Monday, October 5, 2015

True News:

NYC Journalism: A Race to the Bottom
Remember When New York Magazine Made the City Culture Now Badly Mimics Social Media BuzzFeed
In the 1960's through 2000 New York Magazine Defining the news, culture, fashion, food, and personalities that drive New York City. Tom Wolfe,  Jimmy Breslin, Gail Sheehy, Woody Allen, Judith Crist, Gael Greene, Clay Felker, Adam Smith, Pete Hamill

The Village Voice Was Murdered
Remember When the Village Voice Led New York's Counter Culture and Drove the City's Reform Movement With Its Investigative Reporting Norman Mailer, Jack Newfield, Wayne Barrett, Tom Robins, Nat Hentoff;,  William Bastone, Tom Stoppard, Lorraine Hansberry, Lester Bangs, Catholic activist and author Thomas E. Byers, Allen Ginsberg,Michael Musto,and Joshua Clover. Former editors have included Clay Felker and Tom Morgan.

The Daily News: From the Voice of New York to Polenta
From Community Control to Centralized PACs Control
Wolff: The long death of N.Y.'s Daily News (USA Today)  The Daily News, New York’s legacy heart-and-soul newspaper, and once the biggest paper in the country, has been unable to find a suitable buyer and is now — in the private assessment of no less an observer of the city’s media than former mayor Michael Bloomberg — “over with.”  Newspapers are uniquely shaped by their owner’s talents, idiosyncrasies and personalities as much by market forces, or even new technologies. While Zuckerman’s ambitions as a city personage (he occasionally considered running for office) would sustain the paper for more than two decades, they would not be of a kind to distinguish it. Partly, this was because the News was overshadowed by the Post’s tabloid style and Murdoch’s willingness to lose ever-great amounts of money. Zuckerman was always reluctant to go head to head with the Post — or with Murdoch, ever unsure what he might unleash. (The two had a gentleman’s agreement not to write about each other’s private lives.) Zuckerman was not by temperament a tabloid publisher. Or, that is, he did not want his tabloid to meaningful disrupt his standing as a social fixture in the city. Hence, instead of being passionate or gossipy, his News was more often bland and voiceless. Zuckerman would make a considerable amount of money in the media business, not least from the sale of the Daily News’ historic headquarters on East 42nd Street, and the more than $300 million he realized from selling his stake in the magazine Fast Company. But little of this was invested back into the News. In the last few years, the News became something of a late-to-the-party digital convert, shifting newsroom resources into a money-saving digital scheme, one that would hammer the paper’s existing print revenue and further diminish the paper’s news gathering operation.
Journalism Disconnect

How Can New York Still Call Itself the Capital Culture When Nobody is Fighting to Save the Daily News 
How the Shadow Government Controlled By Real Estate and Their Mini Me Lobbyists Have Destroyed New York's Culture and Community Control to Make Money
As a group of L.A. investors and power brokers, led by billionaire Eli Broad are in a pitched battle, despite the bleak circumstance of the newspaper industry, to save the LA Times, New York’s shadow government now in charge of the city does not care if the Daily News which according to it founder Joseph Medill Patterson in 1919. was the voice of everyman. Newspapers, all of them struggling in one way or the other, turn out to yet be distinguished by their particular franchises. Hence, papers like the L.A. Times, London’s Daily MailThe New York Times, the Financial Times (recently sold at great value to a Japanese buyer) and The Washington Post (sold to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos two years ago) maintain their identity and influence, and live another day.Wolff: Flash! The powerful still fight over newspapers (USA Today) The effort to use newspapers to exert influence in communities and the effort to gain control of newspapers in order to have such influence has been a basic operation of 20th century political and commercial life.

How An 1860 SF Law to Keep Chinese Out is Eerily Similar to the Buffalo Billion Contract Proposal
As the U.S. Attorney is Tracking Buffalo Billion bidders’political contributions in a Probe reportedly focusing on contributions toCuomo It Time to Look At an 1886 SF Law Designed to Keep Out Chinese Immigrants. The Buffalo Billion Law was designed to deliver a state contract to a developer who was a big contributor to Cuomo.
 In 1880, the elected officials of the city of San Francisco passed an ordinance that persons could not operate a laundry in a wooden building without a permit from the Board of Supervisors. The ordinance conferred upon the Board of Supervisors the discretion to grant or withhold the permits. At the time, about 95% of the city's 320 laundries were operated in wooden buildings. Approximately two-thirds of those laundries were owned by Chinese persons. Although most of the city's wooden building laundry owners applied for a permit, only one permit was granted of the two hundred applications from any Chinese owner, while virtually all non-Chinese applicants were granted a permit. The Request for Developers of the Buffalo Billion Contract state that to qualify for the contract the developer must have 50 experience of doing business in Buffalo.

Shockingly only once contractor qualified for the Buffalo Billion Contract LP Ciminelli.  Ciminelli and his wife have contributed $123,850 to Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaigns. And that doesn’t count the other half of the Ciminelli family, including Paul, which would bring the total closer to $128,000.  Ciminelli has found other ways to give to Cuomo, too. A limited liability corporation tied to him called Highland Park Village donated $25,000 to Cuomo on May 29, 2014, several months after LPCiminelli got the RiverBend contract.  Ciminelli also is among the local business executives who have financed 43 x 79, a Buffalo group of business executives that gave Cuomo $25,000 on October 25, 2013, just as the Buffalo Billion bidding process was getting underway.  In Yick Wo v. Hopkins The Court, in a unanimous opinion written by Justice Matthews, found that the administration of the statute in question was discriminatory and that there was therefore no need to even consider whether the ordinance itself was lawful. Even though the Chinese laundry owners were usually not American citizens

The Buffalo News details the numerous parties involved inU.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s investigation into the Buffalo Billion program and their political donations to Cuomo and many other major political players across the state over the years: No one yet has alleged that anything illegal happened. Indeed, connections between officeholders and campaign donors who also seek government contracts is hardly a secret or new in Albany, Washington or any city hall. Developers frequently pay attention to those holding political power and public purse strings, and their donations to candidates cross party lines. For his part, Cuomo recently dismissed a reporter’s question about potential problems created by donations to his campaign from individuals and companies getting state contracts.

“It hasn’t been a problem for the past 100 years, so I don’t know why it would be today,” Cuomo said. Schuler estimated that Ciminelli has given to 200 separate political campaigns over the past decade. Other officeholders receiving in excess of $15,000 from Ciminelli over the years include State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, former Republican State Sen. George Maziarz and Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown. He’s given hefty donations to Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, both in her federal and state campaigns, as well as to former State Sen. Mark Grisanti, Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes and former governors David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer. On the lobbying front, Ciminelli has worked with a couple of firms in the past, including * Bharara Looking To Redefine What Cuomo Says Is No Problem  *Buffalo Billion is a whole different animal Times Union  Killing Moreland Now JJOKE  It remains unclear what will happen to those appointed tothe Joint Commission on Public Ethics board by legislators now facing corruption charges, as three JCOPE members terms end in mid-December (NYDN)* Fate of 5 JCOPE appointees of indicted legislative leaders is up in the air (NYDN) More Long Island Hood Pol A concrete company co-owned by the head of the state Senate Labor Committee, Long Island Republican Jack Martins, has been sued numerous times for alleged labor violations. More Questions continue about economic development practices by Cuomo’s administration – including the proposed sale of valuable piece of land from NYSERDA to SUNY Poly for $1. Board member Kenneth Daley, who is the head of the utility company National Grid, said he’d like an independent legal opinion before signing off on the deal. Third Term The Daily Freeman’s Alan Chartock explores the likelihood ofa third term for Cuomo, noting the governor’s fundraising capabilities and asking whether a challenger strong enough to knock him off would come forward:

 Parkside Strategies and Bolton St. Johns. Both firms employed Maurice Garner, the politically wired Buffalo consultant and founder of the Grassroots political club in Buffalo, during part of the time they represented LPCiminelli. Parkside also ran the Jobs for New York PAC for Litwin's Glenwood which is at the center of the Silver and Skelos Indictments.  Mel Miller was one of the founding Owners of Bolton St. Johns.  He Now Works for Al A'Dmato as a lobbyists.  It is not clear what ties he still has to Bolton St. Johns. Crain’s also reports Maurice Garner, who co-founded Buffalo’s Grassroots political club with the city’s  mayor, (and former state senator) Byron Brown, is opening a Buffalo office for the Manhattan-based lobbying and political strategy firm the Parkside * Â Group.Sources say Garner fears he may be focus of FBIinvestigation; wants peace deal with rival club (buffalochronicle) The AG Schneiderman is widely thought that Mayor Byron Brown and Maurice Garner — the founder of a formerly powerful Eastside political club, Along with Buffalo Power Broker and democratic operative Steven Pigeon. Pigeon attorneys may file abuse of process complaintagainst Schneiderman (Buffalo Chronicle) Pigeon's according to journalist Wayne Barrett "

Something Happening Here: From Buffalo to Long Island Subpoenas Flying All Over
The FBI and state investigators hit the headlines in Buffalo recently when they raided the homes of three major political operatives, including Steve Pigeon and Steve Casey, both of whom work for one of D'Amato's biggest upstate clients, the Congel family, father-and-son mall developers. Their companies paid D'Amato $2.7 million in federal and state lobbying fees. Not only did D'Amato represent the Congel company on a troubled Rochester project, he represented the Monroe County government that backed it.  Over the past 10 years or so, Ciminelli, his companies and top executives have contributed about $532,000 into the political process on the state, federal and local levels, according to a review of state, federal and New York City campaign filings. Judge Rejects Libous’s Bid For A New Trial(YNN) * A U.S. District Court judge rejected an effort by former state Sen. Tom Libous to have his felony conviction tossed because of a lack of evidence in his trial, Gannett Albany reports:
More on the Buffalo Billion Investigation

Life is Cheap in the Bronx: 14 Minutes to Get Ambulance, No Democratic Right To Pick DA
It takes more than 14 minutes to get an ambulance in the Bronx (NYP) If you’re really sick, avoid The Bronx. City EMTs and paramedics took almost 15 minutes to get to Bronx patients who called 911 this year — four minutes longer than it took in Staten Island, according to city data analyzed by The Post. And despite 21,764 fewer medical emergencies in the city — and the de Blasio administration’s pledge in February to speed up response times — the citywide average so far this year has been 12 minutes, 23 seconds, or 37 seconds slower than it was in the first eight months of 2014. In The Bronx, ambulances arrived at emergencies in an average of 14 minutes, 29 seconds, according to city 911 data. Staten Islanders, by comparison, waited 10 minutes, 26 seconds for an ambulance. * Department of Labor: Bronx unemployment rate is highestin New York State (News12) * Bronx Beep Rubén Díaz Jr. Is in a Hurry to Changethe City’s Poorest Borough (NYO)

Special Elections Maybe Maybe Not
A Staten Island state Assembly seat may sit empty for up to a year, the head of the borough’s Republican party predicted. Current Assemblyman Joe Borelli is running unopposed for a NYC Council seat that was vacated when former Council minority leader Vincent Ignizio resigned, and is possible Cuomo won’t call a special election to fill that vacancy.
Special Election and the Election Law

Drug Gang Wars Killed the Gov Aide
Cuomo aide was casualty of bloody gang war (NYP) They once were brothers in crime — two small bands of street thugs who shared drug corners and gang customs, like wearing their hats to the right and greeting one another with, “All is one.” But about five years ago, members of Folk Nation and Eight-Trey Crips, who had cooperated in cornering the pot and heroin trade at the Ebbets Field Apartments and two other housing complexes in Brooklyn, turned on each other, sparking a feud that claimed the life of Gov. Cuomo’s aide Carey Gabay.

A Manhattan Councilman Yes Congestion Pricing  . . .  A Mayor Who Has to Run in 2017 NO

The Progressive de Blaiso Eds Art
Shortly after NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez called on his colleagues to pass a resolution supportive of congestion pricing, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that while he’s open to the idea, Albany – which must sign off on the idea – is not. * Council transportation chair aims to make cars more expendable (PoliticoNY) * De Blasio: Albany has ‘no appetite’ for congestion pricing (PoliticoNY)* De Blasio said a proposal to put tolls on the East River crossings into Manhattan would be dead on arrival with state lawmakers in Albany, so s to transit problems should focus on other alternatives

Selling Gentrification to the Black Community From the Same Guy Who Sold Atlantic Yards As Affordable Housing  
As Gentrification Changes Harlem, Crown Heights, Bed Stuy Racial Make Up and Change Black Churches into Condos the Mayor Sells Affordable Housing to East New York Just Like He Did 15 Years Ago to Prospect Heights and Atlantic Yards 

Brooklyn's Second Coming: Borough of churches now borough of condos. At least (most) of the bars are safe@Dnainfo  **** De Blasio Aims to Sell Wary Churchgoers on Rezoning Plan for East New York (NYT) The mayor promoted his development plan, which would transform blocks of rowhouses and vacant lots into a community with lower-cost housing. * Bill de Blasio: Housing plan for East New York will not force long-term residents out (NYDN) * Mayor Bill de Blasio took to East New York Sunday to sell his administration’s vision for the revitalization of the area, visiting a church to pitch the residents, The NewYork Times writes:  * The number of overcrowded apartments in New York City has spiked, rising 20 percent over the last decade a report from Comptroller Scott Stringer has found, theDaily News reports:  * Rise in overcrowded NYC apartments shows need for morehousing, says Controller Scott Stringer (NYDN) * Ex-worker on NYC affordable housing units alleges wage theft, sexual and racial harassment (NYDN) * NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio attempted this weekend to sell wary churchgoers on his administration’s plan to rezone East New York  As Borough President, no one will fight harder to make Brooklyn more affordable for working families, stop outof control and irresponsible development(AYR) * The due diligence of BP candidate Bill de Blasio, or the (AY) end justifies the means (AYR)   * A report from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer finds that the city’s overcrowded housing has drastically increased in recent years, with about 1.5 million New Yorkers now living in overcrowded conditions:

Atlantic Yards Changed From Afforable Housing Promises to Chinese Govt Money Maker 
Flashback de Blasio's Atlantic Yard Promise Forest City Ratner unveils design of 8-acre park at Brooklyn’sPacific Park mega-development (NYDN) * Bklynr | When 'Affordable' Rents Push $3,000 * Stunning: most EB-5 projects, Immigration Daily says, are "Extra Profits," creating no new jobs (as with Atlantic Yards, I'd say) * In China, Nets' visit boosts "Atlantic Yards III": deceptive pitch for cheap financing from Chinese millionaires seeking green cards under EB-5 * Chinese Builder Charges Into Brooklyn (WSJ) Developer Greenland Takes a Majority Stake in a High-Profile Atlantic Yards Apartment Project  * Today, at Brown Memorial, meeting to "block the sale of land our tax dollars paid for to a foreign company with no stake in producing Affordable Housing for Brooklyn" (AYR 2013)

Mayoral Candidate Lhota Lhota accuses de Blasio, again, of being soft on Bruce Ratner  (PoliticoNY) Standing behind Barclays Center on Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street, site of a promised but as-yet unbuilt affordable housing tower, Joe Lhota slammed Bill de Blasio for failing to “hold Forest City Ratner's feet to the fire” after taking campaign contributions from the developer.

“Bill de Blasio has been all talk and no action when it comes to affordable housing,” said the former M.T.A. chair. “Seven years ago de Blasio promised affordable housing and an independent monitor for this community,” he added, going on to read a quote from the then-councilman regarding the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement: Lhota also pointed out the Councilwoman Letitia James, a de Blasio supporter who is set to succeed him as public advocate, argued much more forcefully than de Blasio did for Forest City Ratner to make good on its affordable-housing promises.

Vito Lopez and Gov Cuomo Among the Witness Silver Plans to Call At His Trial
Who's who of Albanypolitics on list of potential witnesses in Sheldon Silver corruption trial(Newsday) Defense lawyers for former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have listed a virtual who's who of Albany politics including Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as potential witnesses or subjects of testimony at Silver's upcoming federal corruption trial. Also included on a list of 62 names to ask prospective jurors if they knew are indicted state Sen. Dean Skelos, Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, prominent lobbyists Pat Lynch and Brian Meara, and high profile real estate figures such as Larry Silverstein, Leonard Litwin, Steve Spinola and Jack Rudin. In addition to big-name lobbyists and real estate moguls, it included current and former Assembly members, such as Vito Lopez of Brooklyn, Herman "Denny" Farrell and Keith Wright of Manhattan, and Audrey Pheffer of Queens. It also included a range of current and former top Assembly staffers, including Dean Fuleihan, now New York City's budget director, longtime Silver aide Judy Rapfogel, and former Assembly counsel Jim Yates. * Cuomo could be called as witness in upcoming Sheldon Silver trial (NYP)

Bharara Puts the Pay to Play Culture of Corruption Government On Trial
Preet Bharara focuses on political favors in New Yorkstate government probe (  With a widening probe of New York state government, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara appears to be taking aim at the nebulous relationship between money and politics itself — a long and murky association in Albany and in capitals across the nation. To politicians who grouse that Bharara is attempting to indict the political system itself, the latest probe appears to be an effort to criminalize what is essentially business as usual — something that has proven difficult for prosecutors before.  "Corporations don't spend tens of millions of dollars as a matter of good citizenship," he said. "The system is funded by investors and investors inevitably expect a return, regardless of whether actual laws are broken or not." A report from an anti-corruption commission Cuomo himself created in 2013 and then shut down the next year identified "eyebrow-raising patterns of potential misconduct" based on a review of campaign contributions to elected officials from donors with interests in legislative outcomes. * believed to be investigating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s deal (Daily Freeman)

The Cook At the Center of the Long Island Fed Investigation Also Gave to de Blasio
Restaurateur facing bribery charges was major de Blasio donor (NYP)  Long Island restaurant magnate facing bribery and tax-evasion charges was a major donor to Mayor de Blasio’s 2013 campaign and landed ­appointments to three city panels, The Post has learned. Harendra Singh, 56, was named to the advisory board of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York, the mayor’s committee to push pre-K and the host committee trying to lure the 2016 Democratic National convention after he hauled in more than $27,000 for de Blasio. Singh, 56, owns a half-dozen restaurants on Long Island as well as The Water’s Edge eatery in Long Island City — where the de Blasio campaign spent $2,613.01 on events. Singh Arrested Long Island Restaurateur Harendra Singh Arrested On Multiple Criminal Charges The indictment charges that Singh paid bribes and kickbacks to a city employee in exchange for his assistance in obtaining guarantee of two loans totaling about US $20 million * Indicted LI restaurateur boasted of access to Mangano,other officials, and gave them free meals, employees say (Newsday)

Only Newsday Has Been Reporting On the Long Island Fed Investigation That Can Down the GOP Senate and A Governor
D'Amato and Mangano  D'Amato made several indirect appearances in the indictment of Dean Skelos, the third Senate majority leader he helped install. The charging documents describe a compliant Ed Mangano, the Nassau County executive — who let D'Amato speak at his inaugural, awarded the county's bus line to a D'Amato client and hired D'Amato's daughter — as a champion for the county environmental contract that Skelos is charged with fixing.  Skelos is also accused of extorting a $100,000 no-show job for his son from Anthony Bonomo, whose two medical malpractice firms have combined to pay D'Amato's lobbying firm, Park Strategies, $795,000 since 2007.

Bonomo has co-hosted political fundraisers with D'Amato, and his goldmine of campaign contributions, including $75,000 to Mangano and $400,000 to Gov. Cuomo, meticulously track D'Amato alliances. Bonomo just stepped down as the Cuomo-appointed chair of the New York Racing Association, and is singing to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who now leads a veritable chorus of cooperating crooners. Tuesday CYA Investigation Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano agreed to accept the recommendations of a panel he named to review the county contracting process, including an anti-“pay to play” law that would cap vendors’ political contributions.* Unsealed filing in Dean Skelos corruption case shows all eight Long Island state senators were subpoenaed (Newsday) * Feds subpoena top LI politicians in Skelos probe (NYP) * Unsealed filing in Dean Skelos corruption case shows alleight Long Island state senators weresubpoenaed (Newsday) * The wizard of Al D'Amato: The former U.S. senator andcurrent powerhouse lobbyist has his hooks everywhere, including in new Senateboss John Flanagan (NYDN) * Al D'Amato's influence broadens as his Park Strategiesfirm grows (Newsday) * D’Amato mob pic emerges in Brooklyn court at slay trial (NYP)

Member Items Future Corruption Cases for Feds Continue in the Assembly
The state Assembly disclosed nearly $35 million in capital projects proposed for lawmakers’ home districts – spending critics say is just another form of pet project funding, the Daily News writes:  * Democrats who control the Assembly quietly posted a list of pending earmarks totaling nearly $36 million, signaling a return of the kind of legislative earmarks that used to be an object of controversy in Albany, Politico New York writes: * After a six-year absence, legislative earmarks — and howls about “pork” spending — have returned to the Capitol. * Klein takes home more than $11 million in earmarks  (Politico) *  .@JeffKleinNY's alliance with Republicans pays off: Bronxsenator secured $11M in earmarks; mainstream Dems got none 

More Port Authority Corruption
New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox, who has been the subject of a federal inquiry into dealings between United Airlines and the Port Authority, will step down by the end of the month, The New York Times reports: 

The Silver Investigation Led to the Skelos Investigation the Corruption Connection Real Estate Glenwood's $$$ 
Sheldon Silver probe led to ‘incriminating’ evidence against Skelos (NYP) Federal proecutors​ ​​reaped a​ ​​windfall ​when they subpoenaed a real-estate development firm last year​ ​as part of their investigation into then-Assembly ​S​peaker Sheldon Silver​ ​and it turned up incriminating material about former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos,​ ​new court papers state. The prosecutors sent a grand jury subpoena to Glenwood Management in May 2014 as part of their probe into outside income earned by Silver, according to the Manhattan federal court papers. “As part of the document requests, the Silver [Glenwood] subpoena asked for all documents concerning political contributions to state officials or parties​​, and concerning the New York State Legislature,” state the newly un-redacted court papers, which don’t mention Glenwood by name.  “In addition to the materials about Dean Skelos produced by Developer-1, starting in or about May 2014, the Government began issuing grand jury subpoenas related to Dean Skelos.”* In a filing unsealed yesterday federal prosecutors revealed that they subpoenaed all eight Long Island Republican Senate colleagues of Sen. Dean Skelos in the course of building their corruption case against the former majority leader.* Federal prosecutors​ ​​reaped a​ ​​windfall ​when they subpoenaed a real-estate development firm, Glenwood Management, last year​ ​as part of their investigation into then-Assembly ​S​peaker Sheldon Silver​ ​and it turned up incriminating material about Skelos,​ ​new court papers state.  *Who's who of Albanypolitics potential witnesses in Sheldon Silver's trial @Newsday 

The Media Only Reports the Action of the Prosecutors Leaves Out the Governor and Other Lawmakers That On the Tit of Litwin and Other Real Estate Developers
 The papers don’t make clear what the materials are. The prosecutors had begun probing Skelos in April 2014 but their investigation had focused on his work for a Long Island law firm until his name popped up in the subpoenaed material from Glenwood, the papers say. Within a few months, Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara’s investigators broadened the probe to include Skelos’ son Adam, who was indicted alongside his dad in May.  Some of the charges Skelos and his son face stem from their relationship with Glenwood, including the company arranging for Adam Skelos to get a $20,000 check from a title insurance company for work he never did, prosecutors have said. The new information in the court papers also reveals details about the investigations into Skelos and his son, including that investigators sent subpoenas to all New York state senators representing Long Island in April. The trial of Dean and Adam Skelos is set to begin Nov. 16. * Cuomo said there’s no federal investigation “that I know of” into any nano facilities in the Syracuse area. 

 Prosecutors discover Dean Skelos link during Sheldon Silver investigation (NYDN) New filings from the feds show that in May 2014 prosecutors for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara subpoenaed records of political donations by the politically connected developer Leonard Litwin. The subpoena was part of an investigation into Silver’s outside income, but prosecutors also searched for Skelos’ name, documents show. They discovered Skelos and his son had a connection to the real estate powerhouse as well, papers say. Skelos is charged with using his former position as majority leader to arrange cushy no-show jobs for his son. * Cuomo stonewalling goes from bad to worse (Investigative Post) * It’s been two months since the executive director of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, Letizia Tagliafierro, resigned from the position to take a job at the Department of Taxation and Finance. Yet there’s little public indication so far that the panel is casting a wide net in the search for her successor, as leadership of the ethics and lobbying watchdog panel has promised.

 Flashback Cuomo pressured to return $1M in Glenwood donations (Real Deal) * Andrew Cuomo raised$5.2M in campaign donations in six months (NYDN) * REBNY members gave a tenth of all N.Y. campaign money ... (PoliticoNY) *  Real estate mogul Leonard Litwin’s money filled campaigncoffers of AG Schneiderman and Controller DiNapoli (NYDN) * Real estate big blankets state Senate races with contributions (NY World) * Ratner (and wife) support Working Families Party, Cuomo, Schneiderman; even a contribution to Citizens Union (AYR) * Four LLCs tied to Leonard Litwin donated $162,000 to thePAC, according to Capital. Donald Zucker, who sits on REBNY’s executive committee and board of governors, was linked to 18 of the LLCs, which donated a combined $160,500 To the Jobs for New York PAC

Litwin's Glenwood Pushing Gentrification 421-a Was Not Only the Biggest Contributor to State Pols But City Pols As Well
 Glenwood Management famously utilized multipleLLCs to donate $3.6 million to various New York candidates in 2014, including $1 million to Gov.Andrew Cuomo’s campaign. * 1. NYS SENATE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE $1,131,000  2. ANDREW CUOMO 2014, INC. $1,089,200  3. NEIGHBORHOOD PRESERVATION PAF $768,550  4. JOBS FOR NEW YORK, INC. $587,600  5. NYS SENATE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE - HOUSEKEEPING $550,000

The Media Has Ignored for A Year and A Half Bharara's Plea to Investigative Corruption Beyone His Corruption Arrests
One Year Ago   Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY April 22, 2013) "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. The press has a role to play. "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 - His crusade to “clean up government” is particularly essential because Albany has so much power over local municipalities, including New York City, he contended. With less federal help than there used to be, a more honest, efficient and incorruptible state government is needed more than ever, Mr. Bharara said. “What happens in Albany is important, what transpires there is important. 

Even state legislators, believe it or not, are important,” he said to some laughter. “We need a state government that is willing to and capable of tackling the pressing public policy challenges of our time.” Mr. Bharara was not shy about touting the political scalps he’s racked up. Using the example of his office winning a corruption conviction of former Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, Mr. Bharara said he began to question just how much legislation had been for sale in Albany. “How many past bills were born of bribery?” he asked. * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says his corruption investigations will help to improve a “broken down” political system. * Preet Bharara branches out (Capital)* Preet Bharara’s speech fuels speculation of a run for office (NYP) * Bharara Says Corruption Probes Are Not Done; Cuomo Says Lifein State Capitol More Complicated(NY1)

Bratton On the State of the NYPD: Nothing to See Here More Along

Monday Update 

Cops: Bratton’s reforms another reason ‘not to get involved’ (NYP) * Lunatic new rules for cops won’t appease the NYPD-bashers (NYP Ed) * NYPD says it's on track for record low for police gunfire (NYDN) * Bratton's changes crucial, but more steps needed to curtail NYPD's excessive force, experts say (NYDN) * Excessive farce(NYDN Ed) An inspector general’s report issued Thursday on the use of force by the NYPD creates the damaging and misleading impression cops are running wild with impunity. Prevailing wisdom now holds that the department, as well as police agencies across the country, should report every use of force by officers in the lawful execution of their duties. Does slapping on handcuffs constitute force? In an interview they thought not. Huh? Most disturbing, the Peters-Eure report implicitly suggests the NYPD must report every use of force in order to stop cops from using excessive force, as if excessive force is epidemic. Peter’s and Eure’s handiwork is a lawyerly piece of work laden with enough fine-print caveats for them to feign objectivity. * Bratton’s use of force rules will handcuff rank-and-file cops (NYP ED) * Bratton’s use of force rules will handcuff rank-and-file cops (NYP)
What a mess around NYPD tx to DEB! Bratton "the great innovator" fighting with publicity hound & DEB buddy DOI head Peters & useless PD IG

Saturday Cuomo Says Both Sides (City State) Far Apart On MTA Funding
Cuomo indicated that New York City and the state remain far apart on funding for the MTA’s capital plan, even as New York City officials have discussed increasing their contribution, the Times reports: 
Subway Service and Fare Meltdown and de Blasio Blinks A Little Million
EXCLUSIVE: City officials eye $1B more for MTA repairs but de Blasio, Cuomo remain at odds over who's responsible for funding (NYDN)*This is NOT what you wanted to wake up to (AMNY) Higher fares, worse service if MTA doesn't get state, city financial boost: Report State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said the MTA's 2015-19 capital plan, which funds big projects like the Second Avenue Subway, has a $9.8 billion funding gap despite a strong economy and record ridership.* Flanagan says Cuomo’s MTA stance not unreasonable, advocates not so sure (PoliticoNY)*Cuomo: MTA Budget Being Shortchanged by City, Not State (NY1)*Cuomo Says Deal Over M.T.A. Capital Plan Is Not Near (NYT) The city and state remain far apart on how to divide the cost of a $29 billion proposal to maintain and improve the authority’s vast system.* Labor Allies Blast ‘Irresponsible’ TWU AdsAttacking Bill de Blasio (NYO)* Punching back at a series of newspaper ads from the TWU blasting de Blasio, liberal allies of the mayor accused the union of doing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s dirty work in his ongoing feud with City Hall.*Latest TWU Ad Blasts Mayor for 'Farebeating'City's Working Families (NY1)

Latest transit unionad shows Bill de Blasio hopping the turnstile (NYDN) The ad from Transport Workers Union Local 100 — its third in a month — that appears in the Daily News on Monday tells de Blasio to “Stop farebeating New York City’s working families.” The “farebeating” refers to calls from the TWU — as well as from Gov. Cuomo and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority — for de Blasio to put in $3.2 billion for transit repair needs. The city has pledged $657 million.* With Cuomo pressuring de Blasio to allocate more than $3 billion for the transit system’s overdue capital plan, Transport Workers Union Local 100 is buying ads blasting the mayor, but the union’s complaint lacks credibility because of its track record and motives, Crain’s writes:   Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Thomas Prendergast's blaming of de Blasio for failing to properly fund the city’s subway system may come back to haunt him, as two riders injured last month are suing the city, the Daily News writes: * Train derailment victims use MTA-NYC funding feud in lawsuit against city (NYDN)*Two subway riders injured in last month’s G train derailment have filed notices to sue for damages, alleging they were victims of a feud between the city and the MTA over the funding of repairs to the system.  Anonymous labor leaders came to the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio, defending him against attack ads run by the Transport Workers Union Local 100, who they say are doing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s dirty work, the Observerreports:
More On the MTA and Bridge Tolls

Sexual Harassment in Albany Continues 
Male assembly staffer getting paid amid sexual harassment suit  (NYP) A male Assembly staffer who accused his female boss of sexual harassment stopped showing up for work more than three months ago but continues to collect his full salary, The Post has learned. Insiders said Assembly leaders are stumped about what to do with Elias Farah, 29, who filed the charges against freshman Assemblywoman Angela Wozniak, a Republican who represents a district outside Buffalo.

NYT Says WEP is Fake and That Cross Endorsements Fusion Voting Should Be Ended
As the clock ticks closer to Election Day and further past the usual date for finalizing ballots, two legal appeals have the potential to solidify Cuomo’s control of the Women’s Equality Party.*  The WEP Remains In Debt (YNN)

The Times writes that New York lawmakers should work to get rid ofthird parties that are simply tools of the two major parties and that only exist to be manipulated by Democrats and Republicans and confuse voters:What makes this system especially confounding is that a candidate’s name can appear on two or more ballot lines. Last year, New Yorkers could vote for Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the Democratic, Working Families, Independence or Women’s Equality Party. Now, New York Republicans are trying to get rid of the Women’s Equality Party, which favors Democrats. The party was created last year by Mr. Cuomo to show the governor’s support for women’s issues and appeal to women voters. Republican lawyers, citing procedural problems in the party’s creation, are fighting in more than a dozen counties to get it bumped from ballots in November’s local and state elections. The Republicans have not challenged the minor parties that normally support them, like the Conservative Party and the Stop Common Core Party, now undergoing a name change to the Reform Party.
More on the Woman's Party 

Real Problem Are the Lobbyists Who Work As Campaign Consultants and Control Millions in PAC $$$
 Even so, their challenge to the Women’s Equality Party is just and makes sense; it was a fake party to begin with. A few female politicians liked the idea, while many others found the idea of a separate party insulting. Why all these separate parties? New York politicians endorse this antiquated system, called fusion voting, because they can pick up extra votes on the extra ballot lines. The mini-parties, which often push more extreme policies, mostly survive by nominating the same big-name candidates as the two big parties. That is especially true during elections for governor every four years, when state law requires a party to earn 50,000 votes in order to stay on future ballots. (The Women’s Equality Party squeaked by last year by earning 53,802 votes). New York lawmakers should work to make the ballot less of a muddle. One way to make matters simpler for voters would be to require a politician to pick one party — and one party line. If every party had a different candidate, the extraneous parties would have to pick good candidates, or simply disappear.* Astorino: Nearly 2,000 Candidates Running On Reform Line (YNN) * The NYT says there are too many political parties in the state, and lawmakers should work to make the ballot “less of a muddle” by requiring candidates to run on one – and only one – ballot line, with no cross-endorsements allowed. (The paper also called the governor’s WEP “a fake party to begin with).* As the courts continue to fight over the Women’s Equality Party, military ballots are supposed to go out on Friday – provoking a sense of urgency in resolving the question of whether anyone will be on the party’s line, the Times Union reports: 

15 Months Before Cuomo Created the WEP He Wanted to End Wilson-Pakula
“Something has to be done about Wilson-Pakula and cross-endorsements. You have mayoral candidates that are talking about this outwardly, about what they have to do to get on the ballot. That whole electoral process stinks and has for a long time. I think there’s an opportunity to reform that,” he said. “In an ideal world,” he said, “you’d have no cross endorsements.”* Cuomo says so long to Wilson-Pakula - Legislative Gazette April 22, 2013.  Unlike in most states, New York electoral law permits electoral fusion. As a result, New York ballots tend to list a large number of political parties. The endorsement of major party candidates by smaller parties can be important since smaller parties often use this ballot feature to offer a candidate an additional line on the ballot. * Cuomo Allies Plan a Political Party Focusing on Women ...(7/17/2014, NYT)

The Women's Party Gang That Could Not Make the Ballot
Andrew Cuomo’s accidental lesson in New York’s ridiculous election laws (NYP) We doubt Gov. Cuomo meant to show the absurdity of New York’s third-party laws when he set up the Women’s Equality Party, but it’s sure worked out that way. This week, a judge blocked five candidates — including a former officer of the party — from running on the WEP line. Cuomo created the WEP to get extra votes for his 2014 re-election effort — and to pull votes from the lefty Working Families Party. To impose his rules, Cuomo needs OKs from three of the four candidates the WEP endorsed last year, but state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli won’t play ball. (Good for them.) Yet an appellate judge has ruled that the party can still cross-endorse candidates, even as the broader party-control issue is litigated. But in separate decisions Tuesday and Wednesday, state Supreme Court Justice Richard Platkin ruled that five Democrats can’t get the WEP line, too, because they failed to submit proper affidavits from the interim (Cuomo-linked) party leaders.  Most embarrassingly, one of those kept off the line is state Senate candidate Barbara Fiala — who was (briefly) Cuomo’s handpicked choice to chair the Women’s Equality Party.  That’s right: One Cuomo flunky lost the WEP line because she failed to get signed affidavits from other Cuomo WEP flunkies. So-called parties created to exploit New York’s cross-endorsement loophoole have long been an outrage. With the ongoing saga of the Women’s Equality Party, they’re now an outright farce.* It’s unlikely Cuomo meant to show the absurdity of New York’s third-party laws when he set up the Women’s Equality Party, but it’s sure worked out that way, and it’s leaving the governor looking flat-footed, the Post writes: 

Mayor Going to A Town Hall Meeting in Iowa But Not Brooklyn
De Blasio to host presidential forum on inequality in Iowa (NYP) Mayor de Blasio will host a ­bipartisan presidential forum on ­income inequality in a place that will put him on a national stage — the first caucus state of Iowa, multiple sources told The Post. *  De Blasio blasted for skipping cop-related town hall meetings (NYP) Civil-rights attorney Norman Siegel called out Mayor de Blasio on Tuesday for failing to attend a series of town-hall meetings devoted to improving police-community relations. “We’re extremely disappointed,” Siegel said at a press conference alongside Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. “Not participating in town-hall meetings that [de Blasio] and his staff were invited to. What does that say?”* Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is yet to make an endorsement in the race for the White House,will host a bipartisan presidential candidate forum in Iowa on income inequality. * Civil-rights attorney Norman Siegel is blasting de Blasio for not attending a series of town-hall meetings on police-community relations. *  State Republicans Knock de Blasio’s Iowa Forum (YNN) *De Blasio Returning to the National Political Stage (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, is flying to Washington — his eighth trip there as mayor — to address what is billed as “the largest-ever gathering of progressive lawmakers.”* Bill de Blasio’s silly Iowa event is a recipe for more New York blues (NYP) “It upsets me that he hasn’t done a town- hall meeting,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer told The Post. “I don’t know that going to Iowa is going to help secure funding for affordable housing.” The mayor’s still deep in his bubble: Out-of-towners “get” his “accomplishments” better than New Yorkers, as he’s said. Yeah: Out-of-towners don’t see his results. If you want to make “inequality” a thing, do something about it — starting with, say, how the public-school system denies the poor the education they need to rise. Or with violent crime plaguing minority neighborhoods.* De Blasio’s plan to hold a presidential forum in Iowa next month isn’t sitting well with other city officials, who say he hasn’t held a single town-hall meeting on his own turf since being elected 21 months ago, the Postwrites:  * * After a summer of local headaches, from squabbles over taxicabs to toplessness in Times Square, de Blasio is returning to the national political stage, a realm that he relishes,the Times writes:  * De Blasio, a Democrat, is flying to Washington tomorrow — his eighth trip there as mayor — to address what is billed as “the largest-ever gathering of progressive lawmakers.” His top political advisers are also finalizing a forum for presidential candidates, to take place this fall in Iowa, where the mayor is hoping to inject his signature issue of income inequality into the 2016 race. * New York Republicans wasted no time in attacking de Blasio over his plans to hold a presidential forum in Iowa sometime in November. “It would appear Mayor de Blasio is bored with his job already,” state GOP chair Ed Cox said in an emailed statement. * State GOP chair slams de Blasio’s plans for Iowa presidential forum (PoliticoNY)
Berlin Rosen and de Blasio One NY PAC Slush Fund 
Media Cover-Up of NYCLASS,  Other Citizens United PACs,  Mayor One NY PAC
Organized Crime Politics: IE PACs

Are The Business Dollars Pump Into de Blasio's One NY Slush Fund Social Justice $$$? 
De Blasio’s bogus progressivism exposed by school injustices (NYP Ed) Friday morning, the mayor will speak at an event on “Forging a New Alliance: the Progressive Movement and the Socially Conscious Business Community.”  Funny: De Blasio’s “alliance” with business back home seems to consist largely of taking donations for his pet nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York, from firms with business before the city. Where’s the “social conscience” in that? * Super PACContributions Can Be Considered Bribes: Judge Clusterfucker Advance Group Keeps Bagging Hidden Money Dollars, NYCLASS to Clushterfucker Dorego Westside Transfer Station $$$

NYP's Goodwin Makes Fun de Blasio For Claiming Bad Landlords Are the Cause of Homeless Then Claims Mental Illness Cause 
Goodwin Says Nothing About Gentrification Causes Rising Rents, AirBNB Sucking Up Affordable Housing As A Cause of Homelessness
De Blasio proves he’s clueless about the homeless crisis (Goodwin, NYP) City Hall’s press release included praise for the mayor from a score of elected Democrats and legal-aid types, most of whom painted landlords as greedy and evil and tenants as their innocent victims.  “The affordable-housing crisis and rise in homelessness are inextricably linked, and at the core of both lies the insidious harassment of tenants by bad-acting landlords,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.  Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez echoed the sentiment, saying her office often gets complaints from “working families” who face “harassment from unscrupulous landlords seeking to force them from their homes.” In the 1980's You Can Get An Apartment in Park Slope for $200 A Month  Goodwin: "In that context, it’s worth noting that the mayor, who lives rent free in Gracie Mansion, owns two houses in Brooklyn that he leases for at least $5,000 a month each. If he’s so keen on forcing landlords to house poor families who might otherwise be homeless, why doesn’t he lead by example? That would be new."* De Blasio favors expanding publicly paid legal services (NYDN) * New York City Council members will introduce a dozen bills aimed at preventing landlords from pressuring tenants to move out by doing noisy, dusty or otherwise disruptive construction, The New York Times reports:  * As de Blasio prepares for a Washington, D.C., event, the Post asks if he is progressive at all and contends his education policy only “pretends to try to educate the poor:” * Writing in The New York Post, Michael Goodwin says de Blasio’s recent and contradictory comments show he is a “clueless” about the city’s homeless problem.*  Bronx lawmaker will introduce bill to determine how NYCHA developments impact homeless crisis (NYDN) * Bronx lawmaker will introduce bill to determine how NYCHA developments impact homeless crisis (NYDN) * New York City Council members will introduce a dozen bills aimed at preventing landlords from pressuring tenants to move out by doing noisy, dusty or otherwise disruptive construction, The New York Times reports: * Manhattan real estate prices increase by 18% over 2014, 'highest in 26 years' (NYDN) * Home prices in Williamsburgup 269% psf since 2004 (Real Deal) *  REBNY sues de Blasio administration over hotel conversion bill (PoliticoNY) * Affordable Housing Program Gets No Interest From Developers in Queens (DNAINFO) NYC's Inclusionary Housing Program got no applications from developers wanting to build in the borough.

Whistleblower Sues Battery Park City For Exposing Corrupt Contracts
Whistleblower claims he was fired for doing his job (NYP) A former vice president of the Battery Park City Authority has filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit claiming he was fired for exposing corruption in the awarding of contracts, The Post has learned. Kirk Swanson, a former VP and chief contracts officer at the state agency, alleges he “discovered that high-level BPCA employees were making false statements in an effort to bypass the BPCA’s contract approval process.” * Kirk Swanson, a former vice president of the Battery Park City Authority, filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit alleging he was fired for exposing corruption in the authority’s awarding of contracts, the Post reports: * The chief counsel at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is retiring amid an investigation into a highway project.*  Darrell Buchbinder, the Port Authority’s longtime general counsel, announced he will retire in October amid a probe into whether the agency’s lawyers violated securities laws, the Journal reports: 

Winds of Another Dept of Buildings Scandal As City Revokes Hundreds of Licenses of General Contractors 
Is the Dept of Building Slow to Respond Gentrifying Neighborhoods Pay to Play?
In what it described as an "unprecedented" move, the New York City Department of Buildings permanently revoked the license of a general contractor who has the most violations of any registered in the city, Politico New York reports:   * New York City’sDepartment of Buildings is slow to respond to resident complaints about construction work, which sometimes causes health and safety issues and is used by some landlords as a means to drive out tenants, according to a report from Stand for Tenant Safety:

To de Blasio's Progressivism for the Poor Ends Not As Important As His  2017 Re-Election
Rev. Butts Who Has Attacked the Mayor for Disrespecting the Black and Brown Communities Has His Social Service Programs Cut By City Hall
The new revelations come only weeks after Butts issued a stinging public rebuke of de Blasio. “I’m not going to call him a racist just yet,” Butts told Vanity Fair magazine. “I just think that his posture shows great disrespect for the black and brown communities. Great disrespect.” Well, it turns out there was a lot more going on behind the scenes between Butts and the city than we knew about at the time. Butts believes his statements prompted a reaction from City Hall.  “I’ve accused him (de Blasio) of divide and conquer, and I’m sure he’s not happy,” Butts said. “I consider it (the suspension of funds) rather cold-blooded when you consider the good we have done in Harlem and our history.” Social service arm of Harlem church cut off from $3.1M in city contracts — faces 'imminent' shut down of programs for homeless, senior citizens (NYDN) Abyssinian Development Corp., the sprawling housing and social service arm of Harlem’s most influential black church, was cut off from $3.1 million in city contracts two weeks ago after it failed to submit three years of overdue tax filings and independent audits to the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, the Daily News has learned.  The Rev. Calvin Butts, founder and board chairman of the development group and longtime pastor of its parent organization, Abyssinian Baptist Church, acknowledged to The News that his group hasn’t filed required financial reports since 2011 and conceded the de Blasio administration was justified in requesting those reports. Flashback Calvin Butts: De Blasio Handling of Police, Race Relations ... *  Bill de Blasio: The Vanity Fair Interview | Vanity Fair  
“De Blasio, in the words of the Stevie Wonder song, ‘you ain’t done nothing,’Rev. Butts

de Blasio Joins the Terror Busting Network
CRIME FIGHTERS: New York joins terror-busting network 'Strong Cities' but activists fear program will focus on Muslims (NYDN) * The Daily News writes thatde Blasio is playing along with the federal government’s “charade” by joining its Strong Cities Network antiterrorism program and should instead focus on relentless intelligence gathering: * WEAK STUFF: 'Strong Cities' program to fight Islamic radicalization a non-starter (NYDN Ed)
More on Terrorism 

What is the Best Part of Dividing Times Square Into 3 Parts?

This abandoned factory gave rise to the Times Square desnudas (NYP) “We used to go to parties in the Domino Sugar Factory, and they’d have body-painted girls handing out drinks and taking pictures with people,” said Olivieri, who does the painting for several desnudas and keeps watch as they work.  “It was exciting. So we were like, ‘We could try this [in Times Square]. The Naked Cowboy’s out there.’ So we tried it one day and it was a big success,” he said.

For all the mayor’s talk, the only Times Square relief is the cold weather (NYP) .* De Blasio wants Times Square desnudas to pay taxes (NYP) * New York City officials finally have an official blueprint to hem in the swarms of characters and performers in Times Square, and in contrast to at least a few of the Elmos who have the run of the place, it’s a sane one, the Daily News writes:  * Plan to divide Times Square into three zones gaining support (NYDN) * As a deadline for recommendations on Times Square approaches, three groups have lined up behind a plan to divide the area into three areas and ban topless and costumed performers in two of them, the Daily News reports:  * Limits Put Forth for Topless Performers in Times Square (NYT)A mayoral task force on Wednesday recommended New York City set rules for when and where topless women and costumed characters can hustle tourists for tips.* Proposed plan would ‘restrict’ Times Square desnudas (NYP)* NUDE AWAKENING: Times Square panel lets topless ladies and costumed characters stay, plans to add more NYPD cops (NYDN)* A mayoral task force recommended that New York City bring order to the Times Square pedestrian plazas by limiting when and where topless women and costumed characters can approach tourists for tips, the Timesreports:  * A mayoral task force recommended that New York City bring order to the daily scrum on the pedestrian plazas in Times Square by limiting when and where topless women and costumed characters can approach tourists for tips * NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said that his push to treat Times Square’s costumed characters as a business could include taxing them. * The not-so-naked city as Times Square gets its coverup (NYDN Ed) 

Advance Group Got Away With Dark Money to Elect the Mayor is It Doing Again With Federal Rat Dorego
NYCLASS Got Dark $$$ From de Blasio's Cousin 
In 2014 the Daily News repored that the FBI was investigating donations to NYCLASS from men closeto Mayor de Blasio that may have been used toward anti-Christine Quinncampaigners  On May 21, lawyer Jay Eisenhofer gave $50,000 to NYCLASS, the animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. Ten days later, on May 31, NYCLASS gave an equal amount — $50,000, to the anti-Quinn group. On June 1, NYCLASS received another large donation, this time for $175,000. It came from UNITE HERE! — a labor union headed by John Wilhelm. Two days after that, on June 3, NYCLASS sent the same amount, $175,000, to the anti-Quinn campaign. The issue? Both Wilhelm and Eisenhofer have long-standing ties to Bill de Blasio, one of Quinn’s Democratic rivals in the mayoral campaign. Wilhelm is de Blasio’s cousin — and a prolific fund-raiser for him. Wilhelm raised $6,950 for de Blasio’s 2009 race for public advocate and $80,000 for de Blasio’s successful campaign for mayor.

All Signs of the Federal Investigation of NYCLASS Has Disappeared
Daily News May 4, 2014 EXCLUSIVE: FBIinvestigating donations to NYCLASS from men close to Mayor de Blasio that mayhave been used toward anti-Christine Quinn campaigners (NYDN) Two men with strong ties to Mayor de Blasio donated cash to the NYCLASS animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. The animal rights group then donated identical amounts to anti-Christine Quinn campaigners. The transactions are now under FBI investigation.* FBI investigates whetheranimal rights group linked to Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign EXTORTED hisopponent over carriage horse ban (Daily Mail) During mayoral campaign de Blasio's cousin John Wilhelm contributed $175,000 to the group NYCLASS, which supported the horse ban * BILL DE BLASIO'S DIRTY MAYORAL CAMPAIGN UNDER FBIINVESTIGATION If you want to follow de Blasio’s position on horse carriages, just follow the money.

Advance Bagged Dark Money From Pledge2 Funded By Federal Witness Dorego and Ex-Wife to Stop the Eastside Waste Transfer Station
Crain’s New York Business looked at how Bertha Lewis, an early de Blasio endorser, was hired to pressure the mayor on the Upper East Side waste transfer station, noting “a person with knowledge of the hiring said Ms. Lewis’ connection with him was ‘a huge part’ of the decision. It’s an example of how those in the new mayor’s orbit can benefit from proximity to him.”* De Blasio ally paid to fight him over Upper East Side trash station plan(NYDN)  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.  The Upper East Side transfer station is meant to alleviate the disproportionate burden of trash removal (which can bring rodents, garbage odors and truck pollution) in poor neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn. But the facility could also hurt Glenwood, which has luxury apartment buildings near the proposed transfer station. Dorego has long been heavily involved in the opposition.

More Garbage for the Poor From Silver and Skelos Glenwood's Dorego Bag Man . . .  Hidden Lobbying $$$
In April, court papers revealed that a cooperating witness against Skelos, who has been identified as Dorego, avoided prosecution because he was supplying information to the office of Manhattan-based U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Less is known about Dorego's ties to a shadowy lobbying campaign that for years has attempted to undermine efforts by New York City government to lessen the disproportionate burden faced by poor minority communities in the process of removing the metropolis' trash — a policy shift that could hurt Glenwood's business interests on Manhattan's Upper East Side.The ex-wife of Charles Dorego, the senior vice president and general counsel of Glenwood Management and a common denominator in the corruption scandals that felled two legislative leaders this year, funded a shadowy lobbying campaign that has attempted to undermine efforts by New York City to lessen the disproportionate burden faced by poor minority communities in removing the city’s trash.*   Glenwood Management executive's ex-wife was involved inhiding sources behind six-figure lobbying spending (TU) Less is known about Dorego's ties to a shadowy lobbying campaign that for years has attempted to undermine efforts by New York City government to lessen the disproportionate burden faced by poor minority communities in the process of removing the metropolis' trash — a policy shift that could hurt Glenwood's business interests on Manhattan's Upper East Side.  Now records reviewed by the Times Union reveal the identity of a key player in obscuring who was actually funding these anonymous lobbying efforts: Dorego's ex-wife, a prominent attorney named Doreen Small. Her close ties to Dorego are likely to add further grist for environmental justice groups who contend Glenwood was secretly bankrolling the efforts to kill the city waste removal initiative all along. 

Clusterfucker Dorego's Gleenwood is A Federal Witness In the Arrests of Both Skelos and Silver
The apparently legal maneuvers that have facilitated nearly $700,000 in anonymous lobbying spending could have broader implications for New York's lobbying disclosure laws. In July 2013, Small cofounded a new law firm called Marquart & Small, which was run out of a shared "work collective" office in Manhattan's Flatiron district. Despite being a start-up, just two weeks after its founding Marquart & Small made a $177,000 donation to a lobbying group called Pledge 2 Protect, a nonprofit that had been founded three months earlier to fight New York City's plan to build a marine waste transfer station on the Upper East Side that would haul away garbage by barge. Pledge 2 Protect has spent heavily on lobbyists and consultants in a thus far unsuccessful attempt to sway Mayor Bill de Blasio to cancel those plans.

In 2001, Dorego joined the leadership of Glenwood Management, the state's biggest political donor and one of the biggest players in New York City's real estate industry. He has handled many of the firm's political efforts. 
Through December 2013, Marquart & Small would end up giving a total of nearly $700,000 to Pledge 2 Protect. There is a way a new law firm like Marquart & Small could come up with that kind of cash: If it were simply acting as a "pass through" to shield the original donors to Pledge 2 Protect.  A 2011 state ethics law requires issue-oriented lobbying groups such as Pledge 2 Protect that spend more than $50,000 in a year on lobbying to disclose the source of donations over $5,000. But Pledge 2 Protect has apparently found a loophole around the requirement: Only direct donors, not intermediaries, must be disclosed under the law. As a result, only the name of Small's firm appears on Pledge 2 Protect's lobbying disclosure forms filed with state government, and not the names of the original donors that funneled money through the firm. The Upper East Side transfer station is meant to alleviate the disproportionate burden of trash removal (which can bring rodents, garbage odors and truck pollution) in poor neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn. But the facility could also hurt Glenwood, which has luxury apartment buildings near the proposed transfer station. Dorego has long been heavily involved in the opposition.

How Does Mercury Represent Sharpton and the Real Estate Board PACs and the Koch Brothers?
Senate in Control of the GOP, Working for Real Estate Interests Gentrifying Blacks Our of Harlem and Brookly is Representing Sharpton? 
Mercury Public Affairs, received $1 million last year to run a Jobs for New York campaign funded by New York City business interests to aid Republican state Senate candidates, including upstate and in the Hudson Valley. It also has a prominent lobbying firm, including work for the Committee to Save New York in 2011 and 2012. Real Estate Board's Jobs for New York  REBNY | Jobs For New York PAC - The Real Deal New York New York Business Leaders Plan a Push in Council Races (NYT) A group of real estate executives and corporate leaders, bracing for the departure of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, plans to spend up to $10 million to make sure the City Council elected this fall is friendly to business. The organization, made up of real estate developers, property owners, banks, insurance companies, investment firms and others, has established a political action committee to direct donations to back candidates in both parties who support pro-development policies. Called Jobs for New York, the PAC represents an aggressive new involvement in New York’s heavily regulated city elections by a major independent expenditure group. The PAC also has the support of several unions whose fortunes are tied to construction, including those representing carpenters and laborers known as mason tenders.Real Estate Board's Committee to Save New York  Who is the Committee to Save New York? (Little Sis) It is already clear that one of the main forces behind the Committee is the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), an industry association comprised of wealthy real estate and financial interests.  REBNY’s board boasts many super-wealthy real estate investors and bankers, including billionaires Richard LeFrakStephen RossLeonard SternSheldon Solow, and Jerry Speyer. Large real estate management firms like CB Richard Ellis, conglomerates such as Vornado Realty Trust, law firms such as Weil Gotshal Manges, and financial firms such as Barclays gain a voice in government through REBNY. The Koch Brothers intend to spend $900 million influencing the 2016 elections and have given more than $100 million to conservative and libertarian policy and advocacy groups in the United States,including think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute, and more recently Americans for Prosperity.Americans for Prosperity, founded by David Koch, is one of the main nonprofit groups assisting the Tea Party movement, according to Kenneth Vogel of Politico. In 2010 Melissa Cohlmia, a Koch spokeswoman, distanced the Kochs from the tea parties and FreedomWorks saying that "no funding has been provided by Koch companies, the Koch foundations, Charles Koch or David Koch specifically to support the tea parties."The Campaign Lobbyists and Citizens United PACs Have Not Just Take Over Campaigns But the Running of Government as Well

Noerdlinger's GOP Lobbyists Firm Mercury Hooks Up With Sharpton as it Protects Fed Rat In Skelos and Silver Corruption
Ex-CityHall aide Rachel Noerdlinger is working with her former boss, Al Sharpton (NYDN) Former City Hall aide Rachel Noerdlinger — who stepped down after an uproar over her ex-con boyfriend — is once again working with the Rev. Al Sharpton. Noerdlinger, who had been Sharpton’s top press strategist before leaving for the gig with Mayor de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, is representing the activist and his National Action Network in her new job at PR firm Mercury Public Affairs. She will accompany Sharpton next month on a trip to Cuba, where the civil rights leader is meeting with officials to make sure that Afro-Cuban businesses benefit during the normalization process with the U.S. Sharpton said he is eager to work with his former aide again. “I’m excited about it,” he said. “No one can learn this organizing stuff overnight, and Rachel has been there the last decade and a half.” “I look forward to continuing my work with (National Action Network) and Rev. Sharpton through Mercury and doing what inspires me — media activism and communications strategy around social justice and civil rights issues,” she told the Daily News. Mercury New Client NYCLASS  NYCLASS AddsHigh-Powered Consultant for Horse Carriage Battle (NYO) Almost two years after they hoped Mayor Bill de Blasio would sign a bill banning horse-drawn carriages from city streets, NYCLASS has tapped a new high-powered consultant to lead their fight: Mercury Public Affairs. The consulting and lobbying firm, known for working with Republicans and Democrats alike, has been in talks with NYCLASS for several months and a source close to the animal rights group said the deal is now final.

Mercury's Lobbyist McKeon Speaking for Rat Silver Real Estate Lobbyists Meara to Protect Skelos Form Lobbyists Avella the Rats Parter?
Mike McKeon of Mercury Public Affairs responded to the Times Union on behalf of his friend Brian Meara. Lobbyist played no role in Skelos probe, friend says(TU) Meara was lobbyists for AbTech and Physicians Reciprocal . . .   PRI also flexes its muscles in Albany by hiring a stable of politically wired lobbyists — including former US Sen. Al D’Amato’s Park Strategies and powerhouse Mearer Avella Dickinson, among others.  A federal indictment handed down on Thursday alleged former state Senate Majority Leader Skelos strong-armed a medical malpractice insurance firm to provide his son, Adam, with more than $100,000 in payments and health benefits through a no-show job while the firm lobbied Skelos on legislative matters.
Meara Avella Dickinson, one of the state's most successful lobbying firms, has dozens of other clients. Though its employees didn't return phone calls, Mike McKeon of Mercury Public Affairs responded to the Times Union on behalf of his friend Meara. In an October 2013 news release, Abtech Holdings — the parent company of AbTech Industries — announced the $12 million contract to construct a stormwater management project for Nassau County. The release stated that another subsidiary of Abtech Holdings, the stormwater engineering company AEWS Engineering, would be involved in the project. More than a year later, AEWS in November 2014 secured Meara Avella Dickinson for "infrastructure" lobbying, records show. The contract was signed by Avella. But according to McKeon, that assignment came not through Glenwood but through another Albany lobbying firm, Capitol Group LLC, which had sought Avella's services. McKeon said the work only lasted two months. * How the Lobbyists Who Make Up the Shadow Government Cover for Each Other and Are Interconnected * Anthony Bonomo Gave Skelos' Son $100K No Show Job ...  Calls to Physicians Reciprocal Insurers, Anthony Bonomo’shome and the attorney representing Adam Skelos were not returned Thursday. The company has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying state officials on issues related to medical malpractice, according to the state's lobbying database. P.R.I.’s spending on lobbying has increased in recent years. In 2007 and 2008, it spent $145,000 and $134,000, respectively, according to records their lobbyists submitted to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and its predecessor agencies. Between 2012 and 2014, the group never spent less than $256,000 in a year, the records show. Last year, P.R.I. retained four firms to lobby the governor and his administration as well as both branches of the Legislature on a number of issues related to medical malpractice law. One of the company’s frequent lobbyists for the past half decade has been Brian R. Meara, the lobbyist widely reported to have acted as a cooperating witness in the federal indictment brought against former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver. A call to Meara was not returned. The company has previously retained Nassau County power broker Joseph Margiotta, who died in 2008, as one of its lobbyists, as well as Park Strategies, the lobbying firm founded by former U.S. Republican Senator Al D’Amato. A spokeswoman for Park Strategies declined to comment.
Blasting the Press, de Blasio, Sharpton Over Noerdlinger and Racial Divide; Clueless Press
Sharpton CCRB vs NYPD, Noerdlinger, McCray, de Blasio

Smith Jail Delay Health Issues
Disgraced former state Senate majority Leader Malcolm Smith was scheduled to turn himself in last week so he could begin his seven-year jail sentence on corruption charges, but he got his surrender date pushed back more than six weeks by claiming that he must be checked for prostate cancer by his own doctor before prison.

de Blasio's Campaign Govt Ecco System
Closing Hospitals, Losing Union Jobs, Developers $$$, Forcing Mega Developments On A Community

In 2013 de Blasio used the proposed closing of LICH Hospital as a campaign prop. The Campaign Manager for de Blasio is Hilltops Bill Hyers  Bill de Blasio arrested at SUNY protest - NY Daily News * De Blasio Arrested, Just as He Wanted -  5 Months After He Became Mayor LICH Hospital Closed 2500 Nurses Lose Their Jobs  The End for Long Island College Hospital - The New York Times  The Daily News Says That the Mayor's PAC One New York is Destroy the City's Campaign Finance System Progressive Bill deBlasio kills NYC's campaign finance program (NYDN Ed) Let Mayor de Blasio admit this fact: His bear hug of the Fund for One New York, the not-at-all-independent nonprofit advocacy group he created, is hastening the demise of the city’s public campaign finance system. Hilltop's Bill Hyers and Berlin Rosen Run de Blasio One New York Slush Fund .Fortis Hires Hyers Hilltop Firm With de Blasio Connections for LICHSite Proposal  Community Opposes Fortis Mega Development Which Hired Hyers   Struggle Over Controversial LICH Development Rocks CobbleHill Neighborhood Association September 27th 2015 the Anti-Non Union Workers Rat Stands In Front of the Construction Site That Used to Be Known As Long Island College Hospital
More on Closing Hospitals 
Campaign 2013 Media Failure  And Broken Political Promises
Berlin Rosen and de Blasio One NY PAC Slush Fund 

Albany Pols See Hospitals As A Personal Piggy Bank, Silver, Boyland, Seminerio
New York-Presbyterian was biggest beneficiary of slush fund (NYP) New York-Presbyterian Hospital was the biggest beneficiary of state money from a slush fund controlled by former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, records show. Not only did NYP cancer researcher Dr. Robert Taub rake in $500,000 from the fund — while referring patients to Silver’s law firm — but the hospital got $3 million for renovation work in its ERs. The dental school at the affiliated Columbia University Medical Center took in another $1 million to pay for a clinic and mobile-treatment van. The slush fund paid out $38.6 million in taxpayer money from 1999 to 2009 to hospitals, health-care agencies and other nonprofits, according to records obtained by The Post under a Freedom of Information request to the state Health Department. The money was used to pay for salaries, buy equipment, build facilities, shore up struggling hospitals and fund research.  The funding for the so-called HCRA Assembly Pool came from taxes, including a surcharge on insurers implemented under the state Health Care Reform Act. The Assembly got up to $8.5 million a year to add to the pool.

Boyland's hospital 'consulting' gig lined his pockets ...(NYDN) * Hospital Buy-Back Scheme: Boyland Solicits $250,000Bribe (FBI) On or about April 29, 2011, during a recorded conversation in a hotel suite in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Boyland solicited a $250,000 bribe from UC1 and UC2. Boyland proposed a scheme which called for UC1 and UC2 to purchase a former hospital in Boyland’s district for $8 million, obtain state grant money to renovate the hospital, and resell it to a non-profit organization that Boyland claimed to control for $15 million. In exchange for the $250,000, Boyland promised that he would, among other things, arrange for the sale and take official action and use his influence to secure state grant money to allow UC1 and UC2 to renovate the hospital so that it could be sold to Boyland’s organization for a profit.

Suit: Ex-Assemblyman shook down hospital - NY Daily News Ex-Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio shook down Parkway Hospital, says suit * Lawmaker's Partnership in a Consulting Firm Is Queried (NYT) Assemblyman Clarence Norman Jr. sponsored legislation that allowed the city hospital system to require contractors to hire minority-owned companies in rebuilding Kings County Hospital Center, just two months before he became a business partner of a man who had a contract worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to recruit minority contractors for the project

Speaker Sheldon Silver, His Law Firm $$$
Moreland Investigation Ends, Media Cover-Up 

Berlin Rosen Helps A Developer Win Approval of Sugar Development From Mayor it Elected and Collects $100,000 For the Mayor's Slush PAC That It Runs

Berlin Rosen who is not for some reason not listed as registered lobbyist work for a lot of real estate developers.   Berlin Rosen’s current and recent clients include Two Trees Management Negotiations between Mr. de Blasio’s team and two trees' Walentas’s firm took place over a few days. The two men share a mutual adviser: Jonathan Rosen, one of the mayor’s top political hands and the chief executive of a public affairs firm, Berlin Rosen that counts Mr. Walentas’s company as a client. Berlin Rosen served as a consultant to de Blasio campaign and runs he slush fund PAC NY1 which pushes the mayor’s agenda. The NYT Michael Powell – “A couple last year; "I called the mayor’s press office and asked about Mr. de Blasio’s perhaps too-optimistic cost projections for prekindergarten.  Twenty minutes later, I heard from Dan Levitan of Berlin Rosen, which is the “it” P.R. firm of the city’s left and a close adviser to the mayor.”  Berlin Rosen worked all the candidates that hired the WFP’s Data and Field in 2009.  One of their clients is still being investigated by a SI special prosecutor.  Both partners in Berlin Rosen, Jonathan Rosen and Valerie Berlin worked for Schneiderman.  Berlin was his chief of staff when he was a NYS Senator.  

This is How de Blasio's New York Works

One of the biggest real estate donors was Two Trees Management, which gave $100,000 through various other LLCs. Two Trees, of course, is the well-known Brooklyn developer who reshaped Dumbo and is currently transforming the landmarked Domino sugar refinery in Williamsburg into one of Brooklyn’s largest residential developments. When Mayor de Blasio took office, he pushed for Two Trees to devote more space to affordable housing in its already unusually generous plans for Domino. Ultimately, he won concessions and theplan went through. BerlinRosen was the top consultant that helped New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio get elected in 2013. It also has helped environmental groups in their anti-hydraulic fracturing campaign in Albany, aided some firms looking to win medical-marijuana licenses and collected $300,000 in campaign funds from candidates since 2010, a review of state records showed. In 2014, the firm received $10,000 from the campaign for former Sen. Ted O’Brien, D-Irondequoit, for Internet ads — a race he lost.  In the case of SKDKnickerbocker, it received $1.2 million to help run campaigns since 2010, including more than $155,000 from the Monroe County Democratic Committee, which was then headed by Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit.  The firm isn’t registered as a lobbying firm. It is run by Jennifer Cunningham, a former campaign adviser to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the ex-wife of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Cunningham said that she would no longer lobby because of her close ties to both powerful leaders after they were elected to their respective posts in 2010. “SKDKnickerbocker is the only national, full-service strategic communications firm in Albany that does not lobby, and we are very clear with our clients about what we can and can not do,” Morgan Hook, a spokesman for the firm and a former spokesman for then-Gov. David Paterson, said in a statement.  Another firm, Mercury Public Affairs, received $1 million last year to run a Jobs for New York campaign funded by New York City business interests to aid Republican state Senate candidates, including upstate and in the Hudson Valley. It also has a prominent lobbying firm, including work for the Committee to Save New York in 2011 and 2012.

Moreland Investigation Ends, Media Cover-Up 

True News Called Campaign Promises During the 2013 Fiction and The Press Failure to Expose Candidates Spin and Lies
de Blasio's Housing Realities vs 2013 Campaign Promises 
Nicole Gelinas writes in the Post that de Blasio’s housing plan is similar to his predecessor Michael Bloomberg’s in its focus on middle-class homes because reality does not support new housing for the poor in the city
De Blasio mugged by reality on housing — again (NYP Ed) Bill de Blasio won City Hall by attacking Mayor Michael Bloom­berg on housing. Two years later, as Ed Koch might say, how’s he doing? Well, de Blasio’s real-life housing plan looks like Bloomberg’s: It’s focused on middle-class housing. That’s because the realities of building housing in this city just don’t support new housing for poor people — whether you’re a radical leftist or a billionaire pragmatist. Think back nearly three years — to the first of dozens of mayoral debates, this one on housing. All six candidates told the potential voters that they’d build new apartments and take care of the low-income housing we have. But de Blasio was the most aggressive. “The mayor doesn’t care about the people who live there,” he said about public-housing residents. When de Blasio promised to build tens of thousands of “affordable” new apartments, the implication was that the apartments would be affordable to the people in the audience — mostly poor black women. Fast-forward to last week, when the mayor unveiled his plan for 6,000 apartments in East New York, Cypress Hills and Ocean Hill. The plan would allow developers to put up taller buildings in return for making some units “affordable.”
But how affordable? Subsidized developers must set aside a quarter of their apartments for families of three making an average of $46,620, or a third of their apartments for families making $62,150 (the city will decide the mix). The city may allow for a third option, allowing developers who don’t want subsidies to set aside 30 percent of units to people making an average of $93,240. As advocates for the poor have delicately pointed out, this isn’t poor. The Daily News Continues the Fiction From the 2013 Campaign  The Daily News writes that with de Blasio taking a gamblethat he has got the economics right in his affordable housing plan, “the least the City Council can do is work with him”

Who Watches the Watchers: DAs

Monday Update
Leaders of the Bronx Republican and Conservative parties have nominated a local lawyer to run against former state Supreme Court Justice Darcel Clark for the borough’s district attorney spot, The Wall Street Journalwrites: * The Daily News writes that t the next Bronx DistrictAttorney will need to clean up the mess that outgoing District Attorney Robert Johnson made at Rikers Island, letting the jail descend into chaos:

Bronx District Attorney and Judge May Trade Roles (NYT) Bronx Democratic power brokers executed a series of political moves on Thursday night, nominating District Attorney Robert T. Johnson for a judgeship and giving his spot on the November ballot to Justice Darcel D. Clark of the state appellate court. Delegates at a judicial nominating convention voted unanimously to give Mr. Johnson, the longtime top prosecutor for the borough, the nod for an open Supreme Court position, as he had requested last week.* Justice Darcel D. Clark, who was nominated to run for Bronx district attorney on the Democratic line and has no GOP challengers, would become the first woman to hold the position if elected, the Times reports:  de Blasio No Comment De Blasio mum over deal to select next Bronx district attorney (NYP) Wednesday Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson writes in the Times that the Correction Department is not producing defendants for arraignments or collecting evidence, which is stalling Rikers Island abuse cases:  New Bronx DA "Not Responsible for the Way She was Nominated"  Darcel Clark, a judge whose nomination as Bronx district attorney has drawn controversy, promised to bring “a new vision” and said she was not responsible for the way she was nominated, The Riverdale Press reports: * NY1 ItCH: The Invisible District Attorney Emerges

Here Come the PR Flacks
Bronx District Attorney Candidate Defends Her Nomination by Democratic Leaders (NYT)  Darcel D. Clark appealed to local Democrats to view her not as a darling of the Bronx Democratic Committee, but rather as a “daughter” of the borough.* In her first public remarks since she was nominated to run for Bronx district attorney in November, Darcel Clark appealed to local Democrats to view her not as a darling of the Bronx Democratic County Committee, but rather as a “daughter” of the borough.

Daily News Ask The Commission On Judicial Conduct to Investigate DA Judge Undemocratic Machine Switch
Not so fast, yourhonor; call the cops on the Bronx Dems courtroom switcheroo (NYDN Ed) The Bronx Democratic organization designated Clark as its shoo-in candidate for DA last Thursday. At that moment, according to judicial ethics regulations, she was required to step down from the bench. Getting her coming prosecutorial career off to a terrible start, Clark failed to do so. In fact, only after repeated questions by the Daily News Editorial Board, did she submit her letter of resignation on Monday afternoon in blatant violation of Part 100.5 (B) of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge, which states: “A judge shall resign from judicial office upon becoming a candidate for elective nonjudicial office.” Since the mandate could not be clearer, the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, which retains power over Clark for 120 days after she resigns, must begin proceedings. The regulation is intended both to establish an ironclad barrier between judicial actions and politics and to eliminate the appearance that politics had infiltrated court rulings. It especially requires enforcement because the political fix that anointed Clark DA and outgoing prosecutor Rob Johnson for a Bronx Supreme Court slot of his own. The intricacies of the state election law empowered Bronx Democratic boss Carl Heastie, who doubles as state Assembly speaker, to essentially make Johnson a judge and Clark district attorney without elections.

Heastie has denied voters an opportunity to measure Clark’s prosecutorial chops, including whether she would be as lackluster as Johnson in pursuing Bronx Democratic corruption. Arrogantly, Johnson has said he views de facto appointment to an elective judgeship as a reward by the party for decades of faithful service. But the backroom deal also demands investigation by the judicial conduct commission. Court rules state that judgeship candidates “shall not knowingly make any false statement or misrepresent the identity, qualifications, current position or other fact concerning the candidate.” Translation: No lying when running for judge .  Johnson lied plenty. With his approval, Democratic operatives circulated petitions to place him on the ballot for reelection. The Republican and Conservative parties also backed Johnson for DA. He notarized his acceptance of both ballot lines while clearly angling to switch to a judgeship and make Clark his successor. And time and again he said he was running for DA. The commission must get to the bottom of the deal by taking testimony from all the finaglers — including Heastie, Clark and Johnson — under oath.

Bronx's Machine Anti-Democratic Switch is Politics As Usually In NY . . .

@bronxchronicle: Managing Editor Michael Benjamin Was First To Bring Up Crowley Taking Over Manton's Petitions * Jerry Skurnik @PrimeNewYork  Minor correction - Manton withdrew after petitions were filed before Primary. Committee on Vacancies picked Crowley***They also nominated five others from the Bronx for judgeships, including Dianne T. Renwick, Mr. Johnson’s wife.   Later, the executive board of the Bronx Democratic County Committee, meeting behind closed doors, voted to give Mr. Johnson’s spot on the ballot for district attorney to Justice Clark, a former prosecutor in Mr. Johnson’s office who has close ties to the Assembly speaker, Carl E. Heastie, the most powerful politician in the borough.*  Bronx cheers as DA playsmusical chairs with judge. (WNYC) * Johnson Gets Judge Nod; Clark Tapped To Run For D.A.(Bronx Chronicle) * Johnson’s quick transformation from a candidate for re-election to a nominee for state court justice – without a vote being cast – is raising questions about the clout that state election law gives to party leaders and shedding light on New York’s largely obscure judicial electoral system.
How Corrupt Bronx Pols Protect Themselves From Prosecution
True News Reported Months Ago That Bronx DA Would Be Replaced By Bronx Machine
Bronx DA RobertJohnson Says He's Planning to Step Down to Become Judge via @Dnainfo  * #BronxDA "has the weakest conviction record out of all five boroughs” via (NYP) * Longtime Bronx DA Robert Johnson has announced he willpursuit a judicial nomination. DETAILS:  (NY1) * outgoing #BronxDA: " noone, including anyone associated w the Bronx Dem Party, has ever offered meanother position”  * @wnyc piles on: #BronxDA "announcedthe plan in a press release Friday afternoon timing usually reserved 4 badnews” (WNYC) * Bronx DA Robert Johnson Announces Pursuit of Judgeship (NY1) * Let the Voters Decide? Nah, Not in the Bronx (NYT)* In the Daily News Errol Louis bids Bronx District AttorneyRobert Johnson good riddance writing that the DA has long been a stain on the justice system and ended his tenure by lying to voters: * @JimHeaney analyzes Preet Bharara's #BuffaloBillionprobe & our role in provoking it *Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson’s bid for a seat on the state supreme court could benefit his wife, appellate court judge Diane Renwick, as their relationship causes her to have to recuse herself in many cases, the Times writes:  * Bronx DA Robert Johnson Nominated for New York StateSupreme Court Justice (DNAINFO)* LAW AND FAVORS IN THE BRONX (Tom Robins, Village Voice 2000)
Sweet Smell of Not Today: Press Agents Wait Out ‘This Pope Thing’ (NYT)  With Pope Francis in town, those who toil in public relations struggled to have their entreaties heard on the holiest of busy news days. Mortimer Matz has been cajoling reporters and buffing reputations in New York City for 55 years. Papal visits, he said on Friday, rank among his toughest days on the job. Pragmatism can be employed, too. “This is the perfect day to announce a crisis, and no one would care,” said Maureen Connelly, a former press secretary to Mayor Edward I. Koch, who recalled disclosing resignations and other unpleasantness on busy days. Put out bad news when the pope is in town, said George Arzt, another Koch aide, “and you get a box in the paper. It’s terrific.” John Gallagher, an executive at Mercury Public Affairs, said his advice for clients on Friday was simple: Wait.

Lobbyists Win By Using Campaign Tools to Threaten Weak PAC $$$ Elected Councilmember With Primaries to Win for Uber 
Power in Money: Whenis lobbying in NY not lobbying? (democratandchronicle) When gay-rights groups in 2011 wanted to press the state Legislature to legalize same-sex marriage, they didn’t turn just to a team of lobbyists.They hired a high-powered public relations firm with close ties to public officials to lead the charge. The firm, SKDKnickerbocker, received a whopping $1.8 million for the campaign. he full-court press of ads, mailings and social media worked. New York became the largest state in the nation to make same-sex marriage legal. The spending also made clear something else at the state Capitol: No longer was the key to success solely hiring a lobbying firm to stroll the hallways trying to drum up votes for a special interest. It requires a broad media strategy to win over lawmakers in their districts and in Albany. As spending for lobbying in New York state increased 56 percent over the past decade — from $144 million in 2005 to $226 million in 2015 — so too has the sophistication of the campaigns. A review of records by Gannett’s Albany Bureau showed that the public-relations firms have raked in more than $3 million since 2010 from political campaigns and then worked on efforts to promote key issues before the Legislature through coordinated lobbying efforts. Public-relations firms that can offer a cache of services to public officials and private companies are the new frontier — and state laws have yet to keep up.“The public-relations firms are where it’s heading, especially those that provide political consulting of candidates,” said David Grandeau, the former executive director of the state Lobbying Commission. He said the firms that help state officials get elected can then reap the benefits of their close ties with the lawmakers. “If I’m a consultant and I help you get elected as a state senator, and then I turn around and work for a private-sector, multinational corporation that wants to lobby that public official who I helped get elected, I’m in a pretty good spot to do that, aren’t I?” said Grandeau, a state ethics consultant.* A Manhattan federal judge ruled the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission violated the constitutional rights of thousands of​ drivers by illegally seizing their cars if they suspected them of illegal activity, ​the Post reports: *  Uber biggest in Manhattan and gentrified Brooklyn and Queens (PoliticoNY)

Uber Shadow Govt Team of Lobbyist Was An Orgy With Ton of Money

Uber Used Target Mailing, Robo Calls and Ads to Threaten Councilmembers
 Uber lobbied hard earlier this year, spending $359,089 on lobbying, ads and direct mail to advance its agenda in New York, a sum that excludes its recent campaign amid a fight over a proposed cap, Capital New York writes: 

Justin Kintz, Nicole Benincasa, David PlouffeRachel Holt, Josh Mohrer, Colin Tooze, Michael Allegretti, James F. Capalino & Associates, Inc., Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates, Kasirer Consulting LLC, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, FrancisJ. Sanzillo & Associates, Inc., Stu Loeser, Bradly Tusk, Jeff PollockJimmy s Siegel political ads, Neil Quattro * Was David Plouffe the Key to Uber’s Deal With New York City?(NY Mag) * Uber Consultant Rudy Giuliani Gives Uber A Big Thumbs UpOn Background Checks (TPM) * Was David Plouffe the key to Uber's deal with New York City (NY Mag)* Taxi-industry lawyers aiming to slow down Uber have won a victory in Chicago that could boost New York City's yellow-cab interests in their fight for survival, Crain’s reports:  * Production of new Checker cars could start in 2018 (NYDN)

Only True News Has Reported the Full Story of de Blasio Illegal Campaign Slush Fund 
Inside Bill de Blasio’s slush fund (NYP Ed) ‘Show me today’s reformer,” the late Brooklyn Democratic Chairman Meade Esposito once said, “and I’ll show you tomorrow’s hack.” Though Esposito, last of the old-time New York political bosses, delivered that quip three decades ago, he easily could’ve been talking about Mayor de Blasio.  We’ve long referred to the Campaign for One New York nonprofit as the mayor’s personal slush fund, raising millions from folks trying to curry political favor. Of the 74 donors in the first six months of 2015 (for $1.71 million in gifts), fully 62 percent either had business or labor contracts with de Blasio’s administration or were trying to get a project OK’d when they donated. But de Blasio used to be the most vocal advocate of limiting the role of “dark” money — especially corporate dough — in politics. Now that he’s mayor, his deposit box is wide open for unlimited donations.  Somewhere, Meade Esposito is smiling.

NYP Write That One of the PR Firms That Runs OneNY PAC But Does Not Name Them or Explain Who They Work For
The PR firm that runs the Campaign for One New York enjoys unrivaled insider access at City Hall.

True News:  There is Not One PR Firm There Are Three That Works for the OneNY PAC and They are Not Only PR Firms They are the Biggest Unregistered Lobbyists in the City
Berlin Rosen, Hilltop and Red Horse All Joined At the Hip With City Hall
Berlin Rosen and de Blasio One NY PAC Slush Fund 

de Blasio Campaign Manager Bill Hires' Hilltop Helps Run the OneNY PAC 
1. Hires: de Blasio Campaign Manager Who Uses Candidate Fake Arrest to Protest A Closing Hospital As A Prop 

2. Once the Hospital is Closed Hires Who Works for the Mayor Slush Fund PAC One NY Uses It to Tell the Community That the Band Aid ER the Developer Agreed to Build is As Good As the Closed Hospital

3. Hires: Sell A Large Development to Replace te Closed to A Community Who Opposes It

4. Is de Blasio Using His 2013 Campaign Account to Pay Hires to Supplement His Pay the Director of His One NY PAC?

The de Blasio Red Horse One New York Connect
The political organization that raises money for Mayor Bill de Blasio's issue-advocacy campaigns has hired longtime political operative Nathan Smith as its director, several sources told Capital. Smith, a founding partner of Red Horse Strategies, will oversee Campaign for One New York, which raised $1.76 million in private funds for the mayor's universal pre-kindergarten program last year. Smith has close ties to the de Blasio administration, having worked with the mayor's intergovernmental affairs director, Emma Wolfe, in winning a Democratic majority in the State Senate in 2008. (PoliticoNY)

Lobbyists Consultant Murder, Inc Run NY Govt and Campaigns Just As Much As Murder, Inc Ran NY in the 40's
The NYP and CFB Look At Gray Areas of Election Law While Covering-Up Illegal Coordination Between Lobbying Consultant, PACS and Candidates
The worst part of the city campaign-finance system is what’s legal (NYP Ed) News of a probe into Mayor de Blasio’s 2013 campaign finances might offer some great comic relief — if it didn’t also raise troubling questions about the city’s rules. As The Post’s Yoav Gonen reported this week, the Campaign Finance Board began looking into possible Team de Blasio no-nos in 2013, after a magazine reported that the 1199 SEIU union “coordinated with the [then-candidate’s] campaign.” Under the city’s rules, candidates must cover the costs of any “coordinated” activities or list them as donations, which are subject to strict limits. It seems the board focused on whether de Blasio’s folks complied. Thing is, the rules themselves are laughable — as is the entire system. For one thing, if de Blasio did break the rules, then he had an edge in the mayoral race.

Play to Pay de Blasio and His PAC to Get Around the Election Laws
True News Has Been Reporting for Over A Year That de Blasio Created the One New York PAC to Operate As A Slush Fund to Get Him Re-Elected
The transactional mayor returns (PoliticalNY) After the 12-year mayoralty of billionaire Mike Bloomberg, whose wealth afforded him level of insulation from campaign donors, a more transactional style of politics has taken hold through an organization Mayor Bill de Blasio set up to promote his policy agenda. Since its inception on Dec. 12, 2013, the operation known as Campaign for One New York has accepted $3.87 million from dozens of real estate developers, unions and others who do business with City Hall. The setup allows the mayor to raise money outside the regulations of the city Campaign Finance Board. The contributors to his group include individuals and firms seeking approvals for their projects, and they often donate through limited liability companies that obscure their identities.

In some cases, donors gave money right before or after getting a city-granted benefit, according to a POLITICO New York review of $1.71 million in individual contributions that poured in during the first six months of 2015. At least 46 of 74 donors listed in the latest six-month filing — 62 percent of them — either had business or labor contracts with City Hall or were trying to secure approval for a project when they contributed, public records show.* As a city councilman in 2007, he voted to change the city’s campaign finance law to reduce the amount of money an individual or corporation with business before the city could give to a citywide candidate to $400. That reform drastically reduced the number of donations from donors who had business with the city, the Campaign Finance Board wrote in a report published in 2009.

When de Blasio Was Getting Flack for the Closing of LICH Hospital After He Was Arrested During His Campaign Promising to Keep It Open, He Has One New York Do A Mailing Claiming A Band Aid ER Was Just As Good At the Full Service Hospital
Half the donations to One New York PAC this year came from real estate companies, many of whom contributed as they were engaged in a behind-the-scenes effort to persuade de Blasio to protect an existing development tax break known as 421-a. A flurry of builders donated during a fundraiser de Blasio hosted on April 21. In early May, the mayor announced a plan for 421-a that was met with broad approval from the real estate industry.

He agreed to extend the life of the tax break in exchange for mandating more affordable housing from builders who receive it. The deal was announced with the support of the powerful Real Estate Board of New York, to which many of these donors belong, before the state Legislature was briefed on it. Among the real estate donors were Two Trees Management, which gave $100,000 through an LLC, Brookfield Financial Property L.P., which donated $50,000, Douglaston Development, which contributed $25,000, and Alma Realty Corp., which gave $5,000. Alma won approval in 2014 to rezone a site in Astoria for a mixed-use project.

Capalino is A Lobbyists for Many Developments, Including the Former LICH Site
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James Capalino, one of the top lobbyists in New York City who enjoys a close relationship with de Blasio, gave him $10,000 on May 27. The following day, Capalino lobbied de Blasio directly on a plan to eliminate helicopter tours in Manhattan. Capalino represents the tourism industry; de Blasio has yet to take a position on the proposal.  Capalino also represents several donors who gave to the Campaign for One New York, including Broadway Stages’ Gina Argento, a prolific Democratic donor, and JDS Construction Group, which is building a mega-tower in Midtown Manhattan. JDS haslocked horns with construction workers for declining to use union labor on his projects. Capalino represented Asphalt Green in 2014 and lobbies on behalf of scores of developers and cultural institutions. James Capalino, who met with Hizzoner three times in the last three months. Capalino hosted two fund-raisers for de Blasio’s successful mayoral run in 2013. Clients who accompanied him to the meetings included Chinese real-estate and movie-theater mogul Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, and Janno Lieber, a top Silverstein Properties exec who bundled $11,100 for de Blasio two years ago. Capalino most recently met with the mayor on May 28 on behalf of helicopter-tour operators in lower Manhattan — an opportunity that critics of the noisy flights say they haven’t gotten. “It’s very discouraging but not surprising,” said Delia Von Neuschatz, a resident of Battery Park City who founded an advocacy group to halt the tours. The mayor as not taken a position on stopping the helicoper-tours

de Blasio's Biggest Defeat Was for Defending Taxi Bosses That Contributed Bit to the One New York PAC
Last year, Campaign for One New York received donations from several yellow taxi medallion companies with which de Blasio has frequently sided in regulatory battles.  He once again took their side this summer by trying to temporarily cap the growth of car-hail company Uber. Before the heated fight, Uber’s supporters tried in vain to curry favor with the mayor byholding their own fundraiser for him in San Francisco in May.

Pay to Play One New York PAC Examples
Andrew Nussbaum, the head of nonprofit group Asphalt Green, which opposed the planned site of an Upper East Side waste transfer station access ramp, contributed $10,000.  The group had been protesting the ramp location, as well as blasting it on social media, for more than one year. Six weeks after Nussbaum's donation, de Blasio agreed to move the ramp. * Joseph Dussich, the CEO of JAD Corporation of America, a Queens-based maintenance company, had long tried to market mint-scented, rodent-repellent trash bags he invented. After donating $100,000 to Campaign for One New York, the city has begun doing business with him. That is 20 times more than the $4,950 an individual can give a mayoral candidate in a single election cycle, per Campaign Finance Board rules.
de Blasio Using PAC Lobbyists Consultants To Get Around the Elections Law and Control Elections and the Press

de Blasio Keeps Using PAC Lobbyists and Consultants To Get Around the Elections Law and Control the Press
De Blasio-Tied PAC Spends $24K on Former City Hall Staffer’sCouncil Campaign  (NYO) Mayor Bill de Blasio may claim he’s not paying attention to a crowded City Council race in eastern Queens, but a political action committee tied to the mayor spent about $24,000 to help his former aide win next week. New Yorkers for Progress spent the cash on campaign mailers for Rebecca Lynch, a former City Hall staffer, according to a filing with the Campaign Finance Board. The treasurer of the group is Sam Nagourney, the finance director of Mr. de Blasio’s campaign committee. Mr. Nagourney is a consultant with Hilltop Public Solutions, the firm that employs Bill Hyers, Mr. de Blasio’s 2013 campaign manager, and Rebecca Katz, a former de Blasio administration staffer. The mailers, which cost a total of $24,690, feature photographs of Ms. Lynch and a quick summary of her campaign platform. New Yorkers for Progress can spend an unlimited amount of money on Ms. Lynch as long as it does not coordinate directly with her campaign. Once an outside group spends $5,000 or more they are required to disclose all contributors who gave $1,000 or more, according to the CFB. New Yorkers for Progress is backed by labor unions who endorsed Ms. Lynch. PAC’s tied to the Hotel Trades Council, 32BJ SEIU and Communication Workers of Americas contributed $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.

From True News: de Blasio's One New York PAC Helps Lobbyists Cut Out the Public, Democracy and to Controlling Elections 
The Lobbyists Privatization of the Tammany Hall Machine in NYC  
The Old Tammany Hall Machine was corrupt as corrupt as the lobbyists who have run today's New York's political system.  But the machine of the Boss Tweed era was far more responsive to voters and the communities that it served.  Terry Golway recent book explained how Tammany Hall depended on voter turnout for power.  To get votes the old machine offered services, provided jobs and protected the neighborhood where their votes came from. Tammany Hall governing style was responsible for creating New York's strong Neighborhoods of old. Tammany leader George Washington Plunkitt — the man who coined the phrase “honest graft” — met with constituents and lesser Tammany officials in his district several times a week to find out who was happy with Tammany’s services and who required some special attention. Today's lobbyist's controlled private machine gain power by getting electing candidates and feeding them with campaign contributions from their clients who are looking for city contracts or zoning changes, they never meet the voters.
The Old Tammany Hall Welcomed All the Voters New Lobbyists Private Tammany Hall Pushes the Public Out to Make Money
 Over the last few years the lobbyists started to make their way into the political system by offering party bosses campaign services and campaign funding which in the old Tammany days would have been done in the club house and by its members.  In the old days hundreds of people worked in the clubhouse to put our mailings.  Today a campaign consultant emails a mailing house with a flyer designed by his or her company and the mail goes out.  The entire social structure of the community helping the machine and in return the machine helping the community and it residences is gone.  The news lobbyists machine hang out is their beach houses or million dollar apartments and never meet anyone in the community they seek to elect someone in. The public who used to at least have a choice to elect their party leaders.  The permanent government picks the Tammany's lobbyists cutting out the public completely.


The New Private Lobbyists Tammany Hall is Even Less Transparent Than the Old Secret Party Boss System
There are very important campaign filing differences between de Sapio's Tammany Hall and today's lobbyists Tammany Hall.  Old Tammany and today's political party leaders were required to file their all their expenses and how much money their received. The new lobbyists Private Tammany Hall uses money from their lobbyists clients in campaigns which are not required to be filed with the Board of Elections.  They use the Data and Field model of charging their clients below costs, that the Working Families Party and others are under investigation for by the Staten Island DA's special prosecutor, and it is all legal for the new lobbyists political consultants.   The political party machines are quired to file any money they spend with other clubs or political leaders that is used to elect their candidates.  The new private lobbyists can hire other lobbyists or anyone else and is not required to file any financial report.  In the 2013 elections there were over 200 incidents of 8 lobbyists either working with other or against each other

The Gentrification of East New York
There Has Never Been A Community Target by Developers That has Not Lost Affordable Apartments
Developers who build in certain areas of New York City, firstly East New York, would be required to set aside at least 25 percent of units for lower-income residents under proposed zoning rules officially released by the de Blasio administration, the Times writes: * Developers who want to build in certain areas of New York City would be required for the first time to set aside at least 25 percent of their units for lower-income residents under proposed zoning rules officially released by the de Blasio administration. * Listing for brownstones in Brooklyn are beginning to spike.
Gentrification Causing the Racial Busing Fight 50 Years Later
Race and class issues have collided in the rezoning of two public schools in Brooklyn, with the proposal drawing intense opposition from both white and black families at both schools who fear changing demographics, The New York Times reports: 

Bodega In Gentrifying Brooklyn Puts Front Window Space on Airbnb for $329 A Night to Pay for Rent Increase
Brooklyn Bodega PutsFront Window Space On Airbnb For $329/Night (Gothamist) A group of Brooklyn activists who recently peddled Artisanal Roach Bombs ($15.99) and Hand-Fried Chicken Cutlet Sandwiches ($13.50) at Jesse's Deli, a corner bodega in Boerum Hill currently facing an alleged 2.5x rent increase, has now posted the 7'x4' space in its front windowon Airbnb—for $329 per night. "Unique property on Atlantic Avenue in gentrifying section of Brooklyn," reads the listing. "The cozy semi-private 7x4 bedroom with lofty 14 ft ceilings is separated from the deli by a Doritos and Lays chip stand and book shelf.... Chef-style kitchen with professional toaster, meat slicer, and microwave. Also includes coffee maker." According to Jesse's, the proposed rent hike, from $4,000 to $10,000, is still on the table. A store manager who identified himself as Mike told us this morning, "We're fighting it [the rent hike] in court right now, so it's up to the judge. We'll be here for about 5 or 6 more months, at least."
Airbnb Bad Neighbors, Warehouses Apartments -- Rising Rents and Increasing Gentrification

Pay to Play Brooklyn Bridge Park Apartments for Board Directors
Brooklyn Bridge Park Bigwigs Bought Condos in Disputed Pierhouse -- and city lawyers told them that was just fine. (DNAINFO) Two Brooklyn Bridge Park board members — who helped approve a luxury residential development that critics say blocks coveted views — were among the first to buy condos in the controversial tower last year, DNAinfo New York has learned. David Offensend and Henry Gutman, then-members of the Brooklyn Bridge Park’s board of directors, were quick to sign purchasing agreements for apartments at the Pierhouse in March 2014, the park confirmed Tuesday. The Pierhouse has come under fire from opponents for obstructing the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade, Brooklyn Heights’ walkway over the East River, and has sparked protests from neighbors and an unsuccessful lawsuit to halt its construction.The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation approved and oversaw the creation of the building on state land and will receive the property taxes generated there. Offensend, who stepped down from the park corporation’s Board of Directors in July, and Gutman, who remains on the board, got clearance from the city's Law Department to buy units in the tony building, which includes a screening room, a pet wash station and a "young adults study" room, according to documents filed with the state. * Activists protest de Blasio pal’s view-blocking high-rise(NYP) * Even Bloomberg's parks commissioner says Brooklyn Bridge ParkCorp broke its promise on too-tall luxury condos

From JayZs to NYS 421-a Tax Breaks to Communists China
THE BARCLAYS CENTER SHAKEUP: JAY Z’S OUT, CHINA’S IN AND ATLANTICYARDS LIVES ON  On Sept. 28, 2012, Jay-Z unofficially opened Downtown Brooklyn’s Barclays Center with the first in an eight-night run of concerts. The borough’s native son started the show with “Where I’m From” and interspersed it with effusive declarations about the night’s importance, saying the spanking new stage overwhelmed him to a point that even the Grammys, Glastonbury and the historic Apollo hadn’t. Six months after Ratner stepped down—he remains as chairman of Fore421-a st City Ratner Cos—Greenland Holdings Group, a state-owned Chinese company, bought a 70% stake in the project (it did not include the Barclays Center). The Wall Street Journal noted that at the time it was the “largest commercial real estate development in the US ever to get major backing directly from a Chinese company.” (Last fall, Oder noted that the $100M Pacific Park stake filed under the contentious EB-5 immigrant investor program had prompted a “slap on the wrist” by the US State Department.) Transitions within Forest City and surrounding its ownership stake culminated last August in Atlantic Yards being rechristened Pacific Park. At first, there was little explanation of the change

de Blasio Admits Market Forces Causing Homelessness . . .  True News Has Been Saying So For Years
de Blasio: "The market dynamics are forcing people out faster than all of our tools can compensate.”
Bill’s de Blasio'shomelessness crisis (NYDN ED) Bill de Blasio came into office with a single-minded solution for homelessness: shut down dirty, dangerous shelters and use the savings to secure permanent housing. After The New York Times documented the harsh life of a young girl in a fetid city-run shelter, the then-mayor elect said: “We cannot let children of this city like Dasani down.” Now America’s champion of progressivism is reckoning with breaking that vow. Meeting with the Daily News Editorial Board on Thursday, de Blasio made the extraordinary admission that he cannot keep up with the tide of people seeking housing assistance:  “What we’re having a hell of a time with is.  * New York City is planning to add more housing for homeless adults and children fleeing domestic violence, the latest effort by de Blasio’s administration to deal with a homelessness problem that has persisted as housing costs in the city have continued to soar.

Opposition in the Mayor Own Circle to Rezoning East New York, Fears of Gentrification Anti-poverty activists allied with de Blasio are sharply criticizing his plan to rezone East New York, a low-income neighborhood at the heart of his affordable-housing initiative,the Journal reports:
Affordable Housing, Low Wages Building, Rents 

Mayor's Lobbyists Berlin Rosen Working to Give de Blasio and Other Pols A Raise
FAO Schwarz to chair Mayor's Quadrennial Advisory Commission for the review of compensation levels of elected officials.  Schwarz is the Chief Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University.  Berlin Rosen is a Lobbyists for the Brennnan Center * De Blasio moves to give himself — and others at City Hall — a raise  (NYP) Mayor de Blasio is paving the way for hefty raises for himself and other elected officials. Hizzoner on Friday announced the formation of three-member advisory commission that will determine whether all city elected officials merit getting pay hikes for the first time in more than eight years. The commission will report its recommendations in November.* Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the formation of a three-member advisory commission that will determine whether all city elected officials merit getting pay hikes for the first time in more than eight years, the New York Post reports:  * Mayor de Blasio wantsto give himself a raise (NYP)Unregistered Lobbyists Berlin Rosen Bag Men to the Pols

Brennan Center Has Never Demanded That Berlin Rosen Register As A Lobbyists
A growing class of New York political consultants who enjoy close ties to elected officials but don’t register as lobbyists may well have to start doing so, in light of a proposed guidance issued by JCOPE. * The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics said consultants who take actions related to lobbying efforts must register as lobbyists, even if they do not directly ask officials to take action on bills,the Times Union reports:  * ALBANY’S TOP 10LOBBYISTS: City & State features the top 10 lobbying firms in Albany in 2014, including a summary of each and an introduction to their key players in Albany: * Queens state Sen. Tony Avella, who has been pushing a bill to require more disclosure by political consultants, is praising new guidelines from the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, the Times Union reports

Team de Blasio Connected to NYU OK Expansion . . . Now Want Payback for the Bosses 
De Blasio’s NYU appointments may ‘influence’ expansion approval (NYP) An ivory tower has been erected at City Hall — with Mayor de Blasio appointing so many NYU-connected officials to top-tier jobs that advocates fear the university’s controversial development projects will be rubber-stamped. Last week, de Blasio named professor Vicki Been head of the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the agency charged with housing the city’s neediest residents. Been and her hubby, Richard Revesz, who was dean of NYU’s law school for 11 years, owe the university $6.4 million for sweetheart mortgages on their West Village town house and Connecticut vacation home. De Blasio’s first deputy mayor is former NYU Langone Medical Center honcho Anthony Shorris, who made $1 million as both a vice dean and hospital chief of staff. The mayor also tapped former Trinity Real Estate President Carl Weisbrod as chair of the City Planning Commission. Weisbrod, who served in the Lindsay, Koch and Dinkins administrations, was an academic chair at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate.   The city’s new corporation counsel, ex-US Attorney Zachary Carter, is an NYU Law trustee. “It looks like the fix is in,” said a community activist who refused to be identified for fear of retaliation by NYU. “People are afraid [the university] will have undo influence.” NYU is also a revolving door for politicos between jobs. Mayoral contender and former MTA chair Joe Lhota replaced Shorris earlier this year at NYU Langone. Brad Gair, who worked as a disaster-recovery manager in the mayor’s office, took a job with NYU Langone this week.

Daily News's Myler Who Counted On Nude Hits Gone and the Paper Cuts the Meat
Colin Myler is resigning his post at the New York Daily News, where he has served as editor in chief since 2012. He’s returning to his native London, and will be replaced by Jim Rich, his deputy, after leaving the paper later this year. * Desnuda brings topless toddler to panhandle in Times Square (NYP) * NY Daily News staffers are bracing for another round of cuts this week as owner Mort Zuckerman tries to stanch the flow of red ink at the tabloid – perhaps in advance of trying to sell it again. Mayor's Times Square Task Force Has Yet to Meet Mayor's Times Square taskforce to deal with topless, painted women and costumed characters still hasn'tmet  (WNBC)* City & State columnist Alexis Grenell mourns the loss of Bill Hammond’s byline from the pages of the Daily News. * The Daily News Layoffs and Digital Shift May Signal the Tabloid Era’s End (NYT) To veteran media watchers, the layoffs mean that the recent attrition at newspapers across the country has finally arrived in force in the nation’s media capital *  
The recent layoffs and digital shift at the New York Daily News, once the city’s ultimate hometown paper, signals something bigger afoot in the newspaper industry. “If people don’t want horses and buggies anymore and they want to ride in automobiles, then you better damn well get into the auto business,” said DN owner Mort Zuckerman.

Newsday is Now Foreign Owned
The Dolans' Newsday Was Also Sold to the Dutch Company The Dolans, the Clan That Built the Cablevision Empire, SayGoodbye (NYT)* UPDATED: Daily News Lays Off High Profile Writers inLatest Round of Cutbacks (NYDN) * More Daily News layoffs as newsroom keeps bleeding (NYP) TV critic David Hinckley, who has been at the News for three decades, confirmed he was let go on Thursday. “It’s been a great ride,” he said. Not clear is the fate of columnist Juan Gonzalez, known as the “Che Guevara of the newsroom.” He was a union leader in the News’ last big newsroom strike in the early ’90s, when it was still owned by Tribune Co. Early in the day, the newsroom buzz was that Gonzalez was out, but by late afternoon he was still in the newsroom. It could be that Gonzalez — like fellow columnist Mike Lupica — is under a long-term contract and can’t be booted until the deal expires. Daily News ‘in total shock’ after layoffs; Lupica’s job still up in the air? (Politico) * Daily News ‘in total shock’ after layoffs; Lupica’s job still up in the air? (Politico) * New York Post Chicago-bound (Politicalny) * Buffalo SchoolsConstruction Project Part Of Federal Probe Into Cuomo's Buffalo Billion Project: Now we have a... 
Vanishing New York: Icons and residents crushed by surging rents A survey of closing businesses found that New York City lost nearly 7,000 years of history in just a dozen years
Gentrifying Brownsville: Changes in Brooklyn ’hood come from within  African-American locals, beset by poverty and violence and at risk for displacement, try to salvage their community
New York City homeless advocates rally against closure of urban campsites  Protesters characterize Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign to push homeless residents into shelters as harassment
Surge in number of homeless people Courtney Kealy examines why the homeless population is growing larger than it has been in decades

Is the Pol or the Press the Truth Teller? Ask Jefferson
Gonzalez: Tells How de Blasio Will Fight the Media Narrative of Him
An upcoming series of public events and town halls will allow de Blasio to explain to voters that his ambitious programs to combat income inequality and success in keeping crime low are creating a New York different than the media narrative, the Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez writes:

Write In GOP Candidate Beats Conservative Party Dem Pick 
Minor-party primary gives clarity to Staten Island DA race (NYP) A minor-party primary election on Tuesday that drew just 866 votes could determine who becomes Staten Island’s next district attorney.  Joan Illuzzi, the Republican candidate, snatched the Conservative Party line away from Democrat Mike McMahon with 508 votes in an insurgent write-in primary — boosting her bid to win the general election in November * A grand old party ofone family? (NYDN) Some of the biggest donors to the state Republican party are party chairman Ed Cox and his family, which some GOPers see as a double-edge sword. Cox, his wife Patricia, and brother Howard, have given the party’s main campaign account $343,000 since Cox became chairman in mid 2009, records show. The three alone account for about 10% of the $3.34 million the part has raised from individuals during that time. Ed and Howard Cox also gave a combined $483,000 since 2009 to the state party’s separate “housekeeping” account. * With Primary Day Done, Focus Shifts to Handful of Special November Elections (NY1) * Conservative Party One Man Rule Fails to Deliver for SI Dem Candidate * Lovett: Revolt looms for State Republican Chairman Ed Cox (NYDN)
More on Conservative Party Permenant Leader Long
GOP Bottom Feeders And Why the Party is Dying in NY

Why is the CFB Covering Up the Criminal Conspiracy Between NYCLASS and the 2013 de Blasio Campaign?  
True News Reported Last Year That Team de Blasio Used NYCLASS To Scam Election Law

And it is Being Cover-Up By the CFB and the Media . . . 
City Council Stands in Way of Carriage Horse Ban, de Blasio Tells Activists (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio, who promised during his campaign to end the Central Park carriage industry, said during a radio interview that advocates should use their energy to solidify votes in the Council. * De Blasio all but admits defeat in quest to ban carriage horses (NYP) * OPLESS TASK FORCE: ‘Aggressive’ man connected to near-nude women at Times Square arrested as de Blasio orders panel to find legal way to ban topless ladies (NYDN) * In a 40-minute interview with WNYC, de Blasio discussed the inaction on a Central Park horse carriage ban, the “vision” city officials are crafting for Uber and the effects of affordable housing and gentrification:  * De Blasio signaled in a WNYC interview that he has given up on driving carriage horses out of New York City, a move that would have been largely unpopular and destroyed jobs in the process, the Daily News writes:   Flashback EXCLUSIVE: FBIinvestigating donations to NYCLASS from men close to Mayor de Blasio that mayhave been used toward anti-Christine Quinn campaigners (NYDN May 4th, 2014) Two men with strong ties to Mayor de Blasio donated cash to the NYCLASS animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. The animal rights group then donated identical amounts to anti-Christine Quinn campaigners. The transactions are now under FBI investigation. The Daily News Forgot About the NYCLASS Investigation in Today Editorial  Bill’s horse senseas the Central Park carriages will remain (NYDN Ed) * ‘TAKEN’ FOR A RIDE: Liam Neeson says Mayor de Blasio should give up for good on banning Central Park horse carriages (NYDN) * BILL'S HORSE SENSE: Mayor rightly recognizes his misbegotten bid to ban carriage horses is kaput (NYDN Ed)

Problems for de Blasio Beyond Uber, Will He Mess Up So Bad He Won't Run Again?
Education  De Blasio, U.F.T. face test over staff in struggling schools (Capital) * NYC invalidates 3rd graders' test scores amid investigation  * @BilldeBlasio vs. Uber was a carbon copy of his fight w/ @MoskowitzEva. Including the outcome.(CNN)
Charter SchooGroups That Back Bloomberg’s Education Agenda Enjoy Success in Albany  (NYT)
A group that is devoted to continuing the education agenda of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has become one of the most powerful forces in Albany by pouring millions into lobbying and adroitly exploiting rivalries in state politics.
MTA Cuomo, MTA pressure de Blasio to increase transit funding to $3.2B (NYDN) *Cuomo Wants MoreMoney From the City to Fund MTA Capital Plan (DNAINFO) * Cuomo’s Plan to Close M.T.A. Funding Gap Revives Familiar Debate (NYT)The governor’s update on a five-year capital plan for the state-run transportation agency raised once again questions about the proper scope of New York City’s role in its own transit destiny.*  The battle between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has opened up two new fronts: MTA funding and Uber.*  The Times writes that the city has been paying too littleto support the MTA system’s capital needs, but that the city and state must sit down and sort out the agency’s budget without their respective executives feuding: * MTA Chief: NYC must pay fare share for MTAupgrades  * Who Will Fund the M.T.A.? (NYT Ed) The state and the city should seize this moment to find more lasting ways to sustain and upgrade the system. * MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast writes in Newsday that it is only fair for New York City to contribute more to the public transit system, noting that the state took on a larger role amid the 1970s fiscal crisis: 
Homeless City Hall, NYPD ponder strategy as attacks by homeless increase  (Fox 5) As the city and police prepare to tackle homelessness, two recent violent attacks highlight the urgency to go after the issue as soon as possible.* CBS2 Demands Answers From Mayor On New York City's Homeless Crisis With a recent spike in violence by the homeless, the mayor has vowed to get more aggressive with aggressive street people. But why are there more people living on the streets? * E. Village residents blast NYPD guard tower: ‘Bums are still here’ (NYP) * NYPD’s Big Brother watch tower removed from East Village (NYP)
Law Suits  Legal payouts by New York City are forecast to spike 17.5 percent by the 2018-19 fiscal year, even as the de Blasio administration has pumped millions of dollars into a new war on so-called frivolous litigation, Newsday reports: 
Taxi Vs Uber Now on Uber’s behalf, Bloomberg veterans continue taxi fight (NYDN) * Q-Poll: Voters Back Uber, Walmart(YNN) *  most think pols trying to limit @uber’s size be of "donations from theyellow cab industry” 
Affordable Housing De Blasio administration shifts stance on housing subsidies(Crains) The mayor's office will allow double-dipping in an effort to achieve deeper affordability.  n a change from last year, the de Blasio administration will let some residential developers double or even triple-dip into subsidy pools by using the same group of affordable apartments to qualify for a variety of programs—a practice it initially pledged to eliminate. * No consensus on de Blasio’s latest affordable housing plan (Capital)

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Two Arms: Its Time for News Yorkers To Take Back the City From the Real Estate Barron and Their Hired Gun Lobbyists Who Control the Election Process and Run A Shadow Government

Education War Cuomo vs de Blasio  
Some How Results Were Left Out of Vanity Fair Story On de Blasio
John Flanagan: Charter schools play a critical role in New York (NYP) * The vast majority of school districts and teachers' unions seem to be having difficulty coming to an agreement on a new teacher evaluation system supported by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Politico New York writes:   * The Post writes that by breaking his agreement withcharter schools to have sites for eight new schools selected by today de Blasio is denying hundreds of underprivileged families a chance at quality education: * De Blasio keeps on snubbing charter schools (NYP) * Jennifer Hudson to join parents’ fight against school injustice (NYP) Of course, Wednesday’s rally is about far more than just the Success schools: It’s about system-wide injustice. The march comes in the wake of the Families for Excellent Schools report, “Tale of Two Cities,” which showed how the public-school system puts some kids on the track to failure from the day they enter kindergarten.

More Housing Authority Corruption
Raymond Ribeiro, executive vice president for capital projects at NYCHA, who was in charge of billions of dollars of building upgrades, was abruptly suspended from his job amid a probe by the city Department of Investigation, the Daily News reports:  * Comptroller Wants NYCHA Spending to Go Through HisOffice’s Online System (NYO)

Wyckoff Tenants The Beginning of the the Sell Off of Public Housing
NYCHA Tenants FearThey'll Lose Homes If Luxury Apartments Are Built On Grounds (Gothamist) After last week's announcement from the city that around 1,000 new apartments will be built on existing NYCHA public housing land—Wyckoff Gardens in Boerum Hill and Holmes Towers on the Upper East Side—residents are worried they'll be pushed out. "How are you going to have people here paying $200, $300 rent, then you’ve got tenants in a brand new building paying $1,500, $2,000?” one tenant at Wyckoff Gardens told the Daily News. "I think they’re trying to force us out." Residents at Wyckoff and Holmes have been getting robo-calls from Olatoye, stating the authority would "have the opportunity to build new housing that will bring additional revenue for repairs and capital improvements in your development". These calls, without details of the developments, "confused and frightened tenants", according to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. "You can't do robo-calls on a plan nobody understands," Brewer said. NYCHA tenants are already feeling the pressure of the impending apartments. "With the market rate income, what's going to be happening to a neighborhood that's already stressed?" asked Beverly Corbin, a 61-year-old longtime resident of Wyckoff Gardens told the Daily News.

"The people who are high income, they're not going to be shopping at the local bodega. We already lost a Chinese restaurant and a laundromat." Developers will be allowed to buy or take out 99-year leases on the spaces—which include the "underutilized" parking lots in Wyckoff Gardens and a playground at Holmes Towers. The ratio of accessible housing is set at 50/50, whereby half is affordable and half market-rate—it's a drop from Bloomberg's original proposal on his way out of City Hall, which would have seen 80% luxury units in the new buildings. The planned developments are an attempt to offset NYCHA's financial woes—last year, Comptroller Scott Stringer's audit found that the housing authority has unmet capital needs of more than $6 billion and "needs $18 billion to bring all of its developments into good repair." *  'Despair' in Ingersoll Houses Led to Weekend Murders,Residents Say (DNAINFO) * OPEN UP: NYCHA must be more transparent about contracts: NYC pols (NYDN)  * New York City elected officials said the city Housing Authority must start opening up its contracts and putting them on Checkbook NYC, after construction at one Harlem development caused rampant leaks, the Daily News reports:

CFB Abandoned It Mission of Helping Outside Candidates
The Corrupt CFB Holds Albanese Hostage While Ignoring Outright Lobbyists Consultant PAC Corruption
Former mayoral hopeful gets heated over campaign finances (NYP)  Former mayoral candidate Sal Albanese got into a shouting match Thursday with a member of the Campaign Finance Board while appealing a $10,000 fine for loaning his own 2013 campaign money that was never repaid. The Brooklyn Democrat forgave the $155,000 loan, which the board classified as a contribution that exceeded the $14,850 individual limit.  “I didn’t violate the spirit of the law. I’m actually a victim of what’s become an inflexible bureaucracy that exists in a vacuum,” he said. Clearly angry over those remarks, board member Richard Davis noted Albanese signed a sworn statement promising not to break campaign finance laws. “Do you think it’s meaningless that you signed a sworn statement that you wouldn’t do what you’ve done? Do you think that doesn’t count?” Davis asked. “Your kind of comment I find offensive and erroneous and not consistent with the facts.” The board adjourned the case until its next meeting Sept. 24.

HHC Corruption: Where is the Council Hearings?  Where the Arrests? 
Health officials axed amid probe for improper billing (NYT) Three top officials with the city’s Health and Hospitals Corp. have been forced out amid a probe of improper billing for a $764 million revamp of its records system. * 4th official leaves amid hospital system’s improper billing probe (NYP)
More on Closing Hospitals

The Loss of Thousands of Mom and Pop Stores is Killing NYC's Traditional Route to the Middle Class

Why Are There SoMany Shuttered Storefronts in the West Village? (New Yorker) At the end of this month, the House of Cards & Curiosities, on Eighth Avenue, just south of Jane Street, in the West Village, will close its doors after more than twenty years in business. It was, admittedly, not a store whose economic logic was readily apparent. Along with artistic greeting cards, it sold things like small animal skeletons, stuffed piranhas (which were hanging from the ceiling), and tiny ceramic skulls. Nonetheless, it did good business for many years, or so its owner, James Waits, told me. Its closing leaves four shuttered storefronts on just one block. With their papered-up windows and fading paint, the failed businesses are a depressing sight in an otherwise vibrant neighborhood. Each represents a broken dream of one kind or another. --“Why are there so many shuttered storefronts in the West Village?” by Tim Wu for The New Yorker: “Abandoned storefronts have long been a hallmark of economic depression and high crime rates, but the West Village doesn’t have either of those. Instead, what it has are extremely high commercial rents, which cause an effect that is not dissimilar. “High-rent blight” happens when rising property values, usually understood as a sign of prosperity, start to inflict damage on the city economics that Jane Jacobs wrote about. In the West Village, rent spikes are nearly universally reported as the reason so many storefronts have closed over the past few years.” Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu writes in the New Yorker about the surge in shuttered shops in the West Village, arguing the trend is a consequence of rising commercial rents, which are inflicting damage on the city’s economy * The Post writes that raising the minimum wage for fast food workers will only lead more small businesses and restaurants to close their doors, as has happened in Seattle where the minimum wage is now $15 an hour: