keep the pressure on us, on the mayor, on the transportation commissioner." -
Speed camera talks coming soon(NYDN)

NYT, NYP and DN Silent On Local Impact of Citizens United on Public Financing
What CFB Corruption is the NYP Talking About?  Why is the Media Trying So Hard to Avoid Reporting on the PAC Corruption in the 2013 NYC Election?
Maybe Albany wouldn’t have so much trouble meeting its budget deadlines if it didn’t waste so much time on a favorite sideshow: public financing of political campaigns. This, our politicians tell us, is the answer to the endemic corruption. What they don’t tell you is that public financing invites corruption, too — as New York City has found out from its own program.

Blind Side  
The NYT has written several times on the national impact of Citizens United but never on the impact of that  special interests big money supreme court decision on the 2013 NYC election. The press is focused on  a preacher and 4-year-olds, while not reporting on how our city government was mugged by special interests Citizen United PACs and the lobbyists political consultants who do their bidding in the last election. Have these PACs made NYC government worse (if that is possible)? Have these PACs and lobbyist consultants committed crimes? stay tuned. The Line at the ‘Super PAC’ Trough(NYT) An unlimited source of cash is now a requirement for contested congressional races * Change the Rules on Secret Money(NYT Ed) * Liberal Donors Pollute Politics, Too(NYT Ed) * Campaign finance reformers take a hard line(TU)More on Campaign Reform and Citizens United 

 Albany's Gambling $$$ Toll Booth

Rivals for New York Casino Licenses Must Pay Millions to Play(NYT)

It will take a fortune just to open the doors of a full-scale casino resort in New York, starting with a $1 million nonrefundable application fee. * The multiple developers seeking casino licenses will have to shell out big money to obtain one, including $1 million to apply and $70 million for the actual license * A bill from state Senate Racing, Wagering and Gaming Committee Chair John Bonacic would legalize, license and tax online poker in New York, though the lawmaker said he doesn’t expect it to pass this year, the Associated Press writes:
More on Gambling and Lobbyists $$$ 

A Tale of Two Cities Divide Growing
Manhattan real-estate prices rise above 2008 pre-recession record(NYP)

2 Weeks Ago True New Wrote
Jeff Klein is Trying to Stop the WFP and de Blasio Machine From Helping Senate Democrats and Blowing Up his IDC-GOP Ruling Coalition
Will de Blasio's WFP's and Progressive's New Machine Go After the IDC's  Triangulation? Today Capital NY Confirmed We Were Right * In an email to supporters, a Working Families Party official said the big picture of the state budget was that the wealthy and banks got tax breaks while New Yorkers got shortchanged, State of Politics writes 
WFP's Dan Cantor on endorsing Cuomo: "There's a lot of debate internally on that. You have to trust the process."

Bratton Minority Relations and Polling

Friday: Rev. Sharpton -Breaking the Bratton Kelly Putdown

Bill Bratton takes tough questions from African-American leaders(NYP) * Bratton and Sharpton Discuss Profiling Issue(NYT) Police Commissioner William J. Bratton met with the Rev. Al Sharpton to talk about profiling by police in retail stores, which has resulted in several lawsuits by black shoppers. 
police union likes ’s idea to survey employees:
Bratton working on ‘polling mechanism’(Capital) Police commissioner Bill Bratton said on Friday he is “designing a polling mechanism” to measure attitudes among the NYPD’s 50,000 employees, and the attitudes of residents toward their local police precincts.

Bratton to survey police, public about reactions to NYPD(NYP)Top cop Bill Bratton said Friday he wants to get feedback on the NYPD’s job performance from both street cops and members of the public.* Improving police, minority relations is NYPD's top priority: Bratton(NYDN) * NYPD Polling in Works(WSJ) * NYPD Brings Internal Charges in Shooting(WSJ)

Can Bratton deliver as Ray Kelly did?(NYP)

Mr. Bratton also had some choice words for members of the media, accusing them of “trying to stir up something that’s not actually happening” and “gin this up into a slugfest.” “I’m sorry. He’s a consummate professional. I like to think I’m a professional,” he said of the spat. As for Mr. Kelly: “He knows how the game is played with you guys, as well as I do. … We’ll try to stay out of, basically, giving you additional fuel for the fire.” ., & retail task force to meet tomorrow to discuss dept store "shop & frisk" incidents* Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said he didn’t mean to diss his predecessor, Ray Kelly, when he described morale on the force as ‘awful.’ “It was not meant as a shot at Ray, that is basically just a fact as I understand it,” Mr. Bratton told reporters, according to the Daily News. “I should make it very clear that I have the greatest respect for Commissioner Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg for what they did.”

More on NYPD & Commissioner Bratton

Saturday Budget Agreement Reached
Nobody even complains about 3 or 4 men in the room making all the decisions and deal, not even the goo goos

Cuomo issued 483 vetoes line item vetoes in the 2014-2015 state budget, with most of them focused on re-appropriated items in which spending has been exhausted, State of Poltics reports: 

In a letter to families in the Archdiocese of New York, Timothy Cardinal Dolan expressed anger that state lawmakers did not approve tax credits he argued would have upped funds for parochial school scholarships, the Daily News reports: * Cuomo’s move to back away from state funding of college courses for inmates is a serious blow to a money-saving program that helps break the cycle of recidivism, Fortune Society Senior Vice President Stanley Richards writes in the Daily News: 

The New York Times writes that if a college for inmates plan, which met wide resistance after it was proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year, is to thrive, it will need the stability of public financing behind it: * Too much faith (NYDN)How Albany pols double-crossed the church on tax credits

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he is hopeful that the Senate will agree to a full public campaign financing system after the agreement to test it in the state comptroller's race, Gannett Albany reports:  * Silver also said medical marijuana has no “future” this legislative session, which surprised some because there appears to be enough votes to pass the bill in the state Senate, State of Politics reports:

Jailhouse University(NYP Ed)When Gov. Cuomo proposed expanding free college education for prison inmates, we pronounced ourselves intrigued by the idea but skeptical about sticking taxpayers with the bill.

Thursday Budget Follow Up 
Broadway $$$
Cuomo Drops Plan to Use State Money to Pay for College Classes for Inmates(NYT) *Upstaging New York(NYP Ed)Never mind giving your regards to Broadway. Albany is doing it for you — using your tax dollars for a nice new subsidy. As part of the new state budget, Broadway shows that rehearse in upstate theaters will be eligible for cash grants worth 25 percent of their costs. It’s the latest extension of the philosophy behind Albany’s handouts-for-Hollywood program, a $420 million-a-year bribe to keep movie and TV production in New York.* Skelos Touts Tax Cuts, State Education Boost(YNN) * There’s $42 million worth of education “bullet aid” in the budget, to be allocated later according to legislative resolutions and budget director agreement.
More on the 2014 Albany Buget

New York's Third Party Racket
3rd Parties Benefit Insiders who control them, elected officials
Party favors(NYP)   New York’s near-unique system, which allows cross-endorsements.  The history of third-party candidates in America, of course, suggests they triumph rarely and in highly exceptional circumstances. Then again, they are not primarily about winning. Primarily they are about pushing Democrats or Republicans in a certain direction — or punishing them when they have strayed too far from principles important to a significant number of their supporters.  In New York, a third party that runs its own candidate takes a risk. That’s because a party must draw 50,000 votes in the gubernatorial race to keep its automatic line. The less well-known a third-party candidate, the less likely he or she will meet that threshold — and enable the party to keep its coveted line on the ballot. Which is why New York’s minor parties have largely devolved from movements of principle into often-corrupt ­patronage mills. Reviving the Liberal line, which has been off the ballot since 2002, would be convenient for Cuomo. But it serves no pressing need and offers no alternative. It’s a reminder that when politicians can get more than one line on a ballot, they are the ones who benefit, not the voter.* Former New York Liberal Party head Ray Harding charged with taking kickbacks in pension fund scheme (NYDN)

The left-leaning, union-backed Working Families Party, which let itself be shanghaied four years ago into backing Andrew Cuomo for governor, is now signaling it may run a candidate against him. Meanwhile, John Catsimatidis, the supermarket mogul who lost last year’s GOP mayoral primary to Joe Lhota, is offering to bankroll a revival of the long-dead Liberal Party — and give Gov. Cuomo the Liberal line on the state ballot. As our readers know, The Post has little common ground with the WFP, which acts as another political arm for the unions. But in seeking to to run its own candidate against an incumbent Democratic governor, the WFP is doing exactly what a third party should be doing: offering an alternative. That’s in sharp contrast to the Catsimatis effort over at the Liberal Party, which far from giving voters more choice only gives the Democratic incumbent an extra line on the ballot.
More on GOP Bottom Feeders And Corruption
More on WFP, Acorn 2.0 and the New Progressive Machine 
More on Independence Party Is Really A Cult 
Conservative Party Permanent Leader Long 

WFP: When You Need 50,000 Votes To Remain An Active Party With A Ballot Line, Your Heart and Minds Follows
The Working Families Party’s Cuomo dilemma(Capital) “Can a party whose rationale for existing is to grow progressive economic movements throughout the country “where politicians are held accountable to working people, instead of big-money backers” really work for, endorse, and host on its line one of the greatest threats to its agenda within the Democratic Party

Cuomo Dances With the Liberal Party to

Pressure WFP! Could Have Killed Party in 2010

Why For Cuomo the Liberal Bell Tolls

Liberal Party buries the hatchet, eyes Cuomo re-election(NYP)

WFP Treating to Work With the Mayor to Elect A Democratic State Senate If the Gov Does Not Support the Tax Increase

WFP Needs Cuomo to Get 50,000 Vote to Keep Its Ballot Line. Cuomo Could Boycott the Party Which Only Has .03% of the registered voters in NYC less in the state

Cuomo Gave the WFP Life in 2010, Second Thoughs? Given the resistance the Working Families Party and its allies are mounting against Governor Cuomo and his agenda, should the governor regret not having killed the party when he had the chance? City State’s Morgan Pehme
Catsimatidis the Liberal Meanwhile, Republican businessman John Catsimatidis is thinking about bankrolling an effort to revive the defunct Liberal Party and boost Mr. Cuomo’s re-election bid. “Catsimatidis will help us. We are on the same page,” Liberal Party Executive Director Martin Hassner told the Post.* WFP to honor Mark-Viverito and Ben Jealous(Capital)
Cuomo met privately Monday with several influential labor unions that have ties to the Working Families Party, amid signs that some progressives are frustrated with the governor.* * In an email to supporters, a Working Families Party official said the big picture of the state budget was that the wealthy and banks got tax breaks while New Yorkers got shortchanged, State of Politics writes

WFP Needs Cuomo Trying to Save Face?

Charter Dividends
Game Over
Looks like no WTF Progressive war against Skelos and Klein's Coalition Leadership
De Blasio to offer truce with Cuomo over charter schools(NYP)After weeks of warring with Gov. Cuomo and education advocates over the contentious topic of charter schools, Mayor de Blasio plans to extend an olive branch in a speech Sunday morning, sources have told The Post. “It’s an effort to stop the bleeding,” one source said of the ongoing war, in which the mayor took a severe public relations beating after blocking the opening of three charters this fall. The mayor also got heat for eliminating $210 million construction funds for the popular privately-managed, publicly-funded schools. “He hopes to re-establish a dialogue” another source said. * State Senator Jeff Klein isn’t sure what to make of Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s recent comments about ex-Councilman Oliver Koppell‘s potential primary challenge. “I have a master’s degree and a law degree,” Mr. Klein told the Times. “And sometimes I can’t always figure out Cuomo-speak.”* Gubernatorial candidate and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino continued to hammer the governor for the millions of dollars spent on START-UP NY television *George Marlin says Astorino should not be counted out in the governor’s race, despite his lack of resources and low name, Gannett Albany reports: * Interesting if WFP leverages Cuomo endorse for public financing, but feels like Cuomo holds most of the cards here. *Astorino: Where Did The Businesses Go? (YNN)* Westchester County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino may face a tough test in Republican-heavy Nassau County because of party leaders’ and lawmakers’ close ties with Cuomo, Newsday reports:
More on the War: de Blasio vs Cuomo 
More on the IDC GOP Senate Coalition 
More on the WFP, New Progressives 
Another CW Follow the $ Tweet: Former US senator turned lobbyist, Alfonse D’Amato backs Cuomo's 
 re-election campaign(NYP) * Mayor de Blasio First 3 Months 

NYT Never Did A Story How 15% Less New Yorkers Voted in 2013 than in 2009
In all, nine states have passed measures making it harder to vote since the beginning of 2013. GOP leads the effort.
While NYC residence vote less and less each year. It has given us the best gov money can buy and lots of dumb ass fool pols
New York's Decreasing Voter Turnout

FOIL Delays
How de Blasio Can Fix FOIL(City Limits) As public advocate, he saw shortcomings in the city's compliance with the public information law. A City Limits test of transparency in his young administration finds room for improvement remains.

NY's Media Barrons More Interested in Controlling Politics Than Cleaning Up Corruption
So when the U.S. Attorney Bharara made a plea 7 months ago (Sept. 18, 2013 for more investigative reporting he did not expect the media to ignore his plea to root out corruption in government. Since Bharara's plea for investigative journalism help Assembly Stevenson and  Assemblyman Boyland have gone to jail. Malcolm Smith Trial is to state in June (before his election). If the former majority leader of the state senate talks half the elected officials in Queens could go to jail.  Assemblyman Bill Scarborough office and home were raided by the FBI this week over abuse of travel vouchers and who else know what Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper is so made at the press for. John Sampson waiting for tail for ripping off money from the courts and spying on the US Attorney's Office. Joe Bruno going for a new trial soon for horse play

"The Media Reports Indictments Or Corruption Trials, Does Not Investigate to Root Out Wrong Doing In Government" - U.S. Attorney Bharara
Bharara to Journalist
Investigate Stop Copying My Press Releases
"Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara Preet Bharara hopes for more muckraking in ... - Capital Sept 18, 2013

Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY)The press has a role to play, Mr. Bharara said, noting that he is saddened by recent reports of newspaper closings and staff downsizing. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said. "Groundbreaking corruption * Robert Addolorato, the new chief of investigations for the Moreland Commission, worked as an investigator for Cuomo while he was attorney general, then started work in the Inspector General’s office in 2011, the Times Union reports: 
More On Corruption Fighter US Attorney Preet Bharara 
More on Albany Corruption

No Corrupt Special Elections This Years
No special elections will be called to fill state legislative vacancies this year, the governor said, leaving almost 1.8 million voters without representation, the Buffalo News writes:

NYT Ignores NY Anti-Voting Laws
Today's NYT   Suppressing the Vote(NYT Ed) A misguided federal court ruling opens the door to more anti-voting laws.

How About Passing A Special Election Reform Law to Included Primaries Called the Boyland Law?
NY's Anti-Voting Laws
NY State has 12 senate and assembly districts without representation because the governor does not want to allow the party leaders to pick elected officials. The NYT and the Goo Goos have been silent on this problem of almost 1 million New Yorkers not having a representative during this budget year.  Former Assemblyman Boyland who not sits in jail was picked by party leaders and elected in a special election where less than 1200 people voted.

Boyland Wants Bail William Boyland’s ex stands by cheating man(NYDN)* Convicted ex-Assemblyman desperate to make bail(NYP)

More on Boyland's Corruptio

12 State Vacancies: 
Blame Silver and Skelos for the Special Election Law
The Boss Elections
A dozen districts left in lurch by Boyland conviction(NYP) The conviction of greedy Brooklyn payola pol William Boyland Jr. means there are now 12 districts across the state that don’t have representation in ­Albany — and might not all year. A spokesman for Gov. Cuomo said nothing has changed since January, when the governor told reporters “we are looking at” the possibility of calling special elections, even though they are “very expensive.” “But these special elections aren’t really elections — they’re coronations by party leaders,” Dadey said, noting that party bosses choose the candidates, who then, without the public scrutiny of a primary campaign, almost invariably win.  Once “coronated,” these special-elected pols are almost inevitably re-elected, Dadey said. New York state incumbents are re-elected at an astounding 94-percent rate. Boyland himself was installed in the district covering Flatbush, Brownsville, Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights via a special election in 2003, Dadey noted. * Common Cause, Citizens Union call for Borough Presidents to follow Stringer's reforms in selecting Community Board members; Markowitz's AY purge cited(AYR)

NYT Calls NY's Special Elections Scams and Undemocratic

In Special Elections Tammany Hall Rules

In the passed True News point out that if the governor called a special election to fill the Weiner seat one man corrupt Queens boss Joe Crowley would pick the next congressman from the 9th district.  Today the NYT & Daily News called the party rules which go back to boss Tweed  that allow one man rule undemocratic.  The NYT did not get into why Albany does not want to change the party rules.  Incumbents get help when challengers pop up from Board of Elections which is controlled by the county leaders.  Most time those the BOE makes sure challengers cannot make it passed what the NYT called "not great" NY political parties ballot access rules. The NYT also did not talk about how the same party rules give the party leaders control who become a Supreme Court Judge in the state. Or about all the corrupt coming out of party leaders selling access to their ballot lines. 

True News Wags NYT
The NYT did say: "This scam is even worse in state races in New York. Citizens Union reported recently that a third of the Legislature was first anointed as candidates in these back-room, special-election deals. Mr. Cuomo didn’t have to hand those six open seats to the bosses. State law says that the governor can call a special election to fill open seats in the Legislature or wait until the next election. He can now start making amends to New Yorkers by pushing to change the state’s special election laws, so the voters, not party bigwigs, get to choose who represents them"  The Daily News says: " Long term, Cuomo aides say there's another solution: to persuade legislators to rewrite the law under which they were, in effect, appointed to office so the governor would be required to call for open primaries whenever possible.  As if Lopez and Crowley would sit still as their power was voted away. Right. Sure. Dream on."

For Democracy Can the NYT, Daily News  Act Like Harper's Weekly
For the NYT Own Good They Should Put As Much Energy Into Cleaning Up NY's Elections From Boss Run Scams as the Paper Put Into the Passage of NY's Gay Marrage. New York’s Especially Undemocratic Elections  (NYT Ed) * Campaign against the Tweed Ring

Goo Goos: Reforms Have Their Press Conferences . . . And Nothing Happens

de Blasio Appoints NYPD IG

First, meet the cops(NYDN Ed) Bill de Blasio fatefully has what he demanded: an inspector general of extraordinary powers to oversee what’s now his Police Department. *  New York City officials named an independent investigator to oversee the police department, appointing a former federal prosecutor who most recently monitored the police department in Washington, D.C.
Inspector General for New York Police Department Is Named

New NYPD IG 3rd agency to oversee NYC cops, but new IG sez it "will not be redundant. It will, however, fill a void."(NYDN)
Philip Eure Named NYPD’s First Inspector General(NYO)
New York Police Department’s Oversight Office, Fought by Bloomberg, Gets First Leader(NYT) * Philip Eure named first inspector general for NYPD (NYDN) * NYPD Inspector General Says Role Will Not Be Redundant(NY1) * NY1 Online: Jumaane Williams Discusses Appointment of NYPD Inspector General * NYPD Gets Independent Investigator(WSJ)
More on the Scheindlin's Stop and Frisk Decision
More on NYPD Bratton

Gelman Sexual Abuse Friend is No Problem for Ratner Flack SKD Knickerbocker

SKDKnickerbocker back in the news; chief-of-staff in NYC office was FCR flack; firm produced misleading Atlantic Yards brochures(AYR)

Photo Gelman and Terry Richardson
Audrey Gelman, real-life best friend to Lena Dunham and ex-girlfriend of infamous fashion photographer Terry Richardson, has officially weighed in on the recent debate over whether female celebrities should vow not to work with men who are known to mistreat women. On December 21st, Gelman, who is a political consultant and spokesperson for incoming Comptroller Scott Stringer, and the real-life inspiration for "Girls" character Marnie Michaels, took to Twitter to address the criticism Dunham had received for her 2013 V Magazine shoot with Richardson. In addition to working with some of today's biggest female stars -- Dunham and Beyoncé included -- the photographer has faced multiple accusations of sexual assault over the years.

News that Audrey Gelman, spokesperson for Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (and occasional actress on Girls) is going to the consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker reminded me to take a look at the firm (previously known as Knickerbocker SKD) and its multiple Atlantic Yards connections, producing propaganda on behalf of the project and hiring a former Forest City Ratner flack..The Chief-of-Staff in the New York City office is Loren Riegelhaupt, famously known for saying:, on behalf of Forest City, "When it comes to sharing information with the public and governmental bodies, there’s no such thing as too much, as far as we are concerned." DDDB went to town on the developer's consistent violation of that pledge.

SKD Creates Fiction for Ratner and NYT
Previous coverage
As I wrote 5/10/06, Forest City Ratner's recent reality-bending brochure was the equivalent ofs a political campaign, produced by Knickerbocker SKD, which has worked on political campaigns and strategic communciations for major players, including Mayor Bloomberg. After all, why would the third page of the flier (right) offer a distorted fisheye photo, implying that the 8.5 acres of railyards constitute the majority of the 22-acre site.* More about SKD Knickbocker

And just as newspapers like the Times regularly evaluate political commercials (including those by this firm) for accuracy, they should do the same for such developer p.r.. They didn't, and they haven't.

The only previous acknowledgement of the consultant's role was a 10/14/05 article by the New York Times, headlined To Build Arena, Developer First Builds Bridges, which stated:

Forest City Ratner also contracted with Knickerbocker SKD, a media consultant, to produce two promotional mailings, each going to more than 300,000 households in Brooklyn.
That's strategy, not analysis.

The NYT Pimps for SKD and Ratner Who Built Their HQ
There was no attempt by the Times to evaluate the content of those mailings, though the first one, especially, was deeply deceptive. For example, the flier (right) quoted gushing praise for the plan attributed to the New York Times, as if it were the newspaper's editorial voice, rather than identifying it as a statement from then-architectural critic Herbert Muschamp.

Firm history
In a 1/7/02 New York Observer article headlined "Cuomo Gets Young Turks For 2002," WNYC's Andrea Bernstein reported that Josh Isay had formed a firm with Dan Klores--founder of the dkc firm handlings p.r. for Forest City Ratner.
KnickerbockerSKD emerged later, and an April 201 merger produced the new firm.
The 2/22/11 profile in Capital NY, How former liberal operative Josh Isay became the default paid-media guy to the New York establishment,stated:
Both the corporate and the political clients ostensibly benefit from the same essential asset: Isay’s knowledge of how reporters, politicians and regulators process information.
Here's the bottom line regarding Isay's choice of political clients, which likely applies to corporate clients, as well:  Certainly, he will not feel constrained by any sense of partisan duty. (As one of Isay's consultant friends put it, "Josh is highly motivated by making profit, which is fine.")
SKD Ratner Used A Boyland to Go After A Political Opponent
Atlantic Yards wrote 10/16/06, there was another connection: Belated Boyland filings show she outraised Montgomery, used same firm as Ratner.

Overdue campaign finance filings from 18th Senatorial District candidate Tracy Boyland, who unsuccessfully challenged incumbent (and Atlantic Yards opponent) Velmanette Montgomery, show that the former City Council member, despite a candidacy launched two months before the September primary, indeed raised more than the $100 she reported at election time. Was Boyland, in fact, the "Ratner candidate," as some charged? Not exactly, but there were some signficant intersections. As predicted by a source in the Crain's Insider, Boyland indeed used the same consulting firm--Knickerbocker SKD--that FCR uses for its deceptiveAtlantic Yards mailers. (As noted, Boyland told the Brooklyn Papers that she's friends with FCR's Bruce Bender, a former top City Council aide.) Boyland spent $37,000 on Knickerbocker SKD's services. The candidate, who made virtually no publicly scheduled campaign appearances and avoided questions from reporters and newspaper editorial boards, inundated voters with mailings and also had campaign workers put up numerous posters and hand out literature outside polling places.* SKD has never registered as a lobbying firm. The New York Times reported that, despite SKD's claims that it engages only in public relations, the firm has contacted Obama administration officials on behalf of its clients.
More on How Bruce Ratner Wins Approval for his Projects

de Blasio Rents 2 High, But No Rent Freeze
New Rent Board Members
De Blasio Announces New Rent Board Members Morning of First Meeting(NYO)The mayor has yet to select a chair for the nine-member rent board
New members of Rent Guidelines Board named(CrainsNY)
De Blasio Picks 5 Members for Rent Board(NYT)
De Blasio names four to rent board(NYP) de Blasio said Thursday that he’s “very sensitive” to the needs of tenants, but stopped short of endorsing the rent freeze he called for when running for City Hall

Why NYC is Losing the Middle Class?

Queens Library Head 2 Role? NO
Sunday Update

Mayor de Blasio and Queens Borough President Katz must appoint new board members who will remove Queens Library head Thomas Galante

Friday Update: Bd Saved Galante Job
STAYING PUT: Queens Library Board votes not to suspend big-spending director Thomas Galante(NYDN)

Saturday Update
GONZALEZ: Chapter could be ending for embattled Queens library head(NYDN)

Slush Fund Book Him
Queens Public Library President Thomas Galante billed the Elmont School District an average of 26 hours per week for consulting work, documents show; but he also claims he worked 70 to 80 hours per week at the library, the Daily News’s Juan Gonzalez writes: Thomas Galate, who is the focus of an FBI probe into construction contracts, held a consulting gig with the Elmont School District that averaged 26 hours a week of his time, while during the same time period he claimed to have worked more 12 hours a day for Queens Public Library. He has denied that his moonlighting hampers his ability to run the $120 million-a-year Queens Library system. - In addition to his $392,000 salary, Galante received a $37,000 car allowance from the city that enabled him to drive between his library job and his home in Wilton, Conn., in a 2011 Nissan 370Z sports car.  - The head a of construction firm that has been awarded 15 contracts to work on various Queens library renovations, Frank Marino of Advanced Consulting Corp., has ties to the same Elmont School District where Galante is a business consultant. Following those revelations, City Controller Scott Stringer announced an audit of the Queens Library and City Council convened emergency oversight hearings. Those hearings have been spearheaded by Council Majority Leader James Van Bramer, who was a top aide to Galante before being elected to the Council. “It seems Mr. Galante either does not sleep or eat — which is hard to believe,” Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley said.
If they think Queens Library is corrupt wait until they audit Brooklyn !

Why Does the Council Ignore the Corrupt 911 Contractors, Lobbyists Who Push Them?
"THE RESPONSE TIMES ARE TOO HIGH:" Longer 911 ambulance times stir City Council(NYDN)  Since changing timing methods, longer ambulance response times shake up Thursday's City Council meeting. Newer times better reflect how long it takes for units to show up, Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano said. City ambulances are taking nine and a half minutes to get to the scene of life-threatening emergencies, new data show.

Council Ignores Comptrollers 911 Contract Investigation
Until last June, response time was calculated from the moment a 911 call was transferred to the appropriate dispatcher. Under that method, ambulance response time was 6 minutes 47 seconds, according to city stats. The city’s new 911 system — which routes all calls through a central set of dispatchers — has drawn fire from critics who say it increases response times and experiences frequent glitches.

Stringer Goes After 911 IT Corruption
Stringer Holding 911 Hewlett-Packer Feet to the Fire New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer rejected a proposed $6 million Bloomberg administration settlement with Hewlett-Packard for the company’s overcharging of the city for modernizing its Gonzalez: Controller Scott Stringer rejects $6M settlement with Hewlett-Packard for 911 overcharging(NYDN) * NYC Rejects $6 Million Settlement With HP Over 911 System Upgrade

4 Year Old Ariel Russo and 911 Lobbyists
Council Names A Street for Ariel But Does Not Hold A Hearing to Find Out the Cause of Her Death the Corrupt 911 Contrats
'It’s been a really emotional day': Manhattan street corner named after 4-year-old Ariel Russo who died in car crash; family reveals they haven't revisited area since tragic day(NYDN)On what should have been Ariel Russo's fifth birthday, the tot's family helped unveil a street sign Monday on the Upper West Side corner where she died last summer. Little Ariel was struck and killed by a teen fleeing police in his parents' SUV on June 4.

Is the Power of the 911 Lobbyist Over the Council the Reason It Names Street and Does Not Investigate Contractors?
The Russo family has filed a wrongful death suit, and criminal charges are still pending against 17-year-old driver Franklin Reyes, who had taken the SUV without his parents’ permission. A report found a series of blunders led to delays in responding to the accident in Manhattan that killed 4-year-old Ariel Russo * City wants $40 million suit launched by Ariel Russo’s family tossed on technicality -- victims did not call 911 (NYDN) The city wants a $40 million negligence lawsuit filed by the family of Ariel Russo, the 4-year-old who was killed by an unlicensed driver last year, tossed because neither she nor her critically injured grandmother personally called 911. The city insists that a “special relationship,” which calls for the victim or a blood relative to call 911, must exist in order to support a negligence claim. RELATED: ARIEL RUSSO CAR CRASH PROBE FAULTS WIDESPEAD HUMAN ERROR, NOT 911 WOES * RELATED: GONZALEZ: ARIEL RUSSO PROBE FINDS ENOUGH BLAME TO FILL A CALL CENTER

Media Never Names the Lobbyist Who Made Money on the Broken 911 System
Both Mercury and George Artz have been lobbyists for Hewlett-Packard which was the main contractor of the city's 911 emergency system that crashes a lot. The city 911 system is now being sued by the parents of 4-year-old Ariel Russo who claim she died because an ambulance to take the little girl to the hospital was delayed by a 911 crash.  Among the lobbyists to get paid by the city’s broken 911 system contractors was George Arzt, Mercury Public Affairs, LLC, Jennifer Carlson, Peter Barden, Jonathan Greenspun, Michael McKeon, Kasirer Consulting LLC. More on Corrupt Lobbyists More on Dark Pool Corrupt Lobbyists

Dead Girl and Lobbyist Still Rake In 911

Last June 4th year old Ariel Russo died shortly aftergetting hit by an SUV.  There had been a four-minute delay in dispatching the ambulance to take the little girl to the hospital. The city is blaming 911 operation human errors for the delay.  The union leader of the 911 operators is blaming the new troubled $2 billion dollars upgrade that the city is installing. The city’s upgrade of the 911 system has not gone very well.  It has been hunted by system crashes, wrong addresses and over a billion and a half dollar cost overrun.  It is now up to a jury to find out who is really at fault for the girls death.

Lobbyist Are So Protected That Can Rake In $$$ While People Get Hurt By Their Handy Work

Audit: HP overbilled city for 911 upgrade | Crain's New York Business

Even though the press says HP was replaced on the 911 project John Liu’s report said that HP was still working on the project and got paid over $300 million in 2012 for their work.  In 2010 thru 2011 when the city council was going after problems in the 911 system, HP hired Kasirer Consulting LLC and paid them over $200,000 to lobby city hall for the company.  Mercury Public Affairs public affairs have been working on the project for Intergraph Corp since 2007.  Before Intergraph hired Sal Salamone as a lobbyist in 2006 to 2008 ($100,000) Salamone worked for the city on the Citytime project until he was let go after the corruption and cost overruns become know on that project, in which Liz Holtzman was one of the lobbyists that cashed in.  It had to get through the fog surrounding the 911 contracts.  Last month Bloomberg lauded Comptroller 911 audit he once called 'stupid.’  He even said there was nothing wrong with the Hewlett-Packard contract and the city paid those most of the money they requested.  The mayor changed him mind on Comptroller budget to stop a federal audit requested by DC 37’s Lillian Roberts.* CM to lobbyist: "You're not really focused on safety, but on the perspective of drivers is that fair? Lobbyist: Yes.(WNYC) * In 2013  Mercury Public Affairs, which was running an independent spending campaign funded by billionaire David Koch and others boosting Mr. de Blasio's general-election opponent, Republican Joseph Lhota.
More on the 911 System Failure Lobbyists the New Permanent GovernmentCorrupt lobbyist  Corrupt Lobbyists Hank Sheinkopf  Corrupt Lobbyists Stanley Schlein How Corrupt Parkside Get Away With It 

Citi-Bike General Manager Resigns

Schumer Proposes Tax Break for People Who Use Bike Share Programs to Get to Work
Bike czar wanted(NYDN Ed)  NYC Bike Share is falling down on the job. It's time for a management overhaul *  Some experts say that if Citi Bike wants to stay afloat without public funding, it should consider raising annual membership fees and improving tourist and infrequent user ridership, The Wall Street Journal reports: * * If London’s bike-share program is a model, New Yorkers should stick with Citi Bike, but they should also be cognizant of the fact that the program could cost taxpayers money in the end, London Evening Standard transport editor Matthew Beard writes in the Daily News: General Manager of city's bike share program resigns(NYDN)Citi Bike General Manager Justin Ginsburgh submitted his resignation as city officials have grown increasingly frustrated with the company that runs the bike-share program, The Wall Street Journal writes: * Citi Bike System Successful, but Wobbly From the Start(NYT) * Citi Bike Manager Resigns(WSJ) * RIDING INTO THE SUNSET: Citi Bike boss resigns as programs fails to meet monthly standards(NYDN) *Citi Bike racks sit unused in Brooklyn boondocks * Blue bikes, red ink(NYP Ed) * Experts Bullish on Citi Bike(WSJ) * Experts Bullish on Citi Bike(WSJ) *By Plotting Journeys, Providing a Glimpse at Citi Bike Ridership(NYT) A new data visualization project makes clear the degree to which the bike share system has become interwoven into New York City’s transit network. * Brooklyn Students Ponder a Citi Bike for To-Go Coffee Cups(WSJ) * amNewYork writes that a fast, thorough overhaul of Citi Bike is needed to keep the system solvent as it approaches its one-year anniversary: * New York City officials shouldn’t be focusing on whether Citi Bike turns a profit, but on its greater good of spurring more business in neighborhoods, Nicole Gelinas writes in City & State:
More on City Bikes 

Child Welfare Tale of Two Cities Widens 
De Blasio's child welfare reforms falling flat, officials say: (DNAINFO) A key component of the mayor's child-safety reforms — implemented in January in the wake of 4-year-old Myls Dobson's death — has been stymied by child welfare workers who don't file required paperwork and often fail to show up for court hearings, officials said.

How Political Consultant Lobbyists Don't Have to Register With the City As Lobbyists
Nonprofit that organized charter school rally in Albany insists it did not count as lobbying (CrainsNY)
n early March, charter school supporters held a huge rally at the state Capitol featuring Gov. Andrew Cuomo and hundreds of students it had bused to Albany for the protest. But the nonprofit that organized the charter rally is declining to disclose any of its spending on the event, maintaining none of it was actually lobbying—a view that doesn't fly with good-government group Citizens Union. In an initial email to Crain’s, Stu Loeser, the spokesman for Families For Excellent Schools, said that at the time of the March 4 rally, “there was no resolution, legislation, executive order, or bill to lobby the state Legislature on,” and therefore the rally was not lobbying. Nine days after the rally, the state Senate passed a budget resolution containing several pro-charter provisions.
A day after that, Families For Excellent Schools submitted a lobbying disclosure with the state ethics panel, JCOPE, stating that it was now in fact lobbying, specifically on the “state Senate budget.” Yet in 2011, an ethics reform package pushed by Mr. Cuomo expanded the definition of lobbying to include not just “any attempt to influence” bills, but also any attempt to influence “the introduction or intended introduction of such legislation.” In a follow-up statement Tuesday after Crain's pointed out that aspect of the law, Mr. Loeser argued further that lobbying is defined as not "merely intending to influence general government policy" but rather intending to influence specific legislation. He added, "There were a variety of things Albany could do. At the time of the rally—before the Senate budget was introduced—we were not trying to get legislation introduced, or an executive order or regulation adopted." Capital New York reported on Feb. 24, well before the rally was held, that charter supporters were "looking to Assembly members from [New York City] districts to push for state funding to help co-located charters."

Lawmakers Live Cheap To Pocket $$$
State lawmakers receive a $172 per day per diem while in Albany, which has left some looking for ways to pad their paychecks by legally pocketing the leftover money for food, lodging and expenses tax-free
But do lawmakers use their allowance for the poker games?
Perk for Albany Lawmakers: A Stipend, No Receipts Needed(NYT) New York Legislators Economize to Stretch Their Per Diem Pay. They come for the special nightly rate of $64.95 – which includes an Internet connection, parking and a breakfast buffet piled high each morning with pastries, cereal, bacon and turkey sausage. They come back for other reasons, too: The breakfast room often turns into a poker den after the State Capitol empties out. On a recent Monday night, a group of legislators could be glimpsed through a closed door, deep into a game.* The not-so-glamorous side of Albany life, as told (in video!) by Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, a Glenmont Comfort Inn regular.

Ghost of A Forgotten Tribe of New Yorkers Still Matters
Andrew Cuomo rebuilt a battered reputation in late '80s by pressing for more aid to city homeless. Gov's response to city today? Buzz off.
Cuomo 180 Flip Flop On Homeless $$$ 
Great Activists Journalist of Past Generations and A More Open Media Turn Coal Pols Into Diamond Distributors . . . And Went After Government Corruption

Kirk's Generation
Did we do it? 
Did we make a difference? 
Thursday - Every year there is little or no discussion about lucrative budget items, but this year Albany lawmakers are dancing around a voucher program for working homeless families championed in New York City, The New York Times’ Michael Powell writes: * Cuomo: I will help de Blasio fix homeless problem(NYP) * Cuomo Seeking Resolution to City Homelessness Funding Impasse (WSJ)* Cuomo, de Blasio seek accord to aid homeless(NYDN)

Cuomo Compromise 
Wednesday  Update. reopens door on 's homeless aid request Cuomo Working on Compromise to Get Assistance for Homeless Families (NY1) *Mark-Viverito, gingerly, on Cuomo hold-up of homeless subsidy(Capital)

Cuomo de Blasio Clash Again Over Homeless
Cuomo and de Blasio Clash Again, This Time Over Homelessness(NYT)Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo told Mayor Bill de Blasio it is “too late” to restore a rent subsidy to the state budget to help homeless families stay out of shelters. * Cuomo refuses city’s homeless rental subsidy request(NYP) * De Blasio: 'Miscommunication' on Homelessness With Cuomo(WSJ)New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said there has been a "miscommunication" with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration regarding a proposal to launch a new program to combat homelessness, vowing Tuesday to fix the matter quickly since the deadline for a state budget looms. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to combat homelessness has run into problems at the state level, with Cuomo administration officials suggesting that the city ran out of time to get state money for a new program* Governor, Mayor Clash on Homeless(WSJ) * Homeless man found dead on NYC subway tracks  * Cuomo admin on de Blasio homeless request: ‘Too late’(Capital) De Blasio's administration is requesting a change in the budgetary language that prevents New York City from using state funds to subsidize rents for homeless families leaving city-run shelters. "As everyone knows, the budget is due in less than a week so we can assume the city's proposal will be for next year, because at this point it's too late to take up anything significant this year," said Melissa DeRosa, a spokeswoman for Cuomo.* . cites 'miscommunication' on homeless request(Capital) * Cuomo: de Blasio Missed The ‘Budget Train’ On Homeless Request(YNN)
A Muscle flexing Gov, a Mayor w not ready for prime time lobbyists? Cuomo/de Blasio Clash Again Over Homelessness $$(NYT)

Bronx Petition Fraud Arrests
Three former campaign workers for New York City Councilwoman Maria de Carmen Arroyo were charged with forgery for submitting nominating petitions with fake signatures for last year’s Democratic primary
EXCLUSIVE: Former campaign workers for Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo charged with fraud(NYDN) Betty Julien, Elbin Lopez and Luis Vargas quietly arrested Tuesday night for forging Derek Jeter and Kate Moss' name on reelection petitions The trio of hired staffers were fingered by the Councilwoman after volunteers for her primary challenger, Julio Pabon, noticed names such as Derek Jeter and Kate Moss on the rolls. Lopez testified before the Board of Elections that he was paid $1 per signature and that he reported directly to Arroyo’s nephew. …this came the same day Citizens Union accused the state Board of Elections of dropping an investigation into Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo (the councilwoman’s mother).

Unemployment Up in NYC to 7.9%
NYC Elected Officials Have Done Nothing to Reduce the City's High Unemployment Rate 
State Unemployment Stays At 6.8 Percent(YNN) * New York City’s Jobless Rate Rises(NYT) New York City’s unemployment rate rose in February to 7.9 percent. Wall Street, which traditionally had led the city out of recessions with robust hiring, shrank again last month and employs fewer people than it did a year ago, the figures show. The city also has about 140,000 more unemployed residents than it had six years ago, before the financial crisis struck.The number of people collecting regular unemployment benefits in New York State rose last month. A large number of New Yorkers — more than 663,000 state residents –— counted as officially unemployed last month, which means that they tried but failed to find jobs.

 But fewer than 200,000 of them collected regular unemployment benefits in February. More than 100,000 other unemployed state residents who had been out of work for more than half a year lost their benefits because Congress did not extend an emergency benefits program at the end of 2013.* So long, pound cake. Entemanns is closing its Long Island facility after more than a century in Bay Shore (WNBC)
More on NYC's Elected Officials Have Not Created Jobs

Boyland's Judge Denies Bail

A federal judge called former Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. “a self-centered individual who lacks integrity” and denied his release on a $1 million bond

Assemblyman-turned-convict Boyland denied bail(NYP) Former Brooklyn Assemblyman-turned-convict William Boyland Jr. must remain behind bars until his June sentencing on corruption raps, a judge ruled Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court. A blistering Judge Sandra Townes denied Boyland’s bid for a bail package, citing his disrespect for the law and his potential for flight. Boyland appeared disoriented and detached in a blue prison suit and could only manage a feeble wave to his father and mother in the court gallery as he left the courtroom after his bid was denied. Townes initially remanded Boyland after his March 5 conviction because he texted a witness during the trial and drove with a suspended license each day of the proceeding. She repeated those reasons in denying his bail package Tuesday. “The defendant has failed — based on all of this — to convince this court by clear and convincing evidence that he won’t flee.”“The evidence presented at trial portrays Mr. Boyland as a self-centered individual who lacks integrity,” Townes seethed. “It is simply more proof that the defendant is unlikely to honor the conditions set for him.”New York’s powerful labor unions steered millions of dollars in members’ dues into campaign coffers. Health Care Workers Union Local 1199 East-SEIU donated $733,500. The fifth-largest contributor was the New York State United Teachers union, which distributed $717,343, while the city teachers union kicked in additional $347,800. * Moreland Commission Update Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Moreland Commission on Public Corruption convened quietly earlier this month in a private meeting held on March 10. City & State had reported in February that the commission had yet to meet in 2014 and that Cuomo had not committed to replacing Kathleen Rice, a commission co-chair and the Nassau County District Attorney. A Moreland spokeswoman said that the commission discussed investigations during its March meeting. (City and State)

Are we beating Illinois yet? RT : 35 NYS state-level pols have now been caught up in a scandal in the past 8 years
What Happen to the Moreland Commission Investigation of Housekeeping Accounts?
Another Investigation into Campaign Funding Abuse
Donors funnel $28M to state politicians and parties(NYP) Fat-cat contributors exploited New York’s porous election law to shovel $28 million in campaign contributions to statewide candidates and to political parties last year, according to a report released Tuesday. The top 170 contributors gave more to statewide election accounts — 51.4 percent of the total — than the rest of New York’s 19.7 million residents combined, an analysis by the New York Public Interest Research Group found. The biggest beneficiaries were Gov. Cuomo’s re-election campaign and the state Democratic Party.The donors showered Cuomo with $5.2 million and the state Democratic Campaign Committee with $6.1 million. Hedge-fund king James Simon and his wife, Marilyn, led the list with donations of nearly $1.2 million — with $1 million going to the Democratic Party’s “housekeeping account.”* Real-estate tycoon Leonard Litwin was the second-biggest donor. Exploiting loopholes to get around spending limitations, he used an assortment of corporate subsidiaries to donate $1 million — including $375,000 to Cuomo’s re-election campaign. Billionaire George Soros grabbed the No. 3 spot on the top donor list by giving $750,000 to the Democratic Party. That doesn’t count his contributions to so-called “super PACs.”

Flashback Moreland Looking At Housekeepting Accounts

Party housekeeping accounts have come under major scrutiny because of a loophole in state campaign finance law that allows companies to funnel unlimited amounts through them. The cash is only supposed to be used for party-related issues but groups have managed to find ways to provide the cash to candidates to boost their campaigns. In February, Cuomo began raising funds through the Democratic committee to finance ads to back his budget proposal and other policies. Bill Samuels of The New Roosevelt Institute said that looking into housekeeping accounts was vitally important to the Moreland Commission. Earlier this summer,the Moreland Commission issued subpoenas to five real estate firms — including Extell Development, a group that donated $100,000 to Cuomo’s campaign days before he signed a bill that included tax breaks for their properties. The other firms that were subpoenaed are Thor Equity, Silverstein Properties, Fischer Brothers and Ann/Nassau Realty.  Common Cause recently issued a report on real estate lobbying in New York and found that since 2005 REBNY and its affiliates have given $43.9 million to local and statewide candidates. Cuomo has benefited to the tune of $1.99 million in donations from REBNY.* More Moreland: Anti-corruption panel says it’s targeting ALL housekeeping accounts(LoHud) * "MorelandMonday" analysis of soft money housekeeping accounts is ripe for review byCommission(Common Cause Aug 16, 2013)
"Moreland Monday" analysis of soft money housekeeping accounts is ripe for review by Commission - See more at:
Moreland Investigation Updates or Media Cover-Up

Board of Election More Like Area 51
BOE Corrupt, Dumb and Now Nuts

“While the board has been a convenient foil for public criticism, it has at the same time been the victim of a funding scheme that seems to have been intentionally designed to cash starve the agency to accomplish some unknown and ultimately inconceivable goal,”   
     BOE ex. director Michael Ryan 

Pooling their ignorance the BOE responds to a damming DOI report, Tries to BS the Council. BOE director Michael Ryan made the conspiracy-laden accusation as part of a pitch to secure a whopping $55 million in additional funding from the city’s coffers, even as his agency remains under investigation by the city. 

A Tammany Hall Fixer Tries to Save the BOE for the Bad Guys

Michael Ryan is the latest secret agent sent into BOE by the political machines and incumbent politicians in power to fight off democracy.  To clueless reporters he looks like a professional knowledgeable man who knows what is wrong with the BOE and knows how to fix it.  Ryan was the first to testify this week at the City Council on what is wrong with the BOE.  His real secret mission is to rescue the BOE from its incompetent corrupt self and preserve it gatekeeper function of weeding out challengers to those in power.  The county leaders who really run the BOE, who would not as easily fool the media and public as Ryan, were not called to testify at the council hearing.
A recent Department of Investigation probe identified a host of failings at the agency — including nepotism, voter roll deficiencies and poor training of poll workers.Council member David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn), who asked Ryan to elaborate on the “grand conspiracy” targeting the BOE, called the claim “a bit out there.” NYC Board Of Elections Pitches Pricey Voter Kiosks To Skeptical City Council(NYDN) Board of Election Pitches Pricey Voter Kiosks To Skeptical City Council* The NYC Board of Elections has formally responded to a damning report by the Department of Investigation by calling much of the probe outdated, vague and maybe illegal. Kallos said he was reluctant to sink more cash into the perpetually problem-plagued agency.

Remember Long Lines Than in 2012 Election 
“It is hard for me to want to invest more when we’re still dealing with allegations of nepotism and a commitment on the part of the organization to your constitutional right to patronage,” he said.  The board also submitted a formal response to a scathing Department of Investigation probe ahead of Tuesday's hearing. * B.O.E director: Council trying to ‘cash starve’ us(Capital)"While the board has historically been a convenient foil for public criticism, it has at the same time been the victim of a funding scheme that seems to have been intentionally designed to 'cash starve' the agency." Ryan's comments came the same day the board responded to a blistering Department of Investigations report, in which the board said the report's recommendations are inconsistent with how the B.O.E is required to operate under state law. The last time Ryan testified before the Council it was during an oversight hearing where D.O.I. commissioner Mark Peters detailed numerous B.O.E. operation illegalities and mismanagement. * Elections Board head claims agency deliberately underfunded(NYP)

The NY Media Covers Putin's Corrupt Election in Crimeans and is Silent About Selling the Mayor's Ballot Line in A NYC

Will Putin Take Over NYC Next?
 In two weeks it will be one year since Senator Malcolm Smith, Councilman Dan Halloran, Bronx Republican Chairman Jay Savino and Queens GOP VP Vince Tabone. The media has not done one investigative story about the Smith attempt to buy the mayor's seat. As U.S. Attorney Bharara pointedly asked: “What can we expect when transgressions seem to be tolerated and nothing ever seems to change?” “Putting dirty politicians in prison may be necessary, but is not sufficient. Hard as it is to believe, New York’s public-corruption crisis is getting worse.

The press has a role to play, Mr. Bharara said, noting that he is saddened by recent reports of newspaper closings and staff downsizing. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara Preet Bharara hopes for more muckraking in ... - Capital Sept 18, 2013 As Queens City Councilman Dan Halloran, who was also arrested, put it in an FBI transcript, “Money is what greases the wheels.” Politics is “all about how much.”
 ‘Bribing’ his way onto the ballot: State Sen., city Councilman Halloran face fed rap today(NYP) State Sen. Malcolm Smith and city Councilman Dan Halloran will be slapped with federal charges today in a stunning bribery scheme to rig this year’s mayoral election.* The king of Queens graft(NYP Ed) Smith has been linked to so many dubious schemes the FBI must have had an entire branch on his tail: Bid-rigging for the Aqueduct racino. Co-founding a Katrina charity that saw nearly $30,000 vanish. Diverting campaign funds for lavish personal trips and meals. Even opening (and then ruining) a Queens charter school in what appears to be a plot to boost home sales for a developer and big-time donor.

How Do You Give the UFT A 9 Year Contract?

When the Mayor Says Parents Want to Shake Unacceptable Status Quo of Our Public Schools?   

: "People in traditional schools, charter schools want to shake foundation of unacceptable status quo"
"The notion that children are "lucky enough to escape" district schools "speaks volumes," BdB says"
De Blasio Pushing for Unusual, 9-Year Contract With Teachers’ Union(NYT) The de Blasio administration, seeking to be generous to its allies in labor without jeopardizing New York City’s finances, is pushing for what would be the longest-ever contract with the teachers’ union: a nine-year deal that would let the city stretch out potentially huge retroactive pay increases.* De Blasio's Labor Team(City and State) * De Blasio eyes record 9-year deal with (NYP) teachers union * De Blasio Pushes a 9-Year Contract for Teachers(NYT) * De Blasio Proposes Nine-Year Contract for City Teachers(NY1) * Teacher back-pay math is tough, even on a nine-year timeline(Capital) Goodwin NYP On Proposed Contract "News flash: With City Hall and the teachers union negotiating a new contract, union boss Michael Mulgrew asked for the sun and the moon, then promised, “We’re not trying to bankrupt the city.” Whew — glad he cleared that up." More On Education and the new Chancellor, Charter Schools

A Cult + Corruption Lets Have A Party

The return of Lenora Fulani? A NYC Independence Party activist floats a controversial name for governor instead of Cuomo.
 Daily News Tells Cuomo to Dump IP
* The tempest over the Independence Party is remarkable, if only for the disarray it has created in other political parties, Newsday’s Dan Janison writes: 

Astorino's Independence move puts onus on Cuomo(Newsday) Suddenly the true value of an Independence Party endorsement for statewide office faces its most serious public questioning in years. Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive and a Republican candidate for governor, said Thursday that he "can't see any scenario" where he'd accept the third party's cross-endorsement for the November election.* Independence Party Is Really A Cult With Lots of Corruption * End the sham, gov(NYDN Ed) It now falls to Gov. Cuomo to end the fraud against voters known as New York’s Independence Party. The governor must — because the Independence Party stands for nothing, is controlled by wheeling-and-dealing insiders and thrives by deceiving voters. A party’s gubernatorial candidate must get at least 50,000 votes in order to win that privilege. The Independence Party rolls are stocked largely by people who intended to register as indepenDENTs with no party affiliation but who instead checked the IndepenDENCE Party box.In the city, followers of the late Fred Newman, known for kooky psychotherapy practices and anti-Semitic outbursts, hold tight sway. Elsewhere, Chairman Frank MacKay, a former Long Island nightclub owner, is in charge.

Monday Update A former state Democratic chairman called for Cuomo and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino to decline Independence Party support, making Cuomo “furious”, the Post’s Fred Dicker reports In column, Fred Dicker () sez Jay Jacobs' challenge to Cuomo about I-line motivated by anger he's close to GOP* The Post writes that while gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has taken the first step by saying he won’t accept an Independence Party endorsement, there is still a wait for a candidate who refuses to accept any second ballot line:* Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reportedly stunned and “furious” with former state Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs call for gubernatorial candidates to reject the state Independence Party line. Astorino has pledged to do so, Cuomo hasn’t yet responded. * The governor deflected questions about the Independence Party, which gubernatorial challenger Rob Astorino has attacked, as Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano rebuffed the criticism, the Daily News writes: * Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano defended the Independence Party, calling Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs “a failed leader who likes to bully people.”

Independence Party Is Really A Cult, Corrupt Party

How the Hell Does Attacking Central Park Help the Mayor's Image or Tourism?

Fight Over Park Conservancies Funds

Ideology War
Mark-Viverito at odds with de Blasio on parks funds(NYP) City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito expressed reservations Friday about a proposal to force well-funded park conservancies to share their donations with small or neglected parks. Mayor wants to tshare 20 percent of their funds with smaller parks. De Blasio, who backed the controversial money-sharing proposal during last year’s mayoral campaign, called it “promising” when asked about it again Friday.*New Parks Dept. Leader Shares de Blasio’s Goal of Addressing Inequities(NYT)In naming Mitchell J. Silver, an urban planner with broad national experience, to lead the parks department, Mr. de Blasio said the agency would do more to “work for all our people.” * Parks commissioner wants to redistribute money to parks in poor areas(NYDN) *   Mayor de Blasio to Appoint Mitchell Silver Parks Commissioner: Sources(NYO)  Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to announce tomorrow that Mitchell Silver will be the new parks commissioner in his slowly-growing administration, source say. Mr. Silver is the former president of the American Planning Association, and is currently the  head of planning at Raleigh, North Carolina, according to an online bio.
de Blasio to name parks commissioner | Crain's New York Business  North Carolina Planner Named to Head New York City Parks Dept.(NYT) The new parks commissioner, Mitchell J. Silver, has extensive New York experience, with degrees from Pratt Institute and Hunter College.* Mitchell Silver tapped to be new Parks commissioner: sources(NYDN) * De Blasio to tap parks commissioner(NYP) * New Parks Head With Urban Cred(WSJ) * De Blasio Appoints Mitchell Silver New Parks Commissioner(NYO) BdB reiterates openness to redistributing money from wealthy (private) parks groups, to fund less-maintained parks.* Leave green parks alone (NYDN Ed)  Don’t rob some to fund others
Flashback De Blasio Picks More Liberal Activists Than Managers for City Posts(NYT) * Stasi: Dear mayor, you're right about the carriage horse ban — when you love animals as much as we do the livelihood of those carriage drivers takes a backseat(NYDN)

Mayor de Blasio First 3 Months 
More on the City's Parks 
More on Horse Carriage Politics 
Bill de Blasio's son attends a school with a healthy private endowment. Tax it and spread the wealth around?

How Economic Development Metastasis into A Re-Election Campaign

The Cuomo administration spent $15.2M on ads touting its tax-free zone program (Capital)
For three months beginning in December, the state spent $8.9 million in out-of-state markets, $4.2 million in New York City and $2.2 million in Upstate markets. Capital first asked the administration for information about the ads on January 19, and has reiterated its request more than three dozen times over two months. It also filed a Freedom of Information Law request for records about the advertising that has been extended twice. Empire State Development, the state authority in charge of economic development in New York, released the data to Capital (and other outlets) after Capital asserted it would write an article about ESD officials refusal to fulfill requests.* Rob Astorino Says Gov. Cuomo's Using Start-Up NY Ad Campaign As A Popularity Booster(NYO)

 Dumb Press and Broken Election System is How de Blasio Got Elected

The Shame of New York: The Advance Group Joins Top NY Journalists to Review the 2013 Campaign
After the Worse Covered Election in Recent Memory A Elite Group of Journalists Are Going On A Panel Tuesday to Tell Us All What A Great Job They Did.  And That  is Not Worse of It.  Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese said her got more press coverage when he demanded Weiner leave the race than the the whole campaign when he talked about issues the other candidates were not talking about. How the Media Lost the Race for Mayor(City Limits)They Will Share the Stage With the Advance's Group's Scott Levenson who gamed the election process and manipulated campaigns and the so called reporters coverage in ways they will never understand or care to learn about.

Group Think Masterbation Journalist Dumb Down the Public and Tell Each Other What A Great Job They Did
This generation  of journalist do not understand that fair elections and an informed public are  important to the well being of every New Yorker.   Participants will include: Kate Taylor, The New York Times; Maggie Haberman, Politico; Brian Lehrer, WNYC; Scott Levenson, The Advance Group; Stu Loeser, political strategist; Errol Louis, NY 1; and Joel Siegel, New York Daily News. Moderator: Greg David, Crain’s New York Business columnist and director of the Business & Economics Reporting Program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
A Quinnipiac poll shows that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s approval rating dropped nearly 10 percent since January to 45 percent, while his disapproval rating more than doubled to 34 percent

Clouds return and the mayor’s ratings slide
Mayor Bill De Blasio’s Approval Rating Takes Hit, Quinnipiac Poll Shows(WCBS) A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday says that 45 percent of New Yorkers approve of the job de Blasio is doing. Thirty-four percent disapprove. De Blasio’s rating is down from Quinnipiac’s last poll, which was released Jan. 16 — a little more than two weeks after he took office. In that poll, 53 percent approved of the job he was doing, and only 13 percent did not. The numbers are slightly better than a Marist College poll earlier this month that showed 39 percent of registered New York City voters believe the mayor is doing a “good” or “excellent” job. White voters most strongly disapprove of the job de Blasio is doing (45 percent) while black voters (60 percent) overwhelmingly approve.* Mayor de Blasio's approval ratings drop in new poll(NYDN) . approval rating lower than those of , finds * De Blasio’s approval rating continues to sink(NYP) * De Blasio’s Approval Slips, a Poll Shows(NYT) * Poll: Mayor's Approval Rating at 45 Percent (NY1) * De Blasio aides tout polls, without getting ‘too fixated’(Capital) Q Poll blow for Blas tax hike mandate: voters prefer Cuomo plan 54 – 35 percent***Full Poll

 2.5 Million in Housing Bribes
Ex-NYC housing honcho: I raked in $2.5M in bribes(NYP)A former city housing honcho said Monday he raked in $2.5 million in bribes from developers and contractors looking to access affordable housing contracts. The stunning admission from former Housing Preservation and Development Department assistant commissioner Wendell Walters came as he testified in the Brooklyn federal court bribery trial of developer Steve Dunn and his lawyer partners Lee Hymowitz and Michael Freeman.* Ex-Housing Official Tells of Bribes(WSJ)

Lawyers, developer acquitted in bribery case(NYP)
The feds had charged that Steve Dunn, Lee Hymowitz and Michael Freeman all took part in paying off city officials in order to win bids for lucrative affordable housing developments. A pair of lawyers and a real estate developer were acquitted of federal bribery charges of allegedly paying off New York City officials to win bids for affordable housing developments

de Blasio Fund Raiser Lobbyists Get City's Largest Residential Building

City’s largest residential building gets green light(NYP) The green light for development at 606 W. 57th St. was tied to the developer’s commitment to maximize affordable housing at the site and reveals Mayor de Blasio’s housing-policy priorities. The complex will sit on 1.9 acres. Developer TF Cornerstone agreed to create 237 units of affordable housing out of 1,189 units total. James Capalino (left), lobbied for Rudin Management, developers of high-end condos near the old St. Vincent’s Hospital, and Suri Kasirer (right), who met with Bill de Blasio on Brooklyn’s contentious Atlantic Yards project, are part of de Blasio's host committee for $1 million fund-raiser. Bill de Blasio fund-raisers are big time lobbyists(NYDN) The host committee included James Capalino, who has lobbied for Rudin Management, developers of high-end condos near the old St. Vincent’s Hospital, and lobbyist Suri Kasirer, who met with de Blasio on Brooklyn’s contentious Atlantic Yards project. * * An expert warns that a super PAC trying to repeal the state’s $150,000 annual contribution limit for individuals poses a big risk of corruption and could lead to “an explosion” of large contributions by wealthy donors, the Daily News writes:

Cuomo bemoans "24-hour blogs": "You have this constant chatter that is not necessarily the most credible"

Dumbing Down News

24-Hour News Cycle Makes Governing More Difficult, Gov. Cuomo Says(NYDN) Gov. Cuomo, media observer: "They have to get it up first. They have to get it up fast." “I don’t believe it raises the quality,” he added. “As a matter of fact, I think it lowers the quality, but it increases the frequency. So you have this constant chatter, that is not necessarily the most credible, the most insightful. But it’s constant and that dictates a rhythm to the governmental dialogue, which again is fast, and quick and facile, but not necessarily intellectual or correct.”

Ocean Hill-Brownsville Panel Discussion at Museum of the City of New York - See more at:
Ocean Hill-Brownsville Panel Discussion at Museum of the City of New York - See more at:

Housing Costs Rise, Goodbye Middle Class

Chase or Impossible Spin? Affordable Housing
New York State Reports Steep Rise in Housing Costs(NYP) More than three million New York households — over half the state’s renters and one-third of homeowners — cannot afford their homes, the state comptroller’s office disclosed.* Housing becoming more expensive for NYers: comptroller(NYP) * New York City continues chasing affordable housing(NYP)If your rent is too damn high, blame city government for trying to be Matthew McConaughey. Accepting his Oscar for Best Actor this month, McConaughey said one of the things he needs daily is “someone to chase” — so he chases himself, 10 years down the road. He knows he’ll never “catch” himself, of course. But at least he has someone to chase. When it comes to housing, the city is
also chasing something it will never catch — indeed, something that will never exist: the fantasy of affordable apartments for all who need them. And this chase only deepens Gotham’s never-ending apartment squeeze.* Half of New York residents can’t afford the rent: study(Real Deal) Since 2000, the share of renters in the state who put more than 30 percent of their income towards housing costs has increased sharply, from 40.5 percent to 50.6 percent, according to a report by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, released earlier this week.
How NYC is Losing the Middle Class
A new report by the Coalition for the Homeless shows that the number of people staying overnight in New York City shelters has hit a record of 53,615, with a 12 percent increase in the number of newly homeless families in the system, the Times writes: * Report: Number of Homeless in City Hits Record High (NY1) * NYC homelessness reaches all-time high, according to report(AMNY)
More on Affordable Housing 
More on How NYC is Losing the Middle Class

The McDonald's City Council Economy
City Council Fights for Higher Minimum Wages Not High Paying Jobs

New York State’s low-pay employment growth soars(NYP) New York is in a slow economic meltdown, analysts say. The city and state face a future of low-wage job growth, killer taxes and regulations — and a hostile business climate forcing firms out. One in 10 workers in New York City — 400,000 in all — are now in low-wage jobs, with 37 percent of all wage earners paid less than $15 an hour, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Eight of the 10 occupations reckoned to add the most net jobs in the Big Apple over the next 10 years have median annual wages of below $30,000, according to another analysis.* NYC Pols Take Minimum Wage Challenge | New York Daily News * Council Members Rally for Higher Minimum Wage NYC | (NYO)Tax policies hurt hiring in New York(NYP) These hindrances include scheduled increases in the state minimum wage, new city paid sick leave rules for small businesses, high construction costs and burdensome taxes.* The Working Life: Among de Blasio’s Priorities, Minimum Wage Waits Behind Pre-K (NYT)
More about NYC Economic Problems

Why Does the Press Cover-Up the Levension Investigation? Is Fixing Elections and Destroying Democratic Elections Important in NYC?

 Path to Banning Horse Carriages in City Seen as Product of Po litical Developments(NY1) One of last's year's biggest ads targeted Christine Quinn, then the front-runner. Those behind it didn't like Quinn's support for horse carriages, but there's a hitch: the ad didn't mention banning horse carriages.* De Blasio Whipped by Horse Lobby(Daily Beast) NY1 reporter Josh Robin's did mention Levinson name in his Daily Beast article but only in one sentence.  He said nothing about the possible criminal actions that Levension is being investigated for.* Parents and children get caught between charter school feud with teachers union and pro-charter forces

Parents and children of charter schools are caught between two well-funded interests. (NYDN) As of last week, the political action committees of the United Federation of Teachers and the four major charter backers were fairly evenly matched financially, a Daily News review found.* .* Mayor's ally being paid to fight him (CrainsNY) Instead of opposing the heavily favored Mr. de Blasio in the general election, however, Pledge 2 Protect hired the Advance Group, a Manhattan-based Democratic consulting firm that had just run a $1 million campaign to sink de Blasio rival Christine Quinn. Pledge 2 Protect also hired Ms. Lewis, who shares an office with the Advance Group and whose nonprofit is a client of it.


Coming Media War:  
Old Journalism vs Elected Officials Media
Pols are increasing creating interests group and using twitter and facebook to reach the public going around old media


Peter Hamill reflects on a legendary career in journalism and how he earned Polk career award(NYDN)

Murdoch says NY Post most only exist in digital form in 10 years: 
Murdoch says that the New York Post, his money-losing daily tabloid, may exist only in digital form in 10 years. He expects the Wall Street Journal, which he bought as part of Dow Jones in 2007, to remain in print form longer. 

Jill Abramson: Obama admin "more secretive and more hostile to the operations of the press" than any since Nixon

WATCH LETTERMAN'S RETIREMENT ANNOUNCEMENT: “The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves -- he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years -- and we’ve had this conversation in the past. And we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance. And I phoned him just before the program, and I said: 'Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring.'...“What this means now, is that Paul and I can be married. ... We don’t have the timetable for this precisely down -- I think it will be at least a year or so, but sometime in the not too distant future -- 2015 for the love of God, in fact, Paul and I will be wrapping things up.”
Jon Stewart wonders if CNN has looked up "their own a**holes" yet for Malaysia plane 
Charting the years-long decline of local news reporting(Wash Post) 

 Recent News On the Media



How to Squeeze the Political Parties(NYT Ed)
A six-figure check will buy unlimited access to powerful politicians.

Nearly 20 consultants and lobbyists are co-hosting a Ready for Hillary PAC fundraiser tonight at Capitol Hill restaurant Johnny’s Half Shell.

Bill Maher slams SCOTUS campaign finance ruling, says "idiots" have won

How Bradley Cooper Helped Save Obamacare(Vanity Fair)

 Last 100 Days in Washington Coverage

Law and Order

Father fears shot son might lose his sight(NYP)
The New York Times writes that punishments for New York lawyers who violate obligations to a client are slow, inconsistent and often hidden from the public, so the system must change if New Yorkers are to be confident in the lawyers who represent them:


More Talks Expected in ‘Central Park Five’ Lawsuit(NYT)
A Sea of Blue and Mourning at an Officer’s Funeral(NYT)
Officer Testifies About Encounter With Occupy Wall Street Protester(NYT)
Bystander, 13, Shot in Brooklyn(NYT)

NYC lawyer for bin Laden's son-in-law faces trial(WSJ)
Judge Loath to Permit TV Testimony on Islamist(NYT)
Conviction of Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law Doesn’t Halt Debate Over Terror Trials’ Venue(NYT)
 Bin Laden son-in-law who served as al-Qaida spokesman after 9/11 convicted at NYC terror trial
Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law Is Convicted in Terror Trial(NYT)

So-Called "Lone Wolf" Gets 16 Years in Manhattan Bomb Plot v
Judge Imposes 16-Year Term for Manhattan Man in Pipe Bomb Case(NYT)
Terror Case Against Aide to Bin Laden Goes to Jury(NYT)
The jury is weighing terrorism charges against Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who was a top adviser to Osama bin Laden.
More on Terrorism 

“It has been my experience, always, that horses, much like humans, are at their happiest and healthiest when working.”