Thursday, May 21, 2015

True News

Why Former Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jail Break Attempt Failed

Disgraced former state Senate Majority Leader Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. is back in New York state after he reportedly stepped over the line — literally — in the minimum security prison where he had been residing in Pennsylvania. *Corrupt ex-state Sen. Pedro Espada is unhappy inside maximum-security prison after 'escape attempt' (NYDN) The Albany Times-Union reported Thursday that Espada was moved after he was caught over the boundary of a fenceless minimum-security prison.* Bruno  
A civil complaint that accused the former head of the SUNY Research Foundation of providing a no-show job to the daughter of former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno was quietly settled today – more than two years after the case was filed.







This Judge Knew How to Punish Slumlords
Ira Harkavy, Common-Sense New York Judge, Dies at 84 (NYT) Judge Harkavy was best known for sentencing a bad landlord to spend time in a dilapidated building he owned with his unhappy tenants.






Who Runs the Council Lobbyists or the Mayor?
When Will Speaker Mark-Viverito or Mayor Hold A Town Hall Meeting to Explain the Changes They Wants to Make the the NYPD?
New York Council Speaker Raises Profile in Police Dispute With de Blasio (NYT) Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, in her first substantial departure from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s agenda, has insisted that New York hire 1,000 new officers. * MARK-VIVERITO, RISING -- Times’  “[City Council Speaker Melissa] Mark-Viverito’s proposals are plainly in tension with the mayor’s preferences: Besides adding 1,000 officers, which she says is essential to retraining the police force, she has also called for creating a public fund to help low-income defendants make bail. Most contentious of all is Ms. Mark-Viverito’s proposal to decriminalize a range of low-level offenses like public urination … the speaker’s sudden prominence has also come with a clear upside. Ms. Mark-Viverito, 46, struggled in her first year as speaker to define herself independently from a mayor whose agenda she largely shares. That has begun to change, as she points to the Council’s work on criminal justice as a point of contrast, calling it the leading edge of a national movement. ‘*  NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito — typically a close ally of de Blasio, a fellow Democrat — has made criminal justice reform the central mission of her second year as speaker: Sweeping proposals have driven her rapid emergence as a visible public figure, leading to her first real confrontation with the mayor’s administration.


Bubble Mayor 
Both the NYC Press and Pols Operate In Their Own Bubble Disconnected From the Voters
As a city, with the work we’re doing as a Council, we’re really trying to lead the way on conversations that you’re starting to see nationally,’ Ms. Mark-Viverito said in an interview. “The burst of attention-grabbing activity from a typically subdued figure has prompted new interest in Ms. Mark-Viverito’s future. There is no natural next step for her in 2017, when she must leave the Council because of term limits. She has pledged not to run for Congress next year, and every citywide office is occupied by a Democrat who is expected to run for re-election in 2017. Ms. Mark-Viverito has expressed interest to at least one ally in running for mayor someday; she has also made lighthearted remarks in private about possibly seeking the governorship of her native Puerto Rico.”

Lobbyists Campaign Consultants Pitta Bishop Works Both for the I Can't Breathe and Pitta Bishop Which Represents the Detectives Endowment Assoc. 
Pitta Bishop Del Giorno Giblin is paid $40,000 a year to represent the PBA's Detectives' Endowment Association, Inc. After the split with the Advance Group, Ms. Mark-Viverito indeed made hefty payments to a number of other consultants (including lobbying and compliance firm Pitta Bishop) that aided her speaker bid. In a novel move, Pitta Bishop set up a 2017 campaign account for an unspecified city office, and Ms. Mark-Viverito raised more than $100,000, despite only needing the votes of 26 council colleagues to win the early 2014 leadership race. That led another good-government group, Common Cause/NY, to charge that she had exploited loopholes in state election law. Ms. Mark-Viverito's opponents in the speaker race did not similarly set up campaign funds to hire staff. But officials from Pitta Bishop say the move was fully vetted by the city   Campaign Finance Board and state Board of Elections.Pitta Bishop Del Giorno Giblin Has Hit the Jack Pot With Over A 100 New Lobbying Clients Since She Took the Speakers Office .One Wonders How the lobbying Firm Explains the Speakers Views to Their PBA Client. Council speaker puts connected lobbyist on payroll(CrainsNY) Melissa Mark-Viverito quietly handed a $130,000-a-year staff position to a lobbyist from the firm that helped propel her to the City Council speakership, payroll records show. In late March, Carlos Beato, who was a lobbyist at the firm Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, joined the City Council payroll as a deputy general counsel. The move came not long after the lobbying shop. 
Council Thanks Bratton for Making NYC Safer and Fairer
Remember when councilmembers did the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" walk out in the city council? 





Bratton Backs Down On More Cop #
Friday 

Thursday


Bratton Backs Off Call for 1,000 NewOfficers—But Still Wants More Cops (NYO) *  Bratton protesters booted from NYC council hearing (NYP) * Bratton Pledges to Heal ‘Great Divide’ AfterInterruption by ‘Selfish’ Protesters (NYO)Security ejected dozens from the New York City Council chambers because of protests during testimony from NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, who called the demonstrators “selfish,” the Observer reports: 




de Blasio Never Returned Met Council Dirty Money 
De Blasio never returned Met Council-related donations (Capital)  Pledged in campaign to return contributions from a scandal-scarred donor. When Rapfogel was arrested in August of 2013,de Blasio and his competitors said they would return contributions from Century. The mayor received three donations for his public advocate race in 2009 totaling $1,475, including two from Ross. (His competitors received more.) The he mayor's 2009 account was closed last year, and the refunds were never made. "We regret the error," Mayoral spokesman Dan Levitan (Berlin Rosen) said in an email.* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio never fulfilled a 2013 campaign pledge to return contributions from Century Coverage Corp., which was involved in the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty theft scandal, CapitalNew York reports: 

Back the the 70's Fear of Going to Central Park
Recent crime spree has residents avoiding Central Park (NYP) Cops recorded 18 serious incidents through Sunday, compared with 11 incidents during the same time period last year. And those figures don’t include the most recent mugging, when an elderly man walking home was robbed of his watch early Wednesday by a thief who grabbed him and demanded his valuables.





de Blasio New Flack Calls Missing Train Safety That Would Have Saved 8 Lives A Dud 
New Bill de Blasio Spox Thinks Automatic Brakeson Trains Are a ‘Dud’ (NYO) De Blasio’s incoming press secretary, Karen Hinton, deleted a tweet calling braking technology that experts believe could have saved lives in the Amtrak derailment a “dud,” Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new press secretary slammed the brakes on her Twitter account last night—and a deleted tweet shows how much she really thinks about a braking technology that many experts believe could have saved lives on an Amtrak train that derailed last week.Mr. de Blasio announced today that Karen Hinton, a longtime friend who has known Mr. de Blasio since he worked at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, would become his new press secretary, replacing Phil Walzak. Mr. Walzak had been promoted to a senior adviser role. Mr. de Blasio said he did not know that Ms. Hinton had chosen to delete her Twitter account. 



De Blasio hired a new press secretary – Karen Hinton, a former aide to Cuomo who is married to another ex-Cuomo aide, Howard Glaser – and one of her first acts was to delete her personal Twitter account.
De Blasio’s new press secretary quickly deletes Twitter acccount (NYP) So much for transparency. Mayor de Blasio hired a new press secretary on Thursday and one of her first acts was to delete her personal Twitter account. Public-relations veteran Karen Hinton, 56, who worked with de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo at the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development in the 1990s, is also on rec­ord saying she doesn’t believe in putting execs on the rec­ord in crises. “In an on-the-record interview, you don’t want [reporters] to grab some misstatement you’ll regret,” she told PR News in 2012. Hinton, who will earn $177,000, said she deleted her account because her new role is to speak for the mayor and not for herself. Hinton, who held a fund-raiser for de Blasio and contributed nearly $3,500 to his 2013 campaign, also said her p.r. strategies would shift now that she’s working for a public entity.


de Blasio Solves lack of Attention to Staten Island By A Press Event 
The Spin Connect of Staten Island.  Bit Player A Staten Island Member Item GOP
De Blasio spotted actually working in NYC( NYP) Dressed like a road-repair worker and sporting a hardhat, jeans and work boots, Mayor de Blasio on Thursday assisted a street-paving crew on Staten Island — marking only the third time this year that the well-traveled mayor has visited the borough. “This is about the quality of life; this is about our future economically, and here in Staten Island, people will feel the difference,” he said in New Dorp while announcing a $242 million allocation to repave 2,500 lane miles citywide in the next two years.  de Blasio to Staten Island NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will be in Staten Island tomorrow – only the third time this year that he has made a public appearance in the borough.* "But then suddenly de Blasio was involved in animpromptu street corner town hall...."  * STATEN IRE LAND: Angry resident rips de Blasio over speed cameras, property tax as cash grab during rare visit to borough (NYDN) * After taking heat for traveling the country while making only two public appearances in Staten Island this year, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio headed there yesterday, filled a pothole,and got an earful from a local resident angry about speed cameras and property taxes. More herewrites about fixing NYC’s “rotten boroughs” – “places with fewer actual voters that send representatives to the state Assembly, leading to unfair representation.”* De Blasio heralds the arrival of summer, in Rockaway (Capital) Unlike previous visits, mayor gets a warm reception


A Town Hall Meeting With One Voters . . . 8.299,999 to Go
Now we know why Mayor de Blasio doesn’t visit Staten Island too often. After taking heat for traveling the country while making only two public appearances in the borough this year, Hizzoner headed there Thursday — and got an earful from a local resident angry about speed cameras and property taxes. Chris Altieri, 49, confronted the mayor as de Blasio wrapped up a press conference on road repairs in New Dorp. Altieri insisted a nearby speed camera on the corner of Hylan Blvd. and Tysens Lane is illegally placed since it is not as close to a school as state law requires. City officials say it passes legal muster — and speeding has dropped 30% since it was installed. “It’s illegal and you know it’s illegal,” said Altieri, who went on to argue with the mayor over whether the speed camera program is motivated by safety or cash. “You want the revenue,” Altieri said. De Blasio says the cameras to bust speeders are part of hisVision Zero push to end traffic deaths. * Staten Island Man Quarrels With de Blasio, Says SpeedCameras Are For Revenue (WCBS) * De Blasio Confronted by Resident During Trip to Staten Island (NY1)



de Blasio Inner Circle Includes the Press
WHAT CITY HALL ISREADING -- “Team de Blasio: Mayor’s inner circle has outside advisers,” by AP’s Jonathan Lemire: “Bill de Blasio’s inner circle isn't contained by the walls of City Hall. The New York City mayor's unofficial cabinet includes about a half-dozen outside political strategists, many of whom he has known for decades and frequently turns to for advice when formulating his agenda or managing a crisis, sometimes double- and triple-checking opinions. ... Patrick Gaspard, now the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, has been a close ally since he and de Blasio worked for ex-Mayor David Dinkins; Jonathan Rosen is head of the BerlinRosen public relations firm that represents many liberal causes; Nick Baldick, a veteran Democratic consultant, met de Blasio when they worked on the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign; and Peter Ragone has worked with de Blasio on a number of campaigns over the last 20 years and only recently returned to the private sector after a stint as senior adviser at City Hall. * ”Here's video of most of that confrontation between a StatenIslander and de Blasio (SI Advance)


de Blasio Still No Town Hall Meetings Yes to the NYC Press
Bill de Blasio Has No Plan to Do Town Halls WithNew Yorkers (NYO)   Mayor Bill de Blasio said today he isn’t planning on holding any town halls with New Yorkers because he talks to plenty of people when he leaves Gracie Mansion. I don’t have a specific plan but what I do all the time is go out around different communities and different settings,” Mr. de Blasio told reporters at City Hall, noting he popped in at a Harlem food festival and a South Bronx restaurant yesterday. “I go around all over the place and the subways, and walking down the street and talk[ing] to every day New Yorkers but there’s also lots of formal settings where I get to hear from people and we’ll be doing any number of things going forward,” he added. Use your listening skills, Mr. Mayor (NYP Ed) Asked Monday if he means to ever hold town halls around the city, as Mayors Ed Koch, Michael Bloomberg and (especially) Rudy Giuliani did, de Blasio said he doesn’t have “any specific” such plans.* The Post writes that it’s time for de Blasio to consider the idea that people in the city understand what’s going on here better than outsiders and to listen to constituents on a regular, publicly announced basis:



Cuomo Changes Email Policy   
Cuomo Administration Nixes Email Policy (YNN) w Cuomo’s administration announced on Friday it is ending a highly criticized email retention policy that required unsaved messages be deleted after 90 days. In its place, state officials pledged to develop a “uniform” policy for state agencies and departments that would provide specific guidance on which emails should be retained as official records and be maintained.* Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced it will no longer automatically delete emails at state agencies and the executive chamber after 90 days and erasing will now be “entirely manual,” the Times Unionreports:  * The Democrat & Chronicle’s Len LaCara gives a thumbs down to the Cuomo administration’s new email retention policy.
Govs Double Secret Transparency Email Summit
Friday 
A last-minute time change will prevent the lone legislative representative who was planning to attend Cuomo’s NYC transparency summit today – GOP Assemblyman Andy Goodell of Chautauqua County – from being there in person. Accommodations will be made for him to participate by phone.* An Open Government Meeting, Sparsely Attended (YNN)


Thursday 
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s email summit, planned for Friday, will not be attended by representatives from the majority in the state Senate or Assembly, the Times Union reports: * Three out of four legislative conferences say they won'tattend Cuomo's email summit 

***Andrew Cuomo’s double-secret ‘transparency’ summit (NYP Ed) We spy with our little eye — transparency. Or maybe not — it’s still a bit unclear. See, Gov. Cuomo’s office announced May 1 that his long-promised “transparency summit” would finally arrive this Friday — but as of Tuesday had failed to share useful facts, like where, what time, who’d participate or . . . if it’ll even be open to the public. Mind you, the “need” for a summit only arose because Cuomo, after promising the most open and transparent administration in New York history, instituted a policy of deleting employee e-mails after 90 days unless the worker took active steps to keep them.  It was when that policy became known — back in March — that the governor announced he’d convene the summit. Then . . . silence, punctuated by occasional press inquiries, until the early May word of Friday’s “mystery summit.” As of Tuesday afternoon, the governor’s Web site offered no news on the summit. We called his office for details, but have yet to hear back. Obviously, it only makes sense that, when you get a lot of heat for routinely deleting records that the public might want to see, the answer is to offer to hold a summit, do nothing for months, then say the meeting’s on — but don’t say anything more. Is this what Cuomo meant when he said “you can always have more transparency,” but “you can’t live your life in a goldfish bowl”? Hmm. A goldfish bowl sounds like a pretty good venue for a transparency summit. * The Post slams Cuomo’s “double secret transparency summit”, which is scheduled to be held Friday, though whether it will be open to the public remains to be seen. * Cuomo’s summit on transparency and email retention will take place tomorrow at 2 p.m. in Manhattan. The Assembly GOP will be the only legislative conference represented there. * Would-beparticipants spurn @NYGovCuomo'ssummit on government transparency (Capital)


de Blasio Attacked Bloomberg Plan to Sell NYCHA Land to Developers . . . Now That is His Plan

Mayor de Blasio to Announce Plan for Shoring Up New York’s Public Housing (NYT) Bill de Blasio will call for significant new financial help from the city and for squeezing more revenue out of the housing projects and their residents.* Mayor @BillDeBlasio to lease @NYCHA land to developers, reduce #NYCHA staff and increase #NYCHA parking fees*De Blasio to announce massive changes to public housing (NYP) The proposal, expected to be announced on Tuesday, will seek to fix public housing by leasing half the unused land for market-rate apartments and to save $90 million a year by moving administrative workers to other agencies, according to The New York Times. * As public advocate, de Blasio railed against then-Mayor Mike Bloom­berg for a similar proposal. The New York City Housing Authority is projected to run a $98 million deficit this year and is suffering from a lack of federal funding.  In addition to moving 1,000 NYCHA employees and their salaries to other agencies, the proposal is expected to generate some $500 million over 10 years by leasing land to developers, the Times said. The plan also calls for improving rent collections, now at a mere 74 percent rate.*City to unveil plan to create budget surplus at NYCHA within three years that would generate $300M by 2025 (NYDN) * NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio to Unveil 10-Year Plan to Fix Public Housing Agency (WSJ)  Outside development under consideration for public housing land.*NYCHA plans to offer private developers a chance to build mixed-income towers on underused parcels to stabilize the agency’s finances and create apartments for poor tenants.* De Blasio is bringing back the plan to lease public housingto developers:  (NY Curbed)*Public Housing Residents Wary of Mayor de Blasio’s Plan (NYT)  New York City is effectively telling its public housing residents: In order for this to work, we are going to need your trust, and we are going to lean a bit harder on you.*Who calls #NYCHA home? Working families, 77,000 seniors, 110,000 kids. Just 12% of NYCHA residents receive public assistance.*Mayor Unveils NYCHA Deficit Reduction Plan (NY1)*De Blasio calls plan to save NYCHA a 'game-changer,' includes giving public land to private developers (NYDN)* New York CityMayor Bill de Blasio called his strategy for rescuing the New York City HousingAuthority a “game changer” and detailed plans to get revenue by allowingaffordable housing development on NYCHA land, the Daily News reports:  * The mayor’s plan requires the trust of residents, but tenants and advocates worry that apartments built on public housing developments may not be affordable for them, The New York Times reports:  * Bill de Blasio admits the failure of public housing (NYP Ed)* RESCUING NYCHA: Mayor de Blasio lays down building blocks for a turnaround (NYDN)** The elderly-advocacy group LiveOn NY plans to release a report proposing to transform underused parking lots adjacent to senior housing into more housing in New York City,the Journal reports:  * The Post writes that de Blasio’s plan to turn some housingauthority property to private developers is a step in the right direction, but that it doesn’t go far enough, arguing that it should be fully privatized: 



Flashback During the Mayor Campaign de Blasio Said He is Against Selling Off NYCHA Land
Bill de Blasio slamsNYCHA leadership, Bloomberg, vows big changes (2013, NYDN Ed) New York mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio ripped the “fundamental problem of management” at New York City Housing Authority on Wednesday and vowed to clean house if he’s elected. In a sitdown with the Daily News Editorial Board, de Blasio blasted Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who he said has ignored scandalous conditions NYCHA’s 600,000 tenants have endured for most of the mayor’s 12 years in office. “At minimum, as a way forward, there should be a mayoral-control mindset vis-à-vis public housing,” he said. “We’re going to have to rework the operational approach at NYCHA.” De Blasio repeated his opposition to NYCHA’s plan to lease public land at eight Manhattan projects for private apartment buildings that would rent mostly at market rates.
Bill de Blasio(Public Advocate) (2013 Real Deal) I fundamentally believe that the relationship between the city and its developer community needs a reset. Towering, glitzy buildings marketed to the global elite is not the type of development New Yorkers are looking for. I look forward to working with the real estate community to spur the development, in all five boroughs, of real affordable housing, mixed-­income neighborhoods, sustainable and vibrant density, and new spaces for small and new businesses to grow and thrive. This February, NYCHA announced it wanted to build market-rate apartments on parking lots, playgrounds, and unused land designated for eight different public-housing projects in Manhattan. The profits would go toward NYCHA’S $60 million budget shortfall. Not surprisingly, NYCHA tenants and affordable housing advocates vocally opposed the plan. In August, the city announced that NYCHA would look to developers for ideas on how to implement its plan. *De Blasio is poised to lay out his 10-year plan on how to fix New York City’s public housing authority. He’ll call for significant new financial help from the city and for squeezing more revenue out of the housing projects and their residents.


Then in November, NYCHA tenants filed suit against the cityTime will tell what incoming Mayor Bill DeBlasio will do with this one. * NY Daily News: NYCHA Neglecting Repairs, OverstatingProgress * The Bloomberg Administration is trying to sell off publichousing parking lots to luxury developers; NYCHA residents, "Oh, no youdon't." (WBAI) * Tenants of Bronx housing complex suing NYCHA over ‘danger to their life’

How the NYT Rose Colored NYCHA New General Manager
GOP Congress Will Cut More Funds From Public Housing
Idiots Sold Off Supplies Need for Cleaning
NYCHA quietly sold off supplies needed for repairs and cleanup (NYDN) As frustrated NYCHA employees were told cleanup and repair supplies weren’t available, the agency was quietly selling off boxes and boxes of unused supplies, a Daily News investigation has found. In one case last fall, it appears NYCHA actually gave away cartons of brand new plumbing and heating supplies worth tens of thousands of dollars in a botched auction.* NYCHA officials say the agency faces a $98 million budget gap this year that will grow to $400 million by 2025 if the federal and state government don’t help out, the Daily News reports: * 1/4 of NYCHA buildings need serious repair, and there's a$16B capital backlog - (City Limits)





To de Blasio Hospitals Are Nothing But A Campaign Prop 
@Gothamist the story should also include how DEB sold out LICH & used this charade for self promotion during Mayor's race * DEB with a very serious face as he's being arrested. As a political operative he's mastered the art of acting
The mayor called his arrest in 2013 "the most choreographed thing on earth in terms of how the police wanted to handle it. We didn't make it up. We said, 'We're protesting the closure of a hospital, this is our intention, people will get arrested because they're protesting.'" * De Blasio to protesters: Do as I say, not as I did (CrainsNY) Mayor Bill de Blasio drew a sharp contrast between arrests of protesters last night and himself in 2013. 


"I don't know if you were there on that day in 2013," he said in response to a question from The Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Howard Saul. "It was the most choreographed thing on earth in terms of how the police wanted to handle it." The protests last night, which were in solidarity with Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray there in police custody, resulted in the arrest of 140 demonstrators. Some have complained that the police reacted more drastically to this protest than to demonstrations held late last year. Two state lawmakers, Assembly Michael Blake and state Sen. Gustavo Rivera, issued a statement today castigating the NYPD for "deplorable acts of police abuse and overreaction." "From witnessing billy clubs being taken out while officers stood directly in front of marchers on 42nd Street, to grabbing and arresting a man who was trying to peacefully get back onto the sidewalk, to a woman being struck on the sidewalk by an officer who then walked away, there was behavior that was unacceptable," the legislators said. But Mr. de Blasio was unapologetic about the arrests.* 

Brooklyn High Rises Planned On LICH Hospital Site
Developer's plans for the former LICH complex in Cobble Hillare pretty wild. I'm talking skyscrapers! (Brooklyn Paper)*Cobble Hill to change forever as LICH becomes skyscrapers (Red Star) *Soaring Towers Proposedfor LICH Site Enrage Cobble Hill Neighbors(DNAINFO)




How the Media Failed New Yorkers 
Instead the candidates offered dozens of new services and programs with a simple way to fund the extra costs, taxing the rich. De Blasio said taxing the rich will pay for universal Pre-K.  de Blasio and others said that the rich will pay to keep hospitals open, to make up for federal cuts to the NYCHA.  Others said that keeping the middle class, fixing problems in education and all the other ills in the city would be solved by getting rid of Bloomberg.  The debate moderators did not once challenge the candidates to state the obvious That taxing the rich is not enough money to cover all the promises they are making.




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Mayoral Candidate Albanese: The NYC Media Behaved  More Like TMZ That Responsible Journalists
Clowns Journalists
How the Media Lost the Race for Mayor(Sal Albanese, City Limits)
Bill de Blasio won the Democratic primary. Sal Albanese did not. But thanks to poor coverage of the race, the former councilman argues, New York's voters are the real losers.As an outsider candidate for mayor, I never expected great coverage, but I was shocked to see how much the landscape had deteriorated. Before any major poll, the New York Daily News decided to lock our campaign out of three televised debates that it hosted early in the year.
When I reached out to an editorial board member for an explanation, I was scoffed at and denied any objective criteria. So, I sought a different path.I offered substantive op-eds, most notably on poverty in schools and the need for early intervention. Rejected. I held press conferences with victims of Hurricane Sandy to demand tougher action from the mayor. Uncovered. Then, the Anthony Weiner Circus came to town. Newspaper editors put public safety, failing schools, and the affordability crisis aside in favor of anatomical puns. In a real twist, I received more quotes in the month of July, when I called for Mr. Weiner to step out of the race, than during the preceding six months. But the long-term impact that shallow coverage has on our city is much more troubling than its impact on my campaign. We're now poised to elect Bill de Blasio as our next mayor. Unfortunately, we know less about his public policies than we know about Anthony Weiner's private life.We would be much better off if we knew what our next mayor had accomplished and really plans to do over the next four years. Unfortunately, the fourth estate has failed to provide that information. Elections have consequences, and so does the way that we cover them. For the sake of our city's future, we must demand better.






MTA Which Has A Unfunded Debt 15 Billion Comes Up With A Way to Speed Up the Trains
 The MTA plans to hire about 70 people to direct riders onto trains in problematic train stations as it takes steps to ensure subways move quickly out of stations and improve performance, The Wall Street Journalreports:v* MTA to speed up time 6, 7 and F trains spend at each station to reduce overcrowding delays (NYDN) * MTA uses video game to tackle subway delays * MTA finally finds a way to speed up the subways(NYP) * MTA board members say throwing out trash cans in stationsnot a "wise idea": * Getting Train Times on Track (WSJ) The MTA begins an initiative to cut delays and improve service on the crowded 6, 7 and F subway lines. * The first phase of the long-planned, $4.45 billion Second Avenue subway project, aimed at alleviating congestion on the Lexington Avenue line, is 82 percent complete and on track to open by December 2016, the Journalwrites:

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Albany's Education War: Mayor and UFT vs Cuomo Charters and Tax Credits

Friday Update
Assembly Waters Down Cuomo's Education Reforms
The noxious politics of New York’s cap on charter schools  (NYP Ed)* The state Education Department’s decision to reject all 15 applications for new charter schools has astonished lawmakers, even some who are allies of charter foes like Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, the Post writes: * The Post writes that the state Department of Educationneeds to avoid playing politics with charter school applications, and wonders why there is a cap on the number of schools at * StudentsFirstNY Sad That Assembly Watered Down Some Cuomo Education Reforms: From Capitol Confidential:The Ass... * Caps off to charters: The real lesson behind New York State's rejection of 15 charter-schoolapplications (NYDN Ed) The State Education Department rejected 15 charter school applications for reasons of quality control and not politics, Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch insisted.  …but even some close allies of the teachers unions, which are generally foes of charter schools, questioned SED’s move. * State Sen. Carl Marcellino will assume the Senate Education Committee chairmanship, the committee’s former leader and chamber’s Majority Leader John Flanagan announced, State of Politics reports:  * Marcellino: Mayoral Control And Charter Cap Will Be A Conference Decision (YNN) * Marcellino’s Bills: Extend Teacher Eval Deadline, Reveal Common Core Info (YNN) * Marcellino In Line For Senate Education Chair (YNN)

Thursday Update
As New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton keeps pushing for more officers, de Blasio finds himself in a delicate spot on a difficult issue, the Journal writes: * The Post writes that the NYPD’s move to target drug dealers under 40 years old because they are more likely to be carrying guns is a misstep and should be reconsidered: * Across New York, a small if vocal movement urging rejection of standardized exams took off this year, maturing from scattered displays of disobedience into a widespread rebuke of testing policies. At least 165,000 kids, or one of every six eligible students, sat out at least one of the two standardized tests this year – more than double and possibly triple the number who did so in 2014.* * New York Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said the state’s 17 regents are “tinkering” with a new teacher evaluation system, but she believes student test scores should account for about 40 percent of it, GannettAlbany reports:  *  L. Gov. Kathy Hochul writes in The Post-Standard that public, charter, parochial and private schools deserve state support and that the education tax credit proposed by Cuomo would provide that support: * Golden Affirms Support For Mayoral Control In NYC (Updated X2) (YNN) * Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said the board is “tinkering” with how to weigh a new rating system for teacher ahead of a June 30 deadline for the board to have regulations in place. * The Board of Regents that will choose the state’s next education commissioner is a lot different than the panel that was in place when the previous leader left last year. * LG Kathy Hochul penned an OpEd for the Syracuse Post-Standard in suppotr of the governor’s Parental Choice in Education Act.

After their Leaders are Arrested the Senate Protects the LLC Loophole 
A profile incowardice (TU) Now, Senate Republicans are using some legally suspect sleight-of-hand to weasel out of one of those very rules in order to avoid taking a stand on one of the most needed ethical reforms in Albany. It’s the worst of politics: cowardice, duplicity, greed and abuse of power. At issue is the notorious LLC loophole, a flaw in the state’s election rules that allows wealthy donors to get around New York’s already-high limits on political donations. Under a 1996 opinion by the state Board of Elections, limited liability companies are treated as individuals for the purposes of campaign contributions. So if a contributor has donated the legal limit to a candidate, all he or she needs to do is create an LLC, and donate to the limit again in the LLC’s name. And she or he can keep creating LLCs in order to donate even more – three, five, 10 times the limit. Really, there is no limit.






Airbnb Spin Cancer and Welfare
Airbnb tries guilt tripping politicians to change rental laws (NYP)  Airbnb is trying a new tactic to win over lawmakers — trotting out sympathetic people who rent their apartments to make ends meet. The hosts — including a Queens man with cancer and a struggling artist — told lawmakers Tuesday that the extra income keeps them off the welfare rolls. Million-dollar condo owner allegedly running illegal bed-and-breakfaast (NYP)  The board of Peregrine Tower, at 303 E. 49th St., claims Charles Salcetti is running an illegal bed-and-breakfast out of his $1.35 million apartment. The Manhattan Supreme Court suit says Salcetti, a Maryland-based commercial-real-estate executive, claimed the apartment would be for his personal, residential use when he purchased it last year. But over the past six months, the unit has hosted 35 different guests who ­belong to an elite timeshare company called Lifestyle Asset Group, according to court papers.

Most of the Media Ignored Rosenthal Sting of Airbnb . . . 
Media Looking for Ad Money? Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal Secretly Tapes Illegal Airbrb Renters
Lawmaker uses video sting to catch illegal Airbnb renters (NYP) The first rule of Airbnb: Never talk about Airbnb. A man renting out a Midtown apartment on the popular Web site was caught on a hidden video admitting his listing was illegal — and telling the undercover state lawmaker behind the camera to keep quiet about it. “Airbnb have a lot of issues with New York, you know, because we are competitors with hotel,” said the man, who called himself Carlo and was renting the pad for one night. State law forbids renting an apartment for less than 30 days if the tenant is not at home. “If somebody ask you something, never mention in the building Airbnb,” he said. “This is supposed to be residential.” Carlo added he had “another place” with a similar one-bedroom, two-bed layout that was “almost ready” to be rented and where “you will miss only TV.” Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal made the recordings during an undercover sting operation that targeted Airbnb users offering multiple apartments for rent. Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat, easily scored four apartments for just one night each between April 13 and 20. No taxpayer funds were used for the sting, which was financed by the hotel-industry-backed, anti-Airbnb “Share Better Coalition.” In one video, Rosenthal and an aide are seen checking in to an Upper East Side Airbnb apartment at an office in Chelsea, three miles away.Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal Ran A Sting on Illegal Airbnb * Assemblywoman Goes Undercover, Finds Industry Of IllegalAirbnb Rentals (WCBS) The sting yielded plenty of examples of renters abusing their properties: In several instances, apartments that were listed had no permanent tenants, meaning they were being operated as illegal hotels. The most prominent violator was a rental company that had no tenants at all, with a rental agent posing as a "host." The above video depicts a renter named Carlo explaining that “Airbnb have a lot of issues with New York, you know, because we are competitors with hotel." Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal Ran A Sting on Illegal Airbnb



As True News Broke Yesterday  Bronx DA Indicted Machine Challenger Ramirez for Absentee Ballot Fraud
Board of Electionsdeclares Victor Pichardo winner in controversial Bronx Assembly race (NYDN) The board said after paper ballots were counted, Pichardo beat Hector Ramirez by 82 votes. Ramirez, charging fraud, says he will file a civil suit against Pichardo and the board * Bronx DA looking into claims of voter fraud (2014, NYP) DA Robert Johnson has subpoenaed Board of Elections records relating to voters who submitted absentee ballots. Investigators also visited the homes of some voters, many of whom are Dominican immigrants. “We’re looking into claims of voter fraud,” said Johnson spokeswoman Terry Raskyn. * Machine politics in fraud-filled Bronx race - NY Daily News * FBI Eye Bronx Pols, Bronx Democratic Political Machine (Bronx Chroncile) * A Tainted Outcome In Bronx Assembly Race? *Bronx DA Still Has 86AD In His Sights (Bronx Chroncile) * Bronx DA Johnson Indicts Former Assembly Candidate Hector Ramirez (Bronx Chroncle)


 Hector Ramirez has been arrested on voter fraud charges in his failed 2014 Assembly bid, with authorities alleging that he and his allies duped voters into letting his campaign staff vote on their behalf
On Tuesday, Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson arrested former Assembly candidate Hector Ramirez along with another individual, Ana Cuevas. They were arraigned, entered pleas of not guilty, and were released on personal recognizance bonds of $25,000 and $10,000, respectively, on Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Ramirez was represented by attorney Angel Cruz and Ms. Cuevas was represented by Larry Sheehan. The charges are related to the 2014 race in the 86th AD where Ramirez was accused of election fraud involving absentee ballots. Ramirez was narrowly defeated by the incumbent Assemblyman Victor Pichard. Pichardo won 86th Assembly District Democratic primary in a Bronx Board of Elections supervised manual recount by TWO votes over two-time challenger Hector Ramirez. Hector Ramirez​ and Ana Cuevas (Ramirez’s campaign manager in 2014), were indicted on seven counts for each allegedly false instrument submitted to The Board of Elections in the City of New York​ totaling 242 counts involving absentee ballots and applications for some 32-35 persons, some of whom were not eligible to vote.Bronx politician Hector Ramirez busted on voter fraud charges  (NYDN) Ramirez and his allies went door-to-door in his west Bronx district duping voters into letting the veteran pol’s campaign staff vote on their behalf, a prosecutor charged as the 242-count indictment was unsealed. “Victim after victim after victim testified to the grand jury that members of the Ramirez campaign knocked on their door, including Hector Ramirez himself, and said ‘Hey, you don’t have to go to the polls for this election, just sign here,” Assistant District Attorney Pishoy Yacoub said in Bronx Supreme Court. Prosecutors found the names of Ramirez staffers in the box marked "I authorize" on dozens of the duped voters' applications for an absentee ballot, Yacoub said. Those voters never got their ballots back, Yacoub said. The Dominican-born pol then marked down at least 35 of the ballots as votes for Ramirez, who was locked in a tight Democratic primary against incumbent Victor Pichardo. A campaign aide, Ana Cuevas, was also charged in connection with the alleged scheme.  he long-time political honcho had lost out on two previous bids for the Assembly seat, including a 2010 loss to Nelson Castro, who, ironically, became ensnared in his own indictment for lying to the Board of Elections.
@bronxchronicle @SquarePegDem and still no progress or updates on #arroyo fraud cases



UFT Sends A Message to Cuomo Floats DiNapoli as Gov Poll Numbers Drop
 Two Democratic activists said state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli may run for governor in 2018 at the urging of progressives, regardless of whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo seeks a third term, the Post’s Fredric Dickerreports:  * Two Democratic activists told The Post that the well-liked DiNapoli, who last week released a damning audit on Cuomo’s controversial “Start Up NY’’ ad campaign, is being urged by union activists and other “progressives’’ aligned with Mayor de Blasio to consider running for governor and even challenging Cuomo in the Democratic primary.* Paterson: Corruption Scandals Hurt Cuomo’s Approval (NYP) *  Paterson Backs De Blasio On Permanent Mayoral Control (NYO) * New York Democrats meet as Cuomo's approval rating drops 







True News Wags the NYT On the Harm the 421-a Program Does
NYT Responds to True News Reporting That 421-a Is Destroying NYC Housing
De Blasio’s Housing Push Spurs Anxiety Among Those It’s Meant to Help (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio’s drive to build 80,000 apartments to combat income inequality has aroused fears of more gentrification and more displacement.* The New York City Independent Budget Office released a report on the effect the 2008 changes to the 421-a tax credit have had on the location of the buildings that utilize the tax exemption: *vCalls to Reform 421-a Grow As Deadline Looms(YNN) * A coalition pushing for a “prevailing wage” for building trades workers at developments getting 421a tax breaks has lined up the support of the New York State AFL-CIO, the state’s 2.5 million-member umbrella labor group.

Last Week True News Wrote:
The NYT Real Estate Ruse Distruction Blinders 
The Victims of 421-a, Gentrification, Closed Hospitals Ignored by NYT

Are the Homeless the Real Victims of the Developers, NYT?
Homeless in New York City, an Unending Crisis (NYT Ed)  Without support from political leaders, the number of people forced to live on the streets will continue to rise. 

Are the People Being Forced Out of Bushwick By Gentrification the Victims, NYT? 
Displaced, Dispersed, Disappeared: What Happens toFamilies Forced Out of Bushwick? (City Limits)

Are the Tenants Who Landlord to Push Out In Gentrifying Neighborhoods Victims, NYT?
BrooklynLandlords Accused Of Trashing Apartments Arrested (WCBS) An alleged Brooklyn slumlord and his brother were arrested Thursday morning, accused of creating appalling and squalid conditions for tenants. Joel Israel and his brother, Amram, were led in handcuffs into the courthouse in downtown Brooklyn on Thursday for their arraignment, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported. *  2 Brooklyn Landlords Accused of Making Units Unlivable AreArrested (NYT) *Brothers Joel and Aaron Israel—collectively forming JBI Management— made headlines last year for taking such drastic measures as blasting a crater-sized hole in the middle of one family's Bushwick apartment at 98 Linden Street, as well as incurring similar miseries on the occupants of other properties in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.*  NYT Calls the Speyer's Victims of Skelos. But the Real Victims Are the New Yorkers On the Short End of Speyer's and Their Real Estate Gang Tax Break Development Ripping Apart People's Lives

Do the People Who Will Die Because of Closed Hospital by Developers Victims, NYT?
Rudin's St. Vincent's site will have five individualized condo ...(NYT) * De Blasio’s proposal to reform the 421-a tax abatement program would allow some landlords whose benefits are scheduled to expire soon to keep them under certain conditions, Capital New York reports: 

More On Closing Hospitals



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 de Blaso Spin the Press on Lateness
55% of New Yorkers Think the Mayor's Constant Lateness is Irresponsible 
Meanwhile, one of the mayor’s particularly bad habits got rapped: According to the poll, 55 percent of voters think his constant lateness is irresponsible.

de Blasio Show Up Late for Herman Badillo Memorial Service
The infamously tardy de Blasio showed up 20 minutes late last night to make a speech honoring the late Rep. Herman Badillo. A bill sponsored by NYC Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, a Brooklyn Democrat, would require taxis and car services like Uber to have a back-seat panic button that could summon the police to a passenger in peril.  De Blasio late for speech honoring dead politician (NYP)  Mayor de Blasio continued his tardy ways Monday night, showing up 20 minutes late to make a speech honoring the late Rep. Herman Badillo. De Blasio, who got top billing on the CUNY-sponsored memorial’s program, was slated to deliver remarks at 6:30 p.m., according to his public schedule and event organizers. But when his Hizzoner didn’t show up on time, other speakers rose to take his place, until he ambled onto the stage of Hunter College’s Danny Kaye Playhouse at 6:50 p.m.





Is de Blasio A Pen Pal With the NYT? Or is the Mayor Flacking for Himself to Excuse Another Lateness?
Does Bill de Blasio accidentally emailing the Times show that he regularly communicates w/ the Times from his own email address? Mayor de Blasio Accidentally Sends Email About Delayed Trainto NY Times Reporter (NYT) The email was only intended to go to city hall staffers, but it appears the mayor accidentally included one of the newspaper’s reporters as a recipient. In the email, with the subject line “2 problems today,” de Blasio reportedly detailed a 20-minute wait for a train amid major delays.  * De Blasio complained after being stranded on subway platform (NYP) *  Staff not checking subways delays spurred angry de Blasio email (NYP) * NEW YORK'S MESS TRANSIT: De Blasio and Cuomo both must step up to aid ailing MTA (NYDN)*MTA finally finds a way to speed up the subways(NYP)

When he decided to leave the station rather than keep waiting, the team that normally drives him around the city in a NYPD-issued SUV was nowhere to be found. * BLAZ 'EXPRESSES' FRUSTRATION: Notoriously late mayor fumes after waiting 23 minutes on A train, hurries off in disgust (NYDN) He gave himself 15 minutes to travel four stops to 34th St. — which any regular MetroCard carrier probably could’ve told him was cutting it a bit too close. The mayor ended up cooling his heels on the platform for 23 minutes before leaving in frustration.* The Citizens Budget Commission writes that calls for New York City to provide more funding for the MTA obscure the fact that the boroughs’ taxpayers already provide most of the transportation authority’s revenue:* Hey, Mayor de Blasio — try REALLY living the subway hell (NYP)

The Mayor Offers to Increase the City's Contributions to the MTA From $100 Million to $125 Million the MTA is Asking for $2.5 Billion
New York’smess transit and how to pay to fix it (NYDN Ed) Now that Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Tom Prendergast has dunned Mayor de Blasio for $2.5 billion to support transit improvements, New York looks forward to the even larger bill he will submit to Gov. Cuomo. Prendergast projects that the MTA needs $32 billion in capital investments over the next five years. With Cuomo securing a $1 billion federal loan, the MTA can account for $18 million, leaving a $14 billion hole. That’s why he’s hitting up de Blasio for $2.5 billion.










de Blaiso Takes the Public for A Fool
Buys Votes With Staking the Board of Health
Waters Down Living Wage Wage Reporting
De Blasio has nominated three to the Board of Health, which may help him shepherd through a controversial repeal of a consent form currently required for an Orthodox circumcision practice, Capital New York reports:  * DE BLASIO ADMINISTRATION SKIRTS REPORTING PROVISIONS INLIVING WAGE LAW (City and State) * The mayor has submitted the names of three new candidates to serve on the city’s Board of Health, a move that could help him hold up his end of a deal with Orthodox rabbis to repeal a consent-form requirement for a controversial circumcision rite.


Transcendent Mayor Solves Problems With Press Releases and A Dysfunctional Media
De Blasio thinks he’s above petty concerns like NYC (NYP) Bill de Blasio is one transcendent guy. “We believed it would be transcendent to just have respectful dialogue, to have management respect labor, labor respect management,” he said last December of the magical act known as “negotiating union contracts.”

 “I think it’s going to have a transcendent impact on a whole swath of Brooklyn,” he said in March about the future of Brooklyn Bridge Park. “A real transcendent figure in terms of serving the veterans of this city,” he said in August of his appointee to run the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs. Among the definitions of transcendent are these: “Beyond or above the range of normal or merely physical human experience.” “Existing apart from and not subject to the limitations of the material universe.” “Not realizable in experience.” Begging the Mayor to do his Job Bill deGuardia: The right way for de Blasio to honor theNew Deal legacy is to rescue aging public housing, hospitals, libraries and more (NYDN)  * Stringer: Subways Are "Unworthy of a World-Class City * Searching for the Real Bill de Blasio (indypendent)





de Blasio: Solving Growing Homelessness by Press Releases 
NYT Reports the Mayor Is Throwing $$$ at the Problem, But Does Not Talk About What is Causing the Increased Homeless New Yorkers . . .  421-a?
De Blasio proposes a landlord-friendly tax tweak (Capital) Mayor Bill de Blasio's “sweeping” plan to reform a controversial tax break for developers will allow some landlords whose benefits are about to expire to continue receiving them, under certain conditions. De Blasio’s proposal, which will require approval in Albany, would give landlords the opportunity to extend existing 421-a tax abatements awarded before 2008 that are about to run out. The deal would allow landlords who qualified for 421-a prior to 2008 (when the abatement was last amended) to continue receiving the tax break on half of their building's property tax for 15 more years, provided they make an additional 5 percent of the building’s apartments available at an “affordable” rent. * A report from the New York City Independent Budget office finds that despite adding funds to the proposed 2016 budget for homeless services, the de Blasio administration will still need to increase funding for the city’s shelter system:  * For New York City’s Working Poor, New Help in Getting Out of Homeless Shelters   * State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced his office would use $1.2 million in money from its myriad settlements with large financial institutions to stem the city’s ballooning homeless crisis, the Observer reports:  *   AG Eric Schneiderman announced his office would use $1.2 million in money from its myriad settlements with large financial institutions to stem the city’s ballooning homelessness crisis.`

Officials said New York City would commit $100 million in annual spending to combat homelessness, including funding for rental assistance, to more than 7,000 new households, anti-eviction efforts, The New York Timesreports:   * Bronx citycouncilman accuses Cuomo of putting 'political favors' ahead of NYCHA repairs(NYDN) Bronx city councilman accuses Cuomo of putting 'political favors' ahead of NYCHA repairs “The notion of diverting state funds away from emergency roof replacement and into a political slush fund is morally sickening to me," Torres said.* New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and New York City Housing Authority Chairwoman Shola Olatoye announced the authority would overhaul its oversight of warehouses in the wake of an audit, the Observer reports

The Daily News Makes It Look Like Homelessness Down

Homelessness Growing? Why? Whose to Blame? 
De Blasio’s homeless shelter crisis  (NYDN Ed) For a mayor seeking to make “de Blasio” synonymous with salvation for the poor, no cause burns as fiercely as helping the city’s homeless — an astonishing 56,854 souls in the most recent count, including nearly 24,000 children. “We cannot let children like Dasani down,” Bill de Blasio said shortly before taking the oath of office, referring to a girl whose life in a fetid shelter was profiled by The New York Times. “We are simply not going to allow this kind of reality to continue.” Sixteen months later, while burnishing his credentials as a national progressive crusader waging war on economic inequality, the mayor has made scant progress toward fulfilling his promises. In fact, in important respects, the picture has worsened as well-meaning solutions have fallen far short of the mark. • Shelters now bulge with 12% more people than at his inauguration, down a smidgen from this winter’s peak. A surge in adult homelessness continues unabated, to nearly 12,000 — up 20% since de Blasio took office. • The mayor’s signature programs designed to move families out of shelters sputter at a fraction of their expected paces. At launch last September, the Department of Homeless Services projected that 4,000 families would move into private apartments by the end of June, their rent paid for up to five years by the city and state. As of mid-April, 900 had. Burned by similar programs in the past, landlords have been slow to sign up.* The state reversed course last Friday and said it would not take away funding from 16 city homeless shelters that investigators found to be in poor condition, ending a tiff over the city’s near-record homelessness.



Cuomo vs de Blasio From Nails to Cop Pensions
You Kind of Wonder if this Volunteer Effort Was Not Planned Before the NYT Wrote the Story
Hundreds Volunteer to Educate Nail Salon Workers on Their Rights (NYT) City officials hoped the volunteers, armed with information for manicurists in different languages, would visit 800 to 1,000 nail salons in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx on Thursday.

Officials and volunteers aimed to visit more than 800 nail salons in New York City Thursday with the goal of educating manicurists about their rights and how to protect their health, The New York Times reports


Gov. Andrew Cuomo is backing off plans to withhold state aid to more than a dozen New York City homeless shelters, ending the latest dispute with the de Blasio administration. * Cuomo Wants to Roll Back Part of Pension Reform for Police, Firefighters (NY1) * Cuomo takes aim at de Blasio, again (Capital) * The latest was Cuomo’s statement to the Associated Press that he stands with the police and firefighter unions in their fight with the de Blasio administration over pension costs.* Cuomo Wants to Roll Back Part of Pension Reform for Police, Firefighters (NY1) * Chris Smith assesses the new dynamic for Gov. Andrew Cuomo after his fellow amigos are no longer legislative leaders in Albany. * Following Cuomo, de Blasio responds to nail salon series (Capital)  ‘Every New Yorker must be protected from predatory workplace practices that threathen their health’* Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he supports New York City police and fire unions’ attempts to boost retirement benefits for recent hires who have been injured on the job, the Daily News reports:    City set to investigate nail salons over poor work conditions * De Blasio Says New York Will Investigate Nail Industry Practices (NYT) Voicing outrage at the “deplorable conditions” for nail salon workers, Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to take action, though the city’s powers to regulate the industry are limited . * With Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio both pledging action to look into the impact nail salons have on workers health, it may be good to catch up the New York Times in-depth series on the issue. * With Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio both pledging action to look into the impact nail salons have on workers health, it may be good to catch up the New York Times in-depth series on the issue: *Following Cuomo, de Blasio responds to nail salon series (Capital)  ‘Every New Yorker must be protected from predatory workplace practices that threathen their health’*  
Polls say approval ratings for de Blasio and Cuomo are attheir lowest levels ever, but that's not the whole story * Cuomo is expected today to introduce two new measures in the Legislature that would give regulators greater authority to punish nail salons that mistreat workers and make it easier for manicurists to acquire licenses.  * Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to introduce two measures in the Legislature that would give regulators greater authority to punish nail salons that mistreat workers and make it easier for manicurists to acquire licenses, The New York Times reports:At a press conference yesterday, Assemblyman Ron Kim and Rep. Grace Meng didn’t exactly oppose Cuomo’s recent plan to take emergency measures to improve conditions in the nail salon business. But they didn’t offer a ringing endorsement either.



Albany Protects Their Corruption Pensions 
Not A Joke Assembly Blocks Corrupt Pols Pension Reform
Dragging its feet, Assembly protects felons’ pensions (NYP Ed)* The Post blaststhe state Assembly for dragging its feet when it comes to passing legislation to create a constitutional amendment to retroactively strip pensions from public officials, specifically attacking the notion that the change in policy should only be limited to elected officials* Newsday writes that there is a long to-do list before the end of the legislative session, but the one thing they’d really like to see passed is a constitutional amendment to strip pensions from public officials convicted of felonies*  Several historians who specialize in state government tellthe Times Union that corruption is not worse in Albany than in previous years, it just feels that way: * Bill on State Pension Forfeiture for Public Officials Convicted of Crime Seems Unlikely to Pass in Current Form (NY1)



,
,
,
The One Man In the Room Are the DAs and AG Jealous? 
US Attorney Preet Bharara delivered the Pace Law School commencement address yesterday, saying: “We have corrosive corruption in our state capital. We have poison by prescription throughout the country. We have violent gangs, corporations lacking in courage and conscience.”* Amid a wave of public-corruption cases that federal prosecutors have brought against New York lawmakers, state prosecutors are hoping to bolster their power to do the same.* U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has become a popular commencement speaker at law school graduation ceremonies, unlike his predecessors, who couldn’t recall speaking at any, The Wall Street Journalreports:



de Blasio Puts A Ringer In the Horse Carriage Debate
A Ringer Who Works Along With the NYCLASS Advance Group for Edison Properties 
Dragging its feet, Assembly protects felons’ pensions (NYP ED) *  Consulting firm head hired by de Blasio for Central Parkcarriage industry review was early supporter of NYCLASS (NYDN) The head of the consulting firm hired by Mayor de Blasio to do an independent review of the Central Park carriage industry has a history of horsing around with animal rights activists. Langan Engineering CEO David Gockel was an early supporter of NYCLASS, the group that wants to ban carriages, NY1 reported Thursday. His firm has also done extensive for Edison Properties — the company of wealthy developer and NYCLASS funder Steve Nislick.Langan’s website also says it has “been retained by multiple teams” involved in the development of Hudson Yards — a real estate project close to many of the West Side stables where carriage horses are kept. Many of the carriage owners suspect their valuable real estate assets are driving NYCLASS’s and Nislick’s determined efforts to get the industry shut down. 

Why Did the Daily News Lose Their Interest In 2013 Election Fraud?
The CEO shows up among the “prominent New Yorkers” NYCLASS listed as supporters of their cause. The legislation requires an environmental-impact study before it goes up for a vote. * The head of the consulting firm hired by de Blasio to do an independent review of the Central Park carriage industry has a history of horsing around with animal rights activists * Horse Carriage Drivers Question Impartiality of Consultant Tasked to Review Effects of Ban * The de Blasio administration hired a consultant to review how a ban on horse carriages would affect the city, but some are questioning whether that consultant can be impartial, considering the firm's links to the anti-carriage movement,  NY1 reports:  Horseplay in CityHall as anti-carriage firm will conduct ‘study’ (NYDN Ed) Under a mayor bent on destroying the city’s carriage-horse industry and its 400 jobs, the city’s economic development agency hired a consultant to conduct a mandated environmental impact study. Who did Bill de Blasio’s retainers trust with the $55,000 job? A firm headed by David Gockel, a financial backer of NYCLASS, the anti-horse carriage group. Gockel has worked for Edison Properties, whose former chief founded NYCLASS, as well as for real-estate interests developing the far West Side, home to the horse stables. Forget an environmental review. The Department of Investigation should probe this pollution.
How the Advance Group Conspired to Steal the 2009 and 2013 Election





NYPD WARRANT AMNESTY A DANGEROUS IDEA: Clean up the books but but maintain full force on serious criminals (NYDN) AGE-BASED NYPD STRATEGY -- “Narcotics cops ordered to stop arresting suspects over 40,“The city’s narcotics cops are being told to stop arresting suspects over the age of 40 — a major strategy shift designed to target younger dealers, who are more likely to carry guns and use them … Top brass issued a directive that makes it all but impossible for cops to bust older drug suspects, in order to combat a spike in shootings — which are up 7 percent in 2015 compared with the same period last year and 12 percent over the last four weeks … The new policy was laid out in a May 14 memo obtained by The Post that scolded police bosses for busting people outside the 18-40 demographic — and demanded written explanations for arrests of midlife perps.” * Narcotics cops ordered to stop arresting suspects over 40 (NYP) * PBA boss grilled over $13K in restaurant fees, accused buying loyalty with Porterhouses (NYDN) * NYPD Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch’s opponents are grilling him over $13,000 in restaurant expenses and accusing him of trying to buy support with steak dinners, the Daily News reports: Update Narcotics chief backs off order to stop arrests of suspects over 40 (NYP) * The NYPD’s new jobs program for the 40+ set (NYP Ed) Out of work and over 40? Consider the lucrative world of drug dealing. That seems to be the new message from NYPD brass. As The Post reported Wednesday, narcotics cops have been ordered to target drug dealers under 40 — who are far more likely to carry and use guns — than the older crowd. Narcotics cops who still arrest the over-40 dealers must explain why. It started logically enough. Shootings are up sharply, raising fears of a resurgence in violent crime.



Black Leaders Make Demands of de Blasio as His Wife Plays the Victim to Shore Up the Black Vote for 2017 


DOES HE LOOK WORRIED? Unfazed de Blasio says he can stomach poll that finds his support among blacks plummeting (NYDN) *Black Leaders Showing Signs of Frustration With Mayor de Blasio (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio remains popular with black constituents, but some community ministers and activists have complained that he has been slow to address their concerns.* Some of de Blasio’s support in the black community has atrophied due to the perception that he has eased up on his commitment to reform * Dozens of black ministers, justice reform advocates and civil rights activists and four black members of Congress gathered last Monday at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem to discuss a delicate matter: What to do about de Blasio. The meeting was part gripe session, part strategic huddle, revealing the first hints of frustration with a mayor who won 96 percent of the black vote in 2013.* Chirlane McCray: I felt ‘sadness,’ ‘disrespect’ when NYPDcops turned backs on Mayor de Blasio at funeral of slain officer (NYDN) Over the course of the morning meeting, attendees voiced a series of concerns: 

Mr. de Blasio, some complained, seems to have lost his appetite for criminal justice reform. The mayor, they said, has been too slow to take action against the police officer whose use of a chokehold on Eric Garner, an unarmed black man on Staten Island, led to Mr. Garner’s death. Other participants grumbled that Mr. de Blasio and his staff have simply not done enough to communicate with black community leaders on issues like affordable housing. The unusual congregation of community influencers, convened by the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, was part gripe session, part strategic huddle, revealing the first hints of frustration with a mayor who won 96 percent of the black vote when he was elected in 2013. -- Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: There is “growing disenchantment with the administration in the black community. The disenchantment relates to policing issues, the mayor’s support of broken windows, his lack of support for banning chokeholds and his willingness to support making resisting arrest a felony.”- Tamika Mallory: “The police turned their backs on him and all of the sudden he is beginning to concede … Is it already to the point that we have to turn our backs on the mayor?” 

McCray Victim of NYPD 
 * New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray said she felt “tremendous sadness” and “disrespect” when officers turned their backs to her and the mayor at a slain colleague’s funeral this winter, the Daily Newsreports:  * McCray: I felt 'sadness,' 'disrespect' when cops turned away(NYDN) -- On the police officers who turned their backs: “It was horrible. I don’t know why the officers turned their backs,” McCray said in a wide-ranging interview on WABC-TV’s “Up Close With Diana Williams” that aired Sunday. “I believe in protest. I think there’s a time and a place for it, and that wasn’t the time,” McCray said, referring to the January funeral for Officer Wenjian Liu, where hundreds of city cops turned their backs on de Blasio and McCray as the mayor delivered his eulogy for the fallen officer. “That was a terribly sad day for the city and for those families. Those families are still grieving and it will take a long time for them to get back to whatever could be called normal,” she added. Daily News’ AdamEdelman



The Permanent (Shadow) Government Created Lobbyists As A Way to Control Who Gets Elected and A Way to Get Government to Do What They Want and Stay As Victims
As the city's political machines weakened the permanent government created lobbyists to remain in control of New York City

Today lobbyist political consultants and favored PR firms that pour money into campaigns form a powerful and growing shadow government in New York. Pols trying to cover that up. They cut government contracts for their clients without media or prosecutors attention who sent Tammany Boss de Sapio to jail for a pay to play government contract for Con Ed.   The Old Tammany Hall Machine was corrupt, but the only function of the new lobbyists consultant created after the de Sapio era to pay to play government contracts.  Today's lobbyist's controlled private machine gain power by getting electing candidates, feeding them with campaign contributions from their clients who are looking for city contracts or zoning changes, they never meet the voters. They move government without having to disclose their activities. They elect candidates who will be helpful to the clients they lobby for.  Call them clever, call them stealthy. Most are not a registered lobbyist. Yet he regularly meets with government officials. 

A Lobbyistsl  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's arrest aided by closefriend, Albany lobbyist(NYDN) Brian Meara has been cooperating as a 'fact witness' as part of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's investigation, sources told The News. The criminal complaint against Silver references an unnamed lobbyist who the sources say was Meara. According to the criminal complaint, the lobbyist represented a developer who was using a law firm that paid Silver for bringing in business. The developer, sources say, was politically connected Leonard Litwin, who Meara repped at the time.


NYT Tale of Two Corruptions: Christie vs NY Real Estate Barons  
NYT Says the Speyer's shows minor player in the Skelos case, Victims in a Cameo Role
Big Names in New York Real Estate Figure Into Skelos and Silver Cases (NYT)  The corruption accusations against the two state legislators provide a glimpse into the seamier side of politics, power and real estate. Real estate executives have long said that they contribute heavily to state and city legislators’ election campaigns in the hopes of gaining access to those who make policy in a state where tenants hold considerable voting power. * But the criminal cases describe behavior that goes beyond mere campaign donations and lobbying and involve some of the biggest names in real estate, beginning with Glenwood, whose founder is a revered figure in the business. Rob Speyer, chairman of the Real Estate Board and co-chief executive ofTishman Speyer, which controls Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building, has a Cameo Role in the complaint against the Skeloses. And Steven C. Witkoff, a developer who recently bought the Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South, has a role in the indictment of Mr. Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, according to a person with knowledge of the case.


No charges have been brought against the developers; in fact, their roles in the cases are as the Victims of the alleged extortion. But Michael McKee, treasurer of the Tenant Political Action Committee, who has tangled unsuccessfully with the real estate industry in Albany and at City Hall over rent regulations, took a darker view. “I’m not sure I would call them victims,” Mr. McKee said of the real estate industry. “It seems to me they were beneficiaries. The real estate lobby has a lot of power in Albany in both houses and on both sides of the aisle. Their power comes from their money.”  Is Glenwood A Victim Also? Glenwood is well known in state politics, given that the company has made more than $12 million in political contributions since 2005, according to an analysis by Common Cause New York, which included donations from related companies and individuals.* Mr. Speyer shows up as a minor player in the Skelos case. According to prosecutors, Adam Skelos emailed a supervisor at the title company where he worked in January 2011, saying he would soon be having lunch with the president of a major commercial development company, “and he wants to start giving me his work.” The company is identified in the complaint as being the owner of the Chrysler Building, which is controlled by Tishman Speyer.


Why Real Estate Robber Barons Corrupt Pols or Help Elect Sock Puppet Pols to Do Their Dirty Business
The real estate industry has been able to win some reductions in rent regulations in the State Legislature and allow for the deregulation of apartments for well more than a decade. The industry has also been able to keep alive a tax abatement for new construction called421-a.


Real Estate Corruption Just Like Prostitution 
Arrest the Hooker Pols and Let the John Developers Walk 
No Charges Against the Real Estate Robber Barons While Their Sock Puppet Pols Go to Jail
Besides the payment for title work that was never performed, Mr. Dorego also arranged for a consulting job for Adam Skelos at an environmental firm in which Glenwood had investment ties, and which eventually paid him a total of $200,000, according to the complaint. Prosecutors say his father used his powerful position to help the firm win a government contract. A lawyer for Glenwood declined to comment. The federal charges against Mr. Silver include accusations that he steered Glenwood and another developer — Mr. Witkoff — to a law firm that gave Mr. Silver hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees. * Glenwood uses loopholes in the law to keep its politicaldonations anonymous







Flanagan Former Law Firm Did Business With the State
John J. Flanagan’s Former Law Firm Had Matters Before State Agencies (NYT) Mr. Flanagan, the new majority leader of the New York State Senate, made more money in part-time work on Long Island than he did as a legislator. The Long Island law firm where he has worked for more than a decade, Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana, has a long list ofprominent clients — some of which, including Cablevision and Citibank, are directly affected by decisions made in the state capital. Its website notes that the firm “regularly works on matters involving key governmental agencies,” including New York State agencies. A review of public records and a client list from the firm’s website found numerous clients that have business before state government, like lobbying or obtaining government contracts. The firm’s clients have included Chase Bank, General Motors, HSBC, Northrop Grumman, Yum Brands, Vornado Realty Trust, Walgreens and the Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association. Yet when Mr. Flanagan was asked this week whether the firm had clients with business before the state, he responded, “I don’t know, I don’t know.” * New state Senate leader didn’t disclose pal’s loan for years (NYP)* Flanagan received a no-interest loan from a friend and failed to disclose it for years. He forgot about the $20,000 and $50,000 loan from Jennifer Lorenz made for “college and home improvements” for nearly five years until he finally came clean this year and amended his annual financial reports to disclose the debt. * The Long Island law firm that Flanagan recently left, Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana, has a long list of prominent clients — some of which, including Cablevision and Citibank, are directly affected by decisions made in the Capitol. Asked whether the firm had clients with business before the state, the new Senate majority leader replied: “I don’t know.” *  Abtech Holdings, Inc., the company at the center of federal charges against State Senator Dean Skelos and his son, has suffered a “tremendous setback” due to the suspension of its work in Nassau County, a company executive said. * Republican Assemblyman Joe Borelli has opened a campaign committee to run for the Staten Island seat of retiring NYC Council Minority Leader Vincent Ignizio.*  A veteran NYPD detective wants a Long Island village to rename a sports complex currently paying tribute to disgraced state Sen. Dean Skelos, the Daily News’ Kenneth Lovett reports: * The elections are 18 months away, but already one Democratic name is being floated as a possible candidate for embattled former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ seat – freshman Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky, of Long Beach.


Play the Albany Pay to Play Corruption Game
Winner Become A lobbyists 
Match the New York Statepolitician to his charges(TU) Match the New York State politician to his charges





Not Clear What Work Flanagan Did For His Law Firm
 Little is known about the work he did at the firm, where he listed his position as “of counsel” and made $100,000 to $150,000 annually in 2012 and 2013, according to his annual financial disclosure filings. Mr. Flanagan said on Tuesday that he did not represent any clients with business before the state. He said he had dropped his law firm job to enable him to devote himself to being majority leader. The outside income of legislators has drawn considerable scrutiny in Albany, and recent criminal cases have brought more attention to the issue. In January, the longtime Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, was arrested on accusations of taking illicit payments that were disguised as legitimate income from practicing law. Mr. Silver was originally hired by his law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, with no expectation that he would work on cases or refer them to the firm, according to a federal criminal complaint; instead, one of the firm’s founding partners hoped that Mr. Silver would enhance its prestige, the complaint said. Mr. Skelos also worked at a law firm, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek. A federal criminal complaint said it appeared that Mr. Skelos “did not perform any actual legal work,” but was paid in large part for referring clients to the firm and meeting with clients, “including about legislative matters.” Neither his firm nor Mr. Silver’s has been accused of wrongdoing. 

Flanagan’s law firm Tried to Stop A Subpoena From the Moreland Commission
Mr. Flanagan’s law firm was also one of more than two dozen employers of state legislators that were subpoenaed in 2013 by the Moreland Commission, an anticorruption panel created by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat. The panel, which was examining the outside income of lawmakers, sought documents regarding his clients and compensation, as well as building access records showing when he came to work, according to a copy of the subpoena his firm received. The law firm joined with other firms employing legislators to challenge the subpoenas in court, and the matter was unresolved when Mr. Cuomo struck a deal last year to shut down the Moreland Commission.* Son of state Sen. Thomas Libous working to clear charges of tampering with a drug test (NYDN) * Bill Hammond: Translating the new Senate boss (NYDN)* * State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, who took over for former majority leader Dean Skelos in the wake of corruption charges, has a lot in common with his fellow Long Islander and predecessor, Crain’s New Yorkwrites:






Klein Who Has No Position Protects His Online Gambling 
You Want to Bet?
EXCLUSIVE: State Senate Democrats group urging delegation against bill outlawing online gaming (NYDN)  A breakaway group of state Senate Democrats is asking the New York congressional delegation to bet against a federal bill that would outlaw online gaming. In a letter to the New York delegation, the state Senate Independent Democratic Conference argued that the bill would trample on the rights of states while potentially prohibiting the New York Lottery from offering games online. The five Dems argued that federal legislation would also keep New York from ever joining other states in allowing Internet poker, which they said would generate new tax revenue and create job opportunities. New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware currently allow online poker. The IDC, led by Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx), hasn’t taken a position on whether online gaming should be legalized in New York — just that it should be a state, not federal, decision. *  The Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference is asking the New York congressional delegation to bet against a federal bill that would outlaw online gaming, the Daily News reports:  *  State Senate Democrats group urging delegation against bill outlawing online gaming (NYDN)


NY Forgotten Veterans
Veterans and advocates for military service members say New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s progressive agenda that he has been promoting across the country leaves them behind, the Daily Beast reports: *As de Blasio touts his progressive policies in other states, advocates for veterans say he has not included vets in his plans, despite the city having one of the largest vet concentrations in the country,the Daily Beast reports:   “He’s talking about a progressive platform all across America.


But I guess it doesn’t include veterans,” said Paul Rieckhoff, who heads the New York-basedIraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), a veterans’ service organization with around 400,000 members nationally and 10,000 in New York City. * Banner to honor POW/MIA veterans returns to City Hall after Daily News probe; critics call flag flap Blaz's latest insult to nation's servicemembers (NYDN)* Editorial: The forgotten flag (NYP)


Restaurant Grade Inflation
Messy grading system lets eateries score easy A’s (NYP)  City health inspectors deserve an F for attendance — and the no-shows at administrative hearings are helping restaurants score easy A’s when they appeal their letter grades









More About the City's Restaurants Grading System


NY1 Reports On Attempt to Make Berlin Rosen Disclose Its Clients, But Leaves Out 1NY PAC Mayor's Slush Fund
Avella Proposes Bill to Require Consultants to Disclose Clients (NY1) State Senator Tony Avella introduced legislation Thursday that would require firms like BerlinRosen to publicly disclose all of their clients. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report. Avella's legislation would require communications and consulting firms like BerlinRosen to disclose all of their clients. Jonathan Rosen, who co-founded the firm, is a close adviser to the mayor. At the same time, he also advises clients with business before City Hall. Because he is not a registered lobbyist, he does not have to reveal the clients he represents.

"We're saying you have to disclose it so the public has an opportunity to know exactly what's going on and who has influence above and beyond what the average citizen may have," Avella says. Avella's bill is modeled after the state lobbying law. He says he is most concerned about consultants who advise private clients and also advise public officials. He says that special relationship between a consultant and a politician may mean clients could be getting favorable treatment from the government. "It's that relationship that provides his or her clients access that anybody else would not normally have," Avella says. Avella's bill is quite broad and, as written, would require any consultant in the state who earns more than $5,000 from consulting work to disclose all clients, even if they do not have business with the city or with Albany.
I am @NY1 fan but disingenuous 4 consultants/lobbyists2 opine on politics their paychecks hinge on "relationships" with pols



Berlin Rosen Does Lobbying Work Through the Mayor's One New York, Both Groups Not Registered As Lobbyists
Group Supportingde Blasio’s Agenda Is Said to Draw Interest of Ethics Panel (NYT) A political group run by close allies of Mayor Bill de Blasio has attracted the interest of a New York State ethics panel, which is concerned that the group could be violating lobbying rules, according to two people familiar with the inquiry.Representatives from the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics have contacted the group in recent weeks to ask why it has not yet registered as a lobbyist, in possible violation of rules requiring it to do so if it plans on influencing the outcome of pending legislation. The group, the Campaign for One New York, was created by the mayor’s political consultants to raise money and attention for Mr. de Blasio’s political agenda while operating outside the city’s limits on campaign contributions. The group is paying for the mayor’s trips to California and for a previous one to the Midwest; on Thursday, Mr. de Blasio is to speak with technology moguls at a fund-raiser for the group in San Francisco. Tickets are selling for up to $10,000. Under New York’s ethics rules, groups that “reasonably anticipate” spending more than $5,000 on lobbying activities are required to register with the ethics commission, known as Jcope, within 15 days.* City Hall's new 'in' crowd of lobbyists (CrainsNY) *  The Perma-Campaign: For Bill de Blasio, the Race Never Ends(NYO)
More on the Berlin Rosen and de Blasio One NY PAC



de Blasio Says One New York is Not Lobbying Behind Capital's Paywall
De Blasio insisted that the nonprofit political group raising millions for his agenda, Campaign for One New York, is not engaged in lobbying, though it has drawn scrutiny form JCOPE. Also Behind the Paywall De Blasio paid consultants up to $4 million for OneNYC (Capital) HR&A Advisors helped with the OneNYC report * When Campaign Aides Are Lobbyists, Questions Mount - City Limits(City Limits)



Daily News Says de Blasio Kills Campaign Finance With One NY PAC
Berlin Rosen Elects Dozens of the City's Elected Officials and Does Not Lobby Them For Their Clients? The Daily News Says the 1NY PAC Going Around the Campaign Finance Laws for the Mayor What About the Dozens of Other Candidates it works for?
Progressive Bill deBlasio kills NYC's campaign finance program (NYDN Ed) Let Mayor de Blasio admit this fact: His bear hug of the Fund for One New York, the not-at-all-independent nonprofit advocacy group he created, is hastening the demise of the city’s public campaign finance system. For a quarter century, that system — which limits contributions to candidates, matches small gifts with public dollars and caps spending — has been lauded by progressives, de Blasio included, as leveling the democratic playing field and amplifying the voices of ordinary citizens. “We are the gold standard,” he said last year. Those words take on an ironic double meaning as de Blasio hits up donors for millions, including large contributions that would be banned if made directly to candidates — and the fund works in lockstep to advance his agenda. The Campaign for One New York buys television advertisements; coordinates grassroots organizing campaigns; and employs and coordinates with allies of the mayor, including former staffers. In short, it works as a campaign apparatus in years when there’s no election. The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling blew the doors off all previous attempts to limit outside money in government — and made hefty political spending by outside groups inevitable. But it’s no small irony that the man putting the nail in the coffin of the city’s campaign finance caps is Big Bill, progressive friend of the little man.* The state Board of Elections could close the so-called LLC loophole in the campaign finance system, but Democrats say that is unlikely because GOP commissioners do not support it, The Buffalo News reports * Daily News: What About Data and Fields in 2009, NYCLASS and the UFT;s United for A Future PACs in 2013?  What About the Real Estate's 71/2 Million Jobs for NY PAC?  What About the Millions in Assembly, State Senate and Gov PACs that Go Around the Campaign Finance Laws?
The Media Cover Up of Citizens United



NY1's Louis Concerned That Lobbyist Have Manipulated and Comprised Journalism


On Inside City Hall host Errol Louis in a discussion of the stations report on Berlin Rosen admitted that he was surprised at the reach of Berlin Rosen. He expressed concern that advocates that use the media might not be independent.  He said he was shocked to lean that the Coalition for the Homeless which was blaming Cuomo for the increase the city's homeless hired Berlin Rosen as its consultant.  Louis on NY1: "Last week when I interviewed the coalition for the homeless, I did not know they were a Berlin Rosen client. The report (the coalitions issued) goes out of their way to blame everyone but the mayor for the record high homelessness in the city.  They talked (blamed) the governor and (blamed) at length the last past mayor.   When I realized they were a client, I realized this is a problem not just for transparency and private sector clients not being registered lobbyist . . . this works both ways. Maybe we got advocates who are not independent advocates."

What is the Cause of Homeless Increase? 421-a?  
“Cutting off funds for shelters, as the governor has done, is only hurting the poorest New Yorkers,” Assemblyman Social Services Committee Chairman Andrew Hevesi said. * The head of a key Assembly committee criticized Cuomo for withholding state aid for 16 city homeless shelters after the de Blasio administration missed a deadline to address serious code violations, the Daily News writes:  * * New York City will develop a plan to improve its homeless shelters by Tuesday, and officials said the state will continue providing funding to the city in the interim, Capital New York reports: 

As Pols March for Tenants
NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, Assemblyman Keith Wright and Councilman Jumaane Williams blasted state Senate Republicans and Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a large pro-tenant rally in Manhattan’s Foley Square last night. * Hundreds of tenants marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in a show of force to demand stronger rent laws from Albany, as their advocates called on Mayor de Blasio to push for a rent freeze, the Post reports:



FIT Building Over More Cops and After School Programs
De Blasio pulls funding promised to after-school programs (NYP) The de Blasio administration allocated an extra $27.7 million in February so middle schools could add after-school programs in the summer. Last week — just three months later — the schools were notified that the funds were being yanked and re-directed as part of a larger $50 million initiative by the administration to boost 130 struggling schools. Now advocates and officials at the after-school programs — many of which have already hired staffers and enrolled students — are in panic mode. “If the funding is not immediately restored, people then have to let staff go and notify working parents the summer program will not exist,” warned Jennifer March, executive director of the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York. * De Blasio Administration Allocates $74 M to FIT for Academic Building The Fashion Institute of Technology received $74million in funding towards a new academic building - set to be its first in over 40 years. For the guy whose latest “oops” moment was the discovery last week of a 20-percent budget overrun in his signature pre-K early-education program — from an estimated $340 million in February to $409 million this past Thursday. City Hall blames real-estate inflation for the latter, which is whistling in the dark. Much more likely it’s the Education Department’s own opportunists, seizing their moment like crows on a road-kill raccoon. * PHONE-Y BALONEY BY POLICE: Ameatur videos are catching NYPD cops' misconduct — and proof they lie about it: CCRB (NYDN) *



Berlin Rosen Worked With the Advance Group for the Two Councilmembers Fined By CFB
Two City Council members were slapped with fines Wednesday for taking off-limits contributions from animal rights group NYCLASS, which bankrolled Mayor de Blasio's mayoral campaign for his pledge to ban horse-drawn carriages. Council members Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) and Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) have to pay back money they were given by New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets because they shared the same political consultant — the Advance Group — as the anti-carriage group. One ambiguity is that Ms. Mark-Viverito was not running in an election regulated by the city Campaign Finance Board, but rather in a leadership race within the council. City council members fined over money from anti-horse carriage group(NYP)Two city council members were slapped with hefty fines for accepting prohibited campaign contributions from a group at the center of the Central Park horse carriage brouhaha. Freshman member Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) was fined $7,868, and newbie Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) was fined $8,686 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board for accepting over-the-limit funding from a “prohibited source.” The board found that the funding source for both campaigns – New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Street (NYCLASS) – was too intertwined with the candidates’ consultant, The Advance Group (TAG).Campaigns are prohibited from coordinating with third-party groups that make “independent” expenditures. Yet TAG president and lobbyist Scott Levenson was political director for NYCLASS, and both groups shared the same office space. Councilman Rodriguez was also a client of the Advance Group and got mailing from Advance's PAC United for the Future and was not fined by the CFB

The Advance Group Represented Yetta Krukland and the PAC It Controlled Contributed to Its Opponent Represented By Berlin Rosen
The Advance  group was paid by democratic candidate Yetta Krukland $28,000 and the IE NYCLASS that Advance paid for $30,000 in mailings to promote Yetta Krukland.  The UFT PAC which Advance Was Working for United for the Future funded Krukland Opponent Corey Johnson. Krukland fired Advance during the campaign. The following Berlin Rosen clients were funded by Advance's PAC United for The Future: Elizabeth Crowley.Donovan Richards, Rory Lancman, Steven Levin, Mark Levine, Ydanis A Rodriguez, Austin I  Shafran (Not Elected), Kirsten J Foy (Not Elected)





de Blasio NYCLASS Advance Group Pay to Play

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

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


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



Who Guards the Guards Themselves? 
Berlin Rosen Worked for the AG Other Consultants for the DAs
Since the state attorney general and local district attorneys must run for public office, all of the state's top prosecutors must rely on corrupting influence of campaign consultants and campaign donors to win elected office.  Once a prosecutor relies on the advice of campaign consultants, that opens the door to potential lobbying, because, in New York, campaign consultants often double as lobbyists.  Political consultant Red Horse worked for Brooklyn DA Thompson campaign along with Berlin Rosen.  Both Red Horse and Advance Group worked for the UFT's PAC United for the Future (the UFT attempted to covering up Advance involvement by paying them through a fake company) Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA. Red Horse worked for Brooklyn BP Adams, Bronx BP Diaz and PA James. Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA Cy Vance. Red Horse worked for Pitta Bishop for Brooklyn BP Adams. Red Horse worked with George Arzt in the Queens BP campaign. Berlin Rosen not only help elected Schneiderman to his AG position, both it partners worked for him when he was state senator. * Preet Bharara has become well-known in New York for prosecuting the state’s top political players. This month, the Manhattan U.S. attorney might be better known as the hottest ticket in town when it comes to law-school commencement speakers.








Catsimatidis Staffer Indicted Over Ulrich Flyer
Former Catsimatidis staffer indicted over Ulrich flyer (Capital) A member of former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis’ campaign staff has been charged with two counts of filing a false instrument by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance, Capital has learned. The staffer, Kathy Huang, was indicted in late April on charges she attempted to cover up the fact that an October 2013 mailer paid for by the Catsimatidis campaign did not have mandatory language identifying the party who paid for its creation. The mailer targeted Councilman Eric Ulrich, who was then in the midst of a re-election campaign. “There are two sides to Republican Eric Ulrich: He says one thing in the community and votes the opposite way in City Hall,” the flyer stated. In April 2014, the city’s Campaign Finance Board fined Catsimatidis and Huang nearly $11,500 over the mailer. The fine for not placing a “paid for by” notice on the mailer was less than $1,500 of that fine.* John A Catsimatidis - New York City Campaign Finance Board * A member of former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis’ campaign staff has been charged with two counts of filing a false instrument by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance, in connection with an October 2013 mailer that targeted GOP NYC Councilman Eric Ulrich.* NYC CFB Chair Rose Gill Hearn says there’s “still time for lawmakers to pass comprehensive and robust ethics and campaign finance reforms before the end of this legislative session in June.”




Disgraced Former Brooklyn DA Hynes Put Political Bosses, Elected Officials and Judges in Jail 
DA Vance Says He Lacks the Tools?
Manhattan DA wants to crack down on political corruption (NYP)  New York state should take a page from federal authorities and get tougher on crooked pols, Manhattan’s top prosecutor said Sunday.  District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said federal laws on political corruption are far ahead of state codes, allowing US Attorney Preet Bharara to clean up messes the state could just as easily be handling. Vance added that local prosecutors struggle to press bribery cases based on the current state laws. Specifically, he said, bad-acting pols get a near-free pass by simply rolling over and spilling their guts to a grand jury. Bharara has taken aim at a host of New York state politicians over the past several years — none bigger than former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Hynes Flashback  Norman Convicted - Resigns as Brooklyn Boss | Village Voice * Ex-Assemblywoman Gordon Sentenced - NY Daily News * Former Judge Is Convicted of Bribery in Divorce Court (NYT) *  Brooklyn DA announces nearly 1,000 office workers will receive bonuses for saving money (NYDN) * Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. discussed his father, an advisor under President Jimmy Carter, for the first time publicly in a speech to New York Law School’s graduating class. * Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson handed out bonuses of up to $2,000 each to his 1,000 staffers.

The brash New York prosecutor who’s indicting left and right  (Washington Post) Preet Bharara, an Obama appointee, has accused 17 big-name politicians of corruption, 10 of them Democrats.FBI Director James Comey on Preet Bharara: Imagine “if Jon Stewart was a prosecutor" “Preet Bharara’s office is not anyplace a guilty person wants to be, so you search your conscience and wipe your sweaty forehead before entering. The most powerful prosecutor in the country…occupies a four-square chamber flooded with relentless governmental ceiling light, which makes his charcoal suit all the darker and his white shirt, so stiff it could pour itself a glass of water, all the whiter.” * Assemblyman William Scarborough is asking a federal judge to dismiss evidence the FBI gleaned from his cellphone records in a criminal case alleging he wasn't in Albany while claiming reimbursements, the Times Union reports:  * Assemblyman William Scarborough is asking a federal judge to throw out evidence the FBI gleaned from his cellphone records that were used to build a criminal case alleging the Queens Democrat wasn’t in Albany on dozens of occasions when he was reimbursed for mileage and hotel expenses.


Its Good That the Manhattan DA is Going After Political Corruption Below is Another Political Crime We Like to See Vance Take Action On 

UFT Advance Secret Relationship Secret Illegal Relationship During the 2013 Campaign
 The Advance Group also faces a CFB probe into an outside-spending campaign the firm ran on behalf of the United Federation of Teachers under the name "Strategic Consultants, Inc.," and separately, NYCLASS gave donations to the anti-Quinn efforts far above state-imposed limits.United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan consulting firm the Advance Group. Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY)* The advance group got paid $28,000 by gay city council candidate Yetta Kurland at the same time the firm work for the City Action Coalition PAC, which on its website touts itself as supporting candidates who oppose gay marriage and abortion rights.Advance was on both side of the Kurland race.  The firm also secretly worked to have been promot Johnson’s candidacy through an IE paid for by the UFT via a company called Strategic Consultants—apparently a dummy shell corporation set up to obscure the Advance Group’s double-dealing.  "Questions Raised Over U.F.T. Campaign Filing" [Beth Fertig]* * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN) *UFT paid $370,000 to fake consultant (CrainsNY)* Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY)

The New York State United Paid Berlin Rosen $44,000 in 2012/13

Almost the Entire Council is Infected With PACs That Advance Worked for 31 of the 51 Members, Including the Speaker
Candidates Funding By Advance's NYCLASS PAC: Yetta Krukland (Advance Client), Councilman Mark Levine (Advance Client), Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo (Advance Client)
Candidates Funding By Advance's United for the Future PAC: Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Inez Dickens (Advance Client), Corey Johnson (Berlin Rosen Client) (running against Advance client Yetta Krukland), Mark Levine (Advance Client), Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez, Paul Vallone (Mercury Client), Rosie Mendez, Councilman Andrew King, Councilman James Vacca (Red Horse Client), Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson (Red Horse Client), Councilwoman Annabel Palma (Red Horse Client), Councilman Costa Constantinides, Mark Weprin (Hudson TG), Councilman Daneek Miller (Red Horse Client), Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (Hudson TG), Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (Berlin Rosen Client), Councilman Richard Donovan (Berlin Rosen Client), Councilman Eric Ulrich, Councilman Antonio Reynoso (Red Horse Client), Councilman Brad Lander, Councilman Mathieu Eugene (Advance Client), Councilwoman Inez Barron, Councilman Jumaane Williams, Councilman Alan Maisel (Brandford), Councilman Mark Treyger (Hudson TG), Councilwoman Debra Rose (Brandford), Councilman Steven Matteo, Councilman Robert Jackson (Boro President Candidate), Councilman Vincent Ignizio
UFT Illegal PAC United for the Future   






 The Scarborough Voucher Reforms

A week after longtime lawmaker William Scarborough pleaded guilty to claiming $40,000 in bogus travel expenses, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced new rules governing the reimbursement system.* Assembly Speaker Heastie said a constitutional amendment to bar public officials convicted of a felony from receiving their pensions remains under discussion and would pass in some form, State of Politics reports: * * The Democratic-led Assembly also released new requirements for lawmakers to report their official travel in order to obtain reimbursements, State of Politicswrites: * Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie collected the second most in per diem travel expenses since 2013—$57,231.09—just shy of the $57,254.41 received by Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper, Gannett Albany reports:  * Comptroller’s Office Releasing Lawmaker Per Diem Information (YNN) * Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie ranked a close second in the state Legislature in the amount of per-diem reimbursements since 2013, as he vowed this week to increase accountability over the lax system.








Why Did Silver Pay Berlin Rosen $750,000 When He Had No Challengers?
Does It Connect to the Albany DA Berlin Client, Never Going After A Corruption With the Lawmaker?
From 2010 to 2014 Friends of Silver (the former Speakers main campaign account) paid lobbyists campaign consultant Berlin Rosen over $750,000.  During that three election cycles Silver paid his campaign consultant he had only one election with a very weak GOP opponent Maureen Koetz in 2014.  Koetz received less than 20% of the vote against the speaker.  Why was Berlin Rosen paid so much money? Was the speaker trying to hide his involvement in other races that Berlin Rosen was running like de Blasio for mayor in 2013? Or was the speaker trying to get over the spending limit by paying the consultant Berlin Rosen directly for candidates he was supporting? Berlin works in a lot of campaigns.  Developer number one in the Silver indictment used LLC as a “loophole corporations,” to get around the election law to funnel more money to political candidates, to buy influence. Was Silver trying to buy with the $750,000 payment to Berlin Rosen?  Besides his own campaign account Friends of Silver, the speaker controls the Assembly Campaign Committee account and the Speakers PAC, which had Trump, James Dolan and Meryl Tisch among its individual donors.  Other than a handful of individuals with less colorful names (Schedule A) SpeakerPAC is mostly a destination for corporate and PAC money (Scheds B, C).  At its beginning, in 2000-02, SpeakerPac spends over $100,000 on entertainment (MARTEL’S RESTAURANT, THE GRAND DELI, RICK ANGERAMI-D.J., ALBANY PARTY WAREHOUSE, RADIO CITY ENTERTAINMENT, SODEXHO, and so on) and nothing else.  SpeakerPAC makes it rain like crazy on the Assembly, and occasionally writes out fat checks to DACC.




Adam Skelos Not Registered As A Lobbyists . . .  What About Berlin Rosen NY1?
According to complaint, Adam Skelos failed to register as a lobbyist. So, literally, everyone in Albany should take note.
  • CW-2, ADAM SKELOS said “[I]t’s better that I distance myself from being in like official meetings, you know, that have to do with the State because, one, I’m not a registered lobbyist and, two, it’s a conflict.”


NYT Leaves Out Berlin Rosen Illegal Campaign and Lobbying Work 

Or the Firms Cheney Like (Brainwashing) and the Privatization of Tammany Hall Corruption



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


When You Elect Double Digit Elected Officials And You Represent Developers How Are You Not A Lobbyists?
Why Has Only CM Rose Taken the Fall For WFP's When Berlin Rosen Ran All the Data and Field Campaigns?
In the 1800's Thomas Nash Covered the System That Elects New Yorkers . . .  2014's Media Cover Up the Corruption of the Shadow Government That Controls Elections and Forces Voters to Boycott Elections
Councilwoman Deborah Rose 2009 campaign paid the WFP's for profit company $40,000 and the Berlin Rosen consulting firm $125,000.  The money paid to Data and Field has now resulted in criminal charges against those running her campaign for conspiring to defraud the city’s taxpayer-funded Campaign Finance Board. According to the NYP the councilwoman herself will be named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in an 18-page criminal complaint that special prosecutor.  The SI DA's Special Prosecutor said the Rose campaign got got "sweetheart deals on campaign services from Data and Field and NY Citizen Services. 

Berlin Rosen Worked for All the 2009 Candidates Funded By Data and Field


Mayor de Blasio's 2009 campaign for public advocate campaign paid WFP's Data and Field $225,000 and Berlin Rosen $6,000.  Councilman Lander's campaign paid Data and Field $55,000 and paid Berlin Rosen $85,000.  Speaker Mark-Viverito's campaign paid Data and Field $1000 and Berlin Rosen $75,000.  Councilman Dromm's campaign paid Data and Field $55,000 and Berlin Rosen $20,000. Councilman Van Bramer's campaign  paid Data and Field $35,000 and Berlin Rosen $80,000.  Councilman Williams' campaign paid Data and Field $55,000 and Berlin Rosen $125,000.


NY1 in Its Report Said the Speaker Has Close Ties to Berlin Rosen, But There is No Record Of Her Paying Them Since 2009

Berlin Rosen Was In the Room When Brookyn Boss Seddio Made His Deal With the Mayor to Back Mark-Viverito for Speaker in 2009. BerlinRosen worked on the campaigns of 15 members of the City Council—including Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.in the 2013 campaign 

Berlin Rosen Worked With the Advance Group for the Two Councilmembers Fined By CFB
Two City Council members were slapped with fines Wednesday for taking off-limits contributions from animal rights group NYCLASS, which bankrolled Mayor de Blasio's mayoral campaign for his pledge to ban horse-drawn carriages. Council members Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) and Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) have to pay back money they were given by New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets because they shared the same political consultant — the Advance Group — as the anti-carriage group.


The New Political Bosses Are Not Elected

The Old Tammany Hall Welcomed All the Voters New Lobbyists Private Tammany Hall Pushes the Public Out
 Over the last few years the lobbyists started to make their way into the political system by offering party bosses campaign services and campaign funding which in the old Tammany days would have been done in the club house and by its members.  In the old days hundreds of people worked in the clubhouse to put our mailings.  Today a campaign consultant emails a mailing house with a flyer designed by his or her company and the mail goes out.  The entire social structure of the community helping the machine and in return the machine helping the community and it residences is gone.  The news lobbyists machine hang out is their beach houses or million dollar apartments and never meet anyone in the community they seek to elect someone in. The public who used to at least have a choice to elect their party leaders.  The permanent government picks the Tammany's lobbyists cutting out the public completely.

 




There are very important campaign filing differences between de Sapio's Tammany Hall and today's lobbyists Tammany Hall.  Old Tammany and today's political party leaders were required to file their all their expenses and how much money their received. The new lobbyists Private Tammany Hall uses money from their lobbyists clients in campaigns which are not required to be filed with the Board of Elections. 






What Happen the NYCLASS PAC that de Blasio Supports Help Fund?
Officials at one of Mr. de Blasio’s closest labor allies, 1199 S.E.I.U. United Healthcare Workers East, confirmed on Monday that the union had contributed $250,000 this year. The mayor is not the only prominent elected official in New York to be bolstered by an outside organization. Allies of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, including several real estate developers, donated millions of dollars to the Committee to Save New York, a similar nonprofit fund that supported the governor’s priorities during his first years in office. The funds have drawn criticism from some government watchdogs for accepting contributions from organizations with business before the state or the city. In Mr. de Blasio’s case, the parent union of the United Federation of Teachers made a $350,000 contribution to the fund last spring, as City Hall and the teachers’ union negotiated a labor contract.  “This is a way to get close to, or do a favor for, a mayor who would not otherwise be accepting your campaign dollars in these amounts,” Good government leaders urged the mayor to rely on his taxpayer-funded team: “We believe that elected officials, particularly executives like the mayor and the governor, have fabulous communications apparatuses at their control, through the level of government that they head.”



While de Blasio Slush Fund One New York Gets Billions the Schools Fund Gets Bupkis
Public Schools Fund, Under de Blasio, Is Struggling to Lure Wealthy Donors (NYT) The fund, which lured wealthy philanthropists under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, raised an average of $29 million a year over the last decade. This fiscal year, it has raised just $18 million.* De Blasio and New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña claimed victory in the city’s local school board elections, as voter turnout and the number of parents participating increased significantly, theDaily News reports:  * A report from the New York City’s special commissioner of investigation says complaints of children left unsupervised by New York City school employees jumped from 159 to 279 last year, the Journal reports: * The Fund for Public Schools, the nonprofit organization that former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his schools chancellors built into a fund-raising juggernaut, has struggledto attract donations under de Blasio.* Lawmakers Eager To Take Up Teacher Evaluation Changes (YNN) * NY tests do good job of tracking student achievement: report * Correct to the core: Study confirms that New York's standardized tests are telling hard truths about 
student achievement


WFP Flack Vs Flack In A Sea of Misleading the Voters and the Press 
Oops! Working Families Party PR rep accidentally sendsstrategic e-mail to Brooklyn Paper reporter (Brooklyn Paper) Oops! Working Families Party PR rep accidentally sends strategic e-mail to Brooklyn It is a case of the flacks fighting the flak! Working Families Party operatives and top aides to Public Advocate Letitia James worked together in an attempt to fend off questions about James’ muddled support of a party candidate’s successful assembly bid, an e-mail chain accidentally sent to The Brooklyn Paper revealed. “Need a coordinated response from Tish’s office,” wrote Working Families Party communications director Nancy Goldstein to party director Bill Lipton in response to query by New York Observer reporter Ross Barkan as to why James’ photo was positioned over the words “Endorsed by leaders and organizations we trust” on a flyer supporters of Diana Richardson handed out despite the fact that James didn’t pick sides in the race. Next to James’ image was the quote “Vote Working Families Party to stand up for tenants and homeowners.” Goldstein ran her statement by Khan for approval, then told The Observer that James had signed off on the quote “because of her longstanding relationship and support of the WFP,” despite admitting in an initial e-mail to Lipton that she did not know if they had run the materials by James’s office. “I don’t know the back story here — whether we cleared it with Ibrahim first,” she wrote. It was not clear from the e-mails whether Khan had approved the materials.  “The notion that this wasn’t misleading is absurd,” said Greenpoint District Leader Nick Rizzo, who worked on Richardson’s campaign and handed out some of the flyers bearing James’s quote. “I’m proud to have worked on the campaign and I still support Diana, but I wish it had been a little more honest. It is incumbent upon us to campaign cleaner if we want a cleaner government.”
WFP accidentally emails @noahhurowitz about my @tishjames story. This is fun. 




Meeks and Clarke Trip On Oil $$$
The state-owned oil company of Azerbaijan secretly funded an all-expenses-paid trip to a conference at Baku on the Caspian Sea in 2013 for 10 members of Congress – including two New Yorkers, Reps. Yvette Clarke and Greg Meeks – and 32 staff members. * Reps. Yvette Clarke and Gregory Meeks were part of the bipartisan party that traveled overseas on a Caspian Sea junket that was secretly paid for by the state-owned oil company of Azerbaijan, the Daily News reports: 



Flanagan Supports Rent Laws and Mayoral Control of Schools But Details
Flanagan backs extended rent stabilization and mayoral control of schools (NYP) New state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said Tuesday that he would support laws extending rent stabilization, housing tax breaks and mayoral control of city public schools before the Legislature...* Lawmakers predict extension of 421a tax break (Real Deal) Flanagan: De Blasio Deserves ‘Fundamental Respect’(YNN) * * New Assembly and state Senate leaders may make things difficult for Cuomo as he tries to publicly keep his distance from the Legislature while continuing to dominate it, New York Magazine’s Chris Smithreports:




Albany Continues Without Reform Like Nothing Happen
The state’s two new state legislative leaders, Heastie and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, couldn’t help but sound like their predecessors after meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the first time yesterday. Cuomo Sits Down With Legislature Leaders After Change in Power in State Senate (NY1) * New State Senate Majority Leader Flanagan Outlines Plans for Rest of Legislative Session (NY1)
More About the Daily News





Silver and Skelos' Arrests Have Not Changed the Corruption Culture of Albany . . .  Bharara Still Has Work to Do

Meet self-described family man and “institution guy” John Flanagan, the new Senate majority leader, as seen through the eyes of Tom Precious.

Bharara’s indictment of just-resigned state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, following the prosecutor’s takedown of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, reduces Albany’s once fearsome power triumvirate to Gov. Cuomo — alone in a room staring at untested backbenchers. And nobody’s quite sure what Bharara has in store for Cuomo, who has power-sapping vulnerabilities of his own — including ties to a central figure in the ever-metastasizing scandal.* Skelos had to go — but Preet Bharara still has plenty to do(NYP Ed) It took the majority party in each house too long to figure out the public wouldn’t stomach an indicted leader. That fact alone should dispel any notion that Albany’s headed for a cleaner future. * Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan attended his first leaders meeting, spending about an hour behind closed doors with Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate IDC Leader Jeff Klein, State of Politics reports:  * Bill Hammond: “In his first 24 hours as majority leader of the state Senate, Long Island Republican John Flanagan has already proven a master of one skill that’s critical to the job: talking a lot without saying very much.” * Gotham Gazette took a look at Flanagan’s “fundraising velocity” since he joined the Senate in 2003 after many years in the Assembly.*  With Flanagan In Charge, Advocates Have New Hope For Bills (YNN) * DeFran: Cuomo ‘Definitely’ Influenced Senate Leadership Fight (YNN) * Squadron: ‘Insane’ LLC Loophole Still Around (YNN)

If not for calls for Skelos’ ouster — from The Post and others, and from Democrats vowing to force a vote on the issue — who knows if the Senate Republicans would’ve ever dumped their boss? Plus, Skelos’ replacement is the one he reportedly demanded if he was to step down: fellow Long Islander John Flanagan. Oh, and Tom Libous, indicted in a separate matter, gets to stay on as the Senate’s No. 2. Another sign of how bad Albany’s gotten: Skelos reportedly threatened to quit as senator — and jeopardize his party’s control of the chamber — if his colleagues booted him. He plainly didn’t think twice about putting his personal interests above those of the very party that pushes the principles he supposedly believes in. And he was the guy Republicans chose as their leader. Actually, what’s evident is that the now-former majority leader has only one principle: Do what’s good for Skelos. Much of Albany operates similarly.
Cuomo in Poll Free Fall   A poll shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating dropped to 37 percent, its lowest since he took office in 2011, in part because of concerns over corruption in state government, The Wall Street Journal reports:  Cuomo’s approval rating dropped to its lowest mark since he took office in 2011, according to a new Wall Street Journal-NBC 4 New York-Marist poll. Just 37 percent New York voters think he’s doing a good or excellent job, down from 44 percent in October. His approval rating is higher among New York City voters – 44 percent – and equal to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s approval rating in a similar poll. * RECORD LOWThe Wall Street Journal’s  Cuomo's job approval rating has fallen to 37 percent, its lowest mark since he took office in 2011, according to a new Wall Street Journal, NBC 4 New York/Marist poll. Just 37 percent of voters think Cuomo is doing either a “good” or “excellent” job as governor, down from 44 percent in an October poll. The Journal reports Cuomo's numbers have fallen in part because voters are worried about corruption in state government.* Flanagan, The Senate And Continuity (YNN) * Flanagan does not expect new ethics reform legislation thisyear  (YNN) * Flanagan: ‘Proven My Mettle’ (YNN) * Flanagan: ‘Proven My Mettle’ (YNN) * Flanagan Asserts His Conservative Bona Fides (YNN)*

Why Did 5 Upstate Senators Vote Against Their Own?
Sen. Cathy Young explained why she backed Flanagan over DeFrancisco, saying she had done so in the name of “stability,” adding: “We blocked New York City from taking control of New York state government. New York City Democrats were planning a procedural move to take control of the Senate.”* Young said there was no “arrangement” for her backing of Flanagan, though senators have said she could be in line to become Senate deputy majority leader, should something happen to Tom Libous. * Flanagan drew support from upstate in winning post (Capital) I border a district with Senator DeFrancisco. My natural inclination was to support him if he had the votes,” Senator Jim Seward of Oneonta told Capital. “But it became apparent by the time I had my chance to vote that he was going to fall short. So I thought it was important to begin to coalesce behind Senator Flanagan, so I voted for him.” Along with Seward, senators John Bonacic of Mount Hope and Bill Larkin of Orange County told Capital on Monday that they voted for Flanagan. According to several reports, which were confirmed by multiple sources, senators Michael Nozzolio of Seneca County, Catharine Young of Olean and Hugh Farley of Schenectady County also voted for Flanagan. Flanagan defeated DeFrancisco, 18-15. * Upstate Republican state Sen. Hugh Farley, who is believed to have voted for Long Island Sen. John Flanagan for majority leader over Syracuse Sen. John DeFrancisco, will face a primary, the Times Union writes:  


Flanagan said that while he may be from eastern Long Island, he plans to represent all of New York as the chamber’s new leader and that he has great respect for his colleagues, even for those who didn’t support him, State of Politics writes:  * Six upstate Republican senators backed Sen. John Flanaganover Sen. John DeFransisco for majority leader, costing the Syracuse region greater influence in state government, the Post-Standard writes:* Speaking in Washington, D.C., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio called US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, “a powerful voice” in the fight against inequality – praise that comes as he seeks to push the Democratic Party to the left in the 2016 presidential primary. * De Blasio also outlined his agenda in an email blast, urging supporters to sign on. * Heastie: New Senate Leader Doesn’t Change Assembly Priorities (YNN)* New Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan: “Sometimes, with the winter we’ve just had, I think, ‘are we really going through climate change?'” The state’s leading gun group is not happy with the selection of Flanagan to lead the Senate, and said it would consider primaries next year against GOP senators if they don’t seek changes to the SAFE Act. Flanagan, who voted “yes” on the SAFE Act, now says he’s open to modifying the law, but expressed doubts that would fly with the Democrat-led Assembly and Cuomo.Sen. Mike Nozzolio once introduced a bill to make Upstate the nation’s 51st state because he said New York City leaders were ignoring the region. Yesterday, he voted forFlanagan over the upstate majority leader candidate, Sen. John DeFrancisco, of Syracuse. Nozzolio and Sen. Jim Seward think Second Amendment advocates should give Flanagan some time before passing judgment.* * Flanagan said he is open to making changes to the SAFE Act gun-control law even though he was one of the handful of GOP senators who voted for the crackdown on assault weapon sales, The Buffalo News writes: * State Sen. Daniel Squadron's goal of getting a committee vote on a bill to close the controversial "LLC loophole" was quashed and is quite possibly finished for the year, the Times Unionreports:  * The Times Union writes that Flanagan needs to take up Squadron’s LLC loophole legislation and end the “dark money” in Albany that has been at the center of recent scandals: * Upstate Lawmakers Say They’re Uniting Behind Flanagan (YNN) * The majority leader said he wants people to have confidence in the government but does not expect any further ethics reforms this year. *Dean Skelos Wiretaps Reveal Greed, Schemes & F-Bombs (Long Island Press) *   After pro-Flanagan vote:  * Flanagan officially joins the three (four) men in a room


Daily News: Long Live the New Hand Picked Corrupt King 

The Daily News’ Bill Hammond writes that Flanagan in his first day on the job has already proven a master of one skill that’s critical to the job: talking a lot without saying very much: 

Seething NYDN editorial not happy about Skelos' hand-pickedsuccessor (NYDN) The sendoff that Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos got from his Republican colleagues — when he stepped down seven days after his arrest — was an appalling show of how deep the corruption culture runs in Albany. There Skelos sat, like an honored retiree, as hand-picked successor John Flanagan sang his praises. A fellow member of the tight-knit Long Island caucus, Flanagan had been among Skelos’ staunchest defenders.
While a brave few Republicans called for Skelos to step down, Flanagan was one of 16 who shamefully issued a declaration of loyalty after Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara laid out his devastating case. Like the old boss, Flanagan has drawn a six-figure salary from a law firm, without clearly saying what he does for the money or whom he does it for — then cast votes on bills affecting the business interests of that firm’s major clients. * *New Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan has shown himself to be fiercely loyal, both in politics and his personal life, The Buffalo Newswrites:


The Daily News writes that Flanagan was one of 16 who “shamefully” professed their loyalty to ex-state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos after his arrest and both are emblematic of why the GOP is risking its slim majority
Flanagan severed that relationship before rising to become one of the state’s three most powerful officials — rather than face persistent and obvious questions about conflicts of interest and, no doubt, law-enforcement interest. Completely missing from Monday’s changing of the guard was the slightest sense that Flanagan will do anything differently. There was no sign, for example, that Flanagan will end one-person rule of the Senate — delegating to rank-and-file members some of the absolute power that has corrupted absolutely. Tellingly and wrongheadedly, Flanagan is keeping Tom Libous as deputy majority leader, even though Libous faces his own federal corruption charges. Meanwhile, Flanagan hailed Skelos’ many years of public service and the “fantastic job” he had supposedly done as majority leader as he heads in all probability toward prison. The Republicans hold the Senate by a slim majority. Under Skelos and now Flanagan, they are doing all they can to lose it. severed that relationship before rising to become one of the state’s three most powerful officials — rather than face persistent and obvious questions about conflicts of interest and, no doubt, law-enforcement interest. Completely missing from Monday’s changing of the guard was the slightest sense that Flanagan will do anything differently. There was no sign, for example, that Flanagan will end one-person rule of the Senate — delegating to rank-and-file members some of the absolute power that has corrupted absolutely. Tellingly and wrongheadedly, Flanagan is keeping Tom Libous as deputy majority leader, even though Libous faces his own federal corruption charges. Meanwhile, Flanagan hailed Skelos’ many years of public service and the “fantastic job” he had supposedly done as majority leader as he heads in all probability toward prison. The Republicans hold the Senate by a slim majority. Under Skelos and now Flanagan, they are doing all they can to lose it.* The Times Unionwrites that Flanagan should counteract the temptations of corrupt that leaders face by embracing Senate reforms that make the chamber more democratic and open: * Our view: Area senators (Nozzolio and Seward) fail tostand up for upstate:   via @the_citizen








Stringer vs Moskowitz 2017
And you thought the 2016 presidential race got off to an early start. Demonstrating how fast candidates are getting off the fundraising blocks for the next citywide cycle, city ControllerScott Stringer is pushing a June 9 Manhattan fundraiser -- the first of his 2017 campaign. Renee Cafaro, treasurer of Manhattan Community Board 5 and a longtime Stringer ally, will host the gathering at her home at The Plaza. Top-tier tickets go for $4,950 a pop. Stringer has capitalized on his role as the city's top money man to act as a foil to Mayor de Blasio, his fellow Democrat, but has insisted he's not interested in anything but another term as controller right now. As of the most recent Campaign Finance Board records, Stringer, who defeated former Gov. Eliot Spitzer in a Democratic primary before winning the 2013 general election, had less than $42,000 in the bank

Moskowitz taunts de Blasio at Manhattan Institute dinner (Capital)  "I realize Mayor de Blasio sometimes gets picked on unfairly," she said, as the audience started laughing.  "For example, he's been criticized for traveling to Iowa and the like, but I don't think his traveling to those places causes any harm. Coming back to New York, well, that's a different story," she concluded, to laughter, whistling and cheers from the friendly audience, whose members donated anywhere from $1,000 to $75,000 to the conservative think tank for its annual awards dinner, according to an invite. "Some of you may recall that the mayor said to a cheering audience of teachers' union members that it was, quote, 'time for Eva Moskowitz to stop being tolerated, enabled, and supported,'" she said, referencing a now-oft repeated line of de Blasio's from the mayoral race. "Getting this award makes me feel better," she said. "It's nice to know that someone is willing to tolerate me and to celebrate, I may take a victory lap around Central Park in a horse-drawn carriage," she finished with a grin, to thunderous laughter from the audience, mocking de Blasio's unfulfilled pledge to ban carriage horses. * Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz is going after the de Blasio administration again — this time over timely payments to her charter schools. Moskowitz mocked the mayor and made a direct plea for policy changes during the Manhattan Institute’s annual Hamilton Dinner last night.


NYC Shooting and Murder Zones Upper Manhattan, Central Bronx and Northern Brooklyn 
Crime Going Up As de Blasio Going
Murder up 10%,shootings up 8.7 %, shootings Vic's up 8.9 %
 With crime on the rise, jet-setting de Blasio hitting the road again (NYP) * Cops step up patrols in Central Park amid crime spree (NYP)  * The wrong time for Bill de Blasio’s road show (NYP Ed) *  The Post writesthat NYPD Commissioner Bratton sounded confident when discussing a “mini-crime wave in Central Park,” but words don’t mean much, unlike actions and results Massive uptick in NYC shootings (NYP) The number of shootings in the city is sky-rocketing — a worrisome trend that Police Commissioner Bill Bratton blamed on career criminals and increased gang activity at a press conference Monday afternoon. Bratton said the gun violence has been concentrated in Upper Manhattan, the central Bronx and northern Brooklyn. The top cop added that more officers will be stationed in these high-crime areas. In just the past week, shootings increased 66 percent, with 40 occurring between last Monday and this past Sunday. By comparison, there were 24 shootings during the same week in 2014. The number of shooting victims also rose 76 percent during that time period, with 44 people injured by gunfire compared to 25 for the same period last year. Shootings are up for the month as well, jumping 33 percent, to 128 incidents, in the past 28 days, sources said. Last year, there were 96 shootings for the same period. More victims took bullets,too. In the past 28 days, there were 106 shooting victims compared to the 85 at this time last year — a jump of 25 percent. Crime is down overall, the sources noted. But murders are still up 10 percent year to date, with 109 this year compared with 99 at this time in 2014. “Warm weather means there are more people on the streets carrying guns, and it is only going to get worse — no matter how many cops you hire — if you don’t back the police,” said a police source. * Shootings are up sofar this year, the NYPD said. (DNAINFO)  * Broken Windows co-author strikes back at critics (Capital)  ‘De-policing high-crime minority neighborhoods, as is demanded, would be a disaster’* Why New Yorkers love the NYPD more than the mayor (NYP)







Wills Who Was Indicted By the AG Over A Year Ago is Still Doing Pay to Play Deal With His Lobbyists Campaign Manager
TRASHY POL: Indicted Queens Councilman slams proposal that hurts campaign donor (NYDN) An indicted Queens pol with the worst attendance record on the City Council showed up to hearings of a committee he doesn’t sit on to blast proposals that threaten to hurt a campaign donor. Councilman Ruben Wills — a Democrat who has received $3,000 from donors tied to Royal Waste and Regal Recycling — slammed a commercial trash handling proposal that would carve the city into zones, and assign each area to one chosen waste company, at a sanitation committee hearing April 29. Wills has received $3,000 from owners, managers and family members of Royal and Regal, which runs a complex of waste transfer and recycling facilities in southeast Queens outside his district. He also got $750 from the companies directly — which had to be returned because corporate contributions are banned under city rules.  Last year, he had the worst attendance rate of anyone on the 51 member Council — blowing off 27% of the meetings he was supposed to attend.

Wills is facing a slew of corruption charges — including allegations he stole public campaign funds and used them on Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom and other personal purchases; and that he took a state member item for a sham charity but pocketed most of it. A separate indictment this year charged him with filing false statements with the Conflicts of Interest Board. A political consulting firm formerly employed by Wills, Connective Strategies, has been paid $6,000 by Regal to lobby the Council against that bill. “There is no conflict,” said Connective President Tyquana Henderson, who said she has not lobbied Wills on the matter. Lobbyists Henderson Was Wills Campaign Manager  Mr. Wills was arrested as part of a separate case in May and charged in a 12-count indictment with using tens of thousands of dollars in campaign and taxpayer money to enrich himself, buying items such as a $750 Louis Vuitton handbag, authorities said.

Lobbyists Henderson Was Wills Campaign Manager 
The arrest of Queens Councilman Ruben Wills is a reality check for those who tout public financing of campaigns as the key to cleaning up Albany. Welcome to the notoriously sleazy Legislature in Albany, where gaming the campaign finance laws is an art form. A see-no-evil Board of Elections, which is party-controlled and paralyzed in the face of runaway lawbreaking. Good money after bad  (NYDN) The arrest of Ruben Wills should give public campaign finance enthusiasts pause. During his first, failed run for the City Council in 2009, Wills collected $139,818 in public money from the CFB — 79% of his total budget. According to the indictment from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Wills then secretly funneled $11,500 of his campaign funds to a nonprofit group he controlled, NY4Life, and glommed the money for strictly personal expenses — such as buying a $750 Louis Vuitton handbag. 

Wills Indicted for A Not-For-Profit Scam Was An Aide for Ex-Senator Huntley Convicted of Another Not-For-Profit Scam
Wills personally submitted a voucher with the state Office of Children and Family Services on behalf of the group in 2010. But Wills declined to answer questions and invoked his Fifth Amendment rights when he was asked about the missing funds by investigators last year. Wills, a former aide to ex-state Sen. Shirley Huntley, who was convicted in another not-for-profit scam.  The councilman is also being probe for steering funds to another non profit group, the Young Leaders Institute. Wills and a relative on his payroll, Jelani Mills, were arrested and being processed at the 112th Pct. in Forest Hills.* New York City Councilman Ruben Wills Charged in Fraud ... (May 7, 2014) * City Councilman Pleads Guilty to 1996 Misdemeanor * Indicted NYC Councilman Ruben Wills has worst attendance record among current members, records show:(NYDN) * Wills accuses AG of bias over use of image in campaign ad(NYP) State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is being accused of unfairly smearing an indicted Queens lawmaker by including him in a TV campaign ad, The Post has learned. City Councilman Ruben Wills is now trying to turn the tables, demanding that Schneiderman be removed as the prosecutor in his case for violating a court rule barring prejudicial pretrial publicity against a defendant. Schneiderman’s 30-second TV commercial shows news footage of Wills — handcuffed from behind — being “perp walked” to a vehicle by two police officers. * Schneiderman, at Columbia,laments the state of politics (Capital) “I’m proud of the fact that in the last three and half years—probably every month or so—we have done something that no one has ever done before,” Schneiderman told the gathering. “We change the way people are doing business and the way that governments are operating.”

Wills Wire Failed Why is the Trial Taking So Long?
 Wills hit with corruption charges as wire doesn’t catch(NYP) Indicted City Councilman Ruben Wills was trying to get the goods on fellow lawmakers — and get the heat off himself during a state probe of his shady nonprofit — by wearing a wire. Wills, who was arrested last week by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, was doing the secret recording at the behest of Schneiderman’s ­office, two sources said.But Wills apparently failed to deliver. “He was radioactive, and nobody would speak to him,” a lawmaker said. “Nobody would have anything to do with him.”






Councilman Weprin Goes to Work for Cuomo Ignizio Leaves Also
Assemblyman David Weprin says he will not run for his brother Mark Weprin’s soon to be vacant New York City Council seat, ending days of speculation and hand-wringing among some Queens Democratic insiders, the Observer writes:  *  New York City Councilman Mark Weprin, a former assemblyman, is resigning from the Queens seat he has held since 2010 and taking a job as Cuomo’s deputy secretary of legislative affairs, the Daily News reports: * New York Citywill have it's third special election of the year  (NYO)* A field of Democrats is already emerging to replace Queens Councilman Mark Weprin, who suddenly announced today he is resigning his seat to take a position with the Cuomo administration. Weprin’s brother, Assemblyman David Weprin, is not among them. * Former Assemblyman and Deputy Queens Borough President Barry Grodenchik is running for @MarkWeprin's open council seat -high placedsource. * Contrary to initial reports, Assemblyman David Weprin is seriously considering running for his his old NYC Council seat, recently vacated by his brother, Mark Weprin, who used to hold david Weprin’s Assembly seat.*  Weprin, Ignizio Leaving City Council for Other Jobs (NY1)  * New York City Council Minority Leader Vincent Ignizio will resign from his seat this summer to work as chief executive officer of the still-forming Catholic Charities of Staten Island, the Staten Island Advancereports: * Assemblyman Joseph Borelli, who worked as Ignizio’s chief of staff, is weighing running to replace his former boss, and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis could also be interested in the seat, the Observer reports:


Brighton Beach Terrorism
Accusations of Terrorism Worry Brooklyn’s Uzbek Community (NYT) Reactions to the recent arrests of men accused of supporting the Islamic State are divided in the small but growing population that represents the nexus of the nation’s Uzbek diaspora.
More On Terror




Federal Public Hospital Cuts
Federal Cuts Would Be Major Blow to New York City’s Public Hospitals, Comptroller Says (NYT)  A report by Scott M. Stringer says the 11-hospital system expects to face a deficit of more than $1 billion in fiscal year 2017, which will grow in subsequent years.* The city Medical Examiner’s Office is shutting its Staten Island and Bronx morgues, but people will be able to identify relatives’ bodies in those boroughs by looking at photos on a computer screen, the Post reports:
More On Closing Hospitals and Health Care Cuts


Today Subway Spins Led to Future Delays
How Bill de Blasio’s guaranteeing future subway delays (NYP) In his budget, the mayor made a big deal about increasing the city’s annual contribution to the state-run MTA to $629 million over the next five years, from a planned $500 million. This money will pay for new subway cars and buses as well as some track work. But it won’t even pay for most of that work — which will cost $4.2 billion. It sure won’t help the MTA build something new, London-style. The MTA does want to start work on the next few stations of the Second Avenue Subway — but it doesn’t have a dime for the $1.5 billion it will cost over the next five years. The mayor’s new contribution doesn’t help here, since the MTA was already expecting it.* The MTA cleaned 3 percent of subway tracks within its self-imposed deadline and largely failed to meet station painting and cleansing goals, according to New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, the Journal reports



Comptroller Audit Exposes Start Up Waste
Audit exposes wasted effort in Cuomo’s ‘Start Up’ program (NYP)  An audit to be released Monday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli raises “real doubts’’ about the value of Gov. Cuomo’s $200 million-plus “Start Up NY’’ advertising campaign to attract businesses to... * The Times examines the goals, success and questions stemming from Cuomo’s Start-Up New York economic development initiative, and notes that the approved businesses are mostly mom-and-pop operations: 


Start-Up NY More A Public Relations TV Ad for Cuomo Than A Jobs Program
TheDem assemblyman charged with overseeing economic development says it was amistake to boost $ for Start-UP NY (Capital) * The promotional campaign for Start-Up NY has cost taxpayers $53 million since the its inception in late 2013, while the program has led to $1.7 million in private investment and 76 jobs so far, GannettAlbany reports: * Cuomo’s job creation program Start-Up NY didn’t deserve the $50 million in extra advertising money it swept from the New York Power Authority in this year’s state budget,according to Assemblyman Robin Schimminger.* Andrew Kennedy, chairman of the Start-UP NY approval board, said the job creation program is “on its way towards those thousands of jobs” after officials questioned its effectiveness, Capital New York reports: * Editiorial: Cuomo's Start-Up NY plan slow to pay off so far (NYDN) * Government logic: Spending $28M to create 76 jobs (NYP Ed) *  
Cuomo's Start Up NY is a nonstarter:(CrainsNY) Reminder: Cuomo's Start Up NY spent $28M for 76 jobs. NY's own estimate was ''fracking,''with NO gov't subsidy, could create 25,000 jobs! * The Post’s Kyle Smith writes that Cuomo’s Start-Up NY program does too little for very few businesses and doesn’t justify the investment the state has made in the program:  UPDATE An unlikely coalition from New York’s political right and left has called for the suspension of Cuomo’s Start-Up NY economic development program following reports of modest initial success and significant marketing costs.* Strange Bedfellows Unite Against START-UP (YNN) * A group of liberal and conservative groups called on the state to stop adding new businesses to START-UP NY while the state Comptroller’s Office audits the economic development program, State of Politicsreports * Cuomo’s projections for START-UP NY are not impressive, with the nine out-of-state companies on the 2014 list pledging to create 451 jobs based on a $4.3 million investment, E.J. McMahonwrites in City Journal: * The New Yorkgovernor’s #EconomicDevelopmentprogram is heavy on hype but light on #jobs * The Times Union writes that the state Board of Elections perpetuates a blatant loophole in campaign finance rules in refusing to close the LLC loophole, bowing to their political masters: * Cuomo defended the START-UP program, calling it “inarguable,” and said the report from his own ESDC that found the effort had produced just 76 jobs in a year was “misleading.”An audit of the advertising contract for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Start-Up NY program “is being finalized” and “will be announced shortly,” DiNapoli said. * DiNapoli: ‘No Tangible Results’ From ESDC Advertising (YNN) * An audit from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office found the state’s $211 million ad campaign to promote economic development programs and attract businesses to the state has not produced any “tangible results,” State of Politicsreports:  *One Cuomo administration official, when asked about the slow growth of, and outlook for, START-UP NYfurnished a NY Times reporter with a children’s poem about a blossoming garden: “Dig In,” by George Shannon. “Plant a little. Plant a lot,” the poem reads. “Plant the seeds and bulbs you bought.”* Editorial: Start-up NY failing to deliver promisedjobs   via @pressconnects

How Local TV News Make Millions From Start Up NY While Dumbing New Yorkers Down
Local TV Which Does Not Cover Govt Makes Millions Off of Special Interest Ads Govt Ads

Education War TVAds
Organizations on both sides of the education battle are spending big, with pro-charter groups and the state teachers union spending $757,093 in January and February alone, State of Politics reports:  * Spending on advertising has fueled the increase in TV lobbying costs. Well-funded special interests funnel millions to lobbyists for public campaigns to sway lawmakers on hot-button issues (TU)  Local News which is mainly weather, traffic, cooking and dog segments is making millions in lobbyists spending.  Union and business interest like the pro fracking interest are also spending millions on ads to local stations.  All this money is coming in as local news dumbs down.  Local TV stations stand to profit from boom in super-PAC spending (The Hill)*CSNY’s budget blitz: $3.9 million (updated)(TU) *Save NY airing tax cap ad(TU) *Budget opponents up their ads and mailers(TU) *Bloomberg Blames Negative Ads For Poor Showing In Education ...(Politico) *Save NY now airs on school money(TU) *NYC's Bloomberg Pays for TV Ads Backing Cuomo's Pension *  Bloomberg Defends His Administration With TV Ad - NY1.com * Local TV News For $ale: How Special Interests Control News Content and Public Opinion 
How Local TV News Make Millions Rehabilitating Candidates and Cleaning Up Policies Harmful to the Public



Skelos Used His Fellow Senators to Deliver the AdTech Contract to his Son
Dean Skelos and a Senate closet full of skeletons: Thecorrupt and insular world of New York’s top Republicans (Wayne Barrett, NY Daily News) Skelos organized a shake down using 3 state senators to push for the AdTech Contract for his son.  Senator Rich Funke included a line in the GOP answer to Cuomo's state of the state that he was given by Skelos to demand more state funds  to increase funding for water filtration and sewer systems. 




Florida the Official Home of the GOP Senate And Their Lobbyists
AbTech lobbyist "owns a Swan Lake Club condo in Naples just a few doors down from Matthew Libous"  * "Funke is so new to the Sen he may not have realized how many of his own Rep colleagues had bought homes in Florida," One other interesting tidbit from Funke's State of the State response speech was his observation that New York had been "overtaken by Florida as the nation's third most populous state," a stat he turned into a call to action. Funke is so new to the Senate he may not have realized how many of his own Republican colleagues had bought homes in Florida, especially in the 45-mile southwest corridor between Fort Myers and Naples, where they reportedly hang out in gated golf-course communities and do Senate business. Lobbyists have figured it out and bought homes there as well, including the three alluded to in the complaint against Skelos.  It's just another crack of light into the Senate silo. The leaders at the top of the Senate organizational chart — Skelos, deputy majority leader Tom Libous, Finance chair John DeFrancisco, Majority Whip Michael Nozzolio, Banking Chair Hugh Farley and Corporations, Authorities and Commission chair Michael Ranzenhofer — have Florida homes. So does George Maziarz, the energy and telecommunications chair who did not seek re-election in 2014. Nick Barrella, an Albany-based lobbyist for AbTech, owns a Swan Lake Club condo in Naples just a few doors down from Matthew Libous, whose father, Senator Libous, is under indictment for lying to the FBI about using his influence to get Matt a job and salary hike. The senior Libous is convalescing at one of his two Laurel Greens condos in Naples after a couple of recent surgeries. Too sick to come to Albany for a Skelos vote, Libous signed a letter Thursday joining 16 other Republicans in support of Fort Myers-based Skelos. Bharara has already convicted Matt Libous on tax charges, is scheduled to go to trial soon against the cancer-stricken senator, and raided their Binghamton house to seize wife Frances' computer and other records.

AbTech lobbyist "owns a Swan Lake Club condo in Naples just a few doors down from Matthew Libous" 
The senator owns four Florida condos altogether, partnering repeatedly with a controversial contractor from his home district. Like the Libous family, Maziarz is also in Naples and went there to relax even before his final term ran out last December. According to the criminal complaint, Adam Skelos got AbTech to hire Barrella and another lobbyist, Mike Avella, both of whom are described in the complaint as "close" to his father. Barrella wouldn't take the AbTech gig until he spoke personally to the senator himself. Later, he reportedly advised Adam that, "for obvious reasons," Skelos couldn't sponsor the bill that benefitted AbTech himself. Barrella and the Skelos duo even tried to work on fracking approvals that might have been a boost to the firm.  Avella, who was once Skelos' counsel, is listed with a home in Hallandale (a 145-mile across-the peninsula trip from Fort Myers), though it's unclear if he still owns it. Avella's partner, Brian Meara, is now cooperating with the feds.  Dorego bought a $1.3 million home in Jupiter last year, also on the east coast parallel to Fort Myers. Several other Albany lobbyists unconnected to the case have Florida homes, like Patricia Lynch, a onetime aide to Shelly Silver. She bought a $760,000 home in the fittingly named Shadow Wood Preserve in Fort Myers, just a shade away from Skelos' $184,000 condo at the Heritage Palms Golf and Country Club. Skelos is said to spend a great deal of time there, and entertains other senators at his condo. eFrancisco, a top-tier potential replacement for Skelos, has his own $722,000 castle on Sanibel Island, just off Fort Myers. He is often at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, where his his wife Linda has become a golf champion. He distinguished himself earlier this year by taking his pension atop his salary after publicly promising he never would — a double dipper, just like Libous. Farley, the longest serving member of the Senate, is also on the southwest side in Port Richey, a good bit north of Fort Myers. Nozzolio, who represents the Finger Lakes, apparently prefers the 36-hole course at Tuscany at Hammock Dunes, where in 2012 he got a condo that previously sold for $1.3 million for a mere $610,000. That's over 200 miles northeast of Fort Myers, near Jacksonville. Also buying that year, Ranzenhofer, got a place far away from the Skelos circle, acquiring a $293,000 home in The Villages, the fastest growing small city in America with 84,000 sudden yet senior residents. It is a Republican dreamland nicknamed The Bubble — a developer-planned city, backed by tax-exempt bonds that have been challenged by the IRS.
Charmian Neary
Next time you read legislators complaining about their low pay, ask where they get the money for their luxury condos…


NYT: Albany Developer Pay to Play Opportunity to Protect Tenants 
Editorial States the Real Estate Corruption Problem, Harm Done by the State's Housing Programs and Then Offers No Real Solutions
A Moment to Fix New York’s Housing Laws (NYT Ed)  Gov. Andrew Cuomo has an opportunity to provide some relief to New Yorkers living in rent-regulated  The arrests of two of the three most powerful men in state government on corruption charges, former Speaker Sheldon Silver of the Assembly and Dean Skelos, the State Senate leader, creates an opening for the third, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to be a hero. He can push through reforms of state laws to give the poor and those of modest means — perennial losers in a game rigged for and by real-estate developers, landlords and self-dealing politicians — a better shot at being able to afford to live in New York City. Helping this cause, too, are the cases Mr. Bharara has brought against Mr. Silver and Mr. Skelos, which have exposed how money and favors are baldly traded in New York, and also laid bare the perfectly legal, if ethically squalid and loophole-riddled, system where corporate donors funnel huge sums to favored politicians, in return for access and attention.* Top beneficiaries of Glenwood LLCs have included Gov. Cuomo ($1.2 million), two Senate Republican Committees ($1.45 million), three Democratic committees ($780,000) and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ($215,000). A bill to close the LLC loophole passed the Assembly in the past and is expected to do so again this year, but in the state Senate it’s stuck in a committee chaired by upstate Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer (R-Batavia). Ranzenhofer has received $94,000 from Glenwood LLCs, records show. * Recent corruption scandals in Albany have been tied to the 421-a tax abatement that saves many real estate companies millions of dollars, as illustrated by looking at a few buildings in New York City, the Daily News’  * The real estate giant at the center of these scandals, Glenwood, has wielded immense clout in Albany with stealth campaign finance contributions to many outside groups in an attempt to impact elections, the Times Union’s Chris Bragg writes:  * Associated Press Covers Cuomo's Ties To The Real Estate FirmAt The Center Of The Silver And Skelos Corruption Cases


How GOP Senators Get Around Federal Mail Fraud Charges
Another GOP lawyer, testifying at the 2009 trial of Skelos predecessor Joe Bruno, said he'd urged members to hand deliver their financial disclosure filings to the ethics office to sidestep possible mail-fraud violations. Postal pigeons might be next. Bruno's conviction — on Skelos-like charges of selling his office for consulting fees — was overturned on a reinterpretation of a federal statute.





Tenant Advocates vs. de Blasio 
As the 421-a Program is Exposed As the Center of Corruption in Albany the Mayor Tries to Save the Giveaway to Developers With Limit Reforms That Even the Real Estate Board Agrees With
The advocates and the mayor want the Legislature to make big changes. These include eliminating a provision in the housing laws that removes vacated apartments from regulation once the rents hit a threshold of $2,500 a month, allowing them to float as high as the gentrification tides will take them. Advocates say this provision has led to the loss of more than 300,000 affordable apartments in the city. Other changes would eliminate landlords’ ability to automatically jack up rents 20 percent when apartments are vacated, and allow landlords to impose only temporary, not permanent, surcharges to pay for major apartment improvements.  Housing advocates are also demanding the outright repeal of the tax break, called 421-a, saying it is a lavish giveaway to builders that produces far too few affordable units. Mr. de Blasio proposes instead a major overhaul. He would eliminate the break for luxury condominiums, like the $100 million penthouse on 57th Street in Manhattan, where 421-a made possible an astonishing 95 percent cut in the tax bill, while tightening it for rental projects. He would require builders across the city to rent at least 25 percent to 30 percent of a new development to the poor and working class; the current 421-a provision requires only 20 percent, and applies only in certain areas of the five boroughs. In return, landlords would receive the tax abatement for 35 years, instead of 20 to 25. Ideally, the Legislature would simply abolish 421-a, a relic of a dreary time when the city truly needed tax incentives to spur construction. But Mr. de Blasio’s measured approach has won the support of the powerful Real Estate Board of New York, the industry’s lobbying arm, which should help its prospects in Albany. * De Blasio Calls for New 'Mansion Tax' and Reform toDevelopers' Tax Breaks (SNAINFO) * De Blasio's Progressive Vision: More Trickle-DownAffordable Housing (Gothmast)



NYT Says Up to Cuomo to Protect Tenants, But Offers Nothing on 421-a 
Or on How to Stop Developer Pay to Play Albany Corruption 
Mr. Cuomo has suggested that because of all the turmoil in Albany, now is not the best time for housing reform. He seems to want to preserve the laws and the tax break as they are. That would be a poor choice, and a horribly missed opportunity. The governor should distance himself from Albany’s status quo and join Mr. de Blasio in leading a coalition of the honorable, to give some relief to more than two million New Yorkers in rent-regulated apartments, who live in constant fear of crippling rent increases and displacement from their homes.* Mayor de Blasio’s Plan Aims to Spur More Affordable Housing in New York (NYT) Housing programs and tax incentives would be overhauled to promote the construction of tens of thousands of units for poor New Yorkers, who are being priced out of the booming real estate market. * A pair of left-leaning advocacy groups criticized de Blasio’s plan to reform 421-a – a controversial real estate tax break – calling on the progressive mayor to extract more concessions from the city’s powerful real estate industry. * Mayor Bill de Blasio’s push for affordable housing is causing anxiety for many New Yorkers, in particular the people the program is designed to assist, The New York Times writes:  




Can Litwin's Glenwood Blackmail Cuomo to keep Him From Ending 421-a? @NYGovCuomo forgotten Glenwood meetings  (Capital)


The Mayor's Even Given Up A Union-Scale Wage to Save 421-a
Up4NYC, a lobbying coalition of building-trade unions and contractors, criticized the mayor's plan on the grounds that it wouldn’t require developers to pay union-scale wages. “The mayor’s plan will not provide middle-class wages to the workers employed on what will remain mostly taxpayer-subsidized luxury housing, and it will not significantly increase affordable housing production for New Yorkers who need it most,” Pat Purcell, head of the Greater NY Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust, said in a statement. On the other hand, Stephen Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, a lobbying and trade group affiliated with the city’s big developers, praised the mayor’s plan as “ambitious, yet practical,” saying in the de Blasio press release that it will “result in the creation of much more affordable and market-rate, multifamily rental housing in New York City.”



Smith the Ballot Fixer During His Final Campaign Took On The Serious Issue of Race and Gentrification to Win Reelection

I can’t tell you much, but I can tell you one thing: being an African-American who is from Queens, who is independent, who is ambitious, must have upset somebody,” Mr. Smith, whose opponents in the primary are both also black, said. “Be careful who you talk to, be careful what you say. Because they’ve got their eye on southeast Queens, they’re trying to shift it. The same way Harlem is no longer Harlem and Brooklyn is no longer Brooklyn.” “Don’t get caught up with the innuendos, don’t get caught up with the media spin, don’t get caught up with the false allegations. I can’t tell you much, but I can tell you one thing: being an African-American who is from  Queens, who is independent, who is ambitious, must have upset somebody,” Mr. Smith, whose opponents in the primary are both also black, said. “Be careful who you talk to, be careful what you say. Because they’ve got their eye on southeast Queens, they’re trying to shift it. The same way Harlem is no longer Harlem and Brooklyn is no longer Brooklyn.” “You will see my innocence is exactly what I say it is. You find out who is behind the attack on all the African-American leadership in this city, that will come out as well,” he said. “If you don’t believe southeast Queens gentrification is beginning to happen, look around. Sen. Malcolm Smith told a Queens audience that racially motivated forces of gentrification are behind his indictment on charges he tried to bribe his way onto the GOP line in the 2013 NYC mayor’s race. Mr. Smith warned the crowd that the accusations are part of a plot to eliminate a powerful black outer borough politician and target his district for real estate development and racial displacement. “Don’t get caught up with the innuendos, don’t get caught up with the media spin, don’t get caught up with the false allegations.* Smith claims federal bribery rap was a racist conspiracy(NYP)



There is No Discussion Of the Corruption Connected to the 421-a Program as the Extension of the Program is Planned in Albany
Does 421-a Destroy More Affordable Housing By Fueling Gentrification Than It Builds
Affordable Housing Has Become A Band-aid On A Cancer for Elected Officials to Protect Them From What They Are Doing to Our City With Their Tax Breaks to Developers  Corruption probes affecting rent control extensions: Cuomo (NYP) Federal corruption probes of state lawmakers are making it harder to resolve major issues before the Legislature — particularly politically explosive matters such as extension of rent control for New York City, Gov. Cuomo said Friday. “If it was a different time in Albany, frankly, and Albany was a little bit more stable situation, I would normally take these negotiations to Albany and try to work it out among the parties,” Cuomo told business leaders at an Association for a Better New York breakfast. “Albany has a lot going on right now, let’s say.” He was responding to a question asked about the fate of the 421-a tax abatement program for developers and the law covering rent stabilization. Both lapse on June 15.  Tenant advocates are demanding an end to 421-a, which they claim is a giveaway to developers even though it produces units for affordable housing.  Cuomo said even those who support the program — developers and the carpenters union — are at odds over some provisions. At minimum, Cuomo promised that he and the Legislature would simply extend the current laws for both programs with few or no changes. * From Campaign 2013The Bloomberg administration’s ambitious housing plan to create or preserve 165,000 affordable units by the end of June 2014, largely through incentives to private developers, will fall short of meeting the need for affordable housing in the city. “We hardly gained anything because we lost an equal number of units from rent regulation and Mitchell Lama,” said Mr. de Blasio. “There’s over a third of the city paying more than 50% of their income for rent.” Poor Door’ in a New York Tower Opens a Fight Over Affordable Housing(NYT) As public housing becomes a relic, American cities have grown morereliant on developers, who say they can maximize their revenues and build more affordable units, by separating them from their luxury counterparts. * Real Estate Developers, Tax Breakes and Politics * BdB undecided on extending 'affordable' housing tax break (NYP)   * Sad how many of these stories we've heard: Brooklynlandlords pushing black tenants out for whites: (NYP) * The Times Union writes that the New York City real estate market needs tax breaks as much as ice cream trucks need grants to market treats to kids, so the 421-a tax break should be viewed as an integrity test

Albany Times Union Which Has Nothing to Do With City's Poor an Middle Class Losing Their Homes to Gentrification is Opposed to 421-a 
 TU Edit Board: 421-a tax abatements have outlived theirusefulness, now just a giveaway for wealthy political donors: 








The Fights Against 421-a Will Not Be Debated in the Media
Where Are the Calls to Investigate the Corruption of Political System That the 421-a Caused?  Does It Matter How Many More Will Be Arrested?
Tenant advocates are seizing upon the recent corruption charges against Silver and Skelos and Cuomo’s close ties to the real estate industry to push for stronger rent regulations and an end to the 421-a tax break for developers, Gotham Gazette reports:  * Mayor de Blasio seeks sweeping reforms to NY rent laws tosave 1 million affordable apartments (NYDN) * REBNY has endorsed de Blasio’s plan for a so-called “mansion tax” on the sale of houses, co-ops and condominiums worth more than $1.75 million, which is part of a wider political deal that would extend tax breaks for developers and create another revenue source for city housing programs.* Tenant AdvocatesUnsatisfied with De Blasio’s 421-a Proposal (City Limits) "[T]he mayor's 421a reform proposal doesn't resolve the core problem with the current 421a program - that it gives away a lot of money to developers in exchange for very little affordability, at levels unaffordable to most New Yorkers," Moses Gates, blogging for ANHD, wrote. "Specifically, the mayor's 421a reform proposal would give developers the option of a tax break for units that primarily serve residents earning 130 percent of Area Median Income. This means under this proposal NYC would be giving tax breaks to create 'affordable housing' to households earning approximately $110,000 a year, or paying approximately $2,700 a month in rent for a 2-bedroom apartment." t Tenants & Neighbors, executive director Katie Goldstein vowed to keep pushing Albany for deeper reform than the mayor seeks. "We still view 421a as a failed and wasteful program, and elected officials have settled for modest reforms before, when they should have ended it and started over to create affordable housing for low income New Yorkers," she wrote in an email. In a reference to the indictment this week of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos for alleged corruption that included shaping 421-a to meet the needs of a developer, Goldstein added: "The scandals we're seeing in Albany now, which are clearly linked to 421a, will continue to create controversy and will mean increased scrutiny on its renewal this June." * Liberals Question Mayor’s Plan to ReformControversial Tax Break (NYO) *   To buy Albany Glenwood has taken full advantage of a gaping campaign finance loophole.  Corporations can’t contribute more than $5,000 per year to a politician and individuals can’t give more than $150,000 to all races combined per year, but Glenwood legally showers pols with hundreds of thousands of dollars through affiliates called limited liability corporations (LLCs). Since 2005 the company has steered more than $12.8 million to Albany pols — 95% of which came via LLCs, according to a Common Cause analysis.
All About the 421-A Corruption




Progressive Unemployment
City's Job Placement Drops 30% After Living Wage Commitment 
Job placements drop 30 percent after de Blasio’s ‘living wage’ commitment (NYP) Job placements through the city’s employment centers plummeted by nearly 30 percent after the de Blasio administration stopped dealing with employers who pay less than a “living wage” for part-time. work, new data show. About 28,300 applicants were placed into jobs in 2014, compared to 39,800 in 2013 — the final year of the Bloomberg administration. The sharp drop came after the city began requiring participating employers to offer either full-time work or pay at least $10 an hour as of April 2014. The “living wage” requirement was bumped up again last month to $11.50 per hour. *  De Blasio’s ‘progressive’ movement falls short in Britain (NYP) 




More On the City Budget
De Blasio’s budget puts New York City on track to raise taxes while showering money into his preferred programs, which will add to the already-too-high burden on residents when the economy turns south, the Postwrites: * Lawmakers and fiscal watchdogs praised the mayor’s efforts to stash away more than $1 billion to protect the city against an economic downturn, but some advocates, notably those who support city libraries, panned the mayor for a $10 million operating cut. * How Bill de Blasio’s budget puts NYC on track to tax hikes (NYP) * Some Budget Watchdogs Praise Savings in Mayor's Budget, But Say More Has to Be Done * De Blasio, who has settled labor contracts with 75 percent of the municipal workforce, last week raised salaries for tens of thousands of private workers operating under city-funded contracts.
More On the City's Budget




Yesterday de Blasio Said the NYCHA is Not Ready and Very Troubling As Media Talks About Blocks of Money Saving   SAVING NYCHA: Mayor Bill de Blasio says he has freed up nearly half a billion dollars for the city’s public housing system over the next four years, but at least one lawmaker questions the mayor’s accounting, City & State reports:  *  Cuomo and de Blasio’s plans for how to best spend $100 million in state funds for NYCHA differ, with Cuomo turning to state legislators to decide how to dole out the funds in their districts, the DailyNews writes: 




NYP: NYFD Substituted Political Correctness for Safety
 Ex-FDNY commissioner: ‘De Blasio is a disaster’ (NYP) “This guy de Blasio is a disaster,’’ Thomas Von Essen, the former New York City fire commissioner, told me. Von Essen presided over New York’s Bravest on Sept. 11, 2001 — the day terrorists murdered nearly 3,000 innocents, including 343 valiant souls under his command. “I already gave this city my husband. I’m not going to give it my son,’’ a woman who lost her firefighter husband on 9/11, and whose son followed in his dad’s footsteps by joining the Fire Department, told me. She asked to remain anonymous so as not to damage her son’s career. A new female firefighter has been assigned to a New York City firehouse — even though the bumbling babe flamed out on a test of physical fitness. She is the first smoke-eater ever to fail the grueling test of endurance and still get a job fighting fires with the FDNY. She’s certain not to be the last. All over this city, people are alarmed that the de Blasio administration has substituted political correctness for safety.* The FDNY has instituted changes to its physical entrance exam that critics charge will water down standards, which stem from a study done to guard against lawsuits, the Post writes

Goodbye Cuomo: Pay to Play Bond Deals
Looks Like Another Fed Drop 

Update
* Despite revelations last week that Cuomo staffers have steered bond work to his campaign contributors, state officials announced they are giving those same donors even more lucrative business, The International Business Times reports: 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Gave Bond Deals To His WallStreet Donors, Despite Federal Rules (International Business Times) New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has since 2012 taken in more than $131,000 in campaign contributions from three major financial firms that were then tapped by his administration to manage state bond work, according to an International Business Times review of campaign finance documents and state bond prospectuses. The Democratic governor accepted the money -- and his officials handed out the government business without competitive bids -- despite federal rules that bar campaign contributors from receiving taxpayer-financed state bond work.  Last week, Cuomo officials designated the three banks that contributed the campaign funds -- JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America -- as the dealers for a $33 million bond issue, enabling the firms to reap lucrative fees. That came on top of the Cuomo administration assigning the firms to manage a $68 million bond issue last fall, even as federal law enforcement officials were investigating allegations that New York lawmakers were doing favors for political donors.

Federal rules bar states from awarding bond work to parties who have donated to gubernatorial campaigns within the last two years (more than $86,000 of the campaign cash from the firms flowed to Cuomo in the last two years). The rules aim to prevent financial firms from gaining influence over officials who have the power to select which firms receive the lucrative bond business. The rules explicitly seek to stop financial companies from circumventing those strictures: They prohibit firms from channeling contributions to bond overseers through PACs, which are giant pools of money distributed to multiple campaign war chests. “The pay-to-play rules are very clear,” said Craig Holman, an ethics expert at the watchdog group Public Citizen. “If Andrew Cuomo’s receiving any money from a PAC controlled by a municipal dealer, he’d be in violation of pay-to-play rules.”

Cuomo’s office declined to answer IBTimes’ questions. Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase said they are in compliance with the federal rules. Though the banks acknowledge that their PACs have contributed to Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaign and also acknowledge that they received state bond work from the Cuomo-controlled New York State Housing Finance Agency, they maintain that the individual bond dealers did not contribute to the PAC that gave to Cuomo. * Cuomo has since 2012 taken in more than $131,000 in campaign contributions from three major financial firms that were then tapped by his administration to manage state bond work without competitive bids and in apparent violation of federal rules.* Cuomo Gave His Wall St Donors Work On $3 Billion In Bonds Weeks After Donations (Albany Project)  The Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have over the past 2 1/2 years received taxpayer-financed contracts to help manage the sale of more than $3 billion worth of bonds for New York state, according to a review of state records by International Business Times. The three banking companies secured this lucrative line of business during the same period they delivered more than $132,000 in campaign contributions to Gov. Andrew Cuomo through political action committees under their corporate control. That’s really, really not a good look for any governor, let alone one that used to be New York’s top law enforcement officer and who ran for governor on a “clean up Albany” platform. It also doesn’t look good that the agency issuing those bonds was up until recently run by the Blackstone bankster who now serves as Cuomo’s right hand man on the 2nd floor, Bill Mulrow, the man who replaced Cuomo enforcer Larry Schwartz. *As state attorney general five years ago, Cuomo made headlines prosecuting so-called “pay-to-play” cases at New York’s pension fund. His investigations ultimately led SEC officials to subject pension funds to the same “pay-to-play” rules that govern bond deals.



Cuomo Forgot His Meeting With Glenwood
Spokesman: Cuomo forgot 2011 meetings with Glenwood execs: (TU) Yesterday in Syracuse, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told Jimmy Vielkind of Capital New York he had “nothing to do” with Glenwood Management, the real estate firm whose money plays a supporting part in the federal corruption cases brought against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and current Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. “I’ve had nothing to do (with Glenwood),” Cuomo said, “except they’ve been political supporters of mine.” Indeed: Through his network of LLCs, Glenwood’s founder Leonard Litwin has been the governor’s biggest donor, as well as the most generous supporter of a host of other politicians, including Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. “Have they ever talked about 421-a (tax abatements) or rent control?,” Vielkind asked, mentioning the two biggest agenda items for what remains of the legislative session. Both are up for renewal in June. “No, never,” the governor said. “They never mentioned that to you or your administration?,” Vielkind doggedly continued. “No,” the governor said.’ Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the governor’s memory failed him. “The Governor did not remember off the top of his head three meetings from five years ago, two of which also included many other industry advocates,” Azzopardi said. “What is clear to everyone is that we emerged that year with the strongest rent regulation laws in decades, which included the creation of a tenant protection unit that has returned more than 37,000 unlawfully deregulated apartments to rent regulation.” * Cuomo spokesman said the governor “forgot” his 2011 meetings with executives from Glenwood Management – the luxury real estate developer that has played a role in both the Skelos and Silver scandals. Cuomo this week insisted he has had “nothing to do” with Glenwood, and “never” spoke with its officials about 421-a.Cuomo changes his tune, admits he did meet with ‘scandal’ firm(NYP) * Cuomo’s forgotten Glenwood meetings (Capital) *  Re Litwin's company: Cuomo's "claim of selectivememory...is difficult to accept." 

From Cuomo's Schedules:
April 18, 2011 2:00 PM Meeting with Charles Dorego and Richard Runes, Glenwood Management
re Rent Regulation Location: Governor’s Conference Room Staff: Larry Schwartz, Senior Advisor Jim Malatras, Deputy Secretary for Policy *** June 3, 2011  12:45 PM Meeting re Rent Regulation  Location: ESDC Conference Room, Staff: Mylan Denerstein, Counsel to the Governor, Larry Schwartz, Senior Advisor to the Governor, Jim Malatras, Deputy Secretary for Policy Management, Betsey Ball, Director of Legislative Affairs, Attendees: Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Leonard Litwin, Glenwood Management Corp,  Charles Dorego, Glenwood Management Corp, Gary Jacob, Glenwood Management Corp, Steven Spinola, REBNY, Arnold Goldstein, RSA, Robert Mujica, Senate Staff, Jim Yates, Assembly Staff, Judy Rapfogel, Assembly Staff, Lou Ann Ciccone, Assembly Staff *** June 16, 2011  5:00 PM Meeting re Rent Regulation, Location: Governor’s Conference Room, Staff: Larry Schwartz, Senior Advisor, James Malatras, Deputy Secretary for Policy Management, Attendees:Robert Mujica, Secretary to the Senate Finance Committee, Steve Spinola, President, REBNY, Joe Strasburg,President, Rent Stabilization Association (RSA), Arnold Goldstein, Chairman of the Board, RSA,  Charles Dorego, SVP & GC, Glenwood Management Corporation (on behalf of Leonard Litwin, President of Glenwood Management and Vice Chairman of RSA, Governor and Secretary of REBNY, and Executive VP of the Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York)







Rolling Stone Puff Piece On de Blasio Daily News "Insulting Arrogance"  
De Blasio: How’m I doing? Ask people outside NYC (NYP) “A lot of people outside New York City understand what happened in the first year of New York City better than the people in New York City,” Bill Deblasio. What an arrogant snake making condescending remarks about New Yorkers, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s doing a great job — just ask people around the country and not the average New Yorker. In a seven-page spread in Rolling Stone magazine, de Blasio liberally patted himself on the back for accomplishments that, he claims, Big Apple citizens don’t quite seem to grasp. “A lot of people outside New York City understand what happened in the first year of New York City better than the people in New York City,” he told the magazine. “But I’m convinced something very special happened here.”

Can You Imagine That the Mayor Says New Yorkers Are Dumb and None of the Elected Officials Attack Him
The Daily News criticizes de Blasio’s “insultingarrogance” displayed in his recent national coverage and trips to Iowa and Nebraska about his first year as mayor while jails run out of control, housing projects crumble and homelessness surges:  * Mayor de Blasio'sepic ego (NYDN Ed) The insulting arrogance displayed by Mayor de Blasio in describing New Yorkers as too dumb to appreciate his greatness will be remembered as a milestone of his mayoralty. De Blasio is sure that he is smart. While he is inarguably right about his IQ, his compulsion to grade his labors as “extraordinary” and “transformative” is indeed extraordinary in distinguishing him from the many politicians convinced of their own brilliance. From the start of the administration, de Blasio’s Mayor Me tendencies have been evident in the discourtesy he has shown in arriving late at even meaningful events — or in blowing them off entirely. So persistent has been his disrespect that no one any longer expects better. More recently, while kids need educating, the parks need tending and garbage needs collecting, de Blasio has focused on claiming the title of America’s progressive tribune. In Iowa and Nebraska and on national TV, he has beat the drum loudly for liberal Democratic social and economic policy. Hosannas from those who share the ideology have confirmed to de Blasio’s ego that worship is his due. So, summing up his freshman year in office, he told an interviewer for Rolling Stone: “A lot of people outside New York City understand what happened in the first year of New York City better than people in New York City. But I’m convinced something very special happened here.” Like jails that have run out of control, housing projects that have crumbled, homelessness that has surged and a signature municipal ID program that still struggles to issue IDs. Oh, and water bills are rising. All hail Bill the Magnificent.** After unveiling a national progressive platform in Washington D.C., New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will travel to Silicon Valley to speak at his daughter’s college, Santa Clara University, Crain’s reports: 



Mayor's Poll Numbers
Latest poll shows ‘lukewarm’ support for de Blasio(NYP) Only 45 percent of New York voters think the city is moving in the right direction, while 49 percent believe it’s going the wrong way, a Wall Street Journal-NBC 4 New York- Marist poll of de Blasio’s performance has found.  An even worse number for the mayor: 57 percent of people in the city think quality of life has gotten worse or stayed the same over the past year, de Blasio’s first as mayor. And those who said it stayed the same did not think that was a good thing, the Journal reported. Only about 20 percent of people think quality of life in the city has improved. The only good news for the mayor was that, despite all the criticism of his performance, his overall approval rating edged up five points over the past year, from 39 percent to 44 percent. One area in which de Blasio has been hammered is his handling of matters involving the NYPD, especially after his soft reaction to unrest in the city after the police-arrest death of Eric Garner last year. According to the poll, only 37 percent of voters approve of the way de Blasio has handled police-community relations, compared with 57 percent who disapprove. The poll also shows that de Blasio has the support of black New Yorkers, 66 percent of whom think he deserves to be re-elected. Only 28 percent of whites would like to see him stay in office eight years. * De Blasio moving NYC in wrong direction: poll (NYDN) * * A Marist poll for The Wall Street Journal and NBC 4 New York found that 49 percent of New York City voters believe the city is moving in the wrong direction, the Journal writes: 





Donovan Wins the 11th Congressional District 
Donovan Wins Race for House Seat Grimm Vacated, A.P. Says (NYT) Daniel M. Donovan Jr., the Staten Island district attorney whose office investigated the chokehold death of Eric Garner, defeated Councilman Vincent J. Gentile, the Democratic candidate. * DA who handled Eric Garner case wins congressional seat (NYP) * Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan wins special election for former Rep. Michael Grimm's congressional seat (NYDN) * * Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donavon defeated New York City Councilman Vincent Gentile, getting 60 percent to Gentile’s 39 percent of the vote, in the special election to replace Rep. Michael Grimm * Working Families Party candidate Diana Richardson won a narrow majority of the vote, just over 50 percent, in the four-way special election for New York State Assembly in Brooklyn to replace Karim Camara, the Timesreports:   * The win makes Donovan the lone Republican from New York City in the House, like Grimm was before him. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who supported Gentile, said the new congressman “will eventually be held accountable for the miscarriage of justice he presided over in Staten Island. This conversation is not over.” * “You sent a message to President Obama, to Nancy Pelosi, and yes, even to Bill de Blasio that their policies are wrong for our nation, they’re wrong for our city and they’re wrong for the 11th congressional district,” Donovan said during his victory speech. * Despite a growing call for him to step down from his leadership post, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos refused to do so, and continued to profess his innocence of federal corruption charges. * Asked about calls from fellow Republicans for him to step down, Skelos replied: “Sometimes, some Republicans have nothing to do but complain because they can’t do anything else.” * “Dean was pretty brazen when he met with the conference,” one source told the Daily News. “He said he is going to fight this. He said he’s going to win – that ‘we’re going to show Preet Bharara.'” * The list of potential replacements for Skelos as majority leader is growing longer, with Sens. Joe Griffo and Jim Seward added to the mix.
43AD The WFP Declares Victory Over Litwin-Like Developers (YNN) * Eric Garner’s Mother Gwen Carr BlamesProsecutor’s Election on Low Minority Turnout (NYO) Now the DA's Race  With Staten Island D.A. Daniel Donovan heading to Congress sometime this month, the jockeying has already begun to replace him, with top Republican elected officials urging State Sen. Andrew Lanza to run, the Observer reports: *Republicans are urging Sen. Andrew Lanza to run for the DA post Dan Donovan will vacate now that he has won this week’s NY-11 special election.CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? -- De Blasio hasn’t called Donovan since the election -- Capital’s Colby Hamilton: Staten Island district attorney Daniel Donovan has yet to receive a congratulatory phone call from Mayor Bill de Blasio, after winning a special election to Congress on Tuesday night, a spokesperson for Donovan confirmed to Capital. Donovan, a Republican, easily defeated City Councilman Vincent Gentile in a race to fill the congressional seat that was vacated in January by Michael Grimm, who resigned after pleading guilty to a charge of federal tax fraud. When he takes the oath of office this month, Donovan will become the city’s only member of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. “They haven't connected yet, but the mayor looks forward to working with Congressman-elect Donovan to strengthen New York City,” de Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak said in an email. Dan Donovan, the Staten Island DA involved in the Eric Garner chokehold case, was sworn in as the House’s newest GOP member, replacing ex-Rep. Michael Grimm, who quit Congress after pleading guilty to tax fraud. De Blasio called Donovan, and said the two had a “very good talk” and “look forward to working together.” Donovan’s deputy, Chief Assistant District Attorney Daniel Master, was sworn in as the acting DA in Staten Island. State law allows Cuomo to appoint a temporary district attorney in the event of a vacancy. But with the seat up for election this year, it’s uncertain if he will be willing to call another special election.
More On Congress Donovan 







Skelos Pay to Play 421-a With Glenwood and the Feds Turn Team Litwin
Lobbyists Panic As Biggest Campaign Contributor is Not A Federal Witness
During the Dec. 20, 2010, meeting, Skelos expressed thanks for Glenwood’s support of Senate Republicans.  Skelos  “directly asked” Litwin and the exec — who is cooperating with the feds — to pay title-insurance commissions to his son, then repeated the request as they were walking out, according to the criminal complaint. The exec arranged a $20,000 payment to Adam and also served as a linchpin in getting him hired by AbTech Industries as a $4,000-a-month consultant, the complaint alleges. Later, the exec “successfully pressured” AbTech to more than double Adam’s salary to $10,000 monthly when father and son threatened to block its $12 million stormwater-treatment contract with Nassau County, the feds say. In exchange, Skelos is accused of voting for legislation that benefited Glenwood financially and then leaning on Nassau officials to pay AbTech’s bills. In a secretly recorded conversation with an AbTech exec, Adam allegedly fumed that “the state is not going to do a f–king thing” for Nassau because it wasn’t paying quickly enough. * REBNY is working behind the scenes to defend the 421-a tax abatement program. * President and CEO of the New York State Association forAffordable Housing Jolie Milstein writes in the Daily News that the future of affordable housing in New York City depends on the renewal of the state’s 421-a tax program: * Corruption in NYS with Pay to Play - Real-estate developerplayed role in Skelos, Silver case 


“If Dorego is involved,” said one lobbyist, speaking on background, “then you can bet more trees are going to fall.”
The federal complaint against Skelos has caused concern in Albany because it shows Charles Dorego, senior vice president of Glenwood Management, is cooperating with the feds and he is close to many,” Capital NewYork reports Charles Dorego, the senior vice president of Glenwood Management, allegedly gave Skelos' son Adam a $20,000 cash payment and steered him title insurance work. Like many big real estate firms, state policy changes on rent control and the 421-a subsidy program are worth millions to Glenwood, and it kept Dean Skelos, the Senate majority leader, quite close. What's prompting concern at the Capitol is that Dorego, as well as Glenwood founder Leonard Litwin, are close to everyone. If Dorego is involved,” said one lobbyist, speaking on background, “then you can bet more trees are going to fall.” In the past four years, Glenwood passed out at least $3.6 million to state politicians and the political committees that support them through a roster of two dozen limited liability companies. Records show it has ties to a dark money group that spent another $1 million attacking Democrats in 2012. It's hard to state definitively, because only some of the L.L.C.s can be readily associated, by address, with their parent company. The contributions flowed across party lines through both chambers of the Legislature, pooling around the men with the most power, regardless of their stated affiliations or ideologies. Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has benefited the most, taking in $1.45 million for his campaign committee and the soft money account he controls at the Democratic State Committee. Glenwood is also the largest donor to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Tom DiNapoli, both Democrats. State Senator John DeFrancisco, a Syracuse-area Republican who chairs the chamber's finance committee, allowed a subtle hint. “If the political donor's been giving a lot of money to everybody, maybe a question is how come one of the many get indicted and others don't,” he said. “I can't imagine.” Litwin, a centenarian, has receded from the scene in recent years, according to people who know him. That's left Dorego and the company's stable of lobbyists (which includes two former state senators, Nick Spano and Carl Andrews) to mix with politicians at fund-raisers and check in when major legislation is being drafted in nondescript rooms tucked into the Capitol's upper floors. Glenwood was also revealed in the recent complaint against former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver as one of the clients of a tax certiorari firm that paid the Democratic lawmaker undicslosed fees. Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney who is prosecuting both Skelos and Silver, accelerated his investigation when he inherited the files of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption after lawmakers disbanded it in 2014. It subpoenaed major real estate developers—amid concerned entreaties from Cuomo's aides—in search of a nexus between their giving and the bills granting them subsidies.


How Litwin's Glenwood Purchased NY's Govt and Political System
Albany shivers after Bharara flips a major donor (Capital) Charles Dorego, the senior vice president of Glenwood Management, allegedly gave Skelos' son Adam a $20,000 cash payment and steered him title insurance work. Like many big real estate firms, state policy changes on rent control and the 421-a subsidy program are worth millions to Glenwood, and it kept Dean Skelos, the Senate majority leader, quite close. What's prompting concern at the Capitol is that Dorego, as well as Glenwood founder Leonard Litwin, are close to everyone. “If Dorego is involved,” said one lobbyist, speaking on background, “then you can bet more trees are going to fall.” * As tenants rail against subsidy, REBNY comes out swinging (Capital)  Real estate lobby argues 421-a vital to rental development 


Glenwood the Core of 3 Men In A Room 
Glenwood is the Real Producer of Three Men In the Room . . . Glenwood's Litwin Bought NY's Govt and These Guys Sold It To Him . . . Is Bharara Going After Cuomo? Connect the Dots
Glenwood is at the core of 3-men-in-room doing Glenwood's bidding, each for their own private bilateral reasons. If Gentling could "own" the 2012 State of the State Casino address with their late-2011 funds-infusion, one can only imagine what Leonard Litwin's Glenwood, a durable big money donor "owned"? Laws? * NYC development firmtied to Skelos, Silver affairs (TU)  Glenwood Management a top greaser of political wheels. Glenwood's payments to another top lawmaker, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, played a major role in this year's other major ethics scandal. As lawmakers deal with the renewal of rent laws and real estate tax breaks in the waning days of this year's legislative session, they may feel pressure to distance themselves from the powerful firm. The complaint revealed that Dorego began cooperating only last month. Glenwood has long been among the state's biggest political donors, and has taken advantage of a loophole in state election law that allows limited liability companies to donate as much as individual donors. In fact, the federal complaint released Monday says that Skelos asked Dorego to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations, even as Skelos was allegedly pressing Dorego to steer lucrative work to Skelos' son, Adam, who also was charged Monday. Glenwood is Gov. Andrew Cuomo's biggest campaign donor and a major part of two politically generous landlord groups, the Rent Stabilization Association and the Real Estate Board of New York. In 2013, former top Cuomo aide Larry Schwartz reportedly tried to stop a subpoena from theMoreland Commission, an investigative panel convened by Cuomo, for information about REBNY's political giving and a valuable tax break related to new housing. REBNY eventually provided the information voluntarily. After Cuomo shut down Moreland in 2014, Bharara's office picked up many of its investigations — while also probing potential Cuomo administration interference and the circumstances surrounding the panel's demise in March 2014. REBNY was also among the biggest players in the Committee to Save New York, a nonprofit that spent millions early in Cuomo's tenure to push through his legislative agenda. "I think it's astonishing that Glenwood is involved in the Sheldon Silver scandal, and the Dean Skelos scandal, and is the biggest single donor to Andrew Cuomo," said Michael McKee, treasurer of the group Tenants PAC, which is perpetually at odds with the real estate industry. "It's the perfect example of how corrupt the system really is." * Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos calls the criminalcomplaint against him "a glorified press release" (NYP) * Conservative Party head urges Skelos to step down (NYP) * Dean Skelos Thwarted Reform and Maintained Power, Despitethe Odds (Gotham Gazette) * Skelos, on his flock: “They know I'm innocent, just like Iknow I'm innocent, and now we're focused on governing."  (Capital) * Another Senate Republican Calls For Skelos To Step Down (YNN) * Skelos: Criminal Complaint A ‘Press Release’ (YNN) * Gianaris: ‘It’s A Mistake’ To Keep Skelos Leader (YNN) * Astorino Dings Senate Republicans (YNN) * For you Game of Thrones fans out there: “(US Attorney Preet) Bharara is going Lord Baelish in the Five Boroughs. He knows where the bodies are buried. He’s the one burying them.”* Activists rallied outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan offices and criticized his comments that corruption cases in Albany may make it difficult to push for serious rent regulation changes, the Observerreports

Lobbyists Working for Glenwood Management
Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin Llc $150,000
Carl Andrews & Associates, Inc. $ 144,000
Empire Strategic Planning, Inc. $ 144,000
Meara, Brian R. Public Relations, Inc. $120,000
Lieberman, Mark L. $90,000
Sanzillo, Francis J. & Associates $90,000
Runes, Richard $60,000
Park Strategies $20,000



Where Was the DA or AG? Finance Commissioner Pay to Play With Love Shack Provided Glenwood in 2012?
Skelos, Son Charged With Fraud And Extortion (YNN)* Glenwood Management cooperating witness appears from complaint to be Charles Dorego. Glenwood referring calls to a criminal defense attorney. Dorego gave former Finance Commissioner Stock an apt inexchange for cut Glenwood's taxes   Developer won't be charged, Bharara says, bc agreed to assist in case. Commission paid to Adam S. for title insurance work, no work done.Bharara: Skelos met with developers and asked for money to go to his son. His son performed no work for $20K * Records show that one of those listed, Glenwood executive Charles Dorego, raised $167,500 for city campaigns in the 2013 election   AbTech Linked to Dorego and Litwin's GrandsonTwo men with close ties to the real estate company — Charles Dorego, a top Glenwood executive, and Steven Swarzman, a grandson of Glenwood's longtime principal, Leonard Litwin — have signed public records filed by the company that invested in AbTech's parent company, Abtech Holdings. Mr. Swarzman became friends with AbTech's founder in Arizona, and, impressed by the environmental sponge, became AbTech's East Coast distributor, according to a 2006 article in Newsday.
Bottle whatever it is Leonard Litwin takes to be politically potent at 100. His FBI codename must be 'Viagra.'



 Skelos, on wire, explains the duties of Senate majority leader to his son: "I'm going to control everything."  Indictment claims Adam Skelos made money from campaign contributors to his dad, Sen Dean Skelos, which had biz before state * Indictment says that in March Adam Skelos said: ethics reform measure 'is kind of getting in the way.' Bharara: Skelos met with developers and asked for money to go to his son. His son performed no work for $20K Watch: Bharara: on mulitple occassions Skelso met with developer and requested commisison for his son. developer then directed money to son. The cooperating witness (a senior exec at mega-donor Glenwood Management) has a non-prosecution agreement with Preet's office. Albany shakes. Bharara:  Dean Skelos allegedly used his power & influence as Senate Maj Ldr to illegally enrich his son, Adam, and indirectly, himself * #Corruption is deep-seeded in both chambers of the legislature and both sides of the aisle. * Is Assemblywoman Cook A Rat In Hiding Against Her Fellow Lawmakers More Likely the Prosecutors Have Failed to Clean Up Her Corruption

Albany Lawmakers Silent About Their Corrupt Leaders and Fellow Members
Skelos was not concerned w/ what was good for NY but rather "what was good for his son's bank accounts," US Atty says * Preet: "Public corruption...a problem in both chambers, a problem on both sides of the aisle...we are deadly serious" in tackling problem. * Bharara: Dean Skelos told son to cancel meetings with other lawmakers, saying "We are in dangerous times." "We have a public corruption unit that we have no intention of disbanding," Preet Bharara says, presumably in sly nod to Moreland Commission Preet: "We have a public corruption unit that we have no intention of disbanding." * There are those words again by #Preet: "Stay tuned..

Skelos said having rent regs expire every 2 years great for excitement. He meant $$$
We have a Public Corruption Unit, which we do not intend to disband." * first silver, now skelos. preet bharara continues workinghis way through the albanycorruption alphabet: * Dean Skelos has to give up his gun following today'scriminal charges:  * "It's like [expletive] Preet Bharara is listening to every [expletive] phone call," Dean Skelos's son griped to him in call recorded by feds * Skelos said having rent regs expire every 2 years great forexcitement. He meant $. (City and State) * Gotham Gazette examines how Skelos came to inherit hisleadership position from former state Sen. Joe Bruno and maintained his power by opposing reforms and cutting deals with Democrats:

Just Like Drug Dealers Burner Phones
Skelos's son used a burner phone in an effort to avoid government surveillance, complaint says: "Burners can give you a measure of anonymity, but they’re by no means untraceable.."


    The Charges Against the GOP Leader  
     Here is the 43-page criminal complaint against Dean Skelosand son Adam Skelos  * Skelos not accused of using own law firm for $$$ gain.So if he was full-time legislator,as ''reformers'' want,what difference would it make? *Arrest sheds new context on Skelos' call for the 421-a taxbreak program to expire every two years:  (City and State) * maybe gov. cuomo should have just left the financial settlement $$ to @AGSchneiderman. Charges say Skelos sought to direct some to son's co. * Dean Skelos and his son continued their bribery scheme evenafter the indictment of Sheldon Silver, officials say:  (DNAINFO)  Dean Skelos, New York Senate Leader,and Son Are Arrested on Corruption Charges (NYT) Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son were arrested early on Monday by federal authorities on corruption charges  The charges against them were expected to be detailed in a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Manhattan and will probably include conspiracy, extortion and bribe solicitation, a person with knowledge of the matter has said. Indictment accuses Sen Maj Leader Skelos, son of threatening to block a contract award in Nassau County if payments to son weren't increased Real Estate Unnamed 'Senior executive of a major real estate firm' a key to fed case against Sen Maj Leader Skelos, indictment says 





    Senator Ken LaValle Connected to Glenwood Can't Move Against Skelos
    NYC developer at theheart of Albanyscandals is big donor to L.I. pols, including Sen. Ken LaValle (River Head) State Senator Ken LaValle is among the top recipients of campaign cash spread around the New York by the real estate developer at the heart of the corruption scandal that has rocked Albany, resulting in the arrests of both the assembly speaker and senate majority leader this year. Since 2012, the veteran First District senator took in $62,500 in campaign contributions from entities affiliated with Glenwood Management Corp. Glenwood and its founder, Leonard Litwin, figure prominently in the criminal accusations leveled against Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.




    Sexual Charges Against Councilman King and Child Support Dead Beat
    A former New York City Council staffer plans to file a lawsuit against Bronx Councilman Andy King alleging that he fired her after she turned down his sexual advances, sources tell Capital New York: * Staffer to sue NYC over sexual-harassment claims (NYP) *  Councilman facing harassment suit is looking for interns (NYDN) The woman, who got the boot earlier this year, filed a notice of claim with the city controller Tuesday for a $1.25 million suit for sexual harassment and wrongful termination. “King created a hostile work environment by sexually harassing and intimidating claimant,” the papers say, also charging he “made demeaning, sexist remarks” and “inappropriate, unwelcome advances.” The claim also alleges he abused his power by trying to change caucus rules to give himself sole power to hire and fire staff. * Councilman accused of sexual harassment didn’t pay child support for over 2 years: records (NYP) Councilman Andy King, who represents Edenwald and Co-op City, didn’t cough up $103 weekly payments to his baby mama, Lisa Seignious,from March 2007 to October 2009, records show. King agreed to the payments through a “judgment by confession” in which he acknowledged owing $12,937 to Seignious. He paid it in July 2010. The councilman, known for his bow ties and brightly-hued threads, did not return calls from The Post Sunday.


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    Litwin Gaming Government an the Election System, But to Big to Be Indicted? 
    Nonprofit that helped Senate G.O.P. discloses ties to Litwin (Capital) A nonprofit group that helped State Senate Republicans cling to power in 2012 paid nearly $700,000 that year to two longtime associates of Leonard Litwin, a real estate magnate who is the state's largest campaign donor, records show. Common Sense Principles, a 501(c)(4) group that funded advertisements attacking marginal Democrats, paid $550,000 to Richard Runes for legal work and $140,000 to Frank Sanzillo, a lobbyist, for “consulting,” it stated on a 2012 I.R.S. filing. The group's advertisements never explicitly said voters should support or oppose a particular candidate, which under state law freed it from disclosing spending and fund-raising activity to the State Board of Elections. A separate disclosure indicated it spent over $1 million. *Nonprofit that helped Senate G.O.P. discloses ties to Litwin (Capital) A nonprofit group that helped State Senate Republicans cling to power in 2012 paid nearly $700,000 that year to two longtime associates of Leonard Litwin, a real estate magnate who is the state's largest campaign donor, records show. Common Sense Principles, a 501(c)(4) group that funded advertisements attacking marginal Democrats, paid $550,000 to Richard Runes for legal work and $140,000 to Frank Sanzillo, a lobbyist, for “consulting,” it stated on a 2012 I.R.S. filing. The group's advertisements never explicitly said voters should support or oppose a particular candidate, which under state law freed it from disclosing spending and fund-raising activity to the State Board of Elections. A separate disclosure indicated it spent over $1 million. Skelos, who reportedly could face indictment this week, acknowledged that federal investigators have been examining his business dealings. The New York Times reported that investigators have asked for details about Abtech, an Arizona-based company that employs the senator's son, won a $13 million contract from Nassau County. Glenwood executive vice president Charles Dorego signed public records from companies that invested in Abtech.


    Real Estate Lobbyists PAC to Keep the GOP in Control of the Senate Hidden In Florida and Virginia 
    Common Sense Principles disclosed some of its spending as lobbying. It listed a single donor, the Center for Common Sense L.L.C., which was traced to an accounting office in Florida. Late in 2013, Capital reported that a PAC run by New York City landlords, the Neighborhood Preservation PAF, declared a $10,000 contribution to an entity called Common Sense NY. Litwin is the vice chairman of the Rent Stabilization Association, an affiliate of the PAC. It was not possible to reach Common Sense Principles or its president, Chris LaCivita, for comment. He has never been interviewed about the group's spending. The organization is registered to a post office box in Virginia, and the number it lists on I.R.S. forms is the Warrenton, Virginia office of the law firm of Holtzman, Vogel Josefiak. A woman who answered the phone there Friday had no information about Common Sense Principles or any guidance on how to reach LaCivita. In a preliminary report, the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption expressed frustration with its inability to determine who funneled money into Common Sense Principles' attack efforts. “Service of the Commission’s subpoenas cannot be perfected on either the Virginia-based 501(c)(4) entity or the Florida companies,” commissioners wrote in December 2013. “This daisy chain of out-of-state corporations and 'ghost companies' appears to exist for one reason: to hide the source of money used to fund negative advertising and influence our local elections.




    In Albany Its All About Protecting Their Mob Leaders, Not the Public From Corruption
    Bharara has been on a crusade ever since Cuomo disbanded his own anti-corruption commission in March 2014. “Archimedes said to move Earth itself, all he needed was a long-enough lever and a place to stand,” Bharara recently told a ­forum at Fordham Law School.
    The specific charges against Senator Skelos, 67, and his son, Adam, 32, were not immediately known, but were expected to be announced as early as Monday.* State Sen. Dean Skelos and son, Adam, likely to be arrestednext week, reports say (Newsday) * DEAN OF 'CORRUPTION': Prosecutors set to announce criminal charges against senate leader Skelos, son on Monday (NYDN) * Wall Street Journal, NY Times: Skelos, Son Could Be Arrested on Corruption Charges as Early as Monday (NY1) * Feds set to indict Dean Skelos on corruption charges * Feds set to indict Dean Skelos on corruption charges (NYP) The Democrats will unleash a “fierce campaign’’ to get Skelos to step down if the Long Island lawmaker is charged, The Post’s ­Fredric U. Dicker reported earlier this week. * SUCCEEDING SKELOS: PROS AND CONS OF POTENTIAL CANDIDATES (City and State)
    IDC GOP Senate Coalition and Skelos 





    More Albany and Their Lobbyists On FBI Tape  . . .  Bharara Stay Tuned
    Sheldon Silver Probe Prompts Wiretaps on New Targets,Sources Say (DNAINFO) Federal investigators have begun wiretapping a new set of potential targets as a result of the probe that led to the indictment off former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, DNAinfo has learned. Investigators in the U.S. Attorney's office and the FBI obtained court authorization to eavesdrop on an ever-expanding group of possible corrupt government officials and those who do business with them, including lawyers, lobbyists and contractors, sources said. The targets came to light during the two-year investigation of the powerful state Assembly leader — during which federal corruption fighters found “numerous new tentacles” to pursue, sources said.  Federal authorities were "already listening to numerous people in various places" on unrelated investigations before looking into Silver, and his "case provided a bunch of new places to wiretap,” a law enforcement source told "On The Inside."  The revelation that there is a new wave of federal eavesdropping from the speaker’s probe is certain to rattle an already-anxious Albany, where dozens of lawmakers have been convicted on corruption charges, many of them secretly caught on tape. In recent years, secret recordings and wiretaps have helped nail lawmakers on corruption-related charges including state Sen. Malcolm Smith, Councilman Daniel Halloran, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson and Assemblyman Nelson Castro. “Stay tuned,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara warned state legislators after announcing Silver’s indictment in February. * Federal investigators reportedly have begun wiretapping a new set of potential targets as a result of the probe that led to the indictment off former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.


    A City of Sheep Have Not Demanded That Political Corruption Be Stopped
    U.S. Attorney Criticizes Albany’s ‘Three Men in a Room’ Culture(NYT) Preet Bharara, speaking at the New York Law School, took direct aim at how deal-making has long been done in the state capital. Preet riffs on New York for being the ‘sitcom’ state(NYP) People need to demand more, Bharara says before quoting Edward R Murrow: 'a nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves'* - time for reform is now. Time for people to demand more from their pols. * "I'm very confused about the Moreland Commission" like many others, Bharara says, done thinking about its powers (doing own investigations) * "The purpose of school is to educate people...if all our schools did was teach to the test, we'd have a bunch of crappy people" -Bharara * People need to demand more, Bharara says before quoting Edward R Murrow: 'a nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves' Bharara: reforms are needed; and we almost had that with the Moreland Commission (audience grumbles)* "A lot of people can't name their state legislators, they can't name 2 of the 3 men in the room" Bharara says, adding public must care.

    Why Are the DAs Not Finding Corrupt Pols?
     Bharara has argued that prosecutors to take policy positionson criminal justice reform, why not corruption?(TU)* Why Are NYC's DAs Not Indicting Pols?







    Prosecutors Build Case Against Sampson
     Federal prosecutors can argue to a Brooklyn jury that state Sen. John Sampson lied under oath when he claimed he “could not recall” in response to more than 100 questions about the bidding process for a racino at Aqueduct, the Daily Newsreports: * Federal prosecutors can argue to a Brooklyn jury that Sen. John Sampson lied under oath to investigators when he claimed he “could not recall” in response to more than 100 questions about the bidding process for a racino at Aqueduct, a federal judge ruled.
    More About John Sampson




    Look What the Media Has Done to NY
    U.S. Attorney Over A Year Ago Beg the Press to Help Him Clean Up NY . . . They Turn Their Back to Him, Even Attack Him, Now He is Doing It Himself








    One Year Ago   Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY) "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara. The press has a role to play. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said 

    His crusade to “clean up government” is particularly essential because Albany has so much power over local municipalities, including New York City, he contended. With less federal help than there used to be, a more honest, efficient and incorruptible state government is needed more than ever, Mr. Bharara said. “What happens in Albany is important, what transpires there is important. Even state legislators, believe it or not, are important,” he said to some laughter. “We need a state government that is willing to and capable of tackling the pressing public policy challenges of our time.” Mr. Bharara was not shy about touting the political scalps he’s racked up. Using the example of his office winning a corruption conviction of former Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, Mr. Bharara said he began to question just how much legislation had been for sale in Albany. “How many past bills were born of bribery?” he asked. * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says his corruption investigations will help to improve a “broken down” political system. * Preet Bharara branches out (Capital)* Preet Bharara’s speech fuels speculation of a run for office (NYP) * Bharara Says Corruption Probes Are Not Done; Cuomo Says Lifein State Capitol More Complicated(NY1)
    Bharara Trying to Repair New York's Broken Democracy Does the Job of the Press and the Missing Reform Political Leaders



    ProsecutorDenies Creating a ‘Media Firestorm’ Over Sheldon Silver’s Arrest (NYT) * Preet Bharara DefendsHis Public Appearances at Zephyr Teachout Forum (NYO) Mr. Bharara told the filled room at the law school’s Lincoln Center campus that his public denunciations of Albany’s “culture of corruption” are intended to raise awareness of the ethics dilemmas facing the state government, to deter potential bad actors and to encourage well-intentioned public officials to push back against the problem.“Part of your job as a law enforcement official, whether you’re a prosecutor, or the Attorney General, or the FBI director, is to help prevent crime and deter crime.” * “It’s not enough to simply make sure we’re getting rid of the bad folks,” the US attorney said. “We want to make sure we are empowering, or sometimes embarrassing, good folks at any institution that exists to do something when they see something.”


    Albany Is Really In Panic Because Silver and Skelos Could Rat and Put Many in Jail
    Dean Skelos probe has Albany on edge (NYP) The federal probe of state Senate GOP Majority Leader Dean Skelos throws a potential monkey wrench into the final leg of the legislative session, when Albany grapples with numerous issues important to the city, insiders said Friday. Among the issues: renewal of rent-control laws, real-estate tax breaks, mayoral control of schools, raising the charter-school cap, education tax credits to parochial schools, and criminal-justice reforms.  “It’s unlikely that much gets done this session,” one upstate senator said. “Too much uncertainty.” When they return from a two-week holiday recess on Monday, lawmakers will be more focused on theinvestigation of Skelos and his son, Adam, than on end-of-session legislation, the senator said.*Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who is facing a federal investigation, said he has no plans to step down from his leadership position in the face of allegations, the Times Union writes: Friday Lawmakers: Skelos Won’t Be A Distraction(YNN)* Gov. Cuomo had a secret re-election 'pact' with Dean Skelos / Republicans via @nypost * With Dean Skelos's Son Aboard, AbTech Seemed Confident in Bid for Nassau County Contract (NYT) * Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not mention state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos in a speech to the Association for a Better New York and afterward would not comment on a federal investigation into Skelos and his son, the Observer reports:  * Gibson: Three Men In A Room ‘No Way To Govern’ (YNN) Rep. Chris Gibson last week in a Capital Tonight interview said the ongoing federal investigation into Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is yet another a good argument for term limits and democratizing the Legislature * New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox criticized U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office for leaking the details of an investigation of the state’s highest-ranking GOP elected official, State of Politics writes:  




    Wow is A Manhattan Judge Protecting A Taxi Boss? 
    Judge afraid taxi king’s debt case could cripple yellow-cab industry (NYP) A Manhattan judge said the city’s yellow-cab industry is so shaky that he was afraid of making any sudden moves in the debt case against taxi king Gene Freidman — lest the jurist risk crippling the beleaguered industry.“It’s like people listening to the Federal Reserve,” said Manhattan Supreme Justice Jeffrey Oing. “I’m trying to avoid seizure here because of the ripple effect. It’s a fragile situation.” *  De Blasio medallion delay could be boost yellow cab industry(NYP) * Uber and Internet Giants Assail New York City’s Plan to Bolster Rules for Car-Hire Apps *NYT) Under the proposal, smartphone app operators must get city approval to modify certain changes to any app used to arrange vehicles for hire. * Facebook, Google, Twitter and other major Internet companies issued a public rebuke of the de Blasio administration over a rule proposed by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, The New York Times reports: * Taxi Panic Button Proposal Stirs Questions About Safety and False Alarms (NYT)  New York councilman has introduced a bill that would require cabs and car services to provide a back-seat button for passengers in peril, but drivers’ advocates say they have concerns.Taxi boss, who owes $31M to bank, makes deal to halt seizure of medallions (NYDN) * Taxi King to shell out $25K a month in child support (NYP)










    Press Will Continue to Ignoring Bharara Pleas to Investigate Corruption as Judge Silences Prosecutor 

    Bharara to Journalist Investigate Stop Copying My Press Releases do Investigative Reporting



    One Year Ago in True News



    Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY) "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara. The press has a role to play. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said  Money for the Movies an TV Also Bill Hammond: Cuomo’s billion-dollar baby (NYDN)



    Why Do We Have Lower Standards for Clowns On NY1 Than Elected Officials?

    NY1 Suspends Curtis Silwa Because of Comments Against Mark-Viverito



    NY1 indefinitely suspended political commentator Curtis Sliwa after he made lewd comments about Mark-Viverito and ahead of a planned protest calling on the channel to drop him, NY1 suspends Curtis Sliwa 'indefinitely' for salacious comments on Mark-Viverito (NYDN)

    New Yorkers Still Paying for Lopez Silver Hush Fund Cover-Up Settlement Tax Payer to Pay $545,000

    Lopez accusers reach settlement with state(Capital) Two former Assembly employees who filed a lawsuit against New York State after they said they were sexually harassed by former Assemblyman Vito Lopez have reached a settlement, according to their attorney. The two women, Victoria Burhans and Chloë Rivera, will receive a total of $580,000 as part of the settlement. The state will pay $545,000 of that sum, and Lopez will pay $35,000. Lopez resigned from the Assembly in May 2013 after a state ethics report accused him of harassing as many as eight of his former staffers in prior years. The case raised questions about the judgment of then-speaker Sheldon Silver, who had quietly settled prior accusations from Lopez staffers accusing him of sexual harassment, instead of bringing the matter to the Assembly’s ethics committee. 
    Taxpayers to pay$545K in pervy former Assemblyman Vito Lopez sexual harassment settlement(NYDN) * Former Lopez Staffers Reach $580K Settlement(YNN)* Taxpayers to pay $545K in pervy Vito Lopez sex harass case(NYP) * Harassment Suit Against Former Assemblyman Vito Lopez and Sheldon Silver Is Settled (NYT)Two former aides had accused Vito J. Lopez of sexual harassment while he was in office, and Mr. Silver, who was at the time the Assembly speaker, of essentially facilitating it by not acting forcefully to prevent it. * Ex-Vito Lopez aides accept $580K settlement with state(NYP)
    More on the Albany Hush Fund Scandal 







    Illegal Gas Hook Up At the Carnegie Deli
    Carnegie Deli closed in Midtown over gas line issue  (WABC) New York's famous Carnegie Deli has been closed so utility workers can investigate a possible illegal gas hookup. * Carnegie Deli Closed Over Gas Line Issue (WCBS) * NYC's famed Carnegie Deli closed for illegal gas line hookup (NYDN)* Closing of Famed Carnegie Deli Amid ConEd Investigation Disappoints Diners (NYT) The discovery of evidence that the restaurant had been misappropriating gas came amid heightened worries about illegal gas tampering after a fatal explosion in the East Village in March. * Chef sues over injuries suffered in East Village blast (NYP)






    Shadow Government Lobbyists That Help Mark-Viverito Become Speaker . . . Eat the King They Made Meat
    Private Lobbying Groups Like The MirRam Group Elected Mark-Viverito Speaker Not the Elected Party Leaders of the Voters
    The Advance Group was not the only lobbying firm to help. Early in Ms. Mark-Viverito's speaker bid, an employee from another lobby firm close to Ms. Mark-Viverito, the MirRam Group, handled an inquiry from Crain's for a story about her past refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. MirRam also was not paid for work on the speaker race. But MirRam maintains the work was merely related to Ms. Mark-Viverito's 2013 City Council bid—for which MirRam was paid—though that campaign had ended weeks before the Crain's inquiry. MirRam has since successfully lobbied Ms. Mark-Viverito on behalf of other clients.* Just don't call these consultants lobbyists(CrainsNY)*CrainsNY also reported Mark-Viverito is getting help by two other consultant lobbyists firms, Bishop Pitta Del Giorno and the Mirram Group. The first two have deep labor connections, while the latter has ties in the Hispanic community and in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Ms. Mark-Viverito was escorted around Brooklyn's Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club recently by Michael Cohen, a Bishop Pitta consultant, according a source in attendance. 




    After the Council Rubber Stamps the Mayor's Budget and the Cops Turn Back On Him the Speaker Becomes the Leader of the Anti NYPD Effort
    Triangulation of A Puppet Speaker?

    Mulgrew "Gum up the works"
    ‘Great place’: De Blasio’s budget leaves a (mostly) contented Council(Capital)* As he presented his $73.9 billion budget at City Hall Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was giving up on his campaign promise to get rid of the City Council's discretionary funding, saying he and the Council have "agreed to disagree" on the topic.* Friction by press release only
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    ..


    Was Mark-Viverito's Election for Speaker illegal?

    Speaking of speakers (NYDN Ed)  Gifts of service to Melissa Mark-Viverito must not go unpunished. When, after the 2013 elections, then-Councilwoman Mark-Viverito was angling, with Mayor de Blasio’s enthusiastic backing, to become Speaker Mark-Viverito, she relied on the help of a well-connected political consulting and lobbying firm called the Advance Group. The pros helped her prepare for debates, network with county leaders, court fellow Council members — and win the second-most powerful job in city government. She got those usually high-priced services for the low, low price of zero dollars and zero cents. In other words, Mark-Viverito received a highly valuable in-kind campaign contribution from a company with lots of business before the city — including representing dozens of clients who regularly lobby the Council. This column urged the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board to take up the matter. The City Charter, after all, states: “No public servant shall accept any valuable gift . . . from any person or firm” who “is or intends to become engaged in business dealings with the city.” To its credit, the board has now opened up a case; the speaker has filed campaign finance statements that she has spent $20,000 on lawyers to represent her. What could her defense possibly be? Neither the facts of her accepting freebies nor the rules against it are in dispute. She should be fined the max possible, $25,000. Even still, she’ll end up getting away with having violated the charter in order to be one of the top officials sworn to uphold it.

    Have the Progressive Caucus Also Violated the City Ethic Law By Asking A Lobbyist to Work for Free ?
    From the NYT: "The caucus asked a labor official, Alison Hirsh, the political director of 32BJ, the union of janitors and doormen, to negotiate with the county chairmen, other council members and speaker candidates on its behalf." Alison Hirsh, who is a registered lobbyist. The progressive has not registered with the BOE and CFB to legally hire a lobbyist.

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


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

    The Speakers Lobbyists Cash In

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


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





    Feds Bag Consultant Who Illegally Coordinated Campaigns and PACs 
    Feds Investigating the Advance Group
    G.O.P.Consultant Pleads Guilty in PAC Case(NYT) A Virginia-based Republican political consultant pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges that he illegally coordinated spending between a 2012 congressional campaign and a “super PAC,” federal prosecutors said. The consultant, Tyler E. Harber, was accused of managing a congressional campaign while helping create and direct a super PAC that spent $325,000 attacking a rival candidate, according to the Justice Department. The case appears to be the first of its kind brought by federal prosecutors since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, which allowed for the creation of political action committees that can raise and spend unlimited money, including from corporations, so long as they do not coordinate the spending with candidates.* New YorkPanel Approves Fine for Group Against Carriage Horses(NYT)In documents released after its vote on Thursday, the board said it “found credible” statements by NYClass that it did not know the Advance Group was also consulting for Ms. Cumbo’s and Mr. Levine’s campaigns, and that it had relied on the Advance Group’s assurances that NYClass was in compliance with campaign-finance rules.



    The UFT Broke the Law With Advance and None of the Prosecutors Noticed

    Why Did the UFT's PAC United for the Future Hire the Advance Group? Was It Part of A Conspiracy to Coordinate their PAC and the Campaign Consultant?


    The UFT PAC Paid Advance Through the Fake Group Strategic Consultants Inc. $370,000
    Her campaign also got support by two PACs controlled by the Advance Group, NYCLASS and the UFT PAC United for the Future that the UFT tried to hid Advance Groups involvement in with a fake made up company called Strategic Consultants Inc., that CrainsNY found was located in the offices of Advance. Your can bet the farm that with Mayor Bloomberg last minute appointment to the CFB Rose Gill Hearn, his former DOI Commissioner, the finances of Advance client Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and others are in the middle of a hot hot hot investigation that the media is completely missing. * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)

    UFT Controlling Government By Breaking the Election Law . . .   DAs Don't Notice?

    Cover-Up Of Campaign Consultants Advance Group/Red Horse Involvement in UFT PAC United for the Future, Which Conspired To Break Election Law to Control Council

    How Campaign Consultant Lobbyists and The PACs They Controlled Broke the Election Law and Got Away With It and Built A Shadow Government

    The UFT PAC Paid Advance Through the Fake Group Strategic Consultants Inc. $370,000

    Nothing Has Happen - Five Months Ago the Daily News Wrote:

    UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)The city’s powerful teachers union is under fire from good-government groups for apparently trying to hide the identity of a consulting firm it was using to boost union-backed candidates.  "The listing of the phony firm, 'Strategic Consultants, Inc.,' in campaign filings, obscured that Advance Group was being paid both to promote candidates for the United Federation of Teachers' independent political action committee, and working as the main campaign consultant for several of those same candidates." 


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



    On Third of the City Council Was Is Infected With Illegal PAC $$$ From Advance and Red Horse in the 2013 Election  


    Candidates Funding By Advance and Red Horse 
    NYCLASS:  Councilman Mark Levine (Advance Client), Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo: (Advance Client)
    United for the Future: Councilman Mark Levine (Advance  Client), Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo (Advance Client),  Councilman Robert Jackson (Advance Candidate, Boro President Candidate)

    Candidates Funding By Red Horse and Advance's United for the Future PAC:
    Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (Abvance Worked on her Speakers Race)Inez Dickens (Advance Client), Corey Johnson (AdvancePAC) (running against Advance client Yetta Krukland),

    Red Horse Clients Who Received United for the Future Mailings from Red Horse 
    James Vacca, Helen Rosenthal, Annabel Palm, Daneek Miller,  Antonio Reynoso,  Ritchie Torres

    Advance Clients Who Received Mailings from Advance PACs
    Mathieu Eugene, Yetta Krukland, Ydanis Rodríguez,  Rafael L Espinal, Jr.

    Other Council Member Funded By United for the Future
    Costa Constantinides, Mark Weprin (Hudson TG), Karen Koslowitz (Hudson TG),  Elizabeth Crowley (Berlin Rosen Client),  Richard Donovan (Berlin Rosen Client), Inez Barron, Jumaane Williams, Alan Maisel (Brandford), Mark Treyger (Hudson TG),  Debra Rose (Brandford), Steven Matteo, Vincent Ignizio, Eric Ulrich, Rosie Mendez Mendez, Inez E Dickens, Andrew Cohen, Rory Lancman, Steven Levin, Brad Lander




    Mercury's Lobbyist McKeon Speaking for Rat Silver Real Estate Lobbyists Meara to Protect Skelos Form Lobbyists Avella the Rats Parter?
    Meara Avella Dickinson, one of the state's most successful lobbying firms, has dozens of other clients. Though its employees didn't return phone calls, Mike McKeon of Mercury Public Affairs responded to the Times Union on behalf of his friend Meara. In an October 2013 news release, Abtech Holdings — the parent company of AbTech Industries — announced the $12 million contract to construct a stormwater management project for Nassau County. The release stated that another subsidiary of Abtech Holdings, the stormwater engineering company AEWS Engineering, would be involved in the project. More than a year later, AEWS in November 2014 secured Meara Avella Dickinson for "infrastructure" lobbying, records show. The contract was signed by Avella. But according to McKeon, that assignment came not through Glenwood but through another Albany lobbying firm, Capitol Group LLC, which had sought Avella's services. McKeon said the work only lasted two months. * How the Lobbyists Who Make Up the Shadow Government Cover for Each Other and Are Interconnected

    Anyone Who Understand Bharara Knows That Silver Rat Meara Has Become Not Only Skelos's Rat But Others
    The press office for Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano didn't return a request for comment about the scope of work performed as part of that lobbying contract. (The acting Nassau district attorney launched a probe into the county's process for awarding contracts.) Meara "didn't represent AbTech and never did" in any aspect of the $12 million deal, McKeon said. "He had no involvement in the (stormwater) contract. He stopped representing Nassau County long before the contract was awarded." Lobbying disclosures state Meara's firm was getting paid by Nassau though June 2013, but McKeon said his work on behalf of Nassau stopped in 2012. Top Albany lobbyist Brian Meara is denying any involvement in the ongoing investigation into Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son despite having several clients reportedly involved, theTimes Union reports: Though Meara didn't respond to requests for comment, a friend authorized to speak on his behalf said he has nothing to do with the Skelos investigation.The Skelos probe, described by the New York Times last week, has ties to three current or recent Meara lobbying clients, including a North Carolina subsidiary of a company calledAbTech Holdings.Investigators are reportedly looking into whether Skelos sought to exert influence in AbTech's pursuit of a $12 million stormwater management contract with Nassau County, Skelos' power base.Senate Republicans are reportedly nervous because Meara is a business partner with fellow lobbyist Mike Avella, a former counsel to the Senate GOP and Skelos. The two are principals in the Albany-based firm Meara Avella Dickinson.  Records show Meara Avella Dickinson also recently represented Nassau County, as well as another business mentioned in the Times report: real estate developer Glenwood Management.Run by the state's most generous political donor, Leonard Litwin, Glenwood was Meara's link to the Silver case: A longtime friend of Silver, Meara has reportedly received a non-prosecution agreement in exchange for helping prosecutors link payments made by the prominent Manhattan developer to the Assembly speaker, who was ousted from his leadership position in January following his arrest.* Mercury reopens for business in Albany, with Pat Lynch’s people (Capital)





    In 2011 NYT Took A Deeper Look At Skelos's Law Firm Lobbyist's Arm  . . .  And Never Followed Up
    Where is the Follow Up?
    The law firm that employs Mr. Skelos, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, has an independently run lobbying division, Empire Government Strategies, which notes on its Web site that it has “solid relationships with elected officials in every region of New York.” The chairman of the lobbying operation, Arthur J. Kremer, a former assemblyman, said he had no contact on official business with Mr. Skelos, a Nassau County Republican. Albany Money Flows to Clients of FirmsEmploying Legislators (NYT) Lobbyists Clients of Skelos' Firm 500.00, Town of North Hempstead        Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC        $75,000.00, Canon USA, Inc.            $72,000.00, Association of Wholesale Marketers and Distributors (NYS)     $65,000.00, Jetro Cash-and-Carry      $65,000.00, Great Neck Water Pollution Control District           $60,000.00, Caithness Long Island, LLC      $27,


    How the NYT and NY1 Covers-Up for Real Estate Tie Between Silver and Skelos?  
    . . .  While Banging the Prosecutor
    The Times Wrote More About the Dismissed Charges Against Bharara Than the Connection to Skelos Son Corruption to the Heart of the Silver Corruption Case
    From the NYTs On Real Estate Corruption: "Glenwood Management, one of the state’s largest campaign donors, alsosurfaced in the criminal case against Mr. Silver, who is accused of steering Glenwood and another developer to a law firm that gave him a cut of their fees. Glenwood has not been accused of wrongdoing in the Silver case or in the investigation involving the Skeloses." Friday NYT and Mini Me nY1 Goes After Bharara * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is locked in what seems to be an escalating war of words with the federal judiciary, which some judges fear could influence important rulings, the Times’James B. Stewart writes: * Bharara’s Tactics Questioned as the U.S. Attorney Possibly Targets Skelos(NY1)

    From the NYTs on Charges That Were Dismissed Against Bharara by the Court
    News of the investigation follows the arrest this year of AssemblymanSheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, and his resignation as speaker; any criminal case against Senator Skelos, the majority leader, would throw the Capitol into further tumult. His critics have accused him of grandstanding, and say his unusually blunt public condemnations of how business is done in Albany have crossed the line for a federal prosecutor.  Mr. Bharara’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to comment.

    In Their Rush to Protect the Permanent Government Against Bharara the Daily News Even Used A Former Governor Who Many Believe Got Away with Witness Tampering and Bid Rigging 


    The Daily News Posts the Same Story Every Day That They Are Investigating the Moreland Shutdown
    Now They Are Attacking the U.S. Attorney That is Taking Action On the Cover-Up Which They Have Not Investigated Anything
    Daily News and Their Stenographer Lovett Uses True News Reporting Without Crediting the Source 

    The Daily News has been tracking New York’s trouble-plagued Moreland Commission since the day Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman teamed up to create it. The powerful duo formed the supposedly independent panel to help root out corruption in Albany, including inside the governor’s own office. Within months, it became embroiled in allegations that Cuomo was working behind the scenes to influence its investigations. In March, the governor disbanded the panel after the legislature agreed to enact some ethics reforms. Here’s how The News has covered the story. * Paterson: Preet’s Great, But…(YNN) * Was former Gov. David Paterson’s criticism of US Attorney Preet Bharara planted, encouraged or otherwise influenced by Cuomo?
    More on Real Estate Corruption and 421-a



    Bagdad NYT and the Rest of the Media Sees Not Corruption in NY Real Estate . . . 
    While the Feds Indictments Connects the Dots Between Family Lobbyists and Albany Pols
    Skelos Son's Glenwood Corruption Connection According to people familiar with the questions being asked by federal authorities, investigators are seeking to determine whether Senator Skelos exerted any influence in matters involving AbTech. They are also examining whether his son’s hiring as a consultant was part of a scheme in which the senator, in exchange, would take official action that would benefit AbTech or another company, Glenwood Management, a politically influential real estate developer that has had ties to AbTech. * .@edmangano testified before grand jury probing @SenatorSkelos & his son, was one of several LI pols to do so * Survey: New YorkMost Corrupt State 
    NY Real Estate Uses Lobbyists Like Meara and Berlin Rosen to Do Their Dirty Work Protecting Themselves From the Law 
    .
    .




    The Poor Door Affordable Housing Tease 

    Chances of Getting An Affordable Apartment .0006%
    The “poor door” building on the Upper West Side featuring one entrance for condo owners and another for low-income tenants has drawn more than 88,000 applications for the 55 affordable units, the Times reports: * ‘Poor Door’ Building Draws 88,000 Applicants for 55 Rental Units (NYT) Applications at 470 West 62nd Street, which drew heavy criticism for its separate entrances, could surpass 90,000 by the time the submission period ends Monday.




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

    .

    Shadow Government Lobbyists Meara Represented Glenwood Partner With Silver in Corruption Orgy 
    (NYP) Brian Meara, 63, is the person referred to in court papers as “the Lobbyist” who revealed that Silver told him “there was nothing to worry about” regarding the speaker secretly sharing in legal fees paid by Meara’s client, billionaire developer Leonard Litwin, the sources said. * Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's arrest aided by closefriend, Albanylobbyist(NYDN) Brian Meara has been cooperating as a 'fact witness' as part of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's investigation, sources told The News. The criminal complaint against Silver references an unnamed lobbyist who the sources say was Meara. According to the criminal complaint, the lobbyist represented a developer who was using a law firm that paid Silver for bringing in business. The developer, sources say, was politically connected Leonard Litwin, who Meara repped at the time. “The fact that Meara is the witness is not a good sign for Shelly,” said one Albany insider, alluding to how much Meara knows about his pal. In addition to the state court officers union and other labor groups, Meara represents a host of big-bucks industries, including casino operators, insurance companies and soft-drink makers. His clients also include the Yankees owners and the Silvercup Studios production facility in Queens.  








    New construction is needed, the best of the past must be preserved, and the resulting conflicts and debates are unavoidable. Flashback The Surprising Role Jackie Kennedy Onassis Playedin Saving Grand Central * Protect the past and future as the city Landmarks Lawmarks 50 years (NYDN)






    Stringer Not Going After de Blasio
    City Controller Scott Stringer insists he will not challenge de Blasio in 2017, aims to hold mayor accountable (NYDN)  The city controller, in politics for more than two decades, has made a name for himself since he took his current office 16 months ago as the Democrat most likely to criticize Mayor de Blasio. That independence, combined with more than $500,000 in his campaign war chest, has led to chatter in the political world that he’s mulling a primary run against the mayor in 2017. He insists he’ll be running for a second term in the job he now holds. “My intention is to run for reelection,” he said in one of several sitdowns with the Daily News. “I’m focused on the job I’m doing, not on any employment in the future.” Unfortunately for de Blasio — with whom he has a tense relationship at times — Stringer believes being a good controller means sometimes taking on City Hall.' Stringer emphasized to aides that he had to be on time...He was. De Blasio was not — and ended up getting booed'


    Not Running for Mayor But Going After Animal Lovers?  Animals Put at Risk in New York City’s Shelters, Audit Finds (NYT) Animal Care and Control of New York, the nonprofit group that cares for the city’s stray and unwanted animals, has administered unsafe drugs and stored vaccines improperly, the comptroller said. * Stringer blasts ‘stomach-crawling’ state of city animal shelters (NYP)Stringer blasted the city Health Department for fostering a “system of dysfunction” in city-funded animal shelters, which are overcrowded and use dated medicine




    de Blasio and His Mini Me WFP See Every Political Event As Meat to Eat For Themselves
    The Alinsky Method
    Just minutes after Clinton formally announced her run, New York’s Working Families Partyonce again urged Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to get in the race. * In addition to @BilldeBlasio,Tish James and MMV also not ready to endorse Hillary Clinton yet: (WSJ) * Nadler Defends de Blasio’s Non-Endorsement ofHillary Clinton (NYO *  
    NYC Mayor de Blasio draws some ire for not endorsing Clinton (AP)



    If the Best Way For A Child is A Good Education Why is the UFT Allowed to Use Students As A Political Prop?
    Federal officials said there was an “organized political campaign” against standardized tests in New York and that districts could lose money if 95 percent of their pupils don’t take exams, Gannett Albany report

                               



    Skelos Friday Update and Spins
    Everyone who led the Assembly and Senate from late 1995 until this January Have Been Indicted Except Skelos
    The Albany cesspool (NYP Ed)  News leaked Wednesday that Dean Skelos, the state Senate majority leader, is an evident target of another probe by US Attorney Preet Bharara. Skelos hasn’t gotten a subpoena yet, but eight of the nine other state senators from Long Island have — as has Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. Bharara’s not saying much. (After all, a judge recently slapped him for blabbing to the media about the case against ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver.) But he’s gotten as far as compelling testimony before a grand jury — and in his past political investigations, that’s led inexorably to indictments. And no student of New York politics doubts that there’s indictments to be had in Nassau. After all, it’s a county where Mangano may soon legally raise some cash byselling off the sewers *  Feds subpoena top LI politicians in Skelos probe (NYP) County Executive Ed Mangano, a fellow Republican, appeared before the secret panel last week and was asked about various contracts signed by the county, said a government source briefed on the case. Eight of Long Island’s nine state senators — all Republicans — also were issued subpoenas directing them to cough up documents, NY1 reported. Skelos, the ninth senator, has yet to be subpoenaed, sources said. Records show that Dean Skelos’ former legislative counsel, Michael Avella, also has lobbied in Albany on behalf of AEWS Engineering, a subsidiary of AbTech’s parent company. Following disclosure of the federal probe, acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said she would also launch her own investigation into how the county awards contracts.  Sources have told The Post that the feds also are looking into the $20,000 that Adam Skelos, 32, was paid by a title-insurance company for which he never did any work.* Skelos probe threatens GOP control of state senate (NYP)* Editorial: Dean $kelos keeps the cash flowing (NYDNEd) * Skelos may have an easier time holding on to his leadership position than ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver because his caucus is smaller and more cohesive, New York Magazine reports:

    DA Covers Ass and Feds Target Skelos' Law Firm Lobbyist 
    Amid Dean Skelos Inquiry, Contracting by Nassau County Faces Review (NYT) The county’s acting district attorney announced her own review, in response to revelations of a federal investigation into the leader of the New York Senate. Here Comes the Lobbyists Prosecutors investigating state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, have also been asking questions about the lobbying arm of the elder Skelos' law firm, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, the DailyNews writes * Campaign finance and payroll documents and public information from employers show Adam Skelos appears to have benefited from his father’s position with a series of jobs at GOP-wired entities, the Daily News reports: * The fact that state Senate Republicans have not rushed to publicly defend Skelos and immediate calls for his resignation are already coming from Democrats could spell out bad news for Skelos’ fate, The Buffalo News writes: *  As long as Albany wields vast power, interests large and small will look to rent it and corruption won’t end until the voters insist on changing the kind of people they elect, the Post writes: * Nassau County legislators who approved the contract in question with an Arizona company that employed Adam Skelos, AbTech Industries, said that they did not know the senator’s son worked there.* Skelos May Be Latest Target of U.S. AttorneyBharara (NY1) With news that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office is circling around Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos with roughly two months of session left, it begs the question: What, if anything, will get done?
    After Skelos?  “If Skelos were to step aside, either temporarily to fight any changes or permanently if the charges turn out to be severe, the top contenders to replace him could be Syracuse’s John DeFrancisco and Suffolk County’s John Flanagan.”(NY Mag)

    As Feds Target Lobbyists Shadow Government DAs Who Used Them In Their Campaigns Caught In A Dilemma of Their Own Making
    Adam Skelos, the 32-year-old son of Sen. Skelos, appears to have benefited from his dad’s position with a series of jobs at GOP-wired entities, according to campaign finance and payroll documents and public information provided by firms that employed him.  Should Skelos be indicted and forced to step down, as happened to Silver, no seamless replacement strategy is in place. That is because his second-in-command, Sen. Tom Libous, of Binghamton, faces a federal trial this summer on charges of lying to FBI agents who were investigating the financial activities of him and his son. Barbara Bartoletti, of the NY League of Women Voters, sees no reason for Skelos to give up his leadership post right now. “There is a presumption of innocence, and we should at least wait until federal authorities have finished with their investigation,” she said. “We should all just be aware that the culture of corruption in Albany has very long tentacles.”* A source who recently met with investigators for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara indicatedthat about half the questions focused on the lobbying arm of the law firm where Skelos is of counsel, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, and if there was any direct or indirect interaction with the senator. * Skelos confirmed the existence of the federal inquiry and said he is cooperating – a switch from months ago, when he attacked a report about the existence of the probe as “a thinly sourced” story that did “not meet the standards of journalism.”* In Albany, little consensus on the Skelos effect (Capital) Players unsure of impact on housing and education issues* New York Sen. Dean Skelos to Cooperate With Federal Inquiry (WSJ)* “This is what Cuomo loosed on theworld,” a state Senate operative grumbles. (NY Mag)




    Meara is one of the state’s most powerful lobbyists . . .  Part of the Silver, Queens Boss Crowley and Speaker Quinn Crime Families 
    The Bayside resident is also close to Queens Democratic boss and US Rep. Joe Crowley, while his brother, Chuck, was chief of staff to former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. In addition to the state court officers union and other labor groups, Meara represents a host of big-bucks industries, including casino operators, insurance companies and soft-drink makers. His clients also include the Yankees owners and the Silvercup Studios production facility in Queens. The Bayside resident is also close to Queens Democratic boss and US Rep. Joe Crowley, while his brother, Chuck, was chief of staff to former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. According to Thursday’s criminal complaint against Silver, Meara got a non-prosecution deal from the feds in exchange for agreeing to serve as a “fact witness” against the Manhattan Democrat. The complaint says Silver got two developers — including “Developer-1,” identified by sources as 100-year-old Litwin — to hire the law firm run by Silver’s former counsel, identified by sources as Jay Arthur Goldberg. Silver allegedly pocketed at least $700,000 by splitting the fees generated by the lucrative property-tax challenges, without notifying either developer or disclosing the payments. 


    Companies That Brian Meara Has Been A Lobby For
    NRG Energy, Inc. , Motorola Solutions Inc., New York Black Operator's Injury Compensation Fund, Inc., PepsiCo, Inc., Dominion Voting Systems, Inc, New York Black Car Operators' Injury Compensation Fund, Inc., MANHOLE BARRIER SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC., COMMISSION ON INDEPENDENT COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES,  empire racing associates llc, ABC, INC. CBS Corporation, NBC Universal, Harter, Secrest & Emery LLP, Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance, Covanta Energy Corporation (formerly American Ref-Fuel Co.), American Ref-Fuel Company, Essex Enterprises LLC, Power, Crane & Company. LLC, Power, Crane & Company. LLC



    Permanent Government of Real Estate Defends Prince Silver to Stop An Investigation That May Expose Their Illegal Practices  
    Two legal-defense groups show support for Sheldon Silver (NYP) Two top legal-defense groups have come to the aid of disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed a joint brief Thursday supporting the indicted but still politically connected Silver, despite objections from the government. * Two criminal defense law groups filed court papers Thursday arguing the federal corruption case against Assemblyman Sheldon Silver should be tossed because of comments made by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara * Lawyers for former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are again pressing a federal judge to toss out an indictment on corruption charges due to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s public comments about the case, theObserver reports: * Although US Attorney Preet Bharara has been accused of overzealousness in some insider trading cases, he has pursued fraud and corruption seemingly without regard for political affiliation or hints of personal vindictiveness.


    They Think We Are Jerks and They Are Right
    de Blasio Not Endorsing Silly Theater to Keep the Left In Line and Positioning Himself to Be Left Leader
    On National Television, de Blasio Declines to Endorse Clinton for President (NYT) Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said he would hold off until learning more about his former boss’s economic platform.* De Blasio won’t endorse former boss Hillary Clinton — yet (NYP) *Mayor Bill de Blasio declined to endorse Hillary Clinton on NBC’s “Meet the Press” despite her heavy involvement in his campaigns and her status as his former boss, theTimes writes: * The Post’s Fred Dicker writes that Hillary Clinton enters the presidential race with a cold shoulder from de Blasio and few signs of genuine enthusiasm from other top New York Democrats:

    Clinton loyalists were miffed at NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for refusing to endorse her second presidential run right off the bat. But fellow “progressives” and some political strategists said the mayor made the right move. * “I think she’s one of the most qualified people to ever run for this office and, by the way, thoroughly vetted,” said de Blasio, who ran Clinton’s 2000 campaign for the US Senate and is headed to Iowa soon to discuss income inequality. “But we need to see the substance.”* A “senior Democratic Party leader” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems “distant and detached from Hillary’s effort, perhaps because it’s not his,” even though he issued a statement “wholeheartedly” endorsing her bid.Sen. Elizabeth Warren to get in the race

    NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled new details about her plan to hire 1,000 cops, while de Blasio continued to insist that the police force is fine “in its current state.”



    When Soon Dies Most New Yorker Will Be Left With Is Shit TV Local News 
    A ‘Darker Narrative’ of Print's Future From Clay Shirky (NYT) The New York University professor and author responds to my column on print’s importance to The Times.* The Newspaper of Record offers a revealing hit parade.




    Albany's Zombie Pots of Pork
    Zombie pork (NYP Ed)The Legislature may have eliminated member items back in 2009 after an avalanche of corruption scandals, but that hardly leaves Albany pork-free today.  In fact, the latest state budget is loaded with millions in pork-barrel grants, nearly all added at the last minute without debate — or full disclosure of who inserted them. There’s $24,523 earmarked for ACORN, the hard-left activist group. Never mind that ACORN closed down five years ago. As its own general counsel told The Post: “ACORN is deader than a doornail. It doesn’t exist anymore.”* The Times Union writes that with another questionablepork-barrel grant showing up in the state budget, it’s past time for the state to put more sunlight on member items and the budget: 



    "these lump-sum pots are pork by another name."Editorial: We need to know how state is spending every dollar: * On top of the ACORN funds, the Albany Times-Union reports, this year’s zombies include $505,000 for Relief Resources, a politically connected Brooklyn agency that was investigated by Gov. Cuomo’s Moreland Commission, which raised questions about its mental-health referral operation. The group’s funding, said Moreland’s co-chair, “certainly didn’t go to improve the health of anybody in New York City.” But lawmakers have sent it millions over the years — plainly because it’s chaired by a powerful lobbyist for the Orthodox Jewish community. A later report by The Forward and WNYC said Relief Resources’ work was well-known and strongly defended by community leaders, but noted it had spent funds on lobbying apparently unrelated to its official activities.*  


     A coalition of groups is urging the state Board of Elections to prohibit the practice of individual donors giving unlimited campaign contributions through a network of limited liability corporations, State of Politicswrites: Cuomo cuts into pork * A Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll found most upstate voters do not believe the ethics reforms included in the state budget agreement go far enough or will help curtail corruption, State of Politics reports The state Business Council urged the state Board of Elections not to end a regulation that has allowed limited liability corporations to make unlimited political contributions* * Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, state Sen. Daniel Squadron and good-government groups, however, urged the board to close the so-called LLC loophole, which it is slated to discuss Thursday, the Times Union reports * * The eve of the state Board of Elections' consideration of the possible closure of the so-called LLC loophole brought a flurry of activity, including the board's Republican co-chair quietly getting replaced,the Times Union reports: * * The state Board of Elections can show who they work for and what they stand for by finally closing the LLC loophole, which allows wealthy donors to get around the caps on political contributions, the TimesUnion writes:   *According to Citizens Union, despite new pork-barrel spending being banished from the state budget since 2010, previously approved earmarks will be footed by taxpayers for years to come, the Times Union reports: * Elections Board Deadlocks On LLC Reclassification (YNN)* Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this so-called LLC loophole should be closed, either through the Board of Elections or by legislative action, : Gannett Albany reports * Cuomo Admin: ‘Incredibly Disappointed’ BoE Didn’t Act On LLCs (YNN) * New York State Elections Board Retains a Corporate Donation Loophole (NYT) The 1996 ruling, which was kept in place on a tie vote, exempted limited-liability companies from corporate campaign contribution limits, allowing wealthy donors to make huge multiple contributions.* The state Board of Elections declined to change a longstanding ruling that critics say has allowed millions of dollars to flow, virtually unchecked, into campaign coffers across New York. The board’s four commissioners deadlocked 2-to-2 on the issue of whether to rescind its own 1996 opinion that found limited-liability companies should be treated like individuals when it comes to contributions. * Emails between Sony executives and Cuomo’s campaign staff leaked as part of the Sony Pictures hack and published in full by WikiLeaks Thursday appear to show Sony executives believed donating to the governor was a good idea because he is a “strong protector” of New York’s film tax credit.* -- Cuomo reacts: “We commend Commissioners Kellner and Spano for advancing this reform and are incredibly disappointed their fellow commissioners did not follow suit,” administration spokeswoman Dani Lever stated. “The governor has repeatedly introduced legislation to close the LLC loophole and he will continue to fight to make it a reality.”-- Cuomo has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of donations from LLCs, and in the past, has hesitated to push for legal changes. In 2013, he told reporters that "it's not a loophole, it's the law." In February, Cuomo explained he left it out of his ethics reform package because he did not want to antagonize legislators. -- Good-government groups had agitated for the change, and were disappointed when the board deadlocked. Scott Reif, a spokesman for Senate Republicans, replied: “As soon as the so-called good government groups have anything to say about the unlimited money that unions pump into the coffers of Democrats or the dollars that Mayor de Blasio funnels to Upstate County Democrat Party Committees, we may start taking them seriously. Until then, they should get a life.”*  The good-government group Citizens Union found the recently passed state budget includes $2.9 billion in “opaque” lump sum funds, which is $303 million more than proposed in the executive budget* * A coalition of good-government groups urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to not pack a review panel for ethics regulators with commissioners who will rubberstamp any findings, State of Politics reports:  * * A report set to be released shows that political spending by the state's powerful trial lawyers jumped a hefty 27 percent in 2014 over the previous year, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett reports: 

















    NYT de Blasio Wooing Business Leaders he Denounced
    New Tack for de Blasio: Wooing Business Leaders He Once Denounced (NYT) The mayor, who railed against big business during his campaign, is making what corporate executives described as a delayed attempt to meet them on their home turf.




    Berlin Rosen Is Not Only Ducking Lobbyists Disclosures . . . Also Failed to Register With the Foreign Agent Act
    Two years ago True News broke the story that Berlin Rosen was not a registered lobbyist. CrainsNY's Bragg follow sometime later and last week NY1 reported the same information.  Playing fast and lose with the city and state lobbying regulations is not the only thing Berlin Rosen failed to registered for.  Berlin Rosen worked the ground breaking event for a government subsided building with Atlantic Yards developer Ratner and a Chinese government funded company called Greenland Group. According to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) enacted in 1938, a persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities. The purpose is to facilitate "evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons." At the least Berlin Rosen activities with the Chinese government company is fueling gentrification pushing the poor and middle class out of the projects surrounding communities.

    de Blasio At Ground Breaking Press Even of A Chinese Funded Housing Organized By Berlin Rosen
    Greenland has agreed to fund Ratner's building in exchange for 70% of the Atlantic Yards housing project ownership.  Much of the Ratner's 30% funding comes from tax breaks from the government. Or borrowing using the govt tax breaks as leverage.  Berlin Rosen is very close to many federal, state and city elected officials.  As the Chinese government who is pumping billions into New York becomes a bigger stake holder in real estate it is unclear what their demands from government and elected officials will be.  With the power of the NY's real estate barons and their lobbyists attack dogs it does not take must imagine to see a future scenario when Chinese or other foreign real estate owners force the elected officials and pay off the lobbyists to pass laws helpful to their them and harmful to American citizens.  True News has written about the The Privatization of the Tammany Hall Machine, which reported that the new lobbyists machine is not accountable to the voters like the old party boss who were elected by the voters.* Just don't call these consultants lobbyists | Crain's New York ...


    Berlin Rosen is Already Making Government Work Against New Yorkers 

    Berlin Rosen Help Ratner Obtain Millions of Government Dollars As Thousands of Middle Class and the Poor Have Been Pushed Out the Stadium's Neighborhood
    The lobbyists are also not accountable to the prosecutors, because they are the ones that elect the DAs and AG.  Berlin Rosen not only started out with AG Schneiderman when he was a state senator they work in both of his campaign for AG.  Berlin Also help elect the Albany DA, as other lobbyists elected the state other DAs and elected officials.  Who will stop a future lobbyists Berlin Rosen, Silver Brian Meara or any of the other scum bag lobbyist or elected officials who decide to go for the foreign money over the interests of the American people? * BerlinRosen Isn’t Registered As A Foreign Agent, Either (Bronx Chronicle)



    Do We Have to Hope That A Future Berlin Rosen, Sheinkopf or Advance Don't Get Hired By A Foreign Government and Pay to Play NY's Government
    Maybe its already happen why would our government give billions to a stadium and housing they is mostly owned by the Russian and Chinese government. (Nets stadium and team owned by Russia billionaires Mikhail Dmitrievitch Prokhorov). Another component of Chinese deal with Berlin Rosen and Ratner is the EB-5 Program Green Card program that is helping fund the housing.  A $100 million slice of the overall Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project, marketed under the EB-5 program, in which investors and their families get green cards by parking $500,000 in a low-interest loan for five years or so, as long as an economist's report suggests those funds create ten jobs. That means the Chinese government will be able to bring their people into the city. Who is watching them?  Who is watching Berlin? Obama’s nod to China could bring NYC real estate boom


    What If A Future Lobbyists Like Meara Decided to Take the Money or Was Blackmailed By A Foreign Government Who Owned NY Real Estate?
    Close friend, top lobbyist helped feds take down Sheldon Silver(NYP) Brian Meara, 63, is the person referred to in court papers as “the Lobbyist” who revealed that Silver told him “there was nothing to worry about” regarding the speaker secretly sharing in legal fees paid by Meara’s client, billionaire developer Leonard Litwin, the sources said. * Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's arrest aided by closefriend, Albanylobbyist (NYDN) Brian Meara has been cooperating as a 'fact witness' as part of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's investigation, sources told The News. The criminal complaint against Silver references an unnamed lobbyist who the sources say was Meara. According to the criminal complaint, the lobbyist represented a developer who was using a law firm that paid Silver for bringing in business. The developer, sources say, was politically connected Leonard Litwin, who Meara repped at the time. “The fact that Meara is the witness is not a good sign for Shelly,” said one Albany insider, alluding to how much Meara knows about his pal. In addition to the state court officers union and other labor groups, Meara represents a host of big-bucks industries, including casino operators, insurance companies and soft-drink makers. His clients also include the Yankees owners and the Silvercup Studios production facility in Queens.
    A Media Lobbyists Conspiracy to Cover-Up Conceal the Shadow Government That Runs NYC

    At last weeks Inner Circle journalist and lobbyists danced and sung making fun of pols, in front of an audience of lobbyists, developers and special interests paying thousand of dollars a ticket.  When the Inner Circle first started out it made fun of the member of the political machines, de Despio, Manus, Freedman and Esposito  The actors on the stage this year did not make fun of political consultant lobbyists like Berlin Rosen, Advance Group or George Arzt because the developers, lobbyists and the other members of the permanent government ticket holders, need them to run their shadow government to make money off of government.





    Atlantic Yards Report's Norman Oder Looks Back at a Berlin Rosen Success: Massaging Ratner's ACORN Bailout 
    In 2008, national ACORN--the larger parent of New York ACORN, which signed a Community Benefits Agreement and Housing Memorandum of Understanding with Forest City Ratner--faced a big hit to its reputation. * For eight years, founder Wade Rathke had covered covered up a $1 million embezzlement by his brother Dale Rathke. As the Timesreported September 10, 2008, the news was “concealed by senior executives until a whistle-blower told a foundation leader about it in May.” * Noting that the money had been paid back (Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report)

    NYCLASS Advance Group's Levinson and the Black Institute Bertha Lewis Both Have Deep Root in ACORN
    “Rathke's misjudgment in covering up his brother's embezzlement has now provided ACORN's opponents with ammunition to attack the organization,” wrote two ACORN defenders in The Huffington Post.  * ACORN’s antagonists extended beyond the right wing, which was attacking ACORN for purported deception in voter registration, the authors suggested, citing critics on the left who were either jealous or disliked “ACORN's tactics or its willingness to forge compromises in order to win victories for its members.”  *One such compromise was about to pay off, as Wade Rathke stepped down and, from New York, Bertha Lewis stepped up. “In a shrewd move to consolidate support for her candidacy as the chief staff member of ACORN, [Lewis] negotiated a combination deal with Ratner to prove her fundraising prowess,” Rathke explained years later. * “With the voter registration crises swirling around ACORN, Bertha pulled the one string where she had leverage from her New York base—damn the torpedoes—realizing that Brooklyn was so polarized around Atlantic Yards and ACORN that it would hardly matter much more,"

    Berlin Rosen Has Delivered to Developers While Hiding Under the Progressives Shirt
    Rathke continued, "and the likely criticism was secondary to her desperate need for bridge money while she waited for funders to grow a backbone.” * No one, however, knew about that deal until an angry former ACORN staffer, Anita MonCrief, revealed to me that Forest City had agreed to provide a $1 million low-interest loan—with onerous terms if late—and a $500,000 gift. * In New York, ACORN spokesman Jonathan Rosen, of the firm BerlinRosen, tried to deflect the story, which I broke in early December. “This is old news," he said of the bailout. "We have confirmed this to multiple media outlets over the past few months.”  * Actually, no article had been published, though MonCrief revealed that Lewis had confirmed it to the Times, which had covered the embezzlement but not the bailout. So Rosen had been very effective. * As I wrote, the news should have made the Times, since it was just as big as the Dale Rathke story. Nearly a year later, the Times finally backed into the story, mentioning the bailout parenthetically.


    How Bruce Ratner Wins Approval for his Projects






    Even With Silver's Arrest Albany Ethics Reforms Limited 
    Ethics-reform ‘history’ (NYP Ed) For the third time in the past four years, Gov. Cuomo has hailed the Legislature’s ethics-reform package as “historic,” “significant” and unprecedented. Also for the third time in the past four years, the reforms leave the governor plenty of room to make even more history. Yes, the new rules go farther than the old. But, like everything else that comes out of the Legislature, they have loopholes — ones that may prove wide enough to drive an 18-wheeler through. There are both income limits and full exemptions that at least partly eclipse the full sunlight we’d hoped for. And the new rules likely wouldn’t have caught the behavior for which Silver stands charged. Yes, the ball’s rolling on finally stripping corrupt officeholders of their pensions. But this must be done via constitutional amendment and so can’t take effect until at least 2017. Moreover, that will only cover those convicted of felonies — and many legislators forced to leave office don’t face felony charges. Plus, a convicted lawmaker’s wife and children would still be able to get part of that pension. NYP's Goodwin: In truth, his budget strategy was not realistic and, in policy terms, he aimed too low. His ethics reforms that focus on disclosure of legislators’ outside income are hardly groundbreaking, nor is their confidence they will stem the tide of Albany corruption. Yet that didn’t stop Cuomo from hailing them as a major breakthrough, the third time he has made that claim in four years. The first two claims are now “inoperative” and this one will also bite the dust with the next corruption bust. Maybe he’ll form another Moreland Commission — and then kill it, too. The governor did better on education, increasing from three years to four the time before teachers are eligible for tenure and adding money for charters. Teacher evaluations will be more closely linked to student performance, although murky details and loopholes sound like blasts from the past.

    Albany Pay Hikes Forever Without Votes Corruption
    How about an honest pay raise panel? Too much to ask from Heastie and Skelos, apparently (NYDN Ed) Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos have engineered a scheme that guarantees lawmakers potentially huge pay hikes forever — without ever having to vote on the increases. This was Gov. Cuomo’s reward to the Legislature for going along with his ethics reform package. He got his bill. They’ll take the money. In some circles, they call this bribery.


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    Is the Manhattan DA Not Investigating Advance Because of A Conflict of Interests With Red Horse?
    Manhattan DA Vance Consultant Red Horse Broke the Law Along With Advance Working for the UFT PACs United for the Future that did mailings for the same  Council Clients that both firms represented  

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



    The Reporter Who Broke the Advance Groups Phony Logo Corruption Story Laid Off By CrainsNY

    Crain’s New Yorklays off 40 percent of editorial staff, Including Chris Bragg. CrainsNY reporter Chris Bragg has done a great investigative job exposing how lobbyist/consultant the Advance Group was on both sides of many campaigns by using IE PACS and fake to run the UFT PAC. The Advance Group is also the lobbyist for the NYC Hotel and Motel Trades Council. 

    Several payments that a UFT super PAC sent to a fictitious political consulting firm “Strategic Consultants” have the Advance Group logo on their invoices
    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.






    What is the Point of This Mass Coverage of the Mayor at the Lower East Side Fire?
    STATE BUDGET UPDATE: Wednesday was another day of closed-door negotiations, with the biggest news coming from Republican Senator John DeFrancisco. He’s been leading a group of lawyer-legislators from that chamber in negotiations with the Cuomo administration about the Democratic governor’s desire for lawmakers to publicly name their clients. Language was being drafted,DeFrancisco said. He and others were careful not to state any details, but DeFrancisco suggested that only clients with state interests would need to be disclosed. He drew a rebuke from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top spokeswoman, who said that was “not disclosure, it is current law.”* Skelos: ‘Tremendous Progress’ Toward Ethics Deal (YNN)

    KNUCKLEHEAD AND BOBBLEHEADS: State lawmakers must give back Lou Gehrig dolls as they are deemed a gift violation (NYDN) In the latest sign of Albany ethics madness, lawmakers were forced to turn over Lou Gehrig bobblehead dolls given to them by the ALS Association this week because they’re deemed a violation of the Legislature’s gift ban.

    Tax Credit Cardinal Dolan ‘discouraged’ tax credit may not make budget (NYDN) * Cuomo: Education And Ethics Remain The Top Priorities (YNN) * Skelos: ‘Tremendous Progress’ Toward Ethics Deal (YNN) * Heastie: Minimum Wage Hike Still Under Discussion (YNN)  * Cardinal Timothy Dolan says he’s looking to the Assembly for “leadership” on the Education Investment Tax Credit, though: “if this doesn’t work out, there’s a lot of blame to go around.” * Outside Income Disclosure the Final Barrier in State Budget Negotiations(NY1) * Campaign Finance Reform Turns to Reward and Punishment (NYT)





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    Top Ten NYS Lobbyists 
    Who were NYC’s top 10 lobbyists in 2014? Find out here.

    As Lobbyists Shadow Government Getting Bigger Media Still Ignores Their Work  

    • Lobbyists brought in a record $71.9 million—up roughly 15 percent from last year—targeting the New York City government in 2014, with James Capalino & Associates taking the top spotRecord $71.9M spent on lobbying city officials in 2014 (NYDN) The biggest spenders were real estate developers Albee Development, which paid $1.27 million to two lobbying firms, and Hallets A Development Company, which spent $740,474 at three firms. The lobbyist bringing in the biggest bucks was James F. Capalino & Associates, which earned $8.2 million. It took over the top spot from Kasirer Consulting, which dropped to No. 2.* Lobbyists brought in $71.9 million to target NYC government in 2014, a record high, according to the report by the city clerk’s office covering the first year since de Blasio and the new City Council took office.

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    de Blasio Fund Raising Chair Lobbyist Capaino Works for Developers That Closed LICH Hospital and St Vincent's  
    Capalino, Advance and Bertha Lewis All Are Working to Stop the East 91st Marine Transfer Station
    Lobbyist shoots to #1 in NYC after backing de Blasio for mayor (NYP) A veteran lobbyist who was a major supporter of Bill de Blasio’s run for mayor in 2013 saw his business nearly double in 2014 after his pal was elected, records show. Jim Capalino reported hauling in $8.2 million from 237 clients last year — up from the $4.6 million earned by his downtown Manhattan firm during the last year of the Bloomberg administration in 2013. The firm also signed 69 new clients, according to records released Monday by the City Clerk. Capalino’s surge was enough to dethrone the city’s perennial No. 1 lobbyist — Suri Kasirer, of Kasirer Consulting, whose billings also rose, from $6.6 million to $7.7 million.Among the new clients that swarmed to Capalino + Co. were a number trying to change the mayor’s position on public projects, including Asphalt Green. The group has been engaged in a protracted fight over the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station that is under construction near Gracie Mansion. It reported hiring Capalino’s firm to limit the impact of construction and long-term operations of the future trash site, which the mayor has supported. Uber, which wants to avoid further city-imposed regulations as it competes with the yellow-cab industry, also hired Capalino.

    “Picking the mayor has helped his business explode, but he’s always been very competent,” fellow lobbyist Hank Sheinkopf said of Capalino. Capalino hosted two fund-raisers for de Blasio’s successful campaign — including a Roosevelt Hotel bash featuring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in October 2013 — where he was listed as a co-chair expected to bring in at least $25,000. Kasirer was also a $25,000 co-chair at the event, which pulled in over $1 million for de Blasio.He has since donated to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, a nonprofit arm of City Hall chaired by de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray. Among other top lobbying firms, Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin — which consulted on Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s campaign for the top council spot — also boosted its billings after backing a winner. The firm climbed from seventh place in 2013 — with $2.1 million in business — to fourth place in 2014, with $3.3 million in billings. * Lobbying Report 

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    Comp-Stat At DOE All About Controlling Info = Press  
    Principals Still Held Accountable for Failed Schools

    de Blasio Shakes Up Press Office
    De Blasio wants CompStat-like grilling for school principals (NYP) Mayor de Blasio is borrowing a page from the NYPD’s accountability playbook by launching CompStat-like meetings where top education officials will grill school leaders over their results. Hizzoner announced the “War Room” initiative Thursday at Richmond Hill HS in Queens, one of 94 struggling schools splitting $150 million in extra resources and support to shape up within three years — or else face overhauls that could include closure. “We’re going to hold ­every one of the principals to the same kind of standards that our precinct commanders are held to via CompStat,” de Blasio said.* Mayor de Blasio Defends Efforts to Help Struggling Schools (NYT) At a school in Queens, Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke about “SWAT teams” for schools with poor leadership, newly aggressive language that comes as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo pushes state involvement.* Mayor Bill de Blasio defended his efforts to fix troubled city schools, including sending “SWAT teams” to schools with poor leadership, as “the educational equivalent of house-to-house combat,” the Times reports * Heastie slams Cuomo's education reforms (NYDN) * NYPD data tactics will be used to fix NYC schools: de Blasio (NYDN) * NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio defended his administration’s efforts to fix New York City’s troubled schools, describing those efforts as a cross between a war and a policing operation — “the educational equivalent of house-to-house combat.” * De Blasio ratcheted up his criticism of Cuomo’s school takeover plan, saying: “I think the notion of a group of bureaucrats 150 miles away trying to determine the fate of our children sounds like a formula for disaster.” *On school reform, "Cuomo, de Blasio, Fariña, Moskowitzand the union leaders suffer from tunnel vision."(NYDN) Albany * Mayor Bill de Blasio’s alternative proposal to help turn around struggling public schools is receiving a boost from state lawmakers in both parties, who are leery of Cuomo’s plan to install a receivership modelState of Politics reports: * The Association for a Better New York and the Partnership for New York City are backingNYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call for a permanent extension of the expiring mayoral control law.* The choice to make de Blasio less visible was a deliberateone” (AP)
    de Blasio Shakes Up Press Office
    Bill De Blasio Shakes Up City Hall Press Office(NYO)

    $$$ Non-Profit Tries to Change the NYPD . . .  What Ever Happen to Voters and Elected Officials? 
    De Blasio’s pals will ask his top donors to fund NYPD cop-reform push (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio has a new police problem on his hands — only this time from his friends on the left. The North Star Fund, a liberal activist foundation with ties to de Blasio, has launched a campaign to push for changes in the NYPD — and will hit up many of the mayor’s top donors for its efforts. The “Let Us Breathe” push — a nod to Eric Garner’s chokehold death in an altercation with the NYPD last summer — is calling on the mayor to support a special prosecutor to investigate cases of police killings.Although many progressives have demanded the installation of a special prosecutor to investigate those deaths, de Blasio has been mum on the issue.


    When Crime Increased in the 90's It Was Blame Mayor Dinkins. . . Defining Accountability Down  
    Today the Media All But Ignores the Increase in Shootings and Never Blames the Mayor
    Crime-fighting strategy analyzes data of shooters and those shot (NYP) The NYPD is taking aim at 300 pistol-loving thugs responsible for most of New York’s gun violence, using shooting data to tie them to murders and weapon crimes. In a...*  Abandoning the poor (NYP Ed)  Many of those pushing this are in the anti-cop camp, and simply looking for political cover. But Commissioner Bill Bratton plainly wants the reinforcements so he can keep crime down. We’re not unsympathetic to Mayor de Blasio for being reluctant here. The move commits the city to spending millions of dollars in future years — dollars that can’t go to feed the hungry, house the homeless or just fix the roads. Yet the NYPD plainly needs some kind of help — because not a week passes without cops being hamstrung in some new way. Terrorism NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton will continue a controversial and costly counterterrorism program that posts detectives in 11 cities around the globe to collect data, the Post reports: * NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has agreed to continue a controversial — and costly — program that places detectives in cities around the globe to collect counterterrorism data, sources said.* Philadelphiacops shoot and kill people at six times the rate of the NYPD (Mother Jones)

    Next Weekend de Blasio Will Make Fun of Pot Smoking in Front of the Media at the Inner Circle and They Will All Laugh Together
    The latest lunacy landed this month, and will harm the city’s poor and minorities the most. The brass have had to gut the quarter-century-old “Clean Halls” program designed to increase security in public-housing buildings. It encouraged cops to clear out or detain loiterers who qualified as trespassers. But de Blasio settled another case where stop-and-frisk Judge Shira Scheind­lin opted for injustice. Now cops must have a demonstrable “reasonable suspicion” that loiterers are in a building illegally before approaching them. This, when the most significant uptick in violent crime over the last year has come in public-housing projects. Just last weekend, a man was fatally shot outside the Gowanus Houses in BrooklynFlashback  During the Dinkins administration a front-page headline in the New York Post had screamed: “Dave do something!”— a direct call to then mayor David Dinkins to get crime down fast. What Dinkins' did with the help of Albany was dramatically increase the size of the NYPD. As the number of NYPD increased during during the next 20 years crime when down to record levels.  With budget cuts this year the number of NYPD will be down to the level before the Dinkins and Giuliani increases.  We have a press and political system that allows mayor and future mayors to chose the issues that are covered in the media.
    DEB's City Hall weighed down with press people. I would use that $ to hire more people to fix potholes




    Cuomo's Hug On the hug-heard-’round-the-world: “The governor inappropriately lifted the speaker off his feet in a show of dominance,” said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, a Manhattan Democrat. * On the hug-heard-’round-the-world: “The governor inappropriately lifted the speaker off his feet in a show of dominance,” said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, a Manhattan Democrat.



    Mayor's Real Estate Pals Use Their Lobbyists to Try to Dump Lynch As PBA President
    PBAbig claims de Blasio behind campaign to oust Lynch (NYP) Mayor de Blasio is the hidden hand behind the contentious campaign to boot his most outspoken critic as head of the PBA, the union’s treasurer charged in a fiery Facebook post. Joseph Alejandro said that Hizzoner sicced public-relations big shot George Shea on PBA president Patrick Lynch, and that Shea was carrying the mayor’s water because of his ties to de Blasio’s supporters in the real-estate industry. “George Shea is the p.r. guy for [PBA rival Brian] Fusco and is also the shill for Mayor de Blasio’s real-estate friends. He also directly represents the mayor, through his representation of the Hudson Yards Development Corp.,” Alejandro wrote in a post Thursday. “So the mayor, who was embarrassed by the PBA, has asked his real-estate buddies to attack the PBA. Those buddies came up with Shea to represent the Fusco team and help them raise the money,” he wrote. But Shea, reached while on vacation in Florida, scoffed at the charge, saying he hasn’t represented Hudson Yards since 2009.* NYPD union leader wants boycott of upcoming Brancato movie(NYP)

    George Shea Nathans Hot Dog Flack
    Shea Client list,
    The HYDC Board :

    Political Consultant Lobbyists Secret Government Cover Up 

    Lobbyists Rise and Fall As Their Campaign Clients Careers Rise and Fall / Notice Silver's Lobbyist Tag Teams Raking In Govt $$$ Until His Arrest
    Michael ‏@powellnyt   Consultants and favored PR firms form a powerful and growing shadow government in NYS. Pols trying to cover that up
    Just don't call these consultants lobbyists(CrainsNY) They move government without having to disclose their activities. Call them clever, call them stealthy.Like Ms. Cunningham, Mr. Rosen is not a registered lobbyist. Yet he regularly meets with government officials. The mayor's schedule from his first five months in office shows Mr. Rosen was in at least nine meetings and on two calls.BerlinRosen understands how issues play out in the public sphere, its clients say.
    .
    .
    Lobbyist Pitta Bishop On Both Sides of the NYPD Crisis . . .  Control Power In Puppet City
    The  Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin Lobbying Firm Represent the "I Can't Breathe" Council Speaker at the Same Time It Represents the Detective's PBA-  Michael
    Palladino, the president of the Detectives' Endowment Association 
    Council Speaker Mark-Viverito who last mother put on an I Can't Breathe T-Shirt to join the anti-police protesters has made Pitta Biship Del Giorno millions in lobbying fees after the lobbyists help her win the speakership.  The lobbying firm also represents the Detectives' Endowment Association, whose leader Palladino said Mr. de Blasio should offer an kind apology. As the lobbyists who operate as political consultants have taken over the Tammany Hall machine these lobbying firms like Pitta Biship Del Giorno have moved away from positions or ideology and represents both sides in their quest for power to make money.* Ethics reform in Albanyfar from a done deal @AlanChartock


    Pots of Albany Gold Groundhog Day
    Taking Shelly’s lumps (NYP Ed) Last week, the new speaker joined Gov. Cuomo to announce a new day in the Legislature — with, in the governor’s words, the toughest ethics proposal in the country. He practically goaded the state Senate to adopt the same package. Meanwhile, the governor and the two legislative chambers were still up to their old tricks. All three have opted to mark off millions of unitemized “lump sums” — open-ended slush funds, in essence. A total of $2.6 billion in proposed lump sums are on the table in state budget talks — oodles and oodles of cash for the governor and the Legislature to play with outside of public view. As is typical, the Assembly and Senate each wants more above the hundreds of millions in dark money outlined in the governor’s initial budget. Silver, keep in mind, was indicted for abuse of the lump-sum process: He funnelled $500,000 to a cancer doctor who, in turn, allegedly sent business to Weitz & Luxenberg, Silver’s main law firm. Corruption seeps in all across politics and government. But spending the taxpayers’ money in secret is at least as big an opening for trouble. It lets officials funnel cash to friends and family — or political allies — without basic accountability. That’s been the heart of multiple non-profit scandals over the years.If Albany is serious about reform, the lump-sum scam must end. Without real sunlight in the budget process — i.e. details on what spending is for — it’s just a matter of time before the next under-the-table outrage erupts.* Albanygamesmanship snags state budget in traditional blow-ups before deals are struckin final full week of talks.  (Newsday)


    Goo Goos Say the Reforms Are Half Assed
    Promising promises (NYP ED) * Eighty-four percent of New Yorkers say elected officials should disclose the source and amount of income from outside jobs and investments, and 64 percent say spouses and live-in partners should too, aQuinnipiac University poll finds: * The Times Union writes that state Senate Republicans should put forth a fuller ethics reform package that includes ending the LLC loophole and not risk being seen as obstructing smart reforms:

    The Times Union compiles a summary of the various ethics reform packages proposed in Albany by the governor and Heastie, Senate Republicans, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and good government groups * The Post writes that it likes the ethics reform package presented by Cuomo and Heastie, which doesn’t include “bad ideas” such as limiting or banning legislators’ ability to earn outside income: * Newsday writes that the state Senate Republican majority “disturbingly” balked at the ethics package’s disclosure requirements for legislators earning outside income and that it prefers business as usual: * “Come clean, Dean,” The Daily News urges after writing the state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos “huffed and puffed and complained” that the proposal would not require disclosure of Cuomo’s live-in girlfriend * Editorial: Skelos can't hide from Cuomo's ethics cleanup (NYDN Ed) strong enforcement of the ethics reforms isn't there, but needs to be.* Capital Playbook: Cuomo book recaps DiNapoli spat Capital) * Albanyethics deal covers use of campaign funds -- but not for legal fees 


    Cuomo Speaker Heastie reach 2-way agreement on ethics package to be included in budget

    2/3 Secret Ethics Deal
    agreed on new ethics reforms that would include more detailed disclosures of lawmakers’ outside income. Cuomo said the measures are essentially what he proposed as part of a state budget for the coming fiscal year starting April 1. * Cuomo, Heastie come to agreement on ethics reform(NYP) * The two-way deal, details of which are expected to be announced today, places significant pressure on the state Senate Republican majority to sign on within the framework of the state budget. A spokesman for the GOP conference declined to comment. *  Gov. Andrew Cuomo reached an agreement on new ethics policies with the Assembly, but he has not secured a deal with the state Senate  * Cuomo Lauds Ethics Deal With Assembly, But Senate Deal Remains Up In Air (YNN) 


    Republicans in the state Senate are expected to discuss in a closed-door conference this afternoon the ethics agreement forged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Democrats, State of Politicsreports: * Cuomo, Heastie detail ethics agreement (Capital)  Cuomo, who has said ethics changes are a top priority as he negotiates a budget, said the agreement matches the five principles he sketched out after the arrest and ouster of former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver. That means greater disclosure of business and law clients from legislators' side jobs, a ban on the personal use of campaign funds, greater safeguards for per diem reimbursement, pension forfeiture for lawmakers convicted of public corruption and greater disclosure by independent expenditure campaign accounts. * Skelos: Cuomo-Assembly Deal Doesn’t Include Executive Branch Reforms (YNN) * Bonacic: Cuomo Put Himself In A Box On Ethics (YNN) Bonacic, an Orange County Republican, said he didn’t want to comment on Cuomo’s divide-and-conquer strategy with the two legislative houses on ethics. But he added the governor painted himself into a corner on the issue by including ethics legislation in budget amendments that tied the policy to spending measures. * .@NYGovCuomo & @CarlHeastie have releasedan ethics reform deal. Now, they're looking to the Senate to pass it. (NY1) * NY Senate leader: Ethics reform must include Cuomo.(CBS Albany)

    Lawmakers Have Money Parties Waiting on Ethics
     The New York Public Interest Research Group found state lawmakers are busy raising campaign cash this budget session, with some 118 fundraisers scheduled between January and March, State of Politics reports: * NY Dems made sure they can still "use campaign fundsfor dinners out & criminal defense attorneys" (Capital)


    Cuomo Makes A Deal With Heastie A Day After the AG Proposes Ethics Reform
    Cuomo Gains Support for Ethics Policies (NYT) With a budget deadline two weeks away, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Tuesday that he had come to an agreement on new ethics policies with the State Assembly, which his fellow Democrats control, though a deal with the Republicans who lead the State Senate was not secure. Details of the ethics package were scarce, though Mr. Cuomo said he was “more than happy” with the deal. * Lawmakers briefed on the agreement said it includes disclosure of income larger than $5,000, including the name of legal clients, verification for per-diem expenses and tighter campaign fund rules, the Daily News reports:  * Cuomo begins his second term with his lowest job approval rating, at 50 percent, and those polled indicated they trust the teachers union more than Cuomo to improve education, a Quinnipiac University poll found * The Times Union writes that an “unfortunate new narrative”on police-community relations promoted by Rudy Giuliani has lent support to a state law that keeps details about the discipline of cops secret: Quid Pro Quo From Cuomo Prompts Battle With Lawmakers Over State Budget (NYT) Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s prevailing mode of governance this year appears to be extreme horse-trading: demanding changes from the Legislature, or else.* Albany veterans say few executives engaged in trading policy changes for budget concessions with the same gusto as Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but legislative leaders have rebuffed this strategy. “Call it quid pro quo or tit for tat, but the prevailing mode of governance this year for (Cuomo) is tying appropriations to new policy — or else.” This has prompted pushback from state lawmakers.Cuomo said he was “cautiously optimistic” that his agreement with the Assembly would pass with senators as well. “I think we’re there,” he said, adding: “There is going to be more disclosure, more transparency than has ever existed in this government.” The state Senate Democrats, tired of their “bounce-back clown punching bag” relationship with Cuomo, are finally distancing themselves and asserting some independence from the governor.* Schneiderman, Bharara Team Up On Bank Settlement (YNN)

    McCall Blasts Paterson "Its All About Negotiating Tactics"
    McCall Swipes At Paterson (YNN)Comptroller H. Carl McCall may have been surprised by his offhand swipe at former Gov. David Paterson. It came when I asked McCall, who was pitching the governor and legislative leaders to invest more money in the state’s higher education system, about Cuomo’s tactic of linking seeming unrelated policy items – like the Education Investment Tax Credit, the DREAM Act and TAP funding – in appropriations bills, over which state lawmakers have very little control. “This is all negotiating tactics,” McCall replied.
    Paterson Called Cuomo's Puppet Some Democratic state legislators contend Democratic Party Chairman David Paterson is doing Cuomo’s bidding against fellow party members and is not representing all Democrats, the Daily News reports: * State Senate Republicans adopted a budget resolution that would eliminate funding for the state’s Tenant Protection Unit, which was created by Cuomo in 2011 to enhance rent law enforcement, the Daily Newsreports:  Women's Right Democrats who previously pushed for taking up all or none of the Women’s Equality Act say they are now willing to settle for a partial victory and focus on important measures, The Wall Street Journal reports 


    NYCHA Begs Albany for $$$  Hundreds of New York City Housing Authority residents plan to rally in Albany today and demand the state help pay for repairs at aging buildings after it stopped contributing to NYCHA in 1998, the Daily News reports NYCHA Update * The Cuomo administration said it is willing to discuss additional funds for the New York City Housing Authority after tenants rallied at the capital for an increase in the $25 million budgeted, the Daily News reports: * Dan Janison: “Heading down the stretch to an April 1 budget deadline, (Cuomo’s) upper hand over the legislature seems difficult to overstate.” As true budget negotiations begin this week, legislators appear to be standing together — at least when it comes to trying to stave off major new education policy changes. Cuomo’s push to raise the minimum wage has won the backing of more than three dozen downstate business leaders, including Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman, Gilt Groupe Chairman Kevin Ryan, Steiner Studios Chairman Doug Steiner, and Mark Jaffe, president and CEO of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce. Tax Credits The Assembly Democrats might consider a compromise on the education tax credit, but the Senate Republicans remain staunchly opposed to the Dream Act, legislators said during a panel discussion on Sunday hosted by the New York State School Boards Association.  Family Leave Advocates press Cuomo to take action on paid family leavelegislation 

    Updated  The Post writes that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastiedeserves the perk of a taxpayer-funded Jeep Grand Cherokee, noting that his predecessor, Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, expensed flights to Albany:

    The Assembly has spent $39,448 to pay for a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited used by new Speaker Carl Heastie, while his predecessor used a less flashy 2011 Ford Taurus, the Daily News reports: * Report: Lawmaker gets Cuomo admin job offer,then lawmakergoes on PR offensive against Cuomo critics  Astorino Astorino, In Albany, Says Cuomo Is Isolated (YNN) * Cuomo Is Pushed On Paid Leave (YNN) Woman Rights The Assembly will pass a package of anti-human trafficking legislation, but only a bill proposed by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin will then move toward the governor’s desk as the others are sent to the Senate for approval, the Times Union reports: * In a letter to Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Cuomo’s office challenged the mainline Democratic conference to voluntarily submit to the state’s Freedom of Information Law, State of Politics reports:  * Lawmakers including Sens. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Liz Krueger, and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito pushed Cuomo to back a paid leave measure that’s been embraced by both the Senate and Assembly, Stateof Politicsreports

     New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters said the agency was focusing on systemic investigations and should not be judged by declines in arrests and referrals, the Journal reports:




    Children's Blame Game in Albany 
    Lawmakers Say Governor Should Be Included In Ethics Package . . .  U.S. Attorney Will Make Sure Of That . . . The Expected Plea Deal Of Former Speaker Silver Will Also Have Something to Say on the Cuomo
    "More than 30 state legislators have left office in disgrace .. and their first instinct is to point fingers"
    State pols say ethics package should include publicdisclosure for Cuomo (NYDN) State legislators say they are willing to enact a number of new ethics reforms, but they argue Gov. Cuomo should subject himself to more public disclosure as well. Republican and Democratic legislative sources say that while Cuomo has attacked lawmakers on the issue of outside income, the governor is making as much as $900,000 from HarperCollins for his recent memoir, which only sold a few thousand copies. They also say that perhaps there should be a ban on governors giving paid outside speeches. They note his big book advance and lucrative salary and investments of his live-in girlfriend, Food Network star Sandra Lee. While Cuomo during his first four years has not given such speeches, former Govs. Mario Cuomo and George Pataki did. * Cuomo’s former chief of staff Larry Schwartz, who left the administration on Jan. 11, is still on the state’s payroll and being paid his usual $181,560 annual salary for a job listed as “Dir of NY Off,” the Post’s Fred Dicker reports:  * Cuomo's proposal for income disclosure has a few holes,  (Capital) 


    When Will the Daily News Ask the Albany Lawmakers If Silver Will Rat Them Out? 
    (NYDN) “I intend to fully represent my constituents in the best way I know how,” he told the Daily News. “I am confident I will be fully vindicated.” Some close to Silver said he’s had a hard time adjusting after more than two decades as one of the state’s most powerful men. But others, including former Senate Democratic Leaders Martin Connor, Malcolm Smith, and John Sampson, stayed on after giving up their leadership posts. Some believe Silver wants to hang on as a bargaining chip with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. But by law Silver would be automatically required to give up his seat if convicted of any felony regardless of what type of deal is cut.* Cuomo’s ethics reform package includes exemptions that would not subject state legislators to “total disclosure” of their income sources, which Cuomo has suggested was necessary, Capital New York reports Onondaga County DA Bill Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the defunct Moreland Commission, says he has “no personal knowledge of the guilt or innocence of Speaker Silver.” …The DA also says he wasn’t surprised by the charges brought against Silver. Silver marched Sunday in Chinatown’s Lunar New Year parade as he usually does, and there appeared to be no signs that he is under federal indictment. At the parade, some fellow elected officials praised Silver for helping to push through a law allowing a Chinese new year holiday, while others tried to avoid being photographed with him.

    With A Gov Trying to Blow Him Up, GOP Senate and Silver Gone
    All de Blasio Will Get From Albany is This Lousy T Shirt 
    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will head to Albany this week with a sprawling agenda and no shortage of political challenges during an unusually turbulent time in the Capitol, The Associated Press writes: De Blasio's visit comes at an unusually turbulent time in the Capitol, one that could prove pivotal to the always fractious relationship between City Hall and the Capitol. Manhattan Democrat Sheldon Silver - long the city's key advocate - is out as Assembly speaker, consumed by a corruption scandal. New Speaker Carl Heastie of the Bronx could be a formidable ally for de Blasio, but his leadership is untested. While they profess their friendship, the mayor and Gov. Andrew Cuomo often don't see eye to eye.* The policy priority rift between de Blasio and Cuomo will be on display when the mayor comes to Albany Wednesday to testify before a joint legislative budget committee hearing.* De Blasio moving ahead with Sunnyside Yards housing plan | Capital New York *The “total disclosure” Cuomo says he wants of legislators’ outside income is relative, and would have some exemptions under his current reform proposal.*  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to lobby the state legislature for control over setting the minimum wage during his Albany visit today, but has kept details of his presentation close to the vest, City & State writes:





    More Litwin Lobbyists
    Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin Llc $150,000
    Carl Andrews & Associates, Inc. $ 144,000
    Empire Strategic Planning, Inc. $ 144,000
    Meara, Brian R. Public Relations, Inc. $120,000
    Lieberman, Mark L. $90,000
    Sanzillo, Francis J. & Associates $90,000
    Runes, Richard $60,000
    Park Strategies $20,000
    Meet thebillionaires benefitting from @NYGovCuomo’s giveaway to luxury developments in:




    CrainsNY Engquist Where the Flacking the Truth 
    Spin city (CrainsNY) "I took part in a panel discussion recently on discerning spin from truth when politicians speak. I estimated that 90% of what they say is spin. But it
    's not just elected officials. Everybody spins. Interest groups, flacks, even holier-than-thou good-government groups assail me daily with hundreds of messages spinning ostensibly true information to suit their purposes. I don't resent the spin; these people are advancing their causes. But it's enough to make my head, well, you know."