Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday Update: Moreland the Potemkin Crime Fighting Commission

NYT Cuomo Moreland Fix 

Gov. Cuomo’s Broken Promises(NYT Ed) The governor of New York created an independent commission to root out corruption in Albany, but he blocked investigations of his own office behind the scenes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo ran for office four years ago promising first and foremost to clean up Albany. Not only has he not done that, but now he is looking as bad as the forces he likes to attack.  Last year, Mr. Cuomo created an independent commission that he promised could go anywhere — even his own office — to root out corruption. But a report in The Times on Wednesday showed that he never intended to keep that promise. The commission was not independent, and Mr. Cuomo’s aides blocked it whenever it tried to investigate the governor’s office or his biggest supporters.   Mr. Cuomo now says the commission, which he abruptly disbanded to make a deal with the Legislature on an inadequate set of partial reforms, was never supposed to look at his office and that because he created it, he got to call the shots. That is hardly what Mr. Cuomo led New Yorkers to believe when he formed the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption and said it would be “totally independent.” “Anything they want to look at, they can look at — me, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the comptroller, any senator, any assemblyman,” he said.

But The Times report showed that, behind the scenes, Mr. Cuomo’s office quickly began working to stop the commission from digging into any operations that might affect the governor or taint his image. In one case, commissioners issued a subpoena to a media-buying firm called Buying Time. The commission was investigating whether unlimited donations to political parties for “housekeeping” were really a backdoor way to support candidates. Commissioners were not aware, apparently, that Mr. Cuomo was a longtime client of Buying Time. When the governor’s office found out, Mr. Cuomo’s closest aide, Lawrence Schwartz, called a commission co-chairman and demanded that he “pull it back.” Unfortunately, the commission rescinded the subpoena and only reissued it weeks later.

Then, despite Mr. Cuomo’s earlier promises, Mr. Schwartz argued that the commission could investigate only legislators, not the governor. And he shut down a subpoena to the powerful Real Estate Board of New York, which includes many of the governor’s biggest supporters. The commissioners wanted to investigate whether donations from wealthy developers affected tax breaks or other legislation. The real estate board eventually complied voluntarily with the commission’s request. When the commission managed to hammer out recommendations for slowing or ending the Albany scandals, the governor’s office tried to skew the final report with deletions and other changes that suited Mr. Cuomo’s political interests. For example, one mention of the Committee to Save New York, which was organized to support Mr. Cuomo’s agenda and spent more than $16 million from undisclosed donors, was missing from the final report. The group was the biggest lobbying spender in 2011 and 2012 before disbanding when a new state law required disclosure of donations.

The NYT is Counting On an Un-elected Prosecutor to Clean Up Albany
It’s not just Mr. Bharara’s job to clean up Albany. It is up to the voters to decide whether to go on endorsing business as usual. As the indictments and embarrassments continue (26 at latest count since 1999), New Yorkers will have to decide if their representatives are politicians they can trust, including Mr. Cuomo.

Cuomo's Big Mistake
This time he made a big mistake. While he thought the public would buy the “mission accomplished’’ narrative, Cuomo failed to consider that the handful of law-enforcement professionals employed by Moreland had reputations they’d seek to protect. They started talking — to the media and to investigators for the Southern District US Attorney’s Office headed by Preet Bharara — about being muscled, about promises of independent investigations being violated, about being told to steer clear of investigating Cuomo’s friends and contributors, the Democratic Party and the law practices of state lawmakers.

NYP Cuomo's Betrayal to Clean Up Culture of Corruption
Scandal exposes Cuomo as liar and phony(NYP)The devastating New York Times story on Gov. Cuomo’s political interference with his Moreland Commission panel’s investigation of public corruption pulled the veil from one of the biggest open secrets at the state Capitol: The governor is a liar and almost anything he promises will turn out to be false.  Cuomo’s betrayal of major pledges is well known: the promise to cut taxes in a meaningful way, encourage job creation without government handouts, reduce local mandates, conduct public work transparently and have science — not politics — determine if fracking can be done safely. “Cuomo did this with Moreland as he’s done it with so many things: He creates a narrative, ‘crack down on corruption, we’ll get to the bottom of this,’ but it’s totally cynical, manufactured and never real or sincere from the start,’’ said a former public official who has counted the governor as a friend.

Feds Would Have Used Rapfogel to Take Down Others . . .  AG Politics = Containment  

Breaking Rapfogel Gets 3-10 Years 
William Rapfogel, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's pal, gets 10 years for defrauding charity   (NYDN) The 59-year-old is sentenced Wednesday for his role in a $9 million scam. The former head of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty previously admitted his guilt, paying back $3 million.
Rapfogel Sentenced to Three and a Half Years for Stealing From Charity(NYT)

More on the Rapfogel Scandal Timeline 

Queens Tammany Hall Library No More 

 8 Are Removed as Queens Library Trustees(NYT)
The dismissed members voted in April not to fire the director of the library system, who is under investigation.

If You Needed Proof That the Council are Jerks and Puppets Controlled By the Mayor and Lobbyists . . . 

It took six months in office for members of the City Council freshman class to admit they really don’t know what they’re doing. An e-mail obtained by The Post shows that some of the 21 novice legislators expressed befuddlement over the rules governing the so-called “stated” meetings — which have been held at least twice a month since January.

The Council Is Killing the Soul of NYC . . . When Giuliani Was Mayor There Was No Building With A Poor Door
Despite having attended 15 of the sessions and received days-worth of orientation sessions, the newbies are scheduled for a first-of-its-kind group lesson on the workings of government during a “mock” Council session on Wednesday afternoon. “At the request of several freshmen Council Members, [we] will be holding a mock stated meeting along with a brief history of the council to more clearly explain the order and procedures which are followed at the stated meetings pursuant to law and council rule,” reads an email sent by the body’s senior director of community engagement, Karina Claudio Betancourt.Fellow freshman Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) said as a former director of a non-profit, she’d attended her fair share of stated meetings even before being elected.But Cumbo said the training is likely to benefit even the most experienced of the new members. “The same course can be taught by 10 different people and each time you would learn something new,” she said. Novice City Council members still don’t know what they’re doing (NYP)* New York City Approves 'Poor Door' for Luxury Apartment(Newsday)

Council is Really A Prop for Lobbyists to Rob the City's 72 Billion Budget

The Daily News writes that in continuing to deal with Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has brought pay-to-play to the Council, and she must cut ties with the firm or its clients: 
Council speaker puts connected lobbyist on payroll(CrainsNY) Melissa Mark-Viverito quietly handed a $130,000-a-year staff position to a lobbyist from the firm that helped propel her to the City Council speakership, payroll records show. In late March, Carlos Beato, who was a lobbyist at the firm Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, joined the City Council payroll as a deputy general counsel. The move came not long after the lobbying shop—which has long served as Ms. Mark-Viverito’s campaign compliance consultant—quarterbacked her council speaker bid. * COUNCIL WATCH: FRIENDLY FIRE: Since the progressive movement took hold of both wings of City Hall Council members have had to concoct controversy to pull off their typical grandstanding, Seth Barron writes in City & State: * New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, other council members and advocates will announce on Wednesday the expansion of participatory budgeting to at least 20 council districts, Gotham Gazette reports:

As Brooklyn Boss Supports Indicted Sampson Reformers Close Their Eyes
SEDDIO BACKING SAMPSON: State Sen. John Sampson’s political future has looked bleak ever since he was indicted on multiple federal corruption charges, but a powerful segment of the Brooklyn Democratic establishment is doing all it can to keep him in office, City & State reports:

Frank Seddio resigned a judgeship while under investigation by the state's judicial watchdog agency
Daily News asked Seddio to Release documents of  his Investigation to Them in the Name of His New Push for transparency Seddio - Many other people involved who Privacy  should be kept. Never a decision made We are not going to release the documents. Would Seddio ask the panel to open the files? And, just as important, would Seddio open the documents before the regulars voted on whether to make him party chairman? This did seem in keeping with Seddio’s vow to bring transparency to party operations.First, the PR man said Seddio would release the file only after the vote for a new boss. Then, the PR man said Seddio had entirely ruled out going public because the documents refer to other people whose privacy could be infringed.  Then, the PR man said Seddio would allow the Daily News to look at portions of the files with names blanked out, but no copying would be permitted. And he’d make the arrangements sometime after the vote.

Why Did the Daily News Leave Out the Name of Brooklyn Boss Seddio's PR Man?
First, the PR man said Seddio would release the file only after the vote for a new boss. Then, the PR man said Seddio had entirely ruled out going public because the documents refer to other people whose privacy could be infringed. Then, the PR man said Seddio would allow the Daily News to look at portions of the files with names blanked out, but no copying would be permitted. And he’d make the arrangements sometime after the vote. We’re not holding our breath. As the song goes, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.Frank Seddio picks up George Arzt for his push ... -  Capital New York One of George Arzt's clients is Extell, and Extell is the sponsor of the exclusive, luxury condo called One57 that is the target of an investigation for possible corruption. Extell has funneled approximately $75,000 in campaign contributions to Christine Quinn. According to this report, generated moments ago from the New York City Campaign Finance Board Web site, Mr. Arzt has contributed $90,500 in political donations to municipal candidates Judy Menin Manhattan BP race run by Belin Rosen and George Arzt can you find out who told her to hire Melvin Lowe Melvin Lowe Under Investigation Hired by Menin *Menin’s spokesman George Arzt confirmed that Lowe was hired by the campaign to assist with petitioning, and said campaign ended its relationship with Lowe “after a very brief period” just as the news of Huntley’s wiretap list broke.  Arzt Gave almost $100,000 in campaign contributions to NY state candidates spread out over many years.* 2013-10-29 George Arzt - NYS Board of Elections Contributions - Disclosure.pdf George Arzt represents Excell One57 and dozens of other developers * George Arzt - NYC Lobbyist Search Result * More  George Arzt is A Bad Guy   Extell George Arzt Moreland Commission  George Arzt Communications, Inc. - NYC Lobbyist Search Result

$300,000 From Excell to Cuomo
Gov. Cuomo's long-time city developer donor got more generous when it stood to get $35 million in tax breaks(NYDN) Corporations and people affiliated with Extell Development made more than $300,000 in donations to Cuomo since May 2012, around the same time the governor and lawmakers were weighing a housing bill that would save Extell millions over a decade.

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

It's About What the Reformers Don't Know or Want to Know

New Brooklyn Boss Frank Seddio visited a reform club last week and told the members that there is no corruption in the Kings County courts, told them patronage is not a bad thing and promised more transparency, as he served them cannolis he brought for them.  A couple of days before his visit the Daily News called his word worthless because he went back on his promised to release documents related to a state Commission on Judicial Conduct investigation of his conduct while running for Surrogate judge. The problem the reformers have with Seddio is that except for the Daily News warning the press has done very little to inform them who is the real Frank Seddio.  There is a lot to be learned by investigating how Seddio used the machine and government to make $$$ and remain *  I think Frank Seddio may be the first Brooklyn Democratic County Leader ever to attend  annual dinner!* *   THE HIGH COST OF LOW LIFES: The taxpayer money being spent to defend disgraced politicians like Vito Lopez could have been saved if Speaker Sheldon Silver had prioritized employee safety over the Assembly’s reputation, Alexis Grenell writes in City & State:   True News: Seddio: Leave the Gun Take the Cannolis

As the U.S. Attorney Investigates Moreland Sabotage Local TV Give Us Happy News Laughing All the Way to the Bank

Cuomo critics charge illegality after Times' Moreland expose (Capital)

The Cuomo administration last year ordered the Moreland Commission to withdraw a subpoena to a media-buying firm that had placed millions of dollars’ worth of advertisements for the state Democratic Party and for Gov. Andrew Cuomo when he ran for governor in 2010, The New York Times writes: 
 When Cuomo and lawmakers passed the law creating the Joint Commission on Public Ethics the legislation also called for the creation of an eight-member review panel to study the activities and performance of the commission, but the review panel has still not been created, the Times Union reports: 6,500-WORD HIT -- Times 2-col. lead (New York Edition; moves to second story in National Edition): “Governor’s Office Hobbled Corruption Investigations Promised Free Rein, Panel Found Panel Found Groups Linked to Cuomo Were Off Limits,” by Susanne Craig, William K. Rashbaum and Thomas Kaplan, with research by Jack Begg:

“The commission developed a list of promising targets, including a lawmaker suspected of using campaign funds to support a girlfriend in another state and pay tanning-salon bills. The panel also highlighted activities that it saw as politically odious but perfectly legal, like exploiting a loophole to bundle enormous campaign contributions. But a three-month examination by The New York Times found that the governor’s office deeply compromised the panel’s work, objecting whenever the commission focused on groups with ties to Mr. Cuomo or on issues that might reflect poorly on him. … “[F]ederal prosecutors are investigating the roles of Mr. Cuomo and his aides in the panel’s shutdown and are pursuing its unfinished business. … Things got so bad that investigators believed a Cuomo appointee was monitoring their communications without their knowledge. … In a 13-page statement responding to The Times’s questions, Mr. Cuomo’s office defended its handling of the commission. It said the commission was created by and reported to the governor, and therefore he could not be accused of interfering with it…. Yet, The Times found that the governor’s office interfered with the commission when it was looking into groups that were politically close to him. In fact, the commission never tried to investigate his administration. “Beyond that, Mr. Cuomo’s office said, the commission needed the governor’s guiding hand because it was, simply, a mess: Its staff was plagued by ‘relationship issues’ and was ‘mired in discord.’ The commissioners, whom he earlier called some of New York’s sharpest governmental and legal minds, ‘did not understand the budget or legislative process or how state government worked,’ the statement said. Their subpoenas often had ‘no logic or basis,’ and those that touched on the governor’s supporters were more for show than for legitimate investigative purposes, the statement said.” h ttp:// * Zephyr Teachout: If Gov. Cuomo knew about Moreland Commission meddling, he should resign(NYDN)* Bill Hammond ‏@NYDNHammond  "One state senator appeared to be supporting a girlfriend in Connecticut and paying tanning-salon bills." Hmm.* The odd couple and the defunct commission: A NY moment(Newsday)* 2,200-word response to NYT inquiries about Committee to SaveNY  *  NYT: Cuomo's officescuttled investigations into his political allies(TPM) * Stewart-Cousins Defends Cuomo Interference in the Moreland Commission(NYO)* While today’s New York Times story on the Cuomo administration’s extensive meddling in the now-defunct Moreland Commission is exhaustive, it does not address what laws may have been broken or by whom, State of Politics reports:
* Exclusive from April 15: Moreland Commission sources say an assistant counsel to the governor, who professed himself to be the author of the SAFE Act, was selected as the lead writer of the panel’s December 2013 report after several independent candidates for the position were nixed:
* Exclusive from May 11: Internal Moreland Commission documents obtained by City & State reveal the Commission investigated the questionable campaign spending of around two dozen state lawmakers, including state Sens. George Maziarz, John Bonacic, Patrick Gallivan and Greg Ball:
* Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Zephyr Teachout, responding to The New York Times report on the Cuomo administration’s extensive meddling in the now-defunct Moreland Commission, said that if the governor knew of efforts by top aide Larry Schwartz to obstruct the commission’s work, then he should “immediately resign,” State of Politics reports: * State of Politics adds that good government groups also called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to explain himself * Westchester state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins—the Democratic minority leader in the state Legislature—defended Cuomo’s interference in the Moreland Commission on the Capitol Pressroom radio show, echoing the governor’s arguments that because he staffed the pane and was free to intervene, the Observer reports * #Cuomo Silent After NY Times Report Details Restraining ofAnti-Corruption Commission *More Moreland meddling, a Cuomo insider ultimately pegged towrite commission's interim report.(City and State)
Cuomo Moreland Ad
Tom Robbins ‏@tommy_robb 
Moreland Comm. exec. director Regina Calcate
rraknew a little something about lobbyingRetweeted Tom Robbins (@tommy_robb):  Too clever by far more than half: How Cuomo's bid to 'Restore Public Trust' turned into its opposite,stunningly told

Good Government Groups Are So Full of Shit

Cuomo’s interference in an ethics panel was "terrible" and "shocking," good-gov't groups say regarding recent report

Local TV News For $ale: How Special Interests Control News Content and Public Opinion

If you were watching WCBSTV local news this weekend you would have seen a commercials paid for by The Committee to Save New York (business interests supporting Cuomo) called "Turn the Tide" which told the views that Governor Cuomo did a wonderful job at fixing pensions and the states economy.  Spending on advertising has fueled the increase in lobbying costs. Well-funded special interests funnel millions to lobbyists for public campaigns to sway lawmakers on hot-button issues (TU)  Local News which is mainly weather, traffic, cooking and dog segments is making millions in lobbyists spending.  * CBS donated $45,000 to @nygovcuomo
Cuomo and his supporters spent over $10 million last year to gain public support to push through his agenda. Union and business interest like the pro fracking interest are also spending millions on ads to local stations.  All this money is coming in as local news dumbs down.  It is not a secret that TV and radio stations rely on the local newspaper for most of their hard news. So those "rip and read" broadcasters have offered their views much less hard news as newspaper staffs shrivel amid the draconian layoffs caused by the internet and the recession? Local TV stations stand to profit from boom in super-PAC spending (The Hill)*CSNY’s budget blitz: $3.9 million (updated)(TU) *Save NY airing tax cap ad(TU) *Budget opponents up their ads and mailers(TU) *Bloomberg Blames Negative Ads For Poor Showing In Education ...(Politico) *Save NY now airs on school money(TU) *NYC's Bloomberg Pays for TV Ads Backing Cuomo's Pension *  Bloomberg Defends His Administration With TV Ad - * Local TV News For $ale: How Special Interests Control News Content and Public Opinion

Dumb Down Local News Makes Millions on PAC and Other Special Interests Spending

Keeping the Public Uninformed While Racking In the Millions

Local News which is mainly weather, traffic, cooking and dog segments is  making millions in lobbyists spending.  Cuomo and his supporters spent over $10 million last year to gain public support to push through his agenda. Union and business interest like the pro fracking interest are also spending millions on ads to local stations.  All this money is coming in as local news dumbs down.  It is not a secret that TV and radio stations rely on the local newspaper for most of their hard news. So those "rip and read" broadcasters have offered their views much less hard news as newspaper staffs shrivel amid the draconian layoffs caused by the internet and the recession? Local TV stations stand to profit from boom in super-PAC spending (The Hill) * Local News  Dumb Down Journalism (True News)

Local TV News Makes Millions Keeping the Public Dumb Against the Teachings of Our Founding Fathers  
"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they  misconceive.If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." 

Local TV News Has Become Wires and Lights in A Box and Tits and Distraction 

This instrument (television) can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference.”Edward RMurrow 1958 speech * Good Night, and Good Luck: Edward Murrow Speech

Before Anything Will Change in This City, State and City the Public Has to Heed This Advice On the Video
Even With the media Feeding us Thorazine 24/7 and None Politician David Perdue Beat Georgia's Congressman Jack Kingston

Dark Money For A Dark Money Fund
The Creation of A Secret Govt to Rule NYC
School bus firms try to hide $40K in donations to mayoral nonprofit(NYP) School bus operators who need Mayor de Blasio’s help to retain lucrative city contracts contributed nearly $40,000 to a mayoral nonprofit — but took steps to hide the donations from public view, a Post review found. The school bus owners were among a number of special-interest groups that helped de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York raise $1.7 million in the first six months of 2014. But, unlike the yellow-cab firms and the teachers union, the bus owners tried to mask their involvement. Careful Bus Co. — which has $90 million in contracts set to expire in 2015 — gave nearly $10,000 through a number of LLC’s, including 88th Street Self Storage Inc. and First Investors Equipment Leasing Corp. Another donation is listed solely as coming from Richard Caparella, who is the brother-in-law of Careful Bus co-owner Marty Hoffman.

School bus operators who need New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s help to retain lucrative city contracts contributed nearly $40,000 to a mayoral nonprofit—but took steps to hide the donations from public view
“He asked me to donate” Caparella told The Post. L&M Bus, which has some $110 million in contracts set to expire next year, gave $15,000 via Stable Realty LLC which shares its Brooklyn address. And brothers Chris and Joseph Termini gave $10,000 without listing the firms they own — Dak and Hoyt Transportation.  The brothers had also tried to donate $4,500 each to de Blasio’s mayoral transition fund in December, but the campaign returned both donations.  BerlinRosen, which ran de Blasio’s mayoral campaign and is managing the Campaign for One New York, didn’t say why the money was refunded in one case and not the other. The Termini brothers declined to discuss their donations. Current school bus operators are at de Blasio’s mercy because they have contracts that require them to employ the most senior union staffers — which dramatically boosts operating expenses.Asked about the yellow-bus company donations, the mayor’s office referred questions to BerlinRosen. “The Campaign for One New York is supported by individuals, foundations and organizations committed to expanding early education and to the mayor’s broad progressive agenda,” said co-founder Jonathan Rosen.* Mayor de Blasio’s secret cash gifts(NYP) For a guy who whines about money in politics — and is always calling for more transparency — Mayor de Blasio sure gets his cash in a sneaky way. There’s a pattern here. In April, the same mayor’s group received $350,000 from the American Federation of Teachers just before the AFT’s local affiliate reached a big fat contract that included raises and retroactive pay the union had been demanding.  All together, the Campaign for One New York amassed $1.7 million in the six months Mayor Bill has been in office. Question is, how much of this has been snuck in by special interests trying to get on the mayor’s good side? The usual response is that these contributions show we need public financing of campaigns. But wait a minute. New York City already has public financing of campaigns. So how is that a solution?

Alarm raised about ‘dark money’ behind de Blasio’s LICH - Fortis letter

The backlash continues against a letter sent out by a de Blasio lobbying group supporting the sale of Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital (LICH) to a developer.   The government watchdog group Common Cause raised alarms on Tuesday about “dark money” funding the mass mailing, and the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) has added its voice to those debunking the letter's claims. The controversial June 26 letter touts the “stand-alone ER” that will be replacing the historic hospital. Although it was signed by Carroll Gardens’ resident Gary Reilly, the letter was mailed from the headquarters of de Blasio lobbyists operating under the name “The Campaign for One New York.” In the letter, Reilly says, “I was asked by Mayor de Blasio to share my views on what [the sale of LICH] means for families in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn and Red Hook.”  The outcome, Reilly writes, “. . . is a lot better than we had reason to think one year ago.” With SUNY selling the hospital complex to developer Fortis Property Group, “We will have a freestanding, high quality emergency room, with up to 20 observational beds.” The letter has evoked a storm of criticism from residents of these neighborhoods who fought for more than a year to save the hospital, and who supported de Blasio in his campaign for mayor largely based on his promise to save LICH.  That promise was seemingly forgotten after the election, however.* Big city unions bankroll $1.7M to Mayor de Blasio's lobbying arm(NYDN)* * An advocacy group set up by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign aides raised nearly $1.8 million during his first six months in office to promote his policy agenda, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * Apartment sharing website Airbnb, which is under fire for flouting New York City law, has hired Mayor Bill de Blasio’s former campaign manager Bill Hyers as a consultant, the Daily News reports

Give Us A Gambling Franchise and A Take Break

And You Thought the Purpose of Allowing Casinos in NY Was to Raise Money for the State

A City Council BOE Takeover? 

Four people vying to become the newest Board of Elections commissioner—Lenore Kramer, Louise Dankberg, Leonard Kohen and Alan Schulkin—will line up to be grilled by the City Council in a series of private interviews tomorrow, the Daily News reports:

Fernando Tries To Run for State Senate On the CFB Dime
NYC Campaign Finance Board to Fernando Cabrera: Give back our money(NYDN)  The Campaign Finance Board wants its money back -- the public's money, that is -- from a Bronx councilman who's trying to use it to win a state Senate seat. Public records show Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera rolled $33,000 from his city campaign account over to his Senate account as he tries to unseat incumbent Gustavo Rivera in September's Democratic primary. That might be a nice nest egg, but unfortunately for Cabrera, it doesn't work that way. Last year, Cabrera raised $55,000 for his Council run, CFB reports show. Under the city-only taxpayer-funded matching system, he collected $23,000 in public money.  He spent a bit over $41,000, leaving slightly less than $37,000 in the bank.  Cabrera's campaign directed all but about $3,100 of that to the Senate account, instead of refunding the matching money to the CFB.*  Pol puts $20K in public funds towards Senate bid(CrainNY)

65% Believe Elected Officials All For Themselves . . .  Not Surprised At the Level of Corruption in Albany

A new Siena College Research Institute Poll shows 65 percent of those polled said most state legislators “do what’s best for them and their political friends and it never surprised me when another one gets indicted,” the Observer reports. Indicted legislators fail to shock New York voters: poll(NYP)* 'It never surprises me when another one gets indicted': Two-thirds of New York's voters think Albany lawmakers are corrupt(NYDN)

Teachout Petitions Challenged By Cuomo
General Objections Filed Against Teachout’s Petitions(YNN)Two general objections were filed at the state Board of Elections challenging Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout’s effort to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a Democratic primary. Teachout’s campaign this month filed about 45,000 petition signatures to gain ballot access, triple the amount needed.The general objections — due today with the state Board of Elections — came from Harris Weiss and Austin Sternlicht. Neither challengers have made political donations in the last decade, a search of campaign finance contributions showed. 

The contact person for the objections is former Senate Minority Leader Marty Connor, who questioned in May whether Teachout was eligible to run for governor in New York based on her previous out-of-state residency.At the time, Teachout was challenging Cuomo for the Working Families Party ballot line, which ultimately failed. It turned out Teachout was indeed eligible to run for governor and had no residency issues. Teachout’s campaign had been anticipating a challenge to its petitions and earlier this month circulated a fundraising appeal so the campaign could hire lawyers.* Cuomo challenges Teachout’s petitions to knock her off ballot(NYP) Gov. Cuomo’s campaign moved Monday to boot Democratic rival Zephyr Teachout from September’s primary ballot.“We are challenging [her] petitions,” said Cuomo campaign spokesman Peter Kauffmann. Acting on Cuomo’s behalf, Democratic activists Harry Weiss of New City and Austin Stemlicht of Rye filed “general objections” to the petitions before the deadline Monday. Election lawyer Martin Connor — one of the city’s top election lawyers who ties to Cuomo and the Demoratic Party — is listed as the lawyer for the objectors. * Two people have filed legal objections to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Democratic challenger Zephyr Teachout’s ballot petitions and must lay out any specific errors with Teachout’s approximately 45,000 petitions in six days, Gannett Albany reports: 

Teachout and Astorino At A Joint News Conference Call Cuomo Corrupt

Astorino And Teachout Join Forces To Knock Cuomo On Ethics(YNN) Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino and Democratic hopeful Zephyr Teachout in a joint news conference on Tuesday knocked Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s record on ethics and his decision to shutdown the Moreland Commission investigating the Legislature. The unusual joining of forces for Astorino and Teachout at the Tweed Courthouse in New York City comes as both candidates struggle to raise their name recognition with voters as polls show they continue to be largely unknown. Both Teachout and Astorino called on Cuomo to stop airing television ads touting the state’s business climate, which is being paid for by the Empire State Development Corp. And they criticized Cuomo’s closure of the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, a panel he set up and then disbanded in April after state lawmakers agreed to an ethics package in the state budget.“WORSE THAN BRIDGEGATE”: Republican gubernatorial nominee Rob Astorino and Democratic candidate for governor Zephyr Teachout held a joint press conference slamming Gov. Andrew Cuomo for shutting down the Moreland Commission. Astorino also inferred that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie might not be supporting his candidacy because of some entanglement between himself and Cuomo over Bridgegate, and said that Christie “should consider stepping down” as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, City & State reports: Law firm gave to Cuomo before, during and after Moreland activity(Capital) Syracuse-based Hiscock & Barclay donated $10,000 in December and $13,000 in July* * Republican state chairman Ed Cox called out Republican Governors Association head Chris Christie for knocking the candidacy of Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, Capital New York reports:   * Three Democratic members of the Westchester Board of Legislators have asked state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to audit the county Ethics Board after criticism of the county executive’s outside job led to questions about the effectiveness of the board, the Journal News writes:  * New Yorkers should wake up from their apathy this election year and not accept the status quo as the best the Empire State can get, Michael Goodwin writes in the Post: Wising up to Cuomo’s political ‘con’ game(NYP)

Cuomo Holds His Wide Lead in the Polls
Poll: Astorino who?
A Siena Research Institute poll shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo leads Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino by 37 points, and 59 percent say Cuomo has made the state better: Push Polls Charge * Cuomo’s campaign operatives are being accused of dirty tricks for allegedly sponsoring a biased “push poll’’ to convince voters that Astorino holds politically unacceptable views, the New York Post’s Fred Dicker reports:  Liz Benjamin, host of Capital Tonight, writing in Capital New York, explores Cuomo’s plan to create a new party to focus solely on women’s issues and critics’ argument that it is just a political maneuver * With state Senate Democrats and the Independent Democratic Conference set to reunite as a new coalition, it is still unclear if they will share their campaign fundraising efforts, the Times Union reports:  * Astorino called on Cuomo to suspend the state’s $237.5 million “Open for Business” ad campaign, charging that the money is wasteful and being used by Cuomo “for his own political gain,” Gannett Albany Bureau writes: The New York Senate GOP stiffs Rob Astorino(NYP)* In other @SienaResearch #NYgov results: Comptroller DiNapoliand AG Schneiderman both lead by huge margins too. * Hochul: Not Up For Me To Say If Cuomo Should Debate(YNN)  * It is impossible to say who is funding the “Astorino Truth Squad,” a group launched by the Westchester County Democratic Committee, because the required financial disclosure with the state Board of Elections has yet to be filed, six days after it was due, Gannett Albany reports: * Some of Cuomo’s top campaign donors flooded the Westchester County Democratic Committee’s coffers with contributions as it launched an effort to attack Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino’s record, Gannett Albany reports:

The Benedict Arnold Republican Club

Bill O'Reilly ‏@wfbor   Al D'Amato doing @NYGovCuomo dirty work. Doesn't that really say it all? @RobAstorino #ethics

 VJ Machiavelli ‏@VJMachiavelli   @wfbor @NYGovCuomo @RobAstorino u all are late to the game he is part of the BARS Benedict Arnold Republicans now u are complaining VERY SAD

Fredric U. Dicker ‏@fud31

NYGOP Chm Cox on RGA chm Chris Christie:"I was disappointed today to read Gov. Christie's disparaging remarks'' re Rob Astorino's campaign.
Liz Benjamin ‏@CTLizB  
Charmian Neary ‏@CharmianNeary 
.@AlDAmatoNY You called respected investigative journalist Wayne Barrett a viper, presumably for investigating your corruption. #Apologize
What next? A statement scolding @RobAstorino from Pataki-era state GOP Chairman Bill Powers? #metatothemax #throwbackTuesday
Commissioner Bratton orders "top to bottom" retraining of police force, specifically about taking down suspects and avoiding choke holds.

Queens Boss Lives in Virginia, Former Bronx GOP Boss Lives in Westchester, Why Not A County Leader from South Africa? 
Michael Blake’s run for a corruption-plagued South Bronx seat in the state Assembly may be turning out to be “historic” for the wrong reasons, former state Assemblyman Michael Benjamin writes in the Post
A state assembly candidate’s ‘ragged’ efforts for ‘hope and change’(NYP) Michael Blake’s run for a corruption-plagued South Bronx seat in the state Assembly may be turning out to be “historic” for the wrong reasons.A former top operative for Barack Obama going back to the 2008 Democratic primaries, Blake is running for the seat that Eric Stevenson vacated after being convicted of bribery in January.

But his own efforts to stand for “hope and change” — and for the people of the district — are looking a little ragged. Blake recently bragged on Facebook about the “record-setting and historic” $160,000 he’d raised. But he’s rumored to be getting help some odd places. Is Johannesburg, not Jersey City, the sixth borough? Why Johannesburg?  Well, that’s where US Ambassador Patrick Gaspard calls home.
And Blake is a protégé of Gaspard, who once headed the Democratic National Committee and the political-action arm of powerhouse union 1199 SEIU.  Some Bronx Democrats are accusing Gaspard of calling his pals at 1199 SEIU urging their support of Blake — and, indeed, the union endorsed him Friday.

Jenkins Who Started His Lobbying Career at the Firm Kasirer Consulting is the Bronx Bosses Enforcer?
Correction: Jenkins Left Kasirer in 2008 and is Off On His Own Lobbying Now
Bronx Democratic bosses learned that he had assembled a slate of community leaders to challenge their district leaders and state committee members.  He quickly got a disapproving call from party adviser Patrick Jenkins. Blake says Jenkins told him that running for the Assembly was one thing, but running an opposing slate was a declaration of war. Blake said he was shocked at the audacity of the Jenkins upbraiding. But shock soon turned into compliance, as the Blake campaign severed ties with his reform slate and  filed nominating petitions for his candidacy alone.
Jenkins Lobbying Clients Families for Excellent Schools - Advocacy, Inc.Bank Street College of EducationEZ Festivals, LLCNew York State Trial Lawyers Association, Inc.Midtown Trackage Ventures LLC,

Kasirer Consulting is the Highest Paid City Lobbyists 
Not surprisingly, meanwhile, this year's highest-paid firm was Kasirer Consulting, the firm founded by Suri Kasirer. Her firm raked in about $6 million—about a tenth of all of the city lobbying dollars spent in 2012. The firm also earned nearly twice as much as its nearest competitor.
The top ten lobbyists by compensation were:  Kasirer Consulting ($6,059,486), James F. Capalino & Associates ($3,317,406), Constantinople & Vallone Consulting ($2,507,500), Bolton-St. Johns ($ 2,390,266), Greenberg Traurig ($2,334,294), Manatt, Phelps & Phillips ($2,067,481) Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson ($1,971,509), Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel ($1,889,915), Parkside Group ($1,729,036), and Davidoff Hutcher & Citron ($1,629,390).

Forest City's 2013 Spending, by Lobbying Firm
  1. Kasirer Consulting LLC $160,000 lobby target: Office of the Mayor
  2. Geto & de Milly Inc. $46,000 lobby target: Community Boards
  3. Park Strategies, $40,000 lobby target: City Council
  4. LoCicero & Tan, $32,000 lobby target: "Attaches of the Council"
  5. Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP $9,000 lobby target: City Council

Other Lobbyists Clients of Kasirer
 WNETVornado Realty L.P.Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish PovertyBlack Diamond Commercial Finance, L.L.C. on behalf of Black Diamond Commercial Finance, L.L.C. and Spectrum Commercial Finance LLCLesbian and Gay Community Services Center, IncBrooklyn Botanic Garden CorporationSL Green Realty Corp.Atlantic Yards Development Company, LLC.The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and ArtSouth Street Seaport Limited PartnershipMSG Holdings, L.P.MGM Resorts InternationalBrookfield Financial Properties LLCThe Naftali Group on behalf of 234-238 E 23rd Property Owner, LLCMorgan Stanley & Co. LLCNew Visions for Public Schools, Inc.NBC Universal, Inc.Red Hook 300 LLC on behalf of Red Hook 100 LLC, Red Hook 212 LLC, and Red Hook 300 LLCLincoln Center for the Performing Arts, IncAmsterdam Apartments LLCQueens Portfolio I Owner LLCAmerican Suntanning AssociationGreenpoint Landing Associates, LLCCornell University, Extell Development, CBS, Cablevision, Time Warner, INC, Viacom, Walgreens, The Riese Organization, American International Group (AIG), Proskauer Rose, National Grid/Keyspan, Taxi Technology Corporation, Cemusa Inc.a;

Lobbyist Kasirer Consulting Made Money on the Broken 911 System
Both Mercury and George Artz have been lobbyists for Hewlett-Packard which was the main contractor of the city's 911 emergency system that crashes a lot. The city 911 system is now being sued by the parents of 4-year-old Ariel Russo who claim she died because an ambulance to take the little girl to the hospital was delayed by a 911 crash.  Among the lobbyists to get paid by the city’s broken 911 system contractors was George Arzt, Mercury Public Affairs, LLC, Jennifer Carlson, Peter Barden, Jonathan Greenspun, Michael McKeon, Kasirer Consulting LLC. More on Corrupt Lobbyists More on Russo's Death and Dark Pool Corrupt Lobbyists

The Kasirer Reps Rapfogel's Met Council  Forest City Ratner Nexus
Rapfogel nwas ForestCity's partner on ncil Seward Park bid, charity show,etc  Former Forest City Ratner lobbyist Melvin Lowe, Sampson crony, charged with corruption; charges do not involve developer(Atlantic Yards) The Forest City angles 1) Given that Forest City Ratner joinedwith the Met Council on a bid to redevelop the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, the departure of Rapfogel--surely highlighted as a key executive in the bid package--casts a major shadow on that bid.  2) The Barclays Center chose to give the Met Council--and a music camp--profits from a  2/28/13 cantorial concert. Shouldn't investigators look into any ulterior motives, like buffing the developer's relationship with Silver as a prelude to that Seward Park bid? 3) The position of Rapfogel's son Michael, a Forest City VP of External Affairs who's the developer's chief legislative liaison, has to become a little uncomfortable, though he is of course not responsible for his father's actions. His mother Judy is still Silver's top aide, and that has to be the key legislative relationship. But the name Rapfogel is now associated with an emerging scandal. I've written at length about the ties between Forest City, Silver, and the Rapfogels.

Berlin Rosen is Working for Michael Blake Campaign

It New Yorkers Face Cheney Like Fake Reality (Brainwashing) and Tammany Hall Corruption

De Blasio-allied group defends LICH deal to brownstone Brooklyn(Capital)  The outside group that advocated for Mayor Bill de Blasio's pre-K plan is sending out a mailer praising a deal that resulted in a dramatic downsizing of Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill. The Campaign for One New York is the new iteration of UPKNYC, the advocacy group run by the mayor's former campaign aides that spent more than $1 million promoting the mayor's universal pre-K planWhen its name change was announced in May, the group's spokesman, former de Blasio campaign aide Jonathan Rosen, told the Wall Street Journal that it would "build on the grassroots energy of UPKNYC and last fall's  campaign to support the mayor's bold, progressive agenda as it continues to move forward — building the affordable housing we need, fighting inequality, and ensuring that every child receives a great education." The mayor got arrested during his mayoral campaign protesting the prospect of the hospital's closure. * BerlinRosen's current and recent clients include Two Trees Management Negotiations between Mr. de Blasio’s team and Mr. Walentas’s firm took place over the last 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.

A Lobbyists Who Grew Out of the WFP's Data and Field Swamp is Not Telling New Yorkers How to Think?
LICH had been losing millions of dollars a month.  In February, when the mayor announced a "truly historic" agreement with those community groups, health care unions, and the State University of New York that he hoped would save the hospital, he gave a shout-out to Reilly. Following a messy few months, the state has gone back to negotiating with the partner that it had been talking to in the first place: Fortis Property Group. The deal will not include a full service hospital.The campaign would not disclose how much it spent on the mailer, who its donors are, or how many homes the mailer was sent to. The group's spokesman Dan Levitan said it would disclose its donors in its July 15 filing with the state's Joint Commission on Public Ethics. “The Campaign for One New York and many of the activists involved in preserving healthcare at LICH believe it is important that people in the community understand the many critical services that will be still be provided there, including an emergency room, cancer center, HIV/AIDS clinic, as well as urgent, primary, and preventative outpatient services in more than a dozen specialties," he said, in a statement. The mayor's office had no immediate comment. de Blasio Doublespeak   Rent freeze or rent hike? Sources say de Blasioadministration wanted both (Capital) Several members of the board said that a top aide from the de Blasio administration urged them to vote for the increases. (CrainsNY)

At Long Last the Daily News Has Admitted That Because of Citizen United the Public Financing System is A Joke

The Unions, Left and Progressives Follow the Koch Brothers In Using the Citizen United Ruling to Game Democracy
Bill’s cash grab(NYDN) Say goodbye to the role public campaign financing has played in limiting the power of big-moneyed interests to sway mayoral elections. Mayor de Blasio is happily opening the door to donors with the fattest wallets in town. But in 2013, the wheels began to come off the system de Blasio has praised as “empowering” to voters — and de Blasio played a big role in making that happen. Outside money, enabled by Supreme Court decisions, was crucial to toppling early frontrunner Christine Quinn and opening up a path for de Blasio.

Those outside groups, some of whose big donors overlap with his supporters, can receive and spend nearly unlimited funds. De Blasio continued that practice after his election win, with some of his closest allies and advisers founding UPKNYC, nominally to fight on behalf of his pledge to secure money from Albany for universal pre-K. That group accepted donations far beyond campaign limits and kept its contributors’ identities secret for months under lax reporting rules. Now, de Blasio’s inner circle aims to make the group, rebranded as the Campaign for One New York, a perpetual presence, and he and they insist it will promote other issues close to the mayor’s heart without boosting his political fortunes. The distinction is laughable.

And revelations about how the group has already raised and spent money show it. Its biggest single donor to date was the American Federation of Teachers, the parent union of the UFT, which gave $350,000 just weeks before de Blasio reached a deal for a new teacher contract that offered billions in back pay. The AFT’s gift was disclosed weeks after the deal came in. 1199 SEIU, the potent health care workers union whose members staff city hospitals, gave $250,000. Another $200,000 came from UNITE Here, a union formerly run by de Blasio’s cousin. It also contributed heavily to NYCLASS, the outside group whose spending kneecapped Quinn last year and whose finances are now reportedly being examined by the FBI. Using the royal we, de Blasio said of the group Thursday:

“We’re going to look at the whole agenda and what’s needed to achieve the agenda.”  And, he insisted, the six-figure donations weren’t buying anything. “I don’t think they expect anything, and I would never feel comfortable if they did.” Incredibly, as Crain’s reported Friday, the group was nearly broke when the AFT donation came in — and it promptly spent an amount equivalent to the union’s gift on the TV ad promoting the mayor.  Next mayoral election, no candidate will be able to compete without a similar group that pulls in huge bucks from interest groups without immediately disclosing the gifts. Remember to thank de Blasio for paving the way.

NYT, NYP and Daily News Silent On Local Impact of Citizens United on the City's Public Financing System

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

The Unreported Citizen United NYC 2013 Election Scandal
We have just gone though the first local election since the Citizen United ruling where two major IE groups Jobs4NT and NYClass has pumped money into almost every first time winning candidate or attacked their opponent.  CrainsNY reporter Chris Bragg has done a good job showing that on of the big PAC groups headed by Advance's Scott Levinson was not following the election law and was in some elections working against the interests of his council clients.

Only True News has asked where is the media on Citizens United effect on the city's elections. Mark Levine ran  in a minority created district he did not even live in won with the help of Jobs4NY, NYClass and United for the Future.* Politicians for Sale (NYT Ed)The Supreme Court should follow its own precedent and uphold overall campaign contribution limits.
More on the Advance Groups Corruption 
CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping
The Big 8 Lobbyists  
Dark Pool Politics

When Will the Daily News Discover the Using Citizens Action PACs the Big 8 Has Gamed New York's Not Only The Mayor's Postition But the Council As Well

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

The Real Build New York Campaign
Construction projects prelude donations for Cuomo(NYP)State government contracts are paving the way for political donations to Gov. Cuomo, a Post analysis of records reveals.A $3.8 million project to repair a portion of the Saw Mill River Parkway in Pleasantville served as a prelude to $15,000 in contributions to Cuomo’s re-election, including from the contractor who won the bid. According to Board of Elections records, William Schultz, owner of W.M. Schultz Construction in Saratoga County, donated $5,000 to Cuomo six months after repaving a stretch of the Saw Mill to reduce flooding. “The project had nothing to do with the contribution,” Schultz told The Post. Within a year after the project was complete, Cuomo received $10,000 more in contributions from four businesses near the construction site.Two were first-time donors to Cuomo — ECCO III Enterprises, which dropped $5,000 into the governor’s campaign account, and Hughes Contracting Industries, which contributed $3,000.  The companies — all located on Saw Mill River Road just off the parkway that was paved — did not return calls for comment.

Corrupt Lawmakers Have Used $7.5 Million of Their Campiagn Account for Legal Fees 
State lawmakers spent $300,000 over the past six months from their campaign accounts to cover legal fees stemming from multiple scandals, bringing the total to $7.5 million since 2004, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett reports: * Carl Kruger paid his lawyer Brafman over a million and when to jail anyway

Justice Department Wants Grimm Trial Before the Election 

Grimm’s trial could begin 1 month before election(NYP)

NYP Left Out that Assembly Wright As NY County Leaders Gets Judges Their Jobs 
 Assemblyman Keith Wright pushed a court to reinstate his top aide’s driver’s license after she was busted for a 4 a.m. DWI in Harlem last month, where she dropped his name and threatened cops, the Post reports: 

NYP Left Out that Cumbo Campaign Was Fined By the CFB Because Her Consultant the Advance Group Mixed Citizen United $$$ With Her Campaign Contributions  
More Member Items Abuse
Once again our City Council is proving — with your tax dollars — that even a good cause can start to lookugly when it looks to political connections for funding.  The latest example is Brooklyn Councilmember Laurie Cumbo’s $1.4 million taxpayer-financed gift to the Museum of Contemporary Arts. Her donations will be matched by another $1.4 million in the mayor’s executive budget, for a grand total of $2.8 million for this museum. That’s a nice chunk of change. One other relevant point: Cumbo is the founder of this museum.

We don’t suggest that any of this is illegal. But that’s the smelly part, at least with regard to council member items. This is money that the council’s politicians take from taxpayers and ladle out to their pet projects and causes without even a vote. The worthiness of the cause being supported is irrelevant. In fact, we think by participating in a process so open to abuse, non-profits risk their good names. Remember, member items were part of William Rapfogel’s scam at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. So we’re with Mayor de Blasio on this. End member items. And let these worthy causes raise money the old-fashioned way — either by persuading private benefactors to contribute, or, when taxpayer dollars are involved, by holding an up or down legislative vote.

The CFB Finds the Advance Coordinated PAC NYCLASS $$$ and Campaign $$$

The Investigation Of the Advance Group NYCLASS Corruption Continues With Fines Against Two CN Cumbo and Levenson  
City council members fined over money from anti-horse carriage group(NYP)Two city council members were slapped with hefty fines for accepting prohibited campaign contributions from a group at the center of the Central Park horse carriage brouhaha. Freshman member Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) was fined $7,868, and newbie Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) was fined $8,686 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board for accepting over-the-limit funding from a “prohibited source.” The board found that the funding source for both campaigns – New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Street (NYCLASS) – was too intertwined with the candidates’ consultant, The Advance Group (TAG).Campaigns are prohibited from coordinating with third-party groups that make “independent” expenditures. Yet TAG president and lobbyist Scott Levenson was political director for NYCLASS, and both groups shared the same office space.* Two NYC campaigns fined over cash from animal rights group(Newsday) But NYCLASS and The Advance Group were intertwined -- NYCLASS' political director doubled as The Advance Group's president, for example -- and spending by NYCLASS "could not be and" was "not independent" of the campaigns, the finance board said. The contributions were over the $2,750 limit as nonindependent spending and weren't reported by the campaigns, the board said. Cumbo and Levine responded with a joint statement, saying their campaigns are opposed to outside spending in elections.* 2 City Council members fined thousands for accepting improper campaign funds from anti-carriage horse group NYCLASS(NYDN)

Tale of Two One Building: How Developer's Campaign Contribution Led to the Poor Door
City OKs UWS development with ‘poor door’ for residents(NYP) The city approved a developer’s controversial plans for a “poor door” on the Upper West Side, The Post has learned.Extell came under fire last year when it introduced plans for a 33-story luxury condo with a separate entrance for affordable-housing tenants.A spokesman for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development confirmed that the agency had approved Extell’s application for the Inclusionary Housing Program. Under the program, developers may build larger properties in exchange for providing on- or off-site low-income housing. The development will have 219 units overlooking the waterfront and 55 affordable units in a “building segment” facing the street.

Extell Wants to Segregate the Poor
 This is rich! The poor will use a separate door under plans for a new Upper West Side luxury tower — where affordable housing will be segregated from ritzy waterfront condos despite being in the.

As the Millions in Tax Breaks to Excell Has Shown Real Estate Developers Already Own Albany and the Governor
In an interview, Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, a government watchdog group, indicated that the multimillion-dollar effort was a significant shift in city politics and might alter the nature of campaigning on the local level.  “The entire point of a City Council race is to reflect the needs of the neighborhoods in a district,” Ms. Lerner said. “This undercuts the neighborhood-based nature of a district and replaces neighborhood concerns with industry concerns.

How Real Estate $$$ Run Politics in NYC
Cuomo $300,000 from Extell
On Real Estate Contributors Subpoenas
Cuomo said he has no problem with the anti-corruption Moreland Commission he convened sending subpoenas to real estate companies that have contributed to his campaign, including Extell Development, the Times Union writes:  
Gov. Cuomo's long-time city developer donor got more generous when it stood to get $35 million in tax breaks(NYDN) Corporations and people affiliated with Extell Development made more than $300,000 in donations to Cuomo since May 2012, around the same time the governor and lawmakers were weighing a housing bill that would save Extell millions over a decade.Two corporations tied to Extell Development each contributed $50,000 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign the same day the Assembly passed a housing bill with tax breaks for five developers, including Extell, the Daily News reports: *Sheldon Silver aided Gov. Cuomo in sneaking through tax breaks for luxury developer(NYDNGov. Cuomo's long-time city developer donor got more generous when it stood to get $35 million in tax breaks(NYDN) Corporations and people affiliated with Extell Development made more than $300,000 in donations to Cuomo since May 2012, around the same time the governor and lawmakers were weighing a housing bill that would save Extell millions over a decade.* Towering corruption (NYDN) Commission must find the truth about Albany's tax breaks for luxury highrises* New York City real estate companies are exploiting a loophole in state election law that considers limited liability corporations as individuals, allowing them to contribute up to $150,000 through LLCs that they own for different sites, Crain’s Insider reports

True News Exclusive: Will Moreland Look At City Officials/ Candidates Who Got Matching Funds From Extell's One57?

Gaming the System
It was not only Vito Lopez, Marty Golden, Keith Wright, Cuomo the Albany Assembly and Senate PACs of both parties that got money from Extell Development, sponsor of One57 for tax breaks.  At least 6 citywide candidates got the loot from the buildings developers.  Extell contributions to city officials were designed to take advantage of the public matching fund program.  Most were $175 with many of the same contributors giving to more than one candidate.  The Moreland Commission is looking into the state contributions and tax reductions connections, there is no indication if the commission will look into with the city pols for their cash.  They should.  George Arzt a flack for Extell works for at least two of the candidates who got money from the developer. If you wonder why the middle class keep getting pushed out of NYC, It has to do with the same candidates who promise to save the middle class feeding off the tit of the luxury developers.

A towering insult - NY Daily News

As the Daily News revealed last Tuesday, One57 is among five residential projects that were shoehorned into a real estate tax abatement program under language mysteriously written into legislation passed in Albany.  The companies that will benefit, their lobbyists and PACs have donated $1.5 million to Albany campaign accounts over the past five years. The bill’s sponsors — Sen. Marty Golden and Assemblyman Keith Wright — professed ignorance.* How the Rich Get a Big Real Estate Tax Break - Assemblyman Keith Wright Sent Letter Acknowledging Developer Tax Breaks In Bill(NYDN)

Wright Tries to Blame Vito Lopez
Wright is furious at Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for dragging him into a controversy over tax breaks awarded to five city developers, the Daily News’s Ken Lovett writes:  Wright inherited the bill after Silver replaced former Assembly Housing Committee Vito Lopez, who was removed because of his sexual harassment scandal. The bill is the subject of an investigation, in which high-level politicians allegedly received money from real estate developers
 Albany's Tax Breaks Turn Into Foreign Aide for the Rich
Silver Builds Affordable Housing for the Residents of Qatar Not Middle Class and Poor New Yorkers   Qatar Prime Minister – New Owner of the $100 Million New York’s Most Expensive Penthouse

International Office Investment Up Also
New York’s improving economy coupled with high demand from global investors have driven Manhattan office-building values back to where they were before the crash, The Wall Street Journal writes:

How Does the Media Let George Arzt Get Away With Flacking for Luxury Highrise Tax Breaks, While Running Major Campaigns?

Extell Corrupt Lobbyist Arzt Flacks for Brooklyn Boss Seddio
“Frank left the job because the bench was less-than-scintillating,” said Seddio spokesman George Artz. “Frank is a people person, and he found the post wasn’t for him.” You think after losing with Hynes Artz would have gotten out of Brooklyn?* 2013-10-29 George Arzt - NYS Board of Elections Contributions - Disclosure.pdf George Arzt represents Excell One57 and dozens of other developers * George Arzt - NYC LobbyistSearch Result * More  George Arzt is A Bad Guy LobbyistsWho has done a lot of harm(True News)  *  One of George Arzt's clients is Extell,and Extell is the sponsor of the exclusive, luxury condo called One57 that is the target of an investigation for possible corruption. * George ArztCommunications, Inc. - NYC Lobbyist Search Result
More on Arzt and Other Corrupt Lobbyists  
EXTELL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY. Media Contact: George Arzt  at 212-608-0333 Can we expect the candidates like Katz that Arzt is trying to elect this year will help him get more tax breaks for luxury highrises. Subpoenas have gone to Gary Barnett’s Extell Development, sponsor of One57 *Extell Lobbyist Money is Also Flying At the Hudson Yards
Real Estate Developers, Tax Breaks and Politics

True News Wags the NYT to Report On the Assult on the Affordable Housing Tenants

How Albany's Manhattan Real Estate Tax Breaks Are Pushing Blacks and the Poor Out of Brooklyn

 Buyouts have long been part of New York City’s real estate lore, but as offers have become more common, buyouts have become instruments of illegal harassment and a growing threat to the stock of affordable housing, The New York Times writes Tenant groups cite illegal harassment and a growing threat to affordable housing, while landlords say buying out longtime tenants in low-rent apartments is lawful.* SWEATING IT OUT: Brownsville tenants live without hot water and electricity (NYDN) 

NYT Reports on Gentrification In Crown Heights It Does No Report Why It is Happening So Fast?  
Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Gets Its Turn(NYT) The neighborhood has finally overcome a reputation for intolerance and violence that had plagued it since the 1991 riots between blacks and Hasidic Jews. In fact, residents credit the successful post-riot reconciliation between the two communities with being one of the drivers of Crown Heights’ rapid transformation — or gentrification, depending on one’s perspective.
Along Franklin Avenue, signs saying “Moving to Flatbush” have appeared on many businesses in the last couple of years, and while longtime residents don’t tack up signs, there are indications they have also been leaving in large numbers as new arrivals replace them in this community of about 140,000 people. * Nuns raise rents at immigrant home to boot longtime residents(NYDN) They’re kicking them like a bad habit. The nuns running St. Joseph’s Immigrant Home in Hell’s Kitchen are boosting the rent on young female residents and trying to boot women..

Real Estate Market Forces: International Money, Gentrificatrion and Airbnb Are Making Affordable Housing Program into A Band-Aid on A Cancer



Is Anyone Studing the Effect of Foreign $$$ Puring Into the Ci

NY's Real Estate Has Become the New Swiss Hidden Banks Accounts to Hide Illegal Money  
GILDED CITY – New York mag cover, “Stash Pad: The New York real-estate market is now the premier destination for wealthy foreigners with rubles, yuan, and dollars to hide,” by Andrew Rice:  “Every year, the British real-estate brokerage Knight Frank publishes a document called ‘The Wealth Report.’ The latest edition produces the curiously precise estimate that there are 167,669 individuals in the world who are ‘ultrahigh net worth,’ with assets exceeding $30 million … forecasting that over the next decade, the ranks of the ultrarich will increase by 30 percent, with much of the growth  coming in Asia and Africa. … New York is forecast to add more ultrahigh-net-worth individuals than any city outside Asia over the next decade.”“[S]ince 2008, roughly 30 percent of condo sales in large-scale Manhattan developments have been to purchasers who either listed an overseas address or bought through an entity like a limited-liability corporation, a tactic rarely employed by local homebuyers but favored by foreign investors. … Corcoran Sunshine, which markets luxury buildings, estimates that 35 percent of its sales since 2013 have been to international buyers, half from Asia, with the remainder roughly evenly split among Latin America, Europe, and the rest of the world. ‘The global elite,’ says developer Michael Stern, ‘is basically looking for a  safe-deposit box.’ …* A study showed Manhattan’s apartment inventory is up after a two-year shortage, but the average price for a Manhattan apartment rose 20 percent to more than $1.6 million, the Times writes:  Hidden in Plain Sight: New York Just Another Island Haven()ICIJ) Lax U.S. rules and real estate industry’s no-questions-asked approach make it easy for dodgy characters to funnel wealth through high-end Manhattan apartments.

How Much Foreign $$$ is In this Story 

Wealthier New Yorkers Aren’t Fleeing the City for Tax Havens, a Study Says(NYT) The Independent Budget Office found that the share of higher-income households that moved from the city in 2012 equaled that of lower-income households that left.

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

Juror Cut Loose Says Halloran is Guilty 
Tuesday Update

Former City Councilman Standing Trial Says He Followed in Bloomberg's Footsteps(NY1)

Saturday Trial Update Juror cut loose from Halloran’s trial thought he was guilty(NYP) A juror cut loose Friday from the corruption trial of ex-Councilman Dan Halloran said he would have found the accused pol guilty of brokering bribes to get Sen. Malcolm Smith...“I believe he was guilty of taking bribes in exchange for setting up the meetings with the county chairs,” said the juror, a 26-year-old man from Duchess County who was dismissed because he could no longer serve on the lengthy trial. “It’s very convenient that [Halloran] had an excuse for absolutely everything . . . In my mind he really didn’t own up to anything.”Meanwhile, Halloran took the stand Friday to desperately claim that he knew an undercover federal agent was asking him to break the law but that he went along with the conversation in order to snag campaign cash.“They’re trying to get me to say, ‘I’ll do this in exchange for the money.’ Now, I’m not going to do that because I know the rules,” Halloran said.“I’m trying to tell somebody, ‘No,’ in a nice way . . . You can’t piss off donors.“I’m not being completely honest with them, but [I need to] not have them walk away from the table when I needed them for my congressional campaign.* Voters Are Not Surprised When Albany Pols Get Indicted, Siena Poll Says(NYDN)

Sunday Update Excuses for sale(NYDN Ed) For the love of money You’re former City Councilman Dan Halloran, on trial for corruption. The jury has heard a recording of a developer asking you to find someone a job, you agreeing, him handing you an envelope stuffed with cash, and you saying, “Money is what greases the wheels — good, bad or indifferent.”How do you explain that away on the witness stand? By swearing that the money you accepted was in no way a bribe, but merely a “loan.” Maybe you should have stuck with the insanity defense.* New revelations of questionable uses of campaign funds underscore the need for continued investigation, and for stronger reform of the laws on and monitoring of political contributions and spending, the Times Union writes:

How Does the Progressive Justify Lulus  

Lulu heroes and zeroes(NYDN) End the City Council’s legal bribery On Friday, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito rewarded loyal members with something extra in their paychecks. It was lulu day, the twice a-year payment of stipends on top of the members’ already healthy $112,500 salaries. The cash, ranging from $25,000 yearly (for Mark-Viverito) down to $5,000, is supposed to compensate for the extra duties of leadership. In practice, it’s a wasteful and corrupting joke. The good news is that 10 members flat-out refused the money: Brad Lander, Alan Maisel, Carlos Menchaca and Mark Treyger of Brooklyn; Andy Cohen of the Bronx; Dan Garodnick, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine and Helen Rosenthal of Manhattan; and Steve Matteo of Staten Island.Not only did they say no, but Mark-Viverito gave all 10 the option to beg off for the three-and-a-half years left in their terms. All 10 did.Garodnick and Lander are turning down $15,000 yearly, Matteo is declining $5,000 and the rest, $8,000. They believe that all Council members should be paid the same and put principle before personal interest. Salute their integrity.  Another member who won’t be be getting his lulu, though not for the same high-minded reason, is Ruben Wills of Queens. He has been indicted for stealing from a government slush fund. Nineteen others take their lulus and claim to donate them to charity. They should offer proof.  Near the bottom of the pile are 11 members who keep their lulus — and below them are the half-dozen who backed restricting lulus yet pocket the money: Corey Johnson and Ydanis Rodriguez of Manhattan, Daneek Miller, Danny Dromm and Paul Vallone of Queens and Vincent Gentile of Brooklyn. Hypocrites.

We Know About CM Ferreras Corruption With (LIBRE) for Years SO How is This an Exclusive? 

The head of the City Council’s powerful Finance Committee once ran a taxpayer-funded, not-for-profit that routinely issued checks to her and her parents, a Daily News investigation has found. EXCLUSIVE: While Julissa Ferreras (D-Queens) and her mother ran the publicly funded Latino Initiative for Better Resources and Empowerment, 16 checks totaling just over $8,000 were issued to family members and a baseball league ran by Ferreras's father, according to documents obtained by The News.The mother wrote several LIBRE checks to her daughter, and the daughter wrote checks to herself, her father, and a baseball league her father ran, according to internal LIBRE documents obtained by The News. The state attorney general’s Charities Bureau says nonprofits must assign more than one authorizer to sign off on checks, but Julissa and her mother often signed checks by themselves. Formed in 2003, LIBRE was supposed to provide an array of services in Queens, from citizenship classes to job training and education programs.From 2004 through 2008, Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens) funneled $420,000 in city funds to the group.The LIBRE checks to Ferreras and her family surfaced in a federal investigation of Monserrate’s misuse of LIBRE. He later pleaded guilty to using LIBRE to help fund his 2005 reelection and a failed 2006 run for state Senate.

During that time, Julissa Ferreras served alternatively as his chief of staff and as chairwoman of LIBRE’s board. She won his former Council seat in 2009. On June 12, 2007, Julissa by herself signed off on a $3,150 check to a baseball league her father ran, Dominicana USA Academy. On the same day, she and a LIBRE employee signed a $1,000 check to a sporting goods store, R&M, for a “Queens Dominican Baseball Tournament.” The contact listed was Julio Ferreras.LIBRE closed down in late 2008, as Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara began looking at Monserrate, who by that time had become a state senator.
Monserrate was indicted in 2010 on charges of looting LIBRE to fund his political ambitions. He pleaded guilty in 2012 to conspiracy and fraud and is serving a two-year prison term. Bharara’s office had possession of the checks to Ferreras and her parents, but Ferreras was not charged with a crime.

Has Flashback to What True News And Other Media Reported About LIBRE Years Ago 

Teflon CM Ferreras AG, Feds and the Queens DA look the Other Way at Ferreras' LIBRE's Corruption
Corruption In the None Profit Group Libre Sent Monserrate to Jail, The Executive Director of Libre, Ferreras Was Never Touch By the Investigators
Media: A Speaker Candidate With No Past?
Julissa Ferreras Said to Be Quietlying Maintaining Speaker Candidacy (NYO) 
Former councilman Monserrate is in jail because he used his member item money to help his campaign. The none profit group which Monserrate used was Libre, which was overseen by his chief of staff Julissa Ferreras, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in discretionary funds from the councilman. The group Ferreras ran Libre never produce time sheets, expense receipts, canceled checks or board meeting minutes to document its expenses for the two fiscal years, 2006 and 2007, examined in the audits.  Monserrate admitted to carrying out a fraudulent scheme in which $109,000 in government funds was used to benefit his unsuccessful run for the state Senate in 2006.While he was a member of the City Council, Monserrate had directed the money to a group in his Queens district, the Latino Initiative for Better Resources and Empowerment, or LIBRE. Mr. Monserrate, who in 2008 was running for State Senate, referred at that time questions about the accounting to his chief of staff, Julissa Ferreras, who was Libre’s chairwoman during the period examined by the audits.  “She’s the person to have the conversation with,” he said. “I wasn’t the director. I don’t know what paperwork was there, what books were there.”  Ms. Ferreras, who is running in 2008 to fill the seat Mr. Monserrate will be vacating on the City Council, said at that time in a brief telephone interview with the NYT that the records should be in Libre’s offices. “I personally don’t keep the records,” she said.

 Julissa Ferreras gypped disabled employee (NY1)

Has the City Council Forgoten Something? 

NYC weathers six months of a progressive City Council(NYP)
1.  ID for undocumented aliens, transgender people or anyone else who for whatever reason doesn’t possess legal proof of identity, the municipal ID card has been presented as a means of integrating a shadowed community of New Yorkers into society. Council member Danny Dromm, the lead sponsor of the muni ID bill, has repeatedly said that the card will become the “must-have accessory” for all “real” New Yorkers. Councilmember Mark Weprin echoed this sentiment, saying during the vote on the bill that “we live in the coolest city in the world, right? And now we’re going to have a membership card, and people will want to be part of that club.”

2. Leave it to the City Council to throw a couple ridiculous crusades into the mix. Council member Peter Koo, who was born in China, wants all textbook references to the Sea of Japan also to call it the “East Sea.” Indicted council member Ruben Wills has introduced a law to establish a nine-member Cricket Task Force to promote the sport in the city. Neither has passed (yet).
3. The new budget may not raise taxes, but that doesn’t mean the City Council isn’t trying to nickle and dime in other ways. Council member Brad Lander wants the city’s stores to start levying a 10-cent fee (which the stores will keep) for every bag they give customers to carry their stuff out of the store. Handleless bags for use inside the store, such as for produce, are exempt, as are bags for pharmacy prescriptions. It hasn’t come to a vote yet.
4. Perhaps the biggest piece of legislation was overriding Michael Bloomberg’s veto of the paid-sick-leave bill and passing an expanded version of the bill.
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal writes dozens of animal rights bills — winning favor of animal activists(NYDN)

Council Cannot Find Extra $$$ for Vets In Spite of the VA Hospital Scandal in the  City Budget for Vets
Although the New York City Council asked for an additional $400,000 in funding for the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs to develop programs to assist veterans and an additional $1 million for mental health, employment and legal assistance services for veterans, those funds are not in the budget agreement, Gotham Gazette reports:

D-Day Punk CM Dromm Want to Kick the Military of Schools Out of NYC Schools 

Tuesday Update
New York City Council Education Committee Chair Daniel Dromm wants to shut down the New York City school system’s Junior ROTC program, saying he has a philosophical problem with the program, the Post reports:  

The head of the NYC Council’s Education Committee, Queens Democrat Daniel Dromm, wants to shoot down the school system’s Junior ROTC programs — charging they’re training high-school students for a “war machine.”

The Port Authority Also Gives Out Member Items Slush Fund to Increase Their Power 

Storm in a Port(NYP) Among the many sources of scandal and corruption for our state and city legislators has been “member items” — taxpayer dollars given to each member to dole out to local community groups with no vote and zero accountability. Turns out the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has something very similar. It’s a group of funds known collectively as “regional banks.” Over the past three decades, governors of both states and both parties have used these funds to hand out $1.5 billion in donations to non-profits — most of them completely unrelated to the PA’s core mission of transportation. For example, according to The Record, the PA gave $10 million to the New York Botanical Garden, $1 million to Ballet Hispanico, $5 million to the Museum of Modern Art, $3.5 million to Jazz at Lincoln Center and $5 million to the Jersey City Medical Center, among many others. All worthy causes, no doubt — but none having anything to do with transportation. And the banks, which were recently replenished to the tune of $950 million, get their spending money from tolls and fares.* NY Taxpayer money used to pay lobbyists 

NYT Who Endorsed Rangel's Opponent Never Forgets 

Charlie Rangel's Charitable Giving Shrinks Along With Fund-Raising Clout(NYT) When Charlie Rangel was riding high as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, one way Mr. Rangel, a Harlem Democrat, helped his profile was by giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to charitable organizations. Those days are long gone.

Labor Commissioner Hires His Ex Company

Labor commissioner gives no-bid contract to firm he founded(NYP)  The city’s top labor negotiator turned to some familiar faces to help hammer out dozens of municipal contracts, by bringing on the consulting firm he founded.Three months after Robert Linn was appointed labor commissioner, the city inked a $99,500 no-bid contract with Linn & Logan Consulting, Inc., founded by Linn in 1995.He served as executive director until January’s appointment. Linn got clearance from the Conflicts of Interest Board. Mayor de Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak said the urgency of contract talks precluded soliciting bids.

It Was Cuomo's Best of Days and Worst of Days

 U.S. Issues Subpoena in Inquiry on Cuomo’s Closing of Moreland Commission(NYT) Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed the assistant to the panel’s former executive director to testify, suggesting that the criminal inquiry has moved to a new stage. Federal agents served the subpoena on the assistant, Heather Green, on Wednesday morning, appearing at her doorstep before 7 a.m., the people said. Ms. Green, who is not believed to be a target of the inquiry, worked as an executive assistant to the anticorruption panel’s former executive director, Regina Calcaterra, until Mr. Cuomo announced he was disbanding the panel, known as the Moreland Commission, on March 29. 

The subpoena, according to two people who have seen it or been briefed on its contents, asked for documents and correspondence, including any communications with Mr. Cuomo and his senior aides. It also directed Ms. Green to appear July 28 to testify before a grand jury in Manhattan, the people said. Separately, Mylan L. Denerstein, counsel to the governor, has agreed to be interviewed in early August by federal prosecutors about her involvement with the panel, one of the people said. The U.S. Attorney Preet.Bharara appeared on a radio show days later and, in an unusual move, sharply criticized Mr. Cuomo’s decision, saying his actions made it appear as though the governor had bargained away corruption cases as part of a political deal. Mr. Bharara also referred to allegations that Mr. Cuomo and his aides had interfered with the commission’s investigations, steering them away from the governor and his allies.The direction of Mr. Bharara’s criminal inquiry remains unclear, but it appears to be focused on whether shuttering the panel, or any actions before it, interfered with any prospective federal investigations. It was not immediately clear how Ms. Green’s testimony fit into the criminal inquiry. While news reports have disclosed that several subpoenas had already been served in connection with the investigation, all of those were for documents and other materials, not for testimony.

How Cuomo got his picture-perfect LIRR moment(Capital) “[T]he deal looks like a significant win, allowing him to collect credit for averting a … costly transit mess, and avoiding a confrontation with a union fresh off tamping down a near-revolt on his left at the recent Working Families Party convention. … [T]he governor's late appearance in the drama … comes straight out of the Cuomo playbook. (He did a similar thing in April as the M.T.A. and its Transport Workers Union Local 100 reached a tentative contract for about 34,000 bus and subway workers.) So Cuomo only became involved in the LIRR talks—publicly at least—in the day leading up to the accord. “He had previously suggested that it was an issue for Congress, not the governor (even though he effectively controls the M.T.A.). Then his staff got involved with negotiations behind the scenes … Experts on labor negotiations say that it was always unlikely for Cuomo to become involved in the railroad talks unless he a knew there was a deal to be made, particularly in an election year. And … the union negotiators were unlikely to agree to terms until a few days before the strike was set to occur. If they came back three weeks ago with a tentative deal, their membership may have rejected it believing more could be done

SI DA Investigating NYPD Chokehold Death . . .  Protests. . .  Daily News Says Cover-UP

.@CommissBratton: "I would not be surprised if the U.S. attorney decides to open a civil rights violation investigation." #EricGarner "levels of resistance to arrests is up astronomically”—@commissBratton. #NYPD
COVERUP: Internal NYPD report on Staten Island father of six does not mention chokehold and states the dead dad was not 'in great distress' — EXCLUSIVE(NYDN) * Medical Workers Face Scrutiny After Man’s Death in Police Custody(NYT) De Blasio and New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton already face a daunting job in repairing the department’s reputation in black and Latino neighborhoods; they can start by determining whether Eric Garner’s death was an accident or part of a larger problem * In 9 Cases of Police Chokeholds, Punishment Was Rare, Review Board Says(NYT)* A Chokehold and a Tragedy(NYT Ed) The death of a black man being arrested on Staten Island leaves the Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio with many questions to answer.* * The Civilian Review Board recommended that the New York City Police Department pursue an administrative trial, which could lead to termination, in response to nine complaints by people who said police officers restrained them in a chokehold, the Times writes:  Tensions High Before Death in Chokehold(WSJ) The Staten Island neighborhood thrust into the spotlight when a man died after a police officer subdued him with an apparent chokehold is in a precinct that has historically seen tension between the police and residents.* DE BLASIO: ‘LOOKED LIKE A CHOKEHOLD’ -- Capital’s Sally Goldenberg: "As an individual who's not an expert in law enforcement, it looked like a chokehold to me," de Blasio told reporters in Rome after a meeting with Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. "Commissioner Bratton acted having looked at the facts, and it's quite clear that the chokehold has been prohibited for decades, but I leave the specific actions within the police department to commissioner Bratton," de Blasio said. "I have absolute faith in his judgment. And I think the actions that have been taken show that there is a serious commitment to a full investigation and appropriate follow-through."  MAYOR SENDING AIDES TO GARNER FUNERAL -- Capital’s Azi Paybarah: City Hall spokeswoman Marti Adams said Rachel Noerdlinger, the chief of staff to first lady Chirlane McCray, and Community Affairs Unit commissioner Marco Carrion will attend Garner’s funeral in Brooklyn on Wednesday. Both attended rallies held by Sharpton this weekend. --“How Anonymous Cops Online Are Reacting to the Death of Eric Garner,” by NY Mag’s Joe Coscarelli: “There has been no shortage of community outrage in the days since the death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old father of six suspected of selling loose cigarettes, during a violent, videotaped arrest in Staten Island last week. … [But in] internet communities for law enforcement, like … and Thee Rant, an NYPD message board, the Garner story has stirred up racial, political, and professional tensions, most of them quite ugly. While all of the comments below are anonymous, and therefore not verifiable, both sites do require registration for membership … By no means a comprehensive view of law-enforcement feelings about the incident, the postings do provide a different — if beyond upsetting — perspective.” Officer in chokehold arrest receives death threats online(NYP)* * At a rally outside New York City Hall, city and state elected officials called for justice for Eric Garner—the Staten Island man who died after an NYPD officer apparently placed him in a prohibited chokehold—and more cameras recording cops on city streets, the Observer reports:  * NYPD probes bomb threat at precinct, harassing call toofficer's mom, following Eric Garner's death(SI Advance)

'What made you choke him like that?': Son of chokehold victim says he wants cop who was caught on tape using illegal move thrown in jail — with NO protective custody(NYDN)* Protesters call for Bill Bratton's resignation over StatenIsland death 
* In the wake of the death of Eric Garner—the man who died after an NYPD officer apparently held him in a chokehold and brought him to the ground last week—a mother whose daughter died from an asthma attack after a police officer pulled her over en route to the hospital is renewing a call for officers to receive CPR training every two years, the Observer reports: * Protesters at City Hall called for the resignation of New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton over Garner’s death, the Daily News reports:  In 9 Cases of Police Chokeholds, Punishment Was Rare, Review Board Says(NYT)* Arrest in Attack on Police Officer(NYT) * A Chokehold and a Tragedy(NYT Ed) The death of a black man being arrested on Staten Island leaves the Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio with many questions to answer.

Sunday Update Man in chokehold death had no throat damage: autopsy(NYP) The forbidden chokehold used by a cop to take down a Staten Island man in a deadly encounter did not damage his windpipe or neck bones, sources said.* Complaints About Chokeholds Are Focus of Study (NYT)* OUTRAGE! Video shows man put in chokehold by NYPD cop given no CPR, no medical attention while neighbors rally and officer stripped of badge and gun(NYDN)* Hamill: NYPD cop who put Eric Garner in chokehold that led to his death should be off the force(NYDN)* 'THIS IS GOING TO BE A REAL TEST': Rev. Al Sharpton calls death of Staten Island man Eric Garner a 'test' for Mayor de Blasio's administration(NYDN)* More than 1,000 city residents claim to be victims of NYPD chokeholds, CCRB says(NYDN)* CCRB to Review Police Chokehold Complaints in Wake of SI Man's Death During Arrest(NY1)* East Harlem housing cop punched, gets teeth broken(NYDN)* Community Furious As Investigation Continues In S.I. Man’s Death In Police Custody(WCBS)* NYPD officer stripped of his gun, badge over chokehold of Eric Garner, police say(SI Advance)

DA to investigate death of man placed in NYPD chokehold: de Blasio(NYP)* De Blasio delays family trip to Italy after Staten Island man’s death(NYP) * Cops who put man in fatal chokehold pulled from streets(NYP)* Bill de Blasio Vows Thorough Investigation Into Eric Garner’s Death in NYPD Custody(NYO) * De Blasio promised a full investigation into the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died yesterday after police officers put him in a chokehold and slammed him to the ground, the Daily News reports: NYPD Investigates Man's Death During Staten Island Arrest(NY1)* Man’s Death After Chokehold Raises Old Issue for the Police (NYT)* THEY KILLED HIM' - Heartbroken widow of 'gentle giant' who promised to help raise her family devastated after NYPD chokehold(NYDN)* Protests planned Saturday after Staten Island man diesduring arrest 
De Blasio phones in condolences after NYPD chokehold death(NYP)* The Civilian Complaint Review Board is promising a review ofpolice chokehold complaints after Eric Garner's death.(NY1)* Al Sharpton on #EricGarner: "Go to the tape! ... Thetape speaks for itself!"

Bad Timing Goes to the NYP For Defend the NYPD Today

Courtroom battle against NYC’s cops(NYP)
It’s open season on cops — at least in New York courtrooms. And that’s not a good sign for New Yorkers. On Wednesday, a Queens jury awarded an admitted thief $510,000 for a broken leg he suffered during his arrest for shoplifting. The award came even though Kevin Jarman pleaded guilty. He also sued the NYPD in 2005 and 2013 after separate drug-sale charges against him were dropped.

More on the Mayor's Trip
City announces staff cost for Italy trip(Capital)* De Blasio Postponing Italy Vacation Until Saturday(NY1)* De Blasio's Man in New York(WSJ) First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris will lead New York City government while his boss is in Italy for more than a week.* De Blasio Discovers Difficulty With Taking Vacation As Mayor(NYDN)* Buon Viaggio, de Blasio(NYT Ed) The mayor deserves his trip to Italy — just make sure to call home!

Here Comes the Lyft Taxi Revolution  

Ride-sharing app Lyft gets green light from Manhattan judge to operate in New York City (NYDN)
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Kathryn Freed approved an agreement that allows Lyft to begin running its rides in New York City as long as it satisfies city regulators on certain points; it also has to address criteria to continue operating in upstate New York. If the terms of the agreement are not met, Freed said she will block the company from operating in New York State as of July 25.

NYP is Demanding the Mayor's PAC One NY Give Back the UFT $$$  

Give the money back, Mayor de Blasio(NYP) Maybe Mayor de Blasio’s spokesman is right: There’s “zero” connection between the sweetheart deal the teachers union won from the city and $350,000 its parent union donated to Mayor Bill’s Super PAC.  Maybe it’s also just a coincidence, as Crain’s reported, that the donation from the American Federation of Teachers to the Campaign for One New York came less than a month before the mayor agreed to a nine-year-contract with its New York local whose health “savings” are vague but whose retroactive pay is all too real.  StudentsFirstNY has called for an investigation. In a letter to the chairman of the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board, the organization says “New Yorkers deserve to know whether it is a conflict of interest for Mayor de Blasio to take large Super PAC contributions from a union with whom he is negotiating a new contract.”

NYPD Getting Good Press On Its Efforts to Stop the Increase in Shootings 

Three gang members charged in shooting of gathered mourners(NYP)*Cops bust eight alleged gun runners in Brooklyn(NYP)

For Six Months True News Has Been Reporting That the Council Speaker Paid A Lobbyists Who Was Lobbying Her . . . Today the Daily News Reports the Same Info As Exclusive 
EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito paid $28G to lobbying firm for consulting, while they lobbied her on behalf of clients(NYDN) During the period that she was paying Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, the firm lobbied her office and members of the City Council on behalf of at least a half-dozen clients, according to lobbying reports filed with the city clerk’s office. Simultaneously paying and being lobbied by the same firm is legal, but the practice has been criticized by good-government  groups worried that such a cozy relationship can give lobbyists special access to a politician. The Daily News between Dec. 1 and July 11, her campaign, Viverito NY, wrote six checks ranging from $722 to $6,630 to the firm Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, the campaign finance statements show.On 11/27/2013 the Daily News wrote a story that forced the speakers hand.

Daily News Dumb Crook Reporters?
The Daily News Does Not Even Understand That It Was Them Who Forced the Speaker to Pay Lobbyists Pitta Bishop Del Giorno When They Wrote A Story Attacking the Advance Groups Free Help to Mark-Viverito to Make Her Council Speaker.  A Violation of the City Ethics Rules for Lobbyists.  EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN) Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy (Daily News 11/27/2013)

If the Daily News Wants to Keep the Horses They Should Work On Exposing the Advance Groups Corruption Before Their Friends Cover It Up
A kick in the teeth (NYDN Ed) The Daily News delivers nearly 40,000 carriage horse petitions to City Hall, but Mayor de Blasio has blinders on

As Reported in True News for Months

Lobbyists Are the New Party Bosses 

Melissa Mark-Viverito spent big bucks on speaker's race, campaign filings show

  Mark-Viverito spent significant amounts on campaign consultants - paying $22,352 to consultants Pitta Bishop Del Giorno Giblin. She also owes that firm another $6250.She paid $8295 to Amelia Adams from New York Communities for Change, now a top staffer on her city payroll, $10,000 to H Strategies, where her now-communications director Eric Koch then worked, and $10,000 to Jon Paul Lupo, who worked on her speaker campaign and is now a top aide to Mayor de Blasio.  She also donated $8500 to the Working Families Party.  Mark-Viverito collected donations from unions 1199 SEIU, CWA Local 1180, and 32BJ. An opponent of the proposed big soda ban, she also got $1000 from Coca Cola’s PAC.* Mark-Viverito spent $106K on bid to become speaker(Capital)

Flashback  Why Did the Daily News Keep Out Its Own Story About the Advance Group Illegally Working for Speaker Mark-Viverito?

Daily News Charges Against Mark-Viverto
EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN) Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy (Daily News 11/27/2013)

Mark-Viverito Drops Advance

Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid(NYO) Ms. Mark-Viverito insisted today that this was not the case but out of an “abundance of caution,” the relationship would end. Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid - Blogs(TU)

To the Winner Lobbyists Goes the Spoils (City Council)
Since the 2013 elections Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin has picked up of 70 clients to lobby for. 51 clients to lobby the city council, 17 to lobby the office of the mayor

Another big winner of 2013 made a similar argument. Jon Del Giorno, sitting in his firm's 28th-floor conference room a few blocks from City Hall, downplayed the notion that his closeness with Ms. Mark-Viverito will help his firm, Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, which has hovered near the bottom of, or just out of, the top-10 list.  Pitta Bishop has done Ms. Mark-Viverito's election-law compliance since 2005, and last year Mr. Del Giorno quarterbacked her uphill speaker bid. In a clever and unprecedented move, the firm set up a 2017 campaign account for an unspecified office with the state Board of Elections, which allowed Ms. Mark-Viverito to raise $100,000 and hire a full staff for her run, despite needing just 26 votes from council colleagues to win. More than $21,000 of the money reportedly came from Pitta Bishop's long roster of business and labor clients, and gave Ms. Mark-Viverito an edge over her rivals. Common Cause New York said the new speaker was "exploiting" the state's lax campaign-finance system.

The Speakers Lobbyists Cash In
Lobby for the City Council Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin,: MedReview, Inc.,  Meadows Office Supply Co., Inc.,  National Lighthouse Museum,  Simon Wiesenthal Center, Inc.,  Knickerbocker Plaza LLC,  Local 420 AFSCME AFL-CIO,  Vera Institute of Justice, Inc.,   Hotel, Restaurant & Club Employees & Bartenders Union Local 6New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council AFL-CIO,   Detectives Endowment Association Police Department, City of New York Inc.,  Lakeside Manor Home For Adults Inc.,   Community Health Center of Richmond, Inc,,  Grasmere and Cameron Lakes Bluebelt Conservancy, Inc.,  Plumbers and Gasfitters Local Union No. 1 of the United Association,  New York State Conference of IUOE,  Richmond Uni Home Care, Inc.,  Adco Electrical Corp,  BIO-REFERENCE LABORATORIES, INC.,   New York Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Assoc. of NYC, Inc. Health Benefits Fund,  LOCAL 372 NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION EMPLOYEES,  UNITE HERE,  MagnaCare Administrative Services, LLC,  District Council No. 4, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, AFL-CIOA.T.U.-Division 1181-1061 AFL-CIO,  OFFICE &PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION LOCAL 153,  International Union of Painters and Allied Trades DC 9 ,  RICHMOND UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER,  BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc.,  International Union of Operating Engineers Local 14-14B,  Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A,  Glenwood Management Corp.,  LOCAL UNION NO. 94-94A-94B, I.U.O.E., AFL-CIO,  NYSARC, INC., NEW YORK CITY CHAPTER,    New York Black Operator's Injury Compensation Fund, Inc.,    UNIFORMED SANITATIONMEN'S ASS'N LOCAL 831 - I.B.T,   Associated Brick Mason Contractors of Greater New York, Inc.,  East Side Alliance Against Overdevelopment, Inc.,   Urgent-MD Hewlett Management LLC , SOSH Architects, P.A.,, Lobby for the City Council and office of the mayor Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin,:  New York Wheel LLCWellPoint, Inc.,  Pier A Battery Park Associates, LLC,  Garage Employees Local Union No. 272,  Staten Island Marine Development, LLC,  The Francis School,  Chef's Choice Cash & Carry Food Distributor, Inc.,  THE WITKOFF GROUP LLC,  Il Commandatore Restaurant Inc.,  RJ LEE GROUP, INC.,  Cameron Club of Staten island, Inc.,  Milrose Consultants, Inc.,  Jewish Community Center of Staten Island, Inc,  UNIFORMED FIRE ALARM DISPATCHERS BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION, INC. , Lobby for the office of the mayor Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin,:  Gardeners/Growers/Landscapers Association of New York, Inc.,  Council of School Supervisors and Administrators,  SOSH Architects, P.A.

Gov. Cuomo to create new Women's Equality Party ballot line, sources say

Cuomo is creating a new ballot ballot line focused on women’s issues, sources said Wednesday. The new Women’s Equality Party will be announced Thursday in the city at an event featuring Cuomo’s Lt. Gov. candidate Kathleen  Hochul, former state Democratic Party Chairwoman Judith Hope and an array of women leaders, one source said.  Cuomo will not be at the event.* Cuomo surges ahead in the polls as he focuses on women voters(NYDN)* Cuomo to announce new ballot line on Thursday(NYP) Cuomo will announce a new “Women’s Equality Party” ballot line on Thursday, following Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino’s announcement of a new “Stop Common Core” ballot line last week* Democrats Unveil Women’s Equality Party(YNN)* Teachout: Women Don’t Need A ‘Party’(YNN) * State Democrats, including lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul, unveiled the Women’s Equality Party ballot line and called for passage of the 10-point agenda laid out by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year* LG candidate Kathy Hochul refused to admit she has “evolved” on immigration, preferring to say her position on the matter was misunderstood and has been clarified.  Hochul filed paperwork to create a campaign committee for her LG run..* Cuomo Allies Plan a Political Party Focusing on Women(NYT)* Cuomo's Running Mate Makes a Rare Appearance(WSJ)* Critics called the new ballot line a cynical ploy by Cuomo to boost turnout among women voters.* Kathy Hochul: ‘I Would Not Be Making Policy’ as Lieutenant Governor(NYO)* ] Cuomo's running mate, Kathy Hochul, said she will not bemaking policy as lieutenant governor 

After 6 Months Building Commissioner
 Leaders Named for Buildings Dept. and Police Review Board(NYT)
Mayor Bill de Blasio named a commissioner to the Department of Buildings, which is responsible for making sure that the nearly one million buildings in New York City are safe.* Mayor Appoints Buildings Commissioner, Seeks Changes (WSJ)

Paterson Walks About From Another Crime Scene Untouched
Former Gov. David Paterson recently joined the advisory board of a company named in an indictment unsealed by Brooklyn federal prosecutors whose stock was manipulated.

Halloran to Take the Stand . . .  

Entering court, Dan Halloran is asked if he's nervous to take the stand, says "if he wasn't he wouldn't be human."
Halloran to take the stand in corruption trial(NYP)Dan Halloran plans to take the stand in his own defense Thursday in a risky bid to clear his name on charges that he took bribes to help fix the Republican mayoral primary for a fellow Queens pol. Halloran is expected to tell jurors that he never pocketed any bribe money, and that any dollars that came his way were nothing more than legal campaign contributions. Halloran’s risk in taking the stand involves the federal prosecutor who is almost certain to grill him on cross examination over the $20,500 in cash bribes he allegedly took to steer state Sen. Malcolm Smith to the top of the Republican mayoral ticket.
Former New York City councilman Dan Halloran repeatedly mentioned his surgery to remove a brain tumor as he took the stand in the corruption trial against him, the New York Post reports: 
Dan Halloran, who is accused of taking bribe money to help get a fellow Queens pol on the Republican mayoral ballot, had a benign tumor removed from his brain two years ago, and tried to tell jurors about it every chance he got. But prosecutors protested twice, and their objections were upheld by the federal judge assigned to the case in White Plains. Minutes later, Halloran said the campaign was cash-strapped because he had to stop fund raising for several month, but another objection was raised before he could explain why.
Halloran then began discussing his first meeting with Mark “Moses” Stern — a developer who wore a wire and cooperated with the FBI in the sweeping corruption probe that scored indictments against state Sen. Malcolm Smith, Halloran and others.“He noticed the scar on my head,” Halloran said. “He asked me about that.” There was no objection, just a chuckle and a shake of the head from the judge* Halloran Says He Took a Loan, Not a Bribe (WSJ)* Former Queens Councilman Daniel Halloran testified at his federal trial that an envelope of cash he took from someone who turned out to be a government informant wasn’t a bribe but a personal loan.* Former Councilman Halloran Testifies in His Own Corruption Trial(NY1)

Rapfogel the Crook Gets Kid Gloves Court Treatment to Pay Off Debt
Rapfogel’s late debt payoff paying off for him(NYP) Being late in paying off his debt is paying off personally for the disgraced former head of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. William Rapfogel, an ex-pal of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, in April pleaded guilty to looting nearly $9 million from the charity — but he’ll get another week out of jail because he hasn’t paid full restitution of $3 million in accordance with his agreement with Manhattan prosecutors.The deadline was Wednesday, when he was scheduled to be sentenced to 3¹/₃ to 10 years behind bars. But he’s coughed up only $2.4 million, sources told The Post. And Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Larry Stephen gave him another week of summer breezes to cobble together the funds.

Host of de Blasio's One NY Slush Fund Fund Raiser  is A Lobbyists for A Queens Developer Whose Project Will Destroy de Blasio Afforable Housing  Goals 
Davidoff and Malito Represents 2030 Astoria Developers Who Want to Build Astoria Cove Waterfront Development Which Will Raise Rents In Queens
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing ambitions are being tested by the Astoria Cove project, a 2.2-million-square-foot development on the Queens waterfront that is raising fears of skyrocketing rents, The Wall Street Journal writes: 

Monday the NYT Was Wrong When They Said Lobbyists Davidoff Was Adopt de Blasio's Agenda
From the NYT Lobbying Group Adopts de Blasio’s Agenda(NYT)
The One New York event was hosted by the lobbying firm of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. Sid Davidoff, one of the firm’s partners — who was married at City Hall earlier this year in a ceremony officiated by the mayor* The One New York event was hosted by the lobbying firm of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. Sid Davidoff, one of the firm’s partners — who was married at City Hall earlier this year in a ceremony officiated by the mayor

Mayor de Blasio says donors to his lobbying group expect nothing in return(NYDN)

de Blasio's One New York Lobbyist Works to Bring Brooklyn Gentrification and Rising Rents to Queens
 Davidoff Cashing in Again  5-building complex OK'd for Queens waterfront (CrainsNY) The City Planning Department has given a preliminary thumbs-up to a proposed residential project set to include three towers, each with as many as 32 stories, plus a pair of six-floor buildings farther inland, with a total of 1,698 apartments. "This project will take what is presently an isolated and desolate, underutilized area and transform it into a vibrant mixed-use community," said Howard Weiss, chair of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron's land-use group, who is representing the developer. Astoria Cove, south of Astoria Park on a gritty waterfront peninsula, is being developed by 2030 Astoria Developers Group, which includes Queens-based Alma Realty. The property will include 295 units of affordable housing, a public school and a supermarket, plus a waterfront park that will be open to the public.

This is What the Activists Are Upset About?

Lobbying Group Adopts de Blasio’s Agenda(NYT) Campaign for One New York began advocating universal prekindergarten, but it has moved on to other issues dear to Mayor Bill de Blasio. de Blasio has had his hands full in his first six months in office, with labor contracts, budgets and day-to-day crises to negotiate. But he made time last month to headline a fund-raiser for a new lobbying group: one seeking to promote his political agenda.

Mr. de Blasio, who has called himself a strong proponent of transparency, did not disclose the event on his schedule, and has not mentioned it since. But one New York City vendor subsequently posted a picture of himself on his company’s website talking with the mayor at the chummy event, which was sponsored by one of the city’s biggest lobbying firms and held at the Friars Club in Manhattan Asked about the photo, the vendor declined to discuss it with a reporter; it was taken off the website. But the mayor’s appearance at the June 10 fund-raiser provides a rare glimpse at Mr. de Blasio’s political operation as it continues to take shape outside the confines of City Hall. Created by his campaign strategists to promote his plans for universal prekindergarten, the lobbying entity, initially called UPKNYC but renamed the Campaign for One New York, has begun branching out to advocate other aspects of the mayor’s agenda. Campaign for One New York, a lobbying group that can accept contributions of unlimited size and has to disclose only large ones, has taken up de Blasio’s political agenda

Who is Funding One New York
Wendy Neu Who Funded NYCLASS Also Funding One NY
The group, which is called Campaign for One New York, was previously known as UPKNYC. It raised nearly $1.8 million, much of it from labor unions, including the American Federation of Teachers; 1199 S.E.I.U., the health care workers’ union; and Unite Here, the hotel workers’ union formerly headed by a cousin of Mr. de Blasio. The Rockefeller Family Fund, which publicly supported Mr. de Blasio’s prekindergarten plan, contributed $250,000.  Among them were several real estate developers, including JSR Capital ($50,000), the Toll Brothers ($25,000), Argent Ventures ($10,000) and Donald Capoccia (10,000). Several taxi companies; a lawyer and former taxi commissioner, Matthew Daus; and Frias Transportation Infrastructure, a company that has developed technology to record taxis’ trips, also contributed.  Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, gave $50,000; Alexander Levin, a real estate developer, contributed $20,000; and Wendy Neu, the chief executive of an electronics recycling firm who last year supported a political action committee devoted to defeating Christine C. Quinn in the mayoral race, contributed $25,000.* Mayor de Blasio's pre-k lobbying group took in $800K fromunions including #AFT, $1.76m total(WNYC)* Unions raised $1.7M for mayoral non-profit group(NYP)* An total $625,000 was donated by three union groups: SEIU Local 1199, the giant healthcare union that was first to back de Blasio’s 2013 campaign; Unite Here, formerly headed by de Blasio’s cousin John Wilhem; and New York Progress PAC, which spent $1 million fighting Joe Lhota in last year’s general election. “To have a newly elected mayor start a nonprofit organization to support his big initiative — and then go calling for dollars from those who are involved in the city’s business — is unseemly,” said Dick Dadey, director of the good government group Citizens Union.* De Blasio’s union rally at public school broke rules, critics say(NYP)* Before @UFT contract, teachers gave to Mayor @BilldeBlasiocharity(CrainsNY)* * The same day in April that a nonprofit lobbying group closely tied to de Blasio received a $350,000 donation from the American Federation of Teachers, the nonprofit group spent exactly $350,000 to continue running campaign-style television ads touting the mayor's accomplishments, Crain’s reports: 

The NYT Left Out Two Other Attempts to Game the CFB NYCLASS and Data and Field
“It makes it seem as if public policy and the people’s business is up for sale to the largest bidder,” Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, a government watchdog group.  “This is getting around New York City’s campaign finance system in an unseemly way,” she added.

Notice What the NYT Left Out
1. Jonathan Rosen Who Runs UPKNYC is Not A Registered Lobbyists
2. Johnathan Rosen was Representing the Developer in the Dominos Sugar Deal With the City
3. Johnathan Rosen in 2009 Worked for All the Candidates That Got Help from  Data & Field
On Tuesday, the Campaign for One New York will file a list of contributors with the state. Lobbyists are required to disclose only donations exceeding $5,000, but a spokesman for the group, Jonathan Rosen, said in a statement that it would disclose “all of our fund-raising and spending, beyond what the law requires.” Mr. Parikh said in the post on his company’s website that the event was hosted by the lobbying firm of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. Sid Davidoff, one of the firm’s partners — who was married at City Hall earlier this year in a ceremony officiated by the mayor — referred questions about the event to Dan Levitan, who works for Mr. Rosen.

NYCHA Have Cameras But Nobody is Watchi

Safetycameras are a bust, say NYCHA tenants(Mott Haven Herald) Installation cost the city plenty, but there’s no monitoring  When residents of several public housing complexes learned three years ago that new closed circuit cameras would be installed in their lobbies and elevators, they were optimistic that safety in their buildings would greatly improve.  Three years later, however, residents of one complex say that the New York City Housing Authority has so badly mismanaged the project that they feel no safer now than they did before the cameras were installed.  Moore Houses on East 149th St. near St. Mary’s Park was one of five local complexes that received the cameras, electronic keys and mechanical door locks as part of an initiative to take a bite out of crime, thanks to a $3.2 million allocation from City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo in 2011.  But residents contend that NYCHA has never assigned anyone to watch a bank of monitors that the cameras’  images are transmitted to, on the ground floor of one of Moore’s four residential buildings. When they have complained to housing officials that the expensive cameras are going to waste, they say the agency has told them it lacks the manpower to oversee the project.  Residents have urged NYCHA to allow tenants themselves to oversee the monitors, but housing officials have declined.

Tale of Two de Blasio's: Transparent BS and Secret 

The transparent and secret sides of Bill de Blasio(NYP) Transparent Bill parades his family in front of the cameras, turning his children, warts and all, into celebrities and political surrogates. He smooches First Lady Chirlane McCray in public, and she bares details of her lesbian past and problems in child-rearing. They get ready to move to Gracie Mansion by stacking their stuff in front of their Brooklyn house so passers-by can take it, or maybe just gawk at its ordinariness.  The mayor takes offense when his public airing of private laundry is portrayed as something other than absolutely wonderful, but he’s inadvertently proving that most pols are wise to keep their private lives private. Once you open the door, you can’t reasonably expect to control how others see you or complain about an invasion of privacy.

de Blasio Slush Fund 1NY Update . . .  Where the $$ Comes From . . . BHA Debunks Letter About Saving the Hospital and NYT Spins More Crap to Protect Mayor

Does the NYT Think Than An Emergency Room That Does Not Even Treat Heart Attacks is A de Blasio Achievement?

Installation cost the city plenty, but there’s no monitoring

When residents of several public housing complexes learned three years ago that new closed circuit cameras would be installed in their lobbies and elevators, they were optimistic that safety in their buildings would greatly improve.
Three years later, however, residents of one complex say that the New York City Housing Authority has so badly mismanaged the project that they feel no safer now than they did before the cameras were installed.

Moore Houses on East 149th St. near St. Mary’s Park was one of five local complexes that received the cameras, electronic keys and mechanical door locks as part of an initiative to take a bite out of crime, thanks to a $3.2 million allocation from City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo in 2011.
But residents contend that NYCHA has never assigned anyone to watch a bank of monitors that the cameras’  images are transmitted to, on the ground floor of one of Moore’s four residential buildings. When they have complained to housing officials that the expensive cameras are going to waste, they say the agency has told them it lacks the manpower to oversee the project.
Residents have urged NYCHA to allow tenants themselves to oversee the monitors, but housing officials have declined.
- See more at:
Safety cameras are a bust, say NYCHA tenants

"To judge from its expenditures, One New York’s purpose seems to be less to push for Mr. de Blasio’s proposals than to make sure that he gets credit for his 

Backlash grows over a controversial letter supporting the sale of LICH to a developer, sent out by de Blasio lobbyists. 

Alarm raised about ‘dark money’ behind de Blasio’s LICH - Fortis letter

The backlash continues against a letter sent out by a de Blasio lobbying group supporting the sale of Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital (LICH) to a developer.   The government watchdog group Common Cause raised alarms on Tuesday about “dark money” funding the mass mailing, and the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) has added its voice to those debunking the letter's claims. The controversial June 26 letter touts the “stand-alone ER” that will be replacing the historic hospital. Although it was signed by Carroll Gardens’ resident Gary Reilly, the letter was mailed from the headquarters of de Blasio lobbyists operating under the name “The Campaign for One New York.” In the letter, Reilly says, “I was asked by Mayor de Blasio to share my views on what [the sale of LICH] means for families in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn and Red Hook.”  The outcome, Reilly writes, “. . . is a lot better than we had reason to think one year ago.” With SUNY selling the hospital complex to developer Fortis Property Group, “We will have a freestanding, high quality emergency room, with up to 20 observational beds.” The letter has evoked a storm of criticism from residents of these neighborhoods who fought for more than a year to save the hospital, and who supported de Blasio in his campaign for mayor largely based on his promise to save LICH.  That promise was seemingly forgotten after the election, however.* Big city unions bankroll $1.7M to Mayor de Blasio's lobbying arm(NYDN)* * An advocacy group set up by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign aides raised nearly $1.8 million during his first six months in office to promote his policy agenda, The Wall Street Journal reports:

Sal Albanese ‏@SalAlbaneseNYC

@HammerDaily hopefully we are not returning to the days of @BarrettNation & Jack Newfield's book "City For Sale"
Safety cameras are a bust, say NYCHA tenants

NYT Says de Blasio's Lobbyists is Advocating True News Calls It Brainwashing and Misleadin

Who Will Investigate Berlin Rosen Who Worked for Brooklyn DA Thompson, AG Schniderman, de Blasio and the Council Speaker? 

Both the Advance Group and Berlin Rosen worked for Comptroller Stringer and CM Mark Levine and Laurie Cumbo were fined for his connection to Advance. Berlin Rosen also worked for NYS AG Schniderman. Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Stringer. Brandford worked with Berlin for the AG and for Comptroller Stringer along with the Advance Group.

The NYT Left Out The Fact That A Major Promise of the Mayor's Campaign Was to Keep LICH A Full Service Hospital, He Even Got Arrested Protesting the Proposed Closing
Since the city received state funding for prekindergarten, the group has turned to other issues. Recently, it sent a letter to residents of Brooklyn, defending the outcome of the long legal battle over the closing of Long Island College Hospital, as well as Mr. de Blasio’s role in it.  Some have criticized the mayor for declaring in February that he had “saved” the hospital, after which it effectively closed. It is being sold to a developer to be turned into condominiums; there will be some health care services, including a free-standing emergency room, on the site.  The letter, signed by Gary Reilly of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, said that, thanks in part to Mr. de Blasio, the outcome was “a lot better than what we had reason to think one year ago.”

True News Wags the NYT Wrote About the UPKNYC Hospital Mailing Last Week

It New Yorkers Face Cheney Like Fake Reality (Brainwashing) and Tammany Hall Corruption

De Blasio-allied group defends LICH deal to brownstone Brooklyn(Capital)  The outside group that advocated for Mayor Bill de Blasio's pre-K plan is sending out a mailer praising a deal that resulted in a dramatic downsizing of Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill. The Campaign for One New York is the new iteration of UPKNYC, the advocacy group run by the mayor's former campaign aides that spent more than $1 million promoting the mayor's universal pre-K planWhen its name change was announced in May, the group's spokesman, former de Blasio campaign aide Jonathan Rosen, told the Wall Street Journal that it would "build on the grassroots energy of UPKNYC and last fall's  campaign to support the mayor's bold, progressive agenda as it continues to move forward — building the affordable housing we need, fighting inequality, and ensuring that every child receives a great education." The mayor got arrested during his mayoral campaign protesting the prospect of the hospital's closure. * BerlinRosen's current and recent clients include Two Trees Management Negotiations between Mr. de Blasio’s team and Mr. Walentas’s firm took place over the last 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.

A Lobbyists Who Grew Out of the WFP's Data and Field Swamp is Not Telling New Yorkers How to Think?
LICH had been losing millions of dollars a month.  In February, when the mayor announced a "truly historic" agreement with those community groups, health care unions, and the State University of New York that he hoped would save the hospital, he gave a shout-out to Reilly. Following a messy few months, the state has gone back to negotiating with the partner that it had been talking to in the first place: Fortis Property Group. The deal will not include a full service hospital.The campaign would not disclose how much it spent on the mailer, who its donors are, or how many homes the mailer was sent to. The group's spokesman Dan Levitan said it would disclose its donors in its July 15 filing with the state's Joint Commission on Public Ethics. “The Campaign for One New York and many of the activists involved in preserving healthcare at LICH believe it is important that people in the community understand the many critical services that will be still be provided there, including an emergency room, cancer center, HIV/AIDS clinic, as well as urgent, primary, and preventative outpatient services in more than a dozen specialties," he said, in a statement. The mayor's office had no immediate comment. de Blasio Doublespeak   Rent freeze or rent hike? Sources say de Blasioadministration wanted both (Capital) Several members of the board said that a top aide from the de Blasio administration urged them to vote for the increases. (CrainsNY)

The UPKNYC event was hosted by the lobbying firm of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. Sid Davidoff, one of the firm’s partners — who was married at City Hall earlier this year in a ceremony officiated by the mayor
De Blasio Performs First Marriage at City Hall(NYO) between lobbyists Sid Davidoff. and Linda Stasi, a columnist for the Daily News.Sid Davidoff, an early de Blasio backer and longtime friend whom insiders view as one of the big winners of the 2013 elections. Has gotten the following contracts in 2014 to lobby the mayor: Telebeam Telecommunications Corporation,   New York Cosmos LLC,  Association of Water and Sewer Excavators Inc.,  Madelaine Chocolate Novelties, Inc.,   AMERICAN RECYCLING TECHNOLOGIES INC.,  Election Systems & Software, Inc.,  Touro College,  Abbott Laboratories,  Times Square District Management Association, Inc.,  Oxford Nursing Home, Inc.,  New York Community Bancorp, Inc.,   Marshall E Bloomfield ESQ,Palladia, Inc.,   RCN Telecom Services, LLC,  AbbVie, Inc,  2030 Astoria Developers, LLC.,   HUNTS POINT TERMINAL PRODUCE COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION INC,  Taxicab Service Association Inc.,  Master Plumbers Council of the City of New York, Inc,  American Recycling LLC,  FIGLI DI SAN GENNARO, INC. ***Here is City Hall lobbyist Davidoff telling Earl Lewis on NY1 that the mayor will be OK

 Davidoff Cashing in Again  5-building complex OK'd for Queens waterfront (CrainsNY) The City Planning Department has given a preliminary thumbs-up to a proposed residential project set to include three towers, each with as many as 32 stories, plus a pair of six-floor buildings farther inland, with a total of 1,698 apartments. "This project will take what is presently an isolated and desolate, underutilized area and transform it into a vibrant mixed-use community," said Howard Weiss, chair of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron's land-use group, who is representing the developer. Astoria Cove, south of Astoria Park on a gritty waterfront peninsula, is being developed by 2030 Astoria Developers Group, which includes Queens-based Alma Realty. The property will include 295 units of affordable housing, a public school and a supermarket, plus a waterfront park that will be open to the public.
Lobbyists the New Permanent Government

How Come Berlin Rosen Answered A NYT Reporter Question For City Hall?

Berlin Rosen Operates In the Dark Pools of Power and NYC Lobbyist
NYT Michael Powell - A couple of weeks back, 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. He advised that I should study the mayor’s proposals carefully if I presumed to take “a skeptical look” at prekindergarten. I asked if Berlin Rosen had a contract to handle queries placed with the mayor’s office. He replied that he handled the “campaign” for pre-K. Lobbyists Search for Berlin Rosen * When Campaign Aides Are Lobbyists, Questions Mount - City Limits(City Limits) * 8 Lobbyists Consultants and Citizen United  True News (The Bund): Dark Pools * City Hall's new 'in' crowd of lobbyists (CrainsNY) Lobbyists behind the campaigns of ascendant power brokers are now poised to cash in.*  The Perma-Campaign: For Bill de Blasio, the Race Never Ends(NYO)

More $$$ for Berlin Rosen?
You’ve Got Mail: Fund-Raising Emails Bombard Inboxes More Frequently Than Ever(NYO)

Acting Mayor James . . .  Maybe 

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James has directed lawyers on her staff to research what executive powers she might have when de Blasio is on vacation in Italy
The New York City Charter states that the Public Advocate, in this case Letitia James, can assume certain mayoral duties if the mayor is out of town for more than nine days, a possible reason why de Blasio announced his vacation to Italy would be shortened from 10 to 9 days, the Daily News reports: 
First Deputy Mayor Shorris to run city during de Blasio's vacation(NYDN) * Time when certain mayoral powers go to Public Advocate: 9 days. Time de Blasio will be out of NYC: 8 days, 20.5 hrs.* De Blasio’s Italy-vacation agenda(Capital)* Herzzoner(NYDN Ed)  Tish James is a little hasty eying the mayor’s office

Mayor Boycotting John Gambling

Sal Albanese @SalAlbaneseNYC

I think these guys are as good as Cheney in creating their own reality. It's the "progressive" version


More on Lobbyists the New Permanent Government

NYT Supports the Brooklyn DA Low Level Pot Policy 

A Sensible Marijuana Policy in Brooklyn(NYT Ed)
The district attorney served justice and common sense in saying he wouldn’t prosecute low-level pot cases.

de Blasio Goes to Bat for His Political Union Machine 
In an extraordinary use of his office to help union allies, Mayor de Blasio Monday night put the squeeze on Cablevision, telling its disaffected workers involved in a private labor dispute, “I am with you every step of the way.” The mayor’s intercession on behalf of the Communication Workers of America — one of the first unions to endorse him for City Hall — came at a union rally, from which the public was barred even though it was held at PS 66 in Canarsie, Brooklyn. “De Blasio said, ‘I am with you every step of the way,’ ” recalled Eric Ocasio, 34, a Cablevision worker for seven years.

Will Cuomo Go After Teachout or Will He Use Rosen Garden Strategy and Ignore Her? 

Gubernatorial Candidate Zephyr Teachout Gears Up for Legal Challenge(NY1)
Since announcing she was running first on the Working Families Party Line, and now as a Democrat, Fordham Law Professor Zephyr Teachout has faced questions about whether she meets the residency requirement to run statewide. To qualify to be on the ballot, Teachout needs to have lived here for five years prior to this year's election day."I've lived in New York five year, over five years. I meet the residency requirement," Teachout says.Teachout moved to New York from North Carolina in June 2009. She lived with a friend in Manhattan, but her name was not on the lease or utility bills. She moved to her own apartment in 2010, but that was after spending two months teaching at Harvard University in Boston.Teachout stayed at that apartment for just a year and lived with friends at other points before moving to Brooklyn in 2012 where she lives now. Her residency could face a court challenge.* Who Stays on The Ballot, and Who Doesn’t(YNN)* Zephyr Teachout made her first visit to Staten Island last night. *Teachout’s biggest donors: Brad Burnham, a New York City-based venture capitalist, and Scott Faber, a San Francisco start-up investor whose latest venture deals with small-order clothing production.* Gov. Andrew Cuomo has the largest lead in the polls among states with governor’s races this year, according to FiveThirtyEight. * Zephry Teachout, botherer of bulls.Saturday Teachout hired strategist axed for anti-Israel rant(NYP)

More on the Campaign to Control the State Senate 
And $$$ Reports
The abrupt retirement of Sen. George Maziarz gives the Senate GOP another seat to defend, which means less resources for other challengers and incumbents facing tough re-election campaigns. When the Republicans were redesigning district seats to help protect vulnerable members a couple of years ago, they figured Maziarz was so politically strong that he could take on a bunch of Democratic voters from Buffalo Sen. Mark Grisanti and absorb them into his district without fear of losing. That move may come back to bite them. “The landscape keeps changing and the map keeps getting more difficult for Republicans,” said Queens Sen. Michael Gianaris, head of the Democrats’ campaign committee.* * State Senate Republicans will have nearly $5 million in the bank as of the latest campaign finance filing, the caucus reports, including $3.7 million raised in the last six months, the Daily News reports: * But no member of the conference has contributed so far to Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino’s campaign, Gannett Albany writes:  * John Liu has raised more than half a million dollars and has $440,000 in cash on hand in his bid against Sen. Tony Avella, who has raised only $132,000 this period, with $88,000 on hand, State of Politics reports:* GOP Attorney General candidate John Cahill has raised $1.67 million, while his Democratic opponent, incumbent Eric Schneiderman, reported having $6 million on hand back in January, the Daily News writes: * Rep. Michael Grimm raised just $23,430 last month, according to campaign finance reports, with nearly all of it coming from 18 mostly local donors, the Observer reports:’s Campaign Holds a Wide Lead in Fund-Raising(NYT)*S.J. Jung and Toby Stavisky Neck and Neck in Cash War(NYO) * Skelos And Klein Lead In Senate Fundraising(YNN)* Klein Campaign Knocks Koppell For Delayed Disclosure(YNN)*Klein Mob $$$ IDC Leader Jeff Klein took a $10,000 campaign donation from a mafia-linked realty company – the same firm he rents his district office space from.* Senate Republicans warn of ‘leftist’ de Blasio takeover(Capital) Republicans claim Dems are in pocket of de Blasio and W.F.P.

Arroyo Gambling Ways 
 Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo not only won reelection last year despite nearly getting kicked off the ballot for signature fraud, she also reported $5,000 to $44,000 in gambling winnings in 2013
Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo’s income was boosted with gambling winnings*JACKPOT: Lucky City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo wins big - reporting $5G to $44G in winnings - during monthly 'gambling' trips to the racinos(NYDN)
Slotsa luck for mom-and-daughter pols(NYP).* Cuomo hauls in $8.4M for re election campaign(NYP)* Cuomo raises $8.5M, leaves Rob Astorino trailing behind in polls(NYDN) * Rep. Michael Grimm's fundraising in dumps following indictment(NYDN)* * Gov. Andrew Cuomo has raised $33 million for his campaign, including large donations from charter school backers and a variety of real estate, financial and entertainment elites, The New York Times writes: * The campaign of Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is set to announce having raised $2.6 million during the most recent six-month filing period, with $6.9 million on hand, State of Politics writes: 
Teachout-Wu Raise $277K(YNN)* Steven Spielberg and his wife gave Cuomo $30K  via @capitalnewyork* Per disclosure report, @NYGovCuomo Reaches Out To JewishDonors and Voters  * @NYGovCuomo friend and donor Ken Langone and his wife Elaine gave $82,000 to the GOP attorney general candidate, @CahillForAG* Gianaris: State Senate Republicans Are Running Scared(NYO)* Pretty mindblowing stat: Cuomo has raised four-fifths of his campaign money from donors giving $40 *thousand* or more, per @mahoneyw* Why pols don't change NY state's porous election laws: MT @YanceyRoy Developer Leonard Litwin has given Cuomo $1M through subsidiaries.* With Few Campaign Dollars, Smith and Sampson Limp Towards Election Day(NYO)* The Conscious Uncoupling of Skelos and Klein(YNN)* Astorino On Cuomo’s ‘Transactional’ Donations(YNN)* NYPIRG: Cuomo’s Big Dollars Versus Astorino’s Small Dollars(YNN)* Cuomo And Astorino Give A Tale Of Two Economies(YNN)* Analyzing Astorino’s Filing, Democrats Point To Hydrofracking Donors(YNN)* Sen. George Maziarz is leaving office with $1.1 million in his campaign account. *Republican comptroller hopeful Bob Antonacci wonders why it took Democratic incumbent Tom DiNapoli this long to audit the “Open For Business” campaign.* Scandal-scarred Sens. John Sampson and Malcolm Smith have less than $16,000 between them for re-election fights against contenders with far more cash and institutional support.* Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams failed to include rental income on his financial disclosure form.* Langones Give To Cahill(YNN)

Gaming the AG Mortgage Investigation 
While Cuomo was state attorney general, he brought on Howard Glaser—who later became a top state official in Cuomo’s administration—as a consultant on mortgage industry investigations while Glaser was a consultant and lobbyist for the mortgage industry, ProPublica reports: * Cuomo confidant advised AG's probe, mortgage industry - Times Union * Two of Glaser's clients were under investigation by Cuomo.One was given immunity by AG's office during probe* While he was AG, now-Gov. Andrew Cuomo brought in his good friend and ex-HUD aide Howard Glaser to advise him on mortgage industry investigations – a move that has gone undisclosed until now. At the time, Glaser just so happened to be a consultant and lobbyist for the very industry Cuomo was investigating. In anticipation of this story, Glaser has been attacking Pro Publica on Twitter. Glaser and Cuomo have been working together a very long time.
zephyrteachout ‏@zephyrteachout  

Who advised Cuomo on mortgage industry investigation? A mortgage lobbyist. 

Nick Confessore ‏@nickconfessore

Campaign Account Pays Legal Bills 

Silver, Libous Dip Into Campaign Accounts To Pay Legal Fees

Lopez and Silver Separate Sexual Hush Fund Trials 

Silver ‘consents’ to separate trial from former ally Lopez(NYP)Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has a message for disgraced ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez: I don’t want you bringing me down, either! Silver’s lawyer Bettina Plevan wrote Manhattan federal Judge Analisa Torres... * Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s lawyer wrote a letter to the judge consenting to former Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s request of separate trials in a pending sexual harassment lawsuit against them

Not On City Employee Charged In the Largest Scandal in City History

Three Family Members Get Off With No Jail TimeNo jail time for CityTime scammers(NYP) No jail time for these CityTime scammers who cost taxpayers hundreds of millions​. The three family members of the convicted mastermind behind the colossal payroll-system scheme avoided being sent to the slammer at their sentencing Tuesday.Mark Mazer’s wife, Svetlana, his mother Larisa Medzon and cousin Anna Maiskovetskaya were each sentenced to three years probation and 200 hours of community service for helping Mazer launder $25 million in kickbacks from the taxpayer funded project to upgrade the city’s payroll system ​that ballooned in cost from $63 million to more than $700 million and fell years behind schedule ​under his watch​. Medzon’s high-power attorney Benjamin Brafman said she was manipulated by her own son to partake as an “errand person” in the massive scheme.“She became a messenger for her son,” said Brafman. “To send your mother out every day to banks to bring you back money – it’s obscene.”Mazer, 50, of Manhasset, was found guilty ​in November of wire fraud, bribery, money laundering and other charges. His two trust accomplices, convicted on similar charges, a

CityTime Scandal Time Line

Not Only is Cuomo Killing Astorino in Fundraising He Getting Help From the State Government
Astorino trails Cuomo in fundraising by great margin(NYP) Republican Rob Astorino’s struggling campaign for governor raised a mere $2.4 million during the first six months of the year — just 7 percent of the $33 million Gov. Cuomo had  in the bank in January. * After having virtually no money in January State Senate Democrats will report having more than $1 million in their campaign account, following the retiring of the remainder of a longstanding multi-million dollar debt, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett report

Update Comptroller Investigates NY Business Promo Campaign  . . .  Yea Sure
 State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said his office is undertaking an audit of the state’s $200 million ad campaign that promotes New York’s business climate and tourism, Gannett Albany Bureau writes: 

Cuomo is Getting Million in Campaign Help From His State Budget

N.Y.'s 'Open to Business' ads are closed to scrutiny(poughkeepsiejournal) The state's ads touting New York's economy, tourism and business friendliness have been ubiquitous around the country for over a year. How much tax money is spent on the ads isn't as apparent. For the past year, Empire State Development, the state's economic development arm, has delayed a Freedom of Information request by Gannett's Albany bureau that seeks details about the spending on New York's "Open for Business" marketing campaign. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration and state legislators allocated $150 million over three years through the agency to market the state's business climate and tourism industry. The program was extended in the current fiscal year with another $50 million from the state Power Authority.In May, Cuomo said New York increased its ad budget to promote the state's tourism industry by 50 percent, up to $45 million in the current fiscal year. The money is in a pot separate from the "Open for Business" fund, but it still falls under Empire State Development's control. The funding boost included seven ads narrated by celebrities to draw visitors to upstate, including ones by actors Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and Steve Buscemi.
Cuomo told the Democrat & Chronicle’s editorial board he was unaware that Empire State Development hasn’t made details public about the “Open for Business” ad campaign to promote the state and will “look into it.”* CUOMO’S OPEN-FOR-BUSINESS ADS—Capital’s Jimmy Vielkind: New York has spent $161 million on ads promoting tourism and its business climate since Cuomo took office in 2011, records released to Capital late Thursday show. The largest block amount of money was devoted to airing ads related to the Start UP NY program, which exempts new or expanding businesses from property, payroll and state income taxes if they locate in designated areas on or near university campuses. A state tabulation shows $28 million was spent to air this campaign, which began last December.
The spending has become an issue in this year's election campaign with Republicans, including Rob Astorino, saying they are little more than a taxpayer-funded political boost for Cuomo, a Democrat who is campaigning in part on his work to revive the state economy, particularly upstate. The manner in which the information was disclosed has provided another example Cuomo's opaque governing style. Capital requested records related to the ads in January under the state's Freedom of Information Law and had to pester a spokesman for the Empire State Development Corp. more than three dozen times before initial information was released in March.  * It took the Cuomo administration a long time to fill FOIL requests for its ad spending information. Gannett waited a year.* One of the START-UP NY ads features footage of workers as businesses unlikely to qualify for START-UP NY.* The “I Love New York” program, which promotes New York businesses and tourism, is expanding into China.* Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino sought to depict the state’s $161 million ad campaign touting New York’s business climate and tourism industry as a tool for Cuomo’s own political gain, State of Politics reports:
Rob Astorino ‏@RobAstorino 

Reporters Spin Political Outcomes . . .  Mayor Quinn  

Heading off Cuomo’s Tim Wu problem(Capital) Growing up running his father’s races and helping him govern has made Andrew Cuomo a political operator of exceedingly rare skill. Having seen the old man’s mistakes and misfortunes first-hand, Cuomo has reacted with determination and force at the merest possibility of anything similar befalling him. Hence the spectacle of the governor’s newly reconfirmed ally, the Working Families Party, taking a shot at a little-known lieutenant governor candidate, Tim Wu, on Thursday. The cause of the broadside, like its target, was relatively obscure. (Wu, a Columbia Law professor and leading advocate of net neutrality, had told a radio host he’d like to relieve small businesses of “red tape,” a comment that caused W.F.P. to “strongly disagree” with his “slippery slope” position on the Scaffold Law.) Cuomo, as has been widely discussed, has picked former Western New York congresswoman Kathy Hochul to be his lieutenant governor. In the general election, she may help him do better in the region than he did last time, when he ran against area bu

Lobbyist Now Even Work for Local Governments and Interests Doing Business With Those Local Governments 

Report: Taxpayer money used to pay lobbyists(poughkeepsiejournal) Voters elect state officials to represent them and their communities at the state Capitol.But to many local governments and advocacy groups, that's simply not enough. They shelled out $8 million last year, mainly taxpayer money, to hire some of the top lobbyists in Albany to represent their interests, a review by the New York Public Interest Research Group at the request of the Journal's Albany Bureau found. Even state colleges and public authorities — which are creations of state government — felt the need to hire lobbyists to essentially lobby other state agencies and the state Legislature. In some cases, the lobbyists represent the municipalities and companies that lobby the same governments.Critics contended it's another example of the pay-to-play system in state politics. They said campaign-finance reforms could improve the system. New York has one of the most porous campaign-finance laws in the nation and one of the robust lobbying industries: Compensation for lobbyists reached a record high in 2013, a whopping $191 million. "It speaks volumes about the culture in Albany," said Bill Mahoney, NYPIRG research director. "Government can't even talk to itself with out hiring private lobbyists to help grease the wheels." The RGRTA spent nearly $100,000 a piece last year on two lobbyists: Patricia Lynch Associates, run by a former top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Robert Scott Gaddy, a close confidante of Assemblyman David Gantt, D-Rochester. Darren Dopp, a spokesman for Patricia Lynch Associates, said the firm increasingly provides help to local governments dealing with complex state policies and legislation. For example, Patricia Lynch Associates got paid about $76,000 last year to be the lobbyist for the city of Yonkers. Yet the same firm was hired by Yonkers Raceway for about $83,000 last year to lobby the city and the state. There's a similar scenario in Monroe County. The county uses Park Strategies as its lobbyist, paying nearly $64,000 to the firm run by former Sen. Al D'Amato. Yet Park Strategies represents at least three firms, including Clark Patterson, an engineering firm, that list Monroe County as one of its lobbying targets. Often, lobbying firms are the bigger campaign contributions to state lawmakers' campaigns. That gives them outsized influence at the Capitol and makes them more valuable to municipalities, authorities and colleges that need help, Mahoney contended.
  •  Local governments, public authorities, colleges and special-interest groups spent $8 million in 2013 on lobbyists. That figure includes in-house lobbyists and the hiring of private firms.
  • In some cases, the same lobbyist represent local governments and companies that lobby the same municipalities.
  • Lawmakers and municipalities say hiring a lobbyist is simply the cost of doing business at the Capitol. Some colleges use private foundation money to fund their lobbying work.

Dead Moreland Still Bags A Senator 

That moaning and whimpering you hear tonight is the sound of Dean Skelos as he realizes what his chances of winning anything close to a majority are
* Sen. George Maziarz’s announcement that he will not seek re-election could not come at a worse time for the Senate GOP, which now must win battles for four open seats currently or previously held by Republicans, defeat two of three Democratic marginals and defend two of their own marginals who are targets of the Democrats, if they are to retake the majority, State of Politics reports:
* FLASHBACK: In May City & State revealed that internal documents from the Moreland Commission targeted questionable campaign spending by Maziarz, State Sen. Patrick Gallivan, State Sen. Greg Ball, and a number of other members of the Legislature from both parties:
More About Killing the Moreland Commission

Charges of Voter Fraud in the Espaillat Case 

Letter From to the U.S. Attorney to Investigate Espaillat Petition Fraud
Anti-Espaillat candidate alleges ‘warehousing’ of voters(Capital) The mysterious and unconventional campaign of Yolanda Garcia—a 13th Congressional District candidate who seems intent on undermining State Senator Adriano Espaillat’s campaign, rather than winning any votes for herself—has filed a complaint with the city’s Board of Elections accusing Espaillat supporters of “warehousing voters” at their home addresses. A copy of the June 19 letter Garcia’s campaign manager, Richard Soto, sent to the B.O.E. was forwarded to Capital by another lawyer. In the letter, Soto says he wants “an investigation into the bizarre submission of Adriano Espaillat’s designating petitions,” which he says have “an astonishingly abundant [number] of registered voters in the same address.” Soto’s letter was forwarded to the offices of the Manhattan district attorney, the state attorney general and the city Department of Investigation, which is standard practice for allegations like this, said Michael Ryan, the executive director of the city Board of Elections.

City Government Needs A Cash Fix? 

Almost From Out of Nowhere, Some of NY's Most Established Industries are Now Finding Their Busines Models Under Siege, Thanks to New Technology 

Take Airbnb, an online service that connects people who want a place to stay with people who have space to rent — and is diverting revenues from hotels.  Or look at Uber, the app that allows riders to call and pay for a cab via their smartphones. Uber is upsetting yellow cabs.  But it gets crazier. Now Uber and the yellow cabs are both complaining about Lyft, a ride-sharing app that has car owners driving passengers for a “suggested donation” rather than a fare. Lyft postponed its debut in New York — complete with the bushy pink mustaches its drivers affix to their cars — because of a legal back and forth with city and state officials.On behalf of ordinary residents benefitting from the greater choice, better service and lower prices these apps are bringing, we say: Let the disruption continue!* Lyft Company Officials Due In Court To Discuss TLCCompliance  Car-hailing app Lyft won't launch in NYC yet as company, regulators fight in court(NYDN)Tuesday Update * A Manhattan judge gave lawyers for the ride-sharing app Lyft and regulators who oppose the organization until Friday to work out a deal for the car-hailing company to operate legally, the Daily News reports: 

Uber Looks to Lobby Up
UBER SEEKS P.R. HEAD - Re/Code’s Kara Swisher: “[Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has taken the lead in talking to a series of high-profile political operatives over the last months to take over perhaps the most important position [public relations/communications head] at the company right now … [The list] includes … well-known Democratic strategist Howard Wolfson, who sources said has been perhaps the candidate who has gotten furthest along in the job search. … [T]he talks between Wolfson and Kalanick … are over, in part due to Wolfson’s need to stay in New York, where his wife holds a major new job at the Clinton Foundation. Kalanick is still looking, having talked to other political players such as former Obama White House press secretary Jay Carney (whose name is also being bandied about for the other big job opening in tech PR, at Apple).”
AG Who Gets Campaign Contributions From Taxi Industry, Tried to Stop UBER

Schneiderman And Lawsky Seek Halt To Lyft(YNN)
Uber cuts New York City prices to compete with yellow cabs UBER vs. yellows: "The price cut is definitely a shot at taxi," said Josh Mohrer, general manager for Uber NYC. "We can't be dominant if we're not both better service and better price." Put another way, Mohrer sees the temporary discount as a promotional device to hook more riders on Uber, increasing demand for Uber drivers, and thereby luring more taxi drivers away from the medallion rental business

Over 100 Years Ago Tammany Hall Went After the Subway Developers to Protect the Horse Carriage Taxi Industry

UBER CHEAPER -- Capital’s Dana Rubinstein reports that Uber, the ambitious San Francisco-based taxi app company, is temporarily making rates for its UberX service in New York City lower than yellow taxi fares: "We just dropped uberX fares by 20%, making it cheaper than a New York City taxi," said a notice on its website. "From Brooklyn to the Bronx, and everywhere in between, uberX is now the most affordable ride in the city."* Attention Uber: "Car hailing app Lyft is aiming tolaunch in New York without permission from city regulators"  (NYDN)

NYT Does Not Understand that Casinos in NY Are All About Campaign Contributions and Money for Lobbyists

It is Not About Fixing the State's Fiscal Problems
Gambling on Casinos in New York(NYT Ed) The state is ramping up its gambling business, but that may not be an easy answer to financial problems.

As Albany Looks the Other Way, Feds Go After Espada Pension

Feds go after convicted former NY Sen. Pedro Espada's full pension(NYDN)Disgraced former state Sen. Pedro Espada has now lost his entire pension.A judge in June ordered that 25% of Espada’s $612 monthly pension be garnished to help collect the $118,981 Espada owes the Internal Revenue Service. And last week, state Controller Thomas DiNapoli’s office last week received another federal court order to withhold the remaining 75% to help satisfy a $368,088 criminal forfeiture judgement against the crook convicted crook. Espada, 60, was sentenced in 2013 to five years for plundering funds from his Bronx health clinic and tax evasion.

Weakness of Elected Prosecutors In Political Corruption Cases
Wills charges Schneiderman tried race-baiting in 2010 primary(NYP) State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman tried to play the race card in his 2010 primary battle against Nassau DA Kathleen Rice, drafting a fellow Dem to do his dirty work, new court papers charge. Schneiderman asked state Sen. Shirley Huntley, who is black and was supporting him, to call Rice, the white prosecutor running against him in the Democratic primary for state attorney general, a racist, according to the filing.  “Schneiderman asked for Huntley’s support as her district was significantly African-American and was thought to be the tipping point for the race,” according to court papers filed last week by embattled City Councilman Ruben Wills, Huntley’s former top aide. Schneiderman, who was then a state senator, wanted Huntley to say Rice used her position to “unfairly and disproportionately prosecute African-Americans,” court papers say. “He encouraged Huntley to gather crowds in predominately minority neighborhoods and then publicly and falsely accuse Kathleen Rice of racism,” according to the filing.  Huntley, who represented southeast Queens, refused Schneiderman’s request, sparking bad blood between the two, court papers say.  Wills — who was indicted by the Attorney General’s Office in May on charges of stealing more than $30,000 in taxpayer money from a charity he founded and using some of the cash for shopping sprees — may just be trying to save himself with the race-baiting allegations. The allegations came in a legal filing in which Wills is seeking to remove Schneiderman from his case and have a special prosecutor appointed.  Huntley was recently released from federal prison. She pleaded guilty in 2013 to taking $87,000 from a nonprofit she started. Schneiderman began investigating charities linked to her shortly after he took office in 2011.  Huntley declined to comment but said of Schneiderman in a 2013 videotaped interview posted to YouTube that “There were things that he asked me to do that were not kosher.”* Indicted pol seeks Schneiderman's removal from case
Escaping Schneiderman?  It Looks Like Huntley Ran to the Feds After the AG Indicted Her
Flashback Huntley Indicted By Schneiderman But the Case Was Secretly Turned Over to the Feds, After Which the Senator Taped 8 of Her Fellow Elected Officials Including Wills
State Senator From Queens Is Indicted(NYT, Aug 27, 2012) The charges were filed by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in Mineola because the nonprofit agency lists a Nassau County address as its headquarters.Second Albany Legislator Secretly Taped Colleagues(NYT) May 3, 2013* Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley has no regrets about secretly recording her colleagues for the feds: 'I could care less what the politicians think about me'(NYDN)*

Wills Opponents Attacked in His 2010 Campaign for the Mission Profit Money 
  Shirley Huntley Explains How Everyone Was Totally Out to Get Her(NYO, 6/22/13) A month from serving a year-long prison sentence, Ms. Huntley claimed, for example, that she was singled out for an investigation because she didn’t tell her constituents that the current attorney general’s electoral opponent was “a racist and only locks up black people” during the campaign.“He was upset with me about certain things that he wanted me to do,” Ms. Huntley said of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a former colleague in the State Senate before he ran for higher office in 2010. Mr. Schneiderman faced a crowded field in the Democratic primary, including Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, whom Ms. Huntley alleged she was asked to malign.“I was not a fan of Kathleen Rice because I don’t know her but I was not going to do anything that was going to damage her reputation,” Ms. Huntley explained. “I wasn’t going to do that. I was not going to go to black folks and tell them they need to jump up and down and say, ‘Kathleen Rice is a racist and only locks up black people.’”* A month from serving a year-long prison sentence, Ms. Huntley claimed, for example, that she was singled out for an investigation because she didn’t tell her constituents that the current attorney general’s electoral opponent was “a racist and only locks up black people” during the campaign. “He was upset with me about certain things thaat he wanted me to do,” Ms. Huntley said of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a former colleague in the State Senate before he ran for higher office in 2010. Mr. Schneiderman faced a crowded field in the Democratic primary, including Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, whom Ms. Huntley alleged she was asked to malign. “I was not a fan of Kathleen Rice because I don’t know her but I was not going to do anything that was going to damage her reputation,” Ms. Huntley explained. “I wasn’t going to do that. I was not going to go to black folks and tell them they need to jump up and down and say, ‘Kathleen Rice is a racist and only locks up black people.’”* Queens Councilman Ruben Wills arrested by AG (May 7, 2014)

Daily News Say Schneiderman  would show great courage by backing out on principle by Not Defending A Lawsuit to Do Away With Teacher Tenure
Think of the kids, Eric(NYDN Ed) Cast into defending New York’s education-deadening teacher tenure laws, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman faces the prospect of arguing against the interests of children and for those of teachers unions. As a “progressive” in a Democratic Party in tune with labor (see Mayor de Blasio’s defense of tenure), Schneiderman may be quite comfortable battling a tenure challenge. His office says he has not formulated a position on the merits of two lawsuits — one filed, one soon to be filed — challenging New York’s lifetime job protections for teachers, no matter how poorly they do their jobs . Whatever the case, the litigation will test his mettle in an election year.

Blame the Elected Officials Who Fail to Treat the Mentally Ill for the Jail Horror 

Every sentence of this @NYTMetro story on brutal assaults onmentally ill at Rikers is completely horrifying

Breaking Gov. Cuomo expected to announce deal to avert LIRR strike 

 Six days before a possible Long Island Rail Road strike, negotiations appeared to collapse, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority acknowledged “a gulf” with its unions, and labor leaders said they would proceed with plans for a walkout, The New York Times reports: 
* Mayor Bill de Blasio is not sure if he will cut his Italian holiday short if Long Island Rail Road workers make good on their threat to strike, and is “confident” in the contingency plan for dealing with the strike, the Daily News reports: Unions negotiating with the MTA say talks aimed at avoiding a walkout at the nation’s largest commuter railroad have collapsed, and a strike is now likely this weekend. If there is a strike, getting from Long Island into Manhattan by car will be nearly impossible. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio wouldn’t say if a strike would delay his Italy trip, which is scheduled to start Monday.

Stephen Colbert to Mayor de Blasio: If LIRR strike happens ‘can we just go crash at Gracie Mansion?’(NYDN)

LIRR, MTA negotiations collapse(NYP)* Labor’s LIRR strike miscalculation(NYP Ed) * Discussions With L.I.R.R. Appear to Have Collapsed (NYT) Tuesday Update Mayor de Blasio to head to Italy for vacation despite looming Long Island Rail Road strike(NYDN)* NO PLANS TO CUT ITALY SHORT -- Capital’s Sally Goldenberg: “Mayor de Blasio would not commit to cutting short his Italian vacation and returning to New York City if Long Island Rail Road workers strike while he is overseas. ‘In the event there is a strike, the contingency plans are very, very strong,’ he told reporters following an education announcement Monday afternoon, four days before he is set to leave on a nine-day excursion with his wife, two children and three staffers to explore his Italian heritage. The potential LIRR strike would begin on July 20 if the union and Metropolitan Transportation Authority do not reach an agreement. De Blasio plans to leave New York City on July 18 and return on July 27.”-- Don’t worry, because it’s summer: "We benefit from the fact that it's July," de Blasio said, adding that people will likely work from home if the LIRR workers strike. "I imagine if that event comes to pass a lot of people will work from home who live in Long Island." * Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the looming Long Island Rail Road strike could be “a real pain … but not a disaster,” and would not reveal yet if he’s planning to intervene, the Daily News reports:  * Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani blasted Mayor Bill de Blasio over the airwaves for keeping his plans to visit Italy with his family despite the Long Island Rail Road strike being just days away, the Observer reports:Giuliani: De Blasio should postpone vacation in event of LIRR strike(NYP)Wednesday Update  De Blasio Takes a Vacation, and a Calculated Risk(NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio is gambling that residents will be sympathetic to his need for time off and that no major crisis will occur during his absence.Thursday De Blasio ribbed by Colbert over looming LIRR strike(NYP)* The Long Island Rail Road strike would boost business for hotels and restaurants in New York City, but the lack of foot traffic would hurt businesses in Penn Station, the Journal reports:

Atlantic Yards Review: NYT Goes After the Tarantula Hoax . . . But Whiffs On Atlantic Yards Lawsuit 

The Atlantic Yards CBA promised a path to union apprenticeships. Instead, BUILD's coveted program provoked a bitter lawsuit(AYR) 
 For many Brooklynites, the first element of the Atlantic Yards holy trinity—“jobs, housing, and hoops,” as announced in December 2003—ranked first. A well-paying construction job would be a ticket to the middle-class and a secure future.

For years, the prospect of such jobs, helping build an arena and 16 towers, animated the constant, bumptious presence of unionized construction workers at rallies and public hearings.  That prospect also drew more than 8,000 people—many of them underemployed or unemployed black men—to the offices and meetings of Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD), a group Assemblyman Roger Green helped organize in late 2003 to provide job training at Atlantic Yards and offer "community" validation for a project that would bypass local oversight. After years of demolition and utility work, the Barclays Center began construction in March 2010. Local workers were hired, but there was no role yet for many who put huge hopes in the project, backing BUILD at rallies and hearings. Such hopes drew more than 1,200 people, some lining up at 3 am, to an August 2010 information meeting for a long-promised pre-apprentice training program (PATP). The program would enroll 36 construction trainees for 15 increasingly fractious weeks. It was the first and only cohort in a program once aimed to “address the problem of long-term disproportionately high unemployment in the Community,” according to the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) that Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner signed with BUILD and seven other groups, trumpeted as a new paradigm for community engagement. That PATP, which graduated the trainees in December 2010 but sent none to union apprenticeships, is now the subject of a bitter lawsuit filed by 20 former trainees, who charge Forest City and BUILD with “avarice, duplicity and hubris” and seek compensation for the careers they say were promised and the unpaid training that went awry. The lawsuit faces a crucial hearing in federal court in Brooklyn tomorrow at noon. (Update: here's coverage of the hearing, where a judge raised questions about attempts to tie BUILD and Forest City.)

Who Knew A Judge Could Be Queens GOP Boss? 

Judge becomes new Queens GOP chair(Queens Crap)

From the Queens Chronicle:
Queens Republicans have a new chairman.
After the death of Phil Ragusa last month, the county party’s executive vice chairman, Robert Beltrani of Jackson Heights, was automatically elevated to chairman.
Beltrani, a judge with the New York State Division of Parole, will serve as chairman for the remainder of Ragusa’s term, which will expire in September 2015. Ragusa was re-elected chairman last September, according to Queens GOP spokesman Robert Hornak.
A loyalist of the late chairman, Beltrani ran for state Senate in the special election to replace Hiram Monserrate after the senator was expelled from the Legislature following his conviction for assaulting his former girlfriend. Beltrani entered the race after an unsuccessful attempt by Queens Republicans to lure former Democratic Councilwoman Helen Sears, who had just been ousted a few months earlier, onto their ballot line. Beltrani lost the race to then-Assemblyman Jose Peralta. He has also ran several times for state Supreme Court, most recently in 2012.

Campaign Consutants Lobbyists Who Run the Council Take Over the BOE - Ballot Knock Offs of Candidates Who Don't Hire Them? 

Back Continuing The Tammany Hall Future 

Board of Elections President Greg Soumas quits ahead of possible ouster in City Council power play(NYDN) Ahead of his possible ouster by the City Council, Board of Elections President Gregory Soumas quit in a terse Friday note."By this letter, I resign my position as commissioner of the Board of Elections of the city of New York effective immediately," the Manhattan Democrat wrote to Board Secretary Michael Michel.Soumas, an attorney and former district leader, was first appointed to the 10-member bipartisan Board in 2005. As first reported in the Daily News Monday, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was poised to potentially ignore Manhattan Democratic Chairman Keith Wright's hopes of keeping Soumas on. But because Wright missed a legal deadline to tell the Council he wanted to reappoint Soumas, the Council seized control of the appointment process. By replacing Soumas with a candidate of her own, Mark-Viverito could intensify her influence over the Board and its host of patronage jobs.
But Soumas's resignation could potentially throw the speaker's plan off track. As news of his bow-out spread Friday, there were conflicting arguments about whether the appointment power still rested with Mark-Viverito and the Council, or whether it would reset the clock for Wright to make another pick.Frederic Umane, the Manhattan Republican commissioner, said the Council would pick a replacement for Soumas -- but said the timing of his departure, right during petition season, was tough and that it would be hard to find a new commissioner "as talented and knowlegeabe as Commissioner Soumas.* Councilwoman funds expansion of museum she founded  via @capitalnewyork

Mr. Brooklyn to Sells Brooklyn to Democrats

Markowitz to lead push for Democratic convention at Barclays(NYP)
He led the fight to build Barclays Center — and now Brooklyn’s biggest booster has been tapped to convince the Democratic National Committee to bring the 2016 presidential convention to the new home of the NBA’s Nets.At Mayor de Blasio’s request, former Borough President Marty Markowitz is expected to meet with DNC honchos in Brooklyn Saturday to lead a PowerPoint presentation aimed at trying to convince them that the 18,000-seat arena is the perfect venue to host the convention, a de Blasio operative told The Post. “The mayor’s bringing in the big guns,” said the source. “Who can sell Brooklyn better than Marty?”

SHOCKING Campaign Promises of Less Tickets Untrue 

NYC has given out a lot of tickets this year(NYP) City enforcement agents set a ticket-blitz record this year by handing out 57,166 tickets in April, the most of any month in three years — despite Mayor de Blasio’s pledge to cut back on the summons avalanche. In the previous five months of 2013, agents gave out just 197,278 tickets, or 40,363 fewer. “The thing that we’re focused on immediately is ending the arbitrary ticket blitzes that were revenue-based,” the mayor said in February, two months after taking office. He even cut projected fines revenue from $859 million to $789 million.  In March, the City Council with the mayor’s support made changes in regulations that officials estimated would reduce fine revenues by 25 percent. But the number of restaurant summonses given out in May was 2,239, down only slightly from 2,336 in May 2013.  The Sanitation Department, which accounts for more than 60 percent of all ECB summonses, wrote 40,517 tickets in April, also a three-year record.  The FDNY also had a big month this March, the second-highest month on recent record blazing ahead with 5,411 violations.The ECB collected more than $67 million between January and June, compared to about $66 million in the same time period last year, officials said.

Shocking AG Protecting Politically Connected Taxi Owners

Ride-hailing app Lyft is delaying its launch until July 14 after the state Attorney General’s office and the Taxi and Limousine Commission obtained a temporary restraining order preventing the company from starting its service in New York City tonight as it had planned, Business Insider reports Car-Hailing Service, Lyft, Postpones Its Debut in New York(NYT)* LYFT HITS A SPIKE: Car-hailing service delaying New York City launch until it can comply with the TLC after threats of restraining order, vehicle seizures(NYDN)

Another Return to Couney Island?  de Blasio Test Dunks the Speaker to Possible Return of Shoot the Freak Booth   

DE BLASIO HAS A BALL: Mayor tries to dunk City Council speaker at Brooklyn cookout ahead of family vacation in Italy(NYDN) More from the Council outing. Speaker @MMViverito waits to get dunked again, this time by CM @JumaaneWilliams I

Donovan Richards ‏@DRichards

I thought I was loved by @MMViverito until she dunked me #LMAO


NYT Says Cuomo Should Stop LIRR Strike

Governor Cuomo’s Railroad(NYT Ed)
The governor should be ready to step in and end the union-M.T.A. fight before riders face a shutdown.


Harroran Pay to Play Congressional Seat

Halloran allegedly tried to give away a congressional seat for $15K(NYP) For $15,000, you can own your own congressional seat!That’s what ex-City Councilman Dan Halloran allegedly gloated in 2012 while offering the unique opportunity to a crooked Rockland County developer. Mark “Moses” Stern — a developer who wore a wire and cooperated with the FBI in the sweeping corruption probe that scored indictments against state Sen. Malcolm Smith, ex-City Councilman Dan Halloran and others — testified Thursday about how Halloran made him an offer he believed wouldn’t be refused. Halloran then told Stern he could be “co-owning [his] own congressional seat, and I need $15,000,” Stern recalled on the stand. Stern – who cooperated with the feds to avoid prison after being indicted on fraud charges in 2010 and quietly pleading guilty – was asked by Halloran’s lawyer Vinoo Varghese if he tried to “dig dirt on as much people as he could” for the FBI. Stern responded, “Not dig dirt — but cooperate and give knowledge that I know.” Smith, the feds say, turned to Stern and an undercover agent for money and help pulling off a botched $200,000 bribery scheme to get the Democratic Queens senator the GOP line in the 2013. The senator, in turn, promised them $500,000 in transportation funds for a project in Spring Valley, NY.  Halloran faces up to 45 years behind bars if convicted. Smith heads to trial in January.

Manhattan GOP Boss Isaacs When to John Catsimatidis After He Was Offered A Bribe to Go to the FBI?  
Manhattan GOP leader ‘freaked out’ after being offered bribe(NYP) he head of Manhattan’s Republican Party said Wednesday he “freaked out” after being offered a $25,000 bribe to help Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith secure the Republican line in last year’s mayoral race. His solution: Call the richest person he knows.  Testifying in the White Plains federal corruption trial of the plot’s alleged mastermind, ex-City Councilman Dan Halloran, Manhattan GOP Chairman Daniel Isaacs said he called then-Republican mayoral candidate and Gristedes tycoon John Catsimatidis about the illicit offer made outside Spark’s Steakhouse in Manhattan on Valentine’s Day 2013. Unknown to Isaacs and Halloran – who brokered the meeting – the offer was made by a wire-wearing federal agent pretending to a powerful developer. Isaacs said he later met with Catsimatidis that night and told him about the offer — and that Halloran, then-Bronx Republican Chairman Joseph “Jay” Savino and then-Queens GOP Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone were also at Sparks.
“I asked him to contact the appropriate law-enforcement authorities for me, and he agreed to do so,” said Isaacs, recalling how he became a government witness.

Maybe it was the cash-stuffed envelope that tipped GOP Boss Isaacs off That He Was Being Offered A Bribe
The agent, according to transcripts, told Isaac during the shady session in back of a parked car, “All I am saying is five minutes of work. You send me a bill for whatever you need.”  Isaacs said he could see the agent’s breast pocket “had a large envelope.” Isaacs, a lawyer, also said he realized he wasn’t being offered legal consulting work as initially suggested — but rather a “bribe.” So Isaacs said he “freaked out” and left. * Manhattan Republican Party Chairman Daniel Isaacs, during former City Councilman Dan Halloran’s corruption trial, said he nearly took a bribe, thinking it was a legitimate payment for his legal and political expertise, but balked when he realized he was about to break the law* Manhattan GOP chairman testifies in Daniel Halloran corruption trial, says he almost took bribe(NYDN) “I’m generally not used to clients paying with large envelopes,” Isaacs said.

Teachout 3X Amount of Petitions  . . .  Here Comes the Lawyer and the

Buzz: Larry Mandelker is Teachout's election attorney WTF? WFP? . . .  There is Something Going On Here . . .  The Biggest Winner of Next Week Will Be the Lawyer Cuomo Hires to Knock Teachout Off the Ballot

Petitioning Process Difficult for Some Candidates in Statewide Races(NY1)

Teachout collects 3 times more signatures needed to take on Cuomo(NYP) Gov. Cuomo has his work cut out for him if he intends to boot Democratic rival Zephyr Teachout from the primary ballot. The lefty Fordham university professor’s campaign said Wednesday...   Teachout has collected about 46,000 signatures on nominating petitions—more than triple the 15,000 required to run against Cuomo in the September pr
D Ghost Club  

In Its Heyday the Village Independent Democrats Had 500 Members Vote At A Club Meeting 
Zephyr Teachout, challenger to Gov. Cuomo, gets nod from Village Independent Democrats Club (NYDN)  The Fordham University Law professor got 14 votes to Cuomo’s six, according to Capital New York. She lost the backing of the Working Families Party earlier this year when the group decided to support Cuomo

Other Campaign News 

EXTRA EARNINGS: Rob Astorino, Cuomo's GOP opponent, has $30G consulting gig(NYDN)
Cuomo’s administration is weighing a travel schedule that would send the governor to locations including Israel and Puerto Rico, which would mark the first time he has left the country since he took office, The Wall Street Journal reports * A new poll found New York Republicans are more energized heading into the November midterm elections than Democrats, underscoring challenges for Democrats as they try to wrest control of the House of Representatives, the Journal writes:  * The new independent enforcement counsel at the state Board of Elections, who was approved by the state Assembly and state Senate last month, won’t be able to officially start work until Sept. 1, one week before the legislative and local primaries, the Times Union reports: * The millions of dollars being spent by casino interests on lobbying and political donations highlight the need for a transparent and scrupulous review, and for campaign finance reform, the Times Union writes: * UpdatedOne-Stop @KathyHochul Tracker (TM) * Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino challenged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to eight regional debates in a video in which he also said Cuomo had a responsibility to do them, Gannett Albany reports  * Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone blasts Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as “Captain Ahab” for his decision to continue pursuing criminal charges against former AIG chairman Hank Greenberg, in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal:  Hochul: Theories Over Access ‘Laughable’ And ‘Absurd’(YNN)* Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino said the news that he receives a $30,000-a-year fee as a consultant for media conglomerate Townsquare Media was “the biggest non-story” of the campaign, State of Politics reports* Kathy Hochul, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, called claims about her invisibility “absurd,” even though her recent campaign trail stops and meetings with elected officials have not been advertised to the press in advance, State of Politics reports: * Hochul also said that while she supports the Common Core education standards, she backs a slower implementation in line with the approach approved by the state Legislature this year, State of Politics reports:
Klein, Stewart-Cousins pull support for Senate challengers(Capital)* Albany: Primary challenge could free Cuomo to spend more (Newday)* John Liu received endorsement from three members of Congress—Reps. Joe Crowley, Grace Meng and Gregory Meeks—as he seeks to unseat Independent Democratic Conference Sen. Tony Avella, State of Politics reports: * State Sen. Tony Avella netted the backing of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in his bid for re-election against Liu, the Observer reports: 
Book Delayed Until After the Possible Unexpected Governor Primary?
* Harper Collins has pushed back the release date of Cuomo’s memoir, “All Things Possible,” and has set an initial printing of 200,000 copies, the Wall Street Journal reports * A New York Public Interest Research Group analysis shows Cuomo divided his time over the past year between New York City (152 days), Albany, and the metropolitan area around the five boroughs (103 occasions), the last of which often implies his Westchester County home or trips to Long Island, State of Politics repor

Pols  Give Tax Breaks to Lux Housing, Developers Give Money to the Pols

How New York Taxpayers and Help Luxury Developers and International Money Laundering Schemes 

The real reason why the rent is too high (NYDN)
Big developers flood politicians with cash  Both major candidates for mayor, Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota, agree that an inadequate supply of affordable housing is a serious problem, and both have plans to create more. But what has not been discussed nearly enough is one of the major causes of the shortage: the way the real estate industry uses its massive campaign contributions to limit our affordable housing stock. This year, after receiving tons of money from well-placed donors, the governor and members of the state Legislature quietly gave away millions of your tax dollars to developers of luxury towers. The deal was so bad that it is being looked at by the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. The report found that four of the five developers used high contribution limits and loopholes to give more than $1.5 million to state elected officials, political parties and real estate PACs between 2008 and 2012, including at least $440,962 in 2012 alone. And Cuomo, who had to sign the legislation, was the biggest single recipient, pulling in $150,000 from the four developers in 2012.Probe these giveaways (NYDN)* * The deal to fast track the Atlantic Yards affordable housing site will end more than 11 years of hostilities over how downtown Brooklyn will change, am New York writes: 

In Exchange of Campaign Contributions NY Pols Set Up A Vehicle to Hide Money, Possibly Illegally Gotten
 Gov. Cuomo received $76,000 from real estate investors weeks before giving their property a tax break on bill (NYDN) * A luxury tower's tax breaks look more outrageous and suspicious by the day * The companies that will benefit, their lobbyists and PACs have donated $1.5 million to Albany campaign accounts over the past five years. The bill’s sponsors — Sen. Marty Golden and Assemblyman Keith Wright — professed ignorance. Tax Breaks for Billionaires(
How the billionaire who bought $90 million NYC penthouse will get $210,000 tax break meant for low income housing (Daily Mail) Sheldon Silver aided Gov. Cuomo in sneaking through tax breaks for luxury  developer(NYDN)* Cuomo said he has no problem with the anti-corruption Moreland Commission he convened sending subpoenas to real estate companies that have contributed to his campaign, including Extell Development, the Times Union writes: Assemblyman Keith Wright Sent Letter Acknowledging Developer Tax Breaks In Bill(NYDN) Sheldon Silver aided Gov. Cuomo in sneaking through tax breaks for luxury developer(NYDN) How the Rich Get a Big Real Estate Tax Break -

Extell Sponsor of One57 Also Paid City Officials and Candidates
Moreland Tried to Look At City  Candidates Who Got Matching Funds From Extell's One57?

Gaming the System
It was not only Vito Lopez, Marty Golden, Keith Wright, Cuomo the Albany Assembly and Senate PACs of both parties that got money from Extell Development, sponsor of One57 for tax breaks.  At least 6 citywide candidates got the loot from the buildings developers.  Extell contributions to city officials were designed to take advantage of the public matching fund program.  Most were $175 with many of the same contributors giving to more than one candidate.  The Moreland Commission is looking into the state contributions and tax reductions connections, there is no indication if the commission will look into with the city pols for their cash.  They should.  George Arzt a flack for Extell works for at least two of the candidates who got money from the developer. If you wonder why the middle class keep getting pushed out of NYC, It has to do with the same candidates who promise to save the middle class feeding off the tit of the luxury developers.* Gov. Cuomo's long-time city developer donor got more generous when it stood to get $35 million in tax breaks(NYDN) * A towering insult - NY Daily News As the Daily News revealed last Tuesday, One57 is among five residential projects that were shoehorned into a real estate tax abatement program under language mysteriously written into legislation passed in Albany.  The companies that will benefit, their lobbyists and PACs have donated $1.5 million to Albany campaign accounts over the past five years. The bill’s sponsors — Sen. Marty Golden and Assemblyman Keith Wright — professed ignorance.
How Does the Media Let George Arzt Get Away With Flacking for Luxury Highrise Tax Breaks, While Running Major Campaigns?
EXTELL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY. Media Contact: George Arzt  at 212-608-0333
Can we expect the candidates like Katz that Arzt is trying to elect this year will help him get more tax breaks for luxury highrises. Subpoenas have gone to Gary Barnett’s Extell Development, sponsor of One57

Pols and Lobbyist Killing the Fabric and Soul of NYC Fueling RE Market Pushing Stores Out All Over the City

Airbnb Buys News Organization and Starts It Media Blitz to Brainwash New Yorkers That They Are Not Wearhousing Apartments 

Only the Hotel Industry Can Push Back, the Public Which is Being Gentrified Out of Their Communities Does Not Have A Voice With Elected Officials or the Media
Airbnb to be a sponsor of the NYC Marathon(NYDN) Airbnb announced Thursday that it will be a sponsor of the New York City Marathon — angering the city’s hotel industry, which sees the home-rental website as a threat. Airbnb is snatching customers from the hotel market. The company said Thursday that 10,000 visitors stayed with its hosts during last year’s Marathon.  Airbnb seems intent on increasing its presence in the city, despite an ongoing investigation by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman into whether some hosts are violating state law by renting their apartments. The company recently launched an aggressive ad campaign in the subways featuring New Yorkers who rent out their flats by the night. Both the City and State and Capital News Blogs depend on adv revenue from Airbnb 
More About Airbnb

Airbnb Which Advertises in Capital Gets A Puff Piece Today In Capital

AIRBNB TO BE A SPONSOR OF NYC MARATHON—Capital’s Dana Rubinstein: The event, the largest marathon in the world, draws 50,000 runners, many of them from out of town and with families in tow. A few years ago, an economic impact study conducted by the club found the event generated $65 million in revenue for the hospitality industry. "They're going to be our official community hospitality partner for the marathon and New York Road Runners," said Chris Weiller, the club's spokesman, in response to an inquiry from Capital. “They'll be working with us year-round. They're committed to giving access to New York City's neighborhoods throughout the boroughs." New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating the company to see whether some of its users are violating state law.


From the Borough of Churchs to the Borough of Condos
Developers Closing Down Black and Hispanic Churches and Nobody Notices
Albany is Fueling Gentrification with Tax Breaks to Developers

  • NO Pawns In A Real Estate Cluster Fuck

  • Stringer Tracking of Court Costs Questioned 

  • Comptroller's New Claim-Mapping Tool Shows Trends, HasGlitches (Gotham)* New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Claimstat will not save taxpayers money as long as the city keeps making “bad judgment calls” like the precedent-setting $40.7 million payout to the Central Park 5, the Post writes:

  • Another Clue of the Strange Value System Of Those That Lable Themselves Progressives 

    The New Progressives For Municipal ID Cards the NYACLU Against Over Privacy Issue
    The New York Civil Liberties Union came out against New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to create municipal ID cards for undocumented city residents, charging the law could jeopardize residents’ privacy and leave them vulnerable to deportation, the Daily News writes: NYCLU opposes municipal ID bill, citing privacy concerns De Blasio Signs Bill Creating City ID Card That Is Open to All Resident(NYT)* Mayor de Blasio launches municipal ID program in Brooklyn(NYP)* Available Soon for People Needing ID: City-Issued Cards(NYT) * What a card (NYDN) If executed smartly, municipal IDs make sense* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation to launch the municipal ID program on Thursday, but issues like getting banks and the NYPD to accept the cards could cause difficulties launching the program successfully, the Journal writes: A Municipal ID Card That’s Worth the Wait(NYT Ed) A New York City law that creates ID’s for residents is good news for immigrants and marginalized city dwellers, but crucial details still need to be worked out.

    Media Covers Pols Promises As Mission Accomplished 

    Gonzalez: Mayor de Blasio calls overcrowded public schools 'unacceptable'(NYDN)
    He spoke a day after a new audit by city Controller Scott Stringer found a shocking one-third of nearly 1,500 school buildings were overcrowded in 2012.

    Another Clue of the Strange Value System Of Those That Lable Themselves Progressives 

    Progressives, Including de Blasio Campaigned On Ending NYCHA's NYPD Vertical Patrols But Restart the Program When the Reality Of High Crime Appears 
     More Officers at New York Public Housing Amid a Rise in Shootings(NYT)
    The housing police contend with some of the city’s most entrenched crime, particularly tit-for-tat shootings Prince Joshua “P.J.Avitto « CBS New York Program targets safety at NYC public housing(NYP)* Bill de Blasio Says He’ll Fulfill Horse Carriage and Living Wage Promises(NYO)* Pols Want Broader Push as 200 Cops Hit Public Housing Through Budget Deal(NYO)* DE BLASIO’S VIOLENT-CRIME CHALLENGES(New Yorker) *Security Cameras Have Mixed Results in Making Things Safer at Public Housing Developments(NY1)

    The Press Never Asks the Mayor if Ending Verticle Patrols Last Years Caused the Need for More Cops This Year  

    As the City Adds More Cops Why is There No Public Discussion of  Judge Scheindlin Ruling and 2013 Candidates Promising to Stop Vertical Patrols in Public Housing

    Paging Shira Scheindlin(NYP)

    Remember those awful “vertical patrols”? This was the policing of public housing projects that local pols and activists called “intentionally discriminatory” in a lawsuit against the NYPD cops still pending..Remember those awful “vertical patrols”? This was the policing of public housing projects that local pols and activists called “intentionally discriminatory” in a lawsuit against the NYPD cops still pending before federal judge Shira Scheindlin.The idea is that police patrols of housing projects are bad for residents because they are racist and unconstitutional.We think about Judge Scheindlin — and the city politicians who egged her on in her fight against the police — in the wake of the latest criminal horror, a stabbing of two children who live in New York City Housing Authority buildings.

    Why Does It Take the Murder Of A Child to Get Pols to Act?

    Ex-Convict Arrested in Stabbing of Brooklyn Children(NYT)

    Bragging of Safety While Many Live in Fear(Powell, NYT) New York City asserts confidently that crime has plummeted, but bloody corners remain. Walk the Brooklyn canyons of the Howard, Linden, the Tilden and Van Dykes Houses, or the Webster Houses in the Bronx, and watch young men watch you. The Daily News recently reported that crime had edged up stubbornly in the public houses in the past five years.
     DEB et al even opp vert patrols
    .  Vertical patrols in public houses seem essential to me

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

    City politicians push for more cops in crime-ridden NYCHA buildings(NYDN) With major crimes shooting up 31% at public housing projects, Public Advocate Letitia James and Councilman Ritchie Torres are calling on the NYPD to assign more officers and add features to make residents safe.

    A Clue Of No Education Leadership 

    Running Against Bloomberg's Education Policy is Not Policy
    Top administrators fleeing de Blasio’s Dept. of Education(NYP)  The de Blasio administration’s warmer, fuzzier approach toward teachers apparently hasn’t reached senior staffers at the Department of Education — they’re quitting in droves, sources told The Post. As many as 100 top-level administrators have left the state Department of Education since January amid low morale due to mismanagement

    Daily News Farina Education Plan Ineffective But Feel-Good Methodology  

    Fariña Took Credit For Education Improvements in Park Slope Which Was Really Caused By Gentrification
    Thursday Update 
    City schools overcrowding audit only skims the surface — census of schools is kept lower than reality, sources say(NYDN)

    Reading Fariña(NYDN Ed) Chancellor should not revive failed curriculum, The sooner Fariña spells out her plans for what’s known as “balanced literacy,” the better. The pressing issue is how extensively she expects to meld the approach with more rigorous means of teaching reading.  The balanced literacy way of coaching children to read has been shown to be an ineffective but feel-good methodology that often fails low-income kids. Rather than sticking their noses in challenging books and absorbing real knowledge, kids would choose their own reading material — frequently works of fiction — and write a great deal about their own lives. Rather than having lessons led by teachers, kids would in many cases guide their own instruction. The well-intended idea: to spark a love of reading and writing. The on-the-ground effect: Students, especially from low-income families, failed to master the basics, and therefore failed to make achievement gains. Turns out, students — especially students who aren’t exposed to many books at home — need structure. Turns out, they need real knowledge. Which is one reason educators shifted to the Common Core, which encourages a different way of teaching reading. * New York City Council members are pushing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to overhaul the discipline code for city public schools and cut down on suspensions, the Daily News reports: 
    * An effort is underway to create a statewide anti-Common Core ballot line for the November elections, which, if the 15,000 necessary signatures are gathered, would give voters the opportunity to vote for candidates who have expressed opposition to the new test standards, State of Politics reports: 
    City Schools to Try Bending Some Rules This Fall (WSJ)* The New York public school system serves adults at the expense of kids and the recent lawsuit challenging teacher tenure is proof folks are becoming fed up with the way the school system protects bad teachers, the Post writes: As New York City Expands Pre-K, Private Programs Fear Teacher Drain(NYT)* * Vergara v. California, the teacher tenure lawsuit in California, provides a legal road map to better public schools for the rest of the states, Joshua Lipshutz, one of the attorneys in Vergara v. California, writes in the Wall Street Journal: * Ignorance vs. the Common Core (NYDN) * A new labor contract which included an incentive that allowed those who retired before July 1 to collect retroactive raises in a lump sum has led to more retirements of New York City teachers, the Journal reports: * As their political clout fades, teachers unions have been wielding another kind of power: the financial strength of the billions of dollars in their members’ pension funds.* The New York parents who are challenging the state in court have one goal in mind: ensuring that all of our public school children have good teachers, Campbell Brown, founder of the Partnership for Educational Justice, writes in the Daily News:

    How Does A City Get Rid of Temporary Classroom When School Buildings Are the Most Overcrowded in Years?
     Far from the educating crowd(NYP) Here’s a riddle: When school enrollment is flat and you’re adding seats, how do you end up with overcrowding? Answer: Have the city’s Department of Education run the joint.This is no joke. A report released last week by the city’s Independent Budget Office shows a spike in the number of students stuck in “overcrowded” buildings — from 403,403 in 2007-2008 to 446,751 last year. That’s a jump of almost 11 percent. In other words, New York is fast approaching the point where half our students will be stuck in overcrowded buildings. *At pre-K event, Silver reminds de Blasio: Don’t forget classroom trailers  

    Schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, has vowed to rid the schools of trailers within five years, though, at the same time, she is also trying to find space for thousands more students expected to enter the system as Mayor Bill de Blasio expands prekindergarten. And the state budget deal reached last week is quite likely to make the task even harder, since it compels the city to find room in public school buildings for new charter schools, or help pay for their space costs.* * A new audit by New York City Comptroller Scott Stinger found one-third of the city’s public school buildings were overcrowded during 2012, yet school officials produced no clear plan to deal with the problem, Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez reports:


    Sex, Bribery and Taped Corruption 

    Savino Show Halloran Some Kinky Love Then Rats Him Out
    Former Bronx GOP Chairman Joseph “Jay” Savino on Monday fingered ex-City Councilman Dan Halloran for jurors as the “quarterback” of a failed $200,000 bribery scheme to get Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith the Republican line in last year’s mayoral race.  “Have you ever accepted a bribe?” federal prosecutor Justin Anderson asked Savino, who pleaded guilty in November to pocketing $15,000 as part of the scheme. “Yes,” he answered, and when asked who arranged the bribe, Savino said, “Dan Halloran.”
    Anderson later showed the jury transcripts of text messages between Halloran and Savino on Valentine’s Day 2013, shortly after Savino allegedly secured his cash bribe during a meeting outside Spark’s Steakhouse in Manhattan. Halloran tells Savino in a text, “Tell me u love me.”  Savino, a former power-broker lawyer, also confided to jurors about how far he’s fallen hard since being busted by the feds, saying he now works at a restaurant cleaning bathrooms and filling ice trays.He said the feds as part of his plea agreement opted not to prosecute him for lying about his address for years so he could vote in the Bronx — a move that also allowed him keep his Bronx Republican chairmanship. The feds also haven’t prosecuted Savino over other alleged crimes, including charges that he used party funds for personal expenses, Savino said.* Daniel Halloran accused of arranging $15G bribe for ex-Bronx GOP chairman(NYDN) Joseph (Jay) Savino said he pocketed a $15,000 cash bribe arranged by Halloran on Valentine's Day in 2013. Halloran, a former City Councilman, then wrote him a text message that read, 'Tell me you love me,' Savino said. Savino, the ex-Bronx County Republican Party chairman, testified Tuesday in Halloran's corruption trial. The men didn’t use the word “bribe,” Savino admitted Tuesday when grilled by a defense lawyer. “At the time, I took it to mean retained,” Savino testified. “But it was a bribe.”  “He was the quarterback,” Savino said, pointing at Halloran.* The restaurant where ex-Bronx GOP Chairman Jay Savino is cleaning bathrooms belongs to his mother-in-law.

    The Manhattan GOP Boss Was Offered A Bribe and Did Not Go to the DA? Is It Legal for A Lawyer Not to Report A Bribe?
    Manhattan GOP Chairman Daniel Isaacs also testified Tuesday, telling jurors he turned down a bribe on Feb. 14, 2013 similar to the payment Savino accepted. * The latest state Legislature indictment of Sen. Thomas Libous emphasizes the desperate need to clean up Albany’s culture of corruption, the Buffalo News writes:

    Cuomo Way Ahead in Poll . . .  If Teachout Makes the Ballot Does That Change?

    SHOCK the GOP is So Dead In NY
    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a commanding 35-point lead over his Republican challenger in this fall’s general election, according to a new poll, The Wall Street Journal reports:     Cuomo holds a commanding 35-point lead over his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC 4 New York/Marist poll—the first since the conclusion of the legislative session and the start of campaign season. Mr. Cuomo … wins 59% of the vote among registered New Yorkers statewide, the poll found, with Mr. Astorino taking 24%—virtually the same as his total in March—and third-party candidate Howie Hawkins winning 6%. “Perhaps most troubling for Mr. Astorino, the governor leads the GOP candidate by significant margins even among voters who are theoretically part of Mr. Astorino's base: those who believe the state needs major changes or is irreparably broken and those who cite taxes or economic development as the state's top priority.” * Despite recent efforts to win back progressives, Cuomo continues to have troubles as New York City-based LGBTQ political clubs debate whether to endorse Cuomo or Democratic challenger Zephyr Teachout, Gotham Gazette reports: 
    * Last week, Republican attorney general candidate John Cahill voiced his support of Common Core academic standards, but on Tuesday his campaign indicated he would run on the ballot line “Stop Common Core,” Capital New York writes

    The AG Who Sat On the Wills' Investigation for Years is Prejudice Against Him?

    Queens Councilman Ruben Wills, who is facing fraud and larceny charges, wants Attorney General Eric Schneiderman removed from the case, arguing Schneiderman is prejudiced against him, Crain’s New York writes:

    Shocking Campaign Manager Mayor Opens 2017 Re-Election Campaign Account

    NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has created a campaign account for 2017 with the CFB and has been quietly fundraising during the past few months.* Blaz registers with Campaign Finance Board(NYDN)* De Blasio has started fundraising for 2017 re-election bid(NYP)* De Blasio Sets Fund for Second-Term Bid (WSJ)Other pols who have filed with the board to run in 2017 include Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilman James Van Bramer and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.* City scheduler helps with Dante college meetings (Capital)

    de Blasio 180 on 420   

    DE BLASIO ALLIES IN POT RIFT -- Mayor agrees with both -- Capital’s Azi Paybarah: Two of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s allies appear to disagree over how to deal with first-time offenders charged with possession of small amounts of marijuana. Brooklyn D.A. Ken Thompson announced Tuesday that his office will no longer prosecute most first-time offenders for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Police commissioner Bill Bratton said the news “will not result in any changes” at the NYPD and that officers will continue to arrest people for that offense. Later, a de Blasio spokeswoman said the mayor agreed with both Thompson and Bratton.

    Drone Gentrification  

    Hazardous skies as city’s drone unchecked population soars(NYP)

    What CrainsNY Should Look At Who Gets Chin's Member Item Dollars? Not Seniors?  

    COUNCILWOMAN CHIN: CRAIN’S ARTICLES ARE “ILL-INFORMED AND POORLY-REASONED”: In an opinion piece in the Observer, Councilwoman Margaret Chin took Crain’s Thornton McEnery to task for two news articles on bus stop clocks. McEnery wrote that “City Council members are throwing millions of dollars at a problem that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has, to a large extent, already solved.” In her reply, Chin said his “tone and one-sided perspective” are “clear.” She also called his “reasoning … false, disappointing and, based on the facts of the matter, also somewhat confusing.”

    New App Creates Taxi Price War the AG Protects the Taxi Owners 

    Prosecutions of cabbies soar(NYP) The city prosecuted almost 40 percent more rider complaints against yellow cabbies last year, The Post has learned7,700 drivers were given violations by Taxi and Limousine Commission prosecutors in 2013, up from 5,468 in 2012, according to TLC data.

    Uber, Lyft and a Road Map for Reinventing the Ride(NYT) Prices have been cut, and the business of how people get around is on the verge of big changes.

    Friday Update 
    Lyft NYC launch delayed after ride-sharing app hits road block(NYP)

    A Manhattan judge slammed the brakes on the launch of the controversial ride-sharing app Lyft Friday — just four hours before the vehicles were scheduled to hit the streets.

    Schneiderman And Lawsky Seek Halt To Lyft(YNN)
    Uber cuts New York City prices to compete with yellow cabs
    UBER vs. yellows: "The price cut is definitely a shot at taxi," said Josh Mohrer, general manager for Uber NYC. "We can't be dominant if we're not both better service and better price." Put another way, Mohrer sees the temporary discount as a promotional device to hook more riders on Uber, increasing demand for Uber drivers, and thereby luring more taxi drivers away from the medallion rental business UBER CHEAPER -- Capital’s Dana Rubinstein reports that Uber, the ambitious San Francisco-based taxi app company, is temporarily making rates for its UberX service in New York City lower than yellow taxi fares: "We just dropped uberX fares by 20%, making it cheaper than a New York City taxi," said a notice on its website. "From Brooklyn to the Bronx, and everywhere in between, uberX is now the most affordable ride in the city."* Attention Uber: "Car hailing app Lyft is aiming tolaunch in New York without permission from city regulators"  (NYDN) * Uber-competitor Lyft to launch Friday in Brooklyn and Queens(Capital) The car-hailing app Lyft is aiming to launch in New York without permission from city regulators—the company’s position bring that it doesn’t need authorization because what it offers is ride sharing, not taxi service—and a battle is expected with the Taxi and Limousine Commission * New York's attorney general says car service app Uber has agreed to cap prices during emergencies, natural disasters or other market disruptions, consistent with the state's law against price gouging, the Associated Press reports:* Wednesday  All fare in taxi war(NYP) Think about it: When was the last time New Yorkers saw the price of a common city service go down?This is just what is happening to cab fares. And it’s all thanks to Uber, the innovative app that allows customers to hail a cab from their smart phones.This week, Uber announced it was dropping fares by 20 percent for UberX cars, its bargain service. Uber says this makes an UberX ride “cheaper than a New York City taxi.”* NO TLC: Car-hailing app Lyft to launch in NYC without TLC permission(NYDN) Thursday All fare in taxi war(NYP)* Taxi Commission Blocks Lyft’s Entry Into New York City(NYT)* RIDE WARS – “Lyft Will Continue Operating In NYC Despite Threats From The City's Taxi Commission,” by Business Insider’s Sam Colt: “Lyft’s run in New York City may be startlingly short-lived. The ride-sharing company known for the now-ubiquitous pink mustache on its cars announced on Tuesday that it would begin operating in the Big Apple, even though it didn't have permission from the city's Taxi and Limo Commission (TLC). [Wednesday] the TLC released a statement calling Lyft ‘unauthorized in New York City.’ ‘Lyft has not complied with TLC’s safety requirements and other licensing criteria to verify the integrity and qualifications of the drivers or vehicles used in their service, and Lyft does not hold a license to dispatch cars to pick up passengers.’”
    Friday Go to hail  (NYDN) Lyft isn't 'ride-sharing'; it's a livery car service * The ride-sharing service Lyft is set to debut in New York City this weekend, with more than 500 drivers already recruited, even though taxi regulators threaten a crackdown on the ride-sharing service, The Wall Street Journal writes:
    Taxi Owners Push Back
    ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’ foes appeal judge’s decision(NYP)

    Liu's $525,000 Fine Goes Unpaid, WFP Back Away From Liu and

    Liu Receives A Trio Of Congressional Endorsements
    Liu’s campaign fines remain unpaid(NYP) Former city Comptroller John Liu still owes the city more than $525,000 in campaign fines — even as he plows ahead with his latest run for

    de Blasio Backs Klein and Avella After Cuomo Senate Dem Deal
    WFP Staying Out of Senate Races  Working Families Party backs away from John Liu and OliverKoppell  Bill de Blasio Backs Jeff Klein and Tony Avella Over Rivals(NYO)* WFP To Remain Neutral In Contested Senate Primaries(YNN)* The IDC & Their Primaries(YNN) *32BJ SEIU Endorses 37 Senate Democrats(YNN) * Labor Groups Endorses IDC(YNN)* 32BJ SEIU Endorses 37 enate Democrats(YNN)* * The property workers union 32BJ endorsed a raft of Senate and Assembly candidates, including state Sen. Jeff Klein, while skipping the Avella-Liu race and spurning state Sen. John Sampson, the Daily News writes:
    Ross Barkan ‏@RossBarkan   One point from the @BilldeBlasio IDC endorsement today: at least in #SD11, backing wont do a ton for @TonyAvella: Bdb not very popular there

    Vito and Kellner Live On As District Leaders? 


    Silver's Trial Lawyers Pay Albany to Keep Civil Lawsuit Fines High NYS Trial lawyers spend record amount lobbying against payment limits for attorneys

    BIG BUCKS FOR PAYDAYS: State trial lawyers spent record sum lobbying against pay limits(NYDN) Organizations representing trial lawyers — New York State Trial Lawyers Association and the New York Academy of Trial Lawyers — shelled out nearly $1.5 million to lobby lawmakers against a push to lower awards in civil lawsuits. It was revealed last week that Silver earned as much as $750,000 last year from Weitz & Luxenberg — at least $200,000 more than in 2012. The firm’s partner Arthur Luxenberg is also a member of the board of the Trial Lawyers Association. “It tells me that the trial lawyers are concerned a number of their golden eggs may be reformed,” said Tom Stebbins of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance.As Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver collected big bucks from a law firm last year, state trial lawyers spent a record amount lobbying against reforms that would limit large paydays for attorneys. Organizations representing trial lawyers shelled out nearly $1.15 million to lobby lawmakers against a push to lower awards in civil lawsuits. The spending by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and the New York Academy of Trial Lawyers marked a 9.7% increase from 2012 and a 37% jump from 2010, per the Lawsuit Reform Alliance.

    Daily News Asks Readers to Email Them With Answer of What Silver Does for $750,000 From His Law Firm
    Records show the Arroyos are members of an exclusive club — only four of the other 212 state-elected officials reported living entirely off their salaries.They included Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa (D-Manhattan), who resigned her post last week after admitting a 1996 sham marriage to become a US citizen.  This is the only the second year state lawmakers had to file outside income for themselves and their spouses. It was also the second straight year Assemblywoman Annette Robinson (D-Brooklyn) reported zero outside earnings.The Daily News digs into the mystery of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s “untaxing and lucrative” position as a personal injury attorney, which earned him as much as $750,000 last yearUP TO $3,600 AN HOUR: Sheldon Silver earned $750G in 2013 working a few hours per week at private personal injury firm(NYDN) Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's outside income re-emerged as an issue Wednesday with the release of his latest financial disclosure report. Last year, he worked roughly half a day each week for the law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, which paid him up to $750,000. Critics question whether he is on the payroll to help stop tort reform in his Assembly role, a complaint Silver has long denied.* Expose Silver’s secrets(NYDN ed)So, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver pulled down as much as $750,000 as a personal-injury attorney last year while having no law office, never appearing in court and seeming to work full-time on state business.(Do you know how? If yes, send us an email with the answer.) (Did you retain Silver and then Weitz & Luxenberg? If yes, send us an email.) (Did you witness such a transaction? If yes, send us an email.)* * Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has a stock portfolio worth up to $2.5 million and he invested last year with Halliburton, an energy company virtually synonymous with Republican fundraising and policymaking, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett writes:  * State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should disclose what he does in his role “of counsel” that earned him between $650,000 and $750,000 as reported on his outside income filing, the Post writes:  Let the sun shine, Shelly(NYP Ed)

    Silver Law Firm $750,000 "Huge Political Contribution"
    Tuesday Watchdog wary of Sheldon Silver’s income from law firm(NYP) The head of a group pushing tort reform says Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s refusal to explain what he does to earn up to $750,000 from a prominent law firm raises a question of whether the payment is really a “huge political contribution.”The stinging charge by Tom Stebbins, executive director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, came after Silver’s financial-disclosure forms showed his paycheck from the firm of Weitz & Luxenberg had swelled to between $650,000 to $750,000 last year, up as much as $300,000 in 2012.Stebbins said he couldn’t find a single case Silver had litigated, outside his role as Assembly speaker, since 1989.

    It Does Not Take Sherlock Homes to Figure Out Why Moreland Was Murdered 
    Getting to the bottom of how Silver and other legislators earn outside income had been Job One for Gov. Cuomo’s anticorruption commission.But Silver joined Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos and Senate Independent Democratic chief Jeff Klein in stonewalling the panel. The  three had common cause in battling for secrecy. Skelos reported making from $150,000 to $250,000 while serving of  counsel to the politically connected Long Island law firm Ruskin, Moscou and Faltischek. Like Silver, he gives every appearance of working full-time on Albany duties. Klein reported income of $75,000 to $100,000 as a partner in the Bronx law firm Klein Calderoni and Santucci. In the middle of resisting the commission’s subpoenas in court, Silver, Skelos, Klein and other lawmakers prevailed on Cuomo to halt the probe nine months early as part of a half-a-loaf deal on ethics reform. The shutdown drew justified criticism by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who took control of commission files.The Democrat and Chronicle praises US Attorney Preet Bharara for cracking down on Albany corruption while Cuomo’s JCOPE “essentially twiddled its thumbs.”
    More About Killing Moreland

    True News Yesterday Wags Today's Daily News Editorial About Silver and Killing Moreland

    No Wonder Why They Closed Down the Moreland Commission Which Was Just About to Investigate Legislators Outside Income  

     Outside Legal Work Proves Fruitful for New York’s Top Legislators(NYT) Sheldon Silver, the Assembly speaker, and Senators Dean G. Skelos and Jeffrey D. Klein earned as much as $1.1 million combined practicing law last year, according to disclosure statements.* Speaker Silver earned up to $750K for legal work outside legislative duties — more than prior year(NYDN)* Astorino Ties Cuomo To Legislature’s Scandals(YNN)

    Moreland Outside Income Flashback
    With Panel Gone, a Move to Monitor New York Lawmakers’ Income Is Thwarted(NYDN)
    More About Killing Moreland and What the Commission Tried to Investigate

    SAFE HOUSE: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a comprehensive plan today to improve the safety of NYCHA developments around the city. City & State’s Azure Gilman breaks down five of the key changes: 

    All It Takes To Stay Out of Today's Media is to Hide . . .  So Called Progressives Like to Hide Also

    Cuomo allegedly ordered Kathy Hochul to stay ‘under wraps’(NYP) Where in the world is former US Rep. Kathy Hochul?  fervid opposition to giving state privileges to illegal aliens has all but disappeared from public view since Gov. Cuomo picked her in May as his running mate for lieutenant governor.* Andrew Cuomo Calls Latest Fred Dicker Column ‘Absurd’ and ‘Silly’(NYO)* Cuomo: ‘Absurd’ And ‘Silly’ To Suggest He’s Keeping Hochul Hidden(YNN)   Tuesday.@zephyrteachout: Cuomo "afraid" primary voters will learn" @KathyHochul was "anti-immigrant bank lobbyist...doesn’t share their values."

    Karim Camara Says He’s ‘Comfortable’ With Kathy Hochul on Guns and Immigration(NYO)

    Follow us: @newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on FacebookCuomo denies hiding Hochul, but won’t release her schedule(NYP) Lt. Gov. candidate Tim Wu urges Kathy Hochul to "come out of hiding and let the voters know about her anti-immigrant, pro-gun track record."* Searching for a missing candidate. NY1 ItCH: The Milk CartonCampaign for Lieutenant Governor  * The Buffalo News explores reasons why Kathy Hochul, the former congresswoman chosen by Cuomo to be his lieutenant governor, has not been promoted publicly after accusations that Cuomo is deliberately silencing her:* Finding Kathy Hochul(NYO)* Astorino asked jokingly which would be found first: Cuomo’s running mate, Kathy Hochul, or the missing Malaysian Airlines jetliner? But for her 1,700 Twitter followers, Hochul’s whereabouts are not a mystery—she has been attending small meetings with Democrats around New York, State of Politics reports:  De Blasio Endorses IDC’s Klein And Avella(YNN) *Teachout-Wu: Spend BNP Settlement On Schools, Infrastructure(YNN)* When It Comes To Small Biz, Wu Questions Regulations(YNN)* Teachout-Wu fundraising email: "We need to raise $20,000 for lawyers to defend our right to be on the ballot"* * Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino blasted Cuomo for not getting more involved in the LIRR workers contract dispute and accused him of washing his hands of the matter, State of Politics writes: * “Real people = not reporters.”* CUOMO RUNNING MATE AGREES TO TV INTERVIEW “As speculation has mounted about Kathy Hochul's absence from the campaign trail, the lieutenant governor candidate has agreed to her first TV interview next week on NY1. While she hasn't been releasing a regular public schedule to the media, the candidate's Twitter feed this week has lit up with photos of her meeting with prominent New York City elected officials. Although some of those photos show Hochul in public places, they are all posted without any prior notice, which hasn't exactly quelled the theory that she is avoiding the press.”* Cuomo Weighs Israel, Puerto Rico Trips (WSJ)

    More On Campaign 2014


    Advance Group Breaks Another Law Not Sign of Prosecutors 

    Like Date and Field
    The source close to Mr. Jackson’s operation said that the Advance Group also low-balled the reimbursement, writing a check for less than $400 while the campaign had shelled out $13,250 for the VAN system. But the insider said he knew of no plan to pursue the Advance Group legally for further restitution.

    Forget the Patronage Gain, Will The Council Speaker Become the New Political Boss?

    Melissa Mark-Viverito A Gatekeeper Deciding Who Will Run in New York

    Tuesday Update

    Speaker Says in the Council Hands - Wait She Control the Council
    Melissa Mark-Viverito on elections board prez's future: "It's in the Council's hands."(NYDN( City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito personally acknowledged Monday that lawmakers might ignore the recommendation of Manhattan's Democratic Party boss and appoint a new Board of Elections commissioner of their own choosing. In discussing the possibility -- raised by the News -- Mark-Viverito did not tip her hand as to whether Board President Gregory Soumas would be replaced. By taking over the commissioner selection process, Mark-Viverito stands to gain influence over patronage hiring and firing at the Board.

    Elected Officials Take Over the Political Machine

    What is next if you try to run against an incumbent councilman you get knock off the ballot?

    EXCLUSIVE: Melissa Mark-Viverito may replace Board of Elections head with her own pick(NYDN)  City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito may dump election president Gregory Soumas for a pick of her own, giving her power and control of a host of patronage jobs. One of the perks of being a county boss is having the power to appoint elections commissioners.—expanding her power and control of a host of patronage jobs

    Michael Benjamin ‏@SquarePegDem 
    Council Speaker Mark-Viverito should focus on city policy, rather than political revenge scenarios for her pal,...

    Elected officials have for the most part taken over the role of district leaders. Is anyone looking at the centralization of power into the hands of elected officials?

    de Blasio Raise Funds for A Democratic State Senate . . .  Where is the Trust  

    IDC Said They Would Join Democrats?
    Mayor de Blasio helped Democrats raise a half-million dollars last week toward reclaiming control of the state Senate. De Blasio headlined a Wednesday night fund-raiser that drew more than 200 people at up to $25,000 a head. “It’s a tremendous start to the campaign season, and we very much appreciate the mayor’s support,” said Queens Sen. Michael Gianaris, head of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee.
    The Senate Dems in January reported having virtually no money in their coffers after retiring a multimillion-dollar debt. Besides the mayor, Wednesday’s event drew state Controller Thomas DiNapoli, city Controller Scott Stringer and powerful union heads who helped create a coalition with de Blasio aimed at winning the Senate for the Dems. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio de Blasio helped Democrats raise a half-million dollars last week toward reclaiming control of the state Senate, headlining fund-raiser that drew more than 200 people at up to $25,000 a head. Neither Cuomo nor IDC Leader Jeff Klein attended.* Queens BP Melinda Katz broke from the Democratic pack and endorsed her former rival, NYC Comptroller John Liu, in his primary challenge to Sen. Tony Avella.* Klein Files 9,000 Petition Signatures(YNN)* Queens Borough President Melinda Katz backed former rival John Liu in his bid to unseat State Sen. Tony Avella, who is a member of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, the Daily News reports:

    NYT A Year Laters Discovers That Albany's Redistricing Reform is Bull Shit 
    New York’s Mapmaking Scandal(NYT) A constitutional amendment would only make it easier for legislators to continue to draw district maps that help no one but the incumbents. In his 2010 campaign for governor, Andrew Cuomo promised to end “partisan gerrymandering,” in which lawmakers draw their own districts. He failed to do that, and instead, as governor, signed onto a set of legislative maps in 2012 that were carefully designed to keep legislators safely in their jobs.Then, he and lawmakers came up with a counterfeit reform, a constitutional amendment on November’s ballot that would only make matters worse and make it harder to clean up the whole inbred process for years to come. The flawed maps created in 2012 will be in use until 2022. The constitutional amendment would put a new, virtually permanent system in place for the next round of mapmaking that starts after the 2020 census. The amendment sets up a bipartisan commission, a majority of whose members are appointed by legislative leaders. The possibilities for partisan gridlock are endless, and it will take another constitutional amendment to make any corrections of what is destined to be a flawed system. In a recent report, Common Cause/NY, New York Public Interest Research Group and Effective NY warned that the amendment would only make it easier for New York legislators to continue to draw district maps that help no one but the incumbents. Amendment supporters say the maps would be drawn by a bipartisan, independent commission, with co-executive directors, one Democrat and one Republican. That sounds reasonable, except that it is much the same as the state’s Board of Elections, one of the least effective public operations in New York. That board is also bipartisan, which often means stalemate, not compromise. Under this new system, if the Legislature does not like the commission’s maps, they can vote them down and send them back for amendments. If the maps return and the lawmakers still don’t approve, they can vote them down and then draw their own, much as they do now. This amendment is not a reform. It is another way to maintain the status quo, and does not deserve voters’ support.

    NYC Busienss Kill Fields  
    Statewide Fireproof Door Co. in Carroll Gardens, which has been in business for 49 years, will soon close its doors after seeing its workman comp insurance rates increase 380% for six workers. President Darrel Caneiro appealed to a number of pols to fix the problem, but says, ultimately, 'bureaucracy killed us.'* Nine important jobs(NYDN)  How sky-high workers comp kills jobs

  • Staten Island Congressional Race  

    Staten Island’s Tough-Guy Congressman Faces Somebody His Own Size(NYT) The New York Times examines the 11th Congressional District race between Domenic Recchia and U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, who despite a 20-count federal indictment, still has public support and name recognition

    Gentrification and the 11th Congressional District?
    “Democrats also point to Mr. Recchia’s better relationship with unions than others who have challenged Mr. Grimm, the influx to Bay Ridge of liberals priced out of Park Slope and the expectation that his Brooklyn roots will help him run up the score there.”

    Why is There No Journalism School Looking At the Quality of Reporting 
    How the City Council Going To Name A Street After Thomas Paine if They Don't Even Know Who He Is?
     An effort is under way to change the name of tony Barrow Street in the West Village to honor Thomas Paine, the 18th century writer who helped inspire the American Revolution. “Thomas Paine is like the Founding Fathers’ founding father. He’s the one who made the convincing case for independence,” writes Dylan DePice in an online petition to the City Council calling for the switch. “The guy who did as much as anyone to spark the creation of a country founded on religious liberty deserves to be honored for it.”Barrow, which runs from Washington Place to the West Side Highway, was once called Reason Street, in honor of Paine’s 1795 “The Age of Reason.” The street became city property in 1809 and was renamed Barrow to honor rich landowner Thomas Barrow, a vestryman at nearby Trinity Church. * Freedom of the press came of age in NYC (NYDN) When a newspaper publisher was accused of seditious libel.
    The Burial Site of 11,500 New Yorkers, Many Who Gave Their Lives Fighting For America Again Goes Unnoticed on the Nations Birthday
    The Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument in Brooklyn's FortGreenPark.

    A Challenge From A Left Activists Against Cuomo? Is the WFP Behind It, Or is This Don Quixote?
    Teachout: I have petition signatures to run against Cuomo(NYP) Leftist Fordham law prof Zephyr Teachout says she has rounded up more than enough signatures to run against Gov. Cuomo in the September Democratic primary.A minimum of 15,000 valid signatures is required. Teachout says she already has 27,000 and is looking to reach 45,000 by Thursday’s deadline. But Cuomo’s office refuses to say if he intends to challenge those signatures — a sign that he’s seriously considering that option. If nothing else, a legal challenge by the governor’s campaign would tie up the novice challenger in expensive legal proceedings and force her to devote resources to lawyers instead of voters.Signatures can be challenged on numerous grounds, starting with whether the signer is actually a registered Democratic voter. When activists in the Working Families Party attempted to run Teachout as their candidate on the WFP ballot line this coming November, Cuomo cut a deal to push the party’s agenda and get the line himself.

    zephyrteachout ‏@zephyrteachout 
    "Cuomo’s office refuses to say if he intends to challenge those signatures." We are ready for court and the primary! 

    Did political operatives for Gov. Cuomo bully The New York Times into changing its headline ?

    View image on Twitter
    the @nytimes are a changing. cc @tmcgev @joepompeo @HuffPostMedia @brianstelter @onthemedia

    Is Rangel Going Rogue? 

    Rangel gets payback on teachers union, boosts charter schools(NYP) Hell hath no fury like a congressman scorned. Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel is giving the teachers union a lesson in political retribution for snubbing him and endorsing his rival

    Daily News Bangs Rangel for Opposing Downsizing Subsidies Apartments
    Pandering in a crisis (NYDN Ed)  The fix to a housing problem is staring us in the face. Because Congress has disastrously cut housing programs, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development has no choice but to push such downsizing. Many of the tenants live in buildings that used to be part of New York’s middle-income Mitchell-Lama program. As that expired, the buildings became market-rate luxury properties, Single occupants like the one in Tribeca are being shifted to studio apartments. Their rent will stay constant, but the city’s subsidy will fall and the savings will be diverted to others. Regardless, at a City Hall rally on Wednesday, politicians, including Reps. Charlie Rangel and Carolyn Maloney, decried the de Blasio administration’s actions.

    Our Dumb Down Speaker Put Foot In Her Mouth With A Tweet That Said East Jerusalem as part of “Palestine”

    Saddened by the escalating violence in Palestine. We mourn the loss of life and call for an end to this cycle of viol

    Viverito under fire for ‘Palestine’ tweet(NYP) City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito stepped into a Middle East minefield by referring to East Jerusalem as part of “Palestine” — drawing condemnation from supporters of Israel. Mark-Viverito, in a..“It’s not surprising that the speaker would talk in the language of the Pro-Palestinian far left that is led by fellow Democrats, President Obama and Secretary [of State John] Kerry,” said Bruce Blakeman, vice president of the American Jewish Congress and a GOP House candidate from Long Island. Mark-Viverito’s camp defended her remark.“Her only intention was to lament the violence that recently claimed the lives of a young Palestinian in Jerusalem earlier this week and three Israeli boys last month,” said spokesman Eric Koch..  

    NYT Says Only Hope to Clean Up Corruption In Albany is U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara  

    Why Does the NYT Ignore Bharara Plea to Help Him Clean Up Corruption?
    Media Ignores U.S. Attorney Plea to Investigate Corruption to Improve Govt
    Bharara: No Investigative Reporting Equals More Corruption
    Bharara to Journalist
    Investigate Stop Copying My Press Releases
    "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other
    offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara

    Another Indictment in Albany(NYT Ed)What happened to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s promise to clean up the capital?  It is often said that New York’s state legislators leave office only when they die, retire or get indicted — which comes pretty close to the truth. Since 1999, according to Citizens Union, 26 state legislators have left office either because they have been charged with a crime or they have been shamed into resigning for ethical lapses. The latest to face indictment is State Senator Thomas Libous of Binghamton. Mr. Libous is a top Republican who is also a close associate of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He was charged this week with lying to federal agents about a plot to get his son a job at a law firm in return for steering business to the firm. Mr. Libous called the charges “very disappointing” and vowed to fight them.This indictment adds another stain to Albany’s sullied reputation. And it stands as a reminder that Mr. Cuomo has failed to make good on his promise to clean up Albany when he was elected nearly four years ago.  In fact, he set back attempts to clean up the legislative swamp this spring when he shut down the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. He closed the commission that appeared to be investigating legislators’ conflicts of interest, among other problems, in return for a feeble “reform” that tinkered with bribery laws and set up a pilot project for public financing of campaigns.Since then, Preet Bharara, the United States attorney who charged Mr. Libous, has taken possession of the commission’s files. His office may offer the best hope for cleaning up Albany since other ethics commissions established in recent years by state lawmakers are toothless. In a statement released with Tuesday’s indictment of Mr. Libous, Mr. Bharara said that “public servants should serve the public first, not themselves and their families.” That would seem like a pretty basic code of ethics, but it is still too rarely followed in New York.
    zephyrteachout ‏@zephyrteachout 

    The New York Times editorial joins @NYDNHammond's commentary last week, blaming Gov. Cuomo for his failures in addressing corruption.

    JCOPE Designed to Fail
    Charmian Neary ‏@CharmianNeary 
    @CTLizB Like when Shelly was caught lying to them and they punted?…

    The Mayor's Disconnect With Some  

    'WITH THIS MAYOR, WE FEEL MUCH MORE LEFT OUT': Mayor de Blasio's Staten Island 4th of July parade appearance draws some boos(NYDN)


    Brooklyn BP Slush Fund OK With City's Ethic Board 

    Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams cleared to raise money for his One Brooklyn Fund(NYDN) Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams thinks Brooklyn doesn’t get enough charitable dollars –and the fund he’s creating to remedy that is now a step closer to reality. The city’s ethics board in June cleared Adams to fundraise on behalf of the One Brooklyn Fund as a city-affiliated non-profit.A spokesman for the Borough President's office denied previously published reports that Adams solicited checks for the non-profit before the fund even existed.* Nonprofit run out of Adams’ office hit up donors before city OK(NYP)

    The NY Teacher Tenure Lawsuit Has Started 

    Fed up students file lawsuit to overthrow NY tenure laws(NYP) A group of fed-up students and parents on Thursday declared their independence from incompetent New York City teachers shielded by the state’s tenure and seniority laws.In the wake of a landmark anti-tenure ruling in California, the coalition of 11 students filed a class-action lawsuit in Staten Island state ­Supreme Court, seeking to eliminate protections afforded to bad teachers. “This lawsuit has to do with students’ rights and parents’ rights. We have to do away with the ‘students last’ policies. No one is talking about the children who are failing every day,” said Staten Island dad Sam Pirozzolo, a co-leader of the New York City Parents Union.*  Lawsuit Challenges New York’s Teacher Tenure Laws(NYT) In the wake of a landmark court decision in California, an education advocacy group says the laws violate the State Constitution’s guarantee of a “sound basic education.”*More Teacher Retire After Contract Approved * In the wake of a new contract that incentivizes teachers to retire, more New York City educators applied to leave last month than in the same period in recent years, Capital New York reports:  * In an audit, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer found that the school system could not prove it sought competitive bids for an $88.1 million custodial supply contract and then failed to monitor overpayments, the Post writes:  * In the Times’ “Room for Debate,” a number of experts weigh in on the student-led approach to reading and writing known as “balanced literacy” that is making a comeback in New York City: * The lawsuit in California that struck down the state’s teacher tenure and seniority-order layoff laws will not succeed in New York, Michael Rebell, a professor at Teachers College, Columbia University writes in the Daily News
    Sunday Parents, education advocates plan to defend teacher tenure against lawsuit filed by parents' reform group(NYDN)

    de Blasio At A Secret Meeting with Muslim Leaders 

    Discusses Shutdown of NYPD Demographics Unit
    Mayor de Blasio discusses shutdown of NYPD Demographics Unit at Ramadan dinner(NYDN) “Muslim New Yorkers are still fighting for basic human rights,” de Blasio said at the Gracie Mansion dinner, according to prepared remarks distributed by his office. “We recently shut down the Demographics Unit at NYPD, which conducted surveillance on Muslim New Yorkers. Because it’s unfair to single out people on the sole basis of their religion.” De Blasio’s Iftar dinner was initially listed on his schedule as open to the press, but aides later updated the schedule to say the press would not be allowed in. His office distributed a copy of his prepared remarks.

    de Port Authority buried Bad News With A Holiday Dump 

    PortAuthority report "punting several thorny issues" on a Thursday beforea holiday. (WNYC)  The Port Authority has drawn scorn, derision, and multiple federal and state investigations in the wake of the Bridgegate scandal, which has exposed the Authority as dysfunctional — and possibly criminal  in its actions.The five-page document, delivered on a hasty schedule by demand of the governors themselves, mostly restated problems that have been extensively aired in the wake of Bridgegate: that the Authority needs to restoreits mission and reform the way its leadership is currently chosen. The Authority's current leadership model might be described as the governors of New York and New Jersey dividing the baby in two.

    US Attorney Seeks Pension of Former Councilman Convicted of Stealing Public Cash

    It is Clear That the NYT Can't Play the Game of Journalism Anymore in this Town

    More News Traffic and Weather From the NYT (Just Like Local TV News) 

    Man Accused of Killing Brooklyn Boy, 6, in Elevator Pleads Not Guilty(NYT) * Woman Chasing Her Dog Is Killed by Garbage Truck(NYT) * Police Identify Suspect in Fatal Hit and Run in Brooklyn (NYT)* Rain May Spare Fireworks, but Not Other July 4th Plans (NYT) * Girl, 12, Fatally Struck by Stolen Van in Brooklyn; 2 Are Critically Injured(NYT) * What about Corruption in NY? Countering Corruption in Indonesia(NYT)* Breezy Looks to Spruce Up Your Summer Wardrobe(NYT) Friday Studying What Lures Turtles to a Tarmac at Kennedy Airport(NYT) *Man Charged in Fatal Brooklyn Hit-and-Run(NYT)* Sheltering in Storm, Family Must Flee as Debris Rains From Brooklyn Bridge(NYT) * Year after year, residents of Inwood defy the police to puton a huge unsanctioned fireworks show.(NYT) Saturday Homicide Charges Likely in Baruch College Fraternity Retreat Case(NYT) * Man Accused in Brooklyn Hit-and-Run Had Trouble With Drugs(NYT)* City Kitchen: Easy-to-Make Sorbets and Shaved Ice(NYT) Sunday Firefighter Dies After Blaze at Brooklyn High-Rise(NYT) * Missing 2-Year-Old Girl Is Found Dead in Prospect Park Lake(NYT)* Even on weekends, the manicurist Jin Soon Choi is never farfrom her nail business. (NYT) Monday ‘Festivus’ Poles. ‘Close Talker’ Mascot. Yada, Yada, Yada. (NYT) Tuesday Baby Girl Is Abandoned on Columbus Circle Subway Platform(NYT)* A Fan Sleeps at a Game, Wakes Up and Sues Baseball(NYT) * NYTimes: Cupcake Shop Crumbs Shuttering All Its Stores * Maggie Haberman: “Was a shame when it was [Clyde Haberman]signing off and it's a shame to see [Powell] do the same. No voices anymore”  * A Brief History of Croquet in Brooklyn(NYT)* Before He Leaves, Michael Powell Shares His Favorite Gotham Columns(NYT)

    Another Nail in the Kingdom's Coffin: Who Are the Local Opinion Writers? Stengel,Berra?

    The NYT is losing the power to effect elections in NYC.  Does not look like their endorsement attracted any of their readers to vote against Rangel

    How low are you on a scale of human decency when Vito Lopez wants to distance himself from you to improve his chances? 

    Vito looks to distance himself from Shelly in sexual harassment suit(NYP) After years of being joined at the hip politically, disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez is looking to distance himself from Sheldon Silver in a pending sexual harassment lawsuit. Lopez (D-Brooklyn) filed legal papers Wednesday seeking to be tried separately from the Assembly speaker in an upcoming civil trial over a lawsuit by two woman accusing Lopez of sexual harassment and Silver of turning a blind eye to the alleged perverted behavior. “The allegations against Silver will severely prejudice Lopez, denying him a fair discovery process and a fair trial,” lawyer Lyle Zuckerman wrote Manhattan federal Judge Analisa Torres. “The inquiry into the allegations that Silver turned a blind eye to many instances of sexual misconduct in the Assembly will necessarily include a parade of plaintiffs’ witnesses telling their stories of violation, and even more defense witnesses responding to those claims (potentially including an alleged rapist and convicted sex offender). 

    As Vito Pulls Away From Speaker Silver the Women Leaders In the Assembly Continue to Ignore 
    “None of this is relevant to the allegations against Lopez, but all of it is highly prejudicial.” Silver’s Outside Income Grows(YNN) Financial disclosure forms released on Wednesday show Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver reported earning between $650,000 and $750,000 in his role as “of counsel” at the Manhattan personal injury law firm Weitz & Luxenberg. The pay is a jump from last year’s disclosure, which documented he earned between $350,000 and $450,000 in 2012 at the firm.* Silver discloses a raise from outside work(Capital) * * Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver saw his outside income as of counsel at the law firm Weitz & Luxenberg jump to $650,000 to $750,000 in 2013, up from $350,000 to $450,000 the previous year, the Daily News reports:  I suppose the "alleged rapist and convicted sex offender" whose potential testimony would taint the case is Mr. Boxley.
    SILVER’S GOLD—Capital’s Jimmy Vielkind & Laura Nahmias: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver nearly doubled his income from a Manhattan plaintiffs' firm between 2012 and 2013, according to financial disclosure forms released Wednesday. The Democrat from Lower Manhattan was paid between $650,000 and $750,000 in 2013 for his “of counsel” work for Weitz & Luxenberg. According to his form, Silver engaged in “general practice of law with emphasis on representation of individual clients and personal injury actions and 'of counsel' to law firm.” But he brought in far more than any other lawyer-legislator, for an unclear amount of labor. The Speaker has long been criticized for sitting on measures that might restrict the size of verdicts won by trial lawyers as a result of his outside engagement. His spokesman has denied any connection, and says his opposition to tort reform measures is based on principle. Legislative leaders fought to keep the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, which was convened by Cuomo, from subpoenaing records from their firms and others that employ legislators that would detail the extent of their work and their exact clients. Commission officials said such outside employment raised the “risk of criminal behavior.” Cuomo and legislative leaders struck a deal to disband the commission in exchange for changes to the state bribery statute, a new enforcement counsel at the Board of Elections and a pilot program for public campaign finance.

    It Is Going to Get More Experience to Live and Work in New York

    The exchange, which has prided itself on being affordable, is facing requests for increases as high as 28 percent next year for some customers. New York’s health exchange, which has prided itself on being affordable, is now facing requests for increases as high as 28 percent next year for some customers of MetroPlus—the most popular plan on the exchange. “In our case, the advertised rent is triple what we are now paying. We aren’t alone. In the past year, all kinds of pioneering restaurants that helped set the table for their respective neighborhoods — including Mesa Grill, in the Flatiron district, and WD-50 on the Lower East Side — have each lost out to untenable rent escalations. My hunch is that they won’t be replaced by restaurants that will become similar pillars of their neighborhood.”*Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, the chair of the Assembly Health Committee, is seeking a probe of double-digit rate increases that New York insurers are requesting for new Affordable Care Act policies

    Sally Goldenberg ‏@SallyGold  
    Why property tax bills will rise, despite de Blasio's boast
     “Many New York City homeowners are facing another spike in their property tax bills even though the overall tax rate is not increasing and the mayor said this week he is “proud” his Fiscal Year 2015 budget did not raise taxes. … due to a combination of factors, including an increase in overall assessed value, a Fiscal Year 2015 budget that banks on more money from the real-estate levy than last year and a state-mandated increase in bills, most homeowners will indeed pay more this fiscal year.” 
    Rents Going Up for Restaurants Also
    There Goes the Neighborhood Cafe(NYT)Rising rents are killing off Manhattan’s local restaurants
    Subways and Railroad Fares Going Up After the State Elections 
    Middle class commuters are being unfairly squeezed by the Long Island Rail Road union workers who are threatening to strike and Gov. Andrew Cuomo must step up to protect them, the Post writes: 

    Rubber Stamp Council Wants to Fake It Better

    Council Staff Hid Documents from Members

    New York City Budget: Vote First, Read Later

    Some NYC Council members and government watchdog groups are calling for council members to have at least 24 hours to read budget documents after the city budget was voted on and passed within a few hours of its printing, Wall Street Journal * Council staffers deliberately withheld some budget documentsfor more than 6 hours ahead of budget vote

    Judge Goes After Halloran's Lawyer for Saying Bloomberg Bought the Ballot Also

    Former City Councilman Halloran shook hands when making deals: FBI Agent(NYDN) “He asked me for the money,” the agent told Halloran’s lawyer. To consummate a dirty deal, former City Councilman Daniel Halloran “shook hands, clinked glasses and decided that half would be paid up  front and the rest once it was done,” an undercover FBI agent testified Wednesday in the pol’s corruption trial.

    Judge scolds Halloran lawyer over Bloomberg claim(NYP) A federal judge scolded a lawyer for indicted ex-City Councilman Dan Halloran on Tuesday after the legal eagle claimed his client’s crimes were business as usual for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.Karas flipped out, telling Varghese “you are flirting with sitting down” as the lawyer questioned a federal agent and alleged the ex-mayor had given money under the table to county Republican leaders to successfully get the GOP line in the 2009. He also claimed Bloomberg gave the brother of former Bronx Republican Committee Chairman Joseph “Jay” Savino a job after receiving Savino’s support. The judge grew especially peeved when Varghese asked the undercover agent — who had posed as a power-hungry developer to get the goods on Halloran — if he knew whether Bloomberg was ever prosecuted.* Former City Councilman Dan Halloran's lawyers try to drag Michael Bloomberg into bribery trial (NYDN)

    Undercover agent to jury: Halloran ‘very guilty’(NYP)  A federal agent who went undercover as a wealthy businessman in the bribery case of state Sen. Malcolm Smith testified Monday that he believes co-defendant and former City Councilman Dan Halloran is guilty of corruption charges and also shot down allegations of entrapment. During the White Plains federal corruption trial of Halloran (R-Queens), defense lawyer Vinoo Varghese tried to shoot down the government’s claims that the pol in 2012 offered to dole out $80,000 in no-show city consulting work on a Queens YMCA to the wire-wearing undercover agent in exchange for funds to boost what would be a failed  congressional run by Halloran. Instead, Varghese tried to paint Halloran as a cash-strapped candidate who tried to use the agent for campaign funds. “Isn’t it true, your fears came true? You got played by Mr. Halloran,” Varghese asked. The agent, known to jurors as “Raj,” shot back, “He took cash from us. He took checks from us. Those are crimes, sir.” Halloran allegedly pocketed $18,300 in cash bribes and $6,500 in straw-donor campaign donations for agreeing to steer $80,000 of council discretionary funding for the scheme, the feds say.  Halloran is also accused of pocketing $20,500 in cash bribes for masterminding cross-party negotiations for a failed $200,000 bid to get Smith — one of the state’s top Democrats — the Republican line in last year’s mayoral race.

    Shocking Building Inspectors Still Corrupt

     2 Companies Accused of Faking Safety Checks at Building Sites(NYT)
    Seven people were charged in a scheme that paid untrained people to visit far more construction sites than a trained safety manager could inspect in a single day.* Seven Indicted in Connection with Buildings Inspection Fraud(NY1)

    The Fish Stinks At the Columbia University Head
    EXCLUSIVE: City's building design boss will continue side job at Columbia University with pay, housing and tuition benefits(NYDN) Feniosky Pena-Mora received a waiver from ethics rules so can keep teaching at Columbia University and receive a salary, housing and tuition benefits. The compensation is on top of the $205,180 he earns as the city's design and construction commissioner. Feniosky Pena-Mora, New York City’s new design and construction commissioner, received a waiver from ethics rules so he can continue teaching at Columbia University and receive housing and tuition benefits, on top of his $205,180 city salary.

    Just What NY's Corrupt Pols Need About Pot of Slush Funds  

    New York officials must take the $4.4 billion settlement gained from FNP Paribas and devote it to long-term investments in infrastructure rather than pouring it into pet programs for which there will be no funding when the money runs out, the Daily News writes: * Cuomo needs to resist inevitable calls to splurge with BNPP$$$

    Update of the Senate IDC Primaries  

    Unwinding The Senate Primaries(YNN)* 32BJ Endorses Klein(YNN)* Influential union 32BJ SEIU backs Sen Klein in effort tounite IDC with Dems to form Dem majority in Senate(Newsday)* After IDC Deal With Democrats, John Liu Soldiers On(NYO)* Senate Republicans have unleashed a new fund-raising email attacking NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and his attempts to help the Democrats grab control of the chamber.Astorino says he can win the “ground game” against Cuomo this fall.
    It appears NYC Councilman Fernando Cabrera’s primary challenge to Sen. Gustavo Rivera would fail IDC Leader Jeff Klein’s litmus test.
    GOP AG candidate John Cahill differs from Astorino on the Common Core, and also blames AG Eric Schneiderman in part for tis bothced rollout.
    In the heat of campaign season, emails begging for cash are bombarding inboxes with ever increasing frequency.
    More labor endorsements for IDC Leader Jeff Klein.

    True News Had the Whole MirRam Member Item Story June 25th  . . . CrainsNY and the Clueless NYP Followed  

    Council Speaker Campaign Gives the Most Member Items $$ to Her Campaign Consultants Lobbyists MirRam
    After a Bad Night for Their Client Espaillat MirRam Still Made Money Today 

    Melissa Mark-Viverito Paid MirRam $35,000 for Her Campaign
    Hispanic Federation gets biggest @NYCCouncil member item:$400K out of speaker's pot.  (Capital)The federation has ties to almost every Hispanic lawmaker in The Bronx, including Rivera, but primarily benefits two men: political strategist Luis Miranda, who co-founded it and once served as its president, and Roberto Ramirez, a former Bronx Democratic Party boss. The men run a private political consulting firm, the MirRam Group. It’s paid by the Hispanic Federation and is hired by politicians who steer taxpayer money to the nonprofit.Flashback Twi$ted web of political nonprofits in Bx.(NYP)

    The NYP is Wrong About Honest Graft . . .  If They Are Going to Copy That Should at Least Understand What they Copy

    Memo to NYP Political Director: David Seifman: MirRam Violated the City's Ethics Law

    What the NYP left out was that MirRam that group that profited from the graft was illegally working on the the campaign to make Melissa Mark Viverito Speaker. The lines that the NYP did not copy from the CrainsNY piece was the most important to point out how MirRam acted illegally.  CrainsNY - "Last November, during the heart of the City Council speaker race, an employee of the MirRam group fielded a press request from Crain's on Ms. Mark-Viverito's behalf for an article about her past refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. But on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for MirRam said any work done for Ms. Mark-Viverito was only related work for her 2013 City Council campaign, though it had ended weeks before the press request was fielded by MirRam. The firm was not paid to assist her speaker campaign."  Another lobbying firm close to Ms. Mark-Viverito, the Advance Group, landed in hot water for providing free consulting services during Ms. Mark-Viverito's speaker campaign. 

    Advance Got In Hot Wate, WTF 

    As the Daily News Reported 
    Daily News Charges Against Mark-Viverto City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN) Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy (Daily News 11/27/2013) Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid(NYO) Ms. Mark-Viverito insisted today that this was not the case but out of an “abundance of caution,” the relationship would end. Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid - Blogs(TU)

    Pathetic NYP: Said "someone should cry foul" First They Should Study the City's Ethic Law 

    One Week After True News and 3 Days After CrainsNY Pick Up Our Story the Post Discovers Their Own Story About Hispanic Federation and MirRam
    Wednesday Honest graft(NYP Ed) Crain’s is reporting that more than $1.31 million is headed to a powerful, politically connected Bronx nonprofit called the Hispanic Federation. To put that in perspective, this is more than a four-fold jump over what the same group got last year. And $833,333 of it will come from a fund controlled by Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito  . In 2012, The Post reported the Hispanic Federation had received $24 million in taxpayer funds since 1998. And between 1998 and 2008, the federation in turn paid MirRam and another firm tied to Miranda $681,644.Now MirRam has lobbied its client, Speaker Mark-Viverito, to hand $1.31 million in new taxpayer money to a group that pays it handsomely in return.The real crime here is that, so far as we know, none of this is illegal. We’re not saying the federation, which funds other Bronx nonprofits, never does any good work. But when taxpayer dollars are steered to politically connected groups through a process that doesn’t even require a council vote, someone should cry foul.

    A nonprofit organization founded and represented by NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s top political consultant saw its pork-barrel funding quadruple in the first budget deal she brokered.
     A nonprofit organization founded and represented by the chief political consultant of Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito saw its pork-barrel funding quadruple in the speaker's first budget, Crain’s reports:
    Of the $1.3 million windfall allocated to the nonprofit Hispanic Federation in the city budget passed last Wednesday, more than $830,000 came from a newly created program funded by monies directly under Ms.  Mark-Viverito's control. The lobbying firm that serves as her campaign consultant, the Manhattan-based MirRam Group, specifically lobbied lawmakers including Ms. Mark-Viverito to create the fund. Luis Miranda, a founding partner of the MirRam Group, who is close to Ms. Mark-Viverito, founded the influential Hispanic Federation in 1990 and now serves as its paid lobbyist. The Hispanic Federation has also  paid more than $680,000  for "consulting" to MirRam and a firm registered to Mr. Miranda and his wife, the New York Post reported in 2012. he Hispanic Federation, an umbrella group that provides grants to Latino nonprofits and advocates on issues such as immigration, employs MirRam on an $8,500 monthly retainer, according to state lobbying records. Besides serving as Ms. Mark-Viverito's main City Council campaign consultant, MirRam quietly provided assistance in the midst of Ms. Mark-Viverito's council speaker campaign last fall, though it denies the work was related to the speaker race. The firm has become a force in the city's political landscape, especially among minority elected officials in Manhattan and the Bronx. The firm's other founding partner is Roberto Ramirez, the former Bronx Democratic Party leader. he Hispanic Federation, an umbrella group that provides grants to Latino nonprofits and advocates on issues such as immigration, employs MirRam on an $8,500 monthly retainer, according to state lobbying records. Besides serving as Ms. Mark-Viverito's main City Council campaign consultant, MirRam quietly provided assistance in the midst of Ms. Mark-Viverito's council speaker campaign last fall, though it denies the work was related to the speaker race. The firm has become a force in the city's political landscape, especially among minority elected officials in Manhattan and the Bronx. The firm's other founding partner is Roberto Ramirez, the former Bronx Democratic Party leader. MirRam also lobbied Queens Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, the council's finance committee chairwoman. Another lobbying firm close to Ms. Mark-Viverito, the Advance Group, landed in hot water for providing free consulting services during Ms. Mark-Viverito's speaker campaign.

    The Incumbent Protection Campaign Poster Law  

    In A City Where Few Vote, Why is the City Giving Out Fines 4 Posters Designed to GOTV?
     New York City has assessed $105,075 in fines to campaigns in the 13th Congressional District for illegally posting signs on public property as they campaigned ahead of the June 24 primary, Capital New York reports:

    Another Re-Election Pot of Money for the Mayor Gets Fancied Up
    De Blasio names big givers to advisory board(NYP)The committee advising the not-for-profit arm for City Hall initiatives has been stacked with big mayoral campaign donors. Besides actress Cynthia Nixon, nearly two dozen of 58 Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City appointees (or their relatives) gave Mayor de Blasio’s campaign the maximum allowed, or raised above $4,950 as intermediaries, including Gina Argento, Jay Eisenhofer and Anthony Bonomo.* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s supporters and political observers said he deserves credit for his progress on pre-K, but now hope he will turn his attention to other issues as he begins the second half of his first year as mayor, The Wall Street Journal reports: 

    Gentrification Taking Over NYC Eliminating Tale of Two City's Problems?
    Census Estimates Show Another Increase in New York City’s Non-Hispanic White Population(NYT)

    In a city that had experienced decades of white flight, a tiny shift toward racial equilibrium is seen.* A new report shows Manhattan’s white-collar workers make more than double what its non-office workers do, there are proportionately fewer blacks and Hispanics than 20 years ago in the professional ranks and a persistent wage gap between men and women, the Journal reports A report from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer shows an increasingly polarized workforce over the past two decades. In 2012, Manhattan's white-collar workers made an average annual salary of $100,900, more than double what nonoffice workers made. In 1990, office workers made 75% more than nonoffice workers. There are also proportionally fewer blacks and Hispanics than 20 years ago within the professional ran

    Parking After the Street Sweepers Council Bill Again . . .  Pandering?  

    de Blasio Like Bloomberg Says Proposal Will Lead to Dirtier Streets
    Street sweeping 2.0(NYDN Ed)
    A bad Council idea could lead to a better plan for alternate-side parking. Ultimately, Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez’s bill reflects both the Council’s overblown belief that every difficulty can be outlawed and an utter lack of creative thinking during an era of high-tech innovation. City buses are equipped with GPS devices. You can use a smartphone to see exactly where they are. Ditto snow plows and a growing number of cabs and livery cars. If street sweepers were similarly equipped, a sweeper driver could post that a block was open for parking as soon as cleaning was finished. Drivers and enforcement agents alike could then keep track electronically.
     New York Council Bill Aims to Ease a Parking Burden(NYP)
    Legislation that will have a hearing before the City Council would allow drivers to return to parking spaces once street sweepers pass on alternate-side-parking days.* .@NYCSanitation says changing the alternate-side parkingrules would be unworkable.(WNYC)* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Sanitation Department warned against a proposal to loosen alternate-side parking rules, saying it will lead to dirtier streets, the Daily News reports: PUMP YOUR BRAKES: Mayor de Blasio objects to easing of rules on alternate-side parking during street sweep days(NYDN) “The department objects to the bill, officials said, because it would impede their ability to go back and double-clean streets, a common practice especially during the fall. ‘If we didn’t need to go back around the block, it wouldn’t be an issue. But very frequently we’ve had to go back,’ said Paul Visconti, the department's assistant chief of cleaning operations. It is a ‘misconception,’ Visconti said, that anyone sitting in a parked car is immediately issued a summons when street cleaners approach.”de Blasio's Trash 180 * De Blasio voiced support for reforming alternate side parking rules a day after his Sanitation Department testified that such changes could leave many streets jammed with trash, the Observer reports:

     Jacqueline Saved More Than Grand Central Station
    “Grand Central Entrance Named For Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,” by CBS New York: “A newly-renovated entrance at Grand Central Terminal has been named for former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.A special dedication ceremony was held Monday.In 1975, Onassis led a movement against a plan to build a 55-story tower on top of the landmarked building. Three year later, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the city’s Landmark Law, which was being challenged by developers. … The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Foyer at Park Avenue and East 42nd Street features a plaque honoring her efforts.” 

    “Study: Cell Service On The New York Subway Still Sucks,”
    “Over three days in early May, [Global Wireless Solutions] engineers ran mobile benchmarking tests on trains throughout the city, and found that only two stretches of track provided data network access with more than a 50% success rate: the 7 train between Grand Central and Times Square (74%) and the E train from 50th Street to Lexington Ave/53rd Street (52%). …[The rest of the list:] [3.] 6 train … 35% success rate [4.] B, D trains … 23% success rates [5.] 1 train … 20% success rate [6.] A, C trains … 16% success rates [7.] L train … 15% success rate [8.] 2, 3 trains … 14% success rates [9.] J, Z trains … 12% success rates [10.] (Tied) E train … 11% success rate; N, Q, R trains … 11% success rates [11.] F Train … 8% success rate”

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? NY DA Interconnected With the Corrupt Campaign Consultant Advance Group and Their Partners

    "Who will guard the guards themselves?"

    What Are the Reasons for New York's Political Corruption Storm?

    1st  The founding fathers granted Freedom of the Press to guard the city's guardians in order to protect the public has failed with this generation of none investigative passive reporting.  

    2. It is No Secret That the DAs Played A Major Role in Metastasizing With Corruption NY's Politics
    99% of the political corrupt cases against NY's elected officials have come from federal prosecutors.  The dirty little secret of city district attorneys was since the days of Tammany Hall rule that that they did not go after the political machines and elected officials that elected them. Now as campaign power has shifted from machines to campaign consultants lobbyists it is becoming increasing clear that the city's DAs not only depend on them during election time, but look the other way when political corrupt is connected to them. While the old political machine pulled out the people it gave services to the consultants depend on manipulate voters with spin.  It is also now becoming clear that many of these campaign consultants will brake election laws and organize conspiracy with others to elect their candidates to office.  Which is exactly with the the FBI and the CFB are investigating the Advance Group for their role in the NYCLASS PAC. 

     Prosecutors and Campaign Consultants Worlds Collide    
    The AG Has Not Publicly Said He is Investigating the Advance Group, Berlin Rosen, Arzt and Brandford, Now He May Be Forced To Now   

    The Hynes Investigation Nexis 

    State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reportedly subpoenaed consultant Mortimer Matz and Jerry Schmetterer as he looks into possible criminal charges against former Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes Daily News "Still, sources close to Hynes say the majority of Matz’s emails were sent out on his own time in early morning hours.  Matz defenders contend he was an integral part of the press office who routinely attended press conferences..  "Wayne Barrett wrote in  the Village Voice in 2010. that campaign consultant lobbyist "Sheinkopf one of the worse consultant lobbyist, makes kings so he can then make deals with the kings he’s made."

    Campaign Consultant Conflicts for the AG Investigation of Hynes 

    The Advance Group, Gorge Arzt and Brandford will be used by the defense of Matz as the consultants that were running the Hynes campaign in the primary.  Hynes and  Schneiderman both used the same consultant, Brandord Communications. How can the AG investigate Hynes and not investigate Hynes consultant the Advance Group which is already being investigated by the FBI and CFB?

    Branford Worked for Bronx DA Johnson, Brooklyn DA Thompson and AG Schniderman
    Branford who Worked for Both Brooklyn DA Thompson, Bronx DA Johnson and AG Schniderman. Brandford candidates CM Maisel. Cabrera, Gibson, Rose and Andrew J Cohen received mailings from United for the Future PAC controlled by both Advance and Red Horse. Advance's candidate CM Mark Levine and Laurie Cumbo were fined for his connection to Advance.  Branford worked with Berlin Rosen for Daniel L Squadron for Public Advocate. Branford work with both Advance and Red Horse with Bronx BP Rubin Diaa,Jr. Branford worked with Berlan Rosen for AG Schniederman.

    The CFB Fined Two City Council Members Because the Advance Group Ran Their Campaign and They Received Funding By A PAC Controlled By Advance 
    Two City Council members were slapped with fines Wednesday for taking off-limits contributions from animal rights group NYCLASS, which bankrolled Mayor de Blasio's mayoral campaign for his pledge to ban horse-drawn carriages. Council members Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) and Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) have to pay back money they were given by New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets because they shared the same political consultant — the Advance Group — as the anti-carriage group. "The penalties levied today against the Cumbo and Levine City Council campaigns represent only the first step in this proceeding," said Board Chair Rose Gill Hearn. ” Both Cumbo and Levine were fined for being connected to Advance PAC NYCLASS.  But were not fined to date for another PAC Advance worked for and contributed to both campaigns, United for the Future. 

    How the Advance Group Infected Other Consults Who Worked for District Attorneys 

    Advance Infected Berlin Rosen Who Worked for Brooklyn DA Thompson and AG Schniderman

    Berlin Rosen
    Both the Advance Group and Berlin Rosen worked for Comptroller Stringer and CM Mark Levine and Laurie Cumbo were fined for his connection to Advance. Berlin Rosen also worked for NYS AG Schniderman. Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Stringer. Brandford worked with Berlin for the AG and for Comptroller Stringer along with the Advance Group.

    Red Horse 
    Red Horse worked for Brooklyn DA Thompson campaign along with Berlin Rosen.  Both Red Horse and Advance Group worked for the UFT's PAC United for the Future (the UFT attempted to covering up Advance involvement by paying them through a fake company) Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA. Red Horse worked for Brooklyn BP Adams, Bronx BP Diaz and PA James. Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA Cy Vance. Red Horse worked for Pitta Bishop for Brooklyn BP Adams. Red Horse worked with George Arzt in the Queens BP campaign.

    8 Of Red Horse Council Clients Received Funding by the UFT PAC United for the Future which Advance Also Worked for:
    Councilman James Vacca used Red Horse as a consultant and received mailing from United for the Future even though he had no race.  Another Red Horse client CM Annabel Palma received funding by United for a Future.Austin Shafran another Red Horse client was funded by UF the UFT PAC that Red Horse Worked for. CM Daneek Miller another Red Horse client got mailing from UF.  Red Horse client CM  Antonio Reynoso also received help from UF PAC.  CM Helen Rosenthal A Red Horse Client got mailing from UF PAC another Red Horse client. CM Richard Torres A Red Horse Client got mailing from UF PAC another Red Horse client. CM Paul Vallone A Red Horse Client got mailing from UF PAC another. NYS DEMOCRATIC SENATE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE (NYS DSCC)

    Why Has the CFB Not Gone After Advance's Clients Who Got Funding From the UFT's PAC United for the Future Which Advance Also Worked for?  
    Months ago CrainsNY reported that the Advance Group through a fake group Strategic Consultants was working for the UFT PAC United for the Future.  What is also not known is another consultant that worked for many candidates in 2013 also worked for the UFT PAC, Red Horse. Both the Advance Group and Red Horse worked for Bronx BP Ruben Diaz, Jr.  Both Advance and Berlin Rosen work for Mark Levine in the 7th council district. Both Advance and Berlin Rosen also worked for Ydanis A Rodriguez.   Red Horse Served as a consultant to Jenifer Rajkumar by received funding by the Citizens United PAC who the Advance Group worked for. Advance work for Manhattan BP Jackson who also was funded by Advance's PAC United for the Future

    Advance Group
    Brandford worked with the Advance Group in the DA Hynes campaign

     In the 2013 Elections Berlin Rosen Was Interconnected with Both Red Horse and Advance

    In the 3rd council district Berlin Rosen candidate Corey Johnson received mailing from United for the Future, Red Horse worked for UF.  In the 19 council district Red Horse worked  on Austin I Shafran campaign along with consultants Berlin Rosen and PITTA BISHOP. In the 1st congressional district Red Horse worked for Jenifer Rajkumar against Berlin Rosen candidate Margaret S Chin. In the Manhattan BP race Red Horse worked for Jessica Lappin against Berlin Rosen candidate Julie Menin. In the 6th congressional district Red Horse worked for Helen Rosenthal against Berlin Rosen candidate Marc Landis.

    Mark Guma Who Worked With Cy Vance and DA Brown Also Worked With Red Horse
     Red Horse worked with Mark Guma for Jessica S Lappin.

    Haggerty Loses Appeal 

     The state Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of political consultant John Haggerty for siphoning $750,000 from the 2009 re-election campaign of then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg,
    The Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of GOP operativeJohn Haggerty … Court Of Appeals Upholds Haggerty Conviction(YNN)

    Lobbyists Firm Put Patterson On the Payroll of the Same Firm That Works for the Koch Brothers  

    In Addition to Paying Paterson Mercury Public Affairs Works for the Right Wing Koch Brothers PAC and For Progressive Council
    Member Margaret Chin And they Bag Millions from City Contracts
    Paterson’s payday, for a ‘public relations problem’(Capital)  Former Governor David Paterson was paid at least $386,000 in 2013 to consult for various interest groups, including $50,000 to help a Republican-linked firm handle a “public relations problem” for one of its clients, records show. Paterson, the recently named chairman of the Democratic state committee, was paid between $50,000 and $75,000 from Mercury LLC, according to a 2013 financial disclosure form, filed with the state's ethics watchdog. The communications firm was founded by Pataki administration veterans, who along with Paterson were tight-lipped on the exact nature of Paterson's consulting.Chin Campaign paid Mercury over 100,000

    Mercury is the Contractor for Hewlett-Packer Which Worked in the Problem Pledged 911 System
    Both Mercury and George Artz have been lobbyists for Hewlett-Packard which was the main contractor of the city's 911 emergency system that crashes a lot. The city 911 system is now being sued by the parents of 4-year-old Ariel Russo who claim she died because an ambulance to take the little girl to the hospital was delayed by a 911 crash.  Arzt is also the flack for Excell's One 57 that got tax breaks from Albany to build a 75-story luxury skyscraper. One57 tax break is contributing to pushing the middle class our of Manhattan and raising rents in Brooklyn.  Parkside got away with making millions off of the council's member items and slush fund. The Advance Group according to a series written by CrainsNY used its control of PAC to be on more than one side in a race, even working against clients who hired his firm.  Berlin Rosen worked for the same client, Bruce Ratner as indicted Melvin Lowe and convicted Kruger flack Richard J Lipsky promising affordable housing where none exists today. * Special interest groups spend $210M lobbying state, local governments (NYDN) Cigarette giant Alria Client Services spend the most- $3 million- in 2013 to fight a tobacco display ban in New York City. At least two Republican-dominated firms with close ties to Democratic Gov. Cuomo experienced booming business in 2013, the lobbying report showed.Park Strategies — headed by former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato — saw its total compensation grew by 61.9% in 2013 over 2012. Mercury Public Affairs, whose partner, Michael McKeon, is a former communications director for ex-Gov. George Pataki and a prominent figure in Republicans for Cuomo, saw a compensation jump of 25% in 2013.
    More About Corrupt Lobbyists

    Spinning the Spinner Loeser Reach Out to WFP to Expand His Base 

    Loeser Who Represents Charter Schools Hires WFP Flack Who Fought Against Them for the UFT
    Loeser hires Working Families spokesman(Capital) Stu Loeser & Co., the consulting firm founded by a longtime spokesman for Michael Bloomberg, has hired Khan Shoieb, who will leave his job as the New York communications director for the Working Families Party.  Shoieb recently defended the W.F.P.'s deal with Governor Andrew Cuomo, in aconfidential memo to state committee members that was leaked to the press. According to Shoieb, the party was minutes away from endorsing one of Cuomo's more liberal challengers, but was able to convince the governor to help the liberal-leaning party achieve a number of priorities, including raising the minimum wage and helping Democrats take control of the State Senate. “What else was the WFP supposed to get?” Shoieb asked in the memo. Loeser's firm represents a number of pro-business, pro-growth clients, but he said Shoieb's progressive background won't create a conflict.*  A report on the state of public education by New York City’s budget oversight agency found schools in the city are becoming more crowded and the number of students in temporary housing situations, including homeless shelters, has shot up, The New York Times writes: 'WE'RE LOOKING AT A CRISIS': Number of homeless students struggling through school leaps in 2012-2013(NYDN)

    Grand Jury Looking How a Top GOP Senator's Son Got A Job With A Lobbyist Firm 

    A federal grand jury in White Plains has been calling in witnesses as it probes the employment of state Sen. Tom Libous’ son at a law firm assigned to an Albany lobbying group close to the senator, the Times Union reports: The grand jury's work relates to a concern that was brought to the attention of the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics two years ago by former Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan. The Democrat told reporters he wrote to JCOPE requesting it look into statements made by former attorney Anthony Mangone in a federal trial in Westchester County about the family of Libous, a Binghamton Republican.
    Mangone, a felon, said the lawmaker had asked him to give Libous' son Matthew a position in Mangone's law firm about eight years ago. Mangone said that a senator would help the law firm get business, and testified that Libous wanted his son to be paid $150,000 and be provided a car, which the firm did. Mangone said the firm received $50,000 from the Albany lobbying firm Ostroff, Hiffa & Associates, and Matthew Libous was in charge of the Hiffa account.* Sen. Thomas Libous declined comment about a reported ongoing federal investigation into whether he used his influence to get his son a job at a prominent law firm in Westchester County.

    GOP to Link Cuomo to de Blasio to Attack On Mayor's Progressive Agenda

    NYP: Let them strike! Cuomo's last chance to be Reagan  
     State Republicans have decided on an election strategy this fall of linking Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Senate Democrats to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his progressive agenda of higher taxes and more spending, the New York Post’s Fred Dicker writes:  * The potential Long Island Rail Road strike is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s chance to seize the national stage and stand against extortionate unions while showing what it means to be a responsible Democrat, the Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas writes in the Post: * Cuomo must veto any bill the state Legislature puts forward that battles Cuomo’s landmark pension reforms, the Daily News writes:  * "Mayor de Blasio, who this week is headlining a state Senate Democratic fund-raiser, is also helping Republicans raise money – but in a much different way. Senate Republicans have begun vilifying de Blasio and his push to reclaim the Senate for the Dems in an attempt to scare donors into giving. Under the heading, 'De Blasio Should Stick to the Five Boroughs,' Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Long Island) last week sent out a fund-raising email warning that the mayor 'and a small group of radical New York City extremists have organized to make a not-so quiet play to capture Senate seats on Long Island and upstate.'"* Cox: Cuomo Being Driven By ‘National Politics’(YNN)* * State Sen. Diane Savino, a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, called on Democratic challengers to her fellow IDC representatives to step down or risk the Republicans winning a Senate majority, thereby endangering the recent “shotgun marriage” between her coalition and the mainline Democrats, the Observer reports * “Expect Albany to become a fiefdom of Mayor de Blasio and his labor friends.”* Astorino campaign attempts to pay Cuomo's property tax bill  * Teachout Petitions  Zephyr Teachout says she has obtained 25,100 signatures as of today in her bid to get on the primary ballot against Cuomo – nearly double the minimum amount needed. *  Teachout plans to collect up to 45,000 signatures before the petitioning process ends July 10.

    Question to the NYT: Where are the None Weak Points in the City's Education System?

    Amid de Blasio’s Pre-K Push, a Bid to Boost Learning at a Weak Point in the Pipeline(NYT) With prekindergarten classes set to grow under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious plan, the ad hoc in-home day care providers that serve thousands of city children are getting fresh attention.* Public education needs to move from a system where the government’s sole concern is about running its own schools to where it gives every child options by encouraging more good schools, no matter where they come from, the Post writes:* A children’s crusade (NYDN Ed) Lawsuit fights the good fight to put good teachers in every classroom * New York City will allocate another $23 million for arts education in the upcoming school year to hire 120 new teachers and help rehabilitate dilapidated arts facilities in dozens of schools, the Associated Press reports: * Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina defended hiring uncertified teachers—including college grads with no experience or teaching certificate—for pre-kindergarten programs, the Daily News reports:  New York City’s Public Schools Are Poorer and More Crowded, Report Says(NYT)* City summer school student numbers fall by 25%(NYDN)

    FARIÑA on ‘the only thing that’s going to change the system’ -- Capital’s Eliza Shaprio: “New York City schools chancellor Carmen Fariña laid out a partial blueprint for improving student performance across the school system in an interview with Capital on Wednesday, after months of questions on how she plans to implement the sorts of systemic change she's talked about in broad terms. ...’I believe strongly that what we missed in the past was that we worried so much about structures, that we forgot that real change happens in the classroom,’ said Fariña. “Fariña said she does not believe the school system can ‘handle” a series of large, system-wide changes, as were implemented during the Bloomberg years. ‘This is not about making change for its own sake to create a chaos theory,’ she said, adding that professional development, which she called a ‘missing piece’ during the Bloomberg years, ‘is the only thing that’s going to change the system.’”*Earlier city school start times due to teachers’ contract(NYP)

    The Homeless Real Estate Establishment Strickes Back

     Rent Cuts for Housing Homeless Hit a Snag(NYT)
    The de Blasio administration is working to reduce the high rates it pays to private landlords to house homeless people, but at least one such landlord is threatening to sue the city and evict families if his rent payment is cut.

    App Solution to the Handicapped Cab Problem?50,000 use new app to order handicapped-accessible cabs(NYP) The city’s handicapped-accessible taxi program, where wheelchair and scooter-bound passengers can order yellow cabs using a smartphone, has been a success with more than 50,000 people taking advantage of the.

    Comptroller Reject DOITT IT Contracts 

    DOITT contract rejected four times over lack of transparency(NYP) City Comptroller Scott Stringer has rejected a Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications contract four times this year, saying there were no apparent safeguards on the vendor’s rates. “DOITT must be proactive in setting safeguards against overruns to truly change the way IT is done in New York City,” Stringer said of the DOITT’s proposed $30 million contract with Computer Aid Incorporated.

    NYP Continues to Go After Brooklyn BP Adams China Trip Funding 

    Mystery looms around funding of Eric Adams’ trip to China(NYP) A founder of the nonprofit that paid nearly $7,000 for Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and his top deputy to travel to China told The Post he doesn’t know where the group gets its money.

    Shut Down Moreland Commision Still Paying Its Executive Director   

    Three months after Gov. Cuomo said he was pulling the plug on his anti-corruption commission, the panel’s lightening rod executive director is still drawing a hefty paycheck. State payroll records show Moreland Commission Executive Director Regina Calcaterra, who at $175,000 a year makes just $4,000 less than Cuomo, is still receiving about $6,700 every two weeks -- despite the commission's work having ended.

    NYC Loses Its Keepers of Its Morality Compass: The Gabriela Rosa Edition

    The Only Checks and Balances Left in NY's Government is Jail
    The arrest of a NYS Assemblywoman for pretending to be an American Citizen does not shock anyone anymore. NYC's special institutions like the media and neighborhoods has lost most of power to keep the moral compass that has protected generations of  NYC residents protected from government abuse.  New Yorkers' learn of the many cases of political corruption only after the arrest.  The U.S. Attorney has asked the media to investigate corruption, but they have ignored him. The trial of the leaders of the second largest party in the city for selling their ballot line (our democracy) to elect a mayor, gets almost no media attention.   It is clear that the media has lost not only moral compass, but its moral leadership as well  It not only the media that is failing  Our city government was elected claiming to be moral progressives. 
    Moral Compass Reporters Generation Lost: Kemptem, Breslin, Hamill, Barrett, Newfield
    What has become increasing clear in the first 6 months of this new city government is that this new brand of progressives is mostly a spin to gain public support at the polls.mToday's progressives are very different from the progressives that reformed government 100 years ago. These new progressives spin social issues while ignoring the government reforms that protect those social issues.  Today's progressive city council use member items slush funds for their reelection campaigns and help the campaign consultants that elected them lobby city agencies on behalf of their clients who have hired them.  As life long progressive reporter Wayne Barrett demands to know why are progressives protecting a teachers union over students needs?  Today's progressives pols protect the UFT because of the major role that union played in getting them elected. It takes a neighborhood to build a moral compass. As the city continues to gentrify it is destroying local neighborhood structures that helped build our city's moral compass.  Even the black church's of central Brooklyn are selling to the real estate developers. The question must be asked what has happen to the moral compass that made New York for generations a class act.  It was in NYC that FDR's new deal reforms moral compass was born.

    Defining Deviancy Down Progressive Selfies
    In 1993, a man from from the greatest generation described what is happening to today's New York moral compass. When most of today's city council were in diapers Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan published an most important pieces of social theory entitled" Defining Deviancy Down." that explains their governing behavior. Moynihan believed that there is a limit to the amount of deviant behavior any community can "afford to recognize" His basic idea is that we had moved the bar for what we, as a culture and political behavior, defined as acceptable, down. Moynihan believed “we have been redefining deviancy so as to exempt much conduct previously stigmatized, and also quietly raising the ‘normal’ level in categories where behavior is now abnormal by any earlier standard.”  Moynihan would not be shocked by the fact that New York's voters have continue to reelect their Albany and City Council legislatures despite the dysfunctionalism and corruption that has destroyed the economy of the state and sent dozens of elected officials to jail, the poor into depression like suffering and the middle class fleeing the city.

    After the Spin That More Public Housing Repairs Are Being Made NYCHA Tenants Sue for Lack of Repairs
    'IT'S THE SAME': NYCHA residents still waiting for change after Mayor de Blasio's promises, from six months ago(NYDN)  Seventeen tenants sued NYCHA in June on behalf of DeWitt Clinton Houses' 1,700 residents, demanding the authority address dozens of repairs that date back years. While de Blasio's administration has made some changes, some tenants throughout NYCHA developments still suffer.

    Cuomo Uses the NYT Today to Spin For Gay Votes On this Pride Weekend
     Cuomo Plan Seeks to End New York’s AIDS Epidemic(NYT)
    Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he would announce on Sunday a plan for more-aggressive testing and treatment, a result of months of negotiations with AIDS activists.* Gov. Cuomo sets goal of ending AIDS epidemic by 2020(NYDN)

    Schools Chancellor Fariña Spins Generalities About Fixing Schools 
    Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña talks plans to fix city's most troubled classrooms(NYDN)
    When Chancellor Carmen Fariña was chosen about six months ago to lead the nation’s largest school system, she vowed to take a more aggressive approach to overhauling the city’s most troubled classrooms. In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, she unveiled some details of the plan. Fariña said the city’s efforts to target and address troubled schools are driven by her desire to create a more equitable system, with options for high-quality schools available to every New York family.  Daily News Goes After Teacher Tenure A children’s crusade(NYDN) Inspired by an earth-shattering California ruling that struck down teacher tenure laws as damaging to children, a group of families is set to challenge New York statutes that keep incompetent instructors in the classroom.  They are on the side of the angels.* Report Details Diversity of New York City Students(WSJ) The Independent Budget Office Report Also Found That 41% of City School Buildings Were Overcrowded


    If Your Trying to Kill Harlem King Rangel Make Sure You Kill Him 

     Who is Splitting Espaillat's Latino Vote as Espaillat Tries to Hang onto His State Senate? 

    Revenge Espaillat
    Gerson Borrero @GersonBorrero  ·  Jun 27
    Just confirmed Guillermo Linares collecting petitions for #nys31. This could get really bad for @EspaillatNY chances against @RJackson_NY

    Interesting That The Feds Waited Until After the Rangel Race to Drop This Shit
    In subsequent submissions to the immigration authorities, she falsely represented that her marriage had been bona fide, the government said. Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said that Ms. Rosa’s crimes “cut to the heart of her legal qualification to serve the people of the State of New York as a New York State assemblywoman.” “She gained the ability to run for that office only as a result of a yearslong immigration fraud, and then she compounded her lack of fitness to serve by defrauding a federal bankruptcy court,” Mr. Bharara said.* Rosa admits false marriage, forfeits Assembly seat(Capital) * Lawmaker pleads guilty to marriage fraudNYP) * ’Til jail do us part(NYDN Ed) Gabriela Rosa is a Knucklehead for staying in the public eye with a big bad secret
    Rosa's Campaign Consultant Red Horse Endorsed by the WFP

    Errol Louis ‏@errollouis 
    There's the problem. // RT @joshrobin: "I don't feel ashamed." --  @GabrielaRosaNYS, ousted and facing prison for marrying for green card.
    So @GabrielaRosaNYS tried to cheat every system she touched, including bankruptcy court & laws against foreign donors. Mark of a true crook.

    Gerson Borrero ‏@GersonBorrero 
    What do Miguel Martinez, Nelson Castro and Gabriela Rosa

    Charmian Neary ‏@CharmianNeary 
    Can we have a political amnesty period in NYS? If you just quit now, and go away, the crimes and deception you committed will go unpunished.

    NYPIRG Reports Exposes the Real Albany Work Load 

    Sen. Sampson said one word in past six months at legislative(NYP)ALBANY — Scandal-plagued state Sen. John Sampson may have set a new record for fecklessness — uttering just one word from the Senate floor during the last six-month legislative session. “Aye,” was the only sound emanating from Sampson’s lips in 84 hours and 58 minutes of meetings, where 1,460 bills were passed, according to records compiled by the good-government group NYPIRG.The terse remark by the Brooklyn Democrat came during a roll call vote on the Dream Act, which would have provided tuition aid to undocumented students had it passed.Like every other legislator, Sampson collects a salary of $79,500, plus daily per diems when he’s in Albany.A man of few words, Sampson had even less to say in public after being indicted last year on charges of embezzling funds from foreclosure sales when he served as a court-appointed referee.Earlier this year, new charges were added of lying to the FBI about ownership of a liquor store.* Sampson foe jumps on report embattled pol said just one word(NYP)

    Carmen Arroyo introduced one bill
     He will stand trial next year.While Sampson kept his thoughts to himself, Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) shared just about everything.She was tracked as the Senate’s top talker, spilling out 27,199 words during the session. Krueger is known for her willingness to debate bills and start conversations on just about any issue.Meanwhile, Assemblyman Jose Rivera (D-Bronx) didn’t introduce a single bill, while borough colleague Carmen Arroyo managed to sponsor just one piece of legislation.Two other legislators from the city had the worst attendance records. State Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan), who just lost a congressional primary to Rep. Charles Rangel, missed 891 votes and Assemblyman Micah Kellner (D-Manhattan), who was found to have harassed at least one female staffer, missed 937 votes.

    How Can the Mayor's Flacks Bully A Press That is Already Dead?
    PressNecrophilia . .  In America Today More Important to Spin or Control the Press Than Fixing Government
    'We need to attack, not react,' de Blasio press secretary tells PR staff in pep talk(NYDN)  When it comes to making it in the world's toughest media market, Mayor de Blasio's top spokesman apparently thinks the best defense is a good offense. “We need to attack, not react – no bunker mentality,” City Hall Press Secretary Phil Walzak said at a Thursday gathering of about 50 city agency PR staffers, according to a Daily News tipster. “Be aggressive. Tell your story loudly and proudly," Walzak urged the crew in his tough-guy pep talk, our source said."We live in a very combative media environment." Some who attended the gathering -- held to introduce the flacks to their new point woman, Andrea Hagelgans -- felt Walzak's advice was “over the top,” the insider added. The meeting came a week after de Blasio hired Hagelgans--who led Planned Parenthood’s aggressive response to the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to withdraw funding -- to coordinate media ops for his cabinet and all city agencies.Hizzoner decided to retool his press strategy after staggering through a series of PR fiascos early in his term. We have reached out to Walzak for comment, and will update if we hear back...

    Amazing How the Press Reports Campaign Spin As Real  . . .  Learned Nothing From Mayor's Race . . . Pathetic  

    Monday Update
    State Republicans slam Mayor de Blasio's push to regain Senate for Democrats(NYDN) The push by the mayor for Democratic control in Albany is being vilified as 'a city-led agenda that will stop at nothing to take from suburban taxpayers.'

    IDC-Dem Deal Really? No details formally announced. But sources say the alliance between Jeff Klein and Andrea Stewart-Cousins will "mirror" current IDC-GOP pact * IDC Agrees to Unite With Democratic Conference in Albany(NYO) * Why won’t the IDC and regular Senate Democrats reunify until after the November election? It’s a question of numbers. * Breakaway faction of Democrats in state Senate will joinparty in 2015 (NYDN) * Klein: To Be Clear, IDC Isn’t Rejoining Regular Dems(YNN) * IDC-Dem Deal Could Bring Valesky A GOP Challenger (Updated)(YNN) 

    SundayUpdate WDP Primary Still 
    Senate Dems still back IDC challenges, for now(Capital)

    Friday Update WDP Primary Backing Off
    IDC Senator David Carlucci will avoid a primary following this week’s agreement that the conference will work alongside the mainline Senate Democratic Conference.
    Meanwhile, a potential primary challenger to IDC Senator Diane Savino indicated he may back off his election bid.* Skelos Downplays Comparisons Between WFP, Conservative Party(YNN) * WFP Raises Off IDC-Dem Deal(YNN)*Five measures that could be law under Senate Democrats (LoHud)* Koppell: ‘No reason’ to end Klein challenge(Capital)
    .The IDC No Spin Zone
    SenatorSkelosis spot on here: rips Cuomo for Senate deal - Politics on the Hudson  * A post-election IDC-Democratic Senate reunification could result in fewer or less strenuous primary challenges against IDC members, but it could also mean a GOP opponent for one member where none previously existed, State of Politics reports: * Business groups are wary of the deal announced that could return control of the state Senate to the Democrats and many say they fear their four-year streak of pro-business legislation will soon come to an end, Crain’s reports:

    Former New York City councilman Robert Jackson kicked off his bid for state Senate today and will now face off against the incumbent, Adriano Espaillat, City & State reports:* Democrats and the Working Families Party are clear on what issues they would push to get into law if they win the Senate majority in November—public campaign financing, the Dream Act, abortion rights, increased minimum wage and a ban on fracking,Gannett Albany reports:  State of Politics explores the complicated nature of the Independent Democratic Conference’s announcement that it will rejoin the mainline Senate Democrats after November, noting that IDC Leader Jeff Klein and the “regular” Democratic leader will have to jointly agree on everything that comes to the floor for a vote:* * State Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos told WNYC listeners that his party would retain control of the Senate, despite his crumbling coalition with the Independent Democratic Conference, by taking out Democratic incumbents in contested districts, the Observer reports: * The decision by the Senate Independent Democratic Conference to work with the mainline Democrats next year will mean Sen. David Carlucci, who recently pledged to rejoin the Democratic Conference if the IDC didn’t break with the Republicans, will avoid a primary this year, Gannett Albany reports: 

    “I’m surprised with the governor for his capitulation to the Working Families Party and Bill de Blasio and their radical agenda,” Skelos said. The Long Island Republican noted how only four years ago Cuomo demanded that the liberal Working Families Party accept his centrist agenda.
     Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos slams Gov. Cuomo overbreakaway Dems (NYDN) The IDC’s abandonment of the Republicans to re-join the regular Democrats in a power-sharing deal is either an unmitigated disaster or a bonanza for liberal causes – depending on who you ask.* Sen. Tom Libous: “It’s basically Mayor de Blasio just doesn’t want to run New York City, he wants to run upstate New York and New York City, and some of things he represents is not what we represent in upstate.” * Senate Republicans are preparing to run against “ultra-liberal New York City radicals” who are working to empower “illegal immigrants” and stifle business, according to a set of talking points distributed to Republican senators. * Despite their conceptual deal, leaders of both Democratic conferences have so far refused to call for an end to a half-dozen primary challenges to incumbent senators that were put in motion in recent months as the rival factions geared up for electoral war.* Former NYC Councilman Robert Jackson announced his candidacy for Sen. Adriano Espaillat’s seat, and said he thinks the senator, who is now seeking re-election, is “exhausted” from his failed primary challenge to Rep. Charlie Rangel.* * State Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said Gov. Andrew Cuomo “sold his soul” to the Working Families Party and its “radical agenda” after Cuomo’s push to break up the IDC coalition, Newsday reports:  * Although the IDC announced it will abandon the state Senate Republicans, IDC members will still face primary challengers that have the support of advocates and legislators wary of the new conference, the Gotham Gazette reports: 

    Why Does Reporters Not Assume Doubt After the 2013 Promises Died?
    @SalAlbaneseNYC is not happy about LICH  @HuffPostNY "LICH Hospital already served its purpose as de Blasio's campaign prop."

    Is Rangel the Only Pol In This City That Will Not Be Bullied? 

    WFP More Powerful in Threatening Pols Than Winning Elections
    KLEIN, CUOMO ANNOUNCE SENATE COALITION: Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein announced a new coalition with mainline Democrats, but only after the November elections, City & State reports: Deal to End Senate Rift May Give Democrats Full Control in Albany(NYT)* NY1 ItCH: A Dark Day for the State GOP  New York State Senate Coalition Ends (WSJ)* Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos says NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to become the “de facto governor” if the Senate flips into the hands of downstate Democrats.

    No Unity Yet

    Joseph Esposito, who led the New York City Police Department’s responses to Hurricane Sandy and the Sept. 11 attacks, was named emergency management commissioner.* Emergency Chief Is Appointed (WSJ)

    Besides Pre-K Where are the News Education Programs From this Administration?  

     New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina is pushing schools to adopt previously abandoned, unstructured teaching methods that education experts argue is incompatible with Common Core standards, The New York Times writes: City classroom trailers no longer count as public school space(NYDN)
    *. Raising standards in New York’s schools(NYP)

    Beetle Lopez Juice Lives 

    Mayor As Union Organizer De Blasio hits road for national union event(NYP)

    Weiner on NY1 Does Not Think the Senate Deal Will Ever Happen - Delaying Tactic Until the Elections Over 2. Secret Offer On The Table TO Reunite Senate Dems and IDC: Source 
    Weiner None Believer in Democratic IDC Deal(NY1)
    The deal, brokered in part by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, would unify the two factions of Democrats in a coalition, with Jeff Klein as one of its co-leaders, a source with knowledge of the offer tells City & State: * De Blasio met yesterday with IDC members in hopes of convincing them to return to the regular Democratic conference. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top labor leaders were reportedly at the same meeting, at which an offer to reunite the IDC and mainline Dems was put on the table.* CUOMO, MAYOR MEET – “De Blasio huddles with IDC to talk about reconciliation,” by Capital’s Jimmy Vielkind: “New York City mayor Bill de Blasio met on Monday afternoon with state senators from the chamber's Independent Democratic Conference to discuss the possibility of a reconciliation with the chamber's mainstream Democrats, three people familiar with the meeting said.“The talks were described as still in the preliminary phase, one person said, and come as an array of Democratic officials and allied groups—including de Blasio himself—has threatened to back primary challengers to the five I.D.C. senators unless they agree to some sort of rapprochement.” “Secret offer on the table to reunite Senate Dems and IDC: Source,” by City and State’s Jon Lentz, Nick Powell and Morgan Pehme: “An offer is on the table to reunite the mainline Senate Democrats and the Independent Democratic Conference as the new State Senate majority … The offer came together … at a secret meeting in New York City that included Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, State Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Jeff Klein and representatives from several of the state’s most powerful unions. …“Klein would continue as co-leader of the Senate with a representative of the mainline Democrats—presumably either Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins or State Sen. Michael Gianaris, the leader of the Senate Democratic Conference’s campaign committee—replacing current Coalition Co-Leader Dean Skelos, the Senate Republican leader.
    “If the deal is accepted by all of the parties involved it would instantly bring about a profound sea change in New York politics, potentially deposing the Senate Republicans from power next session and moving the state farther to the left. It would also open up the possibility for a slew of progressive legislation to pass that has been stymied up to date as a result of opposition from the State Senate Republicans.” * De Blasio huddles with I.D.C. to talk about reconciliation(Capital)* The talks that took place were described by a source to Capital New York as still in the “preliminary phase.”* Cuomo’s Senate Republican Ties Remain Strong(YNN)* “I think we end up w/ an absolute majority & the IDCwould be making a mistake if they break the coalition,” Ed Cox.  * Even after Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed to help Democrats retake full control of the state Senate, Republicans are still appearing alongside the incumbent governor at events around the state, State of Politics reports: 

    Lipstick on the Election Law Pig
    Bill Hammond: “Cuomo will fittingly share the ballot this November with a proposed constitutional amendment that — depending on whom you ask — will either end the ugly practice of gerrymandering or merely put lipstick on the pig.”

    Union Deals  
    Bill de Blasio Strikes Tentative Labor Deal With Nurses and 1199 Members(NYO)* * The state Nurses Association and the 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East settled their contracts with New York City in a $879.3 deal that mirrors the pattern set by UFT, the Daily News reports: 

    NYPD to Examine If Decline of Stop and Frisk Increases Crime  
    The NYPD is analyzing data to determine if the decline in the number of stop, question and frisks is causing an increase in crime in the city, the Journal reports:

    No Extra Money for Vets but Money for Municipal ID
    The City Council voted to create the largest municipal ID program in the country, giving the city’s undocumented immigrants and the homeless a way to prove their identity and transgender people to self-designate their sex, the Daily News reports:

    As Half of Atlantic City Closes Down Why Are So Many Interested In Opening Gambling in NY?

    Casino Applications Flow In(YNN) More than a dozen gaming entities are submitting literally tons of paperwork to state regulators today to vie for casino licenses in the first round of siting.
    The applications require nearly 200 pieces of information including an explanation as to a cons

    A Hint At the Empty Values of NY's New Campaign Operatives  

    Anti-Israel rants on his Facebook
    Campaign aide axed for anti-Israel rant ALBANY — The campaign manager for Bronx state Senate candidate Oliver Koppell — a former field director for the Working Families Party — was fired Wednesday after The Post questioned...    “We live in the United States of Israel,” Robert Byrd Akleh wrote Sept. 21, 2011, the same day President Obama told the United Nations that America’s commitment to Israel was unshakable. A year later, Akleh was again railing against the Jewish state — this time for upsetting his outing to a Mets game.“Just my luck. I go to Citi Field to watch the Mets game and it turns out to be celebrate Israel night smh!!!! [shaking my head]” he complained on May 30, 2012.Israel wasn’t the only target of his social-media ire. Akleh blasted Gov. Cuomo as a “s–tbird” just three months ago, when state budget negotiations were in full swing.

    Who is Galante Rabbi and Why is This Corrupt Queens Libary Jerk Being Protected? 
    FRIDAY UPDATE Gonzalez: Embattled Queens Library director not getting $800G consulting job(NYDN) * Sack them all(NYDN) Bye-bye to Queens Library chief Tom Galante — and the board members who enabled his reign of greed. De Blasio and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz must fire all those who aided and abetted Queens Library chief Tom Galante and the board members who enabled him* The trustees of the Queens Library won’t be giving their controversial director, Thomas Galante, an $800,000 golden parachute after all. In fact, it looks like several of them won’t be trustees for much longer. Following a furious outcry from key city and state elected officials, , library officials postponed a vote that they had hastily scheduled for Thursday evening to consider an amendment to Galante’s contract. It would have allowed him to resign from his $392,000-a-year post and get a lucrative, two-year consulting job worth $800,000.
    EXCLUSIVE: Queens Public Library trustees plan to remove Galante as director — then give him consulting job that pays $800G(NYDN)* Cuomo Signs Bill Seeking Reforms at Queens Library (NYT)

    Shady library board plans to pull a fast one
    More on the Queens Library Scandal

    Progressive City Council and Their Tammany Hall Member Item Reelection Fund 
    as reporters eagerly await results, released doc, showing which local groups get tax $  Speakers list in @nyccouncil discretionary spending is more than 16 million* Mark-Viverito gives large chunks of funds to allies’ projects(NYP) Mark-Viverito’s new plan baselined each member’s district at $400,000, yet she still nearly doubled funding to projects sponsored by allies such as Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn) and Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Queens) through a pot of money that she alone controls. This included funding for LGBT, youth, immigrant and women’s initiatives — largely in her East Harlem district.Mark-Viverito also directed nearly $200,000 in improvements to a retail market known as “La Marqueta,” at Park Avenue and East 115th Street. The remainder of the Speaker’s List money went to initiatives sponsored either by council members or by caucuses — such as LGBT, Black, Latino and Asian, or borough-based delegations.* New York City Council Divvies Up Funds Called 'Pork'(WSJ)
    The New York City Council plans Wednesday to approve $50 million in discretionary funds to hundreds of community groups, defying Mayor Bill de Blasio's call for abolishing what some critics describe as "pork."* New poverty formula for member items gives most to@MMViverito  & some who didn'tsupport her(Capital)* The New York City Council plans today to approve $50 million in discretionary funds to hundreds of community groups, defying Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call for abolishing this type of government funding that some critics describe as “pork.”* NYC Council Speaker ­Melissa Mark-Viverito promised a fairer distribution of discretionary funds than in the days of predecessor Christine Quinn — but the largest piece of the pie still went to her and her friends.

    The City Budget Found No Extra Money For Veteran Despite Promises to Do So

    True News Called the Council's Member Items Reforms Bull Shit Before the Daily News, NYT

    Last Weeks Cartoon From True News Wags the NYT 

    Today's NYT writes that proposed rule changes to improve the legislative process for the New York City Council are good, but where the rules reform package doesn’t crack down harder on members’ ability to steal money is bad The City Council, Playing by Better Rules(NYT Ed) The New York City Council missed an opportunity by seeking to study “member items” rather than end these stipends that pad members’ salaries.

    De Blasio Says End Member Items Now  . . .  
    Bill de Blasio Says ‘It’s Time to End Member Items’(NYO)
    Mayor Bill de Blasio today repeated his opposition to City Council member items, setting himself up for a showdown in the coming months with council members, who rely on the millions of dollars to fund senior centers, parks and other projects in their districts, boosting their reputations in the process.

    Fake Council Progressives Have Removed Reform From the Progressive Movement

    Daily News Editorial  Stick a fork in the pork(NYDN Ed) The Council doubles down on "what, me worry?" as yet another member is arrested.  Following the arrest of Ruben Wills, Mayor de Blasio needs to stand up to objections from City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and push to abolish member items or require that all contracts be awarded based on competitive sealed bids.
    Councilman's Arrest Revives Debate on Grants(WSJ)

    NYT Endorsement is the Kiss of Death . . . Not Charisma Shown During Debate That Nobody Watched  
    Political analysis said Rep. Charles Rangel’s charisma during debates and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat’s alienation of Puerto Rican and black voters with his appeals to Dominican ethnic pride contributed to Rangel’s victory, The Times writes: Rangel Wins House Primary Rematch(NYT) * For Espaillat, Strong Start Was Marred by Missteps (NYT)

    Tuesday A Week After the NYT Continues to Explain Why Their Endorsed Candidate Lost
     The campaign between Rep. Charles Rangel and state Sen. Adriano Espiallat demonstrated Harlem is a community in flux: gentrifying, but with pockets of persistent poverty as well, the Times writes: 
    NY-13 — Harlem after Rangel — Times’ Nikita Stewart: The demographics are changing, and so is the economy of Harlem. Does the neighborhood that is also a global brand still need an iconic congressman like Charlie Rangel or Adam Clayton Powell Jr.? Stewart: “What does Harlem, in this day and age, really represent? … The Harlem where the streets bubbled with debates led by W.E B. DuBois, Malcolm X or Marcus Garvey is long gone. … Yet residents do not seem to be yearning for another Powell, or the next Rangel—or even this one—to lead them. … Harlem voters make up less than half of the congressional district, which includes a swath of the Bronx; more than half the district’s voting-eligible residents are Hispanics. More than ever, Harlem is less a clearly identified voting bloc than an idea. A brand.” -- 2016 candidate speculation: former governor David Paterson; former assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, Councilwoman Inez Dickens, Assemblyman and state Democratic Party chairman Keith Wright, and former White House aide Clyde Williams make the list. via News’ Jan Ransom:* WHY ESPAILLAT LOST: Gerson Borrero writes that infighting among Dominicans, including ongoing struggles between state Sen. Adriano Espaillat and former assemblyman Guillermo Linares, factored into Espaillat’s congressional loss:
    Thursday No congrats from de Blasio, Cuomo, or Obama: Rangel(NYP)


    Rangel calls de Blasio, Sharpton's neutrality 'strange' during race(NYDN)

    The NYT is losing the power to effect elections in NYC.  Does not look like their endorsement attracted any of their readers to vote against Rangel

    After Rangel Already
     Congressional hopefuls are already eying Rep. Charles Rangel’s seat, which will open up in 2017 when Rangel retires, and courting Rangel’s endorsement, the Daily News writes:
    Espaillat Concedes

    Espaillat Concedes to Rangel; Will Run for Re-election in Senate (Updated)(YNN)

    Rangel proves to be a sore winner after beating Espaillat(NYP) Rangel will never forgive Adriano Espaillat, whom he once privately described as a “punk,” according to sources in the congressman’s camp.* Rangel win helped by increased turnout from black neighborhoods(NYDN)* Forgotten ethnic factor helped Rangel win(NYP)* Adriano Espaillat Concedes to Charlie Rangel in Congressional Primary(NYO) * Mark-Viverito Argues Her Endorsement Was Still ‘Helpful’ to Espaillat(NYO) * New Class of Winners and Losers Emerges After Rangel Fells Espaillat(NYO) Winner  Rasheida Smith and Neal Kwatra:, 1199 SEIU:, Bill Clinton:The Central Harlem Democratic Establishment  Loser Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito:Rev. Al Sharpton: MirRam Group: The United Federation of Teachers:* * After loss to Rangel, Espaillat to focus on re-election in Albany (NYT)* Espaillat Concedes House Primary Race to Rangel(NYT)* @cbrangel reflects on how he won his primary contest on@InsideCityHall. (NY1) * Azi ‏@Azi   scoop: my interview with @EspaillatNY: 'I'm not upset. I'mhappy'(Capital)* Despite his loss, Espaillat insists he’s “happy” because he worked hard and made a “major statement” at the polls, considering “the whole Washington permanent government came out” in favor of Rangel.* Rep. Charles Rangel, who was censured by the House in 2010 for ethics missteps, is scrambling to amend his annual disclosure form after failing to report an all-expenses paid junket to China last year, the Daily News writes: 
    Rangel Says He Never Thought Bill Thompson Would Win the Mayoralty(NYO)* Mayor de Blasio has yet to wish Rep. Charles Rangelcongratulations on his big win (NYDN)* * State Sen. Adriano Espaillat missed 891 votes in the 2014 legislative session, leading every other lawmaker in the upper chamber, even Sen. Malcolm Smith, who was on trial for corruption charges this month , the Observer reports:* Breakdown of Primary Returns Shows How Rangel Won Re-election(NY1)

    Jail PR War Continues 
    Union vs New Commission and DOI (Mayor) All Dropping Stories Daily
    The city's most dangerous inmates will get more intensive mental health treatment — part of an effort to stave off violence behind bars. Mayor de Blasio earmarked $32.5 million, split between the correction and health departments, to create four observation units for the most aggressive inmates. Officials say about 20 to 40 inmates at a time — all of them with severe mental illnesses — will get customized treatment in the special units.

    Murdoch Throwing Stones At Corrupt Rangel In A Glass House 
    As the Owner of the Post is Question in England About the Conviction of His Paper's manager on phone hacking his NY paper calls NY Corrupt for Sending Rangel Back to Corrupt WashingtonRep. Charles Rangel’s reelection is another reminder of why New York has a reputation as one of the nation’s most politically corrupt states, the Post writes:
    UK phone hacking scandal: News Corp's Rupert Murdoch to bequestioned as Andy Coulson convicted
    When Tabloids Take the Low Road(NYT Ed) A former journalistic star and aide to David Cameron is convicted in the British phone-hacking scandal.

    "After nearly 44 years in office, it is now time for him to yield to the next generation." (NYT) @Azi @chrissmithnymag although the NYT is hilariously wrong.  Debate performances that nobody saw and 9 point increase in negs.  Cmon.

    Harlem Vote for Experience Wisdom Over Change and New Generation
    Gonzalez: Despite district changes, Rep. Charles Rangel proves he's not ready to go(NYDN)

    Beyond the Melting Pot Ethnic Racial Voting Divide
    The NYT Could Not Even Deliver the White vote to Espaillat
    Roger Stone ‏@RogerJStoneJr 
    @anniekarni Lis Smith/Eliot Spitzer hex more damaging than the Sheinkopf curse !
    Espaillat     20,84643.6%
    Walrond     3,7687.9%
    Garcia5051.1%  Rangel and Espaillat difference: 1,828 votes, out of 47,793 

    de Blasio Builds His Reelection Machine for 2017 
    Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a series of changes to make it easier for special-needs students in New York to receive private schooling at public expense.* De Blasio announces plan to smooth path for special-needs kids(NYP) * Mayor To Ease Reimbursement Process For Special Needs StudentsBringing a final settlement to an issue that has for decades vexed Orthodox parents of New York City’s special needs children, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that beginning in September the city will remove much of the bureaucratic red tape that was described by parents as a recurring nightmare.

    Brooklyn DA Johnson Also Investigation Hynes  

    DA probing Hynes for alleged improper use of forfeiture money(NYP)

    de Blasio to Rent Out Park Slope Home  
    De Blasio to rent family’s home while living in Gracie Mansion(NYP)

    RIP Queens GOP Boss Ragusa 
    PHIL RAGUSA, 74—Longtime Queens GOP chair dies—Daily News’ Lisa Colangelo and Celeste Katz: Phil Ragusa, chairman of the Queens County Republican Party, died Tuesday after a battle with leukemia. He was 74. "Chairman Ragusa had dedicated his life to serving his community, the Republican Party and particularly his friends and family. He has been chairman of the Queens Republican Party since 2007 and will be sorely missed," the GOP said in a statement. The soft-spoken Ragusa passed away at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, according to a spokesman. The party leader "will be remembered for his integrity and commitment to the democratic process and was viewed by many as not just a friend but a mentor."

    WFP Caused the Walmartization of NY's Politics . . . Using the Wal-Mart Business Model to Win Campaigns and Drive Out the Competition 
    NYC does not have a single Walmart because of the WFP and their friends in the progressive movement protesting the company unfair business practices. The protesters accuse Wal-mart of bulk purchasing and corporate financing to sell merchandise at low costs in order to drive competitors out of the market.  WFP says the Wal-Mart's business model pushes mom and pop business out of the market creating an economic monopoly.  It is now clear that the WFP has use the Wal-Mart unfair business model to take over NY's politics by using unfair economic advantages.  In 2009 the WFP created Data and Field as a for profit company to give them competitive advantages in campaigns.     

    Centralization of Money And Campaign Consultants Taking the Power Out of the Local Communities to Choose Who Represent Them
    WFP, Unions and Developers Sucking the Life Out of NYC Neighborhoods
    Date and Field was a complicated web of coordinated campaign services at reduced prices, shared resources and staff, and quiet money transfers between six 2009 Council campaigns, as well as Bill de Blasio’s campaign for public advocate. Upwards of a million dollars, and possibly more, was involved, with over $1.7 million in matching funds comprised of taxpayer dollars already disbursed and more are potentially was at stake. Data and Field was forced to shut down as part of a lawsuit settlement against Councilwoman Debi Rose, filed by five Staten Island voters. The voters alleged that Rose was under billed for a services provided by Data and Field Services (DFS), a political company created by the WFP. Rose should have paid DFS $100,000, but the lawsuit alleged that her campaign was under billed because she was endorsed by the Working Families Party, which violates election laws. After years fighting in court the Staten Island DA has just won the right to use a special prosecutor to investigate Data and Field.  Special prosecutor Roger Adler will be looking at all the campaigns run by Berlin Rosen, which is now the house lobbyists for City Hall that received funding and services from Data and Field, including Bill de Blasio, Brad Lander, Debi Rose, Daniel Dromm,  Jumaane Williams and Melissa Mark-Viverito.

    NYCLASS, United for the Future PACs in 2013, Like Data and Field in 2009 Also Gave Unfair Advantage to WFP Candidates
    It is clear that the WFP completed the Wal-Martization of NYC politics in the 2013 municipal election. Data and Field was not longer available to the WFP so they developed a close working relationship with two PACs, NYCLASS and United for the Future. A PAC funded by the UFT. We know that the Advance Group is under FBI and CFB investigation for their role in running NYCLASS.  We also know that two council members have been fined for their campaigns being run by Advance and receiving mailings by the Advance run PAC NYCLASS.  The CFB said the campaigns of Laurie Cumbo and Mark Levine (both WFP endorsed) were illegally coordinated and received unfair economic advantage. Melissa Mark-Viverito another WFP candidate also was funded by NYCLASS.   What is unclear is if the CFB or the FBI is looking at the unfair advantage other WFP endorsed candidates received by PACs connected to their campaign consultants. The same political consultant that benefited from Data and Field Berlin Rosen were side by side with Advance in the 2013 WFP campaigns of fine candidates Mark Levine, Laurie Cumbo.  Berlin Rosen also worked in the campaigns of WFP candidates funded by the UFT Advance run United for the Future PAC: Corey Johnson, Kirsten J Foy, Rory Lancman and Ydanis A Rodriguez.    The Advance Group involvement in the UFT PAC United for the Future was covered up by the UFT who paid the consultant though a fake company.  The following additional WFP candidate received funding by the United for the Future PAC: Rosie Mendez, Vanessa L Gibson and Alan Maisel. Red Horse another consultant that worked for United for the Future PAC also got funding for two of their WFP back candidates Ritchie Torres, Paul Vallone.

    Election Day in the 13th CD 

    Rangel: Leaders who abandoned me ‘made one hell of a mistake’(NYP)
    * After voting in today’s congressional primary, Rep. Charles Rangel reflected on his more than four decades in Congress, while state Sen. Adriano Espaillat looked to the future, the Daily News reports:
    * Espaillat wants everyone to be aware of the “widespread voting problems” that occurred in 2012, the last time he faced Rep. Charles Rangel in an election, Business Insider reports:

    * Rangel told radio listeners that Mayor de Blasio told him privately he was backing Pastor Mike Walrond—a third contender in the 13th Congressional District race—for Rangel’s seat, in spite of the fact that de Blasio said earlier this month he would not endorse in the race, the Observer reports:
    And while we wait to see if turnout stinks... Document Drop: The price of NY primaries (NYDN)
    * Here’s a list of the top contributors to contestants in today’s New York congressional primaries, courtesy of Maplight, which follows the impact of money on Congress, and Capitol Confidential: 

    Charlie Rangel-ing for voters(NYP) * Rangel and Espaillat Make Final Push on Eve of Primary(NYT) *
     Rangel, Espaillat make final campaign push prior to vote(NYDN) * Local rapper Fireboy LD creates song for 'superfly' Rep. Charlie Rangel ahead of election(NYDN) * Adriano Espaillat woos voters to NY-13 primary polls with merengue melody(NYDN) * * On the eve of the 13th congressional district Democratic primary, for which polls are open until 9 p.m., Rep. Charles Rangel and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat held news conferences a block apart, touching off a shouting match between supporters, the Times reports:  * While politicos and the media have been fixated on the Rangel-Espaillat race, some 13th congressional district residents are uninterested in the historic election, the Daily News writes: 
    Rangel: "If you had an old racehorse and he kept winning... why would you get a colt that doesn't know where the track is..."*The Espaillat insider said the campaign sent six “targeted” mailers—nothing districtwide—and “householded” the mailers, meaning multiple voters living in the same address only received one piece. The mailers were all positive because they had to introduce the candidate and there wasn’t anything new that voters were going to learn about Rangel that would change their mind—his supporters were unmovable. The challenge, this person said, is simply getting more voters who have proven they’re engaged enough to show up to a congressional race in June, but are looking for an alternative to the well-known congressman. *The Primary has a musical side. Rangel's campaign has a rap;Espaillat's, a classic merengue(NYT)* .@cbrangel said @billdeblasio told him he was supportive of@MikeWalrond. via @geraldorivera #ny13  Adriano Espaillat Proudly Votes for Himself on Primary Day. *For Maybe the Last Time, Charlie Rangel Votes for Himself(NYO)
    To Read More About the Campaign in the 13th

    NYC Unemployment Continues to Lags 

    New York City Unemployment Continues To Lag(YNN) Meanwhile, unemployment in the Bronx stands at 10.6 percent and in Kings County, it’s 8.6 percent.

    After Lossing Millions With LICH Hospital McCall Stays On At SUNY 
    Carl McCall was reappointed as chair of the SUNY Board of Trustees.
    LICH Leftovers: This is the second in a series of posts on the 2013 New York City mayor's race and the issues...
    Errol Louis ‏@errollouis 

    @SalAlbaneseNYC is not happy about LICH  @HuffPostNY "LICH already served its purpose as de Blasio's campaign prop."

    The .0003% Potemkin WFP Party
    There is no doubt that the WFP is the most powerful party in New York politics today, after taking over City Hall and making the govern of the empire state gravel on video to gain their support.  What is at question is who does the Working Families Party represent and how do they operate.  In a city that has 8,337,000 residents, the WFP has 2529 active members that voted in the 2013 election, just .0003% of NYC voting population.  Political parties in NYC were designed by district to give a voice to each neighborhood in the city.  At the height of the Tammany Hall Democratic Party, there were over 400 clubs representing the neighborhood in the city. Many in the same neighborhood competing against each other.  There’s was more to the Tammany Hall story than corruption. Tammany Hall’s leaders delivered social services and took care of the residents of their district problems. They massaged justice at a time when the poor did not have access to public defenders. They gave food and jobs to those who need them.  In short Tammany Hall power came from delivering services to the voters.  Political parties today like the WFP gain their power by controlling ballot access, campaign  consultants, lobbyist and money.  Bloomberg paid millions for the GOP and Independent party line when he was mayor.  Malcolm Smith tried to buy the GOP line from two party leaders who are under indictment.  Not only are registered voter in the Independence Party not receiving the services that Tammany Hall democratic were provided at the turn of the century, but as the Daily News proves over and over again those IP  registered voters have no idea they belong to a real party, they think they are just independent.  

    WFP Making the Progressive Movement into A Cult That Cuts Out Its Traditional Reform Services Roots to A Narrow Union Protection Racket
    Yesterday lifelong progressive wrote that the WFP was exploited by the union interests that bankroll it.  "With de Blasio and the UFT-financed Working Families Party as allies, the union is hijacking the very language of progressive movement politics, annexing left journalism to defend its narrowest interests and even recruiting progressives to join its war against charter schools that work for kids." Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labour began her reform of America's labor laws working side by side with Tammany Hall to reform the city's building code after the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire. Perkins came to Roosevelt's cabinet from a career championing workers' rights. An outspoken graduate from Mount Holyoke, she began work as a social reformer as part of Tammany Hall well before women won the right to vote. A defining moment for her was the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911: 146 garment workers, most of them young immigrant women, died as an overcrowded factory burned down in Greenwich Village. Perkins, who had been having tea with friends nearby, witnessed the tragedy from the pavement, watching young women leap to their deaths from the upper floors. She vowed to redouble her efforts and became an adept political operator, working with the famously corrupt Democrats in Tammany Hall.


    The WFP Took Over Politics Because the Other Parties in the City Are Not Real Also
    All the parties have let the voters of NYC down.  The middle class who they were supposed to serve are fleeing the city fueled by political leaders who fund tax breaks for real estate developers that gentrify (increase rents) in neighborhoods they live in . The poor who the parties were designed to help in exchange for their vote have increased in numbers. It is no surprise that the WFP was able to march in with a slick PR campaign and take over. The Independence Party has no power to win votes.  It candidate the only Latino in the race in the 2013 mayoral campaign got less than 1% of the vote in the general election.  The GOP is down to just 6 elected officials in a city with over 130 elected positions.  Most importantly the leadership of the city's dominant Democratic Party has lost the ability to work together and elect citywide candidates.  Rudy Giuliani, Mike Bloomberg, the loss of the council speaker position by Queens Boss Crowley and the fact that not one democratic county leader supported de Blasio for mayor in the primary,  show you just how out of touch the democrats aging party leadership has become.   

    At the Least the WFP Has Played Fast and Lose With the Election Laws
    The WFP took advantage of the weakness of the city's other parties and low voter participation, by putting together a smart and sharp coalition with the unions that knows how to run campaigns and has no fear about breaking election laws to elect their candidates or threatening primaries against candidates that don't follow their orders.  The WFP campaigns against the IDC candidates this year show how aggressive and coordinated their quest for power has become. Many of today's elected officials come from the political class (working for other elected officials) and have no strong political support from the district they were elected from. In other words they do not have the power to stand up to the special interests.  The Data and Field scandal in 2009 and the NYCLASS scandal shows their coalition willingness to violated election laws to gain power. The buzz in political circles has been that anyone of these two scandals could take down the WFP, even the mayor. But the Buzz today is that the Yoda governor can accomplish the begin of the destruction of the WFP with one move.
    Competition On the Left is the Way to Stop or Slow Down the WFP Invasion of New York's Government
    Listening to an interview on Cassimatis’ round table today with Exec. Dir. of the Liberal Party Martin Hassner, one get the feeling that it would be OK with the party if Cuomo also ran on his its line this year.  By agreeing to run on the Liberal line Cuomo not only gives the party back a permanent ballot line, but set up competition on the progressive side for a party and coalition that has pushed him or tried to push him around, on issues like charter schools, the IDC-GOP Senate coalition and increasing taxes. It would also make some of Cuomo's GOP money people very happy. Some say that Zephyr Teachout run as a democrat, with a WFP operative as her campaign manager, is an insurance policy by the WFP leadership to keep Cuomo from taking the Liberal Line. Stay Tuned. What is clear is that when comparing the role of political parties today with the Tammany Hall era, the corruption is the same, but instead of serving the voters like Boss Tweed or Boss de Sapio did, modern day party leaders are all about deceiving the voters and only helping their friends.The campaign year's third petition period looms on L.I.(Newsday)
    More About WFP, Acorn 2.0 and the New Progressive Machine 
    WFP, Cuomo, IDC and Koppell Klien Race 

    The Rent Battle 1% 
    The New York City Rent Guidelines Board voted not to follow Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call to freeze rents, instead opting for historically low increases of up to 1 percent for one-year leases and 2.75 percent for two-year lease
    Rent Guidelines Board member who voted down the rent freeze took off on a plane(NYDN)
    Steven Flax, a banker who was appointed by Mayor de Blasio but disregarded the mayor’s support for a rent freeze for stabilized tenants, was too upset to explain his vote, she said.
    Transparency Law Gave Landlords Edge in Rent Vote (WSJ)
    Rent-stabilized apartments to get 1 percent increase on one-year leases, 2.75 percent for two-year leases: (NYT) * De Blasio: Rent increase 'not a surprise' (Capital)
    De Blasio's Appointees On Rent Board Vote In Favor Of 'Modest' Rent Increase
    * De Blasio said he disagrees with the vote to modestly increase rents for regulated apartments by the Rent Guidelines Board, and left open the possibility of replacing some of the board's members in the future, Crain’s reports: 
    Rent Guidelines Board enacts NYC’s lowest-ever rent hike*NYP)
    The board that regulates rents for nearly one million apartments in New York City voted on Monday night to allow the lowest percentage rent increase of its 45-year-existence, though it rebuffed calls from Mayor Bill de Blasio for a freeze.* How New York’s taxes drive up rents(NYP)*ANTI-FREEZE: Rent board decision to approve 1% hikes for 1-year leases in city sparks protests by furious tenants 
    Report on heated #rentfreeze debate last night at RentGuidelines Board, via @citylimitsorg
    Mayor for rent(nyp)
    Rent irregulation(NYDN)

    Mayor de Blasio fell just short of getting the rent freeze he had ordered up. But make no mistake: The 1% hike on one-year leases approved Monday night by the Rent Guidelines Board — a historic low — is very much a victory for his populist reign.

    Rent board rejects freeze, votes 1% hikes for 1-year leasesin city  
    Rent board rejects freeze,(NYDN) approves 1% hikes for 1-year leases in city The nine-member panel voted 5-4 to reject the proposed freeze favored by Mayor de Blasio on Monday. Angry tenants stormed the stage after the vote while landlords also fumed, saying the low hikes weren’t much better than a freeze.

    How New York’s taxes drive up rents(NYP Ed)*The Daily News writes that by calling for no rent increases and leading the charge on Long Island College Hospital, Mayor Bill de Blasio created unreasonable expectations, but now the demands of governing appear to have taught him the lesson that wishing will not make it so  Facing Pressure From Tenant Groups, Board Is Set to Vote on Rent Freeze (NYT) For the first time in its history, the Rent Guidelines Board may vote to freeze rent prices for one year for nearly 1 million apartments in New York City. * The New York City Rent Guidelines Board is set to vote today on whether it will freeze rent increases for the first time since its formation in 1969, something landlords argue will set a dangerous precedent* The rent is due(NYDN) An increase of zero breaks the law of economics* De Blasio to rent board: 'Think deeply' Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday stopped short of calling for a rent freeze for the city’s nearly 1 million rent-regulated apartments, despite supporting one during his 2013 campaign. Mr. de Blasio instead called on the Rent Guidelines Board, which will vote on regulated rents Monday, to “think deeply” about what he described as New York’s affordability crisis. [MetropolisPlus: The de Blasio administration’s plan to build and preserve 200,000 affordable-housing units launched amid sharp criticism from one tenant advocate. [The Insider]* Final Vote Tonight on Proposed Rent Hikes (NY1)* @BilldeBlasio calls for 1-year rent freeze, contradictingwhat one of his aides @DMAliciaGlen saidvia @andyjayhawk* Mayor Bill de Blasio Calls for Rent Guidelines Board to Freeze Rates(NYO)

    Landlords Greed Driving Out Businesses 
    THE BUZZ -- “Union Square Cafe Joins Other Victims of New York City’s Rising Rents” by Times’ Julia Moskin: “Restaurants help revitalize neighborhoods, then are forced to close when their rents skyrocket. The latest casualty is Union Square Cafe, a pioneering restaurant that became the mother ship of the fleet run by the entrepreneur Danny Meyer. It will forfeit its lease at the end of next year, close its doors and move to a location to be determined. The East 16th Street space it has occupied for nearly 30 years will go on the market this week, brokers said. …“[T]he real estate market in Union Square — once a squalid haven for drug users that is now home of the city’s largest farmers’ market and a thriving food, culture and retail ecosystem — has become so profitable that the kind of sweetheart deals available there in 1985 have become untenable. When Mr. Meyer opened his doors that year, … the rent was $8 per square foot, for a total of about $48,000 a year. … [B]rokers at Robert K. Futterman say they plan to ask $650,000 a year for the lease.”* A New York City restaurant crisis? Baloney(NYP)

    City Finally Going After Bad Taxi Drivers 

    New law slams brakes on reckless cabbies(NYP)

    Cuomo Campaign 
    GOP candidate Rob Astorino's first ad, comingMonday, takes swings at Gov. Cuomo with baseball theme(NYDN) * Top state Senate Republican to Mayor do Blasio: Going afterDemocratic chamber control a 'serious gamble'(NYDN)* The first statewide television campaign ad for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is set to air today and seeks to portray the state as losing under Gov. Andrew Cuomo * State Republicans are looking through public records for the names of clients of Sandra Lee, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s girlfriend, to see if they’re doing business with the state or trying to influence state policy, the Post’s Fred Dicker reports: * The Post writes that while Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ads say New York is ranked second in the country in new, private-sector job-creation, some data shows that New York’s economic growth ranked 46th in the nation last year: * Democratic insurgent Zephyr Teachout is urging voters to reject a constitutional amendment establishing a new redistricting commission, saying it’s an “incumbent protection scheme” representing a glaring broken promise by Cuomo.* Cuomo scores some wins on fiscal issues in the 2014 legislative session, but didn’t manage to get agreements on key liberal issues that will now become fodder for the campaigns – especially in the state Senate.* Teachout goes after Cuomo’s redistricting compromise(Capital) Insurgent professor urges voters to reject a constitutional amendment* Astorino versus Cuomo’s Republican allies(Capital) * Zephyr Teachout unlikely to beat Cuomo in primary, but herrunning mate, Tim Wu, may fare better * .@RobAstorino versus @NYGovCuomo's Republican allies,@CTLizB reports for Capital GOP Attorney General Hopeful John Cahill Backs Airbnb and Uber(NYO) * Eric Schneiderman campaign blasts back at GOP opponent'sattack on AG's approach to crime Cuomo Touts His End Of Session Accomplishments(NYO) * Schneiderman, Cahill Trade Blows On Anti-Crime Efforts(YNN)* Astorino Expects Senate Republicans To Fall In Line(YNN) * Cuomo 2014 Highlights Personal Stories(YNN) * Astorino: Help Keep My Ad On The Air(YNN)* It’s only June, and the mud is already flying in the governor’s race.* GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino’s campaign has been robocalling about Cuomo’s property taxes.
    2014 Gov Race: Cuomo, Astorino 

    A Coming Lesson In Democracy and NY's Gatekeeping  Election Law for Professor Teachout 
    NY's Election Law Proctology Exam
    Ballot-Bumping in New York (Gotham Gazette)  In New York, which has some of the most complicated election laws in the nation, knocking your opponent off the ballot is a routine aspect of the political game. Every year, dozens of candidates are eliminated on technicalities. And many more potential challengers did not even bother running, knowing that they would face huge legal bills and hours in court defending their right to run. The process not only limits voters' choices, but it means the candidates spend more time in court than they do meeting the voters and hearing their concerns.

     "In New York, politics is a blood sport," said election lawyer Henry Berger, who now work in the administration of his 2013 client de Blasio. n California, one need only gather 65 signatures and pay $3,500 to get on the ballot for governor. In New York City, a candidate for the far more lowly post of City Council has just a few weeks in the summer to collect at least 900 signatures from voters in their district who are also registered in their political party. And the candidates have to make sure that the petitions, the pieces of paper where the signatures are collected, adhere to every little rule. No fourth-grade penmanship teacher was ever as strict. Most experienced candidates, knowing that they will end up in court defending their petitions, collect 2,000 to 3,000 signatures. The concept of gathering signatures on petitions dates back to the late 19th century. It was supposed to help eliminate the political parties' control of the ballot, according to Douglas Kellner, a commissioner at the Board of Elections.Ironically, these rules set up over a century ago to assure a more open, honest and democratic process of elections have become just the opposite -- a powerful tool for political parties and incumbents to maintain their advantage. To these New York politicos, the best elections are those in which there is only one candidate left on the ballot for voters to choose. Many incumbents, backed by their political party, have teams of lawyers who will go over a challenger's signatures, line by line, looking for minor mistakes misspellings, and voters who have signed petitions not knowing whether they live in the district or not.

    Good Government Groups Have Failed to Reform NY Corrupt Election Law.  Only Changes in the last 40 Years Occurred After McCain was Knocked Off the Presidential Ballot in 2000
    New York's Byzantine election laws received national attention in 2000, when Arizona Senator John McCain, who was running against George W. Bush in the Republican Presidential Primary, was knocked off of the ballot by his own party.  At the time, New York's election law required that a candidate collect thousands of signatures from each of the 31 congressional districts across the state, including areas of the city with few Republicans. Governor George Pataki, who supported Bush, used the laws to keep McCain out of the running. McCain, who had already won the New Hampshire Primary, denounced the state's "Stalinist politics." A federal judge eventually put McCain back on the ballot, but not before dozens of editorials across the country mocked New York's political process. That same year, Republican Steve Forbes spent $750,000 just to get on the primary ballot. After the national embarrassment, state lawmakers instituted reforms. But local races are still decided as much in the courtroom as in the voting booth. The battles make for some very bizarre tales. "Often it appears that candidates spend more time in court trying to knock each other from the ballot than they do explaining themselves to potential voters," Governor Mario Cuomo wrote in the New York Law Journal. "The State has no interest in denying qualified candidates an ability to be on the ballot and to be judged on their own merit. Unfortunately, New York's ballot access law does just that."

    Brooklyn BP None Profit Trip
     Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and his deputy, Diana Reyna, took an 11-day trip to China to promote economic development and tourism paid for by a nonprofit run by a volunteer staff member, the New York Post reports:f

    NYP Attacks Pirate de Blasio On Economy But Ignores the Naked Ladies . . . Boring 

    Pirate Bill and the de Bluesios: NYC mayor in Mermaid Parade(NYP)  His scoundrel-of-the-sea costume dripped with irony, critics charged. “You could call it a pirate theory. It’s finding a way to reach into the pockets of people who have worked hard and done well for themselves,” said Mike Long, chairman of the Conservative Party of New York State. “His city budget increased by 5 billion — ultimately, someone will have to pay for that.” Paradegoers also feared the lanky seaman will sink the city’s economy. “It’s good that he’s a pirate. It screams liberal. I’m a little worried. The economy might collapse under him,” said Jacob Bouchard, 36. De Blasio is the first mayor to ever march in the wet-and-wild event, for which his children, Dante and Chiara, wore blue body paint and led the parade dressed as its King Neptune and Queen Mermaid. * De Blasios don costumes for Mermaid Parade in Coney Island(NYDN)* The 2014 Mermaid Parade: Dante and Chiara de Blasio's Coney Island Coronation(NYMAG)

    de Blasio Wedding Man and Taking the Tale of 2 Cities National 
    De Blasio is launching a national mayoral task force to address issues of economic inequality, which he called “a threat to our fundamental values.”* In July, de Blasio will officiate at his sixth wedding since taking office, an average of about one ceremony a month. That is twice as many weddings as his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, performed over 12 years.* “De Blasio Seeks to Alter Entry Plan for NYC Elite Schools,” by Bloomberg’s Henry Goldman: “de Blasio … said he wants to end a 43-year policy that restricts admission at the city’s elite high schools to students who score highest on a standardized test. The rule has been debated since a 1971 state law made the test the only criteria to gain entry to eight specialized public schools that offer college-preparatory curriculum … Bills in the legislature backed by the teachers union and set to be reintroduced next year would allow use of other measures, including grades, attendance and scores on other exams.‘I do not believe a single test should be determinative, particularly for something that is as life-changing for so many young people,’ de Blasio said last week. … His son, Dante, attends Brooklyn Technical, one of the specialized high schools that would be affected. … De Blasio’s criticisms echo questions about high-stakes testing that former Mayor John Lindsay raised more than 40 years ago.” --“Mayors Led by De Blasio Create Inequality Task Force,” “U.S. mayors led by … de Blasio are creating a task force to examine ways to combat the economic inequality in America’s cities. … De Blasio, who has made universal pre-kindergarten and affordable housing priorities of his administration, announced the creation of the task force during the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Dallas along with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, president of the cities’ group.” * The Daily News writes that some of the Mayor's recent effortscreated unreasonable expectations(NYDN)

    Daily News Only Reports on the Alliance of the Mayor and the UFT, But Does Not Explain Where the Union Got the Power to Control A Mayor

    A lifelong progressive's case against the teacher's union 
    Errol Louis ‏@errollouis 
    A Must Read: Wayne Barrett slams "unholy alliance" between .@BilldeBlasio and .@uft as far from progressiveDe Blasio’s embrace of the teachers union isn’t progressive; it’s political

    Barrett Blasts City Progressives Movement and UFT
     With de Blasio and the UFT-financed Working Families Party as allies, the union is hijacking the very language of movement politics, annexing left journalism to defend its narrowest interests and even recruiting progressives to join its war against charter schools that work for kids.Seen through a progressive lens, all that should matter in these school skirmishes is whether a charter, a contract or an employment rule benefits students. Whenever progressive Democrats instead choose teacher power over the futures of minority kids, they are putting a big bucks lobby ahead of a core but comparatively powerless constituency.

    Barrett Says the WFP is Exploited exploited by the interests that bankroll it
    You may, for example, have gotten the impression, when the WFP appeared poised last month to nominate charter foe Diane Ravitch to oppose Gov. Cuomo, a charter champion, in his reelection bid, that these nonprofit-run public schools are a Republican hedge-fund conspiracy. That's what the WFP, a sometimes-blunt instrument exploited by the interests that bankroll it, and 75-year-old Ravitch, the adopted guru of the UFT and de Blasio administration, would have us believe.

    As quiet as it's kept, de Blasio is the only mayor of one of America's 10 largest cities, almost all Democrats, who isn't a charter booster
    Democrats like Dean and others have seen through the "privatization" trashing of charters by Ravitch and the union, recognizing that there's no structural difference between the non-profits that run public school charters and the ones that operate Head Start, day care and pre-K programs. For his part, de Blasio has never explained what distinguishes maligned charter non-profits from the ones that will run 60% of his celebrated new pre-K classrooms.The only difference, in fact, is that most charters, unlike other nonprofit education providers, opt out of contracts like the UFT's 200-page straitjacket that micromanages the school day and imposes an assembly-line mentality on schools - one that charters have exposed as dysfunctional. Charter opposition is now reflexively used in New York City as a progressive barometer, regardless of the overwhelming evidence of their benefits to mostly black children, with 63% of the schools here outperforming traditional schools in math, for example.

    The UFT is Not the Democratic Bastion It Claims to Be In fact, until the union jumped on de Blasio's bandwagon in the sure-win race last November, it had not endorsed a Democratic mayoral candidate since 1989 - with the exception of 2001, when it picked three losers, one in the primary (Alan Hevesi), one in the runoff (Ferrer) and one in the general (Mark Green).How can any of this be progressive? It's special interest protectionism and patronage at its worst. The question is not whether these insurmountable layers of teacher insulation are "valuable" to the system. The question is whether they help kids. Isn't that the only truly progressive measure? * The Naked Self-Interest of the Government-Worker Class 

    The Record # of Incumbents Defeated in the 1972 (McGoven) Primary Led to NY's Separate and Unequal Turnout  Primaries 

    Primary Waste
    THE IRRATIONALITY OF MULTIPLE PRIMARIES: New York State's multiple primaries don't just fleece taxpayers, they also drive down New York's already abysmal voter turnout, writes Dr. Jeanne Zaino in City & State:

    The McGoven Primary Lesson Still Rules

    40 Years Ago George McGovern Pull Out Thousands of New Voters in A Primary, A Lot of Albany Incumbents Lost - Schumer and Holtzman and Others Entered

    By not consolidating state and federal primaries into one day, taxpayer money is wasted and incentives are created for politicians to run for multiple offices at once without any real consequences, former New York City Councilman Adam Clayton Powell 4th writes in the Daily News: 
    Why 2 Primaries in Presidential Election Years
    An Expensive and Unnecessary Election(NYT Ed) The extra New York State primary will cost state taxpayers $50 million for their trouble. New York State is poised to put voters through another needlessly expensive election year. Instead of taking the sensible route — one primary to pick party candidates and one general election to pick ultimate winners — New York is scheduled to have an extra primary. That means three elections when two are enough. The extra primary will cost state taxpayers $50 million for their trouble. The Assembly was right to challenge this scenario with a bill providing for federal, state and local primaries on the fourth Tuesday in June (the 24th this year). That gives officials plenty of time to count ballots and announce nominees for the November general election. It also allows the state to comply with federal law that requires primaries to be held early enough so that troops overseas can get ballots and mail them back in time to be counted. The Senate, however, has yet to agree to a single June primary. Its members want a federal primary in June and a separate state and local primary (which would include their own primary elections) in September. It’s been that way for 40 years, and the Senate, which is now almost evenly divided between the two major parties, seems intent on resisting change.

    Daily News Failed to Report the Illegal Crime That Gave the UFT the Ability to Control Albany
    UFT Power in Campaigns is Why the City's Pols Fear the Union 

    Bad teacher bailout(NYP)
    Cuomo calls himself “the students’ lobbyist.” But “teachers’ lobbyist” might be more appropriate, given the legislation he just pushed through. Think of it as the “Bad Teacher Protection Act.”...

     Daily News Says Albany Failed the Teacher Evaluation Test  

    Cuomo and state lawmakers reach a deal on a short-term change to the teacher evaluation law through 2015 that would give poorly rated instructors two ratings—one under the current system, and a new "safety net" rating that excludes the Common Core test scores—and parents will see both, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * The president of NYSUT—the statewide teachers union—backed Cuomo’s proposal to delay the impacts of Common Core testing on teacher evaluations, referring to the move as a “pause button,” State of Politics reports:  New York is poised to become the latest state to allow medical marijuana, but with a ban on smoking as well as a “fail safe” option that allows the governor to pull the plug based on recommendations from health and law enforcement officials.* NYSUT Backs Evaluation ‘Pause Button’(YNN)* Albany OKs Common Core reprieve for low-rated teachers(NYP)* The Daily News writes that local tests are set to be the only objective measure in the new teacher evaluation system, meaning a heavy burden will fall on de Blasio and schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to distinguish the best from the worst:*Teacher Contract  Teacher Contract Change Is Altering Schools’ Hours(NYT) Because of changes in the new teachers’ contract, a number of schools are moving up the start of the-school day, and more than a few parents are not happy about it.*Failing the evaluation test (NYDN Ed) Albany retreats from rigor in measuring teacher performance*Less School Hours Because the new New York City teachers’ contract requires that time be spent on professional development and communication with parents, some schools are moving up the start and end of their school day, The New York Times writes

    Daily News UFT Advance Group Blinders Led to the Pause Button in Teacher Evaluation 
    If the  Daily News is So Worried About Delays in Teacher Evaluations The Must Looking into the Power of the UFT to Control Elections and What They Did to Win Counicl Races In 2013
    Daily News 
    No Right to Cry
    The Advance Group also faces a CFB probe into an outside-spending campaign the firm ran on behalf of the United Federation of Teachers under the name "Strategic Consultants, Inc.," and separately, NYCLASS gave donations to the anti-Quinn efforts far above state-imposed limits.United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan consulting firm the Advance Group. Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY)* The advance group got paid $28,000 by gay city council candidate Yetta Kurland at the same time the firm work for the City Action Coalition PAC, which on its website touts itself as supporting candidates who oppose gay marriage and abortion rights.Advance was on both side of the Kurland race.  The firm also secretly worked to have been promot Johnson’s candidacy through an IE paid for by the UFT via a company called Strategic Consultants—apparently a dummy shell corporation set up to obscure the Advance Group’s double-dealing. "Questions Raised Over U.F.T. Campaign Filing" [Beth Fertig]* * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)

    Daily News Going Up from 75 Cents to $1.25 
    Can't Help Decreasing Circulation
    NEWSSTAND HIKE -- Capital’s Joe Pompeo: “The Daily News is about to get a price bump on the newsstand, Capital has learned. The weekday version of the paper, which currently costs $.75 on city newsstands, is going up to $1.25, said sources familiar with the change. One distributor confirmed to Capital it has been notified that the weekday price hike will take effect next week for both the city and suburban editions, and that both the city and suburban Saturday editions will increase to $1.50 as of June 28. There's no word on the Sunday paper, which costs $1.50. Outside of New York, weekday newsstand editions currently cost $1, which is the cover price in Jersey City, for example; delivery copies in the city carry a $1 cover price.”

    NYP Blasts Daily News Two Days in A Row

    New York Post front plays on Daily News price hike(Capital)

    Donald Trump blasts Daily News over ‘Central Park 5’ article(NYP)
    Daily News seller: I was attacked after paper’s price hike(NYP)

    Friday Daily News Hits Post
    New York Post political columnist Fred Dicker called Sen. Neil Breslin, who is white, a “spear chucker” for the predominantly black New York City Democratic delegation in a controversial on-air comment. Dicker later said he didn’t think that was a racial slur. 

    Albany Upset With Molinaro Not Because He Is A Corrupt Lobbyist, But Because He Called Lady Gaga A Slut

    Molinaro appointment sinks over Lady Gaga ‘slut’ remark(NYP) Lady Gaga got her revenge. Gov. Cuomo’s appointment of Staten Island conservative, anti-Gaga basher James Molinaro to CUNY’s Board of Trustees got torpedoed by the state Senate ­Friday night. Among Molinaro’s Senate-confirmation woes: calling Gaga a “slut,” which rankled women’s-rights advocates, sources said. The former Staten Island borough president’s views on cutting funding for unwed teen moms also drew fire from liberals. Molinaro has joined the Pitta Bishop Del Giorno and Giblin LLC government relations and consulting firm, a company with strong ties to the Island. * City Hall's new 'in' crowd of lobbyists | Crain's New York ...

    To the Winner Lobbyists Goes the Spoils (City Council)
    Since the 2013 elections Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin has picked up of 70 clients to lobby for. 51 clients to lobby the city council, 17 to lobby the office of the mayor

    Another big winner of 2013 made a similar argument. Jon Del Giorno, sitting in his firm's 28th-floor conference room a few blocks from City Hall, downplayed the notion that his closeness with Ms. Mark-Viverito will help his firm, Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, which has hovered near the bottom of, or just out of, the top-10 list.  Pitta Bishop has done Ms. Mark-Viverito's election-law compliance since 2005, and last year Mr. Del Giorno quarterbacked her uphill speaker bid. In a clever and unprecedented move, the firm set up a 2017 campaign account for an unspecified office with the state Board of Elections, which allowed Ms. Mark-Viverito to raise $100,000 and hire a full staff for her run, despite needing just 26 votes from council colleagues to win. More than $21,000 of the money reportedly came from Pitta Bishop's long roster of business and labor clients, and gave Ms. Mark-Viverito an edge over her rivals. Common Cause New York said the new speaker was "exploiting" the state's lax campaign-finance system.

    The Speakers Lobbyists Cash In
    Lobby for the City Council Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin,: MedReview, Inc.Meadows Office Supply Co., Inc.National Lighthouse MuseumSimon Wiesenthal Center, Inc.,  Knickerbocker Plaza LLC,  Local 420 AFSCME AFL-CIO,  Vera Institute of Justice, Inc.,   Hotel, Restaurant & Club Employees & Bartenders Union Local 6, New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council AFL-CIO,   Detectives Endowment Association Police Department, City of New York Inc.,  Lakeside Manor Home For Adults Inc.,   Community Health Center of Richmond, Inc,,  Grasmere and Cameron Lakes Bluebelt Conservancy, Inc.,  Plumbers and Gasfitters Local Union No. 1 of the United AssociationNew York State Conference of IUOE,  Richmond Uni Home Care, Inc.,  Adco Electrical Corp,  BIO-REFERENCE LABORATORIES, INC.,   New York Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Assoc. of NYC, Inc. Health Benefits Fund,  LOCAL 372 NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION EMPLOYEES,  UNITE HEREMagnaCare Administrative Services, LLC,  District Council No. 4, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, AFL-CIO, A.T.U.-Division 1181-1061 AFL-CIOOFFICE &PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION LOCAL 153International Union of Painters and Allied Trades DC 9RICHMOND UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTERBJ's Wholesale Club, Inc.International Union of Operating Engineers Local 14-14BBrooklyn Legal Services Corporation A,  Glenwood Management Corp.,  LOCAL UNION NO. 94-94A-94B, I.U.O.E., AFL-CIO,  NYSARC, INC., NEW YORK CITY CHAPTER,    New York Black Operator's Injury Compensation Fund, Inc.,    UNIFORMED SANITATIONMEN'S ASS'N LOCAL 831 - I.B.T,   Associated Brick Mason Contractors of Greater New York, Inc.,  East Side Alliance Against Overdevelopment, Inc.,   Urgent-MD Hewlett Management LLC , SOSH Architects, P.A.,, Lobby for the City Council and office of the mayor Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin,:  New York Wheel LLC, WellPoint, Inc.Pier A Battery Park Associates, LLCGarage Employees Local Union No. 272Staten Island Marine Development, LLCThe Francis SchoolChef's Choice Cash & Carry Food Distributor, Inc.,  THE WITKOFF GROUP LLC,  Il Commandatore Restaurant Inc.RJ LEE GROUP, INC.Cameron Club of Staten island, Inc.Milrose Consultants, Inc.Jewish Community Center of Staten Island, Inc,  UNIFORMED FIRE ALARM DISPATCHERS BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION, INC. , Lobby for the office of the mayor Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin,:  Gardeners/Growers/Landscapers Association of New York, Inc.Council of School Supervisors and Administrators,  SOSH Architects, P.A.

    Magic or Budget Gimmicks? Nobody Will Tell Us - All In the Tank
    Magic or Budget Gimmicks? Nobody Will Tell Us They Are All In the Tank
    NYPD adding 1,000 more patrol cops at no extra cost to the city: Police Commissioner Bill Bratton(NYDN) * City's $75 million budget stirs concerns over increased spending among watchdogs(NYDN) * Paying Bill’s bills (NYDN)Mayor de Blasio and the City Council feted their budget agreement Thursday night with self-congratulation and upbeat talk about new initiatives, such as improved mental health care for Rikers Island prisoners and more police in public housing. Completely unmentioned was the worrying reality that overall city spending has ballooned by $5 billion — or 7% — since this time last year.* Some Fiscal Watchdogs Call City Budget Agreement 'Prudent' NY1 * Impact of $75-billion budget deal unknown for city(Newsday) Comptroller Scott Stringer, an ally of the mayor's, said Friday the budget is "financially prudent but also goes to help a lot of people in the city who are struggling." But he said he wants to see future budgets identify and cut inefficiencies and waste.* DE BLASIO – Top of WSJ Greater New York cover, “In Budget Lovefest, De Blasio Is Adored,” by Michael Howard Saul: “On Thursday night, Mr. de Blasio and Ms. Mark-Viverito … announced they reached a deal on the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. It marked the denouement of the least contentious budget season in recent memory. Nicole Gelinas, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, said the deal ‘clearly shows that the mayor is the dominant political figure on the city scene.’“‘Both sides say they eliminated the budget dance,’ said Ms. Gelinas, referring to the historical process of the mayor eliminating council priorities and the council restoring them. ‘But this was a budget dance, and the mayor won it.’
    “Ms. Mark-Viverito defended the deal as an "incredible victory," but some members of the council voiced disappointment with the outcome. At least one openly wondered whether the council was doing enough to act as a check on the mayor. ‘The jury's still out with regards to the council ensuring its own institutional clout in the city,’ said Councilman Vincent Ignizio of Staten Island, the council's GOP leader.” * Mayor and NYC Business and their best behavior. But it won'tlast as they debate the tough issues @ 

    Albany Done for the Year
    IT’S A WRAP—Senate gavels out at 9:38 p.m.: After dark, state legislators concluded their annual half-year session. They approved a new enforcement counsel for the Board of Elections, new red light cameras for several upstate cities, targeted education aid and longer hours at video slot parlors. What was done (and not done) in the final hours:* ELECTORAL FALLOUT: Cuomo said Friday that the results of this legislative session have led him to conclude the state Senate's current governing coalition is a “failure,” but he stopped short of saying he will campaign for Democrats across the board. The governor in late May set a benchmark for his support of the alliance between Republicans and the five-member Independent Democratic Conference, saying he wanted action on the Dream Act (which failed in April), a broader system of public campaign finance (beyond the pilot program passed in the state budget) and his Women's Equality Act, which has been controversial because of a plank changing the state's abortion laws.
    “Because this is what’s important in Albany. State legislators in both houses have passed a bill banning people from posing for photos while hugging, patting or otherwise touching tigers in New York state. Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal explained that she introduced the legislation to increase safety at traveling circuses and county fairs that allow the public to get up close and personal with their big cats. But the Upper West Side Democrat acknowledges proudly that the bill would also destroy a trend now prevalent among users of dating apps — men snuggling with tigers in reckless attempts to look brave or cuddly …“‘They can still pose with bears and monkeys,’ the assemblywoman said. … The wacky bill puts a crimp in what has become one of the most annoying Internet memes this year. … Rosenthal says … there have been seven instances in 15 years in which a tiger escaped or hurt New Yorkers. … A spokesman for Cuomo said the bill was under review.

    A New York Civics Lesson: Even the Councilman Don't Vote
    Capital New York reviewed the voting histories of the 51 New York City Council members between 2000 and 2013 and found 24 skipped at least one mayoral race, 25 missed at least one election for governor, attorney general and comptroller, and 24 missed at least one presidential race:(Capital). Four skipped the Democratic runoff for public advocate last year, a low-turnout race between Letitia James and Daniel Squadron that cost the city $13 million. Robert Cornegy, a Brooklyn Democrat elected last year, did not vote the 2005 race for mayor, the 2006 election for governor, attorney general and states comptroller, and the 2008 presidential race. Cornegy said he had spent a "great deal of time abroad," but would not discuss each individual race he missed. Queens Democrat Paul Vallone, a first-term member, missed every election from 2001 through 2003, including primary and general races for mayor, city comptroller, city council, public advocate and statewide officials. Another member with a spotty voting record, Vanessa Gibson of the Bronx, sat out the elections for mayor in 2001 and 2005. She also skipped the 2002 state races and the presidential primaries in 2004 and 2008.Ruben Wills, another Queens Democrat, refuted his voter card, which indicated he did not go to the polls in the 2005 mayoral primary. Vazquez, the B.O.E. spokeswoman, said the board does not have records—beyond the summarized voter cards Capital received—that date back more than two years so she could not respond to his assertion. Wills did, however, acknowledge that he may have skipped elections in 2001 through 2003 but said he could not remember

    City Budget Agreement - Hugs and Kisses and  . . .
    Since NYC Grew Out of New Amsterdam the City Has Had Over 350 Budgets, Yesterday Budget Makers Think They Made History? 

    Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and de Blasio seal a budget deal with a hug and a kiss. Via @GloriaPazmino:
    NEW YORK CITY HAS A BUDGET -- Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced an on-time, $75 billion budget that includes increased funding for Rikers Island, safety initiatives at NYCHA, and free school lunch for all middle school students as part of a pilot program. The mayor however, did not concede to the council’s request for 1,000 additional cops. Capital’s Sally Goldenberg and Gloria Pazmino report: * Bill de Blasio and City Council Share the Love With Budget Deal(NYO)

    -- 200 cops, not 1,000 -- The New York City Police Department will pull police officers currently working desk jobs to put them back on the beat. The move will only cost the city $6 million, instead of the projected $94.3 to pay for 1,000 cops. Despite the news, Mark Viverito still hailed it as a win: "It is a true victory for all our communities who are going to see these additional personnel in our local precincts," Mark-Viverito said.
    -- Libraries take hit (sort of) -- Neither side mentioned the request for approximately $65 million to add to the budget of the city's public libraries, but when asked, de Blasio acknowledged that libraries were not given enough additional resources to provide six-day service for all branches in the city. The lack of funding means some libraries will not be able to open a sixth day and others will not be able to meet hiring needs. Libraries committee chairman Jimmy Van Bramer said the baselined library budget was a “step in the right direction.
    -- Pilot lunch program for now: De Blasio cited concern over federal funding dollars as the reason for not implementing free universal school lunch. For now, the city said it will test the waters by launching a pilot program to provide free lunch for middle schoolers as soon as this september at a cost of $6.25 million.

    When Brooklyn Merged With Manhattan No Hugs and Kisses
    Mayor, @nyccouncil Reach Agreement on $75 Billion Budget 
    The mayor and City Council announced an agreement Thursday night on a $75 billion budget deal, the first of the de Blasio administration.
    The budget was approximately $1 billion more than preliminary budget, which was set at $73.9 billion.
    The City Council had asked for 1,000 new police officers, but the deal will put 200 officers who are behind desks back on the streets, with 200 civilians hired to back-fill those positions.
    The Council had also asked for free lunch for all city students, but the deal includes free lunch for all middle-school students. The deal also includes cash to keep 57 New York City Housing Authority community centers open. Member items for the City Council are still in the budget, though the mayor had said during his campaign that he wanted to get rid of them.* Mayor de Blasio, City Council announced on-time $75 billion budget(NYDN)* City officials reach a deal on $75B budget(NYP)*  IT'S A DEAL: Mayor de Blasio, City Council agree to $75 billion budget giving middle-schoolers free lunch, adding 200 cops * The City Council extracted almost $33 million in funding to combat violence and mental illness at Rikers Island—the largest dollar figure attached to any priority in the $75 billion budget agreement from last night, the Observer reports:

    5 September 2011- New York, NY-  NYC Councilwoman Letitia James at the 44th Annual West Indian Day Carnival held on Eastern Parkway and the Brooklyn Museum on September 5, 2011 in Brooklyn, New York. © Terrence Jennings / Retna Ltd.
    "If anything should happen to Mayor Bill de Blasio, you're looking at the next mayor of the City of New York," Tish James pointed out as she introduced Representative Charlie Rangel at a Harlem church on Sunday. While it's true that, as Public Advocate, James stands first in the line of succession to New York's mayoralty, we're didn't realize that it was on the forefront of her mind. Be careful over at City Hall, Bill.

    closure causing growing political backlash in : de Blasio, Cuomo coming under pressure.

    Where your money's going - the $50 million odd City Council member items just released

    * Just a day after promising not to build low-income housing on Staten Island, former Councilman Domenic Recchia, who is challenging GOP Congressman Michael Grimm, softened his stance, saying “the people in this district will decide,” the Observer reports:

    * New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio nominated two people to serve on the Landmarks Preservation Commission, but withdrew another nominee because of potential conflicts of interests resulting from her job at a land-use firm, the Daily News writes: