Tuesday, April 22, 2014

True News Tuesday Update

Breaking: Rapfogel Plea
William Rapfogel, pal of Assembly Speaker Silver, to plead guilty to ripoff (NYDN) Former head of poverty nonprofit is likely to get 3 to 10 years in plea deal.  He’s also expected to agree to pay more than $3 million in restitution. Rabbi David Cohen, the former Met Council executive director, is also expected to plead guilty Wednesday for his role in the scheme, sources said. Rapfogel was charged in August with heading a two-decade $7 million kickback scam. He is accused of purchasing insurance policies at inflated prices using the Met Council’s money and then receiving more than $1 million in kickbacks from Century Coverage Corp., the agent that sold them. Investigators say he stashed as much as $400,000 in the East Side co-op and Monticello home he owns with his wife, Silver chief of staff Judy Rapfogel.Rapfogel is also charged with steering campaign contributions from the insurance company to city and state officials who had helped fund Met Council, including Silver, his longtime friend.Rapfogel was charged with grand larceny, money laundering, criminal tax fraud, conspiracy, falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing.
The News also reported that several people have been soliciting members of the city’s Orthodox Jewish community in hopes of raising $3.1 million that can be put toward restitution. Silver and Judy Rapfogel have denied any knowledge of William Rapfogel’s alleged criminal activities* William Rapfogel to plead guilty for his role in $7M theft(NYP)He also allegedly directed Ross and other employees at Century Coverage to make numerous donations to political campaigns and politicians – including the powerful Assembly speaker.And he directed that the donations be made in small amounts to maximize the amount of “matching funds” that would come from the city.Ross previously copped a plea to grand larceny, money laundering and tax fraud and was believed to be cooperating with prosecutors from state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office.* Willie Rapfogel Repotedly Set To Plead Guilty In Met Council Scam JP Updates
Do you get the sense that in the plea, some are waiting for another (?) shoe to drop? Or, roll over?
More on Rapfogel's Non Profit Tax Shelters Connects to political payoffs



Guess Who Coming to the Brooklyn Democrat Dinner  
Hon. William Boyland, Wait He is In Jail
 More on Boyland's Corruption 


Taking On the Internet Wild West (Airbnb)

: When will cybercowboys like realize working w/ sheriffs is good business?
By Eric Schneiderman,NYT Op-Ed  Taming the Digital Wild West This isn’t smart, or sustainable. Just because a company has an app instead of a storefront doesn’t mean consumer protection laws don’t apply.  In 2010, the state of New York passed a law confirming that short-stay rentals were generally illegal in apartment buildings, and for good reason: The longstanding distinction between hotels and apartment buildings protects the rights of building residents who didn’t choose to live 10 feet away from a parade of strangers. The law also protects tourists — who are usually unfamiliar with the rooms and buildings where they are sleeping — by imposing stiffer fire safety and building codes on hotels. Airbnb “hosts” rent out apartments every day in violation of this law. Some of these are large, commercial enterprises with dozens of apartments — truly illegal hotels. Major service providers cannot be allowed to treat it as a digital Wild West. The only question is how long it will take for these cybercowboys to realize that working with the sheriffs is both good business and the right thing to do.
Team Airbnb Tries to Stay One Step Ahead of the Law . . . Cuts Out the Warehousing

Ahead Of NY Subpoena Hearing, Airbnb Weeds Out Hosts With Dozens Of Listings(Tech Crunch) In preparation for oral arguments being held in its New York subpoena case tomorrow, Airbnb is eliminating dozens of listings on its site from hosts who have been accused of being bad actors and running illegal hotel operations on the platform.* Airbnb weeding out city’s multiple apartment listers(NYP) “Every host on this list that rents apartments has been notified that they and their listings will be permanently removed from Airbnb,” the subletting service said on its Web site.* Airbnb wipes 2000 NY listings before court hearing(CNET Airbnb's counsel is arguing AG's office is seeking broad info from site to calculate how to interpret tax law to yield maximum tax revenues

Airbnb's Renters' Warehousing WilliamsBurg Generates Gentrification Crown Heights
Airbnb is scheduled to face off in an Albany courtroom Tuesday against the state Attorney General’s Office, which last year subpoenaed the company’s records as part of a probe into alleged evasion of hotel taxes and violations of zoning laws. A spokesman for AG Eric Schneiderman said: “Airbnb acknowledges deleting hundreds of potentially illegal listings on the eve of our hearing, while launching a string of attacks on the attorney general in a transparent effort to distract from our investigation.”* Airbnb in court over housing laws(BBC) * Airbnb Removed Thousands Of 'Illegal' Listings After Challenge ...(Business Insider) * Companies Built on Sharing Balk When It Comes to Regulators(NYT) * Airbnb NYC rentals 60 percent illegal, state A.G. says(Philly.com) * Airbnb Set to Challenge New York Rental Probe Subpoena(Business Week) * Schneiderman seeks Airbnb's NYC sublet information(WSJ) * Is Airbnb Inflating Housing Costs in NYC? In a word: YES! -->




Airbnb Campaign Contribution and Lobbyists Trumps Tenant Protection
Two-thirds of city’s Airbnb rentals are illegal sublets: state(NYP) A study of data from the subletting service’s own Web site showed 64 percent of its 19,500-plus offerings for Jan. 31 covered an “entire apartment,” says an affidavit from the state Attorney General’s Office. By law, a “permanent resident” must be present to sublet an apartment for fewer than 30 days.In addition, more than 200 of the offerings came from just five “hosts,” suggesting third parties were renting out pads on behalf of their owners. “The top five hosts by number of listings had the following number of listings: 80, 35, 31, 29 and 28,” Sumanta Ray, director of research and analysis for the AG’s Investor Protection Bureau, wrote in the affidavit, obtained by The Post. The Real Affordability for All Coalition — made up of 50 tenant advocate and labor union groups — is accusing Airbnb of “throwing gasoline on a fire” by contributing to a growing affordable housing crisis.* Airbnb will fight NYC subpoena in court on Tuesday(VatorNews) *Airbnb To Face Off With Attorney General In Court This Week (Gothamist) *Airbnb And NY Attorney General Prepare To Meet In Court This Week (TechCrunch) * Airbnb's New York bait-and-switch Salon * How Airbnb shook up hotels (and why New York is fighting back)-The Globe and Mail *New York's Case Against Airbnb Is Argued in Albany New York Times  * Airbnb is facing off against New York's Attorney General. Here's why. Washington Post * New York judge considers Airbnb subpoena CNBC.com

 
Lobbyists Make $$$ While Tenants Push to the Street and Out of Town

Very excited RT : EXCLUSIVE: spokesman joins , reptsIDC spokesman Soufer joins Risa Heller(Capital) Soufer, 29, will join Risa Heller Communications, which draws its name from the former spokeswoman for Chuck Schumer and David Paterson. He starts next week, and will assist the firm's work on behalf of Airbnb and the New York City F.C., a budding Major League Soccer franchise in the five boroughs.Affordable Housing Vanishing NYC affordable housing is vanishing as rents skyrocket, incomes decline: report (NYDN)
Does this me the IDC is going down to rent out more NYC apartments for sex?
More About Airbnb
More on Gentrification



Media Blackout Keeps the Public Ill Informed On the Closing of the Moreland Commission
The Siena poll also shows that most voters know little about the Moreland Commission, but those who do overwhelmingly side with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara over the governor that Moreland should have continued. But, "Nearly two-thirds of voters, 63 percent, said they sided with Bharara in the disagreement" 
Voters Disapprove of Cuomo’s Shutdown of Anticorruption Panel, Poll Shows(NYT)
Discontent with the move, criticized publicly by the United States attorney in Manhattan, crosses party lines in the survey by Siena College.
More on the Closing of the Moreland Commission



Update Mayor Distancing Himself from 911 Scandal, DOI To Investigate 911 Delay 
De Blasio demands answers for FDNY delay in fatal house fire(NYP) * City to probe response to fatal Rockaway fire(Capital) The city's Department of Investigation will launch a formal probe of the emergency response to a fire that killed two children in Far Rockaway late Saturday.  The city's emergency response system was also faulted in the death of Ariel Russo, a 4-year-old pedestrian killed when she was crossing the street with her grandmother last year, while the system was undergoing a $2 billion overhaul. In that case, D.O.I. found that human error was to blame for a four-minute delay in answering the call, which delayed the emergency response to the scene of the accident.

Another EMS Delay and Two Dead Children

Official Says E.M.S. Response to Deadly Fire in the Rockaways Was Delayed(NYT) The New York City fire commissioner said on Monday that ambulances were not immediately dispatched when they should have been to a Queens fire that killed two 4-year-old children and injured three other people late Saturday night.* FDNY admits ambulances were delayed to fatal fire(NYP)



“When you have what we call a working fire, an ambulance should be dispatched,” Cassano said. “It wasn’t dispatched at that time.”*Ambulances Were Dispatched Late to Fatal Fire in Queens, Official Says(NYT) The cause of the 8-minute delay has yet to be determined, Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano said.  The delay appeared to stem from a breakdown in communications between firefighters at the two-story home on Bay 30th Street in Far Rockaway and emergency medical service dispatchers, who must be alerted by their Fire Department counterparts before sending an ambulance to a reported fire.* Delay in Emergency Response to Fatal Queens Fire(WSJ)


 de Blasio to Dump Fire Commission
 Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano will not stay on permanently under New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, although the mayor would not say why or when a new commissioner would be appointed, the Post reports * De Blasio, on fire chief, stresses ‘interim’(Capital) * De Blasio douses hopes of FDNY commissioner(NYDN)



Dear Madam Council Speaker 
A Snarky Quote By Your Flack Is Not Going to Create Jobs or Keep Business in NYC . . .  Not Even A Donut

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito ridiculed a planned visit to New York City by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to try to woo business back to his home state, calling the visit a sideshow, the Daily News reports: Percentage of unionized workforce: New York, 24.3 percent. Texas, 4.8%.  NY employment growth, March, 2013-2014, 1.2%. Texas employment growth, 2.8%. NY population growth, 2.3 percent in past decade. Texas, 20.1 percent! Poverty as % of population. NY, 18.1 percent. Texas 16.4 percent. NYC's unemployment rate, 7.9%. Texas, 5.5%. NY added 500,000+ jobs in past decade, but Texas added almost 2 million.* Texas Gov. Rick Perry to visit New York to woo local businesses to his state(NYDN) Rick Perry is coming to New York to lasso businesses and lead them south to the Lone Star State, but the City Council speaker is wondering if he’ll be swinging on the flying trapeze. Texas’ conservative. Judge Gerald Connolly is laughing at Airbnb counsel's attempt to introduce blind quotes in a New York Post article as part of argument

Has New York Lost Its Balls and Soul? 
A City of Cowards: Not One Pol offers to Debate Perry 

Culture Change
You can fool New Yorkers but you can't fool the entire county or world
In an interview on Talk-1300 with Fred Dicker, Perry said he would be “happy to sit down and have a thoughtful conversation, a debate” with Cuomo on the different economic politics between the two states.  * Rick Perry challenges Andrew Cuomo to debate(CNN)* Rick Perry Challenges Andrew Cuomo to Debate on Jobs(NYO) * Rick Perry challenges Cuomo to a debate(Capital) ALBANY—Texas governor Rick Perry challenged Governor Andrew Cuomo to a public debate over tax policy, while praising Cuomo's recent support of charter schools, during a radio interview with Fred Dicker on Tuesday. 
NYC Economic Troubles 


Nobody on the Council Steps Up to Debate Texas Gov Perry About Job Creation
City Council Ignores the Effects of High Taxes on Job Creation 
Paid vacation could become city mandate through new bill(NYDN)
Councilman Proposes Bill to Alert Neighborhoods When Hotel Construction Is Headed Their Way 
NY state has highest 2011 tax burden: report(NYDN)
Taxed to the max(NYP Ed) Just days after noting our surprise that Gov. Cuomo was consulting with the same Tax Foundation his aide once dissed as a biased, right-wing think tank, the group has come... * The Post writes that with New York ranked as having the highest local and state taxes, the state needs radical overhaul aimed at making New York competitive with the top and a governor bold enough to do that:* Councilman’s idea to stop NYPD’s ‘minor’ arrests is wrong(NYP)




Cuomo's Working Family Problem
Will Cuomo make a deal with the WFP and give the democrats control of the state senate or will team Cuomo try to revive the Liberal Party?
A Siena poll shows that Gov. Andrew Cuomo still holds a 30-point lead over challenger Rob Astorino, though that margin drops to 15 points with a Working Families Party candidate on the ballot * Cuomo holds huge lead over GOP challenger – for now(NYP) *Siena Poll: WFP challenge would damage Cuomo’s margin in November(Capital)
Poll: Blue New Yorkers like Senate GOP(CrainsNY) Though Democrats hold a more than two-to-one registration advantage in New York, 58% of voters would like to see the state Senate continue to be run by a coalition of Republicans and Democrats, a Siena College poll released Tuesday morning found.

Moreland Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino made the unsubstantiated claim that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is investigating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s involvement in the Moreland Commission, State of Politics reports:

WFP, Acorn 2.0 and the New Progressive Machine

Cuomo's Afro Campaign
Dante Firm Hired by Cuomo As the NYP's Dicker Keeps Up His Attack
Cuomo has hired Michael Donilon of AKPD Message and Media—the firm behind the Dante de Blasio ads—as a campaign media consultant,Gov. Cuomo hires ad whiz who made a star out of Dante de Blasio and his afro as reelection campaign heats up(NYDN) State Democratic insiders say Cuomo won’t have the support of the Democratic Party if Hillary Clinton decides not to run for president and he does in 2016, the Post’s Fred Dicker reports: Cuomo has had issues almost daily in recent weeks with Mayor de Blasio, top union leaders, the Working Families Party, former state Chairmen Jay Jacobs and John Sullivan, and key party leaders including state Democratic Co-Chair Stephanie Miner, who resigned abruptly last week. Last month Democratic activist Bill Samuels — whose father, Howard, was the Democrats’ official choice for governor in 1974 (defeated in the primary by Hugh Carey) — even called Cuomo an “embarrassment’’ to his party and said he should run for re-election as a Republican. “The state Democratic Party has become an embarrassment, it has been marginalized, and it has become a virtual shadow of what it once was. The party has been completely subsumed by the governor’s agenda and persona. “Take a look at the web site. There’s no mention of other statewide Democrats, or Assembly or Senate members. All those officials used to be featured and prominently so. * The Post writes that it’s time to raise the bar and the performance to improve the state’s rank as one of the worst in the country in which to do business. 
2014 Gov Race: Cuomo, Astorin

NYS Comptroller Race and Gov Fight
Campaign Finance vs Budget
John Cahill, the likely Republican candidate for attorney general, is expected to form an exploratory committee this week, according to GOP leaders, Gannett Albany reports: * DiNapoli questions Cuomo’s budget (Capital) Comptroller’s report says spending growth is larger than it’s made to appear


NYS Attorney Generals Race 
Schneiderman Hires Quinn Campaign Manager(WSJ) New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, facing re-election this year, has hired former New York City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn's campaign manager to fill the same role for him. Mr. Schneiderman, who is likely to face a competitive race to retain the office, has hired Matt Tepper, who managed Ms. Quinn’s failed mayoral bid, which ended in September when she placed third in the Democratic primary. Mr. Schneiderman’s campaign confirmed the hire on Monday.



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

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

Bragging of Safety While Many Live in Fear(Powell, NYT) New York City asserts confidently that crime has plummeted, but bloody corners remain. Walk the Brooklyn canyons of the Howard, Linden, the Tilden and Van Dykes Houses, or the Webster Houses in the Bronx, and watch young men watch you. The Daily News recently reported that crime had edged up stubbornly in the public houses in the past five years.
  1. OK so those who push out the Vertical Patrols were they wrong? Should that decision even be debated?
  1. . Vertical patrols in public houses seem essential to me

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

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

Pols Hold Their Press Conferences Before the 2012 Election, But, Don't Stick Around to Solve the Crime Problem
UNSAFE AT HOME: Residents live in fear inside New York's public housing as crime skyrockets — the Daily News investigates(NYDN)  In the last five years, the New York City Housing Authority projects saw a 31% spike in major crimes, while the rest of the city experienced a 3.3% increase, records obtained exclusively by the Daily News show. Some public housing residents say they are afraid to leave their homes or even open their doors. “It’s out of control. It’s out of hand,” declared a frustrated Patricia Herman, 61, who’s lived in the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem since 1979. At Lincoln, murders, rapes, assaults, robberies, burglaries, auto theft and grand larcenies — known as the “seven majors”— nearly doubled from 33 in 2009 to 60 last year.
Flashback  In 2010 the city was sued for NYPD vertical patrol at NYCHA buildings. What do you think the tenants living in fear today in public housing think about the vertical patrols ending?* What security cameras can't see - 219 Magazine

No Fare Hike Connected to New Contract?
"Cuomo’s election-year triumph will be very expensive for  riders and for city taxpayers, too" . . . 
$6 Million Union Slush Fund 
The deal made between the MTA and TWU Local 100 includes a provision that would require the MTA to pay $2 million a year over three years into a fund used by the union, The Wall Street Journal reportsCuomo’s MTA contract triumph also a costly one(NYP) The average transit worker can expect to earn above $75,000 with this $6,000 or so raise — and will only have to pay $400 more in annual health-care costs in return. 
More on the MTA * Cuomo Announces Deal Between MTA and Transport Workers Union(NY1)
Cuomo cuts an M.T.A. labor deal with 'no fare increases'(Capital) * Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a contract agreement between the MTA and the transit workers union that would provide retroactive raises in exchange for increased contributions to healthcare costs, Crain’s reports: * Fares hold as MTA workers get raises under new contract(NYP) * Transit Union Wins MTA Wage Boosts(WSJ) * Cuomo’s MTA contract triumph also a costly one(NYP Ed)


Long Island College Hospital Update
Top LICH bidder won't make May deadline(Capital) * A losing bidder for Long Island College Hospital claims that the winner has underestimated the costs of construction, and says the the real sum—at more than a $1 billion—is far higher, Crain’s reports
Closing Hospitals, HHC, LICH

 
Bloomberg People Still In Charge



Despite all the promises of Sweeping Change during campaign 2013 and de Blasio 100 day speech, not much has changed in the management of the city
New Mayor and a New Agenda, but Little Change Within the Ranks(NYT) While Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to stock the top levels of his administration, city records show the next rung of crucial decision-makers are mostly holdovers from his predecessor. While Mayor Bill de Blasio has named senior aides and commissioners who share his desire to break from Bloomberg-era policies, there has been little turnover in the leadership ranks on the levels below. When it comes to the next rung of crucial decision-makers... there has been strikingly little change." “Of the roughly 1,300 people in those ranks who have been identified as having ‘substantial policy discretion,’ only about 200, or less than one-sixth, are new to their positions,” the Times writes.

Barbara Walters Takes on the de Blasio's

Barbara Walters asks personal Qs about his tough upbringing; he said strong women in his family helped get him through it. . says "the strong women in his life" - his mother & her sisters - sustained him despite his father's alcoholism & suicide. Barbara Walters rolls out the "your father committed suicide" thing pretty early in her interview w/ . "I don’t think that we’re any different from other couples who work in the same profession," says. "We talk shop all the time."On their marriage, "I think Bill's mom objected more than anyone" says . But says they became best friends. * Whoopi Goldberg asks de Blasio: "Do you really think the people who make over $500,000 haven’t contributed much?" BdB and first lady are holding hands on national tv.* Mayor de Blasio: Business not fleeing NYC. * Bill de Blasio Proclaims Official ‘Barbara Walters Day’ for NYC(NYO) *Mayoral First Couple Talk About Love and Hard Times(NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, visited ABC’s daytime talk show “The View” on Monday and spoke of personal hard times, city initiatives and love. * De Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray covered little new political ground on ABC’s “The View,” with de Blasio touching on prekindergarten and affordable housing and the couple discussing their personal lives.

Kindergarten Consultants, Less Waiting

Waiting Lists for Kindergarten Drop by Half, New York City Says(NYT)
In some neighborhoods, the process of applying for kindergarten has come to resemble a mini-Ivy League, with parents hiring consultants, touring scores of schools and inundating online forums.* Officials say a new application system cut New York City’s kindergarten waiting list in half this year, with more than 67,000 children applying for spots and all but 11 percent not receiving seats at their preferred schools, The New York Times reports: * About 71% of City Students Received First Choice for Kindergarten(WSJ) The city Department of Education sent letters Monday to families who applied by a February deadline to attend kindergarten in the fall and said 47,725 students - or 71% - got their first choice.


Awards And Media Coverage for Failed Lobbyists Parkside Group
Lobbyists Groups Parkside Spent $7.5 Million of Real Estate Developers Money and Failed to Elected A Council Speaker. . . Making Their Queens Boss Crowley Their Benefactor A Loser

Last week the New York City-based political consulting firm The Parkside Group were recognized with Gold Medals by both the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) and Campaign & Elections Magazine for their direct mail work in the 2013 election cycle, which included literature promoting many of this year’s incoming class of New York City Council members. These latest accolades make Parkside one of the most decorated firms in New York City, with 24 total awards for its direct mail, television and radio commercials and print design. Evan Stavisky, a co-founder and managing director at the Parkside Group, emails. (City and State)


Sandy Promises Without Politics 
The Media Covers the Mayors to Fix Sandy and Not the Feds Who May Cut Millions of Sandy $$$

Tuesday Update New York City Area Officials Blast Potential Loss of Sandy Funds (WSJ)New York and New Jersey officials Monday vowed to fight any move to divert federal disaster money to other states until all the needs from superstorm Sandy are met.


Federal officials are considering spending more than $1 billion of the remaining rebuilding aid—money New York and New Jersey are counting on to complete Superstorm Sandy repairs—on disasters other than Sandy, The Wall Street Journal reports: * The Daily News writes that while the question of if Mayor Bill de Blasio is up to running a big city has persisted, he now has a chance to prove his command and competence by straightening out the Build it Back program. “Mayor de Blasio has talked a big game, but four months in, the persistent question remains: Is he up to running a big city?” the Daily News asked in an editorial on Hurricane Sandy rebuilding. “Now, de Blasio has the chance to prove command and competence by straightening out the shamefully failed program to help New Yorkers recover from damage suffered during Hurricane Sandy.”

Mayor Pushes Sandy Fix
Cuomo’s MTA contract triumph also a costly one(NYP) The average transit worker can expect to earn above $75,000 with this $6,000 or so raise — and will only have to pay $400 more in annual health-care costs in return. * As part of New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s new Sandy Oversight Unit, he is launching an audit of the Build it Back program, which has served few Superstorm Sandy victims Sandy * The de Blasio administration is aiming to build support at the state level for property tax breaks for Superstorm Sandy victims who have to rebuild or repair, though there are just six weeks to get something passed before property tax bills go out Sandy * Mayor Announces 'Major Overhaul' to City's Sandy Rebuilding Efforts(NYO) * Mayor Bill de Blasio released a sweeping report examining the Superstorm Sandy recovery and said that New York City will start reconstructing 500 homes by the end of summer, CBS Local reports * For the second time, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio held a Sandy-related event on Staten Island, and for the second time, Rep. Michael Grimm did not attend. * Mayor Details New Hurricane Sandy Aid Reforms * Sandy Recovery Still Lagging(NYT Ed) Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to attack the neglected program to rebuild communities with an urgency and more money * Editorials  The New York Times writes that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s promises to improve Superstorm Sandy recovery are a start, but making the city more resilient is no less important than cleaning up the current mess * De Blasio Vows Fixes for Sandy Aid(WSJ) *De Blasio Promises 500 Sandy Reimbursement Checks By Summer's End(DNAINFO) The planned Sandy rebuilding changes were included in a report released Thursday.
More on the Sandy Fix 


Stringer Attacks Oil Company's Conservative Donations
NYC comptroller questions oil firm’s political giving(NYP) The New York City comptroller has asked a Texas oil company to explain why it has been connected to political donations that appear to have little to do with its energy business.  Comptroller Scott Stringer, investment adviser and trustee to the $150 billion city pension funds, is questioning “both the magnitude and the corporate purpose” behind the Clayton Williams Energy Inc. donations to the National Rifle Association and American Crossroads, a conservative political action committee. He’s urging full disclosure to shareholders of all political spending, saying it poses “legal, reputational and operational risks.”



Another Week in Albany Another week begins with the Legislature not returning to Albany. The Assembly and Senate, which was originally supposed to return from its April break this week, will both return next week. The big news this week could be the release of a Siena College poll on the governor’s race on Tuesday. It will be the first Siena poll since the state budget passed at the end of March. It will also be the first survey since Gov Cuomo took major heat for disbanding his anti-corruption commission in exchange for an ethics package from the Legislature. Stay tuned.


What is the Queens Library Hiding?
Ask CM Jimmy Van Bramer Who is Also Hiding or Covering Up the Library Books


Open the library books(NYDN Ed) Queens Library must let controller audit. The Queens Library trustees have joined President Tom Galante in stonewalling scrutiny of the system’s financial records. The whole lot of them must be scared. Controller Scott Stringer has sought, so far without success, access to the library’s ledgers. In denying him, the trustees and Galante have once more asserted that, as a nonprofit organization, the library is beyond public accountability.
More About the Queens Library Cover-Up



Citi Bike May Not Be So Bad
Private report suggests Citi Bike could be a going concern(Capital) An internal analysis acquired by Capital shows that Citi Bike might not be in such a bad situation after all
More on Citi Bikes 


Horse Feathers Media Meets "Vinny the Chin" Avoidance and Pretending Not to Know

NYT and MSM Think Protecting Horse-Carriages is More Important That Uncovering An Election Sandal That May Have Determined the Outcome of the Mayor and City Council Speaker Races

In 2009 when Tom Robbins wrote The Mayor's Press Pass, in the Village Voice it look like independent media coverage of politics was dead for good, and that elected officials like Mayor Bloomberg would control news coverage for good. Now five years latter an explosion of blogs covering politics the question of news coverage is not quite as clear. Yes there is more news, but it is clearly not anywhere near the investigative independent journalism that Robbins, Jack Newfield and Wayne Barrett produced for years at the voice.  Just ask the biggest corruption fighter in town today, U.S. Attorney who criticized the lack of investigating reporting in today's NYC media:

"Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories" Bharara


When it comes to investigative journalism reporters and newspapers become "Vinny the Chin" ignoring the issues while pretending not to know what is going on. Today's reporters operating in very weak media economy and with lack of experience or historical understand think good journalism is reporting first what the mayor or any pol said, now what is really going on. (Stay tuned for more of The Vinny the Chin Press, in this weekend's True News) * U.S. Lost 30% of its Paid Journalists in 6 Years


Mayor Still Having Secret Meetings With Lobbyist Despite Promise of Transparency
Mayor Has Not Gotten Around to His Promise to Disclose Meetings With Lobbyists(NY1)
The doors to City Hall don't open for everyone, so candidate Bill de Blasio promised last year that he would make the halls of government more transparent."They know the difference between people that want to continue the status quo and candidates who are ready to make change," he said in August 2013. De Blasio promised to disclose meetings members of his office had with lobbyists. The reports would be given monthly. Three-and-a-half months into his mayoralty, the now-mayor has not disclosed a single meeting. We know that the officials in the mayor's office has sat down with lobbyists.

 Lobbyists are required to disclose who they are targeting to the city clerk. "I've talked with them about development projects that are happening throughout the city," said lobbyist Kenneth Fisher. Other lobbyists told us they had multiple meetings with officials in the mayor's office from issues ranging from affordable housing to whether yellow cabs should be handicap accessible. For now, the mayor does not have a timeline for disclosing these closed-door sessions.


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

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


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

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

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


Not Vision Zero When It Comes to Bad Taxi Drivers, Why? Taxi Lobbyists 

Hacking Feet:
More Evidence of Toothless

Cabby who sheared off beauty queen’s leg is back behind the wheel(NYP) Himon claimed he was cut off by cyclist Kenneth ­Olivo, 41, and lost control of his cab after he tried to zip ahead of the pedal pusher. After the accident, the TLC suspended Himon’s license for 30 days, and he was slapped with a summons for operating a cab he was not authorized to be driving. But since neither the Manhattan district attorney nor the NYPD filed criminal charges against Himon, the agency reinstated his license, which he claimed last Sept. 26. The TLC — which has vowed to take new steps to keep dangerous drivers off the road — did ask Himon to voluntarily surrender his license, but he refused, an agency spokesman said. The Bangladesh native, who has been in the United States about five years, later admitted to The Post that he was a lousy driver, and records show he racked up three moving violations for nine points on his license in 2011, including citations for running a red light and driving 65 mph in a 45-mph zone. Himon briefly worked for ­Arthur Cab in Queens after the accident — but was quickly fired after the company discovered he had lied during a job interview. “I asked if he had any accidents. He said no. He drove here two days,” a manager said. “The TLC called and asked if he was working for us, and then they told me.”
If you want to know why Mohammed Faysal Himon is still driving a cab ask these lobbyists: Bolton St. Johns, Inc.,  Connelly McLaughlin & WolozWilson, Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP,  Connective Strategies LLCNew York Taxi Workers Alliance, Inc.Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP, *Michael Woloz, of the firm Connelly McLaughlin & Woloz, who represents the taxi industry, bundled nearly $235,000 in campaign contributions for Mr. de Blasio, more than double anyone else's haul..(CrainsNY)
More on the Taxi Industry and Their Lobbyists


Don't Fuck With Brooklyn Gives Adams His First Markowitz Type Press Hit
Brooklyn B.P. Eric Adams released a Marty Markowitz-worthy statement trashing Toronto last night (NYO)Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams last night responded to the Toronto Raptors’ trash-talking with a little trash-talking of his own.After the basketball team’s general manager, Masai Ujiri, pumped up a Raptors crowd by yelling, “Fuck Brooklyn!” Mr. Adams released a statement noting Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s infamous crack-smoking scandal and the Canadian citizenship of pop star Justin Bieber.* Eric Adams Sticks Up For Brooklyn After Raptors GM Drops F-Bomb(WCBS)




Officials 'Air Rights' Plan Differences

When de Blasio administration officials met at City Hall recently to hear a pitch about spurring development in a city where affordable, vacant land is scarce, two top mayoral aides were in their element: Both had promulgated proposals to harness the unused development capacity of landmarked buildings—their "air rights"—to do so.But their prescriptions, prepared before they joined the administration, were markedly different.Vicki Been, the commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, argued that landmarked buildings should be allowed to sell their air rights not only to adjacent buildings, but also to nearby properties facing wide streets.The proposal advanced by Carl Weisbrod, chairman of the City Planning Commission, was far more aggressive: It would permit the transfer of air rights clear across town, even to other boroughs. Any differences in opinion within Mayor Bill de Blasio's team should be smoothed out by May 1, when his housing policy is expected to be unveiled. To be sure, Mr. Weisbrod's report does not necessarily reflect his personal view; it was authored on behalf of a private client, Landrex, which wants to be an intermediary in the sale of air rights between landmarked buildings and buyers.(CrainsNY) Two top de Blasio officials have different views on air rights, Crain’s New York Business reports. HPD Commissioner Vicki Been has argued that “landmarked buildings should be allowed to sell their air rights not only to adjacent buildings, but also to nearby properties.” While the City Planning Commission’s Carl Weisbrod has backed “the transfer of air rights clear across town.”



Transparency Promises
De Blasio to attend a closed door city council meeting (Capital)De Blasio, who counts Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito among his closest political allies, will discuss the city budget, which must be adopted by July 1 after negotiations between the legislative and executive branches of City Hall. He also will talk about land-use issues, over which the Council has significant say, said one source briefed on the upcoming meeting.
Lobbyists the New Permanent Government


Poor Schools Not Being Closed . . . But, Parents and Students Closing Them With Their Feet

Wasting Students
City’s worst high school has hundreds of empty seats(NYP)  The troubled Springfield Gardens school is the least popular in the entire city, Department of Education statistics show. It raises the question why August Martin is still in business, considering it had a dismal 39 percent graduation rate in 2013 and got an “F” in student performance and progress. “This school holds students back, especially the ones who are doing well,” one anonymous student posted online. “They treat us and talk to us as if we’re animals.” The school also has a reputation for violence. Students committed at least 72 offenses in the 2011-2012 school year, including eight assaults, two sex offenses and 19 instances of intimidation, state records show.


de Blasio Different Economic Reality
Can de Blasio Poor and Middle Class New York Partner Afford His Contract Reality?

De Blasio says new MTA contract won’t affect future negotations(NYP) “We have a very different reality here — we have our fiscal circumstances. We have a separate history in terms of labor relations than that which state and MTA has,” the mayor said Friday at a press conference in Brooklyn. “So we’re going to do things our own way with our partners in municipal labor.”* Stay on track, Bill (NYDN Ed) Cuomo's frugal MTA labor pact sets a pattern for Mayor de Blasio to follow

Secret City State Contract Negotiations


Back Pay  What does the MTA union deal mean for city unions negotiating with Mayor BdB? Say retroactive pay (WSJ)
Teachers As contract negotiations continue for New York City teachers, an issue has arisen over how to handle teachers who lost permanent jobs but keep receiving full paychecks as they fill in for absent staff from school to school for brief periods, The Wall Street Journal writes: * Parents and students may not be part of New York City teacher contract negotiations, but they should get a voice in the debate and common-sense language that any reasonable observer would see as important for the contract to include, Campbell Brown writes in the Post:  MTA and Union Contracts After more than two years since its last contract expired, Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the MTA appear to be nearing a new contract that would likely give workers a sizable raise, The New York Times writes: * Contract talks heat up between transit workers, MTA(NYP)

Evicted From the Bridge Now Lives At McDonald's
Homeless bridge vagrant now at a 24-hour McDonald’s(NYO) Man who was evicted from Manhattan Bridge has moved into a McDonald's because he doesn't like city shelters 

High Rents Forcing Tenants Out of the Bronx
High rents have Bronx locals packing up(CrainsNY)

NYP Says Subsidized Seniors in NYCHA Building in Big Apartments Should Move
A senior space odyssey(NYP) We sympathize with any New York City seniors who are forced to move from apartments they’ve happily lived in for years — and without compensation. But when the rents they pay are subsidized by the government and the apartments they live in can accommodate larger families, something’s got to give.


Flack Works Her Way On Top 
New IDC Communication Director Has the Right Kind of Experience and Talent for Albany

Former NY1 reporter named communications director for state Senate’s IDC(NYDN) Jennifer Rainville, the former NY1 reporter who was entangled in a scandal involving former Channel 2 anchorman Rob Morrison, was named the $105,000-a-year communications director for the state Senate’s IDC. Jennifer Rainville, the former NY1 reporter who became entangled in the scandal involving former Channel 2 anchorman Rob Morrison, has a sweet new government job. “Jennifer Rainville is an experienced political and media mind with a "Talent" for communications and media strategy,” Klein said in a press release. “I am delighted that she has decided to expand her role.” *  Facing a potential primary, state Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein picked up an endorsement from Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union President Stuart Appelbaum, the Daily News writes



Bill Clinton, Manhattan BP Endorse Rangel 

Bill Clinton to endorse Rangel for 23rd term(NYP) Bill Clinton is going to be endorsing embattled Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel’s re-election to a 23rd term, The Post has learned.














Charles Rangel picks up key endorsement(NYP)

Rep. Charles Rangel is picking up a key endorsement from popular Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, The Post has learned. “I’m loyal to Charlie Rangel. He’s done a good job...

Who the Fuck Do You Think You Are . .
Second Hispanic congressional candidate becomes target of profane rant  (NYDN)  Yolanda Garcia, the second Hispanic candidate in the running to unseat Rep. Charles Rangel says she was startled from her sleep on April 12 by the sound of a man ponding his fists into the door of her Bronx apartment, shouting, "Who the f**k do you think you are, running against Adriano?!" The ruffian was referring to state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, the heavily favored challenger in the race.* Working Families Party Hesitates to Back CharlieRangel(NYO)* State Senator Adriano Espaillat sounded an ominous note yesterday when asked about rival Yolanda Garcia‘s harassment allegations against his supporters. “I will ask the police department to take a deep look and investigate the complaint because obviously, filing a false complaint is a felony,” Mr. Espaillat said, according to NY1. “There goes Charlie Rangel, desperate Charlie Rangel again,” Mr. Espaillat said when asked about the incumbent’s congressman’s charge that Mr. Espaillat has a soft-on-crime record. The Rangel camp replied: “For a campaign accused of threatening women in their own homes, Albany State Senator Espaillat owes the voters an explanation for why he has repeatedly sided with criminals instead of everyday New Yorkers.”
More on the Rangel Race


The Media Covers the Horse-Carriage Fight But Ignores the Political Corruption That Caused the Controversy

The Very Able NYT Columnist Michael Powell Wrote the Following Last Year That The PAC NYCLASS controlled By Advance Group:
"There is evidence that near-unregulated independent spending helped mortally wound Ms. Quinn, who was the front-runner last spring." In Campaign, Cash Flowed Circuitously (Powell, NYT)* The Headless Horse Ban (Village Voice)
Bill de Blasio's pledge to abolish horse-drawn carriages is running away from him
Daily News Editorial Demands Equal Rights for Horses
 'It’s apples and oranges': Mayor de Blasio OK with NYPD horses roaming the streets — just not one's with carriages(NYDN)  * Equine equivalence(NYDN Ed) They want to ban carriage horses, but police ponies are okay. Hundreds of good New York jobs must be shipped off to the glue factory, we’re told, to liberate horses from the supposed torture of pulling happy families and newlyweds through beautiful Central Park.
“I believe it’s inhumane,” Mayor de Blasio said again on Friday. But the zealots’ deafening silence on the 50 horses in the NYPD’s Mounted Unit reveals just how asinine and arbitrary their crusade really is.




Powell Also Reported That A Couple of de Blasio Big Bucks Guys Backed NYCLASS Attacks on Quinn "Her opponents knew this. Jay Eisenhofer, a backer of Mr. de Blasio, gave $50,000 to a group that ostensibly wanted to ban carriage horses. And John Wilhelm, Mr. de Blasio’s cousin, is a powerful figure in Unite Here, the hotel workers’ union. That union also gave $175,000 to the horse group.  Perhaps Mr. Eisenhofer and Mr. Wilhelm are horse lovers. What’s clear is that the so-called horse group ran ads attacking Ms. Quinn on many fronts.)



Powell Reported That the Consultant Advance Group Was Under Investigation Over 100 Days Ago:



Other Reporters Did Not Notice
There have been thousands of media stories in every newspaper about Horse-Carriages but none about the Advance Groups investigation.  When it comes to investigative journalism as the U.S. Attorney has pointed out reporters and newspapers become "Vinny the Chin" ignoring the issues while pretending not to know what is going on. The NYT in all it wisdom is allowing Powell to be removed to sports.  This horse-carriage issues is so important to the media that Politico accuse a Times editorial board member of having family ties to the horses.  Politico said that Andrew Rosenthal whose greatest accomplishment is life is having the right father who nepotism him into the NYT, that his brother Daniel is the head of the Hunterdon Horse and Pony Association in Millford, N.J.

The Secret Investigation of NYCLASS' Political Consultant

Under scrutiny, animal-rights group goes it alone(CrainsNY)Many of New York's top election lawyers have one client or another wrapped up in the probe, according to sources, with various players retaining separate counsel. NYCLASS has hired Martin Connor, the former state Senate minority leader, to represent the nonprofit, while the Advance Group has hired well-known attorney Lawrence Mandelker. Messrs. Connor and Mandelker did not return requests for comment Monday. Others involved in the probe, such as individual City Council candidates, are also expected to separately hire attorneys if necessary.


Other recent changes in NYCLASS are also apparent. Advance Group President Scott Levenson is no longer listed as the NYCLASS political director on the firm's website, and nor are any other Advance Group staffers.* Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY) Last week, The Insider broke the news that the United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan consulting firm the Advance Group. An open records request that came back on Tuesday from the City Campaign Finance Board (and is embedded below) offers fresh and somewhat amusing evidence of the connection between the two: Many of the invoices the agency received from Strategic Consultants have the Advance Group logo on them. More on the Advance Groups Corruption  CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double DippingThe Big 8 Lobbyists * Dark Pool Politics

 NYT Silent On Local Impact of Citizens United on Public Financing

NYT's + Media's Blind Side The NYT has written several times on the national impact of Citizens United but never on the impact of that  special interests big money supreme court decision on the 2013 NYC election. The press is focused on  a preacher and 4-year-olds, while not reporting on how our city government was mugged by special interests Citizen United PACs and the lobbyists political consultants who do their bidding in the last election. Have these PACs made NYC government worse (if that is possible)? Have these PACs and lobbyist consultants committed crimes? stay tuned. 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)
Campaign Reform and Media Cover Up of Citizens United On Local 2013 Election
More on Horse-Carriage Politics

de Blasio 180 on Charter Schools
New York City charter schools won a pair of legal victories this week when the United Federation of Teachers lost its anti-charter lawsuit and Mayor Bill de Blasio defended school-sharing plans approved by the Bloomberg administration, the Daily News reports: * De Blasio’s lawyers defend charter schools in stunning reversal(NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s lawyers claim the Bloomberg administration’s controversial charter school co-locations were thoroughly planned and proper — an amazing turnaround from de Blasio’s campaign rhetoric last year.* Andrew Cuomo, 'charter champion' (Capital) * Teacher tenure vs. kids(NYDN Ed) West Coast school fight that matters here. Nine California students are in court challenging that state’s teacher tenure laws as subjecting low-income and minority kids to subpar educations.



Real Tale of Two Cities Grows Wider . . . Mayor Powerless to Change
Rhetorical Ideological
Governing  Doomed
The real job(NYDN Ed) The city's wealth gap is getting wider, and harder to bridge. An analysis of tax returns by the Independent Budget Office shows that members of the city’s top 1% saw incomes surge by a more-than-healthy 17% between 2009 and 2011 as Wall Street bounced back from the Great Recession. Paychecks for the 90%, meanwhile, barely kept pace with inflation, growing 5% overall. * Woman sues Dep Mayor Buery for alleged firing over age while he was Children’s Aid Society CEO A woman who used to work under New York City Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery when he was Children’s Aid Society CEO is suing him for allegedly firing her because he thought she was too old, the Post writes

Professional Communications Directors Will Not Take the Job
De Blasio can’t find anyone for communications director role(NYP)Despite dangling a lofty salary that nearly matches his own, Mayor de Blasio hasn’t been able to find anyone to become his communications director. Democratic insiders say the position would be challenging in the best of circumstances — and the administration is hardly operating at that level. “You’re as good as the substance you’re spinning,” said a veteran Democratic spokesman. “I think all of them [the mayor’s camp] underestimated what a big deal it is to work with the press. They don’t see the press as constituents. They need someone who can step in and win back their trust,” said one source. * The New York Post detailed Mr. de Blasio’s difficulties finding a new communication’s director Communications. Among those described as having turned down the $200,000 gig: Salon’s politics editor Blake Zeff, as well as former and current top aides to Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. “Sources said that top mayoral aides aren’t happy with press coverage of the administration,” the paper noted. A Family Affair Chirlane McCray to urge pre-K registration on Taxi TV(NYP)

Beyond the Melting Pot
de Blasio Hit for Lack of Diversity
Pastors accuse Mayor de Blasio of lack of diversity in appointments(NYDN) African-American religious leaders yesterday protested the lack of African-Americans in the upper levels of the de Blasio administration, but, as the Daily News noted, “The study appeared to have its flaws in methodology.” Among the flaws: citing Bloomberg holdovers as de Blasio appointees and questionable claims about others. * African American religious leaders protest a lack of diversity in de Blasio administration(NYO)* Activists: De Blasio picks ‘not diverse enough’(NYP) According to the New York Post, rally leader Rev. Dennis Dillon admitted “that his group’s estimate that New York City was 34 percent African-American was based on its own polling, not on official Census data. Dillon also said that the group didn’t ask members of the administration about their race and made assumptions based on photographs.”

Muslim Demand Holidays
A recent rally was a testament to how New York City’s Muslim community is gaining a measure of political confidence as it pushes for sacred Muslim holidays to be school holidays, The New York Times reports: 


Mayor Main Focus Building His New Political Machine, For Re-Election

Managing the City?
Mayor de Blasio leads cheers for car wash union drive - NY Daily NewsMayor de Blasio and the city's other top office holders threw the full support of city government behind the effort to unionize car wash workers Wednesday night.De Blasio headlined the Car Wash Workers Assembly hosted by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which has own votes to unionize at eight car washes and aims to organize the whole industry.* The Nation reviewed Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s first 100 days in office. “The good news is that city government is controlled by a progressive mayor who is actually sticking to many of his campaign promises,” the publication writes. “Privately, people on the left who have dealt with the administration describe a level of disorganization more typical of campaigns than governments.” * At a Midtown event last night, Mr. de Blasio praised unionization efforts for car wash workers, NY1 reports. “It will be my honor to fight shoulder to shoulder with you,” he said. RWDSU President Stu Appelbaum praised the mayor in turn, declaring, “Our mayor is not just the leader of our city, but the leader of a movement.”* Mayor Shares Support for Campaign to Unionize Car Wash Workers in City(NY1)

Labor Deal Benchmark 
The Daily News writes that the labor deal brokered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the MTA and the Transport Workers Union sets a benchmark that de Blasio must meet in his negotiations with city workers:


News and In Depth

NY Economy The unemployment rate in New York grew last month by 0.1 percent to 6.9 percent, according to new figures released by the state Department of Labor. * NY job growth trails nation again (E.J. McMahon) * Chuck Schumer rips Con Ed bill spike(NYP)
Homeless  Cops evict man after raid on Manhattan Bridge hobo hovel
Grimm Race Rep. Michael Grimm filed objections with the Board of Elections to Democratic rival Domenic Recchia’s bid on the Working Families Party line, and Recchia plans to file objections in return, The Observer reports: 
Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha  Muslims in New York City Unite on Push to Add Holidays to School Calendar(NYT)* PBS exec Cynthia Lopez to be commisioner of Mayor's film office(NYDN) * New York City’s Department of Education confirmed that two Muslim holidays and the Lunar New Year will not be official holidays in the upcoming school year, despite de Blasio’s pledge to eventually make them so, DNAinfo reports:
More on the City's Homeless




Attacking Cuomo From the Left
In The Washington Post, Harold Meyerson questions why New York Democrats want to re-elect Gov. Andrew Cuomo when Democrats everywhere are seeking to diminish economic inequality but Cuomo has adopted policies that widen economic gaps:
Cuomo Critic Miner Out
Mayor Miner Steps Down From Democratic Party Post (Updated) It has been speculated for some time that Cuomo would force Miner out of her political position, thanks to her criticisms of key elements of his agenda – especially where financially ailing upstate cities are concerned. But Miner insisted during a brief phone interview this afternoon that she was not pressured to depart.* State Democratic Party Co-Chairwoman Stephanie Miner resigns(NYDN) * Miner: No Plans To Run For Governor(YNN)
And the Jobs Report Astorino Blasts Jobs Report(YNN)



Former DA Hynes' Holiday Inn Hell

They were not free to leave, they were prisoners': Former Brooklyn DA finally admits to detaining witnesses in hotels(NYDN)

The selective memory of an ex-DA: Hynes admits to detaining witnesses, a practice he denied last year



Driving Team de Blasio
The de Blasio administration employs more than 50 drivers who are responsible for chauffeuring top New York City government officials. The de Blasio administration employs 55 drivers who chauffeur agency heads and other cabinet members to work.
Several offices have two drivers, including the Community Affairs Unit, which is run by former Central Labor Council operative Marco Carrion, the mayor's chief of staff, Laura Santucci, and the director of intergovernmental affairs, a position held by longtime de Blasio aide Emma Wolfe.
Deputy mayors also receive two drivers.

The definition of non-news: de Blasio admin employes roughly same number of drivers as predecessor.


Albany Killed Moreland to Keep Their Outside Income Secret

The abandonment of an inquiry into legislators’ outside income through the disbanding of the Moreland Commission shows how great a price Gov. Andrew Cuomo paid for the little that he got With Panel Gone, a Move to Monitor New York Lawmakers’ Income Is Thwarted(NYT) Cuomo’s much-questioned decision last month to disband the Moreland Commission has scuttled an inquiry into the money earned by legislators from other jobs. Legislative leaders were so furious that they went to court to try to stop the panel’s inquiry, quoting from the Federalist Papers and arguing that the governor had embarked upon a witch hunt that trampled upon a separate branch of government. The governor won new bribery and corruption laws as part of his deal with lawmakers to shut down the panel, known as the Moreland Commission. But the abandonment of the inquiry into legislators’ outside income — a subject that reformers had long been agitating about — shows how great a price Mr. Cuomo paid for the little that he got. Outside jobs held by New York legislators have been the source of several scandals, and government watchdog groups worry that the jobs can present a means for lawmakers to profit improperly from their public offices. Often, the positions are at influential law firms, and the job responsibilities are not particularly clear.


Delay Delay Delay Win
After Mr. Cuomo formed the Moreland Commission in July, it moved quickly to scrutinize the earnings of lawmakers, asking them to turn over information about their employment. The Legislature objected, and the commission responded by issuing subpoenas to legislators’ employers. The Legislature and a group of employers then challenged those subpoenas in court. 

All three of the legislative leaders who negotiated the latest ethics deal with Mr. Cuomo are lawyers who have earned substantial money outside the Legislature.
The Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, works for a personal injury law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, and reported earning $350,000 to $450,000 in 2012. Senator Dean G. Skelos, a Long Island Republican, works for Ruskin Moscou Faltischek and earned $150,000 to $250,000. The other Senate leader, Jeffrey D. Klein, a Bronx Democrat who is a partner at the law firm Klein Calderoni & Santucci, reported income of $57,000 to $106,000 associated with his legal work and a teaching job. The commission cited an article by The New York Times in 2011 in which clients of law firms that employ legislators were identified as having been awarded billions of dollars in state contracts. In a report released in December, the commission warned that “corruption and the appearance of corruption thrive when actual and potential conflicts of interest are shrouded in darkness.” It recommended expanding disclosure about the clients of firms that employ legislators, which is now quite limited. In a column published by The Huffington Post on Monday, one of the co-chairmen of the Moreland Commission, William J. Fitzpatrick, the Onondaga County district attorney, singled out the issue of outside income as one that he found particularly troubling.“I myself am still distressed,” he wrote, “that we as a commission were unable to force legislators to disclose exactly what it is they do to earn lucrative outside income.”
Moreland Investigation Updates or Media Cover-Up


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

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



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

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

Ravitch Spill the Inside Albany, Cuomo and Peterson Beans

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

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


Possible Shakeup of Control of the State Senate Dance
State Senator Klein Launches Re-Election Bid (NY1)

Mayor de Blasio lavishes praise on Jeff Klein, but won't endorse him (NYDN)

Update No Change Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein reiterated that he has no plans to rejoin the Senate Democrats, saying his coalition with Co-Leader Dean Skelos is working “very, very well,” Gannett Albany writes: 
Senate Reconciliation?(YNN)
Oliver Koppell Sets New Easter Deadline for Bid Against Jeff Klein(NYO)
NY1 Exclusive: Rumblings Indicate Possible Shakeup in State Senate Leadership(NY!)
Oliver Koppell, a former Bronx councilman, assemblyman and state attorney general, says he’ll decide whether or not to challenge Jeff Klein after the Easter holiday, The Observer writes:
Klein come back? At least one Senate Democrats says that's just fine(NYO)
Democrat James Sanders Open to Jeff Klein Leading Democratic Conference(NYO)
Jeff Klein Allies Ready to Pummel Oliver Koppell As Challenge Decision Nears(NYO)"Mr. Koppell, then a councilman seeking a third term, endorsed Mr. Bloomberg’s controversial 2009 re-election bid. Klein supporters say Mr. Koppell passed on a credible Democratic challenger in Bill Thompson and therefore has little right to say that Mr. Klein turned his back on Democrats."
New IDC Spokesperson* The Senate IDC hired a new communications director to replace Eric Soufer: Jennifer Rainville, a former TV news reporter who has a history of working for Klein’s political committee, The Daily News reports:
IDC GOP Senate Coalition Using the Budget to Survival


NYPD Ends Muslim Tracking Unit

Thursday Update
NYPD unit that spied on Muslims was shrunk before shutdown (NYDN)Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the spying was 'pretty much over' when defending his decision to disband the demographics unit earlier this week.

NYPD has disbanded unit that tracked where Muslims ate, prayed & shopped, in major change under de Blasio & Bratton(NYT) * New York Drops Unit That Spied Among Muslims(NYT) * NYPD disbanding Muslim spying unit(NYP) * John Miller vows to dispel some NYPD mysteries(Capital) The focus will remain where it needs to be, depending on where the threats are coming from at any particular time or where the suspects are coming from. … But the idea of surveilling an entire community or religious group, that’s not what we do. We go to where the issue is, or where the threat is. And that is usual ly a relatively small group, not a nationality or religious group.* City Disbands NYPD Surveillance Division Created to Spy on Muslim Communities(NY1)* NYPD decision to drop spy unit lauded by Staten Island Muslims (SI Advance * Disconnecting the dots(NYP Ed)*Tuesday Update  Spying at the N.Y.P.D.(NYT Ed The commissioner of the New York Police Department did the right thing when he disbanded the unit that spied on law-abiding Muslim citizens. The New York Times writes that NYPD Commissioner William Bratton did the right thing by dissolving the Demographics Unit, but to prevent similar practices in the future, the city should create an authority to review investigations into those engaged in political activity* The commish cops out(NYP Ed) * Bratton takes big risk in ending Muslim surveillance(NYP Ed)  * NYPD’s cosmetic surgery (NYDN Ed)One way or another, counter-terror intelligence-gathering must continue * NYPD’s ‘Muslim mapping’ saved lives(NYP Ed)
20 Days Ago Obama Said He Worries About A Nuclear Weapon Not Going Off in Manhattan

de Blasio Policing Test
Will the mayor stand up for the NYPD—and public housing residents?


 

Cuomo's Trust is Everything to Me Ad

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

City and State Exposes A Stacked Deck At the Moreland Commission

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

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

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

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

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

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


 The Real Tale of Two Cities Racial Segregation

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

Another view of diverse, progressive NY.







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





Respecting Teachers First
Bid adieu to NYC school reform(NYP Ed)They say it’s all for the children in New York’s public schools, but somehow it always ends up being about the teachers — as Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s ode to joy at Columbia University’s Teachers College on Saturday morning made depressingly clear. “We all know that teachers play the most critical role in shaping the lives of children,” said Fariña, a former teacher. “It’s time we give teachers the respect they are due and give them room to do what they do best — and in the process return joy to the classroom.”
Spinning UFT Report Numbers
A Union Making the Case for A Raise De Blasio exaggerating number of teachers that resigned(NYP) Mayor much-hyped 100-days-in-office speech last week, declaring that 43 percent of “mid-career” teachers “resigned” from the city public-school system last year — when the actual percentage was in the single digits
Mayor's Speech May Not Have GivenWhole Picture of City Housing Authority Repairs (NY1)
Mayor Bill de Blasio listed plenty of accomplishments on the 100th day of his administration, including speeding up repairs at the city's public housing projects.
"Last year, on complex repairs needed in an apartment, major plumbing problems and other things that took very skilled labor, a typical resident waited, on average, 250 days for a repair," he said Thursday. "Now, this year at the same time, they wait 50 days."
"It takes longer than that," said Katyria Sabino, a housing authority resident.
- See more at: http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/politics/political_news/206877/mayor-s-speech-may-not-have-given-whole-picture-of-city-housing-authority-repairs#sthash.W3MmWhsG.dpuMayor Bill de Blasio listed plenty of accomplishments on the 100th day of his administration, including speeding up repairs at the city's public housing projects. "Last year, on complex repairs needed in an apartment, major plumbing problems and other things that took very skilled labor, a typical resident waited, on average, 250 days for a repair," he said Thursday. "Now, this year at the same time, they wait 50 days." "It takes longer than that," said Katyria Sabino, a housing authority resident. As of Friday, it took 126 days on average to get a repair done that required skilled labor. That's two-and-a-half times what de Blasio said. "It took them 120 days to paint my apartment after I took them to court," Sabino said.
More on the NYCHA 

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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




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

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


As of Friday, it took 126 days on average to get a repair done that required skilled labor. That's two-and-a-half times what de Blasio said. - See more at: http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/politics/political_news/206877/mayor-s-speech-may-not-have-given-whole-picture-of-city-housing-authority-repairs#sthash.W3MmWhsG.dpuf


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

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

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

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

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

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

DN: Bharara Goes After Albany's Culture of Corruption

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

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


Also in the News This Week

Tourism Cuomo says state invested $60M in tourism ads; revenue up $4B in NY
 State Senate Dem Takeover Hard "As uphill a battle 2012 was for the Senate Democrats, 2014 will be even steeper," writes C&S. * City's finance commissioner resigns (CrainsNY) Finance Department resigned, leaving the agency that oversees $30 billion in tax collection without a leader, Crain’s reports:  Races Assemblyman Felix Ortiz has a primary challenger.



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

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


More on the New York's Decreasing Voter Turnout 


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




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

Malcolm Smith Trial Starts June 5th

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



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

Why NYC is Losing the Middle Class?



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

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



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

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

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

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

Dead Girl and Lobbyist Still Rake In 911


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

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

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

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

Ocean Hill-Brownsville Panel Discussion at Museum of the City of New York - See more at: http://www.edwize.org/ocean-hill-brownsville-panel-discussion-at-museum-of-the-city-of-new-york#sthash.6An62IFR.dpuf
Ocean Hill-Brownsville Panel Discussion at Museum of the City of New York - See more at: http://www.edwize.org/ocean-hill-brownsville-panel-discussion-at-museum-of-the-city-of-new-york#sthash.6An62IFR.dpu






____________________________________________                                                                                 
Media


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

NBC Hired 'Psychological Consultant' to Assess Struggling 'Meet the Press' Host...

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

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

 Recent News On the Media

____________________________________________                                                                                 
Washington


 Last 100 Days in Washington Coverage


____________________________________________                                                                                 
Law and Order



Monday
2 stabbed, 1 fatally, in Coney Island(WSJ)
U.S. Ordered to Release Memo in Awlaki Killing(NYT)
Bus passengers beat up man who attacked elderly couple(NYP)
Thug who beat up 1010 WINS anchor lands 5 years in jail(NYP)
NYPD investigating Central Park robberies 
Two Indicted in Brooklyn Bodega Owner's Death 
The Hashtag Is Not Going So Well for the Police(NYM)
Boy Shot in Head in Brooklyn Released from Hospital (NY1)
Rather than heartwarming neighborhood scenes or pictures of tourists with mounted officers, many posts tagged #myNYPD showed violent interactions with civilians or other unflattering incidents.
New York City Gets Selective About Shell Casings Buyer(NYT)
The city is auctioning thousands of pounds of shell casings collected at the Police Department’s outdoor firing range, but the sale will only be open to metal recyclers.
Woman accused of fatally stabbing man, stealing Mercedes(NYP)


Sunday

'DADDY JUST SHOT MY MOMMY': Exclusive video shows ex-NYPD cop's wife and children moments before mom found dead
Body found in plastic bin on Brooklyn street(NYP)
DNA swab kits to help MTA bus drivers bust spitters(NYP)
Police shot bystander trying to subdue deranged man: suit(NYP)
Attempted baby kidnapper has long history of illness(NYP)
Ex-Officer Killed Wife, Police Say; Children Ran for Help(NYT)
Woman Arrested in Attempted Kidnapping of 8-Month-Old(NYT)
3 men were seriously injured in early-morning stabbing in Staten Island's Great Kills neighborhood, NYPD reports.(SI Advance)


Terrorism
NYC lawyer for bin Laden's son-in-law faces trial(WSJ)
Judge Loath to Permit TV Testimony on Islamist(NYT)
Conviction of Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law Doesn’t Halt Debate Over Terror Trials’ Venue(NYT)
More on Terrorism