Thursday, December 8, 2016

How Many People Have to Die Before the City and Media Admit the Homeless Crisis is Caused By Bad Programs and Incompetent Management

City's Poor Management and Bad Housing Policies Has Led to 2 Dead Children As Hotel Use Increases despite Pledge in Feb. to Curtail Practice 
Residents complained about radiators before tots’ tragic deaths (NYP) Photo: Robert Mecea; David McGlynn (NYP) 2 tots dead after radiator explodes in apartment building  Two baby sisters burned to death when a faulty radiator valve turned their Bronx apartment into a boiling “steam room” Wednesday, law- enforcement sources said. Ibanez Ambrose, 2, and sister Scylee, 1, suffered horrific burns to their faces and chests at about noon in their family’s apartment at 720 Hunts Point Ave., sources and police said. “The two kids essentially got doused with scalding steam, and they were still alive at the time. By the time they reached the hospital, they were deceased,” a police source said. Neighbor Tye Moore said, “I saw the parents bringing the kids out, ­giving them CPR. Another neighbor called 911. “The parents’ reaction was horrible and heartbreaking.” The dad, tattoo artist Pete Ambrose, and his wife, Danielle, are from Maine and became homeless after moving to the city about a year ago, according to their Facebook pages, which included joyful photos of their daughters. The building is a so-called “cluster site’’ for the homeless, where apartments are rented by the city as needed for down-on-their luck families amid low-income tenants. Homeless Hotel    Confronting Surge in Homelessness, New York City Expands Use of Hotels  (NYP) Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed in February to curtail the practice, but the city’s shelter system is strained to the limit.* 2 Young Sisters Fatally Burned in Temporary Homeless Housing in the Bronx (NYT) Ibanez Ambrose, 2, and Scylee Vayoh Ambrose, 1, died in a Bronx apartment after being severely burned, apparently by steam from a radiator, the authorities said.* Bronx radiator explosion kills two baby girls in buildingused as homeless shelter (NYDN) * Facing a continued surge in the homeless population, New York City officials are aggressively expanding the costly and highly criticized practice of using hotels to plug gaps in the city’s strained shelter system as it struggles with the problem, the Times writes. * The rising homeless population in New York City shelters is also due to the policies of Steve Banks, the man picked to handle the crisis, who grants shelter to about half of those who apply, a huge leap from his predecessor in the Bloomberg administration, the Post writes. * Homeless population hits another record high under de Blasio(PoliticoNY)

Will the City Enforce the New Law Allowing Airbnb to Warehouse Affordable Rental Housing?
After Cuomo signed a new law that would impose steep fines on many Airbnb hosts in New York City, it’s unclear how both the city and Airbnb will move forward to allow Airbnb to continue operating while cracking down on illegal hosts, Politico New York reports.

The Post Blames Bank's Liberal Homeless Policies to Protect the Developers for the Crisis
What’s really driving the homeless crisis (NYP) After three years of blaming his predecessors, Mayor de Blasio has finally deigned to take ownership of the homeless crisis. How nice. The mayor’s promising otherwise, of course: He told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer that his new initiatives are “taking hold” and would soon start bringing the shelter numbers coming down. But why are they still heading up? A spokesperson for the Coalition for the Homeless attributed the rise to more victims of domestic violence opting to flee those situations, more people moving off the streets and an increase in folks losing their tenancy in illegal housing. Here’s a different possible explanation: In the de Blasio era, about 50 percent of those who apply to enter shelters — that is, to be declared officially “homeless,” with a legal right to shelter — are granted it. Back when Michael Bloomberg was mayor, it was routinely around 20 percent. Which suggests that the policies of Steven Banks, the lifelong “homeless advocate” whom de Blasio put in charge of handling the crisis, are at the heart of the problem.  As for de Blasio’s affordable-housing plans: No less than Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, the former deputy mayor for health and human services, told WNYC radio that the mayor won’t be able to build his way out of the crisis.  Barrios-Paoli resigned last year — reportedly after being ignored by de Blasio, who even then was informally taking Banks’ guidance on homeless policy. “When you find yourself riding a dead horse, you dismount,” she said in a recent interview.

IDC Records Civil War 

 Republican Lawsuit Forces NYC’s Hand on Identifications for Undocumented Immigrants(NYO) Court Injunction Secures Records * Amid fears the IDNYC initiative could be used by President-elect Donald Trump to deport undocumented immigrants, New York City officials said they will no longer retain personal documents of applicants for the municipal ID program, The Wall Street Journal writes.

Cuomo Fighting A Second War de Blasio and Now the State Senate
Leaders of the state Senate’s mainstream Democratic conference met with Cuomo and tried to enlist him as an ally in their push to unify the chamber’s 32 Democratic members into a majority voting bloc, Politico New York writes. * Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said it’s possible the Legislature will reconvene before the end of the year to vote on salary increases for lawmakers but stressed the pay issue should not be linked to any items on Cuomo’s agenda, including term limits, the Daily News writes
Andrew Cuomo Stays Silent as an Ally Fuels Disorder Among Senate Democrats  (NYT) Charlie King, who has long had ties to Governor Cuomo, continues to rail against the party leadership..

Yesterday Will the Press and Public Accept Any Bull Shit Out of the Mayor's Mouth? Or is Their Real Mission to Reelect Elect Him for the Developers?
The Next Day the Post and Daily News Both Do Editorials That Demand the Mayor Release All the Agent of the City Emails . . . Nothing in the NY Times  
De Blasio’s surprise ‘concession’ on city agents is meaningless (NYP) De Blasio’s unwillingness to open up past communications with so-called agents of the city renders his surprise concession to make future communications public meaningless, given that the consultants and lobbyists are now warned not to leave any future record of double-dealing,the Post writes.

Bill’s sleight of hand: Drop the 'agents of the city'card, pronto (NYDN Ed) And just like that, as if the wizard of City Hall cast a magic spell lifting a charm,Bill de Blasio’s “agents of the city” vanished as absurdly as they had arrived — as a contrivance of a mayor scared of transparency as criminal investigations into his political operation swirled. For months, the mayor’s lawyers have been stonewalling reporters who seek nothing more than release of official emails to and from five of de Blasio’s outside advisers, documents that unquestionably belong in the public domain. Except, abracadabra, de Blasio back in May designated the men as city “agents” for purposes of shielding their exchanges as internal government deliberations. Presto-chango, de Blasio reversed course on Monday, telling NY1 that all communications with the five “will be disclosable going forward.” Why? “It’s obviously become a distraction.” To translate: The mayor is dropping the legal label as quickly as he applied it not to defend any principle, not in acknowledgment that he has anything to hide, but because he would rather not have a neverending public relations headache heading into an election year. If only: The reversal in fact injures de Blasio’s weak case in court that the advisers — four of them the brain trust behind his Campaign for One New Yorkshop — deserve special privileges as quasi-government employees. Give it up, mayor. Give up every last email and this increasingly ridiculous, untenable fight.

Tueday - De Blasio to release ‘Agents of the City’ emails — with a catch (NYP) Mayor de Blasio on Monday said he’ll no longer shield the emails of five private advisers who were dubbed “Agents of the City” from public disclosure — but only going forward. The mayor said he’s still going to fight to keep secret their prior communications with his office — which are the target of a lawsuit by The Post and NY1.  Hizzoner said he made the decision to change the ground rules because the issue had become too much of a “distraction.”  “Advice on a government-related matter, that will be disclosable going forward in the event of a FOIL request,” Hizzoner told NY1 news anchor Errol Louis, referring to a Freedom of Information Law request. “I think that’s the smart way to handle it from this point on to say, look, OK, new ground rules now.”  The lawsuit filed by the two media organizations seeks the release of past emails between the Mayor’s Office and one of the five advisers – Jonathan Rosen, co-founder of the public relations firm BerlinRosen. The group helped run de Blasio’s 2013 campaign and his shuttering non-profit, the Campaign for One New York — at the same time as it represents clients with business interests before the city. The mayor said the city’s defense against the lawsuit would continue because “the past is different.” He also acknowledged his move would censor the content of what his outside advisers would be willing to put in writing down the road. “I think it stands to reason that if you wanted to say something to me and you knew it was going to be published, you’re going to say it likely in a very different manner,” he said on NY1

As the of the Number of Homeless in the Shelters Continue to Rise Nobody is Giving A Reason Why?  1. Gentrification, 2. 421-a 3. Airbnb . . . 

The population of the city’s homeless shelters has hit a record high as the number of families and single adults – at 60,686 – with nowhere to live continues to rise under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tenure
City’s homeless shelters reach record-high population numbers (NYP)  De Blasio can’t seem to get it right with the homeless The population of the city’s homeless shelters has hit a record high as the number of families and single adults with nowhere to live continues to rise under Mayor de Blasio’s tenure.  The total city-run shelter population reached 60,686 on Monday. Adults accounted for 36,898 of the homeless while there were more than 23,000 homeless children in shelters.  The number of families with children living in city shelters has risen 25 percent to 13,164 since Mayor Mike Bloomberg left office in 2013, according to data released Tuesday by the Department of Homeless Services. There are 13,472 single adults among those living in shelters.  The number of homeless in the city is 83 percent higher than it was 10 years ago, according to the Coalition for the Homeless.  The coalition claims that the primary cause is lack of affordable housing.  About 58 percent of the city’s homeless population is African-American, while 31 percent is Latino, records show.  Just 7 percent of the homeless are white.

Feds Send Sampson A Message Rat Now or Off to Jail Wow Year and Half Since Conviction No Sentencing Yet?
Convicted ex-state senator continues to break laws: lawyers (NYP)  Crooked former state Sen. John Sampson continued to break laws after his corruption conviction and should be locked up for more than seven years,Brooklyn prosecutors said in a filing Tuesday.  The feds are referring to a court order that Sampsonviolated in March by appearing as an attorney on a family court case in Brooklyn — although he was suspended just days earlier from practicing law. That earned Sampson disbarment last month. Now, prosecutors say a prison sentence of 87 months is needed more than ever becauseSampson “habitually acts as if rules and laws do not apply to him, or are at most inconvenient obstacles to be sidestepped,” the Brooklyn federal court filing says. Sampson is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 18. The once-powerful Brooklyn politician was convicted last year of obstruction of justice and lying to the feds as part of a mortgage-fraud investigation

Sanders People Fail Out Opening NY Primaries in Court 
Petition for open primary system shot down by court (NYP) A Manhattan judge Tuesday tossed a lawsuit challenging the state’s closed primary system, disappointing a crowd of around 50 mostly Bernie Sanders supporters who’d gathered to hear legal arguments. “This isn’t going to make me very popular in this room but the petition is hereby denied,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron ruled from the bench. Trial attorney Mark Moody had sued the state and city Board of Elections shortly after April’s primary elections, saying that million of New Yorkers– including President-elect Donald Trump’s own kids– were barred from voting in the presidential primary because they didn’t change their party affiliation before the October 2015 deadline. Sanders performed better in states with open primaries. Moody argued in court Tuesday that the system is unconstitutional because in disenfranchises voters who are not registered with a major party. State attorney Roderick Arz countered, “this is not disenfranchisement, this is a decision to apply a broadly applicable deadline.” Judge Engoron agreed that political parties have a right to regulate their primaries “as long as they don’t run afoul of constitutional dictates” like gender or racial discrimination. Moody said he’s likely to appeal..
Special Election and the Election Law

CM Gentilie Falls With Handicapped Lawsuit

Cruel councilman mocked and tormented Asperger’s aide: suit( NYP) A Brooklyn city councilman and his underlings tormented an aide who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome — cruelly comparing him to a tragic, autistic teen and leaving decapitated teddy bears on his desk, the man claims in a new lawsuit. Vincent Gentile was slapped with the $10 million suit Tuesday by Michael Bistreich, who claims the Bay Ridge councilman found it funny when another staffer mockingly suggested that Bis­treich “test the doors” during a press conference regarding “Avonte’s Law,” which was enacted in 2014 after autistic student Avonte Oquendo slipped out a door of his Queens school and drowned in the East River.  The law requires alarms on many school doors. “Gentile responded by laughing and clapping his hands, which caused significant distress to Bistreich,” court papers state. The Manhattan Supreme Court filing also says Gentile complained that Bistreich’s shaking hands and twitching head, both symptoms of Asper­ger’s, were “unnerving,” and repeatedly asked him to increase his medication — even though the tics can’t be treated.

de Blasio Caught Red Handed in Agent of the City and Campaign of One NY Corruption Says No More Agents in the Future But Past Emails Still Secret 

De Blasio Ends Challenge to Disclosing Emails From ‘Agentsof the City’ (NYT) For years, they operated with presumed immunity from public disclosure laws — longtime friends and advisers to Mayor Bill de Blasio who took no public salary yet enjoyed a direct line to City Hall’s corridors of power. But now the advisers, known as agents of the city, have effectively been asked to turn in their badges. In an about-face, the de Blasio administration announced Monday that starting immediately, city lawyers and officials would no longer challenge the disclosure of new emails between his administration and a handful of unpaid outside advisers who were designated as city agents. “They will be de-deputized,” Eric F. Phillips, the mayor’s top spokesman, said Monday. But the change, he said, would apply only to future emails with those advisers and not to the past communications that are the subject of a continuing court battle with two news organizations, NY1 and The New York Post, seeking their disclosure. The turnabout was unexpected. As recently as last week, Mr. de Blasio, in an interview on NY1, vigorously defended the practice of withholding emails with the advisers — some of whom also represent clients with business before the city — on the grounds that their advice was akin to that from the kitchen cabinets of countless public leaders. “Everything was first discussed with City Hall lawyers,” the mayor said last week in his weekly appearance on the NY1 program “Inside City Hall.”

“There are people who are longstanding friends and colleagues and advisers — I’m not going to ask them to stop being friends and advisers because they happen to have clients.” But Mr. de Blasio, speaking Monday evening on the same program, said that while City Hall had “handled things appropriately,” he had decided there would be “new ground rules now.” “Before, we had ground rules from our counsel’s office saying this is confidential,” Mr. de Blasio said. Now, he said, the rule would be to disclose communications. “So choose your words wisely and act accordingly,” he said, as if speaking to the advisers. Mr. Phillips said the administration had not abandoned its legal stance that outside advisers, and their staffs, could be treated the same as city employees when it came to the state’s Freedom of Information Law. But he said Mr. de Blasio determined recently that the issue had become “an unneeded distraction from real accomplishments that we don’t want to be overshadowed.” He said the advisers — including the original five: Jonathan Rosen, of the public relations firmBerlinRosen; Bill Hyers and Nicholas Baldick, of the political consulting firm Hilltop Public Solutions; John Del Cecato, a speechwriter at AKPD Message and Media; and Patrick H. Gaspard, the United States ambassador to South Africa and Mr. de Blasio’s close personal friend — had communicated with the mayor on the promise of confidentiality in the past, so those previous communications would remain shielded. Many had roles in Mr. de Blasio’s political nonprofit group, the Campaign for One New York, which took donations from many with business before the city and which figures in the state and federal investigations into the de Blasio administration. Any future communications they have with the city will be treated like any other communication between the city and a member of the public. The issue returned to headlines the day before Thanksgiving when the de Blasio administration released more than 1,500 pages of emails in response to a public records request. Most of the emails pertained to Mr. Rosen and were limited to discussions about clients; none of his emails with Mr. de Blasio or other city employees about policy were released. Communication within and between city agencies are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law under a provision aimed at fostering internal discussions without fear that they might become public. The de Blasio administration’s application of that idea to outside advisers with no formal connection to the city attracted scrutiny in May after the mayor’s counsel at the time, Maya Wiley, referred to them in a news conference as “agents of the city.” As for the court proceeding over the old emails, the administration said it would not change its approach.

Preventing Gas Explosions 

No Date to Open Second Avenue Subway
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is facing pressure to keep its promise of opening the long-gestating Second Avenue subway this year, but it has yet to announce an opening date for the first phase of the line, The Wall Street Journal writes.

No Money for Constitutional Convention Promoting
Cuomo remains noncommittal on the idea of promoting a constitutional convention, which he has described as the best way to initiate reform in the state, as funding proposed to study possible issues never made it into his final spending plan, the Times Union reports.

No Bail From the Speakers Bail Fund
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s ballyhooed bail fund to free low-level detainees hasn’t given out a single penny more than a year after it was announced as the first major step in reducing the jail population, the Daily News reports.

Groundhog Day EDITORIAL: Cuomo vows to clean up Albany — again  via @poststar
More Than Coffee: New York’s Vanishing Diner Culture (NYT) With the number of restaurants that call themselves diners and coffee shops dwindling in the city, a devotee wonders how New Yorkers will get along without these antidotes to urban loneliness.

NYPD's Property and Evidence Tracking System doesn't keep detailed records of property seized during arrest (NYDN)What is Missing?
Domestic Abuse Killings Climb as Murders Drop, Frustrating New York Officials  (NYT) The persistence of such killings has frustrated the police, prosecutors and social service providers struggling to prevent intimate tensions that play out behind closed doors from turning deadly.
Expanding Smart Car Fleet, New York Police Just Got More ‘Adorable’  (NYT) Since their rollout last year, the tiny, bean-shaped vehicles have drawn the attention, and sometimes the affection, of curious passers-by.

A Tale of Two Pay Grades
A Pay to Play Mayor Goes After His Work Force City employee faces demotion for clocking out 5 minutes early every day (NYP)  We Don't Need A Stinking Commission NYS Exposed: Could pay raise still be coming forlawmakers? (WHEC)

Trump's Dumping of Obama Care Will Blow A Hole In NYS's Budge What Will It Do to HHC?

NY's Poor Need More Than Poverty Rate New York's forgotten poor: Income needed to survive is nearly 3 times poverty rate
De Blasio leaves subway fare cuts for low-income ridersup to MTA, thinks it's too expensive for city (NYDN)
City council talks public money for Citi Bike pushinto poorer neighborhoods (NYDN) Several New York City Council members have called for the city to create a public-private financial partnership to bring the CitiBike program to disadvantaged areas, noting the company hasn’t done so because it likely wouldn’t be profitable
Most New Yorkers Are Roughly 1 Paycheck Away FromHomelessness: Study (DNAINFO)

Brooklyn DA
Ken Thompson’s Successor: A ‘Pure District Attorney’ Working Under the Radar (NYT) Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez says he wants to continue the work, especially in healing community relations, that Mr. Thompson championed before dying in October.* Brooklyn Prosecutor Accused of Using Illegal Wiretap to Spy on Love Interest (NYT) Tara Lenich, a high-ranking prosecutor in the district attorney’s office, was arrested and fired after investigators learned she had spied on a police detective and a colleague, an official said.

Pushing for Change, Bronx Principal Is Undone by Investigation (NYT) Santiago Taveras, of DeWitt Clinton High School, joins a list of principals tasked with turning around troubled schools, only to leave or be forced out after Education Department inquiries.
Public schools for all N.Y.: After a promising stepforward on integration, de Blasio and Fariña have much further to go (NYDN) The positive spin put on a new report on persistently struggling schools in New York City is serving only adults looking to make political hay, as the better results are actually just the product of lowered standards, a move that hurts students, the Post writes.
Embarrassing 1% boost in NY schools touted in glowing report... (NYP)
Fixing’ schools by painting failure as success (NYP)
 A report from a pro-charter school group shows that New York City’s reluctance to give charter schools space in public buildings is costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in needless rental costs, the Post writes.
Charter school says city won’t pay its rent after rate hike (NYP)

CUNY’s Independence Is Under Attack by Cuomo, City Council Members Say (NYT) The City Council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus say that actions heralded by the governor could put the university and its mission at risk.* * Alarmed by what they said is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s bid to politicize CUNY, a key bloc of New York City Council members pushed back against his assertions that the university’s administration has been financially irresponsible, The New York Times reports. Pols demand $2 Million for CUNY

Daniel Horwitz, the chairman of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, has stepped down, and officials said it was not clear if acting chairman Michael Rozen would eventually be named the full-time chairman, the Times Union writes.
KALOYEROS KRYPONITE: 5th head rolls at Suny-Poly...


In the Middle of A Federal Investigation of the Rivington Deed Change the Council Proposes Deed Change Reforms Corruption Cover-Up?

The New York City Council is expected to pass legislation to require mayors to personally approve any alteration to or removal of a city-imposed deed restriction and create a database to track existing deed restrictions and changes to them, the Times reports.  * Rivington House deal spurs City Council to enact tighter rules on removing deed limits (NYDN)

The Heavily Redacted de Blasio Email Release is Covering Up Special Agent Pay to Play 
Will A Judges Impose Transparency on the Transparency Mayor? Ask Bloomberg?
Bill de Blasio’s secret agents: New emails are troubling not because ofwhat they reveal, but because of what they conceal (NYDN Ed) Gawk at but don’t be distracted by the Thanksgiving-eve unveiling of hundreds of emails between City Hall staff and mayoral media guru Jonathan Rosen and associates: The deeper story here is the ocean of communiques the public still isn’t seeing, and must. Attorneys for Mayor de Blasio are fighting a lawsuit seeking public release of emails to and from Rosen and four other unpaid outside advisers to the mayor, by wielding the absurdist fiction that the men are “agents of the city.” Invoking the magic words, they hope to convince Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Joan Lobis that de Blasio is entitled to classify an unknown number of messages as internal government deliberations that he has no duty to release under state Freedom of Information Law. And so City Hall has shared only the most banal correspondence, mostly tedious email chains attempting to schedule meetings between the mayor’s people and Rosen’s. To read between the lines is to perceive the troubling implications of the mayor’s suppressing substantive discussions between himself, his aides, and communications consultant Rosen; political consultants Bill Hyers and Nicholas Baldick; message-meister John Del Cecato, and U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard. Last month, de Blasio also threw the “agents” cloak over campaign organizer Josh Gold. All except Gaspard masterminded de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York, under investigation by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for the possibility City Hall dispensed favors to its donors.    First, wince at the spectacle of Campaign for One New York fundraiser Ross Offinger emailing Rosen and top de Blasio deputies Tony Shorris and Emma Wolfe a list of real estate developers “I am shooting for” — including Rosen clients who had big projects awaiting city approvals, Jed Walentas, Bruce Ratner and Stephen Green. Then contemplate other messages indicating Rosen was scheduled to join an August 2014 meeting with city officials about de Blasio’s housing program, poised to unleash vast new development opportunities, as it gelled . Were Rosen a city employee, no way would city ethics rules allow him to moonlight for companies seeking actions from City Hall.

If Bloomberg's Cathie Black Was Ruled By A Judge Not To Be An Agent of the City How is Berlin Rosen de Blasio Agent? 

Not an employee, not an agent, not a nothing — any more than Cathie Black was an “agent of the city” when Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s lawyers made that claim in a failed attempt to suppress emails related to frenzied efforts to install her as schools chancellor.  “Wholly devoid of merit,” a judge deemed the “agents” claim in ordering the Black emails’ release.  Lobis has no reason to rule differently. De Blasio should spare the city its mounting legal costs defending the preposterous — and release the damn emails already.

The 2013 de Blasio Campaign Prop Arrest  
Fake News Derived from a Fake Event

How de Blasio Closed LICH Hospital
John Catsimatidis — who’ll announce a run for mayor in January — threw wife Margo a birthday party in a private room in the Metropolitan Club. (Page 6)

Schneiderman in Serious Trouble Even Before Trump Takes Over the DOJ
The disclosure that could end Eric Schneiderman’s career (NYP) State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s witch hunt against supposed “climate-science deniers” became an even more embarrassing debacle late last month — and just might wind up ending his career. A state judge ruled in favor of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think tank whose Freedom of Information request the AG had denied. That gave Schneiderman 30 days to cough up documents concerning his agreements with other states’ AGs, and with a group of green activists, about their joint persecution of ExxonMobile and other entities for supposed “climate fraud.” CEI had been targeted by one of Schneiderman’s co-conspirators, the Virgin Islands AG, with legal demands that plainly aimed at suppressing free speech and scientific inquiry that the nonprofit sponsors. The think tank’s lawyers believe the documents could show improper conduct by the AGs. If they do, Schneiderman faces serious trouble.*   Aidala formsexploratory committee, eyes Schneiderman’s Attorney General seat

Heastie has privately raised the specter of the Legislature end-running Gov. Andrew Cuomo by passing its own bill to enact its first pay raise since 1999
Carl Heastiemulls overriding Cuomo to push lawmakers pay raise bill (NYDN) Heastie has privately raised the spectre of the Legislature end-running Gov. Cuomo by passing its own bill to enact its first pay raise since 1999, sources told the Daily News. Doing so would force Cuomo to either grudgingly sign the bill or veto it, which could raise the ire of lawmakers and potentially threaten the governor’s legislative agenda heading into 2017, the sources said. Heastie recently discussed the idea with Senate Republican Majority Leader John Flanagan, who said he was “potentially open” to it even while warning that an override vote could face significant hurdles in his chamber, the insiders said. Many upstate Republicans are on record publicly of opposing a pay raise, meaning the GOP would have to turn to the Senate Democrats for help with any possible over override vote, which carries its own challenges. Legislators on both sides of the aisle are livid with Cuomo after his representatives on a commission recently blocked a move to hike their $79,500 base pay. Several accused Cuomo of only pushing reforms to deflect attention from the fact a former top aide and other associates were recently indicted on federal corruption charges. A pay raise must be approved by the end of December or lawmakers will have to wait another two years before trying again. With two Senate races still being recounted on Long Island, it appears the Democrats are set to have a numerical majority. But the Republicans are expected to maintain Senate control thanks to eight breakaway Democrats who likely will align themselves with the GOP. One of those dissidents, Sen. Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn Democrat who also ran on the Republican line, said Sunday there is nothing Cuomo can say to him to keep him from continuing to sit with the GOP conference. A Cuomo official last week called it “preposterous” to ask the governor to get involved “in an intramural Senate fight.”* In light of the accusations of horse trading around the decision on a pay raise for state legislators, The Buffalo News’ Tom Precious explores the art of making deals in Albany and the lengths that lawmakers go to to deny that any such behind-the-scenes trading happens.* Morelle: Term Limits Not On The Table

Albany Try Sneak Pay Raise Without Real Ethics 


Nothing for nothing as Albany bums get no pay raise (NYDN)  Tuesday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s cynical gamble failed. A special state commission he set up to deliver pay raises to legislators in the most corrupt state Capitol in America came up snake eyes. It was the only principled answer after months in which elected officials tried to get a big something — long-awaited salary hikes — for giving absolutely nothing in return. Neither Democrat Heastie nor his Senate counterpart, Republican John Flanagan, agreed to limit by as much as a dollar the outside income legislators are allowed to earn.  That, despite the fact that there are only a dozen assemblymembers and six senators with substantial outside income. To protect those few, the many must now pay a hefty price. Nor would they agree to nix the corrupting extra cash payments, called lulus, used to keep rank-and-file representatives in line, which are banned in every other statehouse in America, not to mention Congress and the City Council. Common decency also required Heastie and Flanagan to actually ask the panel for raises. Never happened. Lawmakers didn’t even have the class to let the panel finish its work before the November election — which meant taxpaying voters had no opportunity to weigh in on the raises they’d be paying for before going to the polls.  In short, they tried to play the people for fools and wound up getting caught. If elected officials really want more take-home pay, they have the power to pass a law. They’ve had that power since the beginning. The only problem is they have to live with the political consequences of voting themselves a raise. Which requires backbone they almost certainly don’t have. We note that many of the pay panel’s sessions, including the final one, took place in a room at the New York City Bar Association named for Henry L. Stimson. Stimson was an esteemed New York lawyer who served as secretary of war and secretary of state for Republican Presidents and again as secretary of war for FDR, when he planned, prosecuted and prevailed in WWII. He was a giant of American history, in stark contrast to very small people now occupying leadership in the New York Legislature.* Cuomo’s appointees on a state compensation commission declined to recommend a pay raise for Albany lawmakers, laying the groundwork for a battle over legislators’ outside income in the months ahead, The Wall Street Journal reports. BREAKING: no legislative pay raise today. Legislature must first pass serious ethics reform according to three Governor appointees * Days of whine and no raises for New York lawmakers (NYP)

A Tale of Two Uber Lobbyist Tusk + Gold and A Mayoral Re-Election Campaign for One NY Runs Through It

“Look at Donald Trump,” said Bradley Tusk, a former Michael Bloomberg campaign manager who is openly pushing for a candidate to challenge de Blasio. “He didn’t have anything besides a message.” Tusk’s message around a de Blasio challenge would be “corruption, laziness and incompetence.” Protesters fight zoning plan by giving de Blasio a fake turkey “Other than that he’s great,” he deadpanned. De Blasio’s gym habits — which include late-morning trips to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park YMCA on work days — would be featured prominently in Tusk’s campaign. The mayor’s aides say he is in constant communication with his staff, even at the gym, but Tusk doesn’t think New Yorkers are buying it. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say, ‘Why is he at the gym at 10 o’clock on a Tuesday morning?’” said Tusk, who has formed a group, NYC Deserves Better, to try to unseat de Blasio. (NYDN)

Campaign for 1NY Pac Campaign Manager Gold Also A Secret Agent of No Transparency de Blasio
City Hall emails with former de Blasio nonprofit boss Josh Gold beingkept from public (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio’s “agents of the city” aren’t the only private consultants with business before City Hall whose correspondence is being shielded. As part of the court battle to keep the “agents” emails from the public, lawyers for the city revealed they are also keeping secret correspondence between City Hall staffers and “independent consultant” Josh Gold. Gold was the campaign manager for the mayor’s now-defunct Campaign for One New York, a political non-profit which raised millions of dollars outside the campaign finance system for de Blasio’s pet causes. In court papers, city lawyers say they are withholding Gold’s emails on Campaign for One New York because the nonprofit was a “partner” with the administration, and therefore protected under statutes that say inter-agency correspondence is private. At the time, Gold also worked with the Hotel Trades Council union, which was pushing the city to limit illegal hotels. A spokesman for the mayor said emails Gold sent on topics other than the non-profit would be released in a Freedom of Information request, unlike the “agents of the city.” De Blasio’s lawyers have dubbed five of his private sector pals “agents of the city,” and say their emails are exempt from laws that require them to be disclosed because they should be allowed to give him confidential advice. Several media outlets are suing for the emails to be released. The city’s lawyers in the court papers also say they would allow the court to review the agent emails to show they’re not hiding anything.* Josh Gold was the campaign manager for the mayor’s now-defunct Campaign for One New York, a political non-profit which raised millions of dollars outside the campaign finance system for de Blasio’s pet causes. And the New York Hotel Trades Council,  Office of the NYC Comptroller,  New York Hotel Trades Council,  Political & Issue Campaign Consultant, NY Progress Independent Expenditure for Bill de Blasio, Director, 2013, Scott Stringer for NYC Comptroller, Advisor, 2013, Grace Meng for Congress, Senior Staff, 2012, Eric Shneiderman for NYS Attorney General, Senior Staff, 2010, John Liu for NYC Comptroller, Senior Staff, 2009 Josh Gold Also Works for Uber

Council Reform NY Kills Mayor's Dead PAC But Not the UFT's United or the Future and Developers Job for NY PAC That Elected Them
NYT Leaves Out That the PAC Lobbyists Council Reform Will Allow Special Interests and Their Lobbyists to Continue Funding PACs Most Important to the Council Re-Election
"Also under consideration is a bill that would strictly limit how much lobbyists or those doing business with the city can give to nonprofit groups controlled or created by elected officials. The bill is aimed at a practice used by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was heavily criticized for the activities of the Campaign for One New York, a nonprofit created to support his agenda. The group received millions of dollars in donations from builders, lobbyists, unions and others" (NY Times)  * New York CityCouncil introduces bill to limit business owners’ donation to $400 for politicalnonprofits (NYDN) Contributions to political nonprofits like Mayor de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York would be capped at $400 for donors with city business under a bill introduced in the City Council. The legislation, sponsored by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, aims to rein in conflicts of interest sparked by groups formed by pols to promote their agendas. De Blasio’s now-defunct group raked in unlimited gifts as big as $350,000 with much of the cash coming from people with business before the city. It’s now the subject of multiple investigations probing whether donors got special favors The legislation would bar big gifts from lobbyists, donors with city contracts, and anyone else doing business with the city. It would apply to non-profits formed or controlled by an elected official or their agent, that spend at least 10% of their budget on materials featuring that pol’s name or picture. It’s part of a package of 13 campaign finance bills, which will be up for a hearing on Nov. 21. Other bills would allow pols to use campaign money for costs related to their official public duties, and allow them to return contributions to shady donors to protect their reputation.* Council Poised to Make Changes to City's Campaign Finance System (NY1)

Over A Third of the City Council Was Is Infected With Illegal UFT PAC $$$ From Advance and Red Horse in the 2013 Election This Bill Does Nothing to Change This  

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

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

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

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

The UFT is A Client of Berlin Rosen and Worked for the Following Candidates Funded By the UFT PAC United for the Future
Corey Johnson, Mark Levine, Ydanis A Rodriguez, Austin I Shafran, Rory Lancman, Elizabeth S Crowley, 
Richards Donovan, Stephen T Levin, Kirsten J Foy

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

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

CFB and Media Protecting UFT PAC United for the Future Lobbyists and Council Members

The CFB Fined Two Councilmember for Working With Advance and Its PAC NYCLASS But Has Not Fined Advance, Red Horse and Berlin Rosen for Their Clients Getting PAC Funds From the UFT PAC That They Controlled

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

Teachers union contributed $4.7M to political activities last year(NYP) The city teachers union poured $4.7 million into political activities and lobbying last year — nearly $1 million more than in fiscal year 2013, according to its new annual spending report. Much of the spending was used to support Mayor de Blasio’s agenda — including the successful campaign to expand pre-K and the losing effort to knock Republicans out of power in the state Senate. The union also successfully fought back a plan to provide tax benefits to aid parochial schools.And the union generously bankrolls groups that support its agenda, including fighting the expansion of charter schools.

Parkside Group Work for A Developer PAC that Spent over $7.5 Million On Council Races

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

But the biggest donors to council races were the city’s real estate titans, who raised nearly $7 million in a bid to influence the election of City Council members. Spending for the PAC was coordinated by the industry’s lobbying arm, the Real Estate Board of New York.  But after the elections, REBNY President Steven Spinola was quick to declare victory, asserting that 18 of the 22 candidates backed by his group had won their elections. But determining just who was doling out the big bucks proved challenging, since most of the contributions to the real estate PAC, dubbed Jobs for New York, came from murky corporate entities that are otherwise ineligible to donate directly to candidates in city elections.* NY State Senate Republicans have $2.9 million in campaignaccount(NYDN)
Council Candidates Who Got Help From Jobs for NY: Margaret S Chin, Micah  Kellner Mark Levine, Inez E Dickens, Andrew King, Fernando Cabrera, Paul Vallone, Rory Lancman, Donovan Richards, Lourie Cumbo, Carlos Menchaca, Mark Treyger, Chaim M Deutsch,

Even the Manhattan DA and the Head of the CFB Believe the Council is Criminalizing Reforms
Council Bill Could Make Campaign Fraud Easier in New York, Critics Say (NYT) The Manhattan district attorney is among those sharply criticizing proposals that would alter the city’s campaign finance system.  The bill being considered would let candidates complete or make changes to contribution cards required of donors that give identifying information, including, among other things, the date and amount of contributions. “This bill would eliminate an important safeguard against violations of campaign finance law and the defrauding of taxpayers,” Mr. Vance wrote in the letter, which The Daily News reported about on Friday.  Mr. Vance said the contribution-card bill would make it hard to prosecute some fraud cases. In one such case, his office secured an indictment this year against Celia D. Dosamantes, a Democrat accused of altering contribution cards to make it appear as if some donors had given more than they had and to increase the amount of matching funds she received. Rose Gill Hearn, chairwoman of the city’s Campaign Finance Board, also criticized the contribution-card bill in a memo last month, saying it would complicate the task of detecting instances of fraud involving the matching funds program. Ms. Gill Hearn criticized several other proposals being considered by the Council, saying they could hamper the board’s ability to do its job. She said the bills had advanced without sufficient deliberation, unlike other proposed reforms backed by the board that have languished for months but now are expected to win the Council’s approval by year’s end.  One proposal drawing Ms. Gill Hearn’s criticism would strictly limit who could attend the board’s executive sessions, which are closed to the public. Ms. Gill Hearn said that could keep the board from consulting with its own staff members or others when considering penalties for campaign-finance violations. She also took issue with a proposal that would place new requirements on the board when a candidate contests its findings that a violation has occurred. The bills are expected to be voted on along with other legislation long sought by advocates. That legislation includes a proposal to keep contributions bundled by lobbyists and others doing business with the city out of the matching-funds system.  There are now strict limits on how much money lobbyists and those with business with the city can give to candidates directly, but those same people can raise unlimited sums from others that they can package together and give to candidates in a process known as bundling. Because bundled funds can qualify for the matching-funds program, the process greatly magnifies bundlers’ influence.

The Council’s cashgrab: New legislation would make it easier for questionable donations toqualify for taxpayer matching funds (NYDN)  Just in time for the 2017 election cycle, the City Council is set to scale back oversight of its own members’ cash infusions from New York City’s taxpayer-backed campaign fund matching program.  They must not get away with it.  The program, intended to amplify the voices of small-fry donors in local elections, offers a 6-to-1 match for every dollar contributed by city residents. The first $175 is matchable, meaning a maximum grant of $1,050. In 2013 elections, the matches totaled $33 million.  To ensure that the private contributions that trigger public support are on the up and up, donors are simply asked to certify that their contributions are kosher under law.  Giving a check? Sign a card that says “I understand that State law requires that a contribution be in my name and be from my own funds.” Are you a city contractor or lobbyist, thereby barred from giving more than $250 to a Council candidate and $400 for mayor? Spell it out.  Yet here come Councilmen David Greenfield and Carlos Menchaca of Brooklyn, with legislation, popular in a self-serving Council, that would eliminate the requirement for most contributions by check. And credit card. And text message. And many by money order.  Where the forms would still be required — for instance, for contributions made in cash — the measure would give campaigns authority to complete or correct the paperwork on donors’ behalf. Greenfield and Menchaca say the reduced paperwork will make it easier for fresh faces to run for elected office. As though it’s terribly burdensome to ask donors to sign a simple piece of paper or, on a website, check a box.  Please. For imaginary gain, the bill would signal open season for schemers looking to exploit the system and fleece the taxpayers. Which is why Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance on Wednesday warned the Council that a provision granting campaigns power to revise forms at will would destroy “an important safeguard” against criminal fraud. Vance should know. In September, he charged Queens Council candidate Celia Dosamantes with forging 32 contribution cards for the purpose of illegally collecting matching funds on nonexistent donations during her losing 2015 run — pilferage traceable, prosecutors say, because the Campaign Finance Board caught her with the fake cards in hand. Greenfield now says he’ll reconsider that bit — while still ditching the safeguard documents in most cases.  The bad bill smells no better for sidling in next to a worthy measure putting the same $400 cap that already applies to campaign donations on lobbyists’ donations to political nonprofits like Mayor de Blasio’s now defunct Campaign for One New York. And even worse for bypassing the government operations committee that Council rules say oversees the Campaign Finance Board — but whose chair, Ben Kallos of Manhattan, has publicly expressed concern about undermining the matching system’s integrity.  Integrity: heard of it?

de Blasio 'Special Agent' Returning Home from South Africa
De Blasio’s buddy leaves State Department to return to NYC (NYP) One of Mayor de Blasio’s “agents of the city” is returning home. U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard, 49, is leaving the State Department to take a newly created position with Open Society Foundation, a pro-democracy group founded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros, the charity announced Friday. A longtime political operative who served as President Obama’s White House political director, Gaspard helped de Blasio win a crowded mayoral primary in 2013 without taking a campaign salary. He never worked in the de Blasio administration but offered advice from Johannesburg, while serving as US ambassador.

NYT Reduced Subway Fair for the Poor
What About the Middle Class Geting Push Out of the City By the Developers?
Reduce Subway Fares for Poor New Yorkers (NYT) Transit costs have risen steeply, even as the earnings of low-income workers have stagnated.


PA James Who Hired Lobbyist MirRam Consultant As Her Chief of Staff Says Using Consultants in Govt is A "Violation of Ethics"
Letitia James: De Blasio’s use of consultants a ‘violation of ethics’ (NYP) Public Advocate Letitia James joined the chorus of voices attacking Mayor de Blasio’s use of outside consultants Thursday, denouncing the practice as a “violation of ethics.”  James, who’s considered a potential 2017 mayoral challenger, said there should be “a firewall between those who lobby this city” and policy makers.  “Consultants, lobbyists — to me, it’s a distinction without much of a difference,” she said at an unrelated press conference. “The bottom line is when it comes to devising policy in the city of New York, a change in legislation, I just think it really should be between the principal and their staff.” Mayoral aides insisted that only the mayor and his staff are enacting policy. “The mayor and his staff make policy decisions, not the types of outside advisors any mayoral administration has,” said spokesman Eric Phillips. “I’m confident the public advocate knows that.” The mayor’s use of outside advisors came under fire after the administration claimed their communications with City Hall were exempt from press and public scrutiny * .Public Advocate Letitia James Names Chief of Staff (City and State)  New York City Public Advocate Letitia James has begun to fill out her office, hiring Ibrahim Khan, a communications consultant with the MirRam Group, as her chief of staff * New York City Public Advocate Letitia James said the new federal ban on smoking in public housing might inflame the relationship between cops and community and said she’s afraid of “aggressive enforcement” of the ban, the Daily News writes. * Surprisingly good sense from Letitia James (NYP)
More On Bronx Lobbyists MirRam Group

Who Cares About Mayor's Helicopter Rides When Trump Appoints Apocalpypse Now Bharara to Keep Arresting NY's Political Swamp Class No Editorials On Trump Re-Apointment of Bharara 

 De Blasio’s change of heart on riding in police choppers (NYP) Mayor de Blasio has apparently had a flying change of heart. He once said he preferred not to travel via police helicopter because “it’s just not my thing. I prefer to be on the ground.” But he’s now logged 10 NYPD chopper trips in just the last three months.  That makes a total of 14 flights this year, after three in 2014 and only two last year.

Trump Clear the NY Swamp
"President elect Trump after meeting with the fearless United States attorney Preet Bharara, in a move more poignant then any before, declared that America, a nation of laws, will enjoy law enforcement without regard to political party labels: Republican or Democrat. After all, as has been said before, there is no democratic or republican way to lock up a criminal.   That Preet shared, within the confines of the law, his areas of interest with POTUS45 resulted in, as I had publicly hoped and urged, Trump offering Preet four more years. To our great benefit, Preet who can do anything he wants and go anywhere he wants, chose to remain the "Horatio Hornblower" of the United States Attorneys for the Southern District of New York and continue to battle against those who play checkers while Preet plays chess. The fumigation and disinfectant of Albany and Cityhall is far from over, because those in dire need of being indicted, convicted and severed from their arrogant corrupt roots of power were playing the "run the clock out game" - suddenly find themselves checkmated by President elect Trump. I know that all hard-working New Yorkers are celebrating with unexpected joy that they have Preet back on their side to eviscerate the casual and comfortable corruption that has taken residence in the great state of New York.   Given Preet Bharara's exceptional service to the people of these United States, meeting, and I believe well exceeding, the power that emanates from the chair of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York - I hope that then-president Trump will appoint Preet to become a justice of the United States Supreme Court when the next vacancy occurs - beyond the one created by the untimely demise of the great Nino Scalia.  There is inherent greatness and Preet, much like the America we love and the Constitution we cherish and protect from enemies foreign and domestic."  Ravi Batra
De Blasio taking significantly more helicopter rides this year (NYP) *  Mayor de Blasio’s Trips by Police Helicopter Rise Sharply, Records Show (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken 10 rides by police chopper in the last three months. Before that, he had traveled that way a total of eight times since taking office.* Over the last three months, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken 10 trips by police helicopter to various parts of the city – a sharp increase from his travel patterns earlier in his mayoralty, according to Police Department logs, The New York Times writes.  * Albany has repeatedly demonstrated its unwillingness to change on its own, and it’s a relief that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will continue his essential work in the Trump administration after January, the Buffalo News writes.

True News Has Been Reporting On de Lobbyists Blasio Shadow Govt Three Years Later the Post Has Discovered de Blasio's Shadow Govt, While It Rest of Media Lives in Denial 
Now We Wait for the Only Person Who Can Close Down de Blasio's Shadow Govt U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara
De Blasio’s fishy arrangements with ‘outsider’ advisers (NYP) As The Post reported Tuesday, the e-mails show how Hizzoner turned p.r./fixer firm BerlinRosen into a virtual shadow government — for example, having it ghostwrite letters to the editor and quotes for press releases. And he didn’t just consult with firm co-founder Jonathan Rosen; the mayor had Rosen drum up backers for key initiatives, like his pre-K expansion. De Blasio tried to keep all his communciations with Rosen (and select others) secret from the public on the grounds that, as his advisers, they had become “agents of the city” — making that back-and-forth as confidential as what you tell your lawyer or your priest.   Convenient, no? 

Michael Benjamin ‏@SquarePegDem   @PrimeNewYork Sh!t!, they delivered his Council Speaker. He validates @unitedNYblogs rants about a shadow govt. BdB thinks of #BerlinRosen as a "power center" on par w/ '80s county bosses. His thinking validates @unitedNYblogs.

U.S. Attorney Bharara Meets With Trump Ask and Agrees to Stay 
A shadow government shielded from public scrutiny.  To make it worse, Rosen — as The Post has reported — routinely touted his clients to city officials, which might’ve made him an unregistered lobbyist under state law.  This week, Hizzoner dismissed any conflict of interest, claiming (misleadingly) that “Rosen’s never talked to me, since I’ve been mayor, about a client.”  De Blasio’s arrangements with “outsiders” certainly reek. Did they cross criminal lines? Ask US Attorney Preet Bharara.* Thousands of pages of emails released last week by de Blasio’s office show he often relies on the counsel of outside advisers, posing potential conflicts of interest because some of the advisers represent clients with business before the city, The Wall Street Journal reports.  *Bharara accepts Trump’s offer to ‘stay on’ as US attorney (NYP) * Preet Bharara will stay on as US Attorney at Trump's request New York Daily News *  Preet Bharara Says He 'Agreed to Stay On' Under Donald Trump Obserer

US Attorney Bharara ‏@PreetBharara One year ago today, Sheldon Silver got justice, and at long last, so did the people of New York

de Blasio Has Said He Has Not Spoken to Berlin Rosen About Their Clients Has the Mayor Spoken to Berlin Rosen's Interlocking Directorates Who Took Down A Librarty Despite Strong Community Opposition

Developer with ties to de Blasio scores job, despite being outbid (NYP) A developer with ties to Mayor de Blasio won the right to transform a Brooklyn library into a residential skyscraper despite being outbid by at least two other builders, multiple sources told The Post.  Hudson Companies bid $52 million for development rights to the Brooklyn Heights Library, $6 million and $1 million less than two other bidders.  The bids of 11 other developers who lost out on the lucrative project have never been publicly revealed.  Hudson CEO David Kramer, a mayoral friend and fund-raiser, proposed a 30-story residential tower with space for a new library on the ground floor and $40 million to fix up other branches. (It has since grown to 36 stories.)  Not only was his bid lower than others, Kramer was the only competitor to propose placing the required affordable housing units off-site — at a location two miles away in Clinton Hill. This despite de Blasio long decrying projects that separate subsidized apartments from market-rate ones.  Nearly all the other bidders put the affordable units in the same building on Clinton Street, according to sources familiar with the bid process. Kramer proposed 114 units; another bidder planned 117. The price tag for Kramer’s plan came out to be about $100 per square foot less than the going rate of $500 per square foot for Brooklyn Heights properties.  Critics said Hudson got a de-Blasio-sized discount.  He and his wife gave more than $9,000 to de Blasio’s public-advocate and mayoral campaigns since 2007, although de Blasio had to return all but $400 of Kramer’s cash because his company did business with the city. Hudson employees gave an additional $2,450 during that time.  Kramer acknowledged that he did speak to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who used to run Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group, to “look at the project” shortly after she arrived at City Hall. That same Goldman Sachs division provided Kramer with a $10 million loan to help finance the library project. Library board member Peter Ashkenasy said, “At the end of the day, it was the issues that concerned the library the most — what the new library would look like and the economic benefits to the library, and Hudson had identified a site for the interim library. No one else had done that.” But real-estate insiders were flabbergasted.  “This is the only project I ever did that didn’t go to the highest bidder,” one source said. “I’ve never seen it before.”

1. Councilman Steven Levin paid Berlin Rosen over $100,000 to run his re-elected campaign in 2013.  Levin ties to the unregistered lobbyist Berlin Rosen go back to his 2009 campaign when he spent $8,000 on WFP's Data and Field, that former county leader the late Vito Lopez ran. 2. Berlin Rosen also represents the Brooklyn Public Library that is selling the library with almost no community support to developers, Hudson Companies, in partnership with Marvel Architects.  3.  Berlin Rosen also represents Hudson and has many connections to Marvel Architects. It is impossible to tell who are the Berlin Clients are since the firm does not registered as a lobbyist. 4. Hudson Companies and Marvel Architects are putting up the strongly opposed Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the hotel and condominium complex that the same Brooklyn Heights community failed in court to stop 

de Blasio and Berlin Rosen Joined At the Hip Their Interlocking-Directorates of Unregistered Lobbyists and PACs Are A Cancer to Our Democracy
 5. That is not the end of Berlin Rosen Interlocking-Directorates with the sell of the library. Citizens Defending Libraries White pointed out that Forest City Ratner owned zoning rights connected to the library, Noticing New York  Berlin Rosen is also work for Ratner. White called Forest City Ratner, as it's a gatekeeper to the transaction. Mayor To Back Library Sale Because of Ties to Condo Developer, Critics Say (DNAINFO) "Mayor de Blasio has been taking money from the developer and his team while their application to acquire and shrink the library was pending," White's group said in a press release issued early Tuesday. David Kramer, a principal of Hudson, donated $4,725 to the mayor in 2011. Berlin Rosen work for the de Blasio's 2013 campaign for mayor and now work for his slush fund PAC Campaign for One NY   6. (All Blue) In the space of 6 years Berlin Rosen has taken the lead in electing puppets to mostly the city council that follow the needs of their clients over the needs of the voters who elected them.   7. (All Black) Besides working for de Blasio campaign Berlin Rosen the councilman Steve Levin who had the power in the council to stop the deal. True News has reported that lobbyists have taken over most of the old Tammany Hall to run a shadow govt that cuts out the public. Citizens Defending Libraries in their press release after the sale of the library said it has been clear that with this library sale we have been witness to the exercise of an enormous amount of power.  What we did not see today was the exercise by the City Council of the power that it has to protect the public.

The New Tammany Hall Bosses are The City Real Estate Robber Barons and Their Mini Me Shadow Govt Lobbyists 
More on Dark Pool Corrupt Consultant Who Will Have to Register As Lobbyists

The Daily News Pushes Paterson for Mayor at the Same Time He is Being Investigated As A Lobbyist for Rivington Nursing Home Gang Who Closed A Nursing Home in Brooklyn for Luxury Developers 
Former Gov. DavidPaterson should take on de Blasio himself in the mayoral race — if he has the'courage' (NYDN)  If former Gov. David Paterson feels so strongly about someone challenging Mayor de Blasio next year, why doesn’t he do it himself? It’s one thing to sit on the sidelines and criticize the people in his party for lacking the “courage” to challenge the mayor. Well, Paterson is a leader in the party. In fact, he even ran it for a while. Where’s his courage?  To be sure, Paterson would not be the ideal candidate. Voters probably haven’t forgotten calls for him to resign in the wake of reports that he and the state police intervened in a domestic-assault case against a senior aide, David Johnson. Nor have voters forgotten the ethics panel probe into Paterson’s acquisition of tickets to a 2009 World Series game at Yankee Stadium. But Democratic voters are a forgiving lot, especially black Democrats, who made up much of Paterson’s base when he was a state senator, lieutenant governor and governor for two years. Some would say that de Blasio became mayor by accident. He got the Democratic nod in 2013 by narrowly avoiding a runoff against Thompson and enjoying the benefits of another Anthony Weiner sexting scandal. Spitzer made a comeback in 2013 when he ran for city controller. He lost.  Weiner, a former congressman, made a comeback that same year, when he ran for mayor. He lost, too.  But if Weiner and Spitzer could resurrect themselves after sexting and prostitution scandals, there could be room for a Paterson comeback.* Mayor de Blasio doesn't 'bother to speculate' on ex-Gov.David Paterson's call for primary challenger (NYDN) * Fossella would support Catsimatidis for mayor 'in a heartbeat' (SILIVE)

Silver's Court Protects Silver's Doctor
Sheldon Silver’s doctor pal wins round in battle against Columbia (NYP) The doctor at the center of the corruption case that toppled former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver won a round in his lawsuit against Columbia University over his firing after more than 35 years on the job.  In three just-released decisions, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Manuel Mendez reinforced a July court order that protects Dr. Robert Taub by barring Columbia from interfering with his “salary, work, research and staff” until the school goes through the proper motions of terminating him.  Mendez also sided with Taub in his motion to hold Columbia in civil contempt for violating the judge’s order by trying to slash Taub’s salary from $300,000 to $105,871 and firing his staff.* The doctor at the center of the corruption case that toppled former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver won a round in his lawsuit against Columbia University over his firing after more than 35 years on the job, the Post reports.

Vision Zero Has Been Success At Raising Money From Tickets Not Lowing Pedestrian Deaths
Faced with escalating deaths of pedestrians and cyclists, de Blasio insisted his administration wasn’t losing sight of the Vision Zero program, saying the city is ramping up efforts to stem traffic fatalities, the Daily News writes.  Officials presented data showing that there were 14 deaths related to vehicle collisions from Oct. 27 to Nov. 27, down from 30 in the same period last year. They also acknowledged, only after questioning by reporters, that traffic deaths over all had barely changed — 204 this year, compared with 209 in the same period in 2015. Pedestrian deaths, whose prevention is a prime focus of the initiative, have increased.* NYPD TrafficStatdatabase is now available online (AMNY) The site,, which is updated every Tuesday, includes statistics on the number of citywide collisions, injuries related to motorists, pedestrians, passengers and bike riders and fatalities. The data can be viewed citywide, or broken down into police precincts and has a map that pinpoints the exact location of collisions. The NYPD released some new statistics on traffic accidents in the city. Weeknight evening hours between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. over the next three weeks are the most dangerous time of the year and the increased darkness since late October has led to a 40% jump in pedestrian traffic injuries and fatalities, according to the department. Overall, there have been 204 traffic fatalities in the city as of Nov. 28, which is five fewer than during the same period in 2015.  The number of pedestrians killed in the traffic accidents in 2016 as of Nov. 28 was 126, six more than during the same period last year.

Slumlords Found Guilty Of Terrorizing Tenants in A Gentrifying Neighborhood
Slumlords admit to terrorizing tenants to drive them out (NYP)  Two Brooklyn slumlords admitted Tuesday to terrorizing rent-controlled tenants with dogs, packing the halls with drug addicts, and tearing down walls in order to push the renters out of the lucrative spaces.  As part of the plea deal, brothers Joel and Amron Israel will now have to cough up nearly $250,000 to the nine tenants they wronged around Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick in 2012 and 2013.  The two have six months to shell out the dough, or they could be sentenced to up to four years prison.  If they follow the rules, they’ll be sentenced to five years probation and 500 hours community service, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun said.  Both Amrom, 38, and Joel, 35, admitted to tearing down walls, leaving tenants without heat or hot water, allowing vermin to make themselves at home and inviting drug addicts to come get high in their hallways in order to drive people out.  They also admitted to paying goons to patrol the halls of the buildings with pitbulls.  The duo will also have to agree to a five-year-settlement plan with the Governor’s Tenant Protection Unit, prosecutors said.

de Blasio Admits NYC is Still For Sale

Berlin Rosen's Levitan Directing Ghostwriting Quotes for Puppet Pols and the Media While Making Developer $ 
Emails reveal de Blasio’s PR team was ghostwriting politicians’ quotes (NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s favorite public-relations firm didn’t just run his 2013 mayoral campaign, it also functioned as a virtual shadow government, ghostwriting press release quotes and letters to the editor, e-mails released by the administration show. In one e-mail string from January 2015, top City Hall staffer Marco Carrion pressed colleagues on rushing out a letter to the editor about luring the Democratic National Convention to Brooklyn — a missive that quickly ended up in the hands of the BerlinRosen p.r. firm.  “CM Cumbo will submit a LTE, but for quickest turnaround we need to write it,” Carrion wrote, referring to Brooklyn City Council member Laurie Cumbo. Marti Adams, a de Blasio staffer, responded and cc’ed BerlinRosen senior vice president Dan Levitan, who she said had been “writing letters “all day.” “We can draft,” replied Levitan five minutes later. “Can someone send us what she already wrote?”  It’s also one of several exchanges that offers a glimpse inside how City Hall and BerlinRosen worked together to manipulate public perception on Hizzoner’s initiatives. In another e-mail exchange from January 2014, City Hall staffers were tasked with getting members of Congress to sign off on quotes supporting de Blasio’s universal pre-K initiative. In one e-mail, Levitan shared a draft press release with comments — one of which was labeled “unassigned” and included with no attribution. Another quote — which appears actually to have been submitted by Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn) — also apparently needed more work.  “Do we want to point out to Nydia that her quote is weak and encourage her to join her more courageous colleagues in actually saying something?” wrote Josh Gold, a top consultant on the pre-K initiative. At the time, BerlinRosen was being paid by the mayor’s nonprofit, Campaign for One New York to promote the city to the Democratic National Committee. BerlinRosen co-founder Jonathan Rosen, one of de Blasio’s outside advisers, also enlisted surrogates to unleash attacks over the fight for pre-k funding in Albany. In one January 2014 exchange, he asked top de Blasio aide Emma Wolfe for permission to release an unattributed quote criticizing Gov. Cuomo’s role in funding pre-K. “The money [Cuomo] is proposing is not enough for truly universal, full-day pre-k,” reads the quote.* E-mails released by his administration show New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s favorite public relations firm didn’t just run his 2013 mayoral campaign, it also was ghostwriting press release quotes and letters to the editor, the Post reports.

The Press Allows Berlin Rosen (BR) Levitan to Operate as de Blasio's Spokesperson on Corruption Probe While the Mayor and BR at the Center of the Federal Investigation 
Dan Levitan, a spokesman for Mr. de Blasio’s 2013 and 2017 campaigns, said the mayor and his aides acted “ethically and appropriately at all times.” Mr. Levitan said no public money had been spent to defend the 2013 campaign or the mayor’s political nonprofit, Campaign for One New York, which is at the center of some of the investigations. He declined to say how much non-city money had been spent to defend them. “We hope that the investigations, which have now lasted over seven months, will draw to a close,” Mr. Levitan said in an email.

True News Smoking Gun Email Shows How A Shadow Govt Lobbyist (Berlin Rosen) Delivers for Developers Operating Inside de Blasio’s City Hall
What the media describes as a January 29th, 2014 email from Berlin Rosen giving the mayor the phone number of the Brooklyn Sugar Factory Two Trees developer Walentas is actually the SMOKING GUN that shows how shadow govt lobbyists for developers operated inside City Hall.  At the time of the January 29th Berlin Rosen was working for developer Walentas.   DNAINFO and other media outlets reported that the mayor’s Friday Thanksgiving email dump showed De Blasio's 'Agent of the City' Berlin Rosen Was Deeply Involved in Policy, “email conversations he tried to keep private, was heavily involved in policy decisions at City Hall, documents released by the city as the result of a Freedom of Information Law Request and lawsuit show.”* De Blasio Defends Letting Private Consultant Sit In On Housing Policy Meetings (NYO)

Berlin Rosen by operating inside of City Hall knew that Planning Commissioner Weisbrod and Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen were pushing Walentas to add more affordable housing to his Sugar Factor development in early 2014.  NY Magazine reported that The Jed Walentas cornered de Blasio at a universal-pre-K event at Gracie Mansion, complaining about de Blasio’s emissaries. “They’re overplaying their hand and are going to fuck this up,” he told the mayor. “He just listened,” Walentas recalls.  The January 29th email showed that Berlin Rosen was trying to get around de Blasio top staff  with a phone call to Walentas and de Blasio to work out a deal so the $1.5 billion apartment complex can go ahead.

NY Times Knew About Berlin Rosen and the Lobbyist Shadow Govt Operating Inside City Hall During the First Month of the de Blasio Administration
The Feb 26th NY Times leaked by Jed Walentas reported that Two Trees was balking at de Blasio’s staff request to add affordable housing to his Sugar Factory development.  “I’d very much like to work this out with them,” Mr. Walentas said before the final deal was reached. “But what they’re currently asking for is not workable.”  

A few days after the Times story a deal was struck that added 40 more affordable housing units to a 2300 unit project.  Many say Berlin Rosen and their Client Two Trees go the better of the deal.  In addition to the small amounts of additional affordable units Walentas and his firm, Two Trees, receive a zoning change allowing their towers to rise up to 55 stories above the East River, about 20 stories higher than current regulations permit. Mr. Walentas is also be able to charge higher rents for some of the affordable units in the project than he would have previously.  While the mayor’s office touted the increase, some sources said the additional affordable units will not change the profitability equation in any significant way for Two Trees, especially since the new terms call for 50,000 square feet of that affordable space to be available to households with “moderate” incomes, rather than lower ones.

Pay to Play
The Walentas Family and employees contributed $32, 575 to the 2013 de Blasio campaign for mayor and $100,000 to the campaign for one NY PAC after the Sugar Factory deal. The CONY PAC nonprofit lies outside of city campaign finance rules and was able to accept unlimited amounts of money from firms and individuals who had business before the city. Top de Blasio aide Emma Wolfe and the mayor's chief fundraiser, Ross Offinger, have both been issued subpoenas. BerlinRosen has also been subpoenaed. Rosen and his firm advised de Blasio on his 2013 run for mayor and are advising him on his re-election campaign. Rosen also helped run de Blasio's political nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is investigating whether donors to the Campaign for One New York received anything in return for their donations.
One email shows Offinger targeting real estate and business executives to hit up for support for de Blasio's pre-K push.  In the Jan. 21, 2014 email that Offinger sent to Rosen, First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris, Wolfe and former de Blasio aide Peter Rangone, he says that developer Bruce Ratner, Google founder Eric Schmidt were confirmed participants in the effort. His real estate donor wish list contained the name of DUMBO developer Jed Walentas of Two Trees Management who eventually gave $100,000 to the Campaign for One New York. The list also included hedge fund managers Offinger planned to target and ended with the line: "More to come."  Rangone suggested the email was not appropriate, writing: "Can we take this off official thread please."
For months De Blasio refused to release emails from Rosen and four others advisers, dubbing them as "agents of the city whose communications with the mayor "are exempt from disclosure when related solely to City business and not on behalf of any client."  Rosen's emails show his influence in City Hall and also how he was deeply involved in city business even as he remained an outside adviser representing clients with business before the city.  Now it is up to U. S, Attorney Bharara to connect the final dot showing how the Shadow Govt profited from de Blasio’s pay to play City Hall.

DE BLASIO DILEMMA: Both Rivington Nursing Home Deed Change and LICH Hospital converting to luxury apartments...Both Under Fed Investigation . . .  Both Involve Lobbyist Capalino

Trump Dumps Lobbyists As Fake Progressive de Blasio Not Only Keeps Them Protects Their Special Agent Shadow Gov Emails 
What de Blasio could learn from Trump about handling lobbyists (NYP) Heading into his re-election year, Mayor de Blasio still hasn’t managed to keep his promises to be open about the influence of lobbyists in City Hall. President-elect Trump, by contrast, is keeping his promises even before taking office.  As reported in Thursday’s Post, the mayor has yet to post all his staff’s meetings with lobbyists on the city Web site, as he promised in 2013. Nor has he made good on his more recent vow to release a list of all the donors — to his campaign and his pet nonprofits — who didn’t get favors from the city. If donors got something from the city, he says, it was a coincidence. Yet an avalanche of pay-to-play scandals has Team de Blasio facing multiple criminal probes. The mayor even resorted to declaring some lobbyists secret “agents of the city” to shield his e-mails with them from Freedom of Information requests. The Post had to sue to see some of their other e-mails.  Team Trump looked bad on this front right after the election: The transition effort set up during the campaign turned out to include quite a few lobbyists — some of them advising on personnel and policy in the very fields that would impact their clients.  But then Trump got directly involved. One of his first moves after Election Day was to name Vice President-elect Mike Pence as the new chairman of the transition — and Pence promptly ousted all the lobbyists. Even more important is a rule Trump adopted soon thereafter: Anyone working in his administration will be barred from working as a lobbyist for five years after leaving government.  Progressives like de Blasio love to thunder against lobbyists’ influence. It’s interesting to see who’s actually doing something about it.

Lobbyist Jenkins Income Has Tripled Since Heastie Became Speaker  
Lobbyist’s income has tripled since Heastie became speaker (NYP) Patrick Jenkins, a longtime friend and $4,000-a-month political adviser to Speaker Carl Heastie, who replaced corrupt Sheldon Silver in the powerful post, has seen his lobbying business triple since his buddy became speaker last year, according to records reviewed by The Post. The number of lobbying clients represented by Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates skyrocketed from nine during the 2013-2014 legislative session to 27 in 2015-2016 sessions — making Heastie’s chum an emerging Albany power broker, records filed with the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics show. There’s a good reason folks with business before the statehouse hire Jenkins: He has the new speaker’s ear, as their close relationship goes back to being dorm mates while they attended SUNY Stony Brook. It’s no different than when Patricia Lynch was the “go to” lobbyist for clients seeking access and favorable action from Silver, according to Albany sources. Lynch had served as Silver’s communications director before becoming a lobbyist. “You hire a lobbyist for access,” said Arthur Schwartz, a public-relations guru. “If I had a client who needed access to Heastie, it’s a no-brainer. I would hire Patrick Jenkins.” For example, Jenkins landed a $12,500 joint monthly retainer from the major accounting firms Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG. That comes out to $150,000 a year.Fantasy-sports firms DraftKings and FanDuel paid Jenkins’ firm $6,000 apiece monthly this year as they sought state approval to legalize their transactions in New York. And Aqueduct Resorts World casino operator Genting pays Jenkins’ firm $240,000 a year. Major security firms are also seeking Jenkins’ help. They include Secure­Watch24, which provides defense for the Brooklyn Nets, and stun-gun maker Taser International. He’s getting a piece of the action tied to New York’s legalization of medical marijuana, too: Cannabis cultivator Palliatech pays Jenkins’ firm $7,500 monthly. The Post previously reported the unusual arrangement of Heastie paying Jenkins $4,000 a month as a campaign adviser while his pal lobbies him for a growing list of clients. They defended the arrangement.

Even After the Buffalo Billions Arrests Cuomo Tries to Block the Controller from Auditing ESD Projects Which Gov and the Lawmakers Cut DiNapoli Out A Few Years Ago
*State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is responding to the recent bid-rigging and fraud scandal that has rocked the Cuomo administration by moving to strengthen his office’s contract oversight role,the Daily 
State ControllerDiNapoli moves in on Gov. Cuomo's turf as contract watchdog (NYDN) State Controller Thomas DiNapoli is responding to the recent bid-rigging and fraud scandal that has rocked the Cuomo administration by moving to strengthen his office’s contract oversight role — which is likely to further inflame tensions with the governor. DiNapoli’s office recently sent letters to the Cuomo-controlled Empire State Development (ESD) and to the state university informing them that it expects to sign off on a wider array of contracts before they can be enacted. “We’ve taken administrative actions to tighten our independent oversight and hold public authorities and the State University of New York accountable, but more needs to be done to protect taxpayers and help ensure the process isn’t rigged,” said DiNapoli spokeswoman Jennifer Freeman. One letter to ESD head Howard Zemsky instructed the agency to submit to the controller’s office for approval any new or amended contracts pertaining to the upstate development projects ESD is taking over from SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Cuomo ordered ESD to grab control of the projects after the fraud scandal resulted in felony charges against nine associates, including former top aide Joseph Percoco and now ex-SUNY Poly president Alain Kaloyeros. Another letter sent to SUNY will require certain nonconstruction SUNY Poly contracts of at least $50,000 be sent to DiNapoli’s office for approval. The office also sent a separate letter to ESD outlining concerns DiNapoli’s staff found during a quick review of the payment process surrounding the Buffalo Billion, Cuomo’s chief upstate economic development initiative. Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi downplayed DiNapoli’s bid for a bigger oversight role. He said the letter to ESD is “moot” because Zemsky already announced the SUNY Poly projects will remain under the auspices of two private nonprofits, which have been reconstituted so they are under the control of ESD but by law remain outside the purview of the controller’s office. Azzopardi also revealed that Cuomo’s former budget director, Robert Megna, is taking a leave of absence from SUNY Stony Brook to head a new nanotechnology project management team for ESD that will provide more aggressive oversight.

Homeless Shelter Goes From $30 to $112.28 A Square Foot No Art of the Deal 
HRA chief should read ‘The Art of the Deal’ (NYP) We thought our opinion of city Human Resources Administration chief Steven Banks couldn’t sink any lower — until we read Steve Cuozzo’s Realty Check column in Tuesday’s Post, and learned that HRA is on track to pay more than $75 a square foot in its new lease at 109 E. 16th St.  The building is over a century old, yet HRA rent would be on par with what Wall Street and legal firms fork out for far more modern digs. And that’s only the starting rate in the 20-year lease. What begins as $20.3 million a year, $76.83 per square foot, rises toward the end to nearly $30 million annually, $112.28 per square foot. The old lease is about $30 a square foot. Yes, the building will see nearly $14 million in renovations — but still: How can the Department of Citywide Administrative Services OK this deal? (On the other hand, DCAS did OK that Rivington Street flip. Maybe some de Blasio donor made a call?) DCAS, not Banks, negotiated the deal — but he still should be asking questions in the wake of Cuozzo’s scoop. His agency, after all, is supposed to help the poor.  And the DCAS folks should crack open a book on how to negotiate — perhaps “The Art of the Deal.” Try Chapter 5, “Use your leverage”; Ch. 6, “Enhance your location”; Ch. 9, “Deliver the goods” and Ch. 10, “Contain the costs.”

How Berlin Rosen Pay to Play Secret Govt Operated
De Blasio consultant reportedly used City Hall to promote clients (NYP) Jonathan Rosen and staffers of his BerlinRosen firm — which was paid more than $300,000 by de Blasio’s mayoral campaign and more than $530,000 by Hizzoner’s now-defunct Campaign for One New York — routinely name-dropped and touted his clients to city officials in a 1,550-page cache of ­e-mails released late Wednesday.

For instance, in a Jan. 29, 2014, ­e-mail to de Blasio senior aides, Rosen distributed a transcript of developer and client Bruce Ratner glowingly defending the mayor’s plan to “tax the rich” in an interview with Bloomberg television. The city is one of Ratner’s top tenants of office space.* Orchestrating the grassroots: "agents of the city" document dump shows fevered response to Atlantic Yard Report  #DNC2016 op-ed

Two Trees
When Hizzoner was seeking Dumbo developer Jed Walentas’ cellphone number, Rosen supplied it and then wrote in a Jan. 29, 2014 e-mail to mayoral aides, “Will you let me know if they connect? Thanks.” Walentas’ company, Two Tree Management, which does city business, eventually donated $100,000 to the Campaign for One New York. 

de Blasio's Lawyers Are Trying to Keep His Secret Agent Lobbyists Using Bloomberg Dumb School Chancellor Black to Block Foil Requests 

De Blasio’s lawyers cite ex-schools head case to shield ‘agent’ emails (NYP) de Blasio’s lawyers are citing a 5-year-old court case involving former Schools Chancellor Cathie Black to keep from disclosing secret advice City Hall got from political consultants the administration has notoriously dubbed “agents of the city.”   In a 91-page brief filed this week in Manhattan Supreme Court, the mayor’s legal team claimed Black’s case — in which the Bloomberg administration lost the right to shield her e-mails — bolsters its argument that advice given by unpaid consultants isn’t subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law.  The Post and NY1 sued the city for access to communications between City Hall and five consultants, leading the administration to dump 1,550 pages of documents on Thanksgiving eve. But it withheld other e-mails it claimed were “deliberative” and not subject to public scrutiny. Mayor Mike Bloomberg had made a similar claim in the case of Black, whom he appointed chancellor in 2011. He argued that she was an “agent of the city” and that her e-mails prior to her appointment were not subject to the FOI law. Bloomberg lost the case.    But city lawyers say the decision in that case bolsters their argument that de Blasio’s advisers are protected from disclosure rules.  “It is clear the court’s decision — that Black was not an agent or consultant of the mayor — was based on the fact that the communications at issue were not deliberative in nature and that the mayor could not exercise control over Black prior to her appointment,” wrote Assistant Corporation Counsel Thomas Roberts.   “Here, in contrast, the communications are unquestionably deliberative.”  Robert Freeman, chair of the state Committee on Open Government, said he believes the city’s argument is a “dead” one.  “The key word here is ‘retained,’ ” he said. “That means being paid, and the courts have repeatedly ruled consultants must be ‘retained’ if e-mails are to be kept privWe Know About the Probe Into Mayor Bill de Blasio's Fundraising (DNAINFO)  The federal investigation has ensnared NYPD brass and key officials in City Hall. ate.”  De Blasio has said he is not paying the consultants for advice.   In its filing, the city mentions for the first time a sixth outside unpaid adviser: political operative Josh Gold, who provided contracted work for de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York nonprofit.   Besides Gold, the others whose e-mails de Blasio wants to shield are Jonathan Rosen of BerlinRosen; Hilltop Public Solutions partners Nicholas Baldick and Bill Hyers; AKPD partner John Del Cecato; and Patrick Gaspard, the US ambassador to South Africa who was a political operative at SEIU Local 1199.   BerlinRosen, AKPD and Hilltop were collectively paid nearly $2 million for work on CONY. Rosen has been paid more than $300,000 by de Blasio’s mayoral campaign.* Here's What 

Another CCRB Member Quits Anyone Left? An Agency in Total Crisis Some Say the KGB on the Hudson 
CCRB director quits after accusing ex-chairman of sexism (NYP) The turmoil-ridden police Civilian Complaint Review Board is losing its executive director. Mina Malik, who charged CCRB Chairman Richard Emery in April with making inappropriate comments and undermining her authority, announced Friday that she is quitting to take a post at Harvard. “It has been an honor to serve the city during his [Mayor de Blasio’s] tenure. I am deeply grateful to the devoted staff for their tremendous spirit, unfaltering efforts, and steadfast dedication to police oversight,” she said in a statement. The mayor praised Malik’s “distinguished tenure” in a statement. Seven months ago, she accused Emery of calling her and other women “p—–s” and filed suit against him, claiming he retaliated when she raised concerns about the foul language. Emery soon resigned and the lawsuit was dropped. Malik’s predecessor, Tracy Catapano-Fox, was fired. She also sued, claiming she was terminated for investigating allegations of sexual harassment at the board. Catapano-Fox reached a $275,000 settlement with the city earlier this year. Jonathan Darche, who previously held the position of chief prosecutor for the agency, was named interim executive director.* Civilian Complaint Review Board executive director MinaMalik resigns over power struggle with City Hall (NYDN) Mina Malik, the executive director of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, stepped down after a bumpy, sometimes bizarre 23-month tenure. Spokesmen for Malik and the mayor insisted that she left of her own accord, but one source told The News that the underlying reason for her departure was a struggle with City Hall over control of the agency. Two other sources, however, said Malik wore out her welcome by alienating employees and unfairly firing people. Several people filed complaints against her with the city Department of Investigation, the source said. “It felt like it was the KGB on the Hudson,” a former senior staffer said. Appointed in early 2015, Malik’s tenure was largely overshadowed by her lawsuit against former board chairman Richard Emery. She accused him of using an expletive — a vulgar term that refers to a woman’s genitalia — to describe her and a co-worker. Emery stepped down from the chairman’s post a day after the suit was filed. Malik thanked de Blasio “for taking swift and decisive action in responding to our concerns” and the suit was dropped. Malik was also embroiled in controversy after The News revealed that she was married to Derek Sells, a prominent civil rights lawyer — raising conflict of interest questions. Sells told The News he would notify the CCRB if his law firm got “a potential client who has initiated a CCRB complaint.” He is a managing partner at the Cochran Firm, established by O.J. Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran.

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

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

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

Transparency Bill Even Losing His Friends Brian and the Times
De Blasio Faces Mounting Pressure on Matters ofTransparency (NYT) For about 10 minutes, the WNYC radio host Brian Lehrer hit Mr. de Blasio with a barrage of questions about secrecy and transparency, pressing him on his stance on police disciplinary records and his refusal to divulge certain emails and texts with outside advisers. The questions came after a lawsuit filed by organizations challenging the de Blasio administration over its denial of access to those communications. The radio exchange and the lawsuit, filed in state court on Wednesday, marked the boiling over of months of simmering tension for the mayor, a Democrat who championed transparency and police accountability as a candidate and now finds himself accused of failing to deliver on his promises. Exhibit A for critics is New York City’s Law Department, which is fighting multiple court battles to maintain the secrecy of city records of officers’ past misconduct and that of Mr. de Blasio’s own communications with outside advisers. The questions came after a lawsuit filed by organizations challenging the de Blasio administration over its denial of access to those communications. The radio exchange and the lawsuit, filed in state court on Wednesday, marked the boiling over of months of simmering tension for the mayor, a Democrat who championed transparency and police accountability as a candidate and now finds himself accused of failing to deliver on his promises. Exhibit A for critics is New York City’s Law Department, which is fighting multiple court battles to maintain the secrecy of city records of officers’ past misconduct and that of Mr. de Blasio’s own communications with outside advisers. “On the police records, I have a clear position that I want to see the state law changed and I want us to be able to release those records,” Mr. de Blasio told Mr. Lehrer, referring to a 1976 state law that protects police personnel records.   

Most of de Blasio and His Special Agent Shadow Govt Lobbyists Emails Still Being Kept Secret
Mayor's OfficeReleases Hundreds of Pages of Emails Between de Blasio and 'Agents of the City' (NY1)  Mayor Bill de Blasio's office has released hundreds of pages of emails between the mayor, his top aides and key unofficial advisers that he famously declared to be "Agents of the City" in response to a lawsuit launched by NY1. City Hall has been protective of the mayor's relationship with outside advisers and has refused to turn over emails he's exchanged with them, despite the fact communications between the mayor and anyone outside his administration are supposed to be made public. NY1 and the New York Post sued the mayor back in September over his refusal to release his emails with one of those outside advisers, Jonathan Rosen. Rosen was a key advisor on the mayor's campaign in 2013 and continued to advise him even though he did not join the administration. Rosen runs a powerful consulting firm, representing many clients with business before the city, including major real estate firms.  City Hall has not turned over all the emails we are seeking, but an aide to the mayor says these emails released Wednesday include any correspondence in which a client of Rosen's is mentioned. They previously turned over emails in which Rosen was writing on behalf of a client.  Even in releasing these notes, the city is still being far from transparent. In many cases, the body of an email from the mayor or from Rosen is redacted completely, so the public has no real sense of what was being discussed.  Government watchdog groups and public records officials have blasted the mayor's refusal to disclose all his emails with Rosen. They say the mayor's relationship with a top consultant, who is actually considered a lobbyist under new state rules, raises serious questions about potential conflicts of interest at City Hall.  City lawyers have argued that Rosen's emails with de Blasio should be exempt from public records request because the city says that when he is advising the mayor he is acting as an agent of the city. NY1's lawyers obviously feel differently, and that is why we are pursuing this matter in court. Wednesday afternoon's release primarily covers emails between city officials and Jonathan Rosen of BerlinRosen, who worked on de Blasio's 2013 mayoral campaign and is advising his re-election bid. Rosen was named one of the "agents of the city," an unusual designation the mayor's team announced during a press conference in the spring.

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

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

The mayor's attorneys have deemed five of the consultants "agents of the city," and are arguing their correspondence is protected under an exemption that exists for certain emails between city employees
They are a fraction of the emails between the mayor and his “agents,” who don’t work for the government but his lawyers claim should be exempt from being made public because they are his top strategists.  Many of the released emails were heavily redacted.  Despite dumping 1,500 pages of Rosen’s correspondence, City Hall is withholding some that it claims are privileged because Rosen has been designed as one of five “agents of the city” entitled to offer private “deliberative” advice. But not present, except in brief snippets, is the voice of Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat. His emails, often marked simply as “B,” are largely redacted. So, too, are some from his closest outside advisers who city lawyers have said are city “agents,” a group that includes Mr. Rosen; Bill Hyers and Nicholas Baldick of Hilltop Public Solutions, a political consulting firm; John Del Cecato, a speechwriter at AKPD Message and Media; and Patrick Gaspard, the United States ambassador to South Africa and a longtime friend of Mr. de Blasio. The city argues, in court and in its response to Freedom of Information requests, that the designation also applies to dozens of others who work for their firms. (The bulk of the emails released on Wednesday were connected to Mr. Rosen.)  Correspondence is at the heart of a fight between reporters and the de Blasio administration, which maintains that the emails with outside advisers are in effect the same as those within a city agency, and are therefore exempt from public disclosure under the state’s Freedom of Information Law. A court case begun by The New York Post and NY1 seeking to unveil those emails is pending.  “We’ve carefully re-reviewed all of the documents and have expanded our disclosure to make sure that we haven’t missed anything,” Eric F. Phillips, the mayor’s press secretary, said in an email. Mr. Phillips said that the redactions were determined by the city’s Law Department and covered only those portions of the emails containing private information, like cellphone numbers or email addresses, or “inter/intra-agency deliberative content,” a category that includes “deliberative commentary” on news articles.
View the Emails That Were Released

The Emails Show Real Estate Funding Raising List and How the Mayor's Office Raised $$$ for the Campaign for One NY
Lawsuit forcesMayor de Blasio to release ‘agents of the city’ emails that he fought to keepprivate (NYDN)   Mayor de Blasio released hundreds of emails Wednesday from the people he’s dubbed “agents of the city,” which show his top City Hall aides coordinating closely with his fund-raiser.  In one email, from a batch he had been fighting to keep private, fund-raiser Ross Offinger wrote to the mayor’s aides with what he called a “real estate wish list.” It contained the names of de Blasio donors, some of whom had business before the city.  Offinger’s work for de Blasio is being probed by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office for possible criminality.  “Here’s who I’m shooting for," Offinger wrote in a Jan. 21 2014 email that included First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Emma Wolfe.
The Lobbyist's Shadow Government

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

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

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

Agent of the City Lobbyists Berlin Rosen Under Fed Investigation for Using Campaign for 1NY to Launder Senate Campaign Funds in 2014 is Working For Senate Campaigns Again Funded by Airbnb

De Blasio not involved in state Senate races, but firm of 'agent of thecity' is  (NYDN) Here is an expanded version of the second item from my "Albany Insider" column from Monday's editions: Mayor de Blasio has said he is not getting involved in this year’s state Senate elections, but the firm of one of his “agents of the city” is. A Super PAC created by Airbnb has so far paid BerlinRosen, whose co-founder is de Blasio confidante Jonathan Rosen, nearly $1 million for ads and mailers opposing Sen. Sue Serino (R-Dutchess County) and supporting Sen. George Latimer (D-Westchester) and James Gaughran, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Nassau County).  Here is an expanded version of the second item from my "Albany Insider" column from Monday's editions: Mayor de Blasio has said he is not getting involved in this year’s state Senate elections, but the firm of one of his “agents of the city” is. A Super PAC created by Airbnb has so far paid BerlinRosen, whose co-founder is de Blasio confidante Jonathan Rosen, nearly $1 million for ads and mailers opposing Sen. Sue Serino (R-Dutchess County) and supporting Sen. George Latimer (D-Westchester) and James Gaughran, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Nassau County).

Big Money Covers Their Bet On Both Sides in the Fight to Control the State Senate
Some companies, unions and trade groups are hedging their bets ahead of the Nov. 8 election that will determine which party controls the state Senate and contributing large amounts across Democratic and GOP lines, The Buffalo News reports. Tycoons pump $13Minto super PACs to shape New York State legislative races (NYDN) A group of 17 wealthy donors has poured more than $13.4 million into four GOP-leaning super PACs in a bid to influence this year’s state legislative races, a new report claims. The report from the activist group Hedge Clippers showed that the bulk of the money - about $10.6 million - went to New Yorkers for a Balanced Albany, a super PAC created by the pro-charter school group StudentsFirstNY. Three other education reform PACs were also recipients of donations from the group of 17, the report found. Hedge Clippers’ report comes as a super PAC created by the state teacher’s union, Fund For Great Public Schools, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past few weeks to boost Democratic efforts to take control of the state Senate.

Team de Blasio Has Not Disclosed Their Meeting With Lobbyists
De Blasio still struggling to disclose meetings with lobbyists (NYP) Blasio still hasn’t fulfilled two promises he made about lobbyists — including one made more than three years ago.  When he was running for City Hall in 2013, the mayor said all lobbyists’ meetings with members of his administration would be posted on the city’s Web site.  While de Blasio discloses on the site his own meetings with lobbyists, there’s no indication of the interactions between the lobbyists and his top aides.  Three years after the mayor made the pledge, a spokesman said he’s still working to fulfill it. The mayor also hasn’t issued a list of people who donated to his campaigns and nonprofits and got nothing from the city.  In May, he said that list would be handed over to reporters “in the coming weeks” to prove that donations didn’t influence policy decisions in his administration.
The Interlocking-Directorates of CM Levin, Lobbyists Berlin Rosen and the Sale of a library That the Community Did Not Want Sold 
de Blasio Transparency, FOILS and Controlling the Press

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

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

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

Even After the Lopez Hush Fund Scandal Albany Law Makers Protecting Themselves With Sexual Harassment Lawyers
State okays $270G for lawyers to handle sexual harassment claims againstLegislature (NYDN) Sexual harassment in the state Legislature continues to be a costly issue for taxpayers. The state controller's office on Wednesday announced that it had approved new contracts totaling $270,000 with a pair of law firms that investigate and handle sexual harassment claims for the Senate and Assembly. One of the firms getting contracts, Rossein Associates, has been used by the Assembly for the past several years to investigate sexual harassment complaints and has already earned $775,958 in legal fees, according to state records. It’s new contract is worth $150,000.  The Senate, meanwhile, inked a $121,000 contract with the firm Kraus & Zuchlewski LLP for the investigation of sexual harassment claims. Earlier this year, the Senate directed an $82,100 payment to the firm to settle a claim brought by an undisclosed employee involving "discrimination and retaliation."  The new contracts comes less than two years after taxpayers were forced to pay out $545,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by two women who accused ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) of sexual harassment. That case also cost the state more than $1 million in legal fees. Lopez died late last year. 
Vito Lopez Uses Government Funds to Run His Machine, Sexual Abuse


Wills Shows Up Late For His Corruption Trial, Judge Threatens Jails
Judge threatens to jail councilman after he shows up late for court (NYP) An irate judge threatened to jail a Queens councilman Tuesday after the embattled politician arrived 26 minutes late to his court appearance.  Ruben Wills, who is headed to trial on charges related to the accusations he stole more than $30,00 in taxpayer money, offered no excuse for his tardiness.  “I will issue a warrant for your arrest, and the case will go on,” warned Queens Criminal Court Judge Ira Margulis.  “When I say 2 o’clock, I mean 2 o’clock,” he seethed. “This is the last warning I will give you.”  Margulis even went so far as to say he might “consider a bail application” from prosecutors if that is what it would take to get Wills to court on time.  Wills appeared relaxed and unfazed at the prospect of jail as his lawyer Steve Zissou spoke to the judge in chambers.  A trial date was set for Jan. 9. Wills will return for preliminary hearings Nov. 30.

Councilman Rubin Will Arrested Two and A Half Years Ago STILL NO TRIAL? Wants Inmates to Vote
Councilman facing theft charges sponsors bill allowing inmates absentee ballots (NYP)  A legislator facing charges for allegedly stealing money from a nonprofit sponsored a bill that passed the City Council Thursday requiring the jail system to provide absentee-voting ballots to inmates awaiting trial. Wills himself could be one of them. He’s accused of swiping $33,000 from a nonprofit and of filing bogus financial-disclosure reports. The councilman, who has served since 2011, insists he didn’t commit any crimes.***Ruben Wills, Queens city councilman, busted in corruptioninvestigation (NYDN, 5/8/2014) * City Council members sang what’s known as the black national anthem following the Pledge of Allegiance – part of an ongoing protest against racial injustice and police brutality that has also seen some pols refuse to stand for the pledge, the Daily News reports.
More on Councilman Wills Arrested Years Ago AND?

A grand jury has handed up indictments against Joe Percoco and Alain Kaloyeros, previously charged in corruption scheme
Buffalo Billion Investigation and Percoco AND 8 OTHERSArrest * Former Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco, seven others indictedin connection to upstate bribery scandal (NYDN) * Ex-Cuomo aide indicted in ‘pay-to-play’ schemes (NYP) A former top aide to Gov. Cuomo was indicted Tuesday on official corruption charges in “pay-to-play” schemes federal authorities say reached all the way into Albany’s Executive Chamber.  Joseph Percoco, one of the governor’s closest confidantes, and seven co-defendants were named in the 14-count indictment handed up in Manhattan federal court, according to US Attorney Preet Bharara’s office.  The move followed a month-long delay in the case for plea negotiations that ultimately went nowhere following a Sept. 22 criminal complaint that rocked the state capital and tarred Cuomo’s signature “Buffalo Billion” revitalization project. No new defendants were added to the indictment, despite speculation that the feds have sufficient evidence to charge Percoco’s wife and are holding it over his head in a bid at getting him to cooperate. Both the complaint and the indictment — which is still subject to revision before trial — allege that Lisa Toscano-Percoco got a $7,500-a-month job in a bribery scheme involving her hubby. “This case will come down to Joe’s choice between the governor and his wife,” a legal source told Politico. The allegations in Tuesday’s filing largely mirror those in September’s complaint, but the indictment contains two new counts of wire fraud, neither of which involve Percoco, who Cuomo once likened to the “third son” of his late dad, ex-Gov. Mario Cuomo.  Percoco, who now works for Madison Square Garden, is charged with shaking down $315,000 in bribes from a Maryland-based power company and a Syracuse developer, and the feds say he imitated mobsters from HBO’s “ The Sopranos” by referring to the payoffs as “ziti.”  “OK. will deal with it after I get my ziti!” Percoco allegedly wrote in a a 2014 email to former Cuomo aide-turned-lobbyist Todd Howe, who has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the feds.  In addition to the allegations against Percoco, former SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros is accused of rigging bids for a $750 million “Buffalo Billion” contract and two other development contracts in Syracuse worth $105 million.

Ex-Advisers to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Are Indicted in Federal Bribery Case (NYT) Besides Joseph Percoco and Alain E. Kaloyeros, a federal grand jury also voted to indict six others, all executives of companies that had business with the state. * Putting the case before a grand jury and obtaining indictments show the U.S. Justice Department is moving “full speed ahead” with its prosecution, said Frank Clark, a former federal prosecutor and former Erie County district attorney, The Buffalo News writes. A federal grand jury handed up a 14-count indictment on Tuesday against Joe Percoco and Alain Kaloyeros, formalizing charges against members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's inner circle that have cast a shadow over state politics for the last two months. The 36-page indictment does not name any new defendants and closely tracked a criminal complaint that was unsealed Sept. 22. All eight people charged in that complaint have pleaded not guilty. Todd Howe, a lobbyist who is close to Percoco, is cooperating with the government and has pleaded guilty to eight felonies. Federal prosecutors working for U.S. AttorneyPreet Bharara already pushed back the deadline to bring back charges from a grand jury last month, to give them time for "discussions concerning possible dispositions" with the eight original defendants. Tuesday afternoon's indictment was not accompanied by news of any additional pleas.   * "Case will come down to Percoco's choice between the governor and his wife"...    * 'All donated heavily to Cuomo’s campaign'...  -- Read the 36-page document here:

Update on Buffalo Billions Corruption  
"Gov. Corruptocrat’s SolarCity boondoggle...where did the BuffaloBillion go?''  * * SUNY’s Upstate Medical Center’s open records officer saidformer Cuomo associate Todd Howe's former lobbying firm, WOH GovernmentSolutions, was paid by an "affiliated entity" of the school, (TU) * Timeline: The years of Percoco, Kaloyeros and Howe (TU)
Buffalo Billion Investigation and Percoco AND 8 OTHERS Arrested

Cuomo Uses Agency $$ to Pay for Adminstration Salaries 
Many who work in Cuomo's office aren't actually paid byit (TU) Cuomo administration uses cash from many public entities to pay salaries of appointees Roughly 40 percent of Exec Chamber employees are paid by state agencies; many don’t correlate to actual jobs:* The Cuomo administration’s use of other agencies’ budgets to pay for his staff, some of which are clearly patronage jobs, like a post given to the son of a developer caught up in the federal corruption charges that involve former aides and allies of the governor, looks shady at best, the Times Union writes.

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

NYP: de Blasio Running Against Trump Helps Him in 2017 Hurts the City From Gaining From A NYC President Wilhelm's NYCLASS Unite Union Under Fed Investigation for NYCLASS PAC Contributions in 2013 Endorses de Blasio for Reelection in 2017 
De Blasio’s war on Trump helps him but hurts the city (NYP Ed)  If there was ever any doubt, Mayor de Blasio dispelled it Monday: He’s going to run for re-election against Donald Trump.   No, the president-elect won’t be on next year’s ballot. But de Blasio’s “major address” at Cooper Union made clear he plans to campaign mainly against Trump.  That’s not a politically unwise strategy in deep-blue New York City, where Trump won just 18 percent of the vote. (And, to be fair, a number of state GOP senators just won re-election by campaigning against de Blasio.) But the tactic may come back to haunt the city — especially its taxpayers, if financial aid from Washington is choked off.  De Blasio didn’t hold back the hyperbole. He vowed to make New York — and himself — the center of national resistance to Trump. (Oops: Once again, he’ll be competing with a fellow Democrat, Gov. Cuomo.)   The mayor vowed he “will not comply” with any order from a Trump Justice Department “to resume stop-and-frisk” (which the NYPD is still using in moderation, by the way). Is federal intervention only OK when it ties cops’ hands?   Similarly, de Blasio promised to resist Washington by stressing the need for decisions “at the local level according to the values of the people who are being governed.” That has a bizarre ring of George Wallace standing in the Alabama schoolhouse door, vowing to resist “the might of the central government” against integration. De Blasio has enough local crises on his plate — like homelessness, city finances and ongoing corruption probes. He should avoid yet another embarrassing foray onto the national stage and focus on them — and how to work with the next president, rather than deliberately antagonize him.  * Unite Here Local 100 endorsed Mayor de Blasio’s bid for re-election Tuesday, becoming the fourth labor group to formally back him since he started rolling out support last week.  The 12,000-member union was formerly run by de Blasio’s cousin John Wilhelm and has long supported him.  The FBI has investigated a $175,000 donation the union made to anti-horse carriage group NYCLASS in 2013, during de Blasio’s first campaign for mayor. The group then gave the money to a political action committee that was funding a barrage of TV that helped sink the campaign of then-frontrunner Christine Quinn.* NYC Mayor Can’t SayExactly How He’ll Resist Trump—Or Make Up Lost Federal Dollars (NYO)

Bronx Pols Who Cheated on Absentee Ballots Says the Voters Still Trust Him 
Bronx politician pleads guilty in absentee ballot schemefor Assembly election (NYDN) A Bronx politician who was just two votes shy from being elected to the state Assembly pleaded guilty Tuesday to criminally tampering with ballots.  Hector Ramirez, who ran again this fall despite an indictment hanging over his head, said he would not rule out another bid for office — after serving a three-year ban.  Dozens of victims had testified that Ramirez and his allies tricked them into voting on their behalf during the 2014 Democratic primary, prosecutors said. Ramirez's staff knocked on voters' doors and convinced them to sign an absentee ballot, insisting that they did not need to go to the polls, court papers state.  Prosecutors charged that Ramirez and his team then wrote in Ramirez's name on the forged ballots and handed them into the Board of Elections. The 242-count indictment did not stop him from running against Pichardo again in the west Bronx 86th District this fall. Pichardo was reelected. As a court officer led him down the hallway to take a DNA sample — a condition of the plea — Ramirez insisted the community he admitted to repeatedly duping would still trust him enough to one day elect him to public office. "The community trusts me, the community believes in me," he told The News, "because everybody knows how justice works, especially in Bronx County."

Mayor Supports PAC Reform Which Would Have Blocked His Campaign for One NY PAC Pay to Play Which He is Under Criminal Investigation For 
Council PAC Reform Skips The PACs That Elected Council Members UFT's United for the Future, Developers Jobs for New York
De Blasio administration ironically backs anti-lobbying bill (NYP) The de Blasio administration on Monday said it will back a bill that limits contributions to political non-profits to $400 from lobbyists and others who do business with the city — even though Hizzoner’s now-defunct Campaign for One New York was the driving force behind it.  Henry Berger, a special counsel to Mayor de Blasio, told the City Council’s Ethics Committee that the administration is “generally supportive” of the bill. CONY, the target of federal and state investigations, took in more than $4.4 million from January 2014 through its close in March. Most of its money came in five- and six-figure donations from unions and firms with city business.

  1. The mayor appoints 50% of the Campaign Finance Board
  2. The Council Speaker appoints 50% of the Campaign Finance Board
  3. Team de Blasio elected Mark- Viverito Speaker
  4. The mayor appoints 50% of the Conflict of Interests Board
  5. The Council Speaker appoints 50% of the Conflict of Interests Board
  6. The Goo Goos and the Media Asked the CFB to Investigate the 1NY PAC
  7. The Goo Goos and the Media Asked the Conflict Bs to Investigate the 1NY PAC
  8. NYCLASS PAC By Attacking Quinn Help Elected the Mayor
  9. The Advance Group Ran the NYCLASS PAC
  10. The Advance Group Worked Illegally to Elect the Council Speaker
  11. The CFB Gave A Small Fine to Advance Even Ordered Speaker to pay them
  12. The Conflict Bd Gave Small Fine to Advance Even Ordered Speaker to pay them
  13. The CFB Covered Up the NYCLASS Scandal
  14. The Conflict Bd Covered Up the NYCLASS Scandal
  15. Berlin Rosen Works for 1NY PAC and as A Campaign Consultant to de Blasio
  16. Hilltop Works for 1NY PAC and as A Campaign Consultant to de Blasio
  17. Hilltop Works for 1NY PAC and as A Campaign Consultant to de Blasio
  18. Red Horse Works for the One NY PAC and 4 out of 5 of the city’s Das
  19. Red Horse Work for Over 40 Council Members as a consultant or UF PAC
  20. NYCLASS PAC By Attacking Quinn Help Elected the Mayor
More on Dark Pool Corrupt Consultant Who Will Have to Register As Lobbyists
Berlin Rosen and de Blasio One NY PAC Slush Fund 

Mayor de Blasio Vows to Shield New Yorkers From Trump’s Policies (NYT) Faced with a Republican president-elect willing to draw hard lines on immigration, policing and funding for social programs, Mayor Bill de Blasio in a formal address on Monday drew some of his own, presenting New York City as a national model of resistance and “a better way.” Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, vowed to mount a legal challenge if the federal government tried to create a registry of the nation’s Muslims. He promised to protect immigrant families threatened with deportation. He pledged that an aggressive stop-and-frisk policing policy would never return to New York. “The president-elect talked during the campaign about the movement that he had built,” said the mayor, referring to Donald J. Trump and the huge rallies he led. “Now, it’s our turn to build a movement — a movement of the majority that believes in respect and dignity for all.” Daily News de Blasio Step Away From Trump  De Blasio needs to step away from the national stage and denouncing Trump’s presidency, as such moves are only energy diverted from New York City and the issues it faces, like tackling homelessness without breaking the city’s budget, the Daily News writes.
How the NY Times Protects de Blasio

New Yorkers Tell de Blasio Fix NYC's Problems Stay Away From National Politics 
Critics: De Blasio Focuses Too Much On Trump, Not Enough On City (WCBS) As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, some constituents said de Blasio

Nobody Ever Lost An Election In NYC by Underestimating How Dumb and Easy Distracted the City Voters Are
How de Blasio’s quest for the spotlight may end up backfiring (NYP)  Mayor de Blasio wants to become America’s leading leftist voice by using a Trump administration as a foil, but the effort could hurt his bid to return to City Hall next year.  Hizzoner sent a fundraising email to supporters Sunday promising to “stand up” to attempts to deport people or take away their health insurance and wrote in a defiant Facebook post Wednesday that “the federal government can’t tell us how to police our streets.” Hours later he met with President-elect Trump and afterward held a press conference where he said New Yorkers are “fearful” of a Trump presidency. “He got an hour with Trump and told him, ‘Don’t do this’ and I think all this helps his re-election and takes the thunder out of opponents,” one Democratic consultant close to the mayor said. “He’s smart about looking like he’s going to seize anti-Trump sentiment.” On Friday de Blasio compared himself to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and vowed to “draw a line in the sand” whenever he disagreed with Trump’s policies. “Anything we see as divisive, anything we see as bigotry, undermining core, American, Constitutional values, we have to fight intensely,” de Blasio told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer. His forays into national politics didn’t go smoothly during the presidential campaign, when the mayor refused to endorse Hillary Clinton for months even though he worked on her 2000 Senate campaign. He was ridiculed by the Clinton camp in leaked emails, and relegated to a minor role in the presidential campaign. The mayor has an enormous opportunity to stand up on behalf of New Yorkers and our values. Lots of New Yorkers are afraid of Trump and the mayor can be their voice,” said political consultant Howard Wolfson, who advised Mayor Bloomberg and served on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign team. De Blasio’s approval ratings inched upward to 47 percent in November from 42 percent in August in a Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday.* Melissa Mark-Viverito leads 500 protesters to Trump Tower (NYP) * Gay Queens pol marches with hundreds to Trump Tower toshow their borough doesn't align with the President-elect's hateful speak (NYDN) Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) joined about 500 Queens residents to march across the Queensboro Bridge to let President-elect Donald Trump know his hateful rhetoric isn’t indicative of his native borough’s values.* Ex-Mayor DavidDinkins, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to endorse de Blasio forreelection (NYDN) * Cuomo creating statewide anti-hate crime force (NYP) Cuomo announces a host of initiatives to combat hatecrimes and protect civil rights (NYDN) * Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans to create a new hate-crimes unit in the state police and legal assistance for immigrants targeted for deportation or discrimination in response to reported racial incidents since the election, the Journal writes.

Not One City Official Has Protested the Legal Fees to Defend the Mayor - $10 Million in City Funds AND INCREASING
New Yorkers, the matter is better known as the federal inquiry into Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, and his aides, one that is said to focus on whether they traded favorable government actions for political contributions.  Last week, the de Blasio administration quietly filed with the city’s comptroller its contract with a law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton, that has for months been acting as outside counsel for the mayor and his aides. The contract, obtained by The New York Times through a request under the state Freedom of Information Law, offers the most detailed look yet at the cost of defending actions that the mayor has insisted were appropriate and legal. The Law Department, which arranged for the legal services through negotiation as opposed to a competitive bid process, described in concise terms its need for a firm “with expertise in criminal defense law to provide legal services in support of the John Doe Investigation and any related litigation.”  The department checked several boxes saying it required a contractor to “obtain special expertise” not available at the agency, “provide services not needed on a long-term basis,” “accomplish work within a limited amount of time” and “avoid a conflict of interest.” The city’s corporation counsel, who oversees the department, waived a requirement for a public hearing on the contract, the documents show, on the ground that a hearing could “disclose litigation strategy.”  The de Blasio administration, prompted by required budgetary reports, has in recent days offered a limited accounting of its spending on outside lawyers: $6.5 million through the end of the year for overlapping investigations of the mayor, said Eric F. Phillips, Mr. de Blasio’s spokesman. The contract with Debevoise & Plimpton — described as a “multiyear agreement” — is retroactive to April 25, several weeks after news reports surfaced that an investigation by the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan into corruption at the Police Department had spread to include fund-raising by Mr. de Blasio. It is set to last “through final disposition,” one document says. Elsewhere, the end date is given as July 31, 2020.  The contract with Debevoise & Plimpton — described as a “multiyear agreement” — is retroactive to April 25, several weeks after news reports surfaced that an investigation by the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan into corruption at the Police Department had spread to include fund-raising by Mr. de Blasio. It is set to last “through final disposition,” one document says. Elsewhere, the end date is given as July 31, 2020.  A Nov. 14 memo from the Law Department included with the contract said that because of “severe time constraints,” the firm had commenced work before the contract was officially registered, but that it had “not yet been paid.”  In the more than 80 pages of documents in the filing, the mayor’s name is not mentioned in connection with the matter. And only once is the nature of the John Doe Investigation hinted at: in a letter from the Law Department to Mr. Fishbein, which describes the inquiry as being “conducted by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, the Department of Investigation and other entities.” The letter says the firm would represent city employees — and “the employees of other entities the city has agreed to represent and/or defend” — in interviews or if subpoenaed to give grand jury testimony.* Law firms fighting de Blasio probes have cost taxpayers over $10M (NYP) The two high-powered law firms tapped to represent the city in the string of federal and state investigations swirling around the de Blasio administration have quietly received no-bid contracts expected to cost taxpayers at least $10.75 million. The city’s Law Department agreed to pay out $10 million through the end of the 2017 fiscal year to the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, which has been representing de Blasio and his operatives for months in regard to investigations of Hizzoner’s fund-raising activities. The department also negotiated another, smaller contract awarded last month without competitive bidding with the law firm of Carter Ledyard & Milburn. When asked whether the city expects to spend beyond the $10.75 million allocated, de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips said, “We have no idea how long the outside reviews will last. We budget prudently.”

Even de Blasio Rivington Deed Change is Costing the City Legal Fees 
That amount includes $400,000 for lawyers at Carter Ledyard & Milburn, who have helped defend the city in state and local inquiries — including one by the comptroller — into the sale in February of Rivington House, a former nursing home in Manhattan whose deed restricted use of the property to nonprofit residential health care. Mr. Phillips declined to comment on whether the firm continued to work for the city on that matter.  Mr. de Blasio, asked at a news conference on Friday about the costs, said: “We’ve been asked to provide information; we’ve been very, very cooperative, and as many times as the investigators want to talk to members of the administration, of course they will have that opportunity. But each time requires preparation and representation. That’s why.”

Replacement Commissioner Shows How Elected Officials Control the BOE
BOE Control Another Reason to Ban Elected Officials From Holding Party Positions . . .  Where are the Reformers? 
Staffer to assemblyman voted to replace elections official (NYP) Manhattan Democratic Party bosses voted Sunday to replace their disgraced city Board of Elections commissioner with another controversial candidate for the job.  The district leaders picked Jeanine Johnson, a staffer to Harlem Assemblyman Keith Wright, to fill the spot left open by Alan Schulkin, who’ll leave the job at the end of December.  Johnson landed in hot water last year when she made a plea deal over drunken driving charges.  Schulkin didn’t get floated for another term after a hidden-camera video surfaced last month depicting him saying that the city’s municipal ID contributed to voter fraud. He said Sunday there were “no hard feelings” over his departure, and Wright praised him for his service. “Alan has been a responsible, hands-on commissioner,” Wright said without irony. The Board of Elections has two commissioners — one Democrat and one Republican — from each borough. Johnson’s selection by borough Dems does not necessarily mean she’ll get the job. City Council Democrats will also have to approve her nomination.  Manhattan Democratic Party bosses voted to replace disgraced city Board of Elections Commissioner Alan Schulkin with Jeanine Johnson, a staffer to Assemblyman Keith Wright who last year made a plea deal over drunken driving charges
More On A BOE Commissioner Who Claims Voter ID Fraud isReplace By Political Hack

In Spite of A 60% Increase in Homeless Spending Since de Blasio Took Office City's Homeless Program Out of Control  

De Blasio’s administration has increased spending on homeless services by about 60 percent since he took office, reaching a historic $1.6 billion this year, at the same time the population in city shelters is up nearly 20 percent, The Wall Street Journal writes.

Majority of New Yorkers Say DeB Failed Homeless and Should Not Be Re-Elected Low Turn Out NYC Can Easy Go Around or Distract Real Issues 
De Blasio can’t seem to get it right with the homeless (NYP) A poll Wednesday reported that half of New Yorkers don’t believe Mayor de Blasio deserves re-election. Now a follow-up survey explains a big reason why: his mismanagement of the homeless scandal.  The Quinnipiac poll released Thursday shows New Yorkers give a huge thumbs down — 59 percent to 31 percent — to the city’s handling of the homeless crisis. And little wonder: Fully 51 percent continue to say they see more homeless people on the city’s streets and in the parks and subways, where they sleep, loiter and panhandle.  Some 96 percent say homelessness continues to be a serious problem — with 70 percent calling it “very serious.” And they’re losing patience as the mayor flails about in search of a solution.   What will it take for de Blasio to comprehend that he’s dropped the ball here and do something — starting maybe with holding his homeless czar, Steven Banks, accountable?  Recall that Hizzoner at first refused to admit anything was wrong, even after The Post called attention to the issue. Since then, he’s tried to mask the problem by pretending a rise in homelessness is actually a decline.   Fact is, de Blasio has tripled the number of homeless in hotels (after vowing to stop using them altogether).  The shelter population has broken 60,000, the highest number ever. And de Blasio has slimed communities that resent having shelters foisted on them without their input as heartless and racist.

de Blasio Plays the Race Card Using the Homeless on White Maspeth Protesters Sounds Like His 2017 Campaign Theme to Rally  His Progressive Vote

De Blasio lets his minions play the race card (NYP) If Mayor de Blasio thinks the Queens folks who’ve derailed his push for a new homeless shelter in Maspeth are just racists, he should say so himself. If he doesn’t, he needs to fire the aides who keep pushing that smear.  It’s been more than a week since mayoral aide Aja Worthy-Davis said city Comptroller Scott Stringer should be “ashamed” after “courting a group advocating for kicking women and toddlers onto the street [and] using ‘White Lives Matter’ as their protest song.”   Stringer had merely visited the Juniper Park Civic Association in Maspeth to hear concerns about the mayor’s ill-advised shelter plan for the area. More, he’d made a point of warning that the city needs more homeless shelters — but that communities deserve to have input on siting issues.  Cue Worthy-Davis’ harsh words — which themselves echo two videos put on the City Hall Web site by the mayor’s aides.  State Sen. Joe Addabbo accuses the mayor — rightly so — of hiding “behind an imaginary racial battle” that has no place in solving homelessness.   Worse, it seems de Blasio is leaving it to his aides to play the race card for him. The Post writes that it seems de Blasio is leaving it to his aides to play the race card for him, with mayoral aide Aja Worthy-Davis saying city Comptroller Scott Stringer should be “ashamed” after “courting a group… using ‘White Lives Matter’ as their protest song.”*More than half of all New Yorkers are roughly onepaycheck away from homelessness, new study says:(DNAINFO)
Increased Homelessness
How Team de Blasio (Berlin Rosen) Tried to Blame Homelessness and the NYCHA Mess On Cuomo 
The Media Reports on the Homeless, the Mayor 180 Admits Its A Problems, But Nobody Explains the Reason for the Increase

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

Under Press of Causing A Racial Divide de Blasio Limits Plans for Maspeth Hotel to 30 Homeless Men Protests Continue

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

  I have always had a good relationship with Chuck Schumer. He is far smarter than Harry R and has the ability to get things done. Good news!  Schumer lays out where Democrats can work with Trump | AP
Watch Schumer As Cuomo and deB Attack off Trump Hate The Senatge Minority Leader Will Deliver the Bacon to NY

Outsiders de Blasio and Cuomo BS Press About Protecting NYers, La Guardia Built the Modern City Because of His Relationship With NYer FDR
Cuomo vows to ‘stand up’ for New Yorkers against Trump (NYP) Cuomo is already trying to raise his own presidential profile off fears of Donald Trump’s presidency. As Democrats licked their wounds, Cuomo posted and emailed a message Saturday morning saying he would “never compromise” with Trump over federal laws and policies that would negatively affect immigrants and he vowed to “stand up” for all New Yorkers.
Josh Dawsey ‏@jdawsey1 De Blasio is fundraising off the Trump win this morning. Just sent an email asking supporters to give cash to "stand up" against Trump.

La Guardia and FDR Together Built Bridges, Schools, Put the Unemployed to Work As They Created A Progressive New Deal Govt 
City of Ambition: FDR, La Guardia, and the Making of Modern New York (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013) by urban politics historian Mason B. Williams is a loving exploration of the history of the New Deal and its role in the making of modern New York City.  The story of a remarkable collaboration between Franklin Roosevelt and Fiorello La Guardia, this is a case study in creative political leadership in the midst of a devastating depression. Roosevelt and La Guardia were an odd couple: patrician president and immigrant mayor, fireside chat and tabloid cartoon, pragmatic Democrat and reform Republican. But together, as leaders of America’s two largest governments in the depths of the Great Depression, they fashioned a route to recovery for the nation and the master plan for a great city.  Roosevelt and his “Brain Trust”—shrewd, energetic advisors such as Harold Ickes and Harry Hopkins—sought to fight the Depression by channeling federal resources through America’s cities and counties. La Guardia had replaced Tammany Hall cronies with policy experts, such as the imperious Robert Moses, who were committed to a strong public sector. The two leaders worked closely together. La Guardia had a direct line of communication with FDR and his staff, often visiting Washington carrying piles of blueprints. Roosevelt relied on the mayor as his link to the nation’s cities and their needs. The combination was potent. La Guardia’s Gotham became a laboratory for New Deal reform. Roosevelt’s New Deal transformed city initiatives into major programs such as the Works Progress Administration, which changed the physical face of the United States. Together they built parks, bridges, and schools; put the unemployed to work; and strengthened the Progressive vision of government as serving the public purpose. * The new Hudson tunnel: President Trump’s first construction job (NYP) * Cuomo: If Trump governs unjustly, we'll fight at every turn (NYDN) * Cuomo Vows ToProtect Muslims, LGBTQ Communities In Post-Election Letter (WCBS) * Mayor de Blasio talks to Muslims about Trump's presidency(WABC) * De Blasio stands tall: Kudos to the mayor for committingto protect New York's undocumented immigrant population (NYDN) * Gov. Cuomo: If Trump governs unjustly, we'll fight at every turn(NYDN) * Feuding Mayor and Governor Unite to Reassure New Yorkers their Local Leaders will Stand up to Trump's Divisive Policies and Rhetoric (NY1) * Mayor Meets With Religious Leaders in the City to Soothe Worries About Trump Policies (NY1)

Trump Finish Cleaning Up NY Govt Corruption By Keeping U.S. Attorney Bharara de Blasio Trump My 2017 LICH Prop

De Blasio is heading into his re-election year, with Cuomo presumably to follow in 2018. For better or worse, each deserves unequivocal conclusions to the investigations and related activities that Bharara has initiated. The prosecutor needs to drop the hammer or lift the cloud, to be blunt. And New Yorkers need a clean resolution also, for otherwise, a restoration of confidence in their government is impossible.
President Trump should let Preet Bharara finish his anti-corruption drive (NYP Ed) United States attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president. Here’s hoping that it is the pleasure of President-elect Donald J. Trump to keep junkyard-dog federal prosecutor Preet Bharara on the job long enough to finish the extraordinary work he has undertaken in New York.  Custom has it that US attorneys stand ready to depart when a new president is inaugurated. Bill Clinton, taking office in 1993, demanded — and received — resignation letters from all 93 federal prosecutors. New brooms, as they say, sweep clean. Bharara, if not a new broom, is certainly a big one, and he’s been sweeping clean since President Obama — on the recommendation of Sen. Charles Schumer — appointed him US Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 2009. That’s one of the most challenging prosecutorial posts in the federal government, albeit one that has generally focused on Wall Street and the financial markets. Bharara widened the brief to include New York government at the state and local level — scoring spectacular, if substantially incomplete, results.   Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and one-time state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos are on their way to federal prison; former key aides to Gov. Cuomo await formal indictment in separate scandals; and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has been hamstrung by at least five investigations — most of them conducted, initiated, or materially aided by Bharara.  Not since Manhattan District Attorney Thomas Dewey went after Tammany Hall to splendid effect some 80 years ago has a single prosecutor had the effect on political corruption in New York that Bharara has already achieved. Yet for all of that, much remains to be done, with not much time to do it if standard succession conventions are observed.  New York will never be free of corruption. Greed, stupidity, and arrogance are part of the human condition — arguably nowhere more acutely than in the Empire State. Bharara’s singular service to date has been to impose a measure of restraint on business as usual.

de Blasio Using Trump Fear to Distract From His Criminal Investigations Like He Used the Prop Arresting Protesting LICH Closing in 2013
Mayor de Blasio’sPolitical Standing Improves After Trump Win, but Perils Remain (NYT)  In Mayor Bill de Blasio’s view, the election of Donald J. Trump was an almost apocalyptic upset: worrisome for immigrants, demoralizing for advocates of the poor and disastrous for just about all of New York — but not necessarily so for Mr. de Blasio. As he seeks re-election in 2017, the mayor is trying to emerge from the chaos of the postelection period as the strongest messenger of Democratic Party resistance, a crowded field of left-of-center leaders that includes Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont as well as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the mayor’s chief Democratic rival in New York.  At union halls, in front of Trump Tower and in City Hall, Mr. de Blasio has forcefully presented himself as a defender of the city’s working people and minorities, who he has said are “fearful” of a Trump presidency. He is expected to give what aides described as a major speech on Monday about the election’s impact on the city. “Trump gives de Blasio something positive to talk about in the sense of being an oppositional force,” said Bradley Tusk, a former adviser to Michael R. Bloomberg who has been seeking challengers to the mayor. “But at the end of the day, re-elections, especially municipal elections, are referendums on the incumbent. Do we think he was a good mayor, or do we not think he was a good mayor?”

$6.5 Million of City Funds Legal Fees For de Blasio Criminal Investigation Campaign For 1NY Fees Paid By Someone WHO?
New city budget allocates $6.5 million for de Blasio administration legal costs (NYDN)  The hefty lawyers’ bill is larger than the previously reported figure of $5.4 million, which covered his legal fees through the end of October.  De Blasio said the high costs were because of the “many elements of the investigation.” The mayor also said he has not been quizzed by investigators, who are looking at several aspects of his fund-raising.

A spokesman for the mayor said the $6.5 million in taxpayer money does not included representation for the investigations into the Campaign for One New York — the mayor’s now-disbanded political nonprofit — or his City Hall campaign.  They pay their legal fees separately, said press secretary Eric Phillips.

$5 Million + in Legal Fees for de Blasio What Happens After He and His Team is Indicted?
De Blasio Investigations Cost Taxpayers Millions in LegalFees (WSJ)  City Hall has spent at least $5.4 million for lawyers related to fundraising probes; mayor denies wrongdoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has spent at least $5.4 million in taxpayer money on lawyers related to state and federal investigations into his fundraising activities, according to a person familiar with the matter. Work continues into several of the investigations, and the fees to local law firms are likely to climb further, this person said. The current tally represents fees through early October, the person said. Investigators are looking at whether Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, exchanged government actions for donations, according to people familiar with the matter. Several of the mayor’s closest allies have received subpoenas as part of the investigation.* Investigations involving Mayor de Blasio have cost taxpayers $5.4M in legal fees (NYDN)

The NYT Officials PR HQ for de Blasio Re-Election Goes Union Rogue and Leaves Out at Least 8 Federal Investigations 

Mayor de Blasio, Seeking Re-election, Secures Backing of 2 Unions  (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio received a significant boost with the endorsements of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Neither union initially backed him in 2013.Unions have largely supplanted Democratic organizations in turning out voters to the polls, political analysts say, but members also form their own opinions and may not follow the guidance of their leadership.* Sanitation union endorses Mayor de Blasio as hekicks off 2017 reelection campaign (NYDN)  * Board of Elections filings show Manhattan Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez has created a campaign committee to raise money for a run at New York City comptroller as the current comptroller is mulling a primary against the mayor, the Times Union reports. * Jeffries says 'all options are on the table' for 2017 (Politico) * Manhattan lawyer Martin Karlinsky, who has donated to New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, sent out an email invitation to a fundraiser for Stringer that he said would help select the city’s next mayor, the Daily News reports. * Mayor de Blasio is not 'terriblypopular' but leads in election polls (NYDN) * Sal Albanese hopes to run for mayor for the fourth time (NYP)

Remember When Mayor's and Other NY Elected Officials Were Held Responsible for Keeping Subway Fares Low Welcome $3 Dollar Fare
Advocates for New York’s Working Poor Push for Discounted Transit Fares  (NYT) At a time when the city can seem unbearably expensive and the price of a subway ride is set to increase again, attention has turned to a cost that many struggle to afford: a MetroCard. The MTA is proposing new subway fare hikes (NYP)* What’s fare is fair: Making transitaffordable for the poorest New Yorkers (NYDN) Fully abiding by a 2008 bailout compact — which we consider written in stone — MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast is seeking biennial fare and toll hikes pegged to inflation, which is under 4%  Good going, Tom. Now, keep up your end of the bargain and see to it that service improves for all straphangers.  Still, any increase is a tough pill for New Yorkers to swallow, with incomes flat and costs of living rising. The $116.50, 30-day unlimited MetroCards (likely rising soon to $121) and $2.75 base fare take an especially large chunk out of small family budgets, already crowded out by rent, groceries, heating and water bills and the like. The subway and bus system’s best fare deal is an unlimited pass. But it’s a hefty sum that the poor, living paycheck to paycheck, simply cannot afford. They more often than not have to dig deep and settle for a single-ride ticket, with no bus/subway transfer, at $3 a pop.* MonthlyMetroCards will jump up to $121 from $116.50 next year under MTA's fare hikeplans: (DNAINFO) WHAT ABOUT THE CITY'S SHRINKING MIDDLE CLASS  What’s fare isfair: Making transit affordable for the poorest New Yorkers (NYDN) the city should, as proposed by the anti-poverty non-profit Community Service Society and the Riders Alliance, step up and subsidize a half-fare MetroCard for people at or below the federal poverty line: $11,880 for a single adult or $24,300 for a family of four.

Second Ave Subway Three Stations &Then What? 

It ultimately doesn’t matter whether the Second Avenue subway opens on time next month; what matters is that politicians don’t have a plan to build the rest of the line past the first three stations, the Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas writes in the Post.

Increasing Pension Costs Equal Union Support for de Blasio Re-Election 
City pensions will cost taxpayers $722M over next 3 years (NYP) Meanwhile, the updated plan increases spending in the current city budget, which was introduced in June, by a whopping $1.3 billion, to $83.5 billion. De Blasio nabs key endorsement from service workers union (NYP)  Mayor de Blasio won an endorsement from one of the city’s most powerful unions Thursday — a development that’s sure to give fellow Democrats pause when considering a primary challenge. The nod from 32BJ SEIU, the service workers union which boasts a membership of 75,000 in the city, comes on the heels of endorsements from the sanitation and retail workers’ unions. “He’s rolling out really early to scare off political rivals,” said College of Staten Island Prof. Richard Flanagan. “Yeah — lock [endorsements] up early and hope the scandals dry up.” * In a head-to-head match-up, 34 percent of registered voters in New York City said they would vote to re-elect Mayor Bill de Blasio, more than twice the amount of his nearest rival, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Politico New York reports.

CUNY SUNY Pots of Money With No Ethics Gov Will Protect Us? What About Buffalo Billions?
Cuomo vows to crack down on fraud in CUNY, SUNY schools (NYP) Cuomo will crack down on waste and fraud in New York’s public-university systems by naming new inspectors general to focus on probing the higher-learning institutions, his office said Wednesday. The call for new university inspectors at both CUNY and SUNY schools comes a day after the state’s inspector general released a report revealing rampant conflicts of interest, fraud, corruption and abuse at CUNY. “Management failed to understand that taxpayer money deserves the highest protection,” the governor said in response to the CUNY probe. Cuomo will crack down on waste and fraud in New York’s public-university systems by naming new inspectors general to focus on probing the higher-learning institutions, his office said Wednesday. The call for new university inspectors at both CUNY and SUNY schools comes a day after the state’s inspector general released a report revealing rampant conflicts of interest, fraud, corruption and abuse at CUNY. “Management failed to understand that taxpayer money deserves the highest protection,” the governor said in response to the CUNY probe.* Cuomo proposes ethics reforms forSUNY, CUNY, urges Legislature to place limits on outside income for pols  (NYDN) * Cuomo, Stung by a Scandal, Offers Ethics Reforms (NYT) * Cuomo announced a set of ethics reforms that would affect SUNY, CUNY, the state Legislature and his own office, all of which have been soiled within the last year by corruption scandals and allegations of mismanagement, The New York Times writes. * Sources said a major shake-up is under way at CUNY following a scathing report that found lax spending and management practices and Jay Hershenson, the vice chancellor of university relations for 32 years, and another have been reassigned, the Post writes.

Even the Lotteries for Affordable Apts Are Rigged to Get Young People to Gentrify Neighborhoods
Young singles are the big winners in NYC’s affordablehousing lottery: report (The Real Deal) The city’s affordable housing lottery between 2013 and 2015 was more likely to be won by young singles, according to data released by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. And many of those young whippersnappers have developers to thank. More than half of the 48 housing lotteries for 1,470 available units across the city between January 2013 through to the end of 2015 were one-bedrooms and studios. Just over 40 percent of the winners in those lotteries were people aged 25 to 34, and half of those people were single, DNAinfo reported. The news website found that only 4 percent of the winners were over 62 years old. Just 11 percent were under the age of 25.

A Renewal of the 421-a Program Will Kill What is Left of Affordable Housing in NYC

Cuomo urges lawmakers to pass tax break for affordable housing (NYP) Building workers and real estate developers have struck a deal on a program that gives developers tax breaks for affordable housing and Gov. Cuomo is calling on lawmakers to return to Albany early to approve it.  “The State Legislature has refused to release $2 billion in state affordable housing funds,” Cuomo said while announcing the deal late Thursday. “I urge the Legislature to come back to Albany to pass desperately needed affordable housing.”  The program, known as 421-A gives developers up to $1 billion a year in tax breaks in exchange for dedicating a percentage of apartments to tenants with lower incomes than their neighbors. The program ended in January, after Gov. Cuomo told developers he would not renew it unless they could work out a deal with unions to improve wages for construction workers and other laborers who build the housing. The Real Estate Board of New York, the Building Contructions and Trades and Cuomo announced Thursday that all sides agreed to wages averaging $60 an hour for projects with at least 300 units in Manhattan. Workers in Brooklyn and Queens would earn an average of $45 an hour. Developers would avoid paying property taxes for 35 years, up from 21 years under the old terms of the program, in exchange for maintaining the affordable units for 40 year, up from 35 years previously. The deal could fall apart if the legislature does not approve it.* * A dispute that emerged following the announcement of a deal to revive the 421-a property tax break appears to have been settled, though the final resolution to the nearly two-year-old feud over the exemption is far from certain, Politico New York writes.

Shocking NYT Cuomo Pushing For Another Tax Break for Developers 
Cuomo Strikes Deal to Revive Affordable Housing Program (NYT)  For the second time in three months, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has forged a deal with developers and union construction officials to revive a program designed to create apartments for poor and working-class New Yorkers. But will it get done? The program, known as 421-a, expired in January. It grants cuts in property taxes to developers who set aside subsidized apartments for low-, moderate- and middle-income families or individuals in their otherwise luxury projects. It is a city program governed by state legislation. As the number of homeless people in city shelters has climbed above 60,000, the creation of additional affordable housing has become a key goal for Mr. Cuomo and his political rival Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, although they have not often agreed on how to achieve it. The Cuomo administration has hoped that by reviving the 421-a program it would unlock $2 billion for the governor’s own housing program, which has been stalled for months without approval by leaders of the State Legislature. Under the new deal, builders would get the special tax benefits for a longer period — a 100 percent tax abatement for 35 years. A plan embraced by the mayor had called for a 25-year abatement followed by a phased-in return to full taxes over an additional 10 years. Details of the new deal were hashed out by state officials; members of the Real Estate Board of New York, the industry’s powerful lobbying arm; and union officials. They were announced on Thursday by the board, known as Rebny, and the governor. In the proposed version of the program, subsidized apartments would have to remain affordable for 40 years.

Analysis Finds Airbnb Still Allowing Users Flout One Listing Policy 
Anti-Airbnb group's analysis finds NYC site users flouting one listing per host policy (NYDN) Airbnb's new policy limiting New York City hosts to just one listing — a bid to put an end to illegal hotel operators using the site — isn’t stopping Big Apple users from advertising multiple units, according to a new analysis. One New York City host, “Johnny,” had 40 listings and another who went by the handle “STAT” had 36, according to Share Better, an anti-Airbnb coalition that includes politicians and the hotel industry. Share Better found 25 top Airbnb hosts who controlled 385 listings, according to the analysis.

NYPD Mayor's Helicopter Rides Are Sectets Because He Says So  
NYPD Keeps Mayor's Helicopter Use a Secret and it 'Makes No Sense:' Experts(DNAINFO) The NYPD has formally declined to provide any information about Mayor Bill de Blasio's use of helicopters, including the time a department chopper nearly crashed with the mayor aboard when it landed on Rikers Island or when the police flew him and his wife to a presidential debate on Long Island. Brushing aside a Freedom of Information request by DNAinfo New York, the NYPD’s Legal Bureau claimed its FOIL Unit was “unable to locate responsive records" — although the department keeps meticulous logs on the NYPD Aviation Unit's daily use of its fleet of choppers. NYPD lawyers went even further, asserting that, even if they could find the applicable records on when the mayor was aboard an NYPD chopper, the department would not turn them over, anyway. “If such records existed, they would be exempt on the basis of Public Officers Law or Section 87(2)(e)(iv), as such information, if disclosed, would reveal non-routine techniques and procedures,” the NYPD claimed in a brief three-sentence response. City and state experts on FOIL, however, say the NYPD is completely wrong — and officials “obviously” know where flight records are located, and turning them over would not disclose anything unusual about “techniques and procedures.”

CAT BIRD SEAT Klein IDC Goes to the Highest Senate Bidder Hamilton Joins IDC

Felder Beats IDC in Assuring GOP Control of the Senate
Brooklyn state Sen.Simcha Felder to side with Republicans, damaging Dems’ dreams of taking chamber (NYDN)  Even with two races still undecided, the New York Democrats appear to have suffered a fatal blow in their bid to claim control of the state Senate. Sen. Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn Dem who has sided with the Republicans during his time in the Legislature, told upstate cable's "Capital Tonight" that he would not be switching back to the Democrats regardless of the outcome of the two open races in Nassau County. That means even if the Democrats win at least one of the two open races, they would still be one shy from being able to control the chamber.* Simcha Felder, Rogue Democratic Senator, Will RemainLoyal to G.O.P. (NYT) * Felder Thanks WFP, Parker Tells Felder To Manup (Kings County Politics) * With State Senate inthe Balance, One Democrat Plans to Run for City Council (NYO)

Republicans on verge of keeping control of New York State Senate (NYDN) GOP Thanks de Blasio for Helping Them Keep Control of the Senate Seeking to Keep Control of New York Senate, G.O.P. Finds a Villain: Bill de Blasio (NYT) * Late $550K to help Senate Dems sparks GOP complaint...  * Democratic leaders urge NYC pols to join the party, end alliance with GOP to regain Senate control as Trump presidency looms (NYDN)
State Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein signaled his group’s allegiance is up for grabs, but Sen. Mike Gianaris expressed optimism that the Democrats could lure back the IDC and control the chamber, The Wall Street Journal reports. *   State senate could be reliant on Long Island races  (NYP) Which party controls the state Senate depends on the results of five hotly contested races in Long Island next week. Democrats hope a wave of Clinton supporters flooding polling stations...*  State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan’s future as GOP leader is unclear, and if the Republicans fall into the minority, it's likely state Sen. John DeFrancisco or someone else from upstate will become the new Republican leader, the Daily News writes. * She hasn't even been elected yet, but already Marisol Alcantara is getting pressure to back a Democratic takeover of the state Senate next year, with 29 community groups calling on her to pledge to vote against Flanagan as majority leader, the Daily News writes. *  About a dozen super PACs have reported spending about $14 million in state Senate races since the September primaries, often pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars a day into television ads and other types of campaign support, The New York Times reports. * With only a handful of seats likely to change hands on Election Day, state Sen. Jeff Klein's breakaway group of Senate Democrats, the IDC, is likely to play a pivotal role in determining which party has enough seats to claim control the chamber, the Daily News writes.   * Police arrested state Assemblywoman Diana Richardson after her 13-year-old son showed up at a Brooklyn police station saying she beat him with a broomstick over his grades, cops said on Sunday, the Daily News reports.

Felder Could Be Senate Balance Except for Two LI Recounts and the IDC 
State politician’s party decision could tip senate balance (NYP) One Brooklyn politician may hold the key to the balance of power in the state Senate.  Sen. Simcha Felder, who ran on the Democratic, Republican and Conservative lines, was first elected as a Democrat in 2012 but has conferenced and voted with Republicans as the two major parties slugged it out for control of the chamber. This year, Republicans won 31 of the Senate’s 63 seats; Democrats took 30. Officials are counting ballots in two Long Island races, and results are expected to take weeks. So Felder’s decision about which party to align himself with could determine who controls power.  “I’m not a loyal Democrat,” he told The Post. “I never was.” He says he sides with Republicans when it comes to money, policing and terrorism. Still, Felder said he believes in “social services for the poor.” But Felder’s decision will be fueled by pragmatism. “I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid,” he said. “I’m going to do what’s going to get the most for my constituents.”* N.Y. state senate Democrats use threat of Trump to fundraise for Long Island election recount (NYDN) * Flanaganre-elected as Senate GOP Leader...* State Senate Republicans unanimously voted for Majority Leader John Flanagan to continue in his role, but their celebratory mood was tempered by the refusal of Sen. Simcha Felder, a Democrat, to say if he’ll remain with the GOP, The Buffalo News reports.

IDC's Klein Power Broker in A 2017 Cuomo Triangulation State Senate

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

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

Albany Incumbent Protection Society 198 of 199 Re-Elected 
198 of199 Albany incumbents re-elected despite corruption, calls for reform (Syracuse). The unseated incumbent was Democratic Assemblyman John Ceretto in the 146th Assembly District, which covers portions of Erie and Niagara counties. Angelo Morinello defeated him by about 4,000 votes.

After A Big Council Pay Raise Albany Losers Want to Move to City Hall 
Albany politicians are considering plush council seats (NYP)  They’re following the money.  Albany legislators envious of the big bucks being pulled in by their City Council counterparts after a 32 percent pay raise are considering running for their positions next year.  Council members earn $148,500. The base salary of state lawmakers is $79,500. Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D-Brooklyn), Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. (D-Bronx) and Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Manhattan) confirmed they’re seriously considering running for term-limited council seats held respectively by Vincent Gentile, Annabel Palma and Inez Dickens. Diaz and Perkins say they’ve grown frustrated with the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway group that generally sides with Republicans in the state Senate. “Right now, the Senate is headed by the Republicans, so that makes it difficult to be effective as a Democrat,” said Perkins. Other legislators mulling a City Hall payday include Assemblymen Mark Gjonaj (D-Bronx), Dan Quart (D-Manhattan), Ron Kim (D-Queens), Robert Rodriguez (D-Manhattan) and state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn), according to political operatives. Kim and Quart have set up campaign funds for city offices with Quart eyeing Dan Garodnick’s council seat and Kim considering the $209,050-a-year comptroller job, operatives said. Gjonaj and Rodriguez have interest in council seats held by Jimmy Vacca and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, respectively. Squadron is mulling running for the $184,800-yearly public advocate job, sources said. Kim, Rodriguez and Gjonag did not return messages. Quart and Squadron spokespersons said that they have no plans to run for city offices.* Poetic justice for the City Council’s pay hike (NYP) In as poetic a bit of justice as you could ask for, City Council members who voted themselves a fat salary hike earlier this year may wind up paying for it with their jobs. As The Post reported Saturday, at least three members of the state Legislature — Sens. Ruben Diaz Sr. and Carl Perkins and Assemblyman Peter Abbate — are thinking about “retiring” to council jobs. It’s not just the bump in base pay from $79,500 to $148,500: The switch would also mean no more Albany commute and a chance to do important work in the city. Yes, council jobs are term-limited — but if you’re nearing retirement anyway . . . God knows the City Council could use more talent — and while we often disagree with all these Democrats, they’re very capable.  The council members claimed the pay hike was all about getting better service for city residents. It’s just delicious that they could be proved right — by being replaced.

The Obsever Ends Their Print Edition Expect Many Others Papers to Follow 
New York ObserverEnding Print Edition (NYT) The New York Observer, the sharp-tongued chronicler of New York City’s power elite owned by Donald J. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is ceasing its print edition, just shy of its 30th year as a weekly paper.  The issue printed this last Wednesday was the paper’s last, Joseph Meyer, chairman and chief executive of Observer Media, the paper’s parent company, said in an interview on Friday.  The decision will eliminate the use of New York in the paper’s title — its website is — and signals an end of an era when The Observer served as a fixture of Manhattan reporting and a training ground for scores of journalists now in senior positions in the media world.  It also comes as newspaper coverage of New York City is being trimmed. The Wall Street Journal will publish its final Greater New York section on Saturday, a result of widespread cuts at the paper. The Daily News, whose staff has already shrunk, announced a new round of layoffs this week. The New York Times is rethinking its own Metro coverage as the paper seeks to lure global audiences. 

Wow The Daily News Print Circulation Falls 11.2%
Daily News reports steep decline in circulation (NYP) The Daily News is a four-time loser, recently released circulation stats show.  The embattled newspaper reported sharply lower sales on weekdays and Sundays and on newsstand sales and home deliveries, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.  While the entire newspaper industry has been hammered by print circulation declines in recent years, the drop-off by Mort Zuckerman’s Daily News in September was much more steep than the declines of The Post and the New York Times. The News saw its weekday print circulation tumble 11.2 percent, to 207,680, almost double the 6.8 drop by The Post, which fell to 230,634. The Times reported a decline of 5.5 percent, to 551,579.  The Post was the No. 1 seller on newsstands, with 169,543 copies sold in September, down 9.9 percent. The Times sold an average 77,994 newsstand copies, down 3.5 percent. The News saw newsstand sales crater by 11.4 percent, to 115,923. The shocking double-digit declines come weeks after the money-losing News ousted Editor-in-Chief Jim Rich after just one year on the job.  The News also reported that circulation via its mobile app tumbled 29.5 percent, to 46,233. The Post’s mobile app circulation jumped 14.2 percent, to 202,422 — pushing total print and digital circulation up 2 percent, to 422,056, and making it the only one of the three papers to record a total circulation gain.* Daily News staffers line up for buyout packages (NYP) Up to two dozen staffers at the troubled Daily News stepped forward to take advantage of voluntary buyouts as the Monday 5 p.m. deadline approached, sources told The Post. Nevertheless, the mood was grim in the newsroom Monday as management kept everyone in the dark on how many are exiting — and whether more axings are in store at Mort Zuckerman’s paper, which is suffering from double-digit circulation declines this year and is said to have lost close to $30 million last year. “Nobody is saying much of anything. It is all very subdued,” said one insider. Editor-in-Chief Arthur “Chucky” Browne unveiled the buyouts on Nov. 10 and said that if there were not enough volunteers, he would have to resort to involuntary cuts. Short-timers with five or fewer years at the News were only given one week of pay for each year. Employees of six years or more were given two weeks for each year, up to a maximum of 26 weeks.

How the Media Destroyed Itself and Committed Treason in their Corrupt Coverage of the 2016 Campaign 
NYT: We Blew It On Trump  
New York Times publisher vows to'rededicate' paper to reporting honestly (FOX) The publisher of The New York Times penned a letter to readers Friday promising that the paper would “reflect” on its coverage of this year’s election while rededicating itself to reporting on “America and the world” honestly. Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., the paper’s embattled publisher, appealed to Times readers for their continued support. “We cannot deliver the independent, original journalism for which we are known without the loyalty of our subscribers,” the letter states. New York Post columnist and former Times reporter Michael Goodwin wrote, "because it (The Times) demonized Trump from start to finish, it failed to realize he was onto something. And because the paper decided that Trump’s supporters were a rabble of racist rednecks and homophobes, it didn’t have a clue about what was happening in the lives of the Americans who elected the new president. Sulzbergers letter was released after the paper’s public editor, Liz Spayd, took the paper to task for its election coverage. She pointed out how its polling feature Upshot gave Hillary Clinton an 84 percent chance as voters went to the polls. She compared stories that the paper ran about President-elect Donald Trump and Clinton, where the paper made Clinton look functional and organized and the Trump discombobulated. Spayd wrote, “Readers are sending letters of complaint at a rapid rate. Here’s one that summed up the feelings succinctly, from Kathleen Casey of Houston: “Now, that the world has been upended and you are all, to a person, in a state of surprise and shock, you may want to consider whether you should change your focus from telling the reader what and how to think, and instead devote yourselves to finding out what the reader (and nonreaders) actually think.” She wrote about another reader who asked that the paper should focus on the electorate instead of “pushing the limited agenda of your editors.” “Please come down from your New York City skyscraper and join the rest of us.” Sulzberger—who insisted that the paper covered both candidates fairly-- also sent a note to staffers on Friday reminding the newsroom to “give he news impartially, without fear or favor.” “But we also approach the incoming Trump administration without bias,” he said.*NYT’s top editor Baquet also said of the struggle for fairness, “I think that Trump has ended that struggle,” adding: “we now say stuff. We fact-check him. We write it more powerfully that it’s false.” Baquet was wrong. Trump indeed was challenging, but it was Baquet who changed journalism. He’s the one who decided that the standards of fairness and nonpartisanship could be broken without consequence.

Daily News Was So Full Hate for Trump That the Former Paper for the EveryMan Missed the Level of Support the New President Was Amassing From the Hurting Middle Class 

The Democratic Party Needs to Let the Reformers and Gadfly Back Into the Party and Dump the Consultants Poll Takers and Snarky PR Bots 

Michael Moore Morning After To-Do List for Democrats:

1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.

2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off.   

3. Everyone must stop saying they are "stunned" and "shocked". What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren't paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all "You're fired!" Trump's victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.

Dear Daily News: Cuomo is Still Allowing the GOP to Run the Senate With IDC Back-Up ..  Gov Was Just Trying to Cut Off the AG Who Wanted to Run in 2018 . . .  Now President Trump Will Take Care of the AG
The governor’s partisan play, a new approach after six years in which he let the GOP rule the chamber, was Cuomo’s attempt, or at least so he said, to gain fresh leverage on ethics reform. Meaning: a cap on outside income, and an end to corrupting cash payments called lulus that the bosses use to reward loyal soldiers and punish renegades Cuomo’s push didn’t work. Flanagan’s caucus is stronger than before, and more stubborn in refusing to attack the corrupt culture. The first repercussions should be that a special pay raise commission looking at salary increases zeroes out any adjustments for legislators when it finishes its work next week. Legislators were in line for a 47% inflation-based pay hike, their first boost since 1999. But they wouldn’t even show to make the case to the panel. They wouldn’t agree to any caps on outside income. They didn’t even give the panel the chance to wrap up before the election — preventing voters from reacting to any hike, as ought to be their right in a representative democracy. The panel, set up to provide some semblance of outside, independent guidance on what legislators are worth, isn’t the final word. Under the law, the Legislature can just go ahead and give itself a raise for the session starting in January. An angry public would not tolerate such self-dealing, especially after an election and in the absence of any ethics fixes.  But we double dare Heastie and Flanagan to try. 

True News Angry Twitter Answers
Joel Siegel ‏@joelmsiegel  Serious Q about the vaunted "ground game." Do consultants & reporters overstate the importance? Are field offices Potemkin Villages?
Only role consultants play is Give Spin to BS reporters who are Lazy, clueless and cannot analysis politics - End the consultant corner on NY1 Siegel you help them make money

New York City voters complain of long lines, broken scanners; 'We are being stopped from exercising our democratic right' (NYDN)

A running recapof problems at poll sites across Brooklyn on Nov. 8. (Brooklyn Patch)

Nothing Has Changed Since Long Lines During the 2012 Presidential Election Forced Thousands of Voters to leave Without Voting Expect Same in 2016

Remember the 126,000 Missing Registration in Brooklyn
Months after thousands of voters were wrongfully removed from the rolls, some New York City officials said they have lingering concerns about the Board of Elections and will closely watch its performance on Election Day, The Wall Street Journal report. * Dem Elections chief,Trump agree: Fraud is rife (The Villager) BY TIM GAY | Look out for buses filled with people wearing burkas on Election Day. 

A Bunch of Idiots In NY Which Suppresses Voting by Having No Early Voting, 3 Primaries to Lower Voter Turnout are Suing for Ballot Selfies
Sorry, no ballot selfies in New York on Election Day (NYP)  * A Manhattan federal judge ruled that New York’s ban on “ballot selfies” may remain in place on Election Day, noting that an 11th-hour change in protocol may cause problems at polling sites, the Times Union reports.

Ballot selfies would be a ‘nightmare’: lawyer (NYP) Leo Glickman, who represents the trio of plaintiffs, asked Judge P. Kevin Castel to issue a court order blocking the Board of Elections and other officials from enforcing the state statue, saying it would have no effect on Election Day operations.
BOE History of Corruption and Incompetence Timeline
Brezenoff Who Helped Closed Down LICH and Other Media Facilities Takes Over HHC In $2 Billion Debt 
We Knew That the Corruption Dump Was Coming On on the Head of HHC Departing hospitals chief took 52 out-of-state trips in brief tenure (NYP)
City hospital head axed amid department’s financial struggles (NYP) The head of the city’s ailing municipal-hospital system will step down later this month, officials announced suddenly on Monday. NYC Health + Hospitals President Ramanathan Raju’s departure comes five months after The Post reported that three other top executives were leaving the agency as the city struggles to rein in massive budget shortfalls in the network of 11 hospitals. Over the past several months, at least nine top hospital officials have left or announced their departures. Raju said Monday he told City Hall in September he was planning to resign, even though a health-care source said he’d been talking about jumping ship since the spring.  In a message to colleagues, Raju wrote, “I step down feeling certain that the work we have accomplished over the last two and a half years puts us on solid ground to build a stronger, more efficient and financially sustainable public health care system.” The municipal network is facing a projected cash shortfall of $1.8 billion over the next four years, according to city’s Independent Budget Office.  Mayor de Blasio appointed Raju to head the network on Jan. 21, 2014. Stanley Brezenoff, who ran the agency during the 1980s, will take its helm again until a permanent replacement is hired. Brezenoff served as CEO of Continuum Health Partners, a nonprofit that operates Beth Israel Medical Center and the former St. Luke’s and Roosevelt hospitals. Criticisms that Raju bungled the rollout of a $1.4 billion medical record-keeping system have dogged him for months, with one well-placed source estimating the network has burned through at least 50 percent of the rollout budget on only two hospitals — Queens and Elmhurst. The source said Monday that the botched rollout is a “significant” factor in Raju’s departure.

Michael Benjamin ‏@SquarePegDem  Hope @unitedNYblogs head didn't explode learning @BilldeBlasio named ol' Koch hand & fmr #LICH head Stan Brezenoff to lead @NYCHealthSystem

Brezenoff the Mayor's Labor Advisor, Continuum Health Partners Gets Rid of LICH Hospital With Not Blame or Finger Prints 
Hamill: Long Island College Hospital merged to death - NY Daily News(2013) SUNY Downstate Medical Center deal with LICH  absorbed $300 million in LICH red ink run up by a hospital consortium called Continuum Health Partners. Continuum is run by a ruthless powerbroker named Stanley Brezenoff whose nickname at LICH is Darth Vader. Brezenoff is a quintessential member of what muckraker Jack Newfield called The Permanent Government of New York. This professional politico was appointed by Mayor Ed Koch to run the city’s Health and Hospitals Corp., the feudal lord of a medical fiefdom within the city’s patronage-larded permanent government. While in that post, Brezenoff compiled a Rolodex listing all the shadowy players in the city, state and federal medical rackets swimming in Medicaid and Medicare dollars * Head of NYC’s cash-bleeding public hospital system to step down  (NYDN)
More on Closing Long Island College Hospital
Timeline On the Village Nursing Home Investigation 

“Brezenoff is a poster boy for what the late great Jack Newfield called the Permanent Government” 
Under Brezenoff, the Brooklyn Heights hospital began to hemorrhage red ink. A $140 million bequest to the hospital by a Brooklyn Heights couple named Donald and Mildred Othmer vanished into Continuum. Community activists say Brezenoff wanted to close LICH. Many feared he’d sell the land for condo development. The staff and community protested.  Then in 2010, Brezenoff used his vast political influence to persuade the state, under then-Gov. David Paterson, to subsume LICH into SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, absorbing $300 million in red ink. Meanwhile, in a piece of political sleight of hand even Boss Tweed would envy, Brezenoff’s Continuum stayed on to do $50 million a year in medical billing. Some people who know Brezenoff’s modus operandi fear that once inside City Hall, his influence could spread like a political pox. De Blasio really needs to research Brezenoff’s role in trying to kill LICH. He can start by listening to some of the people who have been saving lives there for decades and have spent the past five years trying to save LICH from Brezenoff and SUNY Downstate.* Brezenoff: Continuum Tried To Save LICH Before “Giving” It To State (City and State)

Only de Blasio Won by the Closing LICH Because He Used it As A Campaign Prop to Win Election 

De Blasio is the only winner of the sad LICH debacle (NYP) It’s now impossible to deny: Then-candidate Bill de Blasio’s theatrics in 2013 to save the Long Island College Hospital were just empty grandstanding. On Friday, the Fortis Property Group, a developer that bought the financially failing hospital in 2014, nixed Mayor de Blasio’s “compromise” to have it build affordable housing there. Instead, Fortis will put up luxury condos — which it can do without any special approval from the city. Back in 2013, then-Public Advocate de Blasio was supposedly fighting to keep the hospital open, even getting arrested at one protest of the looming closure.  That earned him points from the unions out to prevent job losses and locals who wanted to have a hospital nearby. But it all ignored the basic math. At the time, LICH was losing $13 million a month. SUNY, which owned it, was covering the losses — which in effect meant New York taxpayers were paying through the nose for no good reason.  And no one in his right mind thought the hospital’s finances could be turned around. After becoming mayor, de Blasio ditched efforts to save the facility and instead backed a plan to have Fortis buy the site and turn it into apartment towers. Yes, Hizzoner hoped Fortis would include 200-300 subsidized units in those buildings — and maybe a school, presumably the next best thing, since the hospital was doomed. In exchange, the city would rezone the site, letting Fortis build bigger towers. One problem: 

The neighborhood wasn’t keen on seeing a big influx of new residents. Fortis likely figured it wasn’t going to reach a viable deal — and slammed the door on the idea Friday. Leaving the mayor with neither a hospital nor affordable housing. “This is not the plan we wanted,” de Blasio spokeswoman Melissa Grace said. “Nobody won here.” Actually, one fellow did win: Getting arrested made de Blasio a hero to assorted special interests — a big boost to his then-young mayoral campaign. Call it a case of doing well without actually doing any good.*  Dr. Bill, heal thyself: Mayor's big plans for housing and hospitals give way to reality (NYDN)  Another of Mayor de Blasio’s much-anticipated mixed-income housing developments has imploded — giving way to plans for wall-to-wall luxury condos at a particularly painful Brooklyn site. That would be the shuttered Long Island College Hospital. In the first months of his mayoralty, de Blasio had prematurely declared LICH saved, in “a truly historic moment, a transcendent moment for health care in New York City” that was nothing of the sort. Given that candidate de Blasio had gone to the barricades, and to NYPD booking, to protest the facility’s closure, the misjudgment was epic.

Why is the Brooklyn Democratic Boss Seddio Hiring the Criminal Law Firm of Morvillo to Defend Himself in the Judge Jacobson Lawsuit?
LICH hospital that helped get Bill deBlasio elected when he got arrested as an election prop goes luxury condo in mayoral bait switch on dumbass voters. Affordable Housing nixed. Brooklyn Boss Seddio Made Money in Turning A Hospital Into Luxury Buildings  
Why is Seddio Still the Brooklyn Boss After He Helped Closed Down A Hospital to Build Luxury Housing?
In disappointing turn for de Blasio, Long Island College Hospital will not include affordable housing (PoliticoThe land owner, Fortis Property Group, said it will not seek permission to rezone the site of Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Without a rezoning, which requires several layers of city approval, Fortis is free to build market-rate condos without any price-controlled housing for lower-income residents. (Politico)
More on Closing Long Island College Hospital

Building As-of-Right Redevelopment is the Most Profitable for the Developer
Former hospital will be turned into luxury high-rise (NYP) A former Brooklyn hospital that Mayor de Blasio unsuccessfully fought to keep open and then suggested be converted to affordable housing is now going to be turned into a luxury high-rise — another policy black eye for Hizzoner.  Fortis Property Group, which owns the Long Island College Hospital site in Cobble Hill, announced Friday it will not seek a compromise rezoning — as de Blasio had hoped — so it can move forward with more profitable market-rate condos in 529,000 square feet of space. Longtime neighborhood activist Roy Sloane responded: “I consider this a catastrophe for the Cobble Hill Historic District.”

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

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

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

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

Is de Blasio Meeting With NYT's Sulzberger to Respond to Expected Fed Indictments Connected to Rivington Nursing Home Deed Change and Closing of LICH?

 Sgt. Paul Tuozzollo, RIP: Slain while keeping New Yorkers safe (NYP) Even as violent crime in New York continues falling to record lows, the toll of NYPD officers slain in the line of duty continues to rise. Late Friday, Sgt. Paul Tuozzollo of the 43rd Precinct in The Bronx became the fifth city cop in less than two years to lose his life while serving the people of New York. * New York Police on Alert After Warning of Terror Attack Before Election (NYP) An F.B.I. bulletin said that Al Qaeda might be planning attacks for Monday, but an official said there was skepticism about the credibility of the information.

The Street Car Dear Daily News is Not About the Routing It About Gentrifying Just Like Ratner's Stadium Push Out All the Affordable Apartments in Prospect Heights 
Routing for commuters: A Brooklyn-Queensstreetcar needs more than de Blasio's desire (NYDN) Rumbling into focus over a distant horizon, Mayor de Blasio’s proposed Brooklyn-Queens waterfront streetcar might zig this way or zag that way, under multiple-choice scenarios newly mapped out by city planners to pitch to locals along the route. It’s a potentially promising project — if, if, if. So many details crucial to the success of the 16-mile, $2.5 billion-budgeted Brooklyn-Queens Connector envisioned between Astoria and Sunset Park (theoretical start date: 2024) remain blanks yet to be filled in — most critically, whether or not passengers would be able to seamlessly swipe their way between the streetcar and subways and buses run by the state-controlled Metropolitan Transportation Authority, using a single MetroCard fare.* New Maps Show Potential Routes for BQX Streetcar (NY1) * The Daily News writes that so many details crucial to the success of a proposed Brooklyn-Queens streetcar remain unknown, including whether passengers will be able to swipe their way between it and the buses and subways, the Daily News reports.

5% Increase in Traffic Deaths This Year de Blasio's Vision Zero Plan Flops No Effect 
De Blasio’sVision Zero plan backfires as traffic death stats are up (NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to cut pedestrian deaths has veered dramatically off course, advocates and families of crash victims charged Thursday at City Hall.  Safe streets supporters rallied after an unlicensed van driver last week fatally struck an 8-month-old baby in his stroller in Queens. And contrary to the goal to cut traffic deaths eventually to zero, deaths so far this year are up 5%, to 195.

The City is Trying to Cover Its Ass As Feds Ready Charges Against PACs That the CFB Has Allowed
Behind ClosedDoors, Measures to Reform City’s Campaign Laws Raise Concerns (NYT) Three years after the 2013 elections revealed serious flaws in New York City’s campaign finance laws, the City Council may finally be moving to fix some of the worst problems — but not without including a few changes that would benefit individual Council members. Up to a dozen new bills are being shaped behind closed doors, and although no drafts have been released yet, word coming from the Council has alarmed some of the city’s most persistent and careful advocates for better and fairer elections. At least some of the legislation being discussed would make it easier for candidates to amass war chests of public money for future races, or to spend campaign money on expenses that are not permitted by the city law but are for state politicians. By way of egregious example, one powerful state senator used campaign money to buy covers for his swimming pool, somehow deeming them not to be a personal expense.* Mayor De Blasio’s Donors Are Avoiding Democrats in State Senate Races  (2014)In 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s allies gave generously to Democratic groups outside New York City amid his bid to remake the State Legislature. That money has dried up this year amid fund-raising inquiries.

The New York City Council plans to consider legislation aimed at regulating political nonprofits, a move that comes months after Mayor Bill de Blasio disbanded his nonprofit amid criticism from ethics groups, The Wall Street Journal writes. * The New York City Council may finally be moving to fix some of the worst problems in the city’s campaign finance laws, which were revealed in the 2013 elections, but are including changes that would benefit individual council members, The New York Times reports. * The bundling of campaign contributions by elected officials for fellow candidates in New York City is not new or unusual, but it raises questions about an unexplored area of campaign finance law, the Gotham Gazette writes. 

Citizens United PACS and the Consultant Lobbyists Who Control Them Have Destroyed the City's Campaign Finance System
The 2013 primaries and general elections for mayor and City Council were swamped with nearly $13 million in what was, in essence, unmarked cash from secretive groups, operating as technically “independent” organizations that were exercising their right to free speech. They were attack dogs operating on behalf of specific candidates. In other forays, lobbyists and others in the influence business were able to get $1.2 million in city matching funds by bundling contributions.  Back in 2006, the Council contemplated not matching “bundled” contributions, but passed on it. Three years ago, the city’s Campaign Finance Board proposed changes that would exclude the bundled money of lobbyists from being matched. The change was supported by the mayor. The Council, inexplicably, has sat on the legislation, but is now getting ready to take action, Council officials said. It is also prepared to curtail the fund-raising of groups like Campaign for One New York, an organization associated with Mayor Bill de Blasio that accepted contributions up to $350,000. The campaign board said that since the group was involved in advocating the mayor’s legislative agenda, its fund-raising was not a violation of the city’s campaign law. But the chairwoman of the board, Rose Gill Hearn, said that “more than 95 percent of the funds it received would have been prohibited under the laws that apply to candidates for office — including contributions from corporations, limited liability companies and people doing business with the city.”

The City's Matching Fund Program Was Stated After Mayor Koch's CitySorce Scandal Where he Gave Control of the Parking Violations Bureau to the Bronx and Queens Machines
That CFB law rewarded candidates who collected many small donations over those who got big ones. The first $175 of a contribution is matched at a rate of $6 in public money for each $1 donated. An individual may give up to $4,950, but only the first $175 is matched. That is a way to spread financial power to people of moderate means.


Is the The CFB is Ground Zero of the Federal Corruption Investigation? We Will Know Soon
CFB Cover-Up: Cannot Produce A Final Audit Because of PACs and Straw Donors As Commissioner Quits
Auditors still haven’t finished review of de Blasio’s 2013 campaign (NYP) They’ve had three years, but auditors for the city’s Campaign Finance Board still haven’t completed a review of Mayor de Blasio’s 2013 campaign.  Audits are supposed to be completed within 18 months. Records show de Blasio’s campaign received $3.9 million in public matching funds in 2013. The board’s review will determine how much of that money, if any, needs to be returned to the city and will also factor into whether his 2017 campaign qualifies for matches. “De Blasio is entering a danger zone where if the CFB comes out with a negative audit in the middle of the primary season, it could be very damaging Former Comptroller John Liu learned a month before the 2013 mayoral primary he wouldn’t be receiving as much as $3.5 million in matching funds — a blow that made it impossible to compete in the homestretch.  “We had been asking them for guidance for a year and a half,” Liu recalled. “They could have acted far earlier in a way that would have given us enough time to appeal.” * Rose Gill Hearn, chairwoman of New York City’s Campaign Finance Board, has resigned effective Dec. 3, meaning Mayor de Blasio gets to fill the seat – and we look forward to seeing what happens next with the city’s campaign-finance watchdog, the Post writes.

Will de Blasio Pick A New Head of CFB to Shut Down an Investigation Of Himself and Use It to Hurt His Opponent 
Will Mayor de Blasio leash the city’s campaign-finance watchdog? (NYP) Rose Gill Hearn, who chairs the Campaign Finance Board, has resigned, effective Dec. 31. So Mayor de Blasio gets to fill the seat — when the board is still in the process of auditing his 2013 campaign, even as his 2017 re-election campaign is gearing up. Now, the CFB has a lot of power: It shifted the course of the 2013 mayoral race when it shut down public funds for John Liu, de Blasio’s rival for left-wing votes, over problems in Liu’s 2009 run to become city comptroller. We’ve expressed our worries over the CFB’s independence before: The board’s five members serve staggered five-year terms; the mayor and City Council speaker each appoint two members who must be enrolled in different parties. But enrollment doesn’t speak to actual loyalties — which means that, over time, the board can be stacked.  And now de Blasio will de facto choose the next board chair in consultation with his ally, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. His lone appointment so far is Nancy Zauderer — a registered Working Families Party voter who heads the CUNY faculty union, the Professional Staff Congress. On Zauderer’s watch, the PSC gave $5,000 to NYC Is Not For Sale — an outfit notable for spending over $1.1 million to defeat Christine Quinn, de Blasio’s rival during the 2013 primaries. The CFB later fined the group $7,040 for failing to report $70,000 in expenditures. Going back to 1999, the PSC has given $108,400 to the WFP, which is also closely allied with the mayor.  Also of note: Last July, in a probe of the mayor’s relationship with his pet nonprofit, The Campaign For One NY, the CFB let him skate. But federal and state prosecutors are now on the case. So: Where is the board headed? Its past chairs, such as Fr. Joseph O’Hare and Fritz Schwarz, Jr. — each with long public careers working on behalf of New Yorkers — were highly regarded as smart and independent. Bloomberg appointee Gill Hearn had served as his Department of Investigation commissioner — and even before taking that job had “the patina of absolute integrity,” according to veteran political consultant Hank Sheinkopf. After all, she’d been a deputy chief in the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District. In contrast, de Blasio appointed his campaign treasurer Mark Peters to the DOI post. In other words, he prefers “watchdogs” of proven loyalty.

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

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

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

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

Dear Daily News: the UFT Which Broke the Law With It PAC United for the Future is In the Bag for De Blasio in 2017
Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said he doesn’t believe de Blasio gets the credit he deserves, although he stopped short of saying the UFT would endorse him for reelection, the Daily News reports. * Teachers union leader backs up de Blasio despite leader of Transport Workers Union blasting the mayor (NYDN)
UFT Illegal PAC United for the Future

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

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

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

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

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

GOP Running Against de Blasio in Effort to Remain in Control of the Senate
Republicans are bombarding voters in Nassau County and the Hudson Valley with TV ads and mailers linking Democratic candidates to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in an effort to hold onto their control of the state Senate, the Post reports. *  GOP campaigns on unpopular de Blasio in battle for state Senate (NYP) Embattled Republicans are banking on an old foe — Mayor de Blasio — to help them in this year’s state Senate races. The local GOP is bombarding voters with TV ads and mailers linking Democratic candidates to Hizzoner in an all-out effort to hold onto their tenuous control of the chamber. In the final days of campaigning, de Blasio is expected be featured as a bogeyman in a half-dozen contested races in Nassau County, LI, and the Hudson Valley, GOP sources said. * Hedge fund billionaires, public school teachers, developers, hospitals and New York City landlords are the financial backbone of of the political action committees lined up to influence which party controls the state Senate, The Buffalo News reports.  * The arrest of GOP Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has many Democratic leaders dreaming of a countywide sweep, particularly because their party has a slight voter registration advantage, the Times reports.  * After never headlining a fundraiser for state Senate Democrats during his nearly six years as the state’s top Democrat, Cuomo has practically become a campaign carnival barker for their candidates, The New York Times reports.
Fredric U. Dicker ‏@fud31   Senior state Dem: "Cuomo's campaigning for Senate Dems on L.I. is really campaigning from himself - to avoid a 2018 Schneiderman primary.''

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interlocking-Directorates of the Campaign for 1NY PAC Call for An Investigation 
  1. The mayor appoints 50% of the Campaign Finance Board
  2. The Council Speaker appoints 50% of the Campaign Finance Board
  3. Team de Blasio elected Mark- Viverito Speaker
  4. The mayor appoints 50% of the Conflict of Interests Board
  5. The Council Speaker appoints 
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The Feds Make A Case Against de Blasio
A federal investigation into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign fund-raising has zeroed in on whether donations were exchanged for beneficial city action in about a half-dozen cases, according to people with knowledge of the inquiry.  Prosecutors have subpoenaed thousands of emails and documents from the New York mayor, his senior aides, city agencies, lobbyists, his 2013 campaign, donors to the campaign and to the nonprofit formed to advance his political agenda, the Campaign for One New York — as well as the group itself, which several people with knowledge of the inquiry said played a central role in many of the matters being scrutinized.  The matters under scrutiny, the people said, involve, among others, a company whose soundstages are used to film television shows such as “The Good Wife” and “Blue Bloods” that wanted to expand its operations, and that depends on city permits; those connected to a lucrative development deal on the site of a former hospital that needed city approvals; a popular restaurant and wedding site that was negotiating a new lease with the city; and a garbage bag company seeking a city contract.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did the Conflict of Interest Board and Campaign Finance Board Both Picked by the Mayor and Speaker, Protect Criminal Activity PACs Like Campaign for One NY?
A mayoral spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday that when the nonprofit was formed, in late 2013, the administration sought guidance from the city’s Conflict of Interest Board on the “appropriate management and solicitation of funds, consistent with applicable conflicts of interest laws,” and that the mayor’s office “consistently followed that guidance throughout” the group’s existence.

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

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

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

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

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

Now Carmelo Anthony Drops Out of Bedford-Union Armory Development Deal
Carmelo Anthony Drops Support for Bedford-Union Armory Redevelopment   |  DNAInfo Reports The team behind the controversial Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment has lost its star player Following pressure from local activists, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony has dropped all affiliation with the Crown Heights project, a representative of the athlete said Wednesday. But the move follows pressure from housing advocates (in the form of a rallyopen letter and online petition) calling for the basketball player to drop a plan that “will further exacerbate the gentrification” of Crown Heights, the petition by New York Communities for Change read. NYCC, working with the Crown Heights Tenant Union and others, also called for the removal of developer Slate Property Group from the project for their involvement with the controversial sale and conversion of the Rivington House, a Lower East Side nursing home, into luxury housing. Soon afterwards, Slate backed out of the redevelopment following pressure from the mayor’s office, sources told DNAinfo New York. “Carmelo is our hero,” said Bertha Lewis, the former CEO of NYCC when it was known as ACORN, in a first report about Anthony’s decision in the New York Daily News. Currently, the redevelopment project will continue with BFC Partners, the real estate group chosen by the New York City Economic Development Corp. to co-develop with Slate. But NYCC is pushing to start from square one on the project.
SHIELDING THE COPS: NYPD suddenly stops sharing actions taken against disciplined officers, citing obscure law; watchdogs call new secrecy move a blow to transparency
New York Police Dept., Citing Law, Stops Sharing Personnel Data (NYT) Some criticized the department’s decision to shield information from journalists as a step away from transparency. * Citing a clause in a 40-year-old law, the NYPD has suddenly decided to keep records regarding the discipline of officers under lock and key — and will no longer release the information to the public, the Daily News reports.* Mayor de Blasio has no problem with keeping cops’ disciplinary records sealed, but once blasted NYPD’s lack of transparency (NYDN) * Think again, commish about hiding NYPD personnel info(NYDN)