Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Update:

67% Of New Yorkers Support Horse Carriages
Media Covers the Council Horse Fight Ignores the Illegal Activities of NYCLASS in the 2013 Election 
Two Democratic state senators, Diane Savino and Jose Peralta, are the latest to come out in opposition to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s push to ban horse carriages in the city, the Daily News writes * Two N.Y. state senators oppose horse-carriage ban * The poll found 67 percent of New Yorkers support horse carriages, the highest level recorded by Quinnipiac since it first began asking about the issue in January, while the mayor has 47 percent approval, Crain’s reports:  Seventy-six percent of New Yorkers disagree with de Blasio’s quest to ban horse-drawn carriages from Central Parka Q poll found.* 'IT DOESN'T CHANGE MY BASIC BELIEF': Mayor de Blasio plans carriage horse visit, but will not be changing his mind on ending industry(NYDN)





The NYClass Edison Cover Up 
NYCLASS and Pay to Play (Developer) Of Edison Parking Lots?

Chris Bragg ‏@ChrisBragg1  Days after deBlasio inaguration, Edison Properties inked the Advance Group to lobby him (CrainsNY) Edison and its related companies own some 40 parking lots and garages, and have made a fortune constructing everything from Manhattan Mini Storage facilities to luxury apartments on their extensive roster of parcels.* The man behind the horse-carriage fuss(Capital)  Steve Nislick believes his ally de Blasio will deliver

Edison Hires the Advance Group Six Days After de Blasio Became Mayor, Where is the Prosecutors?
 Edison is also pushing a plan to extend the No. 7 train from Manhattan's West Side, where it owns properties, to a Secaucus, N.J., site, where a major Edison parking facility sits next to a New Jersey Transit hub.  Six days after Mr. de Blasio's inauguration in January 2014, Edison inked a $7,500-a-month lobbying contract with Manhattan-based Advance—which had orchestrated the anti-Quinn political action committee and NYCLASS' own efforts to undermine Ms. Quinn's bid. Advance's political consulting activities during the campaign season are now reportedly being investigated by the FBI, and last week NYCLASS was  for violations stemming from its work with Advance.* Nislick &Feldman ('spender") held personally "LIABLE" for $26K @NYCCFB Hearing

 Edison’s StephenNislick pushes real estate agenda with mayor (Real Deal) Among other things, the developer is pushing for an extension of the 7-train to New Jersey. Nislick co-founded a political action committee — New York City Is Not For Sale — that spent more than $1 million to help defeat Christine Quinn, who was then de Blasio’s main opponent and didn’t support the horse carriage ban. A spokesman for the mayor told Crain’s that the meeting between de Blasio and Nislick in 2013 was about “parking rules and regulations, specifically things like parking minimums.” Developers have lobbied to city to try to cut down parking mandates. In May, the mayor said his administration would re-examine those mandates. [Crain's]




Did NYC's Revolution Take 60 Years? 
De Blasio ‘thinks he’s running a f–king revolution’: PBA chief(NYP) “He is not running the City of New York. He thinks he’s running a f- -king revolution,” said Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, during the private gathering in Queens last Friday. Lynch, who was secretly recorded, also all but ordered a rule-book slowdown, according to the seven-minute tape obtained by Capital New York. “If we won’t get support when we do our jobs . . . then we’re going to do it the way they want it,” Lynch said. “Let me be perfectly clear: We will use extreme discretion in every encounter.” Through a spokesman, New York City Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch defended his comments at a recent gather where he said Mayor de Blasio thinks he is “running a f---ing revolution” and not the city of New York.*  The Times applauds Mayor de Blasio and SpeakerMark-Viverito for respecting the peaceful protests in the aftermath of the Eric Garner grand jury decision, and decries the fringe elements who have attacked police officers while also suggesting PBA President Patrick Lynch’s rhetoric has been equally abhorrent: * The Daily News blasts Lynch for saying officers willprovide courtesy for “friends” and “extreme discretion” for enemies, arguing that the heated language suggests two standards in a city that counts on police for equal protection:* Sienapoll finds New Yorkers back giving AG power to investigate police brutalitycases.  * Editorial: Who’s the enemy, Pat? (NYDN Ed) Apparently believing his own angry, divisive rhetoric hasn’t done the trick, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch has moved into calling on cops to split New York into their friends and their enemies.* Read @CommissBratton & George Kelling's defense of #BrokenWindows policing in the @WSJ http://on.wsj.com/1x50FDE 


Fed Judge Jury Cannot Be Told About Smith Selling Votes to Lobbyists for Campaign $$$  
Smith catches break as judge shoots down prosecutors’ bribe tactic(NYP) Indicted state Sen. Malcolm Smith caught a big break Thursday when a federal judge shot down a bid by prosecutors to tell jurors at his bribery trial next month how he once offered to sell Albany votes like shares of stock. As The Post first reported, federal prosecutors hoped to detail how the disgraced Queens Democrat told dozens of top New York lobbyists during a 2008 political golf outing in upstate Kingston that their clients would be shut out of state politics if they didn’t make large contributions. Smith, the feds said, told the lobbyists “they should treat the fund-raiser as an ‘IPO’ [initial public offering] by donating early while prices were low and while there was still an opportunity to participate” before Democrats took control of the state Senate.

NYS No Fracking Way 
After six years of review, New York finally has an answer on fracking in the Marcellus Shale: No.*New York is the first state in the US to ban the controversial natural gas drilling technique.* The fracking decision did little to change how Gov. Andrew Cuomo is viewed. Drilling opponents were thrilled with the move and praised him, while supporters insisted it was political motivated and lambasted him.* Cuomo – a famously hands-on governor – appeared to try to wash his hands of the fracking decision, insisting it had been made not by him, but by his health and DEC commissioners. (No one was really buying that).* MORE: #Fracking will bebanned in NYS  The Cuomo administration will ban hydrofracking in New   York State because of health risks. Zucker: "Some chemicals used aren't even public knowledge." #fracking * Gov. Cuomo to BanFracking in New York State, Citing HealthRisks  
 Cuomo mentions a barrage of lawsuits to come:"I'm sure the people who disagree with this will continue to disagree with this."  #fracking* The Economic Fate Of Upstate Could Be Decided Today(YNN)* New York "...only one of the 35 states with extractable natural gas to be missing out on the hydro-fracking boom." -GOP Chairman Ed Cox* The fracking decision is likely to help repair the governor’s relations with the left wing of the Democratic Party, which backed Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout against him in the September primary. Teachout issued a statement praising the decision. * You can read the DOH report on the public health impact of fracking, which was two years in the making, here. * The New York Times weighs in: “This was not an easy decision, but it was the right one.” * The Journal News called the decision “wise.” * Elected officials and residents in the Southern Tier are shocked after the state banned hydrofracking and didn’t award a casino in the Binghamton area, as the economy in the region remains stagnant, the New York Times writes:  


 Developers in the Catskills are optimistic shops will open back up in Monticello and surrounding towns after a license was awarded to Empire Resorts to build a 391-room hotel resort at the site of the old Concord, the Timeswrites: * Gov. Cuomo is a human flash-bang grenade, allblinding light and ear-cracking sound, but nothing significant ever changes, writes Bob McManus in the Post following the administration’s decision to ban hydrofracking: * Politics, not science, drove Gov. Cuomo’s decision to banhydrofracking as the health study laid out hypothetical perils and not any concrete harm, the Daily News writes, as it suggests Cuomo doesn’t have a Plan B to create jobs in upstate New York: * Health Commissioner says he wouldn’t want his kids growingnear fracking site, but doesn’t have children (NYDN) Howard Zucker, the acting state health commissioner, referred to a family he doesn’t actually have when he spoke about fracking’s potential risks to public health and the environment. The comments made an impact on Gov. Cuomo, who said they were ‘very sobering.’



When Conklin, N.Y., town supervisor Jim Finch heard the news, he began drawing up plans to secede from the state. “I’m serious,” said Finch, who oversees a town of some 5,000 people on the Susquehanna River just a few minutes’ drive from the Pennsylvania border. “New York City determines policy in the Southern Tier? That’s baloney.” * Rep. Tom Reed called the fracking decision “devastating” for the Southern Tier, which didn’t get one of four available upstate casino licenses, either. Sen. Cathy Young called it a “punch in the gut” for the region. (Both lawmakers are Republican). * Cuomo said he will work to develop an alternative economic plan for the Southern Tier region that is now cut off from the fracking industry after the state decided drilling was too risky.* Lawmakers and officials from the Southern Tier expressed disbelief, disappointment and shock after the state banned fracking and declined to build a casino in the region, with some questioning whether the state is committed to jump-starting the region's economy, Gannett Albanyreports:  * Cuomo bowed to green activists and the Hollywood crowd when he banned fracking, depriving impoverished areas of the state—such as the Southern Tier—casinos while banning a safe and proven new energy technology that would create jobs, the Post writes:  * Republican state Sen. Tom Libous criticized the move to ban hydrofracking in the state as “the easy way out,” but acknowledged it’s unlikely there will be a legislative response to Cuomo’s decision, State of Politicsrepots: * Cuomo’s hydrofracking ban is a blow to the Southern Tier’s declining economy, and his alternatives will inevitably involve direct government “investments” and lost revenues from tax-free zones, the Empire Center’s E.J. McMahonwrites: * On fracking and casinos, Cuomo says, buck stops elsewhere(Capital)* New York’s decision to ban hydrofracking for health reasons could lead to roadblocks for future development in the energy sector in other states, according to Rep. Tom Reed, the Buffalo News reports:
More on Fracking and Energy



After Lengthy Review, State Moves To Ban Hydrofracking(YNN)* Cuomo moved to ban high-volume horizontal hydrofracking after a long-awaited health study determined that the risks were too high, theNew York Times writes: Smokes get in their eyes(NYP Ed)* The long awaited report from the state Department of Health on the impacts of hydrofracking was finally released. You can read it here, via State of Politics * Cuomo concludes fracking is too risky(Capital)Three, Not Four, Projects Awarded Casino Licenses(YNN)Skelos Blasts Cuomo, WFP Praises(Capital)* Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave himself cover on fracking – and climate change – which may come in handy should he still harbor White House ambitions.* Citing Health Risks, Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State(NYT)* Gov. Cuomo Makes Sense on Fracking(NYT Ed) The governor came to the right conclusion on banning the drilling process because the risks to the environment and human health are unacceptabl * NOT IN OUR STATE: Cuomo administration won’t allow fracking in New York, citing 'red flags,' health risks(NYDN)* Fracking Ban Puts Cuomo in Tight Spot(WSJ)  The decision to prohibit hydraulic fracturing in New York state exposed the deep divisions over the issue and highlighted the political tightrope Gov. Andrew Cuomo had to tiptoe across.


NYS Gambling Picks Silver Wins  
The location siting board recommended: Schenectady’s Rivers Resort and Casino at Mohawk Harbor, Lago Resort in the Finger Lakes region community of Tyre and Genting’s Montreign Resort in Sullivan CountyThe state gaming facility location board selected only three casinos instead of four and did not choose any in Orange County where the most bids came from, State of Politicswrites:   The decision shut out Orange County, which had been competing with several bid proposals, including a massive resort complex that would have sought to draw in New York City tourists.  Officials at the gaming facility location board determined an Orange County casino would have “cannibalized” a competing casino in the Catksills.* CASINO WINNERS & LOSERS: New York’s casino siting board recommended three winning bids, leaving 13 unlucky developers going home empty-handed. But some players enjoyed bigger wins or suffered more painful losses, so here’s who ended up with a winning hand—and who lost all their chips:(City and State)

A group opposing a new casino in the Finger Lakes is strongly considering suing the Gaming Commission to halt the Lago Resort & Casino development in Seneca County.* Jeff Gural, owner of both Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs racinos, said the people of the Southern Tier were “screwed” by the casino and fracking decisions. * Senate Deputy Republican Leader Tom Libous, of Binghamtonis very upset about the treatment the Southern Tier received.* Board Backs Casinos in the Catskills, Near Albany and in Central New York Catskills getting $630M casino after NY board's OK of 3(NYDN)* Catskills hits jackpot in New York casino sweepstakes(NYP) K.T. Lim, chairman of the Malysian-based Genting firm that runs the wildly successful Aqueduct racino and casinos across the globe, also is a winner. He is the majority owner of ­Empire and the Montreign.New York Board Awards Casino Licenses(WSJ)* A $300 million casino and resort planned for an old industrial site along the Mohawk River in Schenectady got the initial green light as one of three gambling centers to be licensed by New York state. * Orange County, a coveted potential casino location due to its proximity to New York City, drew the most bidders but received no licenses, even though the projects there would likely have been the most profitable in the state. * “We concluded that a license award to any of the six Orange County proposals would present too great a risk of precluding success to Sullivan or Ulster County,” said Gaming Facility Location Board Chair Kevin Law. “We also concluded that granting licenses to two casinos within the Catskills would negatively impact each other.”* The recommendation to license a casino in Sullivan – the heart of the once-bustling “Borscht Belt” resort region – will test the premise that blackjack and craps can breathe new life in an old summer haven known in its heyday for families, mostly Jewish, arriving packed in station wagons to enjoy fast-talking comedians and other entertainment, a la “Dirty Dancing.” * The awarding of a casino in Seneca County drew ire from Tioga Downs owner and applicant Jeffrey Gural, who said: “Bad day? I think the Southern Tier just got wiped out economically.” Lago developer Tom Wilmot said he plans to start construction ASAP* Quiet Casino Winner: HTC(YNN)*  Cuomo’s Casino Victory Lap(YNN)* When it came to siting upstate casinos, the Gaming Facility Location Board played it safe.* Cuomo says he had little to do with the casino siting anddecision to ban hydrofracking(TU)

Lawmaker Won't Even Pass Ethics for A Pay Raise . . .  Silvers Sex Deposition Postponed . . .  Settlement? 

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's scheduled deposition in a federal lawsuit brought by two women who were sexually harassed by former Assemblyman Vito Lopez has been postponed—suggesting a looming settlement in the case, theDaily News reports:

Hundreds of Thousands to Defend Silver and Lopez Sexual Harassment Lawsuit  
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has approved hundreds of thousands of dollars in spending related to legal services for the Moreland Commission and for the Assembly to defend against sexual harassment lawsuits, State of Politics reports:


Yea the Assembly Just Gave Up A Pay Raise Because They Would Not Allow Silver's Private Law Clients to be Named
Thursday Update Cuomo No Raises Without Ethic Reform; Wednesday Update Killing Moreland Costs Over $1 Million So Far
Democrats in New York Assembly Say They Support Ethics Reform(NYT)  Sheldon Silver, the Assembly speaker, said his Democratic caucus supported measures to close campaign finance loopholes, an assertion that came after lawmakers had unsuccessfully lobbied for a raise.* A new report released by the New York Public Interest Research Group found small local governments in New York require stronger ethics and lobbying disclosure laws, the Times Union writes: * Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has used his clout to block any hope of tort reform in the state Legislature and to advance the careers of plaintiff-friendly judges, BillHammond writes in the Daily News:*Moreland Commission probe still generating big legal bills(NYDN)* Moreland defense fees set to top $1 million(Capital)*Cuomo: Lawmakers Have ‘Greatest Incentive’ On Pay Hike(YNN) * Gov. Cuomo grim on chances for ethics reforms(NYDN)* Cuomo: Pass Ethics Bill or No Raises(WSJ)* Catskills hang hopes of revival on new casino(WSJ)* For the second year in a row, Cuomo vetoed a bill that would establish a commission to recommend periodic pay increases for non-unionized “management/confidential” state employees. He noted he had approved 2 percent broad-based raises for M/Cs earlier this year and said other increases are planned for “the near future.”* Cuomo more or less announced the push for a legislative pay raise at a special session is dead, unless lawmakers agree at the last minute to a wide range of reforms he has proposed.* * A string of indictments of state legislators and Cuomo's scuttled Moreland Commission have been front-page news, but the state’s ethics organization—JCOPE—has hardly been noticed, Gotham Gazette writes: 
More on the Corrupt Albany Pols
More On Malcolm Smith Corruption
Albany's Vouchers Corruption 



Tuesday Update

Monday Update
Chances for a controversial pay hike for state lawmakers dimmed over the weekend as “no progress” was reported in talks between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislative leaders.

Lukewarm to Ethics Reforms, Legislators Are Unlikely to Get Raise, Cuomo Says(NYT)
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Thursday that New York lawmakers had shown little interest in backing his call for substantial ethics reforms.*Bob Hardt: “(T)he second floor in the Capitol is starting to resemble the final days in Nixon’s bunker- with longtime Cuomo aide Joe Percoco playing the part of the ultimate loyalist, Al Haig.”* NYPIRG and Common Cause called for “decisive, comprehensive action” on a package of reforms should the Legislature convene for a special session.*Silver confirms private law clients, but won’t name them(Capital)Update Senate Republicans Back ‘Additional Reforms’(NYO)* Silver confirmed he’s running his own private law practice as part of his outside income that totaled as much as $750,000 in 2013.
Joseph Spector ‏@GannettAlbany 
"Even for the pay raise, they were unwilling to do public finance" and campaign-finance reform, Cuomo says of lawmakers


Charmian Neary ‏@CharmianNeary 
@GannettAlbany They all lawyered up when asked to reveal their sources of income, telling me that few aspire to actual ethical behavior.


Feds Sue Rikers Island Jail Makes It Easier for the Mayor to Get Around Union/Political Power Seabrook Blocking Reforms 
Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence(NYP) Federal prosecutors have sued New York City to speed reforms at the troubled Rikers Island jail complex. The lawsuit was filed Thursday to address what a Justice Department investigation found was a culture of violence against young inmates.* U.S. Plans to Sue New York Over Rikers Island Conditions(NYT) Federal prosecutors are concerned about what they see as the slow pace of reforms at the jail complex, a court filing reveals.* Department of Justice sues New York City over Rikers' treatment of young prisoners
The DOJ, in courtpapers filed with the Manhattan (NYDN)  U.S. Attorney's Office, say the city and Department of Correction 'have engaged in a pattern and practice of subjecting the subject inmates to excessive and unnecessary use of force by DOC staff, and failing to adequately protect the subject inmates from violence inflicted by other inmates.'* Federal prosecutors are seeking to sue New York City over reports of inmate abuse at Rikers Island by joining a class action lawsuit filed by a former Rikers inmate, the Wall Street Journalreports:  * Gov. Cuomo has yet to take action on a bill the correction’s officers union representing Rikers Island pushed for, which would make the Queens district attorney responsible for all crimes committed in the jail instead of the Bronx DA, who currently prosecutes the cases, the Times writes: Feds Sue City Over Treatment of Juvenile Inmates at Rikers(NY1)


NYT Reports That Correction Officers' Union has Fed A Culture of Corruption 


At Rikers, a Roadblock to Reform(NYT) Norman Seabrook’s two-decade reign as president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association has paid huge dividends for his members, but has also fed a culture of corruption and violence at the Rikers Island jail complex. Over his two decades as president of the Corrections Officer Union, Norman Seabrook,has come to exert extraordinary control over the NYC Correction Department, consulting with commissioners on key appointments, forging alliances with high-ranking uniformed correction leaders and, more recently, speaking regularly with de Blasio about department policy.* Jury Is Deciding if Rikers Captain Ignored a Dying Man(NYT) Terrence Pendergrass is charged with depriving the rights of an inmate who ingested a toxic soap ball and suffered chemical burns.* NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to Visit Troubled Rikers Island Jail Complex(WSJ) New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to visit Rikers Island on Wednesday, his first visit to the troubled jail complex since taking office in January. Mr. de Blasio has called fixing Rikers a “moral obligation."de Blasio and Correction Commissioner Joe Ponte announced that Rikers Island will end the practice of sending 16- and 17-year-old inmates to solitary confinement for breaking rules, theAssociated Press reports: 

The first Rikers Island correction officer to be tried for civil rights abuses in more than a decade was found guilty by a jury for his role in the death of an inmate in 2012, the New York Timesreports:  After months of intensifying pressure to address rampant brutality and corruption at Rikers Islandde Blasio toured the troubled jail complex – his first visit since taking office. * New York City says it has ended its longstanding practice of sending 16- and 17-year-old inmates to solitary confinement for breaking rules.* Ex-Captain at Rikers Is Found Guilty of Civil Rights Violation in Inmate’s Death(NYT) * De Blasio Tours Rikers Island Jail Complex for First Time as Mayor Mayor Praises Rikers Changes(WSJ)* After a scathing report concluded that the city placed 16- to 18-year-old inmates in solitary confinement on Rikers Island too often, de Blasio and Correction Commissioner Joe Ponteannounced that they have ended the practice.



Council Fixed Their Party Bar With A Favor the SLA Could Not Refuse . . . Bans Harvey 

 The New York City Council booked its holiday party at a swanky new bar that still needed a liquor license—so they just called in a favor for a rush permit so the bar would be able to serve them drinks
City Council pushed SLA to hurry holiday party’s liquor license(NYP) The City Council booked its holiday party at a swanky new bar that still needed a liquor license — so they just called in a favor for a rush permit to get the beer flowing, sources told The Post. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito agreed to have Wednesday night’s party at Barleycorn Craft Bar & Grill, which is owned by the pal of top staffer Steve Feder. But after the invitations had already gone out, the council learned that the Park Place watering hole was still awaiting a license from the State Liquor Authority, the sources said. That’s when they turned to First Deputy Chief of Staff Ramon Martinez, who is known as “the fixer” for his ability to solve problems. Feder asked Martinez at a senior leadership meeting to pressure the SLA — and state officials gave the bar its license just hours before the party started. * Uh oh, Doc! City Council votes to enact bunny ban(NYP)* Puppy mills” will be sent to the doghouse under a wide-ranging package of NYC Council legislation that tightens regulations on pet shops.


Queens Library Pay Thug Fired
Queens LibraryDirector Thomas Galante fired for his wild spending habits(NYDN)The library’s Board of Trustees axed Galante on Wednesday after reviewing his expense accounts, which included charging more than $40,000 to his library credit card for food, alcohol and entertainment. Galante is still facing federal and city probes into how he managed library funds.* The board of the Queens Public Library closed the book on lavish spender Thomas Galante last night. He was fired from his roles as CEO and president after the board met to vote on his fate. The board of the Queens Public Library fired President and CEO of the board Thomas Galante on Wednesday after trustees reviewed his expense account, which included opulent meals, expensive concert tickets and high-priced furniture
More on Galante



Queens Boss Crowley Blows Up Trader Van Bramer's Queens Library Political Machine

In a letter to Queens Library trustees, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz demands that they rein in library President Thomas Galante and cut the $2 million payout he’d receive if he is dismissed, the Daily News’s Juan Gonzalez writes: Flashback: City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer explodes at colleagues(NYDN) Van Bramer's colleagues questioned whether Van Bramer's ties to the Queens Library would compromise his ability to hold a hearing on the library's finances

More on the Queen's Library Scandal



Education: Winds of War Cuomo vs de Blasio 
Cuomo moves to take control of education policy(Capital)Between the lines of a Thursday letter from a top Cuomo administration aide to state education leaders about education reform was a plan to overhaul the Board of Regents. It wasn't the first time Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, suggested changes to the powerful education policy-making panel, and he's hardly the first governor to seek influence on the independent board. But the governor's plan would effectively give him ownership of the state’s massive public school system, and would be among the most ambitious changes he’s pursued in his governorship, a tenure that so far has included legalizing same-sex marriage, strengthening gun control, creating a statewide property-tax cap and reforming the state pension system. NYC’s high school graduation rate jumps to 64 percent(NYP) The city’s four-year high school graduation rate jumped to 64.2 percent in the 2013-14 school year — up from 61.3 percent the previous year, the state Education Department reported Thursday. A decade ago, the graduation rate was a dismal 46.5%. State Education Commissioner John King said that while the numbers were headed in the right direction, a significant number of students still weren’t making the grade.  * Teachers unions blasted the Cuomo administration’s letter to state education officials, blaming charter school-supporting hedge fund managers for Cuomo’s stance on education,State of Politicsreports * A total of 76.4 percent of students who entered ninth grade in 2010 graduated with a diploma before June 2014, up from the 74.9 percent who graduated within four years the previous year, Gannett Albany reports:  * Eva Moskowitz of Success Academy Charter Schools called off a press conference after the New York City Department of Education agreed to find space for her network of expanding charter schools, the Observer reports: * Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools, called off an anti-de Blasio press conference after the DOE agreed to find space for her network of expanding charter schools.* The four-year graduation rate for New York City students entering high school in 2010reached 64.2 percent - a small uptick from 61.3 percent the previous school year. Statewide, a total of 76.4 percent of students who started high school in 2010 graduated before June 2014 – up slightly from the 74.9 percent in 2009.* 



Parks for Sale 

The High Line, Bryant Park and Central Park are selling branded items as never before, to raise money, appeal to donors and recruit donors.



Why Did NYC Congressional Delegation Allow the City to Miss Out on $700 Million for NYCHA? 
Housing Authority Missed Out on $692 Million in Federal Money, Comptroller Says(NYT)The city public housing authority squandered opportunities to obtain the money by failing to follow up on its own plans to increase revenue, an audit found.*  Housing Authority botched opportunities to collect federal subsidies (NYP)* NYCHA ignores $10M advice, fails to get funds: Controller(NYDN)* Audit Finds NYCHA Missed Millions in Funds(WSJ)

NYCHA Has A Math Problem But Also A Larger Larger Washington Cut-Off Problem

Unreal Expectations In 2015 GOP Congress
City Council membersconfront NYCHA over skyrocketing overtime costs (NYDN)  NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye blamed the authority’s excessive OT bill on the emergency nature of repairs, which she said often results in evening or weekend jobs.City council members confronted NYCHA over its ballooning overtime costs on Tuesday, responding to a Daily News exposé about plumbers who’ve worked so much OT that they earn more than the authority chairwoman. “Have you looked at the math to make sure that you’re using the money wisely?” an incredulous Councilman Jumaane Williams asked NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye and other agency execs during a hearing on how the authority’s repair problems have affected tenant safety.

de Blasio Campaign Trail Promises On Public Housing

New York mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio ripped the “fundamental problem of management” at New York City Housing Authority on Wednesday and vowed to clean house if he’s elected. (NYDN, 10/1/2013) Bill de Blasio blasts NYCHA policies as he launches Watch List (NYDN, Aug. 9, 2013) Public Advocate and Democratic mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio is set to launch the NYCHA Watch List, letting the public know how deep the backlog of public housing repairs really is.* De Blasio sides with the tenant “advocates” (the left’s equivalent of Tea Party ideologues). He opposed the NYCHA plan during primary season. Monday, he repeated, “NYCHA land is not for luxury condos. Any . . . plan must include substantial amounts of affordable housing.” His pie-in-the-sky solution is to “rally the country’s cities around a new urban agenda in Congress for public housing.” (NYP, Oct. 21, 2013) *   On August 9, 2013, the office of New York City (NYC) Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (and now democratic mayoral candidate) launched a website publishing a searchable list of 369,090 backlogged repair requests reported by the city’s Housing Authority (NYCHA) the previous May 31. * An audit from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer found that the New York City Housing Authority failed to take advantage of $692 million in available federal funding between 2006 and 2011, even as other cities’ public housing programs reaped the benefits of federal money, the Observerreports:


NYCHA Real World: Despite the Promises Washington Cut Will Reshape Public Housing 
Thousands of city renters who rely on public subsidies are being forced to pay more for housing or move into a smaller space.Public Housing In City Reaches A Fiscal Crisis(NYT) Federal subsidies for the New York City Housing Authority have been shrinking greatly since the 2000s, and its spending has been cut, repairs uncompleted and renovations put off.* After years of shrinking government investment in public housing, NYCHA has a $77 million budget deficit this year and unfunded capital needs totaling $18 billion, its officials say.


'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.


deB Understand Public Housing Funding Problems and Begins the Sell-Off to His Real Estate Supporters

Daily News Cheer Leads Innovative Privatization of Public Housing to Get the Big Fix 
Wednesday
At New York City Council Hearing, Concerns About Housing Authority Practices(NYT) Among the officials’ concerns were the slow pace of repairs and the practice of police officers’ citing residents for violations of housing authority rules.* Police Patrols in New York Public Housing Draw Scrutiny(NYT)* City Council membersconfront NYCHA over skyrocketing overtime costs (NYDN)  NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye blamed the authority’s excessive OT bill on the emergency nature of repairs, which she said often results in evening or weekend jobs.* City Council Holds NYCHA Safety Hearing (NY1)* DA Pledges $100M to Improve Public Housing Safety(NY1) * PLUMB CRAZY: NYCHA confronted by city council over skyrocketing overtime costs exposed by the Daily News(NYDN)* Bad management costNYCHA $700M, says Comptroller @scottmstringer (via @joeanuta)

Daily News to Public Housing Tenants Drop Dead
Play with house money (NYDN)  NYCHA wisely taps private partners to save publicly funded housing. Taking advantage of a federal program that subsidizes private landlords who renovate low-income housing, NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye brought in developers to share ownership of 875 crumbling apartments in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn.  Tenants will continue to pay reduced rents while the developers finance upgrades, make a good buck and generate a projected $200 million for NYCHA. The authority desperately needs many similarly creative deals. It will start 2015 with an operating budget that’s $98 million in the red, plus a $14 billion shortfall in money needed to repair roofs, replace plumbing and keep increasingly derelict buildings habitable.  * Tenant leader at Pink Houses says NYCHA staff didn’t attend tenant association mtg because they weren’t approved to get overtime.

Tuesday Update Since 2008, the average over-time pay earned by NYCHA workers rose 204 percent through fiscal 2014, a CUNY analysis found—for an agency that’s facing a $77 million deficit, that amount of overtime is a serious problem, the Daily News writes * New York City should put a tax surcharge on residences valued at $5 million and up that are owned by part-time New Yorkers to fund the critical $13-billion shortfall in the maintenance and repair budget for the New York City Housing Authority, amNew York writes



Park Slope Gentrification Pushing Out the Old From A Long Time Nursing Home
Elderly Evictions: Assisted Living Residents Refuse to MakeWay for Luxury Condos (Independent) Residents who have been fighting in court for the past six months to stay in their homes. Their battle with their landlord, Haysha Deitsch, has become a symbol of the clash between Brooklyn’s rampaging real estate market and the needs of the borough’s longtime inhabitants.


Anti-Tenant Bill DOA Unless Hotel Unions Step In and Control Their Puppets 
Hotel owners would be barred from turning their buildings into luxury condos under a bill being introduced in the New York City Council, the Daily News reports* Documents obtainedby The Buffalo News provide new details on how the state went about picking the developers for Buffalo’s most lucrative development project in decades, as well as a prominent downtown redevelopment project:









How Airbnb is Warehousing Apartments 


You Get No Help From Washington When Their is A Congress Controlled By the GOP And Your One Party City With A Mayor on the Left
While U.S. law forbids mortgaging public housing, a spending deal in Congress may expand a small program that lets housing authorities team up with developers for a turnaround.  Ocean Bay Houses in the Rockaways would get a $78 million overhaul under the spending bill. That’d be a start, but would still leave about 176,000 NYCHA apartments rotting. The rehabbed units are, in effect, market rate units. Section 8 pays the developer the difference between 1/3 of the income of the tenant and market rate. If Section 8 money is not available, the developer has the right to empty the apartments and charge what the market will bear. (Just as in private section 8 voucher deals.)."* NO HELP FOR BILL: Republican-run Congress won't be friendly to Mayor de Blasio's goals for New York, insiders say(NYDN)

NYCHA Chairwoman Olatoye Keeps Promises Better Housing Despite GOP Takeover of the Senate Which Will Result In Less Money for Public Housing
Things will get better, promises NYCHA chairwoman(NYDN) It’s time to make innovative, practical, difficult choices about how we operate, how we are financed and the ways we rebuild and rehabilitate our 2,500 properties, writes chairwoman and CEO Shola Olatoye.Steady federal disinvestment since 2001 has left a staggering $1 billion deficit and significant capital needs, from fixing roofs to bolstering security. We cannot continue this way.* Mold still a growing problem for hundreds ofNYCHA tenants a year after promise of fixes (NYDN) A year ago, NYCHA signed a federal consent decree requiring it to repair mold conditions for residents with asthma. The Daily News looked at a half-dozen developments, chosen at random, and found hundreds of tenants still waiting for progress to be made.* NYCHA tenants sharetheir stories of battling mold (NYDN)  A year after NYCHA signed a federal consent decree requiring aggressive improvements, many residents are still waiting for fixes. Some got their repairs — but the job was shoddy and the mold came back. Five residents share their slimy experiences.
 Republican-run Congress won't help Bill de Blasio's goals for New York, insiders say(NYDN)* "Impeccable" affordability? Next two subsidized towers skewed to those earning six figures(Atlantic Yards Report)* NYCHA Selling AStake Of Its Apartments For Fast Cash (Gothamist)* “We have to think about supporting those units differently,” Shola Olatoye, the NYCHA chairwomantold the Wall Street Journal.*The NYCHA complexes affected by the deal are Section 8 units in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, including Campos Plaza and East 4th Street Rehab. After the apartments are renovated (at a cost of $80,000 a unit), the developers would be able to receive the difference between the NYCHA rent and the market-rate rent from the federal government; in addition to receiving tax credits, after 30 years, the developers will be allowed to turn the apartments into market-rate units, though the details of the deal apparently allow NYCHA to make the final decision.* NYCHA is selling a 50% stake in 900 apartments to L+M Development Partners Inc. and BFC Partner for $150 million, plus $100 million in revenue over 15 years and another $100 million in renovations.* Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. plans to give $101 million from a bank settlement to the New York City Housing Authority for security cameras, better lighting and a swipe-card system for residents to enter the buildings, The Wall Street Journal reports: * After #AkaiGurley shooting, 143 lights were fixed at pink houses ("mostly bulb replacement") @NYCHA #brooklyn



de Blasio Goes Against His Own DOI Commissioners Warning Blocks Conflict of Interests Screening for Contractors
De Blasio administration opposes bill requiring more conflictof interest screening for city contractors (NYDN)  Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal introduced the legislation to require all subcontractors to get a background check in the wake of the CityTime scandal. But the director of the Mayor's Office of Contract Services said the requirement was superfluous and would slow down projects.* Suzannah B. Troy artist: Mayor de Blasio Opposes Bill ChecksContractors Despite 911, CityTime, 311, NYCAPS, FDNY Wireless, BoE, etc

No Accountability to For Those Responsible for the Failed 911 System
de Blasio's Own DOI Said Consultant Like Mercury's Greenspun Ran the Failed 911 System 

Dependency = Admiration = Survival Road Show 
56% Disapprove 
In the aftermath of the Eric Garner case, a Quinnipiac poll found 56 percent of New Yorkers disapprove of the job Mayor Bill de Blasio is doing on police-community ties, while only 36 percent approve, the Daily News reports: *  PBA President Pat Lynch told officers to use “extreme discretion,” in response to what he said was a lack of support from City Hall and Washington after the Eric Garner grand jury decision..* Lynch also said NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio “thinks he’s running a f@#$ing revolution,” and called a protest of the Garner decision by black congressional staffers “stupid S@#!.”* Probe after cop appears to beat boy during arrest(NYP)* The NYPD is telling officers to accept municipal IDs as a valid form of identification if they issue summonses or desk appearance tickets during stops, the Daily Newsreports:   * A plainclothes NYPD officer was caught on tape punching a 12-year-old black male during an arrest on assault charges, the Daily News reports: 

Thursday Update
According to a survey by Quinnipiac University, 60 percent of New Yorkers approve of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s handling of the protests over the Eric Garner decision. * Judge Sits Out Decision on Eric Garner Transcripts(NYT) Justice Stephen J. Rooney recused himself from ruling on releasing grand jury transcripts, because of his wife’s ties to the hospital where Eric Garner was taken.*Judge recuses himself from hearing on whether to release proceedings from grand jury that heard Eric Garner case(NYDN) * Police union chief tones downs critiques of de Blasio, urges mayor to have sit-down with cops(NYDN)* Former Gov. George Pataki thinks the NYPD is the best police department in the nation.

 De Blasio Fights For The Right To Mass Arrest PeacefulProtesters (Gothamist) Public helping cops track down protesters in NYPD attack(NYP) *Mark-Viverito preaches to cops about community relations(NYP)* We’re drivin’ here! Majority want protestors cleared from streets(NYP)* Scott’s grand $tand(NYP Ed) The Eric Garner case is bringing out the worst in city officials. The latest is Comptroller Scott Stringer, who’s practically tripping over himself to ensure he’s the guy who hands..* Cop union boss to members: de Blasio "thinks he'srunning a fucking revolution," cops should use "extremediscretion"  At private meeting, union head tells officers to use ‘extreme discretion’(Capital)  ‘The rules are made by them to hurt you. Well now we’ll use those rules to protect us.’

The New Both Sides of Their Mouth Norm
NYPD Commish Defends de Blasio from Police Union Attacks’ (Mediaite) PD Commissioner Bill Bratton was asked about all this at his press conference today, and he scolded the DEA for its “cheap shot” at the mayor and the PBA for taking “a step too far” in trying to keep de Blasio from funerals. He defended de Blasio’s support of the NYPD and said it’s beyond the pale for any police representative to make such deeply personal attacks.  



$12,000 Reward NYPD announces $12K reward after protest attack on cops(NYP)* Reward Offered as Number of Suspects in Officer Assaults Grows (NY1) * Reward Offered as Number of Suspects in Officer Assaults Grows(NY1) * Here are the ‘alleged’ cop-bashers*NYP) Thought those anti-cop protesters were peaceful? Think again(NYP)  * 'PEOPLE ARE PISSED': Hundreds of cops sign 'Don't Insult My Sacrifice' form asking de Blasio to stay away from police funerals(NYDN) * Marilynn Johnson: Every 20 years, NYC forces police reform(NYDN)* Protest Organizers to Meet With New York Mayor(WSJ)




Multitasking NYPD Story On All Fronts
De Blasio offers different ‘View’ on cop criticism(NYP) Just because he cautioned his son to be “very careful” in encounters with cops doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect police, Mayor de Blasio said on “The View” Tuesday. The mayor said he had a conversation with son Dante at age 11 or 12. “We had to start saying to him something that’s really difficult for a parent to express,” de Blasio said. “The police are there to protect you. You have to respect the police . . . and yet there could be a misunderstanding because there’s been a history in this country.” * New York Protesters to Meet With Bill de Blasio(NYT) Justice League NYC, which has staged regular protests since a grand jury declined to indict an officer in the death of Eric Garner, has a list of demands for the mayor.* New York City Comptroller Seeks to Settle Claim by Eric Garner’s Family(NYT) The move by the comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, is part of his strategy to resolve major civil rights claims before lawsuits are formally filed.* HE’S THINKING OF A NUMBER: Controller Scott Stringer wants to settle with Eric Garner’s family over $75M damage claim, but their attorney warns it’s not so simple (NYDN) * POLICE CLAIM BRUTALITY: Cops seek seven protesters who attacked a pair of NYPD officers — breaking one of their noses — during rally on Brooklyn Bridge(NYDN) * Council Members, Clergy Hold Prayer March in Honor of Garner(NY1)

57 percent of New Yorkers want protesters to stop clogging streets

The same poll found 61 percent of voters support AG Eric Schneiderman’s call for his office to be given the power to handle cases in which unarmed civilians are killed by police.
Majority of New Yorkers Want Protesters to StopBlocking Traffic: Poll (NYO) The poll found 57 percent of New Yorkers want protesters, who have stopped traffic in the weeks since grand juries voted to not indict police officers in the deaths of black men in Staten Island and Ferguson, Mo., off the streets. Thirty-four percent say they should be allowed to block traffic. * A Quinnipiac poll shows that amid protests across the city over police conduct and tensions between de Blasio and police union leaders, most New Yorkers approve of the mayor’s position on the demonstrations, the NewYork Times reportsProtesters punchedthis good samaritan cop (Daily Beast) One was Detective Larry DePrimo, who became an Internet sensation after he came upon a shoeless panhandler in Times Square on a bitterly cold night in 2012. DePrimo asked the man his shoe size and headed for a Skecher’s store two blocks away. A tourist took a cell-phone video of the cop presenting the pandhandler with a brand-new, $100 pair of all-weather boots, along with thermal socks.* VIDEO: Protesters Brawl With #NYPD Officers On Brooklyn Bridge (Video)* Bill seeks to prohibit cops from using drones without a warrant (NYP)* The market for illegal loose cigarettes exists only because progressive tax and regulatory policies have created an opening by pushing the legal price for individual packs of cigarettes in New York City to $14 and higher, the Post writes: The same poll found a majority of New York City residents support Mayor Bill de Blasio’s handling of the post Garner decision protests that continue to roil in the streets and have caused tensions between his office and the NYPD unions.* That said, a majority of New Yorkers would like the protestors to stop blocking traffic.



Call For Community Board Term Limits 

New Term LimitsLegislation Headed to City Council, for Community Boards(Gotham Gazette) On Wednesday Council Members Danny Dromm and Ben Kallos will introduce legislation to impose a six-term limit for members of Community Boards, capping tenure at 12 years. Currently, community board members can serve as many two-year terms as they wish, so long as they continue to be approved by their respective borough president.


2017 Battle: Moskowitz Takes to City Hall Steps  

Eva Moskowitz to take steps of City Hall over charters schools(NYDN)* Eva Moskowitz Accuses City of Dawdling on Charter and Public School Plans (NYO)Success Academy founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz will slam the de Blasio administration tomorrow for what she claims are delays in presenting plans for turning around 247 failing schools and for finding locations for 16 charter schools.
de Blasio 2017


NYPD deB "Who is On First" Dance Routine
Rather than temper his statements with thought, PBA President Pat Lynch is amping up tension between civilians and police by drawing a wholly misplaced parallel between the chokehold death of Eric Garner and the killings of police officers in the line of duty HOLIER THAN THOU: PBA chief refuses to reconcile with mayor, despite Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s urging(NYDN) * Sergeants Union Boss Defends PBA Funeral PetitionWith ‘Hundreds’ of Signatures(NYO)* Tensions mount between de Blasio, police union (LoHud)Council Blames *A New York City Council hearing examining the circumstances of Akai Gurley’s death laid much of the blame on the city, state and federal governments for not adequately funding the New York City Housing Authority, the Observer reports:



Taxi Industry and Lobbyists Uses Media to Bash Uber 
UBER & OUT! Riders curbing taxi app blamed for assaulting and insulting a slew of female passengers — 'Human beings behind it are not acting with integrity'(NYDN)* Uber announces new safety measures as Bostondriver charged with raping rider(NYDN)The car service company said it would improve background checks on its drivers in a blog post Wednesday. The same day, Boston Uber driver Alejandro Done was arraigned on charges that he raped a woman who ordered a ride on the app, police said.* A revamped plan to develop a fleet of the so-called Taxi of Tomorrow was given the sign off de Blasio’s office, despite the mayor’s long history of criticizing the plan, the Times writes:
Taxi and Their Lobbyists





The Other Dance Routine War: Mayor Vs Gov
Because it's fun to watch our mayor and governor pretendto get along (NYM) One of the funniest and most revealing moments in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recentautobiography comes on page 499, in the acknowledgments, and is ­communicated in his use of punctuation. The governor put the word friends in ­quotation marks. This isn’t to suggest that Cuomo has few true personal friends—though after stipulating that friends “should be measured in quality and not quantity,” he does name only two. But in the governor’s line of work, the definition of friends is highly elastic and should usually be interpreted to mean people who are useful—for the moment, anyway.What’s interesting about Cuomo and Bill de Blasio, though, is that they are genuinely friendly, in the simplest, civilian understanding of the word­—which hasn’t stopped them from trying to outmaneuver one another. In fact, familiarity has bred complexity, because both Cuomo and de Blasio think they understand how the other’s mind works




Terror Attack Expected in NYC 
NYPD's John Miller says key to preparation for terrorists is responding when they act. Hard to punish thoughts before
TUNE DOWN THE VOLUME: Top NYPD union reps echo Timothy Cardinal Dolan's call for de Blasio, cops to reconcile(NYDN)* Heed the cardinal (NYDN Ed) PBA boss Pat Lynch needs to cool it *  Guard the Protectors (NYDN Ed)  Police deserve respect, not punches Protests have become perilous. Five cops have been assaulted, most recently two legal-bureau lieutenants who were trying to ensure that the NYPD facilitated freedom of expression to the maximum extent possible. *NYPD Sent to Lindt Stores Amid Siege(WSJ)


Sydney-style siege inevitable in NYC: top counterterror official(NYP)* TICKING TIME BOMB: Terror chief for NYPD says ‘it is inevitable’ Sydney-style attack WILL happen in New York(NYDN)* Hostage situation in Sydney 'inevitable' in New York, NYPD terror chief says (NYDN)  During an appearance on ‘CBS This Morning,’ NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence John Miller said an attack like the one in Australia Monday — where 17 hostages were held over a 16-hour standoff, and two and the gunman died — that is ‘less a question of if, more a question of when’ in the city.

The marching crowds, it is now clear, harbor extremist agitators who are determined to spark confrontations, if not worse. In midtown on Sunday, one group chanted, “What do we want? Dead cops!” while another chanted “Arms up, shoot back!” Chan and Sullivan saw a man identified as Eric Linsker about to hurl a garbage can onto cops or marchers one level down. Chan tried to arrest Linsker. Linsker resisted. A video shows Chan struggling with protesters, who pulled Linsker free, but not before Linsker threw a punch at Chan. One of the pack, a man wearing a mask, broke Chan’s nose with a punch. Meanwhile, the group set upon Sullivan, attempting to grab his radio. He was punched and kicked on the groud.* Sergeants Benevolent Association Blasts Mayor Bill DeBlasio After Attack On Cops(WCBS)* Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins defended rank-and-file union head Pat Lynch for posting a petition for cops to ask Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to skip their funerals, the Observer reports * Organizers of the recent protests in New York City over the non-indictment of a police officer in the death of Eric Garner said they are scheduled to meet with Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday with a list of demands, the Times reports: * Even the prosecutors who presented evidence to the Eric Garner grand jury were stunned and disappointed when the panel didn't indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, DNAinfo reports: 


de Blasio Loosies Minor Offense At Same Time In Federal Court to Stop the Sale of Illegal Cigarettes in NY
De Blasio quietly filed untaxed cig suit the week of Garner decision(NYP) Mayor de Blasio ordered city lawyers to stay silent about a groundbreaking lawsuit to keep bootleg cigarettes out of the Big Apple — because it came as Hizzoner was downplaying the illegal cigarette sales that led to the ill-fated police arrest of Eric Garner, The Post has learned. The city Law Department drafted the civil-racketeering suit the same week that a Staten Island grand jury did not indict NYPD cop Daniel Pantaleo in Eric Garner’s chokehold death, and it was quietly filed in Brooklyn federal court on Dec. 9. The Law Department drafted a press release boasting that the suit “is the first of its kind brought by the city against an out-of-state entity for supplying cigarette traffickers,” sources said. But City Hall suppressed the news, ordering the Law Department not to put out the release, according to the sources.* Smokes get in their eyes(NYP Ed) After the death of Eric Garner, the mayor said the crime police tried to arrest him for — selling “loosies,” or individual, untaxed cigarettes — is a “minor offense.” At the same time the mayor was making that claim to the public, he was making a different argument in federal court. As The Post reported Tuesday, the city was filing a ground-breaking civil racketeering suit against a Virginia company over the selling of illegal cigarettes in New York.

NYPD Protest Overtime NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton revealed Monday that New York City has spent a hefty $22.9 million in overtime for cops during the ongoing protests over police brutality, the Daily News reports:  Murder Cases On Hold Cops put homicide cases on hold to deal with protests(NYP)* How Much Does the NYPD Spend on Misdemeanor Arrests? Newsweek‎* recent protests = "significant drain on themanpower” — Bratton(Capital)

Officers Public Housing Eviction Tension  Officers walking a beat in the city’s housing projects are watching not only for offenses but also for behavior that is not illegal and citations can lead to evictions, The New York Times reports:



Council Wants It Both Ways On Tickets  

Council Spends the Money Collected From the Summon System and Complains Tickets Have Overwhelmed the Courts
New York City Council members expressed concerns about the city’s summons system at a hearing Monday, as legal advocates described what they see as opaque, rapid proceedings in overwhelmed courts, the Journalreports: New York City has issued violations to a half-dozen businesses for failing to comply with the new paid-sick-leave law—the first enforcement actions since the law was passed in March, the Post writes: 


City to Audit None Profit Incumbent Machines 

 Bloomberg Tolling for Vito Lopez's Votes Funds His None Profit Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Councilwith Tens of Million
Not Only is the JCOPE Sexual Harassment Report Against Vito Lopez Being Cover Up His GF Walks After Ripping Off His Non Profit Government Funded Political Machine Sweetheart No Jail Deal for Vito Lopez Girlfriend Crook Judge James C. Francis IV of Federal District Court in Manhattan Missed and opportunity to use Fisher to rat on the rest of the Lopez crowdProbation for Ex-Director of Nonprofit Group Tied to Assemblyman(NYT) Christiana M. Fisher, who was director of a nonprofit oranization controlled by Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, pleaded guilty to providing false documents about a jump in her salary, to $659,591 from $235,135. 

In 1993 the NY Times wrote About the Lopez Machine
Growth of a New-Age Political Machine(NYT)"The organization, the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, employs 1,400 people through more than 50 grants budgeted at more than $33 million annually. Yet at the same time many of those taxpayer dollars -- allocated for pressing human needs -- have been put to work for private, political purposes as well. They have paid for an agglomeration of power that has stunted the neighborhood's political diversity, rewarded a handful of Mr. Lopez's proteges with well-paying jobs, enriched politically connected contractors and produced programs that in several instances have been criticized for accounting and performance. Like the social-service groups connected to Representative Floyd H. Flake in Queens, Assemblyman Albert Vann in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Pedro Espada in the Soundview section of the Bronx, the Ridgewood Bushwick council has managed to fill the vacuum left by the dimming influence of county political bosses and the decade-long decline in Federal anti-poverty money."Pork-barrel polka(NYP Ed) * Vito’s ‘Money Honeys’ get big salaries — subsidized by you (2010, The Brooklyn Paper)* City suspends close to $1M in funding for troubled nonprofit(Capital)  The Institute for Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly (IPRHE), which has received tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer-backed funds for years, will not get $959,293—the amount it was granted in contracts from the City Council over the past two fiscal years, an administration official confirmed to Capital. (Those funds had not yet been processed; grants that are underway will not be pulled.)



MTA 
New data shows that about 25% of all @MTA subway trains are late, up 6% from lastyear.  (NYDN)* New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority may use overtime revenue for transit workers to help direct riders on and off packed subways that serve as many as six million passengers a day, Bloomberg reports: Crowded subway platforms dangerously close to tipping point(NYP)* The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced that the first phase of the Second Avenue subway is 76 percent complete, with the line’s 86th Street station completed this week, Crain’s reports: 

HP Settlement What About the Out of Control Lobbyists?  
New York is A Colony Again . . . 
Norman Oder ‏@AYReport  At #AtlanticYards groundbreaking, ForestCity exec hails Com. Benefit Agreement partners.Another's called'em "snakes"  * FCR, De Blasio BreaksGround On ‘100 Affordable’ Complex at Atlantic Yards(NYO)* Chinese investors can 'buy' a green card to help pay fornew TZ bridge ?!?!  More developers turn to in-house EB-5 centers(Real Deal)* The dark, disturbing world of the visa-for-sale program (fortune)* Anatomy of a Green Card Pitch: In China, Atlantic Yards ... Second Apartment Tower Near Barclays Center Breaks Ground(WSJ) All of Building’s 298 Units to Be Considered Affordable * The Chinese government is building affordable housing in Brooklyn (QZ)

"The Chinese Government Is Building Affordable Housing in Brooklyn." (Oh, really?)(AYR)  It's all about the frame, right? So the article from Quartz, The Chinese Government Is Building Affordable Housing in Brooklyn (repurposed on fellow Atlantic site CityLab), was a particularly sheep-like framing of a building that includes below-market housing that's not affordable to most Brooklynites, and is accompanied by the construction of a luxury condo tower. “We are committed to doing everything we can to keep this neighborhood diverse, affordable and accessible for all New Yorkers,” I-Fei Chang, head of Greenland Holdings Group’s US expansion, was quoted as saying.  Relying on an imprecise description in a DNAinfo article, the Quart article states:  


Half of the 298 units are supposed to be for families that make as low as 40% of the median income for the area—that’s about $33,560 for a family of four. Thankfully, Quartz offers the opportunity to post an annotation on each paragraph. Here's one I posted: Chang's quote is pure p.r. , surely fed by (unmentioned) partner Forest City Ratner, part of Greenland Forest City Partners. Poor phrasing: only 5% of total units are for households @ 40% of AMI--most "affordable" units are for households far better off then average Brooklynites. AYR  linked both to my analysis of affordability and my coverage of the groundbreaking.


Foreign Ownership of NYC Real Estate is Increasing At AFast Pace
   



After A Billion Dollars In Tax Payer Money Ratner's $3500 Affordable Housing FU  
"Insane" says NYDN commenter on "De Blasio hails 'affordable' complex with $3,500 apartments" 
De Blasio hails 'affordable housing' complex in Brooklynwith $3,500 apartments (NYDN)  The mayor broke ground on a housing complex near Barclays Center where most units will run between $2,500 and $3,500 a month. The tenants at Pacific Park, formerly Atlantic Yards, will pay 30% of their income for rent, the standard for all affordable housing.* Year of the Sheep: at groundbreaking for new tower, de Blasio and supporters hail "100% affordable housing," avoid pesky details about cost(AYR)

 Bertha Lewis, former head of New York ACORN, now leader of The Black Institute, and the person who helped devise the affordable housing deal, bowed to de Blasio and to Zhang when she got on stage.. "To the People's Republic of China," she said in something of a Charlie Chan accent, "welcome to the People's Republic of Brooklyn."* Borough President Eric Adams laid on the rhetoric about affordable housing: "A unit [sic] of 100% affordable housing is sending a clear signal to countless numbers of Brooklynites who are asking the question, Would Brooklyn, and is Brooklyn, going to remain affordable? This building is an exclamation point: yes it is."


Affordable Housing Has Become A Band-aid On A Cancer for Elected Officials to Protect Them From What They Are Doing to Our City With Their Tax Breaks to Developers 

From Campaign 2013
The Bloomberg administration’s ambitious housing plan to create or preserve 165,000 affordable units by the end of June 2014, largely through incentives to private developers, will fall short of meeting the need for affordable housing in the city. “We hardly gained anything because we lost an equal number of units from rent regulation and Mitchell Lama,” said Mr. de Blasio. “There’s over a third of the city paying more than 50% of their income for rent.” Poor Door’ in a New York Tower Opens a Fight Over Affordable Housing(NYT) As public housing becomes a relic, American cities have grown morereliant on developers, who say they can maximize their revenues and build more affordable units, by separating them from their luxury counterparts. * Real Estate Developers, Tax Breakes and Politics

Homelessness


The Smith Trial in 3 Weeks Will Isaacs Have to Testify? 
New Manhattan GOP Leader Isaacs Out
Manhattan GOP chairman shakeup in the works(NYP) There’s a leadership shake-up coming at the Manhattan Republican Party. Adele Malpass is replacing Dan Isaacs as the head of organization.  “I’m going to be the chairman. I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” said Malpass. An announcement is expected Monday. The Manhattan GOP has become irrelevant in local politics in recent years. It has no elected representatives serving in city or state legislative offices. It used to have representatives in Congress, the state Senate and Assembly and the City Council * Manhattan GOP leader Isaacs caught on FBI tape entertaining $30G bribe from agent – pol whines ‘I have never been charged’(NYP) * State Republican Party Dumping Manhattan GOP Chair: Sources (NYO)


Capital Wrong When They Reported A Queens GOP Truce 

The lawsuit by former Congressman Bob Turner against the leadership of the Queens GOP is still on. Turning is lawsuit says that GOP leader Robert Beltrani and his supporters did not count the supporters of Turners proxy votes. All that was accomplished at the sit down besides lunch at the Kaufman Studios was a free lunch for Ulrich, Cox, Jim Mccullen Bert Haggerty and the other GOP bottom feeders. The ghost of Vinny Tabone hung over the meeting
 

 Queens Republicans agree to a truce, if not a chairman(Capital)   The meeting took place inside the Astor Room at Kaufman Astoria Studios. Representatives from both sides of the civil war were present, including supermarket and oil magnate John Catsimatidis of Manhattan, who has bankrolled much of the Republican apparatus since Michael Bloomberg’s departure, and Eric Ulrich, the 29-year-old councilman who is the last remaining Republican elected official in the borough that has more registered Republicans that any other borough in the city. Also at the meeting were New York State Republican chairman Ed Cox, who this week just ousted Daniel Isaacs as the chairman of the county organization in Manhattan, and former congressman Bob Turner, who is interested in becoming the next chair of the Queens organization.* Catsimatidis’ daughter files for divorce from husband of 3 years(NYP) Andrea Catsimatidis, daughter of billionaire grocer and failed mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, filed for divorce Wednesday against her husband of three years, President Richard Nixon’s grandson Christopher Nixon Cox.

NYP and Cops Union Lash Out At the Mayor After the Brooklyn Bridge Attack

Tuesday Update

Cops rip ‘nincompoop’ de Blasio’s response to protester attack(NYP) Mayor de Blasio has again spit in the face of city cops — using the word “allegedly’’ to describe the vicious mob attack on two NYPD lieutenants, outraged police reps said Sunday. Bending over backward to praise the city’s anti-cop protesters for their “peaceful’’ behavior — even as some chanted on Saturday night, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” — the mayor said the attack was “an incident . . . in which a small group of protesters allegedly assaulted some members of the NYPD.” “When cops are the accused, the word ‘alleged’ never enters into the discussion,” fumed Michael Palladino, president of the NYPD Detectives’ Endowment Association. Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, called de Blasio a “total nincompoop” for his handling of the situation. Some cops were even comparing de Blasio to his political mentor, ex-Mayor David Dinkins, who was reviled for apologizing to the family of a drug dealer killed while resisting arrest, and then paying for the thug’s funeral, in th early 1990s.* on Q about when do protests go too far @BilldeBlasio says "I think these things have a natural cycle." doesn't expect these to "go on 4ever"


NYT Cop Assault Rethink Amid Assaults on Officers, New York Police Rethink Their Response to Protests At least five officers have been assaulted by protesters — including two lieutenants on Saturday during a nighttime melee on the Brooklyn Bridge.


NYPD cops attacked during ‘peaceful’ protest(NYP)*Top cop who bailed out de Blasio's bishop pal transferred from Brooklyn precinct(NYDN)* Incoming Assemblyman Charles Barron explains why he believes NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton should be fired and broken windows policing abandoned, and he also lays out his agenda for the upcoming legislative session in Albany, including his push for the full implementation of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity ruling City & State  Cardinal Dolan Calls for Peace Dolan: Demonizing NYPD or city's leaders won't unite NYC(NYDN) * Timothy Cardinal Dolan, writing in the DN, urges both sides of the post-Eric Garner case debate in NYC to “to tune down the volume and speak calmly. * ”The President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Pat Lynch, is defending the union’s attempt to ban the NYC mayor and City Council speaker from attending the funerals of fallen police officers.* The man arrested on felony charges after assaulting two NYPD officers at the end of an otherwise peaceful protest march Sunday is a 29-year-old Brooklyn resident and English professor at Baruch college.* The beating of the two police lieutenants was the latest evidence of deteriorating behavior by some marchers in the Garner protests, a law-enforcement official said, and police vowed to “draw the line” on further attacks.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio called the attack “an incident…in which a small group of protesters allegedly assaulted some members of the NYPD.” Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, called the mayor a “total nincompoop” for his handling of the situation. * Congregants in African-American churches across the country wore black to Sunday services and prayed over the men in attendance in a symbolic stand against fatal police shootings of unarmed black men.* Protests have violent side, NYPD finds. (WSJ) Cuomo Defends Cops Barring de Blasio from Funerals Cuomo defends cops barring de Blasio from funerals(NYP) * Former President Bush pays surprise visit to 9/11 museum (NYP) Sydney NYC ups security after Sydney siege(NYP)* HOLY UNION: Top NYPD union reps say Timothy Cardinal Dolan is right that de Blasio, cops need to reconcile(NYDN) * Police Patrols in New York Housing Draw Scrutiny(NYY) In New York public housing, officers walking a beat are watching not only for offenses but also for behavior that is not illegal at all. Citations can lead to evictions.* Police Hunt for 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Protest Melee(NYT) Videos captured the roughly two-minute melee on Saturday between protesters and two lieutenants who were injured, Philip Chan and Patrick Sullivan. * David Garth, 84, Dies; Consultant Was an Innovator of Political TV Ads(NYT)* HOLIER THAN THOU: PBA chief refuses to reconcile with mayor, despite Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s urging(NYDN)


There’s No Room for Rudolph Giuliani in Bill de Blasio’s New York
The beating of two police lieutenants over the weekend was the latest evidence of deteriorating behavior by some marchers in the Eric Garner protests, a law-enforcement official said, and police vowed to “draw the line” on further attacks on officers, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * What former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s persona non grata status in City Hall has amounted to, one year into Mr. de Blasio’s tenure, is a wholesale rejection of the voters and values that defined the tempestuous Republican’s two terms, the New YorkObserver writes: 



The Plane The Plane 


Silver Has His Own Law Practice Beyond Being Counsel to Weitz & Luxenberg 
Speaker Silver’s secret(NYP Ed) The Assembly speaker admitted for the first time that besides the hefty fees he commands as counsel to Weitz & Luxenberg, he also has his own personal law practice. His admission came last Thursday, after a New York Times report that federal prosecutors determined he’d failed to disclose some of his outside law-firm income, which topped $650,000 in 2013. As for what he specifically does to earn that money and for whom, Silver’s lips remain sealed. “I can’t tell you,” said the speaker, adding that “I follow the law.” Then again, this is a law he pretty much wrote himself and that does not require such disclosure. Silver and other legislators with outside law-firm income stand on the profession’s ethical code of confidentiality. But the New York City Bar Association, in a 2010 statement, called on Silver and his colleagues to fully disclose their outside income, “including the identity of their clients, their fees and a clear description of the services rendered.” Moreover, “there should be no blanket exception for attorney-legislators.” US Attorney Preet Bharara lunched last Friday with state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, shortly after a report that Bharara is pushing ahead with a probe of state lawmakers’ outside income. They discussed their “continuing partnership,” a DiNapoli spokeswoman said.


Dolan: I Shrunk the Church
New York Archdiocese Appears Likely to Shutter More Churches(NYT) Documents show that Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has proposed that an additional 38 parishes merge, in addition to the 112 that were announced in November.*  Gov. Andrew Cuomo failed to enact a tax credit that could help parochial and private schools, so Dolan wants the governor to include it in his budget proposal next month, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett reports:  Timothy Cardinal Dolan pushes for school tax break in Gov. Cuomo's budget proposal(NYDN)*  The sweeping reorganization of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, set to take effect next year, is likely to involve the merger or the closing of significantly more parishes than was originally announced last month, archdiocese documents show.* Cuomo failed to enact a tax credit that could help parochial and private schools, so Cardinal Dolan wants the governor to include it in his budget proposal next month.
More on the NY Archdiocese 











A Tale of Two Cities: The Haves and the Have Not Have Less 
While the state and city economies are modestly creating jobs, paychecks are stagnating or worse—with all too many New Yorkers facing a diminished standard of living for themselves and their children, the Daily Newswrites:  As Brooklyn Rents Have Gone Up 30% to 100% the average annual paycheck, when adjusted for inflation, stood at $43,724 in 2004. By 2013, it had shriveled to just $39,959 — a devastating 8.6% drop. The trend for working New Yorkers is undeniably bleak — and stands as an urgent call to action for Gov. Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and the rest of New York’s elected leaders. Huge forces are at work. Among them are the loss of manufacturing jobs due to globalization and automation, health-care costs that take an ever-bigger bite out of employers’ budgets and the concentration of job growth in low-paying sectors like retail and home health care. No mention of how rezoning has taken so many manufacturing jobs and turned many mixed used communities into a luxury brand.*  Despite considerable growth in the New York City economy over the past two decades, very little of that growth has trickled down to the average worker and his or her family, according to a report from theFiscal Policy Institute:



What We Have In NYC Today are Elected Officials Who Do Not Protect the Voters Who Elected Them
The only solution: robust economic growth. Paralyzed Washington has shamefully failed to do its part — starting, as Sen. Chuck Schumer recently admitted, when President Obama prioritized health reform over economic stimulus. Cuomo’s approach thus far has focused on offering aggressive tax breaks to companies that launch or expand near certain college campuses — which may help, but does not match the enormity of the challenge.  Also worthwhile but small-bore are de Blasio’s plans to overhaul the city’s job-training programs and prepare more public school and CUNY graduates for high-tech fields. If he wants to make a difference on his signature issue of income inequality, he’ll need to think a lot bigger than that. 

What’s called for is an aggressive push to roll back the high taxes and onerous regulations that make New York one of the least business-friendly states in the country.  To invest in roads, mass transit and other infrastructure that would create jobs while catalyzing future growth . To demand far better performance from schools — so they send out graduates prepared for college and careers, especially in science, technology, engineering and math.  And more — much, much more.
NYC's Economic Problems

Lobbyists Behind Developers Named By de Blasio in Public Housing Sell-Off Are On the Mayor's Staff

Do the Residents in Public Housing Have Human Rights?  Mercury Greenspun Part of the City's Shadow Government Was Appointed By de Blasio  to the Human Rights Commission
Greensun's Mercury Public Affairs, LLC Work for BFC Parnters A Company Name to Take Over Public Housing Apartments

Campaign 2017: de Blasio Pull GOP Lobbyists Who Opposed Him in 2013 to His Team (Pulling A Cuomo)

As a managing director at Mercury, Mr. Greenspun lobbied New York City government on behalf of the technology company, Intergraph Corporation, which was a contractor on the city's troubled Emergency Communications Transformation Program, or ECTP, outsourcing technology contract to upgrade the city's unwieldy 911 emergency call system.  The primary contractor on the ECTP contract, Hewlett-Packard, initially resisted efforts to work with Intergraph on a solution to the New York Police Department's upgrade of its Computer Aided Dispatch system, according to a draft 2007 memorandum between Bloomberg administration officials.  The ECTP project has been faulted by government reform advocates for having ballooned by about $1 billion over budget, for falling several years behind schedule, and for still failing to properly work.  The troubled ECTP project has led to several deaths, raising questions of possible criminal negligence by ECTP consultants.Mayor de Blasio named a chair for the city’s Commission on Human Rights and eight new commissioners to the agency’s board Friday – including a deep-pocketed lobbyist who donated heavily to the mayor in 2013.  Newly appointed Jonathan Greenspun, a Mercury Public Affairs Managing Director and registered lobbyist, bundled $4,075 for de Blasio’s 2013 City Hall campaign, and donated another $23,000 towards his transition, according to campaign finance records. Another lobbyists for BFC The Carey Group LLC


Media Never Names the Lobbyist Who Made Money on the Broken 911 System . . .  Will the Investigators?
What role did 911 lobbyists play in giving Verzon gifts to NYPD Assistant Chief Charles (Chuck) Dowd?  The Death of Ariel Russo Did Not Even Stop the Corruption and Incompetence of the 911 System
Daily News the What Happen But Not the How and Why
Daily News Today Says 911 System Failed Ariel Russo But Do Not Name the Lobbyist for the Contractors or the reasons for NYPD's communication director Dowd being forced out and his aides jumping ship. Former Comptroller Liu said HP overbilled the city for $163 million and didn't properly deliver for years.   In 2012 Liu callled for a review of the HP contract by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. “because of the possibility of fraud in the solicitation and billing process.” Liu’s audit said that Hewlett Packard shouldn’t have been hired for the 911 work because it failed to meet the city’s technical requirements. Among the lobbyists to get paid by the city’s broken 911 system contractors wLiu also claimed that the city and HP hired unqualified project consultants and overbilled the city by another $50 million.as 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


de Blasio's Deputy Mayor Has Ties to L+M Development Partners Inc the Other Company Picked to Take Over Public Housing Apartments
Mr. de Blasio is still an enigma to some in the business community, even those who have worked with him over the years. Lisa Gomez, an executive at L+M Development Partners, raised more than $13,000 for Mr. de Blasio based on his commitment to build more affordable housing, a focus of her firm. Two Mayor de Blasioappointees tasked with affordable housing have ties to developers (NYDN)  Alicia Glen, the new deputy mayor for housing and economic development, and Vicki Been, head of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, both have ties to an organization funded by major developer Ron Moelis. The housing deals Glen worked on at Goldman Sachs may also come before her for approval in City Hall. At the time of her selection by de Blasio, Glen also sat on the board of the Moelis Institute for Affordable Housing Policy, an organization founded by a major developer of affordable housing — Ron Moelis of L+M Development Partners Inc.



A Tale of Two de Blasio's Black Vs White, Poll City Headed In Wrong Direction 


A Racial Divide Poll is A Picture In Time
New Yorkers split on de Blasio and direction of city(Capital) More than half of New York City residents support Mayor Bill de Blasio but still feel the city is on the wrong track, according to a poll released this morning. The same percentage—52—that approves of de Blasio's job performance also said the city is on the "wrong track," compared to 41 percent who believe the city is headed in the "right direction."   As has been the case in other recent polls, de Blasio's margin of support—52 percent for, 32 percent against and 15 percent undecided—was deeply divided along racial lines.  Seven in 10 black voters approve of his job performance, compared to 60 percent of Hispanics surveyed and only 32 percent of whites.His disapproval rating among blacks is just 19 percent, compared to 49 percent of whites and 25 percent of Hispanics.* The same poll found more than half of residents – blacks and whites alike – say the city is headed in the wrong direction.

Poll: A Racial Divided City Runs Through de Blasio
 Poll Finds Unease in New York After Garner Case; Challenge for de Blasio(NYT) * Document: Full Results of The New York Times/Siena College Poll on Mayor de Blasio(NYT)*De Blasio getting the thumbs down from NYers(NYP) Mayor de Blasio, elected on a promise of bringing the city together, is getting a thumbs down from New Yorkers when it comes to race relations. A poll by Siena College and The New York Times released Friday found 48 percent of voters think race relations are “bad” in general — up from 30 percent who thought so at the end of the Bloomberg administration.*Nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers believe Officer Daniel Pantaleo should be charged in Eric Garner's death: poll(NYDN)

Blasting the Press,de Blasio, Sharpton Over Noerdlinger and Racial Divide


Picture This Mayor Diversity   
The Real Diversity are the Men Who Have Occupied City Hall and the Way They Have Built A City That Aloud Wave After Wave of the Immigrants and Poor to Join the Middle Class, Not the Historical Pictures That Hang On Its Walls

David Dinkins, Afro-American (1990-1993); Ed Koch, Jewish (1978-1989); Jimmy Walker, Irish (1926-1932); Fiorello H. La Guardia, Italian (1934-1945); John Lindsay, Protestant (1966-1973); Robert Wagner, Catholic (1954-1965); Seth Low, Episcopalian (1902-1904)  . . .  Note while no Latino has been mayor, the man who came the closest was Herman Badillo, whose funeral the mayor did not attend last week.   De Blasio wants to revamp the art collection at City Hall(NYP) Move over, George Washington!  Mayor de Blasio wants to revamp the art collection at City Hall to spice up the mostly vanilla collection of portraits of historically prominent white men.  “The Mayor and First Lady believe the art at City Hall should reflect the vibrant diversity of New York City, and discussions on how to update the building’s collection to celebrate that diversity are underway,” Mayoral spokeswoman Marti Adams said Friday. 

Should A Mayor Elected With Less Then 15% Of New Yorkers Votes Control  History


Were is the Outrage?

Sunday Update Former city design head blasts mayor’s plan to remove portraits(NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s off-the-wall plan to take down the City Hall portraits of white historical figures is not only dumb, it’s also “condescending’’ to minorities, a former city official said Saturday. “The premise is stupid,’’ said Michele Bogart, an ex-vice president of the Public Design Commission, which overseas the portrait collection. “You take down the dead white men because they represent something you don’t like in history instead of the portraits being a point of conversation. Use it as a teaching tool.’’ De Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, want to banish the portraits of former mayors, presidents and military heroes — some by famous artists — to make way for art that “celebrates’’ the city’s “diversity.’’“I don’t think it’s appropriate for the mayor to be bashing the previous mayor through the portrait collection,’’ Bogart said. Modal Trigger Michele Bogart is now a professor at Stony Brook University. “It’s not a political football. It was not conserved to make a political statement.” She noted, “Black historians agree with me,’’ adding, “It’s fine to add diversity, maybe commission new pieces, but don’t remove what’s already there. “The way they want them removed it assumes that blacks and Hispanics somehow can’t handle learning about people from the past. It’s dumbing down history and it’s condescending.*De Blasio wants to change historic City Hall paintings to reflect 'vibrant diversity' of NYC(NYDN)


PA James Says Airbnb is Making Brooklyn More Unaffordable  
Public Advocate Letitia James blasts Airbnb for making Brooklyn "least affordable" housing market in nation(NYDN)  The median rent in Brooklyn was $2,858 in October, 2013, up almost 6% over the previous year, according to a report by report, by RealtyTrac. “Now, affordable housing in Brooklyn faces a new challenge: Airbnb,” James wrote in a letter to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and obtained by the Daily News. Airbnb has nearly 8,000 apartment listings in Brooklyn, according to James, with 2,000 listings in Bedford Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Greenpoint and Fort Greene. In those neighborhoods,  “rents have increased by more than 28% from 2006 to 2012,” she writes.*Public Advocate Letitia James blasts Airbnb for making Brooklyn "least affordable" housing market innation(NYDN)
More On How Airbnb Hurts NYC's Middle Class and Poor
More on Affordable Housing


2014 the Year of the Lies 
Cuomo Lawmakers Fight Over Bank $$$
Cuomo, Legislators Jockey Over Bank-Settlement Proceeds(WSJ) New York state lawmakers face an enviable problem heading into the new year: how to spend an extra $5 billion.* 2014 is the Year ofthe Lie..."Andrew Cuomo and that anti-corruption commission." (NYP)* Lead by example: Cuomo must grasp that ethics not justsomeone else’s problem (Watertown) * Cuomo declares war on union that supported @zephyrteachout



Halloran Sentencing Push Back 
Former City Councilman Dan Halloran's sentencing date for a corruption conviction has been pushed back by more than a month, and he's already preparing for an appeal.






As the Manhattan DA Gets Ready to Rule the NYT's Reports Mostly on the Career of Rubinstein  
A Rape Claim Has Put Sandy Rubenstein on the Edge of Disgrace(NYT) Over the course of one week in early October, Sanford A. Rubenstein appeared on the front page of The New York Post four days in a row. It was a lot — even for him. Mr. Rubenstein, a civil rights lawyer who has handled some of New York’s most explosive cases of police brutality over the years, has been featured so often on the city’s tabloid covers that some have joked he owns a time share there. But this run of publicity was different. The noisy headlines in 180-point type did not describe him as what he had been for decades: a man who fought the police on behalf of victims’ families. They described him as what he had become: a man accused of rape.



Boylands' Mother Tells His Lawyer He Not Coming to Court Today  
Politician plays hooky from his sentencing hearing(NYP)A convicted-crook politician played hooky from his sentencing hearing Friday — and had his mommy call in to say he wouldn’t make it. Disgraced ex-Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. was a no-show at the Brooklyn federal court hearing, forcing his lawyer to make the cringe-worthy admission. “I got a call from his mother at 1:30 this afternoon and she told me he believed I wasn’t coming to court,” defense attorney Stuart Grossman said apologetically in court. “He doesn’t make those decisions!” shot back a displeased Judge Sandra Townes. The judge issued a use of force order, which means if the master graftsman skips his next court date on Dec. 19, he’ll be dragged into court bybrooklyn US Marshals.
More About the Boyland Conviction



Leaked SONY Emails Catches Dowd's Show and Tell  
Maureen Dowd let aSony exec’s husband look at a column about his wife before it was published: (NY Mag)* Concha: NY Times HasSent Advance Copies of Dowd Columns to Subjects Before — All WithoutRepercussions * The Sony Hack and the Yellow Press(NYT) By AARON SORKIN Every news outlet that did the bidding of Sony’s hackers is morally treasonous and spectacularly dishonorable. * Throughout the Ebola epidemic, health agencies and other scientists released outrageous estimates that the media faithfully relayed—and faithfully forgot by the time the “warnings” proved false, op-ed contributor Michael Fumento writes in the Post:
NY Times Failed Kingdom and Jill Abramson





CFB Tells NYCLASS Your Responsible, NYCLASS Blames the Advance Group 

Can You Imagine Abzug, Messinger or Friedlander being silent if someone tried to Steal the Election from Them
On November 21, 2013 the Daily News reported how the political consultants secretly worked together to fixed elections, "The firm (Advance Group) admitted its work for City Action Coalition PAC was problematic. “We did a favor for a political operative that we have a longstanding relationship with by sending his mailer to a printer,” an Advance Group spokeswoman said. “It was a mistake that we regret and is completely inconsistent with our history.” The CFB blasted NYCLASS, also known as New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets, for not taking responsibility for their wrongdoing. “These are very serious and severe penalties. They are very severe because there were very serious violations by NYCLASS,” said Richard Davis, a CFB board member. “The Board feels very strongly that if you’re going to becomean independent spender you cannot outsource responsibility for compliance withthe law. (NYO)That is the responsibility of the independent spender and that responsibility was not met here.” The CFB said the Advance Group itself could face fines in the near future.  “We have all seen the disturbing increase in spending by outside groups in federal, state and even local elections in recent years,” said Rose Gill Hearn, a CFB board member. “The Board expects to consider violations and penalties against The Advance Group, the common agent to the spender and the candidates who benefited from these expenditures.”



Also Shocking NYP: 99 Words 4 Paragraphs On the NYCLASS Fine 
Shocking You Would Expect the NYP to Go to Town Attacking NYCLASS for Helping to Elect A Mayor and Speaker Who They Can't Disagree More WithHorse carriage haters get slammed with five figure fine(NYP)





Even the CFB is Ignoring the Damage PACs Are Doing to Public Financing of Campaigns 
The CFB ignored tens of million pured into the city's public financed campaigns to come up with a self serving conclusion on its work.  On the same day the CFB fined the Advance Group for corrupting two council campaigns with the NYCLASS PAC they released a report that Public Funds Reduced the Impact of Big Money and SpecialInterests.


One Year Ago the NYT Reported Advance Claims It Had A Fire Wall Between the PAC and Campaigns it Ran 
“We took pains to have firewalls internal to the firm,” said Mr. Levenson, who acknowledged that he faced an investigation. “I can say unequivocally, independent expenditures were done independently and not coordinated.”

Now the NYT Reports That the CFB Said There Was No Fire Wall, In Fact Advance Ran the Show 
New YorkPanel Approves Fine for Group Against Carriage Horses(NYT)In documents released after its vote on Thursday, the board said it “found credible” statements by NYClass that it did not know the Advance Group was also consulting for Ms. Cumbo’s and Mr. Levine’s campaigns, and that it had relied on the Advance Group’s assurances that NYClass was in compliance with campaign-finance rules.


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)

deB Boots O'Reilly Guy Out of Press Conference . . .  Builds Bigger Fence With Permits 

Monday Update City shelled out $30K for Gracie Mansion fence(NYP)
Sunday Update No public tours at Gracie Mansion since de Blasio moved in(NYP)The mayor’s need for seclusion is a far cry from when Mayor Rudy Giuliani lived there with his family. Back then, public tours were available every Wednesday and Thursday morning, according to 2001 press reports.

Saturday UpdateDe Blasio never got permits for new Gracie Mansion fence(NYP) Mayor de Blasio failed to secure the proper permits to build his “privacy fence” around Gracie Mansion — and the Parks Department is now scrambling to file the paperwork after the fact, City Hall officials admitted Friday.* Fence at Gracie Mansion Now Taller Than de Blasio(NYT)

Defensive de Blasio builds taller fence at Gracie Mansion(NYP) Mayor de Blasio, a self-declared progressive “man of the people,” has erected a massive new “privacy fence” to keep his constituents from looking in on Gracie MansionThe new fence — constructed just inside an existing red brick wall and a wrought-iron fence ringing the historic property — was actually dubbed a “privacy fence” by de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray, sources told The Post. * Fox News correspondent booted from Mayor de Blasio presser(NYDN)A correspondent on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" was escorted out of a Mayor de Blasio press conference in the Bronx Thursday.  Jesse Watters was asked to leave after pestering the mayor to appear on the prime time show, which is hosted by de Blasio critic Bill O'Reilly.* Bill O’Reilly ambush man Jesse Watters confronts de Blasio(Capital)* Bill de Blasio,'mayor of the people,' builds higher privacy fence around home 


Widows Speak to Police Protests 
Families of fallen cops band together amid protests(NYP) Widows and children of hero cops killed in the line of duty say this picture — taken Saturday night — is their answer to cop-bashing agitators who take to the streets to disparage the men and women who put their lives on the line every day for New Yorkers. It was taken Saturday night at the annual Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association Christmas party at Michael Jordan’s Steak House for the families of the Finest who died in action. One widow said the survivors were tremendously upset about the seemingly never ending marches and demonstrations by cop haters. “We wanted to take this picture to show the protestors that our loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the city — and allow the demonstrators to exercise their right to march.’’
UFT Sends Members to Sharpton Washington Rally to Protest Killer Cops 


Saturday Update Sharpton struggles to find marchers for DC protest(NYP) The Rev. Al Sharpton is keeping expectations low for Saturday’s National March Against Police Violence — predicting that only “several thousand” protesters will gather along Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue. “We have over 100 buses coming from New York alone, but I’m not giving out numbers,” Sharpton told The Post Friday night. The permit is for just 5,000 protesters, a National Parks Service spokesperson said Friday.* All the Rev’s enablers(NYP Ed)*Protesters rage against police brutality(NYP) *25,000 March in New York to Protest Police Violence(NYT)* Police issue warningafter 2 officers assaulted amid massive protests in Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan  *UNITED IN LOSS: Grieving mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner give first joint interview(NYDN)

YOU'RE DEAD TO US! Patrolmen's group tells de Blasio, Mark-Viverito to 'stay home if NYPD cop dies on duty' over pols' 'consistent' lack of respect toward officers(NYDN)* Rev. Al Sharpton, families of black men killed by cops to lead ‘Justice For All’ rally in Washington, D.C.(NYDN) * Patrolmen's Benevolent Association takes cheap shot at Mayor de Blasio with 'Don't Insult My Sacrifice' form: political science professor(NYDN) * Eric Garner grand jury evidence could still be released: Public Advocate Letitia James(NYDN) * Mayor de Blasio wants to change historic City Hall paintings(NYDN)* Morbidlypolitical (NYDN Ed) The PBA takes the low road in its latest attack on Mayor de Blasio* How Fergusonand Eric Garner show the political power of hip-hop.(Wash Post)

Faces, and Forces, Behind New York City Protests(WSJ) The thousands in New York who have protested the recent grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men cut a wide swath.* Eric Garner’s Family, Protesters Visit Staten Island Arrest Site(WSJ)* Garner Family Hopes Continued Pressure Will Lead to Policing Changes(NY1)* Concerns Raised Over Shrill Device New York Police Used During Garner Protests(NYT) Three lawyers sent a letter asking that the beeping from long-range acoustic devices, called a deterrent function, not be used until the police had fully tested it.


Lesson not learned as UFT again throws support behind Sharpton anti-cop rally (NYP) The UFT plans to send busloads of protesters to the Rev. Al Sharpton’s anti-cop rally in Washington, DC, this weekend — despite the fury it sparked by co-sponsoring a similar march over the summer. “We can’t stop them from supporting Al Sharpton and the anti-cop brigade. It’s the Useless Federation of Teachers,” one outraged teacher told The Post. In August, scores of city teachers — including many married to NYPD cops — blasted the UFT on its own Facebook page for supporting a Sharpton-led demonstration on Staten Island.* A teaching moment(NYP Ed) *The union’s decision to support Sharpton over the police repeats the similar support it gave a Sharpton-led march in Staten Island after Garner’s death in August.* Daughter of Eric Garner holds 'die-in' on same sidewalk her father was put in fatal chokehold — 'I felt his spirit when I was walking down to the spot'(NYDN)
Pro Cop Rally Also  

NYPD supporters planning pro-cop rally at City Hall(NYP) NYPD supporters are planning a “Pro-Cop Rally” at City Hall next week to counter ongoing anti-cop protests — and could wind up squaring off against activists hellbent on disrupting the event. The Dec. 19 demonstration was announced on the “Thank you NYPD” Facebook page, where it scored 3,000-plus “Likes” by Thursday evening and more than 235 people had signed up to attend. The city resident behind the Facebook page — created in August amid mounting controversy over Eric Garner’s death while resisting arrest — said the rally was proposed by many of the page’s 14,000-plus followers.Piling on the police(NYP Ed) Here in New York, the week began with City Council members holding a “die-in” and then blocking traffic to protest a grand jury’s decision not to indict a cop for the death of Eric Garner. Now the council has asked for an investigation of how allegations of police abuse are handled. In Albany, Senate Democrats announced a bill for a new office to review cases of killings by cops. The day before, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman demanded prosecutorial power over such cases. 

The Assembly has long sought special investigators for cops. Not to be left out, Gov. Cuomo is reviewing his options.Meanwhile, US Attorney General Eric Holder, who’s probing the Garner case, may impose his own “reforms” on the NYPD — as he’s done in 15 other cities. All this would add to the existing oversight — by the NYPD’s new inspector general, by the monitor ordered last year by a federal judge, by a newly energized Civilian Complaint Review Board, by five district attorneys and by an army of private lawyers eager to sue. 

The Cops Have Had It With de Blasio 
 Congressional staffers walk out, protesting Garner &Brown decisions(NBC)* "More than halfsaid that New York was as safe as it was a year ago, before Mr. de Blasiobecame mayor." (NYT) From all this you’d think the NYPD is the most abusive, deadly force on the planet. The opposite is true: A 2013 study shows New York has fewer shootings (and fatalities) per capita by cops than Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Baltimore, Washington or Philly. Another report, out this week, shows that 2013 saw the fewest police shootings in recent memory — 81. Back in 1995, there were 345. * Police officers to mayor: Don’t attend my funeral(Capital) 
Police officers to mayor: Don’t attend my funeral(NYO) Grand Jury Poll Some 65 percent of New Yorkers believe a Staten Island grand jury should have indicted a white police officer in the death of Eric Garner, a black man, according to a new Siena College/New York Times poll, the Observer reports: * The poll found 48 percent of New York City residents think race relations are generally bad in the city and more than half—blacks and whites alike—say the city is headed in the wrong direction, the New York Timesreports: * Police union asks NYC mayor not to attend funerals for NYPDofficers (NBC) 
More on the Brooklyn DA


The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association is asking rank-and-file cops to tell NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to stay away from their funerals if they’re killed in the line of duty.* Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson blasted a request to appoint a special prosecutor in Eric Garner-like cases as “unworkable,” the Observer reports: * The labor-backed Working Families Party is backing state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s request for the power to investigate and prosecute unarmed civilian deaths at the hands of police officers, State of Politics reports * Morbidly political (NYDN Ed) The PBA takes the low road in its latest attack on Mayor de Blasio YOU'RE DEAD TO US! Patrolmen's group tells de Blasio, Mark-Viverito to 'stay home if NYPD cop dies on duty' over pols' 'consistent' lack of respect toward officers * Cops to de Blasio: Stay away from our funerals(NYP)
















Yes, Shelly Silver has a private law practice. No, he won't disclose his clients
 The speaker insisted he discloses “everything” he’s earning outside his public paycheck.*Might a post-Christmas session be in the offing? “The deadline is December 31,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. “There are a lot of issues that are involved beyond salaries. We have a one-time budget surplus and how do we deal with that, and make sure we have one-time expenditures to match that.* Senate Republicans indicated a willingness to back “additional reforms” to the state’s ethics and election laws as talk continues to swirl about a potential special session before the end of the year, State ofPoliticsreports:  *  Silver, New York Assembly Speaker, Declines to Reveal Source of Some Outside Income(NYT) An aide confirmed that Speaker Sheldon Silver earns money from legal fees in addition to the pay he has long acknowledged receiving from a personal-injury law firm, but did not offer more details.

Bronx BP Has His Own Gentrification Undersanding 



CFB Fining NYCLASS is Like Stopping the Watergate At the Point of the 5 Cubans Getting Arrested At the Breakin
CampaignFinance Board Will Slap NYCLASS With ‘Five-Figure’ Penalty Tomorrow (NYO)The Campaign Finance Board is set to hammer NYCLASS with fines related to two City Council campaigns, but the powerful animal rights group is blaming their old consultant for the alleged wrongdoing. Tomorrow, the CFB will hit NYCLASS, also known as New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets, with penalties in the “low five-figure range,” according to a source with knowledge of the situation. NYCLASS, however, wants the Advance Group to reimburse them for the penalties; the CFB will cite NYCLASS for exceeding donation limits in its support of Mark Levine and Laurie Cumbo, City Council candidates who won their elections. Randy Mastro, a lawyer for NYCLASS, claimed the Campaign Finance Board acknowledged “that TAG is to blame for any violation here but believes current law does not allow it to go after the agent, only the principal.” In April, the CFB hit Ms. Cumbo and Mr. Levine’s campaigns with $7,868 and $8,686 in fines respectively for accepting improper campaign contributions from NYCLASS. Both candidates were clients of the Advance Group.* An influential group trying to ban horse-drawn carriagesfrom the city is being fined for campaign finance violations(NY1)* Horse carriage haters get $lammed with five figure fine(NYP)* Anti-horse carriage group to settle campaign finance charge
New York Daily NewsIn May, however, the board ruled that the spending could not be considered independent because Levine, Cumbo and NYCLASS shared the same political consultant, the Advance Group. The board said the spending had to be considered an “in-kind contribution” — and as such, it violated two Campaign Finance Board rules.* It was apparent enough for just looking at press releases. Meanwhile, NYCLASS and Advance shared same small office for months*As first reported by Crain's, NYCLASS and its former consulting firm, the Advance Group, worked out of the same office in 2013. Advance worked for council candidates supported by NYCLASS' outside spending efforts, and was also the consultant for NYCLASS' spending. 


NYCLASS and Pay to Play (Develop) Of Edison Parking Lots?

Chris Bragg ‏@ChrisBragg1  Days after deBlasio inaguration, Edison Properties inked the Advance Group to lobby him (CrainsNY) Edison and its related companies own some 40 parking lots and garages, and have made a fortune constructing everything from Manhattan Mini Storage facilities to luxury apartments on their extensive roster of parcels.

Edison Hires the Advance Group Six Days After de Blasio Became Mayor, Where is the Prosecutors?
 Edison is also pushing a plan to extend the No. 7 train from Manhattan's West Side, where it owns properties, to a Secaucus, N.J., site, where a major Edison parking facility sits next to a New Jersey Transit hub.  Six days after Mr. de Blasio's inauguration in January 2014, Edison inked a $7,500-a-month lobbying contract with Manhattan-based Advance—which had orchestrated the anti-Quinn political action committee and NYCLASS' own efforts to undermine Ms. Quinn's bid. Advance's political consulting activities during the campaign season are now reportedly being investigated by the FBI, and last week NYCLASS was fined $26,000 by the Campaign Finance Board for violations stemming from its work with Advance.


CFB Fine Update

New York Group Against Carriage Horses Is Fined for Illegal Campaign Donations (NYT) But NYClass made clear on Wednesday that it would seek repayment from the Advance Group, a political consulting firm whose president, Scott Levenson, served as political director for NYClass and also had Ms. Cumbo and Mr. Levine as clients. In a letter to Mr. Levenson’s attorney on Wednesday, a lawyer for NYClass, Randy Mastro, asserted that the Campaign Finance Board found that the Advance Group “is to blame here but believes the current law does not allow it to go after the agent, only the principal.” The Advance Group had been under scrutiny for its work on campaigns and with NYClass and the United Federation of Teachers. Though the firm acknowledged the Campaign Finance Board’s inquiry, Mr. Baraff said the firm had not been contacted about any issue by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as had been reported.



Why Isn't the AG and the Manhattan DA Indicting the Advance Group?
The CFB determined under its rules that the Advance Group’s work on behalf of both Council candidates and the supposedly “independent” anti-carriage PAC really amounted to illegal coordination between the campaigns and NYCLASS. The board properly fined Cumbo and Levine. And its crackdown on the out-of-bounds campaign spending by NYCLASS has done the city a huge favor, by providing a badly needed glimpse into the big money play that successfully swung the 2013 city elections. Using funds from donors that included UNITE HERE — a union chaired by Mayor de Blasio’s cousin John Wilhelm — NYCLASS slimed mayoral rival Christine Quinn into oblivion.Now the FBI is probing the funding of the attacks on Quinn, and de Blasio’s flip-flop that led to his vow to ban the horses. The CFB needs to stay vigilant, making every effort to hold NYCLASS, the Advance Group and sponsored candidates to account for their actions in the 2013 campaign. Among the others benefiting from NYCLASS spending was Melissa Mark-Viverito, who took free services from the Advance Group in her successful bid to become City Council speaker.

How Advance Group's Corruption Made A Council Speaker Who Now Wants to Ban Horses
The Lobbyist Consultant Firm the Advance Group after the Mark-Viverito End Her Relationship With Them After the Daily News Exposed They She May Be Breaking the City's Ethics Law

Daily News Charges Against Mark-Viverto
EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito(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)
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Politicker Reports Than Advance Group Was A Crucial Player In the Seddio Deal To Back the Speaker

An operative with the controversial Advance Group, Jonathan Yedin, who has been working in Brooklyn Democratic Party politics for more than a decade and belongs to Mr. Seddio’s political club. Though Ms. Mark-Viverito eventually stopped taking free advice from the Advance Group, Mr. Yedin remained a crucial  player in the brokering of the deal, sources said.  Inside Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Road to Victory(NYO) * Melissa Mark-Viverito Lobbyist Firm Never Quit, Continued Lobbying Despite Investigations


How Come the Daily News Never Follow Up It Report That th FBI Was Investigating Advance for its Role In the Mayor's Race?

In addition to backing City Council candidates, NYCLASS supporters raised more than $34,000 for Bill de Blasio’s 2013 mayoral campaign. he group and its supporters also had a hand in directing another $1 million to an advocacy group, New York City Is Not for Sale, which attacked one of de Blasio’s rivals for mayor, Christine Quinn. As a candidate for mayor, de Blasio switched positions and embraced NYCLASS’ call to banish the carriage horses from Central Park and city streets. At his direction, legislation to enact the ban was introduced in the Council on Monday.Scott Levenson, NY-CLASS, Citizens United Super PACInvestigation (Updated)* EXCLUSIVE: FBIinvestigation of mayoral race includes de Blasio's pledge to ban carriagehorses(NYDN) FBI agents have been questioning people about the pledge de Blasio made in March 2013, and the ads launched the next month by animal rights activists attacking Christine Quinn, the Daily News has learned. Agents also appear interested in a $175,000 contribution to the animal rights group NYCLASS from a union tied to de Blasio's cousin, labor leader John Wilhelm.

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The Advance Group Also Illegally Worked for the UFT's PAC United for the Future 

The CFB Only Finds 2 Examples of PAC and Campaign Coordination Where There Are Dozens and Dozens
The Advance Coordinated PAC NYCLASS $$$ and Campaign $$$   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.

The CFB Has Ignored A Fake Group the UFT Has Created to Use Advance to Help Run Its PAC That Funded 2013 Council Campaigns
Conspiracy to Coordinate their PAC and the Campaign Consultant?
The UFT PAC Paid Advance Through the Fake Group Strategic Consultants Inc. $370,000
Her campaign also got support by two PACs controlled by the Advance Group, NYCLASS and the UFT PAC United for the Future that the UFT tried to hid Advance Groups involvement in with a fake made up company called Strategic Consultants Inc., that CrainsNY found was located in the offices of Advance.
The Advance Group Ran the Following Campaigns That Received United for the Future Funding: Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (Advance was helping Mark-Viverito to become speaker illegally without pay), Inez Dickens, Councilmembers Mark Levine and Laurie Cumbo (who were both fined for Advance's coordination with the NYCLASS PAC in their campaigns), Robert Jackson campaign for Boro President whose campaign in addition to mailing from United for the Future also got NYCLASS PAC mailing and employed Advance as a consultant has not gotten fined by the CFB.   The Red Horse consulting firm also worked for the UFT's United for the Future PAC and work for several campaigns funded by that PAC.  Red Horse Coordinated consulting work and PAC work and Had Not Been Fined By the Following Campaigns:  Councilmembers Ritchie Torres, Helen   Rosenthal, James Vacca, Annabel Palma, Daneek Miller and Antonio Reynoso * CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping(CrainsNY)* Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY)


Advance Works With Other Dark Pool Lobbyists to Break the Election Law 

UFT To Expand Political Operation
After seeing its clout diminished in last month’s elections, the state teachers’ union plans to expand its political operation as Albany takes up key education issues that include raising the... After seeing its clout diminished in last month’s elections, the state teachers’ union plans to expand its political operation as Albany takes up key education issues that include raising the cap on charter schools,the New York Post writes:


The Secret World of Dark Pools Lobbyist/Political Consultant
The Hotel Council and their lobbyists the Advance Groups working against and for Quinn is all part of the NYC's Dark Pool politics Where political operators in the shadows work on more than one side in the same race.  Those operating in the dark pool use state's out dated election law to hide the  evidence that they are working against their clients. If the Moreland Commission ever gets around to sending a subpoena to the democratic senate campaign committee they would find that some of the $2 million it paid the Parkside Group found it way to other campaign consultants /lobbyists.  What happens in the dark pools of politics is that consultants/lobbyists trade favors with each other.  If  George Artz needed support for one of his lobbyists clients, he just throws some work to the lobbyists consultants who deliver their stable of elected officials.  Consultants/lobbyists have cut up the city and clients the same way the mob did in the 50's at the Apalachin meeting. In this dark trading pool elected officials are for hire. So if the feds puts some of them in jail, it will not stop the corruption cancer destroying democracy in New York.  It is sad that the press is not covering Bragg's Crains investigation of the Advance Group.  More reporting will expose the root cause for corruption, not just the pols carrying water campaign consultant/lobbyists.  The press avoiding Bragg's ChainsNY story reminds me of the boy in Flatbush who watched the roaches run for dear life when he turn the light on.

It is very clear that Wall Street has Dark Pools where traders operate beyond the regulators.  What is not clear is that their are also Dark Pool where lobbyists, campaign consultants and elected officials make  deals with each other undermining democracy hidden from public view.* "The super PAC for the city teachers union may have violated campaign finance rules by not disclosing spending details for a robocall sent to voters during the 2013 primary elections, Gotham Schools has found." [Geoff Decker] * "Questions Raised Over U.F.T. Campaign Filing" [Beth Fertig] * U.F.T. president Michael Mulgrew explains his union's campaign spending. [WNYC via SoundCloud] * The super PAC for the UFT may have violated campaign finance rules by not disclosing spending details for a robocall sent to voters during the 2013 primary elections


Advance Worked for Gay Candidate and Anti-Gay Candidates In the Same Race
 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. Surprise: Anti-Abortion & Anti Gay-Marriage Groups Are

Yetta Krukland Fired the Advance Group During Her Campaign 
Uniting to Donate Lots of Money Against Gay City Council Candidates(Village Voice)  CrainsNY reports The Advance Group was paid more than $36,000 to produce mailers for the five candidates backed by the City Action Coalition PAC, which on its website touts itself as supporting candidates who oppose gay marriage and abortion rights. The alliance was odd because the Advance Group touts itself as one of the most progressive political consulting firms in the country, and has represented clients such as the Gay Men's Health Crisis, according to its own website. The Advance Group is listed as being paid by the group for "printing" and "postage," but it did not actually create the literature, according to spokeswoman for the firm. "We did not design any printed materials, we were not involved in creating the content, nor did we ever represent the candidates," said the spokeswoman for the Advance Group.  Then who designed the Mailers for City Action Coalition, the candidates?*Did Scott Levenson sabotage Yetta Kurland's campaign inorder to elect Corey Johnson ?


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Rangel It Not Over Till Its Over?
Despite promising to retire when his 23rd term ends in 2016, U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel sent a fundraising letter to supporters last week after the alleged chokehold death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, the Post’s PageSix writes
More on Congressman Rangel



More Queens Library Corruption
Fat city fathead  NYYDN Ed) Thousands of reasons to fire Tom Galante


The Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez, who previously revealed that Galante was pulling down a $392,000 salary while also working for a Long Island school district, now brings to light Galante’s expense-account bills.  They totaled more than $40,000 during 2013, as he funded the accoutrements of a lavish lifestyle, seemingly missing only Galante’s morning corn flakes but definitely covering his taste for Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Proof of NY's City Council are Puppets, No Mayoral Veto All Year
For second timesince 1990, NYC mayor goes a year w/out vetoing any legislation:(Capital) In his first year as mayor, Bill de Blasio has signed into law every bill passed by the Council. It's only the second time in more than two decades a mayor went through a calendar year without having vetoed a single piece of legislation. De Blasio enjoys a close relationship with the Council's speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, a like-minded, left-of-center Democrat who de Blasio personally lobbied members to elect in January. Between 2002 and 2005, when the Council was led by Gifford Miller, Bloomberg's political rival, the mayor vetoed 48 bills. In 2005 alone, the year Miller ran against him, Bloomberg vetoed 19 pieces of legislation, according to a veto tally provided to Capital last year by Bloomberg's aides. (Two of those 19 bills were passed in 2005, but vetoed in January of 2006.)* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first-year agenda has faced next to no resistance in the City Council, which some say is because of his successful efforts to install Melissa Mark-Viverito as Speaker, the Wall Street Journal writes:





Protests Triggered Examination and Power Struggle With Police Commissioners and Prosecutors  



Police Shooting Fell Under Kelly 
Former NYPD Comm. Kelly: "Can you always use more training? Sure/but you have to identify the problem
Shootings by New York City Police Fell in 2013(NYT) An annual report says that in 2013 there were 40 instances in which officers shot at suspects, down from 45 the previous year and from an 11-year high of 61 in 2003.*NYPD shootings androunds fired drop to record lows(DNAINFO)


NYPD CCRB Bratton Nepotism 
CCRB chair’s son is a top Bratton advisor (NYP) The 22-year-old son of Civilian Complaint Review Board Chairman Richard Emery is working as an adviser to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton — a move that has some observers crying nepotism. Jacques Singer-Emery, the godson of NYPD counterterror chief John Miller, graduated from Princeton in 2013 and is now a policy adviser on Crime Analysis Program Planning. Singer-Emery, whose mom is “Footloose” actress Lori Singer, previously interned at the surveillance tech firm Kroll while Bratton worked there in 2011.




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Bratton Slams Kelly's Stop and Frisk For Police Community Breakdown
New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton took a shot at his predecessor on Sunday—blaming ex-NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly’s signature stop-and-frisk program for the fact that some minorities are scared of the NYPD, the New YorkPost reports: 
Flashback Feb 25, 2014 Bill Bratton: You Can't Police Without Stop-And-Frisk Bill Bratton Vs. Ray Kelly - The Daily Beast(Daily Beast)

Commissioner "Zen" Bratton 

Brooklyn DAs FridayWill Convene A Grand Jury On the Death of Gurley Which Bratton Has Already Called An Accident
Many described being surprised to learn, often on social media, about the opinions — and stereotypes — held by family and friends about people of other races. In some cases, those relationships have fractured, in person and online. Kenny Hargrove, a black man from Brooklyn married to a white woman, said he and his wife confronted one of his in-laws for posting a racially insensitive meme on Facebook around the time Mr. Brown was killed. The relative was so upset that she unfriended them. Now, she is trying to mend fences and has sent a new friend request. But Mr. Hargrove, 36, said he was torn about whether to hit “confirm.” As several demonstrators clustered to begin chanting, Mr. Simmons said, some white union members joined in trying to block them, while also identifying them to the police.


 These were the same white union members, Mr. Simmons said, whom he had worked with to advocate for things like raising the minimum wage and protecting collective bargaining rights. * NYPD Chief Bratton onGarner Video: ‘Use of Force Always Looks Awful’ * Mayor Bill de Blasio has struck deals with most of New York City’s union employees this year but now faces a daunting challenge: an escalating fight with police unions that say officers are being underpaid by the city and undermined by the mayor, theJournal writes:

Own it, commish(NYP Ed) Bill Bratton wanted the job of police commissioner. Now, he has to live with the consequences — for better or worse.That means taking responsibility not only for crime, but for how much folks trust cops and approve of the job they’re doing. It should also mean defending his cops publicly against grandstanding politicians.* #BrokenWindows is “essential” says @CommissBratton. “it’s what made the city safe in the 90s” and keeps NYC safe. #ABNYTalk #NYPD
"arresting people for smoking marijuana in public is not biased”—@commissBratton#NYPD
Next Issue for New York’s Mayor and Police: A Contract(WSJ)Mayor Bill de Blasio has struck deals with most of New York City’s union employees this year but now faces a daunting challenge: an escalating fight with police unions that say officers are being underpaid by the city and undermined by the mayor.** NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton again touted drops in crime, but acknowledged that even as the city has gotten safer, anger at the police department he leads has grown, threatening public safety, the Observer reports:  * The NYPD’s Bratton said today’s department is more accommodating to protesters than past administrations, with the aim of building trust with the public and also to save money, Capital New York reports: * Cops Unions‘Disgusted’ by City Council’s Eric Garner Reaction (NYO)* Eric Garner cop: It was not a chokehold(NYP)* PBA president says he’s ‘disgusted’ by City Council’s proposals in response to Eric Garner’s death(NYDN)** Bratton made a case for expanding the department’s use of Tasers, but he cautioned the electrical-stun guns may not have been appropriate to subdue the man fatally shot Tuesday by police, The Wall Street Journal reports:


@unitedNYblogs @nypost cops are not doing much of anything & more people are carrying guns
Bratton is the Phil Jackson of policing. Totally Zen.



NYT Says Gov Should Veto Bill to Undercut Police Discipline
Police Discipline in New York (NYT Ed) A bill that would undercut the police commissioner’s power to discipline abusive officers is troublesome. Gov. Andrew Cuomo should veto it.


What Ticket Fixing No Chokehold Sentence 


Ticket Fixing Cop Invokes Chokehold  Defense for Leniency
An investigation into the illicit activities of Jose Ramos, who was sentenced to 12 and a half to 14 and a half years, eventually exposed a widespread ticket-fixing scheme.Ticket-fixing cop invokes ‘chokehold’ in defense(NYP) The crooked Bronx cop whose criminal investigation exposed the massive NYPD ticket-fixing scandal appealed for leniency Wednesday by blatantly invoking the Eric Garner case — saying that at least his client “wasn’t choking people.” Jose Ramos was sentenced to up to 14 years in jail on robbery and grand larceny charges, but not before trying to spin the hot-button Staten Island “police chokehold” case to his own advantage.


AG Power Struggle With Gov and DAs 
AG Looks to Go Over the Head of the DAs and Start His Campaign for Governor 
FridayBrooklyn D.A. Rages Against Special ProsecutorProposal for Eric Garner-Like Cases(NYO)* WFP Sides With AG on Special Prosecutor Ask(YNN)

Wed - A Police Killing Puts Heavy Expectations on a Prosecutor(NYT) District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson, who was elected partly on the platform of being a reformer, is overseeing an investigation into the death of Akai Gurley.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, who was elected partly on the platform as a reformer, is facing high expectations in overseeing the investigation into the police shooting death of Akai Gurley
 #Brooklyn D.A. tobring Gurley police shooting case to grand jury.(NYO)Cuomo’s office is reviewing a proposal from state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to grant Schneiderman authority to investigate deaths of unarmed civilians caused by police officers, State of Politics reports:  * Thompson ‘adamantly opposed’ to A.G. request(Capital)* Thompson, Schneiderman Cross Swords Over Cop Investigations(Brooklyn Politics)* Attorney GeneralEric Schneiderman asks Gov. Cuomo for the power to probe police killings of unarmedcivilians(NYDN)* High Expectationsfor Brooklyn Prosecutor in Handling of Fatal Police Shooting (NYT)* State AG Seeks Authority to Investigate Police-Involved Deaths(NY1)* 



New York's SolWachtler, who coined the "ham sandwich" line about grand juries, saysit's time to reform grand juries (TU)* AG Backs Special Session For Police Reform Action(YNN)*Union head Pat Lynch 'disgusted' by City Council's NYPDplans  * A coalition of advocacy and good-government groups called on a state lawmakers in the Assembly and Senate to schedule public hearings that would consider criminal justice and grand jury reforms, State of Politicsreports: * The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the Sergeants Benevolent Association blasted Mark-Viverito’s proposal, with the PBA president saying he is “disgusted” with the “double talk” coming from the Council, the Observer reports  * New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito requested that the NYPD inspector general investigate how the police force monitors and addresses alleged abusive conduct and called for the establishment of Civilian Complaint Review Board locations in the district offices of council members, the Observer reports:Sources: NYPD Begins Internal Investigation of Eric Garner Case(NY1)*  * Grand Jury secrecy allows prosecutors and investigators to minimize these outrageous threats to the judicial system in a way that would be impossible in a public proceeding, Exiger LLC’s Daniel Alonso writes in theDaily News * Russell Simmons and Jay-Z pressed Gov. Cuomo for changes tothe criminal justice system (NBC)*Grand idea behind the grand jury (NYP)*Seth Lipsky defends the grand jury process, which many on are seeking to change since the Brown and Garner decisions.


NYT Supports Transfer to Independent Prosecutor, NYP Calls the AG Move Clownish, Daily News Says Wait  
The request set off a potential struggle between the state’s top two elected officials and with local district attorneys, some of whom strongly oppose the move. Officially speaking, Cuomo’s office is “reviewing” the AG’s request. * Given the recent failures to indict the police officers involved in the deaths of civilians, there should be a law that automatically transfers to an independent prosecutor all cases in which a civilian is dead at the hands of the police, the Times writes:  * Send in 
the clowns



What Did the US Attorney Tell the AG About Cuomo and Moreland?
 No doubt Attorney General Eric Schneiderman didn’t mean his press conference Monday to look like a circus. But that’s how it came across, complete with a city comptroller, public advocate and assorted other officials who appeared in support, like clowns tumbling out of a tiny car. Instead of using the podium to call for citizens to respect the justice system, New York’s top law-enforcement officer — with no hard evidence to show why it is necessary — asked for the authority to investigate claims of police brutality where there is a death. This from the same man who constantly tells us he can’t do anything to clean up Albany, and whose car, driven by a staffer, sideswiped another car when he was running for office but then kept on going.*Editorial: Nextsteps after Garner (NYDN Ed) The heat of the moment is the wrong time to attempt the extremely complicated task of reforming the state’s criminal laws and procedures.* Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann called Schneiderman’s request “arrogant” and an “unnecessary knee-jerk reaction to the decision of the impartial 23-member Richmond County grand jury.”

Feds May Not Solve Police Shooting Problem
Given the federal government’s history in New York City of refusing to intervene after multiple deaths of unarmed citizens at the hands of the police, the public should be wary of placing their hope for justice with the feds, op-ed contributor LeonardLevitt writes in am New York: 
What it’s Like to beBlack In the NYPD Right Now (Marshal Report)

More About Albany and the Cops
Lovett: State Senate Republicans pose roadblock to post-Eric Garner justice system reform(NYDN) Gov. Andrew Cuomo has promised a review of the justice system after a grand jury failed to indict the cop who killed Eric Garner, but state Senate Republicans pose a roadblock to any reform—with one prominent member saying that the very same system “worked,” the Daily News’ Ken Lovett reports:  * Cuomo should veto a measure that would allow unions representing police and other civil-service employees across the state to insist on collective bargaining of disciplinary procedures affecting their members, Empire Center for New York State Policy’GOP-controlled Senate to veto Cuomo’s cop proposals(NYP)* A bill to loosen police discipline(NYP Ed)* New York attorney general wants power to investigate cases where cops kill unarmed civilians  * Stewart-Cousins: Consider Criminal Justice Reforms In Special Session(YNN)* * Senate Democrats announced proposals to better investigate deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of police, including a special prosecutor, an investigative office and police body cameras, Gannett Albany reports: 



deB Says It Was Dinkins and Vallone who Reduced Crime Not Giuliani
De Blasio also said history is sometimes "airbrushed," an apparent reference to Rudy Giuliani, Dinkins' successor, who is generally credited with the city's sharp reduction in crime.
Media Double Standing On Crime Is Racial Was A Black Mayor Dinkins Treated Differently By the Press On Crime Than White Pols? (True News)


WTF Is Vanity Fair Saying About deB? 
'Bill de Blasio Sex Tape!' Vanity Fair makes jokingreference to nonexistent bombshell video with new cover (NYDN) To be clear, no such tape is known to exist! But cryptic, partial text — "ill lasio ex ape!"— on the January cover of the pop culture mag plants the idea that one might!













It Time to Name A College After Herman Badillo 
de Blasio Does Not Rest or Attend the Funeral of the City's First Major Puerto Rican Elected Official 
Badillo Widow: de Blasio’s Absence From Funeral a ‘TerribleInsult’ (NYO)* Bill de Blasioskipped Herman Badillo's funeral, spotted at gym instead(NYDN) While other New York politicians mourned the nation’s first Puerto Rican-born congressman on Sunday, de Blasio was working out at the Park Slope YMCA. Badillo's widow, Gail, says the mayor's snub was 'disgraceful.'* De Blasio vowed to make a national push for immigration reform, even though it faces long odds in Washington when the GOP controls both houses next year.* Paying his disrespects(NYP Ed) * But Mayor de Blasio was a no-show for this public moment of grace for New York. And it wasn’t because of urgent city business: He was working out at a Park Slope Y. “What a terrible insult,” says Badillo’s widow, Gail, who noted that other pols who couldn’t make it at least called to offer her their condolences. But not Mayor de Blasio.* Mayor Bill de Blasio called Herman Badillo’s widow Tuesday night to offer his condolences for the political trailblazer’s death, but Badillo said she did not want to divulge the details of the private phone conversation, the Daily News reports


R.I.P. Herman Badillo 
Badillo's best moment may be after rushed, deadly 71 trooper attack Attica. 'There's always time to die' (NYT) * Herman Badillo, a former congressman and Bronx borough president and the first Puerto Rican to have been elected to those posts, has died at the age of 85, State of Politicsreports:  * Herman Badillo, 1929-2014(NYP)* Herman Badillo (1929-2014) in ‘78 @The_Almanac; 1st Puerto Rican-born U.S. House member (1971-77), deputy NYC mayor* A New Yorkgiant (NYDN Ed)


Gambling and Lobbyists
Sixteen casino developers continue to seek to burnish their competitive positions as an agency weighs bids for four gambling licenses and is expected to announce the chosen developers Dec. 17, The New York Times reports * Genting’s Sterling Forest proposal is not only the most expensive of the 16 proposed gaming resorts competing for a New York license but also the most controversial, generating heated opposition from local activists and environmental groups, theDaily News writes: Although the lengthy casino siting review process has all but drawn to a close and a decision will be announced Dec. 17, the 16 developers competing for licenses outside of the New York City area are still maneuvering for position.* Genting’s $1.5 billion Sterling Forest plan is not only the most expensive of the 16 proposed gaming resorts competing for a New York license but also the most controversial, generating heated opposition from local activists and environmental groups.*The state’s Gaming Facility Location Board met for about three hours behind closed doors today as it’s expected to announce next week the winning bidders for up to four casino licenses in New York.*

NYT's Says Special Interests Controlled Albany Lawmakers Have A Lot of Nerve to Ask for Higher Pay 
Speaker Silver Rakes It In F Moreland
When Legislators Ask for a Raise(NYT Ed) It takes a lot of nerve for Albany lawmakers to suggest that their big salaries should get any fatter.The idea of rewarding this group is galling, given the general culture of corruption in Albany that allows special interests — which make huge campaign contributions to these politicians — to drive much of the agenda. While these lawmakers may complain about pay, they receive $172 per diem in addition to salary when they are in Albany. Many also get bonuses for holding even minor leadership posts that can drive up their total pay by as much as $40,000 a year. It is also unclear how some lawmakers make so much in outside jobs — an issue now reportedly being investigated by United States Attorney Preet Bharara. 

The personal injury firm Shelly Silver's long worked for is not his only source of legal income
As The Times’s Thomas Kaplan wrote in July, the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, reported earning $650,000 to $750,000 in 2013 from his law firm. The Senate leader, Dean Skelos, a lawyer, reported income of $150,000 to $250,000 last year. How they and others made that money or whom they and their firms represented is secret. Because of a technical rule, any pay increase for the next legislative session, which begins in January, would have to be passed by Albany lawmakers at the end of this year. Not all legislators have suspicious outside income, and many work hard to help their constituents. Still, only California and Pennsylvania lawmakers earn more — and both of those states have full-time legislatures. In neighboring states with a similar cost of living the pay is far more modest — $28,000 a year for Connecticut’s legislators and $49,000 a year in New Jersey. By comparison, New York’s Legislature is richly paid.* A guide to what the big Cuomo donors want in 2015(Capital) * Already on lifesupport, fate of legislative pay raise should be determined this week (NYDN)

 After Ethics Panel’s Shutdown, Loopholes Live On in Albany(NYT) So far, people with knowledge of the matter say, prosecutors have found that Sheldon Silver, the powerful Democratic speaker of the State Assembly, failed to disclose some of the income he earned in the private sector. While he has disclosed earnings from a major personal-injury law firm for years, prosecutors found other law-firm income that he did not detail as required. A spokesman for Mr. Silver said that he had disclosed all of his law-practice income, but declined to answer questions about its source. In Albany, some of the most questionable conduct by elected officials has long been perfectly legal, safeguarded by the only people who can outlaw it: the lawmakers themselves.
More on the Moreland Commission



NYT's Tells de Blasio Forgetabout Banning the Horses  
Horse Nonsense From City Hall(NYT Ed)  Mayor Bill de Blasio should forget about his foolish campaign promise and let the carriage rides continue. Details are lacking, but questions are many. Why eliminate an entire class of Teamsters union jobs? How will the horses escape slaughter? What will happen to the stables, on coveted property on the West Side of Manhattan? (Not for nothing do people wonder why the force behind NYClass, the group pushing the anticarriage crusade, is a real estate developer, Stephen Nislick.) And does this have anything to do with the $1 million ad campaign financed by NYClass to eliminate Mr. de Blasio’s main rival in the primary, then-Council Speaker (and carriage defender) Christine Quinn? So many tough questions. One simple answer: Dump the bill. Keep the horses.** The 2.5-million-member New York State AFL-CIO unanimously decided to oppose Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to ban the horse carriage industry in New York City, the Observer reports: 

Horse Ban Bill Introduced in Council  
Amid rallies by animal-rights advocates and drivers of horse-drawn carriages, the New York City Council on Monday introduced legislation to ban carriage horses, acting on a much-delayed campaign promise by de Blasio, the Times writes: Horse carriage ban hits City Hall(NYP)*Labor’s love lost (NYDN) Unions refuse to join Mayor de Blasio in killing hundreds of jobs*Bill to Ban HorseCarriages in NYC Prompts Dueling Rallies(WNYC)

The Daily News and NYT Both Wear Blinders When It Comes to Explaining the Corruption Behind NYClass
NYT Also Puts On A Pair of Blinders When It Comes to NYCLASS True Mission.  The paper uses the PAC to threaten de Blasio to not ban the horses, but does not explain or give details on the true mission of NYCLASS or that it is under investigation.  TRUE NEWS HAS BEEN REPORTING THAT NYCLASS LIKE DATA AND FIELD IN 2009 WERE CREATED TO GO AROUND THE ELECTION LAW TO GIVE UNFAIR ADVANTAGE TO THE CANDIDATES THEY SUPPORTED.
More on the Horse Fight

When It Comes to de Blasio and the Horses the NYT and Daily News Catches Horse Blinders 


The Horses After the Mayor  . . .  But How Does the Daily News Write About the Council Vote Without Reporting About The Corruption Behind NYCLASS, Mayor and Speaker's 2013 Race?

Bucking Bill (NYDN Ed) City Council members are running away from the mayor's job-killing, knuckle-headed horse ban. Friday, four members of the labor committee (anti-carriage-horse bill sponsor Danny Dromm is the fifth) sent colleagues a letter declaring that they cannot participate in putting working people, earning a good living, out of work.  Also balking: Brooklyn Councilman Mark Treyger, formerly in the mayor’s ring. He’s switching from yea to nay specifically because of the plan’s failure to provide decent alternative jobs.* City councilman who supported horse carriage ban flips sides(NYDN)* R.E. sharks circlingaround horse carriage stables #NYC 

True News and CrainsNY Wags the Campaign Finance Board to Investigate the Advance Group's NYCLASS Conspiracy
Probe underway tofind whether anti-carriage group NYCLASS helped candidates in 2013 city elections(NYDN)  EXCLUSIVE: The Campaign Finance Board is investigating whether NYCLASS helped candidates in last year’s city elections. So-called independent political organizations can spend money to support candidates as long as they do not coordinate their efforts with those candidates.The Campaign Finance Board is investigating whether the animal-rights group leading the crusade against horse-drawn carriages helped candidates in last year’s city election in violation of campaign finance rules. The investigation already has determined that the group, NYCLASS, improperly steered more money than was allowed to some City Council candidates. On Tuesday, a day after Mayor de Blasio confirmed he would move ahead with a NYCLASS-endorsed bill to ban carriages, officials would not say when the investigation will conclude. But Scott Levenson, the political consultant whose Advance Group worked for NYCLASS and is now at the center of the investigation, said that he was told by Campaign Finance Board staff that “recommendations have been made.” He declined to elaborate.  Board spokesman Eric Friedman said only, “There is an ongoing investigation of potential coordination between certain independent spenders and candidates via their common agent, The Advance Group.”

CFB Investigation How Lobbyists and Special Interests Destroyed New Yorker's Democracy and Took Over Control of City Hall

The Same DAs That Protect Cops Also Protect Pols and Lobbyists and Corrupt Campaign PACs Who Elect Them




99% of the Corrupt Cases Against New York Elected Officials Have Come From the Federal Government  

Why Are NYC's DAs Not Indicting Pols?
Insiders describe it as an inherently “political animal” that can often have trouble indicting members of the party—which in New York City is the old Democratic Party leaders and the New Privatized Lobbyists Machine —that controls who serves in the local legal system. To some extent, every Democratic district attorney has close relationships with Democratic Party leadership. With the singular exception of then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s takedown of Hevesi in a pension-fund scam, virtually all the New York anti-corruption action since 2006 has been undertaken by federal prosecutors and the FBI. Local DAs remain as quiet as the proverbial church mouse. And that’s especially true of Albany County DA David Soares, who by virtue of geography and the law is particularly well-positioned to pursue corruption.  Albany Corruption
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Demands That The Feds Take Over All Police Homicide Cases, What About Political Corruption?
Is There A Structural Problem With Local Borough DAs Offices Who Because of Their Close Working Relationship of the NYPD and the Political Machines That They Depend On to Elect Them
Grand Jury System On Trial

Grand Jury 
Favors Cops
Grand Jury System, With Exceptions, Favors the Police in Fatalities(NYT) The recent grand jury decisions to bring no charges against white police officers who killed unarmed black men in New York and Missouri illustrate how the justice system can favor the police, often shielding them from murder or serious manslaughter charges.

Cable Pundits say it is a conflict of interests to have police which work together with DAs to investigate the police.  True News has asked why DAs have not investigated political corruption and how the lobbyists are breaking the election law.  99% of the political corrupt cases against NY's elected officials have come from federal prosecutors.  There is a dirty little secret of city district attorneys going back to the days of Tammany Hall rule that that they do not go after the political machines and elected officials that elected them.







Why is the Daily News Helping to Kill Its Own Readers  --the Working Middle Class 
King’s ransoms forKings (NYDN Ed) Soaring Brooklyn housing costs should spark a construction surge. 
Boom. Brooklyn tops the national list of most expensive urban areas in which to buy a home, measured against what locals can afford to spend.  It now takes 98% of the typical household’s income to purchase the typical house in Brooklyn, according to the research group RealtyTrac. The median price is $613,000 and rising, rising, rising. Compared with the once-dismal fortunes of a once-hollowing city, climbing property values are a wonderful urban problem to be solved by a tale-of-two-cities mayor, whose own boat has been floated by ownership of a now pricey, and rented-out, house in Park Slope. The downside is that Kings County’s 177,544 owner-occupied houses and rowhomes have become such hot commodities that they are moving beyond the reach of the borough’s middle-class residents. *Construction boomtriggers big jump in NY building costs (CrainsNY)


Barclays Center Building Violations
The Barclays Center, where de Blasio hopes the 2016 Democratic National Convention will be held, has racked up a slew of federal and city building violations Barclays Center faces slew of violations prior to DNC decision(NYP)* City unions knock convention competitors(Capital)vSay Philadelphia and Columbus unfair to organized labor
More on the Brooklyn Dem Convention


Another Promised Fixed for New York's Third World Airports  

Tappan Zee Bridge Build It and the Money Will Come
Over the next 10 years, billions of dollars from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and from the airlines themselves, will be spent to improve the functionality and the images of New York’s three major airports, The NewYork Times writes: 





The Race Divide Is Not Longer Explained by or Defined by the Race Divided 
Police Killings Reveal Chasms Between Races (NYT)  Divisions over the killings are not simply black and white. They also run along generational, socioeconomic and geographical lines. Whites have joined blacks in street protests here and across the nation against police violence. And some blacks have joined whites in raising concerns about the behavior of blacks. Still, in Ferguson, some whites said they felt like blacks had rushed to judgment in condemning them as bigots. In interviews here and around the country, both blacks and whites described tense conversations in office cubicles or across dinner tables about the killings and subsequent protests.  * George W. Bush: Garner Grand Jury Decision 'Hard to Understand' Charles Barkley Responds to Critics: They Can 'Kiss My Ass'

NBC Poll Shows Deep Divide: Confidence in Cops Split Along Racial Lines
BREAKING: Poll showsdeep racial divide in confidence in law enforcement(NBC) In the wake of the deaths of unarmed black men in police confrontations in New York and Ferguson, Missouri, 47 percent of Americans say that law enforcement applies different standards to blacks and whites, while 44 percent disagree. But 82 percent of African Americans say that police have different standards based on race, while half of whites say the opposite. And while 72 percent of the public and 79 percent of whites say that they have "a great deal" or "a fair amount" of confidence that police in their community will not use excessive force on suspects, just 43 percent of black Americans say the same.* Police Face a Long and Complex Task to Mend Distrust Deepened by Killings (NYT)* 64% of blacks say race was a major factor inno-indictment in Michael Brown case. 60% of whites say it was no factor. * White people aremore convinced than ever that local police aren't racist: (NY Mag)




Sharpton's Rubenstein is Not the Manhattan DA's Ham Sandwich 

The woman who accused Sandy Rubenstein of rape is planning to file a lawsuit against the high-profile lawyer, as her attorneys fired off an angry letter charging Manhattan prosecutors with running an unfair probe, the Daily News writes: * Jury SelectionBegins in Rikers Inmate Death Case: Jury selection begins today for a former Rikers Island captain…

Next Day Update 
Sandy Rubensteinalleged rape probe likely to wrap up before Christmas(NYDN)The prosecutors’ probe into a business exec’s claims that the high profile attorney raped her in his Upper East Side pad on Oct. 1 will finish in two weeks.


Break Down of Journalism: Puts Narrative Over Facts
What Rolling Stone got wrong with its U-Va. rape story(Wash Post)  Journalists are paid to be skeptical and to distinguish facts from assertions: Don’t get too close to your sources and check what they tell you. Rolling Stone magazine, it appears, ignored both principles in its explosive story, “A Rape on Campus.” The 9,000-word article about Jackie, a University of Virginia freshman who alleged a frat-house gang rape, was apparently fraught from the beginning with gaps in basic reporting. The story’s writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, as well as a phalanx of editors, fact-checkers and lawyers who massaged the piece before publication, accepted Jackie’s account without locking down key details that would have confirmed, or at least plausibly substantiated, her harrowing tale.* Rolling StoneQuietly Changes Its Rape Story Apology (Buzzfeed) * Sharyl Attkisson onwhy the Rolling Stone rape story shouldn't have been published--and its manymistakes #Mediabuzz



The Power and Understanding Process of An Old Time Tammany Leader, Loyal Following of A Godfather the Public Relations Skills of A Cardinal 

Two Weeks After the NYTimes Knock Him Down Sharpton Has More Power Than Ever
NYC's Dear Leader
Scarborough Defends Sharpton from ‘Trial Lawyer’ Charges: These Families Call *Him* http://bit.ly/1FPLWLz  (VIDEO) * Garner made “a victim of himself” by resisting arrest and 228,000 non-fatal misdemeanor arrests last year prove the idea of an “out of control” police force is false,op-ed contributor Bob McManus writes in the Post: 

Media and Social Media is Changing Politics Right Before Our Eyes






WNBC Reports SI DA Did Not Ask for Reckless Endangerment Charge

Staten Island DA Didn'tAsk Garner Grand Jury to Consider Reckless Endangerment Charge: Source(WNBC) Staten Island's top prosecutor did not ask grand jurors to consider a reckless endangerment charge in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, a source familiar with the case told NBC 4 New York. District Attorney Daniel Donovan only asked grand jurors to consider manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges against NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the cop seen on widely-watched amateur video wrapping his arm around Garner's neck as the heavyset, asthmatic 43-year-old yelled,  


"I can't breathe!" nearly a dozen times during the July 17 confrontation, the source said.It's not clear why Donovan left the lesser charge off the table, and he has said strict confidentiality laws surrounding grand jury proceedings prevent him from discussing the details of the case —only manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges were asked for by the DA* DA didn’t ask Garner grand jury to weigh lesser charges(NYP) * Staten Island DADaniel Donovan didn’t include reckless endangerment charge as option to EricGarner grand jury: WNBC (NYDN)  Donovan only asked for manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide against Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the report said.* Garner cop Daniel Pantaleo still faces civil lawsuits -- including a new suit filed last month(SI Advance)* 'The time for remorse was when my husband was yelling to breathe': Widow of Eric Garner rips NYPD as cop who killed him with fatal chokehold is not indicted(NYDN)


Update Grand Jury Convened In Stairwell Shoot

Cops In the Pink Houses Shooting Called the PBA Not Their Commanding Office

Rookie NYPD officer who shot Akai Gurley in Brooklyn stairwell was texting union rep as victim lay dying 
Pink Houses horror (NYDN)  Brooklyn DA must fully investigate emerging, troubling details on poice shooting Shaun Landau, waited eternal minutes before they called in the shooting, while Gurley lay dying several floors below.  Their commander learned of the incident not from the officer responsible or his partner, but from a 911 call phoned in by a downstairs neighbor, on whose door Gurley’s girlfriend had knocked, pleading for help. Liang and Landau would not radio in for another six and a half minutes after that. Sources say in that crucial window, even as their commander tried to reach them, Liang and Landau texted their union reps. In the absence of a compelling explanation for this bizarre and protective behavior, the accounts disastrously confirm the sense, aflame in the wake of the Eric Garner grand jury decision, that it’s necessary to declare, “Black lives matter.” Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson must investigate to the full force of the law* Failure to makeapartment building repairs may have contributed to Akai Gurley's death:officials (NYDN) EXCLUSIVE: The light in the Pink Houses stairwell where Officer Peter Liang shot Akai Gurley had problems that may have caused it to dim, officials said. Those problems were not reported to NYCHA. And a staff request made months ago to upgrade the aging lighting system at the Pink Houses had not yet been addressed by NYCHA headquarters when the shooting occurred on Nov. 20, officials said.* Parents mourn stairwell-shooting victim, DA investigates(Brooklyn Paper)


Akai Gurley, shot dead by rookie NYPD cop in dark stairwell
While Akai Gurley was dying in a darkened stairwell at a Brooklyn housing development last month, the cop who fired the fatal bullet texted his union representative, but failed to call his commanding officer or emergency services for over six and a half minutes, theDaily News reports:  Grand Jury Hearing Planned in Police Killing of Man on Project Stairs(NYT)  In Brooklyn Church, Mourning a Man Killed, the Police Say, in an Accident(NYT) Many who never knew Akai Gurley attended his funeral on Friday, saying they imagined it could have been their own relative killed by a police officer’s bullet.* Brooklyn Grand Jury to Examine Akai Gurley Shooting Death(NYT)* Friends, Family Say Final Farewell to Akai Gurley(NY1)

Wills Absent and Near Political Death

Indicted NYC Councilman Ruben Wills has worst attendance record among current members, records show:(NYDN) The indicted pol missed 27% of the meetings he was supposed to attend in the year that ended June 30, the worst attendance record on the Council, according to records obtained Friday by the Daily News under the Freedom of Information Law. Wills was absent from 37 of the 137 committee hearings and Council meetings he was supposed to be at, the records show. The Jamaica Democrat was indicted on a dozen corruption charges in May. Prosecutors say he stole public campaign funds and used the cash for a Louis Vitton handbag and shopping trips to Nordstrom and Century 21, among other personal purchases. He’s also accused of taking a $33,000 member item from since-convicted Sen. Shirley Huntley for his sham charity but pocketing most of it.Also on the worst attendance list for the fiscal year that ended June 30: Brad Lander of Brooklyn, who missed 22.7%, Annabel Palma of the Bronx, with 17.8%, and Darlene Mealy and Vincent Gentile of Brooklyn, both with 16.8%.* Council members explain their absentee rates(Capital)



Is the No Wi-Fi Net Neutrality All About Another IT Pay to Play Contract?

City official leftfirm vying for de Blasio's Wi-Fi plan, months before his former employer wonthe bid (NYDN) The issue of Robert Richardson’s hiring comes as the city controller and borough presidents have raised questions about the fairness of the mayor's Wi-Fi plan, which offers faster speed Internet access to Manhattan and mostly upscale borough neighborhoods and slower speed in mostly poorer neighborhoods. One of the membersof the CityBridge consortium is a company called Control Group. One of the former employees of Control Group, a person named Robert Richardson, worked for DoITT in 2011, then he worked for Control Group in 2012, then he went to work for the New York Technology Development Corporation (NY TDC). The New York TDC is described as a “not-for-profit consulting firm that serves one client — New York.”
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A Tale of Two NYC Wi-Fis


Trickle Down Wi-Fi
De Blasio's wi-fi program will be markedly slower in poor neighborhoods that actually need it.
Despite Mayor de Blasio’s promise last week of 'affordable access to broadband for all New Yorkers,' the city’s free public Wi-Fi kiosks will rely on advertising, meaning wealthier neighborhoods will get speedier service, the Daily News writes  * De Blasio’s long-awaited plan to boost the city’s high-tech and middle-class jobs is a step in the right direction, but falls flat from his campaign promises and he has much more work to do, the Daily News writes:  * Tale of two Wi-Fis: Mayor de Blasio’s ‘five-borough’ network plan gives slower service to poorer neighborhoods — SEE THE MAP(NYDN)* Officials highlightinequality in de Blasio’s citywide Wi-Fi plan(NYDN) Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, his Bronx counterpart Ruben Diaz Jr. and Public Advocate Letitia James spoke out against the ‘digital inequality’ of the kiosks, which will offer much higher speeds in Manhattan and upscale neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens than elsewhere.*

Serpico Cowardly Cop Dividing City  
Cowardly cops living by the 'shoot first, ask questions later' mantra put the good guys in a bad light and threaten the public's right to justice.* Sal Albanese ‏@SalAlbaneseNYC  

NYP Says Mayor's Slur Against NYPD Attacks Us All As Thousands Demand Change
"When you fight against the status quo it is not surprising
 the status quo will tell you you're crazy," @BilldeBlasio 
De Blasio’s slur against NYPD imperils us all(Goodwin, NYP) The city is in turmoil over the Staten Island case and the mayor throws gasoline on the fire by painting the entire police force as a bunch of white racist brutes. Has he no shame? He certainly has no facts. In addition to the not-so-minor detail that the police force is now an impressive mix of races and ethnic groups, crime statistics leave no doubt that any harm to befall Dante de Blasio likely would come from another nonwhite, non-cop male. Those stats show that, year in, year out, about 90 percent of homicides involve a nonwhite man killing another nonwhite man.* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has pledged to heal relations between police and minority communities, is getting mixed reviews for his response to the Garner case, among the most racially divisive episodes of his tenure, the Journalreports:  De Blasio on lack of indictment in Eric Garner case: 'this is based on centuries of racism'(NYDN) * NYPD union chief slams Bill de Blasio for comments made about cops(NYDN)* Cops collect ‘several million dollars’ in overtime for protests(NYP)* The opposite of respect: Mayor’s empty words on cops(NYP Ed)


Media and Social Media Is Changing Politics Forever Right Before Our Eyes
Garner family attorney blasts immunity deal(Capital) * Rudy Giuliani attacks Mayor de Blasio over Eric Garnerresponse (NYDN) * De Blasio, P.B.A. continue war of words(NYDN) * De Blasio emails supporters about Garner(Capital) Says incident can’t be repeated * Thousands protesting the Eric Garner decision flooded into Manhattan Thursday night, with over one hundred arrested for shutting down bridges and streets—including teachers union boss Randi Weingarten, the New York Post reports: * Over 200 people arrested in New York Cityin latest #EricGarner grand jury protests: #statenislan   Police Body Cameras At Garner's Pct 75th Precinct to begin body camera training next week. #Brooklyn #NYPD  * George W Bush calls Garner decision "hard tounderstand" (CNN)* Staten Island Lawmakers To Push Grand Jury Transparency(YNN)* WNYC: “Records also show that a relatively small number of cops generate the most civilian complaints - and the (NYPD) routinely ignores recommendations on how to discipline the worst of them.” * After two days of protests to the Garner decision, the de Blasio administration touted numbers showing what officials say is a “significant drop in misconduct complaints” against NYPD officers over the last five months.* Protesters stormApple store, Macy's, Grand Central, Wall Street for 3rd night after Eric Garnergrand jury decision (NBC)*  Hillary Rodham Clinton Backs U.S. Inquiry Into Police Chokehold Death(NYT) The former secretary of state praised plans for a task force to review police tactics after high-profile cases involving unarmed black men killed by white officers.* We Must Stop Police Abuse of Black Men(NYT) By ERIC L. ADAMS When I joined the police department, I learned the culture of brutality* Police union prez rips de Blasio over Eric Garner(NYP) * "Reckless racehustling." How conservative media talks about Michael Brown and Ferguson:(WNYC)* Rabbis Arrested ForCivil Disobedience At UWS Eric Garner Protest(Gothamist)

Special Prosecutor Politics 1986 vs 2014 

Cuomo Who Can Appoint A Police Special Prosecutor Is Looking Into Whether A SP Should Be Appointed in Cases Where Unarmed Civilians Are Killed by Police
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state should look into whether special prosecutors should handle cases where unarmed civilians are killed by police after a number of lawmakers said they will push legislation to require the change, the Daily News reports:  'WE SHOULD LOOK AT THE WHOLE SYSTEM': Eric Garner case spurs state, federal leaders to seek reforms to boost public confidence in justice system(NYDN)* @NYGovCuomo response to #EricGarner decisiondelayed, "disappointing" 

A Special Prosecutor in Howard Beach in 1986
Mario Cuomo Appoints Hynes Howard Beach Special Prosecutor
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 all of these campaign consultants will brake election laws and organize conspiracy with others to elect their candidates to office are getting a free ride.  Which is exactly why the the FBI and the CFB are investigating the Advance Group for their role in the NYCLASS PAC.* Holder said that in addition to the department’s own investigation, it would also conduct a complete review of what local investigators gathered during their investigative process..@KarimCamara announcing legislation for special prosecutor to deal with police cases

@TishJames: there is a conflict of interest between local prosecutors and getting indictment against police b/c they work together #maddow

DAs Have the Same Conflict of Interests When It Comes to Political Corruption . . .And They Ignore It 
Political consultant 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.






Why Isn't the AG and the Manhattan DA Enforcing the Election Law?
The CFB determined under its rules that the Advance Group’s work on behalf of both Council candidates and the supposedly “independent” anti-carriage PAC really amounted to illegal coordination between the campaigns and NYCLASS. The board properly fined Cumbo and Levine. And its crackdown on the out-of-bounds campaign spending by NYCLASS has done the city a huge favor, by providing a badly needed glimpse into the big money play that successfully swung the 2013 city elections. Using funds from donors that included UNITE HERE — a union chaired by Mayor de Blasio’s cousin John Wilhelm — NYCLASS slimed mayoral rival Christine Quinn into oblivion.Now the FBI is probing the funding of the attacks on Quinn, and de Blasio’s flip-flop that led to his vow to ban the horses. The CFB needs to stay vigilant, making every effort to hold NYCLASS, the Advance Group and sponsored candidates to account for their actions in the 2013 campaign. Among the others benefiting from NYCLASS spending was Melissa Mark-Viverito, who took free services from the Advance Group in her successful bid to become City Council speaker.



The SI DA and SI Assemblywomen Complicated Dance
Elected officials, legal experts and police officers differed on Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan ’s handling of the grand jury that declined to indict the officer involved in Eric Garner ’s death, the Wall Street Journal reports:

NYT Reports Staten Island See Risks Cops Take
Staten Island, where Eric Garner died, is home to thousands of police officers, and in the neighborhoods where they live, the same video that sparked outrage around the city was seen as a snapshot of the daily risks that police face, the Timesreports: 


AG Bags Another Corrupt None Profit Head

A.G. SchneidermanAnnounces Conviction Of NYC Nonprofit Director Who Stole Nearly $900k From Charity Yolanda Gonzalez, Former Director Of Nos Quedamos, Convicted Of Grand Larceny And Fraud, Sentenced To Up To 4.5 Years In Prison The group calls itself a "community development corporation comprised of residents, homeowners, and business owners from the South Bronx who are committed to promoting, supporting, and advancing ideas of healthy and sustainable growth, both for local communities and the larger society." Yolanda Gonzalez, the former Executive Director of We Stay-Nos Quedamos, Inc., for embezzling nearly $900,000 from the long-standing South Bronx-based nonprofit community development corporation.  Gonzalez is the second charity head to be charged by Schneiderman's office in recent weeks. William Rapfogel, the now-former CEO of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and a close friend of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was charged in a $5 million, two-decade kickback scheme. Rapfogel, whose wife is longtime Silver chief of staff Judy Rapfogel, is said to have personally pocketed more than $1 million. He also helped arrange that some of the other money be donated to city and state officials who helped steer funds to the Met Council. * Nos Quedamos saysit’s set to rise again (Mott Heaven Herald)Ex-Chief Pleads Guilty to Stealing From a Bronx Charity(NYT)




A Fight About Mastro and Cablevision is Really A Fight About WFP's Data and Field

Lawyer Randy Mastro accused Council members of being stooges for the Communications Workers of America and the Working Families Party. One council member called his comments ‘imbecilic.’* Progressive CaucusBatters Cablevision Lawyer in Insult-Filled Hearing(NYO)



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Progressive deB Won't Battle Real Estate's Control of the City 
With no chance to pass, de Blasio passes on luxe apartment tax (NYP) Mayor de Blasio isn’t going to support a luxury tax on apartments valued at $5 million or more that are owned by absentee landlords because it doesn’t stand a chance in Albany, according to sources. “My understanding is a luxury tax for absentee landlords is not going forward,” said one source. “The absentee-landlord tax is a nonstarter.” The idea was floated in September by the liberal Fiscal Policy Institute, which estimated the city could raise $655 million a year by adding a property tax surcharge of 0.5 to 4 percent on apartments valued at $5 million or more. The teachers union on Tuesday came up with a twist on the luxury taxsuggesting out-of-state owners pay full property taxes even if they are entitled to abatements. Alternatively, the union suggested out-of-towners agree to pay New York City income taxes.* New York State Politicians Are Still For Sale(Gawker)*Teachers Union Wants City to Close Tax Loopholes for Absentee Apartment Owners(WSJ)



The City Waits On Garner Grand Jury





What Ever Happen to the NYCLASS Advance Group Investigation? 


Horse Carriage Bill Ban?  Pink Slips for Xmas
De Blasio will reportedly introduce a New York City Council bill to ban horse carriages, making good on a long-awaited campaign promise, the Observer writes: Offer Drivers Taxi Medallions: NYO Source* De Blasio to propose horse carriage ban next week(NYP)* Horse-carriageindustry furious at de Blasio's proposed legislation: "It's outrageous...pink slips for Christmas" (NYDN)* Queens Councilman Tappedto Introduce Bill Banning Horse Carriages(NYO)* Danny Dromm says hebelieves horse carriage bill has majority of votes in @NYCCouncil: * * New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm, a Queens Democrat and the lead sponsor of a de Blasio administration-backed bill to ban horse carriages in the city, said he thinks a majority of the Council will back the ban, the Daily News reports:Mayor de Blasio Unveiling Bill to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages(NYT)* Rein Bill in  (NYDN Ed)  Council must dump Mayor de Blasio's wrongheaded ban on horse carriages * Carriage horse drivers uncertain as mayor pushes ban(NYDN) * De Blasio's carriage horse ban could end up in courts(NYDN) 


A BEAUTIFUL CAR, BUT NOT AS GOOD AS A CARRIAGE RIDE: City Councilman Rafael Espinal weighs horse carriage facts, vows to fight de Blasio's proposed ban (NYDN) TELL 'EM ALL YOU SAY NAY: Half of City Council members haven't taken a side yet as News urges readers to take a stand(NYDN)* * A majority of council members said that they’re either undecided on the measure or don’t agree the plan to offer a green-taxi permit—worth about $6,000—in exchange for a horse-drawn carriage license is fair, the Post writes: * De Blasio using political muscle to pass carriage horse ban(NYP)* A campaign promise to ban the horse-drawn carriages of Central Park has pitted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio against a close ally: labor unions that helped propel him to office, the Journal reports:   *Teamsters Local 553represents carriage industry's 350 workers & strongly opposes BdB proposedban(WSJ) * New Yorkers—not to mention the rest of the world—like the carriage horses because they add a touch of charm to a frantic and fractious place, so the New York City Council should not ban a good thing, am New York writes * Carriage Horse Proposal’s Effects Might Not Be as Good asIts Intentions(NYT) * DEAD WRONG: Liam Neeson slams de Blasio on proposed horse-carriage ban(NYDN) * Liam Neeson slams NYmayor for bill banning horse carriages
More on the Advance Groups Corruption
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