Monday, October 24, 2016

NY's Voting System is Fixed by Albany: Divided Into 3 Primaries to Keep the Voting Turnout Low; Election Law Petitions to Keep Candidates Off the Ballot; Campaign Consultant Lobbyists Who Control PACsw

While New Yorkers Have Stop Voting Helped By Its Repressive Voting Laws, Its Dead keep Voting

The Post after seeing the story last week of an irate Queens woman, Michelle Dimino, who was getting absentee ballot for her dead father, who died in 2012. Still, a city Department of Investigations probe of the 2013 elections found that at least 63 ineligible voters were still in the voter registration books at polling sites. DOI undercover probers were able to “cast a vote” in the names of 61 of the 63 ineligible voters — including 39 dead people, 14 convicted felons, and eight non residents. The BOE declined to discuss its procedures for purging dead voters. City Comptroller Scott Stringer said the examples of dead voters on the rolls “ raise important flags” and “are emblematic of the incompetence of the agency.”  He’s currently auditing the BOE.

A Bill That Will Never Pass Will Allow Recall of Pols After Felony Charges LOL
Bill would allow for recall of indicted politicians like Mangano (NYDN) After being indicted on federal corruption charges last week, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano resisted immediate calls to resign by Nassau County state Senate Republicans. But he may have had no choice if a bill passed the Senate this year had become law. The bill would allow the public to seek a recall election of elected officials—including county executives—if they are indicted on felony charges related to their public offices or convicted of a misdemeanor.

GOP Running Against de Blasio in Effort to Remain in Control of the Senate
Republicans are bombarding voters in Nassau County and the Hudson Valley with TV ads and mailers linking Democratic candidates to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in an effort to hold onto their control of the state Senate, the Post reports. *  GOP campaigns on unpopular de Blasio in battle for state Senate (NYP) Embattled Republicans are banking on an old foe — Mayor de Blasio — to help them in this year’s state Senate races. The local GOP is bombarding voters with TV ads and mailers linking Democratic candidates to Hizzoner in an all-out effort to hold onto their tenuous control of the chamber. In the final days of campaigning, de Blasio is expected be featured as a bogeyman in a half-dozen contested races in Nassau County, LI, and the Hudson Valley, GOP sources said. * Hedge fund billionaires, public school teachers, developers, hospitals and New York City landlords are the financial backbone of of the political action committees lined up to influence which party controls the state Senate, The Buffalo News reports.  * The arrest of GOP Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has many Democratic leaders dreaming of a countywide sweep, particularly because their party has a slight voter registration advantage, the Times reports.
Fredric U. Dicker ‏@fud31   Senior state Dem: "Cuomo's campaigning for Senate Dems on L.I. is really campaigning from himself - to avoid a 2018 Schneiderman primary.''

With the IDC Strong Cuomo Covers His Ass With Democrats 
Cuomo is slated to headline a rally Monday on behalf of two Democratic state Senate candidates in Nassau County, and sources said Cuomo is expected to make more endorsements in contested state Senate races, the Daily News’ Kenneth Lovett reports.

As 38 States Have Early Voting Not One NY Lawmaker Has Held A Press Conference Calling for Voting Reforms Despite A Generation of Falling Voter Participation 
Cuomo ‘proud’ of New Yorkers for setting onlinevoter registration record (NYDN) New Yorkers are setting voter registration records — as the presidential campaign continues to hit new highs of craziness and rancor.  More than 214,300 people filed online voter registration applications between Oct. 1 and Oct. 14, the deadline.

Blasio Was Elected With Less Than 5% of New York City's Registered Voters 

New York's Falling Voter Participation Rate is A Canary in the Coal Mine Warning for Our Failing City and Democracy  2013 Was the Lowest Turnout Since Women Given Right to Vote in 1918 . .200,000 Votes Less Than 2009. Only 282,344 New Yorkers voted in the 2013 primary for de Blasio. That is out of 3,222,468 registered democratic voters 8%, in what everyone knows is the real election in NYC.  If you look at the 4,727,307 registered NYC voters then de Blasio became the mayor with just 5% of the voters voting for him.  de Blasio Was Elected Public Advocate in 2009 With Just 4.4% of the Democrat Vote or Less than 1.7% of the City's Residences In the 2005 primary runoff Comptroller John Liu received 127,173 or just 4% of the registered Democrats in the city (3,177,740) in the runoff. De Blasio did a little better with 138, 736, he got 4.4% of the city's democratic voters. John Liu was elected with just 2.7% of all the city's registered voters casting their vote for him. New York: Turnout Appears Headed for Record Low What In A Mandate? worry--50% drop in primary turnout since '89 * NYC voter turnout stinks: report(NYDN * New York Ranked 42 of 50 in Voting Age Turnout 50.7% Mayor O’Dwyer election in 1941, which took place one month before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor received more than a million more votes than de Blasio * Forty Years of Freefall in New York Voter Turnout (Gotham Gazette)

Cuomo did worse than de Blasio in New York City Cuomo Got 1.9 million votes — about a million less than when he was first elected four years ago. Also, Remington confirms tough gun laws led to its expansion out of state. Just 18 percent of the state’s 10.8 million registered voters actually voted for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who beat Republican Rob Astorino by 13 points and he only got 743,679 votes in New York City, compared to de Blasio’s 795,679 votes in 2013, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett reports: *Steve Cohen's words about de Blasio 'mandate' come back to haunt Gov. Cuomo * NY breaks lowest voter turnout record in governors race(NYP) New York voters shattered a record in Tuesday’s elections — but no one’s going to be bragging about it. This record is for the lowest turnout in a New York gubernatorial election in the modern era. Only 3.7 million people bothered to go to the polls — the fewest since the state Board of Elections began keeping precise tallies in the 1970s. That means only about one-third of the state’s 10.8 million active voters filled out ballots to re-elect Gov. Cuomo.* Gov. Andrew Cuomo won re-election with what is probably the fewest number of votes of any New York governor since Franklin Roosevelt in 1930 * The Post’s Bob McManus notes that Cuomo racked up thefewest votes recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate in New York since FDR in 1930, but that he still was in “the catbird seat” after the election * New York’s Miserable Voter Turnout Isn’t an Accident (NYT)Incompetent Albany politicians like the system just the way it is. 

The Assembly Started A PAC This Year To Protect Their Incumbents, Both the Dems and GOP Senate Parties Have PAC to Protect Their Incumbents
Assembly Democrats plot to back incumbents in primaries (NYP) It’s going to be almost impossible to unseat a Democratic legislator in the state Assembly under a plan being hatched by Speaker Carl Heastie, The Post has learned. Heastie intends...* A shift by the state Assembly Democrats’ campaign arm could give the chamber’s leadership greater sway by increasing its ability to assist lawmakers facing difficult primary election challenges.* Assembly Democratic fund to help fight primary challenges (TU) * An independent expenditure group recently set up by education reform advocates associated with StudentsFirstNY has raised $1.75 million over the past week to pour into New York’s November elections—and is likely to help Senate Republicans, Crain’s reports: *Charter-schools group poised to aid Senate GOP

WFP & Lobbyists Campaign Consultants Have Caused the Walmartization of NY's Politics . . . Using the Wal-Mart Business Model to Win Campaigns and Drive Out the Competition 
NYC does not have a single Walmart because of the WFP and their friends in the progressive movement protesting the company unfair business practices. The protesters accuse Wal-mart of bulk purchasing and corporate financing to sell merchandise at low costs in order to drive competitors out of the market.  WFP says the Wal-Mart's business model pushes mom and pop business out of the market creating an economic monopoly.  It is now clear that less than a dozen lobbyists political consultants has use the Wal-Mart unfair business model to take over NY's politics by using unfair 2009 the WFP Data and Field model to give them and their candidates a competitive advantages in campaigns.  In 2013 after the Citizen United SC ruling these same lobbyists consultants used PACs like NYCLASS, UFT's United for the Future and the Developers Jobs for NY

Council Speaker Mark-Viverito Being Sued for Racial Discrimination 
Mark-Viverito wanted to replace city manager with Spanish speaker: suit (NYP) A black housing-project manager in The Bronx claims she was the victim of a witch hunt because City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito demanded a Spanish speaker in the post. A fuming Viverito summoned Allison Williams and others to a meeting last year, allegedly asking the New York Housing Authority employee, “How are you handling your Spanish- speaking residents at Mill Brook Houses?” When NYCHA supervisors explained they use a bank of certified translators provided by the authority, Viverito burst out, “That’s unacceptable!” while slamming her hands on the desk, Williams charges in a new Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit. The speaker “proceeded to state that she was very unhappy with the management of the Mill Brook Houses, and wanted to replace the current manager with a ‘Spanish manager,’ ” according to court papers. Williams, who still runs the Mill Brook Houses, is suing Viverito, the city, the NYCHA and others for creating a hostile work environment, taking away her support staff and leaving her riddled with anxiety. Williams is seeking unspecified damages. The city said it will review the complaint. The NYCHA said it doesn’t assign managers “based on ethnic or racial demographics of developments.”

Cuomo Signs Airbnb Bill Company Faces Up to $7500 Fine Airbnb Files Lawsuit Against Gov AG 
Airbnbannounces new policies to soothe N.Y. lawmakers' concerns as decision looms onbill to fine illicit listings (NYDN) * Hotels girding for a fight against Airbnb (Craigs) Meanwhile, city regulators and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman are looking into cracking down on companies that help folks rent out their apartments to tourists. * Airbnbannounces new policies to soothe N.Y. lawmakers' concerns as decision looms onbill to fine illicit listings (NYDN) * Cuomo has just days to sign bill fining Airbnb users in New York (NYP) * Dozens of New York pols send letters to Gov. Cuomo pleading for him tosign anti-Airbnb bill (NYDN) The bill, passed by the Legislature in June, would prohibit the advertising of illegal units on home-sharing sites and impose fines of up to $7,500 per violation.* A fresh reason to veto the ‘kill Airbnb’ bill (NYP) Some of these steps need Albany’s OK. But Airbnb plans to adopt others — the one-home-per-host, the three-strikes-you’re-out rules — on its own. It says it always opposed the use of homes as illegal hotels and has focused on helping occasional renters pick up a few extra bucks when they’re out of town. Its new plan shows it means that. Yet no fixes will ever satisfy the hotel industry and unions, which see Airbnb as competition. So Cuomo’s under great pressure to back the bill — and clobber the company.* Airbnb Rentals In New York Could Now Face $7,500 Fine (WCBS) * New Airbnb Legislation Won't Automatically Remove All Illegal Hotels FromThe Market (Gothamist(

While the Hotel Industry Push Cuomo to Sign the New Airbnb Law the Company Does the Most Damages In Gentrification Neighbors 
Airbnb Attacks Brooklyn Gentrification Neighborhoods Increasing Tenant Push out Taking Affordable House Apts Off the Market
Cuomo signs bill that deals huge blow to Airbnb (NYP) Cuomo on Friday bowed to pressure from the hotel industry and signed into law one of the nation’s toughest restrictions on Airbnb — including hefty fines of up to $7,500 for people who rent out space in their apartments. Backers of the punitive measure — which applies to rentals of less than 30 days when the owner or tenant is not preset — say many property owners use Airbnb and similar sites to offer residential apartments as short-term rentals to visitors, hurting the hotel business while taking residential units off the Big Apple’s high-priced housing market.  “Today is a great day for tenants, seniors, and anyone who values the safe and quiet enjoyment of their homes and neighborhoods,” said Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat. Enforcement, however, will be a huge challenge, as thousands of short-term apartment rentals are listed in the city despite a 2010 law that prohibits rentals of less than 30 days when the owner or tenant is not present. Violators could be turned in by neighbors or landlords opposed to the practice, or the state could monitor the site to look for potential violations. But beyond that how the law would be enforced was not immediately clear. Tenants who violate current state law and list their apartments for rentals of less than 30 days would face fines of $1,000 for the first offense, $5,000 for the second and $7,500 for a third. An investigation of Airbnb rentals from 2010 to 2014 by the state attorney general’s office found that 72 percent of the units in New York City were illegal, with commercial operators constituting 6 percent of the hosts and supplying 36 percent of the rentals. As of August, Airbnb had 45,000 city listings and another 13,000 across the state.* Airbnb ruling deprives struggling New Yorkers of a steady income (NYP) * The great Airbnbcrackdown: Passing a law was easy; enforcement will be hard (NYDN Ed) The suspense is over: Overriding our objections, and those of thousands of New Yorkers who made a little extra money on the side, Gov. Cuomo has signed legislation banning advertisement of whole apartment rentals for 30 days or less on Airbnb and other platforms. Now enforcers working for the city will presumably have to sort through thousands of listings, show up at thousands of apartments and determine who is subject to huge fines — and who is simply renting out a room in their own apartment, which remains completely legal. Who’s going to do that? How? * ."Cuomo bowed to pressure from hotelindustry"... 

It Takes A Crook to Know One Hank Baby51 Taking Taking the 5th in A Bid Rigging Investigation  Lobbyists Sheinkopf Calls CFB's Hearn "Patina of Absolute Integrity" Fleeing Before the Feds Come Down on Campaign for 1NY She Helped Cover Up

No matter what he does, he can’t win here,” said veteran political consultant Hank Sheinkopf. “Rose has the patina of absolute integrity. At a time when he’s under investigation, he’s going to name the replacement for an investigator. It doesn’t look good.

Campaign Finance Board chief to resign (NYP) Rose Gill Hearn was appointed board chair by Mayor Bloomberg in December 2013, just days before de Blasio took office.  In a written statement, she said her “increasingly heavy work schedule no longer permits me to devote the time warranted” for the board. A former federal prosecutor, Gill Hearn works full-time as a principal at Bloomberg Associates, a consulting firm founded by the former mayor.  While her departure — effective on Dec. 31 — opens the door for de Blasio to appoint his own figurehead to the board, it also puts him in a delicate position. The Campaign Finance Board is still in the process of auditing de Blasio’s 2013 campaign.  US Attorney Preet Bharara is also examining whether government favors were traded for donations to the mayor’s campaign and non-profits.* Independent expenditure committees have spent $5.42 million in this year’s state Senate general elections and supported candidates from both major parties at similar rates, with education groups dominating the spending, Politico New York reports.  * Independent expenditure committees have spent $5.42 million in this year’s state Senate general elections and supported candidates from both major parties at similar rates, with education groups dominating the spending, Politico New York reports.
NYP's Gartland You Left Out Lobbyists Sheinkopf Record

In Exchange for Contracts Singh Paid for Mangano Trips Hired His Wife What Did He Do for de Blasio?
Ed Mangano will not resign, calls ‘pay-for-play’ charges nonsense (NYP) Nassau County’s top elected official enjoyed free Caribbean vacations and a Brookstone massage chair — while his wife raked in $450,000 for a no-show job as a “food taster” — in a pay-for-play scheme, the feds said Thursday.  County Executive Ed Mangano was arrested Thursday morning with his wife, Linda, and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto. The two pols allegedly raked in graft in exchange for doling out lucrative contracts and underwriting $20 million in loans to local restaurateur Harendra Singh.  “This is not just, ‘I am your friend, let me do this for you.’ This is, ‘In my capacity as county executive, as an executive of the town of Oyster Bay, I am doing this in exchange for something better,’ ” said US Attorney Robert Capers.  Singh would ply Mangano and his family with lavish trips and pricey gadgets while making sure Venditto was squired around town in a limo and given a free party room at his eateries, the feds and sources said.  Singh also gave Linda Mangano the no-show job at a restaurant in Queens, keeping her on the payroll between April 2010 and August 2014, prosecutors said. In exchange, Singh was given food contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and got the town of Oyster Bay to guarantee four loans he received from a bank and a private financing company, the 13-count, 19-page indictment says. On Thursday, the feds raided Mangano’s home, recovering a few of the items Singh allegedly gave the family in exchange — including an ergonomic massage chair and a more than $7,000 watch. The charges against Mangano and Venditto include conspiracy to commit federal program bribery and honest-services fraud. If convicted, they face up to 20 years behind bars for each honest-services fraud charge. The three were also charged with obstructing justice for allegedly concocting false stories with Singh in to hide their dealings.  Mangano faces up to 20 years for an extortion charge. Venditto and Linda Mangano face up to five years for making false statements.* Once Again, a No-Show Job Plays a Role in a New YorkGraft Case (NYT)

Daily News, Newsday Demands Mangano Resign
Corrupt to the core: The sordid case of NassauCounty Executive Ed Mangano and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto (NYDN Ed) The documented bribery started just three months into Mangano’s term, on April 9, 2010, when Linda Mangano got her first paycheck for a nonexistent job from restaurateur Harendra Singh (who is cooperating with the feds).She would wind up pocketing more than $450,000 for work as a “food taster.” Besides the paychecks, Singh paid for Mangano vacations from Niagara Falls to the Caribbean, a $7,304 wristwatch, a $3,000 massage chair, a $2,000 desk chair and even hardwood flooring in the Manganos’ bedroom. In return, prosecutors allege, Mangano and Venditto greased Singh with government-backed loan guarantees from Town of Oyster Bay and food services contracts with the county — including supplying bread and rolls to the county jail. As they await trial and possible prison time, Mangano and Venditto, loyal cogs in Boss Joe Mondello’s Nassau GOP machine, must resign — and give government on Long Island a fighting chance to clean itself up. Meantime, Mr. and Mrs. Mangano should be sure to enjoy their hardwood floors. The floors where they could well be heading are made of cold concrete. * Newsweek writes that Mangano and Venditto should resign because they can’t fulfill their duties as they contend with federal charges of corruption, which Newsweek calls stunning “only in the pettiness of the gifts allegedly taken.”

NYT See Mangano Arrest As A Way to Win A Democrat Majority in the Senate
Nassau County Executive’s Arrest Raises Democratic Hopes of State Senate Gains (NYT)

The Conflict of Interest Board Which OK deB Campaign for 1NY Slush Fund Under Fed Investigation OKs City Vehicles for Mayor's Personal Trips
De Blasio leaves taxpayers on the hook for personal trips (NYP) de Blasio is the city’s only top elected New York official who has declined to reimburse taxpayers for his personal and political use of city vehicles — including an NYPD-helicopter trip to last month’s presidential debate on Long Island, The Post has learned.  While city rules don’t require reimbursement, city Comptroller Scott Stringer has contributed $1,702.02 from his campaign fund and personal piggy bank to cover the cost of using his government SUV on noncity business since taking ­office in January 2014, his office said.  Similarly, Public Advocate Letitia James has refunded $3,912.82 to taxpayers, while City Council Speaker Melissa Mark- ­Viverito has given back $4,274.13.  This week, Hizzoner pointed to a 2009 Conflicts of Interest Board opinion that said city officials who are required to have around-the-clock security details aren’t required to cough up funds to cover the personal or political use of their official cars. His team said the ruling applies to helicopters as well — even though there’s no specific mention of them in the advisory.

Interlocking-Directorates of the Campaign for 1NY PAC Call for An Investigation 
  1. The mayor appoints 50% of the Campaign Finance Board
  2. The Council Speaker appoints 50% of the Campaign Finance Board
  3. Team de Blasio elected Mark- Viverito Speaker
  4. The mayor appoints 50% of the Conflict of Interests Board
  5. The Council Speaker appoints 
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Council Blast Mayor for Wasting Sandy Funds Where Was the Council Oversight When the Funds Were Being Wasted?
Sandy Rebuild Fund Broke Repairs Not Finished
Mayor de Blasioadmits he can't fulfill promise to complete construction on thousands of homesravaged by Hurricane Sandy before end of year (NYDN) * Lawmakers blast de Blasio officials over botched Sandy project (NYP) “I honestly don’t know how you can sit here with a straight face after blowing billions of dollars and ask the City Council for more money when you can’t even meet your own deadlines,” Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Queens) told a panel of administration officials at a City Hall hearing.  “We’re talking about people who use their positions of trust as elected officials to guarantee that a certain result occurred, corruptly, in exchange for thiRobin Levine, a spokeswoman for Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, slammed the administration for trying to shift the $500 million without properly notifying the council, which approves the city budget each year.ngs of value.” *  de Blasioadmits he can't fulfill promise to complete construction on thousands of homesravaged by Hurricane Sandy before end of year (NYDN)  Mayor admits homes damaged by Sandy won't be rebuilt by end of 2016 as promised * * State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott released a report saying the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities was saddled with “systemic mismanagement” that failed to stop caregivers from stealing from the disabled, the Times Union reports. * De Blasio’s $500 million Sandy-rebuilding fiasco (NYP)  What Bill didn’t build: De Blasio admits the post-Sandy promises fall short(NYDN Ed)

True News Connect the CFB, Singh and Mangano Stories to Conclude de Blasio's In Deep Trouble

 Head of Campaign Finance Board Stepping Down As the Feds Get Ready to Pounce on Campaign for 1NY PAC
Head Of The NYC Campaign Finance Board Is Stepping Down  Rose Gill Hearn is stepping down as head of the NYC Campaign Finance Board “because of her primary job as a principal at Bloomberg Associates, a consulting firm founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help city governments around the world.” * NYC Campaign Finance Board chief resigning tofocus on day job at consulting firm (NYDN) The head of the city’s Campaign Finance Board will quit the post at the end of the year, leaving the job empty ahead of 2017’s citywide elections, she said Wednesday.  Rose Gill Hearn, who was appointed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg just before he left office, said she’s stepping down because she’s gotten too busy with her day job at Bloomberg’s consulting group, Bloomberg Associates.
ATale of Two CFBs: Albanese vs Campaign PAC NYCLASS, UFT's United for the Future 

Mangano to Be Arrested Ties to Fed Restaurant Rat Singh who Assisting FBI On de Blasio Pay to Play Fund Raising 

NY County Executive arrested by federal agents... 13 count indictment... County Executive Edward Mangano is expected to be arrested on federal corruptioncharges, a source said  * Ed Mangano to be charged with federal corruption (NYP) The looming charges center on Mangano’s ties to federally-indicted Long Island restaurant magnate Harendra Singh, and will allege that Mangano helped Singh with business deals and in return was treated to free vacations and other perks, sources said Wednesday. Singh is assisting the feds in an investigation into Mayor de Blasio’s campaign fundraising, the New York Times reported earlier Wednesday. It is unclear whether Singh is cooperating in the Mangano case. Quid-pro-quo ties between Mangano and Singh have been alleged repeatedly over the past year. Singh, 57, owns a half-dozen restaurants on Long Island, as well as The Water’s Edge eatery in Long Island City. The restaurateur is a big de Blasio donor, hauling in more than $27,000 for the mayor, who has likewise been generous in return, spending $2,613 on events at The Water’s Edge and appointing him to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York.*  Restaurant OwnerCentral To Ed Mangano Case Contributed To De Blasio Campaign (WCBS)

Singh is charged by the feds with tens of millions of dollars in bribery, fraud and tax evasion charges. Among his alleged crimes was scamming $950,000 from FEMA by inflating claims of Hurricane Sandy damage.  Mangano has been under a shadow since 2013, when Nassau County awarded a $12 million public works contract to AbTech, an Arizona-based environmental company. AbTech got the plum county contract soon after hiring Adam Skelos, son of now-jailed Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.* The looming charges center on Mangano’s ties to federally-indicted Long Island restaurant magnate Harendra Singh, and will allege that Mangano helped Singh with business deals and in return was treated to free vacations and other perks, sources said Wednesday.* Ed Mangano to be charged with federal corruption (NYP)

NYT Using Defense Lawyers, Political Consultants as Sources Fake Conclude The Feds Cannot Make the Pay to Play Case Against de Blasio
Federal Inquiry Into Mayor de Blasio Is Said to Focus on Whether Donors Got Favors  (NYT) An investigation into the mayor’s campaign fund-raising has zeroed in on whether donations were exchanged for beneficial city action in several cases, people with knowledge of the inquiry said.  The focus on the roughly half-dozen cases comes as investigators appear to have concluded that several other fund-raising or related matters that had been under federal scrutiny, or were the subject of state or local inquiries, now seem less likely to yield criminal charges, according to several of the people, who include defense lawyers, city officials, political consultants and others with knowledge of the matter.

The Feds Make A Case Against de Blaio
A federal investigation into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign fund-raising has zeroed in on whether donations were exchanged for beneficial city action in about a half-dozen cases, according to people with knowledge of the inquiry.  Prosecutors have subpoenaed thousands of emails and documents from the New York mayor, his senior aides, city agencies, lobbyists, his 2013 campaign, donors to the campaign and to the nonprofit formed to advance his political agenda, the Campaign for One New York — as well as the group itself, which several people with knowledge of the inquiry said played a central role in many of the matters being scrutinized.  The matters under scrutiny, the people said, involve, among others, a company whose soundstages are used to film television shows such as “The Good Wife” and “Blue Bloods” that wanted to expand its operations, and that depends on city permits; those connected to a lucrative development deal on the site of a former hospital that needed city approvals; a popular restaurant and wedding site that was negotiating a new lease with the city; and a garbage bag company seeking a city contract.  

Two donors are now cooperating with the investigation, several people with knowledge of the inquiry said. Investigators recently secured the assistance of Harendra Singh, owner of Water’s Edge restaurant in Queens, who has been indicted on unrelated federal fraud and bribery charges. Mr. Singh had met with senior officials in City Hall about issues involving his restaurant, and was close to resolving them when he was arrested last year, two people with knowledge of the inquiry said.  The second donor, Jonah Rechnitz, has pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges and has been providing information in the fund-raising inquiry and other cases, according to officials and court records. Information from Mr. Rechnitz, a real estate developer who sought the mayor’s help for his business, has led to unrelated charges against three senior police officials, a veteran municipal union leader and a financier.
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Berlin Rosen and de Blasio One NY PAC Slush Fund 

The Rivington Nursing Home Deed Change is Being Investigated by the Feds
Among those matters: the lifting of deed restrictions on a Lower Manhattan nursing home that allowed it to be sold to luxury condominium developers at a $72 million profit; whether an animal rights group that supported removing horse carriages from city streets got favorable treatment in return for generous donations to the Campaign for One New York; and whether the mayor, or those acting with him, violated state election law in raising money for three Democratic candidates to help the party gain control of the State Senate in 2014.   City officials and lawyers representing some of the subjects of the investigation, however, contend that it has focused on what they characterize as the traditional business of politics and government: donors supporting the mayor and later seeking what they said was his legitimate help on issues of interest to them. ‘

The Feds Are Investigating de Blasio's Slush Fund Campaign for One NY Which Caused A Shadow Govt
As for the issues still being scrutinized, several lawyers for subjects of, and witnesses in, the fund-raising inquiry and others with knowledge of it have said the Campaign for One New York has drawn increasing attention. The nonprofit, which could take unlimited contributions because of its legal status, formed shortly before Mr. de Blasio took office, and raised more than $4 million to push his political agenda; much of it came from developers, unions, lobbyists and people and firms with business before the city. Watchdog groups complained that it amounted to a “shadow government,” allowing lobbyists, consultants and others to funnel money to the mayor unfettered by the city’s strict campaign finance laws.The nonprofit shut down in March; Mr. de Blasio said it had served its purpose of pushing for passage of universal prekindergarten and an affordable housing plan. At the time, the group was the subject of an inquiry by the Joint Commission for Public Ethics, a state agency that enforces the lobbying law, and a formal complaint filed with the city’s Campaign Finance Board. Some of the earliest and most generous donors to the Campaign for One New York are among those whose contributions — along with their actions and those of the mayor and members of his administration and campaign staff — are under scrutiny, several people with knowledge of the inquiry said. The first two donations to the group, made on Jan. 24, 2014, just weeks after Mr. de Blasio was sworn in, were for $25,000 each and came from Broadway Stages, the soundstage company seeking to expand, and the company’s president, Gina Argento  By then, Ms. Argento and her company were well known to the mayor. She was the second-largest bundler of contributions for his 2013 run — city records show she brought in over $100,000 for the campaign and transition — and even spent $250 to rent the costumes that Mr. de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, wore at a 2014 Halloween party for children at Gracie Mansion. (The company said it also paid for costumes for more than 100 children from homeless shelters who attended the party.)  One of Ms. Argento’s companies also gave $10,000 to the Putnam County Democratic Committee in October 2014, when the mayor was urging his donors to support Democratic efforts to wrest control of the State Senate.  Broadway Stages also gave $35,000 to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, a charity that is led by Ms. McCray. Ms. Argento served on the group’s advisory board until July.

Cuomo Hits de Blasio On HelicopterGate - Gov Only Use On State Business
The Siena Research Institute poll found that 56% of respondents still view Cuomo favorably, down slightly from 57% in September.  By contrast, 41% have an unfavorable opinion of the governor, up 2 points from September.
Cuomo shames de Blasio over helicopter use (NYP)  Cuomo tried to clip Mayor de Blasio’s wings as controversy mounted Tuesday over Hizzoner’s use of the NYPD helicopter fleet.  “The governor uses a state aircraft for state business and does not charge taxpayers for personal or political air travel,” Cuomo’s office said when asked about de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray getting airlifted to last month’s presidential debate on Long Island.  The mayor also drew fire from the New York Public Interest Group, with legislative director Blair Horner saying: “Why did he have to be flown out there is a good question.” “The mayor should be asking the Conflicts of Interest Board if it falls within one of those gray areas,” Horner added.  A former City Hall staffer also challenged de Blasio’s claim that he has authority to fly in the choppers under a 2009 COIB advisory opinion that says elected officials assigned a car and security personnel can use them “for official or personal purposes or any combination of the two.”“That doesn’t mean you’re allowed to sign out a garbage truck for the weekend because you’re cleaning out your attic,” the source said.  “A mayor can use his regular SUV to drive to or from a political event, but it doesn’t mean he gets to borrow a garbage truck — or a helicopter.” Could Be A Crime Jim Callaghan think about his response: he will not tell us if he was at a fund raiser or meeting with contributors, which would be a crime... and Police Commissioner O'Neill, the "reformer" is hiding records until Wilhelm comes up with a clever cover story. fact check: we own the helicopter and we pay to fuel it, fly it and maintain it. is there any aspect of this that a mayor and a Police Commissioner don't understand?
Brad Lander Retweeted NYC Mayor's Office
I thought protesting at Steve Banks' house was rotten. But targeting kids?! Beyond shameful. Thx @NYCMayorsOffice for creative compassion.

New Yorkers Cannot Vote Early and 95% Don't Qualify For Absentee Ballots Have A Board of Election's Which Allow the Dead to Vote
Elections board won’t stop sending dead man’s family absentee ballots (NYP) Queens resident Michelle Dimino has a simple request for the city’s Board of Elections: Please remove my late dad from the voter rolls. Dimino’s father, Anthony Baldomir, died on Oct. 4, 2012. But according to the board’s records, he could vote in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

NYSTU Breaking the Election Law By Coordinating Its PAC and Political Operation  
GOP head accuses state teachers’ union of violating election laws (NYP)  In a filing obtained by The Post, GOP chair Ed Cox charged that NYSUT, the state’s largest teachers’ union, and its campaign arms have exceeded contribution limits to state Senate Democrats and also share staff, which violates the law.  A new law that took effect in August states that there must be a firewall of separation between PACS and groups making independent expenditures.  Yet the Fund for Great Public Schools, which claims to be an independent political committee, has connections to NYSUT’s PAC, known as VOTE-COPE, according to Cox. Andrew Pallotta is listed as the treasurer of both the PAC and the Fund for Great Public Schools, according to filings viewed by The Post. Both groups also share the same address, 800 Troy-Schenectady Rd,. in Latham, N.Y. outside Albany.  Since Pallotta controls the PAC, he is barred from deciding how the independent expenditure committee spends its money and on whom.  Cox said that both Pallotta and NYSUT spokesman Carl Korn may be crossing the line. “The operational influence and control exercised by Andrew Pallotta and Carl Korn and the capacity in which he serves each entity strongly suggest the activities of the Fund for Great Public Schools constitute `coordination’ under NYS election law,” Cox said in the complaint.  Korn has been quoted as speaking for all three groups– the union, the PAC, and the independent expenditure group, Cox pointed out. “The conduct of NYSUT, VOTE_COPE and the Fund for Great Public Schools clearly amounts to coordination and runs afoul of Section 14-107 of the NYS election law,” Cox said.* Wal-Mart Heir Gives $500K To Education Reform Super PAC (YNN) One of the heirs to retail giant Wal-Mart on Thursday gave $500,000 to New Yorkers For A Balanced Albany, a group that is tied to the education reform group StudentsFirstNY.

After Howe Turns Fed Rat A Loan Becomes A Bribe That Does Not Have to Be Paid Back
Loan was really a bribe, says Todd Howe, former Washington &A lbany lobbyist & longtime insider to Cuomo  Former Cuomo lobbyist claims he doesn’t have to repay $85G to company suing him because it was bribe, not loan (NYDN) * Malatras Meticulous Moving from Cuomo's Office to Top Lobby Gig... (Gothamist) Jim Malatras, director of state operations for the Cuomo administration, has walled himself off from healthcare issues as he prepares to leave his post early next year to join the Healthcare Association of New York State as its new chief operating officer.

Update on Charter Schools

Cops Quitting Before Bronx's Danner Shooting 
A record number of NYPD officers want to retire (NYP) NYPD pension seminar draws over 800 cops amid low dept. morale...* Cops ‘won’t forget’ new commissioner’s ‘failed’ comment (NYP) * Cop who fatally shot Bronx woman broke NYPD mental illness rules (NYDN) Deborah Danner, after surviving five decades with her mental illness, deserved better than to die on the wrong end of a veteran city cop’s gun. Mayor de Blasio, echoing his police commissioner, put the blame Wednesday on Sgt. Hugh Barry for escalating a tense confrontation with the schizophrenic 66-year-old woman into a fatal showdown.* Mayor de Blasioadmits nuisance abatement law could be used ‘in a better manner’ afterdefending NYPD’s methods (NYDN) * She didn’thave to die: A fatal encounter between the NYPD and the mentally ill (NYDN Ed) Why Sgt. Hugh Barry reached for his revolver instead of the Taser stun gun on his belt, then fatally shot 66-year-old Deborah Danner in her apartment Tuesday evening, will necessarily be subject to the most stringent scrutiny both within the NYPD and by prosecutors.  “What’s clear in this instance is that we failed” — the blunt confession of Police Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill the morning after — leaves little room for an escape route from responsibility. Wednesday, de Blasio only lamented that Danner “was not overly willing to be connected to her treatment at this point in her life and that made it much more challenging” — then, in an unhealthy non sequitur, touted his efforts to connect New Yorkers to mental health care much earlier in their lives.* 'UNACCEPTABLE': Cop who fatally shot schizophrenic Bronx woman broke NYPD's 'isolate and contain' rule for mentally ill (NYDN) * AttorneyGeneral Won't Investigate Deadly NYPD Shooting of Mentally Ill Bronx Woman(WNBC) * When the mayor and commish shouldn’t rush to give answers (NYP Ed) * Ex-cop blasts ‘knee-jerk’ reactions to police shootings (NYP) * De Blasio defendsrapid City Hall outrage over Deborah Danner’s fatal shooting: ‘The public had aright to know this shouldn’t have happened’ (NYDN) * Police Academy exam's correct answer says NYPD cops ‘may shoot’ if‘disturbed’ man threatens them with bat, source says (NYDN) * De Blasio ‘neutered’ new commissioner: police union boss (NYP)

Lawmakers Make No Case For A Pay Raise
With no lawmakers signing up to testify, pay raise hearing is canceled (TU) Gov. Cuomo has said lawmakers should make the case if they want a raise

Seabrook Broke Union Out $20 Million 
Hedge fund holding Norman Seabrook’s $20M investment is broke (NYP) The embattled hedge fund holding a $20 million investment from the city’s correction officers’ union has finally admitted that it’s broke.  The Platinum Partners’ Value Arbitrage fund filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in Manhattan bankruptcy court late Tuesday. The filing represents the nail in the coffin for the $20 million the union invested in Platinum, under the leadership of its ex-president Norman Seabrook.  “Norman Seabrook severely impacted his members by making these frivolous investments that only benefited himself, and now the COBA is out $20 million,” said Corrections Officers’ Benevolent Association member William Valentin, who triggered a federal probe into Seabrook with a lawsuit over the risky investment.

Homeless  What is the Cause of the Historic Increase?
105,000 HOMELESS NYC STUDENTS...(NYP) * NYC homeless population reaches historically tragic number (NYP) The number of homeless people in city shelters has exceeded 60,000 for the first time in history, official data revealed Wednesday.  There are now 60,017 individuals being put up by the city — 36,463 adults and 23,554 children — according to the Department of Homeless Services’ “daily report” posted on its Web site.* 60,000-person question: At what point does Bill de Blasio reassess his failing approach tohomelessness? (NYDN Ed)  Seen through the mayor’s distorting ideological lens, the fact that a record 60,017 men, women and children went to bed in city homeless shelters Tuesday night shows both that New York wouldn’t dare deprive those who seek living quarters a place in this city and furthermore prevented even greater numbers from streaming in. He implicitly rationalizes as inevitable a steady upward swell into shelters, as escalating rents and a crush of population growth sets whole swaths of low-income New York adrift, unable to afford housing.  Will de Blasio similarly stay the course if and when the number of people living in homeless shelters — many merely hotel rooms without kitchens — hits 70,000? 80,000? More?  Coherence and consultation would be far preferable to de Blasio’s mad scramble, which started with the wrong assumption that shelters would shrink and then resorted to hotels as a quick fix. But the goal should be to build fewer. The mayor must accept, as agonizing as it is, that families living doubled up with others will have to find, with the city’s help, solutions other than shelter.

Cuomo vs DiNapoli
Cuomo’s financial regulator rips DiN
apoli for investing in hedge funds (NYP) New York state comptroller’s decision to stick with hedgefunds despite their poor returns has cost the Common Retirement Fund $3.8 billion in fees and underperformance, according to a critical report by the Department of Financial Services.(Bloomberg)* Report slams NYpension system's hedge fund investments. (Daily Beast)

Assembly Lawmakers Angry At Cuomo for Trying to Tie Ethics Reforms to Pay Raise  
Cuomo Triangulation Demand Lawmakers Tie Ethics Reforms As the Buffalo Billion Criminal Investigations Gets to Door Steps 
  UPDATE: Politicians, don't spend your pay raise yet... (NYDN)
Democrats can’t stand Cuomo’s meddling in pay raise talks (NYT) An ugly behind-the-scenes fight is simmering between Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature over pay raises and a push for stricter measures to combat Albany’s pay-to-play corruption crimes, The Post has learned.  Assembly Democrats are fuming that fellow Democrat Cuomo is meddling in the deliberations of a state commission deciding on whether to give a raise to state lawmakers – and if so, how big. Tensions exploded during a conference call Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie had with fellow Democrats last Thursday, which turned into a gripe session about Cuomo’s attempt at horse trading for other measures he wants, including anti-corruption legislation.  Cuomo and the Legislature created the compensation commission to address raising salaries for legislators, the executive branch and judges.  The governor has three appointees to the seven-member panel, the chief judge has two and legislative leaders have two. “The commission was supposed to take politics out of it. The governor is trying to throw extraneous things into the mix,” Westchester Assemblyman Gary Pretlow told The Post.  “It wasn’t supposed to be a quid pro quo. A quid pro quo is unethical. You can’t do that.* Lobbyist Todd Howe:$85,000 from Cor Development was a bribe, not a loan (Syracuse) Former lobbyist Todd Howe says he does not have to repay $85,000 to client Cor Development Co., because the money was a bribe, not a loan. The money was actually "part of an illegal conspiracy'' to bribe a state official, lawyers for Howe allege. Cor officials said Howe is lying and that the debt is legitimate.* Cuomo’s financial regulator rips DiNapoli for investing in hedge funds  (NYP) Lobbyist Todd Howe: $85,000 from Cor Development was a bribe, not a loan (Syracuse) Former lobbyist Todd Howe says he does not have to repay $85,000 to client Cor Development Co., because the money was a bribe, not a loan. The money was actually "part of an illegal conspiracy'' to bribe a state official, lawyers for Howe allege. Cor officials said Howe is lying and that the debt is legitimate.

Cuomo The @BrooklynDA's office will remain in capable hands Chief Assistant District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.during this difficult time
The handpicked successor of late District Attorney Ken Thompson will remain in the post until Thompson’s term ends at the close of 2017, Gov. Cuomo announced today. Thompson named his No. 2, Chief Assistant District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, as the borough’s top prosecutor in his absence on Oct. 4 — less than a week before he succumbed to colon cancer. Cuomo has the power to appoint a replacement, but has opted to leave the reins with Gonzalez. “While we continue to mourn the loss of District Attorney Thompson, the important work of the Brooklyn’s DA office does not cease. Until the next election, the Brooklyn DA’s Office will continue to be led by Chief Assistant District Attorney Eric Gonzalez,” Cuomo tweeted on Monday * Acting Brooklyn district attorney will keep his seat (NYP)* Cuomo to let actingBrooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez finish term despite push for Public Advocate LetitiaJames (NYDN)

NYP's Boss Lobbyists Arzt Fixing Election, Trying to Free Up PA for Bronx BP, If James Winds Up As Brooklyn DA 
Ex-con using Eric Adams ties to push youth program’s bogus claims (NYP)  An ex-con is using his close ties to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to reinvent himself as a bishop overseeing youth mentorship programs — but he hasn’t left all his troubling behavior behind, according to records and associates.   Lamor Whitehead, founder of Leaders of Tomorrow Brooklyn, has appeared at more than a dozen high-profile events with Adams since his five-year stint at Sing Sing, where he served time on multiple counts of identity fraud and grand larceny before his release in July 2013.  Whitehead has used the public spotlight with Adams to tout his group’s mentorship programs and raise funds, including before he registered it as a for-profit business in March 2014. But a number of Whitehead’s public claims about the group have been refuted, including by law-enforcement agencies.  The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office sent Whitehead a cease-and-desist letter in November 2014 after he promoted a collaborative justice initiative with the DA’s office that didn’t exist. The NYPD and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce also countered claims by Whitehead that they were partnering with his group on specific initiatives.

One Day After the Death of DA Thompson Push for PA Tish James to Replace and Ticket Shaping?

Well-placed Brooklyn lawmakers want Letitia James as next DA (NYP) * Rest in peace, Ken Thompson (NYP Ed) * Changes mayoral math as in other potential mayoral challengers, eg, Diaz, opting to run for Public Advocate. Math: known/unknown variables * The people's prosecutor (NYDN Ed) * The Death of a Visionary Prosecutor (NYT Ed) In a short time, Ken Thompson made big and welcome changes in Brooklyn’s long-troubled district attorney’s office.* HakeemJeffries slams talk of successor to D.A. Thompson, says Gonzales should begiven chance (City and State) *Ken Thompson's trail-blazing career as first black Brooklyn DA was inspired by his mother's own pioneering character (NYDN) * Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson remembered as 'driven for justice' at wake as many turn out to mourn his death (NYDN) * Latin advocatesurge Gov. Cuomo to keep acting Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez on job instead ofappointing Letitia James (NYDN) * Brooklyncommunity fears DA Ken Thompson’s replacement won’t continue his mission tooverturn wrongful convictions  (NYDN)  

de Blasio Helicopter Cover-Up Continues 
de Blasio Who At His 2013 Election Celebration Played "We Will Never Be Royals, in 2016 Takes Helicopter to . . . 
Mayor de Blasio Just Landed in Prospect Park in an NYPD Helicopter (Prospect Patch) de Blasio, who billed himself during the election as a champion for the poor and an absolute anti-Bloomberg, was escorted either to or from Prospect Park early Friday evening by a helicopter belonging to the New York City Police Department, the department confirmed to Patch.    Witnesses were confused to see a police helicopter landing in a baseball field near the southwest end of the park, just after 5 p.m. de Blasio used an NYPD helicopter for an 8-mile trek from Prospect Park to Long Island City during Friday evening rush hour, a spokesman said Monday.Onlookers were puzzled to see the police chopper blowing clouds of dust off a baseball field in Prospect Park at 5:15 p.m. Friday, Patch first reported.(DNAINFO) * Helicopter Trip Becomes Another Stumble for Mayorde Blasio (NYT) City Hall officials would not describe the activities of the mayor in Brooklyn — where he regularly travels to go to the gym and also goes for meetings at favorite restaurants in his old neighborhood — before the flight besides saying he had a “series of meetings.” His public schedule listed a morning speech and two call-in radio appearances earlier in the day.  “We don’t detail internal or personal meetings,” Mr. Phillips said, raising the possibility that Mr. de Blasio had been engaged in a personal errand that delayed him enough to necessitate air travel over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. “He had a series of meetings in Brooklyn.”  Pressed as to whether the meetings were personal or city business, Mr. Phillips repeated himself: “I’m saying he had a series of meetings in Brooklyn, and I’m declining to make public the details of nonpublic meetings.” As the mayor arrived at City Hall on Monday afternoon — by police-driven sport utility vehicle — Mr. de Blasio was asked about his helicopter trip. He declined to comment.* De Blasio was so late he needed an NYPD chopper to beat traffic  (NYP) A source with knowledge of de Blasio’s daily routine said he’s been spending Fridays holding meetings and making fund-raising phone calls related to his re-election campaign at the Bar Toto restaurant and Colson Patisserie coffee shop near his old 11th Street home in Park Slope.  City Hall also said de Blasio wouldn’t reimburse taxpayers for the Friday chopper ride — to the official opening of a training center for union electricians — or the Sept. 26 trips he took to and from Nassau Community College for the first debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. The mayor and First Lady Chirlane McCray — who have both campaigned for Clinton — were met on the ground by an NYPD security detail and chauffeured to nearby Hofstra University for the showdown, sources said.  The couple flew in one of the NYPD’s flagship Bell 429 choppers, sources said. The twin-engine whirlybird has a base price around $5.4 million and costs an estimated $463 to $667 an hour to operate, based on maintenance and fuel.* * New York Mayor Bill de Blasio took a police helicopter from Prospect Park in Brooklyn to Queens to deliver a speech, an unusual decision that caused criticism of the use for a non-emergency reason, The Wall Street Journal writes.

Sal Albanese ‏@SalAlbaneseNYC  After serving on @NYCCouncil through 3 Mayors in my professional opinion DEB by far spends the least amount of time running the City

Memo Says Cuomo Knew of Relationships With Executives Named in Buffalo Corruption Complaint
Cuomo Briefed on Firms’ Ties (WSJ)  In memo on campaign fundraiser, aide cited relationships with executives named in corruption complaint.  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has sought to distance himself from many of the nine people charged in a federal corruption case last month, saying they weren’t part of his inner circle and he didn’t know the details of their business relationships.  “I was not aware of who some of these people were representing, and who were their business consultants,” Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said last month. “The situations laid out in the complaint were breathtaking to me.”  But a memo prepared for the governor in advance of a May 2014 campaign fundraiser—and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal—outlines the ties between Mr. Cuomo’s administration and some of the alleged conspirators who attended the event.  And it shows that his campaign sought to brief him explicitly on lobbyist Todd Howe’s role as the event organizer and on Mr. Howe’s representation of the attendees; Mr. Howe is now cooperating with the government.   Additionally, according to emails reviewed by the Journal, a senior aide who was vetting contributions to Mr. Cuomo’s campaign a month before the fundraiser raised concerns about the optics of the timing of the contributions from several of those donors. The two donors who were vetted have now been charged in the case.  In the emails, the aide recommended the contributions be delayed because the donors had been recent beneficiaries of state contracts.  Neither the memo nor the emails detail any of the alleged criminal activity that is at the core of the complaint filed by the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.  A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo said: “As is common practice for all campaigns, donations are vetted before receipt for conflicts of interest. As stated in the emails, in these cases, any state-related business was awarded via... processes run by local governments, state agencies, or other entities.” The governor’s office didn’t select the awardees in any of these cases, the spokesman said.

Senate GOP Candidates Use Corrupt Silver Ignore Corrupt Skelos Power Broker Klein
Disgraced Silver being used in campaign ads  (NYDN)  One TV ad paid for by New Yorkers For Independent Action, a Super PAC targeting candidates who oppose the creation of an education investment tax credit, attacks incumbent Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Saratoga County) for her ties to Silver.  The ads, which hits Woerner for backing Silver as speaker, concludes with pictures of the assemblywoman and Silver and the tagline: “It’s hard to stand up for us when she’s standing with them.” Meanwhile, Assemblyman James Tedisco, a Schenectady Republican running for state Senate, has an ad highlighting a public argument he had with Silver over taxes. The ad notes that Silver is gone but Tedisco is still fighting for constituents. * Depending on the outcome of the elections in November, IDC Leader Jeff Klein could become the Senate’s ultimate power broker, especially as his independent caucus grows to an expected six members, the Buffalo News writes.

Daily News Thinks It is Important that Heastie Tweeted Picture With GOP Leader Undermines Senate Dems? Or Brotherhood of Corrupt Albany?
Heastie raises Dem eyebrows with tweet featuring GOP leader (NYDN)  Here is an expanded version of the fifth item from my "Albany Insider" column from Monday: A picture tweeted out Saturday by Assembly Democratic Speaker Carl Heastie featuring himself with Senate Republican Majority Leader John Flanagan at a college football game has raised the eyebrows of some Democrats.  Heastie took the shot with Flanagan and another lawmaker at the Stony Brook University homecoming game in Suffolk County.  Heastie is a graduate of the school, which is in Flanagan’s district. "So while the Democrats have the best chance to take the Senate in years and The governor is raising money to support a Democratic majority, the speaker broadcasts that he's palling around with Flanagan,” said one state Democratic Party insider. “It's a terrible signal that undermines the entire effort."

de Blasio Budget Busting Hiring Spree
Bill de Blasio'sbudget-busting hiring spree  (NYDN) Since de Blasio took office, the city payroll has soared from 297,148 to 313,092 workers, with a target of 323,000 by next summer, representing a rate of growth that matches or exceeds the pace of private sector job creation. The hiring spurt is unsustainable, excessive and dangerous. At the same time, de Blasio has boosted the payroll without engaging in the constant belt-tightening that brought efficiencies under former Mayor Bloomberg. The consequence is that the mayor too often relies on new hiring to launch new programs or, he hopes, improve service delivery. Twelve city agencies are forecast to add more than 300 full-time and full-time-equivalent positions by next summer. Those include the Administration for Children’s Services (which already benefited from more caseworker hires a year ago), Department of Sanitation, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the Department of Buildings.  As night follows day, the budget will rise — now and into the future in terms of increased pension, health care and other obligations.  “Every hire is $100,000 a year, in cost of compensation,” notes Carol Kellermann of the Citizens Budget Commission.  Since taking office, de Blasio has enjoyed good economic times and increasing revenue. When the music stops, watch out.

de Blasio Sees Failing Schools As Pay to Play Cash Cows for Consultants
Pricey bureaucrats plague de Blasio’s program to fix failing schools (NYP) After keeping it secret for more than a year, the city Department of Education has finally revealed it employs at least 114 bureaucrats and “coaches” — making a combined $12.7 million a year and rising — to run Mayor de Blasio’s stumbling Renewal program to fix failing schools.  In response to a lawsuit by The Post charging Freedom of Information Law violations, the DOE turned over a list of 71 Renewal administrators and other staffers, most earning well over $100,000 annually.  However, the list failed to mention a $175,000-a-year superintendent and 42 “leadership coaches” and “ambassadors,” the DOE acknowledged Saturday. The Renewal crew oversees 86 of the lowest-achieving schools citywide — down from 94 when the program started two years ago. The DOE has closed or merged eight. Yet despite persistent poor performance, enrollment drops, safety problems and low student attendance, Renewal administrators got raises of 2.5 percent to 10 percent this school year, records show. As Renewal costs have risen, enrollment has dipped 16 percent, from 45,140 students in 2014-15 to 38,870 in 2015-16. “Parents with little confidence in Renewal schools are withdrawing their children, or not enrolling them,” Davids said.  Chronic absenteeism in Renewal schools was 43.4 percent in 2014-15 — a dismal stat exposed by The Post in July, after Fariña falsely claimed that absenteeism was actually down.* Previewing Education Agenda for Re-Election Run, De Blasio Doesn't Focus on Charter Schools (NY1)

Feds Probe Stock Market Insider Trading in Team Cuomo Award of Casino Licensing 
Feds probed Cuomo’s casino licensing for insider profiting (NYP) The Cuomo administration’s process in awarding a license to a Catskills casino attracted the attention of federal authorities who probed whether government insiders profited from the decision.  Securities and Exchange Commission officials noticed unusual trading activity in shares of Empire Resorts Inc., in the days before it was selected for a lucrative casino license on Dec. 17, 2014, a source told The Post.  The state’s Gaming Facility Location Board chose Empire’s $1.3 billion Montreign Casino project near Monticello as one of three gambling meccas to be built across the state. A fourth casino site was selected later. The siting board’s five members were chosen by the state Gaming Commission. Gov. Cuomo appoints five of the commission’s seven members, including its chairman.  The rapid rise in trading volume and price of Empire stock in the days before and the day of the announcement piqued the interest of SEC agents, said an Albany insider close to the Cuomo administration. The volume of traded shares nearly tripled from 31,132 shares bought and sold on Dec. 12, to the 82,495 shares traded on Dec. 16, according to NASDAQ records. The stock price climbed during this period from $32 per share to $40.  On Dec. 17, the day the state panel announced the three winners in the early afternoon, the trading volume of Empire’s shares skyrocketed to 443,883 while its stock price fell below $36 per share, Nasdaq records say. Empire — whose largest stakeholder, K.T. Lim, is chairman of Malaysian-based global casino conglomerate Genting — was the only publicly traded company among the firms selected by the state. “This type of unusual activity in the stock’s trading pattern can indicate possible insider trading occurred,” said securities attorney and former SEC assistant regional director Robert Heim. The FBI in 2015 also began examining how the state panel chose the casino proposals and who may have benefited, a casino industry source told The Post. “He [the FBI agent] asked about Empire and was looking into whether there was anything in casino procurements,” the casino source said. “The spike in trading at the time came up.”
Albany Got Away With the AEG Gambling Bid Rigging

Besides Picking Judges Brooklyn Boss Seddio Now Picks Law Assistants With Banking Foreclose Backgrounds Why? Hint Judge Jacobson Law Firm
Courthouse Confidential: Brooklyn Dems’ Chief Boosted Lawyer for Court Job (WiseLawNY) According to knowledgeable sources, Kings County Democratic Leader Frank R. Seddio is referring job seekers for positions at the Supreme Court at 360 Adams Street in downtown Brooklyn. Information to that effect has leached out and become widely known within the courthouse in the case of a lawyer, who was recently appointed as a law assistant to a judge handling civil cases, including foreclosures. The lawyer, whom Seddio is said to have helped, was Alexis Riley, who had spent the last two years as a “court appearance attorney” handling foreclosure cases for one of the most active lender firms, Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, according to her LinkedIn profile, and for a second real-estate firm, now known as Friedman & Bartolo. I am aware of at least two persons, who have spoken to Riley about the help that Seddio gave her.  

As recounted to me, Riley, who was accompanied by a court officer, had a chance encounter with Seddio at the courthouse earlier this year. Upon bumping into Seddio, the court officer introduced Riley and told Seddio that she would like to work for the courts. Seddio responded by asking whether she would like to work for Justice Kenneth Sherman and asked her to meet him at party offices soon afterwards.  According to Office of Court Administration (OCA) spokesman Lucien Chalfen, Riley was hired as an assistant law clerk to Justice Sherman for a one-year term in July. The term is renewable for a second year. Justice Sherman, Chalfen added, has discretion to hire an assistant law clerk, in lieu of a secretary, if the demands of his caseload require it.  Seddio declined to comment as did Riley.  Seddio’s role in the hiring of Riley was such an open secret, that Brooklyn Justice Laura Jacobson apparently referred to it in a federal lawsuit against the Brooklyn Democratic Party, claiming that the party manipulated its screening procedures to deny her a shot at a second term.  Though Jacobson’s  complaint in Jacobson v. Kings County Democratic County Committee, 16-cv-4809 189 (EDNY) did not identify Riley by name, it alleged “upon information and belief” that Seddio “has ‘appointed’ one, or more, attorneys who specialized in bringing foreclosure actions by banks and lenders to become ‘Law Clerk’ or ‘Law Secretary’ to Justices of the Supreme Court in Kings County Supreme Court dealing with foreclosure actions.”

Seddio Hires A Well Known Criminal Defense Lawyer Is He Worried About His Firms Role in Closing LICH or the Foreclosures?
MORVILLO ABRAMOWITZ GRAND IASON & ANELLO P. C.   The firm is the first port of call for many corporations and individuals on their most sensitive and high-profile White Collar Defense, Securities Enforcement, Regulatory & Government Investigations, and Civil Litigation matters.

Update on Judge Jacobson's Lawsuit ORDER: Plaintiff's October 13, 2016 letter motion [15] on consent of Defendants to adjourn the pre-motion conference currently scheduled for November 8, 2016 is hereby GRANTED. The November 8, 2016 pre-motion conference is hereby ADJOURNED to December 14, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. in Courtroom 4H North. Ordered by Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall on 10/14/2016. (Zdanys, Joanna)

Slumlord Contributes to de Blasio and Campaign for One NY And Gets City Hall to Pass Tax Breaks for Billion Dollar Astoria Cove Project
Notorious slumlord a longtime deBlasio supporter (NYP) Efstathios “Steve” Valiotis ranked third in an annual Top 100 list of worst landlords tallied by Public Advocate Letitia James.  Records show that his Queens-based Alma Realty donated $5,000 to de Blasio’s nonprofit Campaign for One New York, while company officials chipped in another $5,525 to the mayor’s 2013 campaign fund.  Alma had 1,077 open violations with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and another 64 with the Buildings Department in eight buildings it manages around the city, according to James’ report. * City Councilapproves Astoria Cove with unanimous vote (Times Ledger) * Steve Valiotis Alma Realty | Astoria Cove Project (Real Deal)   A 1995 court decision reveals that Steve Valiotis, a principal of Astoria Cove developer Alma Realty, allegedly bribed representatives of a Greek bank to get a $5.7 million loan in 1990.* Lobbyists for Astoria Cove is Sid Davidoff 

Shomurm Leader Ready to Rat On NYPD Brass and Who Knows Who Else 
Shomrim leader looks for plea deal in NYPD corruption probe (NYP) A Brooklyn Shomrim patrol leader accused of paying NYPD cops cash bribes in order to expedite gun permits is in talks with feds over a plea deal, lawyers said Friday. Manhattan federal court Judge Sidney Stein gave prosecutors and the defense three weeks to hammer out a possible agreement for Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, who was busted in April for paying cops as much as $1 million to keep the scheme going.  “We have been in continuous discussions about the resolution of the case,” said Assistant US ­Attorney Russell Capone. Lichtenstein, 44, who appeared in court looking tired and wearing a black suit, is charged with bribery and conspiracy for charging his customers — members of his Orthodox Jewish community — as much as $18,000 per gun license.  Stein gave defense lawyer Richard Finkel until Nov. 3 to file pretrial motions, which will go forward if no resolution is reached. Lichtenstein’s shady business unraveled after a cop in the NYPD’s License Division admitted he and another supervisor took payments they called “lunch money” to process the permits.  Lichtenstein was secretly recorded bragging about securing 150 gun licenses through NYPD connections, court papers said. He offered a whistle-blowing cop $6,000 to keep the illicit scheme going and calculated that another 150 permits would be worth $900,000 in bribe money, the papers said. The criminal complaint said Lichtenstein hung around the ­License Division “on a near daily basis” beginning in 2014. A handful of complicit cops were booted from the division but have not been criminally charged.  Lichtenstein has been out on $500,000 bail and is charged with bribery and conspiracy.  His arrest coincided with a sweeping probe by feds into allegations of NYPD brass accepting bribes from businessmen Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg.

de Blasio Wants New Law to Unblock Release of Police Disciplinary Action 
De Blasio Calls for Change in Law That Blocks Release of Police Disciplinary Actions  (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to alter a statute that has been an obstacle to sharing information on police misconduct.* De Blasio’s Police Reform Pledges May Burden His Re-election Bid  (NYT) Bill de Blasio, caught between his soaring rhetoric as a candidate and the realities of being New York City’s mayor, is disappointing many who supported him.

In the Name of Social Engineering de Blasio Attacks NY's Neighborhoods 
Neighborhoods are rising up against de Blasio (NYP) de Blasio has learned the hard way that people — even New York City liberals — have their own opinions about how they want to live. Neighborhood after neighborhood has rebelled against de Blasio’s heavy-handed social engineering.   In August, the people of Upper Manhattan forced City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a progressive and strident de Blasio ally, to reject the first major rezoning under the city’s new mandatory inclusionary housing policy.   MIH was a citywide revision of land-use rules allowing developers to build taller residential buildings with greater density if they also include subsidized apartments for lower- and middle-income New Yorkers. The development in question, called Sherman Plaza, at the corner of Broadway and Sherman Avenue around 196th Street, would turn an old Packard dealership into a 15-story apartment tower. Up to 50 percent of the units would be subsidized. The proposed “upzoning” infuriated the local community, which saw it as an effort to gentrify the mixed Latino and white neighborhood with luxury housing.   Pressure built until Rodriguez, who voted for MIH as a citywide policy a few months before, nixed the Sherman Plaza proposal as not in the “best interests” of the neighborhood. A similar scenario played out in Sunnyside, Queens, where progressive council Majority Leader Jimmy van Bramer rejected a proposed development to build more than 200 affordable units. Like his colleague Rodriguez, he supports the widespread development of affordable housing throughout the city — in theory.   But his constituents, reliant on a perennially crowded subway line and feeling that their neighborhood is already changing too quickly, opposed the Phipps project and brought pressure on van Bramer to reject it.   On the Upper West Side, the beating heart of traditional New York City liberalism, a near-riot broke out last month over plans to redistrict elementary-school zones to promote racial and socio-economic diversity. Racial “segregation” in the public schools has become the latest “root cause” of inequality in New York, and the city is pushing community districts to agree to boundary changes in order to dilute the concentration of white students in certain schools. Of the entire public-school student population of 1.1 million, however, fewer than 15 percent are white, and these students are clustered geographically in particular areas. If racial diversity is meant to solve the problem of racial inequality, it isn’t clear that there are enough white students to make much of a difference.   Thinking big is in progressives’ DNA. In the words of de Blasio, progressive proposals must be “transformative,” “historic,” “transcendent.” But as long as the mayor and his progressive allies continue to force their grand vision on an unwilling populace, they can expect to face local revolts from a notoriously and proudly insubordinate city.

4 Child Care Workers Suspended On Their Handing of 6 Year Old Zymere
Four top NYCchild welfare officials suspended over handling of case leading to 6-year-oldZymere Perkins' death, sources say (NYDN)  The hammer came down Wednesday on four top officials of the de Blasio administration’s child welfare agency who the city says dropped the ball in the tragic case of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins, the Daily News has learned. The city Administration of Children’s Services removed from their positions an assistant commissioner, a borough commissioner and two top officials in the agency’s general counsels office, sources said. All were suspended for 30 days without pay. Further discipline is possible as the investigation unfolds, the sources said.* ACS removes 4 top officials in wake of 6-year-old’s death (nyp) * New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services temporarily removed four top officials from their positions, suspending them for 30 days without pay in the wake of the death of 6-year-old Harlem boy Zymere Perkins, the Post writes. * De Blasio says ACS suspensions ‘the first step’ in Zymere case (NYP)

Sampson Finally Going to Jail 
Ex-state senator John Sampson to finally be sentenced in January (NYP) Ex-state Sen. John Sampson will finally be sentenced Jan. 18 — after exhausting one last bid for a retrial under a recent Supreme Court decision.  Last month, a Brooklyn federal court judge refused to grant the disgraced Democrat another trial because he wasn’t convicted of bribery — unlike former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, whose bribery conviction was overturned.

Albany Leader With Long Record of Covering Up Sexual Harrassment Attacks? Trump on the Bus
New York Democrats have a horrendous record on sexual harassment (NYP)  Hypocrisy, thy name is Albany Democrat.  Gov. Cuomo and Senate Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins spent the past few days hammering Republicans who won’t withdraw support for Donald Trump following his “locker room” remarks. Funny, but the very same thing could be said about Albany’s Democrats — especially Cuomo himself.  For years, the governor and his colleagues stood behind then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, turning a blind eye as he orchestrated secret hush-money payments to cover up repeated sexual harassment (and worse) by his staffers and cronies.  In four distinct cases, Silver cut deals to spend hundreds of thousands in taxpayer cash to buy the silence of his colleagues’ victims.   No one complained, because crossing the all-powerful Speaker was political suicide. Cuomo even took to the airwaves to defend one of those hush-money deals, involving victims of Assemblyman Vito Lopez, insisting it “wasn’t a secret deal” but rather “an agreement with confidentiality.” After all, he noted, it was signed off on by two other Democrats, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, so nothing was done “outside of the checks and balances of government.” Some defense. Bottom line is the public was never supposed to find out about it — in fact, the victims would be fined $5,000 per act of public disclosure. As a result, serial violators like Lopez got to go on groping and abusing women.  In fact, one Republican who dared raise the subject on the Assembly floor — during a debate on workplace sexual harassment, to boot — was officially admonished and had his microphone shut off.  Trump’s comments have been widely and properly denounced. But Cuomo and his fellow Democrats should drop their sanctimonious cant about “standing against women” and take a long look in the mirror. * RepublicanChairman Ed Cox criticized Democrats, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for beingslow to criticize members of their own party on sexual misconduct.

JCOPE is A Joke: Outside Income Law Rarely Enforce Ignored Mostly 
From the conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to the recent federal charges against former top Cuomo administration official Joe Percoco, the issue of state officials' outside jobs — and the potential for graft created — has sparked calls for reform.  But there is already law on the books that would shine substantial sunlight on such arrangements. Yet it doesn't appear to be enforced very well.   The law, passed in 2011 as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's first ethics reform bill, requires lobbyists or their clients who pay a state employee more than $1,000 in a year to submit a form detailing the exact amount every six months. It also requires a description of the nature of the state employee's outside work.  Since the law was passed, only 24 lobbying clients and 11 lobbyists have submitted paperwork detailing the hiring of state officials, according to the website of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, the state's lobbying watchdog agency.  The law was passed in the wake of the 2009 trial of ex-Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, in which federal prosecutors charged the Brunswick Republican with using his position to enrich himself through a business he operated on the side. He was convicted on two federal charges, which were later overturned because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision. In a second trial, he was acquitted.Disclosure  law for outside income often ignored, rarely enforced (TU)  State officials take side jobs, but their employers fail to tell JCOPE about it

de Blasio Camapign Aide Hilltop Hyers Lobbyists Capalino Under Fed Investigation for CONY Money Washing for Senate Campaign Now As Airbnb Lobbyists Has 10 Million PAC to Shape the Senate
Airbnb set tospend $10M on Super PAC created to fund pre-Election Day ads (NYDN) With a month to go before the elections, Airbnb is set to dump a whopping $10 million into a Super PAC it created to help with its fight in New York, the Daily News has learned.  The Stronger Neighbors political action committee will use a portion of the money to fund pre-Election Day ads designed to educate voters about the positions lawmakers have taken on home sharing, a source familiar with the situation said. The $10 million is on top of $1 million Airbnb used in June to seed the new PAC. The allocations would make the Airbnb PAC one of the largest — if not the largest-political action committee in the state. "We want to make sure that our hosts know we're in their corner, and that both our critics and our allies hear their voices this November and beyond," said Airbnb's Josh Meltzer. He accused the hotel industry, which has led the charge against Airbnb, of spending "tens of millions of dollars to buy influence in Albany and launch an endless barrage of misleading attacks to vilify the 46,000 New York hosts who rely on home sharing as an economic lifeline."  

Airbnb has been fighting a bill that would prohibit the advertising of illegal units on home-sharing sites and would impose fines of up to $7,500 per violation. The Legislature passed the first-in-the-nation bill in June before ending the legislative session. It has yet to be sent to Gov. Cuomo, who has not said whether he intends to sign or veto the measure. ShareBetter, a coalition of unions, politicians, and housing and tenant groups fighting Airbnb, accused the company of spending "tens of millions of dollars in a cynical attempt to hijack the political process."*   Former de Blasiocampaign manager Bill Hyers joins Airbnb payroll (NYDN) Under fire for flouting the law in NYC, the popular apartment sharing website Airbnb has hired a high-powered consultant with close ties to Mayor de Blasio.  Airbnb has brought on Bill Hyers, who served as de Blasio’s campaign manager in his come-from-behind election last year, the Daily News has learned. Airbnb also appears to be sparing no expense with consultants. The company has an in-house spokesman and has retained communications strategist Risa Heller. It also hired Obama’s former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.  Vietor's firm, Fenway Strategies, has not done any work for Airbnb in the NYC market. Airbnb also has lobbyists Capalino and Bolton St Johns on the Payroll

de Blasio Campaign Manager Bill Hires' Hilltop Helps Run the OneNY PAC 

1. Hires: de Blasio Campaign Manager Who Uses Candidate Fake Arrest to Protest A Closing Hospital As A Prop
2. Once the Hospital is Closed Hires Who Works for the Mayor Slush Fund PAC One NY Uses It to Tell the Community That the Band Aid ER the Developer Agreed to Build is As Good As the Closed Hospital
3. Hires: Sell A Large Development to Replace te Closed to A Community Who Opposes It
4. Is de Blasio Using His 2013 Campaign Account to Pay Hires to Supplement His Pay the Director of His One NY PAC?

Tuesday de Blasio Still Boycotting Press, Hiring Campaign Workers, Clinton 
De Blasio still avoiding most media outlets after tantrum (NYP) — skipping the usual press gaggles before ending the march by granting exclusive interviews to just two media outlets.  There, he met reporters from NBC and NY1. It was later revealed that de Blasio also spoke to two Italian media outlets during the parade — but no one else. A spokesman said the mayor decided against giving all reporters access to avoid a “crazy scrum.” WORKERS      Now Hiring: Under de Blasio, New York’s Government Grows to Record Level (NYT) The growth in full-time staffing has worried some budget experts, who fear a lack of fiscal discipline at City Hall, and greater pension obligations down the road.* De Blasio Says16,000 New City Employees Is ‘Best Money Spent’ (NYO)

de Blasio on Clinton Leaked email shows de Blasio criticized Clinton during debate (NYP) * Latest Podesta Emails Reveal a Servile de Blasio Eager to Please Clinton Campaign (NYO)* WikiLeaks Emails Show Mayor de Blasio Venting at and Appealing to Clinton Campaign  (NYT) The release of a second batch of John D. Podesta’s emails shows Bill de Blasio urging the campaign to engage left-wing Democrats.* The second leak of Hillary Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta’s emails shows New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was determined to offer himself as a Clinton cheerleader pushing the campaign to engage the Democratic Party’s left wing, The New York Times reports. * Leaked Emails Between de Blasio and Clinton Campaign Show a Complicated Relationship of Candidate and Former Confidante (NY1) For days, hacked emails to and from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, have been dripping out on the Wikileaks website — among other things, the emails are giving us some insight into the relationship between the Clinton campaign and Mayor de Blasio, who publicly played coy about endorsing her for six months * Two @HillaryClinton campaign aides referred mockingly to @BilldeBlasio in internal emails as a "terrorist"   * WikiLeaks Emails Show Mayor de Blasio Venting at and Appealing to Clinton Campaign (NYT) * .@HillaryClinton aides mocked'terrorist' @BilldeBlasio's public flirtation with @BernieSanders * Mayor says "heat of battle"caused Clinton camp to call him a "terrorist" for delayingendorsement: (DNAINFO)
Sal Albanese ‏@SalAlbaneseNYC Wiki emails show HRC campaign treating DEB like a nuisance 2 humor & his silly "forum" as an event they had no intention of participating in

Under Press of Causing A Racial Divide de Blasio Limits Plans for Maspeth Hotel to 30 Homeless Men Protests Continue
Feds unseal charges against Cuomo cronies in bribery scandal (NYP) The city has dropped its plan to fully convert a Holiday Inn Express into a homeless shelter, citing "local opposition" that includes numerous protests from neighbors. The hotel near Maurice Avenue and the Long Island Expressway had been eyed as a full shelter by the city and its owner, Harsh Patel, for months.* Maspeth HolidayInn won't be turned into full shelter due to 'local opposition' but will househomeless men  (WPIX)

More Blame on ACS for Zymere Death 

BOE Manhattan Democrat Says ID Programs Opens Up Fraud, Including Voting Fruad 
The Manhattan Democratic representative on the New York City Board of Elections was caught on a secret video slamming Mayor Bill de Blasio’s municipal ID program as contributing to “all kinds of fraud,” including voter fraud, the Post writes.   “He gave out ID cards, de Blasio. That’s in lieu of a driver’s license, but you can use it for anything,” Commissioner Alan Schulkin said in the undercover video recorded by a muckraker for conservative nonprofit Project Veritas.  “But they didn’t vet people to see who they really are. Anybody can go in there and say, ‘I am Joe Smith, I want an ID card,’ ” he said in the bombshell tape.  “It’s absurd. There is a lot of fraud. Not just voter fraud, all kinds of fraud . . . This is why I get more conservative as I get older.”  Schulkin didn’t hold back to the undercover journalist, who identified herself as a political consultant at a United Federation of Teachers holiday party on Dec. 16.  Not realizing he was being recorded, he broke with his own party’s position that voter-ID requirements hurt the poor and minorities.  Schulkin said he backed the IDs to prevent rampant fraud.  “The law says you can’t ask for anything. Which they really should be able to do,” Schulkin said, according to a copy of the video and transcript provided to The Post.  “I believe they should be able to do it,” he added.  The videographer asked point blank, “You think they should have voter ID in New York?”  Schulkin responded, “Voters? Yeah, they should ask for your ID. I think there is a lot of voter fraud.” UPDATE  "he should really step down” — @BilldeBlasio re: @BOENYC commissioner who spoke about voter fraud & @IDNYC, via @BrianLehrer

Update Assemblyman demands elections official resign for linking minorities to voter fraud (NYP) Bronx Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda said Schulkin said the comments make Schulkin unfit to be a Democratic representative on the elections board.  “His comments about alleged voter fraud coming from Black, Latino Asian and Muslim communities reeks of racism and is factually incorrect,” said Sepulveda. Schulkin was appointed in 2014 with the support of Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, and Manhattan Council members Corey Johnson, Margaret Chin, Mark Levine, and Ydanis Rodriguez, sources said.  Manhattan Democratic Party leader Keith Wright supported another candidate, but lost out in the power struggle with the Council leadership , sources said. Mark Viverito issued a terse statement saying Schulkin’s comments are “uninformed opinions have no basis in fact.”  A City Hall official said Schulkin is not likely to be reappointed when his term is up at year’s end.  Schulkin addressed the controversy during a Board of Elections Committee meeting on Tuesday. He said he doesn’t have a racist bone in his body and claimed his secretly recorded videotaped comments were taken out of context.

Fallout From Buffalo Billion Arrests 
SUNY PolytechnicPresident Alain Kaloyeros resigns amid Cuomo-probe corruption charges (NYDN) * Lobbyist Todd Howe was paid by both sides - state, developer- in no-bid Syracuse deal ( * SUNY Polytech president resigns amid pay-to-play probe(NYP) * Cuomo Insider, Caught in Albany Corruption Case, Leaves Post at SUNY (NYT) * Indicted Cuomo crony was a big joke to Port Authority cops (NYP) Cuomo aide and close confidante at the center of Albany’s latest pay-to-play scandal was the butt of a running joke among Port Authority police union brass, it emerged at the Bridgegate trial this week. Port Authority cop Michael DeFilippis said he and his PAPD pals started mockingly referring to themselves as “family,” or “the family,” after hearing Joe Percoco insincerely welcome PA police that way. “You’re all Gov. Cuomo’s family. You’re family,” Percoco told PA police union brass when they attended events with the New York governor, DeFilippis, who is second in command of the PA Police Benevolent Association, testified Tuesday. * Former lobbyist Todd Howe, who pleaded guilty to corruption charges last month, helped a key economic development and compliance official at SUNY Polytechnic Institute land his job in 2014, though the official claims there was no wrongdoing, the Times Union reports.

de Blasio Attacks Conservative Maspeth As Racist On Homeless Shelter Protests to Build A Progressive Coalition for His 2017 Re-Election 
Lawmakers denounce de Blasio for calling constituents heartless (NYP)  “I was appalled by that video, that propaganda video,” said State Sen. Joe Addabbo (D-Queens). “I’ve never seen an administration go to that length to try and justify a failed policy. That was to me a sign of desperation.” Addabbo and State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens) said their constituents’ anger was largely sparked by a lack of communication from the mayor’s office and Department of Homeless Services. They say the administration has often given them no notice that homeless shelters are coming to their districts, or that hotels are being converted for shelter use.  Peralta even went as far as saying he was lied to by DHS when he asked about a shelter opening up in his district – which it did two months after he was told it wouldn’t.  “That was their frustration. So to use that and turn it around and say, ‘Oh these people could care less about homeless’ – I think that was low,” said Peralta. “I think that was a political ploy. I think that was a political tactic you see in dirty campaigning during election time.”  A mayoral spokesman said the video was balanced. “Our video shows the city two sides of an important debate. The mayor wants to house homeless New Yorkers safely, and our opponents want to kick homeless kids and families to the street,” said City Hall spokesman Eric Phillips.  “If someone is ashamed of how they look in that debate, they should probably change sides.”  The Post reported last month that the city’s use of hotels to house homeless individuals has jumped by 50 percent since February — from 2,656 in February to nearly 4,000 in July — despite a pledge by the mayor that the practice would be reduced and ultimately halted.  The city was housing 58,874 individuals in its shelters and hotels as of Tuesday.* Bill de Blasio Versus NIMBYism (Gotham Gazette)*Homelessness among NYC schoolkids surges as population tops 100,000 (NYDN)
Michael Benjamin ‏@SquarePegDem De Blasio's sad 'answer' to homelessness is a fantasy via @nypost

Daily News Blames Liberal Everyone Welcomed Homeless Policy Not Gentrification Push Out For Increase Homeless Numbers  
Bill’s blame game on the homeless crisis (NYDN Ed)  Deluded by righteousness and presuming the lowest motives among critics, Mayor de Blasio is unforgivably casting constituents as heartless racists in a drama of his own making.  He needs to spend more time reckoning with his role in exacerbating record homelessness . The mayor’s Department of Homeless Services on Monday beat a retreat from a Maspeth, Queens, Holiday Inn it had intended to convert to shelter, after infuriated neighbors protested for weeks, including on the Brooklyn stoop of city homelessness czar Steve Banks. Still, says the city, it will continue to rent rooms in the hotel “for working adults.”  The Maspeth revolt activated protests in Bellerose, where 40 homeless families lived in hotel rooms paid for by the city, with nowhere to squeeze into an overflowing shelter system now at population 59,928 and rising. Of those, as many as 6,000 live in hotels, a number rapidly rising. But dare to question the hotels, byproducts of well-intentioned policy gone amok, and heaven help your sinister soul. On Tuesday, the mayor called supplying shelter “a citywide moral and legal responsibility.”  That followed a pair of manipulative internet videos — with the mayor’s name on them — shaming shelter opponents as harboring hate toward mostly black hotel residents. In one, a soundbite from the crowd rings “White lives matter.”  Queens residents’ concerns about their new neighbors may be overwrought. But the worse offense is to impose on city neighborhoods ills that have metastasized because of a mayor’s own failed theories of social engineering.

True News Wags the NYP On de Blasio Turning Against Maspeth by A Video that Paints the Community as Racist 
City Hall is oblivious and shows no interest in local input (NYP)  So now when you fight City Hall, you can expect to be smeared by taxpayer-funded propaganda films casting you as heartless, children-hating villains. Two videos on City Hall’s Web site target a group of Queens residents and officials who demonstrated outside a homeless shelter to protest the way Team de Blasio is running roughshod over their neighborhood. One shows city officials ushering homeless children from the Bellerose shelter on a field trip as protesters rally outside. The other features a black mother and her infant — and scenes from the demonstration to a soundtrack of someone saying “white lives matter” over and over. The blatant message: Anyone upset about a shelter being jammed into their neighborhood with zero local input is just a racist. “I’ve never seen an administration go to that length to try and justify a failed policy. That was to me a sign of desperation,” says state Sen. Joe Addabbo (D-Queens). In fact, the city’s efforts to ram through shelter sitings have met with backlash in all kinds of neighborhoods. Time and again, the mayor’s people meet local officials’ initial inquiries with earnest denials. Hiding behind regulations meant to protect the privacy of its clients, the Department of Homeless Services misleads elected leaders about its plans until it’s too late to stop them. Queens electeds, fed up with being stonewalled by DHS, have taken to checking the Buildings Department Web site to learn if local motels are being used as shelters. City Hall shows no interest in treating local officials as partners. Multiple Queens leaders say Team de Blasio not only fails to solicit local input, it’s oblivious to what it does hear from the community. Instead, it plainly prefers to damn the dissenters as bigots. We suppose that’s easier than rethinking the policies that have homelessness surging. Yet smug ideological lectures from City Hall can only further polarize the citizenry. That might be an effective short-term political tactic, but it’s no way to govern successfully in the long run.

Pols Frighten By the Markey Loss Because She Ignored Homeless Shelter March and Protest 
Queens pols blast Mayor de Blasio over controversialhomeless shelter plan for pushing poor New Yorkers into outer-borough hotels(NYDN)  The de Blasio administration is completely mishandling the homeless crisis by sticking down-and-out people in outer-borough hotels — and ostracizing communities in the process, a trio of Queens pols charged Thursday.  “Anyone is a paycheck away from becoming homeless, but the way this administration ... is handling this crisis is nothing but a mess,” State Sen. Jose Peralta said at a press conference outside City Hall protesting Mayor de Blasio’s homeless policies.  “Warehousing homeless New Yorkers is not the solution.”  Peralta, along with City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, complained that the administration was pushing the homeless into hotels lacking services in far-flung areas of the city without informing the community. “Get this, if anyone complaints, here comes the administration saying we don’t care about poor people,” fumed Peralta. He insisted, “Nothing could be further from the truth.” Crowley said her office has been getting conflicting information from the city about plans to turn a hotel in Maspeth into a full-time shelter, which she says is evidence of incompetence. “This is a clear example the de Blasio administration does not know what they’re doing,” she said. Addabbo recommended the city consider using vacant lots to site shelters, a city-wide huddle with elected officials to find suitable spots, and reconsider using so-called “cluster sites,” which are apartments the city pays for to house the homeless in residential buildings. Activists typically don’t like clusters because they have no services for people in need.

de Blasio Using More Homeless Hotels Despite Pledge to Use Less
Number of homeless living in hotels doubles in two months (NYP) The number of homeless housed in hotels by the city has soared 50 percent in just two months – from 3,990 in July to 6,000 this month, The Post has learned. The surge comes despite a pledge by Mayor de Blasio in February to “utilize hotels less and less and, as quickly as possible, to stop using hotels,” following the murder of a homeless woman and her two kids in a Staten Island hotel. There were 2,656 homeless people in hotels at the time, with an average room cost of $161 per night.

Team de Blasio Crazy Ties to Get His Puppet Council to Boycott the Post With Him
De Blasio’s top lieutenants ordered City Council members not to speak to the Post months ago, even issuing a thinly veiled threat to at least one lawmaker, if he failed to toe the line for the administration
City pol claims de Blasio urged council to stonewall The Post (NYP)  Mayor de Blasio’s top lieutenants ordered City Council members not to speak to The Post months ago — even issuing a thinly veiled threat to at least one lawmaker if he failed to toe the line, the pol told The Post.  “You shouldn’t be talking to The Post when they’re criticizing the mayor,” de Blasio aide Jon Paul Lupo warned, according to the council member, well before Lupo’s tantrum-tossing boss dismissed the paper as a “right-wing rag’’ last week, taking heat from both sides of the political aisle. “We remember who our friends are, and we remember who kicks us when we’re down,’’ Lupo said, according to the Democratic council member he targeted.  The source said mayoral aide Emma Wolfe also issued similar, though “less direct,’’ warnings about talking to The Post.  “Anytime a council member is quoted [in The Post] — even when and especially when they’re right — they’re going to get a call from the Mayor’s Office,” the council source said.

Scared Pols Want Bharara Too Do Their Job of Bring Down de Blasio True News Wags WSJ On Federal Investigation Will Shape the Mayor's Race
Investigations Will Shape New York Mayoral Race (WSJ) How they unfold is likely to determine whether Bill de Blasio faces a difficult race or skates to a second term  de Blasio didn’t come to New York City Hall last Tuesday and instead spent the day at Gracie Mansion, talking with campaign consultants and government aides, eating pizza and plotting his 2017 re-election campaign, according to people familiar with the matter.   At the campaign kickoff retreat, Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, was in an upbeat mood as the team outlined a fundraising strategy, planned a campaign message focused on shoring up his base of support and scrutinized possible opponents, these people said.    The group, sitting around a table downstairs, also discussed the state and federal investigations into Mr. de Blasio’s administration and fundraising activities, these people said. They examined how the investigations could affect potential challengers and a race that the mayor’s allies believe shouldn’t be difficult to win, they said.   Several people who received subpoenas in connection with the investigations were at the summit, these people said. Investigators are looking at whether the mayor exchanged government actions for donations, people familiar with the matter have said. No one has been accused of wrongdoing, and the mayor has said he and his allies abided by all laws.   The way in which these investigations unfold is likely to play a significant role in whether Mr. de Blasio faces a difficult race or skates to a second term, the mayor’s allies and potential rivals have said.

Post's McManus: de Blasio Crazy Attacks on Reporter are About the Federal Investigation, Not His Paper 
Mayor de Blasio’s rant at The Post is good for a laugh (NYP) So New York City has a mayor with feet almost as big as his mouth, a fellow who can’t quite figure out how to get to work on time or what to do when he arrives, whose poll numbers have been underwater since roughly two weeks after he took office — and who’s now having a rant at The New York Post. And I agree that the paper has much for which to answer; name one that doesn’t. But the New York Post hasn’t been under federal, state and local criminal investigation for the past two-plus years, either — which, ahem, is more than can be said of Bill de Blasio.  Which certainly could explain why Hizzoner’s been so testy lately; US Attorney Preet Bharara just dropped the hammer on the Cuomo administration, and maybe the mayor figures he’s next. And for sure it could account for his exasperation with The Post — which regularly hauls out the big type to report on his endless adventures with Bharara, state investigators and the Manhattan district attorney. Plus bums in the streets, chaos in the schools and rip-offs of New York’s sorely pressed taxpayers. He hired an advocate, not an expert, to run the city’s social services. No surprise that Grand Central Terminal is once again up to its scuppers in vagrants and worse.  He padded the topmost echelon of his administration with fellow Service Employees International Union/1199 alumni. No surprise, then, that 1199 is a vector in at least two de Blasio administration scandals — the Rivington House nursing home deed transfer and the Long Island College Hospital land conversion.

Will de Blasio Make Corruption History by Being the First Mayor Indicted?  
And so it goes. Covering the de Blasio administration is like throwing darts at a wall covered with party balloons: Just about every toss, something’s going to pop. There’s the police-corruption scandal; the campaign-donation probe; the not-for-profit solicitation outrage; and just now The Post reports that de Blasio has stocked his personal staff with 264 taxpayer-funded “special advisers” — that is, operatives who shortly will peel off and kick-start his 2017 re-election campaign. Your cost: $18.7 million a year. (How many child-welfare case workers might that buy?)  Now, The Post didn’t discover all of this. But it did its share — and it didn’t stint on the drama along the way. This is very much in a New York newspaper tradition that stretches back to the 1734 criminal libel trial of John Peter Zenger and his New York Weekly Journal — another “rag” that delighted in vexing pompous, sometimes duplicitous politicians.  Zenger beat the rap, of course, establishing the basis for the First Amendment to the US Constitution and setting a precedent that most New York politicians have respected ever since: Newspapers have a right to publish just about anything they damned well please. Even when they are, in Bill de Blasio’s view, an “ideological apparatus” that constitutes “a very negative presence in our city.”

de Blasio Running the City Out of His Lawyers Office

Mr. de Blasio has spent considerable time lately at the Midtown law offices of Barry Berke, who is representing the mayor in the investigations. He has sometimes even done other business from there.   The campaign’s fundraising strategy—to solicit low-dollar contributions—was created, in part, because of the investigations. The campaign is trying to show it has deep, community support and wants to be careful not to be seen as too close to lobbyists. 

Post's McManus Reports That de Blasio Lost With Less Than 20% of New Yorkers Voting But Does Not Explain Why Voting Numbers Shrinking 
Or maybe not so bewildering. Bill de Blasio esteems himself to a degree not remotely commensurate with his accomplishments. He viewed his election as a personal affirmation, and as a rocketship ride to national prominence. But in fact it merely reflected the non-participation ethic that informs New York politics these days.  That is, winning 70 percent of the vote in an election where scarcely 20 percent of the electorate turns out is not a mandate, it is a starting point. A wiser mayor would have understood this, and set about building a base.

Corruption Mayoral Politics Stringer Talks to Consultants Too Much Needs to Too Do What He Things is Right 
 “Stringer…prvtly told consultants...whether anyone is indicted has significant sway over whether heruns” (WSJ) “It goes without saying that if de Blasio gets indicted, everyone is going to run. The real political question is what if only staff gets indicted, and then what staff?” said Bradley Tusk, a political consultant and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2009 campaign manager, who is trying to find an opponent to unseat Mr. de Blasio. He said opponents would be much harder to attract without indictments.  City Comptroller Scott Stringer, a Democrat, has privately told consultants and others that whether anyone is indicted has significant sway over whether he runs, people familiar with those discussions said. Mr. Stringer has said he wants to be ready to announce by the end of the year, but isn’t committed and is less likely to run if no one is charged, they said. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., another Democrat, also has expressed an interest in running but remains unsure if Mr. de Blasio is beatable, a person familiar with the matter said, and believes his chance at being competitive hinges in part on the investigations.

Stringer Stuck In Status Quo Time Warp  
Punches That Don't Land  
Will Need An Assist From Bharara to Become Mayor 
What Does ScottStringer Stand For? (Village Voice) Scott Stringer, the city comptroller, is strongly considering running for mayor. He remains in the drawn-out, time-honored posture of playing coy, which means getting a lot of ink — like a recent spread in the New York Times — for thinking about doing something. One of the more enjoyable parts of being a semi-high profile politician is existing in this state of unvarnished potentiality. You feel important. You dream. Stringer sees all of this and thinks he’s the guy to pluck the mayor’s low-hanging fruit. I’ve covered Stringer for about four years now and I’ve been chastised by his minders, sometimes rightfully so, for underrating him. I’ve called him “nebbishy”. He is not Kochian and we know politics remains an image game. Bloomberg was short in stature but had money. Stringer—who looks exactly like someone you’d imagine managing multibillion dollar pension funds—has a lifetime of Democratic ladder-climbing. He’s living the dream of ambitious New York pols everywhere, methodically office-hopping from the Assembly to the Manhattan Borough President’s office to Comptroller. Much easier said than done, to his credit. Any oddsmaking over Stringer’s chances must account for how difficult it is to dethrone an incumbent. Unless an indictment is handed down, de Blasio will have a stranglehold on the African-American voters who determine the course of New York primaries, and the support of the labor unions that matter. Gadflies like the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, stacked with non-New York City residents, and the Transport Workers Union, no longer a political power, can’t unmake a mayor.  Stringer’s bigger problem, as outlined by Nicole Gelinas todayis what his campaign will really be about. De Blasio critics think crying corruption will be enough but it won’t be. A candidate needs a compelling, soundbite-ready vision to advance to primary voters, and as of October 2016, Stringer is lacking. His pitch to the city is something akin to Hillary Clinton’s: a beefing up of the status quo. Stringer wants to improve de Blasio’s housing plan and triple the city’s earned income tax credit. Admirable, sure, but not a reason to abandon the incumbent, who’s advancing a liberal vision as quickly as democracy and bureaucracy will allow.   What is Stringer’s organizing philosophy, his ideology? How would you explain his candidacy to your friends?  
* A new poll from the Journal, NBC 4 New York and Marist shows that de Blasio’s positive job-performance rating inched up to 40 percent, and he holds a substantial lead in a crowded field of potential Democratic rivals, the Journal reports.

Brooklyn DA Thompson Dies of Cancer  RIP
Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson died Sunday after battling cancer, his office said. He was 50 years old.  This death comes just days after the Brooklyn DA's office revealed Thompson had been diagnosed with cancer and had designated his chief deputy, Eric Gonzalez, to run the office while he received treatment. Thompson’s office did not specify with what type of cancer he was diagnosed. The statement stated he had a “hard fought battle with cancer,” and his family was at his side at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital when he passed.   Gonzalez, the chief district attorney, has been with the Brooklyn DA's office since 1995 and was tapped to serve as Thompson's top lieutenant in 2014. He is the first Latino to serve in that role. In a separate statement Sunday, Gonzalez said, “the executive team and I are committed to leading the office and carrying out DA Thompson's vision and initiatives." Gonzalez said Thompson “was a giant among those seeking to reform the criminal justice system and we are all privileged to have worked under his transformative leadership these past three years.” “In that short period, he transformed the office into a model urban prosecutor's office, with a mandate to do justice and treat everyone and every case fairly and with utmost integrity. Among his many initiatives, he created a model for correcting wrongful convictions, instituted a marijuana policy that would later be replicated citywide and started a summons forgiveness program that would also be instituted in several other jurisdictions,” he said. “May he rest in peace, knowing that he has made Brooklyn and New York City a better place.” Thompson took office in January 2014. His career included working as a federal prosecutor, where he prosecuted the case against a police officer accused in the 1997 assault of Abner Louima. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was saddened to learn of the “sudden passing” of Thompson. “A lifelong New Yorker, Ken was known as an effective, aggressive civil rights leader – and a national voice for criminal justice reform. When he took office in 2014, Ken became the first African-American in history to serve as Brooklyn District Attorney,” Cuomo said. Thompson is survived by his wife of 17 years, Lu-Shawn Thompson, his two children, Kennedy and Kenny, his mother, father, brother and sister. * Ken Thompson, Brooklyn District Attorney, Dies After Disclosing Cancer  (NYT) * Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson dies at 50 after battle with cancer (NYP)
After being absent from his office for nearly two months, Mr. Thompson, who took over the job in 2014, announced last week that he had Brooklyn district attorney says he has cancer (NYP)  Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson is battling an “aggressive” form of cancer and has left the day-to-day operations of his office to his second-in-command. Thompson, 50, who took office in...  * Ken Thompson, Brooklyn District Attorney, Says He Has Cancer and Will Take Leave
(NYT)  * Future Uncertain For Brooklyn’s First Black District Attorney After Cancer Diagnosis (NYO)

Bharara: Not a Problem That Can Be Solved by Prosecution the Media and Other Politicians Need Help Fight The Culture of Corruption in Albany 
This week NY Nowhas an exclusive sit-down interview with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.  The man who famously took down the two former legislative leaders in the same year has not slowed down in bringing forward cases of public corruption, as evidenced by the latest charges brought up last month against former Cuomo aide Joe Percoco among others.  Listen to Preet Bharara explain why the SCOTUS 'McDonnell' decision has no impact on the Silver and Skelos corruption convictions. [Note: Fmr state senator John Sampson was the first to have his McDonnell appeal rejected by a federal appeal court.

SHOCK POLL: 94% say Cuomo bears at least some responsibility for allegedcorruption... 

Several lawmakers are calling for broad reform of the State University system’s contract procurement process, following charges against SUNY Polytechnic Institute president Alain Kaloyeros for alleged bid rigging, Politico New York reports.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

When is the Media Going to Cover Groups Fighting Gentrification Going After Airbnb?
Airbnb’s illegal hotel purges slammed as ploy to throw off NYC regulators (NYDN) Airbnb’s highly publicized purges of suspected illegal hotel listings are a ploy to placate regulators and have done nothing to alleviate the city’s serious housing crisis, elected officials, housing groups and hundreds of tenants charge in a letter to the company.  The letter, sent Friday to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, raps the company for not sharing the nixed listings with law enforcement and regulators.  “One can only conclude that your lack of cooperation . . . is nothing more than a craven attempt by your company to generate sky-high profits at the expense of our precious affordable housing,” the letter from the Share Better coalition of pols and the New York Hotel Trades Council states.  Critics charge that the site is a platform for illegal hotel operators, including greedy landlords who use rent-regulated units as hotel rooms rather than residences for New Yorkers, which worsens the city’s affordability crisis. The company, when reached for comment, dismissed Share Better as a “front group for the big hotels.”

Even the NYT's Says de Blasio Media Attacks Are Ugly and the Opposite of Transparent Do They Know Something About the Federal Investigation?
 Mayor deBlasio’s Media Freeze-Out (NYT Ed)  If Mayor Bill de Blasio has decided that he is going to answer questions only from “real media outlets,” and not The New York Post, why doesn’t he just go all the way? Revoke The Post’s credentials, and bar its reporters from City Hall and make an example of them. Let the other reporters learn not to offend His Honor. And if they don’t learn, he can stop taking all questions. Then the mayor will be free to do his business in peace and quiet, his message unfiltered, his administration shown only in its best light, through news releases and photo ops. That is the absurd logic of Mr. de Blasio’s eruption at a news conference on Thursday. He snapped at reporters’ questions as unfit to be answered. And he refused to respond to Yoav Gonen, City Hall bureau chief of The Post, which he belittled as a “right-wing rag.”

Q. Mr. Mayor, Mr. Mayor —
A. You can keep calling all you want. Go ahead.
Q. Are you going to call on me today? Hey, are you — ?
A. I’m calling on real media outlets.
Spiro de Blasio

This was an extreme reaction for a mayor who is already unusually aloof from the press. His predecessors, notably Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani, took questions nearly every day. Mr. de Blasio deigns to answer reporters’ “off topic” questions — those not related to his chosen issue of the day — generally once a week.  The Post does not hide its anti-de Blasio feelings and is quick to ridicule. It can also be rather vulnerable to ridicule itself. But the article that set off Mr. de Blasio’s meltdown seemed straightforward, if pointed: It was about the hiring by the mayor’s office of 264 “special assistants,” outside the civil service, who looked to the paper like a “farm team” of political appointees. If Mr. de Blasio had specific complaints about the article’s veracity, he did not reveal them at the news conference.  New York has a long tradition of outspoken mayors who have used and abused the media, who have belittled and ranted at reporters, while aides smirked and fawned. But the mayors have always talked. Mr. de Blasio says he is not playing that game, at least not with The Post. But it’s not just The Post — Mr. de Blasio got petulant when pressed by a reporter from Newsday for information about an inquiry into the Administration for Children’s Services and the death of a 6-year-old boy. “Come on — try and ask a real question,” he snapped. Then came this exchange with a Wall Street Journal reporter: Q. I’m just curious — taking questions once a week, and you know, insulting newspapers, media outlets — how do you think it’s helping you? How is it helping you? A. It doesn’t have to help. It doesn’t have to help. It’s the — well, I’m saying what I think is the truth. And by the way, I think the people share a lot of my view.
de Blasio and the NY Times

The Times Called de Blasio A Good Mayor: They Must Have Meant Good At Giving Their Developers Friends Whatever They Want
A lot of people do share his view. We call them Donald Trump supporters. Mr. de Blasio has generally been a good mayor, with good programs and a good administrative team. But he can’t plausibly continue to insist on his integrity and openness while refusing to take questions he doesn’t like. In his peevishness, he is slouching toward something ugly. There are no safe zones in politics — nor should there be.

Daily News Albany Lawmakers Have Not Made the Case for A Pay Raise 
Keep waiting forthat pay raise: State legislators needs to explain what salary increase theythink they deserve (NYDN Ed)  At long last, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie summoned the courage to tell a special state pay raise commission that he believes legislators deserve their first salary hike since 1999.  The speaker submitted a five-page letter whose last sentence obliquely asked for a 47% hike, which sounds high but is in line with 17 years of inflation.  A lawmaker’s annual salary would climb from $79,500 to $116,900.  Legislators have feared they would face public wrath for raising their pay — while mired in dysfunction and corruption. Their out was to give the panel power to recommended hikes for state elected officials, judges and commissioners.  At long last, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie summoned the courage to tell a special state pay raise commission that he believes legislators deserve their first salary hike since 1999.  The speaker submitted a five-page letter whose last sentence obliquely asked for a 47% hike, which sounds high but is in line with 17 years of inflation.  A lawmaker’s annual salary would climb from $79,500 to $116,900.  Legislators have feared they would face public wrath for raising their pay — while mired in dysfunction and corruption. Their out was to give the panel power to recommended hikes for state elected officials, judges and commissioners.  The recommendations will take effect unless voted down by the Legislature — thus allowing lawmakers to weasel that they were bystanders to actions of an obscure commission.  Heastie took a stand only after gubernatorial appointee Fran Reiter said she would refuse any raise unless legislative leaders spoke up to be held accountable.  The speaker stopped his knees from knocking long enough to draft his letter. But he fell short of earning the raise by failing to offer ethics reform.  Even more cowardly, Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan stands mum.  Since it is doubtful the commission can condition raises on later passage of reform measures, the panel must turn thumbs down.  At the very least, it must decree that all lawmakers receive identical amounts, thereby barring the bosses from granting stipends, called lulus, on top of the standard paycheck.

de Blasio Paints the Post As Right Wing Exposes His 2017 Campaign Strategy to Gain Progressive and Liberal Votes
Together With his Black and Orthodox Jewish Base  

De Blasio’s tantrum shows just how thin-skinned he is (NYP)  Awww, does Little Billy need a time out? Mayor de Blasio acted like a colicky infant at a press conference Thursday, refusing to answer questions posed by a New York Post reporter and then saying it’s because the paper is not a “real” media outlet.  “You can keep trying, man. You can talk all you want,” he said, interrupting a question by City Hall bureau Chief Yoav Gonen about a controversial teacher annuity fund that cost taxpayers $1.2 billion last year. As Gonen persisted, de Blasio whined: “I’m calling on real media outlets.” The petulant child’s routine immediately backfired when other reporters, shocked at his behavior, grilled him about why he refused to respond to The Post. “I’m saying what I think is the truth. And by the way, I think the people share a lot of my views,” he told a Wall Street Journal reporter who questioned his antics. “I’ve got no use for a right-wing rag that attacks people who are good public servants and tries to undermine their reputations.” * De Blasio, Frustrated, Chooses to Take His Private Feuds Public, Again (NYT) The mayor condemned The New York Post in a news conference and in an interview with The New York Times on Thursday. Last year, he spoke openly about his divisive relationship with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.* Transcript: Mayor Bill de Blasio on The New York Post (NYT) The mayor discussed his views on the newspaper and his refusal to acknowledge its City Hall bureau chief during a news conference on Thursday.* Crybaby de Blasio spends day hanging out anywhere but City Hall(NYP) A day after he declared The Post was not a “real” media outlet, Hizzoner hardly looked like a real mayor — spending Friday at the gym and then lounging around his old neighborhood without ever going to the office.  De Blasio left Gracie Mansion at about 7:45 a.m. and showed up a short time later at the Y in Park Slope looking like an aging frat boy in an orange T-shirt under a black “Brooklyn” hoodie. “He’s not going to make any comment,” one of his reps said as Hizzoner was shielded by his security detail.  De Blasio then kicked back for hours at his favorite Park Slope haunt, Bar Toto, with an unidentified guest.  De Blasio — who had no scheduled events Friday and was jetting off to Detroit on Sunday to campaign for Hillary Clinton — then vanished, never showing up at City Hall.

The NY Post is Too Dumb to Understand That Team de Blasio by Calling Them Right Wing is Building A Progressive Vote to Get Re-Elected

Mayor de Blasio demands his own ‘safe space’ (NYP) Mayor de Blasio is perfectly free to keep ducking Post reporters’ questions . . . as long as he wants to keep coming off like a peevish toddler. A month ago, we wondered if de Blasio was cracking under pressure when he took out after The Post and our City Hall bureau chief, Yoav Gonen, at a press conference. On Thursday, he had another meltdown — refusing to let Gonen even ask a question, saying that’s for “real media outlets.”  He got snarky with other reporters, too, but saved his special venom for The Post: “I[’ve] got no use for a right-wing rag that tries to attack public servants.” By which he means he has no use for a newspaper that asks (well, tries to ask) uncomfortable questions and exposes City Hall outrages and incompetence. What set the mayor off this time was a Post exposé of how he’s parked 264 political operatives on the public payroll as “special assistants” — at a cost to the taxpayers of $18.7 million.

Dumb and Dumber: Dear NY Post deB is Not About Transparent He is About Building A Progressive Coalition on Your Back
Dear Bill NYP Attack is Not About Free Press It is Because You Cut Out Old Guard Lobbyists Like Arzt for the Berlin Rosen Generation

He hides behind lawyers rather than even discuss why the Administration for Children’s Services ignored repeated warnings that little Zymere Perkins was being abused.  He designated his campaign consultants “agents of the city” so the public couldn’t scrutinize his communications with them. And he won’t even fulfill his campaign promise to publicly post lobbyist dealings with his agency heads — then gets testy if anyone asks him about it. Gov. Cuomo is no model of transparency, but at least he doesn’t refuse reporters’ questions. Nor does he hold “on-topic-only” news conferences, either. If de Blasio wants to hide in a protective bubble, fine. We’re not about to tone things down to soothe his hurt feelings. But we doubt New Yorkers are going to have a lot of respect for a mayor who insists on spending all his time in his own version of one of those campus “safe spaces.” The mayor’d be better off recalling Harry Truman’s advice: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

de Blasio Channels Spiro Agnew
Yet blaming the messenger is rarely a winning approach — particularly when the self-professed “most transparent mayor in history” is having so much trouble being remotely transparent
De Blasio thinks homeless crisis is a case of ‘fear-mongering (NYP) Mayor de Blasio on Monday ripped The Post’s coverage of the homelessness crisis — and touted an estimated drop in the vagrant population based on a single-day census conducted in sub-freezing temperatures.

He also ranted about a New York Post article that revealed how his administration boosted the number of special assistants on his staff to 264 — a 140-percent increase over Mayor Bloomberg — at a $18.7 million cost to tax payers.  Though he didn’t challenge the accuracy of the report, he complained that the Post singled out one of the “public servants,” Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Victor Calise. “This man is not anything but a change agent, an activist, a man — and go ask people in the disabled community. So I’m not playing that game,” he said.  His meltdown continued as reporters tried to ask him out some of the other scandals engulfing his administration.   He fumed when a Newsday journalist asked about Monday’s death of an abused 6-year-old Harlem boy — and if he would keep his word about releasing details of how ACS let the child’s case slip through the crack despite prior complains against the boy’s mom.  “Don’t even try that, come on, come on . . . try and ask a real question,” he snapped.  When another scribe tried to press the question about the city’s lack of transparency in little Zymere Perkins’ death, the mayor implied the Manhattan DA’s office had asked him not to speak about it and fumed: “I don’t know why you’re not hearing my point. . . You really have to try to listen to what I’m saying.”  The mayor’s media meltdown drew criticism from his former press secretary, Karen Hinton.  “I’ve given him advice before about this very topic,” she told NY1 after the debacle. “Losing your temper with the news media does nothing for you except get you stories about losing your temper, which is I’m afraid what we’re going to see this afternoon and tomorrow.” His office and affiliated non-profit, The Campaign for One New York, are under at least a half-dozen investigations by city, state and federal agencies – including for potential pay-to-play schemes. 

“The next president of the Unites States has gone through more investigations than I can count,” de Blasio said. “And I would remind you, go to the end of the road on all those investigations, you will find positively nothing and she’s about to be the next president of the United States.”

de Blasio Went After Bloomberg Each Time A Child Died Because of Abuse

de Blasio Was Not Silent About Child Abuse Before He Became Mayor “That says we are missing an opportunity to intervene asearly as possible,” the public advocate, Bill de Blasio, said in an interview. (2012, NYT) * PUBLIC ADVOCATE BILL DE BLASIO CRITICIZES THE CITY FORCRITICIZING HIS REPORT ON CHILD DEATHS (2012, Village Voice) * There was a City Council hearing on the ACS in September 2007, announced by then-Councilman Bill de Blasio, the chairman of the General Welfare Committee, which has jurisdiction over the ACS. De Blasio cited the death of 21-month-old Hailey Gonzalez after she was allegedly beaten by her mother's boyfriend and the death of a 2-month-old after the child was allegedly shaken by his mother in a homeless shelter. The Councilman said that ACS has made some progress but noted that children were still being lost. * Following Reports of Abuse at PS 87, De Blasio Calls onChancellor to Explain Lack of Discipline for Prior Incident *   De Blasio: Six Years After Nixzmary, Children Still Lostin Preventable Deaths (Brooklyn Eagle) *  De Blasio's Past as ACS Watchdog in Spotlight After MylsDobson's Death (DNAINFO)*'WHY DID THEY DO THIS TO HIM? HE WAS AN INNOCENT BABY': Fatally battered 6-year-old Zymere Perkins remembered as 'playful, loving' at Brooklyn funeral (NYDN)

NYC Sheep Voters Who Don't Read Newspapers Do Not Even Know That de Blasio is Under Investigation or Do Not Care  

 De Blasio sees slight uptick in poll numbers despite probes (NYP)   Despite multiple investigations focused on his administration, voters are feeling better about Mayor de Blasio these days, according to a poll released Wednesday.  De Blasio’s approval rating now stands at 40 percent, says the Wall Street Journal/NBC4 New York/Marist poll. That’s up from 35 percent in the same poll in April. The poll also found that 50 percent of registered voters think de Blasio deserves a second term — up from 43 percent who felt that way last November.    In a Democratic primary against possible challengers such as Comptroller Scott Stringer, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, 42 percent of voters said they would vote for the incumbent. De Blasio faces a half-dozen investigations into his fund-raising, nonprofits and a controversial nursing-home transaction. *  de Blasio’s pollnumbers rise as half of New Yorkers say he should be reelected (NYDN)

Another ACS Failure As Child Dies Mayor Announces Same Reforms Which Will Not Get Done Again 
Alert: More Reforms Will Come After the Next Child Dies
De Blasio child safety reforms show how severely the system failed ZymerePerkins (NYDN Ed) With a lawyer on hand to give the impression he was barred from saying little more than expressions of sorrow for the murder of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins, Mayor de Blasio announced appallingly basic child protection reforms.  He pledged that the Administration for Children’s Services would bring in the NYPD when children are believed to have endured serious abuse — tacitly confirming that caseworkers have given a pass to criminal assaults.  He promised that caseworkers with non-profit agencies that provide services to troubled families will no longer close serious abuse cases without ACS approval — tacitly admitting that the city had outsourced life-and-death judgments. He vowed that a team of independent supervisors will routinely review cases — tacitly suggesting that ACS had failed to adopt the Department of Investigation’s recommendation in May to do something similar. He said the school system would develop clear protocols for notifying ACS when children become chronically truant — as Zymere had — tacitly indicating that the Department of Education and ACS were slipshod about a fundamental indicator of neglect.  He ordered enhanced training for child protective workers — tacitly conceding that the enhanced training he imposed two years ago after the death of 4-year-old Myls Dobson needed further enhancement.  At that time, de Blasio also formed a 21-top-official “Children’s Cabinet,” apparently none of whom checked on whether caseworkers were calling cops, schools were contacting ACS, and so on.  De Blasio was joined by his previously missing-in-action ACS commissioner, Gladys Carrión, who a day earlier was the portrait of defeatism, saying in a TV interview that “we can’t keep every child safe,” apparently not even a child who had been the subject of five investigations and whose school had reported he had been bruised. Carrión has placed five ACS workers on modified duty and vowed to impose further accountability after the Manhattan DA completes an investigation that covers Zymere’s mother, her hulking boyfriend and the protective workers who handled the boy’s case. Amid a fog that extended to simple questions about ACS practices, de Blasio wove a self-congratulatory narrative of his concern for child protection dating to his days in the City Council.  The mayor also noted that, faced with child fatalities, his predecessors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg had reformed ACS.  He praised them, and declared the loss of Zymere Perkins “an unacceptable tragedy.” At the same time, he joined Carrión in more artfully selling the exculpatory premise that the city’s child welfare system remains a work in progress. That explanation does no justice to a boy whose battered body will go to the grave on Friday. 

* An array of New York City officials sat with Mayor Bill de Blasio in an effort to figure out how the case of Zymere Perkins, the 6-year-old who died as a result of domestic abuse, slipped through the cracks, but no clear answer emerged, The New York Times writes.

* An array of New York City officials sat with Mayor Bill de Blasio in an effort to figure out how the case of Zymere Perkins, the 6-year-old who died as a result of domestic abuse, slipped through the cracks, but no clear answer emerged, The New York Times writes.

New JCOPE Subpoenas Fly At de Blasio's Campaign For One NY PAC As Federal and Manhattan DA Investigation Continues
Ethics Panel Investigating de Blasio’s Nonprofit Is Said to Issue Broad Subpoena (NYT) A state ethics panel investigating Mayor Bill de Blasio’s political nonprofit organization has served a sweeping subpoena on City Hall seeking communications among the mayor, his aides, the nonprofit, its donors and consulting firms that worked for it, people with knowledge of the matter said.  The scope of the subpoena suggests a widening of the investigation by the State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which enforces state lobbying laws and has been focused on whether the group, the Campaign for One New York, illegally lobbied the city in 2015. At the same time, several lawyers representing donors to the group who have been contacted by the panel said the inquiry also appeared to be focused on whether some donations from lobbyists or their clients who have business before the city actually constituted undisclosed gifts to the mayor. Any such undisclosed gifts would violate state lobbying laws. The subpoena was served on Sept. 14, just four days after a State Supreme Court judge in Albany rejected the group’s effort to quash two earlier subpoenas from the panel. The judge ordered the nonprofit and several consulting companies that had done work for it and for Mr. de Blasio’s mayoral campaign to provide almost all of the documents sought by the panel, also known as Jcope. In doing so, the judge rejected arguments from the group and the mayor that the panel’s inquiry was politically motivated. The ruling limited the group’s efforts to stop disclosure of communications with the consulting companies and their employees. Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, had contended that such communications were privileged and should be kept confidential.  The new subpoena, according to people familiar with it, seeks a broad range of documents and communications from the mayor, his senior aides and anyone in City Hall assigned to do work related to the nonprofit, which shut down in March.  It also seeks emails from the mayor and his staff to donors, lobbyists, consultants and reporters, as well as any telephone logs, calendars or schedules relating to the mayor and the nonprofit, the people said.

Is JCOPE Moving Against de Blasio's Campaign for One NY Because the Feds are Ready to Pounce?
The inquiry by the ethics panel, which has the authority to bring administrative actions and seek fines, is separate from more than a half-dozen federal and state criminal investigations that in recent months have examined various aspects of the mayor’s political fund-raising. One of those, being conducted by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has also focused in some measure on the Campaign for One New York, according to people briefed on the matter.

de Blasio and Campaign for One NY Joined at the Hip for A Political Mission Create A Lobbyist Shadow Govt

The questions include whether the group was simply working as an arm of his campaign and whether giving money to it may have been a way for those with business before the city — or those seeking such business — to curry favor with him without being subject to campaign-finance limits. (The group initially declined to release its donors’ names but ultimately did so in response to criticism.) The nature of that relationship seemed even murkier after the Albany judge’s ruling, when Mr. de Blasio’s response seemed to tacitly acknowledge that there was little separation between the nonprofit and him and his administration. When asked why the nonprofit had refused to comply with the subpoena, Mr. de Blasio said, “We disagree with judge’s final judgment, and so we’re exploring appellate options at this point.”

Did the Conflict of Interest Board and Campaign Finance Board Both Picked by the Mayor and Speaker, Protect Criminal Activity PACs Like Campaign for One NY?

A mayoral spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday that when the nonprofit was formed, in late 2013, the administration sought guidance from the city’s Conflict of Interest Board on the “appropriate management and solicitation of funds, consistent with applicable conflicts of interest laws,” and that the mayor’s office “consistently followed that guidance throughout” the group’s existence.

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

Cuomo Caught Up in Bridgegate Astorino Calls for Both to Resign 

True News Continues to Wag the Post Again
Yesterday the Post Led With Special Assistants Padding Yesterday After True News Wrote "de Blasio's Campaign Payroll" Today the Posts Headlines "de Blasio's Campaign Hacks"
Taxpayer-funded jobs for de Blasio’s campaign hacks (NYP)  Congratulations, city taxpayers: You’ve found yet another clever way to contribute to Mayor de Blasio’s 2017 re-election campaign — by hiring hundreds of his operatives as “special assistants” on the City Hall payroll, thereby relieving them of the need to find real jobs in the political off-years.  Yes, gazillionaire Bloomy had other places to park his politicos — but so does the current mayor, with his vast web of pocket nonprofit outfits.   Of course, the taxpayers also helped pay for those, if indirectly — since donations to them plainly bought access (at least) to the mayor and his team. Indeed, the mayor remains engaged in what former spokeswoman Karen Hinton termed a “daily battle with the media.” A mayor less focused on nonstop politics, and more attent to making the city work, might have suffered fewer management disasters like the Rivington Street fiasco.  With homelessness still rising, fresh questions plaguing the Administration for Children’s Services and all the other daily challenges of making New York work, the mayor might want to hire some policy heavyweights — and let the campaign hacks fend for themselves.

Monday de Blasio's City Hall Campaign Payroll
Mayor Bill de Blasio padded the city payroll with 264 “special assistants” during the past fiscal year, a more than 140 percent increase over his predecessor, which accounted for 40 percent of the entire Mayor’s Office staff and cost taxpayers $18.7 million, the Post reports.

Campaign for One NY Under Federal Investigation Was Not the Only Pool of Money That de Blasio Used to High Operatives for His 2017 Re-Election Campaign

A larger stable of political appointees as special assistants, who are available to go through the revolving door of public service and political-campaign service

 ggg De Blasio padded City Hall with 264 ‘special assistants’ (NYP) de Blasio padded the city payroll with 264 “special assistants” during the past fiscal year — a more than 140 percent increase over his predecessor, The Post has learned. The bloated band of vaguely titled aides — accountable only to Hizzoner — accounted for 40 percent of the entire Mayor’s Office staff and cost taxpayers $18.7 million, payroll records show.  City Hall insiders said de Blasio was using the special-assistant gigs in part to take care of political operatives as they bide their time waiting for the next campaign — a kind of publicly funded farm system akin to the ones used by Major League Baseball teams.  “It’s usually given to one of our political guys as a way to bring them on board in the administration without any problems — whether or not they have the job requirements,” a de Blasio administration source admitted. “Many have worked on [the mayor’s campaign], and this job allows them to go back and forth, if needed, on the re-election campaign or campaigns of allies.” The hires contributed to a surge in payouts at City Hall, where the cost of de Blasio’s office was up more than 21 percent since fiscal year 2013, the last one over which former Mayor Michael Bloomberg had complete control. The fact that the jobs aren’t covered by civil-service rules also gives the mayor the latitude to dole out salaries and raises beyond the established ranges for comparable positions. Last month, The Post revealed that de Blasio had slashed the pay of more than a dozen aides held over from the Bloomberg administration, while showering his own appointees with more than $2 million in raises. At least 16 of the people de Blasio has hired as special assistants worked on his 2013 mayoral bid, one of whom, Monica Klein, is among two special assistants now on leave to work for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.  One special assistant, Elana Leopold, saw her annual salary skyrocket from $60,000 in 2014 to $85,749 in 2016 before resigning this year to become the finance director for de Blasio’s 2017 re-election bid.  The payroll records also show de Blasio reassigned his longtime election lawyer, Henry Berger, from a $187,583-a-year post as assistant corporation counsel to a job as special assistant at the same rate of pay. One of his special assistants, former campaign “high-dollar finance director” Hayley Prim, resigned to join Hilltop Public Solutions, a p.r. firm implicated this year in election-finance violations allegedly spearheaded by the mayor. *

How de Blasio's Flip Flop Attempt to Buy Off NYCHA Tenants Opposition to Luxury Housing Failed

NYCHA invites tenants angry about luxury apartments slated for playground site to propose ideas for new park (NYDN) Hours before public housing tenants were set to protest plans for apartments on top of their popular playground, NYCHA on Friday said tenants could help design a replacement.Holmes Towers residents and elected officials planned a Saturday rally in the playground to stop the plan to put up a tower that’s 50% market rate apartments. But NYCHA announced upcoming workshops where tenants can “share their input and preferences” for the new playground. “Mayor de Blasio releasing this … the day before we hold a party to protect our families’ park shows a wanton disregard for our public housing residents,” said Holmes Towers tenant leader Lakeesha Taylor.
Displaced Bushwick Families: Landlords 'Would Rather RentTo A White Man With A Dog Than Me With My Kids' (Colony 1209 and equally over-the-top rhetoric, declaring itself "Brooklyn's new frontier" and announcing it would be marketing itself to "like-minded settlers." Local realtors no longer needed to put "East Williamsburg" on their listings: Bushwick had become an internationally known brand, with a company offering an artisanal Bushwick-scented candle for the slim price of $81 ("scent highlights include terpentic notes of drying oil paint on canvases"), and Saturday Night Live officially ushering Bushwick stereotypes into the comedic mainstream with a sketch parodying neighGothamist) Displaced Bushwick Families: Landlords 'Would Rather Rent To A White Man With A Dog Than Me With My Kids' By the end of the 2000s, Bushwick was in the midst of drastic changes. According to Census data crunched by the city's Department of City Planning, Bushwick experienced a net in-migration of 9,155 non-Hispanic whites from 2000 to 2010, more than tripling the previous population for the neighborhood. During that period, almost 20,000 black and Hispanic residents had moved out.  After a brief pause during the economic crash of 2008, Bushwick's flood of newcomers kept on coming, accompanied by a spate of condo towers, each trying to outdo the next in announcing itself fit for urban pioneers. On DeKalb near Bushwick Avenue, one new industrial-gray modernist condo building adopted the name borhood black youth talking trash about their gelato purchases.* A student view of Boston's gentrification: ‘We areruining the lives of city residents’ (Guardian)

de Blasio is Also Throwing Money At His Rivington Nursing Home Scandal to Make Up for the Close Facility 

Health Care Facility to Replace About Half of RivingtonHouse Beds: Mayor (DNAINFO)
EDI ‏@EDI_NYC 31m31 minutes ago Mayor @BilldeBlasio and @CM_MargaretChin using "Senior Housing" and "Affordable Housing" as catch phrases to cover-up scandal & incompetence

Sal Albanese ‏@SalAlbaneseNYC Thank goodness NYC's economy is generating lots of tax revenue bc DEB is blowing through cash like a drunken sailor

Is Brooklyn Lost For Affordable Housing?
The last battle for Brooklyn, America's most unaffordableplace to buy a home (Guardian) It might be too late for Williamsburg, Bushwick and Bed-Stuy – but in Crown Heights, tenants have learned a few tricks to prevent the social cleansing of their neighbourhood. Can they succeed where the rest of Brooklyn failed?

Gentrification and Race
Airbnb Bad Neighbors, Warehouses Apartments -- Rising Rents and Increasing Gentrification
Mayor Ignores Community Leaders Opposing His Zoning Plan  
Affordable Housing, Low Wages Building, Rents 
How Blacks the Poor and the Middle Class are Being Push Out of Brooklyn Because of Albany's Tax Breaks for Luxury Developers

Low Turnout Elections Designed by Albany Spit 3 Primaries
Another Shockingly Low Turnout Election (Gotham Gazette) The numbers are bad again, additional proof that New Yorkers don’t pay much attention to local elections or make voting in them a priority. There were several hotly contested state legislative party primary elections on September 13, even a few for open seats, yet the best an individual New York City-based Assembly or Senate district did was 20% participation among active eligible voters.  The winner of this unglamorous prize was Assembly District 65, Sheldon Silver’s old seat, where short-term incumbent Alice Cancel was defeated in the Democratic primary by Yuh-Line Niou. Of 43,094 active eligible Democrats in the Lower Manhattan district, 8,631 votes were cast, equal to 20.03%.  Niou was one of three challengers to unseat New York City incumbents this primary cycle.  Another, all the way Uptown in Inwood and nearby areas, saw long-term incumbent Assemblymember Guillermo Linares defeated in the Democratic primary by Carmen De La Rosa. There are 57,053 active eligible Democrats in AD72 and 8,317 voted (4,414 for De La Rosa), for 14.58% turnout.  In Queens’ AD30, long-time Assemblymember Margaret Markey lost to Brian Barnwell in a Democratic primary that saw 7.94% turnout -- Barnwell won the primary, and thus the seat, with 1,622 votes to Markey’s 921. There are 32,162 active registered Democratic voters in the district.

Why New Yorkers Don'tVote, Sucking Power Out of Neighborhoods, Walmartization of Campaigns

US Attorney Bharara: Contribute to Investigative Journalism

Bharara: Yep. Too many PR people who spin and not nearly enough reporters who report.

Bharara: “I would encourage anyone who is in a position to fund investigative journalism to fund it. … It is money well spent."
Bharara told the audience at the gala that he was perplexed as to why no one asked him at the press conference where he announced the charges how his office started the investigation in the first place. “That case got started because journalists in Buffalo and elsewhere started to write that there were shenanigans they believe that were going on with the bidding of contracts in Buffalo,” Bharara said. “And you know what we did? We started to investigate.” “A lot of the greatest work that prosecutors and watchdogs do comes from the work that journalists do and I would encourage anyone who’s able to fund investigative journalism to spend money on it because it’s money well-spent and it’s good for the cause,” he added.

@SquarePegDem  Apr 22  Gary Tilzer (@unitedNYblogs) warned that BdB circle of friends, lobbyists & PACs were up to no good. Like #Cassandra, he was ignored.

Please Contribute to True News 

Cuomo and His Fellow Lawmaker Albany Hoods Open the Door by Cutting Out the Controller for Buffalo Billion Corruption

Andrew Cuomo’s too-belated cleanup (NYP Ed) Cuomo is belatedly promising reforms to state procurement processes — now that several of his close allies have been indicted on federal and state charges, including bribery and bid-rigging on facilities that SUNY nonprofits built in Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse. Yes, once US Attorney Preet Bharara made it clear he’d found criminal wrongdoing in the Buffalo Billion, Cuomo brought in his own consultant to review it. And, at a cost to the taxpayers (so far) of $450,000, Bart Schwartz has identified extensive problems “with the approval, review and inspection processes” and held up $64 million in payments.  Here’s the thing: Cuomo’s last procurement “reform” opened the door to such abuses. Five years ago, in the name of “streamlining,” Cuomo convinced state lawmakers to curtail Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s oversight authority on contracts and spending by SUNY nonprofits, public hospitals and similar agencies.  In his zeal to think big and to get big projects — like the Buffalo Billion — done quickly, Cuomo put control and political capital in the hands of SUNY Polytechnic Institute leader Alain Kaloyeros and his string of SUNY nonprofits.  * Bharara appears to slight Cuomo at Albany ethics forum   via

Cuomo took office vowing to clean up state government, but it seems he wound up burying not only his guns, but his head. Bid-rigging — the oldest crime in government — went on right under his nose. * Cuomo says he’s taking over economic development projects from SUNY Poly in the wake of a corruption scandal – but legally it may not be so easy to do, requiring negotiations between multiple private nonprofits and companies, the Daily News writes
Is Cuomo building a solar plant that will never open? (NYP Ed)
* A week after two COR Development executives were charged in a corruption probe, a Cuomo administration employee left a voicemail for a top aide to Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner pushing for an exemption for the firm, which the aide alleges “borders on a threat,” the Times Union writes. *
* In the wake of high-profile arrests emanating from the Buffalo Billion program, district attorney candidate Joseph V. Treanor III said he will beef up the public integrity unit that the acting district attorney created this year to root out public corruption, the Buffalo News reports.
* Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature should ask state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to do a risk assessment of the entire government to see exactly where public funds are particularly vulnerable to corruption and restore a system of checks and balances of power, the Times Union writes.

Three People Charged in State Corruption Probe Return to Court
(NY1) * Gov. Andrew Cuomo said much of the responsibility for the alleged corruption scandal touching his administration is on the state university system, specifically SUNY Polytechnic Institute, which oversaw many of the contracts. But reform groups say the governor is not telling the whole story. * More than a decade before confessing to corruption charges, there were warning signs that lobbyist Todd Howe, a former aide to Cuomo, was crooked.

* After Cuomo charged Empire State Development to serve as project manager for more than a dozen construction projects, some tainted by a pay-for-play scandal that rocked his administration, Empire State Development chief Howard Zemsky said SolarCity will remain on schedule, the Buffalo News reports.

FDNY Chief Kill By Illegal Gas Line After the City Crack Down

Police have discovered a “deviation” in the gas line at the Bronx marijuana grow house that exploded last week, killing Battalion Chief Michael J. Fahy.

Flashback: Albany Got Away With the AEG Bid Rigging Scandal So They Did It Again  
Albany's Gambling Pay to Play Payoff Gov. David Paterson's advisor, , was overheard giving the governor "sensitive advice" and disparaging AG Andrew Cuomo on speakerphone on a crowded train to Washington A meeting was arranged by Harlem political consultant, who apparently spoke to the governor, on speakerphone, on a train. (Page Six)  Paterson advising casino despite past ‘bid-rigging’ scandal(NYP)\David Paterson was caught up in a casino bid-rigging scandal when he was governor, and now he’s an adviser for a gambling operator vying to open a $400 million casino north of the city, The Post has learned.  The New York State Democratic Party chairman is an “unpaid” confidante to Greenetrack, which runs an “electronic bingo” gambling parlor in Eutaw, Ala. — and wants to build a casino complex on a 140-acre site near Stewart Airport. “It’s mind-boggling,” said Blair Horner, director of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “Paterson is the new Democratic Party chairman getting behind one of the bidders for a casino. Should he be doing that? No.”A state Inspector General’s Office report in 2010 faulted Paterson for poor oversight of the “tainted”selection process that led to claims of bid-rigging on behalf of Aqueduct Entertainment Group.“Gov. Paterson engaged in an ill-advised meeting with the Rev. Floyd Flake, a well-known member of AEG, within five days of its conditional selection in an effort to garner political support,” the IG report said. Paterson last year admitted that he backed the AEG bid as a favor to former Senate Democratic Majority Leader John Sampson — who has been indicted in a separate real-estate scam  Albany’s latest stench(NYP Ed) Reports of political rot in Albany keep a-comin’ — with revelations this week by The Post of probes of top Democrats in a sleazy deal that, by his own admission, even ensnared ex-Gov. David Paterson.For starters, the feds are investigating whether state Sens. John Sampson and Malcolm Smith and others were involved in a scheme to steer a multibillion-dollar contract to a politically juiced firm, AEG, to run a racino at Aqueduct Race Track.

The AEG Bid Rigging Scandal

NYPD Officer Who Shot Himself Was Wanted as "witness" in Corruption Prob

NYPD Officer WhoShot Himself May Have Been Trying To Avoid Testifying In Corruption Probe (Gothamist) An off-duty cop who shot himself in the stomach on Friday afternoon was recently told by the feds that he may be questioned as a witness in an ongoing investigation of NYPD corruption—and may have shot himself to avoid testifying against his former boss. Lieutenant Peter Salzone shot himself several times in the stomach on Friday afternoon. According to the Daily News, the shooting occurred around 4 p.m. in his girlfriend's home in the Oakland Gardens section of Bayside.  NYPD Officer Who Shot Himself Was Wanted as 'Witness' inCorruption Probe (DNAINFO) * NYPD officer may have shot self to dodge corruption trial (NYP)


NYP: After 9 Arrests for Bid Rigging Cuomo's Investigator Calls for Changes to the Procurement Process No Wonder Why the Post Dumped Dicker
Buffalo Billion project full of procedural problems: investigator (NYP)  Cuomo’s independent investigator monitoring the scandal-plagued Buffalo Billion project found extensive problems “with the approval, review and inspection processes” for funding the effort. In a Sept. 23 memo, Bart Schwartz said he had analyzed payment requests for $193 million in state funds for equipment, construction and other fees — but approved just $129 million because the “required procedures and required documents were not in compliance” for the remaining $64 million. “Frequently, required processes and procedures were not followed; required documentation was incomplete . . . and review procedures were either not in place or not being followed,” Schwartz wrote. The governor’s gumshoe also sent him five “review protocols” to “assure transparency, reliability and integrity in the review and payment processes."--Schwartz, whose firm Guidepost will be paid up to $450,000 for eight months of work as Cuomo's Buffalo Billion investigator, was told by Bharara to steer clear of the feds’ investigation. 2 days after Gov. Cuomo's highest ranking officials were indicted on bribery & corruption, this is the Buffalo News headline. #givemeabreak

As de Blasio Blames New Yorkers for Not Accepting Homeless Shelters Nobody is Demanding Answers Why Homeless are Increasing
New Yorkers fightcity’s efforts to house homeless in middle-class neighborhoods (NYDN) The record high nearly 60,000 people living in the city’s shelter system isn’t the only homeless crisis Mayor de Blasio is battling. The mayor is also grappling with a mutiny from New Yorkers who don’t want the exploding homeless population in their neighborhoods. And those New Yorkers are increasingly mobilizing to stop the tide of homeless in their residential, middle-class neighborhoods – with some success. In the past month, three different Queens hotels appear to have pulled out of deals to house the homeless because of community opposition. In all three cases, the city refused to budge, so the locals targeted the hotel owner Harshad Patel.  It worked.  After they sent flowers to his home with the ominous note, “We’ll go out there if you don’t want to meet us in Maspeth,” Patel told Maspeth resident he would nix plans for a 110-bed facility at the Holiday Inn there.  He also owns two hotels in Bellerose that also take in homeless, along with regular guests, for emergency lodging when the shelters have no room.  Robert Holden, a Maspeth community leader fighting the shelters, said their successes have led to other neighborhood groups calling and asking for advice to stop shelters, including Astoria and Rosedale in Queens, and Sunset Park in Brooklyn. But Queens City Councilman Barry Grodenchik, said the Bellerose protesters in his district had “legitimate gripes.” When the hotel in his district first began accepting homeless people, he heard few complaints, he said, but in recent weeks, as more and more people were placed there, the chorus has grown. “It’s quality of life issues,” he said, citing loud noise and panhandling.  Meanwhile, the mayor is trying to appeal to people’s hearts. On the day of the Bellerose protest, Banks took children living in one of the protested shelters to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan — and released a heart-tugging video documenting the visit.  The trip, Banks said, was to show, “a helping hand from adults, rather than the back of a hand.”

Different Timelines Between Sorris and de Blasio When Both Knew About Rivington Scandal 
Deputy mayor’s Rivington timeline doesn’t match de Blasio’s (NYP) First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris on Thursday said he told Mayor de Blasio about the Rivington nursing-home fiasco in early March — contradicting Hizzoner’s own account that he learned about it weeks later from a newspaper story. Testifying before the City Council, Shorris said he first learned of the botched deal in late February and by March 1 had asked Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters to launch a probe into how the city allowed the non-profit home to be sold for luxury housing. Pressed on the timeline after 2¹/₂ hours of testimony, Shorris said he had informed the mayor of the troubling situation within three days of his call to Peters. First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris on Thursday said he told Mayor de Blasio about the Rivington nursing-home fiasco in early March — contradicting Hizzoner’s own account that he learned about it weeks later from a newspaper story. Testifying before the City Council, Shorris said he first learned of the botched deal in late February and by March 1 had asked Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters to launch a probe into how the city allowed the non-profit home to be sold for luxury housing. Pressed on the timeline after 2¹/₂ hours of testimony, Shorris said he had informed the mayor of the troubling situation within three days of his call to Peters. City Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, said the hearing elicited a number of contradictions from prior accounts from City Hall. “It’s hard to believe the lack of knowledge when there’s so much e-mail and other documentation that shows that the administration was aware of it at City Hall as early as December [2015], if not before that.” City Hall officials later walked back Shorris’ timeline, saying his review of the deal lasted several weeks — not days — before he told the mayor. “Today, Mr. Shorris remembered that time period being a few days after he called on DOI to investigate the matter, when in reality it was a couple of weeks.” DOI found that top City Hall officials knew or should have known about the deal, where the city got $16.1 million in exchange for lifting two restrictions on the property’s uses. City Council Holds Hearing on Controversial Lifting of Rivington House Deed Restriction (NY1) Brooklyn City Councilman David Greenfield: Who screwed up in your team and how are they being held accountable? There were no screwups? Nobody screwed up? So when you went and you gave a directive as the first deputy mayor, that didn't happen, but nobody screwed up?

No NYP It is Not Incompetence   The Campaign Mayor Is Following Reagan Plausible Deniability So He Can Collect Pay to Play Campaign Contributions 
Stringer found 40 staffers, “including top-level deputy mayors,” involved in the Rivington decision, yet no one stopped the deal. Or even, supposedly, told the mayor about it.

De Blasio deputy admits no one’s really running City Hall (NYP) At the hearing, Shorris said he wanted the site to remain a health-care facility — but for some reason (how should he know why?) his fellow staffers lifted deed restrictions, paving the way for a new owner to put up luxury condos. And for a de Blasio donor to snag an instant $72 million profit. In an interview with the city Comptroller’s Office, Shorris said something similar. Yet in two dozen-plus instances, he told that investigator he just can’t recall the details. Really? Why is someone with such a weak memory “in charge” of dozens of city agencies? And if he’s lying, what is he trying to cover up? Perhaps US Attorney Preet Bharara (who’s also investigating the case) will get the answers. Of course, the mayor’s aides were racing to please SEIU 1199, the powerful health-care union (also one of de Blasio’s top donors). The union wanted a quick sale in large part so it could collect $18 million in pension payments the facility owed it. And what the union wants, the union gets.

The Brooklyn Wars: How Big Banks Killed Our Neighborhoods 

Across the globe, the word “Brooklyn” has come to represent cutting-edge cuisine, a vibrant music and literary culture, and the epitome of hip. But most of the world doesn’t see the price that local residents pay as their neighborhoods are swallowed by change. Masterful storyteller and award-winning journalist Neil deMause turns a spotlight on how the New Brooklyn came to be, who shaped it — and the winners and losers when “urban renaissance” comes to town. “A teeth-gnashing account of how the Big Money boys teamed up with City Hall pols to grab everything from Coney Island’s Thunderbolt to once–working class neighborhoods of downtown Brooklyn in the name of progress.” —Tom Robbins, Investigative Journalist in Residence, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism* “The Brooklyn Wars recovers the great Brooklyn virtue of telling it like it is. Neil deMause writes with the street-savvy common sense Brooklyn was known for before it became a ‘brand.’” —Paul Moses, author of An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York’s Irish and Italians “A great read, impeccably researched. This is essential reading for anybody who witnessed the mind-blowing transformation of Brooklyn over the past 20 years and hungers to understand what actually happened.” —Kelly Anderson, director of My Brooklyn


Daily News Cuomo's Plan for Penn Station Not Grand Meets Cash Reality
Well, he’s doing something: Cuomo's Penn Stationambitions meet cash reality (NYDN Ed) Proclaiming that New York had to once again build big and great, Gov. Cuomo in January announced that — ASAP —he would transform Penn Station into “a modern, iconic gateway to New York” fit for the 21st century. He pretended last week to keep his pledge with the resuscitation of decade-old plans to build a train hall in the Farley Post Office across the street. It’s a grand idea — and has been since Gov. Pataki selected the same developers to do much the same work because, as owners of many nearby properties, they have a viable financing scheme. They envision building an enormous public space, topped by a one-acre glass skylight, that would better accommodate Long Island Rail Road, NJTransit and Amtrak passengers who are interested in coming and going at the Eighth Ave. end of Penn Station. Without minimizing those virtues or the benefits of putting the rest of Farley to use, the project lacks the glory Cuomo advertised when he said Penn station “will be dramatically renovated.” While Cuomo vows that better is still to come for Penn, the immediate outcome explains why New York no longer builds big or great. Because it ain’t got the money.

As Affordable Rents Dry Up and NYCHA Apts Decrease Homeless Numbers Increases
The number of people sleeping in New York City shelters has increased by 18 percent since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office and reached nearly 60,000, raising questions about the effectiveness of current policies, The Wall Street Journal reports. *
In an ever-clearer attempt to dodge accountability for enabling a developer to make a bonanza on formerly city-owned real estate, First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris has played New Yorkers for fools — possibly including Mayor de Blasio. * The number of people sleeping in New York City shelters has increased by 18 percent since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office and reached nearly 60,000, raising questions about the effectiveness of current policies, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Deputy Mayor Shorris Corp Council Carter Both Lie for A Living to the Council Protect de Blasio 
De Blasio deputyaccidentally stirs new controversy in City Council bungled-deed testimony (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio's second in command testified to the City Council on the administration's admitted mishandling of the deed removal on a Lower East Side AIDS facility — which paved the way for luxury housing — but ended up stepping into a new controversy on the very last question. City Councilman Ben Kallos asked First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris if he would say on the record why he could only testify for a limited time. He said he was told by City Hall that Shorris was attending the US Conference of Mayors, which is in Oklahoma City, and could only stay for two and a half hours. But Shorris seemed to know nothing about the conference, saying only that he had appointments lined up for the day, and that the mayor — and not him — was attending the conference. Later, a spokesman for the City Council released a statement, accusing City Hall of lying to them in order to limit Shorris' time on the stand testifying about the City Hall screw up. "The administration misled the Council and the Speakers Office into believing that First Deputy Mayor Shorris' availability for the hearing this morning would be limited because of events related to the U.S Conference of Mayors in Oklahoma City," said Eric Koch, a spokesman for Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.* CityOfficials Are Questioned Over Changes to Nursing Home’s Deed (NYT)  And for six hours City Hall cabinet members — including the first deputy mayor, Anthony E. Shorris, and the corporation counsel, Zachary W. Carter — offered replies and sparred with council members, but ultimately revealed few new details in a case that had become a black eye for Mayor Bill de Blasio and spawned multiple overlapping investigations. How were possible warning signs overlooked? Why were decisions at City Hall not effectively communicated to the agency entrusted with carrying them out? When did Mr. de Blasio, a champion of affordable housing, learn that a prime bit of city-protected real estate on the Lower East Side had slipped away for a price? Just before Mr. Shorris testified, City Hall officials sought to deflect attention from the proceedings by announcing plans to essentially replace Rivington House with a center in Lower Manhattan that is expected to house between 100 and 200 seniors in a combination of health care and affordable housing units. The construction of a new center appeared to close the door on the possibility that the city would try to claw back the Rivington House property, though Mr. Shorris in his testimony said that any such action would depend on the results of two continuing investigations by the New York State attorney general and federal prosecutors. Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, has said that he learned of the issue with Rivington House from news reports in late March. But Mr. Shorris testified that he informed the mayor of the issue after requesting in late February that the Investigation Department begin its inquiry. Mr. Phillips, the mayor’s spokesman, later said that those two events were contemporaneous and occurred in late March.

Sal Albanese ‏@SalAlbaneseNYC  Are u kidding, there's no fight, they lied from the beginning when DEB said no one knew anything about it & that it was an oversight
Shorris says he didn't address Rivington matter again until Feb. '16 -- but internal finger-pointing had begun two months earlier

@BenKallos: "How long did you work for (lobbyist) James Capalino?" #Rivington

Sally Goldenberg ‏@SallyGold  .@NYCCouncil asks Carter about @PreetBharara investigation into Rivington. "I'm surprised you're hearing this for the first time."

Sandi Bachom ‏@sandibachom Loved the way the council chamber gasped when @BenKallos asked deputy mayor when he worked for Capalino. It's ok was 30 years ago

Media Critic ‏@NYMediaCritic  Shorris doing the classic "I don't recall" evasion. Shame. #RivingtonHouse

We reported this morning, Stacey Cumberbatch, former DCAS commissioner who moved to HHC after Rivington, left HHC in June this year.

Shorris says he didn't address Rivington matter again until Feb. '16 -- but internal finger-pointing had begun two months earlier

After New York City First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris told those investigating a land use snafu that he couldn’t recall the details, the Post asks why someone with a weak memory is “in charge” of many city agencies.
@BenKallos points out the city record used a block and lot, not an address, when advertising public hearing on rivington house.

Media Tells Us That Homelessness Increases But Protecting Developers Will Not Tell Us Why 
The number of people sleeping in New York City shelters has increased by 18 percent since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office and reached nearly 60,000, raising questions about the effectiveness of current policies, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Cuomo Pushes Percoco Under the Bus, No Way
Why Did the Lawmakers Take Away Oversight Power From DiNapoli of Contracts Like Buffalo Billion in 2011? Cuomo, DiNapoli and Schneiderman Return Contributions from Buffalo Billion Contriburtors JCOPE Missed Another Scandal 
Cuomo: Arrest ofex-top aide is ‘very disappointing for me’ (NYP) The arrest of a former top aide on corruption charges was “an emotional situation” that was “very, very disappointing” for Gov. Cuomo, he said Wednesday. Without mentioning Joseph Percoco by name, Cuomo referred to him as “a friend of mine for many, many years — actually had been a friend of my father’s for many, many years.” “I try not to be defensive and this is somewhat of an emotional situation for me, because more than on a personal level, it is very, very disappointing for me,” Cuomo told reporters in Syracuse. “You know someone for a long period of time and you trust them, and then — according to the complaint, at least — they violate the public trust, which has been critical for me and my father before me.” * Cuomo finds former top aide Joseph Percoco's allegedfraud, bribery scheme 'personally hurtful' (NYDN) "The situation with Joe is on a personal level, very disappointing and hurtful,” Cuomo said. “He was a friend for a long time ... so that is personally hurtful." * Cuomo Doesn’t Expect To Testify If Cases Go To Trial (YNN) * Andrew Cuomo cries when talking about his late father (Page Six) * Dr. Who? SUNY Poly removes images of Alain Kaloyeros (TU) * DiNapoli says scandals show need for oversight (TU) Comptroller's oversight on projects like Buffalo Billion were diminished * JCOPEwatches another ethics scandal from the sidelines (PoliticoNY) * DiNapoli says lawmakers are talking to him aboutrestoring the oversight they took from him in 2011 DiNapoli said Cuomo and then Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority leader Dean Skelos ended his ability to review “SUNY and a number of statewide centralized contracts that are done now through the Office of General Services.” The change that also affects CUNY contracts came when Cuomo took office and moved swiftly to accrue more power over state funds and eliminate what he termed “duplicative and wasteful” review of contracts. “At the time I raised the concern that the process was set up for us to have an additional set of eyes to look at these contracts on what we call a pre-audit basis or before the approval is done,” he said. “We can still audit some of this work after the fact but if there is a problem when you are auditing after the fact, you can’t really prevent the problem from happening.” Monday, he said he would return more than $20,000 in campaign donations he got from the companies facing charges, COR Development of Syracuse and LPCiminelli of Buffalo. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is donating the money he got to charity, and Cuomo has announces his funds will be held in case the federal government seeks to seize them. * Gov. Andrew Cuomo blamed the scandals engulfing his upstate development efforts on SUNY, while SUNY’s Polytechnic Institute removed photos and information about former leader Alain Kaloyeros, who has been charged in alleged bid-rigging, the Times Union reports. * Empire State Development Corp CEO Howard Zemsky, the state official charged with overseeing upstate revitalization project in the wake of corruption charges, said he will not rule out halting some projects, The Post-Standard reports. * State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said he has heard from several lawmakers who are considering legislation to restore his office’s oversight of spending by SUNY and related nonprofits that manage building projects, the Times Union reports. * Politicians whose campaigns have received contributions from developer Louis P. Ciminelli and his allies are scrambling to figure out what to do with the money after the executive was charged in a pay-to-play scandal, The Buffalo News reports. * State Sen. George Amedore’s campaign said he does not plan to return campaign donations from prominent Albany developer Joe Nicolla, now that Nicolla faces a bid-rigging charge, the Times Union reports.

Now the Entire State Budget is A Member Item Pay to Play Opportunity 

State leaders set aside $19 billion in “non-specific funds” in the latest $155.6 billion budget, which the government watchdog group Citizens Union said could be a source for corruption, the New York Post reports.

IDC's Klein Power Broker in A 2017 Cuomo Triangulation State Senate
MainlineDemocrats and IDC arrive at a tentative peace (PoliticoNY) With the IDC poised to grow to at least six members, the breakaway conference will likely play a crucial role in which party will control the upper chamber. In the meantime, mainline Democrats and Republicans don’t want to ruffle any feathers with their colleagues in the IDC and have maintained a diplomatic relationship.

Now That the IDC is a Lock Cuomo Does Fund Raiser for Senate Dems

All of the State Top Leaders Received Contributions From Buffalo Billions  1 Week After Arrests They Get Rid of Tainted Campaign Contributions
Cuomo getting rid of tainted campaign contributions (NYP) Cuomo will set aside hefty campaign contributions tainted by the latest Albany corruption scandal so they can be seized by the feds, the head of the state Democratic Party said Tuesday evening. The announcement followed pledges by the state’s two other top elected officials to divest themselves of political donations tied to Cuomo’s graft-riddled “Buffalo Billion” revitalization project. Cuomo received at least $725,000 from “Buffalo Billion” developers and their associates, according to court papers filed last week by Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara. “Given the serious nature of the allegations made last week, the campaign contributions given by the defendants will be set aside in a separate account to be made available for any forfeiture recoveries pursued by law enforcement, rather than returning the funds to the defendants,” Democratic Party Executive Director Basil Smikle said. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli will return about $25,000 in similar contributions, while Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will donate around $15,000 to charity to offset the donations he got, their spokesmen said. Schneiderman — who hasn’t yet picked a charity for his money — isn’t directly returning the funds because they went to a since-closed political committee, a source close to his campaign said. * Cuomo campaign will ‘set aside’ funds from donors tied to bribery scandal (NYDN) * Cuomo's campaign to 'set aside' developers' donations (democratandchronicle) * Cuomo’s campaign has decided to set aside donations it received from people named in the criminal complaints filed by authorities last week, so that they may be available for any forfeiture recoveries pursued by prosecutors, the Times Union reports. * The Joint Commission on Public Ethics Executive Director Seth Agata declined to discuss how it failed to flag crucial information that is part of a federal case against a former Cuomo administration official, but said staff had learned from the matter, the Times Union reports. * Amid Donor Scandal, Cuomo Won’t Stop Taking Campaign CashFrom State Contractors (NYO)

A Fake News Blog Funded by Lobbyists Honors Bharara Going After Those Same Lobbyists
Manhattan U.S.Attorney Preet Bharara honored as ‘Newsmaker of the decade’ at City &State’s 10th Anniversary Gala (NYDN) Preet Bharara went from serving indictments to being served dinner. The Manhattan U.S. Attorney, named “Newsmaker of the decade,” was the keynote speaker Tuesday at City & State’s 10th Anniversary Gala that was filled with the city’s top political leaders. The honor came just five days after he charged nine big wigs, including Gov. Cuomo’s former aide and campaign manager, with shaking down upstate companies seeking state contracts. The news magazine’s gala was held at the swanky Vermilion on Lexington Ave.

Cuomo, MSG, Prococo Job and New Penn Stations? 
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the selection of the team of Related Companies, Vornado Realty and Skanska AB for a fast-tracked, $1.6 billion plan to renovate Penn Station and add a train hall in the nearby Farley Building, The New York Times reports. * Joe Percoco, a former top aide to Cuomo who was one of nine people arrested last week in an alleged corruption scheme, now works for Madison Square Garden, which will benefit from the Penn Station plan, although officials said Percoco’s role is irrelevant, NY1 writes.

Deputy Mayor Shorris Does Not Remember Meetings, Email About Rivington Nursing Home Deal Will the Council Continue the Cover-Up?
Report: Deputy Mayor to be Grilled by City Council OverRivington House Debacle (Bowery Boogie) First deputy mayor Tony Shorris will testify tomorrow before City Council regarding his role in the whole Rivington House debacle. This is a big deal. The $16.1 million deed lifting that led to a $116 million flip job into luxury condos by the Allure Group is still festering as problem for the de Blasio administration.  Politco has the scoop on the public hearing, and also obtained the transcripts of the City Comptroller Scott Stringerprobe two months ago. Here are some highlights… It also seems clear, although Shorris never says so directly, that he did not have a particularly robust or effective mode of communicating with Stacey Cumberbatch, who was commissioner of DCAS until January of this year. Cumberbatch informed Shorris through a routine memo about the potential sale of Rivington House, which had been a city-owned building before being sold to a nonprofit running an AIDS residence in the 1990s. Shorris explained that he did not read the memo and that some time during the latter portion of his first year on the job, he stopped reading these memos in their entirety because they were too time-consuming.  Instead, he expected commissioners to use their judgment and inform him in person or over the phone of priorities and problems. But that evolution in communication strategy was never made clear to Cumberbatch, Shorris acknowledged during questioning. Okay, reading memos isn’t part of your job description. Cool. Next. City Hall officials previously said Shorris first learned of the city’s hand in lifting these deed restrictions and the subsequent sale in February —something he did not dispute when Schwam asked. He also said that in 2014, when the AIDS residence provider first approached the de Blasio administration about its intentions to sell the building to a nursing home operator, he did not view the issue as a priority because he believed it would remain a health care facility. At that time, neither the nonprofit, VillageCare, nor the eventual buyer, The Allure Group, mentioned the potential sale to a condo developer. It was not until DCAS lifted the deed restrictions for a $16 million fee that the building’s use was allowed to be changed and Allure sold it to Slate Property Group. Speaking of City Council and Rivington House, our own Councilwoman Margaret Chin reportedly possessed advance knowledge of the Rivington House deal but allegedly didn’t tell Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito. So, yeah, lots to discuss…

De Blasio deputy has amnesia when it comes to shady nursing home deal (NYP) First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris suffered numerous memory lapses about the Rivington Street nursing-home fiasco, telling investigators more than two dozen times that he couldn’t recall incidents, ­e-mails or details, records show. Mayor de Blasio’s right-hand man claimed he couldn’t remember a meeting with Stacey Cumberbatch, a city commissioner, or the content of any conversations they had about Rivington in 2014. His schedule showed a July 25, 2014, meeting with Cumberbatch, then head of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, where the deal was on the agenda. Shorris also said he believed his decision that the property should remain a nursing home — rather than be sold on the open market — was communicated to the agency. But he couldn’t recall how. “I’ve asked myself that question. I do not remember the exact mechanism. I just don’t,” he told investigators for city Comptroller Scott Stringer, according to a transcript of the July 27 interview obtained by The Post through public-disclosure laws. Asked if he had met with Cumberbatch about Rivington in 2014, Shorris replied, “Probably. I can’t say I remember exactly.” The interview transcript shows investigators grilled Shorris about his claim that he didn’t learn about the February 2016 sale until after it happened, even though ­e-mails show members of his staff discussed the pending sale in December 2015. When investigators tried to press Shorris over the two-month lapse, his lawyer, G. Michael Bellinger, repeatedly intervened. ”He already answered that question. Don’t answer it again,” Bellinger said. “I’m instructing him not to answer that question.” A City Hall spokesman said Shorris will be testifying at a City Council hearing on the Rivington House deal Thursday.

Is Speaker Mark-Viverito A Racist?
Push to probeCouncil Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for bias over claims of racial remarksr egarding NYCHA hiring (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio's Human Rights Commission has been asked to investigate allegations that City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito pressured NYCHA to replace a black development manager in the Bronx with a “Spanish manager.” Community activist Tony Herbert announced Monday he’d demanded probes from the commission, as well as the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office and city Department of Investigation. “What we don’t need is someone creating dissension between African-Americans and Hispanics in this day and age,” Herbert said.

Were Are the Council Hearing On NYCHA Repairs Sales of Land?

Dickless NY Post Strange Fred Dicker Leaves After the Arrests of Cuomo Buffalo Billion Team 
Fred Dicker departsNew York Post, radio show continues (TU) After a run of more than three decades at the New York Post, Fred Dicker has left in what he described in an email as “an amicable departure after some 2,000 columns over nearly 34 years.” Dicker, whose Monday column was a frequent must-read in state political circles, said he may continue to freelance for the Post and other outlets, and will continue his hour-long weekday radio show “Live from the State Capitol” on WGDJ and his appearances on WRGB.
* The charges levelled against Cuomo and Christie in testimony from Wildstein – that they conspired to cover up the intentional closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge for political purposes – are by his own admission hearsay, and should be regarded as such, the Post writes.

GOP Ad Dicker Hits Cuomo on Corruption

As Hispanic Get Push Out of Williamsburg the NYP Calls A Councilman Protesters Gangsters Because They Protest A New  Housing Development That Will Increase the Push Out of Their Community 
Gangster politics — the wrong way to fight a housing project (NYP) Last Wednesday night, Brooklyn City Councilman Antonio Reynoso crossed the line — literally and figuratively — in a thuggish bid to thwart a housing development.  Rabsky Group, a local developer, plans to build 1,100-plus apartments — 30 percent of them affordable units — on long-vacant Pfizer sites at the Broadway Triangle where Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick and Williamsburg converge.  Led by Reynoso, a band of demonstrators opposed to the project marched into the neighboring district of Councilman Steve Levin and shut down a public City Planning meeting on the proposal  And it was no accident the protest got that loud. Reynoso tweeted his intention a month in advance: “Rabsky just filed draft scope with City Planning for Pfizer Sites! Our community is ready to shut this one down!” In the background here are old tensions between area Hispanics and Hasidim, stemming partly from a 2009 rezoning fight. But that makes Reynoso’s behavior even more deplorable: If elected officials fan the flames of racial and ethnic conflict, they put whole neighborhoods at risk. Then, too, it sets a terrible precedent if this tactic succeeds: Politics already makes it far too hard, and too expensive, to get anything built in this town. If near-riots become an acceptable way to stop a project, New York’s housing crisis will grow even worse.* Now NYC has publicly funded mobs (NYP) Dozens of members of Churches United for Fair Housing were at the hearing, and were the loudest voices screaming for it to end. CUFFH is a Brooklyn group that “connects residents” with lists of available affordable-housing units and “counsels them through the grueling paperwork.” This year it received more than $220,000 from the city — most of its operating budget.
@gblainnydn Given this was placed w Lovett, we can assume Cuomo's building a "stupid, not criminal" defense for his own indictment? LOVETT: Cuomo should have seen warning signs beforeauthorities began bribery probe into his staff(NYDN) * LOVETT: Gov and staff privately trashed reporters... 

As New Yorkers Get Push Out of Their Communities With High Rents the Council Does Fluff Resolutions, Color Code Their Outfits to Make Themselves Look Better 
City Council members accuse peers of putting pet causes before ‘substantive work’ (NYP) Some city lawmakers are more interested in planning parties, writing nonbinding resolutions and wearing colorful T-shirts to support pet causes than they are in passing weighty legislation, several City Council members told The Post. Acting more like a student-body government than a professional Legislature, members wore teal the past three Septembers to promote ovarian-cancer awareness; donned crimson on Feb. 5 for heart disease; and wore denim on April 27 in a pledge to end sexual violence. They plan to go purple on Oct. 6 to support domestic-violence victims. “I don’t have time to start looking for a purple tie,” one member, who requested anonymity, groused of the ever-changing, politically correct dress-code directives. “I have a hard enough time getting my son up and ready and my own outfits to match to remember what color I’m supposed to wear,” said Staten Island Councilman Joseph Borelli, one of the 51-member council’s three Republicans. Members pointed to Brooklyn Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and Bronx Councilman Andy King as the body’s biggest cheerleaders. “This is what they’re doing in celebration of this day and that day, or they’re busy hosting a party — and that’s not substantive work,” complained one lawmaker who requested anonymity. And when they’re not fretting over the day’s color code, council members often propose scores of resolutions supporting far-flung causes. The council considered 299 resolutions and adopted 210 of them so far this year. By contrast, it passed only 104 real laws. Passing too many political resolutions and color-themed celebrations waters down their effect and distracts from doing the business of the city, good-government advocates say.

Yes Gov Paterson Settles With SEC What About His Lobbing Work With Allure Rivington Group? 
Paterson was paid consultant to firm that flipped nursing home (NYP, 4/10/16) Former Gov. David Paterson was a paid consultant to the Brooklyn company that sparked a scandalwhen it flipped the Rivington House nursing home for a $72 million profit, The Post has learned. The former governor was “on call” for Allure Group managing partner Joel Landau during talks for the takeover of a second nursing home, a Brooklyn facility that is also being converted into luxury housing, a source close to those negotiations told The Post. That deal is under investigation by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Cuomo's Poll Numbers Fall After Percoco Arrest Arrests Update 
New: @NYGovCuomo hits 2nd-lowest approval rating (40%), per WSJ/NBC/Marist poll done duringPercoco et al charges (WSJ)* A poll found Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating hit 40 percent last week, his second-lowest performance since he took office, and down one point since April, when 41 percent said his job performance was excellent or good, The Wall Street Journal reports. * Cuomo's campaign and the state Democratic Party have not said if the Governor is keeping campaign donations from COR Development, a development companies whose executives were charged in last week’s federal criminal complaint, the Post-Standard reports. * The attorney for Albany developer Joseph Nicolla, who pleaded not guilty, said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman"rushed" a bid-rigging case against his client — and suggested it was to keep up with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the Albany Times Union writes* Steve Pigeon was again in court, where his lawyers argued to have prosecutors reveal the name of a confidential informant referenced in the bribery indictment leveled against him by Schneiderman’s office, The Buffalo News reports.  * Though Albany is reeling from yet another corruption scandal, the ethics and lobbying regulators at the Joint Commission on Public Ethics didn’t discuss the case at their meeting. * Even as he seeks to move forward with economic development projects after the high-profile arrests, questions remain over whether Cuomo has done enough to address bid rigging in contracting.

Prococo, Glaser Use Personal Emails to Hide Shadly Deals Cuomo Says He Did Not Know
Cuomo aide used personal email to hide shady deals: feds (NYP) Gov. Cuomo’s former aide Joseph Percoco — who is accused of pocketing more than $315,000 in bribes as part of pay-to-play schemes — used his personal e-mail account to surreptitiously discuss his shady dealings, court papers show. “State employees are not to use personal email addresses to conduct State business unless explicitly authorized,” Deleassa Penland, a criminal investigator with the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, wrote in the criminal complaint. Cuomo’s former director of operations, Howard Glaser, who has not been charged in the federal case, was also using his own e-mail account in dealing with official state business, the indictment says. Glaser used his personal email when he agreed to help Percoco get state approval for energy company Competitive Power Ventures to buy “emission reduction credits” in New York for a plant it was building in New Jersey.* NYPOST: Cuomo's 'Billion' Excuses...  * Gov. Andrew Cuomo Seeks Distance From Bribery Scandal (WSJ) * Cuomo Says He Knew Nothing About Allegations Involving Some of His Closest Aides (NY1) Cuomo condemns corruption case; vows reforms (wgrz) * DE BLASIO PILES ON: "A VERY
SAD DAY"...* Jeffrey Toobin for The New Yorker: “Bharara keeps cutting off branches, but the tree of corruption in Albany, diseased and unsightly, still stands.”

Baked Ziti Puppy Dog Press
Bob Port ‏@BobPort  It's also time for so many journalists in Albany, NY, to stop being polite little puppy dogs and start pounding their fists on the table.

Mystery pasta delivered to LCA pressroom  Reporters, it is said, will eat an old shoe if it’s covered in hot sauce and served with a shot and a beer. So it is no surprise that Capitol reporters are at this very moment consuming a tray of pasta and sauce dropped off by an organization calling itself  The website includes a link to a petition calling on state lawmakers to commence impeachment proceedings against the governor, plus links to articles in the recent state and federal investigations of the administration and upstate development.  The pasta appears to be a reference to “ziti,” the term for money used by former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco and lobbyist Todd Howe in their conversations about alleged shakedown efforts.  The LCA’s pasta, however, is penne  Good journalists are not influenced by free food. But rather that let good pasta go to waste, they will consume it.* State delays $ -- Nomoney was spent on SolarCity tools between mid-Aug and mid-Sept. 

MSG's James Dolan still paying Cuomo crony busted in bribery scandal (NYP) Madison Square Garden boss James Dolan is sticking by disgraced senior VP Joseph Percoco, who has been charged in an Albany pay-to-play scandal. At least for now. * Gov. Cuomo ‘had no idea’ about the nine former aides charged in ‘very disturbing’ New York corruption probe (NYDN)Ex-congressman says Cuomo should scrap power plant construction (NYP) Cuomo should scrap construction of an upstate power plant cited in a sweeping federal corruption probe to maintain his own integrity, says former Ohio congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. If Cuomo doesn’t stop the project by Competitive Power Ventures “it would raise troubling questions about complicity,” said Kucinich, who has joined residents who oppose the planned 650-megawatt plant in Wawayanda, about 75 miles northwest of New York City. * Corruption Case Deals New York Governor a Blow (WSJ) Andrew Cuomo suffered a serious political setback this week when federal prosecutors charged his former top aide and eight others connected to him with participating in a bribery scheme.* For Alain Kaloyeros, an empire falls (Democrat and Chronicle)* Latest corruption indictment fuels distrust of government (WNYT)

Cuomo is the biggestrecipient of campaign funds from Ciminelli, family, companies (Buffalo News) Campaign contributions from developer Louis P. Ciminelli, his wife, his companies and their top employees totaled $650,000 from 2000 through mid-2016 – and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has been the biggest recipient, a Buffalo News analysis found. Ciminelli’s extended family – his brother, late father and others – also has made significant political donations. Louis Ciminelli’s brother Paul F. Ciminelli, who owns Ciminelli Real Estate, made about $255,000 in political contributions during that same period, The News found. And their father, Frank L. Ciminelli, who died in 2014 and had founded the companies his sons now run, contributed, along with his wife, Rosalie, $250,000 during the time period.* ANDREW CUOMO AND THE CORRUPTION OF ALBANY (New Yorkers)

Heastie Says the State Legislators Deserve A Pay Raise Regardless of If They Don't Take Action to Strengthen Ethics Laws
Ethics Reform Before Pay Raises Cuomo Cuomo wants more ethics reforms in exchange for Legislative pay raises (NYDN) * Heastie: Pay raise issue should be considered on its own (TU) * While Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign remains mum on the issue, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s re-election campaign has said it will return campaign funds tied to developers who are being charged in a bribery and bid-rigging case. * With the latest corruption case hanging over Albany, the prospects of a pay raise for lawmakers and members of the governor’s administration appear less likely.* Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said state legislators deserve a pay raise regardless of whether they take action to strengthen ethics laws and that the salaries should be determined by economic factors, the Daily News reports. * Carl Heastie: Keep pay hikes for legislators out of ethics reforms

Some Progressives Organize Against Cuomo
State Democrats want to drive Andrew Cuomo out of office (NYP) Disaffected Democrats furious with Gov. Cuomo after nine of his friends and donors were ensnared in a sprawling federal corruption scandal last week say they plan to run him out of office. More than four dozen progressive leaders met in Albany on Saturday to launch a statewide organization aimed at moving the Democratic Party leftward and building support for a candidate to oppose Cuomo in 2018. “Taking over the Democratic Party and pushing Cuomo out the door is a major reason we are pushing this forward today,” said attorney Arthur Schwartz, who organized the powwow.
Tom Dadey ‏@TomDadeyJr  .@PreetBharara Describes Corruption in New York as systemic overlooks 'do nothing' District Attorneys * Who Watchers the Watchman, Lobbyists, Grand Jury, AG -DAs Conflict of Interests with the political machines and pols who elect them
NYPD Ticket Fixing Scandal Reporting Drip Drip Drip 

de Blasio in Panic Mode Lashing Out At Every Question of His Decisions 
De Blasio goes after caller during weekly radio show(NYP) Mayor Bill de Blasio extended his combative streak beyond the press on Friday — going after a caller to his weekly radio show who brought up contributions from the animal rights groups NYCLASS. The caller, identified only as Andrew from Staten Island, asked if the group’s hefty donations influenced Hizzoner’s decision to spend $2 million on a deer sterilization program — despite significant concerns from experts. “You just don’t have your facts straight. We carefully worked through this policy with a host of wildlife experts,” the mayor said on WNYC radio. “But please leave your conspiracy theories at home.” NYCLASS was subpoenaed in April by both the US attorney and the DA in Manhattan in connection with its contributions to the Campaign for One New York, the mayor’s shuttering nonprofit that’s at the center of a number of pay-to-play probes. The mayor also got testy when asked about a mobile text alert about Chelsea terror suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami — who was captured Monday in New Jersey. “That is an absolute misunderstanding by anyone who critiques it. It was very effective, it was very necessary,” de Blasio said. “I really find it the worst of Monday morning quarterbacking for people to critique an approach that actually helped catch a terrorist.” When pressed on the alert’s specific role in Rahami’s capture, the mayor was unable to draw a direct line between the two. ‘Please leave your conspiracy theories at home.’  - De Blasio to caller who asked about contributions from the animal rights groups NYCLASS“I’m convinced this was one of the things that got everyone looking,” he said. “We know that the folks who saw, who were part of the larger process of finding this guy, that one of the ways that they were alerted was through the mobile alert.”* If de Blasio can’t get a handle on his temper, he’s in big trouble (NYP) Well, now we know why Mayor de Blasio waited two years before he started doing radio call-in shows: He just can’t keep his cool when he gets tough questions. On Friday’s Brian Lehrer show, de Blasio lectured one caller, “Please leave your conspiracy theories at home,” and accused another of “the worst of Monday morning quarterbacking.” He also answered some harsh attacks from city Comptroller Scott Stringer with his own cutting remark: “I think it’s breathtaking how little the comptroller understands about this issue.” This, at the end of a week where he’d also slammed a New York Times reporter who dared to pose an insufficiently slavish question — and all in the wake of his now almost-routine sneers at this newspaper when Post reporters ask him something.* Tension Between Mayor and Comptroller Spills Into Public View (NY1) * Mayor de Blasio vows he’ll release the names of hisdonors when feds finish fund-raising probe (nydn) Mayor de Blasio swears he will make good on his oddball promise to release the names of donors who gave to his campaign but didn't get any favors from City Hall — but he's not doing it anytime soon.* Mayor de Blasio vows he’ll release the names of his donors when feds finish fund-raising probe (nydn) Mayor de Blasio swears he will make good on his oddball promise to release the names of donors who gave to his campaign but didn't get any favors from City Hall — but he's not doing it anytime soon. * Bill de Blasio Doesn’t Want to TalkAbout His Donors or His Workout (NYO) * QUOTE OF THE DAY: "What's breathtaking is the mayor's haplessness in solving major problems ... Perhaps we'd be further along in the homelessness crisis if he paid attention to detail and he wouldn't have to rely on personal attacks." -- City Comptroller Scott Stringer to WSJ's Josh Dawsey: 

More Cuomo Bake Ziti Pals Could Be Charged

Liz Benjamin ‏@CTLizB  Basically, everyone's defense to date isn't "we didn't do it," but rather, "Todd Howe is a dirty liar." Cor attorney: Case against company executives based onTodd Howe's 'lies' ( *  Cuomo tells reporters he had "no idea aboutanything" in pay-to-play case (Buffalo News)

"It turns out the state legislature does not have a monopoly on crass corruption in New York." — @PreetBharara

Cuomo pals linked to corruption case have not been charged (NYP) The wife of a longtime Cuomo ​family confidant and the governor’s former director of state operations both feature prominently in the feds’ latest corruption case — even though neither has been charged.  Lisa Toscano-Percoco, who is married to former top gubernatorial aide Joseph Percoco, ​allegedly snagged a $90,000-a-year, “​no-show​”​ job with energy firm Competitive Power Ventures, in exchange for her powerful hubby’s influence in Albany.  CPV “purposefully” kept her last name off brochures touting her work developing an education program for fourth-graders living near a plant the company was building in New Jersey, and also kept her from appearing in photos to promote the program, the feds say. She’s further accused of receiving $35,000 worth of checks from lobbyist Todd Howe to disguise bribes allegedly paid to her husband by the COR Development firm. Also mentioned repeatedly in the criminal complaint is Howard Glaser, who served as Cuomo’s director of state operations from 2011 to 2014, when he retired. * Feds: Former Cuomoaide was inside man for power plant  Opponenscharge CPV bid rigged; ‘public got bamboozled’   former right hand man to Governor Andrew Cuomo received $287,000 in bribes from the energy company building a power plant in Orange County, in exchange for help greasing the wheels, a federal criminal complaint charges.  The corruption probe, released Thursday, accuses Peter Galbraith Kelly Jr., CPV’s lobbyist and public relations person, with bribing former Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco. Percoco is charged with soliciting and accepting bribes in return for taking official action to benefit Competitive Power Ventures. CPV is at this moment constructing the power plant in Wawayanda, which will burn fracked gas.* Lt. Governor responds to Buffalo Billion probe: 'verydisturbing' & 'hurtful' (WBFO) * The federal court hearing against developer Louis Ciminelli was postponed and moved to New York City. * Prosecutors say Joe Percoco, the former top aide to Cuomo at the center of the corruption case, struggled to pay his bills and sought to continue a lavish lifestyle by trading on his influence.

The complaint alleges that Glaser, who’s not identified by name, used his personal e-mail when he agreed in August 2013 to help Percoco get state approval for CPV to buy “emission reduction credits” in New York to help it build the New Jersey plant. Although the state Department of Environmental Conservation had decided there was no need to sell CPV the credits “other than interstate cooperation,” it reversed course after an unidentified Glaser underling “instructed the DEC commissioner to enter into the reciprocity agreement,” court papers say. Toscano-Percoco and Glaser declined to comment, and the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office wouldn’t discuss potential charges against them. * Federal corruption charges were announced against two former close aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a senior state official and six other people, in a blow to the governor’s innermost circle and a repudiation of the way his prized upstate economic development programs were managed, the New York Times writes. * Bombshell criminal charges lay out 'pay to play' culturein New York (Buffalo News) * Corruption lands at doorstep of governor who vowed clean up (NYP)  *  Mayor de Blasio blasts NYC Controller Scott Stringer for'grandstanding,' says he's clueless about affordable housing crisis (NYDN)

 Beyond money, the motivation for SUNY Polythechnic Institute’s suspended director Alain Kaloyeros, charged in the federal bribery investigation and a separate state probe, appears to have been to reinvent upstate New York as a Rust Belt Silicon Valleythe Times reports.  * In a separate investigation, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman charged Kaloyeros and Joseph Nicolla, Albany's most prominent developer, with blatantly rigging the bids of multimillion-dollar development projects to benefit themselves and favored contractors, the Times Union reports.  * Cuomo isn’t a defendant in the indictment, but his reputation is on trial, with court documents describing how the governor’s ex-allies strategically rewarded his generous campaign donors with state contracts, the Wall Street Journal writes.

The wife of a longtime Cuomo ​family confidant and the governor’s former director of state operations both feature prominently in this latest corruption case, even though neither has been charged, the Post writes. *Cuomo has failed to deliver on his campaign promise to clean up Albany, with both Legislative leaders being convicted on corruption charges and his own administration the subject of two federal probes happening on his watch, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett writes.  

NYT Already Trying to Clear Cuomo
Times Only Paper Not to Do An Editorial on Arrests 
Cuomo’s Silver Lining in New Albany Graft Case: No Sign He Did Wrong (NYT) Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo makes only cameo appearances in a federal complaint announced on Thursday that outlines a corruption scheme involving an ally, a former close aide and donors of his. * Ex-Cuomo Aides Charged in Federal Corruption Inquiry (NYT)

Editorials While Cuomo took office vowing to clean up Albany’s pay-to-play culture once and for all, it now seems that culture infected the highest reaches of his own administration and his billion-dollar signature initiative, the Post writes. * Federal charges leveled against a longtime aide to Cuomo and the mastermind of upstate high-tech economic development dealt a severe blow to the governor’s image as an executive whose stern management prevents corruption, the Daily News writes. * The Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon writes in the Post that with SolarCity struggling with business issues of their own, the massive factory the state is building in Buffalo slated to be run by the company may instead become a monument to the corruption and fraud alleged in the indictment of former top Cuomo aides. * State lawmakers should be denied a pay hike, the Daily News writes, unless they are willing to testify in front of the panel charged with recommending their next salary and can provide specific reforms that will help to stem the corruption that is so prevalent in Albany. All the governor’s men: Cuomo's damaging loss of control (NYDN) * Say nothing, get nothing: Unless legislators tell a pay-raise commission how much they want and what ethics reforms they'll agree to, they shouldn't get a cent (NYDN Ed) 

Cuomo's Corruption Monument
Cuomo’s SolarCity disaster could become a monument to corruption (NYP) Earlier this month, Gov. Cuomo paid a visit to the centerpiece of his upstate economic development strategy: a massive, still unfinished “gigafactory” taxpayers spent $750 million to build and equip for SolarCity, a money-losing company with a foggy future. “This is the economy of tomorrow,” the governor gushed, according to a Buffalo News account. “It’s such a metaphor — a symbol of everything we’re doing.” Indeed. But rather than symbolizing a shiny high-tech future, the solar-panel could become a monument to what US Attorney Preet Bharara described as “pervasive corruption and fraud” allegedly infecting Cuomo’s signature economic development programs.   The most prominent public official named in the case was Alain Kaloyeros, the former president and guiding visionary behind the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, who was entrusted with an extraordinary degree of control over Cuomo’s biggest state-subsidized tech projects.

de Blasio Barks At Press Again And Again to Avoid Answering Questions
De Blasio lashes out after getting questions he doesn’t like (NYP) America’s touchiest mayor doesn’t like to answer tough questions — and lately, he’s blaming the people who get paid to ask them. Mayor de Blasio this week lashed out at journalists from The Post and The New York Times asking him about issues he would rather not answer, at one point chiding a reporter to “stop wasting my time.” On Thursday, he went after The Post for asking why he pushed back a meeting with blind residentsaffected by the Chelsea terror explosion so he could work out in the gym and sip coffee with First Lady Chirlane McCray. “I’m quite aware of what you guys are up to, and again, you are a paper with a clear right-wing agenda,” he raged. “Let’s be real about it. You’re a propaganda rag.” He then tried to justify his leisurely morning by arguing that maintaining his physique is in New Yorkers’ best interests. De Blasio delays visit to Chelsea bombing site to work out Minutes earlier, he cut off a Times reporter for questioning his senior adviser and 2013 campaign-finance co-chairwoman Gabrielle Fialkoff about how shady donors were appointed to his transition committee. The donors, Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, are central figures in probes into de Blasio’s fund-raising. At de Blasio’s prompting, Fialkoff clammed up about the pair. A day earlier, the Times asked Hizzoner about a spike in crime over the last fiscal year..De Blasio, who frequently brags about the city’s falling crime rates, branded the reporter a “contrarian.”

 DE BLASIO REDACTSHIS OWN EMAILS -- NY1's Grace Rauh: "Mayor Bill de Blasio likes to share news stories with his so-called 'agents of the city.' After a former aide, Peter Ragone, sent de Blasio an Associated Press story about the mayor's attempt to push the Democratic presidential candidates to the left, the mayor forwarded the article, just before midnight, to two key outside advisers: Jonathan Rosen, who co-founded the political PR firm BerlinRosen, and John Del Cecato, a Democratic strategist. He included a comment with the story as well, but the city redacted it.... "When the mayor had something to say, it was often blacked out. When de Blasio sent a New York Times story about stagnant middle-class incomes to top city advisers, Del Cecato and his wife, Chirlane McCray, his note to the group was redacted. It was the same with a New Yorker story about Hillary Clinton that he forwarded to his wife and Del Cecato. The mayor's message is blocked. 'These emails show how ridiculous it is to designate these consultants as agents of the city,' said Dick Dadey of Citizens Union. 'These emails, in particular, are benign. They are talking about political stories and news stories, and for them to be protecting the mayor's comments just shows how ridiculous this whole matter is."

Pro Developer Blaming the Victim  - NYP, Daily News:  Lies About the Cause of Increase in Homeless: Its' Gentrification Displacement Nothing to do with "Rights of Homeless"

NY Post: "The roots of the city’s homeless woes go back decades, to the mad decision to recognize a legal “right to shelter.” Advocacy groups — like the one where Banks spent most of his career — followed with endless lawsuits and other pressure to add to the “rights” of the homeless, and limit the city’s ability to use any form of “tough love."  

Daily News: "At a time when decent, affordable housing is scarce, de Blasio’s uncompromising defense of a legal right to shelter for all — the life’s work of his welfare commissioner, Steve Banks — makes for a self-fulfilling crisis."


deB Banks is Clueless and A Incompetent Managers in An Administration That Has Sold Out to Developers
What New York needs is a coherent homeless-prevention program that doesn’t revolve around “more free stuff.” But it won’t get it as long as Steven Banks is in charge.  Yes, de Blasio’s to blame for the surging shelter population (NYP) A year after Mayor de Blasio finally admitted the city faced a rising homeless crisis, the problem’s gotten worse — and he deserves much of the blame. As The Post reported Wednesday, the shelter population is surging. This past Sunday, it reached an all-time high of 59,734, eclipsing the record of 59,068 set in 2014. And the city’s actually diverting fewer applicants from the shelter system — down from 16.3 percent in fiscal 2015 to 12.6 percent the next year. It’s all a dead giveaway that the de Blasio approach isn’t working — and that Human Resources Commissioner Steven Banks is exactly the wrong guy to be setting homeless policy. Notably, the de Blasio-Banks team encouraged people to enter the shelter system — by making it more worthwhile: It can now get you added rent subsidies and a better chance of getting into public housing. Yes, the intent was to get people out of the system — but it plainly had the reverse impact. Similarly, City Hall’s push to boost awareness of emergency-housing grants and eviction-prevention programs has brought a surge in applications to both programs, from 65,138 in the 2015 fiscal year to 82,306 in 2016. As The Post reports today, the increase in shelter crowding has also brought a rise in violence, to 1,698 incidents in FY 2016. It’s worst at single-adult shelters, up 300 percent.

I Dreamed A Dream In Time Gone By When Hope Was High and Worth Living  
Bharara's NY Revolution Starting Ex-Cuomo Aide Joseph Percoco Arrested

Half Dozen to Be Charged
Todd Howe Ratting 
 9 Charged 80 Pages Read All  of Bharara's Charges. First time I've seen a table of contents in an indictment

Federal prosecutors also plan to bring public-corruptioncharges against other individuals in investigation into Buffalo Billion  *Feds may hit former Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco with corruption charges for alleged upstate bribery scheme (NYDN) A former top aide to Gov. Cuomo could be charged as early as Thursday in an alleged bribery and kickback scheme involving a multibillion-dollar plan to revitalize the upstate economy, according to The Wall Street Journal. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara intends to bring public corruption charges againstJoseph Percoco, along with a number of others involved in the so-called Buffalo Billion economic program, the newspaper reported.  Percoco, one of the governor’s most trusted allies for years, was reportedly earning consulting fees from companies doing business with the state while heading up Cuomo’s reelection campaign.* Excerpts from criminal complaint, including "2overlapping criminal schemes involving bribery, corruption and fraud"  * @Nygovcuomo: "My administration will continue to be fully cooperative in the matter as we have been since it began.” * .@nygovcuomo: “SUNY has rightly relieved Alain Kaloyeros from his duties and has suspended him without pay, effective immediately." * .@nygovcuomo: "If anything, a friend should be held to an even higher standard..This sort of breach, if true, should be & will be punished." * .@NYGovCuomo issues statement: "saddened and profoundly disappointed" re: charges against Percoco (whom he doesn't name), learned this am. * .@PreetBharara says this is "not small stuff," but rather "systemic" actions by a "network" of people, "distressing and disturbing."* .@PreetBharara says today’s chargesgo to “the core of how I think state govt operates” (by @bcolbyhamilton) * #nycorruption - @agschneiderman says an architecture firm at CNSE agreed to pay more rent if it received more state work via Kaloyeros.* EJ MCMAHON: Cuomo's SolarCity disaster could become monumentto corruption... @EjmEj
OK, so, according to complaint, "herb" = term of endearment that Percoco, Howe & at least 1 other govt official used since Mario days.

Since the investigation became public in April, Cuomo has distanced himself from Percoco and ordered an internal review of the program.*  
FBI interviews two local Democrats in Preet Bharara’sprobe of campaign funds (Buffalo News) Source will not name Democrats who are under federal scrutiny
NEW: Joe Percoco's attorney has issued a statement on his behalf, saying he will plead not guilty. He calls the case "an overreach."
Former Cuomo aideand 7 others have been charged in a corruption scheme by the U.S. 
Cuomo confidantes hit with corruption charges (NYP)
Source confirms @klnynews report: .@AGSchneiderman to announce own charges against Kaloyeros, Albany developer at SUNY nano today* .@AGSchneiderman: "It feels like we've been living in a Golden Age of Graft recently."* Tom Precious ‏@TomPreciousALB  Cuomo referred to the investigation that "ended yesterday.'' @PreetBharara said case is ongoing.

Bharara: I really hope there is a trial . . so that all NYers can see "in gory detail" how state govt works
In emails and other correspondence, Mr. Percoco and Mr. Howe referred to the bribes as “ziti.” * Todd Howe also got $14K per month from COR, and $385K in bonuses when SUNY Poly named COR a preferred developer.* Oh boy. Howe's lawyer: “(He) accepted responsibility for his actions and will testify truthfully if called upon.”* @JimHeaney ofthe Investigative Post was first to raise questions about SUNy Poly bidding. Hewas right.   * @Nygovcuomo: "My administration will continue to be fully cooperative in the matter as we have been since it began.” * .@nygovcuomo: “SUNY has rightly relieved Alain Kaloyeros from his duties and has suspended him without pay, effective immediately." * .@nygovcuomo: "If anything, a friend should be held to an even higher standard..This sort of breach, if true, should be & will be punished." * .@NYGovCuomo issues statement: "saddened and profoundly disappointed" re: charges against Percoco (whom he doesn't name), learned this am. * .@PreetBharara says this is "not small stuff," but rather "systemic" actions by a "network" of people, "distressing and disturbing." * Good times: SUNY-RF boosted Dr. K's pay from $523,886 inFY14 to $877,098 in FY16.    In plea deal, Howe not only admitted bid-rigging conspiracy but also embezzling from his firm, not paying taxes.
Steve McLaughlin ‏@SteveMcNY  Mario Cuomo's "3rd son" is about to be indicted. I'm sure Mario's other son knows nothing about it. #BuffaloBillion
News (The Bund): Buffalo Billion Investigation

As deB Pushes Luxury Housing On Public Housing Land He Never Read His Report How Gentrification Hurts NYCHA Tenants
Bill de Blasio neversaw report that found gentrification doesn’t benefit NYCHA tenants (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio hasn’t actually read the $250,000 study his administration paid for that found NYCHA tenants don’t reap the benefits of gentrification. Nevertheless, on Monday — after the Daily News uncovered the report, “The Effects of Neighborhood Change on NYCHA Residents” — he made clear he’s full steam ahead with the plan to put up expensive market-rate apartments on NYCHA land. “I haven’t seen the report, but I can say for sure we believe that the right kind of development on NYCHA sites will create more affordable housing for neighborhood residents,” de Blasio said. Not surprisingly, tenants at one of the developments targeted for luxury apartments had another view about the study. “It’s definitely a waste of money,” said Saundrea Coleman, a tenant of Holmes Towers on the Upper East Side, where NYCHA plans 400 new apartments on what’s now a playground. Half will be market rate.  Last week, Coleman and 100 other tenants stalked out of a NYCHA town hall to protest the plan. Tenants at Wyckoff Gardens in Brooklyn — where 650 units are set to go up on parking lots — also railed against the plan last week.  NYCHA hopes to raise $600 million over 10 years by leasing land to developers for thousands of new apartments — half affordable, half market rate.  The city study, finished in May but never publicized, paid five NYCHA tenants as “community ethnographers” to interview other tenants.
    _How the Media Lost the Race for Mayor(City  Limits)

    DNAINFO Finds Another Pay to Play deB Contractor, Not Just About Rat Bags
    Feds Probe De BlasioFundraiser Whose Engineering Firm Won Big Contracts (DNAINFO) A top bundler for Mayor Bill de Blasio is under federal investigation over his campaign fundraising and contracts the city awarded his environmental engineering firm, DNAinfo New York has learned. Manhattan federal prosecutors slapped Charles Hocking and his firm, Hazen and Sawyer, with subpoenas earlier this summer as part of their wide-reaching probe into the mayor and possible pay-to-play schemes, according to sources. Federal investigators have sought records connected to Hocking's donations to de Blasio, communications that Sawyer had with city personnel and contracts awarded to Hazen and Sawyer, the sources said. Hocking, the president of Hazen and Sawyer, raised more than $22,550 in campaign donations for de Blasio's 2013 mayoral run, campaign finance records show. The donations were all made two days after de Blasio won the Democratic primary. Nearly all of the 46 donations Hocking bundled were from Hazen and Sawyer employees, records show.  Earlier in the 2013 election season, Hocking had raised $20,700 in donations for mayoral contender Bill Thompson. After de Blasio won the general election, Hocking raised an additional $30,350 for his transition team. The majority of the money again came from Hazen and Sawyer employees, records show. Hazen and Sawyer, which specializes in controlling water pollution, has been awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in city contracts over the past three decades — and it has continued to win lucrative gigs in the past three years, records show.

    Not Only Are NYers Block from Early Voting Albany Does All It Can to Suppress Voter Turn-Out to Protect Incumbents
    N.Y.’s fakedemocracy: End vote-suppressing primary election proliferation (NYDN) Federal courts have ruled that several state legislatures have enacted rules impermissibly designed to suppress voter turnout. New York lawmakers are champions at the game. While there is no evidence that legislators have made voting inconvenient in order to drive black voters away from the polls, as happened elsewhere, the Legislature has stunningly succeeded in discouraging participating by voters of every stripe. An abysmal 9% of the city’s eligible registered voters cast ballots in Tuesday’s primaries. Even in the district with the hardest fought race — the contest to succeed Sheldon Silver in the Assembly — fewer than one in five voters went to the polls. Yes, the responsibility for the franchise falls on voters. But the Legislature has a duty to maximize ease and interest in the political process. The elections this week were, absurdly, the third block of primaries this year. Once, New York held all primaries, from the presidential race on down, on a single day. But in 1972 insurgent voting in a polarized presidential race led to losses for the Democratic machine in contests lower on the ballot. To avoid a repeat, the Legislature separated presidential primaries from all the others. Over the years, changes in federal law and court cases fractured the electoral calendar — with legislative Democrats and Republicans unable to agree on how to repair it, each party seeking dates for best political advantage. As a result, candidates win and lose spots in the Legislature with fewer votes than are cast in student body elections. One example: Challenger Brian Barnwell defeated nine-term Queens Democratic incumbent Margaret Markey by energizing just 1,600 voters, less than 5% of the district’s Democrats, to back him because of his opposition to a homeless shelter. He won fair, square and pathetically small. Clearly, voters should not have to go to the polls three times in a matter of a few months. The primaries should be unified, ideally in June, which the Democrats prefer. As the Republicans insist on an August date, the schedule should alternate between June and August every other year until the parties agree on a permanently fixed month. Politicians who minimize the vote for maximum advantage betray democracy.* 2016 Again Highlights New York ‘Incumbency Protection Machine’

    Even the Supreme Court Donnell's Decision Could Not Keep Sampson Out of Jail
    Disgraced state senator’s bid for newtrial is denied (NYP) Ex-state Sen. John Sampson’s bid for a new trial in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling was denied Monday, according to new court filings. Brooklyn federal court Judge Dora Irizarry ruled that Sampson isn’t entitled to a new trial based on the high court clearing former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell of bribery charges — because Sampson was never accused of bribery. “The bottom line is that the defendant neither was charged with or convicted of any bribery offense,” the judge wrote in siding with prosecutors on the issue. Irizarry also noted that she “repeatedly” instructed jurors that Sampson “was not charged with bribery or corruption offenses.” Sampson’s sentencing, which was scheduled for this Thursday, was adjourned to a date to be determined. His lawyer Nathaniel Akerman declined to comment on Irizarry’s ruling. The Brooklyn Democrat was found guilty last year of obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI as part of a mortgage-fraud investigation. Prosecutors want him sentenced to 87 months behind bars.* PolitifactNY determines that New York is indeed the worst state in the nation when it comes to government corruption, and this has been the case for decades.
    More On John Sampson's Conviction

    Former State Overseer  Ratner's Atlantic Yards No Accountability One Big Rip Off

    When former state overseer of Atlantic Yards came clean: "There really is no accountability" (AYR)  To observers of Atlantic Yards, Arana Hankin, an aide to Gov. David Paterson who in August 2010 was namedthe first Project Director for Empire State Development, seemed a good soldier. After all, Hankin at a public meeting unwisely declared faith in Barclays Center sound control measures—which later required a new green roof to tamp down escaping bass. She enthusiastically helped developer Forest City Ratner raise funds in China via the sketchy EB-5 visa program.  But after Hankin left in 2013 for a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University, her qualms about the project--renamed in 2014 Pacific Park Brooklyn--surfaced in both a public lecture and a published article.  She criticized the absence of accountability, called promises of jobs and housing overblown, and suggested government officials were overmatched by the powerful real estate industry. She said it was difficult to reconcile both the interests of the private developer and community needs. She also described economic development agencies as "quasi-private entities [that] function more like a private corporation [and] are not required to be as transparent as government agencies." Neither her lecture (below) or her 2014 Harvard Journal of Real Estate article, tartly titled Megaprojects’ Exclusionary Benefits: the Case of Local Government Policy Benefiting the Privileged Few (bottom), have been publicly discussed in New York. *
    How Bruce Ratner Wins Approval for his Projects 

    Dominican Take Over of Harlem Continues With Senate Win 
    Espaillat's Win Another Blow to Harlem's Black PoliticalPower: Experts(DNAINFO) "The truth is this is the official end of the Charlie Rangel era and the beginning of the Dominican explosion," said one political operative with clients in Harlem who asked not be named to protect working relationships. Marisol Alcantara, the handpicked successor of state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who won the primary for Rangel's old seat, won a tight race where she got 693 more votes than (Robert) Jackson, who was in third place, and 572 more votes than second-place Micah Lasher, chief of staff to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.  Robert Jackson was backed by Rangel

    The Most Transparent Mayor In History Is In Court Blocking Release Of His Involvement With His Shadow Govt Lobbyists
    DeBlasio leaves a lobbyist-meeting disclosure pledge unfulfilled(PoliticoNY) Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier this month that he had sharply curtailed his meeting with lobbyists until the multiple investigations involving him and his administration have concluded, but that doesn’t mean the business of lobbying is grinding to a halt at City Hall.  While de Blasio has proactively published on the city's website a list of the meetings he has had with lobbyists since he took office in January 2014, he has never followed through on a campaign pledge he made in 2013 to disclose meetings between lobbyists and the rest of his administration — the deputy mayors, dozens of commissioners and senior policy advisers who craft and shape city policy.  A de Blasio spokeswoman told POLITICO New York in March that the mayor still believed in his 2013 pledge to require “city officials in executive agencies [to] publicly disclose meetings with registered lobbyists on a monthly basis,” but that there was no timeline for the pledge to be fulfilled. 

    "The Mayor’s position is that lobbyist meetings with officials at city agencies should be reported," former de Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton told POLITICO New York at the time. "The administration is discussing changes to require lobbyists to report meetings with city officials, in addition to other ways to improve reporting, such as encouraging more frequent reporting and more details about subject matter."  Meetings with officials at various city agencies represented the biggest portion of the city's $86 million in lobbying expenditures last year, according to an annual lobbying report published by the City Clerk’s office. Just 7 percent of lobbying in 2015 was directed toward the Office of the Mayor, while the most — 32 percent — was directed at city agenciesaccording to the report. The volume of lobbying has expanded rapidly since de Blasio took office, increasing 37 percent over the past two years, from $62.7 million in 2013 to a record-breaking $86 million in 2015. The number of clients lobbying City Hall has grown by 32 percent between 2013 and 2015, from 1,291 clients to 1,705 last year. A recent Freedom of Information Law request by POLITICO New York and other news outlets for correspondence between employees of the city’s highest-earning lobbying firm, James Capalino and Associates, and city government officials turned up roughly 5,800 pages of emails exchanged over a 16-month period. 

    Only a handful were sent directly by the mayor. During the period covered by the FOIL request — January 2014 through April 2015 — Capalino’s lobbyists corresponded with 139 different city government employees, including each of the deputy mayors in office at that time — First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery and former Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Lilliam Barrios-Paoli.  The emails evince an often informal, warm relationship between Capalino’s firm and the administration. There are missives that are written in shorthand and include occasional emojis, requests by lobbyists for administration officials’ personal cell phone numbers and congratulatory notes about personal news, birthdays and vacations. Dinners and lunches were also planned. Capalino and his firm’s lobbyists also corresponded directly with commissioners and department heads, including Dan Zarilli, the mayor’s senior director of climate policy and programs who also oversees the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and the City’s OneNYC program; sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia; Taxi and Limousine commissioner Meera Joshi; Department of Veterans' Services commissioner Loree Sutton; former Office to Combat Domestic Violence commissioner Rose Pierre-Louis; Community Affairs Unit commissioner Marco Carrion; Office of Intergovernmental Affairs director Emma Wolfe; and Gabrielle Fialkoff, head of the Mayor's Office of Strategic Partnerships; and Darren Bloch, director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Without the disclosure of meetings department heads and city commissioners have had with lobbyists, there is little information available to the public about when and why they are happening. Department heads and commissioners don’t publish as many daily public schedules as the mayor does, for understandable reasons. Still, getting those schedules, which are required to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, is difficult. The unfulfilled pledge forms a contrast between the mayor’s administration, which de Blasio promised would be the “most transparent” in the city’s history, and that of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

    Another de Blasio Promise Broken Cannot Produce A Single Donor That Did Not Get Bag of Goodies From City Hall

    Following news of an investigation into his fundraising efforts, de Blasio has failed to follow through on his Promise to release examples of donors to his campaigns and causes who did not receive benefits they had sought from city governmentthe Daily News writes.

    Keep your word, Bill and produce the list of donors who got nothing (NYDN) “A stunning number of donors and supporters not only did not get things they hoped they would get, they got a rejection of things they hoped they would get,” de Blasio declared. Going still further, the mayor pledged to release “in the coming weeks” examples of donors to his campaigns and causes who did not receive the benefits they had sought from city government. That was on May 18. Since then, nothing. At the time, de Blasio was under pressure as the Daily News and others dredged up example after example of fortune smiling on donors who sought city actions to advance their business interests. A peddler of rodent-repellent trash bags who had given $100,000 to the mayor’s Campaign for One New York won a meeting with the mayor, a trial Parks Department contract and, finally, a subcontract worth millions. A lobbyist and a labor union, both generous de Blasio backers, had pressed to eliminate deed restrictions on a Lower East Side nursing home property — paving way for the buyer to score a $116 million luxury condo deal. Harendra Singh, operator of Water’s Edge restaurant in Long Island City under a city lease, had provided more than $20,000 to de Blasio’s 2013 election campaign.  Although mayoral aides noted unspecified “vetting issue” and “r/flags,” Singh ended up named both to the board of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and to committee that unsuccessfully sought to lure the Democratic convention to Brooklyn. Singh stayed on the fund board until federal prosecutors charged him with Sandy aid fraud at the Queens restaurant and bribery of officials in Nassau County. He has pleaded not guilty. Now Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is reportedly scrutinizing whether the mayor’s office attempted to intervene on Singh’s behalf after a city audit found that he owed more than $1.7 million in rent and fees on Water’s Edge. Singh and many other donors got the red carpet treatment from de Blasio and deputies. So, what was that again about revealing those who didn’t? Could it be that listing mayoral benefactors who were denied benefits would be as good as listing those who got city goodies? Could it be that when prominent backers — such as the yellow taxi industry and advocates for a ban on carriage horses — did come away empty-handed it was at the hands of a City Council that defied de Blasio’s pressure on the donors’ behalf? Could it be that de Blasio has not a single example in which he disappointed a major donor? You’re the one who promised, Mr. Mayor. Let’s have the list — even if it is a blank sheet of paper.

    Mayor's Broken Promise to Close A Homeless Hotel Also
    Bronx officials fumeat de Blasio’s failure to remove homeless from motel (NYP) The city is reneging on a promise to remove the homeless from a motel in Riverdale where an accused bank robber had lived, angry Bronx officials charged Tuesday. Homeless individuals were indeed moved out — but they were replaced by homeless families. “This is the ultimate in hypocrisy and lies and just a sign that this administration has no clue on how to conduct a homeless policy,” fumed state Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx).  The Post reported in May that 48-year-old motel/shelter resident Paul Taylor was arrested in front of the Van Cortlandt Motel and charged with two bank heists in February. Residents and local officials said it was only then that they learned the motel had been leased as a homeless facility. Weeks after the Post report, de Blasio administration officials attended a community-board meeting and publicly promised to remove the homeless by September.  “The mayor has a plan to discontinue that practice,” according to minutes from the June 9 Community Board 8 meeting. Lauren Gray, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeless Services, said the city had hoped to empty the motel but needs to keep using it because of “increasing” demand. * The number of New Yorkers living in homeless shelters reached an all-time high over the weekend, a bleak milestone that officials blame on a lack of affordable housing and support services for the poor, the Daily News reports.

    A Tale of Two CFBs: Albanese vs Campaign PAC NYCLASS,UFT's United for the Future
    More about Lobbyists Mercury 
    de Blasio Using PAC Lobbyists Consultants To Get Around the Elections Law and Control Elections and the Press

    Campaign LobbyistsControl A Secret Shadow Government

    Lobbyists Red Horse
    Lobbyists Hilltop
    PoorDoor Lobbyists George Arzt
    Bronx Lobbyists MirRam Group


    Nepotism Head of Pension System Leaving

    Pension-system head leaving amid probe into her hiring ex (NYP) The head of the city’s largest pension system is leaving her $219,771-a-year job amid an investigation into the hiring of her former live-in girlfriend. Diane D’Alessandro, executive director of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, said she’ll retire effective Dec. 31 from the agency that manages pension benefits for some 300,000 workers and retirees. She’s quitting nine months after hiring her ex-domestic partner, Ellen Carton, as deputy director of human resources with a $127,000 salary. D’Alessandro had previously awarded two consulting contracts to a two-person Arizona firm joined by Carton, The Post found. After the Post report, the city Department of Investigation launched an ongoing probe.

    A Mayor Whose Pro Developer$ Housing Policy Failed Homeless Policy, Dumps Shelters on Communities That Won't Vote for Him

    De Blasio rips opponents of homeless shelter conversion (NYP)  Mayor de Blasio warned opponents of a Queens homeless shelter that he won’t be “intimidated” by their protests, even egging them on to demonstrate at Gracie Mansion.  The mayor blasted Maspeth residents who oppose the conversion of a Holiday Inn into a homeless facility.  “We’re not going to be intimidated by protests,” the mayor said Friday on WNYC Radio.
    As Shelter Population Surges, Housing for Disabled Comes Up Short (NYT)
    Advocates have been fighting for years for accommodations for people with disabilities, and the shortcomings have become more pressing.
    De Blasio BlamesMedia Coverage of Homeless For Surge in 311 Complaints (DNAINFO) de Blasio said Thursday that heightened media coverage of the homeless in recent weeks is fueling the surge in 311 complaints since he's taken office. He said recent stories claiming an increase in the number of homeless people on city streets are overstating the problem — but they are having an impact on the public.  "I think the media has put a lot of attention on this issue lately, more than previously," he told reporters during a press conference at Lincoln Hospital in The Bronx. "I'm not sure if the attention that's been given is proportionate to what's happening. I think it's caused people to be more and more concerned."

    The Post Ignores the Reason for Increase Homelessness
    Fighting back against de Blasio’s hopeless homeless policies (NYP)
    You can too fight City Hall. Indeed, folks in Maspeth have halted Mayor de Blasio’s plans to open a 115-bed homeless shelter in their quiet residential neighborhood. Then, in last week’s Democratic primary, they ousted Assemblywoman Marge Markey over her feeble response on the issue. The mayor’s folks aimed to convert a Holiday Inn Express to a homeless shelter, set to open Oct. 1. Queens lawmakers and residents sued to block the move last month — and the furor prompted the motel’s co-owner to tweet that the deal is off.  City Hall insists the plan will still go forward — because it needs somewhere to put the ever-rising homeless tide. And turning hotels into shelters is a key part of its answer.  But, as we’ve said before, it’s all a hopeless task as long as Human Resources Commissioner Steven Banks — who spent decades suing the city to create new rights for the homeless — leads Team de Blasio’s response. The Post recently found that the number of homeless persons sheltered at hotels had risen 50 percent since February to nearly 4,000 — and to over 60,000 in city shelters. And The New York Times reported that families are again sleeping overnight at city intake offices — something Banks fought as a Legal Aid lawyer 20 years ago. There has been a veritable explosion in the street homeless population as well as homeless families in shelters. The vacancy rate at city shelters for families with children is less than 1 percent. Team de Blasio’s desperate response includes paying to send homeless to their families outside the city and providing rental subsidies to homeless families willing to relocate out of town. But that’s not stemming the tide. Without a coherent homeless-prevention strategy, and a serious “tough love” approach to those claiming to be homeless, the need for more places to warehouse people will keep growing — and angering communities. Maspeth won’t be the last neighborhood to fight City Hall to a draw — or oust unresponsive elected officials.*

    Maspeth brings shelter protest to Brooklyn; de Blasio upset (WPIX)

    A Pol From An Era When Albany Leaders Where Challenged and Communities, Voters Come First Has Died   
    Frank J. Barbaro, Liberal New York Lawmaker, Dies at88 (NYT) Frank J. Barbaro, a former longshoreman and liberal state assemblyman from Brooklyn who was Edward I. Koch’s chief challenger for re-election to a second term as mayor of New York, died on Sept. 4 at his home in Watervliet, N.Y. He was 88. The cause was congestive heart failure, his wife, Mary, who is known as Patty, said.  Mr. Barbaro (pronounced BAR-ba-roe) was a liberal Democrat who won election as a legislator 12 times. But he also shattered some of the lances he wielded while championing sometimes quixotic causes during nearly 50 years as a candidate. He first ran, unsuccessfully, on an antiwar platform for the Assembly in 1968; last spring, he was elected as a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention from upstate New York. (He had moved to Watervliet, in Albany County, a decade ago.) In between, he lost elections for Brooklyn borough president, mayor and Congress. In the Legislature, Mr. Barbaro was a fierce advocate for organized labor, tenants and minorities. He later served for six years as a State Supreme Court justice. He attributed his political radicalization to the Vietnam War. After leading neighborhood rent strikes, he was elected in 1972 to the Assembly, where he was chairman of the Labor Committee and served through 1996.

    Are Their Now 8 Areas of Corruption the Feds Are Looking Into?

    Probe Looks at Now-Closed Queens Restaurant Whose Owner HasTies to Mayor (WSJ) Investigators examine if officials in mayor’s office tried to dissuade city agency from pursuing inquiries into finances of Water’s Edge restaurant. Federal authorities investigating possible corruption in New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration are looking into a now-closed Queens restaurant that leased land from the city and whose owner has political ties to the mayor, people familiar with the matter said.
    Trial date set for Long Island restaurateur Harendra Singh | Newsday
    Federal authorities investigating possible corruption in the de Blasio administration are looking into a now-closed Queens restaurant that leased land from the city and owner Harendra Singh, who has political ties to the mayorThe Wall Street Journal reports.
    H. Singh and Eric Kumar in de Blasio's inauguration team - new york
    Trial date setfor restaurateur Singh   via @Newsday - Singh needs to sing all truth - good bad & ugly.

    Cyclists Dying Despite de Blasio's Vision Zero
    Despite de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, so far this year motorists have killed 17 cyclists, putting 2016 on the path to being one of the deadliest for bike riders in recent years, the Daily News reports.

    PB: I don’t know how much impact it’s had yet on culture. The first and most important effect I think it’s had is it’s held people accountable, over a dozen people accountable just in the state Legislature, approximately. Just that alone I think is significant, and it sends a message to everyone in the public that this kind of conduct is not going to be tolerated. And people are paying attention and people are taking it seriously. And people are not afraid to go after folks who have power and have standing, and it doesn’t matter because no one is above the law. And I think, eventually, that has an effect on the people and the institutions that we’re looking at and investigating over time, and people get the message, I think. Particularly, there are a lot of smart people who are in politics and realize it’s not worth losing your liberty over, it’s not worth losing your reputation over, to engage in that conduct and conduct that they know is bad and unlawful. And I think over time that causes the situation to get better. But we can’t do it alone, and nobody here pretends that simply bringing a series of prosecutions is enough. I often say putting corrupt politicians in jail may be necessary, but it’s not sufficient.



    Fed Rat Rechnitz: "I got the Mayor on Lock Down for OMB Top Job"
    Shady donor brags he’s ‘got the mayor on lockdown’ after calling in ‘favor’ (NYP) Mayor de Blasio gave a retired NYPD official a plum post in his administration after getting a call from a shady businessman who told Hizzoner the appointment would be a personal favor, The Post has learned. During a conversation with de Blasio, Jona Rechnitz noted that he hadn’t asked for much since forking over huge contributions to de Blasio’s mayoral campaign, personal charity and Democratic allies, sources said Rechnitz, a crooked real-estate developer who’s now a key cooperating witness in the NYPD corruption scandal, later bragged to his associates that “I’ve got the mayor on lockdown,” sources said.  Ex-Chief of Department Joseph Esposito scored the gig atop the Office of Emergency Management — which pays $220,000 a year — despite having testified in federal court in support of the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” policy, which de Blasio ran against and rolled back upon taking office.  Rechnitz called de Blasio directly, using his cellphone while inside the 1 Police Plaza office of then-Chief of Department Philip Banks III, sources said.  Rechnitz put the phone on speaker so Banks, then-Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and Rechnitz crony Jeremy Reichberg could listen in, sources said.  Rechnitz donated $50,000 to the de Blasio’s since-suspended Campaign for One New York charity — which is under state and federal investigation — and he and his wife also gave de Blasio the maximum total of $9,900 for his 2013 mayoral campaign. In addition, Rechnitz kicked in the maximum $102,300 toward a failed effort, spearheaded by the mayor, to help Democrats win control of the state Senate in 2014.  Reichberg donated the maximum $4,950 to de Blasio’s campaign and bundled another $41,650 in political contributions for him. Reichberg is charged with providing some of those payoffs, and with helping arrange for a hooker to accompany him, Rechnitz, and two cops on an infamous 2013 trip to Las Vegas for Super Bowl XLVII. Rechnitz has pleaded guilty to his role in those schemes and another involving the since-ousted head of the correction-officers union, and is cooperating with the feds in a bid for leniency. Rechnitz donated $50,000 to the de Blasio’s since-suspended Campaign for One New York charity — which is under state and federal investigation — and he and his wife also gave de Blasio the maximum total of $9,900 for his 2013 mayoral campaign. In addition, Rechnitz kicked in the maximum $102,300 toward a failed effort, spearheaded by the mayor, to help Democrats win control of the state Senate in 2014.  Reichberg donated the maximum $4,950 to de Blasio’s campaign and bundled another $41,650 in political contributions for him. Reichberg is charged with providing some of those payoffs, and with helping arrange for a hooker to accompany him, Rechnitz, and two cops on an infamous 2013 trip to Las Vegas for Super Bowl XLVII. Rechnitz has pleaded guilty to his role in those schemes and another involving the since-ousted head of the correction-officers union, and is cooperating with the feds in a bid for leniency.* * As New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s re-election campaign approaches, a mapping tool shows the campaign has shifted toward receiving smaller contributions from many parts of the city, in contrast to the way he raised money last year, the Times reports.

    Vinny the Chin de Blasio Does Not Remember Rechnitz's Money or Hug
    ‘Lockdown’ brag should jostle ‘know-nothing’ de Blasio’s memory (NYP) The mayor took the call, which right there blows the walls off his claim that he didn’t really know Jona Rechnitz.  Nor did he, as best we can tell, bristle at Rechnitz’s request (“I haven’t asked for much”) to name NYPD Chief of Department Joe Esposito as the next head of the Office of Emergency Management. No, Mayor de Blasio soon gave Esposito the job. Rechnitz had given big to de Blasio’s campaign, to his inaugural fund and more. He’d keep giving — the mayor wanted donations to his drive to turn the state Senate Democratic — after he got what he asked.  And he told associates, “I’ve got the mayor on lockdown” — which it sure seems he did. Rechnitz apparently made the call on his cell from the office of then-Chief of Department Phillip Banks III — on speaker, so Banks and then-Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, as well as Jeremy Reichberg (a Rechnitz crony who also gave to de Blasio Inc.) could listen in. Esposito looks clean, unlike everyone else in this sordid affair — a straight shooter who testified in court in support of the stop-and-frisk policies that de Blasio made his political bones attacking. Who wanted the good cop moved out of the way, and why? Maybe US Attorney Preet Bharara’s figured it out; expect to learn more from the indictments, when and if they roll down. Banks hasn’t been charged in any crime. But he quit, rather than accept a promotion to No. 3 in the department, about a year later — apparently because he’d learned the feds were looking into the hundreds of grand that mysteriously had popped into his bank accounts, and his ties to Rechnitz and Reichberg. Everyone else in that room does face charges, on bribery as it happens — with Rechnitz, at least, turning state’s evidence. As for de Blasio, well: After Rechnitz and Reichberg’s arrest, he said, “I know of no favorable municipal action they got.” Maybe today’s Post will refresh your memory, Mr. Mayor. * De Blasio in video with accused in corruption probe (WNEW)
    Bubble Mayor No Town Hall de Blasio Spins and the NYC Press Defining Journalism Down

    Silver Lower East Side Falls to the Asians 
    Yuh-Line Niou Defeats Sheldon Silver Ally in Primary for His Old Assembly Seat (NYT) In one of several closely watched contests in New York, Ms. Niou won a six-way Democratic race, defeating Alice Cancel, whom Mr. Silver, the disgraced former speaker, had supported.* Disgraced ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver's chosen successor loses primary race to Yuh-Line Niou (NYDN) *

    Estimate of turnout in yesterday's NYC Dem primary is 10%. Apathy rules & political class loves it!

    LES Democrats Make History, Select First Asian-American to Represent Chinatown in Albany
    First Hasidic Woman Elected As Brooklyn CivilCourt Judge (WCBS)
    Vote Totals  

    Ron Castorina defeated challenger Janine Materna with 68 percent of the vote. 

    Incumbent candidates won races for the State Senate, State Assembly and City Council. 

    The ex-pol touted a lifetime of public service during his campaign, without any mention of his arrest.  

    State Senator Martin Dilan defended his seat in the Sept. 13 primary, earning 55 percent of the vote.

    Wright beat out challenger Karen Cherry in the 56th Assembly District race Tuesday.

    State Sen. Gustavo Rivera campaigned outside the Kingsbridge Heights School (P.S. 86), before casting his vote. But few other voters showed up during this week’s key races.

    Cuomo IDC Rules Albany Now

    Court Rules that de Blasio's Campaign for One NY Must Comply with JCOPE Ethics Panel
    De Blasio’s Nonprofit Must Comply With Ethics Panel’s Subpoena, Judge Says (NYT) A judge in Albany has ordered Mayor Bill de Blasio’s political nonprofit to comply with a subpoena from a state ethics panel, putting a damper on the mayor’s widening effort to prevent the disclosure of certain communications that he deems privileged. The decision by Justice Denise A. Hartman of State Supreme Court involved an investigation by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics into whether the nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York, violated state regulations byfailing to register in 2015 as a lobbyist. The two parties argued their positions in court in July, the first public court battle to emerge from various state and federal investigations into the mayor’s fund-raising and political activities, The ruling, issued last week but not received by the parties until Monday, comes as Mr. de Blasio is also fighting in State Supreme Court in Manhattan to keep emails and text messages between City Hall and a small number of outside advisers — some of whom played central roles in the political nonprofit before it closed down this year — from being disclosed to reporters. * Judge orders de Blasio nonprofit to turn over subpoenaed records (NYP)  The nonprofit, which had taken in more than $4.4 million since January 2014 to promote the mayor’s agenda, had refused to fully comply with two subpoenas issued by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics seeking documents, claiming the panel was embarking on a fishing expedition. But Supreme Court Justice Denise Hartman wrote Thursday, “The record before the court does not indicate that the challenged subpoenas constitute harassment or impermissible ‘fishing.’”The ruling means CONY, which disbanded in March, must hand over reams of documents and communications — including those between it and de Blasio — between 2014 to 2016. CONY lawyer Laurence Laufer said he was reviewing the decision. He continued to maintain that JCOPE — which has some members appointed by Gov. Cuomo, a de Blasio enemy — was engaged in a “politicized” probe. The mayor said that the administration disagrees with the judge’s decision and “we’re exploring appellate options at this point.”

    Manhattan Judicial Panel Blinks Supports Ling-Cohan 
    In an extraordinary reversal of a decision made by its own screening panel, the Manhattan Democratic Party will nominate Manhattan Judge Doris Ling-Cohan to be put on the ballot for re-election as a state Supreme Court justice this fall, the Post reports.
    did right by v. who profits from Bklyn Court & wrongs & kills
    Judge wins re-election ballot battle after being barred - Manhattan v Brooklyn: Ct is a Bank & JSC Tellers

    Transparency Bill Even Losing His Friends Brian and the Times
    De Blasio Faces Mounting Pressure on Matters ofTransparency (NYT) For about 10 minutes, the WNYC radio host Brian Lehrer hit Mr. de Blasio with a barrage of questions about secrecy and transparency, pressing him on his stance on police disciplinary records and his refusal to divulge certain emails and texts with outside advisers. The questions came after a lawsuit filed by organizations challenging the de Blasio administration over its denial of access to those communications. The radio exchange and the lawsuit, filed in state court on Wednesday, marked the boiling over of months of simmering tension for the mayor, a Democrat who championed transparency and police accountability as a candidate and now finds himself accused of failing to deliver on his promises. Exhibit A for critics is New York City’s Law Department, which is fighting multiple court battles to maintain the secrecy of city records of officers’ past misconduct and that of Mr. de Blasio’s own communications with outside advisers. The questions came after a lawsuit filed by organizations challenging the de Blasio administration over its denial of access to those communications. The radio exchange and the lawsuit, filed in state court on Wednesday, marked the boiling over of months of simmering tension for the mayor, a Democrat who championed transparency and police accountability as a candidate and now finds himself accused of failing to deliver on his promises. Exhibit A for critics is New York City’s Law Department, which is fighting multiple court battles to maintain the secrecy of city records of officers’ past misconduct and that of Mr. de Blasio’s own communications with outside advisers. “On the police records, I have a clear position that I want to see the state law changed and I want us to be able to release those records,” Mr. de Blasio told Mr. Lehrer, referring to a 1976 state law that protects police personnel records.  The issue emerged for Mr. de Blasio last month after the Police Department’s decision to change a decades-old policy of posting certain disciplinary information on a clipboard in its public information office at Police Headquarters. The change, reported by The Daily News, coincided with the filing by the Legal Aid Society of a Freedom of Information Act request. “For the past two years it’s become increasingly clear that the lack of accountability in police-involved deaths and other abuses is germane to the public interest,” Cynthia Conti-Cook, a staff attorney at Legal Aid, said. Erica Garner, Mr. Garner’s daughter, put it more bluntly on Twitter on Thursday, accusing the mayor in particularly curt language of caring about black lives only in a sexual context. The mayor insisted that the city had no choice but to defend the secrecy of the records until Albany acted to amend the law. As for the key outside advisers, Mr. de Blasio said, “when some individuals are very, very close advisers, that it is appropriate to have a private relationship with them.” Officials at City Hall have maintained for months that emails and texts with a select group of outside advisers — including those whose firms have clients with business before the city — can and should be kept from public view if they contain advice for the mayor of the sort that his top city aides would provide. (For emails to City Hall related to advisers’ clients, officials have said those records would be turned over when requested.)Mr. de Blasio’s position gained a kind of political infamy when in May his then-counsel, Maya Wiley, deemed the advisers “agents of the city.” Reporters have sought through Freedom of Information Act requests to pry open those records; NY1 and The New York Post began their court challenge this week.

    The No Show Council With A 32% Raise 
    Fresh off raises, City Council members no show key meeting (NYP) They gave themselves a fat 32 percent raise and now rake in $148,500 a year — but six City Council members didn’t show up for work Friday, forcing the cancellation of a key committee meeting. A Public Safety Committee meeting on expanding the NYPD’s reporting of sex assaults, hate crimes and domestic violence was canceled after only five of the 11 members turned up.  Committee chair Vanessa Gibson scheduled the meeting for 10 a.m. at City Hall, but by 10:30 a.m., only four other members, James Vacca, Chaim Deutsch, Steven Matteo and Robert Cornegy had appeared — not enough for a quorum. Those who did show were surprised by the absentees. “It’s very rare that we don’t have a quorum. I went out of my way to be there and I was upset we didn’t have a quorum. The bills we were supposed to pass were significant,” said Vacca. Deutsch said, “This is a full-time job, and nobody is here.” And Cornegy added, “What’s funny is the chair sends [reminder] emails the night before and the morning of” meetings.  But they still defended their missing colleagues: Vincent Gentile, Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Jumaane Williams, Rafael Espinal, Rory Lancman and Ritchie Torres.  Cornegy remarked, “I think it’s more related to this being the first hearing of getting back in session . . . it’s the last vestige of a holiday before we get full blast into session.” The council went on break Aug. 17 and returned Wednesday.  The 51-member council in February voted itself a hefty pay hike retroactive to Jan. 1 — a move Mayor de Blasio hailed at the time as well deserved. Friday’s agenda included proposed bills that would expand how the NYPD publicly discloses sex offenses, hate crimes and domestic-violence incidents, requiring the department to post more data online and break out cases that occur in public housing. The no-shows and their colleagues insisted that they’re absence doesn’t mean they don’t take those issues seriously. Torres said he didn’t hear about the meeting until Thursday afternoon, and that Fridays are typically days for members to meet with officials and residents in their districts. Gentile’s office said he was at a 9/11 ceremony at Fort Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn and couldn’t reschedule it. Williams said he was at a street renaming for a gun-violence victim that he committed to a couple weeks ago. Ferreras-Copeland said she was meeting with local groups; Espinal said he had a previous commitment involving school funding; and Lancman said the meeting was called “on less than 24 hours notice” and a 9/11 ceremony took precedence.

    Newspaper Endorsements
    For the future of New York’s kids: Post endorsements in legislative primaries(NYP)
    STATE SENATE SD-25 (Bed-Stuy/Crown Heights/Red Hook): Michael Cox is challenging (too-) long-term incumbent Velmanette Montgomery. A Crown Heights native who served in the Obama administration, Cox became a devoted fan of choice, charters and education reform while teaching in East New York. SD-31 (Washington Heights/Inwood/West Side): In a four-way race to succeed Sen. Adriano Espaillat, the best choice is Marisol Alcantara, who’s backed by Espaillat and by the pro-good-schools Independent Democratic Conference. SD-33 (West Bronx): City Councilman Fernando Cabrera poses a real threat to incumbent Gustavo Rivera. That’s why the Fund for Great Public Schools, a union front, funded mailers smearing the challenger. In fact, this firm advocate of the EITC and charter schools has built a strong record of delivering solutions for his constituents.
    ASSEMBLYAD-6 (Bay Shore/Brentwood/Central Islip): In his challenge to incumbent Philip Ramos, Giovanni Mata has also been the target of dirty-tricks mailers claiming he’s the pawn of “immigrant-bashing Republicans.” Yet it’s Ramos who is standing in the way of hope for black and brown kids in this Long Island district — and Mata who demands that all children have access to good schools.] AD-33 (Queens Village/Cambria Heights/Hollis): In a crowded field looking to replace the late Barbara Clark, Roy Paul stands out. He made history at 19 as the youngest African-American ever elected to public office in the state. Now 30, he’s been solid on charters and school reform ever since winning that school-board race. AD-46 (Bay Ridge/Coney Island): Pamela Harris, the incumbent, faces questions about her shaky personal finances and a nonprofit headquartered at her home. We strongly urge a vote for challenger Kate Cucco, who rightly calls the education tax credit a “win-win piece of legislation.” Daily News Newell for Assembly(NYDN) Newell is highly informed, fully in touch with a district that is 43% Asian, 33% white, 16% Hispanic and 5% black, and promises unusual independence in Albany.  A native of Taiwan, Yuh-Line Niou grew up in Washington state, where she served as a legislative aide, focusing on health care, and worked as an advocate against predatory lending.  Niou has lived in the district for three years, is chief of staff to Flushing Assemblyman Ron Kim and is backed by the Queens Democratic machine. She says that she was motivated to run in part as Chinatown residents were seeking constituent services in Kim’s Queens office.  Newell has the edge over Niou in knowledge both of the district and of the issues. He is in touch with grass-roots concerns about traffic, schools, affordable housing and sustainable neighborhoods.  Seeking to represent an area flooded by traffic from the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges, Newell backs congestion pricing to toll the spans and pour money into mass transit. * Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has largely stayed out of New York politics since leaving City Hall, is re-entering the scene with a Monday night fundraiser for former aide Micah Lasher’s Democratic state Senate bid, The Wall Street Journal reports. Micah Lasher for state Senate (NYDN) * A senator for the Bronx: Pamela Hamilton-Johnson is thechoice (NYT)

    NY1 and Post Go After de Blasio Secret Agent Lobbyists Berlin Rosen at Last the Times See Nothing 
    NY1 and the Post filed a joint lawsuit against Mayor Bill de Blasio over the city's refusal to release correspondence between the mayor and Jonathan Rosen, one of five “agents of the city” who the administration has shielded from public disclosure, Politico New York writes. De Blasio Faces Mounting Pressure on Matters of Transparency (NYT)

    de Blasio Fights A Neighborhood Over the Homeless He Created With the Help of His Developer Friends 
    The co-owner of a Queens Holiday Inn slated to become a homeless shelter said he wants out of the deal because community opposition is too much, but City Hall sources said the plan will go forward and the opening only delayed a few weeks, the Daily News writes.

    Now That the Feds Look to Book Him the Media Discovers How Capalino and the Other Lobbyists Ran City Hall
    De Blasio’s favorite lobbyist(NYP) Give mega-lobbyist James Capalino this much: He was merely telling the truth when boasting about his access to Mayor de Blasio and his top officials and aides.
    The Wall Street Journal reported on those boasts in February, in a story on how the lobbying biz has soared since de Blasio took office. Now Politico has detailed how Capalino earned his pay, by looking at the e-mail trail between Capalino’s firm and City Hall for the first 16 months of the mayor’s term. Capalino and his staff exchanged messages with more than 120 administration officials — including every deputy mayor and nearly a dozen different agency heads. The lobbyists made a lot of requests for their clients — and look to have gotten action more often than not, even when the “ask” was at odds with the mayor’s progressive values. Of course, Capalino “earned” his access, having raised more than $45,000 for de Blasio’s 2013 campaign. Since then, he’s kicked in more cash to the mayor’s re-election bid, his nonprofit slush fund and even the private Gracie Mansion Conservancy  He’s now the city’s top lobbyist, with his firm’s earnings up 172 percent since 2013. But he’s also tied into at least two different scandals, with his firm subpoenaed by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. That prompted de Blasio to disclose last week, “I do not have contact with [Capalino] anymore.” Then again, a mayoral spokesman calls that an “ethical decision” the mayor made for himself alone — leaving other city employees free to make “ethical judgments every day in a wide variety of interactions with the lobbying industry. That won’t change.  Sounds an awful lot like a recipe for business as usual, as long as de Blasio’s fingerprints don’t show. Which would be par for the course for a mayor who pledged to drive special interests out of City Hall — but instead has welcomed them with open arms. * Sixteen months of emails between the de Blasio administration and Capalino + Company, one of the largest lobbying firms in New York City, show employees cajoling City Hall on behalf of his clients, often with favorable results, Politico New York reports. *  * Reports detailing de Blasio’s close relationship with lobbyist James Capalino shows that while the mayor once pledged to drive special interests out of City Hall, he has instead welcomed them with open arms, the Post writes. * City revokes registration of billboard group run by de Blasio backer (NYP)

    Machine Man George Arzt: Brooklyn Machine, Bronx Machine and Queens Machine Non Profit, Developers 

    George Arzt is not just the guy being questioned on dumping on Judge Jacobson in the Post bag operation for the Brooklyn machine who the lobbyist works for he is also the spokesman for the Bronx machine against a lawsuit by voters who believe the election in the Bronx have been corruption by the party machine. "We're prepared to defend the integrity of the Democratic Party, the voters who have made their voices heard, as well as the hardworking elected officials in this borough, against these scurrilous and ridiculous accusations," said spokesman George Arzt.  Bronx activists file suit begging judge to stop ‘rigged’ Democratic primary election (NYDN) Arzt's also represents Queens Machine funded Greater Jamaica Development Corp * ‘Non’profiteers  * Is it corruption or conspiracy? - TimesLedger * Additional Information on Gregory Meeks - Discover the Networks

    More About Lobbyists Campaign Manager George Arzt

    As the CFB Ignores PAC Corrdination With Consultants UFT's UF, NYCLASS, But Goes After A 25 Year Old 
    Authorities said Celia Dosamantes, a young Queens politico who ran for New York City Council in 2015, was arrested for faking donations to get 6-for-1 matching taxpayer funds for her losing campaign and received nearly $19,530 from the city, the Post writes.

    SHADY SECRECY: Mayor de Blasio fighting to keep cop records from public in unprecedented blow to transparency (NYDN)

    * The Times writes that de Blasio needs to wake up and shut down the carnage of J’ouvert, the overnight ritual of music, dancing, shootings and stabbings that precedes each year’s West Indian American Day Parade, even if it means facing angry constituents. * The Daily News criticizes de Blasio’s attempts to keep from the public the disciplinary history of the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death and argues the mayor’s description of state law is wrong and imposes too much secrecy on police discipline.* IF IT AIN'T BROKE: NYPD, outgoing Bill Bratton defend controversial 'broken windows' tactics after DOI critique(NYDN) * Damn liars and statistics: NYPD IG's broken broken-windows report(NYDN)  * Irish, Puerto Rican Communities Outraged Following De Blasio’s Comparison To J’Ouvert Violence (WCBS) *  After the NYPD inspector general concluded this summer that cracking down on minor offenses had no effect on reducing more serious crimes, the department rolled out its own detailed report defending “broken windows” policing, The Wall Street Journal reports. * The Daily News criticizes the New York City inspector general’s report that found quality-of-life policing to be a crime-reduction sham and stands by peer-reviewed studies about the relationship between NYPD enforcement and declining crime rates.*  New York law makes the disciplinary history of police officers “confidential and not subject to inspection or review,” but that means the taxpaying public has no right to know when those cops misbehave or whether they have been disciplined, Newsday writes. * 'JUST CAUSE YOU LOVE BLACK P---Y DOESN'T MEAN YOU LOVE BLACK LIVES': Erica Garner blasts de Blasio for refusal to release discipline record of NYPD officer whose chokehold led to father's death (NYDN) * Michael Bloomberg to host fund-raiser for ex-aide running for New York State Senate(NYDN) * Bratton’s blast back at the IG’s smear of the NYPD(NYP) * In one of his last acts as New York City police commissioner, Bill Bratton appeared with Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to announce that the 2015-16 school year was the safest on record for New York City’s public schools, The New York Times reports. * After it was revealed the officer who killed Eric Garner with a chokehold boosted his salary with overtime pay, officials announced overtime for cops accused of misconduct will have to be approved in advance by the NYPD’s highest-ranking uniformed officer, the Daily News writes.'*  Bill Bratton's Legacy Is Mixed as He Leaves NYPD, Police Observers Say (DNAINFO) Fans say his crime-fighting tactics set the standard, while critics say "Broken Windows" was toxic.

    Deptuy Mayor Capalino Emailed 120 Administration Employees 
    LOBBYING DE BLASIO -- Emails show Capalino's reach in City Hall -- POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein, Sally Goldenberg, and Laura Nahmias: "When a construction company with a tarnished reputation sought a contract from Mayor Bill de Blasio's public housing authority, it got it. When City Hall seemed like it would delay, if not outright stymie, a prominent developer's plan for a so-called "poor door," the developer ultimately won the day - with some minor concessions. When an energy company wanted a show of support for a microgrid project in Brooklyn, it got that, too. All of these companies had one thing in common - they employed Capalino and Company, the lobbying firm whose founder and CEO Jim Capalino was such an ardent de Blasio supporter that he raised nearly $45,000 for his 2013 mayoral run and personally wielded a "Come Meet Bill" sign at a rally that year."
    DURING THE FIRST 16 months of the de Blasio mayoralty, Capalino and his employees exchanged emails with more than 120 administration employees, including each of its deputy mayors and nearly a dozen individual agency heads. They offered praise. ("Kudos on Deputy Mayor Glen's excellent ABNY speech.") And they offered commiseration. When Capalino failed to secure de Blasio's attendance at a tribute to the late Ed Koch in April 2014, mayoral scheduler Lindsay Scola urged Capalino lobbyist Tom Gray to "Please keep me posted on any events in the future." "Will do," Gray replied. "In my opinion you have the hardest job in government (politics), I absolutely appreciate your level of communication." "Thank you, this means a lot," responded Scola. "I worked for bdb for 8 years," said Gray, referring to de Blasio. "I know some of ups and downs folks face over there well ;)" Gray was de Blasio's director of land use from 2009 to 2011, when the mayor was public advocate. He also worked for de Blasio from 2005 to 2009, when he was in the City Council. In another exchange, Ellyn Canfield Nealon, who handles special events for the mayor, was asked whether First Lady Chirlane McCray would attend several events. "I finally had my weekly FLONYC meeting this past week and pitched tour AND food bank meeting and they were amenable to both," she wrote to Gray on April 2, 2014. "Things move VERY slowly through that team but I will keep pushing that." READ MORE:* Mayor Bill de Blasio has added about 16,000 New York City workers via

    It is Follow the Leader in Albany
    The typical state Senate Republican cast his or her votes on legislation the same way as Majority Leader John Flanagan 98.9 percent of the time in 2016, up from 98.4 percent agreement with Flanagan’s predecessor, Dean Skelos, in 2014, Politico New York reports. Wherethe Assembly math stands, seven weeks before Election Day(PoliticoNY)

    Charter Schools 10% 
    According to New York City Charter School Center statistics, for the first time in history the expanding charter school sector will serve roughly 106,600, or about 10 percent of all New York City school kids this year, and that number is growing, the Post reports. * DOE’s pricey ventures are overcrowding schools despite open seats: report (NYP) * A new report found overcrowding in New York City schools remains rampant even though there are more seats than enrolled students and the city Department of Education is focused on new building projects while empty classrooms collect dust, the Post reports.  

    Albany Pols Will Destroy Constitutional Convention Purpose
    Candidates for state Legislature in the forthcoming local elections should sign a pledge promising to not seek a delegate position if voters approve a constitutional convention during their term, Hofstra University’s James Coll writes.

    Trump Hits Cuomo On State Up NY TV Ads
    While accepting the state Conservative Party’s endorsement, presidential nominee Donald Trump  slammed the tens of millions of dollars in public funds Gov. Andrew Cuomo has spent on TV ads program promoting his Start-UP NY jobs program, the Post reports. * Despite the company’s financial problems, Cuomo defended SolarCity and said that its Buffalo factory, the centerpiece of his Buffalo Billion initiative, is part of a broader strategy focusing on the growth of the clean energy industry, The Buffalo News reports* PolitiFact assesses Assemblyman Robin Schimminger’s claim that state officials reported an incorrect number of jobs created by companies participating in the Start-Up NY economic development program, and finds the lawmaker’s assertion to be “false.”

    de Blasio Not the Lobbyists Cause the Corruption - He Let Them Run City Hall
    Bill’s belated awakening: De Blasio kicks his lobbyist pal to the curb (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio on Tuesday declared he’d cut off all contact with mega-lobbyist and campaign fundraiser Jim Capalino, linked too close for political comfort to the unmistakable impression that the mayor put City Hall up for sale. The separation came not of his free will, de Blasio made clear with all the moral insight of a teen grounded by his parents, but “because of the atmosphere we’re in, and the ongoing investigations.” As in the continuing investigations by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman into the circumstances around the $116 million sale of the former Lower East Side AIDS home called Rivington House to a luxury condo developer under de Blasio’s watch.  Elaborated a mayoral spokesman the following day: 

    “The mayor’s made an ethical decision for himself.”An ethical decision — what a concept, one nowhere to be found when de Blasio decided before his 2014 swearing-in to found the Campaign for One New York, and then hit up lobbyists and their clients looking for favorable city actions for big donations to promote his political fortunes.Such contributions are strictly limited under the city’s public campaign finance system, precisely to inhibit the possibility of quid-pro-quo cash in exchange for political favors — making the Campaign for One New York a deliberate workaround. Ethics? What ethics? Certainly not in appointing a donor, Joseph Finnerty, to the city board controlling water bills, and then engaging him as a birthday fundraiser for de Blasio’s reelection — a clear-as-day violation of the city’s conflicts-of-interest rules. Finnerty resigned after inquiring on his own about the propriety of the arrangement and has been fined $1,000. And certainly not at Rivington House, where the taint is entirely on de Blasio, no matter how many lobbyists he decides to give the silent treatment.

    On behalf of Rivington House owner VillageCare, which urgently sought to sell the property to settle debts, Capalino approached de Blasio’s deputies to request the removal of deed restrictions limiting sale to non-profit health facilities. At the same time, de Blasio’s top deputy mayor, Tony Shorris, helped find a buyer to save the day with a $28 million purchase and big talk to keep a nursing home there — only to have the rescue crumble when that buyer flipped the building for $116 million to a condo developer.  De Blasio blames bumbling bureaucrats. Surrounding evidence — including $500,000 in donations from health care union 1199SEIU to the Campaign for One New York coinciding with a desperate push to bail out Rivington House — suggests that’s far from the end of the story. While allowing for the very real possibility that lobbyists who’ve bundled or given huge sums still have the run of City Hall, including dozens of aides who make key decisions, de Blasio now declares his personal distance, adding: “I just have very, very little contact with lobbyists. I think in this atmosphere, it makes sense to have next to nothing to do with them.”He paints a distorted picture of lobbyists as snakes that invaded the sanctum of City Hall and now need to be exorcised.
    In truth, the poison oozes from the mayor who invited the lobbyists and donors in to feed at his political profit.

    Fed Law Suit On Elections Fixing in the Bronx
    Bronx activists file suit begging judge to stop ‘rigged’ primary (NYDN) An underdog group of Bronx activists is asking a federal judge to cancel September's primary elections — claiming the local Democratic Party runs an elaborate scheme to cheat voters. In a theatrically written lawsuit — which quotes from The Federalist Papers and demands $5 billion in damages — eight plaintiffs allege that intervention from a judge is “the Bronx’s only hope of holding our first free and fair election in decades.” Among the plaintiffs in the suit, filed in Manhattan Federal Court, are several women who say party leaders nominated them without their knowledge to a local political body called the county committee which meets twice a year to endorse candidates. After missing meetings because they were unaware they were elected, their seats were filled by cronies loyal to the party leaders or simply left empty, court papers allege. “I knew nothing about this,” plaintiff Ilka Rios, 31, told the Daily News. “How can they use my name without my permission?” "We're prepared to defend the integrity of the Democratic Party, the voters who have made their voices heard, as well as the hardworking elected officials in this borough, against these scurrilous and ridiculous accusations," said spokesman George Arzt. Update Bronx primaries will be held despite claims of rigging: judge (NYP)A Manhattan federal judge said she will not halt the upcoming Bronx Democratic primaries amid new allegations of election rigging — but warned that she will order a do-over if the alarming claims bear out.“I have the power to order a new election and will do so if I find irreparable harm,” Judge Kimba Wood said at a court hearing Tuesday.

    Rios believes she never received required mailed notification that she was elected because a party mailing list deliberately misspelled her name and left her apartment number off her address in a large building. Another plaintiff, retired correction officer Alison Bush, said she was shocked to see her name on a list of candidates for the obscure post – because she’s on the outs with party leaders. Among the suit’s other allegations are that the party collects signatures on petitions that list no candidates and then violates election law by inserting the names of people it wants to nominate after the fact. The suit also names well-connected lawyer Stanley Schlein, an election law expert the suit calls the “linchpin” of the Bronx Dems’ alleged scheme.

    Lobbyists Stanley Schlein

    Even Bertha Lewis With All Her Baggage is Over the Mayor

    Ex-de Blasio ally Bertha Lewis is ‘so over’ him as mayor (NYP) A longtime progressive ally of Mayor de Blasio is now looking to give him the heave-ho Left-leaning activist Bertha Lewis says she won’t be supporting de Blasio’s re-election bid next year after helping the underdog win his successful bid for the mayoralty in 2013. “I’m so over him. I’m so disappointed. I’m not supporting his re-election. I’m not voting for him. I’m not going with that guy,” said Lewis, the founder and president of The Black Institute and the former head of the defunct liberal activist group ACORN.  She had helped get out the vote for de Blasio’s Democratic primary victory in the 2013 mayoral race and supported his failed bid to become City Council speaker a decade ago. 
    She has recently clashed with him over a number of issues, including minority hiring, affordable housing and police reform,  She also opposed charging five cents for grocery bags and construction of a trash transfer station on the Upper East Side. He supported both. But political insiders expected the two to kiss and make up. Think again. Lewis described de Blasio as a “know-it-all” who doesn’t listen to people like her.“The arrogance, the dismissiveness. He’s got all the answers. We threw down for this guy,” she told The Post.   “The bubble around this guy is so thick. He thinks we all work for him. We don’t work for the mayor. He works for us!” Lewis, who has complained that de Blasio has been too cozy with developers in drafting plans for affordable housing, calls him “the gentrifier in chief.” She said she was particularly troubled by his administration’s actions that allowed the Lower East Side’s Rivington House nursing home to be sold to a luxury housing developer. “Either you’re incompetent or you don’t want to know what happened. It’s incompetence or corruption. Both of them are bad,” Lewis said.
     True News  Bertha Lewis


    The New Dominican Machine  

    Mr. Espaillat, a Democrat who is favored to win a congressional seat in November, is trying to help two fellow Dominicans win state primaries.

    de Blasio Secret Agent Lobbyists Berlin Rosen Bags $10,000
    Firms hired by de Blasio earned at least $10M from campaign and non-profits (NYP) It pays to be an “agent of the city.”   The political-consulting firms that helped Mayor de Blasio get elected in 2013 have hauled in at least $10.6 million from the mayor’s campaigns and charities over the past six years, a Post analysis of public records shows.  BerlinRosen, which was co-founded by p.r. gurus Valerie Berlin and Jonathan Rosen in 2005, has expanded from five employees in 2007 to more than 100 today.  The firm hooked up with de Blasio for his long-shot 2013 mayoral bid — and it apparently paid off.  De Blasio’s campaign paid the firm $309,200 in consulting fees and to mail fliers to voters’ homes for his 2013 and 2017 mayoral bids, state campaign filings show.
    And his Campaign for One New York charity paid BerlinRosen $530,413 to promote his universal pre-K and housing initiatives since 2014, the charity’s records show. The progressive p.r. firm has billed political candidates a total of $13.4 million since 2009, according to state campaign filings.
    Federal and city investigators subpoenaed BerlinRosen for records regarding CONY expenses and coordinating with City Hall and Democratic candidates in the 2014 election cycle. Rosen told The Post he is “proud of our growth over the past 11 years into one of the country’s leading public relations, digital strategy and political consulting firms.” De Blasio has refused to release his e-mail communications with Rosen and other advisers, including AKPD media consultant John Del Cecato, and Hilltop Public Solutions political strategists Nicholas Baldick and Bill Hyers, naming them “agents of the city.” Those “agents” have also done well in recent years. Hilltop Public Solutions, a veritable revolving door of former de Blasio staffers, has taken $588,068 from the mayor’s campaign and another $362,732 from his nonprofit. And AKPD, which wrote an ad featuring de Blasio’s son, Dante, that helped the mayor win the primary, billed the mayor $7,603,765 for media buys and
    his nonprofit another $1,346,420.
    he Most Powerful Man in Politics –Outside City Hall (NY1)
    Lobbyists Berlin Rosen Takes Over NYC Government

    Silver Avoids Jail  . . .  Did Anyone Expect Him to Be Lock Up?
    Sheldon Silver avoids jail for at least another year (NYP) Crooked former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver caught the break of a lifetime Thursday when a judge ruled that he can stay out of prison while he appeals — likely buying him at least another year of freedom. The powerful puppet master, who used his position to swindle $5.4 million in kickbacks and bribes, was supposed to surrender Wednesday to begin serving his 12-year sentence.
    But Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni, who presided over Silver’s trial, instead granted the Manhattan Democrat’s request that he remain free on bail.*

    EXCLUSIVE: Collecting from corrupt city pols who avoid repaying money stolen from taxpayers not so simple(NYDN) When Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. was sentenced for stealing from the taxpayers a year ago, he owed a lot of people a lot of money. He was supposed to cough up a total of $325,020.28, including restitution to the state for the money he stole, plus a money judgment to the feds as punishment for his many crimes.Getting that money, it turns out, wasn't so simple. First, after he was convicted of filing for bogus travel expenses and using a taxpayer-funded non-profit he controlled for political activity, Boyland, D-Brooklyn, quickly sold off his two-family Ocean Hill townhouse for $875,000.
    Instead, they had to track down where the proceeds from the sale went. They finally turned up a company that was created three weeks after Boyland was sentenced. That company, Solar Studios, was supposed to be producing a children's educational TV show. Its CEO, Andre Soleil, says Boyland loaned it $90,000 from the house sale, with the repayments set to pay off child support Boyland owed. Soleil says Boyland paid off the $155,000 he owed the state, although the state couldn't confirm that, citing privacy laws.* As for the $169,000 money judgment he owes the feds, documents filed May 6 by Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Robert Capers say he hasn't paid a dime. Capers has moved to garnish whatever money Boyland put into Solar Studios.
    Boyland in Jail Timeline

    Caproni made it clear in her ruling that she thinks Silver, 72, was guilty — even under a new and far narrower definition of “official acts” constituting corruption established by a June 27 Supreme Court ruling. In that case, the court tossed the conviction of ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who had accepted cash, loans and pricey gifts from a rich businessman looking for favors, ruling that simply arranging meetings did not constitute official acts. “As stated previously, this case differs from McDonnell because most of the official acts presented to the jury — the provision of state grants, approval of tax-exempt state financing, and voting on legislation — are undoubtedly official acts under McDonnell,” Caproni wrote. She granted Silver bail, however, over concerns that her instructions to the jury may have been inadequate under the new standards set by the high court. * Justice delayed for Shelly Silver(NYP Ed) * Silver, Like Skelos, Can Remain Free While Appealing Graft Conviction (NYT) Sheldon Silver, the former State Assembly speaker, and Dean G. Skelos, the former Senate majority leader, have moved aggressively to stave off the day they had to begin serving their sentences.* In a ruling that appears to bolster Sheldon Silver’s appeal of his public-corruption conviction, a federal judge said that the former Assembly speaker can stay out of prison at least until Oct. 27 while he awaits a decision, The Wall Street Journal reports.  * The Times’ Lawrence Downes knocks Silver’s successor for his Assembly seat, Alice Cancel, and writes the quality of new candidates running in the September primary have an opportunity to move beyond Silver’s legacy and bring real change and reform to the district.* Sheldon Silver not allowed to travel outside lower 48 states (NYP)

    Critics Say Ethics Reform Bill Passed in Albany Does Little to Pursue Actual Corruption(NY1) * One day after signing his fourth ethics bill into law since taking office as governor, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is facing criticism from both sides, said there's still more work that's needed to be done, Time Warner Cable News reports

    In NY They  Even Try to Clear Dead Corrupt Pol

    The lawyer for Thomas W. Libous, a former top New York State senator, has moved to have his late client’s corruption conviction vacated based on the doctrine known as abatement by death.

     Bo Going After de at Least in A Newspaper Story 
    Bo Dietl will run against de Blasio for mayor in 2017(NYP) His platform; to clear the streets of homeless people who have turned the city into a “giant toilet bowl,” to personally drive a bulldozer to take out bike lanes, and free cops so they can go after even petty crooks who openly sell and shoot up drugs in Washington Square Park and elsewhere. He says he declared his intention directly to the mayor last Saturday while riding on a friend’s boat in Sag Harbor. * 'YOU’RE DESTORYING THIS CITY': Bo Deitl mulls challenge against 'Big Bird' Mayor de Blasio (NYDN) * The Coalition for the Homeless found a shortage of supportive housing has helped drive homelessness for single adults to record highs and blames Cuomo for his failure to follow through on a pledge to create 20,000 such units, the Daily News writes.

    NYT Which is the Official Flack of the Developers Says What Happen to the Mom and Pop Stores
    New York’s Disappearing Storefronts(NYT)
    High rents are pushing out our most beloved retail outlets. Can anything be done?

    Sander Faces Machine Meeks Payback forAborted Run for Congress
    Incumbent Sanders Faces Primary Challenger Who Has Backing of Queens County Democratic Organization (NY1)

    Shady Nursing Home Partner Pulls Out of Bedford Armory Deal
    Firm involved in shady nursing home deal pulls out of major project(NYP) The company that riled City Hall by hushing up its purchase of a Lower East Side nursing home has pulled out of a major project under pressure from the administration, sources said Wednesday.The Slate Property Group sold its interest in the Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights to its collaborator on the project, BFC Partners, just two weeks after Mayor de Blasio said he was taking a “hard look” at its role. Slate and BFC in December were awarded a long-term lease to build 330 units of housing along with recreational and office space on the city-owned site. But the mayor ordered a review after two investigations found that Slate officials had instructed subordinates to keep quiet about the firm’s interest in purchasing the decades-old Rivington House nursing home on the Lower East Side.
    The seller, the Allure Group, at the time was still working to get the city to lift deed restrictions governing the use of the property. “Guys, please make sure we do not discuss this deal with anyone on the outside right now,” Slate founder Matt Nussbaum wrote in an e-mail to 10 company officials in May 2015.“The seller is very concerned that the city and [the nursing-home] union will find out that he is in contract to sell at the price that we are buying it, which will directly
    impact his ability to have the deed restriction removed,” the e-mail continued. “Once he has it removed, we can do whatever we want.”

    Now Carmelo Anthony Drops Out of Bedford-Union Armory Development Deal

    Carmelo Anthony Drops Support for Bedford-Union Armory Redevelopment   |  DNAInfo Reports The team behind the controversial Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment has lost its star player Following pressure from local activists, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony has dropped all affiliation with the Crown Heights project, a representative of the athlete said Wednesday. But the move follows pressure from housing advocates (in the form of a rallyopen letter and online petition) calling for the basketball player to drop a plan that “will further exacerbate the gentrification” of Crown Heights, the petition by New York Communities for Change read. NYCC, working with the Crown Heights Tenant Union and others, also called for the removal of developer Slate Property Group from the project for their involvement with the controversial sale and conversion of the Rivington House, a Lower East Side nursing home, into luxury housing. Soon afterwards, Slate backed out of the redevelopment following pressure from the mayor’s office, sources told DNAinfo New York. “Carmelo is our hero,” said Bertha Lewis, the former CEO of NYCC when it was known as ACORN, in a first report about Anthony’s decision in the New York Daily News. Currently, the redevelopment project will continue with BFC Partners, the real estate group chosen by the New York City Economic Development Corp. to co-develop with Slate. But NYCC is pushing to start from square one on the project.

    Something About the Brooklyn DA's Office
    Check, please, for the DA: Ken Thompson's big meal mistake (NYDN Ed) For treating his security detail like gofers and for billing the taxpayers for his meals, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson has paid a hefty fine — and, more important, suffered a blow to his reputation.Thompson took office in 2014 after leaving a private-sector law firm at which, no doubt, underlings fetched expense-account meals. He seems not to have realized those days were over.Worse, Thompson seems to have bypassed reading city regulations governing official conduct — while running an office in which no one stood up to say that sending cops to pick up lunches and dinners was a no-no, that having them lay out the money was a no-no and reimbursing them out of the office budget was a no-no.In fining Thompson $15,000, the Conflicts of Interest Board hit Thompson with a record sum against a DA. He will also pay restitution. On the upside, the conflicts board applied a measure of punishment to a top official, rather than just hammer those lower down. In one case, the board forced a sanitation worker out of a job for taking a Christmas tip.  That may be a cautionary tale for Thompson down the road.
    Ken Thompson, Brooklyn District Attorney, Is Fined for Misusing Funds on Meals (NYT)
    Mr. Thompson used police officers to get his meals and pay for them before being reimbursed with office funds, said the Conflicts of Interest Board, which levied a $15,000 penalty. * Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson must pay $15G fine for taxpayer-funded lunch and dinners totaling more than $5,000(NYDN) * Ken Thompson’s $15K fine may not be end of free meal drama (NYP) Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson refused to say Thursday whether he’d been privately admonished for misconduct before getting blistered by the city Conflicts of Interest Board — and it could spell trouble for his law license if he was, an expert on legal ethics told The Post.* Investigator: Ken Thompson fired me because I’m former DA’s ally(NYP) * ‘Imperial Ken’ Thompson, the perk-crazed Brooklyn DA(NYP Ed) * Sister of 1986 hate attack victim sues Brooklyn DA for $15M, saying she was fired due to political ties(NYDN)  * According to a new $20 million lawsuit, a longtime investigator is calling out Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson for firing her because she’s a close ally of his predecessor and claims she was demoted and replaced by someone who worked on his campaign, the Post writes. * Post exclusive sparked probe into Thompson’s free lunches(NYP)
    Question for NYC District Attorney: "Who will guard the guards themselves?"


    SHIELDING THE COPS: NYPD suddenly stops sharing actions taken against disciplined officers, citing obscure law; watchdogs call new secrecy move a blow to transparency
    New York Police Dept., Citing Law, Stops Sharing Personnel Data (NYT) Some criticized the department’s decision to shield information from journalists as a step away from transparency. * Citing a clause in a 40-year-old law, the NYPD has suddenly decided to keep records regarding the discipline of officers under lock and key — and will no longer release the information to the public, the Daily News reports.* Mayor de Blasio has no problem with keeping cops’ disciplinary records sealed, but once blasted NYPD’s lack of transparency (NYDN) * Think again, commish about hiding NYPD personnel info(NYDN)

    Chartock Yes Albany is Rigged and Losing Bharara Make Me Queasy 
    ALAN CHARTOCK: Yes, Donald, the political system is rigged (Daily Freeman) Donald Trump suggests that the system is “rigged.” He should know — he’s been playing the system for years, as giant real estate developers are known to do. Let’s stop for a moment and examine whether New York’s political system is rigged. It is, of course, and I can prove it.  Take, for example, the gerrymander that goes on when we draw the districts from which the legislators run. We all know that the majority party in each house draws the district lines to give themselves maximum advantage. They use complex computers to help them in this evil work which really does subvert democracy. They shove as many bodies as they can into one district so that the surrounding districts have a better chance of going their way. We send our kids to foreign countries to “fight for democracy” yet we rig elections right here at home. As my son often says to me, “That ain’t right.”

    Then, too, the system is rigged in favor of those people who have the most money. Big corporations and well-heeled people invest millions to make things come out the way they want them too. It’s not surprising some of these people can invest hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to lobby the Legislature. They know that the money they invest in campaigns will bring them a great return on their “investment” into controlling the way things go. That’s a pretty good investment — a lot better than your stock broker can get.  The rigging goes even further when we consider the fact that so few politicians in both houses ever lose their seats. Once the gerrymander and the money kick in, there is little or no chance that anyone will be defeated. Now they want a whopping pay raise when so many of them work so little. Not only that, they make a lot of money on the outside because of their legislative titles. We all know it and the time has come to put a stop to it by limiting outside income. Hey, they even do that in the United States Congress. Voters know when they are being had but they opt out because of sheer frustration. My students tell me that their parents often say, “They’re all crooks.” They may not be but they sure rig the system. That’s why, whenever New York City residents have had the opportunity to vote for term limits, they’ve done so overwhelmingly. If the rest of the state was ever given a chance to vote on term limits, they would, too, despite the fact most people like their own representatives. Now they want to saddle us with a constitutional convention that will be controlled by the same people who bring us the New York State Legislature. If people vote for that pig in a poke they ought to have their heads examined. Politicians tend to speak with forked tongues and that’s a big problem. Take Governor Andrew Cuomo, who always insists that he wants to reform the system. Now he is surrounded by aides, including his so-called best friends, who are under investigation. He claims to be a Democrat but insiders have known for years that he is very comfortable with having Republicans in control of the State Senate. This year he knows he’ll face a primary if he continues to do that so there are signs that his duplicity in this area will have to be modified. What are you going to do when a guy says one thing and does another? There is so much rigging in our state system that it will take more like Preet Bharara to put Humpty back together again. Not surprisingly, the big fish pols, including Hillary Clinton, seem disinclined to reappoint him as prosecutor. I am going to vote for Hillary Clinton as the lesser of two evils. The whole thing makes me queasy.* * Contributing to political nonprofits through a law firm or other entity allows donors to hide their identities, and the Legislature that ought to be closing such loopholes as quickly as lawyers find them instead leaves them gaping for years, the Times Union writes.
    Why New Yorkers Don't Vote, Sucking Power Out of Neighborhoods, Walmartization of Campaigns

    What Do You Do When Facing 7 Federal Investigations Leave Town
    De Blasio would rather be on vacation than deal with New York(NYP)

    Maybe Mayor de Blasio should take even more vacations …(NYP Ed)

    Crown Heights Developer Generated Gentrification is Replacing the the Community That Blew Up 25 Years Ago  
    A quarter-century after Crown Heights riots, the Brooklyn neighborhood battles to hold onto its territory (NYDN) Crown Heights today is not defined by racial tensions between blacks and Hasidic Jews. Today it is seen as the ground zero of gentrification, which is bringing into the area a steady influx of upwardly mobile whites from all over the world. Real estate developers and apartment building owners see these newcomers as growing bank accounts. And the rich get richer as the poor and the unemployed (mostly blacks) are forced to leave long-time dwellings for cheaper residences, often outside the city.  Look along Franklin Ave. just west of the Hasidic section, which is centered at Kingston Ave. and Eastern Parkway, the headquarters of the Chabad-LubMitch movement. See the cafés and hipster eateries there. Sometimes it's hard to find a black face among those on Franklin Ave. these days, except for the lowest-wage workers in the businesses there. And even they worry that they soon will be forced to leave the area. To those of us who see rapid gentrification as an affront to the history and character of our neighborhoods, Crown Heights is a historical template and a cautionary tale. Its earliest years, some two centuries ago, reflect the black presence in America and it foreshadowed the gentrification we are experiencing now. It was not a comfortable story for black people, and the future doesn't look too comfortable either.  Thus we witnessed our first explosion of Brooklyn gentrification, way before the term came into use. As the whites came in, the blacks left. The portion of African Americans in Brooklyn dropped from one-third to 1% by 1900. This story of early Crown Heights should be scary to struggling black New Yorkers today. History seems to be repeating itself. Following the Great Migration of blacks from the South and immigration from the Caribbean, the black population of Brooklyn zoomed back up to one-third again, which it is currently. Now the question is: Will blacks all but disappear again, as they did 100 years ago?  At this rate, it's not unlikely. Shamefully, rather than examining the past and trying to learn, our leaders are showing stunning disregard for our history and its relics. They have handed the future of the city over to developers.   By far the loudest voice in Crown Heights against developers is Alicia Boyd. She's the founder of a group called the Movement to Protect the People. Boyd shows up at Community Board 9 meetings and rails against construction of new apartment buildings, while she alleges elected officials are receiving money from builders. It's time to "kick their asses out of office," she has said of black elected officials in Brooklyn. On at least one occasion, community board administrators called police, who handcuffed and arrested her.  Harboring anger also is Evelyn Tully Costa, who said she believes Mayor Bill de Blasio should be challenged face to face by every righteous citizen who runs into him. He's in cahoots with the developers, she believes, and she contends the best weapon against the rash of construction and displacement is the designation of more historic districts and buildings.
    That could save precious properties from bulldozers and greedy landlords.  Costa, founder of Crown Heights South Association, has been aiming her outrage lately at the city's plans for a century-old former armory on Bedford Ave. The city has said it would let developers known as Bedford Courts take over the structure and build luxury units. Half of the approximately 300 units would be "affordable," and of those 99 would rent within the price range of a family of three that earns $85,400 a year. Just 67 apartments would be affordable to households earning less than $40,000.  That's just another way of telling current Crown Heights residents to get the heck out of the neighborhood, Costa and others say. The median income for all households in Crown Heights South, where the armory is located, is under $42,000.

    Where Do the People Go After They are Push Out of Their Homes by Gentrification?

    Luxury hotel now doubles as city homeless shelter(NYP)
    Cops: De Blasio to blame for homeless encampment(NYP)A homeless couple has been living for months outside a vacant, city-owned building in Upper Manhattan — ​with one cop “explicitly” blaming the problem on Mayor de Blasio, neighbors told The Post on Tuesday.​A finance worker who lives around the corner said he’s called 311 and the NYPD at least 20 times during the past year, and had three “lengthy conversations” with desk officers at the 28th Precinct who said there was nothing they could do. “One of them explicitly blamed Mayor de Blasio, saying something along the lines of, ‘Look who our boss is and the directives we’re getting from the top,’” said the 41-year-old married father of two.



    Why is the AG Going After A Corrupt Charity First Exposed in 2010? Ruben Wills Del

    Authorities to probe charity tied to Assemblywoman Cook(NYP) New York’s attorney general is investigating a charity tied to Queens Assemblywoman Vivian Cook, The Post has learned.  The AG’s Office dispatched a team of investigators last week to a parking lot owned by the Rockaway Boulevard Local Development Corp., a source familiar with the investigation told The Post. “I don’t know nothing about the attorney general,” Cook told The Post last week. The probe comes a week after The Post revealed that the defunct charity, founded by Cook in 1979, is collecting thousands from the rental of the once-empty and derelict lot — purchased with millions in public funds — to construction companies for vehicle storage. Who is pocketing the rental money remains a mystery.
    Cook’s charity shut down in 2010 after The Post exposed its wasteful spending.

    Bharara Send Silver to Jail Now

    Preet Bharara wants Sheldon Silver to go straight to jail (NYP) Convicted former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should go straight to jail, Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara argued in a letter to a federal judge.  The filing late Wednesday by Bharara’s prosecutors cited an appeals court’s action hours earlier in upholding the punishment to one of Silver’s corrupt* Convicted former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should go straight to jail, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara argued in a letter to a federal judge citing an appeals court ruling in the case of former Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, the Post reports.
    Sheldon Silver's $80K Yearly Pension Could Be Up For Grabs By Feds(DNAINFO)
    A new court ruling could stop corrupt New York politicians from keeping their pensions.

    Now the Gov Wants to Subsidized 421-A Workers to Push Gentrification?
    De Blasio: Subsidized wages for construction workers are fine — if it doesn’t cost city (NYP) Mayor de Blasio said he’s fine with the state subsidizing higher wages for construction workers who build affordable housing in the five boroughs – as long as it doesn’t impact the city’s bottom line. Asked about a report in the New York Times that Gov. Cuomo was considering reviving a suspended real estate tax break program with a proposal that would see tens of millions of state tax dollars going to ensuring union-level wages, de Blasio said “God bless ’em.” “If that’s what the state thinks is the right thing to do with state money, of course we can work with that,” he said at an unrelated press conference on parks in The Bronx. “What’s not acceptable to us is to add to the cost of the city’s affordable housing program, which is already stretched very thin and trying to reach half a million people.”* De Blasio cautiously supports affordable housing tax break for developers — as long as it doesn’t drive up costs(NYDN) * In Attempt to Convince Lawmakers to Vote for Affordable Housing Project, Mayor Appears to Anger Queens Councilman(NY1) * Allies of Bronx Borough President Wonder if Politics Played Role in Lack of Funding for Orchard Beach Pavilion Repairs(NY1)
    * De Blasio, who has made creating more affordable housing a priority, has faced fierce community opposition on specific projects, slowing his plans to build more units as a larger push to keep New York affordable for working class people, The Wall Street Journal writes * Critics rip Cuomo plan that combines tax and wage subsidies (NYDN) * A proposal to revive the lucrative 421-a affordable housing tax credit for developers by providing government wage subsidies for the workers they hire is being blasted by business groups, nonprofit providers and economic experts, the Daily News reports. * Cuomo wants the government to pay union workers higher wages (NYP) * Why Cuomo wants you to pay unions to build luxury housing (NYP) What Andrew Cuomo did this month was like a parody of a black-and-white 1940s movie about beefing kids in the alley. Bully No. 1 has a baseball bat: “Why I oughta smash your head in!” Bully No. 2 has a knife: “I’m gonna slice you up good.” It’s a standoff, until along comes Andrew, kindly and whistling, the grown-up, the soothing Bing Crosby character. “What seems to be the trouble, boys?” says Bing Cuomo. The two bullies explain themselves. “He owes me money!” “No, he owes me money!” And that’s when you happen into the picture. Yes you, the entirely innocent New York taxpayer, the random citizen who happens to be walking by.
    Real Estate Developers, Tax Breakes 421-a and Zoning

    Cuomo Wants to Use Government Money to Revive Gentrification Causing 421-a
    Cost of a good intention on 421-a fix (NYDN) At the urging of construction unions, the governor smashed the renewal of a property tax break, called 421-a, that is crucial to building housing, including affordable units, in the city.  By demanding a so-called prevailing wage rate, Cuomo threw the economics entirely out of whack. He prevailed on the state Legislature to bake into law an unusual mandate for the Real Estate Board of New York, representing developers, and the construction unions to work out wage rates both could live with. Without such an agreement, the law fated 421-a to die.  The two sides failed to reach a deal, and no wonder: financing higher wages on top of the affordable housing would bust the developers’ tight budgets, rendering many projects unbuildable. To break a months-long logjam, Cuomo now looks to dedicate potentially tens of millions of dollars of state taxpayers’ money to achieve private sector wage hikes that are acceptable to the unions.He pledges to kick in $15 an hour on wages of up to $65 for workers on large rental towers in Manhattan south of 96th St. and $50 on the booming Brooklyn-Queens waterfront.
    At a time when New York desperately needs housing, affordable housing most of all, the governor has boosted the cost and put the taxpayer on the hook.


    The Courts Took Away Corrupt Pols Pension Which Albany Would Not Do 
    Court’s ruling on corrupt NY pols’ pensions is long overdue (NYP)  Corrupt New York pols who dream of retiring with fat, taxpayer-provided pensions just took a big hit in court.  Score one for justice and common sense. On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 2d US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that pensions of convicted lawmakers can be seized — even though the state Constitution prevents those egg nests from being “diminished or impaired.” US Attorney Preet Bharara has been targeting the retirement pay of legislators he’s convicted, rightly calling it a “galling injustice” that crooked pols continue to collect cushy pensions until “their dying day.” The two corrupt former legislative leaders, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, are in line for $80,000 and $96,000 respectively. But the judges said disgraced former Assemblyman Eric Stevenson must surrender the $22,000 he paid into the system because the state Constitution is “pre-empted” by federal law, which allows “forfeiture” of property derived from a crime “irrespective of any provision of State law.” In 2011, Albany stripped newly elected legislators of their pensions if convicted. But they couldn’t touch those already in office, like Silver and Skelos, because of the state Constitution. This year, after much kicking and screaming, the Legislature OK’d a constitutional amendment to allow the pensions of corrupt veteran pols to be seized retroactively. But it wouldn’t take effect for at least several years. Which makes the 2d Circuit’s ruling all that more important. Crooked pols have long rested easy knowing they had a taxpayer-funded cushion to fall back on if they got caught. That cushion was just yanked from under them.*
    * A federal Court of Appeals ruled that disgraced former Assemblyman Eric Stevenson’s pension contributions are available to the feds as they seek to recoup $22,000 in ill-gotten gains, the Times Union reports.

    An Amego Makes A Comeback

    1199 Close to the Mayor Pushed the Rivington Deed Lifting
    Emails and texts show 1199 SEIU helped a for-profit company build relationships with the de Blasio administration as it persuaded the city to modify deed restrictions on a nonprofit health facility in the Lower East Side, The Wall Street Journal reports  Newly Released Documents Underscore Influence of Health-Care Union (WSJ) * While many New Yorkers are upset with the way de Blasio runs the city, emails made public by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer show that union bosses are the ones really calling the shots in City Hall, the Post writes.
    Smoking-gun evidence that union bosses run New York (NYP Ed) Many New Yorkers don’t like how Mayor de Blasio runs the city — but he’s not really the one calling the shots: Unions are. That became crystal clear from e-mails and documents City Comptroller Scott Stringer released this week linked to the city’s decision to lift deed restrictions from the Rivington House nursing home. When a top de Blasio staffer asked “how critical” the decision was, the reply from an aide, Sarah Samis, was telling: “Very critical b/c it involves 1199 jobs and they want this done,” said the e-mail, in a reference to the health-care workers union, 1199SEIU.

    As New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration weighed whether to remove deed restrictions at a Manhattan nursing home—a matter now under state and federal investigation—a top economic development aide asked “how critical is this? “Very critical b/c it involves 1199 jobs and they want this done,” wrote Sarah Samis, an aide to First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris, in an email, referring to 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. Newly released emails, text messages and other documents show 1199, the nation’s largest health-care union and one of the most powerful in New York City, played an integral role helping the Allure Group, a for-profit nursing care provider, build relationships with Mr. de Blasio’s administration as the firm successfully persuaded the city to modify the deed restrictions on Rivington House.  The deed change led Allure to sell Rivington House, located on the Lower East Side, for what appears to be a $72 million profit to developers who plan to build luxury housing, prompting several investigations. The union wanted Allure to operate Rivington as a for-profit nursing home, saving the jobs of some members, according to emails. The emails and other documents, which were produced as part of the city comptroller’s investigation into the Rivington House deed change, underscored the outsize influence 1199 has in Mr. de Blasio’s administration and the degree to which city officials assess the union’s interests when making policy decisions. The union was the only major organized labor group to endorse Mr. de Blasio’s 2013 bid for the Democratic mayoral nomination. The union was one of the two largest contributors to the Campaign for One New York, a now-disbanded political nonprofit supporting the mayor. The nonprofit received $500,000 from 1199, records show.  A number of Mr. de Blasio’s top aides once worked for the union and one of his closest friends, Patrick Gaspard, formerly served the union’s political director. “They are very influential,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, a Manhattan Democrat who once worked there. “There has been a weakening of the unions on the national level, but unions in New York remain strong…and 1199 is among them.” The union has long held considerable power in New York politics, with a member-mobilization operation and a large political-action committee to contribute to candidates during election years. Jennifer Cunningham, a former political director at the union, is credited with helping resuscitate the political career of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo after he lost his first bid for governor in 2002. The union helped fund Mr. Cuomo’s publicity campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The union strategized with Mr. de Blasio in connection with the sale of Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn. The mayor initially promised to keep healthcare on the site but later backed a plan by Fortis Property Group, a real-estate company, to develop it into high-rise towers with some health-care services. Neighborhood activists tried to block Fortis because other bidders were offering more health-care services. The union received a subpoena in connection with a federal probe into the closure of the hospital and the property’s sale, a person familiar with the matter said.  In the effort to lift the deed restrictions at Rivington House, Joel Landau, an executive at the Allure Group, often talked to 1199’s then-political director Kevin Finnegan, an ally of Mr. de Blasio, in hopes of getting the union’s help to influence the city, according to the emails and text messages. “Heard the mayor stood you up today,” Mr. Landau wrote in a text to Mr. Finnegan.  “He showed up late as usual,” Mr. Finnegan replied. In one text from October 2014, Mr. Landau praised Mr. Finnegan’s success advancing the union’s interests in connection with the Brooklyn hospital sale. In a December 2014 email, Emma Wolfe, the mayor’s top political aide who once worked for the union, wrote that officials at 1199 were upset and “urgently” requesting that the city help Mr. Landau on Rivington House.   A September 2014 memo prepared by city aides on Rivington included a chart comparing the interests of various stakeholders affected by the deed change. The union was one of four groups represented in the chart.
    Officials at the local community board on the Lower East Side also appeared aware of the sway that the union held with the mayor’s administration. The union is “very close” to the mayor and that is an “understatement,” wrote Susan Stetzer, district manager of Community Board 3, in an email. In an interview, Ms. Stetzer said the community board’s concern was transparency, and the community’s interests had been left out of the discussion.  * Investigators have obtained the emails of Ross Offinger, a de Blasio fundraiser who connected him to wealthy donors but is now under scrutiny as part of a federal and state investigation examining the mayor’s fundraising activities, The Wall Street Journal reports

    Putting Students First is Always Printed on Pols Campaign Lit But Not A Reality Once Elected
    Take the teachers union. It makes sure incompetent teachers can’t be fired and blocks kids from attending better-performing non-union charter schools. (Who can forget when City Council members actually read off a teachers-union cue card at a public hearing some years ago?) In Albany, Gov. Cuomo repeatedly bows to union demands — from holding up a tax credit needed for low- and middle-income housing to pushing his $15 minimum wage. The Legislature, too, takes orders from the unions. Just this week, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie asked Cuomo not to back a plan to let city charters use public funds for pre-K without city oversight. Why do pols cede power to the labor bosses? Because the bosses control big blocks of votes — and donate handsomely to the pols’ causes. De Blasio’s Campaign for One New York got $500,000 from 1199. Surely the union expected something in return.* De Blasio should rethink his city schools better test scores victory lap via * More happy talk on the city’s worst schools (NYP)
    3.0 de Blasio Details of UFT Pact 5

    Federal Investigation Upstate Updates

     In court filings, attorneys for G. Steven Pigeon, a Buffalo political operative indicted on nine counts of bribery and extortion, argue the case should be dismissed because evidence was illegally collected during a 2015 raid on his home, The Buffalo News reports.  * COR Development, a firm reportedly at the center of a federal investigation involving Cuomo development projects, is suing Todd Howe, a former lobbyist who is part of the probe, over an $85,000 loan the company says it made Howe, The Syracuse Post-Standard reports. * * In the ongoing court battle over “pay to play” allegations by a Cleveland developer, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is shaking up his legal defense team, replacing one big name with another, apparently to avoid a conflict of interest, The Buffalo News reports.

    Ferrer Revenge Kicks Ass of the Ass Kisser Green Plotter Running for the Senate
    Fernando Ferrer delivers payback for 2001 attack fliers(NYP)  Fernando Ferrer is delivering payback to a state Senate candidate who he believes wronged him 15 years ago by distributing a campaign flier that included a New York Post editorial cartoon of Ferrer kissing Al Sharpton’s butt.  Micha Lasher, who is running to represent upper Manhattan, is believed to have had a role in producing the flier when he was a young staffer in 2001 for Mark Green, who was battling Ferrer for the Democratic mayoral nomination.On Wednesday, Ferrer, the former Bronx borough president, will endorse Marisol Alcantara for the seat, which is being vacated by Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who won the Democratic primary to succeed Rep. Charles Rangel in Congress.  A campaign aide to Green, who lost to Mike Bloomberg in the general election, said Ferrer’s decision to weigh into a local race is clearly payback. “All politics is personal. Politicians have long memories. Ferrer doesn’t get involved in a lot of local races,” the source said.*

    Espaillat's Chosen Successor Gets Backing That Reopens Old Political (DNAINFO)
    WoundsFernando Ferrer backed Espaillat's chosen candidate after a personal history with opponent Micah Lasher.

    Daily News Calls It Bizarro World That New Housing Causes Gentrification Displacement . . . The Paper Should Interview the Long Term Residents of Crown Heights About the Effects of New Construction

    Yes in their backyards: Affordable housing now (NYDN) Construction of affordable housing faces doom in New York at the hands of the very City Council that cries how desperately needed it is.  The vote confirmed that a key component of Mayor de Blasio’s drive to spur affordable housing is in deep trouble. While the plan is widely lauded, Council members balk at construction in their communities. The committee vote killed a project slated for Inwood, which is represented by Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, usually a loyal de Blasio ally. Rodriguez bowed to an uproar by constituents who are convinced — in a Bizarro World interpretation of the laws of supply and demand — that new apartments would hasten displacement of longtime tenants. By Council custom, fellow members defer to the desire of their local colleague. So, down went the development. Message received: Each Council member has veto power over new construction, rendering the entire Council captive to anti-development agitators while depriving places to live to New Yorkers hungry for housing.

    Daily News Dump Gibson As Public Safety Chair for Dangerous Driving NYPD Cover-Up 

    Ticket outta there: Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson should fall from public safety chair (NYDN Ed) Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson let stand a report that she called a precinct commander to quash a ticket for dangerous driving — in string-pulling that demonstrates unfitness to continue as chair of the City Council Public Safety Committee. Officer Michele Hernandez says she pulled Gibson over after spotting her talking on the phone behind the wheel in 2014, a scant three months into Gibson’s term.  Gibson faced a fine of up to $200 and five license points. But, unlike typical New Yorkers, she had the pull to dodge accountability, Hernandez revealed in a lawsuit that accuses the NYPD of retaliating against her for failing to meet summons quotas.  The NYPD denies such quotas exist but has said nothing to dispute its officer’s account of the Gibson encounter. Hernandez says Gibson used the cellphone to call a precinct commander , sparking an order to nix the ticket. Gibson even put Hernandez on the phone with him to make sure she got the message. Asked for comment by The News, Gibson refused the chance to call the cop’s account false. She said that she “does not recall” any such incident, but “always takes very seriously and complies with all of our traffic laws.” Amnesia sets in with disclosure of a double dereliction. Dereliction one: Gibson anointed herself above the law by virtue of her position and special access to NYPD brass, demanding special treatment unavailable to her constituents. Dereliction two: Driving while speaking on a phone is not just a violation of state law; it is downright deadly, increasing fourfold the chances of a crash. Gibson well knew how deadly, because just two weeks prior to her NYPD run-in she had presided over a City Council hearing on Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to reduce traffic fatalities. Her opening remarks spoke of safety’s urgency: “ We must do more to ensure that these horrific accidents no longer happen across our streets.” Family members of pedestrian crash victims then tearfully recounted their loved ones’ horrifying last moments. Said the uncle of a child mowed down by a cabbie: “There’s no moral difference between driving drunk and driving in an incompetent manner for another reason, whether you’re smoking pot, using a cell phone, road rage, impatience or turning into a crosswalk without looking.” Gibson might not recall that lacerating message, however. She had left the Council chambers. Now, she should leave her committee chair.

    Cuomo Bites Back Hard

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his aides have developed a reputation for responding with searing personal attacks when criticized by those who disagree with his policies, which has left even political veterans jarred, The Wall Street Journal reports.

    NYT Crime in the Parks Up Don't Worry . . . 
    The Times writes that New Yorkers should not be worried about an analysis showing crime has increased in parks, and that after years of increasing safety, New Yorkers have rediscovered the ability to be shocked by crime, not numbed by it.  

    Spinning Education Numbers is the New Normal 
    The Post writes that the New York City schools’ relaxed promotion policy has led to thousands of students being moved up even when they should have passed summer classes or repeated a grade.*
    De Blasio should rethink his city schools better test scores victory lap (NYP Ed) Mayor de Blasio might want to rethink the wisdom of that victory lap he took after state-test scores showed slight improvements for the city’s public-schoolkids. Especially since Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa on Wednesday dumped a bucket of ice water on his boasts of “progress,” noting that scores this year couldn’t be compared to those from last year because the testing changed so markedly. “The whole idea that we put the asterisk there . . . is that we really didn’t want people taking a victory lap,” she said. Ouch.

    The NYP Blames the Homeless Not the Loss Of Hundreds of Thousands Affordable Housing to Gentrification and Airbnb

    Stuck-in-the-past Bill de Blasio still thinks more housing will end homelessness (NYP) Like most left-wing Democrats, Mayor de Blasio remains hopelessly mired in the past, declaring — as he did again just last week — that “the solution to homelessness” is more housing. De Blasio touted new figures he says show the success of the city’s programs — including emergency rental assistance and curbing evictions — in moving the homeless to permanent housing. Except for one missing detail: There are now more homeless families living in city shelters than ever before. But the reasons for this are not always strictly economic. In some cases, the same kind of substance-abuse and mental illness that leads to street homelessness among single men are at play.Also, some families claim homelessness because they know by law they are guaranteed an automatic right to shelter and will be given preferred access to public housing.*
    The New York City Planning Commission declined to impose a zoning plank requiring affordable housing on a boutique condo proposed in Manhattan, and the borough president filed a letter objecting, which will send the matter to the Council, the Times reports.

    Developer Wants to Test Mayor's Inclusionary Zoning in Inwood, Councilman Opposes Project (NY1) * City Council Votes Against Sherman Plaza Development in Inwood, Which Would Have Been the First to Use New Affordable Housing Regulations (NY1) *

    The New York City Council voted against an apartment project in Inwood, which would have been the first private development proposed under de Blasio’s new zoning rules that require affordable units in any project that needs city approval, the Daily News reports.

    The Times Union writes that most state lawmakers running for re-election would say they oppose a massive pay hike for themselves, and if they get one, there’s nothing they could do about it, but that’s not being entirely honest.

    The Daily News writes that the council’s vote against an Inwood project shows a key component of de Blasio’s drive to spur affordable housing is in deep trouble, and that the speaker should disabuse lawmakers of the idea that they have veto power over new construction.


    Sign A Petition to Stop Pay Raises to Lawmakers Until They Pass an Ethics Bill

    Post reader starts petition to stop lawmakers’ 47 percent raise (NYP) A Post reader, spurred to action by a report about state lawmakers possibly getting a 47 percent raise, has started an online petition opposing the hike that has drawn more than 7,000 signatures in less than a week.

    Pay Raises for His Staff to Keep Them From Walking? Keep Them Quiet?
    COOKING UP SOME CONTROVERSY! Mayor de Blasio dishes out $2M in raises to staff — including his chef — as poll numbers keep plummeting amid scandals (NYDN)
    De Blasio helps cronies but slashes pay for Bloomberg hires (NYP) *

    Why City Hall staffers are getting big pay raises (NYP) The Mayor’s Office essentially admits the problem: The payouts are needed to “retain skilled staff,” it argues. But maybe the sums wouldn’t need to be as much if staffers better liked working for this administration.Start with the fact that Hizzoner is facing as many as seven different investigations into his team’s actions, including the Rivington nursing-home flap and his fund-raising for state Senate races. Then there are the reports of the mayor humiliating and upbraiding staffers at meetings and in “teachable moments.” And, of course, his ailing poll numbers and the (well-deserved) criticism of his mayoralty from so many voices (like ours). Refugees include Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, Press Secretary Karen Hinton and his short-lived social-media director. Environmental Commissioner Emily Lloyd, Sustainability Director Nilda Mesa and counsel Maya Wiley also gave notice.

    de Blasio's Public School Report Card Grade F and Lying About Charter Success

    Bill can’t handle the truth: De Blasio's continued dismissal of charterschool achievement  (NYDN Ed) Someone smart in City Hall (no joking, now) would do Mayor de Blasio a favor with a frank talk about embarrassing himself. For two days running, Wednesday and Thursday, the mayor looked downright foolish in trying to belittle the gains achieved by charter school students on the latest English and math standardized tests. Charter kids, who make up one-tenth of the city’s public school enrollment, markedly outpaced children enrolled in traditional district schools. On the math test, district proficiency rose from 35% to 36% (a one-point rise), while charters moved from 44% to 49% (a five-point gain). “It’s not a state secret that some substantial piece of that is based on charters that focus on test prep. And if that’s where they put a lot of their time and energy, of course it could yield better test scores. But we don’t think that's good educational policy. So we’re going to do it the way that we believe is right for our children.”
    Mayor de Blasio’s lame excuses for charter schools’ success  (NYP) harters did better, de Blasio said, only because they focus on “test-prep.” He also (falsely) claimed charters have a “history” of “excluding” lower-performing kids. The mayor insisted his approach is outperforming charters in terms of “actually teaching kids.” And that union-run schools are “doing better” — despite their lower scores. (The proof? There isn’t any.)  Note the hypocrisy: Even as he downplayed the value of test scores at charters, he emphasized it for district schools. The results “represent important progress” and “real improvements,” he said, noting an eight-point jump in the percentage of English-proficient kids at the districts, and a one-point uptick in math.
    De Blasio fires back at Success Academy boss over school's rising test scores, claims they're based on ineffective 'prep-heavy' models (NYDN)
    De Blasio's agreement with teachers and principals doesn't ax enough bad educators 'to help kids' (NYDN)

    Letter to Cuomo Reveals State Senate’s Plan to Help Success Academy   (NYT) In the letter, John J. Flanagan, the Senate majority leader, urged the governor to do something about the “regulatory burden imposed” by the city’s universal pre-K program.

    Fariña must tell judge why computer failed special-education students (NYP) D epartment of Education Chancellor Carmen Fariña will have to tell a judge why the city’s school system has failed special-education students, a new ruling says.  Manhattan Judge Lynn Kotler ordered the special tribunal in response to a suit filed by Public Advocate ­Letitia James in February. James had found that a $130 million computer program that monitors the city’s 200,000 special-education students is “incapable of providing citywide data.” As a result, disabled students have missed out on services and the city has had to pay $38 million in overtime, according to James’ lawsuit.  Fariña has resisted an inquiry into the $130 million program, known as the Special Education Student Information System, or SESIS.

    de Blasio to "Take A Look At" Another City Deal With the Rivington Nursing Home $72 Million Owners 

    De Blasio will take a ‘hard look’ at Rivington firm’s newdeal (NYP) Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday the city is re-examining a deal that gave development rights for a Brooklyn armory to the company that hushed up its purchase of the Rivington House nursing home earlier this year. “We’re going to take a very hard look at that situation — the contract has not been finalized,” the mayor said at an unrelated press conference on the Upper West Side. “I think what they did was inappropriate,” he added. “And I think anyone who seeks to do business with the city of New York and misleads us needs to know that there will be consequences.” Slate Property Group won the right to convert the Bedford Union armory in Crown Heights into 330 apartments just before it quietly clinched the nursing-home purchase in February. The property was sold over community objections after the city lifted a deed restriction. That sale is now under investigation. Just two days ago, the mayor’s own Economic Development Corporation defended Slate’s role at the armory, saying the firm won the contract fairly. *De Blasio reconsiders if 'inappropriate' Rivington House developer should keep city-backed Brooklyn project (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio said he'll take a "hard look" at whether a developer implicated in the Rivington House scandal should get to keep a big city-backed project in Brooklyn. Slate Property Group was tapped by the city to develop the Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights — but de Blasio said Wednesday he's reconsidering the deal. "We're going to take a very hard look at that situation. That contract has not been finalized," he said. Slate bought Rivington House, a former Lower East Side nursing home, to turn it into luxury condos — and investigators found they plotted with the seller to keep the plan secret until the city had lifted a deed restriction requiring the property to be used for health care. "I think what they did was inappropriate," de Blasio said. "Anyone who seeks to do business with the city of New York who seeks to mislead us needs to know there will be consequences. So we'll take a hard look at that situation." Activist groups have called on the city to yank the armory project from Slate. As the Daily News reported, they're also asking Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, whose foundation is helping to pay for a rec center at the site, to drop out.

    Schumer Hillary Not Clear on Political Corruption Fighter Bharara's Future 
    Chuck Schumer says Preet Bharara is doing a great job,but won’t reveal if he wants the prosecutor back under next President (NYDN) *
    Time For Preet to Clear His Plate (Manhattan Institute) The multiplying investigations of the de Blasio administration need resolution.
    Hillary Clinton won’t commit to reappointing U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (NYDN) b Clinton during an appearance before the Daily News Editorial Board on Saturday would not commit to re-appointing Bharara should she win  "I will take all that into account if I'm lucky enough to be elected President," Clinton said when asked about Bharara's performance in cracking down on government corruption. "I obviously want the very best people to be U.S. attorneys," she said. "I want them to give no favor to anybody. If there are cases to be investigated and made, they should do it." But she quickly added that "I'm not going to comment on any particular personnel decision."
    Timeline On the Village Nursing Home Investigation

    How the Rivington Nursing Home Owners Played the State's Economic Development Corp for Another Development
    City urged to scuttle project over developer’s ties to nursing home scandal (NYP) The city should scuttle a project on publicly owned land in Crown Heights because one of the developers was involved in the Lower East Side nursing-home fiasco, community advocates said Monday Groups including New York Communities for Change and the Crown Heights Tenant Union plan a protest Wednesday to try to block the Slate Property Group. Slate bought the Rivington House nursing home for $116 million in February with plans to turn it into luxury housing — but only after the seller got the city to remove a deed restriction in place for decades. The deal has embroiled Mayor de Blasio in a storm of criticism. Slate founder Matt Nussbaum warned company officials in a May 2015 e-mail to keep silent until the restriction was removed and then “we can do whatever we want. Seven months later, the city’s Economic Development Corp. awarded Slate and BFC Partners a lease to develop the building. “Slate has proven they cannot be trusted — they’re a deceitful developer,” said Renata Pumerol, a spokeswoman for NYCC, whose protest was first reported by Crain’s.

    When Will the Media and Pols Blame Airbnb and Gentrification for Loss of Affordable Housing and Increase In Homelessness? 
    Bill’s losing battle: Accounting for record numbers of homeless families (NYDN) On Sunday, a record 12,750 families, including 23,207 children, spent the night in a city-sponsored hotel or shelter. So did an additional 2,378 couples, also an all-time-high number. “The usual summer increase,” a Department of Homeless Services spokesperson shrugged, alluding to an annual rush of parents to seek shelter in between school years to minimize further disrupting their children’s lives. Mayor de Blasio is spending an astounding $1.7 billion this year to house and aid the homeless, filling what he describes as an economic gulf between how much money poor New Yorkers make and rent they must pay to stay housed. Some of that money pays for legal services designed to forestall evictions; by the city’s reckoning this has prevented a still worse surge into shelter.

    We Will Have to Wait for the Indictments to Find Out About the Real Deal to Close LICH

    Groundhog Day: Rivington Nursing Home, Special Agent Cover-Up At City Hall Continues
    Piercing the fog of de Blasio’s cover ups (NYP)Mayor de Blasio’s damage-control efforts in two separate scandals took heavy hits last week. What’s next? Start with the removal of deed restrictions on that Rivington Street property — a mess de Blasio insists he first learned of when the scandal hit the headlines in March. Oops: Politico reports that a trove of e-mails and documents showing the push to lift the restrictions started in early 2014. The pressure came from powerhouse union 1199, and all the mayor’s top aides were involved.  Documents show that throughout 2014 and 2015, top City Hall aides — Deputy Mayors Alicia Glen and Anthony Shorris, plus de Blasio chief of staff Emma Wolfe — were involved in talks on lifting the requirement that a nonprofit run the site. That much high-level attention — and 1199’s role — sure should’ve put the issue on the mayor’s radar. Meanwhile, the “agents of the city” gambit is falling apart. This, recall, is the excuse for shrouding Team de Blasio’s communications with key political consultants who also lobby city government: The mayor insists that when he’s asking these folks to help with his business, he has a right to keep the public in the dark about what’s said. Not so, says the Commission on Open Government — the state’s official transparency monitor. Its advisory opinion argues that, since the consultants got no city pay for this work, they’re not like agency staff whose communications are shielded. That finding will carry weight in court , so it’s likely that a judge will soon be forcing de Blasio to cough up the goods. Recent filings show payments of more than $2 million to the “agents of the city” from de Blasio’s pet nonprofits. And their ties to him also let the lobbyists earn big from private interests seeking favors from the city — lifting deed restrictions, for example. De Blasio World is one giant web of favors, cash and political cronyism — hidden by a fog of double-talk and lame excuses. Here’s hoping the army of prosecutors now on the case can pierce the fog and map it all out.

    One Brooklyn PAC is Brooklyn BP Adams One NY Slush Fund
    Feds probe Eric Adams’ non-profit over donor favor claims (NYP)A nonprofit created by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to advance his pet projects is being probed by both federal authorities and the city’s Department of Investigation, The Post has learned. The feds are scrutinizing the fund-raising of Adams’ One Brooklyn Fund, to see if it is being used to dish out pay-to-play favors, sources briefed on the matter said. One source said the investigation is “similar” to a probe by Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara into Mayor de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York nonprofit. Like CONY, One Brooklyn has solicited cash from entities under review by authorities and that have business before the city. The DOI is investigating whether Adams violated any city laws by routinely asking outside groups to cut checks directly to his nonprofit to rent space at Borough Hall, rather than have payments go into the city coffers, sources said. Those payments slip under the radar because city-affiliated organizations like One Brooklyn aren’t required to report donations and other types of revenue under $5,000 with the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board. Since its formation two years ago, One Brooklyn has reported $315,000 to $860,000 in donations, disclosure forms show. It has pulled in another $344,000 in City Council funds.

    Brooklyn BP Lobbyists Capalino and Another Slush Fund PAC
    Capalino Buying Silence 
    Airbnb Lobbyist's Firm Met 29 Times With Brooklyn Borough President, Staff (DNAINFO)  The city's top lobbyist met 29 times with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and his staff since he took office — and those chats made the politician a big believer in Airbnb. Adams became a cheerleader for the apartment-sharing website in 2015 after lobbyist James Capalino and his staff met with him and his staff, according to lobbying records. The borough president even lauded the tech firm in a June 4, 2015, keynote address he gave at the Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute's Brooklyn's most prominent politicians, including Public Advocate Letitia James and councilmembers Jumaane Williams, Brad Lander and Carlos Menchaca, have all publicly opposed Airbnb because of its negative effect on affordable housing."Building Brooklyn" conference.A 2015 report from New York Communities for Change and Real Affordability for All found that Brooklyn has eight of the city's top 20 neighborhoods for Airbnb. While the city's average rent increased 32 percent from 2002 to 2014, the average increase in the top Brooklyn Airbnb neighborhoods was 45 percent.Adams' praise came at a time when Airbnb had already been investigated by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and was facing scrutiny from local elected officials about the service's users skirting rental laws and occupancy taxes. Airbnb, which paid $150,000 to Capalino's firm in 2015 to lobby Adams and City Council members, also made a hefty donation to the Brooklyn borough president's nonprofit, the One Brooklyn Fund, according to disclosures made to the city's Conflicts of Interest Board. Adams met personally five times with Capalino's firm and two of those meetings were about Airbnb and had Airbnb representatives present, according to the borough president's office. Adams' staff met with Capalino's firm an additional time regarding Airbnb. For comparison, Mayor Bill de Blasio met with Capalino twice since taking office. Airbnb gave One Brooklyn's general fund a check for $32,000 on Aug. 20, 2015.Tom Cayler of the West Side Neighborhood Alliance, which opposes Airbnb, said he was disappointed to hear about its donation to the Brooklyn Borough President's office. "I'm shocked that as the borough president of Brooklyn that his first concern and commitment isn't to affordable housing for his constituents," Cayler said. "It's very clear to anyone dealing with housing issues that illegal hotels remove valuable housing stock from the market." One Brooklyn has received more than $900,000 in donations from more than 30 donors since it formed in 2014. Adams’ office said One Brooklyn was set up to solicit donations to pay for things such as his “International Day of Friendship" and his New Year's Eve "ball drop" in Coney Island. An advisory letter Adams' office obtained from the Conflicts of Interest Board said that he and his staff must make it clear that the One Brooklyn donor "will receive no special access to the Borough President or to the Office or preferential treatment as a result of the donation." Good government groups said One Brooklyn has similarities with the Campaign for One New York, the nonprofit formed by de Blasio to push his political agenda. "They raise money from people who do business with the city and the borough, which is a problem," said Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union. City records show Capalino has raised about $45,000 for de Blasio's re-election campaign. Capalino's firm also donated $10,000 to the Campaign for One New York. Other One Brooklyn donors were Brooklyn developer Two Trees Management's philanthropic arm the Walentas Foundation and film production firm Broadway Stages, which has drawn scrutiny over its donations to de Blasio's campaigns.* Judge stops short-term rentals in single-room occupancy hotel (NYP) * Upper West Side apartment building that rented rooms to tourists ordered to stop taking reservations (NYDN)

    As Airbnb Warehouse Apts Driving Up 

    Prices Media and Pols Support them

     A bill that would make advertising short-term rentals illegal is the latest example of New York officials trying to strangle the “sharing economy” when it should be embraced, since these companies satisfy a demand, the Cato Institute’s Matthew Feeney writes in the Post.* Airbnb and the Battle of Suitcase Alley  (NYT)  In New York and other cities with steep housing costs, a longstanding objection to home-sharing sites is that some listings remove units from the residential market.

    Lobbyist Howe Turns Federal Rat On Percoco and Cuomo
    Cuomo cronie spills for leniency deal in corruption probe (NYP) The corruption probe of Gov. Cuomo’s two longtime associates has taken a critical turn with Todd Howe, onetime lobbyist and longtime Cuomo family confidant, signing a “cooperation agreement’’ with US Attorney Preet Bharara, a source close to the investigation told The Post. The agreement promises Howe, whose ties to Cuomo go back three decades, “favorable treatment’’ and “leniency’’ in the event that he’s criminally charged, in exchange for full details of his lobbying activities on behalf of several major state contractors with senior Cuomo administration officials. Those officials include Joseph Percoco, Cuomo’s closest friend and top aide who is currently senior vice president at Madison Square Garden, the source said.
    Howe, who as a lobbyist had access to the highest levels of the Cuomo administration, and Percoco, who Cuomo has described as being like “my father’s third son,’’ were cut off from access to the administration after Bharara served a sweeping subpoena related to the activities of both men on the governor’s office in late April.  The subpoena, which was followed by a state attorney general’s raid on Howe’s Albany office — located at the SUNY’s Polytechnic Institute, which he once represented — and a federal raid on Percoco’s Westchester home, was part of Bharara’s ongoing probe of Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion project, contractors for which hired Howe and at various times paid Percoco and Percoco’s wife “consulting” fees.*Comptroller rips Cuomo’s jobs program for its ‘lowered goals(NYP)

    A New President Could End the Era of Bharara Corruption Fighting in NY
    There's a reason Preet Bharara may feel pressure to finish politician investigations (NYDN)With time possibly running out on crusading U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's term, many in New York's political and legal circles are bracing for a frenzy of activity as his office works to finish up ongoing cases into the Cuomo and de Blasio administrations before the next President takes office. "When a U.S. Attorney is about to leave office, there's a lot of pressure on the assistants to finalize cases and indictments and bring them to fruition," former federal prosecutor Bradley Simon said. "In this case, he's concerned about his legacy and he's going to want all unfinished business completed." Simon said there's always a concern the next U.S. attorney may not place the same emphasis on particular cases. "The existing U.S. attorney doesn't want to take chances or see all their hard work going out the window," he said. "Once there is an indictment, a new US attorney can't go and pull it."

    More SUNY Hospital Wasted $$$
    Struggling hospital spends thousands on lavish travel, dinners(NYP) Struggling SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn allowed a top “restructuring” consultant to bill the state for $83,000 in lavish travel, lodging and dining expenses, a scathing audit by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli reveals. The expenditures included pricey rooms at the Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side, a booze-infused “team dinner” at the Docks Oyster Bar in Midtown, and sticker-shock limo bills, the audit found. Baton Rouge, La.-based Pitts Management Associates was hired in 2011 to find ways to cut costs at the financially ailing state university-run hospital. But the consultants themselves were living large, with SUNY Downstate staffers approving eye-popping reimbursements for expenses, according to the audit of expenses from March through August 2014.

    So, Again Rivington Deed Change Whodunit? Shorris?, Capalino", Wolfe?  and Why? Politico $upport For Reelection
    City Hall mystery: Burning questions on the Rivington deed swap
     (NYDN) Two investigations into how the de Blasio administration enabled a real estate developer to reap a $72 million windfall on property once owned by the city have left unanswered the big questions: whodunit and why. Probes by the Department of Investigation and Controller Scott Stringer failed to identify who in City Hall gave a critical go-ahead that propelled the city bureaucracy into completing the transaction. Prime suspect: First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris. With the help of James Capalino, a lobbyist with close ties to Shorris, VillageCare asked the city to lift the deed restrictions in order to facilitate a sale.  The request triggered high-level City Hall deliberations. On July 25, 2014, Shorris discussed Rivington with Stacey Cumberbatch, then commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the agency that manages deed restrictions. That same day, Cumberbatch spoke to Capalino, an internal DCAS email indicates: “She told him that the City was reviewing options with regard to the property, and that DCAS will not remove the restriction at this time.” Stringer thus described the city as “putting VillageCare’s request on hold.” n September, the administration’s review, led by Shorris and Deputy Mayors Alicia Glen and Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, concluded the building should be targeted for affordable housing and retail. All the while, the union representing AIDS home workers sought to save their jobs, as well as $18 million owed by VillageCare to the union pension fund.

    A Dec. 2014 email to Shorris and Glen from top mayoral aide Emma Wolfe suggests that Shorris worked with 1199SEIU to identify a nursing home operator to take over the site. The union has the distinction of being de Blasio’s most generous backer — giving $500,000 to his Campaign for One New York.Despite the consensus that the building should be used for housing, Shorris told both the controller and DOI that he decided to keep Rivington House a health facility. He said he couldn’t recall if, when or how he informed DCAS of his decision. The City Hall line on what happened next holds that DCAS bureaucrats mobilized to lift the deed restrictions: 1) completely on their own, 2) despite Cumberbatch’s hold on doing so and 3) at the insistence of prospective buyer Joel Landau months before he owned the property.

    “We need to move this,” one DCAS bureaucrat emailed another on Nov. 18, 2014. The key unanswered question: On whose orders? With Landau blustering that he would bail on a deal wanted by 1199, a union official prevailed on Wolfe to lean on DCAS to fast-track key paperwork — which DCAS did, according to emails. DCAS also ordered an appraisal that valued the property at $64 million — even as the buyer’s private estimate put it at $90 million. Under the city’s 25% formula for pricing deed restrictions, Landau paid $16 million, millions less than he should have. He then sold the property to a condo developer for $116 million. Shorris has professed ignorance of everything that happened after his phantom decision that the building should be maintained for health care. He says he does not recall seeing any of Cumberbatch’s three memos that updated progress. So, again, whodunit and why?

    Silver Thinks Skelos McDonnell Will Keep Him Out of Jail Also
    Silver cites Skelos ruling in bid to remain free on bail (NYP);Sheldon Silver should start 12-year prison term at the end of the month, prosecutors argue (NYDN) * Sheldon Silver should start 12-year prison term at the end of the month, prosecutors argue (NYDN)

    Skelos to Stay Out of Jail Until Appeal Ruling Thanks to SC's McDonnell Ruling
    Dean Skelos will be able to stay out of prison pending his appeal (NYP) Disgraced former state Sen. Dean Skelos will be able to stay out of prison pending an appeal of his corruption convictions, a Manhattan judge ruled on Thursday. Skelos and son his son, Adam, are seeking a new trial thanks to a US Supreme Court ruling in June that overturned Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s conviction, also on corruption charges. Manhattan federal Judge Kimba Wood wrote that she’ll let the Long Island father and son stay out on bail because they’ve “shown that their appeals present a substantial questioning regarding whether this court’s jury instructions were erroneous in light of the United States Supreme Court’s holding in McDonnell v. United States.”

    Not One Elected Officials Has Demanded That de Blasio Release Lobbyists "Agents of the City" Emails
    Get the message, Bill? 'Agents of the city' emails must go public (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio can call his email buddies friends, he can call them advisers, he can call them Ishmael — but “agents of the city” exempt from public revelation of their correspondence, he can’t. So concludes Bob Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government and New York’s top authority on the Freedom of Information Law. Responding to a request for his opinion from lawyer Norman Siegel on behalf of the Village Voice, Freeman wrote Wednesday that de Blasio cannot “deny access to the communications” by claiming that unpaid outside advisers are the equivalent of City Hall aides. De Blasio’s former counsel concocted the “agents” fiction to block disclosure of emails to and from political consultants enmeshed in investigations of the mayor’s fundraising maneuvers. Which is why agents, going by the letters F-B-I, are rifling through City Hall emails and much more.