Tuesday, December 1, 2015

True News:

Albany Panic As They Fear Their Will Be Held Accountable to Corruption, As Their Dear Leader Heads to Jail
Shelly Silver’s conviction is an indictment of Albany’s entire political culture (NYP) It’s a big win for New York. Not just because he was such a disastrous lawmaker. But also because it means even powerful pols like Silver, who ruled the Assembly with an iron fist for years, can be held to account for their corrupt doings. US Attorney Preet Bharara and his team deserve hearty congratulations for their unceasing effort to get to the bottom of Albany’s influence-peddling. Silver’s lawyers had insisted his behavior was consistent with “the system New York has chosen, and it’s not a crime.” Wrong on both counts. Now Bharara is looking for a similar conviction against the former head of the Senate, Dean Skelos — who’s also on trial for corruption. Unfortunately, even a guilty verdict there won’t “fix” Albany, as Bharara himself has suggested.

As Albany Dictators Fall, New Yorkers Have the Opportunity to Fight for Govt "Of, By and For the People"
Behind Sheldon Silver’s dramatic fall from grace (NYP) Sheldon Silver’s absolute power in the 21 years he ruled the Assembly first showed signs of cracking in 2007, when The Post raised questions about his ties to the law firm Weitz & Luxenberg. Silver was first elected to the Assembly from the 65th District in 1976, and was named Assembly speaker in February 1994, following the death of Saul Wep­rin. He was re-elected speaker 11 times, wielding enormous power as one of the infamous “three men in a room,” along with the governor and state Senate majority leader, who determined the state’s budget and legislative direction.

Journalism Disconnect Played A Large Role In Enabling Silver's Corrupted Albany to Go On and On
 What Silver’s guilty verdict means for the State Assembly (NYP) It took only moments after that for his state government site to be scrubbed of any mention of his nearly 40 years in office, including 21 as speaker. Assembly staffers also wasted no time taking down his nameplate from his office in the Legislative Office Building as Silver’s aides huddled behind closed doors. The fate of Silver’s staffers, meanwhile, was not immediately clear, although as state employees, they are not necessarily out the door with their former boss. Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), who replaced Silver after his January arrest, can decide which staffers stay and which are let go. Silver’s former top spokesman, Michael Whyland, who was a witness in the federal case against his now ex-boss, was nowhere to be found.* Former New York State Assemblyman Sheldon Silver found GUILTY on all counts in corruption case; faces 130 years in jail (NYDN) * THE NEWS SAYS: What Sheldon Silver's guilty verdict reveals about the culture of New York's Capitol (NYDN) * * Silver’s conviction should sound a loud alarm to all the players in Albany who have become so accustomed to the abuse of power that they can’t see how it infects every aspect of lawmaking, and Bharara deserves credit, the Times writes

Who’s Next to Fall? And Who After That?
Why Silver’s guilty verdict should make Cuomo very worried (NYP Ed) So in the end, the longest-tenured of Albany’s three men in a room turned out to be just another thief.  Not a petty thief, not by any means; Sheldon Silverof the Lower East Side had stuffed his jeans with at least $4 million — and that makes him distinctive by Albany standards: The capital city’s gutter-grubbers traditionally settle for chump change. That is, jury deliberations in the Skelos case aren’t likely to last longer than the minute and 45 seconds that it took to convict Silver. And then there will be one man left standing — Gov. Cuomo, who has been squarely in Bharara’s sights for months now; not-guilty verdicts in Silver’s case would have let the steam out of whatever it is that the prosecutor is planning for Cuomo, and that didn’t happen. Alas, that may be the case. Certainly, the successors to Silver and Skelos — Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan — have been distressingly accommodating to a return to the legislative “member-item” pork that has been at the core of most of the lower-level corruption cases Bharara has prosecuted to date. overnments based on civic virtue have scarcely ever existed — because they simply don’t work. (Sorry about that, League of Women Voters.) * Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s conviction on corruption charges is especially meaningful for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, as it shakes up Albany and could lead to more investigations, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * With jurors rejecting the argument that Silver was just following the political culture of Albany, some good government groups hope his conviction will lead to action such as targeting the so-called L.L.C. loophole,the Times reports: 

Those Who Empowered Silver Just As Guilty As Their Dear Leader
Sheldon Silver’saccomplices: What the former speaker's guilty verdict reveals about the cultureof New York's Capitol (NYDN) U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, his assistants and the FBI did a high service in revealing which species of crimes Silver was committing — at a time when everyone in Albany knew to a moral certainty that the speaker was betraying the public trust and rigging the game to hide his predations. Still, justice is incomplete. There is sadness in that the letters of the law prohibit naming virtually the entire Assembly Democratic caucus as co-conspirators to Silver’s corruption. They enabled him by vesting Silver with their proxies to do essentially whatever he wanted when the Legislature was in session. Assembly members didn’t have to work. They didn’t have to think. They only had to do as they were told in the name of their caucus, including faithfully voting on bills they had never read. Under Silver’s leadership, the Legislature was rated America’s worst. His trial contained few new revelations, because Bharara had spelled out the case in detail in the criminal complaint in January. Now, look back and remember how Silver’s Democratic colleagues struggled to keep him as leader after reading the document. Even after Bharara persuasively declared in the complaint that the charges “go to the very core of what ails Albany,” including a “lack of transparency, lack of accountability and lack of principle, joined with an overabundance of greed, cronyism and self-dealing,” it took a public outcry to force Silver’s ouster after almost a week. Manhattan underboss Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who has spent four conscience-withering decades in the Assembly, went so far as to describe Silver as a hero. Consigliere Assemblywoman Deborah Glick proclaimed that Silver has been “upholding Democratic principles in this state.” Better for them, Silver rewarded members who knelt to him with money for their districts. That became the yardstick for success, not the drafting or passage of important legislation. As long as they got their funds, they were happy to have Silver as dictator. Even as he protected sex-harasser Vito Lopez and covered up ethics investigations. Even as he created a pot of secret funding for clandestine disbursement, money that was used in his bribery plot. Even as he rigged creation of a state ethics commission to prevent the panel from examining his personal dealings. Even as he refused to explain why a law firm was paying him hundreds of thousands of dollars a year — money that turned out to be part of his bribery plot. Because Silver knew better than to directly extort money, he separated his actions and his payoffs and then offered the wildly unsuccessful defense that he had simply engaged in politics the New York way and so had committed no crimes. Yes, indeed, Silver had done business the New York way. Yes, indeed, he had exploited a system he created, a system blessed and defended by Gottfried and Glick, and by Silver’s successor as speaker, Carl Heastie, and by every other pliant member of the Assembly. They enabled him. They aided and abetted him. And, they, too, are guilty.* Silver leaves a complicated legacy marked by his liberal priorities and a talent for legislating but also suspicions in Albany that he suppressed potential scandals, such as sexual harassment allegations, the Journal reports: 

NYT Is Delusional If They Think There Are Reformers In Albany, The Daily News and Post Is Right Just Silver Enablers and Future Criminals Occupy NY Govt
Reformers in Albany May be Spurred by Silver Verdict (NYT)  Government-watchdog groups expressed optimism that the conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver would lead to action, perhaps against the loophole that allows direct corporate contributions to political campaigns.* Sheldon Silver’s Albany, Guilty on All Counts (NYT Ed) Lawmakers must take the assemblyman’s conviction as a command to change the culture of corruption in Albany. If they don’t, voters should take heed.

For Holdout Juror the Secret Glenwood Agreement With the Law Firm and Silver Did it
As Trial Began, a ‘Humble’ Assemblyman Didn’t Appear Guiltyto Several Jurors (NYT) In Mr. Silver’s awarding of a grant to Dr. Taub, Ms. Phillips said on Monday, “I didn’t think there was any scheming or manipulation or anything dangerous.” Around 3 p.m. on Monday, she came across something that changed her mind: Mr. Silver’s financial disclosure forms. There was one name that she thought should be there — that of Goldberg & Iryami, the law firm that prosecutors said secretly shared legal referral fees with Mr. Silver — but it was difficult to find. “I was wondering, why wouldn’t it just be out in the open just like the other things, why was this kind of hidden?” she said. “So I had my doubts at that point.” Less than an hour later, the jury was unanimous.

Not One Borough Like de Blasio Rezoning Plan So Far 
Not one borough likesde Blasio’s rezoning plan so far (NYP) Manhattan officials on Monday joined two other boroughs in voting down Mayor de Blasio’s plan to rezone parts of the city to spur affordable housing. “These plans need major changes before we can accept them,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

Not One City Official Went to Jail for the Largest Corruption Case In History, CityTime
CityTime scammer loses bid to overturn convictions (NYP) he mastermind behind the $100 million CityTimepayroll scam and his two cohorts lost their bid Monday to have their convictions overturned. A federal appeals court rejected Mark Mazer’s argument that the evidence was “insufficient” to prove that he had pocketed taxpayer funds through a kickback scheme while working on CityTime as a computer consultant. The panel also rejected similar arguments made by Mazer accomplices Dimitry Aronshtein, a CityTime subcontractor, and Gerard Denault, a project manager. They were convicted in 2013 of defrauding the $700 million project meant to modernize the city’s payroll system. Prosecutors said the men “treated the city like their own giant ATM machine.”* The mastermind of the $100 million CityTime payroll scam and his two cohorts lost their bid Monday to have their convictions overturned for pocketing taxpayer funds while working on CityTime as a computer consultant, the Post reports
More on the CityTime Corruption 

Silver Guilty On All Counts

Sheldon Silver, Ex-New York Assembly Speaker, IsFound Guilty on All Counts  * Sheldon Silver, for decades one of most powerfulpoliticians in New Yorkstate, has been convicted in federal court:  * Breaking: Sheldon Silver, former N.Y. State Assemblyspeaker, found guilty of corruption (NYT) * First take: Sheldon Silver guilty on all counts against him  *Sheldon SIlver's conviction triggers his automaticexpulsion from the Legislature, where he has served since 1977  * Sheldon Silver, Ex-New York Assembly Speaker, IsFound Guilty on All Counts  * Statement of US Attorney Preet Bharara on conviction offormer NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver * Today, Preet Bharara issued a one-sentence statement. InJanuary, he spoke for 36:40 on Silver's arrest 

Andrew Cuomo Cheers Sheldon Silver Verdict (NYO) Gov. Andrew Cuomo today applauded the conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver—who once stood alongside him as one of the most powerful Democrats in the state. Mr. Cuomo praised the work of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office in uncovering Mr. Silver’s misdeeds and putting him on trial. * Ex-Assembly Speaker Is Convicted of Corruption (NYT) Sheldon Silver, a Democrat and one of New York’s most powerful politicians, will forfeit the Assembly seat to which he was first elected nearly 40 years ago.* Guilty Verdict Is a Spur to Would-Be Reformers of Albany’s Political Culture (NYT) Government-watchdog groups expressed optimism that the conviction of Sheldon Silver would lead to action, perhaps against the loophole that allows direct corporate contributions to political campaigns.Bill de Blasio Says New Yorkers ‘Deserve Better’ Than HisOld Ally Sheldon Silver (NYO) *  

Tonight Elected Officials Fear Lobbyists . . . Silver Lobbyists Friends Turned Against Him
Did They Set Him Up As the Fall Guy?
 Heastie also says he is "deeply saddened" by the events of this year, culminating in Silver's conviction * Silver "always knew where the legal line was &operated right up to that line. But Bharara moved that line."  * Sheldon Silver R U part of Corruption? April 10, 2013 (Video)* Please welcome Sheldon Silver to our rogue gallery of dirty New York politicians:  (NYDN) * Former NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Found Guilty in ... Wall Street Journal * Sheldon Silver guilty of all 7 corruption charges in twin kickback ... New York Daily News * Sheldon Silver Found Guilty On All Counts In Corruption Trial In-Depth-CBS Local * Sheldon Silver Found Guilty New York Magazine
Moreland Investigation Ends, Media Cover-Up 

Silver's Conviction Bring Out How Albany Lobbyists At Center of Silver's Pay to Play Deal With Glenwood 
Lobbyist Cites Unease Over Payments to Sheldon Silver (NYT) The meeting at the State Capitol in Albany took place nearly four years ago, but Richard Runes, a lobbyist who oversees government relations for Glenwood Management, a major real estate developer in New York, recalled his unease at what he had discussed with Sheldon Silver, then the speaker of the Assembly. The two men had spoken about an agreement between Mr. Silver and Glenwood, in which Mr. Silver received undisclosed payments from a law firm to which Mr. Silver had allegedly pushed Glenwood to refer some of its tax business. Mr. Runes, testifying on Monday in Mr. Silver’s federal corruption trial in Manhattan, said he felt “shock and surprise” at the news of the payments. Mr. Runes’s testimony, which began on Friday, is part of the second prong of the government’s case, in which prosecutors say Mr. Silver received about $700,000 in illegal payments from the law firm Goldberg & Iryami in return for having referred it certain tax business from Glenwood and a second developer, the Witkoff Group.On Friday, another Glenwood lobbyist, Brian Meara, testified that while vacationing in Florida in 2011, he received a call from Mr. Silver, who mentioned how he might need to file new forms disclosing certain fees he had received. 

Mr. Meara said he was “surprised and concerned” and called either Mr. Runes or Charles C. Dorego, a Glenwood executive. Mr. Runes testified that he spoke with Glenwood’s owner, Leonard Litwin, and Mr. Dorego. Yet Mr. Runes said he remained “uncomfortable with the arrangement,” and did not discuss it with anyone else. “It was too hot,” he said.  Ultimately, Mr. Silver’s fee-sharing arrangement was described in a side letter that the speaker signed, but it was omitted from the retainer agreement between Glenwood and the law firm. Mr. Runes, asked by the judge, Valerie E. Caproni, what he thought was being accomplished by putting the agreement in a separate letter, said he believed that retainer documents were filed publicly, “whereas the side letter would not be.” * Albany lobbyist Richard Rune said he felt uneasy over payments to then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for referring tax business to a firm and for outlining related terms outside of the main retainer, The New York Times reports: 

Trials Showing How Lobbyist's Interlocking Directories Run NY's Shadow Govt 
After the Silver and Skelos Trials NY Needs a Teddy Roosevelt Trust-Buster to Restore Democracy
One of President Theodore Roosevelt's first notable acts as president was to deliver a 20,000-word address to Congress asking it to curb the power of large corporations (called "trusts").  During the real Progressive Era Roosevelt intervened in the economy, breaking up corporate monopolies.  Roosevelt became know as the Trust-Buster when he went after corporate Interlocking-directorate which refers to the practice of members of a corporate board of directors serving on the boards of multiple corporations.  The trials of Silver and Skelos have already exposed that Albany was being run by a trust made up of lobbyists; real estate campaign contributor’s interlocking with each other, running what gets done, in what has become NY’s unelected shadow government.  The former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver made millions from the state’s largest real estate developer Glenwood (and largest NYS campaign contributor) by making the 421-a tax abatement program state law. Skelos threatened the same developer Glenwood that he would cut off the 421-legislation or any contracts they needed or other power brokers doing business with the government needed, if they did not get his son a job.  In every pay to play scheme by Silver and Skelos to sell their offices, lobbyists were deeply involved in the fraud.  An important fact missed by the reporters who get most of their news tips from lobbyists.

Lobbyist Testifying At the Trial Were So Deep Into the Silver and Skelos’ Corruption At Some Point There Were Getting Paid to keep Their Mouth Shut
Both Silver and Skelos are on trial a few hundred feet from each other for personal enrichment schemes using lobbyists and real estate campaign contributor who were looking to get paid or for government favorers.  The Roosevelt interlocking-directories were inside the corporate world, today they exist inside our government and election system. Today’s interlocking-directories have so infected our government that only an unelected U.S. Attorney has gone after the corrupted system.  Most of the state’s elected official and prosecutors need the interlocking lobbyist and developer campaign contributors to get elected. The lobbyists and big contributors have privatized “Tammany Hall” cutting out the voters. These lobbyists and campaign contributors are so interlock with the elected official’s corruption, at times creating it, it is hard to tell if they getting paid or what they want from government, or they are just getting paid to keep their mouths shut and cover-up the corruption. It is sad joke that the lobbyist who have made millions off of Silver and Glenwood’s corruption testified that after they were caught that they were surprised and uncomfortable about the deals. Glenwood Lobbyists Brian Meara: “I was surprised and concerned.” Glenwood Lobbyists Richard Runes: “Uncomfortable with the arrangement”

What We Know About the Shadow Govt Lobbyists Contributors Interlocking-Directories Just From the Silver and Skelos Trials Is Less Than 1% Of What is Going On Inside the Shadow Government

Click Here for Keys to the Interlocking Chart
Glenwood lobbyist Brian Meara recommended the law firm that pay off Silver, Goldberg & Iryami to Glenwood years before he testified that he first learned in 2011 from Silver that Goldberg’s firm was paying Silver for getting work from Glenwood. Meara said he called another Glenwood lobbyist Richard Runes when Silver informed him about the Goldberg firm deal. At the Skelos trial Meara was the lobbyists for Glenwood and Ab Tech which both gave the senator’s son a job.  In the Silver Trial Glenwood lobbyists Runes went to the company’s boss Litwin and his chief aid Charles Dorego when Meara informed him about the Silver deal with the Goldberg firm.  

Runes a lawyer testified in court In the Silver case, that he was uncomfortable with the private letter of agreement between Goldberg and Glenwood. The legality of the letter is at the heart of the silver case. In the Skelos case Glenwood lobbyist Runes went with Dorego to meet with Adam after the elder Skelos pressed Glenwood’s owner for a job for his son.  

 “I seen my opportunities and I took ’em!” 
Tammany Hall onTrial Again (Daily Beast) They were two of the ‘three men in a room’—the three politicians who control New York state. Now Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos are in separate courtrooms, both accused of corruption. The words of an 18th-century politician seemed to ring in the chilly air outside Manhattan federal court on Monday morning. “I seen my opportunities and I took ’em!” George Washington Plunkitt once announced regarding tenure in the state Assembly and then the state Senate.

de Blasio With His Campaign for One NY PAC Funded by Real Estate Contributors, Has Put Together With his Unregistered Lobbyists Berlin Rosen, Hilltop His Own Interlocking-Directories 
Glenwood’s Dorego signed the Silver letter of agreement after Runes and Meara informed him that Silver was getting paid form the Goldberg law firm which Glenwood was sending business to on the recommendation of Meara. Dorego has already testified in both the Silver and Skelos trials.  In the Skelos trial Dorego said he got jobs for Adam Skelos, including a job in a company he had stock in Ab Tech. Meara a Glenwood lobbyist is also a lobbyists for Ab Tech and well as another company that gave a job for Adam in called PRI. PRI is own by another big campaign contributor Anthony Bonomo who resigned as head of the NYSRA after the Skelos indictment. Bonomo lobbyists besides Meara include former senator current mega lobbyist Al D'Amato besides also lobbying for Glenwood has hundreds of interlocking directories with lobbyists and elected officials, epically on Long Island his home base. D'Amato has even bigger interlocking-directories than exposed at the trials with Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Restaurateur owner pal Harendra Singh Arrested by the Feds as part of a larger investigation that could reach into the new state senate GOP’s leadership.  The Silver and Skelos trials have just brought out the tip of the ice-berg of the lobbyist’s campaign contributors interlocking-directors that control NY’s government; they also control NY’s election process with their interlocking-directories. 
How True News Investigation Exposed the Campaign for One NY Interlocking Directories Story
de Blasio One NY PAC Slush Fund, Berlin Rosen, Bill Hyers, Red Horse

Just like Electricity Makes Godzilla Stronger, Growing the Corruption Swamp of Albany Makes Lobbyists Stronger and Richer

D'Amato Largest Lobbyists On Long Island
Ten lobbying firms and nine companies with in-house lobbyists have registered with Nassau County during the first six months of its new disclosure requirements – with most focusing their efforts on County Executive Edward Mangano’s office.* Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon has big moneyin drug firms(NYDN) Alfonse D'Amato's Park Strategies is the largest local lobbyist, with 20 clients, followed by the nine clients claimed by Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP, where former Democratic county Legis. Michael Zapson is one of several politically connected partners. While many of the lobbyists have operated in Nassau for years -- and have disclosed activity with New York State -- they never before had to register locally. The change was prompted by the May arrests of state Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Cen
More About Lobbyists D'Amato

Adams Help Me Daddy Emails
Adam Skelos couldn’t do anything without his daddy’s help, emails show (NYP) E-mails entered into evidence in the corruption trial of former state Senate majority leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam on Monday portrayed the younger man’s position at a Long Island environmental firm as being tied to his ability to get his powerful father to advocate in Albany on behalf of the business. In November 2012, when Adam Skelos was approached by his boss at AbTech Industries about getting Hurricane Sandy relief work funneled to the environmental firm, he immediately reached out to dad Dean. Will get on this now,” Adam responded, right before forwarding the e-mail to his dad, asking, “What should I do?” Adam, 33, also turned to Dean three months earlier when former AbTech exec Bjornulf White inquired via e-mail about pending legislation that could help the firm. Adam responded: “Is this bill something I should look to try to extend the time limit with the state?” — and again, forwarded the e-mail to his dad, saying, “See below. Do you know what bill he’s talking about?” Dean replied, “Will have Robert check,” referring to his chief of staff, Robert Mujica.* Sitting in his own federal corruption trial, state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos reamined stoic when he heard about Silver’s conviction and said that his case is where he is focusing, the Journal reports

Will the UFT Replace Glenwood As Cuomo Rolls With the Punches
Did the teachers unions just break Andrew Cuomo? (NYP Ed) ‘The single best thing that I can do,” Gov. Cuomo said last year, is “break what is in essence one of the only ­remaining public monopolies”: the teachers union. Oops: Looks like the union broke him. For years, Cuomo has been hitting his head against the wall on getting a real state teacher-rating system. Every time he seems to make progress, it’s followed by delays, postponements and revisions that ensure nothing meaningful happens. Now he’s reportedly set to give up — abandoning the effort to use student scores on state tests to help judge teacher performance. If so, teachers will be judged subjectively, probably by their own peers. Count on every teacher to rank as just peachy — and incompetents to keep on “teaching.”* The Post writes that the teachers unions have finally broken the governor, as evidenced by him giving up a plan to tie teacher evaluation to students’ test scores, and their next target may be watering down the standardized tests * The NY Post says the teachers union “broke” the governor, thanks to reports that he plans to abandon the effort to use student scores on state tests to help judge teacher performance.* No easy options for Cuomo on coupling of tests and teacherevaluations (PoliticoNY)

True News Wrote This Last Week
Is Cuomo Trying to Take the UFT Away From de Blasio?

Cuomo to Cut Teacher Testing  With a parents revolt on his hands, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will reportedly make an about-face and push for the role of test results in establishing teacher performance evaluations to be reduced, possibly even to zero, the New York Times reports: * Schools Chancellor Defends Mayor's Policy of Not Rushing to Close Struggling Schools (NY1)  *  In Jan. Cuomo wanted test scores to be 50% of teacherevaluations. Now he's pushing to reduce their role, even to 0  *In a dramatic about-face and as parents revolt against what they see as over-testing of their kids, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reportedly pushing for the role of test results in establishing teacher performance evaluations to be reduced – possibly even to zero. The administration insists Cuomo is waiting for the recommendations of a task force he had set up to conduct a review of the Common Core standards and assessments.*  Cuomo looks to take standardized tests out of teacher evaluations(NYP) *  Teachers cheer potential cutback on Common Core (NYDN) * Cuomo, in Shift, Is Said to Back Reducing Test Scores’ Role in Teacher Reviews (NYT) Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who in January called for standardized exams to determine 50 percent of the ratings, is quietly seeking a reduction, even to zero.* Brooklyn school rezoning highlights challenges ofcity integration efforts (Politico)

de Blasio Cuomo Political Posturing On Homeless
De Blasio Accuses Cuomo of ‘Political Posturing’ onHomelessness (NYO) After a bitter pre-Thanksgiving spat over the city’s mushrooming street population ended with Gov Andrew Cuomo questioning Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “management” and “intelligence,” Mr. de Blasio slammed his rival Democrat today for what he called “political posturing” on the issue.

NYP Which Has Been Pushing Jeffries for Mayor Now Says He Is Not Running
Cuomo’s pick for mayor has doubts running against De Blasio (NYP) U S REP. Hakeem Jeffries, Gov. Cuomo’s choice to oust Mayor de Blasio, is having doubts about entering the race, as Democratic unhappiness over Cuomo’s “belittling’’ of the mayor grows, senior Democrats have told The Post. Jeffries, whom Cuomo has encouraged directly and through intermediaries to challenge de Blasio in the 2017 primary, “is having second thoughts about running, and has begun resisting Cuomo,’’ a prominent Democratic activist with strong party ties told Dicker at The Post.* Astorino Joins de Blasio-Cuomo Feud (YNN)

NYP Led the Campaign for Jeffries for Mayor
Cuomo to appear at fundraiser for potential de Blasio challenger (Oct 14, 2015, NYP)

Crime Still Growing At NYCHA Despite de Blasio Plan to Improve Security 
Crime remains anissue at some dangerous NYCHA projects despite Bill de Blasio’s plan to improvesecurity (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio's multi-million dollar plan to tamp down crime in NYCHA developments is missing the mark on some of the city's most dangerous projects, a new report released Monday shows. De Blasio's strategy, dubbed the Mayor's Action Plan, steers more cops and money into 15 NYCHA developments tagged back in June 2014 by the NYPD as the most dangerous in the city. But criminal activity is a moving target, so seven of the targeted 15 have experienced such a drop in major crime that they're no longer on the list. Meanwhile, the number of major crimes at seven other developments in the Bronx and Brooklyn have pushed them on to the list of the 15 most dangerous in the city. The problem is these seven new arrivals are not part of the Mayor's Action Plan, according to an analysis by Ritchie Torres, chairman of the city council's public housing committee. That includes Sotomayor Houses in the Bronx, which experienced an 86% crime spike this year, and Tilden Houses in Brooklyn, which saw a 71% jump.

Either de Blasio Played the Horses for the Money to Get Around the Election Law Who He Has No Clue, Maybe Both
De Blasio’s new horse-carriage plan iseven more ridiculous  (NYP Ed) Mayor de Blasio’s affordable-housing plan is in shambles. There’s traffic chaos in the streets. Sixty percent of New Yorkers say they see more homeless people around. And 48 percent of New Yorkers don’t want de Blasio to have a second term. So what does the mayor do? He races back into the arms of the special interests who helped get him elected. That’s right — he’s re-embracing the nuts who want to ban the Central Park carriage horses. But the mayor did have a political case: The people behind NYCLASS gave nearly $2 million to his 2013 campaign and to negative-ad campaigns against his opponents, and now to his new “nonpolitical” slush fund.  Now de Blasio wants to reduce the number of horses to 70, and stable the horses in Central Park rather than having them commute from the West Side. This makes no sense on at least three levels. First, if the horses are so horrifically abused, why is it better to abuse 70 horses instead of 220? After all, no one ever says that we should reduce, say, the number of trafficked or forced prostitutes. The goal is zero. The answer here is that the animals aren’t abused, and the mayor well knows it. Second, if the streets are so unsafe for the horses that they can’t go back and forth 11 blocks to the park, that’s a problem with the streets, not with the horses — and the answer is better traffic safety to protect drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, too. Third, why on earth would we give part of our precious public park to house a private business? Central Park doesn’t have room to stable 70 horses — and there’s no need for it. Where would a horse stable go — and who, exactly, among the park’s users would like to give up a playground or some green space? Like many of the mayor’s ideas, from building a new subway on Utica Avenue when we don’t have money for the old subways, or building housing over a rail yard that’s going to be part of a complex MTA construction project for years to come, nobody thought this through. The mayor has said that he wants to do something about the horses to show, as the Times put it, that he is “a man of his word.”* De Blasio's multi-million dollar plan to cut down crime in New York City Housing Authority developments is missing the mark because it neglects some of the city’s most dangerous housing projects

Daily News Interviews Quinn On Homelessness On the Same Day the Mayor Backtracks On the Horses?
A Great Question to Quinn Would Have Been Did You Think You Lost the Mayor's Race Because of NYCLASS?

The NYCLASS PAC Aloud Team de Blasio to Collect Large Donations that the Election Law Blocked to Kill Quinn

Mayor de Blasio reins in plans to ban horse-drawn carriages in Central Park, but says he'll work to reduce their number (NYDN) While de Blasio and horse carriage ban supporters may view their newly proposed deal of shrinking the number of horse-drawn carriages and moving horses to a stable inside Central Park as a compromise, it is anything but that, writes the Daily News * With Thanksgiving approaching, Christine Quinn, CEO of Win and former speaker of the New York City Council, writes for the Daily News that New Yorkers need to not only continue donating, but also push for more support for agencies that can help break the city’s cycle of homelessness: (Daily News) * De Blasio Admits Horse Ban was Stable Grab for Donor | Frontpage Mag

In 2014 Daily News Reported That Team de Blasio Poured Money Into NYCLASS
In 2014 the Daily News repored that the FBI was investigating donations to NYCLASS from men closeto Mayor de Blasio that may have been used toward anti-Christine Quinncampaigners  On May 21, lawyer Jay Eisenhofer gave $50,000 to NYCLASS, the animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. Ten days later, on May 31, NYCLASS gave an equal amount — $50,000, to the anti-Quinn group. On June 1, NYCLASS received another large donation, this time for $175,000. It came from UNITE HERE! — a labor union headed by John Wilhelm. Two days after that, on June 3, NYCLASS sent the same amount, $175,000, to the anti-Quinn campaign. The issue? Both Wilhelm and Eisenhofer have long-standing ties to Bill de Blasio, one of Quinn’s Democratic rivals in the mayoral campaign. Wilhelm is de Blasio’s cousin — and a prolific fund-raiser for him. Wilhelm raised $6,950 for de Blasio’s 2009 race for public advocate and $80,000 for de Blasio’s successful campaign for mayor.

Real Fight for NY: Jane Jacobs Decentralization vs de Blasio Centralized Control
It wasn't enough for decision-makers to have knowledge of programs and services. "They must understand, and understand thoroughly, specific places," Jacobs wrote, and that could only be learned from the people who lived there. 
As a solution, Jacobs recommended "administrative districts," to be run by a "district administrator" which would represent the primary, basic subdivision within city agencies. Her recommendations were taken up in the 1963 New York City Charter, adopted during Wagner's third term as Mayor. The Charter extended the neighborhood-governance concept to the other boroughs, establishing "Community Planning Boards" with advisory powers throughout the city. These boards eventually became known simply as "Community boards." Transactional de Blasio who cannot get his rezoning plan passed the city's Community Planning Boards is simply now going to ignore them and pass his plan with his puppet city council.

Meet The New Power Broker Glenwoods' Litwin Same As the Old Power Broker Moses
The fact that the mayor's plan is a give-a-way for developers which will increase gentrification displacement is of no concern to the council, who will be threaten with primaries by interlocking-directories of developers and lobbyists (Uber lobbyists won after they threaten members with primaries) if they don't vote for the plan.  The council is decentralized but unlike the planning boards was elected with centralized interlocking-directories of lobbyists and campaign contributors that was exposed at the Silver corruption trial.  * Robert Moses vs. Jane Jacobs - WNYC *   Jane Jacobs vs Robert Moses: Urban Fight of the Century - YouTube

No Shock the NYT Support de Blasio Protecting Developers While Dismissing Minorities Fighting for Their Communities 
As the NYT's Editorial Claims the Mayor Has Made A Persuasive Case But Does Not State What the Persuasive Case is or Talk About the 421-a Program Which is the Driver of the Gentrification That Those Fighting Rezoning Fear.  If the NYT's Editorial Cannot Analyse the Effects of the 421-a Program When the State's Two Top Leaders are On Trial for Accepting Millions From the Developers Pushing That Program They Never Will Until the Paper Changes Ownership or Goes Out of Business
Affordable Housing vs. Gentrification (NYT Ed)  New Yorkers are finally getting their chance to say what they think of Mayor de Blasio’s plan. * New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has made a persuasive case for using zoning changes that allow more dense development to create affordable housing, but his challenge remains getting New Yorkers to believe in his vision.

In Every Case Gentrification in the Long Run Has Created Segregation Not Diverse Neighborhoods
NY Times: de Blasio has a plan that he says will preserve economically diverse neighborhoods in New York City, significantly and permanently increase the affordable-housing supply and create a more attractive streetscape. In community meetings across the city, New Yorkers are finally having their chance to say whether they agree with him. The winds of “no” are blowing strong.

True News: The NYT should investigate the first time de Blasio  he would will preserve economically diverse neighborhood of Prospect Heights, now renamed by the Chinese co-owners with the Times pink elephant new building developer Bruce Ratner. The NYT listened to pension rip off guy Steve Ratner to build their news HQ with the magic mortgage deals. de Blasio made the same claim of preserving economic diverse in Prospect Heights 15 years ago when he fought to win billions of tax dollars to Bruce Ratner which gentrified that neighborhood Prospect Heights, mading it a high rent district.  Lhota: De Blasio bought by Atlantic Yards developer - …(NYDN) * Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report: Campaign … * De Blasio’s Atlantic Yards Support Helped Old Ally - WNYC * Gentrification forces longtime residents out of Crown Heights,a year of living in NYC Airbnbs & more Brooklynnews: (Brownstone News)

Will the Media Got Behind Minority Leaders Fighting For Their Neighborhoods Like They Did Behind Jane Jacobs Fighting for Mostly White Neighborhoods A Generation Ago?
NY Times: Residents in the neighborhoods due for rezoning are wary, to say the least. A meeting of Community Board 11 in East Harlem this month was typical of gatherings across the boroughs. It began with a consultant’s slide show that seemed designed to stupefy anyone not steeped in the worlds of real estate and zoning. Except the room was full of renters, many of whom knew exactly what the man was talking about, or thought they did. To many in East Harlem and other parts of the city where the working class and poor scrape by, construction means disruption, which inevitably means gentrification and dislocation. The rent always goes up, but they fear that the zoning changes will only make it rise faster and higher, inevitably making them exiles from their own city. “All you win is the privilege of applying for an apartment,”

True News: The NYT gives short shift to the mostly minority green shoots how stand in opposition to de Blasio rezoning plan, in order to save their neighborhoods and homes.  A generation ago the media covered and created a movement behind urban activist Jane Jacobs when she made the same argument about saving neighborhoods and homes against master building Robert Moses.  Jacobs' influential book The Death and Life of Great American Cities argued that urban renewal did not respect the needs of most city-dwellers. The book also introduced sociology concepts such as "eyes on the street" and "social capital" * Jane Jacobs, 89;Writer, Activist Spoke Out Against Urban Renewal (Wash Post)  She spoke of the displacement of thousands of residents and the destruction of small, if untidy, communities whose diversity she said was crucial to a city's allure. She maintained that urban renewal worsened the problems it was intended to solve: high crime, architectural conformity and a general dullness infecting daily life. She attacked the arrogance of city planners for making decisions without consulting those affected. "The planner's greatest shortcoming, I think, is lack of intellectual curiosity about how cities work," she told the New York Times in 1969. "They are taught to see the intricacy of cities as mere disorder. Since most of them believe what they have been taught, they do not inquire about the processes that lie behind the intricacy. I doubt that knowledgeable city planning will come out of the present profession. It is more likely to arise as an offshoot of economics." * Answers About the Legacy of Robert Moses - The New York Times *  Caro Speaks to the Spirit of Jane Jacobs - The New York Times * The white-aproned fruit man is gone, but Jane Jacobs's block still offers the rich mix that was her urban ideal (NYT)

The NYT and Their Developer Partners Need the Mayor and His Puppet Council to Override Community Opposition to Rezoning
NY Times:  Community boards are supposed to vote on the zoning proposals by the end of November. Their votes are advisory; the issue will also go before the borough presidents, the borough boards, the City Planning Commission and, finally, the City Council. Community Board 11 voted the plans down on Monday. About two dozen other community boards have done the same. 

True News: The Times is now on record for ignoring community control and concerns of minority leaders to save their communities 

It Not About resistance to neighborhood change, they just don't want to be driving out of their apartments or homes

NY Times: The administration says it understands people’s resistance to change in neighborhoods they love. But it insists that its plan offers the last best chance to turn back the tide of luxury apartments and sky-high rents.

True News: It is not about resistance to neighborhood change, they just don't want to be driving out of their apartments or homes.  The NYT editorial board even read their own newspaper?  Gentrification in a Brooklyn Neighborhood Forces Residents to Move On (NYT)

NY Times: The mayor makes a persuasive case for his multipronged strategy of building a more affordable New York through greater height and density. His challenge is getting unnerved New Yorkers, for whom the rent is already too high, to believe it.

True News:  NYT tellers New Yorkers to believe their mayor and not their lying eyes

The Day After this Misleading Editorial the Times Writes the Truth About the Effects of Gentrification
Gentrification in a Brooklyn Neighborhood Forces Residents to Move On (NYT)  Amid rapid gentrification, African-Americans and West Indians living in Crown Heights for generations are going east, or sometimes even out of the country.#CrownHts #ProspectLeffertsGarden & #Flatbush lost 10-14% of black population bw 2000-2010: 

True News Has Connected the Silver and Skelos Trial's Testimony About 421-a Pay to Play, to the Increase In Gentrification When Will the Media End the Cover-Up How NYC's Neighborhoods Are Being Destroyed?

The NYT Ends the Cover-Up of the Real Tale of Two Cities 
A Tale Of Two CitiesEmerges In The NY Times (Gothamist) There are few hot-button issues affecting New Yorkers young and old like gentrification and theaffordable housing crisis, which have become inextricably linked at this point. If you care about those issues, then you probably have strong opinions about Airbnb, the controversial sharing economy app that has sparked polarizing debates around the five boroughs.

Whether you think Airbnb is jeopardizing the safety of longterm tenants and breaking state laws or a perfectly reasonable way for NYers to supplement their incomes and encourage tourism, there's no question that it's already changing the makeup of entire neighborhoods. And while not perfectly symmetrical, the divide within the city on these issues is illustrated pretty well in a series of articles in the NY Times this holiday weekend. The NY Times Presents: Brunch Hate Reads brings you the stories of adventure-seeking well-to-do people who decided to spend a year apartment-hoping around the city using Airbnb—as well as the longtime Crown Heights residents who are now being priced out of the country, let alone the city.

Mayor Lindsay Wanted to Make Community Boards into Town Halls de Blasio Wants Them to Drop Dead
The Mayor Wants to Suck the Little Power Out of the Communities That the Real Estate and Union PACs and Their Puppet Elected Officials Have Them With
Community Boards' Opinion on Rezoning Not as Important asMine: De Blasio (DNAINFO) Blaz to Community Boards: Drop Dead *  Mayor Bill de Blasio downplayed the role of the city's community boards, which have overwhelmingly rejected his citywide rezoning proposals, saying Monday their opinions are merely advisory as he pushes forward with the controversial plan. The boards, which are appointed by the mayor, City Council and borough presidents, have criticized the rezoning plans as not providing enough housing that is affordable to the actual income levels of people in the neighborhoods and for fear that it would spark more gentrification and overcrowding. Other boards fear the plans are too broad and would hurt the character of individual neighborhoods. "They don't have a perfect vantage point on their communities. No one has a perfect vantage point on the whole of a community, but they bring a lot of valuable insight," de Blasio said. "Community Boards are appointed to give input. They give input," the mayor continued. "The folks that are elected by all the people, the council members and the mayor, have to make the final decision."

Mayor Lindsay Wanted to Make Community Planning Boards Into Mini Town Halls To Encourage Community Participation 
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. Each District Manager chaired a Service Cabinet made up of officers of various City agencies. Lindsay’s emphasis was on community participation and decentralization, through tools such as “Little City Halls” in the form of neighborhood community planning boards.

Green Shoots of Opposition to Developers in the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn 

Bill’s housingboomerang (NYDN Ed) Mayor de Blasio should hardly be surprised by widespread opposition to one of his key strategies for encouraging affordable housing — because, but for his current job title, he would surely be rallying the throngs in protest. From Riverdale to Morrisania, from Inwood to Hell’s Kitchen, from Williamsburg to Sheepshead Bay, most of the city’s 59 community boards have roared no to zoning changes that are critical to de Blasio’s goal of creating 80,000 apartments for low-to-middle income tenants. Although New Yorkers and elected officials clamor for affordable housing, community boards and Council members are recoiling in fear that the plan would spur development, with many rents out of reach. In the Bronx, where three in five households spend more a third of their incomes on rent, every board rejected de Blasio’s plan. Borough President Ruben Diaz — joined by six of nine Bronx Council members — also voted no on the borough board. In East New York, Brooklyn, the board roundly rejected de Blasio’s proposal to put affordable housing mandates and subsidies into action. Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito says she supports the mayor’s concept but abstained on the Bronx borough board’s vote. In lieu of leadership, she blah-blahs about “a meaningful discussion about neighborhood goals, values and priorities.”

After Rejection to His Rezoning Plan: Blaz to Community Boards: Drop Dead
As public advocate and mayoral candidate, he fought the closure of Brooklyn’s bankrupt Long Island College Hospital, which was located in prime real estate, declaring at one point: “People’s health — not the profits of the real estate industry — needs to be our priority.” Two years later, the hospital is gone and a developer has the right to erect luxury housing. The builder has proposed a better deal: Permit construction of a slightly larger project in exchange for including hundreds of affordable apartments, a new school and a park. Local leaders, including Councilman Brad Lander, say no. They’ll stick with the high-priced units to keep the project as small as possible.* Faced with a community board backlash against his zoning plans for affordable housing, New York City Mayor de Blasio went to a Bronx church Sunday to pitch his plan as a needed bulwark against New York becoming a “gilded city,” the DailyNews reports:  * Faced with a neighborhood backlash against his zoning plans for affordable housing, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio went to a Bronx church to pitch his plan as a needed bulwark against New York becoming a “gilded city.” He argued that since development is inevitable, the city is better off working to make sure it doesn’t totally leave out the poor and middle class.* Re affordable housing zoning plan resistance, @BilldeBlasio says community boards inform decision but aren't decision makers*  Cuomo: City has gotten more than its fair share in housing funds (PoliticoNY) ‘They are significantly higher than as prescribed in the law’ * Gov. Cuomo: State has been 

Opposition in the Mayor Own Circle to Rezoning East New York and the Bronx Fears of Gentrification 
Anti-poverty activists allied with de Blasio are sharply criticizing his plan to rezone East New York, a low-income neighborhood at the heart of his affordable-housing initiative,the Journal reports: * The Bronx Borough Board — which includes area politicians and community leaders — became the fourth to vote against or raise concerns about zoning changes tied to de Blasio’s affordable housing plan, the DailyNews reports:  * de-Blasted: Four boroughs just roasted @BilldeBlasio's plan for affordable housing. (NYDN).*  Manhattan leaders are pushing back against two zoningchanges connected to the mayor's affordable housing plan: Staten Island Community Board 3 Latest to Vote Down City's Rezoning Plan(DNAINFO) *Mayor's East New York-Ocean Hill Rezoning PlanRejected by CB16 (DNAINFO) * LES Community Board Votes Down City's RezoningProposal (SNAINFO) * Gentrified! Watch How the South Bronx Is Transitioning Into a Super Hot Real Estate Market

It Could Be the Lack of A Union Agreement That Kills 421-a Not the Gentrification Damage the Program Does to the Neighborhoods
Months of discussions between construction union leaders and representatives of New York City’s real estate community haven’t produced an agreement on wage levels for construction using the 421-a tax abatement, and many people involved in discussions are increasingly prepared for no deal to be reached, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * As a January deadline looms, real estate industry and union leaders have yet to hammer out a deal on 421-a abatement.

NY1 Interlocking-Directory Lobbyists Comment on the Silver Trial
NY1 interviewed lobbyists Al D’Amato despite the fact that he represented the developers that Silver is accused of Bribing and who Skelos is accused getting his son a job from. In addition D'Amato lobbyists for * Roberto Ramirez is a part owner of the Mirram Group who works for Heastie and Senator Klein who Adam Skelos was told by his father not to worry that guy has no power Mirram works for  Mirram lobbyist for 
  NY1 Online: Wise Guys Weigh In on Silver Corruption Trial

NYT Dreams Of A Silver Return to Albany At 125 Years Old?
But Says Nothing About the Effects On Albany of the Corruption Exposed At Silver's Trial
Colleagues Ponder Sheldon Silver’s Role in Albanyif He Is Acquitted (NYT) If Mr. Silver were to be acquitted, however, he could return to Albany for the 2016 legislative session, which begins in January. But few, if any, of his fellow Democrats believe that he could retake the position he ceded to Carl E. Heastie, a Bronx Democrat who was elected speaker in February. * Another longtime member of the Assembly said a vindicated Mr. Silver — who remained active in the Assembly after his arrest and indictment — would be a force in the chamber because of his knowledge of the intricacies of state government. “No one knew more about the ins and outs than Shelly — no one’s even close,” the member said. “I have no doubt if he comes back, he will be very outspoken.”

Despite the Silver and Skelos Trials the Times and the Rest of the Media Still Covering-Up the Effects of the 421-a Program
Here is Some Proof Beyond the Silver Trial for the NYT to End the 421-a Program Destroying Tens of Thousands of New Yorkers Lives
Time to end a hugetax break for wealthy property owners (NYDN Ed) * City was shortchanged on affordable housing: report (NYP) * De Blasio admin is touting 'affordable' apartments forseveral hundred dollars more than market rate: (DNAINFO)  * Landlord trying to swap renters for ‘rich, white tenants': suit (NYP) *  SWEATING IT OUT: Brownsville tenants live without hot water and electricity (NYDN)   * Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Gets Its Turn(NYT) *  * Anti-Gentrification Fliers Plastered Throughout Stuyvesant Heights in Bed Stuy (Brownstone) * mortgage loans denied at higher rates to blacks and hispanics in NYC than to whites  (DNAIFNO)  * De Blasio's plan to extend tax break for developers would cost city $2.7 BILLION: report (NYDN) De Blasio and Conservative Party make unlikely team in property-tax fight (NYP) The debate over a $1 billion New York City property tax abatement program has created the strangest political bedfellows of them all — the state Conservative party and the city’s progressive mayor. Conservative Party chairman Mike Long on Thursday praised Mayor de Blasio for opposing the inclusion of “prevailing wages” for construction workers as part of a 421-a tax abatement program to spur developers to build more affordable housing.

 Landlords Accused Of Trashing Apartments Arrested (WCBS) An alleged Brooklyn slumlord and his brother were arrested Thursday morning, accused of creating appalling and squalid conditions for tenants Exemption Gives Rich People Obscene Real Estate Tax Breaks (Gothamist) * The 1% Get A New Park Avenue High Rise And Tax Cuts While Homeless Suffer From Budget Cuts  Brooklyn Boom Squeezes Buyers Pushing Into Crown Heights    *NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on Developers' Tax Break: 'Mend It or End It' * New York State Politicians Are Still For Sale(Gawker) * Developers using loophole to funnel donations to Cuomo (RealDeal) Glenwood, Extell and others contributing money to governor via LLCs, report shows * Governor Cuomo’s top real estate donor is Glenwood Management, with $800,000 contributed through 19 LLCs, according to ProPublica * "Progressive" Gentrification: One Community'sStruggle Against Affordable Housing Developers of three new projects paid lobbyists $3M in 2014 (Real Deal) * New Yorkers spend nearly 60% of income on rent: study (NYP) * * In Mayoral Race,Attacking Real Estate Industry but Taking Its Cash (NYT) * Bill de Blasio, Friend of Real-Estate Developers? - The New Yorker  * EmptiestCo-ops and Condos. In Manh, more 421-a units owned by nonprimary than primaryresidents!!!!   *Bharara probing tax deals given to luxury condo building(NYP) * Pampering the rich:Luxury apartments get 421-a tax breaks and rent protection (NYDN) 

NYT Has Written About the Fears of the 421-a Tax Breaks But It Will Just Not Connect the Dots to Silver Who Took Millions to Pass The Harmful Program
De Blasio’s Housing Push Spurs Anxiety Among Those It’s Meant to Help (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio’s drive to build 80,000 apartments to combat income inequality has aroused fears of more gentrification and more displacement.* The New York City Independent Budget Office released a report on the effect the 2008 changes to the 421-a tax credit have had on the location of the buildings that utilize the tax exemption:  Cuomo Calls the Mayor's Bad Management the Cause of the Increase in the City's Homeless 'IT'S TIME FOR THE GOVERNOR TO STEP UP': De Blasio pushes NYC homeless issue back onto Cuomo, who blamed mayor's lack of management and intelligence (NYDN)

NYT Has Written About Scheme to Defraud Homeowners in Neighborhood Undergoing Gentrification . . . But Does Not Connect 421-a For Creating the Market for the Scammers
Real Estate Shell Companies Scheme to Defraud Owners Out of Their Homes (NYT) Relying on the secrecy of limited liability companies, white-collar thieves are targeting pockets of New York City for fraudulent deed transfers, leaving the victims groping for redress. In Bedford-Stuyvesant and other pockets of the city, white-collar criminals are employing a variety of schemes to snatch properties from their owners. NYT Looks Out for for Undocumented Immigrant Laborers But Not the Tenants Who Are Being Pushed Out Because of Increase Construction Safety Lapses and Deaths Amid a Building Boom in New York (NYT) An increase in fatalities and injuries has mostly affected undocumented immigrant laborers and far exceeds the rate of new construction.*  This dead landlord is still haunting his tenants * Real Estate Shell CompaniesScheme to Defraud Owners Out of Their Homes (NYT) 

Both Cuomo and de Blasio While Bashing Each Other Did A 421-a Gaffe
Even de Blasio Has Called the 421-a A Give-A-Way to Developers But Is Still Trying to Move Developers Into East NY
After meeting with legislative leaders and the governor in Albany, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said it would be “irresponsible” for state lawmakers to simply extend a controversial tax break known as 421a that he considers a “giveaway” to developers. *:  "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." State lawmakers must end tax breaks for housing developers if they won’t amend it: Bill de Blasio 

Fuck Them Dad, Don't Burn Any Bridges Adam Skelos 
Adam Skelos whined to dad about losing$10,000-per-month consulting gig (NYP) State Sen. Dean Skelos had to tell his hotheaded son to cool it after the younger man got angry because his cushy, $10,000-a-month consulting gig was drying up, according to testimony Tuesday. Adam Skelos, 33, ran straight to his powerful Long Island dad for advice after losing his job at AbTech Industries — which he landed allegedly in exchange for his dad’s influence in Albany. “So don’t burn any bridges and tell them to go F themselves?” Adam asks his dad — the then-Republican Senate majority leader — in the taped, March 26 phone call. Dean, 67, eventually tells his son, “Don’t panic over this, all right?* 'IT'S TIME FOR THE GOVERNOR TO STEP UP': De Blasio pushes NYC homeless issue back onto Cuomo, who blamed mayor's lack of management and intelligence (NYDN) *Ethics reform helped get Adam Skelos laid off, calls show (NYP)

Just don’t burn any bridges . . . hopefully we can, you know, get it all going again and that’s it.”  The new recordings were played as AbTech founder and CEO Glenn Rink testified against the father and son in their ongoing corruption trial in Manhattan federal court. AbTech had agreed to increase Adam’s monthly paycheck from $4,000 to $10,000 in April 2013 after he threatened to use his father’s influence to block a $12 million contract for the environmental company — whining that project engineers were going to earn more than he was. Adam had nabbed the AbTech gig — and a separate $20,000 check for no-show work — through Charles Dorego, the general counsel for real-estate developer Glenwood Management, a major donor to Senate Republicans. Dorego, Rink recalled, pushed hard for Adam’s raise because he didn’t want to “risk Glenwood’s relationship” with Sen. Skelos. * A raise in salary for Adam Skelos, the son of former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, at AbTech Industries was tied to a $12 million storm water treatment contract in Nassau County, according to testimony heard during the corruption trial of Skelos from AbTech CEO Glenn Rink, the Times reports * No testimony today at the Skelos trial. What happened Tuesday: Raise for Adam Was Tied to Contract, C.E.O. Says * Adam Skelos bragged to the head of AbTech Industries, which had secured a $12 million contract with Nassau County at his urging, that he had direct assurances from County Executive Edward Mangano that a storm water cleanup project would be funded after a series of delays threatened Skelos’ consulting job with the company, a wiretapped phone call revealed yesterday. A fight over ethics reform in the state legislature helped get Adam Skelos fired from his $10,000-a-month job with AbTech. Jurors in the Skelos trial were dismissed early yesterday after one juror complained of chest pains.* Dictator Dean Skelos trampled on the hope forfarmworkers (NYDN Ed)

What is Next Cuomo Gives de Blasio An Atomic Wedgie 
Cuomo rips de Blasio for ‘throwing money’ at homeless problem (NYP) * De Blasio called on Albany, the federal government and the private sector to address New York City’s growing hunger crisis, citing a new report that said nearly half of New Yorkers who can’t afford enough food and are of working age are employed, the Wall Street Journal reports:  * Cuomo and de Blasio squabbled again over the causes of New York City’s homeless crisis, with the governor saying it’s an issue not of money but of management and smarts, while the mayor pointed out that the state, under Cuomo, had cut funding for rental assistance in 2011, the Observerreports

Team de Blasio Astorino Hookup Contols Both the Falsely Labeled Reform Parties, WFP and Reform Party
Cuomo says hestruggles to ‘decipher’ de Blasio’s politics after mayor appears at event withRob Astorino (NYDN) The coming holiday season has done little to thaw the tensions between Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio. The mayor raised eyebrows by appearing Tuesday at a transportation event with Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the Republican who unsuccessfully challenged Cuomo in 2014.Westchester County Exec. Astorino calls Cuomo a 'scorpion' (NYDN)

 “You’re talking to the wrong guy if you think I’m going to be able to decipher the mayor’s politics,” Cuomo said before criticizing Astorino for being anti-abortion and a “man who wants to lock refugees out of this country.” “It is not a person who I would stand next to,” Cuomo said. He also downplayed calls by the mayor and others for more state funding by saying the solution has more to do with leadership. "To me it's not just the money, it's more managing the city properly, efficiently, effectively, smartly, especially on this issue,” Cuomo said. Cuomo said there were far fewer homeless on the street under former mayors David Dinkins, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. Cuomo noted that Police Commissioner Bill Bratton recently acknowledged that City Hall was slow to address the worsening homeless problem. “How do you solve a problem? Step 1 is acknowledge the problem and I think we were slow in the acknowledgment of the problem,” Cuomo said.* Mayor, Governor Engage in New Round of Public Sniping (NY1) Times Pushes de Blasio;s Mental Illness Program Treating Mental Illness in New York, From All Angles (NYT Ed) Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a citywide initiative to tackle mental illness and addiction.* New York City’s Rising Number of Homeless (NYT) Readers discuss former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s comments about chasing away the homeless, “right to shelter” laws and the “medically homeless.”

The Cuomo-de Blasio Battle Escalates (YNN) *  The feud between Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio took a new turn yesterday over the mayor’s decision to join a Republican – Cuomo’s election foe in 2014, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino – at a bipartisan event seeking more federal transportation funding. * who I would stand next to,” said Cuomo, who was appearing with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a potential 2017 primary rival to de Blasio. * Cuomo tore into the de Blasio administration’s handling of the homeless crisis, saying that better “management” by the mayor was needed instead of just “throwing more money at the problem.”

Cuomo Its Not the Money Its Bad Management By the Mayor
Cox Criticizes Cuomo’s ‘Personal Politics’(YNN) * Astorino: Cuomo ‘Needs Some Serious Help’ (YNN)* ‘Don’t worry Bill, I’ll fix the homeless crisis’ (NYP) Gov. Cuomo took his biggest shot yet at Mayor de Blasio by declaring that Hizzoner “can’t manage the homeless crisis” in the city — and saying that he plans to “step in” and fix the festering problem himself.A spokeswoman said Cuomo felt compelled to personally take action because de Blasio had proven himself inept at stemming the surging number of vagrants taking over the city’s sidewalks, subways and parks. De Blasio refused to discuss Cuomo’s planned intervention — the latest twist in their long-running feud — when asked about it at a news conference ahead of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “That’s an off-topic question. That’s a question for another time. We will talk to that in the coming days,” he said. The Albany shot at City Hall amplified remarks Cuomo made Tuesday, when he said the city’s homelessness problem “hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.” It also followed de Blasio’s assertion earlier Wednesday that Cuomo needed to “step up” and provide state funding to create “supportive housing” for mentally ill and drug-addicted homeless people. During an appearance on Fox 5’s “Good Day New York,” de Blasio touted his recently announced, $2.6 billion plan to create housing “with the services to get people right again.”* 'IT'S TIME FOR THE GOVERNOR TO STEP UP': De Blasio pushes NYC homeless issue back onto Cuomo, who blamed mayor's lack of management and intelligence (NYDN)
More on Cuomo

IDC Which Skelos Wiretap Said Had No Power Sticking With GOP
Liz Benjamin ‏@CTLizB  A source close to IDC noted traditional Democrats have publicly & privately said even worse things about the group than Skelos did on tape. * Breakaway Dems will still honor pact with Senate GOP despite insult from Skelos (NYDN) “Nothing changes,” said Bronx Sen. Jeffrey Klein, who heads the five-member Independent Democratic Conference. “Coalition government is bigger than one person.” A wiretap recording played last week at the corruption trial of Skelos and his son, Adam, caught the father saying that Klein would have a title in the leadership alliance but no real power. He also argued it was important for the Republicans to keep the breakaway Dems and the Senate Democrats divided. Klein had no comment on Skelos, but he seemed prepared to continue the alliance with the Republicans. “We’re not going to turn around and say, ‘Dean Skelos said bad things to his son about us that got caught up on a wire tape, so we’ll walk over to the Democratic conference and be in the minority again,’ ” the source said. Some insiders, though, say it will be difficult for Klein’s group to align again with the GOP should the Democrats next November win a numerical majority, particularly after Skelos made it clear the Republican goal was to keep the Dems fractured.* The head of a breakaway faction of state Senate Democrats, IDC Leader Jeff Klein, says his group is not ready to abandon its five-year alliance with the chamber’s Republican majority just because former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was caught on tape trashing them. “Nothing changes,” Klein said. “Coalition government is bigger than one person.” * The wells of real estate company largesse are drying up for politicians and political organizations, following corruption allegations against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver involving bribery and kickback schemes.
More on the IDC 

NYP and Daily News: Covering-Up Failed Students, Schools With Grade Inflation and Spin
The Daily News writes that New York City has offered no “credible explanation” as to why so many struggling elementary and middle schools have dramatically improved, so it likely comes from “dangerously downgraded expectations”
The Post writes that the city Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina is fibbing about the state of schools, and that schools under her have been “churning out lies” through grade fixing and grade inflation
Defining schoolachievement down (NYDN Ed) Fact A: At almost 200 New York City schools, fewer than 1 in 10 students passed their state exams in math or English Language Arts last year. Fact B: At these very same schools, close to 9 in 10 students got passing grades in their English or math classes. The two irreconcilable realities, highlighted in a new report by advocacy group StudentsFirstNY, underscore the profoundly dishonest message that New York City schools are sending young people and their parents day in, day out. And they prove that, despite repeated assertions to the contrary, social promotion — the practice of moving kids up even when they haven’t mastered basics — is alive and well in New York. Grade inflation is nothing new. While standardized tests have no feelings, teachers, sensitive to the kids they teach and to potential blowback from parents, are highly unlikely to fail them en masse.

But the gap is enormous between classroom grades and state test scores based on Common Core standards, which demand more of students than instruction previously did. What’s especially disheartening is that Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña have effectively taken the side of the grade inflaters. The Education Department’s latest school quality reports tagged fewer than 1% of elementary and middle schools citywide as flatly not meeting student achievement targets. Bizarrely, of about 100 elementary and middle schools the city said failed to meet student performance or progress targets last year, just two flatly flunked their achievement ratings this year.Team de Blasio has endless excuses for letting failed schools stay open (NYP Ed) Mayor de Blasio vowed to stop closing failed schools, protecting their incompetent staffs from consequences. Instead, he rolled out his three-year, $150 million Renewal plan to improve (some of) the worst ones. But Fariña this week admitted that’s too long to wait: “I can’t afford to have a child be more than one or two years in a building where they are not going to get what they need,” she testified. Hooray. We’ve often noted that, because many of de Blasio’s “reforms” don’t fully kick in for years, his plans leave today’s kids trapped in lousy schools, wasting irreplaceable years when they should be learning. And who knows if those reforms will ever work? Fariña’s already given these schools a year. So: Will she move to shut them now — or in another 12 months? Ever? That’s where the fretting comes in. After all, it seems she’s already falling back on her (and the mayor’s) most trusted tactic: fibbing about the state of the schools. “At schools across the city, there is a renewal taking place,” Fariña said. She cited higher attendance rates, fewer discipline problems and better test scores. Hmm. School officials under Fariña have been churning out lies almost as fast as they churn out uneducated kids. * Staffers accuse Bronx principal of fixing grades so students pass (NYP) The principal of DeWitt Clinton HS, a struggling Bronx school in Mayor de Blasio’s multimillion-dollar Renewal program, changed students’ failing grades to passing without teachers’ knowledge or consent, insiders told The Post. In one case, Santiago Taveras gave a senior who received a “no show” in a global-history class a 75 and changed her failing 55 grade in gym to a minimum passing 65, records show. She then got a credit for each class, which she didn’t deserve, several staffers charged. “He thinks he’s God and can do whatever he wants,” one said. * Just 63 percent of high school students passed a New York State algebra exam, so officials might make it easier (NYT)

Farina Failing On Failing Schools Wants to Cut Time to Closing Them From 3 to 1 Year

Fariña doesn’t wantto wait 3 years to close failing schools anymore (NYP) Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said Monday that she’s no longer willing to wait three years before closing low-performing public schools that don’t show improvement. “I think one year is crucial to see if we have the right leadership and the right teachers in the building,” Fariña testified before the City Council Education Committee. “Year 2 is, now that we have the right people in the building, what else needs to happen?” she added. “But the chancellor part in me also says I can’t afford to have a child be more than one or two years in a building where they are not going to get what they need. So it’s how you balance all this.” Only a year earlier, Fariña and Mayor de Blasio released a three-year timetable to turn around 94 struggling schools. At the council hearing, Fariña boasted that the city’s efforts to put a moratorium on school closings has been a big success.* Good grades for failing kids: Another scam from the city’s schools(NYP) * Report shows city kids who pass class are failing state exams (NYP) * Schools where 90% ofstudents couldn’t pass state English and math tests had pass rates of 85% &84% for course work   *UFT President Mike Mulgrew says the US labor movement today “faces perhaps the gravest threat to its existence since the creation of our modern system of labor law and collective bargaining in 1935″ in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case that is now before the Supreme Court.* Brooklyn school rezoning highlights challenges ofcity integration efforts * Learning to learntogether with kids of all types (NYDN Ed) It’s one step back and eight steps forward in desegregating New York City’s public schools, which are stubbornly divided along racial and economic lines. Capitulating to anxiety, mainly among white parents worried about sending children to a predominantly minority school with lower test scores, the Department of Education abandoned a plan to adjust admissions to two Upper West Side schools that are nine blocks and worlds apart — one of them filled to overflowing, one of them with plenty of room.
de Blasio Hiding Failed Schools
How de Blasio is hiding the failure of city schools
 (NYP) Mayor de Blasio today will hold yet another carefully choreographed event designed to obscure the real state of New York City schools. It’s unclear if attendees at tonight’s town hall...

de Blasio Admits Market Forces Causing Homelessness . . .  Cuomo Extends War With Cuomo to Affordable Housing
One of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature initiatives hit an obstacle when Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration curbed a financial resource critical to building low-income housing, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * The Times writes that Cuomo and de Blasio need to set their unresolvable issues aside and that Cuomo should respond to the mayor’s affordable housing plan with a similar or bigger commitment that delivers the support New Yorkers need: * One of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature initiatives hit an obstacle this week, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration curbed a financial resource critical to building low-income housing.
de Blasio: "The market dynamics are forcing people out faster than all of our tools can compensate.”
Bill’s de Blasio'shomelessness crisis (NYDN ED) Bill de Blasio came into office with a single-minded solution for homelessness: shut down dirty, dangerous shelters and use the savings to secure permanent housing. After The New York Times documented the harsh life of a young girl in a fetid city-run shelter, the then-mayor elect said: “We cannot let children of this city like Dasani down.” Now America’s champion of progressivism is reckoning with breaking that vow. Meeting with the Daily News Editorial Board on Thursday, de Blasio made the extraordinary admission that he cannot keep up with the tide of people seeking housing assistance:  “What we’re having a hell of a time with is.  * New York City is planning to add more housing for homeless adults and children fleeing domestic violence, the latest effort by de Blasio’s administration to deal with a homelessness problem that has persisted as housing costs in the city have continued to soar. One Exception the Hotel Unions NYC Mayor de Blasio defended his administration’s four-month-old law curtailing hotel conversions into residential space amid a legal battle with the powerful Real Estate Board of New York. “We obviously think the bill was appropriate,” the mayor said. * With two key rezoning efforts in De Blasio’s affordablehousing plan facing opposition from many of the city’s community boards, the Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez writes that the mayor should consider taking control of the Battery Park City Authority from the state to increase funding for affordable housing: * Construction of 55 teeny-tiny micro-apartments – an experiment approved by former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg as a potential solution to the city’s housing crisis – is nearly complete, with 60,000 people applying for one of the 14 “affordable” units.

Only 3,000 of De Blasio's 20,000 Affordable Housing UnitsAre Permanent via @Dnainfo * Just months after Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration argued that hiring union workers would undermine the mayor’s affordable housing plan, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James announced a plan to partner with organized labor, the Observer writes: * Politico New York hasmapped the more than 3,000 affordable housing units being built in 2015 as part of New York City’s voluntary Inclusionary Housing Program: * Four Reasons You Can’t Stop the Brooklyn Juggernaut - Commercial Real Estate * In a clash with their landlord, these apartment tenantsstarted making covert recordings. (NYT) Residents of rent-stabilized units in an East Village apartment building used cellphones and camcorders to record talks with their landlord’s agent, who they say tried to scare them into leaving.* The affordable housing the mayor refuses to see (NYP) De Blasio might be surprised, then, to learn that the much-maligned private market is offering plenty of rental housing at prices equivalent to what the city would charge in new, subsidized units — but since city affordable housing costs New York either property-tax abatements or other cash subsidies, the private market’s affordable housing is cheaper. For everyone. * The Manhattan Institute’s Howard Husock and Alex Armlovichin the Post write that New York City ought to focus on spreading the word about the large amount of affordable housing that exists rather than building new units:* A report by the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development shows New York City subsidies have historically focused on areas that need the least help, but its push to change this seems like a long-shot,Crain’s reports:  * The de Blasio administration and New York City Councilman Corey Johnson announced plans to generate $100 million for repairs at Manhattan’s Pier 40 by authorizing a five-building housing development, the Daily News reports * Unions Slam de Blasio-Backed Affordable Housing WithStolen Wage Report (NYO)  * Nearly half of the affordable apartment tenants in a new survey say they're spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent, a level considered “rent-burdened,” and 14 percent say more than 50 percent of their income goes to rent, the Daily News writes:  * Survey shows some NYC affordable housing tenants still pay high rent *   In another apparent dispute between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, the governor has threatened to cancel funding for federal tax-exempt bonds that would finance the mayor’s affordable housing plan

Airbnb Pay More Taxes But the Gentrification Damage is Done On Hoteliering Not Home Sharing 
Will the Council Duck the Affordable Housing Gentrification Problem?

Airbnb vows to partner with cities, pay more taxes (NYP) ALBANY — After years of defying and vexing governments from New York to Berlin, Airbnb is taking a more cooperative stance and promising to “partner with cities” and pay taxes....* .@Airbnb won't acknowledge much/most of its biz in cities it mentions is not home "sharing" at all, but hoteliering. http://publicpolicy.airbnb.com/compact/   * Airbnb Pledges to Work With Cities and Pay ‘Fair Share’ of Taxes http://nyti.ms/1iU2Tj9  via @mikeisaac * After years of defying and vexing governments from New York to Berlin, Airbnb is taking a more cooperative stance and promising to “partner with cities” and pay taxes.* Tax-Subsidized Tenants Caught Renting Out Luxury Queens ApartmentsOn Airbnb (CBS)
Airbnb Bad Neighbors, Warehouses Apartments -- Rising Rents and Increasing Gentrification
Increased Homelessness

Heastie Not For Cutting Outside Jobs From Lawmakers Even As Two Former Leaders On Trial 
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said there’s no appetite in the Legislature to prohibit lawmakers from having outside jobs even as the body’s former leaders are being tried on corruption charges related to private-sector income and their public-sector work. Assembly Democrats aren`t looking for lessons from Silver`s trial.* Think Sheldon Silver's case will prompt change in Albany? Think again#nyassembly Dems, led by @CarlHeastieshrug * * Even as the two former leaders of the state Legislature are in the middle of corruption trials, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said he has no plans for new ethics laws despite calls by good government groups,Gannett Albany reports:  * As ex-leaders on trial, no ethics reforms planned at Capitol (LOHud) * Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said there’s no appetite in the Legislature to prohibit lawmakers from having outside jobs even as the body’s former leaders are being tried on corruption charges related to private-sector income and their public-sector work. *  No Ethics Reform, But How About A Pay Raise? (YNN)

At Least This Year Real Estate Has Cut Back the Money for the Pols
The wells of real estate company largesse are drying up for politicians and political organizations, following corruption allegations against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver involving bribery and kickback schemes.

New Yorkers Needed A Poll to Be Taken For de Blasio and Bratton to See the Homeless Mess
Mayor de Blasio’s still in denial on the city’s homeless mess (NYP ED) Mayor de Blasio declared Friday that the real mistake was that City Hall “did not explain to people well enough what we were doing to address homelessness.” This, the day after Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s stunning statement that the administration fell down by “not validating what we all were seeing.” “For a period of time,” Bratton said, the administration wasn’t “admitting what everybody was seeing and feeling, including myself, in my neighborhood.” In truth, both men this summer downplayed what was happening in front of everyone’s eyes and — ahem — noses. When The Post’s reporting on quality-of-life woes exposed outrageous violations by vagrants this summer, the mayor declared we were “well-known for fear-mongering.” In August, he insisted, “We’ve had a reduction in street homelessness” — pointing to a one-night survey done four months before on one of the coldest evenings of the year. Bratton wasn’t a whole lot better. His reaction to Post photos of John Tucker urinating in the middle of a West Side street? “He’s an extremely emotionally disturbed individual . . . and so all the attention is actually exacerbating his condition.” Once polls showed the public was seeing just what The Post was reporting, the mayor had a spokeswoman “explain” that the rise began in the Bloom­berg years. 
* Despite de Blasio's moves to more than double funding for unsheltered homeless people, that might not be enough as the population appears to be growing faster than the city's efforts to address its needs, Politico NewYork reports: 
NYPD, Bratton The Fight For Control
Bratton Part 2

It is Time for the Press to Explain to New Yorkers The Effects of Silver's 421-a and Cancer Pay to Play Cover-Up
“He’s trying to figure out how he got the referrals. It turns out to be an incredibly prescient question,” Caproni said. No hard feelings that it took federal investigators seven years to catch up to what The Post sniffed out a long time ago * Sheldon Silver's misleading statements to Daily News cited as evidence at corruption trial (NYDN) In the articles, the former Assembly speaker gave a limited description of his work for the personal injury firm Weitz & Luxenberg. Silver referred clients to the firm and received a percentage of any settlement or verdict. Silver’s chief spokesman at the time, Michael Whyland, provided the information and testified he believed it was true. “He said he represented ordinary, simple people who had been harmed,” Whyland said. The government also showed the jury a 2013 News article in which Whyland said Silver “invests in blue-chip stocks as do millions of Americans.” Silver is charged with trying to conceal his corrupt cash in an exclusive “high-yield, low-risk” investment vehicle.

Silver Took Pay to Play Money to Pass 421-a Has Pushed New Yorkers Out of Their Homes created Homeless
 Testimony zeroes in on Silver’s financial disclosure forms (PoliticoNY) The government introduced into evidence audio recordings between Silver and various political reporters, including the New York Post’s Fred Dicker, Capital Tonight’s Liz Benjamin and POLITICO New York’s Jimmy Vielkind, that included nearly identical statements by Silver regarding the nature of his outside legal work and the type of clients he represented. “My clients are little people who have nothing to do with the political life,” Silver stated in one interview from 2008. The recordings seemed to contradict what Silver is alleged to have done. A number of witnesses thus far have testified about Silver’s referral arrangement with the real estate law firm Goldman & Iryami, which worked to reduce the taxes some of the biggest real estate firms in the state paid to New York City. * The Daily News writes that former Assembly Speaker SheldonSilver’s trial has shown his once-routine description of his legal work contained “not a shred of truth,” and instead he bagged referral fees by directing state funds to a doctor:* Lawyers for a man who was speaker for 20 years think it'sunfair to associate their client with Albany. (WSJ)* Jurors in Sheldon Silver's corruption trial hear 2008 interview of him ...Opinion-Newsday

Forest City's Gilmartin How the Tax Payers Paid for My Outfits While I Gentrify Their Neighborhoods 
Intercepted (imaginary) memo from an unnamed Dean of Academic Studies:
Rarely does a document appear that might be consulted in so many of our academic and evening programs: Gender Studies, Real Estate Development, Executive Leadership, Work-Life Balance, Luxury BrandBuilding, and Personal Shopping. Please see, from Bloomberg Businessweek, What I Wear to Work: Forest City Ratner’s MaryAnne Gilmartin: The real estate CEO shows her feminine side." Please note that Gilmartin's "nebbish" predecessor/boss Bruce Ratner did not provoke as many avenues for discussion. * Chinese families are looking for a safe place to invest. AndAmerican real estate is a very popular option. (NYT) *  EB-5 gets an unskeptical mention in the New York TImes (AYR) * Massaging history: principal in raising EB-5 funds for Atlantic Yards claims all projects "are in poor areas of Brooklyn..." (AYR)

How the Tax Payers Buy Apt Complexes for Wall Street Billionaires 
Who do billionaires turn to when they want to buy apartmentcomplexes? The U.S.taxpayer (Bloomberg) Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group and Stephen Schwarzman’s Blackstone Group LP are in talks with Freddie Mac to finance two transactions totaling more than $10 billion, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations. Those discussions come after the government-owned mortgage giant already agreed to back Lone Star Funds’ $7.6 billion deal to buy Home Properties Inc. and Brookfield Asset Management Inc.’s $2.5 billion takeover of Associated Estates Realty Corp. The mortgage guarantor -- which along with its larger counterpart Fannie Mae was rescued in a $187.5 billion taxpayer bailout in 2008 -- is boosting its multifamily lending as their regulator eases restrictions on that part of their business. Cheap debt from the U.S.-backed companies is helping sustain a five-year surge in values for apartment buildings and fueling some of the biggest real estate deals since the financial crisis.
Real Estate Developers, Tax Breakes and Politics, 421-a 

Daily News Says More Info On Secret by Mayor Giving Blackstone's Stuy Town Deal on Air Rights and Forgiving Loan
The Daily News writes that straight accountings of deBlasio’s real estate dabblings  are needed after he did not mention the city was forgiving a loan and authorizing an air rights sale at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village: * Editorial: Fulldisclosure, please (NYDN Ed) As a huge landlord reached a deal buy Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, de Blasio trumpeted success in keeping almost half of the complexes affordable to the middle class. The mayor said that the city reached advantageous terms with the Blackstone Group. But what did Blackstone really get in the deal? New York “will fund a loan of up to $144 million,” de Blasio’s press release stated — without mentioning that he was actually forgiving the entire sum, plus $77 million, for a total $221 million. It turns out he added artificial sweetener: the mayor will help Blackstone get the okay to sell development rights that experts say are potentially worth $100 million to $350 million. New Yorkers need straight accountings of the costs of de Blasio real estate dabblings. Here that extends to the possible air rights bonanza. At least, the terms should have said that the bulk of any such sums would come back to taxpayers. * The Post writes that de Blasio should keep his “grubbypaws” off the city’s pension fund after the mayor suggested he may like to invest it in various subsidized housing program as part of his affordable housing program: *The recent sale of Stuy Town-Peter Cooper Village highlights the differences between the massive Manhattan complex and Parkchester, its similarly-designed Bronx counterpart with much lower rents, Crain’s reports: * Blackstone-Ivanhoe Cambridge Purchase of Stuyvesant Town-Peter CooperVillage (Little Sister Chart)

Glenwood Gave Have Million to Cuomo Connected Committee to Save NY PAC
Even As They Fight Each Other Both Men Form Rove Style PACs to Go Around the Election Law to Win Elections
Glenwood holdings gave half a million to secretive Cuomo backers (PoliticoNY) Glenwood Management, the real estate developer at the center of two former legislative leaders' federal corruption trials, gave half a million dollars in 2011 to an advocacy group that focused solely on supporting Gov. Andrew Cuomo's agenda. Evidence federal prosecutors released Sunday in the trial of Sen. Dean Skelos itemizes the contributions that various Glenwood holdings made over the past decade. Most of them were campaign donations that had been previously identified by their recipients. But the list also includes $500,000 in donations made to the Committee to Save New York, an advocacy organization that funded commercials supporting the governor’s agenda. That group spent over $16 million between 2011 and 2012, finishing as the state's highest-spending lobby client in each of those years, but ceased operations when statutory changes would have required it to begin identifying who funded it.* Cuomo: More Ethics And Disclosure Than Ever Before (YNN) * Glenwood Management, the real estate developer at the center of the corruption trials of both Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, gave half a million dollars in 2011 to the Committee to Save New York, a business-backed advocacy group that focused solely on supporting Cuomo’s agenda. * Committee to Save New York Tops 2012 List of Lobbying …(NYT) Who is the Committee to Save New York? (Lit Sis) *   Committee To Save New York Closing Up Shop - NY Daily News * The Committee to Save 1% New York | Public …

Local TV News Made $$$ From the Committee to Save NY and Other PACs
How Local TV News Make Millions Rehabilitating Candidates, Lobbying on Issues While Dumbing Down the Public 
Spending on advertising has fueled the increase in TV lobbying costs. Well-funded special interests funnel millions to lobbyists for public campaigns to sway lawmakers on hot-button issues (TU)  Local News which is mainly weather, traffic, cooking and dog segments is making millions in lobbyists spending.  Union and business interest like the pro fracking interest are also spending millions on ads to local stations.  All this money is coming in as local news dumbs down.  Local TV stations stand to profit from boom in super-PAC spending (The Hill)*CSNY’s budget blitz: $3.9 million (updated)(TU) *Save NY airing tax cap ad(TU) *Budget opponents up their ads and mailers(TU) *Bloomberg Blames Negative Ads For Poor Showing In Education ...(Politico) *Save NY now airs on school money(TU) *NYC's Bloomberg Pays for TV Ads Backing Cuomo's Pension *  Bloomberg Defends His Administration With TV Ad - NY1.com * Local TV News For $ale: How Special Interests Control News Content and Public Opinion
Brain-Washing: TV Ads, Emails
Campaign 2013 Media Failure  And Broken Political Promises
The Media Cover Up of Citizens United

How Come Albany Pols Who Attack Cops Have No Serpico To Clean Up Their Own House?  
If Albany has any honest politicians left, they should be wearing wires (NYP) No wonder public faith in government is in the toilet. In a June poll, 55 percent of New York voters wanted all office-holders voted out. The trials will spotlight what US Attorney Preet Bharara calls Albany’s “show-me-the-money” culture. But he notes that “even a series of tough and successful prosecutions . . . has not been enough to thwart others from following in their felonious footsteps.” New Yorkers, he warns, can’t “prosecute our way to cleaner government.” Well, legislators aren’t doing much to clean house.* Albany Needs a Senator Serpico (2012, Morgan Pehme) If there are so many decent, upright members of the Legislature—as representatives of both houses insist—why is it not that one of them has the guts to step forward and breach the wall of silence that shields their unsavory colleagues from accountability and denies their victims—all of us—justice? It has often been remarked, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Right now, anyone who claims to be a reformer in Albany is just blowing smoke. Unless these supposedly virtuous men and women step up and take bold and brave action to root out the epidemic in their midst, they must be held as responsible for its ills as anyone. Officer Serpico risked his career and life—evidenced by the bullet he still has lodged in his face four decades later—because of his deep and abiding morality, an innate conviction that what is right transcends what is expedient. Is there no one in the Legislature who will put the interests of the people before his or her own? Out of the 212 members of the Senate and the Assembly, is there not a single hero? Thanks to his valor, the name Serpico has become synonymous with honest cop. Who in Albany has the backbone to earn the title of honest politician?

Where is Serpico 
Not One Serpico in Albany Who Will Speak Out Against the Corruption? Electing Puppets
Earth to Carl Heastie: Reform needed (Democrat and Chronicle)  Planet Earth to New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie: The need for ethics reform measures in Albany is far from over.  We were taken aback when Heastie suggested otherwise. "What do you think legislatively we can do that would respond to what either Sheldon Silver or Dean Skelos is on trial for?" he asked. Heastie made that comment Tuesday in response to questioning about the trials of Skelos, the former Senate majority leader, and Silver, his predecessor as speaker. These once-powerful officials are being tried in separate Manhattan courtrooms on corruption charges.  A key issue in these trials is outside income, for themselves or family members. Heastie, in his own little universe, says there are plenty of new ethics laws on the books, the latest of which were adopted as part of the state budget process in March.* The push by a JCOPE commissioner appointed by former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to require legislators who are applying for exemptions from new financial disclosure rules to submit the paperwork seeking exemptions by hand could weaken future corruption cases, the Times Unionreports:

Silver Skelos Trial Exposes how Real Estate Has Privatized Tammany Hall Which Created NY's Shadow Govt
He's not the only one who isn't quite on solid ground here. At the time, Cuomo described the new measures as "dramatic reform," a claim good government groups immediately scoffed at. Here is one reason why. The new law allows the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and the Office of Court Administration to grant exemptions to a "thou shalt not accept outside income without full disclosure" rule. The idea behind that, of course, is to make sure our state leaders don't do things like Skelos and Silver are on trial for. This legislation, which takes effect Dec. 31, closes the door on that. But, there is a window opening nearby. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that, when there is a loophole, some legislators will climb through it.

The only way the Joint Commission could evaluate a legislator's financial statement, Horwitz told The New York Times, was, "if God willing, manna falls from heaven, and someone makes a complaint to us." It is, in typical Albany fashion, very confusing. In fact, fully understanding the loophole might take a New York earned a D-minus in a recent, data-driven assessment of state governments by the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity. We are not sure what planet Heastie was on when he dismissed the need for reform, but here on Earth, a D-minus means our state government is a miserable failure at this ethics and integrity thing. Your work is not done.
The Privatization of the Tammany Hall Machine
Corrupt lobbyist: Arzt, Mercury, Advance Group, BerlinRosen, Parkside, Schlein. Kasirer, Bolton-St. Johns, D'Amato, Sheinkopf

Mayor's Lobbyists Berlin Rosen Working to Give de Blasio and Other Pols A Raise
FAO Schwarz to chair Mayor's Quadrennial Advisory Commission for the review of compensation levels of elected officials.  Schwarz is the Chief Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University.  Berlin Rosen is a Lobbyists for the Brennnan Center * De Blasio moves to give himself — and others at City Hall — a raise  (NYP) Mayor de Blasio is paving the way for hefty raises for himself and other elected officials. Hizzoner on Friday announced the formation of three-member advisory commission that will determine whether all city elected officials merit getting pay hikes for the first time in more than eight years. The commission will report its recommendations in November.* Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the formation of a three-member advisory commission that will determine whether all city elected officials merit getting pay hikes for the first time in more than eight years, the New York Post reports:  * Mayor de Blasio wantsto give himself a raise (NYP)Unregistered Lobbyists Berlin Rosen Bag Men to the Pols

Will the Media Protect the Shadow Govt Permanent Bosses and Their Soldiers Lobbyists Consultants
Only the Daily News Did A Story Today About the Silver Trial Starting Monday

Bharara is unpacking 421a as the taxpayer-funded golden road of corruption to Albany  Behold, the ShellySilver trial
The stunning arrest capped a secret grand-jury probe that began in June 2013, court papers said, and marked the latest in a string of public-corruption cases spearheaded by crusading Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara.  Asked how the case stacked up against the many other public-corruption cases he’s brought, Bharara summed it up. “Any time you have an allegation — especially when it’s proven — against a public official, that is disturbing. And when you have an allegation against someone who is a public official — not just in a random file capacity, but a leader of an entire body who is known in the politics of Albany to be one of the ‘three men in a room’ — that is especially disturbing,” Bharara said.* Skelos’ attorney cited a @PolHudson post to try to discredit Preet Bharara. It didn’t work  * Bharara blasted for Libous prosecution: (LoHud)
@unitedNYblogs Preet is doing more than ThomasJefferson. He demands that people in power be honest fiduciaries or go to jail. And he warns!
@unitedNYblogs -Society had a choice: register lobbyists and have them self-report, or let them brown bag democracy into private property.

Millions Poured In Campaigns by Real Estate, Unions Run By Consultant Lobbyists has Weakend Voters Control Over Pols
The Progressive Caucus, a group of 19 liberal council members, will endorse a new congestion pricing plan tomorrow, sources say. They will be joined by “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz, the former city traffic commissioner who is the architect of the initiative, known as the Move NY Fair Plan. Mr. Schwartz is a listed speaker on a press release sent from the office of Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a Manhattan Democrat and chairman of the Transportation Committee. A press conference to announce the decision will be held at City Hall.* The New York City Council’s progressive caucus backed the MoveNY congestion pricing plan that would places tolls on East River bridges and lessen the cost to cross other bridges, theDaily News writes:  * New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens is supporting the congestion pricing plan that would toll free East River bridges and raise money to cut down on traffic and repair the subway system, the Daily News reports:

Lobbyists Consultant Murder, Inc Run NY Govt and Campaigns Just As Much As Murder, Inc Ran NY in the 40's
The NYP and CFB Look At Gray Areas of Election Law While Covering-Up Illegal Coordination Between Lobbying Consultant, PACS and Candidates
The worst part of the city campaign-finance system is what’s legal (NYP Ed) News of a probe into Mayor de Blasio’s 2013 campaign finances might offer some great comic relief — if it didn’t also raise troubling questions about the city’s rules. As The Post’s Yoav Gonen reported this week, the Campaign Finance Board began looking into possible Team de Blasio no-nos in 2013, after a magazine reported that the 1199 SEIU union “coordinated with the [then-candidate’s] campaign.” Under the city’s rules, candidates must cover the costs of any “coordinated” activities or list them as donations, which are subject to strict limits. It seems the board focused on whether de Blasio’s folks complied. Thing is, the rules themselves are laughable — as is the entire system. For one thing, if de Blasio did break the rules, then he had an edge in the mayoral race.

NY's Walmartiation Politics Drains Power Out of Communities and from Voters
WFP & DACC; Lobbyists Campaign Consultants Have Caused the Walmartization of NY's Politics . . . Using the Wal-Mart Business Model to Win Campaigns and Drive Out Candidates Loyal to Their District's Voters and Not the PACS Who Fund Them

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 unfir 2009 the WFP Data and Field model to give them and their candidates a competitive advantages in campaigns

Besides the Press There is An Avoidance of the Public an Activists From Getting Involved In the Corruption Discussion
Where is the Outrage Of What Berlin Rosen or Sheldon Silver Has Done to Out Democracy?

Very Little Chatter on the Internet About the Trial

The Paris Terror Has Empowered Bratton to Speak His Mind On de Blasio
Even Bill Bratton is sick of de Blasio’s schtick (NYP) Bratton last week made clear his unwillingness to live in Bill de Blasio’s fantasy universe, at least as it relates to vagrancy: “I think a mistake that the administration made early on was not validating what we all were seeing” — that is to say, New York’s streets filling up with bums, beggars and mumbling lunatics. NO REFUGE: NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton says allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. creates ‘a potential risk’after House passes bill making it tougher to them in(NYDN) * Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly was in perpetual motion on the job, as a review of his daily schedules shows Broadway openings, meetings with celebrities and 396 meetings at the Harvard Club over a decade,the Daily News reports: * While the House defied President Obama last week with a vote to close the door on Syrian refugees, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton undermined the mayor by saying the newcomers could pose “a potential risk,” though he insisted the two are on the same page.
Bratton Part 1
NYPD, Bratton The Fight For Control  Part2

NYP's Goodwin Writes This Morning: Now Blasio praises cops
Terrorism is making a believer out of Mayor de Blasio. “It’s crucial that people go about their normal business, recognizing the NYPD is providing extraordinary protection,” he said after a threat against the city. “This is the finest police force in this nation.” He’s right, but for the record — the NYPD was the best police force even when he was demonizing it.* Police followed through on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pledge to stop locking people up for carrying small amounts of marijuana, arresting 40 percent fewer people than last year while ticketing surged, the Post reports: 
NYPD in Crisis: Sharpton, Noerdlinger, de Blasio, Bratton, Garner Chokehold, Grand Jury and Protests
Sharpton CCRB vs NYPD, Noerdlinger, McCray, de Blasio
Blasting the Press, de Blasio, Sharpton Over Noerdlinger and Racial Divide
Blasting the Press,de Blasio, Sharpton Over Noerdlinger and Racial Divide, NYPD

A Judge Attack de Blasio Because the Judge Let Cop Killer Go? de Blasio Basted Judge Back
 A  judge accused New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton of “putting out a false narrative” about the prior treatment of the man accused of killing Det. Randolph Holder before sentencing him to the maximum sentence of 12 years on drug charges separate from the murder, the Times reports:  * A state Supreme Court justice overseeing a drug case involving the man charged with killing a NYPD police officer last month said de Blasio should “look into a mirror” before blaming others for the officer’s death. * The judge, Patricia Nuñez, then sentenced the defendant, Tyrone Howard, to 12 years in prison — the maximum allowed — for breaking his promise under a plea agreement to go into a treatment program. Tyrone Howard, Man Charged With Killing Officer, Gets Maximum Term in Drug Case (NYT) Mr. Howard’s case has focused attention on the workings of Manhattan drug court, which offers treatment instead of prison to nonviolent addicts who deal drugs to support their habit.

Yesterday All My Trouble Seem So Far Away . . .  Sharpton Gives Himself 71% Raise
Al Sharpton gives himself 71% raise thanks to de Blasio, Obama (NYP) De Blasio’s election gave Sharpton a seat at City Hall, as the mayor treated him as an adviser and presented him at a press event next to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton after the death of Eric Garner. lso in 2014, Obama addressed NAN’s annual convention, bringing along five of his Cabinet members.  The Harlem-based nonprofit collected $2 million more in 2014 than the year before, according to the latest financial records available.   Sharpton’s pay increased from $241,545 in 2013 to $412,644, including a bonus of $64,400, tax filings obtained by The Post show. In April, four months after his pal de Blasio took office, some 5,000 people attended NAN’s 2014 conference headlined by Obama and attended by the mayor, Gov. Cuomo and then-US Attorney General Eric Holder. It was NAN’s biggest fund-raiser of the year.

New ISIS Video Threaten NYC
How NYC Reacts to Terrorism
 New York Police Form Counterterrorism Force With More Firepower and Training(NYT) The Critical Response Command, whose ranks will swell to 527 officers by the end of the year, shows the city’s evolving approach to fighting terrorism.*  Citing Security Concerns, Schools Cancel Trips to New York City (WSJ) In the wake of the Paris attacks and a terrorist video showing images of Times Square, some schools have canceled field trips to New York City, even as officials insist the city is safe.* Penn State CancelsRecreational Class Trips To NYC & DC Due To "Safety Concerns" (Gotamist)* Members of the New York Police Department, Fire Department of New York and Office of Emergency Management took part in the first counterterrorism drills since the deadly attacks in Paris at an empty New York City subway station early Sunday morning, the Journal reports: 

Mixing Whimsy and Prudence at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (NYT) About 2,500 law enforcement officers kept watch over the parade in Manhattan amid heightened alert after the terrorist attacks in Paris.* Hundreds of New York emergency responders simulated a coordinated terror attack yesterday, days before one of the city’s biggest public events: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.* Making the “See Something, Say Something” mantra high-tech, Cuomo announced a new smartphone app that will allow New Yorkers to report suspicious activity.* Heightened security after the Paris terror attacks, including checkpoints and patrols on New York City bridges, bomb-sniffing dogs at Penn Station and increased airport bag checks, could complicate this week’s busy holiday getaway.* With the Paris terrorist attacks in mind, the NYPD is increasing the number of officers on duty for the event tomorrow — while assuring New Yorkers there is no specific threat.
More On Terrorism in NYC

Both Agnew and Silver Blamed the Press  Now Silver is Blaming and Lying to A Weaken Media On Why He Kept His Corrupt Glenwood Deal Secret

As to why more wasn't revealed about private clients silver said "the media harasses people."* Silver said repeatedly during various media interviews he only reps individuals not companies or corporations with business before the state * Issued into evidence was an interview Silver did with @nypost in 2008 where he was asked about his clients and outside income * .@mwhyland revealed father had asbestos exposure and when he told Silver about it, Silver asked.Silver presumably won’t testify at his trial (he doesn’t have to), but the jury got to hear his voice when prosecutors played tape of him telling The Post’s longtime Albany observer Fredric U. Dicker that he was just a humble lawmaker. “My clients are little people. I don’t represent any corporations, I don’t represent any entities that are involved in legislation,” Silver said on a May 2008 recording. Witkoff and Glenwood are multibillion-dollar players in the New York real-estate game. They are far from little. Judge Valerie Caproni praised Dicker’s interviewing skills: 

NYC Journalism: From Throw the Bums Out to Bharara's Stenographers

Friends, moneyand progressive politics (NYDN) Where the prosecution stitches together a criminal conspiracy, Silver claims he engaged in unrelated and lawful acts like giving state grants for cancer research to a doctor, who then referred lucrative mesothelioma patients to a law firm that then paid Silver cash for each one. His lawyer protested that the feds have “twisted” into a crime “the fact that friends might do favors for friends.” Echoing “The Godfather: Part II,” he declared: “This is the system New York has chosen.” It’s a system in which candidates and elected officials game campaign finance and ethics rules to benefit themselves and their allies.  After NY1’s Grace Rauh reported this spring on the mayor’s outside advisors — some of whom meet with him more often than top city officials — de Blasio said of Jonathan Rosen of powerhouse progressive PR firm BerlinRosen (who’s also the spokesman for The Campaign for One New York):  Then there’s de Blasio ally Melissa Mark-Viverito, who accepted free help from the politically wired Advance Group when she ran for City Council speaker. Boss Scott Levenson ( later fined for his role in the shady Trojan and carriage horse politics of 2013) “volunteered” their services, explaining when The News exposed that arrangement that they were “just helping” a friend as “a long-standing progressive firm.”  In 2013, few saw the outside money flood coming. Now, we all know the new rules of the New York game.

New Yorkers, step up and run: As the Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos trials demonstrate, we've got big problems and small politicians (NYDN) “We will never bring disgrace on this our city by an act of dishonesty or cowardice,” goes the pledge, which was cited by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia at his first inauguration and Rudy Giuliani at his second. “We will revere and obey the city’s laws, and will do our best to incite a like reverence and respect in those above us who are prone to annul them or set them at naught. We will strive unceasingly to quicken the public’s sense of civic duty. Thus, in all these ways, we will transmit this city not only, not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.” Wonderful words. If only we could find more people — including voters — willing to take seriously the ideas behind them. More and better citizens need to consider sacrificing their comfortable lives to learn the ropes and stand for public office. And we in the public must use the time before every election to nudge and nag politicians about their ideas, their ethics and their alliances. There’s too much at stake to do otherwise.

Nobody Asked Me But . . . 

1.   What Daily News Reporter Siegel should have wrote after "Said de Blasio’s press secretary: The group “does not engage in politics” but “exists solely to advance the administration’s agenda.” Was that Bill Hyers who works for the One NY PAC slush fund is still being paid by the mayor 2013 campaign committee.
2.    Siegel Wrote: :Then there’s de Blasio ally Melissa Mark-Viverito, who accepted free help from the politically wired Advance Group when she ran for City Council speaker. Boss Scott Levenson ( later fined for his role in the shady Trojan and carriage horse politics of 2013) “volunteered” their services, explaining when The News exposed that arrangement that they were “just helping” a friend as “a long-standing progressive firm.”  Siegel did not write the the city's conflict of interests board was still sitting on their investigation of Advance Illegally Helping Mark-Viverito to win the speakership.  Siegel should have also said it was a joke for advance to be fined $15,000 for Funneling money into dozens of campaigns by a secret company created by the UFT to cover-up Advance's Involvement 
3.  Errol Louis or his headline writer wrote: "New Yorkers, step up and run: As the Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos trials demonstrate, we've got big problems and small politicians" Louis ran for office long before the lobbyists consultants and their PACs Hijacked NY's Election and he knew how hard it was to beat the machine way back when.

2nd Town Hall Ticket Controlled By de Blasio Flunky Councilmen 

De Blasio’s next town hall is ‘open to the public’ — with a catch (NYP Ed) Well, Mayor de Blasio’s next “town hall” won’t be as clearly rigged as the dog-and-pony show he put on last time, which was by invitation only. But don’t think for a moment that Thursday night’s session at PS 69 in Jackson Heights actually qualifies as a genuine town hall. The mayor’s office claims the community gathering is open to the public. But — surprise, surprise! — there’s a catch. You can’t just show up. You must first register with the office of City Councilman Daniel Dromm, a teachers union lackey, who’s keeping a list of who’ll be let in. Space is limited, runs the official excuse. Bull. Mayors Ed Koch, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg all held regular town-hall gatherings — meetings truly open to all, on a first-come, first-served basis.* De Blasio to host town hall Q&A on education in Queens (NYDN)* De Blasio’s second-ever town hall, to be held at a Queens public school, will be open to the public, and though it will be focused on education any questions can be asked.

Maria del Carmen Arroyo Resigns From the Council 
Maria del Carmen Arroyo cites "pressing family needs" as the reason for her impending resignation.* #Bronx CouncilwomanAbruptly Announces Plans to Step Down(NYO) * In a surprise announcement, New York City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo said that she’s resigning her South Bronx seat effective Dec. 31, citing family issues, and a special election to fill her seat will occur in early 2016, the Post reports:  * Councilwoman Mariadel Carmen Arroyo will step down from her position at the end of this year  (PoliticoNY) * #Bronx Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo announced Monday she is stepping down Flashback Fraud allegations mar Council race (Hunts Point Express) The race for Hunts Point’s seat on the City Council became a whole lot more heated in late July, as the challenger, Julio Pabon, publicly accused incumbent Maria del Carmen Arroyo of standing by while her campaign staff forged large numbers of signatures to get her on the ballot.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

Bratton: Destructive City Council No Experience Needed 

‘Enough Is Enough’:Bill Bratton Lashes Out at ‘Destructive’ City Council (NYO) Mr. Bratton, speaking at a Citizens Budget Commission breakfast in Midtown this morning, said he had to wrangle with a “novice” Council with many members who never worked in the private sector, and implied their lack of experience was the reason they were advocating for a series of police reform bills he despises. “The City Council … depending on the day of the week is supportive and helpful or obstructive and destructive,” Mr. Bratton said. “The vast majority of these bills I feel are unnecessary, intrusive and self-serving on the part of the particular members of the Council.” Two pieces of legislation, a bill to make police chokeholds illegal and a pair of bills known as the Right to Know Act, have galled Mr. Bratton most. The chokehold bill, advanced after Eric Garner, a Staten Island black man, died in an apparent police chokehold last year, would make criminal an act that the NYPD already forbids internally, though progressives in the Council believe police enforcement is not enough to ensure more chokeholds aren’t used. The Right Know Act would compel police officers to identify themselves to those they stop by name, rank and command, as well as require them to ask permission before conducting some searches. Mayor Bill de Blasio has backed up Mr. Bratton in opposing all of the bills.* NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton likes de Blasio but not the City Council — whose legislative efforts to tweak policing practices he derided as “obstructive,” “destructive” and “unnecessary, intrusive and self-serving,” Politico New Yorkreports:  * Bratton is pushing back on a number of NYC Council measures aimed to change police practices across the city.* Clueless City Council destructive to NYPD: Bratton(NYP) “Most of the City Council members were new to their positions. Most of them had never worked in the private sector, were people who had worked in various political capacities and had a significant lack of experience,” he said. “And they were now governing certainly the world’s most significant city.” He accused some members of micro-managing the department, noting there are a number of bills on the table aimed at hand-cuffing the NYPD.* Criminal justice reformers split with de Blasio on bail, diversion (PoliticoNY)* De Blasio disagreed with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton’s comments that the New York City Council has “destructive” novices, but expressed no problem with his commissioner speaking out in harsh terms, theDaily News reports:  *De Blasio disagreed with Bratton’s slam of the NYC Council as a destructive bunch of novices.

Assembly Candidate Arrested for Not Filing Her Campaign Finance Form Advance Group Gets $15,000 Fine?
A Democratic former Assembly candidate was arrested onWednesday after she failed to disclose her campaign finances (YNN)  Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Board of Elections Enforcement Counsel Risa Sugarman announced. “Knowingly and willfully failing to file campaign finance disclosure reports with the New York State Board of Elections is a crime,” Schneiderman said. “My office will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the public trust is not undercut by candidates for public office who fail to properly disclose their campaign’s financial activity.” Michelle Adolphe is accused of not filing the legally required campaign finance reports in her campaign for Brooklyn’s 43rd Assembly district. She was arraigned in Albany City Court and later released. She was charged with three counts of misdemeanor knowing and willfully failing to file statements. Adolphe is, by any measure, not a big fish: She finished third in a Democratic primary last year, having received 843 votes. Still, Sugarman in a statement said it’s a matter of ensuring that political candidates disclose who and how their campaigns are being funded.* Former Assembly Candidate Arrested For Failure To File (NYT)* Former Democratic Assembly candidate Michelle Adolphe from central Brooklyn was arrested after she failed to disclose her campaign finances and charged with knowing and willfully failing to file statements, the Times Union reports: * In an unusual move, the state Board of Elections and the attorney general announced that a little-known 2014 candidate for a Brooklyn Assembly seat had been arrested for alleged failing to file required campaign finance disclosure reports.

NYPIRG: " “It is fruit found on the ground” They are Underwhelmed
Former state Assembly candidate Michele Adolphe in election cash bust (NYDN)While pleased to see the prosecution of campaign-finance scofflaws, some good-government advocates were underwhelmed by the move to charge Adolphe, who has never held an elected office. “It is not even in the category of low-hanging fruit,” said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “It is fruit found on the ground.”

Not One City Elected official Will Stand Up and Make A Case for Their Own Pay Raise 
No say, no pay (NYDN Ed) Right now, New York City’s elected officials think that they’re up for raises. Some of the more delusional members of the City Council went so far as to suggest behind closed doors that they ought to get a 71% hike to an annual salary of $192,500. Although the Council and Mayor de Blasio will legislatively set pay levels for themselves and the rest of the city’s political hirees, a special pay-raise commission is studying how big any hikes should be. The panel will make non-binding recommendations after taking testimony. Its most crucial witnesses will be elected officials themselves. Given that, for better or worse, they are performing the job functions for which they are paid, they are ideally positioned to explain how pay checks should be adjusted for the first time since 2006. Oops. Almost every elected official in the city is avoiding the commission as desperately as if its members carry the Ebola virus. Chaired by former Corporation Counsel Fritz Schwarz, the panel sent written invitations to the mayor, controller, public advocate, all 51 councilmembers, all five borough presidents and all five district attorneys, asking each to come forward with thoughts about the “appropriate pay for city elected officials.” Greeted largely by silence, the commission followed up with phone calls. As of the close of business on Friday, only the five DAs had jointly put their formal request on paper. They proposed a 32% pay hike, which would bring their salaries to $250,000 a year.* Several New York City council members now involved in participatory budgeting are rethinking their commitments because of the significant workload, the fear that certain interest groups are dominating and the idea that it dilutes the power of council members, the Observer reports: * The fact that most New York City elected officials won’t testify as to how much money they think their salaries should be increased by is shameful and unreflective of the way things work for New Yorkers in the real workplace * New York City Council pay hike on panel agenda for study (NYDN)

Perkins Runs for Rangel Seat
Harlem state Sen. Bill Perkins is throwing his hat in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, who will give up his seat after more than four decades in office, the Post writes:  * Farrell Endorses Wright’s Bid To Replace Rangel(YNN) *  Harlem Pol Launches Bid for Congress—With Help From Two ofthe Central Park Five  (NYO) *Two rivals for Rangel seat tout backing from exoneratedCentral Park Five…  *Bill Perkins declares himself ‘front-runner’ to replace Rangel (PoliticoNY) * Former Mayor endorses Keith Wright to succeed Charles Rangel (NYP) Former Mayor Dave Dinkins is endorsing Keith Wright to succeed Rep. Charles Rangel in Congress. Dinkins noted that Harlem Assemblyman Wright, the Manhattan Democratic Party chairman * Manhattan Democrat (and Harvard grad) Michael Gallagherenters sweepstakes to replace Rep. Charles Rangel in NY -13. *   “I think I come into this race as the frontrunner" as @EspaillatNY looks to run forcongress * Harlem Lawmaker Calls Use of Term 'AffordableHousing' a 'Lie' (DNAINFO)
Grimm SI DA Race, NYC Congressional Delegation 
The Bronx DA, The BP and Corruption Machine

Mayor Shuts Down City Hospital IG After Bad Reports of Management
In This City of Corruption Controlling the Investigator and Prosecutors Important to Protect the Ruling Class
Inspector general of troubled city hospitals steps down (NYP) The public hospitals system is disbanding the office of its inspector general following a series of reports in The Post exposing long-running mismanagement— including a backlog of more than 800 open cases at one point. Sources said that 11-year IG Norman Dion was asked to resign in the wake of the unflattering headlines. Health and Hospitals Corp officials insisted the 62-year-old’s departure stemmed from his pending retirement. Responsibility for investigating the hospitals system is being moved to the Department of Investigation — even though HHC is only partially funded by the city.
More On Closing Hospitals and NYC Health Care Problems

Drivers Keep Killing Pedestrians, So the NYPD Will Crack Down On Jaywalkers 
Drivers Keep Killing Pedestrians, So The NYPD Will Crack Down On Jaywalkers (Gothamist) A dozen pedestrians have been killed by drivers in the past twelve days. At least three of them were killed crossing the street with the right of way, and four of them were killed as they walked on the sidewalk. In response to one of those deaths, in which a hit and run casino bus driver killed a pedestrian in Flushing, the NYPD is going to start handing out more jaywalking tickets. * NYPD: Driver arrested after car flips on curb, kills pedestrian (AMNY)
Traffic, Vision Zero and Speed Cameras

What is the Best Part of Dividing Times Square Into 3 Parts?

This abandoned factory gave rise to the Times Square desnudas (NYP) “We used to go to parties in the Domino Sugar Factory, and they’d have body-painted girls handing out drinks and taking pictures with people,” said Olivieri, who does the painting for several desnudas and keeps watch as they work.  “It was exciting. So we were like, ‘We could try this [in Times Square]. The Naked Cowboy’s out there.’ So we tried it one day and it was a big success,” he said.* Topless Times SquareWorker: Officials ‘Can’t Do Anything’ (WCBS) * Despite the de Blasio administration’s effort to confine topless women and costumed characters to “activity zones” in Times Square, the nearly naked painted ladies say they’re not going anywhere.
More About Times Square Summer Tits Party

Escape From NYC Middle Class Push Out 
Why Is Leaving New York the LatestTrend?  Between 2000 and 2010, the Tax Foundation found that 3.4 million residents moved out of New York, Forbes listed the state in their feature “The States People are Fleeing in 2014,” and New York was the third highest “moving out” or “outbound” state inUnited Van Lines’ 2013 Migration Study. So, what’s the deal? The Sunshine State has no income tax and no estate tax — both of which New York charges. In fact, each year from 1977 to 2011, New York ranked No. 1 for the highest tax burden (except for 1984 where it came in second). The fact is, it’s expensive to live in New York and the additional tax burden over other states is becoming less appealing. When people renounce their New York citizenship, they take their tax dollars with them. The Tax Foundation estimates that New York lost more than $45.6 million in tax revenue over the last 10 years. Going along with that, the Tax Foundation listed New York as No. 49 on its 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index. Last year, it came in dead last. If the mass exodus intensifies, perhaps enough changes will be made to New York’s overall tax code to make living and retiring there more affordable. In the meantime, New York residency will continue to decline. *    As NY has some of the highest electrical costs in thenation: "A Texas Utility Offers...Free Electricity" (NYT)The Tax Foundation’s 2016 State Business Tax Climate Indexranked New York State as the 49th worst state tax system in the country, but noted the state’s substantial corporate tax reform could help the state move up on the list in the future: * New York was ranked 49th in the nation for high taxes, only beating out neighboring New Jersey because of Cuomo’s cutting of the corporate tax rate, according to a new report from the Tax Foundation, the Post writes:  *  Nearly a dozen indictments unsealed detail a series of racketeering schemes that officials contend reveal widespread, institutional fraud in the heating oil industry across New York City and affected hundreds of buildings, theTimes writes: * Prosecutors Allege Persistent Heating Oil Fraud in New York City (NYT) The indictments, which were unsealed on Tuesday, charge nine companies and 44 people with defrauding a broad array of customers of oil they believed had been delivered.*"NY has the nation’s worst tax score...the studynotes."The troubling tax war between Albany&smallbusiness (NYP)

MTA Losing Money to Uber

The MTA is losing some $10 million a year thanks to the growth of Uber, authority officials said, and that number is expected to grow.* As the yellow and green cabs lose riders, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is missing out on 50-cent-per-ride surcharges that subsidize the city’s subways, buses and commuter trains.

Paris Has No Gun Policy and Terrorists Got Guns on the Back Market

'I'M MORE WORRIED ABOUT THEM THAN I AM ABOUT SYRIAN REFUGEES': Schumer, Bratton get behind push to ban suspected terrorists from purchasing guns (NYDN) * US Sen. Chuck Schumer is pushing legislation to ban known or suspected terrorists from legally buying firearms and explosives. He says 2,000 people on the terror watch list have purchased guns in the US, and blames the National Rifle Association for blocking the measure in the past.

Con Ed to Blame for Harlem Gas Blast Will the Prosecutors Take Criminal Action Against Con Ed?

Con Ed to blame for deadly Harlem building blast: regulators (NYP)  Con Edison’s failure to inspect and test a plastic joint in an underground gas pipe led to the2014 East Harlem building explosion that killed eight people and injured 50, state regulators said Thursday.  The Public Service Commission released a report saying that the company committed several violations, the most crucial being the failure to test, inspect and discover a faulty joint in a section of pipe that had been damaged by faulty city sewer lines.* Con Edison’s failure to inspect and test a plastic joint in an underground gas pipe led to the 2014 East Harlem building explosion that killed eight people and injured 50, the PSC said in a new report. Flashback East Village Gas Explosion Reveals Problems in City’s Inspection System (NYT) Under the current system, Consolidated Edison is not required to immediately notify the city if its workers find a dangerous gas situation.
More About the Harlem Gas Exploion

Another Fatal Traffic Accident This Weekend 
Woman Is Fatally Struck in Brooklyn (NYP) The woman was hit while trying to get into her car, the police said. About a dozen other people, including the driver, suffered minor injuries. * Fatal Brooklyn Crash Renews Fears of Drag Racing (NYT) Questions linger in the death of James Miro, 31, whose body was found in a submerged car near a stretch of road that local residents say is frequented by drag racers. * Woman killed in Thanksgiving hit-and-run was retired NYPD cop (NYP) * Driver Charged in Death of Retired Police Officer on Thanksgiving in Brooklyn (NYT) The driver, Michael McBean, was charged after striking a Yvette Molina, 56, who died, and several stopped vehicles and then tried to flee, the police said.

Highest Court: No Garner Grand Jury Transcripts Release 

New York State’s highest court declined to hear an appeal from several groups seeking the public release of transcripts from the grand jury that considered evidence in the death of Eric Garner at the hands of NYPD officers. The decision, in a six-word ruling published on its website, ended a yearlong legal effort to pry open records from the private proceeding.
Where is the Grand Jury Reforms?, Pols Escape Blame
NYPD in Crisis: Sharpton, Noerdlinger, de Blasio, Bratton, Garner Chokehold, Grand Jury and Protests

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