Friday, April 29, 2016

de Blasio's Future Is Not Up to His Teams or Media Friends Spin But Up to People On Juries Who Convicted Silver Skelos

Oh Babyyyy Bharara Hits Cuomo's Office Target Lobbyist Percoco and Buffalo Billion
Source with knowledge says @NYGovCuomo office received first subpoena from @PreetBharara on "Buffalo Billion" today Former (?) Cuomo aide Percoco appears to be focus of Bharara probe into Buffalo econ development $.Former Cuomo aideunder investigation for shady lobbying practices, conflicts of interest (NYDN) A former top aide and several others close to Gov. Cuomo are being probed for potential improper lobbying and "undisclosed" conflicts of interest having to do with the governor's signature "Buffalo Billion" economic development program, the Daily News has learned. A focus of the ongoing federal probe now appears to be former longtime Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco, Alain Kaloyeros, the politically connected head of a State University high-tech research center, lobbyist Todd Howe, who goes way back with Cuomo, Buffalo developer Louis Ciminelli, and an energy company called Competitive Power Ventures, a source with knowledge of the investigation told the News. Percoco served as the governor's $169,000-a-year executive deputy secretary and had long been his political enforcer until leaving for a job at Madison Square Garden earlier this year.

He once worked for Cuomo's father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo. At Mario Cuomo's funeral in January, Andrew Cuomo referred to Percoco as "my father's third son who sometimes I think he loved the most." It's unclear what Percoco's role was with the Buffalo Billion projects. But a separate source said he may have been receiving unreported income that came through Howe related to business before the state.  Percoco, a third source said, might have been paid as a consultant through Howe while working for the governor. "It sounds like there was self-dealing here," said one source. The CPV project seems to be separate from the “Buffalo Billion,” the source said. It has to do with a power plant in Westchester County, the source said. Howe, president of Washington-based lobbying firm WOH Government Solutions, once worked for Mario Cuomo and served as Cuomo's deputy chief of staff at the Department of Housing and Urban Development when Cuomo served under President Bill Clinton. His firm is a subsidiary of Albany-based Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP, which has done work for Ciminelli.

De Blasio encounters a barrage of questions on investigations (PoliticoNY) “I was certainly not involved in any of the specifics of the day-to-day of different efforts,” de Blasio said. Lehrer asked him about the dissonance between a Jim Dwyer column in the New York Times arguing that de Blasio was being unfairly targeted for behavior everyone engages in and an article in POLITICO New York contending that actually, de Blasio’s behavior was unusual. “I’m not a lawyer, but there’s a huge logic fault in that analysis,” he said, of the POLITICO story. “The question is not what was each party structure doing at any given point over the years. The question is what does the law allow?” De Blasio, he insisted, was subject to a “double” standard. A state board of elections attorney, he said, had “singled us out.”

He argued that in order to fight the powerful, unnamed hedge-fund-financed forces arrayed against him, he had no choice but to fight fire with fire. “I just think there’s a misunderstanding here of what’s going on in the post-Citizens United world,” he said. Debbie from Chelsea rang in next, and she was even less friendly, declaring the mayor's support for banning horse carriages, the principal aim of some of his biggest financial backers, “bold-faced corruption.” De Blasio said she had her facts wrong. “People don’t want to talk about investigations, they want to talk about quality of life,” said the mayor, during a pre-taped interview with AM 970’s John Gambling that aired just a short while after Lehrer's program. “They want to talk about safety, schools.” *   Controversial de Blasio criminal referral followed official’s pattern (PoliticoNY)* After subpoena, Cuomo announces review of Buffalo Billion (PoliticoNY) A person briefed on the subpoena said it did not target any specific member of the administration, and sought a variety of records. After the subpoena was first reported by the New York Daily News, the governor’s counsel, Alphonso David, said “questions” from investigators about “undisclosed conflicts of interest” would prompt an external review of contracts associated with the Buffalo Billion. The News reported that Bharara’s probe, which first came to light last year, was focusing on Joe Percoco, a longtime aide and confidante who the Democratic governor has likened to a brother. It involves Todd Howe, a lobbyist who served in the administration of the late governor Mario Cuomo, the current governor's father, and an energy company called Competitive Power Ventures, the News said. The internal review will be conducted by Bart Schwartz, a former federal prosecutor who now works as an independent investigator, according to David’s statement, which was released shortly after 5 p.m. — and minutes after the News article was posted online. “I will conduct my review commencing immediately and report any information I find to the U.S. Attorney and the administration. The administration has made it clear to me that they have zero tolerance for any violation of the public trust from any actor or entity and I should follow the facts,” Schwartz said in a statement. “The state of New York awards significant funding and regulatory approvals to private sector companies. The state has reason to believe that in certain programs and regulatory approvals they may have been defrauded by improper bidding and failures to disclose potential conflicts of interest by lobbyists and former state employees.” * Prosecutors Eye Cuomo's Upstate Economic Development Program 
Flashback  'HE NEEDS TO MAKE MONEY': Longtime Cuomo loyalist Joseph Percoco to leave for private sector after 16 years of service (NYDN) * Veteran Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, who has served as the governor’s righthand man since 1999, will leave the administration by the end of the year. He has no new job yet, but will become a consultant for the state Democratic Party and remain a key “external” adviser to the governor. * Cuomo Claims Top Aide’s Departure Unrelated to Justice Department Investigation (NYO)
Moreland Investigation Updates or Media Cover-Up, JCOPE
All About the Buffalo Billion Investigation

de Blasio Spin Of Innocent and His Mini Me Media Friends Backing Him Up Mean Nothing: Its Up the the Jury "The People Who Are Getting Screw By Govt to Decide If the Mayor Brok"
Team de Blasio expanded the corrupt games it promised to end (NYP Ed) A remarkably subdued Mayor de Blasio on Thursday had little of substance to say about the blizzard of subpoenas just dropped on City Hall and his closest political associates.  Just days earlier, his lawyer was angrily denouncing a leaked criminal referral from a Board of Elections official with close ties to Gov. Cuomo as proof of a conspiracy. But news of the grand-jury summonses — and that they reach to the top rungs at City Hall — shows this is no mere vendetta. It’s a sign that US Attorney Preet Bharara and Manhattan DA Cy Vance are taking a long, hard and very serious look at this administration’s pay-to-play culture. The mayor has no one but himself to blame. After all, he won the job while denouncing these very practices — then embraced them the moment he took office. Those subpoenaed include de Blasio’s top political aide, Emma Wolfe, and his chief fundraiser, Ross Offinger. Documents are also being sought from BerlinRosen, the PR/lobbying firm that ran his campaign — and also his slush fund, the Campaign for One New York — and has become a virtual wing of City Hall. investigation seems to turn on more direct possible “sales” of favors to generous donors — dubious dealings The Post has been documenting for years now. Favors like his bizarre obsession with ridding the city of horse carriages —despite no popular or political support, other than two key campaign donors. (The group pushing the ban has also been subpoenaed.) We’ve known since Day One that Bill de Blasio is a hypocrite. His “progressive” City Hall is a place where lobbyists, consultants and fat-cat donors all hold sway, and transparency is just a cruel joke.* As soon as he took office, de Blasio embraced the pay-to-play practices he once denounced, and his “progressive” City Hall is a place where lobbyists, consultants and fat-cat donors =hold sway, while transparency is a cruel joke, the Post writes: * Is de Blasio the nextto go? Op-Ed (Red Hook Star) De Blasio Expands on His Defense of His Fundraising Activities (NY1) * Jillian Jorgensen ‏@Jill_Jorgensen   His argument is basically the laws might suck but everyone else is using their loopholes, so I will too. It's not wrong, but it sounds bad.  Jillian Jorgensen ‏@Jill_Jorgensen    It's very hard for me to imagine de Blasio's argument on WNYC right now is resonating with listeners at home.

WNYC's Lehrer is Not Tim Russet Allows de Blasio to Fill Interview With Talking Points
De Blasio says corruption probe won't deter him from runningfor mayor a second term (CrainsNY)  On Friday, the mayor also reiterated to WNYC that there was no wrongdoing Mayor Bill de Blasio says a widening corruption probe won't have an impact on his decision to run for re-election. De Blasio told WNYC radio in an interview Friday that he will "absolutely" run for a second term next year. The Democrat steadfastly insists that he and his team did nothing wrong while federal and state investigators look into his campaign fundraising apparatus. While several of his aides and political groups have been subpoenaed by prosecutors, de Blasio hasn't been accused of wrongdoing. "We are following the law," the mayor reiterated Friday. The probe began after a criminal referral from the lead investigator at the state Board of Elections. De Blasio has accused the board of conducting a politically motivated witch hunt. The investigator was appointed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a frequent de Blasio rival. "I think there has to be a single standard in this discussion: adherence to the law," de Blasio said.

Baghdad William Wilhelm de Blasio "We’ve Done From the Beginning is Legal and Appropriate”
De Blasio dodges questions amid corruption probe — again (NYP) A weary Mayor de Blasio — with growing bags under his eyes — trotted out tired talking points on Thursday even as he was barraged by a fresh round of questions about the investigation into his fund-raising. “Guys, as I’ve said many times, we hold ourselves to the highest standard of integrity. Everything we’ve done from the beginning is legal and appropriate,” de Blasio told a swarm of reporters in Midtown. “There’s an investigation going on. We’re going to fully cooperate with that investigation. We look forward to the speedy conclusion of it, but we’ll fully cooperate. But since there is an investigation, I can’t go into any details,” he added.* 'VERY VERY COMFORTABLE': Mayor de Blasio blasé on 'legal and appropriate' fund-raising activity as aides subpoenaed (NYDN) * It’s Time for ‘Honest’ Bill de Blasio to Tell New York the Truth (Daily Beast)

Dep Mayor Shorris Aide's Email and Meeting On Desire to Sell Nursing Home to Developer in 2014 One of Many Warning to the Administration 

1. City knew former Rivington House owner wanted to removedeed restrictions: report (Real Deal)  VillageCare president discussed lifting restrictions with high-ranking de Blasio aide in 2014 Two years before the Allure Group sold the Rivington House to Slate Property Group and partners for $116 million in a scandal that’s embroiled City Hall, a high-ranking adviser in the de Blasio administration was aware that the previous owner was looking to have the property’s deed restrictions removed. In May 2014, a representative for the nonprofit healthcare provider VillageCare, which at the time owned the AIDS-care residence at 45 Rivington Street, sent an email to the first deputy mayor’s chief of staff requesting help removing restrictions that required the former city-owned building to be used as a nonprofit and for residential health care,

Politico reported. “I am writing to seek Mayor de Blasio’s assistance and support on changes VillageCare would like to make to its service delivery infrastructure,” VillageCare President Emma DeVito wrote to Dom Williams, chief of staff to First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris, according to emails obtained by Politico.  DeVito wrote that VillageCare wanted to sell the property and was told by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) that one restriction could be lifted in exchange for a $4.25 million fee to the city, while both could be removed for a fee of $8.25 million. “Both scenarios do not account for the millions of dollars we have invested in the property and will direct up to $8.25 million away from much-needed healthcare programming for the community,” she wrote. “The timing of these discussion are important to the completion of the sale and reinvestments.” VillageCare later sold the building for $28 million to the for-profit Allure Group, which paid the fee to have the restrictions removed and sold it earlier this year to Slate, which plans to build 100 luxury condos with Adam America and Vanke. DeVito asked to have a meeting with Williams to discuss an alternative to the fees in order to expand and maintain its health care services, but did not mention the site’s future use. 

2  Capalino "Our engagement with Village Care commenced on February 4, 2013 and ended on October 31, 2014 when Village Care terminated the agreement.  Capalino's T arget to Lobby According to His Contract With the Nursing Home: Citywide Administrative Services, Department of (DCAS), Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services (HRA), Citywide Administrative Services, Department of (DCAS)  ubject: Deed Restriction  3. In Jan 2016 A Letter Warning MayorBill de Blasio of Rivington House Conversion Risks(NYT) A local community board, in a January letter to Mr. de Blasio, raised alarm over the lifting of a deed restriction last year on Rivington House, a former AIDS hospice on the Lower East Side, warning that it could be resold as luxury apartments. Karen Hinton, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said Mr. de Blasio had never seen the letter and only learned that his administration had lifted the restrictions from news reports in late March, after the property had been sold to a developer.NYT MARCH 30, 2016 

4.  Councilwoman says she told City Hall of nursing home deal in December (PoliticoNY) City Councilwoman Margaret Chin said Wednesday that she alerted a City Hall staffer in December about the sale of a nursing home on Manhattan's Lower East Side to a luxury condo developer, the latest revelation in a case that is now under investigation by three government agencies. Chin described the staffer as a liaison to the Council who works in the mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, though she would not divulge the person's name. She said they talked when Chin learned the nursing home on Rivington Street was not filling beds and seemed to be preparing to empty out and eventually sell. Around the same time  5. Officials ignored warnings about nursing home closures: patients (NYP) City and state officials appear to have ignored all warnings that the Allure Group was out to shutter nursing homes. A resident of the Cabs Nursing Home on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn called the city’s long-term care ombudsman, Richard Danford, in a panic last summer. “They’re closing this place! They’re closing this place!” the caller said.

Progressives and Their Goo Goos Friends Attack LLCs Which Mostly Help GOP What About Party Committee Loop-Holes That Help the Dems?
Contributions to housekeeping accounts for both parties have hit record levels in recent years, according to a report, as de Blasio’s team is being investigated for allegedly using such accounts to subvert contribution limits, the Times Union reports:

Rangel Pulls Stringers to Move Seabrook to A Better Jail
Charles Rangel pulls strings for his disgraced politician pal (NYP) Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel helped win a prison transfer for a convicted pol famously accused of billing taxpayers $177 for a bagel and a soda, from a squalid Brooklyn jail to a “Club Fed”-style lockup. Now Larry Seabrook, a former state assemblyman, senator and city councilman from The Bronx, is enjoying a Big House experience free of all those pesky fences and bars — with a commissary that sells his favorite doughy food. Seabrook, 64, complained about being stuck at the “high security” Metropolitan Detention Center after he unsuccessfully appealed to get his conviction overturned. And while Rangel thought it was odd he wanted to move to a jail further from home — he happily decided to assist the disgraced Democrat. Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel helped win a prison transfer for convicted Assemblyman Larry Seabrook from a squalid Brooklyn jail to a minimum security prison in Pennsylvania

Silver and Stringer Future Jail House Lawyers
Perhaps former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos looks forward to a career as a jailhouse lawyer, as an Appellate Division unit has taken no action to disbar Skelos, despite his Dec. 11 extortion conviction, the Daily News writes:  * Sheldon Silver disbarred as corrupt pol awaits sentencing (NYDN) *  Lawyers for Dean Skelos claim he wasn’t always corrupt, shouldn’t have to pay big fine (NYDN)

Subpoenas Fly At City Hall: Wolfe, Berlin Rosen and Treasurer Offinger

Friday  Historians can’t find a New York City mayor who, along with his administration and inner circle, was the subject of as many simultaneous investigations as Mayor Bill de Blasio now faces, The New York Times writes inan explainer of the investigations: 

De Blasio staffers slapped with subpoenas as scandal deepens (NYP) A top aide to Mayor de Blasio, one of his key fund-raisers and a consulting firm that helped develop his winning campaign strategy have been slapped with subpoenas as part of the widening corruption scandal swirling around Hizzoner, according to a new report Wednesday.  Other political consultants and firms tied to the mayor also received subpoenas, but a spokeswoman declined to say if de Blasio was himself served with legal papers, according to the Wall Street Journal. The subpoenas demand records related to de Blasio’s failed fund-raising effort to help Democrats win control of the state Senate in 2014, which a state Board of Elections official has said involved “willful and flagrant” violations of campaign-finance laws, sources told the Journal.

The subpoenas also seek documents tied to de Blasio’s controversial non-profit, the Campaign for One New York, which he last month announced was being shut down in the wake of officials complaints from the good-government group Common Cause, which accused it of raising “dark money” and creating a “shadow government” in the Big Apple. Those who received subpoenas include Emma Wolfe, a former de Blasio campaign operative who now serves as his director of intergovernmental relations, and Ross Offinger, a campaign fund-raiser who was also treasurer of the Campaign for One New York. A subpoena was also served on the BerlinRosen political public-relations firm, which was co-founded by de Blasio adviser Jonathan Rosen. Some of the subpoenas bear the name of Manhattan prosecutor Tatiana Martins, who was part of the legal team that last year won the conviction of former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on corruption charges, according to The Journal * Mayor de Blasio’s political allies hit with subpoenas infund-raising probe (NYDN) Berlin Rosen, which is widely credited with helping de Blasio win the crowded 2013 mayor’s race, was co-founded by Jonathan Rosen, one of the mayor’s most trusted political advisers.* Some of de Blasio’s closest political allies, including Emma Wolfe, Ross Offinger and BerlinRosen, have received subpoenas as part of investigations into his fundraising, but the mayor has not been served, TheWall Street Journal reports:

The Wall Street Journal first reported the latest twist in the investigation. The subpoenas are seeking documents related to a questionable, and ultimately unsuccessful, fund-raising venture the mayor undertook in 2014 to sway upstate senate races in favor of Democrats. A spokeswoman for the mayor would not address the subpoenas. “We are not commenting on the details of the investigations,” de Blasio’s press secretary Karen Hinton told The News. “All involved followed the letter of the law and are cooperating fully with the investigations.” Sources said that it’s believed that there are other subpoenas that have been issued in the probe in addition to Wolfe, Rosen, and Offinger. De Blasio on Wednesday bypassed reporters waiting to grill him on the subpoenas at an LGBT event in Harlem where he received an award. He ducked out a side door. The law enforcement probe is reportedly also looking into the mayor’s Campaign for One New York, a recently disbanded fund-raising effort set up for his pet projects.* De Blasio’s Office Gets Subpoenas as Inquiries IntoFund-Raising Continue (NYT) The origin of the subpoenas and their targets suggested that officials were delving into the mayor’s efforts for State Senate Democrats in 2014.  The subpoenas suggest, however, that prosecutors are looking seriously at whether the fund-raising activities went over the line. In the case of the 2014 election, they are looking to see whether donations to candidates were funneled through county party committees to evade contribution limits, a violation of state law and a possible felony. A subpoena also went to BerlinRosen, a public affairs consulting firm that has provided political advice and press officers for Mr. de Blasio’s campaign efforts, according to one of the people familiar with the matter. Those efforts included the nonprofit Campaign for One New York, which the mayor created to advocate his agenda and which collected contributions from those with business before the city. Federal investigators are also looking at the nonprofit; several contributors also gave money to the Senate campaign.* De Blasio betrayedvoters with sketchy fundraising (NYP Ed) Rather than take responsibility for his actions, de Blasio called the Board of Elections statement a political “hit job.” The city doesn’t need this distraction — there are far too many important items to be addressed: jobs, education, housing, public safety. It’s crystal clear the people de Blasio was elected to serve are not going to get what they voted for.* The broad reach of subpoenas for those close to de Blasio clarifies that the promiscuous range of the mayor’s fundraising operation is under microscopic scrutiny, and he had better start preparing his defense, theDaily News writes: *   If de Blasio won't talk, his staff will (NYP) * De Blasio blasé on ‘legal and appropriate’ fundraising activity as top aides subpoenaed (NYDN) "Sincethere is an investigation, I can't go into any details,” he said, but added hefelt “fine” because all his activities were above board. “I’m very, verycomfortable,” he said. (NYDN) * At least five investigations involving Bill de Blasio have recently come to light. A recap: (NYT)

NYPD GiftGate: Banks Trips On Ponzi-Schemer NYPD FBI Gang Takedown
This top cop traveled to DR with ‘ponzi-scheming’ club owner (NYP) The “very, very high-ranking [NYPD] officer” who the feds say traveled to the Dominican Republic with an accused Ponzi-scheming club owner is former Chief of Department Philip Banks III, The Post has learned. Multiple sources on Wednesday confirmed that Banks was the police boss referenced during a bail hearing for Hamlet Peralta, who ran a Harlem eatery that served as a hangout for allegedly corrupt cops. Banks flew on a private plane from Teterboro Airport to the Caribbean nation for a golf trip and a stay at a waterfront condo with Peralta in November 2013, sources said. Also on the trip were Mayor de Blasio’s buddies Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, the source said. Sources also identified Deputy Chief David Colon as the high-ranking cop the feds say introduced Peralta to victims of the alleged $12 million Ponzi scheme. 

Gang Takedown More than 100 gang members arrested in largest takedown in NYC history (NYP)* THAT'S A RAP! Bloods-linked members charged with running $414G identity-theft ring, using stolen cards to shop at pricey stores — one suspect rapped about crimes (NYDN) * FACES OF THE ARRESTED: See the Bronx gang members busted in police raids across the borough — SEE THE PHOTOS (NYDN) * NYPD goes gangbusters (NYDN Ed)* With anti-cop hysteria unabated in some quarters, the historic mass takedown of two criminal gangs is a reminder that the NYPD gets the job done and New York’s streets — safe as they already are — just got a whole lot safer, the Postwrites:  * Biggest Gang Bustin NYC History, New Blizzard Record and More (NYO)

Skelos Lawyer Says He Was Only 12% Corrupt  88% Pure
Lawyers for Dean Skelos claim he wasn’t always corrupt, shouldn’t have to pay big fine (NYDN) Ex-Sen Maj Ldr Skelos' attorneys argue only 12% of his career was tainted by corruption, so fine shouldn't be big * Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said that prosecutors’ push for a $500,000 fine to strip the benefits of his public pension at his upcoming sentencing on corruption charges was “unprecedented and unwarranted,” Newsday reports: 

Judge Tell Halloran Your Going to Get Lock Up  
Pagan ‘prince’ politician won’t have his prison term tossed (NYP) Disgraced ex-City Councilman Dan Halloran just lost his bid to get his 10-year prison sentence tossed. And the New York federal-appeals court didn’t just deny the disgraced Queens pol’s appeal — it smacked him down in the process. Halloran was one of several politicians busted in a $200,000 bribery scheme to rig the 2013 mayoral election. At trial, he tried to claim insanity as a defense. “We conclude that there was sufficient evidence” to convict Halloran, the court ruled. “We have considered all of Halloran’s remaining arguments, and find them without merit.” Halloran also holds the title of “prince” in a pagan order that includes public floggings.

Baning Carriage Horse Efforts Good for the Campaign for One NY Fund Raising Efforts
Documents Shed Light on How de Blasio Administration Angled to End Horse Carriage Industry (NY1) The mayor's bid to ban drawn horse carriages is being probed by law enforcement. Now, new documents NY1 obtained under the Freedom of Information Law are shedding light on how the administration angled to end the industry. Supporters of the proposed ban cast it as a moral mission for the animals, not real estate. However,  a presentation from the anti-carriage group NYCLASS argues if electric cars replace carriage horses, the "business structure would generate higher revenues for both owners and the city." Emails also show the executive director of NYCLASS emailed top de Blasio officials, trying to influence legislation. Around this time, the mayor and his group Campaign for One New York received tens of thousands of dollars from those aiming to ban carriages. NYCLASS now says it didn't want to buy the stables, but rather didn't want stable owners or drivers to lose money. City Hall adds, "Mayor de Blasio's commitment to removing horse carriages from city streets is well-documented, far predating the start of this administration." NY1 didn't get clarity on everything. Several pages have information blacked out.

Hey Blaz NYT Was FDR Appointing the Seabury Commission To Go After Corrupt Mayor Walker Political?
Bill de Blasio reapswhat he sows with fundraising probe (NYDN) So much for Mayor de Blasio’s short-lived attempt to cast an investigation into his fundraising operations as a political witchhunt by an overzealous prober connected to Gov. Cuomo. Subpoenas issued by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance make clear that the mayor is in hot water of his own boiling — regardless of whether criminal charges are forthcoming. The subpoenas seek records connected to both the mayoral favor-currying fund the Campaign for One New York and also to de Blasio’s 2014 scheme to engineer a Democratic takeover of the Republican-controlled state Senate. Remember when de Blasio dismissed a state Board of Elections criminal referral as mere political vendetta, all the way back on Monday? When he said, parroting an obtuse memo by his lawyer, that the board has no clue about the election law it enforces? Safe to say that the feds on the beat, and Vance, harbor no bias against de Blasio nor are ignorant of criminal statutes. The broad reach of their subpoenas clarifies that the promiscuous range of the mayor’s fundraising operation is under microscopic scrutiny, no part separable from the others. De Blasio had better stop pointing fingers, and start preparing his defense.

The FBI Investigations Makes de Blasio More Like Jimmy Walker That Laguardia He Like to Compare Himself too
The Spin de Blasio Laguardia "In 1934, “thegreatest mayor we ever had, Fiorello LaGuardia,” created the New York City Housing Authority, de Blasio said. LaGuardia “believed that something bold and ambitious and transcendent had to happen to protect the interests of working New Yorkers,” said the mayor, and his administration is, “humbly, humbly presenting Next Generation NYCHA in that same spirit.” 

The Real de Blasio is Jimmy Walker  Increasing corruption within his administration, forced Walker to testify before the investigative committee of Judge Samuel Seabury, the Seabury Commission (also known as the Hofstadter Committee). Walker caused his own downfall by accepting large sums of money from businessmen looking for municipal contracts. Facing pressure from Governor Roosevelt, Walker eluded questions about his personal bank accounts, stating instead that the money he received were “beneficences” and not bribes.  He delayed any personal appearances until after Roosevelt’s nomination for President of the U.S. was secured. It was at that time that the embattled mayor could fight no longer. Months from his national election, Roosevelt decided that he must remove Walker from office. Walker agreed and resigned on September 1, 1932, and went on a grand tour of Europe with Betty Compton, his Ziegfeld girl. *  Cuomo screws w/ de Blasio because he can't screw w/ Bharara- 

We Did Not Know Our Law Department Was Pushing For Toxic School Dep Mayor Shorris
Dep Mayor Shorris We are Just Incompetent Not Trying to Kill Kids With Toxins
Deputy mayor sayscity’s lawyers backed nursing home deal, not de Blasio (NYDN) The city’s lawyers jumped to defend the developer of an Upper West Side nursing home in court independently from City Hall — and not because of the mayor’s ties to the law firm of the controversial project, officials said Wednesday. First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris, the number two official at City Hall, said the mayor’s office was completely unaware that the law department was filing papers to support the developer of Jewish Home Lifecare in its bid to construct a 20-story nursing home on W. 97th St. The nursing home — which is being sued by parents who claim the construction will harm kids in neighboring P.S. 163 — is repped by Kramer Levin, the law firm where Mayor de Blasio’s lawyer Barry Berke is a partner. Berke is defending de Blasio in the federal investigation into his fund-raising. Although Kramer Levin reps the nursing home, it is also represented in court by Greenberg Traurig, and that’s who the city lawyers dealt with, he said. Shorris said at the same time, City Hall staffers were trying to broker a deal between the students’ parents and the developers. The de Blasio administration’s decision to wade into the fraught battle over the nursing home construction outraged many community members, who had been hoping City Hall would help stop the construction. Critics say the construction will severely impact the quality of life for the students, many of whom come from low-income families. City Councilman Mark Levine, an Upper West Side Democrat who is fighting the construction, has sponsored a bill that would limit noise impact from construction on students in classrooms. Shorris said he understands why some would question City Hall’s ties to the law firm, but insisted it was handled appropriately. The idea that “every single decision ever made in government is based on some kind of quid pro quo is equally wrong and equally slanderous to a lot of people trying to do good work,” he said.* First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris said the mayor’s office was unaware that the law department was filing papers to support the developer of a controversial 20-story nursing home on the Upper West Side, the Daily News reports:
Deputy mayor says city backed nursing home deal, not de Blasio  - NYC trying very hard to become Casablanca.

Blaz Chose Cronies Over Kids
Mayor de Blasiobacks law firm in fight over lead-tainted project near Upper West Side school(NYDN) The moms and dads of P.S. 163 were shocked when Mayor de Blasio recently sided with a developer who wants to dig up a lead-tainted parking lot next to their Upper West Side elementary school. Then they learned that the owner of the toxic lot and the developer who wants to put a 20-story nursing home there were represented by Kramer Levin, the same law firm that’s now representing the mayor in a growing federal probe over possible campaign financing violations. In fact, a Kramer Levin partner, Barry Berke, tasked with helping de Blasio fend off Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is also one of de Blasio’s former campaign treasurers. And Kramer Levin has regularly lobbied the Office of the Mayor and many city agencies on behalf of builders seeking favors from the de Blasio administration since the mayor took office in 2014. In a way, some parents reasoned, de Blasio siding with Kramer Levin against parents worrying about lead dust wasn’t such a big surprise. "I thought it was a pretty cynical moment,” said parent Avery Brandon, who decided to pull her 8-year-old daughter Skyler out of P.S. 163 after deciding the fight to stop the development was a lost cause. She now attends P.S. 166 blocks away. “It made me feel really bad about voting for the mayor,” she said. “He was my candidate. One of the things I was looking forward to with de Blasio versus Bloomberg was that he wasn't pro-developer. It turns out he's pro-developer.” On Tuesday, de Blasio’s press secretary, Karen Hinton, defended the “friend of the court” brief filed March 22 that sided with the developers. "The city filed its brief solely to vindicate an important legal principle affecting how courts evaluate potential environmental impacts and was not intended to support the specific construction project at issue in this case. We take the concerns of the parents and community very seriously," she said. She declined to say whether anyone from the mayor’s office discussed the brief before the law department filed it. That puts the mayor in an unusual position: going to bat for the big client of a law firm that he desperately needs to get him out of a tight spot. The Kramer Levin/de Blasio relationship goes back to his 2013 mayoral run when the firm collected 60 checks totaling $32,975 for him. In January 2014, Berke became de Blasio’s campaign treasurer. de Blasio Fund Raising By Berke The mayor said last week that he had hired criminal lawyer Barry Berke to represent his campaign during the investigation. Berke was also a major fundraiser for de Blasio, hosting or co-hosting at least six events between Dec. 13, 2010, and October 2013. Four of the events were at Berke's West Village home. He also co-hosted an Oct. 22, 2013, fundraiser at the office of white-shoe law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Wire” actress Amy Ryan made a guest appearance.
De Blasio backs law firm in fight over tainted land near school  WHEN DOES IT STOP

Hey @MonaDavids good thing @NYGovCuomo signed on as the "lobbyist" for schoolchildren. PS 163 needs 800lbs gorilla.

NUTS Daily News Lets Blagojevich Consultant and Uber Lobbyist Game de Blasio Investigation   
 Bradley Tusk, who served as campaign manager for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, games out in the Daily News the different political possibilities amid the investigations into the de Blasio administration, in order from most to least likely: 

de Blasio Campaign Fund Raiser Get Jobs and Appointments  
De Blasio Gave PlumAdministration Jobs to Nearly Two Dozen Fundraisers(DNAINFO) At least three agency commissioners hosted campaign events for the mayor, including Mark Peters, the head of the Department of Investigation who recently recused himself from a federal pay-to-play probe of the mayor’s fundraising practices. Peters, who served as treasurer of de Blasio’s 2013 campaign, either hosted or co-hosted at least seven events dating back to Nov. 9, 2010, records show. Two of the events were parties in Peters' Park Slope apartment. Peters, a former assistant state attorney general, also held two fundraisers at his Midtown law office Jan. 5, 2012 and Jan. 10, 2013. Feniosky Pena-Mora, an ousted Columbia University dean with strong ties to Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, also hosted a fundraiser at his Morningside Heights home Oct. 7, 2013. Mayor de Blasio appointed him the city Department of Design and Construction commissioner in April 2014 with an annual salary of $199,000. Julie Menin — whom de Blasio picked as his Department of Consumer Affairs commissioner and more recently as the city’s film czar — co-hosted a fundraiser with lawyer Richard Emery on Oct. 23, 2013, at the $15 million West Village home of banker Ciaran O’Kelly. De Blasio later chose Emery to chair the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Almost 40,000 a-Ballots in Brooklyn 121,056 City Widewide

Friday Update Manhattan lawyer Mark Warren Moody, in a class action suit, wants the current voter eligibility regulations for primaries tossed out after he lost a chance to pull the lever in New York's April 19 presidential primary, the Daily News writes:

BOE boss finally apologizes for 126,000vanished voters (NYP) The head of the city’s Board of Elections issued an apology Tuesday for the mysterious purge of 126,000 voters from the rolls that wreaked havoc on last week’s presidential primaries. “I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the public for any actions that might have been taken by our staff that may have caused any amount of the public trust in New York City to erode,” executive director Michael Ryan told a crowd of nearly 100 who packed the board’s weekly meeting. That was a reversal from his position last week, when he told Fox 5’s “Good Day New York” he was “proud” of his staff. Ryan claimed his remarks were taken out of context and that he was specifically praising workers for tallying the results in an “unprecedented” short time. There were 121,056 affidavit tallies citywide, 37,214 of which were in Brooklyn. Board commissioners later ratified Ryan’s recent suspension without pay of Republican Diane Haslett-Rudiano as chief clerk of the Brooklyn office. When asked why the Brooklyn office’s deputy clerk, Democrat Betty Ann Canizio-Aqil, wasn’t disciplined, considering most of the purged voters were Democrats, Ryan said, “Perhaps when more information becomes available to the commissioners, they’ll take appropriate action.” * There was no purge at the Board of Election of those responsible for purging 125,000 eligible voters, the Daily News writes, because it’s a patronage fiefdom dedicated to protecting nincompoops who have the right political connections:* Class-action suit takes on New York’s closed primaries (NYP)

Kellner Who Supported Sending de Blasio's Campaign Contributions to the Prosecutors Turns Against Ms. Sugarman to Protect the Mayor 
Douglas Kellner, one of the board’s four commissioners, said on Sunday that he could not comment on or acknowledge investigations or criminal referrals. But he agreed with some of Mr. Laufer’s concerns about the impact of the leak and about “how prejudicial the public comments have been” in its wake. Mr. Kellner, a Democrat, added that he and other commissioners had consistently criticized Ms. Sugarman for “what appears to be arbitrary selection of those who she determines to investigate.” “We have repeatedly expressed concerns that the independent enforcement counsel has not explained how she chooses which investigations to pursue,” he said. Ms. Sugarman has denied any influence from Mr. Cuomo — who nominated her to the board post and had previously employed her during his time as attorney general — or any other entity.-NYT

To Team de Blasio the Election Law is Full of Loop-Holes to Be Used to Make Pay to Plan Money and Gain Power 
Bill de Blasio’s blatant campaign-finance hypocrisy (NYP ED) Mayor de Blasio certainly has mastered the art of speaking from both sides of his mouth. On the one side, he calls for “major reforms” in elections regarding polling sites and voter registration, pretending to defend the sanctity of New York’s elections. On the other, he defends skirting spending limits that are the subject of US attorney, Manhattan DA and FBI investigations. This funneling of funds through the various committees was done “in order to evade contribution limits and to disguise the true names of the contributors.” More than a decade ago, as a city councilman, de Blasio pushed for reforms to the city’s election laws regarding unions. He wanted the Campaign Finance Board to treat each union affiliate as a separate entity, so that each could contribute nearly $5,000, instead of having the contribution limit apply to the entire umbrella union. As The Post reported, “that piece of legislation allowed UNITE HERE — a union formerly run by the mayor’s cousin John Wilhelm — to pump more than $77,000 into de Blasio’s 2013 mayoral campaign from chapters as far away as Honolulu.” Now the same “downtrodden” unions are embroiled in de Blasio’s new scandal. As the BOE report explained, “The evidence indicates that de Blasio established a structure, both within and outside of City Hall, and entered into an agreement with powerful unions — New York Hotel Trades Council and United Federation of Teachers . . . to raise and spend money to influence state Senate races.” All three races received significant contributions from unions via straw donors, and received staffing support from unions. In fact, “the entire fundraising and campaign operation was run from City Hall by de Blasio staff in coordination with unions.”  A snippet of the transactions the BOE examined for one of the straw-donor committees reveals contributions totaling over $375,000 from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, United Healthcare Workers East (1199SEIU), New York State Nurses Association, Communications Workers of America and 32BJ United American Dream Fund (32BJSEIU). This recent scandal also comes on the heels of significant blows to the state Democratic Party. Just last year, former Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was convicted of taking millions in bribes for his unwavering support for real-estate tax subsidies.(Republicans look bad, too: former GOP Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was indicted around the same time.) It was only a few months ago that Bharara announced Cuomo wouldn’t be charged for disbanding his own corruption investigation commission — the commission whose work led to Silver’s and Skelos’ indictments. De Blasio attempts to sound the reformer from the left side of his mouth; he attempts to defend his illegal campaign-finance practices from the right side. What comes out is hypocritical gobbledygook. There’s no doubt New York needs election-law changes. The campaign-finance rules unfairly benefit those in power — especially when they apply two standards for two-faced politicians like de Blasio. * De Blasio offers $20M if Board of Elections fixes its problems (NYDN)

de Blasio Blames Everyone But Himself 
Bill de Blasio again blames everyone but his own bungling hires (NYP Ed) Corruption or just incompetence? It’s too soon to say just what explains Team de Blasio’s OK of the Rivington House flip that allowed a developer to close a nursing home and score a $72 million profit. The only thing that’s perfectly clear is City Hall isn’t coming clean. On Monday, Mayor de Blasio said he doesn’t “think” a Post exposé on the affair is “accurate.” He cited no specifics — lucky for him, since on Tuesday both Politico and The Wall Street Journal confirmed key elements of The Post’s story. What we do know is that City Hall was aware of the problem — and tried to fix it — before the news broke.  And we know city managers at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, or DCAS, agreed to lift the deed restriction that preserved the nursing home — for a mere $16.1 million fee. More: They went ahead even after The Allure Group repeatedly warned that so high a fee would leave it unable to keep the health-care facility going.  Yet the mayor now insists Allure “lied” about its intentions. It seems City Hall awoke to the problem after the mayor moved Stacey Cumberbatch out as head of DCAS in January, apparently having realized she wasn’t up to the job. In February, James Patchett — chief of staff to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen — suddenly started trying to undo the Rivington House deal. Too late: Allure had already sold. The mayor insists he heard nothing about it until the Journal broke the story in March. If so, his subordinates must fear to send bad news up the line — another big management problem. Yet the mayor’s pointing fingers at The Post and at Allure’s “lies” — and not at the bungling by people he himself hired. Will de Blasio ever admit anything is his own fault?

Team de Blasio Says Cuomo Aide Knew About the Laundering $$$
Cuomo aide was aware of investigated Senate fundraising arrangement (PoliticoNY) A former top aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo was included on a July 2014 memo that outlined a coordinated fundraising effort to help Democratic candidates for the state Senate, and on subsequent email updates about that effort, according to sources who have seen those documents. The coordinated campaign — spearheaded by Mayor Bill de Blasio and his allies — is now the subject of a criminal inquiry, following a referral by Risa Sugarman, the chief enforcement counsel at the New York State Board of Elections, who was appointed by Cuomo. The July 2014 memo, written by campaign lawyer Laurence Laufer, who was retained to represent some of the parties involved in the effort, detailed how the coordinated campaign would be structured and run, and how it intended to comply with existing state election law. The recipients of the memo included Joe Percoco, a longtime Cuomo loyalist who served as a top aide to the governor until last year, and the state Democratic Party Committee, which is effectively controlled by the governor.* A former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo was included in memos that outlined a coordinated fundraising effort to help Democratic candidates for the state Senate, now the subject of a criminal inquiry with de Blasio at the center, Politico New York reports:

To de Blasio's the Budget is A Distraction 
$82.2B budget, warns of financial threats (NYDN) * De Blasio’s budget boosts Beacon center services in city schools (NYDN) * De Blasio’s $82.2 billion executive budget focused on savings extracted from city agencies, and a few new programs addressing recent problems like snarled snowplows and voting woes in the presidential primary, The New York Timesreports:  * De Blasio said he would earmark additional money for the city’s third water tunnel to ensure that clean drinking water could be delivered within 48 hours of an emergency shutdown of City Water Tunnel No. 2, the Times reports:  * De Blasio unveiled his $82.2 billion executive budget with a presentation focused on savings extracted from city agencies, and a few new programs intended to address problems that arose over the past year, from snarled snowplows in Queens to voting woes in the presidential primary last week. * De Blasio’s budget increases spending on the troubled public-health system and other initiatives while adding to reserves in what he said was an increasingly uncertain economy. * The mayor said that he would earmark additional money for New York City’s third water tunnel to ensure that clean drinking water could be delivered to Brooklyn and Queens within 48 hours of an emergency shutdown of City Water Tunnel No. 2.

de Blasio and the NYT's Play Dumb Blame Politics Like Nixon Did During Watergate

de Blasio's Media Bodyguard NYT Silent During Biggest Scandal Since Manus and Friedman
Report on de Blasio Election Spending Is Full of Details and Holes (NYT) Risa Sugarman accuses Mayor Bill de Blasio’s team of flagrant violations with regard to gifts to county Democratic committees but ignores gifts to the state committee.

Rattled de Blasio plays dumb on scandals, walks out on reporters (NYP) A rattled Mayor de Blasio abruptly cut short a press conference Monday after he struggled with questions about the snowballing scandals threatening his administration. Hizzoner insisted his staff did not break fund-raising laws and whined that he was a victim of politics — before dodging questions and scampering away from reporters after an event in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. “It’s outrageous,” the mayor said of allegations his team violated campaign-finance laws. “And again, I don’t know what’s motivating it.” De Blasio was speaking a day after his lawyer blasted the leak of a government document that alleged criminality in the mayor’s fund-raising efforts. The report was penned by Gov. Cuomo ally and state Board of Elections counsel Risa Sugarman, who said there were “willful and flagrant” violations of campaign-finance laws by the mayor and his political team. De Blasio’s lawyer Laurence Laufer said the leak was a political attack, — but stopped short of saying who was behind it. “I think he raised real concerns about whether that was the case,” de Blasio said, although he ducked when asked if he thought Cuomo was behind the leak. The mayor then seemed to contradict himself when addressing a Post report that his administration knew about a real-estate deal on the Lower East Side side that turned into a windfall investment for one of his backers. “I don’t have any reason to believe that is accurate,” he said. “But again, a full investigation is going on, and when we see the whole total, then we’ll speak to it.” * De Blasio, Denying Misdeeds Again, Says Claims May Be Drivenby Politics (NYT)

If You Want to Know What is In the Daily News Days Before They Write It
 The Daily News writes that de Blasio’s claim that he is a victim of a politically motivated attack in the federal probe into his campaign funds – instead of just dealing with the problem head on – is an insult to New Yorkers * The Post writes that de Blasio’s assertions that he isbeing targeted by political enemies are the ultimate cop-out and sound like the defense put forth by former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is awaiting sentencing for his public corruption conviction * The Post’s Bob McManus writes that since the early days in office, de Blasio and his team have proven time and again that they can’t handle the high-pressure world of New York politics:*  As the political upheaval from several investigations into possible wrongdoing swirled around him, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to focus on his policy agenda.

Team de Blasio Kaminsky Just Can't Stop Laudering Money to State Committees 
Note: the Investigative Work On this Story Was Done By Bragg at the Times Union
In Senate battle, de Blasio fundraiser raised untraceable$50K (Chris Bragg, Times Union) Democrats benefit from untraceable donation in race for Skelos' old seat  Days before the April 19 special election on Long Island to replace ex-Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos, de Blasio's chief fundraiser procured a publicly untraceable $50,000 donation to a local political party that was backing Democratic Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky *  De Blasio tied to ‘untraceable’ $50K for Kaminsky campaign (NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s top money man funneled $50,000 of “publicly untraceable” campaign cash to help a Long Island Democrat win a crucial race for the state Senate, according to a report Monday night.  Ross Offinger, de Blasio’s campaign finance director and treasurer of his now-shut advocacy group Campaign for One New York, was behind the windfall, which he donated through a shadowy Delaware corporation, according to the Albany Times-Union.  Mayor de Blasio’s top money man funneled $50,000 of “publicly untraceable” campaign cash to help a Long Island Democrat win a crucial race for the state Senate, according to a report Monday night. Offinger, already under scrutiny for fund-raising activities involving de Blasio, sent the money to the Nassau County Democratic Committee, which was backing Todd Kaminsky, the Times Union said. Kaminsky edged out Republican Chris McGrath by 780 votes in the April 19 special election to fill the seat formerly held by convicted Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. The funds were wired to the committee’s account by a Delaware company named A&J Contracting, the paper said, so there was no check signature or paper trail. That company, however, has no phone number or Web site. It also had not made a donation to a political party or candidate before the $50,000 gift. A spokesman for the Nassau Democratic Party confirmed to the Times-Union that the money was actually raised by Offinger.  It was not clear how Offinger — who was paid $14,000 by the Nassau Democrats for fund-raising — garnered the money. “I really don’t have a comment on specific donors, but I’m proud of the work we did in Nassau County,” Offinger told the paper.  Offinger is currently being probed by US Attorney Preet Bharara in a widening investigation into campaign financing. De Blasio, meanwhile, is being investigated along with his top aides for “willful andflagrant” violations of campaign-finance law. It has been alleged that the mayor steered $1 million in union and corporate donations to three upstate Democrats running for state Senate seats in 2014.* The probe into de Blasio’s fundraising efforts for state Senate Democrats could make an already unpopular mayor even more toxic in Albany and doom many items critically important to the city, the Daily News writes:  * Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan found himself defending his performance in the state’s budget negotiations after the Republicans’ push to retain the seat vacated by former Majority Leader Dean Skelos fell short, Politico New York reports:  *   If Todd Kaminsky is looking for a place to start cleaning up Albany, he need look no further than his own backyard, where he received $50,000 from a seemingly-anonymous donor for his state Senate campaign, the Times Union writes:

While the CFB and Conflict of Interests Board Were Investigating the Advance Group for Illegal Campaign Work (NYCLASS) The Firms Lobbyists Client Got A Play to Play Deal From de Blasio and Nislick Almost Got His Westside Horse Barns
Firm lobbying for permits donated $68K tode Blasio (NYP) A top exec at an “incubator” office-space firm bundled the largest contribution to Mayor de Blasio’s re-election bid from her bosses and others — while the company was lobbying the city over a Financial District conversion project, The Post has learned. De Blasio took in $68,750 collected by Arana Hankin, senior vice president of WeWork, which is adding residences to a building at 110 Wall St., where it rents communal and private offices, records show. The campaign cash that Hankin handed over to the mayor’s campaign Jan. 11 included the maximum $4,950 each from WeWork co-founders Adam Neumann and Miquel McKelvey, and both of their wives. Meanwhile, WeWork spent $150,000 lobbying the de Blasio administration between April 2015 and February 2016, records show.  Scott Levenson of the Advance Group said he was paid $100,000 by WeWork to lobby officials over 110 Wall St., where permits were issued in July to begin turning it into a mixed-use space. In addition to WeWork, Levenson’s clients have included the NYCLASS anti-carriage horse group, which last week was slapped with subpoenas by both the feds and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as part of the ever-widening corruption scandal swirling around de Blasio. The 27-story building at 110 Wall St. is owned by Rudin Management, whose chief executive, Bill Rudin, is No. 5 on the list of de Blasio’s big-money bundlers, having collected $25,150 for the mayor’s planned 2017 re-election campaign.*  A top executive at an office-space firm bundled the largest contribution to de Blasio’s re-election bid from her bosses and others while the company was lobbying the city over a Financial District conversion project

Before Bharara Move Daily News Covered Up de Blasio's CFB Conflict of Ethics Board Cover Up of His Illegal PAC Activity 
The Daily News Which Investigated the Advance Group Ducks Comment the CFB AG Parking Ticket Fine 
In 2014 the Daily News repored that the FBI was investigating donations to NYCLASS from men closeto Mayor de Blasio that may have been used toward anti-Christine Quinncampaigners    On May 21, lawyer Jay Eisenhofer gave $50,000 to NYCLASS, the animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. Ten days later, on May 31, NYCLASS gave an equal amount — $50,000, to the anti-Quinn group. On June 1, NYCLASS received another large donation, this time for $175,000. It came from UNITE HERE! — a labor union headed by John Wilhelm. Two days after that, on June 3, NYCLASS sent the same amount, $175,000, to the anti-Quinn campaign. The issue? Both Wilhelm and Eisenhofer have long-standing ties to Bill de Blasio, one of Quinn’s Democratic rivals in the mayoral campaign. Wilhelm is de Blasio’s cousin — and a prolific fund-raiser for him. Wilhelm raised $6,950 for de Blasio’s 2009 race for public advocate and $80,000 for de Blasio’s successful campaign for mayor. * EXCLUSIVE: FBI investigating claim Christine Quinn was threatened for refusing to support carriage horse ban during the mayoral race (NYDN) *Consulting firm head hired by de Blasio for Central Parkcarriage industry review was early supporter of NYCLASS (NYDN)

Since 2009 the Media had Ignored Team de Blasio Laundering Campaign Funds Inside City Hall
City Hall backed campaigns with series of checks to ‘dodge’ limits (NYP) Bill de Blasio and his team brazenly ran political campaigns straight out of City Hall, according to state investigators. The big-money donors would cut six-digit checks to county Democratic committees, which would then send the money to the campaigns, thus circumventing legal caps on contributions. “The entire fund-raising and campaign operation was run from City Hall by de Blasio staff,” read the stunning findings by Risa Sugarman, chief enforcement counsel for the state Board of Elections. The blockbuster memo recommended the case be prosecuted by the Manhattan district attorney but did not single out who should be charged. A rep for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. declined to comment on Saturday. While Sugarman’s memo focused on the evasion of contribution limits, it also raised the shocking spectre of violations of city conflict-of-interest laws, which prohibit public servants from helping political candidates while working on the taxpayer dime or on city equipment. “I don’t ever recall reading or hearing about anything like that — someone saying the mayor of New York raising campaign funds right out of City Hall,” said veteran New York political consultant and former Ed Koch aide Jerry Skurnik.

“This would be a first in my memory.” Back in 2014, Igor Oberman — a former counsel at New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission — was fined $7,500 for using his TLC office and phone to run his City Council campaign. State probers noted that de Blasio’s legislative director, Emma Wolfe, orchestrated an Aug. 25, 2014, meeting with state Senate candidate Justin Wagner and UFT boss Michael Mulgrew about Wagner’s campaign.

How de Blasio Grew His Pay to Play Machine from ACORN Data and Field
De Blasio on Defense (City Journal) The Gotham mayor’s tangled web of money, power, and influence could finally be unraveling. The Working Families Party was a late-nineties creation of labor unions and the now-defunct Acorn (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.) Taking advantage of New York’s fusion-voting system that allows candidates to run on multiple ballot lines, the WFP gained traction in the 2000s by endorsing liberal “up-ballot” Democrats, and then encouraging people to vote the WFP line in order to maintain ballot position. Its goal, even then, was to wrest the state senate from Republicans’ decades-long control. The WFP leveraged its expertise in door-to-door campaigning to develop a superb political field operation that excelled at identifying likely voters and turning them out on Election Day. Funded heavily by public-sector labor unions such as DC 37 (municipal workers), the UFT (teachers), and SEIU 1199 (hospital workers), the WFP has become a major force in New York politics. It now has branches in New JerseyConnecticut, and other states. In 2008, after Democrats briefly took control of the state senate, the WFP decided to spin off its field and electoral operations into a subsidiary, Data and Field Services (DFS), which could hire itself out on a for-profit basis to WFP-backed campaigns. DFS’s actual purpose seems to have been the reallocation of resources and personnel among the WFP’s candidates, and to enable coordination between campaigns—all of which is illegal, according to New York City’s campaign-finance laws. De Blasio’s involvement with the WFP and Acorn is longstanding. “Without exaggeration, Acorn’s long-range plan since 2001 was to elect de Blasio mayor,” an anonymous Democrat told the New York Post in 2013. In 2006, then-city councilman de Blasio hired himself out for $33,000 to a group called “Progressive America Foundation” for some obscure lobbying services. The foundation operated out of the WFP’s offices. And, in 2009, de Blasio was DFS’s biggest client, paying the organization nearly $200,000 during his run for public advocate. Even as the WFP expanded its reach, operatives from Acorn and the New York state senate Democratic political organization went into business for themselves. Acorn veterans Jonathan Rosen and Valerie Berlin—chief of staff to then-state senator, now-attorney general Eric Schneiderman—formed consulting firm BerlinRosen. Doug Forand, Marc Lapidus, and Nathan Smith, the senate Democrats’ brain trust, formed Red Horse Strategies. These firms have prospered richly under the WFP/de Blasio ascendancy, together booking more than $6 million in consulting fees for the 2013 municipal elections alone. But these outfits don’t limit themselves to helping politicians get elected: they also serve as consultants to labor unions, real-estate development corporations, and issue-based organizations—all seeking access to the halls of power. Neither BerlinRosen nor Red Horse is obligated to disclose the fees it collects, since neither calls itself a “lobbyist.” De Blasio reportedly spends hours per day talking to Rosen, who was also Sheldon Silver’s longtime adviser. Both claim that they never mix business with politics. Four out of the city’s five district attorneys, as well as the state attorney general, are clients of these same consulting firms, so it is no surprise that this web of interconnections has become a federal matter. Consultants have turned New York’s political system inside out. They control the flow of money from their private clients to candidates who are forced to hire them, with the mayor’s office allegedly acting as a go-between. The mayor’s spokesperson insists that the “letter of the law” has been observed. Such legalistic language will be cold comfort to New Yorkers who expect the mayor to aspire to more than staying just inside the border of criminality—assuming he has done so.

Flashback: Mayor's Top Aide Emma Wolfe Continues to Stonewall Data and Field Investigators 
Two Charged in Campaign Finance Case(WSJ) De Blasio Aide Backs Out of Speaking With Special Prosecutor. Emma Wolfe, director of intergovernmental affairs in the de Blasio administration, was tentatively scheduled to speak with the special prosecutor on the case, Robert Bennet Adler, next week, the person said.  Emma Wolfe, director of intergovernmental affairs in the de Blasio administration, was tentatively scheduled to speak with the special prosecutor on the case, Robert Bennet Adler, next week, the person said. But in recent days, Ms. Wolfe’s attorney informed Mr. Adler’s office that she wouldn’t voluntarily speak with the prosecutor, the person said. The session was to be part of an agreement in which Ms. Wolfe would speak to the special prosecutor with the assurance that the information couldn’t be used against her, the person said. 

Ms. Wolfe declined to comment through a representative. In an interview, Mr. Adler accused the defendants in the case of “gaming” the city’s campaign-finance system in which small political donations from private individuals are matched with public funds. Ms. Wolfe, who hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing, isn’t the only member of the de Blasio administration connected to the case. Camille Rivera, a deputy commissioner in the city’s Department of Homeless Services, provided information as part of the investigation, the person familiar with the matter said. An attorney for Ms. Rivera declined to comment. Mr. Adler declined to discuss Ms. Wolfe’s and Ms. Rivera’s role in the investigation, but he did say the probe didn’t involve any alleged impropriety related to Ms. Wolfe’s or Ms. Rivera’s work since they joined the de Blasio administration this year. Ms. Wolfe was a key player in Mr. de Blasio’s 2009 campaign for public advocate and served as his chief of staff when he was in that position. She previously worked as an organizing and field director for the Working Families Party. Ms. Rivera, a longtime labor operative of Mr. de Blasio, previously worked for UnitedNY, an advocacy group.

The Interlocking-Directorates Between de Blasio's Lawyer Kanter Davidoff and Wolfe

  1. de Blasio’s Law Firm Kantor Davidoff Wolfe lawyer Laufer, Lawrence is attacking the NYS Board of Election Chief Enforcement Officer Risa Sugarman allegations of a “willful and flagrant” effort to circumvent campaign contribution limits by Team de Blasio. 
  2. Election lawyer Lawrence Mandelker works for the mayor;s Campaign for One NY PAC 
  3. Mandelker works for the mayor campaign committee
  4. Kantor Davidoff Wolfe Lobbyists for Dozens of Clients That Need Government Favors From Mayor de Blasio
  5. Mandelker represented the Advance Group on its Illegal work in the race that made Mark-Viverito the council speaker before the CFB and Conflict Boards that the Mayor controls
6        Mandelker was about to get a penny fine by both the CFB and Conflict of Interest Group for Advance’s Illegal Consultant Work to Make Melissa Mark-Viverito Council Speaker
7        de Blasio’s lawyer Mandelker Represented Advance Group before the CFB and Conflict of Interested Board that de Blasio Controls
8        Mandelker Represents the WFP that supported de Blasio Data and Field legal problems
9        (10) de Blasio picks have the members of the CFB and Conflict of Interests Boards and Got the Mark-Viverito elected as Council Speaker who controls the other half of the picks
11. The Advance Group worked with Bertha Lewis one of the founders of the WFP When Data and Fields which supported de Blasio for Public Advocate was created.  A newspaper report at the time stated there were few walls between ACORN and the WFP and Data and Fields

de Blasio Lied About What He Knew About he Sale of the Nursing Home, Schneiderman Says He Was Misled 
"On Sunday, The Post’s Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein caught Mayor de Blasio himself in a lie. When news of the rancid Rivington nursing-home real-estate flip broke in March, the mayor claimed he’d learned of it from the press. But The Post has evidence that Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen’s chief of staff, James Patchett, in fact desperately tried to undo the deal in late February.   Patchett told the developer the reversal was “what the Mayor’s Office wants” and called the situation “important to us.” He plainly knew the flip would be trouble for de Blasio — the city charged $16.1 million to lift deed restrictions that would up letting the developer make a $72 million profit, while robbing the neighborhood of a nursing facility" AG Says He Was Misled  Eric Schneiderman’soffice claims it was misled on sale of Rivington House AIDS care facility (NYDN)  Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office says it was misled about the sale of the Rivington House Lower East Side AIDS care facility to a condo developer. State law requires court approval — with recommendations from the Attorney General’s Office and state Health Department — whenever a not-for-profit facility like Rivington House is converted into a for-profit entity. The attorney general’s office signed off on the sale of the property in October 2014, not knowing the buyer, Allure Group, was going to push the city to lift the deed restriction that required the property to be operated as a nursing home, an official said. Allure then sold the building to a for-profit developer for $116 million. “The Attorney General’s office did not approve either the lifting of the deed restriction, or the subsequent sale to a for-profit developer,” said Schneiderman spokesman Matt Mittenthal. The Health Department also has said it was misled. Schneiderman’s office has issued subpoenas into the matter. Others, including the US Attorney’s Office, are also looking into the deal.* At the heart of the Manhattan land deal that triggered investigations and sent shudders through the city’s political culture is the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, a powerful but little-known municipal agency, the Journal writes:   * Despite de Blasio saying he found out about a controversial deal to turn a Lower East Side nursing home into luxury condos in the press, his team frantically tried to reverse the plans before they were reported on, the Post reports: 

Kaminsky Got the Same Help As de Blasio is Being Called Criminal For
Donation in race for New York Senate seat is raising suspicion (NYP) A hefty 11th-hour campaign contribution from a powerful labor union to the Nassau County Democratic Party is raising eyebrows in light of the fund-raising scandal that has engulfed Mayor de Blasio, The Post has learned. The Communications Workers of America donated $109,600 to the Nassau Democratic Committee to help Todd Kaminsky win the Long Island state Senate seat vacated by convicted crook Dean Skelos — just days before the April 19 special election, Board of Elections records show. Kaminsky edged out Republican Chris McGrath by 780 votes. Direct contributions to a state Senate candidate are limited to $11,000, but party committees can raise and spend more. De Blasio, his top aides and political advisers are being investigated for “willful and flagrant” violations of campaign-finance law by steering unions and corporate donors to funnel nearly $1 million to three upstate Democrats running for Senate seats in 2014. “Kaminsky engaged in the exact same fund-raising scheme that is now being investigated by the US Attorney’s Office,” a GOP insider charged.* A large 11th-hour campaign contribution from a powerful labor union to the Nassau County Democratic Party is raising eyebrows in light of the fund-raising scandal that has engulfed de Blasio, the Post reports: * Beyond NYC, GOP Seeks Advantage In de Blasio Fundraising Investigation (YNN)

de Blasio's Lawyer From Connected Law Firm Lobbyist That Represented the Mayor's PAC Campaign for One NY 
Campaign lawyerblasts Board of Elections for seeking criminal probe into de Blasio fund-raising (NYDN) A campaign lawyer for Mayor de Blasio ripped allegations of potentially criminal wrongdoing in a 2014 fund-raising effort for state Senate Democrats, charging a bombshell memo from the head investigator for the state Board of Elections “reflects either a shocking lack of understanding or a complete disregard of the most fundamental aspects of the state’s election laws.” Laurence Laufer, an attorney for some of the groups accused of violations and who was also general counsel to de Blasio’s 2013 campaign, penned a letter to BOE Chief Enforcement Officer Risa Sugarman rebutting her allegations of a “willful and flagrant” effort to circumvent campaign contribution limits. Sugarman charged in her memo that de Blasio’s team solicited big bucks donations to local Democratic committees and then quickly transferred the money to individual candidates, avoiding a $10,300 limit on candidate contributions. The moves were egregious enough to warrant a criminal referral, she wrote. But Laufer insisted the groups involved did nothing wrong and panned Sugarman’s memo as a politically motivated document that showed “complete disregard of the long recognized principles underlying our state’s election laws” and was improperly leaked to the press. Laufer charged Sugarman, who was appointed by Gov. Cuomo, was just playing politics. “I am deeply troubled that your office made a criminal referral that was based on a complete misreading and utter disregard of the state’s unambiguous election laws, and that your blatantly political document was leaked to the press,” he said. “I specifically reserve all of my clients’ rights and remedies to pursue action against you and your office for all of your known and unknown conduct relating to the events referenced in this letter.”* Lawyer for Fund-Raisers Tied to de Blasio Fires Back at Elections Board (NYT)The response came after a report said a group of political fund-raisers linked to the mayor had violated campaign finance laws. * 'A SHOCKING LACK OF UNDERSTANDING': Campaign lawyer blasts Board of Elections for seeking criminal probe into de Blasio fund-raising, rips officer for playing politics (NYDN)* Errol Louis: Mixing public, private money & policies (NYDN) * Lupica: Mayor must face questions on campaign donations probe (NYDN) *   De Blasio, Denying Misdeeds Again, Says Claims May Be Driven by Politics (NYT) Queried about a series of investigations, Mayor Bill de Blasio stuck to his defense that no laws were broken and that politics may be behind the inquiries.

NYT Says Mayor's Lawyers Attacking BOE Tied to the Criminal Charges But Does Not Say How!
Lawyer forFund-Raisers Tied to de Blasio Fires Back at Elections Board (NYT)  In a strongly worded response to a New York State Board of Elections report alleging illegal fund-raising activities by a team of people with close ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio, a lawyer for several of the implicated parties has accused the board of “a shocking lack of understanding or a complete disregard of the most fundamental aspects of the state’s election laws.”

Is Stringer the Only Pol Who is Speaking Out About Voting Rights in NYC?
City ControllerScott Stringer says break up Board of Elections in wake of voter purge (NYDN) City Controller Scott Stringer said Sunday the city needs to take a “sledgehammer” to the bumbling Board of Elections after it mistakenly stripped over 126,000 New Yorkers of their right to vote. Speaking on NY1, Stringer slammed the board responsible for the purge of voters that left so many fuming at the polls on primary day last week. “We’ve got to take a sledgehammer to this. We have to recognize the cornerstone of our democracy is voting. We have to stop pretending this is a democracy, when such few people end up going to the polls,” said Stringer, whose office will audit the agency.*  In the wake of the fallout over the purging of voters from the tax rolls, the New York City Council now plans to examine board of election practices, joining other government entities looking into the matter, Gotham Gazette reports:  * NYPIRG: Reinstate Purged Voters (YNN) * De Blasio Calls for Election Changes After Voting Problems (NYT) The mayor announced a $20 million plan to improve the city’s Board of Elections after complaints about its handling of last week’s presidential primary.

BOE Commissioner Kellner the Man Who Has Designed NY's Undemocratic Voting System Defends Team de Blasio Putnam Operation 
Douglas Kellner, oneof the board’s four commissioners, said on Sunday that he could not comment on or acknowledge investigations or criminal referrals. But he agreed with some of Mr. Laufer’s concerns about the impact of the leak and about “how prejudicial the public comments have been” in its wake. Mr. Kellner, a Democrat, added that he and other commissioners had consistently criticized Ms. Sugarman for “what appears to be arbitrary selection of those who she determines to investigate.” “We have repeatedly expressed concerns that the independent enforcement counsel has not explained how she chooses which investigations to pursue,” he said. . Mr. Kellner said the key to determining if a crime occurred was whether the act of transferring the money to the campaign committees of individual candidates was separate from the act of transferring the money to the individual candidates. Doing both transactions as part of a single transaction, Mr. Kellner said, would be a violation of state election law and a felony if it was done “knowingly and willfully,” arguing that Mr. Laufer did not delve into that topic. “It would have been perfectly legal to make the contribution to the party committee and for the party committee to spend the money in support of the candidate,” he said, “and it would have been perfectly legal for the party committee to transfer funds to the candidates campaign committee. But if it was a single transaction, then that’s a violation.”

Cop at Center NYPD GiftGate Fired
Detective at center of NYPD probe suspended after trying to retire (NYP) An NYPD community affairs officer who was stripped of his gun and badge tried to retire Monday – triggering his immediate suspension because he is still a target of a federal corruption probe. Detective Michael Milici, a 20-plus-year veteran currently assigned to Brooklyn’s 66th Precinct in Borough Park, was placed on modified duty earlier this month after invoking his Fifth Amendment rights before a grand jury hearing evidence in the case. Milici was being questioned about his relationship with two Jewish businessmen suspected of offering cash and gifts to police brass in exchange for favors, such as free NYPD security at special events and rides to and from the airport. The Post reported exclusively that Milici and other police officials took at least one trip on a private plane with the men in 2014, and that at least some on board allegedly had sex with a hooker dressed as a flight attendant.

City Hall Knew About the Deal to Flip the Village Nursing Home to Luxury Housing
City Hall knew about, and offered $16M to undo, nursing home flip (NYP)  Mayor de Blasio said on March 28 that he had only recently learned about a controversial deal to turn a Lower East Side nursing home into luxury condos, and only after reading about it in the press. But a month before he made this statement, panicked officials at the highest levels of his administration were offering millions of dollars to undo the deal — aware that they had made a huge mistake, The Post has learned. On Feb. 24, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen’s chief of staff frantically offered a $16.1 million refund to The Allure Group, which had paid the fee to get a deed restriction lifted on the property at 45 Rivington St. The deed change allowed Allure to sell the property to a luxury-condo ­developer for $116 million. In return for the refund, Allure was told, the city sought a long-term care facility or affordable housing, according to a source close to the negotiations and evidence reviewed by The Post. Those two options were what “the Mayor’s ­Office wants,” James Patchett, chief of staff to Glen, told Allure’s rep, the source said. Glen is the city’s economic development czar and a close adviser to de Blasio. But a crestfallen Patchett — who blamed a bungling city agency for the whole mess — was told it was too late; the sale had already gone through. An increasingly desperate Patchett persisted, calling the situation an “important issue to us” and saying he would “highly encourage” Allure to change the outcome, the source said.  The scandal is a major embarrassment for a mayor who has championed affordable housing. * Real estate execs gave to de Blasio while seeking keydecisions from the city (CrainsNY) Donors who sought air-rights deals, landmark approvals and more from the mayor could catch probers' eyes *  Activists call for de Blasio to step down (NYP) Two community activists called on Mayor de Blasio to Step Down Sunday, promising more protesters in the coming weeks at City Hall — which has become a “modern day Tammany Hall.” “If he cares about this city the way he says he does, he needs to step down immediately and save us the continued national embarrassment,” said Tony Herbert, a former member of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. “There are a lot of levels to this corruption”* After a successful attack on corruption in New York’s state government, the hard-charging federal prosecutor in Manhattan, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, appears to have set his sights on New York City. *   Gov. Andrew Cuomo has renewed his effort to recruit a challenger to his political nemesis, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, next year as the “smell of blood” from widening corruption probes has left de Blasio more vulnerable than ever, anonymous “top Democrats” tell Fred Dicker. * The New York Post: “Bill de Blasio’s city is for sale.”

It Took A Federal Investigation for the Daily News to Come Closer to the Truth But Still Covering Up 
Follow de Blasio’smoney: Too many favors for too many donors (NYDN Ed) Bill de Blasio put up the for-sale sign on City Hall before it was even his to occupy — and now state and federal investigators are hard at work following the money.

True News Reported for Two Years How Team de Blasio Was Using PACs and Other Entities to Go Around the Election Law 
New York City provides politicians with America’s most generous, tightly regulated public campaign financing. By strictly limiting how much anyone may give to a candidate, as well as how much a candidate may spend, the system is designed to banish legalized bribery. 

From the Daily News After Bharara MovesTo maintain his image as Mr. Pure Progressive, de Blasio professes full dedication to taxpayer-financed campaigns. To maintain power, he has played a cynical big-money game by benefiting from largely unregulated political committees that had everything to do with achieving his goals, including his election. As surely as money follows power, the committees attracted outsized contributions from players who wanted one blessing or another from the mayor — and then de Blasio signaled that very generous givers could get their money’s worth by getting his maximum attention and effort.

Team de Blasio Will Get Away With Violating the Election Law Remember A 25 Years Old Woman is in Jail for Doing the Same Thing on A Much Smaller Level 
25-year old Jia Hou John Liu campaign treasure was convicted of willfully participating in a campaigning scheme involving “straw donors” in order to make illegal contributions above the $4,950 limit authorized by the New York City Campaign Finance Board In a statement, * U.S. Preet Bharara says, "As the jury found, Jia Hou and Oliver Pan stuck a knife into the heart of New York City's campaign finance law by violating the prohibition against illegal campaign contributions, all to corruptly advantage the campaign of a candidate for city-wide office."US attorney's full statement on Oliver Pan/Jenny Hou convictions  *  Major blow to mayoral hopeful John Liu: Ex-aides guilty of conspiring to violate campaign finance laws(NYDN) *  Jury convicts 2 associates of city comptroller(WABC) * John Liu's Former Aide and Donor Found Guilty in Federal Court(Politico) * Comptroller John Liu's ex-associates convicted(Fox 5 John Liu’s Former Aide and Donor Found Guilty in Federal Court(NYO) *  Former Liu Associates Convicted in Fund-Raising Case(NYT) * John Liu ‘Deeply Saddened’ by Guilty Verdicts but Vows to Soldier On(NYO)

The Daily News and Good Govt Groups Who Said UFT PAC Illegally Funding Advance Now are Silent
Getting Away With Fixing Elections
UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)The city’s powerful teachers union is under fire from good-government groups for apparently trying to hide the identity of a consulting firm it was using to boost union-backed candidates.  "The listing of the phony firm, 'Strategic Consultants, Inc.,' in campaign filings, obscured that Advance Group was being paid both to promote candidates for the United Federation of Teachers' independent political action committee, and working as the main campaign consultant for several of those same candidates."

The Daily News is Ducking the Low Advance Fine and No Criminal Investigation Means Nobody is Watching the Watchmen
The Daily News Reported That People Close to de Basio Sent Cash to Advance Run NYCLASS
Bill at the trough (NYDN Ed) De Blasio's conversion on horse carriages coincided with a rush of campaign cash. This is the curious story of how a self-described skeptic of the ban in 2007 became, by March 2013, a man who pledged to “ban the horse carriages in Central Park within the first week on the job.” In 2007, then-City Councilman de Blasio declared himself “skeptical” of a bill seeking to ban the carriages. In January 2008, the checks began arriving — and, presumably, the reeducation of the politician got underway. Wendy Neu, a longtime animal rights advocate who would later become a NYCLASS board member, gave $1,000 to de Blasio’s campaign for public advocate.Before long, more checks from Neu, NYCLASS co-founder Stephen Nislick and others started rolling in.Conversion complete? Not quite.

The Daily News Broke the Story That Advance Illegally Worked On Mark-Viverito Speakers Race Says Nothing Today
EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN)  Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy (Daily News 11/27/2013) * New York City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito’s ties to the consulting firm Advance Group may be hurting her candidacy for speaker

From the Daily News After Bharara Moves: "And never could the city’s top ethics watchdog and anti-corruption cop, Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters, say boo because Peters had served as de Blasio’s campaign treasurer." On Friday, Peters announced that he would play no role in the burgeoning probes, which is to say that Peters is disqualified from fulfilling the highest responsibility of the job. Letter of resignation to follow. 

What About Red Horse?
Red Horse Consultant works for the mayor’s PAC Campaign for One NY and for 4 of the 5 Das Election Campaigns Including the Manhattan DA Now Investigating the Putnam slush fund that Red Horse that was interconnected with DSCC that Red Horse was paid from. Another consultant that got funds from DSCC and worked for both the Manhattan DAs campaign and Quinn's mayoral election Mark Guma also forgave a bill to the DA which then became other unenforced illegal inkind campaign contribution. 

What About Berlin Rosen?
Berlin Rosen Worked for all the recent campaigns of AG Eric Schneiderman

NYDBOE: "The actions of the mayor, his political team and his state democratic allies led to “willful and flagrant violations” of state law"
De Blasio, aides accused of ‘criminal’ fundraising activity (NYP) “There is considerable evidence in this case that New York City mayor William de Blasio organized a team dedicated to getting a sufficient number of Democratic New York State senators elected in 2014 to achieve a Democratic majority in the senate. The evidence indicates that de Blasio established a structure, both within and outside City Hall, and entered into an agreement with powerful unions… and political consultants… to raise and spend money to influence senate races,” wrote Sugarman, who was nominated to the post by Gov. Cuomo. “The evidence demonstrates that the de Blasio team coordinated its fundraising activities with and intentionally solicited contributions for these candidates … in order to evade contribution limits and to disguise the true names of the contributors, conduct which may violate [two election laws],” she wrote.  One of those alleged violations is a felony. The memo targets de Blasio, his legislative director Emma Wolfe; Ross Offinger, de Blasio’s campaign finance director and treasurer of his political advocacy roup Campaign for One; former Hotel and Trade union official Josh Gold; Jason Goldman of the UFT; and political consultants Neal Kwatra, BerlinRose, AKPD Message Media and Hilltop Public Solutions. It calls them “Team de Blasio,” and says the nearly $1 million they solicited from big unions and fat-cat donors were steered to the Putnam County and the Ulster County Democratic committees, and then redirected to three candidates: Justin Wagner, Terry Gipson and Cecilia Tkaczyk. Many of the checks were deposited through Offinger, and some with notations such as “donation per mayor,” the memo cites. 

True News Knew In 2013 Before the NYSBOE Report That the Campaign for 1NY PAC Was the Heart of Mayor's Political Operation 
More de Blasio cronies eyed as feds widen corruption probe (NYP) A top aide to Mayor de Blasio and a consulting firm that helped him win City Hall are under investigation as part of a widening state and federal corruption probe — all sparked by a suspected gifts-for-favors scheme involving top NYPD brass, The Post has learned. Emma Wolfe, de Blasio’s director of intergovernmental affairs, and BerlinRosen Public Affairs are being probed by the Manhattan DA’s Office and federal prosecutors for their roles in fund-raising by de Blasio during his failed 2014 bid to help fellow Democrats take over the state Senate, multiple sources close to the investigation said. Other names probers are asking about as they cast a widening net for possible quid-pro-quo campaign dealings include Alison Hirsh, an official with the powerful 32BJ apartment-workers union; Natalia Salgado, who last year left 32BJ to work for state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman; and Jason Goldman, who at the time was a strategist for the United Federation of Teachers, sources told The Post. Josh Gold, a former strategist for the hotel-workers union, is also being eyed, sources said. “They’re looking into the mayor’s fund-raising” and are “very interested in BerlinRosen and the labor folks,” said one source.

NYSBOE the Interlocking-Directorates de Blasio’s Illegal 2014 Senate Coordinated Campaign

Now We Know Why the Mayor Shut Down His PAC Campaign for One NY Last Month
The coordinated fundraising effort started, she said, with de Blasio, who Sugarman noted also had created the Campaign for One New York to serve as an “independent spending” organization to support his priorities. “The entire (Senate) fundraising and campaign operation was run from City Hall by de Blasio staff in coordination with unions and Campaign For One New York officers and political consultants," Sugarman wrote. The effort also included Emma Wolfe, the mayor’s director of intergovernmental affairs, Offinger and Josh Gold, who at the time was political director for the New York Hotel Trades Council and campaign manager for Campaign for one New York, the report says. Others said to be on the team included Jason Goldman, the United Federation of Teachers assistant director legislation and political action, Neal Kwatra, founder of Metropolitan Public Strategies who was consulting for the state party, and the political consulting firms of BerlinRosen, AKPD Messaging and Media, and Hilltop Public Solutions. Berlin Rosen, Red Horse AKPD and Hilltop all worked for Both the Mayor's Campaign and his PAC Campaign for One NY.  Berlin Rosen and Red Horse both work for the UFT PAC United for the Future 

de Blasio's Pay to Play Real Estate Operation Shades of Glenwood's Silver Skelos Trials
Investigators probede Blasio fund-raising associated with New York developers (NYDN) The developers were told the money wasn’t meant to help elect some yahoo constable in Moosebreath Corners, N.Y. Instead, it would help Mayor de Blasio in his quixotic quest to flip the GOP-controlled state Senate to the Democrats. And the developers who chose to give just happened to be seeking — or had in the past received — lucrative benefits from the de Blasio administration such as zoning changes and tax breaks. Investigators are looking at many aspects of de Blasio’s fundraising, focusing in particular on donors who either bundled multiple checks for the mayor or gave big money to Campaign for One New York, the “independent spending” group the mayor formed to support his favored causes. Developer Martin Dunn said he was asked, “Can you make a donation related to the campaign to get back Democratic control of the senate?" And then he was told to donate to the Putnam County Democratic Committee. Dunn, who’s built hundreds of affordable apartments with city help, wouldn’t identify who asked except to say “it wasn’t someone from the (de Blasio) administration.” Enter Mike Kohn, a Brooklyn developer who on Oct. 14, 2014 donated $100,000 via one of his limited liability corporations to the Democrat Committee of Ulster County, pop. 180,000. None of Kohn’s developments are anywhere near there. Kohn does, however, have projects in the works in gentrifying Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and he’s seeking help from City Hall to make them happen. On New Year’s Day 2015, weeks after writing the Ulster County check, Kohn hired lobbyist Slater & Beckerman to lobby the Bureau of Standards & Appeals, the agency that grants zoning requests. He was trying to transform the former St. John’s College building on Lewis Ave. into 120 market-rate units. None are “affordable,” a set aside de Blasio strongly endorses. Then there’s Joseph Tahl. On Oct. 24, 2014 he donated $10,000 to the Democratic committee in Putnam County, population 99,000. He did not return calls seeking comment, but in a Dec. 1, 2014 interview with The Real Deal, Tahl stated, “Now that Mayor de Blasio has put forth a positive affordable housing plan, that's where most of our growth and new business will be.” Confession? Reeling de Blasio calls for separation of money and politics as feds probe shady nonprofit (NYDN) * Elections board says Cuomo-allied counsel slows enforcement (PoliticoNY) * FBI And ManhattanDA Investigating Anti-Horse Carriage Group's De Blasio Donations (Gothamist)
Shadow lobbyists Corruption Were At the Center At the Both the Skelos and Silver Trials

State BOE Team de Blasio "Willful and Flagrant Conspired to Violate the Election Law Warranting Prosecution 
De Blasio teamskirted campaign donation limits; investigators found 'willful and flagrant'violations 'warranting prosecution' (NYDN) The head investigator for the state Board of Elections probed the 2014 fundraising efforts by Mayor de Blasio and his team on behalf of the Senate Democrats and found enough “willful and flagrant” violations to warrant a criminal referral. The Daily News obtained a bombshell “privileged and confidential” memo state Board of Elections Chief Enforcement Officer Risa Sugarman sent to the board’s four commissioners on Jan. 4, recommending the referral to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. The commissioners, during a closed-door vote, made the referral on Jan. 11, sources said. The Sugarman memo paints a picture of a coordinated effort by the mayor and his allies — dubbed by the players involved interchangeably as “Team de Blasio” and “Team Coordinated” — to deliberately circumvent legal campaign donation limits in three upstate races in what turned out to be an unsuccessful effort to help the Democrats win control of the state Senate in 2014. “I have determined that reasonable cause exists to believe a violation warranting criminal prosecution has taken place,” Sugarman wrote. “The violations discovered by this investigation can only be described as willful and flagrant.” The memo did not spell out exactly who could be charged. Many of the potential violations would be misdemeanors — though deliberately evading campaign donation limits could rise to a felony. Sugarman wrote that the effort on behalf of the Dems was led by de Blasio and his team and included a group of influential political consultants and labor unions close to the mayor, the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, several of the candidates who were being helped, and the Ulster County and Putnam County Democratic committees. State campaign finance rules prohibit donations of more than $10,300 to an individual candidate. But donors can give as much as $103,000 to county political committees, and those committees can transfer unlimited amounts of money to individual campaigns.

But Sugarman in her memo said that there is evidence demonstrating that the de Blasio team coordinated its fundraising activities and intentionally solicited significantly higher-than-allowed contributions for the three candidates by having the checks sent to the two county committees and the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, which then quickly transferred the funds to the campaigns. The move allowed the parties “to evade contribution limits and to disguise the true names of the contributors, conduct which may violate Election law,” she wrote.  Unions like the powerful Service Employees International Union Local 1199, SEIU 32BJ, the state Nurse's Association, and the Communications Workers of America were among those who gave big amounts to the county committees though they never had before. Developers and powerful businessmen who had business before the city like supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis ($50,000) and Alexis Lodde ($100,000) also gave mega contributions to the county committees.Contributions to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee were identified as originating from the mayor's team by having them sent in care of Offinger. Some of the checks included notations such as "donation per Mayor" in the memo line, Sugarman found. Sugarman’s office subpoenaed documents from the various campaign bank accounts and five political consultants involved in those races — BerlinRosen LTD, Mark Guma Communication, the Parkside Group, AKPD Message and Media LLC, and Red Horse Strategies, according to the memo.

Laundering Money Though GOP and Dem Upstate County Committees is Normal for Corrupt Albany
NY Senate GOP usedsame loophole they ripped Dems for (NYDN) The Senate GOP vehemently complained last year that Mayor de Blasio was skirting the state’s campaign finance laws by asking donors supporting the Senate Democrats to give larger-than-normal donations to candidates through upstate county Democratic committees. But in it appears the Republicans did the same thing to the tune of $125,000 to help one of their Long Island candidates. Former GOP Sen. Charles Fuschillo on Sept. 15 transferred $75,000 from his still active campaign account to the Nassau County Republican Committee. The committee three days later transferred exactly $75,000 to the campaign of Michael Venditto, who ultimately won the race to fill the seat vacated by Fuschillo. Fuschillo on Oct. 10 gave another $50,000 to the county committee, which sent Vendito the same amount four days slater.   State Senate candidates could only receive a maximum donation of $10,300 from individuals. But county political committees, which can receive up to $102,300 in donations from a person, could transfer unlimited amounts to candidates. A Republican operative compared what Fuschillo did and what de Blasio did to “apples and oranges.” Fuschillo was seeking to keep the seat he represented for 15 years in Republican hands. De Blasio was encouraging big donations from downstate interests that were designed to influence upstate races, the GOPer said.

NYT Says Saving East NY From Gentification But Fails to State It Was the Mayor's Zoning Changes Causing the Gentrification

NYCLASS Hit With Subpoenas By Feds and Manhattan DA
NYCLASS, a key deBlasio donor, hit with subpoena in mayor fund-raising probe (NYDN)  A key donor to Mayor de Blasio’s fund-raising was subpoenaed Thursday, as it became clear the growing investigation is zeroing in on whether his campaign broke rules pursuing checks from powerful interests seeking favors from City Hall, the Daily News has learned. The Manhattan U.S. Attorney and the Manhattan District Attorney both demanded documents from an anti-horse carriage group that has steered hundreds of thousands of dollars to de Blasio in its effort to ban carriages from Central Park, according to a source familiar with the probe. Supporters of that group, New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets, NYCLASS, have written checks totaling $125,000 to Campaign for One New York, a so-called “independent spending” organization de Blasio formed to support his pet causes. Late Thursday, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. demanded documents from the group, which steered $100,000 to Campaign for One New York in March 2015. By then, de Blasio’s promise to end the carriages “on day one” of his administration was a distant memory, and the effort has since been resolved to the satisfaction of no one. In May and June 2013, a union run by de Blasio’s cousin, John Wilhelm, and a top de Blasio donor, attorney Jay Eisenhoffer, wrote two checks totaling $225,000 to NYCLASS. Within days, NYCLASS wrote duplicate checks to New York City Not for Sale, a rabidly anti-Quinn group. At the time, the anti-Quinn group had to disclose its contributions, but NYCLASS didn’t. The two donations weren’t revealed until days after de Blasio won the primary. Key tools in the de Blasio woodshed include raising unrestricted donations via so-called “independent spending” groups and relying on donors who bundle multiple individual checks. Records show de Blasio has been a consistent beneficiary of bundling — for example, pocketing $1.4 million this way in 2013 and $467,370 more for his reelection bid through mid-January.

The Daily News Says DOI Commissioner Peters Should Resign "Compromised" 

Both tactics are legal, but candidates are strictly barred from coordinating with independent spenders or promising contributors anything in return for their checks. Sources familiar with the campaign finance aspect of the probe say agencies involved include the Manhattan U.S. attorney, the city Department of Investigation and the Manhattan DA. All three declined comment. A key focus is the Campaign for One New York, set up by de Blasio a month before he took office. Since he’s become mayor, the group has collected $4 million to support his pet causes such as universal pre-K and affordable housing. Much of that has come from big developers and lobbyists writing big checks at the same time they’re seeking zoning changes or tax breaks* Elections Board Official in Brooklyn Removed Amid Investigation (NYT) Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the board’s chief clerk in Brooklyn, has been suspended amid an internal inquiry into the handling of the voting rolls as city and state officials begin their own investigations.* The anti-horse carriage group NYCLASS, a key donor to de Blasio, was subpoenaed as an investigation zeroes in on whether his campaign broke rules by pursuing checks from powerful interests seeking favors, theDaily News writes: * The federal inquiry into de Blasio’s fundraising efforts in 2014 is based on a state ban on contributions to a party committee if they are given or solicited for a particular candidate, with an intent to evade individual contribution limits, the Times reports: * The city Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters’ involvement in de Blasio’s fundraising efforts show he is a compromised team player, and he should resign so that someone independent can serve, theDaily News writes:

de Blasio's Won the Mayor's Office and Governs By Going Around the Election Law
Is Bharara investigating every dollar de Blasio ever raised? (NYP) What we last week called the steady drip-drip-drip of disclosures from the widening probes into Mayor de Blasio’s fund-raising has now erupted into an enormous gushing stream.Indeed, you have to go back decades to find a mayor so deeply mired in allegations of corruption and pay-to-play deals this early in his term. US Attorney Preet Bharara and Manhattan DA Cy Vance are now reportedly looking into the suspicious financial dealings behind de Blasio’s bizarre obsession with shutting down the tiny horse-carriage industry. Also now under investigation is the mayor’s 2014 effort to raise money for Democrats trying to win control of the state Senate, plus fund-raising for his own 2013 campaign. This on top of all the earlier disclosures about ongoing probes into his many political slush funds, particularly the Campaign For One New York. And a suspicious deal that allowed a Lower East Side nursing home to be flipped to a luxury condo developer, netting the seller a $72 million profit. So much for de Blasio’s insistent claim just a couple of weeks ago that there’s “nothing to see here” in the investigations.He’s also singing a very different tune these days about whether he’s been contacted by Bharara’s office. What was once a denial that “any federal agency in any way, shape or form” had done so has given way to silence. The big picture: Team de Blasio has been a money vacuum since he took office. Bharara’s doubtless looking into whether the flows of cash were illicitly structured to seem to comply with the law. People with business before the city gave huge and unlimited sums to CONY, which wasn’t bound by campaign-finance laws. The mayor’s team also arranged for huge sums to go to upstate Democratic county committees — sums then diverted to candidates who couldn’t legally receive them directly. That looks very much like an end-run around the campaign laws. Bill de Blasio is fond of bemoaning the role of money in politics, even as he’s directed tons of it for his own political ends. In trying to outsmart the big-money players at the game, did he wind up breaking all the rules?Numerous real-estate executives contributed to the non-profit supporting de Blasio while they also had business before the city government.

Here Comes the FBI NYCASS Investigation By the FBI That True News Has Been Investigating for Two Years
Coordinated federal and state investigations into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fundraising operations are examining efforts by a politically connected group to ban horse carriages in New York City, sources tell The Wall Street Journal: * De Blasio fundraising probe increases scrutiny of campaignfinance tactic 

NYC’s campaign cops hand down champ-change fines (NYP) Stop the presses: The City Campaign Finance Board slapped a consultant with a $15,000 fine for breaking the rules. Finally, the world is safe for democracy. Or so you might think from Thursday’s big-noise announcement. If only. In fact, the fine — plus a $10,800 one from state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman — merely highlights the lunacy of the city’s campaign-finance scheme. In 2013, the consultants at The Advance Group repped four Democratic candidates while also working with two “independent” groups: the teachers union and the anti-horse-carriage folks, NYCLASS. The two special interests shelled out tens of thousands to promote TAG’s candidates, but failed to build a “firewall” between themselves and the campaigns. The board says TAG’s dual roles amounted to “coordination” — a no-no under the rules. “Today’s agreement sends a clear message that campaign coordination is unacceptable in New York,” huffed the AG.* Mayor de Blasio said he behaved 'legally' in dealings with animal rights group NYCLASS and will 'cooperate with any investigation' (NYDN)
Gary Tilzer (@unitedNYblogs) warned that BdB circle of friends, lobbyists & PACs were up to no good. Like #Cassandra, he was ignored.

Saturday BOE Update  The reason 120,000 voters ‘vanished’ before primary day (NYP) Sources said all those on the hit list — voters who responded and voters who never received notifications — were eliminated from the rolls through the computer error. “This is not a case of only one person screwing up,” said a source. “It was bungled by a bunch of people who weren’t doing their jobs, and that’s because you’re dealing with patronage jobs where the workers try to do as little work as possible. Now everyone in the Brooklyn office is pointing fingers at each other.” Republican Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the BOE’s chief clerk in Brooklynwas suspended Thursday without pay pending an internal probe. However, Democrat Betty Ann Canizio-Aqil, the deputy clerk, remained on the job even though one of her main responsibilities is ensuring that her party’s voting rolls are accurate. Haslett-Rudiano had a reputation of being a poor manager and could be on her way out because she was a holdover staffer kept on after state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn) assumed control of the GOP’s side of the office’s patronage mill, sources said. Canizio-Aqil is routinely absent or works half-days but is being protected by her longtime ally, Brooklyn Democratic Chairman Frank Seddio, sources said. BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan had promised an overhaul afterthe Department of Investigation in 2013 found nepotism, poor training and issues with removing voters.

How Did the BOE Have A System That Alloud Active Voted to Be Erased? BOE FALLLADY? 

New York election official ousted after her error purged over 100,000 Brooklyn voters from therolls, wreaking havoc at polls (NYDN) The massive purge of over 100,000 Brooklyn voters from the rolls — which caused huge problems at polling sites on Tuesday — was the result of an epic screw-up by a long-time official who will be forced out over the debacle, sources said. Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the Board of Election’s chief clerk, is in the process of being forced out over the botched voter rolls, the sources said Thursday. She was trying to clean up the books — which must be periodically purged to eliminate people who die, move or are ineligible for other reasons — and skipped one of the steps that was built in to stop the system from purging eligible voters, the sources said. Brooklyn lost 102,717 — or 8% — of its active voters from Nov. 1 2015 through April 1, 2016, according to state stats.* A New York City Board of Elections official in Brooklyn was suspended as city and state officials investigate whether tens of thousands of Democratic voters were improperly removed from voter rolls ahead of the New York presidential primary, The New York Times reports

Sacrificing a few scapegoats won’t fix the bungling Board of Elections (NYP Ed) Tuesday brought reports of problems all across the city. In Brooklyn, 120,000 voters — one in eight — got dropped from voting rolls between last November and this month. Elsewhere, folks found closed voting sites, broken machines, inadequate staffing levels and incompetent workers. On Wednesday, The Post ran a picture of one poll “worker” who’d been snoozing on the job. Many “voters” found they couldn’t vote — and are rightly furious.  et Michael Ryan, the city Board of Elex executive director, actually bragged, “I’d really like to say how proud I am of my staff.” He denied there were “mass numbers of disenfranchised voters in Brooklyn” and pooh-poohed reports of closed voting sites as “part and parcel of running elections in New York City.” That is: It’s OK they screwed up, because they always do. The Board of Election has a long record of incompetence. The root blame lies with the party bosses who control the whole thing — and use it as a patronage mill. Will Schneiderman and Stringer dare point fingers at the true culprits?

WTF is the BOE ReallyHiding Blaming An Old Lady for Voter Suppression? BHARARA 
Board of Elections official ‘scapegoated’ for voting mess (NYP) The city’s Board of Elections suspended the top official at its Brooklyn office without pay as they probe the mysterious purge of more than 120,000 Democratic voters from the borough rolls thatwreaked havoc on Tuesday presidential primaries. The solo suspension of Diane Haslett-Rudiano from her $125,000-a-year post over widespread polling problems is raising eyebrows that extend beyond party lines. Democrat Betty Ann Canizio, the BOE Deputy Clerk for Brooklyn, is the official primarily responsible for overseeing the borough’s Democratic voting rolls while Haslett-Rudiano, a Republican, oversees her party’s rolls, sources said.

Senator Golden is Sweating BOE Suspended Diane Haslett-Rudiano Today
“It sounds like they cut a deal to make the Republican the scapegoat and protect Betty Ann,” said an elected Brooklyn official who’s a Democrat. Canizio is an ally of Brooklyn Democratic Chairman Frank Seddio. She has a long history as a borough district leader of rubber-stamping his candidate nominations and political appointments. Seddio used his political muscle to help Canizio, 68, secure her $120,000-a-year post, sources said. BOE sources say she’s routinely absent or works half days. She failed to show up for work Thursday and wasn’t at her Bay Ridge home when visited by a Post reporter.* Suspending the chief Board of Elections clerk in Brooklyn is a fair start to investigating the reported voter issues on primary day, but the board has a long record of incompetence and the root blame lies with party bosses who control it, the Post writes:

The Political Bottom Feeders At the BOE Keep Fucking Up 
Board of Elections confuses city voters about primary dates (NYP) As required by state law, the board notified 60,000 new voters that local and state legislative primaries would be held on Sept. 28.   Except, the correct date is Sept. 13. So the board sent a second round of postcards apologizing for the error with the right date.  But those failed to mention two intervening election dates — the presidential primaries on April 19 and the congressional ones on June 28. Board officials said the law doesn’t require that the notice to new voters include the other elections, which will be publicized separately.  “The term ‘regularly scheduled primary’ has been widely, if not universally, interpreted as the September Primary for state and local offices,” board spokeswoman Valerie Vasquez said in a statement. Government watchdogs said that makes no sense.
BOE History of Corruption and Incompetence Timeline
BOE History of Corruption and Incompetence Timeline Part 2

True News Warned About Those Voting Problems 

The executive director of the NYC Board of Elections insisted no one was disenfranchised in yesterday’s primaries, insisting that people who were not supposed to be voting had protested by trying to vote.

de Blasio's Putnam Laundry

Berlin Rosen Who Was Paid By the Putnam de Blasio Fund That is Being Investigated By the FBI Said the Efforts Were In Accordance With the Law
Donor John Catsimatidis said he has not been contacted by authorities looking into de Blasio’s fundraising operations from 2014, when the mayor pushed for a Democratic takeover of the state Senate, the Daily Newswrites:   Supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis says he has not been contacted by authorities looking into Mayor de Blasio’s fund-raising operation. The Daily News in 2014 reported that Catsimatidis donated $50,000 to the Putnam County Democratic Committee at the request of de Blasio and his people. Critics complained at the time the effort was designed to circumvent contribution limits to candidates. State campaign finance rules prohibit donations of more than $10,300 to an individual candidate. 
But donors can give as much as $103,000 to county political committees, and those committees can transfer unlimited amounts of money to individual campaigns.  De Blasio spokesman Dan Levitan said Wednesday that “we are confident that at all times all of our efforts were appropriate and in accordance with the law.”Catsimatidis told the News in 2014 that he donated $50,000 to the Putnam County Democratic Committee after de Blasio himself made the ask. He said a day after he spoke to the mayor, de Blasio’s former campaign finance director, Ross Offinger, followed up to say where to donate and how much. Offinger, the Times reported Tuesday, has been questioned by FBI agents. “I disclosed that a year and a half ago,” he said of the donations. “I never knew the money was going to be diverted to the Democratic Senate.” He said he found out “by accident” after a Senate Democrat called to thank him. His $50,000 donation was one of nine contributions, totaling $452,000, that landed in the Putnam County Democratic Committee’s account in October 2014. Days later, the committee transferred $433,000 to the campaigns of then state Sen. Terry Gipson and Senate hopeful Justin Wagner, two Hudson Valley Democrats who both lost their races that year.   The hefty donations were notable because the Putnam County Democratic Committee had not received a check for more than $1,000 in at least 15 years. The News also reported at the time that the Ulster County Democratic Committee on Oct. 14, 2014, took in $364,000 from four labor unions and a Manhattan-based corporation. Days later, the committee turned around and sent $160,000 to the campaign of Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, who wound up losing her reelection bid. And the Monroe County Democratic Committee received $100,000 at the time from the Communications Workers of America District One PAC, before sending $60,000 to Sen. Ted O’Brien three days later. O’Brien also lost. A source close to a developer with business before the city told the News in 2014 that the builder felt “uncomfortable” after receiving an email from Sam Nagourney, finance director of de Blasio’s 2013 mayoral campaign, asking for at least a $50,000 donation to the Ulster County Democratic Committee, the state Working Families Party or the state Senate Democratic Campaign Committee — all of which were working to help the Dems grab control of the Senate. It’s unclear if the developer gave any money.  Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union in 2014 gave the Putnam County Democratic Committee $50,000 and the Monroe County Democratic Committee $102,300 that was then transferred to candidates.  Days after the News reported the unusual donations, Putnam County Republican Committee Chairman Anthony Scannapieco Jr. formally asked the state’s Board of Elections enforcement officer to look into the matter.Flashback 
Bill de Blasio fund-raiser asking for $50G to help Democratscapture state Senate made developer feel 'uncomfortable' (NYDN) EXCLUSIVE: The developer, who did not wish to be identified, deals with the city on permitting and other land-use issues, a person who spoke with him said. The fundraiser's $50,000 suggested contribution put the developer in a tough spot, as while he likes the mayor he doesn't feel state Senate Democrats are friendly to the real estate industry.* In de Blasio push for Democratic State Senate majority,exploitation of campaign finance loopholes(Progress Queens)  Jimmy Vielkind ‏@JimmyVielkind  John Catsimatidis gets explicit abt campndonations: @BilldeBlasio asked; Cats wanted to do favor, so he wrote checkVJ Machiavelli ‏@VJMachiavelli  @JimmyVielkind @BilldeBlasio asks @JCats2013 for a favor at dinner and being a fool with billionaire he gave shame on him investigation now. @AndreaWNYC shame on u. @JCats2013  for doing "favor" for @deBlasioNYC  do u do lots of business with City and u want to keep on good side Bill Hammond ‏@NYDNHammond   Catsimatidis: *"I do a lot of business in the city. .. He (de Blasio) asked me for a favor and I wrote the check."*

The head of a company that was trying to sell the city rat-repelling trash bags donated $100,000 to the mayor's non-profit. The city subsequently bought some.* The transactional mayor returns - Capital New York Joseph Dussich, the CEO of JAD Corporation of America, a Queens-based maintenance company, had long tried to market mint-scented, rodent-repellent trash bags he invented.  After donating $100,000 to Campaign for One New York, the city has begun doing business with him. Dussich gave the organization $50,000 on Dec. 10, 2014 and another $50,000 on Feb. 3, 2015, according to filings voluntarily provided by the group. That is 20 times more than the $4,950 an individual can give a mayoral candidate in a single election cycle, per Campaign Finance Board rules. Dussich has been promoting his anti-rat product since at least 2007, when he described the idea to New York Magazine.  One month after his latest donation, the city parks department spent $15,000 on his garbage bags, according to records filed with the city comptroller. While just a fraction of his overall donation, the deal was a boon for the entrepreneur who lamented in 2013 that he “couldn’t get to first base” with the parks department, which had yet to consider buying his trash bags. At that time, he was raising money for de Blasio’s Republican challenger, Joe Lhota.
So, the Mayor says 2 Catsmisidas who is a developer in NYC & has 2 deal with city agencies "John, do me a favor & send $ 2 these people"

Silver's Long and Hard Goodbye 

Prosecutor Seek More Than A Decade for Silver and $5.2 Million Fine 
Prosecutors Seek More Than A Decade For Silver (YNN)* Feds want record jail term for Silver’s ‘egregious’ crimes (NYP) * Sheldon Silver Apologizes as Prosecutors Seek a Sentence of More Than 14 Years (NYT) * Sheldon Silver’s set to pay big for his crimes — but still got to pick his successor (NYP Ed) US Attorney Preet Bharara is asking for “the highest sentence ever in a New York corruption case” — at least 15 years in prison for Sheldon Silver, plus a $5.2 million asset forfeiture and a fine of at least $1 million. That’s eminently fair: It matches what Silver pocketed via corrupt abuse of his office. But is anyone in New York politics ever going to give Bharara a hand in cleaning up? After all, the sentencing request came the day after Silver’s handpicked successor, Alice Cancel, won election to his old Assembly seat. Cancel vows to be “the one who cleans up corruption in Albany.” But she has also praised Silver — even called him a “hero.”Silver’s wife says he has cancer in plea for leniency (NYP)*   Silver should servemore than 10 years in prison: prosecutors (Real Deal) Silver’s case featured a considerable real estate angle, with the former Assembly speaker convicted on charges that he received nearly $4 million in illegal payments from law firms in exchange for diverting tax business from developers Glenwood Management and Witkoff to those firms. Prosecutors also asked that SilverTRData LogoTINY forfeit “all of his crime proceeds,” totaling nearly $5.2 million, and receive a fine of at least $1 million. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 3. [Politico] *  Sheldon Silver Apologizes as Prosecutors Seek a Sentence of More Than 14 Years * Sheldon Silver Still Doesn’t Get It (NYT Ed) The former Assembly speaker has not said exactly what he is sorry for, and needs to accept his punishment for extortion and other crimes.* Despite his apology, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is a symbol of all that is rotten in state government and is still ducking and weaving, saying much but revealing little, the Times writes * Assembly Spends $113K On Legal Fees In March(YNN) *

Silver's Gerrymandering Jealousy Cuts A Romantic Rival Out of His District Silver and Skelos Replacement Special Elections  
Sheldon Silver has some serious jealousy issues (NYP) Crooked ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver ended the career of a fellow pol — because the man had an affair with the powerful Manhattan Democrat’s mistress, sources told The Post. Silver was so jealous of then-Assemblyman Dan Burling carrying on with then-Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer that he forced his romantic rival out of office through a redistricting scheme, sources said. He engineered the drawing of new lines around Burling’s upstate district in 2012, said well-placed sources on both sides of the aisle in Albany. The maneuver expanded the Republican’s district into Erie County and exposed him to a potential primary challenge from East Aurora Mayor David DiPietro, sources said.* New York Elections to Replace Silver and Skelos Offer Intrigue and Incivility (NYT) The races to replace the former Assembly speaker and Senate majority leader, both removed after being convicted on public corruption charges, presents an unprecedented situation and has resulted in races filled with intrigue * Cuomo early on endorsed Kaminsky, the Democrat in the race to replace former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, but has not campaigned once for him in the Nassau County district where the governor remains popular, the Daily News writes:  * Ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver ended the career of then-Assemblyman Dan Burling because he had an affair with Silver’s mistress, then-Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer, sources tell the New York Post: * Ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver ended the career of a fellow pol, Republican former Assemblyman Dan Burling, by redistricting him out of office because Burling had an affair with the powerful Manhattan Democrat’s mistress, former Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer.Special Elections Cuomo has endorsed the Democratic candidate for former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ seat, Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky, and maxed out in contributions to his campaign, but has not appeared in person for the candidate in advance of tomorrow’s special election.* Tthe special elections on Long Island and in Lower Manhattan offer voters a chance to do the unprecedented: to replace, in the space of one day, two former members of New York State’s ruling triumvirate, both of whom are scheduled to be sentenced in the coming weeks after being convicted on corruption charges. Cheep Silver bedded mistresses at cheap Albany hotels (NYP)  Sheldon Silver was the ultimate cheap date — bedding his “Barbie doll’’ mistress at budget hotels paid for with his taxpayer-funded per diem, sources told The Post on Monday. “It was the worst-kept secret in politics. Shelly would stay at [cheap Albany hotels] when he was up there doing state business. She was seen leaving his room on a number of occasions,’’ a politically connected source said of the convicted ex-Assembly speaker and Janele Hyer-Spencer, one of the women with whom federal authorities say he had affairs. “Let’s say it’s $100, and he spends $25 on accommodations and $25 on dining for the night. Then he’d pocket the rest. That’s why he chose’’ cheap hotels, such as the Red Carpet Inn, where rooms start as low as $55, the source said.

Silver Blocked A Bill to Protect Sexually Abused Kids After Catholic Group Hired Lobbyists the Speaker Was Sleeping With 
Sheldon Silveraccused of blocking bills to aid sexually abused kids after Catholic group hiredhis longtime aid as a lobbyist (NYDN)  Disgraced ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was all about pay to play — and sexually abused kids were the ones to pay the price. Silver stopped pushing for a bill to aid victims of predators after the state Catholic Conference hired his former long-time aide as a lobbyist, says a controversial former lawyer who has taken on the Church. John Aretakis, of upstate Troy, made the alarming charge in a scathing letter he sent to a judge who in May will sentence Silver on an unrelated federal corruption conviction. Aretakis wrote that he met with Silver each year between 2004 and 2006 to discuss the bill, which the then-powerful pol “bragged” had passed the Assembly several times with over 100 votes even as it stalled in the Senate. That changed after the lobbying firm owned by Patricia Lynch, who previously was a longtime Silver aide, took on the Catholic Church as a client, Aretakis wrote. The Church was aggressively lobbying against the bill.  Longtime aide Patricia Lynch was hired to lobby for the Catholic Conference in 2009 — the year after the last time the bill passed the Assembly. State records show that Patricia Lynch & Associates was first hired by the state Catholic Conference in 2009 — the same year the Democrats briefly took control of the chamber and had considered taking up the measure. Then-Senate Codes Committee Chairman Eric Schneiderman, now the state attorney general, tried to move the bill out of committee but the vote fell short and the measure died. “Once Ms. Lynch lobbied for the Catholic Conference, Mr. Silver’s support for our bill ended, and the bill did not come out of the Assembly’s Codes Committee ... which as speaker, he controlled,” Aretakis wrote.* The five members of a breakaway group of state Senate Democrats say they will supportnew legislation to help adults who were sexually abused as children seek legal recourse.* Cuomo: Silver’s Alleged Affairs Should Spur Ethics Reform (YNN) * According to sources, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver carried on affairs with two women at Albany-area hotels that were paid for with his taxpayer-funded per diem, the Post reports:  * Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Silver’s alleged affairs should encourage state lawmakers to approve new ethics and anti-corruption legislation and called for legislation to be passed in post-budget portion of the legislative session, State of Politicswrites:

Cancel Wins in the 65AD 
LI Kaminsky Victory - Dems More Senate Members But GOP to Stay in Control of the Chamber  
Kaminsky clinches winto take Skelos’ seat (NYP) Democratic Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky has defeated Republican Chris McGrath by just 780 votes out of 68,004 cast in Tuesday’s special election to replace Dean Skelos, according to unofficial data. There are about 3,000 absentee ballots yet to be counted in the ninth senatorial district covering towns in south Nassau, but Nassau Republican Chairman Joe Mondello all but conceded the race Wednesday, saying it’s unlikely that the outcome will change.*Democrats will outnumber GOP in N.Y. Senate, but won’t control chamber (NYDN) * Who Controls the New York State Senate? It’s Complicated. (NYT) Even if the results of the election to replace Dean G. Skelos give state Democrats a majority, little, if anything, could change between now and November.*  Silver crony Alice Cancel wins his state Assembly seat (NYP) With 87 of 98 precincts reporting, Alice Cancel had 41 percent to 35 percent for Working Families Party candidate Yuh-Line Niou. Republican candidate Lester Chang came in third with 20 percent and Green Party candidate Dennis Levy trailed with 4 percent.* Democrat ClaimsVictory in Race for Skelos Senate Seat  (NYO) Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat, has claimed victory over Republican Chris McGrath in the race to fill the vacant Senate slot representing parts of Nassau County tonight. According to the county’s Board of Elections, with about 70 percent of the vote in, Mr. Kaminsky leads with 50.2 percent to Mr. McGrath’s 38.7 percent. Mr. McGrath has not conceded in the race; his campaign said in a statement it will be too close to call tonight.* Congrats to Alice Cancel, who was supposed to be gangbanged into death by bongo bongo by a Queens/WFP/DACC NY Post (ARZT) Clusterfuck * Silver crony Alice Cancel wins his state Assembly seat (NYP) * Mixed Results Seen in Special Races to Replace Silver and Skelos (NYT)* Kaminsky held a narrow lead Tuesday night over McGrath in the special election to replace former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos – with control of the Senate potentially in the balance, Newsday reports: *  Alice Cancel clinched former Assembly Speaker SheldonSilver’s district with what she called a $5,000, community-centric campaign that triumphed over a $140,000 bid by the Working Families Party’s Yuh-Line Niou and two other candidates:* Democrat Todd Kaminsky declares victory in N.Y. Senate race (NYDN)* A spokesman for Sen. Simcha Felder, the Brooklyn Democrat, said that the senator “plans on continuing to caucus with the Republicans,” so the GOP retains control of the Senate chamber, despite Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky’s apparent win on Long Island.* Newsday writes that the votes are not there for Republicans to make up Kaminsky’s 780-ballot lead, saying there should be no needless delay in swearing him in for the job the people of Nassau County elected him to do

Diaz for Mayor Move? Endorses Wright for Congress
Laying the groundwork for a possible mayoral run in 2017, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. plans to endorse Assemblyman Keith Wright, who is also the Manhattan Democratic Party chairman, to succeed Rep. Charles Rangel, the Post reports:
More on Campaign 2017

Does the Daily News Think That the Nassau GOP Boss is the Only One Running Unqualified Puppets for Public Office?
The Problems is When the Dem Bosses Do It in the City the Puppets Win
Joe Schmo must go: Nassau boss Mondello does disservice to Republican Party (NYDN Ed) Todd Kaminsky’s special election defeat of Chris McGrath on Long Island puts Democrats thisclose to controlling the state Senate, the last bastion of Republican power in New York.  Blame one man for relegating the Empire State GOP to near-total irrelevance: dunderheaded would-be puppetmaster Joe Mondello, Nassau County party chairman. Mondello’s m.o.: elevate people of questionable qualifications whom he can control into positions of trust. Boost the machine; fail the people. Last year’s plans to anoint the utterly unqualified Kate Murray as county district attorney almost worked — until her grade-school knowledge of how prosecutions work was exposed.* Selling out on $15 just bought NY Republicans … nothing (NYP Ed)
Lobbyists Al D'Amato and the Long Island Investigation

NYC's Voting Blocks Can Gentrification Effects Be the Big Story of the Presidential Primary?  
The Battle for New York’s Key Voting Blocs (NYT)  For the first time in decades, New York will have two meaningful presidential primaries. With voting on Tuesday, here’s a look at how key blocs may determine the outcome.

Maybe because of NY restrictive voting registration  it will be the 2017 election to show the full change that gentrification has caused in NYC's Voting Block. In tuesday's election a lot of sander's supports are expected to be unregistered 

Race lost forthe new East New York: De Blasio's Brooklyn building plan fails thediscrimination test (NYDN) Yet the de Blasio administration has failed to study the potential for discriminatory racial impacts of the East New York zoning — a failure that’s more than just morally shocking. Such a review is required under federal fair housing laws. So is a meaningful response. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires the city, as a recipient of federal funds, to affirmatively further fair housing when rezoning — to address the vast housing needs of residents in racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty. The city is obligated to not just avoid perpetuating segregation but also to take steps to create opportunities for fair housing. In communities like East New York, this means preventing the displacement of low-income residents of color — rather than pushing them out to bring in waves of new faces who can afford much higher rents. That is anything but residential integration.* The Daily News writes that with de Blasio’s East New York affordable housing plan on the verge of approval, the sensible scheme could end up acting as a model for the entire city and revitalize the struggling neighborhood while retaining working class residents: *   60,000 Fewer Democrats in Brooklyn and No Clear ReasonWhy (WNYC) The county of Kings is playing an outsized role in New York State’s presidential primary race — particularly among Democrats. As the birthplace of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Brooklyn figures into nearly every one of his stump speeches. It’s also where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has based her national campaign headquarters. Yet, even as the candidates lavish love on Brooklyn, a WNYC analysis of state voter enrollment statistics found that the number of active registered Democrats dropped there by 63,558 voters between November 2015 and April 2016. That translates into a 7 percent drop in registered Democrats in the borough. 

Breaking Office Liang Sentence to Probation in Shooting of Akai Gurley
#BREAKING: Judge sentences ex-NYPD cop Peter Liang to probation, community service in shooting death of Akai Gurley* Peter Liang Gets Community Service and House Arrest forKilling Unarmed Man  * Irene Cornell, covering courts for 40+ years on @WCBS880, says she's never seen a judge reduce charge just prior to sentencing. #PeterLiang *   NYPD cop Peter Liang dodges prison for killing Akai Gurley (NYP) *Ex-New York Officer Gets 5 Years of Probation in Fatal Brooklyn Shooting (NYT) * NO JAIL FOR COP: Judge sentences former NYPD officer Peter Liang to five years probation for fatal shooting of Akai Gurley (NYDN)

 NYPD cop Peter Liang dodges prison for killing Akai Gurley (NYP) * Peter Liang ruling is a travesty: Curtis Sliwa (NYP Ed) Normally, I give the benefit of the doubt to the police, even when it is a gray area that they’re in. To find myself on the side of lifetime cop-hater Charles Barron is disturbing. But what’s right is right. On Nov. 20, 2014, then-rookie Police Officer Peter Liang and his partner made mistakes every step of the way.* There are no winners in the Peter Liang ruling (NYP Ed)  *Ex-New York Officer Gets 5 Years of Probation in Fatal Brooklyn Shooting (NYT) * Divided Reaction to Sentencing of Liang (NYT) Supporters of Peter Liang, an ex-New York police officer, and Akai Gurley, who he fatally shot, demonstrated as Mr. Liang was sentenced to probation after being convicted of manslaughter.* State Sen. James Sanders Jr., who represents the Queens district where an armed man was fatally shot by plainclothes police officers over the weekend, asked the governor to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the episode, the Times reports:** Peter Liang, the rookie cop who killed the unarmed Akai Gurley in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project, escaped jail time as a judge sentenced him to five years’ probation and 800 hours of community service, the Daily News reports:

de Blasio Defense Lawyer Who Firm Lobby's City Cancels Mayor's Fund Raiser
De Blasio’s defense lawyer cancels fund-raiser amid probe (NYP) The criminal-defense lawyer tapped by Mayor de Blasio amid allegations surrounding his 2013 campaign has reportedly canceled a fund-raiser for the mayor’s re-election bid. Barry Berke postponed the April 26 event days after de Blasio requested he contact the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan offering cooperation into the investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported. “In light of my role representing the mayor’s 2013 campaign committee, we’ve decided to postpone our event,” Berke said in an e-mail obtained by the Journal. Meanwhile, de Blasio remained mum on whether his administration has been contacted as part of the probe.* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is no longer saying he has not been contacted by the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in relation to two probes that touch on his administration and campaign donors, Politico New York reports:  * A lawyer representing de Blasio’s 2013 campaign has canceled a cocktail reception to raise money for the mayor’s 2017 re-election bid, according to an email reviewed by the Journal

The Keys to the Intelocking Directorates of the Mayor’s Fund Raising Pay to Play Governing Campaigning Scam Bharara & FBI Investigating Chart
1.  Reichberg raised money for the mayor in 2013, held a fund raiser for his Campaign for One NY PAC $9,900 to the in addition, Rechnitz was one of the biggest bundlers for de Blasio’s campaign, raking in more than $40,000 from contributors. ***  2.  Reichberg donated $50,000 to de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York — Hizzoner made his first visit to Borough Park after taking office in 2014 to Reichberg’s million-dollar-plus home for a Campaign for One New York fund-raiser  Hizzoner also does not plan to return the $50,000 that went to the Campaign for One New York.  ***  3.  Election lawyer Lawrence Mandelker works for the mayor;s Campaign for One NY PAC  4.  Mandelker works for the mayor campaign committee 5.  Mandelker represented the Advance Group on its Illegal work in the race that made Mark-Viverito the council speaker before the AG, CFB and Conflict Board  

6. The the CFB, AG and Conflict of Interest Board made the Council Speaker and Advance paid a small fine for the illegal work done by Advance Group  7,8.9,10  The mayor and Council Speaker pick all the members on the CFB and Conflict of Interest Board  11. Nislick & Neu had meeting w/ mayor 3 days after $100K donation to CONY #CarriageGate   12. Neu and Nislick donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to NYCLASS PAC that destroyed Quinns mayoral campaign Anti-horse-carriage lobbyists Steve Nislick and Wendy Neu have donated $125,000 combined to de Blasio’s nonprofit CONY — which doesn’t fall under campaign-finance law restrictions — and landed three meetings with Hizzoner through August. The huddles included a March 2 meeting that occurred three days after the lobbyists gave the nonprofit $50,000 each.  

13. The Advance Group Scott Levinson ran the NYCLASS PAC. Levinson took a Job with Nislick company Edison Parking 6 days after de Blasio was elected as mayor  14.  The leaders Berlin Rosen state off working for AG Schneiderman and have worked as political consultants for all of his recent campaigns  These public affairs firms, such as BerlinRosen, are not obligated to register as lobbyists — even though critics say they could be perceived as doing lobbying work because they have clients with business before City Hall while also having easy access to deBlasio. BerlinRosen, for instance, has overseen communications strategies for One New York, while also counting real estate developers — Forest City Ratner Companies, SL Green Realty and Two Trees Management — among its clients. Two Trees Management, the developer behind the Domino Sugar redevelopment project, donated $100,000 to One New York  

15. Red Horse works for the Campaign for One NY  16. Red Horse Works for the follow DAs Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island and Manhattan  17. John Wilhelm, labor leader and cousin of Mayor de Blasio, avoids questions about role in $175K donation to NYCLASS that funded anti-Christine Quinn campaigners  18.    de Blasio Appointed His Campaign Treasure Mark Peters Commission of DOI  19.    GiftGate’s Jona Rechnitz, was a bundler for the mayor’s 2013 election campaign, collecting checks from others that totaled $41,650 and, with his wife, personally contributing another $9,900 in October 2013. At the time, Peters was de Blasio’s treasurer. 

 20.    Lobbyists James Capalino is a target of an federal investigation of the sale of Riverington Nursing Home that had its deed changes by City Hall. Capalino – who records show had at least two other private meetings with the mayor through May of last year – led all city lobbyists in 2014, collecting $8.2 million in client fees. City records for the first nine months of last year show he’s on pace to topple that number, amassing nearly $8.3 million in fees — or nearly double the $4.6 million his firm amassed all of 2013 during the last year of the Bloomberg administration. His dozens of new clients include Uber, which wants to avoid further city-imposed regulations as it competes with the yellow-cab industry. It paid Capalino $150,000 the past two years to push its agenda. 

21. Capalino’s firm gave de Blasio’s nonprofit Campaign for One New York $10,000 in May — and the next day was granted face-time with the mayor at City Hall to discuss a City Council bill to eliminate chopper tours at the Downtown Manhattan heliport. Lobbyist who steered$50,000 to Mayor de Blasio turned Lower East Sidenursing home into luxury condos (NYDN) A powerful lobbyist steered $50,000 in donations to Mayor de Blasio after pressing the city for a deed change that allows one of his clients to turn a building restricted for use as a nursing home into luxury condos. Since October lobbyist James Capalino has collected $40,000 in checks for de Blasio's 2017 re-election bid and personally wrote a $10,000 check in May to Campaign for One New York, the non-profit de Blasio uses to promote his causes. 22. Allure's Landau Contributed $5000 to de Blasio's 2013 Campaign Allure Group official Joel Landau reportedly donated nearly $5,000 to de Blasio’s 2013 mayoral campaign; the Mayor says he’ll return the donation. [AMNY] Jona Reichberg donated $50,000 to de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York — and he and his wife shelled out the maximum of $9,900 to the mayor’s 2013 campaign, records show.  Rechnitz handed $102,000 to the Dems, records show. The party’s effort ultimately failed.  

23    Capalino has rounded up $29,260 for the mayor’s re-election in 2017 and donated $10,000 to the Campaign for One New York, the non-profit that’s raised more than $4.3 million to back de Blasio’s agenda.”  24 Capalino clients Two Trees, Toll Brothers, Asphalt Green, Brookfield Properties and Douglaston Development also contributed to the Campaign for One New York. 25. Jona Rechnitz, who sources said was “always bragging” about his political connections, attended the Gracie Gala Dinner, a fund-raiser, last October. He donated $50,000 to de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York — and he and his wife shelled out the maximum of $9,900 to the mayor’s 2013 campaign, records show. The duo served together on the mayor’s inauguration committee. Hizzoner made his first visit to Borough Park after taking office in 2014 to Reichberg’s million-dollar-plus home. There, Reichberg hosted a Campaign for One New York fund-raiser. Filings show the group took in $35,000 that day.

 26..  Bill Hyer HillTop de Blasio;s Campaign Consultant in 2013 Represents Fortis the Developer of the LICH Hospital Site that de Blasio got arrested for as a campaign prop promising to keep the hospital open during the 2013 campaign. Hyers also worked for Campaign for One NY  27    Red Horse work for the Campaign for One NY and 4 Out of 5 of the City’s Das  28.    Berlin Rosen who worked for Campaign for One NY Stated Out Working for the AG and has run all of his recent campaigns  29.    Sid Davidoff, another longtime de Blasio pal and fundraiser, got a face-to-face meeting with deBlasio in September 2014 to discuss his client, Hunts Point Terminal Market. Six months later, the mayor announced plans for a $150 million infrastructure upgrade there. Besides seeing his company’s City Hall work jump from $2.1 million during the last two years of the Bloomberg administration to $4.2 million 1 ¾ years into the de Blasio administration, Davidoff scored another private business session last May with de Blasio to discuss a “civil rights museum,” records show. He even convinced Hizzoner in April 2014 to perform his first City Hall wedding and marry him and his bride, Daily News columnist Linda Stasi  \

30. On Jan.11, de Blasio’s longtime mentor, Ickes, helped client AEG Live score a controversial permit to host a Coachella-style major music festival on Randall’s Island — on the same day he bundled $13,000 in donations for the mayor’s re-election campaign. Besides AEG Live, which shelled out $150,000 in fees, Ickes’ other clients include Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181-1061, which spent $42,000 before Ickes delivered $42 million in taxpayer funds to boost private bus driver salaries.  31    Teachers union paid $370K to fake consultant The United Federation of Teachers' payments to an apparently fictitious consulting firm raises new questions about the Advance Group's actions in the 2013 elections.  32. The Advance Group was Fined by the CFB for working for Councilmembers Levine and Cumbo at the same time they were working for the UFT PAC United for the Future  33.    All the council candidate that Red Horse worked for got mailing from the UFT’s United for the Future PAC that Red Horse Also Worked for  34    Berlin Rosen worked for the UFT the same time that they ran several candidates funding by the UFT’s PAC United for the Future.  In 2009 Berlin Rosen worked for several candidates that got campaign help from Data and Field that the CFB ruled was a illegal campaign arm of the WFP not a private company.  de Blasio also got funded by Data and Field.  

 35.  de Blasio after he was elected mayor work to elect Mark-Viverito as speaker of the City Counci   36  Rechnitz and his wife each donated the maximum $4,950 to de Blasio’s campaign, which the mayor has said he would return.  37  De Blasio’S Astoria Cove Deal Looks ALot Like Bloomberg  38.  de Blasio campaign treasurer Richard Offinger was also once treasurer of Campaign for One New York  39.  Two Trees gave $100,000 to the Campaign for One New York

More on Dark Pool Corrupt Consultant Who Will Have to Register As Lobbyists

1199 Likes Cuomo, de Blasio and Senate GOP But Not WFP
1199 likes Cuomo, de Blasio and Senate GOP but not WFP
The Working Families Party, which is supporting Sanders for president, has lost the financial backing of several of the state’s biggest unions. The rifts mostly began in 2014 over disagreements regarding Cuomo’s reelection and have continued through this year’s presidential primaries, in which most of the state’s big unions are backing Clinton.

Yup Another Federal Investigaion of an Albany Leader?
Heastie Federal Probe Heats Up
Next up in NYC’s corruption probe: Carl Heastie (NYP) Federal prosecutors are probing Democratic Party records related to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, The Post has learned. A former Bronx Democratic Party official was subpoenaed last week to appear before a grand jury with all of the books and records of the party pertaining to Heastie, a law-enforcement source told The Post. The stunning revelation that one of the three most powerful men in Albany is caught up in yet another federal probe comes months after the corruption convictions of the state Assembly and Senate leaders, Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos. Ischia Bravo, a former executive director of the Bronx Democratic County Committee, would neither confirm nor deny that she had received the subpoena issued by an Albany grand jury. But she suggested she had been contacted by authorities. “I think they were just unaware that I was not there anymore so I no longer have records or have retained records,” Bravo said. She left the party job last year and is now running for the Assembly herself, challenging incumbent Democrat José Rivera. County committees choose and fund candidates, aid campaigns and can pay for political expenses like travel. They must document their finances to the state Board of Elections. The board is based in Albany, the jurisdiction of the US attorney for the Northern District of New York, where the subpoena was issued. The Bronx committee had $80,000 in its coffers as of July 2015, state records show.

DOI's Peters Walks the Plank Out of de Blasio Campaign Probe 
DOI commissioner exits de Blasio’s campaign probe (NYP)After resisting calls to step aside, Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters announced late Friday that he’s removing himself from the agency’s probe of the mayor’s 2013 campaign — on which he served as treasurer. The mounting pressure included calls from Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito that Peters keep his word from two years ago to step away from any DOI probes of de Blasio’s campaign. “A potential conflict may exist here and we believe a recusal is appropriate at this time,” her spokesman Eric Koch told The Post just hours before DOI issued a two-sentence statement saying Peters was out.*  Ted Hamm ‏@HammerDaily 
In '13, BdB told UWS donors that he was 'most progressive' candidate b/c he wasn't corrupt. Should those supporters get $ back?  * New York EthicsRules Quiet on Lawmaker-Lobbyist Relationships (WSJ) Peters, who heads the Department of Investigation and served as the mayor's 2013 campaign treasurer, issued a brief statement Friday afternoon. "As has been reported, the Department of Investigation, in conjunction with its law enforcement partners, is investigating allegations related to certain campaign donors. In order to avoid the appearance of a conflict, the commissioner has recused himself from these matters," according to a statement his press office emailed. His spokeswoman, Nicole Turso, confirmed the recusal relates to two separate investigations: a wide-ranging probe into the mayor's campaign donors and an examination of the city's decision to lift a deed restriction, which allowed a non-profit health care facility to be sold to a luxury condo developer.* De Blasio’s Investigations Chief Recuses Himself From Fund-Raising Inquiry (NYT) The move by Commissioner Mark G. Peters, who served as campaign treasurer for Mayor Bill de Blasio in the 2013 race, was an abrupt turnaround.*Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters recuses himself from probe of Mayor de Blasio’s fundraising  (NYDN) UPDATE DOI Commissioner Peters after being shamed by editorial boards recuses himself from DEB fundraising investigations* De Blasio can’t escape corruption probe questions in first ‘Ask the Mayor’ (NYP) Mayor de Blasio kicked off his first “Ask the Mayor” TV appearance under a dark cloud Sunday, fielding questions on low approval ratings and probes into donors who allegedly bartered gifts for NYPD favors. Days after instructing his lawyer to contact US Attorney Preet Bharara to offer “help” with the investigation, de Blasio said he still hasn’t heard back from the feds. “It’s a straightforward situation. We haven’t been contacted in any way shape or form from any federal agency,” he said. “We’re happy to help in any way we can. We still have not been asked any questions.” Monday Update Mayor Bill de Blasio during his new TV show was peppered with questions about a federal investigation into donors to his campaign, his affordable housing plan and a rise in stabbings in the city and his falling approval ratings, the Post reports

DOI Commissioner Peters Blind to de Blasio's Administration Conflict
of Interests and His Own
The Nursing Home and NYPD Giftgate Federal Investigations has Shown Us the Conflict of Interests In Mayoral Picked Controlled DOI
Mark Peters: A ‘watchdog’ blind even to his own conflicts of interest (NYP Ed) Why did it take so long for city Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters to accept that his playing any role in the investigations into Mayor de Blasio’s campaign fund-raising is a blatant conflict of interest? Blatant — because he was the treasurer of that very campaign. Peters on Friday finally bowed to the inevitable — to everyone but him, anyway — and recused himself from any involvement. ut he only did so after a close mayoral ally, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, joined the chorus calling on him to step aside. She reminded him that he’d specifically promised the City Council he’d recuse himself from anything involving the campaign. Until now, Peters kept offering tortured excuses as to how he could be impartial. And never mind that he’d also told the council it was unthinkable to him that de Blasio would ever do anything unethical. Now the mayor’s campaign is the subject of an ever-widening influence-peddling probe — one Peters at first claimed would be hindered if he stepped aside. Conflict of interest seems to be the name of the game at City Hall these days. Richard Emery just left the Civilian Complaint Review Board over as-blatant conflicts involving his law firm, plus harassment allegations. Truth be told, Peters’ DOI seems incapable of finding conflicts of interest anywhere in this administration. That Mark Peters failed for so long to see his own conflict here suggests that recusal isn’t enough: He’s just wrong for the job.

NYT Editorial Say DOI Commissioner and de Blasio 2013 Should Step Aside and Let the Feds Handle Investigation Into the Mayor's Fundraising
New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters, a friend of the mayor and the treasurer of his 2013 campaign, should recuse himself and let federal investigators complete their inquiry into the mayor’s fundraising, the Times writes:  * End Potential Conflict of Interest in de BlasioAdministration (NYT) A federal corruption investigation is reportedly looking into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign fund-raising, among other things. The inquiry includes two businessmen who raised a lot of money for the mayor, several top officials of the New York Police Department and the mayor’s tax-exempt lobbying group, the Campaign for One New York. Where the investigation is going and what it will find is, for now, anyone’s guess. There are many unconnected dots. But this we do know: One of the agencies also looking into this mess — the Department of Investigation, which is charged with rooting out crimes and abuses in the de Blasio administration — is run by Mark Peters, a friend of the mayor and the treasurer of his 2013 campaign — the very campaign that is part of what’s been called this “long-running,” “wide-ranging” (and so far baffling) investigation. This we also know: Mr. Peters should recuse himself and let the feds and others take it from here. But he says he won’t — arguing that there is no real or imagined conflict of interest, apparently because any alleged lawbreaking happened after he was treasurer. “The allegations of wrongdoing regarding campaign finance postdate Commissioner Peters’s involvement with the campaign,” the department said on Wednesday. “His recusal at this time would only serve to impede D.O.I.’s active investigation of this matter.” How Mr. Peters is able to pinpoint the timing of the allegations is unclear. The feds have not tipped their hand. Mr. Peters is in a bind, even if he doesn’t see it. It’s the appearance of a conflict, something the City Council anticipated when it was considering Mr. Peters for the job. “How close is too close?” Council member Daniel Garodnick asked, not quite rhetorically, about Mr. Peters’s relationship with Mr. de Blasio in January 2014, at a committee hearing. Mr. Garodnick asked Mr. Peters what might make him recuse himself from an investigation — say, if city campaign-finance watchdogs asked his agency to investigate problems in the campaign he had worked for, maybe things for which he was personally responsible. Mr. Peters was straight-up in response. “I can tell you sitting here now I am as confident as I can be of anything in this world that there is absolutely no possibility that the Campaign Finance Board could find anything involved in this campaign, but since we’re dealing with hypotheticals, yes. If the Campaign Finance Board were to make a referral to D.O.I. involving the mayor’s 2013 mayoral campaign, then yes, for that I would recuse myself.” Well, the hypothetical is here. The shadow involves federal investigators, not city ones, but still. Here is Mr. Peters from the same hearing, quoting what he said were Mr. de Blasio’s instructions to him, about integrity: “If you ever see us doing anything, if you ever see a contribution or anything that bothers you, you know you pull the rip cord and everything stops.” It’s rip-cord time, Mr. Peters. Pull it. * Inquiries Cloud de Blasio’s Bid to Come Off as Strong Manager Before ’17 Race (NYT) Even as Mayor Bill de Blasio works to portray himself as an effective municipal steward ahead of the election, four investigations have put his ability and style under scrutiny.

DEB's most transparent adm "ever" won't disclose how lower east side property that involved DEB donors was appraised at half its value

de Blasio Lawyer;s Up With A Lobby Law Firm That Does Business With the City 
Meanwhile, de Blasio brought in attorney Barry Berke of Kramer Levin on Tuesday to offer legal representation for issues surrounding his 2013 mayoral campaign. Berke will be paid with funds from that campaign. De Blasio said Berke will provide assistance to Bharara’s office in its campaign finance inquiry. Kramer Levin is a law firm that’s currently lobbying the mayor’s office on behalf of several clients, records show.* De Blasio Hires White Collar Crime Lawyer For FederalProbe (DNAINFO)* The mayor has lawyered up, instructing and attorney representing his 2013 mayoral campaign, Barry Berke, to call federal prosecutors on his behalf. Berke is a white-collar lawyer who once represented former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik in a federal corruption case in which he was convicted.

Just Like Ever One Knows About Corruption in Albany Everyone Knew About Silver's Affairs for Years
The affairs were poorly-kept secrets, Albany insiders said. Lynch and Silver were seen kissing in an elevator at the 2008 Democratic Convention in LA. Another legislative source said Silver and Hyer-Spencer had adjoining rooms during a 2008 Assembly trip to Israel. This, even though other lawmakers were also staying in the same hotel. Silver and Hyer-Spencer were also seen together in the hotel lobby at the Somos Uno conference during one of the Assembly’s annual post-election trips to Puerto Rico.

Silver Slept With A Lobbyists and Another Woman
Lobbyist having affair w Shelly tells him, on client matter: "I don't talk to anybody about the issue except you."
The @NYDailyNews, citing an anonymous source, says Sheldon Silver was having an affair with lobbyist Patricia Lynch.
Sheldon Silver cheated on his wife with two women (NYP)  While serving as Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver was engaged in extramarital affairs with two women – one of whom lobbied him on behalf of clients who had business before the state and the other for whom he used his position to recommend a state job, according to new documents from his criminal case. The revelation was included in the documents, which were unsealed Friday morning. The documents redacted the names of the two women, as well as other information about. Prosecutors had wanted to introduce the evidence during Silver’s corruption trial last year. At the heart of the secret files is a mysterious “Sealed Party A” – an unidentified woman whose name was never mentioned at Silver’s trial.  But her high-powered attorney Abbe Lowell has been fighting tooth and nail to stop the documents from going public. Judge Valerie Caproni said the filings – which pertain to a hearing last October about evidence that wasn’t presented at trial – add to Silver’s already tarnished reputation as ex-Assembly speaker. She alluded that the secret documents are related to “misuses of [Silver’s] public office.” “This is not one of his better moments,” Caproni said in court. The judge also noted that Lowell’s client was a public figure — and for that reason, there was a public interest in the matter.In filings, prosecutors insisted the information goes to Silver’s “ethics or integrity, separation of his personal business from his official position, and/or character for truthfulness and honesty.” “The Government did not seek to admit evidence of those relationships at trial on its direct case, but asserted that such evidence would be relevant and admissible if the defendant introduced character evidence suggesting that he was careful to separate his personal business from official business or that he was a man of integrity or a good family man,” one of the filings states. Documents allege there is “credible and corroborated evidence that while serving as Speaker of the Assembly, the defendant engaged in extramarital relationships with two women.” In one instance, the information was gained “inadvertent” by investigators who were listening to Silver’s phone calls. Silver’s relationship with the lobbyist “regularly lobbied the defendant on behalf of clients who had business before the state” the document states while she was able to “obtained certain clients in part because of her access to the defendant.” In one of the recordings with the lobbyist, Silver and the woman discuss an inquiry from a reporter about “affairs” with state legislators. “I don’t think he caught us,” Silver is alleged to have said in the conversation. Silver acknowledges to the woman that it is “not safe” they be seen together in public. In the record conversation, the lobbyist complained to Silver that she was not being treated well by a top member of Silver’s staff. The second woman, meanwhile, was the beneficiary of a state job that Silver “used his official position” to secure for her. The unnamed post was one Silver “exercised a particularly high level of control.” Silver kept two different cell phones, one that appeared to be for official use and a second that he used for personal discussions and was billed to a different name.Flashback ‘Silver’-spoon gal climbing the ladder (NYP) A former state assemblywoman and close ally of Speaker Sheldon Silver has quietly left her cushy job at the state Education Department for an even higher-paying one in state Family Court. Janele Hyer-Spencer, a motorcycle-riding former beauty queen, left her post as a legislative liaison for the Education Department on Jan. 29. Hyer-Spencer, a Democrat, was hired in September 2011 — after voters had booted her from her Assembly seat. As The Post reported last year, Silver — who has sway with the Board of Regents, which oversees the education agency — recommended Hyer-Spencer for he $84,000-a-year position. In March, Hyer-Spencer quietly took a new job as a “support” magistrate with the New York City Family Court. She’s now making $99,600 to work on child- support, paternity and other family issues, state payroll records show. Silver’s childhood friend Jonathan Lippman is chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals and oversees administration of the state courts.Skelos   Judge denies new trial for disgraced former Majority LeaderDean Skelos.  * New YorkEthics Rules Quiet on Lawmaker-Lobbyist Relationships (WSJ) * U.S. Cites Extramarital Affairs as Misuse of Power in Sheldon Silver Case (NYT) Two women were connected to Mr. Silver’s position as State Assembly speaker, according to newly unsealed papers from his federal corruption trial.
@hudsonette @darehgregorian it appears that lobbyists not only raise $ 4 pols but provide other services

Despite Warning From Aide Team de Blasio Show Me the Money
De Blasio aide warned about shady businessmen in NYPD probe (NYP) A top aide to Mayor de Blasio had warned against putting the businessmen now at the center of the NYPD corruption scandal onto Hizzoner’s 2014 inaugural committee, The Post has learned.  But Avi Fink was blown off by de Blasio’s chief fund-raiser — whose campaign-finance work is under investigation — and also by the committee’s chairwoman. Fink, a mayoral adviser on Jewish issues who is on leave working for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, told Ross Offinger and Gabrielle Fialkoff that he had concerns about Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz, sources said Thursday. Offinger and Fialkoff, a jewelry heiress who now holds a $203,000-a-year City Hall job, let them join the committee anyway. 1 inauguration ceremony and a spot on a receiving line to congratulate the mayor, as well as an invitation to a Gracie Mansion breakfast the next Sunday. Perks of a committee appointment included seating at the Jan. Rechnitz and his wife each donated the maximum $4,950 to de Blasio’s campaign, which the mayor has said he would return. After de Blasio’s election, Reichberg hosted a fund-raiser at his Borough Park home that raked in $35,000 for the Campaign for One New York, the mayor’s now-defunct nonprofit. Fink, Offinger and Fialkoff — who runs the de Blasio-created Office of Strategic Partnerships — did not return calls for comment.* A top aide to de Blasio warned against putting Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz, the businessmen at the center of the NYPD corruption scandal, on his 2014 inaugural committee, but was ignored, the Postreports: *  What’s the Biggest Scandal in de Blasio’s Administration?That He Belongs to the Developers Destroying New York City (Huff Post)

Union Boss Seabrook Caught In Rechnitz Hedge Fund
Center of NYPD probe steered union cash to hedge fund: report (NYP) A businessman at the heart of the NYPD corruption scandal steered the president of the city correction-officers union — who is also under federal investigation — to a hedge fund where he invested $10 million in membership money, according to a report Thursday. Jona Rechnitz helped Norman Seabrook, head of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, put the union’s cash into the Platinum Partners hedge fund, The Wall Street Journal reported. Seabrook was among the first law-enforcement officials scrutinized by the FBI in the suspected gifts-for-favors scheme involving Rechnitz, Jeremy Reichberg and top NYPD brass, sources have told The Post. Rechnitz has ties to the Platinum Partners hedge fund through one of its initial investors, Murray Huberfeld. Huberfeld has a shady past that includes pleading guilty to a misdemeanor in 1992 for having a stand-in take his brokerage-licensing exam and, with a business partner, getting fined $4.7 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1998 for illegally selling restricted stock.* A businessman who is a focus of a federal corruption probe into the NYPD and de Blasio’s fundraising helped arrange an investment of at least $10 million in a hedge-fund firm by the city’s correction officers’ union, the Journal writes: *De Blasio donor spent $655K of City funds on museum program (NYP) A Mayor de Blasio donor under federal investigation for lavishing cops with gifts also helped pry taxpayer money from the City Council for a police training program he supported, The Post has learned. Real-estate investor Jona Rechnitz used his connections to siphon $655,000 over the past two years from the City Council to fund a law-enforcement sensitivity seminar at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance, a source familiar with Rechnitz said. “Rechnitz was able to secure funding from the council for a program he had an affinity for, based on his status as a heavy political contributor,” the source said. The Wiesenthal Center established a program in 2004 to teach cops to be more tolerant to religious and cultural minorities. A museum spokesman called the seminar “universally acclaimed and respected” and said it trained 13,555 officers over the years. The spokesman said Rechnitz has been a benefactor and volunteer at the Midtown museum since 2012. The Upper West Side macher gave the museum thousands of dollars in 2014 after winning $25,000 on a $500 Super Bowl prop bet.

de Blasio Approval Poll Numbers Fall 10% Since Feburary Approval Down to 35% 
De Blasio's Approval Numbers Drop 10 Points from February, According to NY1/Baruch College Poll (NY1)Mayor Bill de Blasio's approval rating is taking a nosedive in the city as a growing scandal threatens to engulf his administration and the NYPD, according to our exclusive NY1/Baruch College poll, which also shows Governor Andrew Cuomo faring much better statewide Mayor Bill de Blasio's poll numbers are suffering. His approval rating dropped 10 points from February to 48 percent. 31 percent of city voters say they disapprove of the job he's doing, and 19 percent say they are not sure.De Blasio's poll numbers are suffering, according to an NY1/Baruch College poll, with his approval rating dropping 10 points from February to 48 percent and 31 percent of city voters disapproving of the job he's doing:* De Blasio’s approval rating dropped 10 percentage points from February to 48 percent, with 31 percent of city voters saying they disapprove of the job he’s doing, and 19 percent say they are not sure, according to a NY1/Baruch College poll. * A Wall Street Journal-NBC New York-Marist poll found New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s approval rating fell to its lowest level since taking office, with 35 percent of voters describing his job performance as excellent or good, The Wall Street Journal reports:

In Liberal NY Your Elected Officials Don't Want Your Vote to Count So They Can Stay in Office Forever and Rob Us Blind

Who Will Be the First Asshole Pol to Put Out A Press Release We Much Change the Voting Law Right After We Pass An Ethic Bill?

NewYork election law will disenfranchise thousands: Ivanka and Eric Trump aren'talone; Bernie Sanders' voters will get hurt by an insanely early partyregistration deadline (NYDN)  Notwithstanding its reputed liberalism, New York State is hobbled by the most restrictive voter registration law in the country. Democrats have spent the past several years complaining — with good reason — about Republican-led attempts to implement so-called "voter-ID" laws in other states, leading to unduly burdensome constraints on the right to vote and disenfranchising marginalized classes of citizens. But coupled with epic bureaucratic ineptitude, which already systematically undercuts the right to vote here, New York's registration law may have disenfranchised far more people than the voter ID laws elsewhere ever could. To test this hypothesis, I attended a Bernie Sanders rally over the weekend on the Coney Island boardwalk; it was scenic tableau from which to ring in the final stretch of campaigning before April 19, when Democrats go to the polls. Of the roughly 50 rally-goers queried in my informal survey, around half were ineligible to vote in the Democratic primary next week.  How the BOE Will Hand People who are Not on Their Official List of Registered Voters Everyone who show up to vote and found not to be on the registered voters list will be given an A Ballot which will only be counted if the person if found to be a registered voter by a BOE reporte  3 Million Registered Voters Cannot Vote in the Primary     Independent voters could make polling sites a nightmare (NYP) Unlike other states, New York allows only registered party members to vote in their respective primaries. So the 5.3 million registered Democrats can vote for Sanders or Hillary Clinton and the 2.6 million Republicans can vote for Donald Trump, John Kasich or Ted Cruz. But nearly 3 million independents and other party members are shut out.

California's governance has improved dramatically under non partisan elections and independent redistricting! New York's is a disgrace!

VOTER SUPPRESSION NY STYLE  Mass Confusion At the Polls Caused By the Bum Lawmakers Protecting Their Jobs With A Election Law That Prevents New Yorkers From Voting
Independent voters could make polling sites a nightmare (NYP) A lot of Sanders people who come from the ranks of independent voters are not actually registered Democrats and they will cause lines and waits at the poll sites while they attempt to vote affidavit ballots or obtain court orders to vote,” said John Conklin, a spokesman for the state Board of Elections.

Another de Blasio Commssioner Gone and New One Picked Walking Conflict of Interests Charges Already 
CCRB Head Emery Under Fire Resigns
Emery:... recent circumstances will preclude me from further fulfilling my goals as Chair of the CCRB CCRB boss accused of calling female staffers ‘pussies’ resigns (NYP) Embattled Civilian Complaint Review Board chairman Richard Emery resigned Wednesday after afemale colleague sued him for allegedly calling her ​and another female staffer “pu—-s.” “After a lengthy substantive discussion with the Mayor, he and I agree that the confluence of recent circumstances will preclude me from further fulfilling my goals as Chair of the Civilian Complaint Review Board (“CCRB”),” Emery said​​ in a statement.* Good riddance to cop-bashing CCRB chief Richard Emery (NYP Ed)*   CCRB chair resigns a day after exec director sues him (NYDN) * DOI chief Peters won't recuse self from A.G. de Blasio probe (NYDN) *   Richard Emery, Accused of Sexist Remarks, Quits Police Review Board(NYT) * Civilian Complaint Review Board Chairman Richard Emery abruptly stepped down as head of the police watchdog group a day after he was sued because of alleged crass comments about female coworkers, the Daily Newsreports: Friday Update De Blasio’s pick to run CCRB a ‘walking conflict of interest’ (NYP)
* A Civilian Complaint Review Board member said Mina Malik, de Blasio’s choice to run the day-to-day operations after the chairman, Richard Emery, stepped down, is a “walking conflict of interest” with ties to anti-cop lawyers, the Post writes:

Bratton NYPD Scandal Historically Bad Back to Knapp Commission Days
Bratton admits NYPD corruption scandal is historically bad (NYDN) Top cop Bill Bratton admitted on Wednesday that the corruption scandal roiling his department is historically bad — saying the NYPD hasn’t been through a darker period since the early 1970s. “You’d have to probably go back to the Knapp Commission days to find one that has that focus on the senior leadership of the department,” Bratton told The Post’s Editorial Board.“Back in the Knapp days, it was so pervasive throughout the department.” That investigation exposed rampant bribe-taking at all ranks of the department, led to criminal charges against dozens of crooked cops and derailed the presidential ambitions of then-Mayor John Lindsay.Bratton’s comments came as a fifth NYPD commander — the head of Manhattan North Patrol Borough — was demoted amid the widening probe into police bosses trading favors for gifts. Sources then revealed that the commander’s counterpart in Manhattan South had also been questioned by the feds. Bratton warned there might be more rogue cops.* The questions Bratton can’t answer (yet) on the NYPD corruption scandal (NYP) Police Commissioner Bill Bratton can’t say much yet about the corruption investigation that’s already seen four deputy chiefs and a precinct commander disciplined — yet he plainly knows the questions are piling up. * New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton admitted that the corruption scandal roiling his department is historically bad, said the NYPD hasn’t been through a darker period since the early 1970s and warned more arrests are possible, the Post writes: * NYPD officials have reassigned another high-ranking officer amid a federal probe into whether officers accepted gifts from businessmen with ties to de Blasio.* NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton admitted this scandal is historically bad, saying: “You’d have to probably go back to the Knapp Commission days to find (a corruption scandal) that has that focus on the senior leadership of the department.”

Officer LIANG 'THAT’S MY OPINION, AND I’M ENTITLED TO IT': Peter Liang trial juror who never revealed father's manslaughter conviction also made anti-cop comments on Facebook (NYDN) * Juror Imperils Conviction of Peter Liang, Ex-Officer, in Brooklyn Killing (NYT) A juror in the trial of Mr. Liang, who shot Akai Gurley in a stairwell, is said to have hidden the fact that his father had been imprisoned for an accidental shooting.* A Brooklyn judge on Wednesday postponed the sentencing of a former NYPD Officer Peter Liang, who was convicted of manslaughter, as defense attorneys argued the verdict should be thrown out due to juror misconduct, the Journal writes: * A Brooklyn judge postponed the sentencing of former NYPD Officer Peter Liang, who was convicted of manslaughter, as defense attorneys argued the verdict should be thrown out due to juror misconduct. *  The outcome of the Liang case is imperiled by an unusual and unexpected question: Did one of the jurors, a retired carpenter, hide his father’s criminal past in order to be a panelist at the trial?

Last Thursday's True News
Time for the Mayor to Hire A Lawyer 
The corruption probe by the FBI and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is looking into whether polices officers accepted lavish gifts and vacations in exchange for police escorts and security. But the investigation also involves businessmen Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz, who both served on de Blasio’s inaugural committee in 2013 and contributed to his campaign. Now, sources told Kramer the feds are questioning people in the real estate industry about how the mayor raises money. Sources said the questions from the U.S. Attorney’s office have focused on how donations are solicited by team de Blasio – including former campaign treasurer Ross Offinger. Reichberg and Rechnitz’s phones were tapped as investigators looked at their ties to former NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks. Rechnitz and his wife gave $9,000 to de Blasio’s 2013 campaign. He also gave $50,000 to de Blasio’s controversial nonprofit Campaign for One New York, which was used to raise money for his initiatives, Kramer reported. Rechnitz further ponied up $102,000 when de Blasio asked for help to get Democrats to take control of the New York State Senate, Kramer reported. Reichberg hosted a Campaign for one New York fundraiser that netted $35,000, Kramer reported.

de Blasio Approval Poll Numbers Fall 10% Since Feburary 
De Blasio's Approval Numbers Drop 10 Points from February, According to NY1/Baruch College Poll (NY1)Mayor Bill de Blasio's approval rating is taking a nosedive in the city as a growing scandal threatens to engulf his administration and the NYPD, according to our exclusive NY1/Baruch College poll, which also shows Governor Andrew Cuomo faring much better statewide Mayor Bill de Blasio's poll numbers are suffering. His approval rating dropped 10 points from February to 48 percent. 31 percent of city voters say they disapprove of the job he's doing, and 19 percent say they are not sure.* De Blasio's poll numbers are suffering, according to an NY1/Baruch College poll, with his approval rating dropping 10 points from February to 48 percent and 31 percent of city voters disapproving of the job he's doing:* De Blasio’s approval rating dropped 10 percentage points from February to 48 percent, with 31 percent of city voters saying they disapprove of the job he’s doing, and 19 percent say they are not sure, according to a NY1/Baruch College poll.

The CFB Should Deny de Blasio’s 2017 Matching Funds Just Like They Did In 2013 for John Liu Mayoral Campaign

The Campaign Finance Board must rule that the mayor’s Campaign for One NY PAC was set up to re-elect the mayor in 2017.  Once they rule that the PAC was a de Blasio illegal campaign tool and must deny the mayor CFB matching funds like they did in 2013 to John Liu for Illegal Campaign Activity. Be Confident that All the Candidates Running Against the Mayor Will Demand the CFB Does Not Give Any Matching Funds to de Blasio
John Liu Gets 'DeathPenalty' From Campaign Finance Board (DNAIFO Aug 5th 2013)  The New York City Campaign Finance Board unanimously decided not to award Comptroller John Liu’s mayoral campaign millions in public funding on Monday, over what it said were pervasive questions about the campaign’s fundraising practices. The board’s decision dealt a significant blow to a mayoral campaign that has struggled to overcome a federal investigation and trial over its fundraising practices, even as the candidate has maintained his innocence and no charges have been filed against him. “[T]here is reason to believe that violations of the [campaign finance laws] and Board rules have been committed by his campaign,” Rev. Joseph Parkes, the board’s chair, said, reading from a statement. “The evidence suggests that the potential violations are serious and pervasive across the campaign’s fundraising.” In May, two Liu campaign staffers were convicted in Manhattan Federal Court of attempted wire fraud after an undercover FBI operation caught them trying to skirt campaign finance laws. Connor testified to the board that the Liu campaign had returned 35 donations and maintained that Liu and his campaign knew nothing of the violations.

Update: de Blasio Starts the Lawyering Up De Blasio tells his campaign lawyer to contact prosecutor(CrainsNY) The mayor instructed Barry Berke, the attorney for his 2013 bid, to offer 'help' to Bharara in reported probe

Daily News Says de Blasio Admits Campaign for 1NY PAC is Political 
de Blasio defends his extracurricular fundraising as made necessary by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which, he says, enabled “$10 million of advertising against me and my agenda.” By citing Citizens United, which held that corporations may spend unlimited sums on elections if donors are disclosed, the mayor tacitly admits that the purpose of the Campaign for One New York was political.
Which raises more of the questions that the mayor refuses to answer: Why did his people tell the conflicts board, in seeking clearance for de Blasio to fundraise for the Campaignfor One New York, that the organization would merely be “informing the public and policymakers about legislative and public policy options”? And how can de Blasio boast that he’s better than the wealthy conservative Koch brothers, when he follows their playbook in doing a do-gooder end run around campaign finance rules to boost his political fortunes? His silence speaks volumes. NY Times Ignores the Bharara Investigation Today As It Tries to Distract  
 The Times writes that de Blasio, who often talks about the gap between rich and poor in New York City and beyond, should take a hard look at a nonprofit’s proposal for a universal summer jobs program, which would help kids get a full-time job later:    * The Daily News writes that de Blasio’s refusal to take continuing questions from journalists on several reported probes into his campaign finance dealings speaks volumes, especially for a politician who has criticized others on political money: * De Blasio Continues to FaceQuestions About Federal Probe, Controversial Joke (NY1)

What Do the Mayor's Friend Get by Joining (Contributing) to Campaign for 1NY?
Answer this, Mr.Mayor, on the Campaign for One New York (NYDN Ed) Questions with potentially severe consequences will linger for the mayor at least long as Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara keeps asking them. Then, too, the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board has much to discuss with the mayor, assuming that the see-no-evil panel finally recognizes that it’s supposed to enforce the law. Presciently, in February the good government group Common Cause asked the board, as well as campaign finance regulators, to check out the mayor’s money maneuvering through the Campaign for One New York. Hmmm . . . What, if anything, did benefactors Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz expect in return for their sizeable fundraising? What exactly did the mayor’s aides discuss with Reichberg and Rechnitz before and after their money came through? What did de Blasio say as he rattled the tin cup at a dinner in Reichberg’s Brooklyn home? Did he declare that donors would receive no special access to city officials or preferential treatment — as city conflicts rules say he must? Did the mayor or anyone from his administration solicit Campaign for One New York funding from the taxi industry, animal rights activists or the teachers union, knowing each had business before the city — a big conflicts no-no? Stepping back from transactional details to the big picture: De Blasio ran for office under a public financing system that gave his campaign $4 million and capped his spending so that all candidates would compete on a level playing field. Exempt from the spending limits, supporters spent lavishly on attack ads that demolished rival Christine Quinn. The mayor has insisted he had nothing to do with the hit job.* De Blasio Donor Lost$1.9M in Ponzi Scheme Linked to Corruption Probe (DNAINFO)  A landlord who donated to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s transition team was one of the biggest losers in an alleged Ponzi scheme that’s connected to a federal probe of the NYPD and the mayor’s campaign fundraising practices, records show. Gerald Leibman, 74, who has owned Bronx properties that have landed on the public advocate’s bad landlord list, lost $1.9 million to accused fraudster Hamlet Peralta, according to court documents.  Last week Manhattan federal prosecutors charged Peralta, a 36-year-old Bronx restaurateur, with running a pyramid scheme that bilked investors out of $12 million.The criminal case grew out of a public corruption investigation by the FBI and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

PoliticoNY: Bharara Looking into the Rivington Deal Is He Taking Over AG Investigation?  
Bharara looking into Rivington deal, sources say (CapitalNY) U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara is looking into the de Blasio administration's lifting of a deed restriction on a Manhattan nursing home that is now slated to become luxury condos, several sources confirmed to POLITICO New York.  The matter is already under investigation by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the city Department of Investigation and City Comptroller Scott Stringer. ttorneys working for Bharara, who is also probing two of Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign donors in an unrelated case, attended a recent meeting about the deed restriction change with staff from other investigating agencies, according to a source with knowledge of the meeting and confirmed by two other sources.Attorneys working for Bharara, who is also probing two of Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign donors in an unrelated case, attended a recent meeting about the deed restriction change with staff from other investigating agencies, according to a source with knowledge of the meeting and confirmed by two other sources.* Preet Bharara IsComing After the Executive Branch Next (NYO) Look out, mayors and governors: After toppling both Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Leader Dean Skelos with public corruption last year, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said tonight he has his eye on the executive branch, too. “We will keep looking hard at corruption in our legislative branch, as we have been. But not just there: in the executive branch too, both in city and in state government,” Mr. Bharara said tonight. “Executive offices in government are far from immune from a creeping show-me-the-money culture that has been pervading New York for some time now.”*   Preet Bharara probing city’s sketchy nursing home deal (NYP)* Preet Bharara says de Blasio, Cuomo should 'stay tuned' (NYDN)* U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office is examining the de Blasio administration’s lifting of deed restrictions on a health facility, which was sold for what appears to be a $72 million profit, as well as treatment of donors to the mayor’s nonprofit, The Wall Street Journal reports: * Bharara is reportedly looking into the de Blasio administration’s lifting of a deed restriction on a Manhattan nursing home that is now slated to become luxury condos. The matter is already under investigation by AG Eric Schneiderman’s office, the NYC Department of Investigation and NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer. * FBI Corruption Probe Could Complicate de Blasio’s Job (NY Mag) * @PreetBharara: "We will keeplooking hard at corruption... both in city & state government"(PoliticoNY) * City Appraisal In Rivington Deed Deal Fell Far Short(WSJ) Value of $65 million was about half the sale price for 45 Rivington St.

Bharara to Albany: Sign Ethic Contract or Else
Bharara issued an executive warning that his push to clean up corruption isn’t limited to the state Legislature and that he would continue to look into the executive branch at the city and state levels, the Daily Newswrites: * Two commissioners on the state's Joint Commission on Public Ethics, appointees of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, have tendered their resignations, the Times Union writes:  * After toppling both Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Leader Dean Skelos with public corruption last year, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said he has his eye on the executive branch, too.* “Executive offices in government are far from immune from the creeping show-me-the-money culture that has been pervading New York for some time now,” Bharara said.

NYPD Cop: Blame de Blasio for Your Ticket Update de Blasio Suspends Cop
Thursday Bratton defends suspension of de Blasio-bashing cop (NYP) Top cop Bill Bratton defended the decision tosuspend a Bronx officer without pay for badmouthing Mayor de Blasio — telling The Post on Wednesday that the cop caused “damage” to the NYPD and hurt its reputation “around the country.”

Wednesday Badmouthing de Blasio gets you suspended — but accepting gifts is OK (NYP)A young cop was stripped of his gun, badge and paycheck just for speaking ill of Mayor de Blasio — yet bosses whom the feds suspect of accepting lavish gifts for favors are still collecting their salaries. Rank-and-file officers ripped the NYPD on Tuesday over the double standard and the rush to judgment. “There’s a two-year investigation going on, with a deputy inspector [allegedly] getting diamonds, and they just got transferred,” one officer said. “But a cop gives a guy a ticket and voices his opinion, and he gets suspended after a two-day investigation.”* The cop who’s paying a steep price for telling the truth (NYP Ed) * The Post writes that NYPD Officer Joseph Spina, who apologized for ticketing a motorist in the west Bronx and blamed it on the mayor, has just learned that there’s a heavy price to be paid for telling the truth on the job: Another Cop Transfered Deputy police chief transferred in widening corruption probe (NYP) Another high-ranking police chief has been transferred as part of a widening federal corruption probe that has rocked the NYPD, officials said Wednesday. Deputy Chief Andrew Capul, the second in command of the Manhattan North Patrol Borough, was “reassigned to an administrative position pending further review,” according to a police statement. Capul was transferred to the NYPD’s School Safety Division, a source said. He is the fifth high-ranking police official to be either modified or reassigned as a result of the gifts-for-perks probe by the FBI and the US Justice Department. Capul, 56, a 31-year veteran of the force, was questioned by the feds in connection with a plane trip he took to a Super Bowl, sources told The Post.

NYPD cop: Blame de Blasio for your ticket (NYP) An NYPD cop was caught on video telling a Bronx driver that it’s Mayor de Blasio’s fault he’s getting a ticket — and that he himself never would have voted for the guy “Mayor de Blasio wants us to give out summonses, OK? Alright?” the cop says to the man, who is seen holding the summons in the YouTube video. “I don’t know if you voted for him or not. I don’t live in the city. I wouldn’t have voted for him because this is what he wants. He wants us to give out summonses,” the officer adds. The driver responds, “I feel you, this is a hard job.” The 10-second video was posted Saturday by a user with the handle 181elvis before being removed from the site Monday.* 'DE BLASIO WANTS US TO GIVE OUT SUMMONSES, OK?': NYPD officer blames mayor for increase in tickets — VIDEO (NYDN)* An NYPD cop was caught on video telling a Bronx driver that it’s de Blasio’s fault he’s getting a ticket — and that he himself never would have voted for the guy. Update PBA's Pat Lynch slams NYPD over cop's 'unwarranted'suspension: 'He was speaking the truth' (NYDN) * NYPD Suspends Cop Who Blamed Ticket On De Blasio: The NYPDOfficer who handed a Bronx driver a summonsthen blamed… 

City Ticket Fines Incresed 7.5%
HIGH COST OF LIVING Forcing Middle Class Out and Pounding the Poor 
Speeding drivers helped city rake in$957M in fines last year (NYP) New York City collected a record $957 million in fines last year, including payments from a million speeding tickets handed out to drivers near schools, according to a report Thursday.  The haul represented a 7.5 percent increase over the $890 million taken in the previous year. Lead-foot drivers in school zones proved to be a growing source of revenue for the city, which took in more than $31 million from those violations in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2015. In the previous fiscal year, school-zone speeders paid out just $2 million.* New York City collected a record $957 million in fines last year, including payments from a million speeding tickets handed out to drivers near schools. That’s a 7.5 percent increase over the $890 million taken in the previous year.

de Blasio Has No Comment On Federal Probe Is Done Answering Questions About the FBI Investigation 
Bill de Blasio Is Done Answering Questions About Federal Probe of His Fundraising (NYO) Mayor Bill de Blasio informed reporters today that he would no longer respond to inquiries about U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s reported investigation into his cash-gathering apparatus. Mr. de Blasio made the announcement at an unrelated press conference in the BronxCBS and the New York Post reported last week that the corruption-busting Mr. Bharara is sniffing around the mayor’s money as part of a probe of two Brooklyn men who gave and bundled cash for Mr. de Blasio’s campaign, contributed to one of his political nonprofits and sat on his transition team after the 2013 election. The feds suspect the two men of bribing cops with gifts in exchange for an array of favors.* I'm Done AnsweringQuestions About Federal Probe, De Blasio Says (DNAINFO) Mayor Bill de Blasio said he's done talking about the federal probe into his fundraising practices. "I'm not going to be speaking about this after today," de Blasio said Monday in The Bronx in response to a series of questions about a growing federal corruption probe that has ensnared high-ranking NYPD officials and raised questions about a nonprofit the mayor used to raise money to promote his political agenda.* The two de Blasio donors at the fulcrum of a sprawling federal corruption investigation into the mayor’s fund-raising activities and the actions of police commanders took pride in their connections with top NYPD officials. The mayor is refusing to answer any more questions about the probe.

de Blasio Blames the Criminal Investigation of His Need to Fund Raise . . .  Despite the Fact His All His Campaigns Have Been Public Financed and the Sanders Successful Model of Internet Contributions 
De Blasio dodges probe questions, whines about campaign funding (NYP) Mayor de Blasio claims it’s not his fault he tookshady donations from a Brooklyn businessmanembroiled in a federal probe — instead blaming the system requiring politicians to raise money in US elections. Hizzoner dodged discussing any details about his connections to the ongoing federal investigation into NYPD corruption during the Yahoo! interview with Katie Couric, and instead went on a rant that called for the public financing of elections. De Blasio went back to the blame game when he was pressed by Couric about the$50,000 donation Jona Rechnitz, an Upper West Side real estate investor that is at the center of the probe, made to de Blasio’s nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York. Until we get the money entirely out of the political system, of course we are going to turn to people for donations — big and small,” he said. De Blasio went back to the blame game when he was pressed by Couric about the$50,000 donation Jona Rechnitz, an Upper West Side real estate investor that is at the center of the probe, made to de Blasio’s nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York. “Until we get the money entirely out of the political system, of course we are going to turn to people for donations — big and small,” he said.

de Blasio Set Up A Campaign for 1NY PAC Toll Booth to Do Business With City Hall 
The price of admission to de Blasio’s ‘One New York’ (NYP Ed) Time was when you had to wait until a mayor’s third term before his administration found itself mired in criminal probes and political disarray. But Bill de Blasio is already there in the third year of his first — and perhaps only — term as mayor. De Blasio insists he has “no information” about the federal grand-jury investigation into his fund-raising that everyone in town — except him — seems to know about. But the recent news suggests that corruption-busting US Attorney Preet Bharara has been probing de Blasio’s money-raising since his earliest months in City Hall. It also confirms pretty much everything we’ve written about the mayor’s slush fund, the Campaign For One New York, and growing signs that his is a pay-to-play mayoralty. And the fact that, as we’ve long noted, CONY’s contributors consisted largely of people and groups with business before the city or a special interest in getting something done — like the developers behind the drive to kill the horse-carriage industry. The federal investigation has now led to other scandals: a growing probe into alleged corruption involving top police officials as well as a $12 million Ponzi scheme. Meanwhile, City Hall remains mired in unanswered questions about the special deal that let another donor sell a nursing home for luxury condos over community objections, netting a $72 million profit. Time will tell whether any of this involves criminal behavior. But it’s already all too clear that you need to pay admission for a seat at the table in Bill de Blasio’s “one New York.”* Ex-NYPD Chief of Department was paid big bucks by businessman being investigated by feds (NYDN)

Goo Goo de Blasio Must Step Down During Investigation

de Blasio Contributions Accused Rip Off Artists That Took Pride In Their Connection With the Cops 
Shady de Blasio donors accused of ripping off Israeli billionaire (NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s campaign accepted donations from two Manhattan jewelers who were accused of scamming millions of dollars in cash and gems from an Israeli billionaire known as the King of Diamonds, The Post has learned. The mayor’s contributions were recorded less than a month after a Manhattan Supreme Court suit alleged that Raps had swindled millions of dollars from a jewelry company owned by Lev Leviev, a renowned diamond merchant who’s on the Forbes World’s Richest People list at 278 for 2016. In that suit, Raps — the distributor of singer Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable Diamonds jewelry line — was described as someone who’s “dressed in nice clothing, but he’s the devil.” Turgeman, meanwhile, was sued in December 2013 for allegedly ripping off Leviev through schemes that included purchasing diamonds at inflated prices from Turgeman’s father and other associates, then selling the gems for little or no profit.* De Blasio Donors Took Pride in Connections With Top Police Officials (NYT) The donors, Jona S. Rechnitz and Jeremiah Reichberg, are the fulcrum of a sprawling federal corruption inquiry into police commanders and the mayor’s fund-raising.* The New York Timesdelves into the background of two businessmen tied to an investigation into a quid-pro-quo scheme with the NYPD, who raised money for de Blasio’s campaign and took pride in the connections they had cultivated: * A former top NYPD cop received up to $500,000 in investment income from a real estate firm run by one of two Borough Park businessman at the center of the federal probe into possible police corruption, Newsday reports: * The mayor’s campaign campaign accepted donations from two Manhattan jewelers who were accused of scamming millions of dollars in cash and gems from an Israeli billionaire known as the King of Diamonds.* A former top NYPD cop, Phillip Banks III, received up to $500,000 in investment income from a real estate firm run by one of two Borough Park businessman at the center of a federal probe into possible police corruption, city records show.* Businessman Eyed in Brooklyn FBI Probe Is Scion of ProminentOrthodox Family (Forward)* One of the businessmen at center of FBI probe initially supported William Thompson in 2013 race, NYT:* Brooklyn businessman at center of FBI probe of NYPD servedas Westchester County police chaplain 

Planned Failure: Mayor Gives Banks Who Has Mismanaged the City Homeless Total Control of the Problem While They Blame the Gov Again 
De Blasio doubles down on his failed approach to homelessness (NYP) Either Mayor de Blasio believes in rewarding failure — or he thinks having more homelessness and folks on welfare represents success. How else to explain his decision Monday to merge his Human Resources Administration and the Department of Homeless Services — and let HRA Commissioner Steven Banks run both? De Blasio’s decision came after a 90-day review of homeless services — which he ordered up after finally admitting The Post was right about the crisis of out-of-control street vagrancy. But what’s really changing? Banks’ “promotion” only makes official what has been the case almost since he joined City Hall: He’s been the mayor’s go-to guy on homelessness even as it was soaring. Both Homeless Services boss Gilbert Taylor and his boss, then-Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, left last year — amid reports they’d been sidelined by Banks. Whom de Blasio tapped to run the review that’s now empowered . . . Steven Banks. Yet Banks hasn’t been a disaster just on homelessness, but also on welfare — with the rolls climbing even as the city’s added hundreds of thousands of jobs. Last October, the welfare rolls hit a nine-year high, with 373,504 people getting checks. That’s a spike of roughly 10 percent since Banks took the job in early 2014. Some would see that as grounds to fire him, not promote him. Unless those are the results the mayor wants . . . Remember, Banks spent decades fighting to expand homeless rights and to roll back the Giuliani- and Bloomberg-era reforms that brought welfare under control. He actually sued to let the homeless stay on the streets. And he favors go-easy measures, like letting folks on welfare take classes instead of seeking work. The problem isn’t so much that the mayor’s bureaucratic re-do amounts to shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic — as that he’s sticking with a pilot who insists on aiming straight at the iceberg.New York City Combining Agencies for Homeless and Welfare Services (NYT)  The Human Resources Administration and the Social Services Department will join under one commissioner, Steven Banks.The NYT Protects the Mayor Again The Mayor Offers Hope for the Homeless (NYT Ed) Mayor de Blasio’s new plan will focus on preventing homelessness and putting people into permanent housing.The New York Times notes Cuomo promised in January “the largest commitment to addressing homelessness in New York State history,” and wonders where the details of this plan might be.*  De Blasio to place NYC's agencies for the homeless, welfare under one commissioner (NYDN) De Blasio homesin on shelter solution (NYDN Ed) Putting on the bravest of faces, Mayor de Blasio Monday closed on his long-delayed ownership of the city’s festering homeless crisis and the fate of 62,000 now living in shelters and on streets. The mayor promises “a very new approach” to the stubborn, decades-old plague of homelessness — yet hands the keys to Steve Banks, the legal advocate responsible over those same decades for cementing the right to shelter that keeps throngs of the needy seeking beds night after night. Meaning that this “very new approach” amounts to some needed improvements to the broken management of a too-squalid shelter system, belatedly recognized by a mayor too long in denial, while pouring more billions into the wrong-way cause of shelter for all. But tellingly, neither Banks nor the mayor will venture projections for future declines in the numbers of people living in homeless shelters. In fact, the mayor awkwardly says it would be a “blessing” to see shelter numbers trend up, at least for single adults, as improved security and outreach teams coax those sleeping in the streets to spend nights indoors instead. De Blasio and Banks have presided over a 29% jump to a record 13,200 filling those cots — and now argue that but for their efforts at aiding those homeless to resettle in permanent housing, the numbers would be far uglier. Looked at another way, they will now pump desperate people more efficiently through the shelter machinery Banks helped create — together building a bigger, better and ever more costly shelter juggernaut.* Citing duplication, inefficiency and the need for a “new vision” to combat homelessness, de Blasio announced that the New York City agencies for homeless services and welfare will consolidate under a single commissioner, the Timesreports: * The Times writes that while it took a long time to enactthe changes, de Blasio’s plans to fold the Department of Homeless Services into the Human Resources Administration offers hope that the city’s homelessness issues will improve: * The Daily News writes that de Blasio’s plan to overhaul his strategy for combatting homelessness is long overdue, but could represent a major step toward dealing with the long standing issue if it is well executed * The Post writes that by combining the Department of Homelessness and the Human Resources Administration and giving control of both to commissioner Steve Banks he is rewarding failure, as homelessness has continued to be a problem under Banks:

A Coupe of Light Weight TV News Readers Going to Ask Filtered Public Questions From the Mayor 4 Times A Year 
De Blasio offers up a measly four Q&A sessions with constituents (NYP) Everyday New Yorkers will get a chance to question Mayor de Blasio through the public airwaves — but only four times a year. Hizzoner and ­WNBC/Channel 4 on Monday announced a new TV show, “Ask the Mayor,” set to debut Sunday at 10 a.m. with anchor Chuck Scarborough and reporter Melissa Russo asking de Blasio questions submitted by viewers. De Blasio’s program will air quarterly — a far cry from former Mayors Mike Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani, who did weekly radio shows — Bloomberg on WOR and Giuliani on WABC — and verbally jousted live with callers . When he took office in 2014, de Blasio stopped the shows, which had become must-listen events for government watchers and voters alike.* De Blasio and ­WNBC/Channel 4 announced a new TV show, “Ask the Mayor,” set to debut Sunday at 10 a.m. with anchor Chuck Scarborough and reporter Melissa Russo asking de Blasio questions submitted by viewers.

A Tale of Two de Blasio Investigation Responses: Play Dumb on Probe As He Gives Back NYPD's GiftGate Rechnitz Campaign Donations 
De Blasio plays dumb on feds’ probe into fundraising (NYP) Mayor de Blasio insisted Sunday that he knows nothing about the feds’ investigation into his fund-raising activities — two days after promising to return shady donations just as news broke of the probe. “I haven’t heard anything about any investigation,” the mayor said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning. “There haven’t been any questions posed to me or my team.” He refused to address the investigation further at a public appearance in the afternoon, saying he has “no evidence” the feds were putting his fund-raising under a microscope. “We’ve gotten no indication of that, and until we have something specific to respond to, there’s nothing to respond to,” he said. De Blasio said Friday that he would return donations from one of the businessmen at the center of the FBI’s widening investigation into NYPD corruption. The announcement was made amid revelations that US Attorney Preet Bharara, according to sources, is looking at how the mayor solicits campaign cash from members of the real-estate industry. The Post revealed last week that de Blasio received sizable donations from Jona Rechnitz, the owner of a real-estate investment company who is suspected of being part of an alleged gifts-for-favors scheme in the NYPD. Blasio’s nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York. The mayor attended. Jeremy Reichberg, another target of the probe, held a fund-raiser at his million-dollar-plus home in Borough Park for de De Blasio tried to downplay his ties to the men, who served on his inaugural committee in 2013. “It’s not a particularly close relationship,’’ he said. “I met them first around the time of the general election. I hadn’t known them previously, really haven’t seen them in the last year or more. They supported the effort.” Rechnitz shelled out $50,000 to the Campaign for One New York, which has announced it will shut down. He and his wife gave another $9,900, the maximum amount, to the mayor’s 2013 campaign.  But de Blasio stood by his former campaign-finance director, Ross Offinger, whose fund-raising tactics, sources say, are being probed by the feds. “I think [Offinger] has handled everything with integrity and everything appropriately,” he said.* De Blasio defended his fundraising activities on Sunday after reports surfaced about a federal investigation, and said neither he nor his aides have been contacted by investigators, The Wall Street Journal writes:

Today's Question is Who's On the FBI Tapes?

"100s of hours of FBI wiretaps" 
The FBI investigation, which includes hundreds of hours of wiretaps and several cooperating witnesses, has moved to broader political corruption issues involving mayoral fund raising, sources say.(DNAINFO) 

Cuomo War On de Blasio Takes 
NYPD Chief ReceivedUp To $500K From Developer Eyed in Corruption Probe (DNAINFO) Former NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks received between $250,000 and $500,000 from a politically-connected businessmen who is at the center of a federal probe into apay-for-favors scandal engulfing the NYPD and City Hall, DNAinfo New York has learned. Jona Rechnitz — owner of the Manhattan-based real estate firm JSR Capital who also has ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio — made the "investments" payout to Banks in 2014 while Banks was serving as the highest-ranking uniformed officer in charge of the NYPD’s daily operations. The money was reported by Banks as on his “exit” financial disclosure form filed with the city’s Conflict of Interest Board on Nov. 30, 2014, a month after he abruptly quit the NYPD, turning down a promotion to First Deputy Commissioner. Banks' lawyer, Benjamin Brafman said last week that Banks "did not retire because he learned that he was the subject of a criminal investigation.”

Cuomo War On de Blasio Takes Down Head of State Police 
De Blasio and Cuomo’s feud fueled top cop’s resignation (NYP) The head of the State Police blindsided Gov. Cuomo with his resignation — which was fueled in part by his being used a pawn in the rift between the governor and Mayor de Blasio, sources told The Post. Joseph A. D’Amico, 56, was unhappy that Cuomo repeatedly urged him to put a state trooper barracks in the Big Apple, the sources said. D’Amico and Cuomo had another argument about it on Friday, which led to his sudden resignation that day, according to sources. Last year, Cuomo sent a scouting team to Manhattan to pick a location for the barracks, which he hoped to station a couple hundred state troopers. “This is [Cuomo] flexing his muscles,’’ a law-enforcement source said at the time. He had since checked in with D’Amico several times, asking what kind of progress he’d made with the barracks plan, sources said. But the three-decade law-enforcement veteran felt that New York City already had enough officers, with more than 35,000 cops on the force, and he wanted to use his resources elsewhere, sources said.* Joseph D’Amico, who resigned from his post atop the state police last week, was unhappy that Cuomo repeatedly urged him to put a state trooper barracks in New York City,the New York Post writes:

Confused Times: Paper Protects Their Boy de Blasio as They Try to Explain An FBI Investigation Into His Tammany Hall Fund Raising Operation 
de Blasio has ties to nearly everyone involved in an ongoing federal probe into possible corruption involving the mayor’s fundraising
Federal Prosecutors Cast a Wider Net in New York City HallInquiry (NYT)  Both the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan and the F.B.I., which are conducting the investigation, declined to comment. To date, there has been no suggestion that Mr. de Blasio was involved in any improprieties, and it remains unclear whether the prosecutors and F.B.I. agents working on the case have developed evidence, conclusive or otherwise, of the kind of quid pro quo necessary to prove most corruption crimes in federal court. Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Mr. de Blasio said no one in his administration had been contacted by investigators, and he described his relationship with the two businessmen as cursory. Also, at the end of March, a police detective who had also dealt with the two men declined to answer questions before the grand jury investigating the matter, several of the people said. With so many police officials aware of the F.B.I. visits, news began to spread inside the Police Department, and media reports appeared on Monday night and Tuesday morning. While most of the articles that followed focused on allegations that police officials took free trips and other gifts from Mr. Rechnitz and Mr. Reichberg, several of the people briefed on the matter said that for some time, the central focus of the inquiry had been on the two fund-raisers and how they sought to wield their influence. Mr. Rechnitz and his wife each contributed $4,950, the maximum amount allowed, to Mr. de Blasio’s 2013 campaign, and Mr. Rechnitz also raised about $45,000 for the mayor. Mr. de Blasio’s campaign has said it will return the contributions from Mr. Rechnitz and his wife. Through a company he controls, Mr. Rechnitz also donated $50,000 to the Campaign for One New York, a nonprofit that supported Mr. de Blasio’s agenda. In May 2014, Mr. Reichberg held a fund-raiser at his home for the Campaign for One New York, raising $35,000. The group is in the process of being shut down. On Friday evening, WCBS-TV reported that the investigation had widened to include an examination of Mr. de Blasio’s fund-raising, which it suggested grew out of the police corruption inquiry. But several of the people briefed on the matter have said that the central focus of the inquiry has been on the fund-raising, and that the questions of police misconduct grew out of that.* FBI, Preet Bharara's NYPD probe shifts to Mayor de Blasio boosters (NYDN)

The Mayor's Berlin Rosen Flack Said the Mayor's Fund Raising Which Included the PACs Was Legal and Part of the Campaign
De Blasio has no one to blame but himself for what happens next (NYP ED) So now Preet Bharara has cast a gimlet eye on Bill de Blasio’s campaign fund-raising.  Which comes as no surprise. If de Blasio isn’t running one of the gamiest administrations since Tammany’s sachems were pulling the strings at City Hall, it isn’t for lack of trying. But not to worry. As mayoral operative Dan Levitan says: “We are fully confident that the campaign has conducted itself legally and appropriately at all times.”

The mayor's PACs “has created a perpetual campaign, confusing the role of government and politics, to the detriment of the public interest,” the letter said. It was sent to the Campaign Finance Board and the Conflicts of Interest Board. Both are stuffed with mayoral appointees, and neither responded. In fact the CFB and Conflict Board both gave small fines to the Council Speaker from getting illegal help form the Advance Group who ran the NYCLASS PAC that was so helpful to electing de Blasio by blasting Quinn. The lawyer for the Advance Group in the illegal help for the speaker investigation was Lawrence Mandelker.  Mandelker is also the lawyer for the de Blasio's campaign fund and for the PAC Campaign for One NY  

The Campaign for One NY is the Epicenter of the Mayor's Campaign Fund Raising
De Blasio’s lust for power will be his final downfall (NYP)  Every multimillion-dollar sleazy deal you’ve read about since de Blasio took office is tied to his Campaign for One NY PAC. It is the dirty doorway to all the other schemes and players. de Blasio's three PACs raised at least $4.36 million from developers, unions, taxi medallion owners, carriage-horse opponents and wealthy liberal activists like George Soros. In short, all those who wanted something big and valuable from de Blasio found their way to the back-room boiler operation and wrote a fat check. The first of PAC after the campaign was such a hit that the mayor created two more. All three nonprofits have an innocent-sounding name and, because they are incorporated separately from his official campaign, are not bound by the limits and disclosures required under the city’s campaign finance law. It’s a safe bet that avoiding those rules is why the groups were created. Two PACS NYCLASS and the UFT's United for the Future that helped the de Blasio become mayor and control the city council will soon be on the radar of the FBI. The question that will be answered was were these PACs designed by team de Blasio to go around the election law Ultimately, the issue is what, if any, favors the donors got in exchange for their cash. Were there illegal quid pro quos?

de Blasio Berlin Rosen Spokesperson About the FBI Investigation Is At the Center of the Mayor's Contributions From Real Estate

The Mayor's Other Two PACs
Politico reported that the group used “at least $727,937 to seed the newer nonprofit Progressive Agenda Committee” that de Blasio created. That group, formed last May, helped the mayor raise his national profile and reportedly funded his many trips out of town. So far, he has not disclosed any of its donors or how the money was spent.   He formed the third group, United for AffordableNYC, early this year and focused it on getting his controversial rezoning measure through community boards and the City Council. Tenant organizations denounced the group, calling it an “unconscionable” front for developers who would benefit from the zoning changes. Like the Progressive Agenda group, United for AffordableNYC was seeded with money transferred from the Campaign for One New York, most of which came from developers and others with business before the city. It remains a mystery how much money the new group got and who its other donors are.  Already the probes are forcing sunlight into the shadowy world de Blasio created and exposing his sham defense. Even as he condemned others for using nonprofits for political aims, he insisted his were different because he provided some disclosure and because he was using the money for noble purposes.  Hypocrisy is now the least of his problems.

Progressive de Blasio I Used A Loophole in the "Broken Election Law" to Set Up My Slush Fund PAC
De Blasio oncontroversial nonprofit: We followed ‘broken laws’ (NYP) Mayor de Blasio on Friday staunchly defended setting up a controversial nonprofit that took large contributions from special interests to advance his agenda, saying he was following the broken “laws of the game.”  De Blasio said he set up the Campaign for One New York because the lack of spending limits in politics necessitates funding to get the message out — even though he’d prefer greater restrictions. “For now, the challenge is that these are laws of the game,” he said on WNYC radio. “This is the reality of today’s political system . . . But until we put some real limits on spending again, sometimes to achieve something we have to have the resources to get the message across.” Mayor de Blasio on Friday staunchly defended setting up a controversial nonprofit that took large contributions from special interests to advance his agenda, saying he was following the broken “laws of the game.” De Blasio said he set up the Campaign for One New York because the lack of spending limits in politics necessitates funding to get the message out — even though he’d prefer greater restrictions.  “For now, the challenge is that these are laws of the game,” he said on WNYC radio. “This is the reality of today’s political system . . . But until we put some real limits on spending again, sometimes to achieve something we have to have the resources to get the message across.”

Why Was the Campaign for One NY Closed Before the CFB and Conflict Board Was Able to Vote? Will They Still Rule?
When he closed the Campaign for One New York, de Blasio claimed it had finished its work, citing the universal pre-K program he started. That seemed a fishy answer at the time for two reasons. First, the group’s existence had never been tied to a single issue, and second, the fact that it came so soon after the Common Cause complaint suggested de Blasio was concerned about an ethical or legal issue.
looking forward 2 court date challenging @NYCCFB fine 4 lending my mayoralty campaign $ despite receiving 0 public $ & O $ from lobbyists

Lobbyists Capalino Clients Closing Nursing Homes and Hospitals Forcing People to Become Homeless and Leaving Mental Ill Untreated 

Vagrant Who Heckles de Blasio At Homeless Event Thrown Out 
Drunk vagrant booted from de Blasio event on homelessness (NYP) A boozed-up bum was escorted out of Tompkins Square Park shortly before Mayor Bill de Blasio was set to announce two new initiatives — on homelessness in the city.“Politicians suck!” shouted Jerry Foust, 41, who had grabbed one of the blue folding seats in the East Village park set up for the mayor’s Tuesday afternoon press conference in hopes of hearing how he planned to improve life on the streets. “I want to see what the mayor had to say about homelessness because I’m homeless and I want to f–king help homeless people,” he said.  But around 1 p.m., two cops approached Foust and booted him from the park, where he regularly hangs out and which is a haven for homeless encampments. Foust said he was told to leave because he was taking swigs out of a bottle of gin, but was not issued a summons for an open container.  When de Blasio was asked why Foust was removed, the mayor claimed he didn’t know anything about it. De Blasio touted an outreach program called HOME-STAT to help street vagrants get to shelters as well as the addition of three new measures for counting the city’s homeless population. Foust said there’s no chance the program is going to work. “Homeless outreach — what are they going to do? Send me to a shelter in f–king East New York? I like the East Village,” he said.

Capalino and His Fellow Lobbyists Criminals Raking $$$ In At Record Levels 
New York lobbyingspending reaches record high of $243 million, with education groups shellingout the most cash (NYDN) Lobbying was a booming business in New York last year, with a record $243 million spent to influence state and local governments, a new report revealed. Spending on lobbying activities jumped 17% from 2014 and included a record $206 million spent on lobbyists, according to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics’ annual report. Lobbying was a booming business in New York last year, with a record $243 million spent to influence state and local governments, a new report revealed. BILL CALLS FOR MORE REGULATIONS FOR GROUPS WHO LOBBY IN NY  Another $17.9 million was spent on advertising expenses associated with lobbying, up from $15.4 million the year before, the report found. “It’s the golden rule of politics — those with the gold rule,” quipped Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. Education groups, as usual, were among the biggest spenders. Invest in Education Coalition, Inc., which supports enactment of a tax credit for those who give money to private school scholarship funds or public schools, topped the list, spending $5.1 million on lobbying. A close second was the state’s powerful teachers union, New York State United Teachers, which spent $4.6 million. The 10 highest-spending lobbying groups spent more than $26 million, accounting for about 11% of all such spending in the state last year.

How the Lobbyists Shadow Govt Runs NY 
The high price ofinfluence: The lobbyists are taking New York'slax ethics rules to the bank (NYDN Ed) Oh to be a New York lobbyist in 2015, a record-busting year for the influence industry — raining down an eye-popping $243 million in fees. Whether their clients are hospitals or charter schools, casinos or environmentalists, lobbyists trade on the promise of special access from little burgs to the Big Apple to Albany . Leadership of the state Assembly and Senate very much included — which, shockingly, continues to operate under the same broken ethics regime that gave corrupt former leaders free rein to wring cash from those seeking funds and favors. At the start of that banner year, Speaker Sheldon Silver still held the Assembly and the keys to state grants he doled out in exchange for business leads. Majority Leader Dean Skelos used his Senate control to turn a real estate lobbyist into a jobs program for his son. Their subsequent arrests and convictions changed little but the nameplates on the doors the lobbyists knock — now bearing Carl Heastie in the Assembly and John Flanagan in the Senate. Among the throngs who come calling is Silver’s former counsel, who now counts among his clients a pro-pesticide group by the name of NY Alliance for Environmental Concerns. With the state budget now put to bed and two months ticking before the close of Albany’s legislative session, these two leaders must act swiftly and surely on substantial ethics reforms that wall off lawmakers from conflicts of interest embedded too often embedded in cozy relationships with lobbyists.

Senate to Remain GOP Democrat Felder
Democratic senator to vote Republican for Skelos’ replacement (NYP) Republicans appear set to remain in charge of the fractured state Senate no matter what happens in the April 19 special election to replace convicted crook Dean Skelos.  Renegade Brooklyn Democratic state Sen. Simcha Felder said Thursday that he will continue to vote with the GOP even if a Democrat replaces Skelos, who was the Republican majority leader before his corruption conviction.* Brooklyn Democratic state Sen. Simcha Felder said that he will continue to vote with the GOP even if a Democrat replaces former state Sen. Dean Skelos, who was the Republican majority leader before his corruption conviction, the Post writes:  * Renegade Brooklyn Democratic state Sen. Simcha Felder said that he will continue to vote with the GOP even if a Democrat replaces former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who was the Republican majority leader before his corruption conviction.

Buzz Wiretaps?
de Blasio Refuses to Answer Questions or Return Campaign $$$ In Connection With NYPD GiftGate 
Businessmen eyed in FBI’s NYPD probe big-time de Blasio donors (NYP) The businessmen at the center of a federal corruption probe of NYPD cops have deep financial ties to Mayor de Blasio — with one of them having sent tens of thousands of dollars Hizzoner’s way, sources and records revealed. Jona Rechnitz, who sources said was “always bragging” about his political connections, attended the Gracie Gala Dinner, a fund-raiser, last October. He donated $50,000 to de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York — and he and his wife shelled out the maximum of $9,900 to the mayor’s 2013 campaign, records show. And when de Blasio asked donors to help the Democratic Party’s bid to take control of the state Senate, Rechnitz handed $102,000 to the Dems, records show. The party’s effort ultimately failed. Rechnitz’s holdings include the real-estate firm JSR Capital. His first big score was selling the Apthorp, a landmarked building on the Upper West Side, almost 10 years ago, a former associate said. “He was a wheeler-dealer,’’ the source said. The brash businessman’s father is extremely well-connected in the Orthodox community, sources added.

Rechnitz’s pal and fellow target of the fed probe, Jeremy Reich­berg, is another well-known Borough Park leader who would “brag about his relationship with the NYPD — and about his personal relationship with the mayor,’’ a community source said. The duo served together on the mayor’s inauguration committee. Hizzoner made his first visit to Borough Park after taking office in 2014 to Reichberg’s million-dollar-plus home. There, Reichberg hosted a Campaign for One New York fund-raiser. Filings show the group took in $35,000 that day. De Blasio refused to answer a Post reporter’s question Tuesday about whether he planned to return any of the tens of thousands of dollars in campaign money he received from Rechnitz, given the scandal. “We’re on this topic, my friend . . . It’s all we’re doing today,’’ he responded when questioned at a press conference about homeless outreach.* Up to 20 senior members of the NYPD were interviewed by federal agents focused on two businessmen with ties to de Blasio as part of an investigation centering on free meals and trips given to police officials, The New York Times reports: *  The Post writes that the probe into the NYPD’s ties tobusinessmen and the acceptance of gifts in exchange for favors is a signal that the pay-to-play culture emanating from City Hall may be influencing the police force:* NYPD detective placed on administrative duty amid federalinvestigation (WSJ) *   Bratton mum on probe into NYPD, but says department will cooperate(PoliticoNY)

de Blasio Says He Took No Gifts, Will Not Return 2013 $ Until We Get Results of the Investigation 
During an appearance at a school in Brooklyn Wednesday morning, de Blasio was asked about his relationship with the two men — Jona Rechnitz, a real estate developer and Jeremy Reichberg, a politically connected Borough Park resident. The two men, who were on de Blasio's inaugural committee, are alleged to have paid for trips to the Caribbean and Israel for then-NYPD chief of department Philip Banks and Correction Officers' Benevolent Association president Norman Seabrook, in addition to supplying expensive gifts to top NYPD brass. Asked if he would return prior donations from the two men, de Blsaio demurred. “An investigation means something is being looked at. Until we get a result, we can’t make final judgements. So, in terms of any past donations, I will make that determination when I see the results of the investigation.”

Times Square Zoned In By Council 
New York Council Votes to Allow Restrictions on Times Square Performers (NYT) The bill would let the Transportation Department create rules for pedestrian plazas that could restrict the costumed characters and painted topless women to designated zones.  * The New York City Council voted to allow the city’s Transportation Department to create new rules for pedestrian plazas that could restrict Times Square’s costumed characters and painted women to designated zones, the Times reports:New York City will set rules to regulate costume characters and topless women at Times Square (NYDN) * The New York City Council approved a bill that supporters hope will bring order to Times Square, curbing aggressive panhandling that has been at the center of a yearslong political and cultural tug of war.* Times Square marches on (NYDN Ed) In the facing column, a fetishist for filth longs for the days when Times Square was brimming with sex shops — and laments the push to bring some order to a chaos increasingly defined by giant Elmos, Spider-Men and nude women coercing tourists to pay for photographs. Hell no, we won’t go back.
More On Times Square Topless

de Blasio Stops Work On the Third Water Tunnel - Public Safety? Day After Reverses Himself What Delay 
De Blasio Postpones Work on Crucial Water Tunnel (NYT) The project has for more than half a century been regarded as essential to the survival of New York City if either of the two existing, and now aged, water tunnels should fail.* De Blasio halts work for city’s cruical third water tunnel (NYP)* De Blasio has postponed work to finish New York’s third water tunnel, a project that for decades has been regarded as essential to the survival of the city if either of the two existing, aged tunnels should fail, the Times reports:  Update Mayor de Blasio Adding Money for Water Tunnel in Brooklyn and Queens(NYT) The $305 million will pay for construction of two deep shafts that will connect with the supply tunnel.* De Blasio insists water tunnel construction isn’t delayed (NYP)* De Blasio owes New York straight answers on lunatic water-tunnel delay (NYP Ed) * Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he was going to add $305 million to New York City’s capital budget to speed up work on a major water tunnel project so that it would be able to serve Brooklyn and QueensThe New York Times reports:  *  De Blasio's tunnel vision (NYDN Ed)
De Blasio Postpones Work on Crucial Water Tunnel  Talk about ZERO VISION! Political cycles are bad for infrastructure

Feds Push for 15 Years for Skelos While Albany Blocks Ethics Bill 
NYT Tries to Make It OK Not To Send A Message to Corrupt Albany by Sending Skelos to Jail  Prosecutors want former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos to be sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison for his conviction on federal corruption charges, and his son to see about 10 to 12 years in prison
Does it make sense for Adam and Dean Skelos to ask for noprison time? Opinions are mixed. (NYT) Prosecutors are likely to seek stiff prison sentences for Dean G. Skelos, the former majority leader of the New York State Senate, and his son, Adam, who were both convicted on corruption charges.* Lawyers for former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam Skelos, asked that they avoid prison time, but that could backfire in a corruption case in which both were convicted on all counts,The New York Times reports: * Experts say the requests by former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, for no jail time resulting from their corruption convictions could run the risk of backfiring by being interpreted as essentially thumbing their noses at the judge and jury. * Feds push for Skelos and son to spend over a decade in jail (NYP) NO ETHICS New York’s leaders are still failing on ethics reform (NYP Ed) Cuomo and the Legislature’s leaders are oh so proud of their just-passed state budget — yet there’s not a word in it about ethics reform. 

Albany corruption mapped: * This, as former legislative leaders Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos await sentencing after their landmark convictions for abuse of their offices. And after countless other lawmakers have headed off to prison in recent years. And after the Legislature failed to deliver on its No. 1 reform promise last year — to get the ball rolling on amending the state Constitution to strip pensions from legislator-felons like Silver and Skelos. Now comes a new Quinnipiac Poll showing that 86 percent of New Yorkers say corruption in Albany is a serious problem. So serious, in fact, that 48 percent said all current elected officials should be voted out of office so new officials can start with a clean slate. And 48 percent also see Cuomo as “part of the problem.”* Bharara recommends up to 15 years for Skelos (PoliticoNY) The memo was a rebuke of the defense’s argument that the duo should avoid prison time *  Federal prosecutors asked a judge to sentence former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos to at least 12 years in prison, following his conviction on eight counts of public corruption charges, and asked that Skelos’ son, Adam, be sentenced to more than 10 years.* Prosecutors:Dean Skelos' $95k pension should draw big fine (LoHud)   Silver he sentencing for former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been postponed again. According to court documents, it’s now scheduled to take place on May 12th, moved from April 13.

Longtime aide insists Sheldon Silver ‘cared for all New Yorkers’ (NYP) Sheldon Silver’s longtime chief of staff has gone to bat for her old boss, vouching that the convicted former Assembly speaker “always cared for and worked to help all New Yorkers,” new court filings show. Judith Rapfogel — whose crooked hubby William Rapfogel is currently in prison for bilking $9 million from the non-profit he ran — begged Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni for mercy at Silver’s sentencing in a two-page letter filed Tuesday.“I could write volumes about the good work Shelly did for the people of the state of New York,” Rapfogel wrote, even playing the 9/11 card. “We let people use our phones so they could call their loved ones,” she wrote. “Shelly also worked hard for minorities. He did what he felt was right, even if it went against his religious beliefs and even if it meant he would have to ‘answer’ to friends and family.”

NYC Voters Split On Mayoral Control of the Schools 
Voters split on whether de Blasio should keep control of schools: poll (NYP) The Quinnipiac University survey found 46 percent of voters in the five boroughs favored an extension, while 43 percent didn’t.  Opposition was far higher outside the city. The nearly even split among his constituents represents a setback for de Blasio. In a September 2015 poll, city voters favored him running the schools, 54-40. In 2009, city voters backed de Blasio’s predecessor, Mike Bloomberg, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin — 61 percent to 32 percent — when he won a six-year extension of school control from Albany. David Bloomfield, an education professor at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, said no matter how voters feel, state legislators have few options. “This will have no effect on the renewal of mayoral control, both because the Assembly would block any change and there is no viable alternative suggested by those opposed, including the Senate majority leader, who’s playing to his Republican base,” Bloomfield said.* A Brooklyn charter school is suing New York City, claiming it shortchanged the facility on nearly $360,000 in state-mandated rental assistance, the Postreports:  *  The opt-out movement needs to accept victory and opt back into the state tests, because every parent who allows it, even with the state addressing the concerns, sends the message to their children that if something seems too challenging, just don’t do it, the Times Union writes: 

Mayoral Control of the City's School? State Testing Starts
With New York state tests starting this week, some principals and superintendents predict more of their families will opt out, even as the state education commissioner seeks to communicate the value of the tests, The Wall Street Journal reports: The fact that suspensions have fallen so precipitously in New York City public schools means that troubled kids are remaining in classes and potentially affecting learning for other children NYC Mayor de Blasio will have to make his case to keep control of city schools at a set of May public hearings being held by the GOP-controlled state Senate.* State Senate leaders said they will hold two public hearings on mayoral control of New York City schools - one in Albany and one in the city - before the law giving the mayor control of schools expires in June, the Daily News  * ‘Opt out:’ Teachers email parents to boycottCommon Core tests (NYP)  Suspendingdisbelief: Far fewer kids are getting thrown out of school for insubordination (NYDN Ed) Student suspensions have plummeted by 32% under Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s less-tough-love approach to discipline, the Department of Education proudly announced. Insubordination suspensions, a catch-all for disrespectful misbehavior, fell an astonishing 81%. What’s known is that troublesome kids are staying in desks. Unknown is how learning’s going for all the rest.* Suspensions at New York City public schools continued to decline last year, the Education Department announced, a key measure of efforts to change school discipline practices, the Times reports: * De Blasio met with a half-dozen parents and a principal who have criticized state tests at City Hall, in what city officials described as a chance for the mayor to hear the perspective of parents who support the opt-out movement, the Times reports: * Take the damn tests: The misguided parental opt-out driveto avoid accountability continues (NYDN Ed) Music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs is the man behind the launch of a charter school opening in Harlem in August. His revelation came in time to boost applications before the April 1 deadline to sign up for a lottery to get into Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School. * With the state English and math tests looming next month, opt-out movement advocatesare predicting even higher numbers of students who take a pass than last year.* Al Sharpton supports Common Core testing in schools (NYP) * Success Academy studentsprepare to ‘slam the exam’ with two pep rallies  (NYDN) * Success Academy charter schools unable to administer state reading exams, don't have copies of tests yet (NYDN) * Renegade New York City public school teachers have been sending emails to parents the past week encouraging them to boycott the state English and math Common Core exams being administered citywide starting Tuesday, the Post reports:  * * New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will unveil a plan to open 38 bilingual programs starting in September, funded with roughly $1 million in federal funds, building on 40 bilingual programs started last year, the Daily News reports: * Despite the opt-out movement’s success, yearly assessments are vital in measuring learning and provide critical feedback not only about students, teachers and schools, but also get kids used to testing before they take key exams like the college boards, the Post writes:  * ‘Opt out:’ Teachers email parents to boycott Common Core tests (NYP) *  Passing the Common Core: High School Math (NYP) *  Passing the Common Core: High School English (NYP) * The opt-out crowd won’t quit until all tests are meaningless (NYP Ed) * Renegade NYC public school teachers have been sending emails to parents the past week encouraging them to boycott the state English and math Common Core exams being administered citywide starting tomorrow. *  State education officials are hoping a regime change and a series of changes to the standardized tests and how they’re crafted are enough to stem the heavy flow of testing opt-outs, which included about one out of every five eligible students last year.*  Some principals and superintendents predict more of their families will opt out, even as the state education commissioner seeks to communicate the value of the tests.* NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will unveil a plan today to open 38 bilingual programs at city schools starting in September.

Ranger's Messier Does Not Understand Mayoral Politics is the Reason Why His Bronx Ice Rink is Being Killed 

Wednesday   Mark Messier brings de Blasio to court for ‘killing rink plan’ (NYP) Hockey legend Mark Messier crosschecked Mayor de Blasio with a lawsuit Tuesday alleging his administration conspired to kill a plan to develop the Kingsbridge Armory in The Bronx into the world’s largest ice-skating complex.

Update Bronx boro prez demands de Blasio back Messier’s ice rink  (NYP) Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz demanded Monday that the de Blasio administration allow hockey legend Mark Messier’s team to move ahead with a $350 million plan to develop the Kingsbridge Armory into the world’s largest ice-skating complex there. Responding to The Post’s story in which the former Rangers captain says he’s “laid up many nights wondering why” the city is “reneging” on a commitment made in 2013 under former Mayor Bloomberg, Diaz said “it’s time for the city to hand the keys over now.”

Dream of Rangers legend put on hold because of de Blasio (NYP) Mark Messier may have famously helped the Rangers win the Stanley Cup, but now the hockey legend says he feels like he’s being sent to the penalty box while trying to bring the world’s largest ice-skating complex to The Bronx. The former Rangers captain told The Post that he’s baffled over the city “reneging” on its commitment to turn over the lease to the long-shuttered Kingsbridge Armory to his development team so it can begin construction. “I couldn’t guess what the mayor is thinking. I’ve laid up many nights wondering why,” Messier said. The project was approved in the final days of the Bloomberg administration in 2013 — and recently stalled by Mayor de Blasio and the city’s Economic Development Corp., which said it wanted to see the money first.*  Former Rangers captain Mark Messier said he’s baffled over de Blasio administration “reneging” on its commitment to turn over the lease to the long-shuttered Bronx Kingsbridge Armory to his development team so it can begin construction.

Bronx Skate War Really A Mayoral War- Diaz vs de Blasio?
COLD WAR-"De Blasio, Messier tussle over Cuomo funding for Kingsbridge," by POLITICO New York"The de Blasio administration is locked in a lease dispute over the fate of the Kingsbridge Armory - a clash that is pitting the mayor's economic development agency against a company run by hockey legend Mark Messier. In advance of a deadline on Saturday, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) agreed to grant the Messier-run Kingsbridge National Ice Center another month to produce $138 million in funding for the first phase of the complex it plans to build at the site of the vacant armory in the Bronx. The EDC owns the lease to the site and has so far refused to release it from escrow. The agency argues the developer has not come up with the entire $158 million it committed to in an earlier agreement with the city, but the company insists that a promise of $138 million from the Empire State Development, an agency run by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is sufficient for the city to turn over the lease." *  The de Blasio administration is locked in a dispute over the Kingsbridge Armory with a company run by former New York Ranger Mark Messier.

Obviously Mr. Messier forgot to contribute to any of City Hall's not-a-campaign-committee committees. 

Daily News Lists Unanswered Questions of Nursing Home Scandal

  1. Who was it who determined on behalf of de Blasio that fully lifting the deed restriction — instead of a modification allowing a for-profit health facility — was “in the best interest of the City”?

  1. When DCAS commissioned an appraisal to determine how much to charge Allure for lifting the deed restriction — which valued the building as if it were luxury apartments — had anyone weighed measures to ensure the facility’s continued use as a nursing home?

  1. Did an evaluation by ex-Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli and Human Resources Administration Commissioner Steve Banks green light a sale without conditions?

  1. Why did de Blasio overlook a January letter from Manhattan Community Board 3 pleading for a reversal of DCAS’ action before the property was sold, as it was just days later?

  1. Did de Blasio fundraiser James Capalino, who lobbied to remove the deed restriction on the AIDS home’s behalf, indeed cease efforts more than a year before the restriction was lifted, as he claims
A full accounting is a must — because all signs still say that someone or someones opened a door to developers who then stuck it to the city.

Who At Fault @ Team de Blasio for Nursing HomeGATE Nobody?  Where is the City Council Hearings?  
De Blasio slams nursing home sale — but doesn’t punish aides (NYP) Mayor de Blasio claims to be “livid” that his administration approved a deal to convert a nursing home to a luxe condo — yet the staffers and aides who let it happen have seemingly escaped his wrath. But top-level officials have so far skated in the widening scandal.  First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris knew about Allure’s sale of the nursing home to a condo developer in late February but did not inform the mayor, according to a New York Times report.  A deputy mayor typically signs off on real-estate arrangements, including deed restrictions, said two sources familiar with city property sales. But a de Blasio spokeswoman claimed the transaction never reached Shorris’ or the mayor’s desks. The job fell to the Mayor’s Office of Contracts general counsel, Paul Prissel, who reported at the time to Lisette Camilo, the spokeswoman said. Camilo became commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services on Jan. 5, replacing Stacey Cumberbatch, who was demoted to a lower-level job at another agency but allowed to retain her $205,180 salary. De Blasio denied the change in leadership had anything to do with the deed change.

Is the Fact That Not One Elected Official In NYC Has Asked for An Investigation A Cover Up?
Camilo said she learned about the sale on March 1, even though Manhattan Community Board 3 warned her of the possible flip in a Jan. 27 letter. Community leaders also alerted the mayor’s Manhattan liaison, Tommy Lin, who reports to Community Affairs Unit head Marco Carrion. It is unclear if Carrion informed Emma Wolfe, de Blasio’s top political aide, of these concerns. It also remains unclear whether the MOCS or DCAS knew Allure owed the city $6 million in taxes — which should have been a red flag in any cursory background check. DCAS bureaucrats worry City Hall will try to pin the blame on Deputy Commissioner Ricardo Morales, who signed the deed change, even though City Hall’s community reps and a commissioner were warned before the sale closed. De Blasio shouldn’t scapegoat lower-level officials for the failings of his leadership team, good-government groups say. “If these kinds of decisions are not vetted at the highest level, then there is a problem with the management,” said Citizens Union director Dick Dadey. Asked about Allure Saturday at a Brooklyn event, de Blasio said, “We’re not doing this right now.”

Hisidic Businessman Who Flipped AIDS Home Part of Sect At the Heart of de Blasio Jewish Support
Hasidic Businessman Who Flipped AIDS Home Part of Sect With Cozy Ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio (Forward)  At a recent fundraiser for the Bobov Hasidic group attended by New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council member David Greenfield told the crowd that de Blasio “did not forget his friends.” Now, de Blasio’s ties to the Bobov have put him on the defensive, amid a scandal over a nursing home chain run by a prominent Bobov businessman. Allure Group made $72 million in February flipping a Lower East Side home for AIDS patients to a condo developer. Now, the New York City Comptroller and the city’s Department of Investigation are investigating the deal, and de Blasio says that his administration was “misled” by the firm. Allure’s CEO, Solomon Rubin, is a prominent member of the Boro Park-based Bobov Hasidic group, one of the city’s largest ultra-Orthodox sects. The Bobov enjoy a particularly close relationship with de Blasio, who represented Boro Park in the City Council from 2001 to 2009. On March 9, days before the Allure scandal broke, de Blasio attended a fundraising dinner for Amidei Zion of Mosdos Bobov, a Bobov charity, at the New York Hilton. The mayor announced trash collection schedule changes meant to ease congestion in Boro Park, earning vigorous applause. De Blasio’s ties to the Bobov run deep. Bobov powerbroker Rabbi Yitzchok Fleischer, whose mother’s shiva de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray attended in January, told the online Jewish magazine Tablet in 2013 that de Blasio “owes me everything.” “Without me he wouldn’t be anyplace,” Fleischer said. De Blasio now faces tough questions about the Allure Group deal. The company purchased the Lower East Side home in February 2015 for just $28 million, promising that it would use the building to operate a nursing home. In November,Allure paid $16 million to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services for permission to retroactively adjust the deed on the property. In February of 2016, thanks to the deed change, Allure sold the property to a condominium developer for $116 million. llure owns six New York City nursing homes, according to the group’s website. At least one of its executives shares a surname with Solomon Rubin; another, Joel Landau, who has been Allure’s public face, is not a member of the Bobov Hasidic group. Rubin did not respond to a message left at Allure’s office. Rubin sits on the board of Bnos Zion of Bobov, the sect’s school system for girls. “They are very well off and they support a lot of things that are going on in the community,” said Yoel Rosenfeld, a Bobov community activist, of Rubin. “He’s very involved.” Rosenfeld said that he escorted de Blasio in and out of the Bobov dinner on March 9, and that Rubin did not speak to the mayor. While he assumed Rubin was in attendance, Rosenfeld said that there were more than 1,000 people there, and he did not see him.*  NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s deep ties to the Bobov Hasidic group have put him on the defensive, amid a scandal over a nursing home chain run by a prominent Bobov businessman. Allure Group made $72 million in February flipping a Lower East Side home for AIDS patients to a condo developer.
de Blasio campaign 2017

NY Dems worried black voters will stay home on primary day (NYP)* After days of haggling, Bernie Sanders and Clinton are agreeing to face off in a NY1-CNN presidential debate in Brooklyn before the April 19 presidential primary, which will take place at the Navy Yard’s Duggal Greenhouse, NY1 reports   In private meetings, Clinton met with state lawmakers to update Democrats on the state of her campaign, the importance of New York to winning the nomination and how she needs lawmakers’ help in the next two weeks, the Buffalo News writes:  *  Some of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s supporters believe his delayed endorsement of Clinton diminished his political sway in the 2016 race, which he hopes to influence from the left, leaving him a less valuable ally in his hometown, The Wall StreetJournal writes: * Although Clinton joined Cuomo at a rally as he signed a minimum-wage hike to $15 in much of the state, her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders said she was just jumping on the bandwagon and is not really sympathetic to the cause, the Daily News writes:  * The number of New Yorkers who registered to vote over the last five months has barely budged despite the state’s hotly contested presidential primaries, with 26,000 new voters in the last five months for both parties combined, the Post reports: 

Still the Albany Secret Sausage Factory  
State budget process plagued by‘secrecy and dysfunction’: critics (NYP) Democrats hailed this year’s state budget as a dream come true, but critics said it marked a historic low for lack of transparency. “Nothing that happened this week can be remotely classified as democracy,” said Steve McLaughlin, an upstate Republican.  Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, a Democrat, complained about the process. Some budget bills were delivered to lawmakers in the wee hours on Friday, still warm from the copiers. “The details of the budget came together late in the process and outside the public’s view, so more analysis is needed to examine the long-term impact of these spending decisions,” he said. Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb blasted the three Albany leaders — Gov. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie — for hashing out the $156 billion spending plan at unknown times and locations, “establishing a new level of secrecy and dysfunction.” “New Yorkers didn’t get ethics reform in the final 2016-2017 state budget but they got the most secretive negotiation in history and a job-crushing minimum- wage hike,” he said. “Lawmakers were asked to vote on spending bills that omitted spending details, a new low for the budget process.” Cuomo aides said Kolb and other members were hypocritical because they voted for former Gov. George Pataki’s late budgets without knowing what was in them. Tales from the Sausage Factory - SUNY Press

The Silver Skelos Replacement Races Controlled By Corrupt Albany 
Seat races promise little end to political business as usual (NYP) The races are for the seats vacated by ex-Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver and ex-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos after their felony convictions. But — with one longshot exception — the wannabes offer little hope for fresh, independent new blood in the Legislature. In the duel for Skelos’ Nassau County seat, Democratic Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky says he wants “to make system-wide changes that will make our government more honest.” Ha! If he’d been effective on that front, he might’ve gotten at least his own chamber to pass some, uh . . . “system-wide changes.” Or spoken up about Silver (or others) before prosecutors got involved. Why expect better from him in the Senate? Republicans, meanwhile, are fielding ambulance-chaser — er, personal-injury lawyer — Chris McGrath for the Skelos seat. Their chief argument for him: If he loses, the GOP might (horrors!) lose control of the Senate, where the two parties now each hold 31 seats. Not exactly compelling. Indeed, so unimpressive are both of these contenders that the battle between them has focused on two other men instead: Skelos and Mayor de Blasio. Dems paint McGrath as Skelos 2.0; Republicans say a Kaminsky win would hand the Senate to de Blasio. (To be fair, both are scary prospects.) The fight for Silver’s lower Manhattan seat is equally depressing. For starters, Silver’s wife, Rosa, and his former chief-of-staff, Judy Rapfogel (whose husband, Willie, is himself a convicted thief — from a state-funded charity, no less) made sure loyal district leader Alice Cancel became the Democratic candidate. Yet Cancel’s been mostly MIA in the race, citing health woes. That may hand the win to the Working Families Party’s Yuh-Line Niou. And she’s as beholden to the unions as they come — taxpayers be damned. And perhaps the rules be damned, too: She’d originally intended to try for the Democratic nomination, but pulled out amid questions over whether she truly lives in the district. The WFP proved less picky. Which brings us to the longshot — the one guy with the most to offer in either race, businessman Lester Chang. He’s a solid citizen clean of ties to the special interests that dominate the state — but a Republican running in a heavily Democratic district.
None of this should surprise, of course. After all, the fall of Silver and Skelos has sparked no real change in how Albany works. If corruption convictions won’t shake things up, why should elections?

Everyone Attacking Silver in the Replacement Race
Potential Silver replacements don’t want to be associated with him (NYP) The four candidates vying for former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s old lower Manhattan seat tried to outdo each other in distancing themselves from the crooked politician during a forum Thursday night. Even Silver’s would-be successor on the Democratic line, Alice Cancel — who was selected to run in the April 19 special election with the backing of Silver’s allies — insisted “I’m not a Silver stooge.” “I was one of the people to fight against Silver,” Cancel said, referring to an acrimonious dispute over housing in Seward Park on the Lower East Side. Cancel admitted she took some heat for referring to Silver as a “hero” when Democratic Party leaders from the district nominated her in February. Yuh-Line Niou, the Working Families Party candidate, said Silver “betrayed the community . . . We have to hold legislators to a higher standard.” Republican candidate Lester Chang said, “Mr. Silver is going to jail. Let’s move forward.” Green Party candidate Dennis Levy called Silver a “wheeler dealer” and said public corruption by legislators has turned the Empire State into the “criminal state.” Silver, 72, is scheduled to be sentenced April 13 in Manhattan federal court in a pay-to-play corruption scandal. * The four candidates vying for former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s old lower Manhattan seat tried to outdo each other in distancing themselves from the convicted politician during a forum Thursday night, the Post reports:  Sen Dan Squadron and Assembly member Brian Kavanagh for your endorsement of Yuh-Line Niou for Assembly in the 65th AD! "* Judge sentencing Silver wants info. on other convicted pols (NYDN)

WFP Attacks Democratic Candidate On Ties to Silver When the WFP Have the Same Ties to Silver and Other Corrupt Pols 
True News Tips - Why don't you write about the WFP supporting candidate for Silver's seat by attacking Democrat for being a Silver supporter when the WFP supported Silver in every election. You could even make a rogue gallery of  I WFP endorsed candidates who were convicted of corruption. In 5 minutes I came up with - Silver, Vito Lopez, Nick Spano, Monserratte, Eric Stevenson, Boyland Jr., Sampson, Nelson Castro.  Miguel Martinez  I'm sure there are others

NYS BOE Campaign Filings A Joke
Campaign Filing Incomplete For Every Major Candidate in the Special
Cancel  Only Has $3,815.00
Chang Has Nothing in His BOE Filings
Niou Has  $144,872.19 in Her Filing, Has Spent $24,000 - $13,000 on John Liu Consultant CHUNG SETO and Election Lawyer Connors $5000
* The New York City Board of Elections made two mistakes last month, one that cost the city more than $200,000, and another that may have inadvertently confused 60,000 newly registered voters about the date of the April 19 presidential primary, the Times writes

How A Developer Killed A Nursing Home In Park Slope
Judge nixes sale ofunlicensed Park Slope nursing home which faces $45M in liens from multiplelawsuits (NYDN) The owner of an unlicensed Park Slope nursing home who’s hoping to sell it for a massive profit may wind up on the hook for $45 million. When John O’Hara, the attorney who represents nine families with pending lawsuits against Prospect Park Residence Home Health Care Inc., learned its owner Haysha Deitsch received an $84 million bid to sell the building, he filed motions to put $5 million liens on the building. After O’Hara was successful with two of the liens, Deitsch, who bought 1 Prospect Park West in 2006 under his limited liability company for $40 million, appealed the lower court’s decision and lost unanimously, according to the March 23 decision. PROSPECT PARK WEST NURSING HOME A DEATHTRAP: SUIT “This is an example of our judicial system working. Crime does not pay,” said O’Hara. O’Hara has a third $5 million lien pending approval in Brooklyn Supreme Court and will continue to submit $5 million motions against Deitsch’s property, one at a time, until money is set aside for all nine of the victims’ families. Seven of the lawsuits are wrongful death claims. “We are unhappy with the Appellate Court’s decision, we feel they got it incorrect,” said Deitsch’s attorney Joel Drucker who denies his client is an owner and does not run the facility. Dietsch used his company Prospect Park ALF, LLC to convert the residence into a nursing home, records show. Drucker disputes that the 139-bed property is a nursing home despite entering into insurance contracts as such and hiring healthcare staff, court records show. FAMILIES TRY TO STOP BROOKLYN NURSING HOME OWNER'S PLANS Dietsch also testified that he’s “not in the healthcare business,” according to court documents. After obtaining a license in 2014, Deitsch relocated over 100 elderly residents and unlawfully tried to push out the last five when he received the multi-million dollar bid. A judge assigned a temporary receiver to take over the facility in December after Deitsch defied orders to give the bare necessities like heat and hot water.

de Blasio Spends to Fix Problems Manages and Saves Little  
De Blasio will spend way more money than Bloomberg ever did (NYP) Mayor de Blasio hasn’t found a problem he can’t throw money at, planning to shell out $1.4 billion for new initiatives over the next two years. According to the city’s January 2016 financial plan, that sum includes $562 million the city budgeted for the current fiscal year — $349 million more than he set aside for new spending in FY 2015. He originally had planned to spend only $484 million this year. And de Blasio wants to splurge, with $819 million set for new programs next year — $361 million more than he originally intended, budget documents show. By comparison, predecessor Michael Bloomberg was downright miserly, allocating only $68 million and $81 million in new spending during the first two years of his administration. “What is different is that Mayor de Blasio has thus far been reluctant to ask agency heads to find internal savings to offset new needs,” said Citizens Budget Commission Director Carol Kellermann. “It’s kind of hard to expect agency heads to volunteer to cut their own budgets.” Meanwhile, the mayor’s spending continues to grow. He unveiled ThriveNYC, an overhaul of mental-health services spearheaded by wife Chirlane McCray, in November at a cost of $850 million over the next four years. He sought to insert himself in the national immigration debate when he launched a $7.9 million effort, ActionNYC, in December to provide more legal services for immigrants. A spike in graffiti last year led the mayor in February to disburse $6.7 million in FY 2017 for his CleaNYC program targeting street art and litter. He responded to criticism over EMS response times by announcing $70 million for new ambulance shifts and dispatchers through FY 2019. City spending rose 7.9 percent to $81.7 billion in FY 2016 from $75.7 billion in FY 2015.

Even Habitat for Humanity is Pushing Poor Long Time Tenants Out of Bed Stuy 
How Habitat for Humanity Went to Brooklynand Poor Families Lost Their Homes (PropublicaNY) The charity paid millions in federal stimulus funds to developers shortly after longtime tenants were pushed out. “We are spending federal money to throw low-income New Yorkers out of buildings,” wrote a Habitat whistleblower How Habitat for Humanity Went to Brooklyn and Poor Families Lost Their Homes The charity paid millions in federal stimulus funds to developers shortly after longtime tenants were pushed out. “We are spending federal money to throw low-income New Yorkers out of buildings,” wrote a Habitat whistleblower.“Habitat-NYC’s Director [of] Real Estate and Construction speaks openly about making deals with developers, saying that we can not buy buildings from them until they get rid of all their tenants,” one of the employees wrote in a May 2012 email, which was provided to ProPublica. “We are spending federal money to throw low-income New Yorkers out of buildings.”* ON GENTRIFICATION FRONTLINE, EAST NEW YORK PUSHES DE BLASIO FOR ZONING PROMISES(City and State) * NEW: Wary of Gentrification, East Harlem Braces for RapidChange v @GothamGazette *

Bharara 3rd Anniversary of Smith's Arrest and Standing By for Silver and Skelos Sentences While Albany Ducks Ethics Bill
Bharara celebrates anniversary of Malcolm Smith arrest (NYP) Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara gave himself a hand on Twitter Friday for successfully prosecuting disgraced state Sen. Malcolm Smith and his crooked cronies three years ago.  “Tomorrow is the 3rd anniversary of arrest of Sen. Malcom [sic] Smith and 5 others on corruption charges. All convicted,” the prosecutor wrote. Smith, ex-Queens City Councilman Dan Halloran and Republican county leaders Joseph Savino and Vincent Tabone were busted in a $200,000 bribery scheme to rig the 2013 mayoral election. Noramie Jasmin and Joseph Desmaret, the former mayor and deputy mayor of Spring Valley in Rockland County, were also nabbed. Smith is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence while Halloran got 10 years. And all but Savino, who hasn’t been sentenced yet, received prison time. Bharara followed up by quoting himself from a press conference announcing the arrests. “ ‘Putting dirty politicians in prison may be necessary but it is not sufficient.’ Still true,” he added.

Senate GOP Protection For Child Rape Predators 

Stop predator protection: The state Senate and Assemblymust come together now to fix outrageous statutes of limitations for child sexabuse (NYDN Ed)  *PERV PROTECTORS: NY GOP 'too busy' to fix child-rape law (NYDN) Assembly Democrats are refusing to allow Assemblywoman Margaret Markey to screen the movie “Spotlight” to boost her bill to help child sexual abuse victims; and raising the minimum wage could open up the Senate GOP to primary challenges, the Daily News’ * Sex abuse victims and child advocates turned up the heat on Cuomo, calling on him to support legislation that would extend the statute of limitations for criminal charges and civil suits lodged against accused abusers, the Daily News reports:

The roadblock to justice for countless sex abuse victims in New York is the continued handiwork of Senate Republicans more concerned about the rights of pervs than their accusers — or too busy to even consider reforms. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan through his staff wouldn’t even discuss the matter this week despite repeated requests from the Daily News. “We aren’t going to discuss it until after the (state) budget is settled,” Flanagan spokesman Scott Reif said in an email. But several Senate GOPers told The News this week they have little appetite to change the law requiring child victims of sex abuse to seek legal recourse before their 23rd birthday.VICTIMS FACE 3-MONTH DEADLINE TO FILE LAWSUIT IN N.Y.Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco, a retired Syracuse lawyer, said the current law strikes a fair balance.  “I believe that there’s a purpose for a statute of limitations,” DeFrancisco said. “The further back the case is, the more difficult it is for anybody to defend themselves. Witnesses are gone. That’s why a statute of limitation is there.” * SAVING THE SICKOS! New York’s GOP leaders say changing statute of limitations for child sex cases can wait, ignoring Dems’ proposal as vics’ cycle of injustice drags on (NYDN) *'NOW IT IS TIME TO ACT': New York AG Eric Schneiderman urges lawmakers to take action on child sex abuse laws, calling the delay 'unconscionable' (NYDN) * Only 1 NYC districtattorney supports fixing state law to help child abuse victims seek justice(NYDN) One of the city's district attorneys is in favor of extending the criminal statute of limitations on charges of sexual abuse of children — but the others refused to take a stand. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s support of overhauling the oft-maligned law barring criminal charges after the victim turns 23 years old comes as the state Senate considers a bill to do just that.

Another Mismanaged Real Estate Deal By the City 
‘Drug dealing’ docs scored $1M real estate deal from city (NYP) The de Blasio administration approved a deal that netted an Upper West Side couple nearly $1 million for a vacant lot last summer — even as they were under investigation by city drug prosecutors, records show. Two months after the city waived restrictions on the property owned by Dr. Rogelio and Lydia Lucas and their family, the couple as busted for allegedly running a massive oxycodone “pill mill” out of their medical practice. Two weeks before the arrests were announced by the city’s special narcotics prosecutor, the NYPD and the US Drug Enforcement Agency last July 9, the family sold the land for $900,000. They had paid $75,000 for the property in 1985, and gave the city $100,000 on April 2, 2015, for the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to lift a restriction limiting the land’s use to nonprofit community services. City officials said they had no way of knowing the duo was under investigation at the time — the second instance uncovered in as many weeks of a case that benefited a property owner while robbing a community of guaranteed nonprofit services.  The city Department of Investigation and Comptroller Scott Stringer are probing a separate deal that netted Brooklyn health- care operator Allure Group $72 million by turning a nursing home into luxury condos — with the city’s help.* Feds eye rabbi who tried to sell synagogue for $13 million (NYP) A Queens rabbi who is being sued by the congregants of a Lower East Side synagogue for trying to sell their $13 million building out from under them and allegedly make off with the profits, is now under investigation by federal as well as state officials, The Post has learned. Rabbi Samuel Aschkenazi, leader of the right-wing Hasidic sect, Ger, was served with papers by two FBI agents as soon as he stepped off the witness stand in Manhattan Supreme Court in the civil case Monday. Aschkenazi was set to sell the House of Sages of Israel at 25 Bialystoker Place to developer Todd Fine before the state attorney general stepped in last fall and put hold on the transaction. Aschkenazi’s attorney, Michael Bachner, confirmed to The Post that the rabbi is being probed by US Attorney Preet Bharara.

NY Potamkin Political Parties Only Serve the Political Class Disconnected From the Voters

Time to Look At NY's Undemocratic Party System 

Political Parties Survive Despite Much of Its Power Being Eaten Away By NY Lobbyists Class Because of New York's Falling Political and Voting Participation

NY's Political Class in Both Parties Which Using the Election Law to Control Judgeship, Special Elections and Run An Incumbent Protection for Elected Officials and Party Leaders Not is Trying to Influence the Voters Who They Disconnected A Generation Ago 

If Bernie Sanderswins the New YorkDemocratic primary, some superdelegates vow to back Hillary Clinton anyway(NYDN) Maybe the system really is rigged. At least a half-dozen Democratic superdelegates in New York State who have already decided to support Hillary Clinton said Tuesday they would maintain their allegiance to her — regardless of the results of the Empire State’s primary. Even if Sanders were to win the April 19 New York presidential contest, when a whopping 247 delegates are at stake, every single New York superdelegate reached by the Daily News said they would never support the Vermont senator.  Among New York’s superdelegates this year are Hillary’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, and most of the state’s House members. n spite of Sanders winning 15 states — including some by an 80%-20% margin — over 94% of the 498 superdelegates have said they are backing Clinton. *  Hillary, Bernie ready to kick off for battle for New York (NYP)
The Walmartization Centralization of NY's Politics

Silver Disbarred and Skelos Delayed Until After the Special to Replace Him 
Former Speaker Silver Disbarred(YNN) *  Sentencing for former Senate Leader, Dean Skelos, and his son Adam, has been changedonce again. First the judge moved the sentencing date to April 25. Now, the pair will go before the judge on the 28.* Sheldon Silver Stripped of Law License (DNAINFO) The disgraced former Assembly Speaker was officially disbarred Tuesday after an appeals court ruling.* Sheldon Silver, Ex-New York Assembly Speaker, Is Disbarred (NYT) * The hits just keep coming for Shelly Silver (NYP) First Sheldon Silver’s name was removed from his Assembly office door in Albany, now it’s been stricken from an official state list of practicing attorneys. Silver was automatically disbarred when he wasconvicted last November, so the disciplinary committee’s finding, released Tuesday, is mostly a ceremonial slap in the face to the ex-speaker. The five-member Manhattan Departmental Disciplinary Committee unanimously rejected the disgraced lawmaker’s plea to keep his name on the attorney roll pending the appeal of his guilty verdict.* Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was automatically disbarred when he was convicted last November, and now a disciplinary committee rejected his plea to remain an attorney pending his appeal in court, the Postreports: * A Court of Appeals panel ruled that controversial secret evidence kept out of former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver’s trial can become public if the judge believes it is relevant to his sentencing, scheduled for April 13, Newsday reports: *  A state appeals court disbarred former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver after he was convicted in November of felony extortion for taking nearly $4 million from two law firms during his time as a legislator.* Silver’s lawyers argued that the disbarment should be delayed until a federal judge decides on their motion for a new trial, but the appeals court denied the request.

Fed Investigation of NYCHA Goes Beyond Led Paint
De Blasio HousingAuthority Head Says Preet Bharara’s Probe Goes Way Beyond Lead (NYO) Shola Olatoye, chairwoman of the New York City Housing Authority, testified today that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has been digging into much more than the authority’s lead abatement work. Speaking before the City Council’s Committee on Public Housing, Ms. Olatoye addressed reports that Mr. Bharara had probed NYCHA records to find if it had deliberately misled the federal government about its work mitigating and removing lead paint at its 334 developments across the city. Ms. Olatoye, a Mayor Bill de Blasio appointee, said the prosecutor’s office had requested and received some 440 million records from the housing authority pertaining every facet of its internal workings. “The inquiry has been about NYCHA’s operations—every aspect of our operations,” she said, adding that NYCHA had retained two attorneys to work full-time on complying with Mr. Bharara and his team. “It has not been specific to the lead, reported lead issues, that, that, they’ve been researching. It’s really been quite, quite more, more expansive. I can’t presume to know what the intent of the inquiry is, but we—my team—are taking it very seriously.”* The New York City Housing Authority found elevated levels of lead in the water of some of its apartments after it conducted a random survey earlier this month, the agency’s chief said.* Officials said more than 200 children living in NYCHA apartments have tested positive for elevated blood-lead levels in the last five years, but only a handful of the apartments where they lived had hazardous levels of lead paint, the Daily News reports:  * NYCHA Neglect in Elevator Repairs Blamed in Man's Death, DOI Report Says (DNAINFO) The Department of Investigation report was sparked by two elevator accidents in The Bronx, one fatal.* New York City Housing Authority Faulted for ‘Significant Flaws’ in Elevator Safety (NYT) A report by the Department of Investigation, started after an 84-year-old man died in an elevator in December, said the housing agency was too slow to react to problems on elevators.* Housing Authority was warned about elevator hours before deadly accident (NYP) The New York City Housing Authority was warned about a “very dangerous” elevator condition an hour and a half before an elderly Bronx resident was fatally injured inside the lift on Christmas Eve 2015 — but workers failed to respond until the next morning, investigators said Tuesday. The time lag violates protocol for emergencies of that kind, which have a one-hour response limit, according to the Department of Investigation.But the deadly condition reported by a tenant was improperly coded by Housing Authority employees, who sent it off with a 48-hour response window.* The death of an 84-year-old man in December in an elevator at a Bronx housing project exposed “significant flaws” in how officials complied with safety laws and responded to urgent complaints, a DOI report has found, the Times reports:  * NYCHA has settled a lawsuit brought by Public Advocate Letitia James by promising to formally end its policy of refusing to turn up the thermostat overnight unless temperatures hit 20 degrees, the Daily Newsreports: 

The City's Public Hospitals Are Out of Money 
City hospitals chief says money problems are out of his control (NYP) The city municipal hospital system’s finances are getting worse — and its president said Monday that much of the problem is out of his hands.  NYC Health + Hospitals, formerly the Health and Hospitals Corp., expects to face a $1.2 billion deficit next year, which will be exacerbated by federal cuts of $300 million in 2017 and $460 million per year through 2025, hospitals chief Dr. Ramanathan Raju said at a City Council hearing. “Some of the things are beyond our control,” Raju said. The city bailed out the system last month, injecting $337 million to keep it afloat this year.* NYC hospitals plea for help as they struggle to survive (NYDN) * New York City Health and Hospitals President Ram Raju told the City Council the public hospital system faces “unprecedented threats to our survival” and it “too important to fail,” the Daily News reports: *   NYC Health + Hospitals, formerly the Health and Hospitals Corp., expects to face a $1.2 billion deficit next year, which will be exacerbated by federal cuts of $300 million in 2017 and $460 million per year through 2025.* City hospitals missed 15 deadlines to install new records system (NYP)

NYT Still Trying to Prop Up de Blasio to Show He is A Play in Albany While In Florida On Vacation
Mayor de Blasio and Assembly Speaker Coordinate Closely in State Budget Fight (NYT)  Mayor Bill de Blasio keeps in touch with Speaker Carl E. Heastie to make sure New York City’s interests are represented in budget talks in Albany.* @deBlasioNYC does not like to text, but makes an exception for @CarlHeastie, who pretty much doesn't communicate any other way  * The relationship between NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastiehas taken on new importance given the animosity between the mayor and the governor, with the city looking to the Bronx leader to protect its interests in the budget battle..* Timing of Mayor de Blasio's Florida vacation raises eyebrows (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio surprised some Albany Democrats by taking a four-day Florida vacation this past week as the state budget negotiations were coming down to the wire.

Albany Pigs Cannot Sing ETHICS After Silver and Skelos' Convictions 
Same old Albany (NYP) Albany is being Albany again. Despite the conviction on federal corruption charges of two of the three men in a room, the notorious practice of leaders making all the state’s major decisions in secrecy continues. Democratic former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Republican ex-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos are headed to the pokey, but Gov. Cuomo, who emerged unindicted from a separate probe, is carving up the budget and other items with their replacements. Like made men finally getting a seat at the table, Democrat Carl Heastie and Republican John Flanagan slipped comfortably into the habits of their felonious predecessors. It is a measure of public numbness that there is little objection. Perhaps silence is wise and efficient, as Mark Twain advised in a similar situation. “Never try to teach a pig to sing,” he said. “It wastes your time and annoys the pig.”* "Heastie and Flanagan slipped comfortably into thehabits of their felonious predecessors.  * Albany’s ethics watchmice get a new Big Cheese (NYP) New York’s anti-corruption watchmice — the members of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics — are remarkably consistent. Consistently servile, that is. After a nine-month nationwide search, the commission has finally tapped a new executive director, its third since its 2011 founding. By a remarkable coincidence, for the third straight time, it’s a top aide to Gov. Cuomo. The same Cuomo who’s notorious for exerting tight personal control over every investigative effort into state corruption — even as ineffective a body as JCOPE. The choice of another ethics pointman firmly in the governor’s pocket comes despite last year’s public warning from four of the 14 commissioners that unless the next executive director came from outside state government, “the public trust will be inexorably destroyed.”Well, destruction complete. The new executive director, Seth Agata, may be up to the job. But as a longtime deputy counsel to Cuomo, he’s bound to inspire deep doubts about JCOPE’s independence.  Especially when the Legislature refuses to take any kind of substantive ethics-reform action after the Silver-Skelos convictions.  JCOPE says it received 200 resumes from job applicants. Remarkable that, of all those, it couldn’t find a single qualified person who hasn’t worked for Andrew Cuomo. * Leaders of prominent good government groups gathered at the state Capitol to decry not only the inability of Cuomo and legislative leaders to achieve ethics reform in the budget process, but also the lack of transparency in the ongoing three-men-in-a-room negotiations.* Prominent good-government group leaders have decried the inability of Cuomo and legislative leaders to achieve ethics reform in the budget process and the lack of transparency in the negotiations, the TimesUnion reports: * Good-government watchdogs on Monday continued to criticize Cuomo and the top legislative leaders for keeping ethics reforms out of the state budget this month.

Albany's ethics watchmice get a new Big Cheese @nypost - Preet, not Jcope, already found 2of3 in room were criminals

After Council Passes 32% Pay Increase and Become Full Time They Duck Hearings    

A Tale of Two CFBs: Albanese vs Campaigh PACs NYCLASS, UFT's United for the Future and Campaign for One NY PAC
Former mayoral candidate suing to get his own money back (NYP) A mayoral candidate smacked with a $10,000 fine for using his own money to keep his campaign afloat is suing to recoup the cash, calling the penalty “shocking.” Sal Albanese spent 16 years as a city councilman and originally sponsored the campaign-finance law he was accused of violating in 2013, when he bowed out of the mayoral race after a lackluster campaign. He kicked off his mayoral bid by loaning his campaign $100,000 of his own dough, intending to pay the money back once he qualified for public matching funds.  But the matching funds never came and Albanese struggled to raise cash and qualify for public funding, he says in Manhattan Supreme Court papers. The Brooklyn Democrat found himself in a pickle, he says: pay his staff and creditors out of his own pocket, or stiff those who worked on his campaign. He ultimately shelled out $170,000 to his campaign. Since the money was never paid back, it didn’t count as a loan, but an illegally high contribution.“It is shocking that the Campaign ­Finance Board assessed any penalty…let alone the severest one possible,” he says in the legal filing. He wants a judge to vacate the CFB’s September 2015 decision and the $10,000 refunded. “If this isn’t mitigating circumstances I don’t know what is,” said his lawyer, David Berger.
A Tale of Two CFBs: Albanese vs Campaign PAC NYCLASS, UFT's United for the Future 

Everyone Saw the Conflict of Interests In the Mayor Slush PAC Taking $$$ From Lobbyists and People Doing Business With the City, But the Mayor's Conflict of Interests Board  
Meanwhile, the same conflicts board blessed Mayor de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York, a non-profit group he set up to promote his policy agenda and now moves to disband as an escalating political liability.  Everyone saw the screaming conflicts of interest posed by the campaign’s fundraising — everyone but the board that was supposed to prevent them.  The campaign, led by de Blasio confidantes, collected nearly $5 million from unions and business interests to advance all things de Blasio.  No, sir-ree, no conflicts here — just a string of questionable actions on horse carriages, public schools, Uber and more coinciding with contributions to the fund by interested parties.  High time has come for the chronic enablers at the conflicts board to survey the gaping loopholes that let mayors hazardously mix private and public business while in office .

Port Authority Yes $$$ Airport, Bus Terminal No Penn Station 
Port Authority Pledges Billions for Airport Upgrades and New Bus Terminal (NYDN) * The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey voted to require a construction company overseeing La Guardia Airport’s redevelopment to pay for an outside “integrity monitor” after it admitted to overbilling at the World Trade Center site.  Port Authority Board members also advanced several major projects—including renovations at two area airports – as the agency’s mounting tensions burst into the public spotlight at raucous meetings. * The Authority backed out of a lease in the James A. Farley Post Office, temporarily throwing a wrench into part of Cuomo’s plans to pay for the project. * The Port Authority voted to spend tens of billions of dollars revamping La Guardia Airport, improving Newark Liberty International Airport and building a new bus terminal in midtown Manhattan, The New York Times reports: * The Port Authority voted to require Tishman Construction Corp. to pay for an outside integrity monitor as the firm oversees the La Guardia Airport redevelopment because Tishman admitted to overbilling at the World Trade Center site, The Wall Street Journal reports: * Govs. Cuomoand Chris Christie will leave the Port Authority in worse shape than during Bridgegate – and leave commuters in worse condition than when the two men took office – because of the tick-for-tack nature of the agency’s funding strategy, Nicole Gelinas writes in the Post: h

Distraction:  How Do You Stop Press Stories On the $4 Billion PATH Station and Leaky News Subway Stations Get On the Wifi Bus 
$2.75 MetroCard fare actually costs MTA $4.11, according to Moody's (NYP) The firm said the per-ride operating cost to the MTA was higher than its transit counterparts in London and Paris. The price behind the fare reflects the high labor costs — it makes up 66% of the MTA’s operations spending — and its round-the-clock staffing needs, according to Moody’s. The London and Paris systems, however, don’t have to pay workers’ pensions and benefits, unlike the MTA, the Moody’s analysis noted.* Documents Reveal Early Concerns About Leaks at Hudson Yards Subway Station (NYT)
As the Metropolitan Transportation Authority investigates what went wrong at the $2.4 billion station, a contractor’s lawsuit faults a type of concrete that lines the waterproofing system.

Skelos and Son Want Community Service Mercy Mercy Mercy 
Dean Skelos and son think they should get off with community service (NYP)* Dean Skelos and His Son Ask Judge to Spare Them a Prison Sentence (NYT) Mr. Skelos, the former New York Senate majority leader, and his son, Adam, who were convicted on corruption charges, requested to be allowed to perform community service instead. *   Lawyers for ex-state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son asked a judge to let them avoid prison and be sentenced to do community service, which comes about a month before both are expected to be sentenced, the Times reports: * A lawyer for former state Senate power broker Dean Skelos argued in a sentencing memorandum that he should get no prison time because infertility contracted as a teen left scars that made him too devoted to his adopted son Adam to resist helping him years later. * Skelos and his son asked a judge to let them avoid prison altogether and be sentenced to perform community service as punishment for their respective corruption convictions.* Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, 69, whose more-than-21-year tenure on the Federal District Court in Manhattan included a critical role in a controversial stop-and-frisk ruling affecting the Police Department, said she would resign from the bench in late April. * Skelos family valuesNYDN Ed) The following sentence is not meant to provoke laughter: Convicted ex-state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has cited a case of mumps, contracted four decades ago in his teen years, as a force behind his corruption. So desperate is Skelos to avoid prison that his lawyers wrote in a pre-sentence plea that the mumps left him sterile. Thus, they wrote, Skelos was excessively invested in the well-being of adopted son Adam, beneficiary of Skelos’ extortion plots. Thus, your honor, the one-time leader of the law-and-order Senate merits relief as a psychologically scarred man who simply loved too much. On second thought. Laugh.* Pols among writers of 184 letters on Dean Skelos’ behalf(Newday)  Current and former elected officials were among the authors of 184 letters recently filed in court in support of ex-Senate GOP Majority Leader Dean Skelos of Rockville Centre before he’s sentenced for federal corruption crimes. tate Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn), who helped Skelos’ Republicans control the chamber, said the leader “made sure to greet the cleaning and clerical staff.” Former Valley Stream Mayor John DeGrace said Skelos “is, and was, a giver, not a taker.” Democratic Long Beach City Councilwoman Eileen Goggin, a family friend, revealed that Skelos “saved my job” when Republican Nassau County Executive Edward Manganowon election in 2009 and was firing many of Democrat Thomas Suozzi’s deputy county attorneys. Ascribing Skelos as well-meaning was a theme in the letters asking the court for leniency. “Sometimes love can cloud our judgment,” said Francis Becker, a former Republican Nassau County legislator.* A handful of former staffers and a single sitting state senator were among those who sent letters to a federal judge as part of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos' bid to avoid a prison sentence, GannettAlbany reports: 

Skelos and Silver Both to Be Sentence On April 13 SIX Days Before the LI Special Election 
Sentencings for Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver Are Now Set for Same Day (NYT) Mr. Skelos, the former Republican majority leader of the State Senate, and Mr. Silver, a Democrat who was the State Assembly speaker, are scheduled to appear in court on April 13.*  Sheldon Silver: Democratic superdelegate 4 LYFE (Newday) * Skelos, Silver to be sentenced on the same day — at the same time (NYP)* Both state legislative leaders removed after they were convicted of corruptions charges - former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos - will be sentenced on the same day, the Times writes:  * The sentencing date for Skelos has been postponed until April 13, the same day former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver is to be sentenced, and also six days before the Long Island special election is held.

Silver Could Be in Jail During the Convention Resigns As Superdelegate

The City Budget
The NYC Council released its legislative and state budget agenda for the upcoming fiscal year, placing among its priorities raising the minimum wage to $15, enacting paid family leave, passing the Dream Act and opposing cuts to CUNY and Medicaid funding.*  NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton asked the NYC Council for an extra $41 million to pay for hundreds of new traffic agents and expand the high-tech ShotSpotter gunfire-detection system. If granted, the top cop’s budget request would provide the department with $5.1 billion for fiscal year 2017.

LLC Lawsuit Dismissed 
A state Supreme Court judge dismissed a lawsuit against the state Board of Elections seeking to end the “LLC loophole,” which allows real estate developers and other interests to give huge campaign contributions, the Times Union reports: 

JCOPE Run By Cuomo Ex-Aide Again
Once Again, JCOPE Turns To An Ex-Cuomo Aide (YNN) * New York’s top ethics watchdog in Albany will once again be led by a former aide to Gov. Cuomo, selecting Seth Agata to become its next executive director.* * The Joint Commission on Public Ethics named Seth Agata, a former counsel to Cuomo and the governor’s pick to serve as chairman of the Public Employment Relations Board, as its new director, The Associated Press reports: * In his capacity as first assistant counsel to the governor, incoming JCOPE Executive director Seth Agata wrote a letter in December 2012 to JCOPE’s then-executive director (and another former Cuomo aide) Ellen Biben, seeking approval for Cuomo to write a memoir, “All Things Possible.”* Seth Agata, a former Cuomo aide who was announced Tuesday as the new executive director of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, was selected by a narrow vote of 8-4, according to a source with direct knowledge of the deliberations. *  The governor’s longreach (TU) Cuomo may honestly believe he’s the most ethical governor in New York history, with the most ethical administration ever, and surrounded by the most ethical aides and advisers anywhere in America. That doesn’t make his apparent manipulation of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics any less disturbing. * Despite last year’s warning from four of JCOPE’s commissioners that unless the next executive director came from outside state government, “the public trust will be inexorably destroyed,” Cuomo for the third time appointed one of his top aides, ensuring deep doubts about the panel’s independence, the Post writes: "If I hear 'sweeping reform' again, I think I’m goingto be sick" 
JJOKE resignations coming in after Seth Agata's selection  Heastie wants his lobbyist Patrick Jenkins to be on JJOKE

Wilhelm Lies Panders in Harlem on A Name Change He Did to Run in A Jewish District
Bill de Blasio's Slave Name (CityWatch) The mayor reached a new low in sanctimonious, pandering bullshit this weekend in Harlem.  Speaking about why he changed his name, de Blasio cited “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” as an inspiration.  Malcolm X rejected his birth name as “not really his name,” and similarly de Blasio decided that his slave name “Warren Wilhelm, Jr.” wasn’t right for him either.  His new name “was [his] true self.” The fact that he changed his name 25 years after he first read “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” while in the middle of his first run for elected office, shouldn’t make you think that there were any political implications to his choice. Incidentally, why does the mayor constantly throw his father under the proverbial streetcar wheels?  “I honor my father for all he did for his country and all the good in him, but I only unfortunately got to see the bad,” he said at the First Corinthian Baptist Church.  A few years ago he told the Times that from his father, "I learned what not to do."  Obviously de Blasio must resent his father for killing himself, but he should save it for his therapist’s office, just for the sake of manners.  The guy fought in World War Two and lost a leg, and his son grows up and just constantly heaps scorn on his memory.  With that kind of gratitude, it isn’t surprising that de Blasio hemmed and hawed about endorsing his former boss Hillary Clinton.* While at a church in Harlem, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the “Autobiography of Malcolm X” helped inspire him to adopt his mother’s maiden name, and described it as the most influential book in his education, the Post reports: De Blasio, who was born Warren Wilhelm Jr., retained his father’s surname until 2001 — the same year he ran for and won a City Council seat in Park Slope. His dad fought in World War II but became an alcoholic and took his own life in 1979 while suffering through inoperable lung cancer. Wilhelm left his family when de Blasio was only 7 years old. “I was affected by seeing my family fall apart,” the mayor told Walrond and about 200 Sunday worshippers. “I honor my father for all he did for his country, and all the good in him, but I only unfortunately got to see the bad.” Malcolm X, whose father died when he was 6, explained in his autobiography that he replaced his last name with an X to protest the “white slavemaster name … imposed upon my paternal forebears.”

The Already Controlled CFB Just Got Fixed More by the Mayor's Union Friends 
The Post writes that de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito are “stacking the deck” at the New York City Campaign Finance Board, which may make city elections irrelevant
Campaign Finance Board might make voting irrelevant (NYP Ed) Tired of voting? Here’s good news: The city’s Campaign Finance Board might soon do the choosing for you. It’s headed that way, anyhow. And when it does, expect city government to be even more left-wing, and more beholden to unions, than it is now. Consider: Last week, Mayor de Blasio announced his first appointment to the board: Naomi Zauderer, whose labor-heavy resumé could shame Joe Hill. A CFB press release boasts she has “more than 19 years of experience in union organzing, collective bargaining and contract administration.” She’s been a leader at CUNY’s left-wing faculty union and director of the local nurses union. She’s also worked with UAW Locals 1981 and 2165. Nothing wrong with one union stooge on the board, of course — in theory. But the CFB has huge say over elections. It arguably tipped the scales for de Blasio in the 2013 Democratic primary by freezing the matching funds of a key rival on the left, John Liu. It cited a federal fund-raising probe, but Liu was never charged. CFB members serve staggered terms, with the mayor naming three, including the chairman, and the City Council speaker two. Come November, de Blasio and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will have appointed a majority of the board. Yet de Blasio engineered Mark-Viverito’s speakership. Both are thisclose with labor and its political organ, the Working Families Party. De Blasio is a WFP co-founder, and Zauderer’s from the WFP. Even now, the CFB’s independence is in doubt, as current members may curry favor to win reappointment. Why hasn’t the board even responded to the recent complaint filed by Common Cause New York over de Blasio’s seamy pocket nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York?  We’ve never been fans of the CFB, which pretends to boost democracy but operates as an unelected barrier to campaigns and political speech. In fact, the city’s entire campaign-finance system, which costs taxpayers millions, has proven itself a sham that’s only invited abuse and corruption. With de Blasio and Mark-Viverito now stacking the deck, the board may soon make fair city elections a matter of history.

This Time the Mayor Caters to The Teamsters (Re-Election Resource) Over NYCHA Tenants Needs
The Daily News writes that de Blasio secured no “meaningful reforms” in a deal with Teamsters Local 237, but NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye is still fighting “the good fight” to be able to schedule workers after 4:30 p.m. without paying overtime: 
The NYCHA fixesshould be in: Olatoye steps up after de Blasio drops housing ball (NYDN Ed) Confronted by mammoth backlogs in repair requests, the New York City Housing Authority’s chief executive called more than a year ago for greater flexibility in assigning maintenance workers. Shola Olatoye noted that, unlike major private landlords, she was barred from putting plumbers, painters and others on shifts that ended after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. Unless she paid overtime.  Thanks to NYCHA’s contract with Teamsters Local 237, 400,000 public housing residents often had to take off from work to get repairs done or fixes were left hanging for long periods. Garbage isn’t collected after 4:30 or on weekends.  The consequences on the quality of life have been corrosive. In 2014, the toll proved disastrous when the lighting failed — and went unrepaired — in the Brooklyn stairwell where former NYPD Officer Peter Liang fatally shot Akai Gurley.  Despite Olatoye’s plea, Mayor de Blasio secured no meaningful reforms in a deal that afforded Local 237 the wage hikes accepted by other city unions. Teamsters boss Greg Floyd said he’d be happy to expand work hours — provided his members got overtime for each minute past 4:30 p.m. She’s fighting the good fight. Too bad de Blasio failed to win the war by successfully negotiating contract language certifying that Olatoye in fact has the legal authority to get the job done.

Corruption Fighter Bharara Tries to Save NYC's Public Housing That the Pols Have Failed
Tuesday NYCHA union boss wants workers tested for lead after feds launch health probe (NYDN)* Teamsters Local 237 President Greg Floyd wrote to NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye and requested “immediate testing” of employees’ blood-lead levels after the feds began probing lead exposure at NYCHA developments, the Daily News reports * Despite reports and concerns of violence, the NYPD has no plans to step up patrols at homeless shelters.

Praying for Preet:Corruption crusader is now housing hero (NYDN Ed) Answering the prayers of New Yorkers damned to live in the city Housing Authority’s hazardously crumbling complexes, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara now swoops to the rescue wearing a court order to city health officials as his cape. Can even the superpowers of the super-prosecutor who busted Albany corruption and shook up Rikers Island’s houses of horror save accursed NYCHA from doom? Maybe not — but Bharara’s intervention sure as hell can’t hurt the already hurting. His team is investigating the possibility that NYCHA officials gave false assurances to the federal government about maintenance conditions in its nearly 178,000 apartments in exchange for funds. Golly, where to begin? With epidemic leaks, mold, rot, vermin, peeling paint, water damage and other apartment horrors routinely reported by residents: Bharara sought by court order city Department of Health records concerning all of the above at NYCHA and in the city’s homeless shelters.
That includes addresses where children have been found to have elevated blood-lead levels, associated with brain impairment — an until-now hidden toll of NYCHA’s savage neglect. City health officials are now supplying the requested records. Mayor de Blasio, all but in charge of the nominally independent NYCHA, should assume that, as with Rikers, prying Preet will dig up the goods to force the city into a legal settlement to cure ills forever thought incurable. Long-suffering NYCHA residents can throw in another prayer, that Bharara will force a break in absurd maintenance-worker union rules that tie chairwoman Shola Olatoye’s hands as she scrambles to patch up conditions to keep apartments minimally livable.* New York City Housing Authority CEO Shola Olatoye said the federal government began an inquiry late last year that is examining “every facet of our operations,” for which NYCHA has handed over more than 400 million records, the Times reports:

NYCHA Just Got Worse With Bharara Lead Paint Investigation and Homeless Shelter Investigation
Saturday U.S. Inquiry Into New York’s Housing Authority Is ‘Very Expansive,’ Its Chief Says (NYT)Shola Olatoye said the Justice Department had been looking at “every facet” of the agency’s operations amid a review of federal funds for health and safety problems.
New York City officials have turned over millions of documents to the federal prosecutors conducting an investigation into health and safety conditions at NYCHA buildings and at homeless shelters, The Wall Street Journal reports: * * Cuomo slammed the city homeless shelter system as "deplorable" and accused de Blasio's administration of mismanaging it after revelations of out of control violence at shelters, the Daily News reports: * Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi: “The city has done good work, but we are still in a housing crisis. Millions of city residents are struggling to pay rent. They don’t need political calculations and bureaucratic delays—they need new affordable housing. The governor needs to understand that.”
U.S. Investigating Elevated Blood Lead Levels in New York’s Public Housing (NYT) The inquiry into environmental health and safety conditions was disclosed by the office of Preet Bharara in filings in federal court in Manhattan. * Bharara investiages NYC Housing Authority’s use of lead paint (NYP) US Attorney Preet Bharara is taking aim at the New York City Housing Authority — probing whether the beleaguered agency lied about its use of lead paint, new court papers reveal. Last November, the government asked the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in a 10-page civil investigative demand for information “about individuals with elevated blood-lead levels in NYCHA public housing and documents reflecting complaints of unsafe, unsanitary or unhealthful conditions.” It also sought a list of all property addresses where residents had high blood-lead levels, details on whether any environmental investigation was performed and all documents relating to building complaints. The city’s Department of Homeless Services is being probed for the same allegations under the federal False Claims Act, according to documents. But the Health Department balked at the government’s request for information, saying it was barred by state law from providing details relating to personal medical information. “However, [the Health Department] has agreed to produce this information upon entry of the enclosed court order, and it does not oppose the United States’ application for such an order,” prosecutors wrote in its filing that asked a judge to green-light the release of information. Federal court Judge Deborah Batts signed the order. Lead is toxic to humans, causing brain damage and other maladies, and has been banned from household paint since 1978.* U.S. Attorney investigating claims of unhealthy conditions at NYCHA projects, city homeless shelters (NYDN) * Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are conducting a sweeping investigation of environmental health and safety conditions, including cases of elevated blood lead levels, in public housing and homeless shelters, The NewYork Times writes:  * De Blasio says city will cooperate with federal NYCHA probe  * Feds investigating conditions in @NYCHA, shelters Feds investigating conditions in @NYCHA, shelters (PoliticoNY) * 'DOUBLE PROBLEM' Gov. Cuomo accuses Mayor de Blasio administration of mismanaging homeless shelter system *NYDN)  * Union Urges City to Equip Homeless Shelter Officers with Weapons (NY1)

NYP: de Blasio Cuts to the Homeless Shelter Budget is Delusional Magic Thinking  

Cuomo blasts City Hall over 'dangerous' homeless shelters (NYDN) *Cuomo insisted the city’s homelessness crisis is continuing to worsen because of the “mismanagement” of his nemesis, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, despite a spate of recent efforts by City Hall to improve the crumbling shelter system.
On the homeless, de Blasio’s moved from denial to magic thinking (NYP) Unbelievable: With homelessness on the rise, Mayor de Blasio is slashing spending for shelters in his 2017 budget — on the theory that his new policies are sure to turn things around. As a matter of simple humanity, even a drop in homelessness wouldn’t justify major cuts here. Shelters today are too often horrible — so crowded and unsafe you can understand why some would rather chance it on the streets, at least in the warm months. And it’s sheer lunacy to rely on any new policy working — and working fast enough to justify cutting back. Yet de Blasio aims to cut 27 percent from shelters for adults and 14 percent for family shelters. Fine, he pleads that “we’re still evolving” the budget — but why start “evolving” from nonsense? The city’s Independent Budget Office, which blew the whistle on the mayor’s move, estimates the 2017 homeless population will be larger, not smaller — and shows that the performance of de Blasio’s new programs leaves zero hope they’ll make the difference he’s assuming. Whenever demand for shelters surprises City Hall, it has to scramble — spending big to put up homeless in hotels, and OK’ing improvised shelters with even less regard for quality and safety than in existing ones.  De Blasio spent much of last year in denial about the surging homeless problem, even mocking The Post’s extensive coverage, before finally admitting the truth. He plainly didn’t really learn his lesson — he’s moved from acceptance to magical thinking.  * Death in NYC homeless shelters is a cold, lonely affair (NYDN) * NYC shelters are plagued by domestic abuse, abandoned children and negligent parents (NYDN) * An Daily News investigation found that a broad pattern ofviolence occurring at family shelters across New York City has led to the dismantling of many families, with kids often abandoned and corporal punishment being the norm: * In an effort to reduce violence in New York’s homeless shelters, City Hall has directed the Police Department to retrain some of the guards assigned to maintain order in the shelter system, the Times reports:  * The Post writes that cuts to homeless shelters outlined in de Blasio’s proposed budget are baffling given the rising number of homeless people and deplorable conditions at many of New York City’s shelters:*  The NYPD plan to retrain security staff at homeless shelters amid concerns over violence at the facilities.* Union official says homeless shelter guards need more resources (CapitalNY)Greg Floyd criticizes mayor plan for NYPD training * New York City’s largest police union hired Tusk Strategies, the consulting firm behind Uber’s successful attack on City Hall, as it plans to again take on Mayor Bill de Blasio in a push for higher wages and benefits, The Wall Street Journal reports * Unsafe Haven: How Violence and Drugs at City Homeless Shelters Flew Under the Radar (NY1)

NYP Goo Goos Ignore Slush PAC NYCLASS and UFT's United for the Future That Elected the Mayor and Council  
One de Blasio slush fund down — more to come? (NYP) Mayor de Blasio isn’t quite declaring “mission accomplished” as he finally pulls the plug on his personal pay-to-play slush fund, the Campaign for One New York — but that’s basically his excuse. Unofficially, The Post reports, de Blasio & Co. want to avoid any “distractions” as he gears up for re-election. What CONY really did was let unions, real-estate execs, lobbyists and others doing city business kick in hundreds of thousands of dollars to the mayor’s machine that they couldn’t legally give to his campaign fund.Distractions like the call from Common Cause New York for an official investigation of the whole seamy arrangement — or, as the watchdog kindly put it, “troubling questions about the legality of his conduct.”   The mayor says the nonprofit — essentially a vacuum for outsize donations from people and groups seeking special favors from City Hall — achieved its goals on universal Pre-K and affordable housing.People like Steve Nislick and Wendy Neu — key figures behind the drive to kill the horse-carriage industry — who gave $100,000 after a top-level meeting on the issue.  All in all, the group raised $4.3 million — more than 75 percent of it from just 30 individuals or entitles, a Post analysis showed.But closing the Campaign for One New York hardly takes de Blasio out of the slush-fund business.He’s got two other entities — United for Affordable Housing and the Progressive Agenda Committee. Both are said to be more independent of City Hall, but the latter — formed to push the mayor’s national profile — was seeded with more than $700,000 gifted by the Campaign for One New York. * De Blasio's nonprofit, Campaign for One New York, to disband (NYDN) Those donations were not subject to the $4,950 limit the city Campaign Finance Board places on election fund-raising — and in many cases were much larger. Steve Nislick and Wendy Neu — the two anti-horse-carriage lobbyists prohibited from donating large amounts to de Blasio’s mayoral campaign because of their efforts to enact a ban — each gave $50,000 to the group in 2015. That donation came three days after a meeting on horse carriages. The two have given a total of $125,000 to the group since its inception. Other noteworthy donations included a whopping $350,000 from the American Federation of Teachers — the umbrella union for the city’s teachers — and $100,000 from Two Trees Management, a real estate developer that does business with the city.* De Blasio's 'Dark Money' Nonprofit to Close, Officials Say (DNAINFO)
Good government, tenant and labor groups said the mayor was violating campaign finance laws.

Where is the Criminal Investigations of the de Blasio PACs?
CM Leffler. Liu Treasurer Liu, District Leader Baldeo and Silver Pal Rapfogel, All Found Guilty of Campaign Fraud Scheme With the CFB
Sheldon Leffler, Former Councilman, Is Convicted in CampaignFraud Scheme(NYT) Sheldon S. Leffler, the former city councilman who represented Queens for nearly a quarter-century, was found guilty yesterday of scheming to defraud the government in his unsuccessful run for borough president two years ago.  Two Former Liu Associates Are Found Guilty inCampaign-Finance Scheme (NYT) Prosecutors had charged that the defendants, Jia Hou, a former Liu campaign treasurer, and Xing Wu Pan, a fund-raiser, relied on so-called straw donors — people whose contributions are reimbursed by others — to raise money and use some of it to obtain city matching funds. Mr. Pan was found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and attempted wire fraud in relation to a straw-donor scheme. *  Democratic Party Official in QueensFaces Corruption Charges(NYT)A Queens district leader and two-time candidate for the City Council surrendered to federal authorities on Wednesday to face corruption charges, including mail-fraud conspiracy and obstruction of justice, stemming from what prosecutors said were campaign-finance improprieties. The district leader, Albert J. Baldeo, a Democrat, was accused of using phantom donors to funnel illegal campaign contributions to his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the Council as part of a fraudulent effort to increase the amount of matching funds he would have been eligible for from city, federal prosecutors said  * Rapfogel to Plead Guilty in Scheme to Steal Millions From Charity(NYT) Rapfogel was accused of colluding with Mr. Cohen and others to steal millions through a scheme that involved overcharging the council for insurance policies and then skimming off the margin in cash. He was also accused of manipulating the city’s matching-fund formula to fraudulently increase campaign contributions to politicians who gave government grants to his organization.

NYP: Mahattan DA Or U.S. Attorney Bharara Should Investigate de Blasio Horse Deals

De Blasio’s suspicious obsession with killing the carriage trade (NYP Ed) Mayor de Blasio says the transit union’s demand for an investigation into his secretive deals to kill the city’s horse-carriage trade is “just foolish.”Sorry, Bill — the union has a good idea. Well, basically: Transport Workers Union President John Samuelson wants Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to head the probe. Likely better choices? Manhattan DA Cy Vance, who has no apparent political ambition at the moment, or US Attorney Preet Bharara, a proven corruption-fighter. But someone should be looking into the mayor’s obsession with ridding the city of horse carriages — and whether some special obligation to reward special-interest donors is behind it.Granted, the mayor and Samuelson have had their differences on other issues. * The Growing Call for An Investigation of de Blasio HorseGate Corruption All the Way Back to the 2013 NYCLASS Election
And the union has been cozying up to de Blasio’s rival, Gov. Cuomo. But the TWU’s charges have plain merit. After all, this was never about animal rights, for all the claims to the contrary. Those who sank money into de Blasio’s 2013 campaign — and worked to sink his chief rival, Christine Quinn — were real-estate developers with eyes on the West Side parcels that house the horse stables. Asked about that link Monday, the mayor insisted he doesn’t “think it’s an issue.”Sorry: Lots of New Yorkers don’t buy it. Why is he so reluctant to say he just can’t deliver on this promise? De Blasio also claims the press is making too much of his anti-horse-carriage crusade, telling reporters to “really think about what’s important.”But it was Bill de Blasio who called the issue so urgent that he vowed to ban the horse carriages on “Day One” of his mayoralty. And it’s de Blasio who won’t take no for an answer — coming back this year to a fight that humiliated him last year. And then, the moment his latest “deal” collapsed in flames, immediately setting out to find an alternative. Something strange is going on here — so strange the issue deserves a closer look.
How the Advance Group Conspired to Steal the 2009 and 2013 Election
After A Two Year True News Investigation Mayor's Slush Fund Campaign For One NY to Shut Down
PoliticalOrganization Tied to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Is Closing (WSJ)  The Campaign for One New York has come under scrutiny for its donors and spending * Mayor de Blasio shuts down his controversial non-profit fundraising arm (NYP) Mayor de Blasio is shutting down his controversial non-profit fundraising arm, less than a month after a good government group called for an investigation into whether it is breaking campaign-finance and conflicts-of-interest laws. Officials overseeing de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York said Thursday that the group has stopped raised funds and is in the process of disbanding. As of Jan. 15, it had taken in $4.3 million, mostly from unions, real estate firms and other companies that do business with the city.  City Hall sources said that while the mayor believes the nonprofit has broken no laws, he has grown weary of the constant media scrutiny of the group and did not want it to be a distraction heading into his 2017 re-election campaign. Donors to the mayor’s re-election campaign and other citywide campaigns are limited to giving $4,950 per election cycle – and only $400 if they do business with the city.* Nonprofit Linked to Mayor de Blasio Is Closing (NYT)  Mayor Bill de Blasio and his top aides are winding down the Campaign for One New York, a political organization tied to him that has come under scrutiny for its donors and spending, the Journal writes:

For Two Years  True News Has Been Investigation the Campaign for One NY PAC
Campaign for One New York, however, has received at least 22 donations of $50,000 ore more, including nine for $100,000 and up, records show. A Post analysis published two weeks ago found $3.2 million of the $4.3 million donated to the Campaign for One New York came from just 30 individuals or entities. Leading the donor pack were health care workers’ Local 1199 SEIU and left-leaning hedge fund tycoon George Soros’s nonprofit Fund for Policy Reform Inc., which each gave $500,000. De Blasio met with Soros’ son Alexander for lunch in Southhampton in August 2015, even taking time to pose for photos that the scion later posted on social media websites. He also met with Soros’ son Jonathan six months earlier, and the Soros family helped arrange for de Blasio to be keynote speaker at the April 2014 Democratic Alliance Conference in Chicago. De Blasio participated in at least 31 work meetings or phone calls through September with 16 of the 30 major CONY donors — or those directly linked to these donors, records show. The mayor also attended 23 conferences and other gatherings with CONY contributors — plenty of whom shelled out six-figure donations and regularly do business with the city — and many times publicly showered them with compliments at events. De Blasio featured these top CONY donors in at least 17 of his office’s press releases, often praising them and providing them a free platform to gain positive media attention.

Play to Pay de Blasio and His Campaign for One NY PAC to Get Around the Election Laws
True News Has Been Reporting for Over A Year That de Blasio Created the One New York PAC to Operate As A Slush Fund to Get Him Re-Elected
The transactional mayor returns (PoliticalNY) After the 12-year mayoralty of billionaire Mike Bloomberg, whose wealth afforded him level of insulation from campaign donors, a more transactional style of politics has taken hold through an organization Mayor Bill de Blasio set up to promote his policy agenda. Since its inception on Dec. 12, 2013, the operation known as Campaign for One New York has accepted $3.87 million from dozens of real estate developers, unions and others who do business with City Hall. The setup allows the mayor to raise money outside the regulations of the city Campaign Finance Board. The contributors to his group include individuals and firms seeking approvals for their projects, and they often donate through limited liability companies that obscure their identities.

In some cases, donors gave money right before or after getting a city-granted benefit, according to a POLITICO New York review of $1.71 million in individual contributions that poured in during the first six months of 2015. At least 46 of 74 donors listed in the latest six-month filing — 62 percent of them — either had business or labor contracts with City Hall or were trying to secure approval for a project when they contributed, public records show.* As a city councilman in 2007, he voted to change the city’s campaign finance law to reduce the amount of money an individual or corporation with business before the city could give to a citywide candidate to $400. That reform drastically reduced the number of donations from donors who had business with the city, the Campaign Finance Board wrote in a report published in 2009.

Did the Silver and Skelos Arrests Dry Up Real Estate Money for de Blasio's Slush Fund PAC Campaign for One NY? 
Just 4 Groups Contributed $485 to the PAC
De Blasio committee raises $485K from just 4 donors (PoliticoNY) The Campaign For One New York, the political advocacy group Mayor Bill de Blasio created in December 2013 to advance his political agenda, has raised $485,009 from just four donors since July of 2015, according to disclosures voluntarily released to reporters.  The single largest donor to the group over the last six months was the Fund For Policy Reform, Inc., a nonprofit founded by Democratic mega-donor George Soros. The Campaign for One New York also took in $200,000 from UNITE HERE, a national labor union representing hotel workers and textile industry employees, which made its donation on November 23 of 2015.

Pay to Play Union Gets Deal On the Same Day It Contributes $200,000 to Mayor's Slush Fund
De Blasio nonprofitnets $200K from union on same day as Council boost (NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s nonprofit took in $200,000 from a food-service union on the same day a mayoral ally in the City Council submitted legislation to protect the union workers’ jobs, new financial filings show. Unite Here, a union formerly run by Hizzoner’s cousin that has given more than $900,000 to de Blasio causes, made its latest donation to the nonprofit Campaign for One New York on Nov. 23, 2015. That was the same day Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan) introduced a bill requiring venues such as universities or sports stadiums to retain unionized food-service workers for at least 90 days after ownership changes.

Most of the Contributors In Past Cycles Had Business Before the City 
The 501(c)4’s fundraising over the past six month period is dramatically less than during the previous six month period, from January of 2015 to July 2015. During that time period, the Campaign took in $1.71 million from dozens of donors including real estate developers and unions, some of whom had business before City Hall. In contrast to the previous fundraising cycle, when the Campaign took in money from dozens of real estate developers, the nonprofit received just two donations from real estate development companies — $10,000 from DDG Development Partners, LLC and $25,000 from TF Cornerstone Inc., in the last six months. Between January 2015 and July 2015, by contrast, a slew of real estate developersdonated to de Blasio, while they were also 

Campaign for One NY Used the Same Law Firm As Advance Group Used for Their Sweet Heart Deal From the CFB
The Campaign For One New York also paid $215,000 in consulting fees to AKPD, the consulting firm that employs one of de Blasio's most trusted outside political advisors, John Del Cecato.   The group spent $45,000 on expenses related to "communications consulting" at Berlin Rosen,$86,627 over the six-month period to Kantor Davidoff Mandelker for legal expenses, and $104,705 to Hilltop Public Solutions for "General Consulting and Expenses." 

True News Who Watches the Watchman, DAs Conflict of Interests 
Most of the DAs and AG Have Been Elected With the Lobbyists Berlin Rosen and Red Horse Who Work for the Mayor's Campaign for One NY PAC
True News Has Learned: Red Horse Working for Bronx DA Candidate  Darcel Clark and A Queens DA Candidate and Has Worked for the Brooklyn and New York DAs Political consultant Red Horse worked for Brooklyn DA Thompson campaign along with Berlin Rosen.  Both Red Horse and Advance Group worked for the UFT's PAC United for the Future (the UFT attempted to covering up Advance involvement by paying them through a fake company) Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA. Red Horse worked for Brooklyn BP Adams, Bronx BP Diaz and PA James. Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA Cy Vance. Red Horse worked for Pitta Bishop for Brooklyn BP Adams. Red Horse worked with George Arzt in the Queens BP campaign.

Shame On the Daily News For Ripping Off True News Story About the DA's Misconduct

Daily News Punk Bill Hammer Rips Off True News
.@NYDNHammond on efforts to create a body that would oversee prosecutors' misconduct and mistakes: Who prosecutes the prosecutors? (NYDN) After wrongful convictions, time to create a commission that holds DAs accountable and repairs the justice system

Demands That The Feds Take Over All Police Homicide Cases, What About Political Corruption? Is There A Structural Problem With Local Borough DAs Offices Who Because of Their Close Working Relationship of the NYPD and the Political Machines That They Depend On to Elect Them.  True News would like the Daily News to answer why Albany became an organized criminal operation?  Where were the DAs?  Why are the feds doing almost all of the indictments of elected officials  Were are the DAs?  Since lobbyists are working to elect DAs who is watching them?  The DOI reported that the lobbyists were running the failed 911 phone system

Did any of them work with contractors to break the law, comptroller Liu asked for a criminal investigation  The city's prosecutors ignored.  Who is checking the millions of secret money going in luxury housing? Is any of the money buying apartment hidden drug money, who know the DAs give the big developers a free hand.  DOI finds the Advance Group Broke the PAC and CFB laws fine their clients and the DAs look the other way. What happen to the investigation of another Advance Group client NYCLASS? What about the UFT attempt to hid the Advance Group's involvement in their United for the Future PAC?  Advance and another consultant group Red Horse who worked for the UFT PAC worked for many other campaigns that the UFT PAC broke the law to help What about Speaker Mark-Viverito illegal help from the Advance Group, where are the prosecutors?  Even now who will go after the individuals in the Brooklyn DAs office who put innocent people in jail?
Who Watchers the Watchman, Lobbyists, Grand Jury, AG - DAs Conflict of Interests With NYPD and Elected Officials
Horse-Carriage Fight Politics 
Media Cover-Up of NYCLASS,  Other Citizens United PACs,  Mayor One NY PAC

How de Blasio Dances Homeless: Cover-Up, FIA Uncover, Press Release Fix

FIRST: City Cover-Up Serious Crime At the Homeless Shelters 
NY1 has obtained documents that for the first time detail the horrific crimes that occur at city homeless shelters. These reports show domestic violence, assaults and drugs are saturating the system. NY1's Courtney Gross will examine these horrific stories all week long in her series Unsafe Haven. Here is her first report.  Thousands of homeless New Yorkers choose to live out on the city's streets instead of inside its shelters.*  'I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE IN A BODY BAG': Homeless in New York would rather risk the street than being in hellish shelter system (NYDN) * De Blasio’s anwers on crime: deny, ignore and delay (NYP)

SECOND: NY1's Freedom of Information Discloses Horrific Crime At the Homeless Shelters
For months, we heard stories about danger and crime, drug overdoses and assaults. They are tales that are only now becoming much clearer, with some hard numbers to back up the anecdotal evidence.  NY1 has obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request never-before-seen crime reports, which, for the first time, detail violent and what are called critical incidents that were reported in all of the city's homeless shelters in 2015. The data and reports show that domestic violence has overrun the system, overdoses occur in bathrooms, and bedrooms and sexual assaults happen behind closed doors. The numbers show that there were 416 reports of domestic violence last year, more than one per day, and clearly a common occurrence at the city's family homeless shelters. They show tat there were 153 assaults that led to arrests, violence plaguing the city's shelters for single adults. There were 90 reported sexual assaults, rapes or attempted rape. Forty adults died inside shelters, at least five from what appears to be drug overdoses.  "

THIRD: The Mayor Announces A Quick Fix in A Press Release
City Hall says security at shelters is one of its top priorities. Earlier this year, after several murders at homeless shelters, the mayor promised to increase security at both shelters that house those with mental illness and hotels that have been converted to shelters. And now, hours before our report aired, NY1 learned that the NYPD will begin training the Department of Homeless Services peace officers, and the department will deploy an action team to develop a plan to upgrade security at shelters.   The administration is also promising to address domestic violence in shelters more aggressively, including putting more social service workers in shelters and providing more training for shelter employees.*De Blasio orders NYPD to take control of homeless shelters (NYDN) * NYPD’S 'BAIT-AND-SWITCH' AT SHELTERS: Cops raid homeless shelters to bust people wanted on warrants (NYDN) * Homeless Shelter Security Staff to Get NYPD Training(NYO) *New York Police Will Retrain Security Staff at Homeless Shelters (NYT)  Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the safety plans after a 90-day review of city homeless services. NYCHA  $950 Million Police Academy Simulates the Mean Streets (NYT) The 730,000-square-foot complex in Queens includes several reproduced urban settings, like a subway station, apartments, precinct houses and courtrooms.

Gross: Do you think the shelter system is safe?
Max Vidal, homeless: No, not at all. That's why a lot of people right now are in the trains and places out other than a shelter, because they would rather not be in a shelter. They would rather be on a train because it's safer.For many years, the Department of Homeless Services has become a de facto mental health system because a substantial number of people have had nowhere else to turn for help but the shelter system," said Steven Banks, commissioner of the city's Human Resources Administration. All of these instances are merely examples of what we have found: a system that has clearly become saturated with violence and crime.* Report paints scary picture of homeless shelter violence (NYP) * Shelter the shelters: De Blasio must secure homeless havens (NYDN Ed) * De Blasio receives recommendations today from a review of the city’s homeless system that he announced back in December. Among the things, he’ll consider is whether to eliminate the Department of Homeless Services as a standalone agency. DHA was created by former nYC Mayor David Dinkins and initially chaired by now-Gov. Cuomo.

More Winds of A Corrupt Bomb Going Off On LI Inside the GOP Base of Leader Flanagan
A high-ranked source in Rockland County with inside knowledge of two far-reaching corruption probes by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office says the investigations will impact some of the most recognizable faces in the county – as many as 50 people are involved, most of whom are elected officials.*  Former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato, who has endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich, is going afterMitt Romney for trying to take down GOP presidential front-runner Trump, claiming Romney’s acting like a “spoiled rich kid” who is trying to revive his political career at the expense of Republican Party.* Federal investigators subpoenaed the Suffolk DA’s office, seeking all records related to its 2008 prosecution of criminal defense attorney Robert Macedonio, whose drug possession case remains shrouded in secrecy and involved unusual legal maneuvering.

Council After Bagging Secret Member Item Deals Ok's Mayor Zoning Deal
Well Before Silver and Skelos Took Their Cut of the 421-a Programs Albany Leaders Announced That It Would Save Affordable Housing In NY
Housing Plan Gains New York Council’s Backing With Expanded Affordability Rules(NYO)  * Saving a Mixed-Income New York (NYT) * De Blasio, City Council strike affordable housing deal (NYDN) * Mayor Bill de Blasio’s housing plan emerged from the New York City Council with enough support to pass after some revisions satisfied council members and others concerned it did not do enough to address affordable housing needs, The New York Times reports: * financing has no “rational” policy basis and is simply a blatant power grab by the state,according to a scathing new NYC Council report.* City Council, Mayor Bill de Blasio set zoning deal to build more affordable housing (WSJ)* Community Groups Disappointed by Lack of Details and Info on Rezoning Deal (DNAINFO)  One community leader described the Council's announcement of the rezoning changes as "embarrassing." * Council Committees OK Rezoning Plans Some Fear Would Encourage Segregation (DNAINFO)
Some City Council members raised concerns about segregated housing.

The Council Member Item Type Crumbs In Affordable Housing Will Not Stop the Gentrifiers and Profit Seekers 
The reason: Mayor de Blasio. Claudette Brady is the Bed-Stuy resident who spearheaded the eight-year campaign to get the most recent district approved. Brady noted that developers have been among the most vigorous opponents of landmarking. Of de Blasio, she said, "He is a developer-friendly mayor." In a plan on the cusp of City Council approval, the mayor wants to encourage developers to construct hundreds of thousands of units that will supposedly offer rents within the budgets of working-class New Yorkers. The so-called affordable housing plan requires developers in rezoned areas to set aside significant percentages of apartments for those families in the low and medium salary range. Where some see a city growing and trying to make itself affordable, others see another opening for future waves of gentrifiers and profit seekers.
More On Gentrifiers

Now Corrupt Albany Lawmakers Have Found A Way to Raise Their Pay With No Fingerprints
The Daily News writes that state legislators are “chickens all the way” after no lawmaker registered to testify before a commission convened to consider giving raises to state legislators
Bawk bawk (NYDN) The poor dears of the New York State Legislature have gone without a raise since 1999 because they have been too chicken to vote themselves a pay hike. But now they have outsourced the job to a commission, giving the panel the authority to determine how much to boost their $79,500 salaries. The commission’s recommendations will be binding unless lawmakers vote to overrule them. Clearly, the Legislature’s 213 members have a lot at stake. Perhaps the commission will index raises to inflation and evenly divide the stipends called lulus, which would bring pay to $125,000. Or perhaps the panel will look toward the City Council, which has just overridden another panel’s recommendations and spiked salaries to $148,500. My, wouldn’t that be nice in Albany? On Thursday, the commission begins taking testimony. Not a single lawmaker has registered to testify. They’re chickens all the way.

City Council After 32% Pay Hike Spends Money On Itself Like A Drunken Sailor 
City Council can’t stop spending, raises budget $3M (NYP) The City Council, whose members gave themselves a 32 percent pay hike this year, increased its operating budget Wednesday from $61 million to $64 million.  It was the third straight year the council boosted its budget to cover expenses such as staff salaries, rents for district offices and equipment. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said the series of increases was necessary to make up for ground lost under her predecessor, Christine Quinn. Quinn’s last budget as speaker, covering the 2014 fiscal year, was $51.5 million. “Prior to my becoming speaker, the council budget had been deprived over the years,” Mark-Viverito said.  “We had a lot of correction to do and kind of beefing up the council to really be a professional body where we have staff in the legislative body, in the ­finance staff, to really do our work effectively.”  “There was a lot of catching up that we had to do,” she said. The council’s Republican leader, Steven Matteo of Staten Island, disagreed. “I personally believe adding funding to the council budget should not be a priority at this time,” said Matteo, who along with Staten Island colleague Joe Borelli voted against the increase. * The New York City Council Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections approved a resolution to “delete” the Committee on Community Development, which was prompted by the resignation of its chairwoman, former City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Gotham Gazette reports
Berlin Rosen and de Blasio One NY PAC Slush Fund 

Berlin Rosen and Other Flacks Lobbyists Who Don't Want to Be Regulated Join Forces With Citizen United Law Firm 
PR firms file suit over ‘hopelessly vague’ JCOPE lobbying definition (Politico NY) On Tuesday, the November Team, Anat Gerstein, BerlinRosen Public Affairs, Risa Heller Communications and Mercury filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York district court that was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. They are being represented by Manhattan law firm Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP and the Center for Competitive Politics, a Virginia not-for-profit that generally opposes the regulation of money in politics and brought the federal case that led to the creation of “Super PACs.”  JCOPE’s opinion, which sought to clarify the types of grassroots activity that should be considered lobbying, identified activities such as setting up meetings with legislators and urging editorial boards to back government actions. The commission argued that people who are paid over $5,000 a year to engage in these activities should be considered lobbyists under existing state law and need to disclose information such as how much they’re paid and which bills they advocate for or against. They argue that JCOPE’s definition of what constitutes lobbying goes beyond the types of activities that have been narrowed by First Amendment case law. While courts have permitted regulations of grassroots lobbying in the past, this has typically been limited to efforts to get third parties to influence lawmakers, such as by paying for a letter-writing campaign. Paying somebody to seek favorable editorials from a third party, they argue, is fundamentally different than paying for television advertisements that seek to encourage the public to act on an issue. “It’s really a pretty breathtaking expansion in terms of indirect political activity,” said Center for Competitive Politics lawyer Allen Dickerson, “and also, this effort to dragoon the press as part of the lobbying apparatus I think is very dangerous.”*PR people fight requirement to disclose communications with reporters (NYP) Claiming their free speech rights are being violated, liberal and conservative political consultants asked a Manhattan federal court Tuesday to toss out a state regulation requiring them to report their communications with reporters as a form of lobbying.  The PR people — who include the conservative November Team and the liberal Berlin Rosen — said the edict approved by the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics in January violates their free speech rights by “unlawfully subjecting public relations firms like the plaintiffs to a disclosure and punishment regime designed for true lobbyists, when all that they are doing is speaking to the press about public issues.” Lobbying is typically defined as trying to persuade elected officials — the governor and mayor or lawmakers — to support a client’s position on legislation. Under the new regulation, JCOPE said “any attempt by a consultant to induce a third party — whether the public or press — to deliver the client’s lobbying message to a public official would constitute lobbying.” The activity would have to be reported under the threat of civil fines or criminal prosecution, the firms said in their lawsuit. “With these sweeping statements, the Commission’s opinion converts the entire public relations industry in New York State into `lobbyists’ subject to Commission’s disclosure and regulatory regime,” the complaint says. “And virtually all PR consultants contact media outlets in an attempt to get the media outlet to advance the client’s message.” The plaintiffs include Bill O’ Riley and Jessica Proud of the November Team, Anat Gerstein, Berlin Rosen Public Affairs (Jonathan Rosen and Valerie Berlin), Risa Heller Communications and Mercury LLC.   Mercury LLC does lobby elected officials as well as perform PR work, the suit acknowledges. Berlin Rosen is considered the most influential political PR firm in the city. It helped run Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign and manages his political advocacy group, Campaign for One New York.

JACOPE power CORRUPTS;City's campaign finance rule favors entrenched pols & special interests = CORRUPTION. 

Assembly Dems Try to Protect the Lobbyists
Assembly Dem bill requires more disclosure by groups wholobby in NY; exempts talks with edit brds as lobbying  The bill, according to officials, would also specifically exempt from the definition of lobbying any communications with news outlets, including editorial boards. The bill, officials said, would require organizations registered to lobby in New York and that spend more than $5,000 to disclose the names of all donors who gave them more than $1,000. They would also have to disclose the exact amount donated and how the funding was used. Under federal law, donations to nonprofits cannot be tax deductible if the money is used for lobbying, Assembly officials said. The bill would make it easier to figure that out. The legislation would not only impact groups like the National Rifle Association or environmental organizations, but also some of the leading groups that have been pushing for ethics reforms, such as the New York Public Interest Research Group, the League of Women Voters, and Common Cause/New York. Some of those reform groups have come under fire from Gov. Cuomo and others for taking money from organizations with interests before the state.  While saying his group would comply with any law, NYPIRG’s Blair Horner said requiring more disclosure by nonprofits “doesn’t seem to get to the root of the problem at hand, and that’s unethical behavior by elected officials.” “I think that’s where the problem solving should start,” Horner said. “For a house whose leader was convicted of corruption, to want more disclosure from not-for-profits doesn’t seem to solve the problem.” Cuomo in January proposed a wide-ranging ethics package that includes banning most outside income for lawmakers, increasing disclosure requirements, campaign finance reform, and a provision allowing for the forfeiture of pensions of public officials convicted of felony crimes related to their office. While saying his group would comply with any law, NYPIRG’s Blair Horner said requiring more disclosure by nonprofits “doesn’t seem to get to the root of the problem at hand, and that’s unethical behavior by elected officials.” “I think that’s where the problem solving should start,” Horner said. “For a house whose leader was convicted of corruption, to want more disclosure from not-for-profits doesn’t seem to solve the problem.” Cuomo in January proposed a wide-ranging ethics package that includes banning most outside income for lawmakers, increasing disclosure requirements, campaign finance reform, and a provision allowing for the forfeiture of pensions of public officials convicted of felony crimes related to their office. While saying his group would comply with any law, Ethics reform is expected to be tied up with the upcoming state budget negotiations.

Daily News and NYP Protect the Lobbyists As Usually 
Oust the JCOPE bureaucrats for their speech-suppressing power grab (NYP) * N.Y.’s free-speech impediment (NYDN)* * A group of public relations firms filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to stop the state’s top ethics panel from implementing a rule that would require the firms to disclose their efforts to influence editorial boards, The New York Times reports: *  * The Daily News writes that it looks forward to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics’ day in court because the body displayed ignorance while attempting to classify PR professionals’ communications with editorial boards as lobbying:  * The Post writes that it hopes the courts “slap” the Joint Commission on Public Ethics “fast and hard” for trying to treat public relations firms as lobbyists and that the commission’s members lose their jobs:

How is A Historic Progressive Mayor the Hero of Business Leaders and the NYT?
De Blasio’s New York Feels Effects of Recovery to Relief of Business Leaders (NYT) With tourism, construction, wages and employment all up, Mayor Bill de Blasio appears to have won over many economic leaders who feared his “tale of two cities” speeches.* When Bill de Blasio was running for mayor on a starkly liberal platform in 2013, some of New York’s business leaders feared the city’s economic well-being was doomed. But now that he has settled into the second half of his four-year term, the opposite has happened.


How de Blasio Operates His Pay to Play Slush PAC Campaign for One NY Designed to Go Around the Election Law
The perks of donating to de Blasio’s nonprofit (NYP) Some $3.2 million of the $4.3 million donated to the Campaign for One New York came from just 30 people or entities, and 16 of them gave $50,000 or more, records show.  In one case, Joseph Dussich, CEO of Manhattan-based janitor-supply company JAD Corporation, forked over $100,000 to the mayor’s pet charity, and was granted a one-hour sit-down with him in February 2015. A month later, the city bought $15,000 worth of rodent-repelling trash bags from him — a product Dussich had previously tried to peddle to the city without success for nearly a decade. De Blasio participated in at least 31 work meetings or phone calls through September with 16 of these 30 major CONY donors — or those directly linked to these donors, records show. He also attended 23 conferences and other gatherings with CONY contributors – plenty of whom shelled out six-figure donations and regularly do business with the city – and many times publicly showered them with compliments at events. De Blasio also featured these top CONY donors – which include developers, entrepreneurs and labor unions – in at least 17 of his office’s press releases, often praising them and providing them a free platform to gain positive media attention.
de Blasio One NY PAC Interlocking-directorates Slush Fund, Berlin Rosen, Bill Hyers, Red Horse 

Why Did the  NYP Leave Out the Fact That Berlin Rosen Work for the Mayor the Developer and for the Campaign for One NY?
Meanwhile, father-and-son developers David and Jed Walentas of Two Trees Management also gave CONY $100,000.  A mayoral press release cheered affordable housing in the developers’ $2 billion project at the former Domino Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg, and they are now potential benefactors of de Blasio’s streetcar plan connecting the Queens and Brooklyn waterfronts.

A City Union and Soros Are the Biggest Contributors to the Mayor Slush PAC
SEIU 1199, the powerful health-care-workers union, gave $500,000 to CONY, and in 2014, it received a nine-year contract with raises retroactive to 2009, records show. Leading the donor pack were 1199 SEIU, and left-leaning hedge fund tycoon George Soros’s nonprofit Fund for Policy Reform Inc., which gave $500,000 each.  De Blasio met with Soros’ son, Alexander, for lunch in Southhampton in August 2015, even taking time to pose for photos the scion later posted on social media websites. He also met with Soros’ son, Jonathan, six months earlier, and the Soros family helped arrange for de Blasio to be keynote speaker at the April 2014 Democratic Alliance Conference in Chicago. George Gresham, president of 1199 SEIU, met privately with De Blasio at Gracie Mansion in December 2014, attended three events with him and was also featured on two press releases. During a June 2015 union event, de Blasio praised Gresham before a crowd of supporters, saying, “God bless you and thank you” for his leadership.

Daily News Says Holding 3 Primaries Cost $25 Million Extra But Leaves Out the Reason Protecting Incumbents 
How to buy anelection: Albany should earn its pay raise bykilling a wasteful primary (NYDN) While gearing up to hike their own salaries by $10 million a year, New York lawmakers are headed toward throwing $25 million more down the drain.  They would waste the money on staging an utterly unnecessary primary election. The Republican-led Senate has voted to hold combined congressional and state primaries in August. The Democratic-run Assembly has voted to hold those same combined primaries in June. If the two houses fail to agree, as happened in 2012 and 2014, New York will be stuck with two primaries. There would be one in June for Congress and one in September for all other offices. Each would cost $25 million. As we have previously urged, if the divided Legislature can’t agree on a date to unify the primaries (like July?) then they should just alternate the schedule — August this year and June in 2018 and see what works best. For reasons that are too ridiculous to explain, a change this year would need the okay of Albany Federal Judge Gary Sharpe. On a personal level, the judge, a registered Republican shouldn’t care. In 2012, election records show, he skipped voting in either of the $25 million split primaries that he ordered because of the Legislature’s misfeasance. New Yorkers have plenty of reasons to oppose raises for members of their corruption-riddled Legislature. Here come 25 million more.* According to New York election law, registered voters missed the last chance to change their party affiliation for the entire 2016 primary season — presidential on April 19, congressional on June 28, state and local on Sept. 13 — more than five months ago.

Cuomo vs de Blasio Budget War  
As state budget talks heat up, Senate Democrats this week are set to come out formally against Cuomo’s push to shift a third of CUNY’s costs on to New York City. They’re also calling for a “substantive maintenance of effort” that prohibits the state from cutting funds for CUNY and SUNY, calling it “essential for the future of both institutions.” *  Cuomo’s push to raise the minimum wage to $15-an-hour could cost the state’s already stretched home health care providers at least $2.2 billion once fully phased in by 2021,according to the state Association of Health Care Providers. * Cuomo’s push to raise the minimum wage to $15-an-hour could cost the state’s already stretched home health care providers at least $2.2 billion once fully phased in by 2021,according to the state Association of Health Care Providers.* The NY Post says Cuomo’s proposed executive budget is “so full of holes, gimmicks and ‘structural challenges’ that even usually mild state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is sounding alarms.” *   The NY Post says Cuomo’s proposed executive budget is “so full of holes, gimmicks and ‘structural challenges’ that even usually mild state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is sounding alarms.” * * Industry groups say Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour may cost the state’s health care providers at least $2.2 billion once fully phased in by 2021, the DailyNews reports * State Senate Democrats are slated to formally oppose the governor’s proposal to shift a third of CUNY’s costs to New York City and calling for prohibiting the state to cut funds for CUNY and SUNY, the Daily News reports * The Times Uniondescribes a bill introduced by Assemblyman James Tedisco’s as right on the money because it would require the executive branch or state lawmakers to detail how discretionary funding is ultimately spent: *  The Post writes that Cuomo’s proposed budget is full ofholes and gimmicks, including some concerns highlighted by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, such as a 20 percent spike in debt over five years * State Senate Democrats will formally push today for a state budget that roughly doubles the amount Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledges to spend on education next year, enacts stalled ethics reforms and, locally, includes a $12.5 million lifeline for the City of Albany.

de Blasio Uber Retreat After Getting the Crap Beaten Out of Him By the Uber Gang Political Consultants   
Uber lobbied hard earlier this year, spending $359,089 on lobbying, ads and direct mail to advance its agenda in New York, a sum that excludes its recent campaign amid a fight over a proposed cap, Capital New York writes: * After coming under attack last summer from the ride-hailing app Uber, the de Blasio administration shelved a proposal to cap the number of Uber vehicles and undertook a study of the service’s effect on New York City traffic. The study was due by the end of November. But over six weeks after the deadline, the findings have yet to be made public.* This summer, de Blasio admin said Uber's rise could make NYC"impassable." A look at why City Hall changed its tune:  

Uber wouldn’t face regulations or limits on its so-called surge pricing from the New York City Council, according to legislation introduced Friday by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, marking a political win for the company.* City issues low-impact report on car-hail apps (Politico) * New Bill Would Let Prospective Cabbies Skip English Test (Gothamist) *  Bill takes us for a ride on Uber (NYDN) All in all, the skimpy 12-page report managed to confirm only facts that were open and obvious — at a cost of more than $160,000 a page. Blame de Blasio for wasting a huge pile of money while doing the bidding of a friendly special interest. The Daily News writes that the de Blasio administration’sstudy of Uber’s impact on traffic is a “$2 million botched hit job” that confirmed obvious facts, which means de Blasio wasted money while “doing the bidding of a friendly special interest”: 

NYP Leaves Out the How Shadow Govt Lobbyist Berlin Rosen's Interlocking-Directorates Destroyed A Library for A Developer 
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 proposeplacing 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. “This is a sweetheart deal to a politically connected supporter, directly contrary to de Blasio’s stated goals for development projects,” said one source familiar with the bids. “He was not going to be the winning guy pre-de-Blasio.” Kramer has known de Blasio since the mayor was a Park Slope councilman. 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.* De Blasio accused of sweetheart deal with Hudson Companies(Real Deal)

Last week, Councilman Stephen Levin backed a new deal for the library's $52 million sale the sale of the business library in his district of Brooklyn Heights to a developer to build a 36 story building. According to lawyer urban planer Michael White who with members of Citizens Defending Libraries has been trying to block the sale the last minute deals that Levin and Economic Development. Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen took credit for was in the works for months, and sold out the community. White group had it work cut out for them. Berlin Rosen not only help elected Councilman Levin, but also represent or was connect to every major party in the library theft from the Brooklyn Heights’ community.

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.* More than two yearsafter he first took office, de Blasio has yet to fulfill that pledge. A de Blasio spokeswoman said the mayor is in talks about requiring city officials to disclose their lobbying meetings. "The Mayor's position is that lobbyist meetings with officials at city agencies should be reported. The administration is discussing changes to require lobbyists to report meetings with city officials, in addition to other ways to improve reporting, such as encouraging more frequent reporting and more details about subject matter," said de Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton. Hinton offered no timeline for when those talks would conclude.

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

de Blasio's Addicted to Lobbyists and the Cash They Contribute to Him and His 1NY PAC
Up 20% in 14 and Berlin Rosen is Not Even A Registered Lobbyist
LOBBYIST FEEDING FRENZY THANKS TO DEBLASIO (NYDN) Lobbying spending boomed to $86.2 million last year — a record high.  lobbying disclosure report released Tuesday shows that the money from deep-pocketed interests shelled out to target city government officials spiked nearly 20% from 2014, when it was $71.9 million. And the top lobbyist was James Capolino — a big supporter and campaign fund-raiser for Mayor de Blasio. His firm, James F. Capalino & Associates, Inc., brought in $12.9 million in 2015 — up from $8.2 million the year before, when he also held the No. 1 spot and represented 304 clients. Capolino, a fund-raiser for de Blasio in his 2013 campaign, has pumped cash into de Blasio's political nonprofit since he took office and met repeatedly with the mayor. He jumped to the top lobbyist spot as his earnings surged after de Blasio became mayor. The top spender on lobbying was real estate developer Albee Development, which shelled out $1.3 million to Washington Square Partners and Capolino’s firm. Next up was JCDecaux North America, an outdoor advertising company that has worked with the city, with $1.1 million, and Uber, which spent $561,000 on six different lobbyists. *Police officers in Manhattan will no longer arrest most people who commit minor offenses like urinating in public and riding between subway cars under a policy shift decision from the NYPD and the Manhattan district attorney, The New York Times writes *   Lobbying receipts rose to a record $86 million in New York City last year, boosted in part by a single-firm record of nearly $13 million for an outfit headed by one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s friends and fundraisers, The Wall Street Journal reports:
More About Lobbyists Campaign Manager George Arzt 

de Blasio Uses the One NY PACs to Get Around the Public Funding Ban on Corp Donations 
DE BLASIO'S DARK MONEY, IN CONTEXT   "New York City's campaign finance laws don't allow corporations to give money directly to people running for city office, but that hasn't been a hurdle for some companies trying to influence public policy. They have poured cash into two nonprofit groups affiliated with the city's Democratic mayor, Bill de Blasio, which have used the money to produce glossy advertisements promoting his agenda, produced by the same political consultants who worked on his election campaign. ... Similar nonprofits are proliferating across the country, many of which are backed by 'dark money' given by undisclosed donors.

Those supporting de Blasio do eventually disclose their donors, but good government groups ... still worry that such organizations contribute to a culture of influence peddling and evade the intent of laws seeking to limit the influence of special interests on elections. ... One of those nonprofits, the Campaign for One New York, has received more than $1 million in donations from real estate developers since its launch in 2014. Many of those corporate donors have projects underway in the city and have backed the mayor's housing plan. As a mayoral candidate in 2013, de Blasio loudly decried the use of such groups." -- @JonLemire: "From @AP: call for probe into @BilldeBlasio 'dark money' group shines light on their rise among governors, mayors" -- @Azi: "will thefan of @SpotlightMovie welcome this investigative endeavor ?" -- Gotham Gazette's Samar Khurshid: "Calls for More Transparency, Oversight in Departmentof Education Contracting" 

Why Does the Media Ignore That the de Blasio's Lobbyist Feeding Frenzy Fueled By An Controlled Cover-Up Conflict of Interested and CFB Boards 
A lobbyist feeding frenzy thanks to Mayor de Blasio (NYP Ed) Pay-to-play is the order of the day at Bill de Blasio’s City Hall. And the mayor’s lobbyist buddies are cashing in — big time.  The Wall Street Journal reports that overall lobbying receipts in New York have jumped 15 percent since de Blasio took office, to an all-time high of $71.9 million. Indeed, the ease with which lobbyists access the mayor is so notorious that the top 10 firms’ client list has grown by more than 40 percent since de Blasio took office. Let’s face it: Under the mayor who vowed to drive the special interests from power, lobbyists have not only taken up residence at City Hall, they’re running the place.  That’s especially true for three of de Blasio’s closest lobbyist pals — James Capalino, Harold Ickes and Sid Davidoff — and his PR buddy, Jonathan Rosen. Ickes hadn’t even been a lobbyist here in the 12 years before de Blasio became mayor, save for one client. Since then, he’s collected almost $1 million in City Hall lobbying fees. Capalino, New York’s top lobbyist, has boasted to clients of his frequent access to the mayor and City Hall, the Journal reported. And the access he and others enjoy also appear closely linked to donations to the mayor’s re-election campaign or his slush fund, the Campaign for One New York. Ickes, for example, won a major music festival contract deal for AEG Live on the same day he forked over $13,000 in bundled gifts to the mayor’s re-election campaign. They’re not alone — other fat cats with a special-interest agenda also make it a point to kick in to CONY or the campaign. Looks like there are still “two New Yorks” under Bill de Blasio: a profitable one for those who pay and another for everyone else.

A Tale of Two Conflict Of Interests Board Ruling: Fire Sanitation Worker for $10 Gift, Allow CCRB Head's Law Firm to Handle Cases Before the CCRB
Money matters,Richard: CCRB chair Emery needs to distance himself from his firm'spolice-misconduct cases (NYDN) Regardless, conflicts board chief Richard Briffault meowed that de Blasio could appoint Emery provided that he close his eyes, muffle his ears and zip his lip about any case that involved both his firm and the CCRB. Although Briffault’s board makes sport of driving sanitation workers out of their jobs for accepting $10 gifts, the panel blessed Emery’s ability to share in handsome revenue from suits for cop misconduct, even if the CCRB had substantiated the allegations in the suits. Highhandedly defending his law firm’s business, Emery responded Wednesday to police union calls for a cop boycott of the CCRB by saying in a Daily News interview: “I’m not going to deprive the public and the people who are abused by police officers of having access to excellent lawyers because some union is squealing like a stuck pig.”Using the term “pig,” even inartfully, in relation to cops when you play the role of punishing police misconduct is close to a fireable offense. Gov. Cuomo said as much Thursday. Emery then acknowledged “a poor choice of words,” yet could not resist qualifying an apology with the phrase “to the extent that anyone was offended.” De Blasio was more forthright in calling Emery’s statement insensitive and inappropriate. More important — and left unaddressed by de Blasio — Emery was equally grudging in saying that his firm would no longer take a case involving a cop if Emery personally had rendered judgment on the cop at the CCRB. But Emery will share in revenue from suits that involve cops whose cases were handled by other CCRB members. As long as Emery stays on that pad, cops, already very distrustful, will have more reasons for believing they won’t get a fair shake. * ANOTHER CCRB member found to have ties to law firm with clients alleging police abuse (NYDN) A second high-ranking official with the Civilian Complaint Review Board has a cozy relationship with a law firm that has clients who have alleged abuse at the hands of police, the Daily News has learned. Executive Director Mina Malik is married to Derek Sells, a prominent civil rights lawyer and managing partner at the Cochran Firm. The power couple recently sat next to each other at a New York Law School symposium about the NYPD’s use-of-force rules.* Cuomo puts CCRB head on blast after anti-cop attack(NYP)  Cop-hating CCRB chief must go (NYP Ed) *  CCRB chairman apologizes for NYPD union 'pigs' remark (NYDN) * The credibility of the Civilian Complaint Review Board has been eroded thanks to the self-righteousness of the mayor and the board’s chairman, Richard Emery, who must leave his law firm, which wages suits that allege police misconduct, the Daily News writes: *  
@unitedNYblogs conflict of interest board is now a joke! They approved a trip 4 DEB paid 4 by a businessman

de Blasio's Conflict of Interest Board and CFB Which He Appoints Has Enabled The Pay to Play Lobbyist Shadow Govt in NYC
That’s because the city’s mayorally appointed Conflict of Interest Board has handed Emery Celli Brinkerhoff Abady an ethics pass: It’s OK to take (Emery-certified) CCRB cases because Emery says he’ll recuse himself in each and every one. Or something. This is unserious on its face. For one thing, it makes no difference which lawyers litigate a particular case, because a law firm’s profits go into a single pot. For another, it’s the name on the shingle that makes the rain, and Emery’s stands out.
This is the same conflicts board that:

  •  Last month slapped City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s hand — reducing a potential $25,000 fine for improper use of campaign consultants to $7,000. (Mark-Viverito promised not to do it again.)
  •  Has studiously avoided any involvement in the endlessly fascinating Central Park carriage-horse melodrama. It’s all about campaign donations — de Blasio’s obsession with the subject brings to mind the old saw about the honest politician being the one who stays bought — and this clearly is COIB turf. (Not that it will bite.)
  •  Ignored a $350,000 teachers-union donation to de Blasio’s Super-PAC the same month that the mayor laid a $9 billion contract settlement on the — what else? — teachers union. (Hey, if you want to play, you gotta pay, right?)
  •  Came down like thunder on two city sanitation workers for taking $10 “bribes” — fining each $2,000 and forcing one to retire. (Really, a board has to flex its muscles every now and then; it’s a matter of self-respect.)