Monday, July 6, 2015

de Blasio Hit On Cuomo Opening of the 2016 Senate War As True News Reported Weeks Ago

WFP Left and Real Estate & Their Lobbyists (damaged by Bharara) Only 2Actors Still Standing 

 The Post’s Fred Dicker writes that state Democrats are campaigning to move Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the left by threatening a primary in 2018, with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner among the candidates being floated Cuomo pressured to move further left (NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s startling attack on Gov. Cuomo last week was the opening round in a new and coordinated effort to force Cuomo further to the political left — under threat of a primary challenge in 2018, senior Democrats have told The Post. “Round 2,” as some are calling it, begins later this year when de Blasio and other left-of-center Democrats and their union allies plan to challenge Cuomo to deliver on a bevy of longstanding “progressive’’ promises, including a higher minimum wage, the “Dream Act’’ for illegal immigrants, public financing of elections and — most significantly — the retaking of the state Senate by Democrats next year. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent public criticism of Gov. Andrew Cuomo is part of a “new and coordinated effort” to get the governor to move further to the political left, according toFred Dicker. * Assembly Republicans remain on margins under Heastie (Capital) * Hochul: Cuomo-de Blasio Rift ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ (YNN)

No Wonder Teachout's Name Being Floated Against Congressman Jeffries
 Cuomo-de Blasio feud could spark primaries against them both (NYDN) The Daily News’ Ken Lovett writes that de Blasio, too, is being threatened with a primary in 2017 amid a war of words with Cuomo, with city Comptroller Scott Stringer and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries among the challengers floated. There is also talk by the same people of a Brooklyn BP candidate against Eric Adams. 

Gambling Bid Open 

New York State’s consolation round of bidding for a casino license in the thinly populated Southern Tier, the impoverished region bordering Pennsylvania, got off to a lackluster start on Monday.

No Reaction to City's GOP Bottom Feeders Bosses That Sold Line to Smith?
A GOP Congressional Delegation Who Abandoned Ideology for Member Items * A GOP Senate Controlled By D'amato and His Real Estate Friends
Ex-GOP boss Isaacs nixed Malcolm Smith bribe(NYP) Quid pro quos are OK — but he draws the line at ­being bribed. former Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith enough support to put him over the top to become the GOP’s mayoral candidate in 2013 — in exchange for being hired to provide legit legal work. But Isaacs had a quick change of heart during a Feb. 14, 2013, sit-down in a parked car in Manhattan with an undercover posing as a crooked developer when Isaacs realized the offer was really a $30,000 bribe. Isaacs, testifying at Smith’s White Plains federal corruption trial, told jurors he is a personal-injury lawyer and “bells went off” when he realized the job was for “real estate work.” “He was bribing me because he didn’t care what I was going to do,” said Isaacs, who soon after began working with the feds to nail Smith.  * GOP State Sen. Martin Golden deleted a joke about same sex marriage from his Facebook page, and the Bay Ridge Democrats have called on him to apologize for sharing “a crass joke,” the Observer reports

Opening Battle of 2016 NY Civil War for Control of the State Senate de Blasio vs Cuomo
De Blasio, Gloves Off, Blasts Cuomo (YNN) New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an exclusive interviewwith NY1’s Errol Louis, blasting the governor he says is consumed with “transactional” politics. “What I found was he engaged in his own sense of strategies, his own political machinations and what we’ve often seen is if someone disagrees with him openly, some kind of revenge or vendetta follows,” de Blasio said of the governor. The broadsides against Cuomo are the culmination of an increasingly tenuous relationship between the state’s top elected official and the more liberal Democrat who was elected with a wave of progressive support in the city. In the interview, de Blasio knocked Cuomo for working to closely with Republican-led Senate at the expense of the Assembly, which is dominated by Democrats from New York City. * Giuliani advises Cuomo-bashing de Blasio to be ‘diplomatic’ (NYP) * Cuomo-De Blasio Feud Similar to Political Spats of Past (NY1) * Liberals ecstatic as de Blasio finds backbone (CrainsNY) Left-wing advocates cheered Mayor Bill de Blasio's rant against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but worry about sustaining the momentum. * Would a Governor Hochul serve three years, or seekreelection?  (Buffalo Chronicle)

de Blasio Strongest Support Comes From the Black Community NYP Floats Paterson 
David Paterson for mayor? (Page 6 NYP) David Paterson, the former governor and current head of the New York State Democratic Committee, is being urged to run for mayor. “He hasn’t said ‘no’ to anyone,” a friend of his told me. “He would beat the pants off [Bill] de Blasio.” Paterson confirmed “a number of people have mentioned it to me out of nowhere,” but he told me he isn’t interested. “I tell them, ‘Listen, I wake up in the morning and everything is not my fault, and I have a good day even before I get out of bed.’” If This Is The Best Cuomo Can Do...: In the battle between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, I f... 

More Evidence Flanagan is Skelos' Puppet 
Dean Skelos’ brother to helm former law firm of his state Senate successor (NYDN) The brother of indicted former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is set to helm the former law firm of the man Skelos helped install as his successor, the Daily News has learned. Nassau County state Appellate Court Judge Peter Skelos is retiring after 11 years on the bench Aug. 1 and is said to be joining Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana. GOP state Sen. John Flanagan had served “of counsel” to the firm for years.  He resigned from the practice shortly before he replaced Dean Skelos as majority leader in May. “Flanagan owes his entire leadership to Skelos, and it is clear that the connections run deep,” said one Democrat.
From Skelos to Flanagan, GOP and IDC Coalition

Lobbyists D'Amato Who Runs Senate and is Greenwood's Lobbyists, Wants A Cuomo de Blasio Pasta Summit at Rao
Senator Al D'Amato   Consider this my formal invitation to @Governor Andrew Cuomo and @Mayor Bill de Blasio to join me at Rao's for a pasta summit. All things can be worked out over meatballs and marinara! * 'PASTA SUMMIT': Ex-Sen. D'Amato offers to end Cuomo, de Blasio feud over dinner

NY1 Lobbyists Beyond Journalism and Media Control HQ Shadow Govt 
.D'Amato Proposes Pasta Summit to Ease Governor, Mayor Tensions (NY1)

NY1 Online: Wise Guys Discuss State Budget Outcomes * NY1 Online: Consultants Talk Democrat Losses NY1's Errol Louis discussed last week's losses for Democrats in the state Senate and House of Representatives with four political consultants: Republican consultants Kelly anne Conway and Bill O'Reilly and Democrats Lis Smith and George Arzt.  * NY1 Online: Consultants Corner On "Inside City Hall" 10/11/10 Republican consultants Susan Del Percio and Jonathan Greenspun and Democratic consultants Doug Forand and Scott Levinson discussed Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino's latest efforts at damage control on Monday's edition of "Inside City Hall." * NY1 Online: Longtime City Hall Insider Talks de Blasio Transition Longtime City Hall insider and Lindsay administration official Sid Davidoff joined Inside City Hall to discuss the de Blasio transition, the mayor's struggle to stay ahead of the snow, and the fight between the mayor and governor over how to pay for universal pre-k.* NY1 Online: Political Consultants Preview Grimm-Recchia Debate NY1's Errol Louis discussed the governor’s leadership and the upcoming Grimm vs. Recchia debate with the NY1 Consultants Corner: Republicans Kellyanne Conway and Boris Epshteyn and Democrats Patrick Jenkins and Evan Stavisky.

Barrett: How Corrupt Lobbyists D'Amato Runs the State Senate 
Wayne Barrett Connects Flanagan Law Firm to Al A'Dmato
The wizard of Al D'Amato: The former U.S. senator andcurrent powerhouse lobbyist has his hooks everywhere, including in new Senateboss John Flanagan (Barrett, NYDN) In 2003, former U.S. Sen. Al D'Amato, now a leading lobbyist, vaulted into the headlines for earning $500,000 to place a single phone call on behalf of a client to the chairman of the MTA to save a deal that was said to be going sour. Four hundred thousand of that was a "success" bonus for putting the deal back on track. Shortly after, Republican John Flanagan, then a freshman senator with just five months on the job — and a new salaried employee of a law firm founded by D'Amato's brother -sponsored a bill designed to protect D'Amato. The Senate was about to vote on a Republican-backed bill that would extend lobbying disclosure requirements to state authorities like the MTA, whose chair sprung into action after D'Amato's entreaty. At the last minute, Flanagan introduced an alternative filled with poison pills. Not only did it exempt "vendor disputes," precisely what prompted D'Amato's half-million-dollar call, it required the lobbying commission to establish "intentionality" to penalize lobbyists who violated the statutes. Flanagan's sham bill, so rushed he had to handwrite the memo supporting it on the floor, conflicted with the Assembly bill that had already passed and finished off any effort at reform that year. No wonder that on NY1 shortly after Flanagan's recent elevation to Senate majority leader, D'Amato said: "I'm glad to see that John has taken the reins."

More Evidence Chancellor Farina Lowering Standards  
Collapse of summer-school enrollment a clear sign of falling standards (NYP) No, the dropoff in city summer-school enrollment is not a sign of progress. It’s proof that the bad old days of “social promotion” are back: The system is sending children on to the next grade, even though they’re not ready. Any who doubt it need only review Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s own words. If a child hasn’t mastered the basics in one grade before moving on to the next, he or she is at great risk of falling even further behind. But many schools and teachers would rather pass the hard-to-teach kids along, anyway. To stop that, Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s chancellors insisted that kids who failed state English or math tests attend summer school. Those who did well enough would move on — those who didn’t would repeat the grade. But Fariña changed that last year. Instead, “a comprehensive evaluation of student work using multiple measures” decides who moves on. The change, she promised “keeps rigorous standards in place.” To that end, the same Department of Education press release promised, about the same 10 percent of students in grades 3 to 8 would wind up in summer school. (“The DOE anticipates consistent levels of retention with this new approach.”) Oops: When summer-school numbers came out a few months later, enrollment was down 25 percent. Fariña insisted it was an “anomaly” — not a sign of lower standards. * Out for summer because the city is promoting kids who can’t cut it (NYDN) Discouraging news for those concerned with pulling out all stops to help the city’s public school students meet tough new Common Core standards: Principals are sending many fewer kids to summer school, putting attendance at a six-year low. Which will mean thousands of struggling young people will have long interruptions in their educations — and are that much less likely to make up ground. This year, the city recommended that just 19,400 third- through eighth-grade students take summer classes — 6.2% of all eligible kids, down from 7.4% last year and 10% the year before that. And if last year — when just 1.2% of students were held back at the end of summer, half the rate of 2013 — is any indication, that will result in far fewer kids repeating a grade. *  The Post writes that the dip in summer school enrollmentin New York City is not a sign of progress, but rather the result of a new policy that pushes kids through the grades even if they are not prepared to move on: * The drop in summer school numbers is a bad omen for upcoming Common Core testing, as kids struggling in school are hurt by the interruption in schooling over the summer, The Daily News writes:  * Pro-Common Core group wants state to review test quality (Capital) * In The End, Cuomo Didn’t Get It All On Education (YNN) * High Achievement New York, an education reform group, released policy recommendations urging that state to ensure that New York exams align with the Common Core standards, Capital New York reports:  * Progressive groups claim 200 protesters plan to rally at the East Hampton home of a hedge fund manager and charter school advocate who is hosting a July 11 fundraiser for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Capital New York reports: * In The End, Cuomo Didn’t Get It All On Education (YNN)

NYPD Quota Coverup . . .  Who Droped A Dime On Kelly?  
The NYPD and New York City lawyers are accused of a “stunning pattern” of evidence destruction in a class-action case alleging police issued 850,000 bogus summonses due to a quota system  NYPD, city lawyers accused of destroying evidence showing cops issued 850,000 bogus summonses to meet quota (NYDN) NYPD, city lawyers accused of destroying evidence showing cops issued 850,000 bogus summonses to meet quota (NYDN) The NYPD and city lawyers are engaging in a “stunning pattern” of evidence destruction in a high-stakes class-action case alleging cops have issued 850,000 bogus summonses due to a quota system, new documents charge. Attorneys for the city have failed to turn over even one email from the files of former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly or former Chief of Department Joseph Esposito regarding summons activity over the last eight years, attorney Elinor Sutton writes in new filings in Manhattan Federal Court seeking sanctions against the city.

“It is simply not tenable that Commissioner Kelly and Chief Esposito did not — in the entire period of 2007 through the present — write or receive emails using terms” related to the word “summons,” Sutton writes.* The NYPD and NYC lawyers are engaging in a “stunning pattern” of evidence destruction in a high-stakes class-action case alleging cops have issued 850,000 bogus summonses due to a quota system, new documents charge.  * NYPD ‘destroyed’ evidence in quota case (NYP) The NYPD and city lawyers have destroyed evidence in an ongoing class-action case claiming cops use a quota system when they hand out summonses, stunning new court papers claim. Records, emails, and text messages– including one that reads “We missed seat belt number by 30 last week unacceptable”– have been shredded and deleted, even though the city agreed to hand over the information over a year ago, according to a letter filed in Manhattan federal court by plaintiffs’ lawyers.* NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton repeated his opposition to City Council legislation that would require further police oversight in an interview with radio hot John Gambling, the Observer reports: 

 By discussing financial benefits and the historical and current relations between blacks and the NYPD, Detective Yuseff Hamm attempts to convince black New Yorkers to join the police force, The New York Timesreports:  * The stock market’s performance indicates the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System may struggle to meet its 8 percent return target during this past fiscal year, Empire Center’s E.J. McMahonwrites:   Flashback 2010 NYPD QUOTE OF THE DAY: "AT A CRIME SCENE ... DON'T PEEIN THE TOILET" (Village Voice) * The NYPD Tapes Confirmed | Village Voice *
The NYPD Tapes, Part 2 | Village Voice - The Village Voice * The NYPD Tapes: A Shocking Story of Cops, Cover-ups ...  * The NYPD Tapes - New York Daily News  * Court blocks NYPD bid to fire whistleblower as ... -

Airbnb TV Commercial Help Fat Cats
An anti-Airbnb group is rolling out a new TV commercial that accuses the apartment-rental site of lining the pockets of greedy fat cats who use it to destroy affordable housing.

Developers Closing Down Black and Hispanic Churches and Elected Officials Don't Notice
Harlem pastor accused of illegally selling church (NYDN) A Harlem pastor accused of selling his church for a song is now singing the blues. The Holy Cross African Orthodox Church, a longtime local fixture in its W. 129th St. townhouse, is the center of a holy war started by recently-defrocked Bishop Alfred Drake’s last-ditch land deal. Drake claimed he was tricked in the $175,000 sale, while top church officials said he had no business peddling the property at all — much less for a fraction of its possible $2 million worth. Real estate values are exploding in Central Harlem, where the church has welcomed worshipers since 1931.

Brooklyn's Second Coming: Borough of churches now borough of condos. At least (most) of the bars are safe@Dnainfo  In Brooklyn’s “brownstone belt," which stretches from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Carroll Gardens, more than 20 historic churches and church buildings have been converted for residential use in the past two decades. "I think it’s a tragedy that we are losing these unique and amazing structures," said Sharon Barnes, a member of the Society for Clinton Hill. "They are part of the fabric of our streets and to lose so many is heartbreaking." For example, the St. Vincent De Paul Church at 167 N. 6th St. in Williamsburg preserved the house of worship's façade and interior details. Brian Moskin, a real estate agent, said the condos, named "The Spire Lofts," have been "masterfully restored." "People love the aesthetic of the reclaimed wood, old beams, exposed brick and stained glass," he said of the units, which run from $5,000 a month for a one-bedroom to $7,384 a month for a 2 1/2-bedroom. * "Barronexpressed concern [about] a 'gentrified class' wud come into the community 2 reap the benefits.” #EastNewYork * East New York RezoningOutreach Proposals Leave Residents Uneasy (DNAINFO) * Empty homes owned by NYC still not fixed (NYP)  Kathleen Gittens-Baptiste last week stood in front of the ramshackle, empty house she has lived next door to for more than 15 years. In her hands was a framed copy...
More on Gentrification and Race

Some NYCHA Buildings Have Become A Shooting Gallery  
Murders at NYCHAbuildings add up despite efforts to bring crime down (NYDN) As the weather heated up in May, the killings began to mount in the city’s public housing. In the span of just 11 days, there were six murders at city Housing Authority developments. While city officials note overall crime in public housing dropped 6.8% in the first six months of 2015 compared with the same time last year, it’s not that simple. A Daily News analysis found that two in five developments have not benefitted from this crime drop so far this year.  Measuring the two time periods, major crimes such as murders, shootings, rapes and felony assaults rose on average 44% at 72 of the 244 developments where the NYPD tracks crime. And another 24 developments showed zero change, which means at 40% of NYCHA developments, crime either got worse or stayed the same in the first six months of 2015. And while the city as a whole saw a 3.7% drop in shootings in June, NYCHA shootings stayed flat — 25, compared with 25 in June 2014. Murders also stayed the same at four.  
Bubble Mayor No Town Hall de Blasio Spins and the NYC Press Defining Journalism Down

Does the Daily News Also Believe the 1776 Patriots Should Have Worked Out Their Differences With the King?  
de Blasio and Cuomo Have Real Political Differences Like the 13 Colonies and the English King.  Does the Daily News Believe Every Conflict in Government is Psychological? If So They Are Nuts
GOING THROUGH A ROUGH PATCH: De Blasio, Cuomo can work out their rocky political relationship, therapists say  (NYDN) That’s the opinion of professional therapists contemplating the rocky state of the 20-year relationship between the two pols. “The mayor and the governor have to put their issues aside for the good of the children,” said Michelle Ascher Dunn, an Upper East Side psychotherapist.

Morning News Incessant Giggling All the News You Could Use?
When did local morning news shows become so contaminated with incessant giggling? I know it's a ancient refrain, I know it's not new, but this morning in particular the sound of mindless chortling seems even more annoying than usual. I think they could save oodles of dough by just having a laugh track. Don't get me wrong, the well-placed cachinnation is completely acceptable but when it becomes the source of much of the promised news heft, then we have a problem, Houston. More Lionel

Cuomo Dumps Gaga for de Blasio?
Bill deBlasio v. Andrew Cuomo in two word clouds (Washington Post) Bill de Blasio trashing Andrew Cuomo completely overshadowed everything that the New York governor accomplished this month. The New York City mayor unloaded on his Democratic counterpart in Albany during an interview with the New York Times that ran on Wednesday’s front page, accusing him of blocking New York City’s legislative priorities “out of personal pettiness, ‘game-playing’ and a desire for ‘revenge.’” Our analytics partners at Zignal Labs tracked all 100,000+ mentions of Cuomo on social, traditional and broadcast media from early June through July 2.  A month ago, social media mentions of the governor were dominated by buzz about an initiative with Lady Gaga called “enough is enough,” aimed at combating assault on college campuses. A month ago, social media mentions of the governor were dominated by buzz about an initiative with Lady Gaga called “enough is enough,” aimed at combating assault on college campuses.De Blasio aides hoped AG Eric Schneiderman, who has had his own differences with Cuomo, would serve as a surrogate for the mayor in his tiff with the governor, but the AG declined, saying he has to work with both of them. 

Sheldon Silver Cites Supreme Court Decision inAsking Judge to Toss Charge (NYO) In a motion to dismiss a superseding indictment against Mr. Silver, his attorneys made the same argument about the law behind one of the seven charges leveled against him: “monetary transactions involving crime proceedings.” Mr. Silver is accused of presenting as legitimate outside income from law firms what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara alleges was actually millions of dollars of kickbacks and bribes gained through his official position in Albany, using his influence to steer real estate developers to a law firm that paid him for referrals and to trade research funds for asbestos patient referrals. In the case of Johnson v. United States, the high court found that the Armed Career Criminal Act’s inclusion of any felony that “involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another” was too vague—and that the law didn’t have to be vague in every single application for it to be void.

Silver Covers-Up His Outside Income Again
Sheldon Silver refuses to disclose outside income, citingupcoming corruption trial (NYDN) * Silver Shies From Disclosure, Klein Discloses To The Penny (YNN) “Given pending proceedings in Federal Court it is inappropriate to answer this question,” Silver wrote.  “I think given the pending circumstances, the former speaker should be bending over backwards to be as open as possible about his outside employment,” said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group.  A year ago, Silver reported that his work for law firm Weitz & Luxenberg and other legal work generated up to $750,000 in 2013. Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who also faces federal corruption charges, reported earning between $150,000 to $250,000 from the firm Ruskin Moscou Faltischek in Uniondale. New Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk) reported earning between $100,000 and $150,000 in 2014 from the law firm of Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana in Uniondale. Flanagan announced in May that he had given up his outside legal work.  New Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s only outside income — between $1,000 and $5,000 — came from his job as an adjunct professor at Monroe College in the Bronx. Heastie (D-Bronx) also reported up to $90,000 in credit card and other debts. *  Citing his pending trial on federal corruption charges, former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver declined to disclose his outside income for 2014, according to the JCOPE, which released financial disclosure statements yesterday for every state legislator.

.Secret Government Lobbyists Partner With Silver in Corruption Rats on Speaker

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

Sampson Fed Rat Says He Threaten Him
Feds play footage of the moment Sampson knew he was busted (NYP) Here’s the moment state Sen. John Sampson realized the game was up — when prosecutors say his scheme to cover up his embezzlement of funds from foreclosure deals came crashing down. The secretly recorded scene — in which the Brooklyn Democrat visibly deflates during a meeting with an associate in Queens — was played for jurors at his obstruction-of-justice trial in Brooklyn federal court on Thursday. The silent video shows Sampson shaken after Edul Ahmad hands him a sheet from a check register at a Howard Beach eatery in 2012.

The sheet is a key piece of evidence in the feds’ case against Sampson and threatens to send him to prison for two decades. They say it proves he took a $188,500 loan from Ahmad to cover up the shortfall in foreclosure deals the politician was ­appointed to oversee.  What Sampson didn’t know as he sat on a couch with Ahmad in the lounge of the Vetro restaurant was that Ahmad was cooperating with the feds after being charged himself with mortgage fraud. * Star witness in corruption case against Sen. John Sampson blasted for living large while claiming to earn meager wages on taxes (NYDN) The government’s star witness against State Sen. John Sampson came under heavy fire Thursday for driving a Lamborghini and living large while claiming on tax returns that he earned as little as $23,000 annually. On cross-examination by defense lawyer Nick Akerman, the shady businessman was confronted with his 2003-2010 federal tax returns, which listed six dependents and income ranging from $23,000 to $55,000. Akerman reminded him that in 2011 he told a judge that he had earned $150,000 for the "last two years." "Did you lie on your returns or to the judge?" Akerman asked. "I didn't lie to either person," Ahmad shot back. Ahmad blamed his accountant for the doing the math on the returns, and relied on his judgment.

Thursday Update
Assemblywoman says Sampson asked her to aid ‘shady loan’ recipient (NYP) A Yonkers assemblywoman testified at the federal corruption trial of state Sen. John Sampson Wednesday that the Brooklyn Democrat once asked her to help out a businessman who had given him a dubious loan. Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer was chief counsel for the state Senate in 2009, she told jurors in Brooklyn federal court, when Sampson told her that he had a friend named Edul Ahmad who was having problems drumming up real-estate business. Sensing ­impropriety, Mayer said she felt “uncomfortable” with the request because it was a “constituent issue,” and later discovered that Ahmad had business ties to Sampson.

 Westchesterpolitician felt ‘uncomfortable’ about State Sen. John Sampson’s ties to shadybroker (NYDN) Shelley Mayer (D-Yonkers) was senior counsel to the Senate Democrat Conference in 2011 when Sampson asked her to help his friend, Ed Ahmad, obtain more foreclosure work as part of an initiative to boost the participation of minorities and women in the process. "I found a document on the (state) Department of State web site that his (Ahmad's) license had been revoked," she said. More disturbing, Mayer discovered that that an attorney from Sampson's private law firm was representing Ahmad in the matter. "I was uncomfortable with the fact that Ed Ahmad appeared to be a client of Sen. Sampson's firm and not just a constituent. I understood them to have a lawyer-client relationship which was different than what I had been led to believe." Meanwhile, Federal Judge Dora Irizarry, who had previously thrown out the embezzlement charges against Sampson on a legal technicality, dealt his defense team a severe setback Wednesday when she tossed out a document his lawyers produced out of thin air on Tuesday which they suggested was a hand-written loan agreement between Ahmad and Sampson.  The judge said she was also striking all of Ahmad's testimony about the document. "This is totally unfair," Akerman complained to the judge. "It totally eviscerates our defense." Sampson stalked out of the courtroom shaking his head. "That's ridiculous, man," he fumed.

    Even the Post Has Joined the Fight With True News to Expose Lobbyists and The Shadow Govt They Run
    Bill de Blasio, Melissa Mark-Viverito: Progressives for sale (NYP Ed)  Paying off the folks who helped you rise to power is nothing new. But it’s an odd way to deliver on rhetoric about bringing “a new progressive direction to New York.” BerlinRosen, the PR/lobbying firm behind Bill de Blasio’s mayoral run, enjoys unrivaled insider access at City Hall — even as it represents firms doing business with the city. And now Melissa Mark-Viverito has lavished over $1 million in taxpayer-funded pork on the clients of a lobbying firm that helped her become City Council speaker. As The Post’s Rich Calder reported Tuesday, 14 nonprofit clients of Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin won $1.08 million in council discretionary funds — $780,000 of it from Mark-Viverito herself. Council members have long used this pool of cash to buy support, without anyone voting on where the money goes. De Blasio has called rightly for an end to the practice — but hasn’t lifted a finger to try to abolish it. Which brings us back to his relationship with the firm of BerlinRosen — which also runs de Blasio’s external nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York, which has raised $2 million from public-worker unions, individuals and firms that do business with the city.

    Speaker Porks Her Council to Lobbyists Pitta Bishop Del Giorno, MirRam and Berlin Rosen
    New budget proves it really pays to be friends with Mark-Viverito (NYP)  A politically connected consulting firm that helped Melissa Mark-Viverito become City Council speaker scored big bucks for its clients in the city’s new budget, records show. The lobbying firm Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin was able to rake in at least $1.08 million in council discretionary funds for 14 nonprofit clients in fiscal year 2016 — including $780,000 directly funneled by Mark-Viverito, a Post analysis of city data shows. The Manhattan Democrat’s cozy relationship with the Staten Island-based lobbying firm includes once paying it more than $61,000 to help get her elected speaker in 2013. *  City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito directed her $16 million in discretionary funds toward a potpourri of progressive causes, but borough leaders say distribution is more even than in the past, City & State reports: 

     Pitta Bishop, the consulting firm that helped Melissa Mark-Viverito become New York City Council speaker, scored at least $1.08 million in discretionary funds for 14 nonprofit clients in the city’s budget
    The Weisenthal Center didn’t receive any pork in fiscal 2014, but it received $305 million for fiscal 2015 through Mark-Viverito’s first budget as speaker. The $350 million she awarded the center for the new fiscal year beginning Wednesday is among the highest member items allocated in the new budget. Other Pitta Bishop beneficiaries include the Arab-American Family Support Center in Brooklyn, which went from $6,225 pre-Mark-Viverito to $63,750 for fiscal 2016, the records show.  Since Mark-Viverito took power in January 2014, Pitta Bishop’s influence has risen dramatically at City Hall, as it has been paid more than $3.3 million by clients to lobby the speaker and other council members.

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

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

     In an unseemly but legal case of double-dealing, Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin helped Melissa Mark-Viverito become New York City Council speaker and is now lobbying Council members to pass mostly pro-union legislation

    The Speakers Lobbyists Cash In
    Pitta Bishop is A Lobbyist for A Nunber of LLCs Including Litwin's Glenwood management 

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

    Lobbyists MirRam Big Winner At Council Pork
    Spending members Items jumping to $57 million, $7 million more than this year
    City’s new budget allots $57M for ‘pork’ spending (NYP)  Spending on pet projects among City Council members is jumping to $57 million in the coming fiscal year — $7 million more than this year’s levels, new records show. The 14 percent boost in spending came out of negotiations between Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito as part of their agreement on a $78.5 billion citywide budget for fiscal 2016. The increase was OK’d by the mayor even though he has called for the elimination of such funding, which good-government groups and other critics deride as pork. The lion’s share of the council’s spending falls under the discretion of the speaker, who has direct say over $16.5 million in funds. Records released Thursday afternoon show her biggest beneficiaries are nonprofit clients of the MirRam Group, which consulted on her 2013 council campaign, and whose founder, Luis Miranda, is considered a pal. The lobbying firm’s clients — including the Hispanic Federation, Comunilife and the East Harlem Council for Community Improvement — got $1.2 million in earmarks collectively. * The mayor is quietly backing away from an effort to end member items on the New York City Council.

    City Council Lives Up to Its Puppet Makeup

    New York City Council Adopts Budget With Little Dissent (WSJ) The New York City Council on Friday approved a $78.5 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins next week, ending the annual debate about city spending with markedly less divisiveness than Albany’s end-of-session wrangling. * City Council Approves $78.5 Billion Budget(NY1)

    Her other big beneficiaries include the nonprofit arm of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, which is getting $340,000. The Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, the controversial nonprofit founded by disgraced ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez, was earmarked $250,000 at the request of several Brooklyn councilmen. Two of those members, former protégés of Lopez — Brooklyn Democrats Rafael Espinal and Stephen Levin — additionally chipped in nearly $100,000 combined. Other members each allocated at least $660,000 to their pet causes — often to neighborhood groups with which they have close ties. Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) gave $25,000 to the nonprofit Fifth Avenue Committee, where he previously served as executive director for a decade. The Brooklyn delegation, where Lander wields a good deal of power, gave the organization an additional $75,000.  Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo (D-Bronx) earmarked $10,000 for The Bronx Defenders, a legal-aid group that recently came under fire when its staffers appeared in a rap video advocating cop-killing. Vito Lopez Corruption Lives The New York City Council funneled more than a half million dollars to the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, a nonprofit founded by disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the Observerwrites:  * City Council Continues to Fund Vito Lopez’s OldNonprofit (NYO) NY’s City Council feasts at the pig trough yet again (NYP Ed) Every year — without fail — budget negotiations end with the City Council’s little piggies going “wee-wee-wee” all the way to the pork trough. This year is no different. “Discretionary spending” by council members is up 14 percent, to $57 million in the just-concluded budget deal. And despite claims the system’s been fixed, it still functions like a slush fund for the speaker. And this year, the biggest winners of pork she herself ladeled to outsiders were the nonprofit clients of MirRam Group, which consulted on her own 2013 campaign.* City Council approves NYC's $78.6 billion 2016 budget, beefs up NYPD (NYDN)* The Post calls on the New York City Council and the mayor to do away with discretionary funding for members, arguing that giving politicians millions in cash to buy public and political support is an invitation to corruption: * City Council reaches $21 million deal to keep community-based nonprofits in business (NYDN)

    Opening Battle of 2016 NY Civil War for Control of the State Senate de Blasio vs Cuomo
    De Blasio, Gloves Off, Blasts Cuomo (YNN) New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an exclusive interviewwith NY1’s Errol Louis, blasting the governor he says is consumed with “transactional” politics. “What I found was he engaged in his own sense of strategies, his own political machinations and what we’ve often seen is if someone disagrees with him openly, some kind of revenge or vendetta follows,” de Blasio said of the governor. The broadsides against Cuomo are the culmination of an increasingly tenuous relationship between the state’s top elected official and the more liberal Democrat who was elected with a wave of progressive support in the city. In the interview, de Blasio knocked Cuomo for working to closely with Republican-led Senate at the expense of the Assembly, which is dominated by Democrats from New York City. * Giuliani advises Cuomo-bashing de Blasio to be ‘diplomatic’ (NYP) * Cuomo-De Blasio Feud Similar to Political Spats of Past (NY1) * Liberals ecstatic as de Blasio finds backbone (CrainsNY) Left-wing advocates cheered Mayor Bill de Blasio's rant against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but worry about sustaining the momentum. * Would a Governor Hochul serve three years, or seekreelection?  (Buffalo Chronicle)

     Bill de Blasio needs to quit whining and start **working** (NYP Ed)  * De Blasio's press secretary — a former Cuomo aide — has notheld back from zinging her former boss (NYDN) Karen Hinton, who became de Blasio’s press secretary in May, first worked for Cuomo when he was assistant U.S. housing and urban development secretary in the mid-1990s. * DE BLASIO BAITS THE BEAR (Andrew Cuomo, that is) (NYDN Ed) * De Blasio and Cuomo should fight it out, then start working together for New York (NYDN) * Cuomo responds to de Blasio's claim that governor makes 'revenge' attacks, saying compromise is only way to pass laws (NYDN) * Gov. Andrew Cuomo on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s public criticism of him: “Everybody’s entitled to their own comments and their own feelings, and I’ll leave him to speak to his…I’ve known Bill, the mayor, a long time. I consider him a friend. He says what he says, I say what I say, and I’ll let him speak for himself.” * De Blasio and Cuomo stayed far away from each other yesterday, but turned to surrogates to fan the flames of their feud. The mayor’s aides not only reached out to supporters, but also provided them printed talking points to use, mayoral spokeswoman Karen Hinton confirmed. * Hinton, who became de Blasio’s press secretary in May, first worked for Cuomo when he was HUD secretary during the Clinton administration and is married to top former Cuomo aide Howard Glaser. She hasn’t been shy about issuing zingers at her former boss. * De Blasio’s decision to publicly vent his frustrations with Cuomo was “the culmination of months of private ire and careful strategizing at City Hall,” and a belief among the mayor’s advisors that the governor was “taking pleasure in blocking the city’s priorities in Albany.” * Bob McManus: “Folks looking for a strong leader to stand up to Cuomo — and there are a lot of them, mostly from the extreme left wing of an already firm-left party — aren’t likely to be inspired by de Blasio’s blink-of-an-eye disappearance.” * Mayor was urged to go after governor by his new presssecretary, a former Cuomo aide who calls gov by first name.(WSJ) * Cuomo responded to criticism from Mayor Bill de Blasio, saying the mayor is entitled to his opinion while calling him a friend and emphasizing his own record of compromise in Albany, NY1 reports:  * The Times writes that although the immediate reaction to de Blasio’s comments was to analyze whether they were foolish, “the important point is that everything he said is true”: * Cuomo has always had only two types of people in his orbit—sycophants and targets—and he needs competent dissent, but de Blasio is failing to live up to that role, the Post’s Bob McManus argues * Mayor's Criticism of Governor Raises Speculation Over Whether City Will Face Political Payback (NY1) * De Blasio's Scathing Criticism of Cuomo Gets Mixed Support (dnaifo)
    Some local politicans declined to criticize Cuomo while others welcomed the mayor's comments.* State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli urged Cuomo and de Blasio to set aside their ongoing feud for the future of millions of New Yorkers, State of Politicsreports: 

    Beyond the TMZ Media Coverage: 
    As We Peal Away the Personalities of Cuomo and de Blasio, Maybe We Will Find Out Why NY's Govt is So Corrupt and Dysfunctional
     Having tried everything else, de Blasio believed criticism was the last effective option. * Liberals who have long chafed under Cuomo’s centrist approach to governing were thrilled with de Blasio’s display. “Democrats are angry with a governor whose word is not trustworthy, and who pursues Republican policies,” said Zephyr Teachout, who challenged Cuomo in the 2014 Democratic primary. “This is a big moment for de Blasio. And for the state.” * Tom Precious: “The governor has a problem – a Democratic Party problem. And it goes far deeper than (de Blasio)…Once relegated to whispers, a growing number of Democrats no longer are afraid to publicly take on Cuomo.” * Alexander Burns and Thomas Kaplan write: “The mayor’s remarks this week, accusing Mr. Cuomo of governing through vengeance and fear, are likely to further embolden Democrats who have long chafed at what they characterized as Mr. Cuomo’s ironhanded methods and imperious personality.” * Publicly, most Democratic elected officials are declining to choose sides in the Cuomo vs. de Blasio spat. But Rep. Nydia Velazquez has a message for the top leaders of her party: “They need to put their high-level testosterone aside and get to the issues that are important to our state and our city. Come on. Grow up.” The New York Times: “The immediate analysis focused not on the truth of what the mayor said, but on whether he was a fool and a noob for saying it, or whining, or showing weakness at playing Albany chess against a grandmaster. The important point is that everything he said is true.” Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani recalls when he was warring with then-Gov. George Pataki, a fellow Republican. He suggests de Blasio try diplomacy in dealing with Cuomo. “(S)it down and talk to him. Publicly attacking him? You’re not going to gain anything doing that. You’re going to lose that battle.” * Cuomo has a “Democratic Party problem” that goes beyond de Blasio, with Assembly members, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli questioning him too, The Buffalo News’ Tom Preciouswrites: * * De Blasio’s extraordinary accusations against Cuomo were the “culmination of months of private ire and careful strategizing at City Hall,” the Times’

    Is de Blasio Saying Anyone Who Disagree With Him Has A Vendetta, Who Elected Him King?
    De Blasio, Cuomo keep distance day after mayor accusesgovernor of 'revenge' attacks while aides fan their flames (NYDN) Team de Blasio not only reaches out to surrogates, but gives them printed talking points * Former Gov. George Pataki does not think it was “particularly smart” of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to publicly tee off on Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “There are always personal battles. You keep them behind the scenes.” * Behind Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to escalate rift withGov. Andrew Cuomo  via @WSJ * @NYGovCuomo: "I choose to bring people together.. I choose to compromise... It has worked in New York" @ny1 * "everybody's entitled to their own comments and their own feelings and i'll leave him to speak to his." * New Yorkpoliticians are getting drawn into the fight between the mayor and governor,whether they want to or not (NY1): 

    Cuomo's Response to de Blasio "Enjoy Your Vacation"
    “I don’t believe the Assembly had a real working partner in the governor or the Senate in terms of getting things done for the people of this city and in many cases the people of this state,” de Blasio said. In one stinging rejoinder during the interview, de Blasio took aim at the Cuomo administration’s habit of conducting background briefings and providing anonymous jabs at the mayor and his policies. De Blasio personally vouched for Cuomo with the labor-backed and liberal Working Families Party, which only 13 months ago openly considered not giving the centrist governor its ballot line. Weeks after the WFP fight, de Blasio endorsed Cuomo for a second term as governor and introduced him as the state Democratic Convention in Suffolk County. The bad blood culminated last week, when a Cuomo administration official — who appeared in direct quotes to speak in the recognizable cadence and syntax of the governor himself — blasted the mayor in a background briefing. “He is more politically oriented in terms of his approach … and then he makes it almost impossible for him to achieve success,” the Cuomo official said, according to The Daily News. * New York’sMayor and Governor are now in an open war (Vanity Fair) * De Blasio rips Cuomo for derailing his agenda (Capital) * De Blasio’s attack on Cuomo will haunt him — and the city
    Squeeze Play: Cuomo is stuck between the Righteous Preet investigating pay2play and Lefty Bill, who wanted to expand 421-a to 35 years.

    True News Wishes All New Yorkers A Happy and Safe July 4th, But
     The Daily News editorializes: “(L)ecturing that Cuomo should be more a philosopher king than a transactor borders on egotistical dementia. In fact, although de Blasio doesn’t believe it because he came home from Albany without every last jot and tittle, the mayor made out well in Albany because Cuomo made deals with the Republicans.” * De Blasio’s attack on Cuomo will haunt him — and the city (NYP Ed) *  De Blasio rips Cuomo for derailing his agenda (Capital)

    #NYPD’s John Miller: our conclusion = no known, credible threats to NYC or 4th of July celebration.

    Mayor After Getting the WFP to Endorse Vendetta Cuomo Hoisted by His Own Petard
     De Blasio: Publicly Disagree with Gov. Cuomo, 'Revenge orVendetta Follows' (VIDEO) * de Blasio was giving a group interview to City Hall journos,not a sit-down with Louis.  (NYT) * De Blasio rips Cuomo for derailing his agenda  (Capital) * * New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Gov. Andrew Cuomo uses revenge or a vendetta to respond when people openly disagree with him and that his “lack of leadership” has interfered with the city’s business, NY1reports: * De Blasio toCuomo: Drop Dead  (SI Advance) * At last, de Blasio takes off gloves and hits back atCuomo (AP) * @deBlasioNYC thinks "conventional wisdom" of Senate Rs mad at him bc he backed Dems in #2014 is a "mistake." Natural for Ds to back Ds. *  The long-simmering tensions between NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomoboiled over, as de Blasio went on the offensive less than a week after an anonymous Cuomo administration official (possibly the governor himself) called the mayor “bumbling and incompetent”. * The mayor is betting that he can outflank a governor who wields enormous power over his administration’s affairs, even as he needs him as a negotiating partner.

    Daily News Calls NY's Govt A Mob War 
    de Blasio Does Not Understand A Lawmaker Body Who Cannot Control
    Editorial: Bill deBlasio baits Andrew Cuomo (NYDN Ed) At this time in New York’s political history, the mayoralty is a pretty cushy berth. More, the vast majority on the City Council subscribe to the de Blasio ethos of progressivism even more strongly than de Blasio does. There, he faces an independent-minded Legislature, including Republicans who have veto power over virtually everything. It’s also a body plagued by pay-for-play politics. Everything’s a deal, and sometimes a corrupt one. Less meritoriously, lecturing that Cuomo should be more a philosopher king than a transactor borders on egotistical dementia. In fact, although de Blasio doesn’t believe it because he came home from Albany without every last jot and tittle, the mayor made out well in Albany because Cuomo made deals with the Republicans.

    Bill de Blasio’s Allies Decline to Join His New Crusade Against Andrew Cuomo
    Where de Blasio got smacked was in the Republicans’ refusal to extend mayoral control of the schools for more than one year — because de Blasio had tried to unseat them from power. As the old saying goes, wounding the bear — here named Andy — without killing the bear is a bad idea, because the bear will come back to get you. How dumb can you get? * SHOTS FIRED: De Blasio unleashes barrage of allegations against Cuomo — claims he thwarted Albany agenda out of revenge (NYDN) * John Podhoretz called de Blasio’s decision to publicly criticize Cuomo “refreshing, but nuts”, adding: “The use of the word ‘vendetta’ was…perhaps a bit much.”* After Mayor Bill de Blasio accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of purposely undermining the interests of New York City in this year’s legislative session, most major city political leaders failed to endorse the mayor’s statements, theObserver writes:
    War: de Blasio vs Cuomo, How the GOP Won the Senate 

    Re-Elected Tax Rebate for the Dumb Voters 
    How money screams inAlbany: What Gov. Cuomo and John Flanagan's tax rebate gimmickry has in commonwith a big union political contribution (NYDN) T he single ugliest feature of the “Big Ugly” deal that belched out of Albany last week was a scheme to send state checks to millions of homeowners less than four weeks before Election Day in 2016. Lawmakers are packaging the payments — of $130 or $185, depending on the county — as “property tax relief.” But the Oct. 15 delivery date, as prescribed by statute, makes clear that “transparent vote buying” is the more accurate description. Chief responsibility for the crass timing goes to Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, who’s scrambling for any advantage he can find to keep his Republicans in control of half the Legislature.

    If Landlord Cost Are Not Going Up Why are Rents In None Stabilized Apts So High? 
    First Ever Rent Freeze
    New York City Board Votes to Freeze Regulated Rents on One-Year Leases (NYT) The move, unprecedented in the 46-year history of the Rent Guidelines Board, was the first decision on rent levels by a nine-member panel appointed in its entirety by Mayor Bill de Blasio.* City board approves rent freeze for first time in NYC history, barring hikes on 1M rent-stabilized apartments (NYDN)  The Daily News writes that New York City tenants got a good deal when the state Legislature renewed the city’s rent regulation laws for four years and when the Rent Guidelines Board voted to freeze regulated rents * Rent Guidelines Board Votes to Freeze Rents for Rent-Stabilized Tenants with One-Year Leases (NY1) * A FROZEN SOLID: De Blasio delivers on his campaign pledge to freeze rents, and that's not the only win for tenants (NYDN Ed) * New York’s Rent Freeze May Change How Tenants Decide on Lease Duration (NYT)  Renters must choose whether to opt for no increase on a one-year lease or lock in a 2 percent increase for two years.

     Rent-Stabilized Apartments Get Rent Freeze for First Time in City's History  (DNAINFO)The Rent Guidelines Board froze rents on one-year leases and raised two-year leases by 2 percent. * City orders freeze on rent-stabilized apartments (NYP) * City board approves rent freeze for first time in NYC history, barring hikes on 1M rent-stabilized apartments (NYDN) * A frozen solid on rent regulations (NYDN Ed) * The board that regulates rents for more than one million rent-stabilized apartments in New York City voted for a freeze on one-year leases, an unprecedented move in its 46-year history. * Alliance for Tenant Power, a left-leaning pro-tenants group, will protest outside Cuomo’s Westchester home today – the first salvo in an effort they say will prevent him from winning re-election in 2018 (if he seeks a third term). * The Rent Guidelines Board, which regulates rents for more than a million New York City rent-stabilized apartments, voted to freeze one-year leases, an unprecedented move in its 46-year history, The New York Times reports:   * Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation to prohibit employers from inquiring about a candidate's criminal record prior to a job offer and to step up regulation of the car wash industry, the Daily Newsreports: * Rent-stabilized apartments get rent freeze for first time incity's history * NYC Board Votes to Freeze Rents (WSJ)

    Fed Prison Investigation
    F.B.I. Opens Investigation Into New York Prison Where 2 Escaped (NYT) The investigation, which is focused on drug trafficking and other possible criminal conduct, is likely to raise the scrutiny of prison officials and the apparent lack oversight before the escape. * The FBI in Albany has opened a corruption inquiry focusing on employees and inmates at Clinton Correction Facility in connection with the escape of Matt and Sweat. The state IG has already launched her probe into the incident. * The FBI in Albany opened a corruption inquiry focusing on employees and inmates at the maximum-security prison in northern New York State where two convicted killers escaped this month, the Times writes:    * Prison administrators are responsible for security policy and ensuring proper enforcement and should be held accountable for the two upstate escapees, former state Department of Corrections Deputy Inspector General Patrick Dunleavy writes in the Post: * DOCCS Places 12 On Administration Leave At Clinton Correctional  (YNN)

    From Poor Door Separation
    How Developers Got Around Its Poor Door PR Problem
    Developer bypasses ‘poor doors’ with separate low-income units (NYP)   “Poor doors” may now be banished, but one new Brooklyn development is going a step further by pushing needy tenants into a handful of low-income buildings. As lawmakers pat themselves... * Average Home Price in Manhattan Reaches $1.87 Million, a New High (NYT)  The average sales price rose 11 percent, to $1.87 million, compared with the same period in 2014, thanks to a strong local economy, combined with high demand and not enough listings.

    True News Wags NYP Dicker On 2 to 1 Gang Up Of Heastie

    On June 23 True News Wrote Two Against One: Pressure On HeastieCuomo used state Senate to stymie his own party: sources (Dicker, NYP) Despite public claims to the contrary, Gov. Cuomo worked behind-the-scenes with the Republican-led Senate to defeat Assembly Democrats on such key “progressive” initiatives as tenant rights and a minimum-wage hike, knowledgeable insiders have told The Post.   Throughout the negotiations, there was never any real difference between the positions of Cuomo and Flanagan. It was two against one with Cuomo pulling Flanagan’s strings to corner Heastie,” said a source with direct knowledge of the secret end-of-session deal-making. * The heavily criticized rent regulation laws that were extended last week for four years could be revisited much sooner if the Democrats win control of the state Senate next year, the Daily News’ reports: Rent Freeze?  New York City’s Rent Guidelines Board will vote today on whether to increase rents for more than one million stabilized apartments and is considering its first-ever rent freeze, the Times writes:  * New rent laws passed in Albany will only save about 2,500 apartments from losing rent protections, according to city Controller Scott Stringer, who said lawmakers “failed miserably” with the deal, the Daily News reports:  * State lawmakers again refused to pass real campaign finance reform, such as closing the LLC loophole, tightening the use of campaign funds and creating a system of public financing, the Times Union writes:  * Albany’s long legislative session is over, but teachers’ unions and education reform groupsare now engaged in spin campaigns involving the cap on charter schools. Both sides are claiming victory, and citing different numbers to prove their respective cases. * An upcoming fundraiser for a New York City community organization that is honoring Carl Heastie for becoming the Assembly’s first black speaker has two surprising names on the host committee: Senate GOP Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Republican Minority Brian Kolb.*
    Heastie on surviving his first session, and what comes next (Capital) Speaker will have a new set of challenges next year * Heastie on surviving his first session, and what comes next (Capital) Speaker will have a new set of challenges next year

    Big Stuff Hides Albany Lawmakers Failure 
    Riding Off Into Albany's Sunset (NY1)  Cuomo can thank the Supreme Court and an upstate manhunt for distracting New Yorkers from the end of the legislature's epically depressing session. Lawmakers did the absolutely bare minimum before heading for the hills – hoping that they can hide from their constituents longer than those two fugitives who were found by authorities over the weekend. The state flag should perhaps be replaced by a picture of someone from Long Island punching Mayor de Blasio in the stomach after lawmakers avoided doing anything substantial when it comes to mayoral control of city schools or dealing with a complicated tax abatement for developers.  The thumbing to Mayor de Blasio's eye by State Senatorscontinued even with his appointments made to the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which they refused to confirm before taking leave for the rest of the year. God forbid the city have any serious representation in an agency that runs the subways. *  Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino in the Post criticizes Albany and the just-ended 2015 legislative session and argues the state spends too much, taxes too much and regulates too much: * City Controller says Albany lawmakers 'failed miserably' when it comes to protecting tenants (NYDN) * Bill’s 177,000fixer-uppers: A NYCHA bill of repair (NYDN Ed) Mayor de Blasio would never allow his $4,975-a-month Park Slope tenants to live like so many in public housing do — cowering from leaks, crumbling plaster and pervasive mold.Whatever strides he and New York City Housing Authority Chair Shola Olatoye claim in advancing the turtle’s speed with which 400,000-plus housing-project residents can expect repairs — and however promising their plans to restore NYCHA to sound financial and physical footing — the day-to-night miseries of tenants cannot endure a minute or month more. * Cuomo was aligned policy-wise with Senate Republicans during the closed-door negotiations and moved to thwart Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposals during the talks, thePost’s Fred Dicker writes. * Capital New York’s Jimmy Vielkind: Despite kumbaya press conference with Cuomo and the legislative leaders “there were many other priorities, left unmentioned by the leaders, that weren’t acted on. And those unaddressed items say as much about the leaders’ abilities and approach as anything else.”* Rent control legislation approved last week in Albany ends the use of the so-called “poor door.” *  
    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio offered a largely muted response to the end of the legislative session compared to other city officials. * Cuomo On The ‘Very Hectic’ Session (YNN) * Many state officials’ priorities were not acted on during the 2015 legislative session, which says as much about leaders’ abilities and approach as deals heralded by officials last week, Capital New York reports:  * Governor Returns to Familiar Ground After Shaky Legislative Session (NY1) * The Buffalo News on the Big Ugly: “How not to run a democracy in three easy steps: 1. Cram everything into one bill that almost no one reads. 2. Vote for it, anyway. 3. Get out of town.”
    How Team de Blasio (Berlin Rosen) Tried to Blame Homelessness and the NYCHA Mess On Cuomo
    More About Speaker Heastie
    More About Flanagan

    Stringer Puts Press On de Blaiso to Stop the Mold At Public Housing
    The Daily News calls on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to show that he cares about improving NYCHA housing, starting with an audit by the city comptroller, launching fast-track overhauls and responding quickly to mold and water problems: * Mark-Viverito Vouches for NYCHA Head Amid ‘Ridiculous’Resignation Calls (NYO) Fix Payment System New York Comptroller Faults Payment System in 39 City Agencies (NYT)  Scott M. Stringer, New York City’s comptroller, said misuse of an arcane system allowed agencies to circumvent contract regulations and restricted oversight of vendors with integrity and performance issues.

    Flashback Campaign 2013: de Blasio Said He Had A Different Attitude About NYCHA and Promised A "New Beginning" 
    NYCHA residents still waiting for change after Mayor de Blasio's promises (June 28, 2014)  Seventeen tenants sued NYCHA in June on behalf of DeWitt Clinton Houses' 1,700 residents, demanding the authority address dozens of repairs that date back years. While de Blasio's administration has made some changes, some tenants throughout NYCHA developments still suffer. Six months ago, Mayor de Blasio took office promising big changes for public housing, but that means little to Blanche Moore, who still has to deal with sickening black mold in her bathroom. Before de Blasio’s arrival at City Hall, NYCHA was under fire for chronic mismanagement, including a huge backlog of repair requests. And de Blasio vowed to fire the agency’s chair, John Rhea, who resigned days before de Blasio arrived. De Blasio brought in as chairwoman housing advocate Shola Olatoye on Feb. 8, promising a “new beginning” for NYCHA tenants.“We begin with a different attitude toward the people we are serving. We see the tenants of NYCHA as the people we work for,” he said, standing in the basement at Lincoln Houses in East Harlem.* New York, NY - De Blasio Launches Online NYCHA Watch ...(2013) * NYC Mayoral Candidates Sleep in Public Housing - NBC ...  * New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito described calls for the New York City Housing Authority Chairwoman Shola Olatoye to resign “ridiculous” and praised her “great ideas,” the Observerwrites:

    More on the Public Housing Mess
    Campaign 2013 Media Failure  And Broken Political Promises

    Stringer: NYCHA Mismanagement 
    New York City Public Housing Units Remain Empty Unnecessarily, Audit Finds (NYT) A report released by New York City’s comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, found that apartments remain vacant unnecessarily, either waiting for repairs for years or staying empty long after renovations.NYCHA has left thousands of apartments empty for repairs (NYP) * Amid a crisis in affordable housing, the city’s Housing Authority kept 80 low-rent apartments empty for more than 10 years for repairs and renovations — including one dating back to 1994, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer found in an audit. * Time to evict New York’s public-housing slumlord (NYP Ed) The horrors of public housing in this city simply never cease. The latest: As 270,000 people languish on waiting lists desperate for an affordable place to live, thousands of low-rent publicly owned apartments sit vacant — often for years. That’s the tragic finding of an audit city Comptroller Scott Stringer released last week. And it’s yet another in a long string of reasons to evict the landlord: i.e., the New York City Housing Authority.* A new audit by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer on the troubled New York City Housing Authority reveals that more than 2,000 pubic-housing apartments remain vacant because of pending repairs.

    First the Daily News Attack Torres For Not Taking Responsibility for NYCHA Mess Now They Give Him Space to Praise the Same Person His Was Blaming
     But New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres and Smith Houses Resident Association President Aixa Torres write in the Daily News that the future of NYCHA is bright, thanks to Chairwoman Shola Olatoye’s vision and de Blasio’s support * The Post writes that it is time to evict the de Blasio administration from running NYCHA and break up the behemoth government monopoly after a city comptroller audit found long waiting lists for major repairs and thousands of vacant apartments:

    6 Months Ago the Daily News Went After Torres for Blaming NYCHA Chair Olatoye 
    Members of the CityCouncil are NYCHA’s true owners (NYDN Dec 2014)  Those grilling chairwoman Shola Olatoye need to take a hard look in the mirror  The chairman of the City Council Public Housing Committee says he knows who’s responsible for leaving public housing decrepit and dangerous: a conspiracy of the powerful. In which Councilman Ritchie Torres failed to include himself and the rest of the city’s time for Torres, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the rest of the body to recognize that they serve as landlords for more than 400,000 New Yorkers. The public housing crisis is theirs to solve.  NYCHA needs more money to operate and much more money to make repairs. If Torres & Co. are serious that improving the lives of residents is a top priority, they will draw a budget that provides the cash by shifting support away from less pressing needs. 

    Post Always Reports NYCHA Leadership Sucks The Post writes that it is time to evict the de Blasio administration from running NYCHA and break up the behemoth government monopoly after a city comptroller audit found long waiting lists for major repairs and thousands of vacant apartments:  REAL ESTATE—“Stringer: NYCHA apartments left vacant for years “Low-income apartments run by the New York City Housing Authority are in high demand, with more than 270,000 applicants on the authority’s waiting list. But some 241 NYCHA units slated for repairs have remained vacant for an average of seven years, costing the agency millions in lost rents, according to an audit released on Wednesday by Comptroller Scott Stringer. Stringer, speaking during a news conference outside the Raymond V. Ingersoll Houses in Brooklyn, criticized the housing authority for its oversight of the vacancies. … According to NYCHA, the agency has 2,342 vacant apartments that have been left empty for a combination of short- and long-term repairs. Stringer’s audit found that these numbers are ‘estimates at best,’ and that NYCHA lacks adequate records on apartment occupancy * Audit: NYC Housing Authority sitting on 2,000 vacant units (WSJ) * More than a day after ‘framework’ agreement, educationissues remain unresolved in Albany * Calls for NYCHA Head’s Ouster Spur Defense of De Blasio’sRecord (City Limits) *Tenants, churches want NYCHA boss to resign over lack of mold repairs(NYDN)  A coalition of churches and public housing tenants, frustrated by what they describe as inaction by the New York City Housing Authority, want NYCHA chairwoman Shola Olatoye to step down
    True News Wonders Why the NYT Did Not Point Out the Poor State of Public Housing Finances When the Candidates Were Making Promises of More Services During the 2013 Election 
    The Times writes that to save New York City’s public housing, de Blasioneeds to “find a ton of money, then put it where his mouth is,” and that after decades of neglect it will remain a perplexing challenge:

    Sunday: City Fixing Tests to Improve Scores Monday: de Blasio That is Historical 

    Monday Update: de Blasio Grade Fixing is Normal
    De Blasio downplays grade-fixing scandal (NYP)  Grade-fixing is just business as usual in struggling city schools, Mayor de Blasio said Sunday. “This is something that we have seen consistently over the years,” de Blasio said when asked about theexclusive story in Sunday’s Post involving five studentsat Automotive HS in Brooklyn who had their failing Regents scores switched to passing grades. “Again, this is a process that is done from time to time. It is not an unusual process,” he said.  “It’s something that is within the normal approach of our school system. I think it should be looked at in that context of history, that this is something that’s been done consistently when there’s a specific situation that calls for it.” David Bloomfield, a Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center education professor, pointed out the mayor was “misreading” history.*  City didn’t tell state it changed grades for failing high school students (NYP) The city Department of Education failed to tell the state that it changed Regents exam scores at Automotive HS in Brooklyn, officials say. his was caught by The Post. It raises the question — what hasn’t been caught?” asked Brooklyn College and CUNY Grad Center education professor David Bloomfield. The city DOE said 379 of 155,000 Regents exams given in January were re-scored. Of 32 appeals at Renewal schools, “about half” the scores increased and half decreased, education officials said. But schools appeal with one goal — to boost scores, Bloomfield said. * Most NYC high school graduates at CUNY need remedial classes (NYP) * State exams show @MoskowitzEva’s charter-school network @SuccessCharters is yielding the right results. #50PowerWomen

    “The history was to inflate scores,” he said. “With high stakes for both the student and the school, it became a system-wide policy.” In 2011, the state officially banned grade “scrubbing,” or giving passing scores to students who almost made the cut. But Automotive HS is one of the city’s 94 low-performing “Renewal” schools, which the city has vowed to turn around by flooding them with funding. * Dozens of NYC high schools sought to have students’ Regents scores scrubbed this year — and now other kids are complaining about the state’s tough new algebra exam administered last week. * Cuomo Not A Fan Of Education Department, Tisch Says (YNN) * StudentsFirstNY, a pro-charter group, has given de Blasio failing grades in his efforts to improve city schools, according to a new report.

    City ‘fixes’ failing grades for high school students (NYP) How do you fix a failing high school? Change the grades. Under pressure to boost student achievement, the state-designated “out of time” Automotive HS has resorted to rigging Regents exam scores.  The failing scores of five students who took the Regents in January were switched to passing scores of 65 or higher on their transcripts, the city Department of Education has confirmed. One junior saw his scores upped to pass two exams required for graduation — Living Environment (biology) and algebra — even though he had failed both classes. The student insisted he deserved a break on the exams because “I studied my ass off.” In 2011, the state banned “scrubbing” — the practice of re-scoring tests that fall just short of passing. In 2013, the DOE tried to fire a teacher who raised the scores of five students on a Regents physics exam. In 2014, city scores plummeted after a new rule barred teachers from grading tests given at their own schools. Now, the city has sanctioned it. “This is Scrubbing Part 2,” a veteran educator said of the Automotive HS score changes. “The teachers used to do it. Now it’s the administrators.” *Teaching in New York these days is like working the assembly line inModern Times  * Did you know teachers who score standardized exams in NY hadto sign agreements that they wouldn't discuss the tests?  (NYT) * A new law will allow teachers and administrators to discuss some test questions on standardized examinations, but only those publicly revealed. *  Both sides are claiming victory in the fight over strengthening charter schools in New York.

    Anyone Notice the Different Standard the Media Used In Covering the Bloomberg ad de Blasio Administration on Education
    Having No Plan to Turn Around Failing Schools Chancellor Spins Accomplishments
    EXCLUSIVE: SchoolsChancellor Carmen Fariña touts accomplishments in her first academic year(NYDN) More than 53,000 city kids attended pre-K for the first time this year, Fariña said. The veteran educator also touted the implementation of a new teachers’ contract, with more training and longer parent conferences and the creation of dozens of community school programs with expanded social services. “We’re building the foundation,” Fariña told The News. “I think we’ve done a lot of work in just a year.” The stakes are high. Just 29% of students in the city’s 1,800 public schools scored at grade level on recent state reading tests.

    “de Blasio's DOE Scrubbing” Grades to Keep the School Open
    “I am here today because I am you and you are me,” Fariña told graduates at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School as she delivered her first commencement speech Friday. “I started school where teachers told me I wasn’t as good as other children who were American. That was a long time ago in New York City. No one would get away with (that) today. Not on my watch,” the daughter of immigrants from Spain said.* De Blasio Touts Success at Boys and Girls High School Graduation (DNAINFO) The mayor was a special guest speaker for the ceremony at one of the city's 94 long-struggling schools. * As Mayor Bill de Blasio's "Renewal" programrolls out for struggling schools across the city, Chalkbeat's Patrick Wall takes a deep dive into the challenges faced by one Brooklyn high school and the students and teachers fighting to succeed there:(DKBD)
    Dumbing Down Journalism 
    How Local TV News Make Millions Rehabilitating Candidates and Cleaning Up Policies Harmful to the Public
    Blasting the Press, de Blasio
    Bubble Mayor No Town Hall de Blasio Spins and the NYC Press Defining Journalism Down

    To de Blasio School Control is More About 2017 Re-election Politics Than Education
    School’s out forsome (NYDN Ed) He Who Grants School Holidays, who recently handeth down two days off for Muslim holy days, hath proclaimed that students and teachers will also now get Lunar New Year off. So Mayor de Blasio, flanked by community leaders, announced this week. The mayor didn’t make the case the way he should have — by arguing that too many students and teachers are absent to enable schools to function on that day.@deBlasioNYC NYC spending has gone up more than 20% in past 5 years alone from $63B in 2010 to $78.5 this year! Crazy.

    Cuomo de Blasio Race to Marry Same-Sex Couples 
    Cuomo one-ups de Blasio by marrying couple at Pride Parade (NYP) * Cuomo is set to officiate a same-sex wedding before today’s gay pride march in Manhattan after winning the heDaily News reports: * There is no Team Cuomo. There is onlyCuomo."(NYP) * Gov. Cuomo to officiate same-sex marriage before Pride March (NYDN) power to do so from the state Legislature just a few days ago, * Cuomo officiates gay wedding at historic Stonewall Inn (NYP) * Cuomo marched about a block ahead of de Blasio at the Pride Parade in New York City and “one-upped” the mayor by officiating a same-sex wedding.

    NYPD City Council Tries A ChokeHold 

    A video that shows how tough the NYPD has it(NYP) * Murders at NYCHA buildings add up despite efforts to bringcrime down (NYDN)

    Friday Update
    Bratton Tells Police Academy Graduates They Face a Time of Change (NYT)  The mood at the graduation of 822 police academy recruits on Thursday contrasted sharply with the atmosphere at the December graduation. *  NYPD adds only 82 new black cops despite diversity push (NYP) * FINEST GENERATION: Son of Jack Maple, legendary deputy commissioner of crime control strategies and CompStat founder, graduates NYPD police academy (NYDN) * NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told 822 police academy graduates they are coming onto the job at a time of “great change,” and will be looked upon to “heal wounds with communities that feel we have not done enough to keep them safe.” * Bratton tells graduates they’re better prepared than he was (Capital) * The Council’s cop-out: City lawmakers are trying to fixwhat ain't broken at the NYPD (N YDN Ed)

    Tuesday Update
    Police Department to Redefine Chokehold to Match City Council Bill (NYT) The department has not dropped its opposition to the legislation, which would criminalize police use of the maneuver. * Jury still out on de Blasio’s community-policing plan (NYP)

    Bratton rips City Council for proposed anti-cop bills as a 'solution in search of a problem' (NYDN) * Bratton Against Legislation that Would Add Regulations to NYPD (NY1)  Bratton rips City Council for proposed anti-cop bills (NYDN) Keeping a running score of New York's homicide rate seems a bitridiculous (NYDN) * Probe reveals police captain’s shady crime-reporting tactics (NYP) An NYPD transit boss was caught trying to drive down his district’s crime numbers — by bullying some victims into downgrading their complaints and discouraging others from even filing a...* Bill Bratton: City Council is trying to handcuff the NYPD (NYP) ne proposal would create new guidelines on how and when officers can use force when subduing a suspect while another would make the use of chokeholds a crime — a response to the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island during an arrest. * No state or local municipality has explicitly prohibited the use of chokeholds, NYPD deputy commissioner of legal matters tells Council.* "if an officer were 2 utilize a chokehold…in defense of his own life…goes to the heart of why we are opposed to ccriminalize this” — Bratton  * Bill Bratton: Council Reform Bills Are‘Unprecedented Intrusions’ Into NYPD (NYO) * FBI investigating possible HEROIN RING in upstate N.Y. prison after two escaped —leading to one death, one capture: report * The City Council’s new drive to choke the NYPD (NYP Ed)  NY Post endorses the Bratton-Lynch-de Blasio position on chokehold bil via @nypost * Police Commissioner Bratton Bucks City Council (WSJ)  Police Commissioner William Bratton said Monday that proposed legislation to curb alleged abuses by officers was an unwanted intrusion into his management of the NYPD.* NYC sees safest June in 20 years (NYP) * Give Police Commissioner Bratton’s Reforms a Chance (NYT)  Some of the proposed City Council bills, designed to increase oversight of the New York Police Department and rein in abuses, go too far.* NYPD: Fewer Major Crimes Last Month Than in Any June Since Department Began Keeping Detailed Statistics (NY1) * Council Speaker touts more cops, but wants them on a tighter leash (NYP) * New York City on pace for less than 100,000 felony crimes for first time in NYPD history, on heels of safest June ever: police (NYDN) * NYPD sees increase in recruiting black cops, Bratton says (NYDN) * Editorial: A notch in the NYPD’s belt (NYDN Ed) * NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told 882 academy graduates that their six-month training was better than the training he received when he became a police officer in Boston in 1970.* DN: After a banner crime-fighting month, the NYPD deserves huzzahs from the City Council, not handcuffs.

    City Jails

    State Senate Confirms Former Cuomo Aide to Serve on M.T.A. Board (NYT)  Lawrence S. Schwartz was chosen over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s three recommendations. * MASS TRANSIT MISERY: New York's ever-growing population will make your ride even worse: experts (NYDN) * This Week’s Village Voice Cover Stories Look at the MTA’s Woes (123) * Doubts raised on Second Avenue subway. Can you believe it?  (CrainsNY) East Side politicians flagged five concerns that could cause the much-delayed transit project to miss its latest opening date.*  Albanyleaves de Blasio's MTA board picks in limbo. (via @transportnation)
    More on the MTA

    More on Ethnic and Racial Cleansing Gentrification

    NYT Defends de Blasio for His Albany Failures 
    Monday Update 
    Despite Cuomo’s Claims, de Blasio Hails ‘RealProgress’ on 421a (NYO) * * *
    New Yorkers get a break: Crucial reforms to the 421-aprogram survive Albany,giving the city the chance to accelerate affordable housing production (NYDN Ed) * New York City’s Burden Grows Heavier in Albany (NYT Ed) Cuomo and Republicans in the State Senate worked hard to make life miserable for Bill de Blasio this year. It is always galling to see the mayor of the nation’s biggest city begging for the bare essentials in Albany. Without the approval of New York State’s lawmakers, New York City’s elected leaders can’t raise most taxes, can’t really control traffic, can’t even run their own public schools. This week, as legislators finished their annual session, the anti-urban agenda seemed even more pointed than usual, a direct aim at New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Republicans in the State Senate this year worked hard to make life politically miserable for Mr. de Blasio and his 8.5 million constituents. NYT de Blasio A Victim?  Veterans in the state capitol suggest that lawmakers are taking their revenge for Mr. de Blasio’s meddling in last year’s elections.  The mayor, a Democrat, vigorously campaigned against  Republican state senators. (Only in Albany are legislators supposed to run for office without real opposition.)  And when Republicans won, they took aim at the mayor. Mr. de Blasio also pushed Governor Cuomo into firmly declaring his support for a more progressive than usual agenda last year in order to gain support from the liberal Working Families Party.* Cuomo’s Bid to Make Albany Work Was Tested (WSJ)  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s claim that he cured the capital of dysfunction has been complicated this year by a protracted legislative session thrown into disarray by corruption charges against both legislative leaders. * Mayor Quiet as City Officials Slam Final Albany Deal (NY1) * Cuomo's AlbanyIs Pricing Us All Out Of NYC (Gotamist) * How Andrew Cuomo Sold Out New York City Renters to a Pack of WealthyLandlords | The Nation * 421-a deal brings more anxiety for real estate developers (Capital) Requires unions, developers to negotiate on wages * The 421-a tax break deal enacted in Albany has developers worried and rushing to get planned buildings into the ground, but new rental projects seem to be out of the question, Capital New York reports * The short-term Big Ugly deal on 421-a has real estate developers gearing up for the next round of negotiations. * New York City developers are questioning a deal on the 421-a program, including a provision to negotiate a wage mandate for construction workers, with insiders predicting court challenges, Crain’s writes:
    NY Times Failed Kingdom and Jill Abramson

    Board of Elections Hacks Vote Themselves A Pay Raise 
    Attack of the Boardof Election hacks (NYDN Ed) Government officials often complain that low pay hurts their ability to attract good people to work for the public. True in some cases. Egregiously false in the case of a patronage-ridden swamp like the city Board of Elections. The Board asked the City Council and the mayor for more dough — ostensibly to run elections and not for raises. Elected leaders answered the prayer in the budget agreed to late Monday night. The next day, Board commissioners handed out goodies. At a public meeting, they entered into secret session — and came out two hours later. Then, over the course of two-and half minutes they rattled off $201,990 in raises. That’s roughly $80,000 a minute. The top Democrat and Republican in each borough office will now make up to $130,000 for chiefs and $125,000 for deputies and, in a laugh, they will no longer be eligible for merit pay. Nine central office bosses also got hikes, boosting their average salary to $150,000. The raises got rammed through two weeks after the very same commissioners refused to publicly list all job openings. That’s rich.  There is only one solution here: Abolish the Board of Elections and institute a professional nonpartisan civil service workforce.

    Patronage Wins At Board of Elections
    The Board ofElections fix remains in (NYDN Ed) Nine months ago, seeking appointment to the Board of Elections, Alan Schulkin, Bianka Perez and John Flateau swore under oath to the City Council that they supported the public listing of job openings — a change that would strike a death blow to patronage at the nepotism-infected agency. Last Tuesday, true to their pledge to Councilman Ben Kallos, the trio — serving as Democratic commissioners from Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn — introduced a motion to post all employment vacancies at the Board. Patronage won. Voting no were Democrats Jose Miguel Araujo (Queens) and Maria Guastella (Staten Island) and Republicans Michael Michel (Queens) and Fred Umane (Manhattan). Bronx Republican Michael Rendino weirdly abstained and Republicans Ron Castorina (S.I.) and Simon Shamoun (Brooklyn) were absent.

    Update Big Ugly Lovely Albany Budget Passes and Cuomo Plans 4 SCOTUS Weddings

    UPDATE: The Big Ugly bill has landed!! * Governor, Legislative Leaders Tout Final Details of Rent Regulations Deal (NY1) 'Big Ugly' legislative bill provides tax break, rent protection (Newsday) * The political implications of the Big Ugly's sunsets
    Albany Times Union (blog) * Lawmakers set to pass 'Big Ugly' bill that extends rent regulation ... New York Daily News * He won’t get married, but Cuomo can now officiate your wedding (NYP) *Big Ugly’ bill finally passed – NY lawmakers can all go home (NYP) * De Blasio was on the phone several times during a press conference with Bratton learning the final details of Albany negotiations as they were announced, with many decisions working against the mayor, the Journal reports: * Albany adjourns after passing ‘the big whatever’ (Capital) * Members of the Assembly overwhelmingly approved the Big Ugly in a 122-13 vote, finishing up around midnight.

    Back to the 60's Future? A Day & A Week Of A Social &Political Earthquakes That Rocked America
    The measure passed the Senate a bit earlier in the evening, 47-12, with a number of Democrats dissenting. * The votes ended a session that will be remembered for for its corruption scandals and attendant upheaval rather than its legislative achievements – or lack thereof. Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the agreement “a reasonable and intelligent compromise” in which “no one is exactly happy with everything.” * The details of the final deal were largely unchanged since Cuomo and legislative leaders announced a framework agreement earlier in the week. It extends NYC mayoral control for just one year, continues both rent control and the 421a program with what the governor deemed “historic” reforms (though advocates strongly disagree), extends the tax cap with minor modifications and creates a $1.3 billion property tax rebate program. * Contrary to lawmakers’ claims, the Big Ugly did not end the State Education Department’s so-called “gag order” policy that prevents administrators and teachers from discussing the contents of state exams. * As a result of the end of session deal, not only Cuomo, but former governors George Pataki, David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer now all have the power to perform marriages. The new law takes effect immediately – just in time for this weekend’s Gay Pride Parade in NYC. * State Senate Approves Session's Final 'Big Ugly' Legislative Package (NY1) * de Blasio scores last-minute changes to controversial property-tax... (CrainsNY) Mayor rethinks 421-a plan for Manhattan projects and gets Albany's OK, and also wins a partial exclusion of condos from the program. * The governor did not deny that he was the “top Cuomo administration official” quoted in the Daily News questioning NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s strategy as he pushed to renew his control of the city’s schools and restructure and reauthorize a real estate tax subsidy to help him build more affordable housing. (Cuomo’s spokeswoman on whether the governor had admitted he was the commentor: “Nope”). * De Blasio was on the downside of a difficult week, as he navigated the final hours of both the state legislative session and City Council budget talks. “Right now, we are focused on policy,” the mayor responded when asked about the tough comments from the governor’s camp.

    Nobody Read the Budget Before Lawmakers Voted On It 
    After a prolonged and vexing legislative session, state lawmakers passed a package of deals minutes before midnight by voting on a bill they hadn’t seen in final form by dinnertime that evening, The Wall StreetJournal reports:   421-a Rush The threatened expiration of the developers’ property-tax break known as 421-a triggered a rush to beat the deadline, creating the city’s biggest surge in building permits in seven years, the Journal reports: *Wide-Ranging Deal Approved as Albany Session Closes (NYT) The much-delayed deal includes a four-year extension of rental rules, funding for nonpublic schools and other matters.* Cuomo calls rent regulation extension deal 'the best reform package in history' as pols pass ‘Big Ugly’ bill (NYDN) The centerpiece of the rent deal is a provision to increase by $200 the current $2,500 monthly rent threshold at which a vacant city apartment can be placed into the open market - a process known as vacancy de-control. Future increases to the threshold would be automatically tied to the cost of housing as determined annually by the Rent Guidelines Board. “There are more protections in this law than ever in history,” Cuomo said. Tenant advocates and legislative Democrats had fought to eliminate vacancy decontrol, and the Alliance for Tenant Power called Cuomo’s claim “laughable.” "Close to 100,000 units of affordable housing will be lost because Gov. Cuomo failed to deliver stronger rent laws,” said Katie Goldstein, a ATP leader. * Schneiderman Calls Absence of Ethics Reform FromAlbany Deal ‘Incomprehensible’ (NYO) * Heastie Announces Off-Session Travel Reimbursement Policy (YNN) * Senate Holds Up de Blasio, Cuomo MTA Appointees (YNN) In yet another “screw you” to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Republican-controlled Senate departed Albany without acting on the mayor’s appointees to the MTA Board, multiple sources confirm. True News PM  The GOP-controlled state Senate left Albany without acting on any of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s three MTA board nominees, but it confirmed one of two put forth by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, State of Politics reports:   * Under a new per diem policy in the Assembly, any lawmaker that wants to claim expenses for more than 30 trips when the chamber is not in session will need approval from Speaker Carl Heastie, State of Politicsreports: * Gannett Albany compiled a list of which state legislators voted for a package of bills that got jammed into one so-called big ugly, which shows 12 senators and 13 Assembly members voted against it:  * How they voted: “The Big Ugly” * Accord reached on 421-a program, rent law renewal (Capital) EJ McMahon takes a look at which pension sweeteners made the cut – and which fell short – in the Big Ugly. * Dan Janison: “Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan appears ready to come away with more political gains than losses from his first end-of-session deals as New York’s top elected Republican.”

    True News Reported Weeks Before WSJ That Albany Arrests Have No Effect On The Way They Handle Real Estate
    New York City real-estate developers continued to exert their power in the state capital this year, even after their industry was associated with a series of political scandals, the Journal reports:  * Brushing aside criticism from tenant activists and fellow Democrats, Cuomo called a deal to extend rent regulations “the best rent reform package in history,” the Daily News reports:  * NYSUT: Education Reform is “Far From Over”(YNN)

    Last Weeks True News Wags the WSJ
    Not Even Preet, Killing Moreland Can Stop 3 Men in A Room And Big Ugly
    Noon - Heastie holds two-way chat with Cuomo * Schneiderman Knocks ‘Opaque’ Albany Process (YNN) * Tax Credit, For Now, Remains Standalone In Senate(YNN) * No Stop-Gap Measure For Rent Control, Senators Say (YNN) * De Blasio: Rent Law Expiration Would be Worse Than AnyRecent Natural Disaster  * De Blasio: Rent Law Expiration Would be WorseThan Any Recent Natural Disaster(NYO) * It’s a game of hurry-up-and-wait at the state Capitol as the midnight expiration deadline for the NYC rent laws looms. So far, we have seen neither hide nor hair of the governor, though he is indeed in Albany (according to his public schedule, released this morning), and legislative leaders have yet to reach a rent-related deal. * The Assembly has approved a two-day extension to buy a bit more negotiating time, while the Senate passed its eight-year extension measure, which the Assembly has rejected.
    The Rockaways 
    Cover Story: Eric Drooker’s “Rockaway Beach” - The New Yorker (New Yorker) This week's cover celebrates the longest urban beach in the United States.

    de Blasio's No Pay Interns 
    De Blasio interns receive education, not pay (Capital) Despite rhetoric, no money for full-time work * Advocates for paid internships are accusing the de Blasio administration of falling short of its own progressive rhetoric when it comes to intern compensation. Many of the mayor’s interns work full-time, but are not paid, even as he pushes for a higher minimum wage.

    More on de Blasio

    Last Month de Blasio Said End 421-a is Not Reformed, Well Not Reformed
    de Blasio If 421-a is Not Reformed End It
    The transcript of de Blasio's church remarks from this morning includes audience responses:  "This city works when it's for everyone," @BilldeBlasio says, and "gentrification has changed us."* "If Albany won't mend it, let's end it," @BilldeBlasio says of 421-a.  * .@BilldeBlasio for 1st time calling for 421a to end altogether if he doesn't get changes he wants. "End those tax breaks once and for all" * .@BilldeBlasio says $100 million condo got a tax break. "Not anymore, brothers and sisters." Friday De Blasio hints at compromise with Albany on 421-a | Capital  * Cuomo Digs at de Blasio on Real Estate Tax Plan * for first time @BilldeBlasio proposes ending #421a if Albanydoesn't get on board w/ his reforms to the abatement:  (Capital) * State lawmakers mustend tax breaks for housing developers if they won’t amend it: Bill de Blasio * Both Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver skipped out of the end of the legislative session early, and Silver declined to vote on the rent control and 421a tax abatement extensions. * New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the 421a tax credit plan passed in Albany a partial victory and noted it now required developers building in all parts of the city to include affordable housing, the Observer reports: 

    A Tale Of Two de Blasio Conflicting Pitches Putting Re-election Ahead of Progressive ideology 
    His Progressive Cult Following and the 2017 Voters He Needs to Get Re-elected 
    Police Department to Redefine Chokehold to Match City Council Bill (NYT) The department has not dropped its opposition to the legislation, which would criminalize police use of the maneuver. *  The NYPD is poised to narrow its definition of a chokehold, adopting language from a City Council bill aimed at criminalizing police use of the maneuver.

    De Blasio’s surprise Monday night announcement to add almost 1,300 new cops to the NYPD came just two weeks after a 1 Police Plaza sitdown between him and Bill Bratton, his handpicked police commissioner. * With deal to hire 1,300 cops, de Blasio admits there’s a problem (NYP) * Police union, advocates criticize Mayor de Blasio's decision to add 1,300 cops to NYPD — claim number is a 'drop in the bucket'(NYDN) * Mayor de Blasio's explanation for adding 1,300 NYPD cops is just not credible (NYDN) * New Yorkers will be protected by almost 1,300 new cops, no thanks to Bill de Blasio but instead to Bill Bratton (NYDN) * De Blasio swayed by Bratton into adding 1,300 cops: sources (NYDN) *  City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was quick to declare victory when de Blasio agreed to hire 1,300 more cops, but some other members’ requests have yet to be fulfilled, City & State reports:  * Big unanswered question (which Lupica hints at): how much do1,300 cops actually cost the city, salaries+pensions?  (NYDN) * NYPD will hire 800 recruits and move 415 cops off deskduty under neighborhood policing plan (NYDN) * The NYPD said it will suspend exams taken by prospective recruits for three months beginning in July as it looks to clear a 50,000-person backlog of applicants and overhaul an unwieldy hiring program that has become unmanageable.* Police reform bills spur debate about legislative oversight (Capital) * NYPD goes back on the beat as murders and shootings skyrocket (NYP) It’s been a tough summer so far for the NYPD. Murders and shootings are up, while a department survey found that 85 percent of cops say they fear being proactive because they are scared of civilian complaints. “This is a police force that’s very unhappy,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a radio interview earlier this month. “There’s no getting around it, and we are trying to deal with some of the things that make them unhappy. They think the community doesn’t support them.” * A facet of NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton’s policing model will take cops out of their cars for a few hours and interact with the neighborhood.* New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton said he opposed legislation that would outlaw chokehold maneuvers and require police to seek consent before searching suspects, the Observer reports:

    The Fact That de Blasio Get 1300 More Cops for His 2017 Election Is Over the Head of the Daily News With No Progressive Fingerprints
    Cuomo and legislative leaders announced a framework proposal for concluding the legislative session, both houses promised to return to the Capitol today, the Times Union reports: * * New York City’s plan to hire 1,300 police officers and use many for neighborhood policing is part of a larger “plan of action” or blueprint the department expects to unveil later this week, The New York Times reports:   * The Post writes that de Blasio’s reversal on citylawmakers’ request to hire more cops shows he is at least tacitly admitting there’s a problem with a recent rise in homicides and shootings: *  The Daily News credits NYPD Commissioner William Bratton’s“canny leadership” for plans to hire 1,300 more cops because the mayor’s decision-making was a “confidence-sapping mess” * @BilldeBlasio Hired More Police To Head Off Political Fallout; Even From His "Base" Sources Say via @Dnainfo * “He was caught between a rock and a hard place,” de Blasioally Bertha Lewis says of mayor & police. (NYT) * "top CityHall official said BDB never wavered from hisposition that the city didnt need more cops 2 keep [NYC] safe” (NYDN) * De Blasio’s decision to add 1,300 new cops, which makes it look like he is responding to criticism, also ties him tighter to NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, New York magazine’s Chris Smith writes: * Mayor, Police Commissioner Introduce Community Policing Initiative (NY1) * The Story of New York’s First Black Police Officer, Told With the Help of Langston Hughes (NYT) The story of Samuel J. Battle, the first black officer in the New York Police Department, is being told in a new book by Arthur Browne, a veteran newspaper reporter and editor. * SILENT HATRED: Newser's book describes how first African-American to join NYPD suffered at the hands of his fellow officers (NYDN) * A machete attack recalls NYC’s bad old, pre-Giuliani days (NYP Ed)

    NYC Shootings Map
    In addition to the1,300 new police officers that will be hired, a new focus of officers will becommunity policing:How Bill de Blasio earned this week’s epic flogging (NYP Ed) * BILL BRATTON BESTS DE BLASIO: New Yorkers will be protected by almost 1,300 new cops, no thanks to the mayor (NYDN Ed) * NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has a long way to go to comply with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s demands that the police force reflects the overall racial makeup of the city, the New York Post writes:  * * De Blasio’s reversal in hiring more police officers should allow NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton to reshape and re-focus the police force and also have it reflect the communities it serves, the Times writes:  * The New York Police Department will suspend exams taken by prospective recruits for three months beginning in July as part of an overhaul of an unwieldy hiring program, the Wall Street Journal reports:  * Mayor, Police Commissioner Introduce Community Policing Initiative(NY1) * MAP: Breaking down six months of shootings in NYC (DNAINFO) * BRATTON'S BIG PLAN: Police commissioner preps to transform the city a second time (NYDN Ed)
    Why is Crime Up  . . .  More Cops
    NYPD, Bratton The Fight For Control
    Sharpton CCRB vs NYPD, Noerdlinger, McCray, de Blasio
    City Council Crime Fighting and the NYPD

    Its the Cuomo Court Now
    Judge Susan Read, 67, announced she would retire from the Court of Appeals in August, leaving Judge Eugene Pigott as the lone Republican on the seven-member bench. Her departure also means Cuomo will have two vacancies to fill before the court begins its new term in January. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has reached the court’s mandatory retirement age of 70 and must also step down.* If Cuomo appoints another Democrat to the state Court of Appeals to replace one of two Republican appointees left on the court, here’s little hope for healthy debate or checks and balances on government policies,the Post writes: 

    de Blasio 180 On More Cops?1300 More Cops 
    Budget deal that mandates the hiring of an additional 1,300 police officers

    NYC Tax Revenues $4 Billion Ahead of Projections
    @joshgreenman  How will de Blasio explain 1) initially saying no need for new cops, 2) agreeing not only to 1,000 Bratton wanted, but 1,300? * Why 1300 new cops? Mayor's office take: it is, in part,piece of @CommissBratton'sstrategy to reinvent NYPD  (AP) * Mayor de Blasio Poised to Hire 1,300 Police Officers (NYT)  The mayor, who has long been hesitant to hire more officers, is negotiating with leaders of the City Council, according to two people briefed on the discussions. * The $78.5 B NYC budget Mayor de Blasio is announcing now is 12.1% higher than the final Bloomberg budget announced exactly 2 years ago * Libraries will soon be open six days a week * @MelissaRusso4NY  Mayor wanted to cap Police O-T and secure new community policing plan before hiring cops. Sounds more like a deal w/ Bratton than council* New budget includes six day library service and an additional week for beach season * extra 1,297 cops for counter terror & community policing * .@NYCCouncil gets $280M out of $78B for initiatives...that's almost 0.5%.  * * Some criminal justice advocates oppose New York City’s surprising move to hire 1,300 new police officers, which de Blasio had opposed but conceded to after a rise in homicides and shootings, The New York Times reports: 

    Council gets money for more summer youth jobs and 6,000 new year round youth jobs * Lunar New Year to be a public school holiday (NYP) * NYPD looks to add thousands of new body cameras (NYP) * What happens to @BilldeBlasio "firm OT cap" on #NYPD if there is another event like 9/11, for example?* The NYPD will hire almost 1,300 more cops, under a $78.5 billion budget deal struck by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. The deal is a concession that follows months of the mayor insisting the city didn’t need any more officers and the money should go to other budgetary needs. * De Blasio has an unlikely ally in the NYC mayoral control debate: Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who says the law should be made permanent. * ‏@Azi    BDB said Bratton’s vision wasn’t clear on 5/7    Bratton unveiled new patrol plan,in January   * Why'd de Blasio sign OK 1,300 new cops after monthsinsisting we didn't need & couldn't afford them? He ain't saying.  (NYDN) * A look at the politics behind @BilldeBlasio's ramp-up of New York City cops: (NY Mag) Tom DiNapoli reported that state tax revenues for May were nearly $4 billion ahead of projections; much of that money comes from the rebound of the city’s financial industry.  The mayor is requiring the NYPD to trim overtime as part of the new budget, but the robust income of recent years enables de Blasio to add not just cops but library hours and gym teachers and an extra week of city beach openings. Never mind that the new cops will add millions in new pension costs — Dante de Blasio will be mayor by then.  * "There's nothing I've asked for that I haven't gotten, so I guess that's a pretty good expression of support." -Bratton on @BilldeBlasio

    It Was Budget Saving Not Increase Shooting That Sealed the Deal On More Cops
    Mayor @BilldeBlasio says there have been meetings with the @CommissBratton in recent weeks and new cost savings that changed his mind* The mayor said hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons had called to apologize for calling him a “punk,” and he has accepted that apology. * Police add more cops on trains to fight rise in subway crime (NYDN) * De Blasio to add nearly 1,300 cops to NYPD for 2016: sources (NYDN) * NYPD to get 1,300 new police officers under latest budgetdeal:  (DNAINFO) * The new officers are a significant win for Mark-Viverito, who pushed hard for a larger department during closed-door budget negotiations in recent weeks, according to sources. Asked repeatedly why he changed his stance, de Blasio said Mark-Viverito made a strong case and spoke favorably about the “neighborhood policing” program, which de Blasio said will allow officers to better know their precincts and improve police and community relations. * “For the first time in recent history, New York City beaches will not close on LaborDay. At the urging of the City Council, Mayor Bill de Blasio has allocated $687,000 to keep the beaches open seven additional days this year, Karen Hinton, a spokeswoman for the mayor confirmed Monday night. The Council has also restored $8.7 million in funding for the Parks Department, which will enable it to avoid laying off 150 gardeners and maintenance workers. That $8.7 million has been a key demand of parks advocates.”* @BilldeBlasio @NYCCouncil make budget deal w/1,300 more cops at $170M   (Newsday) * Activists Blast Mayor and Speaker for Adding 1,300 NYPD Officers. Mayor: 300 New Counter-Terrorism Cops Weren’tAdded for a ‘Specific’ Terror Threat (NYO) *  With deal to hire 1,300 cops, de Blasio admits there's a problem(NYP) * BdB signature affordable housing plan jeopardized by Cuomoprevailing wage push. For bkrnd, smart @JonLemire read 

    Taxi Bosses Still Own the City Council Campaign $ and Lobbyists 
    Bloomberg When to Albany to Get the Green Cabs

    Tuesday Update
    Taxi boss blames stop-and-frisk cutbacks for driver’s death (NYP) *  Council meeting could limit number of Uber cars on the road (NYP) *
    • The New York City Council will hold a hearing that could place a temporary cap on the number of vehicles that popular car services like Uber and Lyft are allowed to put on the road, the Post reports:  * Uber Says Proposed Freeze on Licenses in New York City Would Limit Competition (NYT) Legislation proposed by the City Council’s transportation committee would freeze the issuing of for-hire vehicle licenses while a traffic-congestion study was being conducted * Taxi industry upheaval prompts a fiery debate (Capital) * Critics said app-based car services like Uber and Lyft are clogging traffic in Manhattan and polluting the air as the city Taxi and Limousine Commission embarks on a related study, the Post:  * Just a week after Uber offered rare words of praise for NYC’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, the ride-hailing company was back in a familiar position, criticizing the latest move to regulate the fast-growing service. Uber representatives testified before a City Council committee to quash a new threat: a temporary freeze in the issuing of for-hire vehicle licenses.
    More On Taxi and Uber and Campaign $$$ and Lobbyists

    Keeping Wall Street Jobs Strong
    112 Rikers Island employees red-flagged for integrity issues, including gang affiliations, still working at prison — months after Correction Dept. was notified (NYDN) New York needs finance: A new report spotlights the importance of keeping the industry strong (NYDN Ed) In this city of two tales, attention must be paid to both. Seven years after the national financial meltdown, New York is fortunate to remain the headquarters of global finance. Now the question is: How to keep our No.1 job producer No. 1 in the world. Banking and Wall Street jobs, from chief executives down to entry-level clerks, are overwhelmingly held by residents of the five boroughs. They produce 62% of the city’s private-sector wages, accounting for more than a third of the city’s $700 billion economic activity, according to a study by the Partnership for New York City.* Citing a report, the Daily News writes that New York City must maintain its banking industry and Wall Street jobs by improving airports, Internet connections, high schools and the tax structure * Federal officials designated the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, as part of America’s Marine Highway System, which will make it eligible for federal support, Crain’s reports:
    NYC's Economic Problems
    NYC Cultural Change and the Escape
    More on Wall Street

    The PAC and Special Interests Take Over of the Campaigns Has Weaken the City's Neighborhoods
    Lindsay, Wagner Breslin and Mailer Worked to Give More Power To the City's Neighborhoods
    In the early 1970's, Mayor John Lindsay created additional entities in some districts whose responsibility it was to oversee the provision of City services. Each "Little City Hall" as they were called, was headed by a District Manager, a person appointed by the mayor. Lindsay wanted the city halls to give neighborhoods more control of the city's government.  How They Came Into Being What would eventually evolve into a system of Community Boards was the brainchild of Robert Wagner, Manhattan Borough President, in 1951. He designated twelve districts within Manhattan and established, for each, a Community Planning Council composed of fifteen to twenty members. The function of these Councils was to advise the Borough President on matters related to planning and the budget. In 1963 while Wagner was battling Tammany Halls shadow control of city government, he got the City Charter to establishment Community Planning Boards, as they were referred to, in all five boroughs of New York City. Eventually the term "Community Planning Board" was shortened to simply "Community Board". The role of the boards was still that of advisory boards to the Borough Presidents.
    The Privatization of the Tammany Hall Machine
    Foreign Ownership of NYC Real Estate is Increasing At A Fast Pace
    The Walmartization Centralization of NY's Politics

    New Yorkers Have Been Cut Off and Powerless From Their Local Govt
    The Govt Now Works for the Special Interests Against the People
    According to indictments unsealed this week, Ms. Rahaman was right. It was all a ruse involving their landlord and two inspectors from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, prosecutors said, a small piece of a larger bribery and kickback investigation involving nearly four dozen city housing and buildings employees, property owners, managers and construction industry workers. The court documents describe in detail how building code violations and tenant complaints were dismissed for payoffs that were sometimes just a few hundred dollars. “Notably, many of the buildings at issue are located in areas of Brooklyn which are rapidly developing and gentrifying, resulting in an economic incentive for building owners to sell or refinance quickly to take advantage of the booming real estate market,” said a letter submitted to the court by the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr.


    Trust de Blasio Closing the Parks to Traffic Will Have No Historic Effect on Traffic
    Monday Update Veteran Assemblyman Keith Wright wants NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to put the brakes on a plan to close most of Central Park to weekday car traffic, fearing it will creating traffic problems for his constituents in Harlem.

    De Blasio plans to permanently close large portions of Central, Prospect Parks to weekday car traffic: sources (NYDN) * Sources: De Blasio to cut cars in Central and Prospect parks (Capital) * Sources: Mayor to Expand Car Ban in Central, Prospect Parks (NY1)* NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he will close large parts of New York City’s two most celebrated parks to car traffic on weekdays. The closings in Central Park and Prospect Park, which pedestrian advocates have been seeking for decades, will banish cars from sections of the verdant thoroughfares that wind along the edges of both parks. * The car ban does not apply to the antique electric vehicles the mayor favors to replace horse-drawn carriages in these two parks. * Prospect Park's East Side Neighbors Fume Over Exclusion From Car Ban (DNAINFO)  NYC Parks Update  Majority of NYC parks forced to operate with part-time crews(NYP) More than three-quarters of all parks in New York City are operating without permanent maintenance workers and other staff, even in the busiest summer months

    Passover Presidential Primary and Million Wasted As Incumbents Lawmakers Run 2 Elections to Save Their Ass
    NY lawmakers fuming over DNC’s Passover primary date (NYP) The Democratic National Committee’s plan to hold a presidential primary on Passover has met strong resistance among New York lawmakers. *A group of 71 Assembly Democrats, led by former Speaker Sheldon Silver, wants to change next year’s proposed presidential primary date because it falls during the Jewish holiday of Passover.* Presidential primary date among undecided issues(Capital  *   *Officials warn NY might lose delegates (NYDN)Moving the primary from April 26 to April 19 would deprive New York of bonus delegates, which the Democratic National Committee doles out to states that cluster their primaries on one day.* New York, as usual, won’t play a kingmaker role in the 2016 elections, but even western New York will provide candidates with much-needed cash.
    Primary Waste
    THE IRRATIONALITY OF MULTIPLE PRIMARIES: New York State's multiple primaries don't just fleece taxpayers, they also drive down New York's already abysmal voter turnout, writes Dr. Jeanne Zaino in City & State: The Record # of Incumbents Defeated in the 1972 (McGoven) Primary Led to NY's Separate and Unequal Turnout  Primaries 

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

    By not consolidating state and federal primaries into one day, taxpayer money is wasted and incentives are created for politicians to run for multiple offices at once without any real consequences, former New York City Councilman Adam Clayton Powell 4th writes in the Daily News: 

    Why 2 Primaries in Presidential Election Years
    An Expensive and Unnecessary Election(NYT Ed) The extra New York State primary will cost state taxpayers $50 million for their trouble. New York State is poised to put voters through another needlessly expensive election year. Instead of taking the sensible route — one primary to pick party candidates and one general election to pick ultimate winners — New York is scheduled to have an extra primary. That means three elections when two are enough. The extra primary will cost state taxpayers $50 million for their trouble. The Assembly was right to challenge this scenario with a bill providing for federal, state and local primaries on the fourth Tuesday in June (the 24th this year). That gives officials plenty of time to count ballots and announce nominees for the November general election. It also allows the state to comply with federal law that requires primaries to be held early enough so that troops overseas can get ballots and mail them back in time to be counted. The Senate, however, has yet to agree to a single June primary. Its members want a federal primary in June and a separate state and local primary (which would include their own primary elections) in September. It’s been that way for 40 years, and the Senate, which is now almost evenly divided between the two major parties, seems intent on resisting change.


    Another Brooklyn Terror Arrest
    A fifth man has been charged in an alleged conspiracy by several Brooklyn men to provide material support to Islamic State, federal prosecutors announced. * Chief of @BrooklynDA "exoneration" unit is working for family of terror suspect killed by Boston police.  * HOMEGROWN TERROR SUSPECT: Queens college student busted by feds in alleged plot to set off bomb in New York City (NYDN) * Staten Island Man Arrested in Terror Probe (NY1)

    Bloomberg Adds to Once Of His Best Accomplishments 
    And the FDA Bans Trans-Fat

    Instead of Outrage and Condemnation of Albany On Day Tenants Screwed MSM Defends and Protect Them

    On the Day the Albany Lawmakers Let Rent Laws Expire the Daily News Says Let Corrupt Pols Keep Their Pensions
    Let crooked pols keep pensions: Stripping retirementaccounts is just cruel (NYDN) Daily News that stripping lawmakers convicted of corruption of their pensions is a step too far, as losing one’s job, honor and freedom are punishment enough.  True News Question: If the Daily News Thinks Losing One's Job and Freedom is Enough to Stop Corruption, Then Why Was the Arrests of 35 of Their Colleagues Not Enough to Stop the Corruption Over the Past 10 Years?

    On the Day the Albany 3 Men in the Room Could Not Protect Tenants Newday Blames the Corruption Probes for Lack of Reforms
    Newsday writes that recent Albany corruption probes are causing a paralysis in the capital that is preventing lawmakers from making much needed changes to laws and delaying progress in some areas: True News Question: Is Newsday Pro Pay to Play Corruption?  Does Newsday Think the Lobbyists and Special Interests Who Funded 174 Fund Raises for Lawmakers This Year Were Paying the $$$ to Reform the Laws?

    The NYP Uses A Child Abuse Law Blocked By Former Speaker Silver to Blast the Assembly Democrats Who They Hate 

    The Post Failed to Report The Child Abuse Bill That Has 61 Sponsors in the Assembly and Whose Supporters Has Led Protests for 6 Years All Over the City. The Post Also Failed to Report That Former Speaker Silver Urged On By the Catholic League and Agudath Israel and Other Orthodox Groups Who Opposed the Bill. The Bill That the NYP Reported Has Become Law in California and 6 Other States  Church blasts ‘retaliatory’ resurrection of sex abuse bill (NYP) Assembly Democrats, under pressure from the Catholic Church to pass a tax break to help parochial schools, on Monday revived a bill that would allow lawsuits involving decades-old claims of sexual abuse by priests. “This is a retaliatory strike against the church,” Dennis Poust, spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference, told The Post. “We haven’t heard a whisper about this bill in six years. * THE BRIDGE MISSION TO ALBANY LOBBY DAY FIGHTING FOR SCHOOLTUITION TAX CREDITS AND PASSAGE OF "THE CHILD VICTIM ACT"

    Albany Lawmakers Still Taking Money From Special Interests 
    Yet now that they’re on the brink of blowing those deadlines, they bleat it’s de Blasio’s fault, or Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s. Particularly phony is the excuse that Bharara’s corruption charges against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos have put a kibosh on legislative negotiations. In fact, there’s plenty of talking going on. The true sin is that Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan have proven grossly incompetent at leading their chambers. *  Expiration of Rent Regulations Approaches as Tenants Mull Impact (NY1) * No Resolution in Sight Over Bill Proposing Pension Forfeiture for Convicted Officials (NY1) * As State Lawmakers Pack Up, Cuomo Issues Last Minute Push for Minimum Wage Raise (NYDN) * Albany Lawmakers Approve State Terrorist Registry (NY1)  * What will happen Monday if rent protections expire for 2million NYC tenants? 

    Albany Lawmakers Protect Themselves Not the Tenants
    Albany Lawmakers Take the Money and Do Nothing
    Albany lawmakers work hard but fund-raise harder: study (NYP) They have a hard time passing legislation, but they’re world champs when it comes to fund-raising. By the time June ends, Gov. Cuomo and state lawmakers will have held a total of 173 fund-raisers this year — matching 2014, which was an election year, according to an analysis released Thursday. But with just days to go before the legislative session is scheduled to close, several critical issues are still not resolved, including the extension of rent controls for more than 1 million New York City tenants. Most of the fund-raisers were held when lawmakers were negotiating the budget in March, and from mid-May through June, when they’re wrapping up. “It’s legislating by day and fundraising by night,” said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group, which conducted the analysis.* By the time June ends, Cuomo and state lawmakers will have held a total of 173 fund-raisers this year — matching 2014, which was an election year, according to a NYPIRG analysis.

    Albany Cherry Picks Feel Good Laws
    Albany Protects Dogs Ignores New Yorkers Right to A Decent Home
    Dog-Related Bills Flood Albany as Major Legislation Stalls (NYT) With the legislative session down to its final days, New York legislators have dozens ofdog-related bills awaiting passage. Dozens of dog-related bills awaiting passage, including those addressing canine discrimination, adoption and curfews

    Even NYT Says Housing Emergency Ignored By Albany Lawmakers
    New York’s Housing Emergency (NYT Ed) The city housing issue is a politically complicated matter for state legislators, but not impossible. New York State’s lawmakers are scheduled to shut down their legislative work for the year next Wednesday. That is a meaningless, self-declared deadline, which means Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature have no excuse for failing to deal with some of the most urgent matters on their agenda, like housing in New York City. Two of the city’s major housing development laws expire on Monday. One law protects rent regulations for as many as two million people in lower-cost apartments. The other, called 421-a, gives a lucrative tax credit to developers, usually in return for building more affordable apartment units. The two laws have often been enacted together, making the housing issue a politically complicated matter for legislators in Albany. Complicated, however, should not mean impossible. But Mr. Cuomo said this Wednesday, referring to the developer tax credit, “you can’t come up with a resolution in these next few days, and I am not going to attempt to.”  Mr. Cuomo said Thursday that he is considering a short-term extension of the 421-a law. A better option would be to let that law expire, but there will no doubt be negotiations about keeping it in some form. As for extending the existing rent protection law without needed changes, that would result in the continued loss of thousands of rent-regulated apartments every year. . . . Mr. Cuomo has recognized that expiration of the rental law would create “mass mayhem.” Recently he promised to call the Legislature back “every day if necessary until tenants are protected with new regulations.” Governor Cuomo should follow through on that threat — not only to resolve the rent regulations but also to deal with 421-a.* The rent laws and 421a are scheduled to expire Monday, which the NYT calls a “meaningless, self-declared deadline,” adding: “which means (Cuomo) and the Legislature have no excuse for failing to deal with some of the most urgent matters on their agenda, like housing in New York City.”  ***  The Times writes that Cuomo needs to follow through on his threat to call state legislators back to session if the fail to pass several important housing related bills before the legislative session ends next week* Population of homeless adults in shelters will grow by 59% in 5 years if Gov. Cuomo doens't give more aid, report says (NYDN)

    From True News
    The Lobbyists Privatization of the Tammany Hall Machine in NYC  
    The Old Tammany Hall Machine was corrupt as corrupt as the lobbyists who have run today's New York's political system.  But the machine of the Boss Tweed era was far more responsive to voters and the communities that it served.  Terry Golway recent book explained how Tammany Hall depended on voter turnout for power.  To get votes the old machine offered services, provided jobs and protected the neighborhood where their votes came from. Tammany Hall governing style was responsible for creating New York's strong Neighborhoods of old. Tammany leader George Washington Plunkitt — the man who coined the phrase “honest graft” — met with constituents and lesser Tammany officials in his district several times a week to find out who was happy with Tammany’s services and who required some special attention. Today's lobbyist's controlled private machine gain power by getting electing candidates and feeding them with campaign contributions from their clients who are looking for city contracts or zoning changes, they never meet the voters.
    The Old Tammany Hall Welcomed All the Voters New Lobbyists Private Tammany Hall Pushes the Public Out to Make Money
     Over the last few years the lobbyists started to make their way into the political system by offering party bosses campaign services and campaign funding which in the old Tammany days would have been done in the club house and by its members.  In the old days hundreds of people worked in the clubhouse to put our mailings.  Today a campaign consultant emails a mailing house with a flyer designed by his or her company and the mail goes out.  The entire social structure of the community helping the machine and in return the machine helping the community and it residences is gone.  The news lobbyists machine hang out is their beach houses or million dollar apartments and never meet anyone in the community they seek to elect someone in. The public who used to at least have a choice to elect their party leaders.  The permanent government picks the Tammany's lobbyists cutting out the public completely.


    The New Private Lobbyists Tammany Hall is Even Less Transparent Than the Old Secret Party Boss System
    There are very important campaign filing differences between de Sapio's Tammany Hall and today's lobbyists Tammany Hall.  Old Tammany and today's political party leaders were required to file their all their expenses and how much money their received. The new lobbyists Private Tammany Hall uses money from their lobbyists clients in campaigns which are not required to be filed with the Board of Elections.  They use the Data and Field model of charging their clients below costs, that the Working Families Party and others are under investigation for by the Staten Island DA's special prosecutor, and it is all legal for the new lobbyists political consultants.   The political party machines are quired to file any money they spend with other clubs or political leaders that is used to elect their candidates.  The new private lobbyists can hire other lobbyists or anyone else and is not required to file any financial report.  In the 2013 elections there were over 200 incidents of 8 lobbyists either working with other or against each other

    Pols Increasing Bypassing the Media 
    Elected Officials Increasing Use Social Media to Bypass a Very Weakened Media
    Elected officials are using social media technologies like blogs, Facebook and Twitter to communicate directly to voters. More than ever before, they can bypass the professional press and deliver an uncensored, unfiltered — and unchecked — message spinned by their flacks and lobbyists. The information put out by elected officials not only intends to put the pols in a positive light, it is increasing designed to mislead the public on what is really going on in they city.  Yesterday Mayor de Blasio said “We have reduced crime, the numbers are overwhelming clear” His own chief of police has reported that the number of shooting and murders are up. 

    We are entering a perfect storm of the weakening of the Freedom of the Press protections created by the founding fathers.  “The Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to bare the secrets of government and inform the people.” Hugo Black, Supreme Court Judge. The invention of the Internet has disrupted a system that has offered the public a reliable independent way to find out what their government was up to for the past 250 years.  The media has also given up its very important investigative reporting role.  

    One Year Ago U.S. Attorney  Preet Bharara challenged journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY) "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara. The press has a role to play. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said  The media has not responded to the U.S. Attorney request.  Today mostly what you read in newspapers feels like press releases. The former DA of Brooklyn called reporters stenographers. The entire 2013 campaign was full of press release promising more services for NYCHA tenants. The press never asked the candidates with the federal cuts in public housing where the funds were going to come from to repair the building.  As recent events have indicated there is no money to fix public housing. Media Today Press Release Journalism After a spike in shootings in New York, de Blasio predicts his policieswill ‘turn the tide’: (NY Mag)

    de Blasio on the Social Media
    More than 5,000 New Yorkers are calling on Albany to strengthen the laws around affordable housing. Join them: *  421a reforms will change tax breaks for developers and pass a small tax on luxury mansions to increase affordable housing units in our city.

    Diversity is strength. @FDNY, the world's greatest fire department, will grow even stronger when it more closely resembles our city. * FDNY reassigns trainers amid ‘witch hunt’ for whistleblowers (NYP) Two veteran FDNY fitness trainers have been yanked from the Fire Academy as the department conducts what some call a “witch hunt” for whistleblowers and those trying to uphold standards, The Post has learned. Last month, The Post reported that probationary Firefighter Rebecca Wax, 33, graduated from the academy despite failing the crucial Functional Skills Test, an obstacle course of job-related tasks (inset). Under new criteria, her high academic grades made up for her physical deficiency.* NYC Mayor's Office ‏@NYCMayorsOffice   Add your name:Tell Albany to protect affordable housing. #HousingNYC

    City Bikes
    Citi Bikes getting redesign by Olympic racing bike designer, to debut this month (NYDN) * New York Citi Bikes to add 2,400 new bikes this year: Abicycle sharing company in New Yorkhas announced that... (Fox) * Upper West Siders lash out against ‘deadly’ Citi Bike stations (NYP) pper West Side residents packed a community-board meeting to fight the pending flood of Citi Bike stations — saying many sites pose a deadly risk to pedestrians, especially children.

    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.    

    A poll showed that 58 percent of New York Statevoters were dissatisfied with the way things are going in the state. (NYT)  a majority of poll respondents approve of Preet Bharara'sinvestigations, or think he should be more aggressive. (NYT) * Vote Out All Albany Politicians, New Yorkers Say in New Poll (WSJ) A majority of New York state voters believe all Albany elected officials should be voted out of office to provide a fresh start following a rash of public corruption scandals, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday. LLC Loophole Democratic Lawmakers Disappointed In Cuomo’s LLC Comments (Updated) (YNN) Grand Jury Public Advocate Argues Eric Garner Grand JuryDocuments Necessary for Reform (YNN)* A majority of New York state voters believe all Albany elected officials should be voted out of office to provide a fresh start following a rash of public corruption scandals, according toa new Quinnipiac University poll. More here.
    Why New Yorkers Don't Vote, Sucking Power Out ofNeighborhoods, No Anger

    Death Threats Female Legislators 
    Female legislators receive death threats, racist taunts (NYP) At least six female legislators in the Assembly have received death threats and racist taunts, sources said. “You racist white b—h… daughter of a white slut crakkker,” read one letter viewed by The Post. The State Police are investigating what sources called a series of disturbing letters sent over the last several weeks with a return address falsely claiming they came from the office of Speaker Carl Heastie. Assembly Education Committee Chairwoman Cathy Nolan, a Queens Democrat, is among those who got one of the threats. Republicans Jane Corwin and Claudia Tenney, both upstaters, also received the rants, written on a typewriter. “Carl Heastie has given permission,” one frightening threat read. “You will be killed.”

    Sexual Harassing OK With the Council 

    Conspiracy to Go Around the City Charter Nonpartisan Elections 
    Can you go around the city charter rule of nonpartisan elections?  How does the Boards Ryan know the date when the council candidates will resign?  Are the Councilman timing their departure to go around the electing law?
    BOE: No Nonpartisan Special Elections for OpenCity Council Seats (NYO) These upcoming City Council races won’t be so special. A couple of soon-to-be-vacant districts in Staten Island and Queens will not host nonpartisan special elections as many expected because the two councilman don’t plan to resign by June 11. Instead, a general election will be held in November and a primary, depending on when the two councilmen officially resign, will be scheduled for September. “There will be no Council special based on the two vacancies,” said Michael Ryan, the executive director of the New York City Board of Elections. “It’ll be folded into the primary and the general.” Mr. Ryan added that if Staten Island Councilman Vincent Ignizio, who said he will resign sometime this summer to take a position in the nonprofit sector, steps down after July 2nd, the local county organizations will nominate candidates without an open primary. “If the vacancy occurs before July 2nd, there will be a normal petitioning process,” Mr. Ryan said.

    Councilman Weprin Goes to Work for Cuomo Ignizio Leaves Also

    The Working Families Party voted last week to endorse Rebecca Lynch, a former de Blasio staffer, for an open Queens Council seat–setting up another showdown between organized labor and the Queens Democratic establishment. * The Working Families Party endorsed Rebecca Lynch, a former de Blasio staffer, in the Democratic Primary for an open Queens seat, which may stack unions and progressives against the borough party, the Observer reports:

    Gary Ackerman, a Democrat who represented eastern Queens and Nassau County in Washington, D.C., has endorsed ex-Assemblyman Barry Grodenick in the race to replace Councilman Mark Weprin.
    Assemblyman David Weprin says he will not run for his brother Mark Weprin’s soon to be vacant New York City Council seat, ending days of speculation and hand-wringing among some Queens Democratic insiders, the Observer writes:  *  New York City Councilman Mark Weprin, a former assemblyman, is resigning from the Queens seat he has held since 2010 and taking a job as Cuomo’s deputy secretary of legislative affairs, the Daily News reports: * New York Citywill have it's third special election of the year  (NYO)* A field of Democrats is already emerging to replace Queens Councilman Mark Weprin, who suddenly announced today he is resigning his seat to take a position with the Cuomo administration. Weprin’s brother, Assemblyman David Weprin, is not among them. * Former Assemblyman and Deputy Queens Borough President Barry Grodenchik is running for @MarkWeprin's open council seat -high placedsource. * Contrary to initial reports, Assemblyman David Weprin is seriously considering running for his his old NYC Council seat, recently vacated by his brother, Mark Weprin, who used to hold david Weprin’s Assembly seat.*  Weprin, Ignizio Leaving City Council for Other Jobs (NY1)  * New York City Council Minority Leader Vincent Ignizio will resign from his seat this summer to work as chief executive officer of the still-forming Catholic Charities of Staten Island, the Staten Island Advancereports: * Assemblyman Joseph Borelli, who worked as Ignizio’s chief of staff, is weighing running to replace his former boss, and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis could also be interested in the seat, the Observer reports:  *  Rebecca Lynch, a de Blasio administration official and former Democratic district leader,said today she is running for Queens Councilman Mark Weprin’s seat. * Rebecca Martin, a former de Blasio administration staffer running for an open Queens City Council seat vacated by Mark Weprin, has won the first labor endorsement of the race from the Teamsters Joint Council 16.

    Staten Island DAs Race
    Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, the prosecutor who handled the Etan Patz case, has resigned to run as a Republican for district attorney in Staten Island, a position also sought by former U.S. Democratic Rep. Michael McMahon, The New York Times reports:   * Joan Illuzzi, an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan DA’s office, known recently for being the prosecutor in the Etan Patz case, got the Republican Party’s nomination last night to run for Staten Island DA. * The Democrats have selected former congressman MichaelMcMahon to run for the open DA seat. The spot was previously held by Republican Dan Donovan, who became a congressman in a special election to replace Michael Grimm.”  * Patz Prosecutor Takes On Ex-Congressman in Staten Island District Attorney’s Race (NYT) Joan Illuzzi will run as a Republican against the former Representative Michael E. McMahon, a Democrat, setting the stage for a contest between a pair of unusually high-profile candidates. * Etan Patz Prosecutor to Run for District Attorney in Staten Island (DNAINFO) * Etan Patz's Family Backs NYC Trial Prosecutor for Staten Island DA (WSJ)
    The family of Etan Patz on Friday endorsed the prosecutor who led the monthslong trial against the man accused of the child's 1979 killing in her bid to become Staten Island's next district attorney * NY1 Exclusive: Assistant DA Joan Illuzzi Discusses Etan Patz Trial, DA Race (NY1) * Staten Island district attorney candidate and former prosecutor Joan Illuzzi tried to sue the city for $5 million in two personal-injury suits, though as a public employee she was barred from collecting, the Post reports:
    More on the 11th Congressional District 

    What is Next Paying for Too Much Trash?
    More on Sanitation

    U.S. Attorney Thinks NY Journalist Have Failed to Stop Corrupion

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

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

    One Year Ago in True News

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

    The Loss of Thousands of Mom and Pop Stores is Killing NYC's Traditional Route to the Middle Class

    Why Are There SoMany Shuttered Storefronts in the West Village? (New Yorker) At the end of this month, the House of Cards & Curiosities, on Eighth Avenue, just south of Jane Street, in the West Village, will close its doors after more than twenty years in business. It was, admittedly, not a store whose economic logic was readily apparent. Along with artistic greeting cards, it sold things like small animal skeletons, stuffed piranhas (which were hanging from the ceiling), and tiny ceramic skulls. Nonetheless, it did good business for many years, or so its owner, James Waits, told me. Its closing leaves four shuttered storefronts on just one block. With their papered-up windows and fading paint, the failed businesses are a depressing sight in an otherwise vibrant neighborhood. Each represents a broken dream of one kind or another. --“Why are there so many shuttered storefronts in the West Village?” by Tim Wu for The New Yorker: “Abandoned storefronts have long been a hallmark of economic depression and high crime rates, but the West Village doesn’t have either of those. Instead, what it has are extremely high commercial rents, which cause an effect that is not dissimilar. “High-rent blight” happens when rising property values, usually understood as a sign of prosperity, start to inflict damage on the city economics that Jane Jacobs wrote about. In the West Village, rent spikes are nearly universally reported as the reason so many storefronts have closed over the past few years.” Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu writes in the New Yorker about the surge in shuttered shops in the West Village, arguing the trend is a consequence of rising commercial rents, which are inflicting damage on the city’s economy * The Post writes that raising the minimum wage for fast food workers will only lead more small businesses and restaurants to close their doors, as has happened in Seattle where the minimum wage is now $15 an hour:
    More on Gentrification

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

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

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