Monday, May 4, 2015

True News: Is Assemblywoman Cook A Rat In Hiding Against Her Fellow Lawmakers More Likely the Prosecutors Have Failed to Clean Up Her Corruption

Cook Not Cooked Because Queens, Albany DAs And AG Do Not Go After Cook Corruption
Vivian Cook navigates scandals as politician pals face charges (NYP) Assemblywoman Vivian Cook, a Queens Democrat, skirts on the edge of scandal while her fellow pols have been hauled off to prison. Her colleague Bill Scarborough is expected to plead guilty this week and resign his seat in a “per diem” travel expense scam. He was accused of submitting more than $40,000 in phony expenses and said last week he had “severe financial problems.” Cook also racked up thousands in per-diem expenses, including one 12-day stretch in 2010 when she said she was in Albany but didn’t attend any legislative sessions, The Post reported. Cook’s friend, former state Sen. Shirley Huntley, served time for embezzling $87,700 from a nonprofit, the Parents Information Network, to which Cook steered state money. Huntley and Cook went on shopping sprees with the ill-gotten gains, but Cook was never charged. 

The Media Has Not Asked Why is There Only One Prosecutor Cleaning Up Corruption In NY? What are the Others Doing?
Cook sent another state grant to a purported Queens health clinic called Angeldocs run by Dr. Dorothy Ogundu. The money was supposed to create a demonstration kitchen. But after The Post revealed in 2012 that Angeldocs had no patients or staff and seemed to be a sham, Ogundu was arrested the following year and charged with scamming more than $370,000 in public money that was supposed to fund the clinic. Cook’s nonprofit Rockaway Boulevard Local Development Corp. came under federal investigation after The Post revealed how it misspent public money, including more than $2.5 million from the Port Authority. The organization, in 2006, used $560,500 to buy a derelict Rockaway Boulevard lot, which was supposed to be the site of a business resource center. The Attorney General’s Office, which oversees nonprofits, would not comment on whether the transaction was being investigated. * The Daily News’ Ken Lovett writes that Senate GOPcomplained tactics de Blasio urged donors to use in order to get more campaign funds to state Democrats last year, but many Republicans were engaging in the same practice:

Litwin Gaming Government an the Election System, But to Big to Be Indicted? 
Nonprofit that helped Senate G.O.P. discloses ties to Litwin (Capital) A nonprofit group that helped State Senate Republicans cling to power in 2012 paid nearly $700,000 that year to two longtime associates of Leonard Litwin, a real estate magnate who is the state's largest campaign donor, records show. Common Sense Principles, a 501(c)(4) group that funded advertisements attacking marginal Democrats, paid $550,000 to Richard Runes for legal work and $140,000 to Frank Sanzillo, a lobbyist, for “consulting,” it stated on a 2012 I.R.S. filing. The group's advertisements never explicitly said voters should support or oppose a particular candidate, which under state law freed it from disclosing spending and fund-raising activity to the State Board of Elections. A separate disclosure indicated it spent over $1 million. *Nonprofit that helped Senate G.O.P. discloses ties to Litwin (Capital) A nonprofit group that helped State Senate Republicans cling to power in 2012 paid nearly $700,000 that year to two longtime associates of Leonard Litwin, a real estate magnate who is the state's largest campaign donor, records show. Common Sense Principles, a 501(c)(4) group that funded advertisements attacking marginal Democrats, paid $550,000 to Richard Runes for legal work and $140,000 to Frank Sanzillo, a lobbyist, for “consulting,” it stated on a 2012 I.R.S. filing. The group's advertisements never explicitly said voters should support or oppose a particular candidate, which under state law freed it from disclosing spending and fund-raising activity to the State Board of Elections. A separate disclosure indicated it spent over $1 million. Skelos, who reportedly could face indictment this week, acknowledged that federal investigators have been examining his business dealings. The New York Times reported that investigators have asked for details about Abtech, an Arizona-based company that employs the senator's son, won a $13 million contract from Nassau County. Glenwood executive vice president Charles Dorego signed public records from companies that invested in Abtech.

Skelos and Son Book Em Preet
Breaking: Dean Skelos, N.Y. Senate leader, and his son areexpected to be arrested next week (NYT) The expected arrests, coming roughly three months after federal bribery and kickback charges led Assemblyman Sheldon Silver to step down as speaker, would signal an extension of the investigation into allegations of political corruption in Albany, and would almost certainly further upend the legislative session. It is not known if Mr. Skelos, a Republican from Long Island who was first elected to the Senate in 1984, will resign his leadership post as did Mr. Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, but he is sure to face questions about his ability to lead the chamber in light of the investigation. * Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos to fight to keep post amid possible corruption charges: sources (NYDN) * The law that would strip public officials convicted of corruption of their pension, part of the ethics reforms agreed to in the state budget, has stalled with some unions opposing the measure, the Times writes: 

Buzzards Flying Over Skelos
It’s war as DeFrancisco lobbies for Skelos’ spot (NYP) The Post’s Fred Dicker writes that Senator John DeFransisco’s desire to replace Skelos sets up for a “full-blown battle” to replace the Senate majority leader * The impending arrest of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on corruption charges has set the Senate leadership into potential flux with several candidates to replace him being considered, The Wall Street Journal reports: * A full-blown battle to succeed soon-to-be-arrested Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos got under way this weekend, Fred Dicker reports, as Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco, who had planned to retire next year, signaled he wanted the job. * As of yesterday, it was unclear if Skelos would attempt to retain his leadership post if charged, but some of his colleagues said they would support him if he wanted to remain at the chamber’s helm.

 Skelos' Replacement? Skelos replacement names surface as he faces possible charge (NYDN) “A lot will depend on the charge,” said Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn). “If they are substantial charges, the conference will look at it and have a discussion. If it’s not charges of consequence, I think the conference would not want to have him step down.” There is no clear heir apparent should Skelos step aside. Normally, it would be Deputy Leader Thomas Libous of upstate Binghamton. But he is under indictment on charges he lied to an FBI agent and is also battling what he says is terminal cancer. The three names most mentioned to replace Skelos are Senate Education Committee Chairman John Flanagan of Suffolk County; Sen. Catharine Young, the Cattaraugus County lawmaker who heads up the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco of Syracuse. * Did NY Assemblyman Sheldon Silver (D) give up NY SenatorDean Skelos (R)? ...Mayyyyybe (Red State) * "WHAT'S NEXT, HELICOPTERS?" Assembly Republicans get $24K Chevys to replace older vehicles, taxpayers foot bill (NYDN)
More on Skelos
Cops vs de Blasio, Protests and Cops Shot Dead
PBA vs de Blasio, 2 Cops Killed , Protesters
NYPD in Crisis: Sharpton, Noerdlinger, de Blasio, Bratton, Garner Chokehold, Grand Jury and Protests

Homelessness Growing? Why? Whose to Blame? 
De Blasio’s homeless shelter crisis  (NYDN Ed) For a mayor seeking to make “de Blasio” synonymous with salvation for the poor, no cause burns as fiercely as helping the city’s homeless — an astonishing 56,854 souls in the most recent count, including nearly 24,000 children. “We cannot let children like Dasani down,” Bill de Blasio said shortly before taking the oath of office, referring to a girl whose life in a fetid shelter was profiled by The New York Times. “We are simply not going to allow this kind of reality to continue.” Sixteen months later, while burnishing his credentials as a national progressive crusader waging war on economic inequality, the mayor has made scant progress toward fulfilling his promises. In fact, in important respects, the picture has worsened as well-meaning solutions have fallen far short of the mark. • Shelters now bulge with 12% more people than at his inauguration, down a smidgen from this winter’s peak. A surge in adult homelessness continues unabated, to nearly 12,000 — up 20% since de Blasio took office. • The mayor’s signature programs designed to move families out of shelters sputter at a fraction of their expected paces. At launch last September, the Department of Homeless Services projected that 4,000 families would move into private apartments by the end of June, their rent paid for up to five years by the city and state. As of mid-April, 900 had. Burned by similar programs in the past, landlords have been slow to sign up.• De Blasio’s own Department of Investigation in March issued a withering report on vile conditions at 25 city-funded shelters, finding the worst at so-called cluster sites run by private landlords that bill the city an average of $2,541 a month, often for slum-grade apartments. Blocked fire exits, vermin infestations and skimpy security put thousands of families in harm’s way. • As a candidate, de Blasio vowed to stop using clusters. But DHS has since increased their number and has yet to move families out. • The shutdown plan includes paying some of the same shelter landlords to continue housing the same tenants in the same apartments — relabeling shelters as permanent housing and thus removing those families from the homeless tally. With equal desperation, the city has begun offering friends and relatives cash to take in homeless families. • A surge in violence in adult homeless facilities preceded last week’s murder of Bronx shelter director Ana Charle, with the rate of life-threatening incidents up 33% in the six months ending January 2015 over the same period the year prior.* DISPLACED, DISPERSED, DISAPPEARED: Families are being forced out of Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood as landlords seek to charge higher rents to incoming youths with deeper pockets, but where do they go when they move? Neil deMause reports: (City and State)

In Albany Its All About Protecting Their Mob Leaders, Not the Public From Corruption
Bharara has been on a crusade ever since Cuomo disbanded his own anti-corruption commission in March 2014. “Archimedes said to move Earth itself, all he needed was a long-enough lever and a place to stand,” Bharara recently told a ­forum at Fordham Law School.
The specific charges against Senator Skelos, 67, and his son, Adam, 32, were not immediately known, but were expected to be announced as early as Monday.* State Sen. Dean Skelos and son, Adam, likely to be arrestednext week, reports say (Newsday) * DEAN OF 'CORRUPTION': Prosecutors set to announce criminal charges against senate leader Skelos, son on Monday (NYDN) * Wall Street Journal, NY Times: Skelos, Son Could Be Arrested on Corruption Charges as Early as Monday (NY1) * Feds set to indict Dean Skelos on corruption charges * Feds set to indict Dean Skelos on corruption charges (NYP) The Democrats will unleash a “fierce campaign’’ to get Skelos to step down if the Long Island lawmaker is charged, The Post’s ­Fredric U. Dicker reported earlier this week. * SUCCEEDING SKELOS: PROS AND CONS OF POTENTIAL CANDIDATES (City and State)
IDC GOP Senate Coalition and Skelos 

More Albany and Their Lobbyists On FBI Tape  . . .  Bharara Stay Tuned
Sheldon Silver Probe Prompts Wiretaps on New Targets,Sources Say (DNAINFO) Federal investigators have begun wiretapping a new set of potential targets as a result of the probe that led to the indictment off former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, DNAinfo has learned. Investigators in the U.S. Attorney's office and the FBI obtained court authorization to eavesdrop on an ever-expanding group of possible corrupt government officials and those who do business with them, including lawyers, lobbyists and contractors, sources said. The targets came to light during the two-year investigation of the powerful state Assembly leader — during which federal corruption fighters found “numerous new tentacles” to pursue, sources said.  Federal authorities were "already listening to numerous people in various places" on unrelated investigations before looking into Silver, and his "case provided a bunch of new places to wiretap,” a law enforcement source told "On The Inside."  The revelation that there is a new wave of federal eavesdropping from the speaker’s probe is certain to rattle an already-anxious Albany, where dozens of lawmakers have been convicted on corruption charges, many of them secretly caught on tape. In recent years, secret recordings and wiretaps have helped nail lawmakers on corruption-related charges including state Sen. Malcolm Smith, Councilman Daniel Halloran, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson and Assemblyman Nelson Castro. “Stay tuned,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara warned state legislators after announcing Silver’s indictment in February. * Federal investigators reportedly have begun wiretapping a new set of potential targets as a result of the probe that led to the indictment off former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Two Men In A Cell Room For One More?

With 2 of the 3 Men in the Room Going to Jail and Cheap Hard Drives Cuomo Holds A Email Summit? 
Cuomo sets date for e-mail rules ‘summit’ (NYP) Six weeks after promising to review the state’s e-mail-retention policy, Gov. Cuomo on Friday set the date for a “summit” to create new rules and slammed fellow elected officials for dragging their feet. “I write to once again coordinate a meeting to discuss creating one uniform policy for all e-mail retention and FOIL,” the governor said in a letter Friday to legislative leaders, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman, who abolished the 90-day period for his own office, declined to comment. * Andrew Cuomo dines with executive director for the Joint Commission of Public Ethics (NYDN)

A City of Sheep Have Not Demanded That Political Corruption Be Stopped
U.S. Attorney Criticizes Albany’s ‘Three Men in a Room’ Culture(NYT) Preet Bharara, speaking at the New York Law School, took direct aim at how deal-making has long been done in the state capital. Preet riffs on New York for being the ‘sitcom’ state(NYP) People need to demand more, Bharara says before quoting Edward R Murrow: 'a nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves'* - time for reform is now. Time for people to demand more from their pols. * "I'm very confused about the Moreland Commission" like many others, Bharara says, done thinking about its powers (doing own investigations) * "The purpose of school is to educate people...if all our schools did was teach to the test, we'd have a bunch of crappy people" -Bharara * People need to demand more, Bharara says before quoting Edward R Murrow: 'a nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves' Bharara: reforms are needed; and we almost had that with the Moreland Commission (audience grumbles)* "A lot of people can't name their state legislators, they can't name 2 of the 3 men in the room" Bharara says, adding public must care.

Why Are the DAs Not Finding Corrupt Pols?
 Bharara has argued that prosecutors to take policy positionson criminal justice reform, why not corruption?(TU)* Why Are NYC's DAs Not Indicting Pols?

Look What the Media Has Done to NY
U.S. Attorney Over A Year Ago Beg the Press to Help Him Clean Up NY . . . They Turn Their Back to Him, Even Attack Him, Now He is Doing It Himself

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

His crusade to “clean up government” is particularly essential because Albany has so much power over local municipalities, including New York City, he contended. With less federal help than there used to be, a more honest, efficient and incorruptible state government is needed more than ever, Mr. Bharara said. “What happens in Albany is important, what transpires there is important. Even state legislators, believe it or not, are important,” he said to some laughter. “We need a state government that is willing to and capable of tackling the pressing public policy challenges of our time.” Mr. Bharara was not shy about touting the political scalps he’s racked up. Using the example of his office winning a corruption conviction of former Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, Mr. Bharara said he began to question just how much legislation had been for sale in Albany. “How many past bills were born of bribery?” he asked. * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says his corruption investigations will help to improve a “broken down” political system. * Preet Bharara branches out (Capital)* Preet Bharara’s speech fuels speculation of a run for office (NYP) * Bharara Says Corruption Probes Are Not Done; Cuomo Says Lifein State Capitol More Complicated(NY1)
Bharara Trying to Repair New York's Broken Democracy Does the Job of the Press and the Missing Reform Political Leaders

ProsecutorDenies Creating a ‘Media Firestorm’ Over Sheldon Silver’s Arrest (NYT) * Preet Bharara DefendsHis Public Appearances at Zephyr Teachout Forum (NYO) Mr. Bharara told the filled room at the law school’s Lincoln Center campus that his public denunciations of Albany’s “culture of corruption” are intended to raise awareness of the ethics dilemmas facing the state government, to deter potential bad actors and to encourage well-intentioned public officials to push back against the problem.“Part of your job as a law enforcement official, whether you’re a prosecutor, or the Attorney General, or the FBI director, is to help prevent crime and deter crime.” * “It’s not enough to simply make sure we’re getting rid of the bad folks,” the US attorney said. “We want to make sure we are empowering, or sometimes embarrassing, good folks at any institution that exists to do something when they see something.”

Daily News Endorses Donovan But Not Impressed 
Given the uninspiring choice between Vincent Gentile andDan Donovan, Staten Island and Brooklyn voters should choose Donovan (NYDN EdDonovan’s rival, Councilman Vinny Gentile, is not the sharpest knife in the Democratic drawer. Donovan’s rival, Councilman Vinny Gentile, is not the sharpest knife in the Democratic Appearing before the Daily News Editorial Board, Gentile boasted of having served as chairman of the Council’s Investigations Committee, a post that gave him oversight of the Department of Investigation. Asked to comment on the performance of Commissioner Mark Peters, Gentile was unable to cite a single report Peters had written, even though he had issued major findings on the city’s homeless shelters and the lack of security on Rikers Island, and had arrested a slew of building inspectors. Call it a match between two ill-informed candidates only one of which, the Republican, has a shot at being even remotely effective. Avoiding the total shutout of an all-Democratic Washington delegation tips the balance to Donovan even though he hedges on comprehensive immigration reform and proved not to know the federal minimum wage when asked about it during a debate. * Advance endorses Donovan for Congress as "clearly thebest candidate" 

Wayne Barrett Shows How Heastie Will Follow Silver and Skelos Corrupton 
HEASTIE'S HELPERS: THE BRONXGANG THAT MADE HIM ONE OF THE STATE'S MOST POWERFUL DEMOCRATS (Wayne Barrett, City and State) We are just getting to know Carl Heastie, the new speaker of the state Assembly, and there’s been no better introduction than the one that appeared in The New York Times recently. The Times reporters, Russ Buettner and David Chen, had earlier taught us some dark lessons about Sheldon Silver, the now-indicted speaker that Heastie succeeded in February. This time, they wrote a very late obit about Heastie’s mother Helene, who died in 1999, three weeks after she was sentenced for stealing $197,000 from a Bronx nonprofit where she worked. The Times discovered that Carl Heastie then ignored a January 1999 court order that he sell the apartment his mother bought with some of the “moneys that were stolen,” as the sentencing judge put it. A co-owner of the property with his mother, Heastie had agreed to sell it as part of a plea bargain deal that would keep his mother out of jail. The Heasties were to transfer the proceeds of the sale, plus another $40,000 from a separate judgment, to the city and the looted nonprofit. 

No Elections or Democracy In Heastie's Still Burning Bronx
When City & State described this story and asked Heastie’s spokesman Michael Whyland for an interview with the speaker, Whyland emailed: “Not interested in discussing old insider politics or theories anyone might have.” The saga starts with a man unnamed in the Times account—Roberto Ramírez, who was an assemblyman and the Bronx County Democratic leader when the court orders were issued in 1999. In early 2000, with the orders still hanging over Heastie’s head, Ramírez announced that Heastie was the party’s candidate for an open Assembly seat. art of a musical-chair package of party selections for several legislative and other positions, Heastie’s designation had been in the works going back to 1998.when his ally, attorney Joey Jackson, indicated he would run against Heastie, Ramírez stuck with Heastie, promising to back Jackson in a future city council or other race. Jackson, meanwhile, was so close to Ramírez that Ramírez had given him a top countywide party office and offered to make him the state committeeman from the Assembly district Heastie would represent. ut Jackson filed petitions to oppose Heastie anyway. He changed his mind, he told reporters, when he was “approached from behind on the street by two men who told him to drop out” and threatened to harm his wife and young child if he didn’t. Jackson said many of his friends and supporters thought the Bronx party “might be tied to the threats,” though he didn’t hold the organization responsible.When Jackson decided to withdraw, Heastie and Ramírez’s attorney, Stanley Schlein, a fixture of the Bronx machine for four decades, brought a declination form to Jackson’s house, got his signature and rushed to the Board of Elections to file it. Two hours later, Jackson changed his mind again and dashed to the board, canceling his declination 15 minutes before a midnight deadline. Ramírez’s lawyers opposed Jackson’s attempt to rescind the declination and the board rejected it, paving the way for Heastie to win the Democratic primary without opposition. Jackson went to District Attorney Johnson’s office about the threats to his family, but they did nothing. Schlein was representing Johnson at the same time that he was representing Heastie, rebuffing a 1999 court challenge to Johnson’s Bronx residency. A committee controlled by Ramírez donated $3,000 to Johnson’s 1999 campaign, all while the Heastie court orders were still a live issue.
Stanley Schlein Rides Again A Bronx fixer's scandalous history doesn't bother Yankees or Democrats * Stanley Schlein Rides Again A Bronx fixer's scandalous history doesn't bother Yankees or Democrats *  Bronx Lobbyist Serves as Espada's Lawyer in Senate Talks - * Recent allies pedro espadastanley schlein had fistfight * Stanley Slime gets Largest Fine ever by Conflict of Interest Board * Stanley Schlein Fined for Conflict of interest | New York Politics 

The Lobbyists Who Run the Bronx, MirRam
An insider says Schlein urged Rivera in 2008—months before the coup—to support Johnson’s wife Renwick for an appointment to the First Judicial Department of the Appellate Division, the most prestigious appellate court in the state. Gov. David Paterson appointed her that April, though a spokesman for Paterson said she was part of a group of judges selected by his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in March as a result of a prostitution scandal. Sources involved in the Bronx process say that Ramírez, who shared an office with Spitzer and Paterson’s top political advisers at Global Strategy Group, pushed Renwick’s selection. Daz is the president of a booming, publicly funded, mostly nonprofit empire called Acacia and Ramírez’s firm, MirRam, is its lobbyist. Ramírez is so tied to Acacia that his MirRam partner, Luis Miranda, was chair of the Audubon Partnership, which merged with Acacia in 2013, and their firm represented Promesa, which was absorbed by Acacia a couple of years earlier. Lke Schlein, Ramírez remains so close to Heastie that the Daily News reporteda few days after Heastie’s selection that he was playing an “active role” with Heastie, “assisting Carl in getting things running.” MirRam’s lobbying clients, including the teachers union, have major matters before the Assembly. * In Consulting Group, Hints of How Albany Works - NYTimes ... * Twi$ted web of political nonprofits in Bx. | New York Post * Industry group cashes in with Heastie lobbyist | Crain's New ... * Charity tied to council speaker quadruples its funding ... * Mark-Viverito, Ferreras, Espaillat and Herbalife — City ...  * Roberto Ramirez (politician) - Wikipedia, the free ... * New lobbyist for controversial bill has close Heastie ties. A lobbying firm with close ties to new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and many other minority politicians has been retained to push a controversial bill that would allow check cashers to make high-interest loans, records show. In December, the MirRam Group was hired by Financial Service Centers of New York, an industry group, for $10,000 a month to push the check cashers' bill in Albany. * Roberto Ramirez helping Carl Heastie settle in as speaker ... * Synergy edition: Espaillat and Miranda's 'Manhattan Times ... * Pension $$$ and the MirRam Group * Mirram Group Campaign Contributions

Council Speaker Campaign Gives the Most Member Items $$ to Her Campaign Consultants Lobbyists MirRam

Melissa Mark-Viverito Paid MirRam $35,000 for Her Campaign
Hispanic Federation gets biggest @NYCCouncil member item:$400K out of speaker's pot.  (Capital)The federation has ties to almost every Hispanic lawmaker in The Bronx, including Rivera, but primarily benefits two men: political strategist Luis Miranda, who co-founded it and once served as its president, and Roberto Ramirez, a former Bronx Democratic Party boss. The men run a private political consulting firm, the MirRam Group. It’s paid by the Hispanic Federation and is hired by politicians who steer taxpayer money to the nonprofit.Flashback Twi$ted web of political nonprofits in Bx.(NYP)

Memo to NYP Political Director: David Seifman: MirRam Violated the City's Ethics Law

What the NYP left out was that MirRam that group that profited from the graft was illegally working on the the campaign to make Melissa Mark Viverito Speaker. The lines that the NYP did not copy from the CrainsNY piece was the most important to point out how MirRam acted illegally.  CrainsNY - "Last November, during the heart of the City Council speaker race, an employee of the MirRam group fielded a press request from Crain's on Ms. Mark-Viverito's behalf for an article about her past refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. But on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for MirRam said any work done for Ms. Mark-Viverito was only related work for her 2013 City Council campaign, though it had ended weeks before the press request was fielded by MirRam. The firm was not paid to assist her speaker campaign."  Another lobbying firm close to Ms. Mark-Viverito, the Advance Group, landed in hot water for providing free consulting services during Ms. Mark-Viverito's speaker campaign. 

Albany Is Really In Panic Because Silver and Skelos Could Rat and Put Many in Jail
Dean Skelos probe has Albany on edge (NYP) The federal probe of state Senate GOP Majority Leader Dean Skelos throws a potential monkey wrench into the final leg of the legislative session, when Albany grapples with numerous issues important to the city, insiders said Friday. Among the issues: renewal of rent-control laws, real-estate tax breaks, mayoral control of schools, raising the charter-school cap, education tax credits to parochial schools, and criminal-justice reforms.  “It’s unlikely that much gets done this session,” one upstate senator said. “Too much uncertainty.” When they return from a two-week holiday recess on Monday, lawmakers will be more focused on theinvestigation of Skelos and his son, Adam, than on end-of-session legislation, the senator said.*Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who is facing a federal investigation, said he has no plans to step down from his leadership position in the face of allegations, the Times Union writes: Friday Lawmakers: Skelos Won’t Be A Distraction(YNN)* Gov. Cuomo had a secret re-election 'pact' with Dean Skelos / Republicans via @nypost * With Dean Skelos's Son Aboard, AbTech Seemed Confident in Bid for Nassau County Contract (NYT) * Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not mention state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos in a speech to the Association for a Better New York and afterward would not comment on a federal investigation into Skelos and his son, the Observer reports:  * Gibson: Three Men In A Room ‘No Way To Govern’ (YNN) Rep. Chris Gibson last week in a Capital Tonight interview said the ongoing federal investigation into Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is yet another a good argument for term limits and democratizing the Legislature * New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox criticized U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office for leaking the details of an investigation of the state’s highest-ranking GOP elected official, State of Politics writes:  

A Tale of Two NYPD Arrests: Prop Hospital vs. Baltimore Solidarity Protesters 
@Gothamist the story should also include how DEB sold out LICH & used this charade for self promotion during Mayor's race * DEB with a very serious face as he's being arrested. As a political operative he's mastered the art of acting

The mayor called his arrest in 2013 "the most choreographed thing on earth in terms of how the police wanted to handle it. We didn't make it up. We said, 'We're protesting the closure of a hospital, this is our intention, people will get arrested because they're protesting.'" * De Blasio to protesters: Do as I say, not as I did (CrainsNY) Mayor Bill de Blasio drew a sharp contrast between arrests of protesters last night and himself in 2013. "I don't know if you were there on that day in 2013," he said in response to a question from The Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Howard Saul. "It was the most choreographed thing on earth in terms of how the police wanted to handle it." The protests last night, which were in solidarity with Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray there in police custody, resulted in the arrest of 140 demonstrators. Some have complained that the police reacted more drastically to this protest than to demonstrations held late last year. Two state lawmakers, Assembly Michael Blake and state Sen. Gustavo Rivera, issued a statement today castigating the NYPD for "deplorable acts of police abuse and overreaction." "From witnessing billy clubs being taken out while officers stood directly in front of marchers on 42nd Street, to grabbing and arresting a man who was trying to peacefully get back onto the sidewalk, to a woman being struck on the sidewalk by an officer who then walked away, there was behavior that was unacceptable," the legislators said. But Mr. de Blasio was unapologetic about the arrests. ‘People Were Brutalized': Pols and ActivistsBlast Police Tactics Used During Protest (NYO) * Governor Says He Has ‘No Reason to Second Guess’ NYPD After Mass Arrests (NYO) * NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, drawing praise from some of his critics and rebukes from his political base, defended the NYPD’s handling of a Baltimore-related protest that turned into a melee Wednesday night as dozens of people were arrested. * De Blasio met with the Rev. Al Sharpton, who criticized the heavy-handed police response to the protests, and – according to a Sharpton spokesman – the mayor “submitted” to getting answers. * De Blasio Defends NYPD After 143 Arrested at Baltimore Solidarity Protest (NY1)

To de Blasio Hospitals Are Nothing But A Campaign Prop 
Paging Doctor de Blasio: New York City's Health andHospitals Corp. needs emergency care from the mayor (NYDN Ed)  The city’s top doctor on Tuesday pronounced the municipal hospitals in critical financial condition — and says New Yorkers will have to step up to save them. Are you ready to pitch in? Mayor de Blasio hasn’t been. Fifteen months into his term, it suddenly dawns that the Health and Hospitals Corp.’s 11 major medical centers are hemorrhaging hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Without radical treatment, they are terminal. Reflecting the gravity of the crisis, HHC Commissioner Dr. Ram Raju promised his workforce, “The Health and Hospitals Corp. must and will survive.” Then, he presented a rescue plan whose success would hinge on beating incredibly tough odds. Landmark institutions like BellevueKings County, North Central Bronx and Elmhurst Medical Center face dire futures thanks to accelerating changes in the health-care marketplace, including Obamacare. Yet the mayor has raised no warnings about the looming crisis, let alone offered a vision for maintaining the nation’s largest public health-care system. City hospital head lays out ambitious vision (Capital)New York City’s cash-strapped public hospital system, tasked with caring for many uninsured and vulnerable residents amid growing budget deficits, unveiled a plan to help shore up its finances by 2020, the Journal reports: * After police refused to let thousands of peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters march in the street on Wednesday, some people noted that the NYPD's tactic of violently repelling and arresting demonstrators differed considerably from how the de Blasio administration handled similar protests just a few months ago. At a press conference yesterday, the mayor assured reporters that this was wrong: "If you guys want to sensationalize, if you think that's your contribution to society, feel free."
More on Closing Hospitals, HHC,LICH

Berlin Rosen Helped de Blasio Get Arrested As A Campaign Prop Protesting the Closing of LICH Hospital 
Then Broke the Law Using the Mayor's Slush Fund PAC One New York
Mayor Says He Will Continue to Seek Advice from Top Adviserin Wake of NY1 Report (NY1) In the wake of a in-depth NY1 report last week, the mayor says he will continue to seek advice from a top adviser despite criticism of their close relationship.  Jonathan Rosen runs the public relations firm BerlinRosen and advises private clients with business before the city while also acting as a close advisor to the mayor. Because Rosen is not a registered lobbyist, he does not have to disclose his clients, but the mayor said there's no conflict of interest. "Jonathan is someone I worked with for years. He is a close friend, a close adviser going back many, many years, and he'll continue to be," de Blasio said. "He doesn't represent the interests of his clients when he talks to me. He is someone who I turn to advice on a whole host of issues that have nothing to do with his clients." * NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said he does not consider it a conflict when he seeks advice from Jonathan Rosen, a political consultant and campaign strategist who represents a host of clients who lobby City Hall on a variety of issues.In light of the NY1 report on the close relationship between de Blasio and Rosen, Sen. Tony Avella has introduced a bill that would bar lobbyists from also being political consultants.

Berlin Rosen Runs the Mayor's PAC One New York Which Mailed to Reduce Its Clients Negatives in Assembly Race 

Berlin Rosen who worked for 52AD candidate Sikora and the PAC One NY, use to the PAC to send out to the voters of the district a misleading letter that a developers ER would be a good substitute for the closed LICH.  Rosen's assembly candidate was arrested during the 2013 mayor's race along with de Blasio protesting the closing of the LICH Hospital.  The Brooklyn Eagle called Berlin Rosen PAC mailing the dark money mailing, claiming the closed LICH hospital developer would build an emergency room that would meet the community’s health care needs.  Doctors and community leader have called that claim an outright lie. Carroll Gardens Association - Cover-Up of Members' Dark Money LICH Mailing

Community Leaders Blamed Berlin Rosen Candidate Sikora (de Blasio campaign worker) for de Blasio Not Living Up to His Campaign Promise of Keeping LICH Hospital Open 
Bill de Blasio arrested at SUNY protest - NY Daily News (NYDN) New York City Mayoral Candidate Bill DiBlasio and a nurse are arrested at protest outside the State University of New York offices on West 42nd st. Hospital workers were protesting the planned closing Long Island City Hospital in Brooklyn. “We’re going to lose Long Island College Hospital in a matter of weeks if we don’t act now ... People are going to be much sicker in this city if we keep losing hospitals,” de Blasio said as he was led away in handcuffs. “This is about fighting for our hospitals. We have to save them* Mayor de Blasio Is Quietly Soliciting Donations for Future Policy Battles (NYT)  Mr. de Blasio and his fund-raising team have quietly solicited large contributions in recent weeks from donors in the mayor’s inner circle, according to three people who requested anonymity to describe moves by the administration that were not yet intended to be public.

Breaking NYPD Office Shot in the Head

Officer’s vital signs plummeting after being shot in the head (NYP) LUPICA: No protests when cops are the victims — we just light a candle in their honor and move on (NYDN) CLINGING TO LIFE: 25-year-old NYPD cop lying in medically induced coma in Queens as suspect charged with attempted murder (NYDN) * A Queens man has been charged in the shooting of an officer that took place Saturday, with police saying they do not believe the shooting had a connection to the protests over police violence, The New York Times writes:

NYPD cop shot in the head in Queens (NYP) An NYPD officer was shot in the head in Queens Saturday. The cop was rushed to Jamaica Hospital in a radio car. The circumstances were not immediately known, but the shooting took place near the intersection of 212th Street and 104th Road in Queens Village. It’s the fifth New York City cop shot in the last five months.On Dec. 20, Officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, were executed, shot point-blank in the head as they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn, working overtime as part of an anti-terrorism drill. NYPD plainclothes officer shot in the head in Queens. * Suspect Charged in Officer Shooting in Queens (NYT)* Plainclothes officers, like the NYPD cop who was shot Saturday, face a particularly dangerous task given that they are often the ones out looking for people carrying guns and confronting them, the Times writes:   * The Post writes that while many people have protestedviolence by police officers  in recent months there are no protests when those working to uphold the law are shot: * Gov. Cuomo Under Fire for Being No-Show at State PoliceMemorials via @Dnainfo

Running the NYPD By Spin of the Day 

Press does not understand it not about pols showing sympathy after cop is shot in the face but but demanding they govern to keep all safe
The officer was working for the Anti-Crime Unit and is in critical condition. * Police Officer Is Shot and Critically Wounded in Queens (NYT) The officer was on duty and in plainclothes when a suspect fired at a team of officers on Saturday afternoon, officials said. * PICTURED: Plainclothes NYPD cop critical after being shot in face in Queens Village as suspected gunman in custody and ID'd (NYDN) * Officer who was shot in Queensis now in a medically induced coma (NYP) * NYPD cop in coma after being shot in the head (NYP) * NYPD cop, 25, critical after being shot in the face in Queens Village; suspected gunman is ex-con and cousin of former Giants player Kory Blackwell(NYDN) * NYPD Officer Shot in the Head in Queens, Police Say (DNAINFO) * The Queens man suspected ofshooting a police officer on Satuday was charged with attempted murder,officials said: (NYT) 

de Blasio Changes NYPD Tactics Towards Protesters But Says He Did Not
Pay No Attention to Your Lying Eyes
De Blasio: Cops’ tactics toward protesters unchanged (NYP) Mayor de Blasio lashed out at reporters Thursday when asked about whether police tactics at protests were deliberately more aggressive than in the past. In late 2014, the administration let thousands marching against police-related killings to take over major avenues, highways and bridges — a hands-off approach that drew criticism. On Wednesday, cops arrested more than 100 protesterswho tried to do the same near Union Square — but the mayor roundly dismissed assertions anything had changed. “If you guys want to sensationalize, if you think that’s your contribution to society, feel free,” he told one reporter at City Hall who asked whether de Blasio had ordered new tactics. “I would be careful not to exaggerate what happened,” he told another, who relayed complaints about police actions. When one scribe compared de Blasio’s arrest in 2013 at a protest over the closure of a Brooklyn hospital to marchers being cuffed in the streets, the mayor teed off. “I’m astounded by that question. I would think you knew a little bit more about the history of non-violent protest. You know, the civil rights movement? Maybe you’ve heard of it,” he sniffed. “You’re attempting such an extraordinary jump I have to school you,” he added. “Civil disobedience — it’s called civil disobedience. Ghandi, King etc. — you plan with police what’s going to happen.” * * Mayor Bill de Blasio offered a spirited defense of law enforcement, brushing off concerns that Freddie Gray demonstrators were mistreated even as he insisted on his own commitment to reform, The New York Times reports: * Mayor Bill de Blasio offered a spirited defense of law enforcement, brushing off concerns that Freddie Gray demonstrators were mistreated even as he insisted on his own commitment to reform, The New YorkTimes reports:  * A National Action Network official said Rev. Al Sharpton met with de Blasio to criticize the allegedly heavy-handed response to protests and said the mayor “submitted” to getting answers, the Observer reports:   * Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he has “no reason to second guess” the NYPD following the arrests of more than 140 anti-police brutality protesters and offered a full-throated defense of the police, the Observerwrites: * Mayor Bill de Blasio offered a spirited defense of law enforcement, brushing off concerns that Freddie Gray demonstrators were mistreated even as he insisted on his own commitment to reform, The New YorkTimes reports: 

Protests Move to NYC Thursday
more than 120 people were reportedly arrested across Manhattan in scuffles with cops during protests over the death of Freddie Gray.* Hundreds of people marched in Manhattan—and more than 60 were arrested—in a show of solidarity with demonstrators in Baltimore protesting the death of Freddie Gray, The New York Times reports: * Protesters fanned out from the square to several locations in Manhattan. More brawls later broke out near Times Square. The demonstration was one of many in cities across the country, including BostonPhiladelphia and Minneapolis.  * In the wake of the Baltimore riots, a group of black and Hispanic state lawmakers renewed a call for special prosecutors to be named in New York when unarmed civilians are killed by police. They said they will push for the requirement and other justice system, education and economic reforms. * More Than 100 Arrested as Thousands Rally to Protest FreddieGray's Death via @Dnainfo * Beyond Baltimore: New York City takes tothe streets (Mother Jones)

NAN Head: de Blasio ‘Submitted’ to Get SharptonAnswers About NYPD Protest Response(NYO) A leading official of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network said that the controversial leader met personally with Mayor Bill de Blasio this morning to criticize the allegedly heavy-handed response to protests held last night—and told the Observer that the mayor “submitted” to getting answers.  NYPD Assertive Bratton explains ‘more assertive’ response to protests (Capital) “I didn’t see much different last night from what I saw in December," Bratton said. 

"But we are going to be much more assertive dealing with efforts to close down tunnels, close down bridges, and will be much faster to make arrests if in fact they attempt to move in that direction.” Chief of department James O’Neill, who oversaw the policing of the protests last night, said he was mindful of the violence in Baltimore, but did not base last night's police strategy on it.*  NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said he was “doubling down” on his defense of the department’s quality-of-life policing, but he also opened the door to softening consequences for first-time offenders. * Bratton also said that he is exploring the possibility of officers’ giving warnings in lieu of arrests, or even criminal summonses, when confronting first-time offenders for minor violations of law. * 'It’s a waste of time': Defendants in court for minor crimes rip ‘broken windows’ strategy * BRATTON'S ARRESTING BROKEN-WINDOWS POLICING FACTS: The record shows NYPD treats few quality-of-life offenders as crooks (NYDN) * How Broken Windows policing saved New York — and still does (NYP Ed) * Bratton drafting formal complaint against council’s ‘decriminalization’ plan (NYP) * Mayor de Blasio betrays the cause: A participant in New York's Baltimoresolidarity protests says hizzoner's defense of the NYPD crackdown insults thehistory of civil disobedience (NYDN)

BRATTON'S ARRESTING BROKEN-WINDOWS POLICING FACTS: The record shows NYPD treats few quality-of-life offenders as crooks (NYDN) * The NYPD arrested over 140 people in Manhattan on Wednesday night as protesters marched in a show of solidarity with demonstrators in BaltimoreThe New York Times reports: * As the city debates how to handle minor offenses, NYPD Commissioner William Brattonissued a report that is intended to show the department’s enforcement of low-level crimes has been declining under his watch. * Mayor De Blasio Defends Police Response to Freddie Gray Protests in New York (NYT) A day after 143 people in Manhattan were arrested during demonstrations, city officials said any escalation on the part of the police was provoked by protesters who sought to cause trouble.* Police Commissioner William Bratton said he is “doubling down” on his defense of the NYPD’s quality-of-life policing, but he is open to easing consequences for first-time offenders, The Wall Street Journal reports: * The Daily News writes that Bratton has proved that “brokenwindows” policing has reduced all crime and critics who would repeal it would end what is probably the most effective innovation in the history of policing: * Bratton Softens Position on Some ‘Broken Windows’ Violations (NY1)

Cuomo Response to Baltimore Wakeup
Cuomo said he will use executive powers to enable a special prosecutor to pursue charges against police officers who kill civilians if lawmakers don’t approve his related plan, the Times Union reports: * The Journal writes the “nightmare in Baltimore” shows what governance under de Blasio-led progressives leads to and highlights the need for urban renewal built on private economic development and broken windows policing * Eric Garner’s mom: Baltimore riots should be a wakeup call for New York state lawmakers (NYDN) * The relatives of people killed by police finally got their meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo,and said he has agreed to order a special prosecutor to investigate such deaths if his legislative proposal fails to establish a special monitor to review similar cases.* Today is the 23rd anniversary of the Rodney King riots. Notmuch has changed 

 Eric Garner’s mother was a member of the group that met with Cuomo. She called the meeting “very positive,” though a spokeswoman for the families said they still believe the governor’s independent monitor proposal doesn’t go far enough. (They would prefer a special prosecutor’s office, and will continue to push for it).* The revelation of post-arrest questioning of people involved in the demonstration’s following a grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer involved in Eric Garner’s death has renewed long-running concerns among civil liberties activists about police practices that may have a chilling effect on activities protected by the First Amendment, like protest and free speech. * Stewart-Cousins: Criminal Justice Reforms Sooner, Not Later(YNN)* A criminal justice reform advocate claims that Cuomo told her and others that the special prosecutor that would handle cases of alleged police brutality would be state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, State of Politics reports: * Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins expects changes to the state’s criminal justice system before the end of the legislative session, State of Politicswrites: 

Most of the Media Ignoring Rosenthal Sting of Airbnb . . . 
Media Looking for Ad Money?
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal Secretly Tapes Illegal Airbrb Renters
Lawmaker uses video sting to catch illegal Airbnb renters (NYP) The first rule of Airbnb: Never talk about Airbnb. A man renting out a Midtown apartment on the popular Web site was caught on a hidden video admitting his listing was illegal — and telling the undercover state lawmaker behind the camera to keep quiet about it. “Airbnb have a lot of issues with New York, you know, because we are competitors with hotel,” said the man, who called himself Carlo and was renting the pad for one night. State law forbids renting an apartment for less than 30 days if the tenant is not at home. “If somebody ask you something, never mention in the building Airbnb,” he said. “This is supposed to be residential.” Carlo added he had “another place” with a similar one-bedroom, two-bed layout that was “almost ready” to be rented and where “you will miss only TV.” Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal made the recordings during an undercover sting operation that targeted Airbnb users offering multiple apartments for rent. Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat, easily scored four apartments for just one night each between April 13 and 20. No taxpayer funds were used for the sting, which was financed by the hotel-industry-backed, anti-Airbnb “Share Better Coalition.” In one video, Rosenthal and an aide are seen checking in to an Upper East Side Airbnb apartment at an office in Chelsea, three miles away.Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal Ran A Sting on Illegal Airbnb * Assemblywoman Goes Undercover, Finds Industry Of IllegalAirbnb Rentals (WCBS) The sting yielded plenty of examples of renters abusing their properties: In several instances, apartments that were listed had no permanent tenants, meaning they were being operated as illegal hotels. The most prominent violator was a rental company that had no tenants at all, with a rental agent posing as a "host." The above video depicts a renter named Carlo explaining that “Airbnb have a lot of issues with New York, you know, because we are competitors with hotel." Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal Ran A Sting on Illegal Airbnb
More on Airbnb

Wow is A Manhattan Judge Protecting A Taxi Boss? 
Judge afraid taxi king’s debt case could cripple yellow-cab industry (NYP) A Manhattan judge said the city’s yellow-cab industry is so shaky that he was afraid of making any sudden moves in the debt case against taxi king Gene Freidman — lest the jurist risk crippling the beleaguered industry.“It’s like people listening to the Federal Reserve,” said Manhattan Supreme Justice Jeffrey Oing. “I’m trying to avoid seizure here because of the ripple effect. It’s a fragile situation.”

As Spending On Lobbyists Increases New York Burns In Corruption and Arrested Pols
 The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics released itsannual report, which reveals that total spending on lobbying in New York State reached $226 million in 2014—a new record:  Kill Halt to Tax Payer Reimbursing Public Officials’ Legal Fees   A bill that would have halted the practice of taxpayers reimbursing public officials’ legal fees following exoneration was killed in the state Senate Investigation and Government Operations Committee, State of Politics reports: * Sheldon Silver Pleads Not Guilty to Newest Charge (NYT)  The former New York State Assembly speaker was arraigned on a charge that he hid more than $287,000 of illegal gains in investments. His trial is scheduled to begin on Nov. 2. * Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who describes himself as a “democratic socialist,” will announce his plans to seek the Democratic nomination for president tomorrow, presenting a liberal challenge to Clinton. He’ll be the second major Democrat in the 2016 race

Bharara and the Media: Can't Stop the Shadow Govt Lobbyist Money 
 JCOPE: A ‘Record’ Year For Lobbying(YNN) Topping the list: Families for Excellent Schools, a group that backs education reform measures as well as strengthening charter schools. The group spent $9.6 million on advertising and events.  In second place, the New York state United Teachers union spent $3.2 million — a figure that does not include the millions of dollars the labor group spent on campaign contributions and related advertising. Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, LLP remained the top lobbying shop in New York, reporting $11.2 million in reimbursed expenses and compensation. The firm also boasts the largest number of clients in the state, 181. They were following by Park Strategies, the firm co-founded by former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato, which reported $7.8 million in compensation and expenses. A record amount of money was spent on in-house and retained lobbyists, $194.2 million. Advertising money for lobbying campaigns hit a three-year high of $16 million. * What scandals? Albany lobbyists rake in $226 million (NYP)  Continuing scandals in Albany haven’t stopped the flow of big money to lobbyists, who reported they raked in $226 million last year. * In exchange for a pay raise, state legislators should endtheir pensions—or at least the promise of defined-benefit pensions—for all elected state government officials, the Manhattan Institute’s Stephen Eide writes in the Post: * this is how the pro-charter $9.6 million lobbying spenderavoided disclosing donors (Capital)
Real Estate Developers, Tax Breakes and Politics, 421-a

NYP Does A Victory Lap for Catching Scarborough's Corruption in 2012 
Post’s ‘tabloid hit job’ scores on Scarborough (NYP Ed) Told you so. Back in October 2012, The Post reported that Assemblyman William Scarborough was one of many legislators abusing their “per diems” — the $171-a-night in food and lodging reimbursement that lawmakers get for days they’re in Albany. In fact, The Post reported, legislators were collecting cash for time spent far from the capital. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s probe found that Scarborough had collected $73,000-plus in per diems over three years.

When the FBI raided his office last year, the veteran Queens Democrat blamed a “tabloid hit job” for having “triggered this” and proclaimed his innocence. The system Scarborough exploited is being patched: Electronic monitoring will soon verify legislators’ presence in Albany. But our inventive public servants will surely find loopholes soon enough. And The Post will keep on catching them at it.

We Understand Silver's Lawyers and GOP Cox Protecting Skelos Attacking Bharara But The Nation?
As Preet Bharara approaches his sixth anniversary as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, it’s hard not to think that he is looking and sounding more and more like a candidate for higher office, the Nation writes: * If US Attorney Preet Bharara’s insistence that he’s not interested in seeking elected office turns out not to be true, he might have some trouble, thanks to “a spate of recent judicial challenges, rulings, and setbacks that have many questioning whether he has veered into overly aggressive behavior.” * Advice former federal prosecutor-turned-Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky has given his colleagues: “Look, if someone offers you a bag of money, don’t take it.” Cox: Bharara Trying Cases In Press - NY State of Politics

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

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

One Year Ago in True News

Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY) "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara. The press has a role to play. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said  Money for the Movies an TV Also Bill Hammond: Cuomo’s billion-dollar baby (NYDN)

Judge Silver's Case Goes Forward . . .  His Lawyers Tried to Dismiss Case Because of Prosecutors Public Comments
A federal judge warned U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara that his "media blitz" following the arrest of Sheldon Silver endangered his case against the former Assembly speaker, but denied Silver's motion to dismiss the case, Capital New York reports:  * Silver’s bid to dismiss corruption charges denied (NYP) A federal judge on Friday refused a bid to dismiss sweeping corruption charges against Sheldon Silver – but sided with the disgraced pol’s lawyers by also declaring Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bhahara really has a big mouth. In a 16-page opinion, Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni rejected a motion to dismiss the charges, which allege Silver lined his pockets with nearly $4 million in bribes and kickbacks in a stunning abuse of power dating to at least 2000. The judge ruled “there is no evidence” that public comments Bhahara made about the case potentially tainted a grand jury that indicted Silver on Feb. 19 — or any future jury if the case heads to trial.* Judge Cautions U.S. Attorney Over Remarks on Sheldon Silver Case (NYT) A judge declined to dismiss charges against Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, but she was “troubled” by remarks on the case from Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan.* Manhattan federal court judge tells Preet Bharara to tone down comments on Sheldon Silver, Albany politicians (NYDN) *  Judge Rebukes Prosecutor’s ‘Media Blitz’ in Sheldon Silver Case (WSJ) * Indicted Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s Buffalo-area investments include the tech company Synacor and senior-housing developer Clover Management, The Buffalo News writes: 

The Battle to Who Will Control NYC's Schools Its About the Deal Not the Millions Spent on Lobbyists TV Ads and Spin Stories in the Media . . . . Its About Making A Deal Increasing the Number of Charters and Allowing Tax Credits   

MAYORAL CONTROL ‘GAMES BEGIN’The State Senate may not extend mayoral control of New York City schools, let alone make it permanent, according to a prominent Republican senator. “I can’t envision that we do something in a permanent capacity,” Senate education committee chair John Flanagan, a Long Island Republican, said on Wednesday during an interview on WCNY's "The Capitol Pressroom."Flanagan, who has previously questioned whether mayoral control should be extended when it expires in June, wouldn’t say definitively that it would be renewed. “I believe we have a very sincere and open opportunity to do so,’ Flanagan said. ‘Can I guarantee that? No.” * Audit: NYC underreported school violent episodes to state (WSJ) * City to continue funding this floundering school with just 49 students (NYP) *Principal sues after losing job for ‘starting a riot’ (NYP) * Struggling, underfunded schools get extra $33M in Bill de Blasio’s proposed budget (NYDN) * One of New York City’s long-struggling middle schools hasjust 49 students this year, a stunning lack of applicants that has critics saying it’s time to pull the plug the Post reports:

More City Homeless/Mental Health Incompetency . . . 
This Time Causes A Worker's Life 
DEAF TO THE PLEAS: City ignored calls for extra security at Bronx shelter where brute shot manager to death; alleged killer barks in court, ‘That’s not my attorney!’ (NYDN) City officials ignored calls for extra security at a homeless shelter that housed 24 sex offenders — and the ex-con accused of trying to rape its director and then executing her as she ran naked down a Bronx sidewalk. The deranged suspect, who staffers say has a history of mental illness, was busted forgunning down helpless Ana Charle. The brute lived for seven months in the facility as community leaders begged in vain for more muscle at the problem-plagued facility.

Ann Charle Calls for Added Security Went Unanswered 
SEX-SLAY VICTIM LIVED IN FEAR: Homeless shelter head asked for security, looked for new job months before ex-resident attempted rape, killed her (NYDN)* New York City officials were on security alert at city shelters as details emerged about how a man with a long arrest record allegedly stalked and gunned down the director of the Bronx shelter.*  Fatal Shooting Boosts Safety Concerns at Homeless Shelters (WSJ) The Bronx homeless shelter whose director was gunned down this week, allegedly by a former resident, had been asking the city for more security for months, according to people familiar with the matter.

NYC Closed It Horrid Mental Institutions in the 70's Embedded the Serious Ill Without the Needed Services
State and city officials need to lock away the dangerously mentally ill, improve shelter security and rid neighborhoods of the threat posed by offenders in order to save lives, the Daily News writes:  They didn’t have todie (NYDN Ed) In less than one month, four mentally ill people have taken lives or been killed by cops in New York City. The madness must stop. On Monday, deranged serial offender West Spruill stripped naked and shot dead the woman who ran the Bronx homeless shelter where he lived. Two days earlier, on April 25, police fatally shot Felix David after the mentally troubled 24-year-old violently assaulted them during an attempted arrest on a robbery charge. On April 24, Jonathan Efraim, a mentally unbalanced ex-Marine opened fire with a gun in a Queens bar and wound up dead after he turned on responding cops. On April 1, Latisha Fisher, a schizophrenic, ended her 20-month-old son’s life with a hand over his mouth in a burger-joint bathroom. Two of the four killed innocents.

Council Speaker From I Can't Breathe to 1000 More Cops All About Spin of the Moment 
Mark-Viverito pushes plan to hire 1,000 more cops(NYP) The  Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin Lobbying Firm Represent the "I Can't Breathe" Council Speaker at the Same Time It Represents the Detective's PBA- Michael Palladino, the president of the Detectives' Endowment Association 
Council Speaker Mark-Viverito who last mother put on an I Can't Breathe T-Shirt to join the anti-police protesters has made Pitta Biship Del Giorno millions in lobbying fees after the lobbyists help her win the speakership.  The lobbying firm also represents the Detectives' Endowment Association, whose leader Palladino said Mr. de Blasio should offer an kind apology.* As City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito pushes to add a thousand police officers, liberal elected officials are in an unfamiliar position—bearing the brunt of fury from activists on the left, the Observerreports: 

The NYC nabes that simultaneously see the most crime, 911 calls, arrests are known as the "Crime Cloud" at the NYPD- 'Broken Windows' report
 As the lobbyists who operate as political consultants have taken over the Tammany Hall machine these lobbying firms like Pitta Biship Del Giorno have moved away from positions or ideology and represents both sides in their quest for power to make money. Kelly Scott Murder Change My Mind Abourt Cop Cam Ray Kelly reverses body cam stance after Scott shooting  (NYP) * 'IT HAS CHANGED MY MIND': Death of Walter Scott makes former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly a supporter of police body cameras (NYDN) * New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito plans to repeat her call for the city to hire 1,000 new police officers in her official budget response Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * NYPD foundation got $1M gift from United Arab Emirates (NYDN) * ‘MARCH 2 JUSTICE': Protesters kick off 8-day, 250-mile walk from Staten Island to D.C. to raise awareness for police reform (NYDN) * The New York City Council is starting to “crowd-source” questions from social media at hearings in an effort led by “Twitter fanatic“ Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the Daily News reports:  *  Commissioner Bratton on how the NYPD lost its way (NYDN) * Thee Rant, a blog for current and former NYPD officers, includes several racist posts that the department views as a problem, but the NYPD is limited in what it can do to prevent such posts, ProPublica reports: * Bratton vows to double down on ‘broken windows’ policing (NYP) Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said on Thursday that the NYPD plans to double down on quality-of-life policing — as he unveiled a sweeping report on “broken windows.” Bratton told a press conference at the police academy that the NYPD is committed to finding common ground with the city’s different communities and elected officials regarding “broken windows” law enforcement. * Bratton Explores Giving Warnings in Lieu of Arrests for Minor Offenses  (NYT)The comments by William J. Bratton, the New York police commissioner, came amid a debate over the policing of minority communities and a conversation in the city about altering some practices.

NYP and de Blasio Two Opposing Lessons From Baltimore
Michael Goodwin hopes NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio “isn’t too busy playing political games and barnstorming the country to absorb the right lessons from the Baltimore riots.”  If he’s paying attention, he’ll learn a thing or two about policing and that the bloody price of failed leadership is paid by innocent families and businesses. The disgraceful orders for cops to disappear or stand by and watch as rioters, looters and arsonists had their way should never be repeated anywhere again. Nor should any mayor talk, as Baltimore’s foolishly did, about giving “those who wished to destroy space to do that.” Those painful lessons are especially relevant to New York now because de Blasio pal Al Sharpton and wackos on the City Council are pushing the mayor to roll back “Broken Windows” policing. Apart from a welcome but incomplete statement of support for Police De Blasio Says He Stands in ‘Solidarity’ WithBaltimore Mayor (NYO)“I think this was a tough moment obviously for Baltimore,” Mr. de Blasio said. “I think they were quick to make adjustments and obviously last night went a lot better.”

Public Housing 
Four NYCHA senior managers canned after selling off MILLIONS of dollars of brand new, unused supplies: officials (NYDN) The New York City Housing Authority Chairwoman Shola Olatoye announced that four managers overseeing the sale of millions of dollars of new, unused supplies have been “relieved of their duties

Homeless Shelters 
Cuomo gives NYC one week to clean up homeless shelters thatregularly have code violations (NYDN)

Skelos Facing Jail Makes Sure Dirty Loop-Hole Campaign Money Lives in Albany
Bending over backward for cash: With a dishonestmaneuver, Dean Skelos and the Senate GOP protect New York's most notorious campaign finance loophole (NYDN) Through it, an astonishing $25 million has flowed over the past decade into the coffers of Skelos’ Senate GOP, Gov. Cuomo and many other state politicians. The biggest exploiters of the loophole are LLCs linked to real estate developer Leonard Litwin and his Glenwood Management firm, which used it to pump $13.2 million into state politics since 2000. Litwin and his firm figure in two major scandals this year alone — the indictment of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and the ongoing federal investigation of Skelos. Republicans clearly wanted to block reform — because they’re counting on LLC donations to help their majority survive the next election cycle in an increasingly blue state, the shadow over their leader notwitstanding. But they dared not defend that position to a voting public that’s sick to death of Albany corruption scandals. * “The capitol,” a Republican senator tells Chris Smith, “is the dome of gloom.”  Always Support the Family Dean, Silver: I am Stepping Down As Speaker to Preserve Our Institution
More on Skelos Blocking Ethics Reforms

#PreetBharara just compared Albany corruption to gang violence, which is not subtle
So they found a sneaky way to avoid voting no that has exactly the same result — nothing changes. Meanwhile, the governor has no qualms about taking LLC money — which accounted for fully one-quarter of the $20 million raised for his reelection campaign last year. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and his majority Democrats pay lip service to LLC reform, too. Yet they package it with more controversial measures — such as taxpayer financing of elections — that they know to be dead on arrival in the Senate.* Cuomo said he will use executive powers to enable a special prosecutor to pursue charges against police officers who kill civilians if lawmakers don’t approve his related plan, the Times Union reports:    The Daily News’ Bill Hammond writes that Republicans’ want to block attempts to reform the campaign finance system’s treatment of limited liability companies, but Democrats are paying “lip service” to such efforts, too: * State Senate GOP kills bill that would have prohibited state from reimbursing lawyer fees to campaign funds (NYDN) GOP Boss and Silver Agree Cox: Bharara Trying Cases In Press (YNN) New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox on Wednesday in a radio interview criticized U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office for leaking the details of an investigation of the state’s highest-ranking GOP elected official. Klein Ethics Up to GOP Not Me Klein Leaves Skelos Up To The Republicans (YNN) JCOPE Corruption JCOPE Commissioner Gary Lavine denied there was a conflict of interest from his work at a prominent central New York firm, Bousquet Holstein, on its “government relations” team, the Times Union writes: 

Will Bernie Sanders Campaign Reform NY's Election Law?  End Wilson - Pakula
Fact that Bernie Sanders isn't a registered Dem may cause him a problem in some states. * In that 2000 decision, all the candidates were registered Republicans. I see a distinction.  **Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who describes himself as a “democratic socialist,” will announce his plans to seek the Democratic nomination for president tomorrow, presenting a liberal challenge to Clinton. He’ll be the second major Democrat in the 2016 race. 

NY Reformer John McCain The Only One to Reform the Petition Process  . . .  Goo Goos Have Done Nothing
Newspaper editorials and good government groups despite repeated efforts have failed to bring about any reforms in the election systems. The only reform to New York's election system was a result of a lawsuit by John McCain in 2000 because he was keep off the ballot for lack of signatures.  It is sad that will all the editorial and good government press conferences it was the McCain reforms that eliminated minor petition filing mistakes as a reason to knock a candidate off the ballot and made it most simpler to bind the petition and cover sheet that are submitted to the Board of Election.   

Wilson-Pakula Keeps the Corruption and Cult Party Alive
Cuomo Wilson-Pakula Must End
“Something has to be done about Wilson-Pakula and cross-endorsements. You have mayoral candidates that are talking about this outwardly, about what they have to do to get on the ballot. That whole electoral process stinks and has for a long time. I think there’s an opportunity to reform that,” he said. “In an ideal world,” he said, “you’d have no cross endorsements.”* Cuomo says so long to Wilson-Pakula - Legislative Gazette Unlike in most states, New York electoral law permits electoral fusion. As a result, New York ballots tend to list a large number of political parties. The endorsement of major party candidates by smaller parties can be important since smaller parties often use this ballot feature to offer a candidate an additional line on the ballot.

Silver Trial Set for November 2  
Silver Back in Court Pleads Not Guilty 
Former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver will be arraigned again tomorrow morning after a new indictment charged him with transferring his crime proceeds into investments not available to the general public. * A large majority of New Yorkers believe new ethics laws shepherded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo into the state budget deal last month will have “no real effect on reducing corruption in state government,” according to a new Siena poll.* Ex-N.Y. Speaker Sheldon Silver pleads not guilty tocorruption charges (Bloomberg)t's a nice reminder that we have 4 sitting lawmakers under active federal indictment: Scarborough, Tom Libous, Shelly Silver & John Sampson * Lawyers for Silver accuse feds of withholding evidence(NYP) * Sheldon Silver's corruption trial set for November (NYDN) * Silver Arraigned on Charges in Federal Court (NY1) * Trial for embattled Assemblyman Sheldon Silver set forNovember: (DNAINFO)

Scarborough Expected to Plea Guilty After Judge Rules Cell Records OK
For Whom the Phone Rings
Exclusive: Assemblyman William Scarborough expected to pleadguilty, by @Brendan_LyonsTU
Assemblyman to plead guilty to fraud, quit Albany: report(NYP)  Scarborough denounced The Post for conducting a “hit job” in 2012 for reporting he was in New York City on at least one day, March 17, 2011, when he claimed a $165 “‘per diem” expense payment for being in Albany. But in 10 days Scarborough will plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Binghamton to submitting $40,000 worth of fraudulent travel vouchers between January 2009 and December 2012, according to the newspaper.
The feds easily made the case against the 20-year legislator by scouring cellphone tower transmissions to determine Scarborough’s whereabouts – which his attorney had fought unsuccessfully as inadmissible in court.
 New York Assemblyman William Scarborough to plead guiltyto federal corruption charges: source(NYDN)* Indicted Assemblyman William Scarborough is scheduled to plead guilty to two federal felony corruption charges on May 7 as part of a tentative plea deal, an unnamed source told the Daily News:  * Assemblyman Sheldon Silver once again pleaded not guilty to an expanded federal indictment, part of his ongoing corruption trial, and a judge set his trial date for Nov. 2, the Observer reports:  * As the judge set the ​trial date for Silver’s corruption case, the former Assembly speaker’s lawyers accused federal prosecutors of withholding key evidence, the Post reports: * Source: Scarborough To Enter Guilty Plea To State Charges (YNN) Queens Assemblyman Bill Scarborough is expected to plead guilty to felony corruption charges being brought by state officials, automatically triggering his ouster from the state Legislature, according to a source familiar with the proceedings. Scarborough has been accused by state prosecutors of misusing campaign funds, including more than $38,000 in funds for personal use as part of a 23-count indictment filed by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Meanwhile, Scarborough is expected to also plead guilty to federal corruption charges as well.* Assemblyman Scarborough to Step Down and Plead Guilty to Corruption Charges (NYT) William Scarborough, a New York assemblyman from Queens, plans to plead guilty next week to federal charges accusing him of stealing about $40,000 from the state.

Assemblyman William Scarborough’s cellphone, legislative swipe cards, insurance claims, toll records and motor vehicle activity to pick apart hundreds of travel vouchers he submitted to the state over a five-year period ending in 2012. The Queens Democrat was arrested last October on an 11-count federal indictment that charged he submitted fraudulent travel vouchers.* Indicted Assemblyman Posts Ads for CriminalInvestigation, Ethics Training Jobs (NYO)

What Happen to Cook's Per Diem Expense Investigation?
Politicians caught collecting Albany per diems when they’re not there(NYP) “I don’t lie, I don’t cheat, and I don’t steal,” said Cook, whose nonprofit Rockaway Boulevard Local Development Corp. prompted an investigation for allegedly misusing taxpayer funds. In 2010 and 2011, Cook collected a total $17,035 in daily and overnight stipends, plus other travel expenses — on top of her $79,500-a-year state salary. During the 2010 legislative session, she missed 51 meetings of the Assembly, 63 percent of the sessions. “I was sick for a very long time,” she said of her absences, but could not recall the dates.

The Rockaway Boulevard nonprofit folded in 2010 after The Post revealed how it misspent its money, most of which came from the Port Authority. It lost its tax-exempt status with the IRS in 2012 after failing to file tax returns for three years. Cook founded the organization in 1979 and lobbied the PA for cash in the 1990s as it began planning for the AirTrain from Jamaica to Kennedy Airport. The PA agreed to give $8 million to Rockaway Boulevard LDC and had handed over $2.5 million by 2010. The organization used $560,500 to buy the empty lot in 2006 although the land was valued by the city at $287,000.The land was to be the site of a business resource center, but was never developed. The organization used $560,500 to buy the empty lot in 2006 although the land was valued by the city at $287,000. The land was to be the site of a business resource center, but was never developed. Cook told The Post in 2010 that there was a delay because the PA wanted to put the project out to bid, but the organization wanted to “hire our own people.” The nonprofit, which had two paid employees, also had a street-sweeping project, but contracted out the work to another organization, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce. After the Post exposé, the PA cut off the cash and launched an investigation into the charity. Federal investigators also started a probe, and the group shut its storefront office on Rockaway Boulevard. It hasn’t filed required paperwork with the state since 2008. Cook, who was listed as the group’s president on its 2008 tax filing, said some of the charity’s former board members came together to rent the property.

Why Do We Have Lower Standards for Clowns On NY1 Than Elected Officials?

NY1 Suspends Curtis Silwa Because of Comments Against Mark-Viverito

NY1 indefinitely suspended political commentator Curtis Sliwa after he made lewd comments about Mark-Viverito and ahead of a planned protest calling on the channel to drop him, NY1 suspends Curtis Sliwa 'indefinitely' for salacious comments on Mark-Viverito (NYDN)

New Yorkers Still Paying for Lopez Silver Hush Fund Cover-Up Settlement Tax Payer to Pay $545,000

Lopez accusers reach settlement with state(Capital) Two former Assembly employees who filed a lawsuit against New York State after they said they were sexually harassed by former Assemblyman Vito Lopez have reached a settlement, according to their attorney. The two women, Victoria Burhans and Chloë Rivera, will receive a total of $580,000 as part of the settlement. The state will pay $545,000 of that sum, and Lopez will pay $35,000. Lopez resigned from the Assembly in May 2013 after a state ethics report accused him of harassing as many as eight of his former staffers in prior years. The case raised questions about the judgment of then-speaker Sheldon Silver, who had quietly settled prior accusations from Lopez staffers accusing him of sexual harassment, instead of bringing the matter to the Assembly’s ethics committee. 
Taxpayers to pay$545K in pervy former Assemblyman Vito Lopez sexual harassment settlement(NYDN) * Former Lopez Staffers Reach $580K Settlement(YNN)* Taxpayers to pay $545K in pervy Vito Lopez sex harass case(NYP) * Harassment Suit Against Former Assemblyman Vito Lopez and Sheldon Silver Is Settled (NYT)Two former aides had accused Vito J. Lopez of sexual harassment while he was in office, and Mr. Silver, who was at the time the Assembly speaker, of essentially facilitating it by not acting forcefully to prevent it. * Ex-Vito Lopez aides accept $580K settlement with state(NYP)
More on the Albany Hush Fund Scandal 

How Does the Daily News Reporter Who Covered the DA Now Work for Him?
Last Act As A Daily News Reporter Puff Piece for His New Boss
Oren Yaniv, the tabloid's beat reporter at Brooklyn Courts, is joining Brooklyn district attorney Ken Thompson's office as senior communications officer, he confirmed to Capital. * Two reporters leaving the New York Daily News (Capital) * Daily News reporter writes Ken Thompson puff piece before going to work for him(NYP) Daily News Editor-in-Chief Colin Myler published a fawning news story about Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson’s record in reducing crime even though one of the two reporters whose byline appears on the piece had already told his bosses he was quitting — to take a job in Thompson’s communications department. B’klyn is king in crime fight,” blared the Monday headline in reporter Oren Yaniv’s story — just days before he might be writing a press release touting the same. Yaniv told his superiors on Friday he was heading to the DA’s office. The headline on the web version was even more laudatory trumpeting “EXCLUSIVE: Shootings, homicides are up in the city — except Brooklyn.” Clearly, sources said, Yaniv was interviewing for the job with the DA while he was reporting the story on his future boss.

As their Elected Representatives in Albany and City Hall Ignore Transit Funding 
More Fare Hikes for the Dummies 

M.T.A. Official Warns Board That Fare and Toll Increases May Be Needed (NYT) The authority’s chief financial officer said 15 percent fare and toll increases may be necessary, without a much larger contribution from the state. * * Cuomo did say he would nominate MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast for a full, six-year term and that he’s done a “phenomenal job”, the New York Daily News reports:  *  MTA Chief Finance Officer Robert Foran said the authority may need to raise fares and tolls 15 percent if the state does not provide funding to address its five-year capital plan, The New York Timesreports: * The authority’s commissioners voted 7-2 to advance a ban on political ads in buses, trains and stations, which means the MTA board could vote on the proposal Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reports: * A top official at the MTA warned board members that they may need to raise fares and tolls by 15 percent if state lawmakers do not provide funding for the agency’s five-year capital plan. * MetroCard fares not going up 15 percent any time soon (NYP) * The MTA might hike fares again: (NY Mag) * The MTA board is expected to pass a resolution banning all political advertising on subways and buses, which comes after a judge ruled the authority had to run a pro-Israel group’s ads, The Associated Press reports:   *EXPRESS TRAIN TO DI$ASTER: Despite revenue channels, MTA is riding the rails of financial ruin with huge chunk of $14.6B budget going to staffing needs and $2.8B set aside for loan interest payments  Here Comes A Law Suit The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted to ban political advertising on New York City subways and buses in an effort to avoid legal challenges, The New York Times reports:  * M.T.A. Board Votes to Ban Political Ads on Subways and Buses (NYT) The new policy, which took effect on Wednesday, prohibits advertisements for political parties, ballot referendums and any ad that is “political in nature.” * M.T.A. Chief Rejects Higher Fares for Capital Plan (NYT) *  At Cortlandt Street Subway Station, Art Woven From Words (NYT) The station, destroyed on Sept. 11 and scheduled to reopen in 2018, will include texts from historical documents on the walls, similar to a crossword puzzle. MTA Contract Abuse  Lack of oversight leaves MTA contracts ripe for abuse: audit (NYP) An Inspector General’s audit has found that MTA contractors could easily fudge their use of women and minority-owned subcontracting companies because agency higher-ups weren’t bothering to check up on them. The audit came after over 30 settlements and guilty pleas in recent years from major firms who allegedly lied about hiring disadvantaged businesses to work with them. Despite the abuse, managers in more than 70 percent of 17 NYC Transit and Metro-North construction contracts never even inspected the projects they were overseeing. The value of those individual contracts went up to as much as $112 million.
More on the MTA

Philpotts Strikes Out Again in Court
Judge rejects ballot request in Brooklyn special election (Capital) A last-ditch effort to put an unlikely candidate on the ballot as the Democratic nominee in the 43rd Assembly District was dismissed by a judge in Brooklyn federal court. Guillermo Philpotts, a frequent candidate for local office, was chosen by the small group of Kings County Democratic committee members who reside within the 43rd Assembly District in Brooklyn. After winning the nomination in February—over the objections of the Kings County Democratic County Committee—Philpotts failed to secure the proper paperwork with the city Board of Elections, meaning he was left off of the ballot. The suit that Philpotts filed yesterday in federal district court in Brooklyn was not the first time he has sued the Board of Elections. Earlier this month, he submitted a motion to place his name on the ballot. That motion, which seemed hastily constructed and was riddled with typos, was dismissed the same day by a Brooklyn judge. 

Look Who is Producing Philpotts 2nd Act 
NY1 Said Last Night That They Did Not Know Who Was Paying Philpotts New High Priced Lawyer Mandelker
Odd Turns Continue in Special Assembly Election in 43rd District (NY1) A week from Tuesday, voters will go to the polls to fill a vacant state Assembly seat in Brooklyn. That race, in Crown Heights and Prospect Lefferts Gardens, has taken a number of odd turns, and they don't seem to be done yet. Guillermo Philpotts wants to halt the May 5 special election unless he's on the ballot. Through a quirk, he snagged the Democratic nomination over the local party's preferred candidate. Now, he suggests Brooklyn Democrats got even by not filing a key document. He says the board is violating his First Amendment rights by not notifying him in time     "Access to the ballot is a First Amendment right. Speaking out in campaigns is a First Amendment right," said Lawrence Mandelker, Philpotts' attorney. There are four candidates on the ballot in the race, but only one showed up on time to a forum on Monday. She was Working Families Party nominee Diana Richardson. Patterson showed up later in the debate. Also in the race is Menachem Raitport of the Republican and Conservative lines, Shirley Patterson of the Independence Party and Geoffrey Davis of the Love Yourself line.

Philpotts Lawyer is Connected to WFP Which is Running A Candidate in the Election
Mandelker is the Attorney for WFP's Data and Field Which is at the Center of the Indictment of CM Rose

"Speaking outside of court, DFS attorney Lawrence Mandelker said that his evidence will prove that Ms. Rose actually paid on the "high end" of fair market value to DFS, and that the firm did no uncompensated work for the campaign." Rose campaign official says organizational 'dysfunction'led him to sign off on statement's accuracy (SI Advance)

Philpotts Has Stuck Out With the BOE . . .For A Brief Shining Moment Camelot
Bizarre Paperwork Error Will Mean No Democratic Nominee in Brooklyn Assembly Race(NYP) A chaotic nominating process for a special election in a Brooklyn Assembly district will result in no candidate appearing on the Democratic ballot line, sources say. The bizarre twist came after a perennial candidate and political outsider, Guillermo Philpotts, secured the Democratic nomination on Sunday—only to fail to submit the proper paperwork by 12 a.m. Tuesday. But rather than let Philpotts get on the ballot – and very likely win the Assembly seat – party leaders failed to file some necessary paperwork with the Board of Elections.

It Was Not the Mighty Brooklyn Democratic Machine That Beat Philpotts It Was Himself 

Clueless vs Clueless 
A Race to the Bottom Mr. Philpotts’ failure to submit the routine certificate of nomination to the Board of Elections will mean that he is not eligible to run as a Democrat. Instead, four candidates will compete on established third party ballot lines or newly-created lines, an extremely rare outcome for special elections in heavily Democratic New York City. Ms. Paterson filed to run on the Independence Party line and Diane Richardson, a former candidate for Democratic district leader, filed to run on the Working Families Party and Green Party lines. Geoffrey Davis, a Democratic district leader, filed to run on his own ballot line known as “Love Yourself.” Menachem Raitport will run on the Republican and Conservative party lines.
@JerryGoldfeder @PrimeNewYork @errollouis Philpotts can file injunction under 82 sect 2 amds-factor4-Vote Rights Act:

All the Bosses Men Could Not Deny Philpotts the Democratic Nomination
Gadfly Secures Democratic Nomination for Crown Heights Assembly Race (NYO) Democratic power brokers, past and present, couldn’t keep a political gadfly from running as a Democrat in a Brooklyn special election. In an embarrassment for the political establishment, Guillermo Philpotts, a perennial candidate for local office, secured the Democratic nomination for a Crown Heights Assembly race this afternoon, beating back a last ditch effort from ex-Democratic boss Clarence Norman to keep him off the ballot line, sources say. Mr. Philpotts, as the Observer reported Friday, was able to win the nomination because he controlled his Assembly District’s unusually small county committee. 
More on Philpotts 

What Does Schneiderman Know About the U.S. Attorney's Case Against Cuomo
HOUSING SHORTAGE: Availability of NYCHA apartments for homeless drop under Bill de Blasio (NYDN)Homeless New Yorkers are getting a smaller share of Housing Authority apartments under Mayor de Blasio than under previous administrations, a report to be released Tuesday found. De Blasio, who is grappling with record-high numbers of homeless people needing shelter, has pledged 750 NYCHA apartments a year for homeless New Yorkers, about 12% of the total NYCHA placements available. That’s a sharp decrease from the number of units provided in prior administrations, when fewer New Yorkers were homeless, according to the Homes for Every New Yorker coalition report. Former Mayor David Dinkins prioritized an average of 1,215 NYCHA units annually for homeless families, at a time when fewer than 25,000 New Yorkers were living in shelters nightly — as compared with 60,000 people today. Under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the shelter census was at about 30,000 a night, and the city set aside an average of 854 NYCHA units a year for the homeless, according to the report. In his first term, ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg continued with the practice of placing thousands of homeless in NYCHA apartments, averaging about 1,662 public housing placements a year through 2005. But he  completely stopped giving homeless families priority, saying in 2004 that doing so creating an incentive for families to go to shelters. Flashback  Preet Bharara, Eric Schneiderman meet for lunch (NYP) US Attorney Preet Bharara, who is investigating Gov. Cuomo’s dealings with his tainted anti-corruption panel, dined with a key potential witness: state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Neither camp is saying whether Cuomo or his Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption was on the menu.

Illegal Gas Hook Up At the Carnegie Deli
Carnegie Deli closed in Midtown over gas line issue  (WABC) New York's famous Carnegie Deli has been closed so utility workers can investigate a possible illegal gas hookup. * Carnegie Deli Closed Over Gas Line Issue (WCBS) * NYC's famed Carnegie Deli closed for illegal gas line hookup (NYDN)* Closing of Famed Carnegie Deli Amid ConEd Investigation Disappoints Diners (NYT) The discovery of evidence that the restaurant had been misappropriating gas came amid heightened worries about illegal gas tampering after a fatal explosion in the East Village in March. * Chef sues over injuries suffered in East Village blast (NYP)

de Blasio Attacks New Yorkers in Milwaukee 
De Blasio: New Yorkers are too mean to me at baseball games(NYP) Hey Bill, there’s a reason it’s called a “Bronx cheer.” Mayor de Blasio whined to a crowd of hayseeds in the Midwest about how New Yorkers are too mean to him at baseball games — and said he was jealous how well his Milwaukee counterpart is greeted by fans. “I go to quite a few baseball games in my city of New York, and I gotta admit — the reception isn’t always that cordial,” he added. “People recognize me, all right. But oftentimes our exchanges are limited to a few choice words . . . or even a particular finger!”


What Does Schneiderman Know About the U.S. Attorney's Case Against Cuomo
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is considering running for governor in 2018, according to those close to him, and is among several discussed A.G. Eric Schneiderman gearing up to run for governor in 2018 if Andrew Cuomo quits (NYDN) * Andrew Cuomo: ‘I plan to stay as long as the people have me’  * Those close to AG Eric Schneiderman acknowledge he’s giving serious consideration to a possible 2018 run for governor, especially if Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t run for a third term. Other Democrats mentioned: US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout.* Schneiderman Denies Interest In Running For Governor (YNN) *  Cuomo did not close the door on running for re-election in 2018, as reports circulate that state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman may be gearing up for a run himself, State of Politics reports: * Gov. Andrew Cuomo opened the door to seeking a third term in 2018, saying he’ll “stay as long as the people have me.”

Who is the Boss of the NYPD 
LET THE COPS BE COPS: New York's chief judge should leave the laws to lawmakers, and leave quality-of-life crimes on the books(NYDN Ed) Add New York State’s chief judge to the decriminalization chorus that’s singing ever more loudly for lightening up on quality-of-life offenses. Taking license to declare how laws should be written rather than hew to the judiciary’s mission of applying statutes, Jonathan Lippman called on Monday for stripping cops of the power to issue criminal summonses for drinking in public or riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. Lippman said New Yorkers who commit those offenses should be issued civil summonses, akin to parking tickets, with fines to be collected somehow or other without the threat that courts will issue scofflaw arrest warrants.

NO 'PANES,' NO GAINS: Bratton defends 'broken windows' policing as effective, warns not to forget bad old days of NYC (NYDN)* The Times writes that New York City must “make doubly sure” summonses are issued equitably because, as alleged in a federal civil rights suit, police are issuing too many trivial summonses to minorities:* Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams in the Daily News calls for “summons reform” that secures gains from broken-windows policing while also making sure normally law-abiding citizens are not criminalized: * Council speaker claims Clinton support for decriminalization (NYDN)* As New York City debates how to handle minor offenses, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton issued a report intended to show that the NYPD’s enforcement of low-level crimes has been declining under his watch, The Wall Street Journal reports:

Baltimore Paper: Who In Charge of the Police?
AM Read: BaltimoreSun Editorial: Who's in Charge? * The Post writes that city officials’ push to issue summonses for quality of life offenses would be a “mistake” and that “broken windows” policing has reduced crime and un-clogged the court system: * Crime will sore to levels not seen since New York’s bad old days if the City Council decriminalizes quality-of-life offenses such as fare-beating, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton warned. *   New York’s Unfair Summons System (NYT Ed) The latest reforms do not get to the underlying issue, which is that the police are issuing too many trivial summonses to begin with. * Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito defends plan to decriminalize minor offenses: 'You still have to pay a penalty'(NYDN)* NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton donned a blue cotton work shirt and joined politicians and activists for anti-sexual assault Denim Day—stressing that his police need the support of the public to combat these crimes, the Observer reports:  * The judge who ordered the NYPD to reform its stop and frisk program transferred a related lawsuit to a colleague, but not before lamenting her controversial tenure on the historic cases, the Daily Newsreports

6 Shot 2 Dead As Mayor Bad Timing Says We Do Not Need More Cops

Six shot, two killed as gangbangers open fire at wake (NYP)  A wake for a Bloods gang member turned into a deadly firefight Monday night when two mourners at a Brooklyn church shot six people, killing two, after a dispute, sources said. Two dead, four wounded in possible gang-related shooting outside funeral service in Brooklyn* Fatal Shooting Outside Brooklyn Church Was Set Off by Longtime Dispute, Police Say (NYT) A law enforcement official said that lingering ill will played a role in instigating the gun battle, with dozens of shots fired, outside a church on Flatbush Avenue.

de Blasio: We Do Not Need More Cops
De Blasio: City doesn’t need 1,000 new cops (NYP) Mayor de Blasio says the city doesn’t need 1,000 new cops, but his bean-counters still deem it a “potential expense” and predict it would cost more than $90 million a year, according to internal documents obtained by The Post. * De Blasio compares swearing in new judges to ‘speed dating’ (NYP) Internal de Blasio administration documents show the mayor’s team estimates hiring the 1,000 new cops sought by the City Council could cost more than $90 million a year * Eric Garner’s mom: Baltimore riots should be a wakeup call for New York state lawmakers (NYDN)-- Mayor Bill de Blasio denied a reported deal to decriminalize low-level crimes like public consumption of alcohol and riding a bike on the sidewalk, and drew a firm line against lowering penalties for hopping subway turnstiles. The mayor also said he was unaware of comments today from his former boss, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, calling for an end to mass incarceration, particularly for low-level crimes. Asked about Clinton’s remarks, he said, “I haven’t seen her statement so I can’t comment.”  “This discussion has only begun,” de Blasio told reporters who surrounded him on his way into City Hall, when asked about the decriminalization plan pushed by his longtime ally, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “We believe in quality-of-life enforcement. Commissioner [Bill] Bratton and I are absolutely united on this point.” Bratton, the police commissioner, warned yesterday that if police officers “lose the power to arrest” people for low-level crimes, it could bring about 1970s-era crime in the city. Capital’s Azi Paybarah :-- Mayor Bill de Blasio denied a reported deal to decriminalize low-level crimes like public consumption of alcohol and riding a bike on the sidewalk, and drew a firm line against lowering penalties for hopping subway turnstiles. The mayor also said he was unaware of comments today from his former boss, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, calling for an end to mass incarceration, particularly for low-level crimes. Asked about Clinton’s remarks, he said, “I haven’t seen her statement so I can’t comment.”  “This discussion has only begun,” de Blasio told reporters who surrounded him on his way into City Hall, when asked about the decriminalization plan pushed by his longtime ally, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “We believe in quality-of-life enforcement. Commissioner [Bill] Bratton and I are absolutely united on this point.” Bratton, the police commissioner, warned yesterday that if police officers “lose the power to arrest” people for low-level crimes, it could bring about 1970s-era crime in the cityCapital’s Azi Paybarah :


Council Bratton Pissing Match  - Is Anyone Looking At How She Was Elected? Scripted Mayoral Triangulation?
Battle over decriminalization of low-level offenses erupts(NYP) The pissing match between the City Council and the NYPD is coming to a head.City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito threatened to wield the council’s “aggressive oversight” power over One Police Plaza if Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton don’t fall in line with her proposal to decriminalize six low-level offenses, including public urination. “We are very committed to continuing . . . to demand from our commissioner and our mayor that our police have to improve the way they interact within our community,” Mark-Viverito declared Saturday morning at an event in Harlem hosted by Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. *Mark-Viverito: Decriminalize minor offenses, Bratton (NYDN) * New York City Plans to Transform Summons Process  (NYT) Newly unveiled changes could have significant consequences for judges, lawyers and the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers charged with low-level violations each year. NYPD: Divided Government or Mayor Speaker Triangulation? Government By Lobbyist Spin . . .  Where the Poll to See If New Yorkers Want to Go Soft on Public Pissing?

NYP: Who is In Charge of The NYPD? Everyone?
Who’s really in charge of today’s NYPD? (NYP Ed)  Once upon a time, it was easy to describe the leadership structure overseeing New York City policing. No more. Twenty years ago, it was Mayor Rudy Giuliani as No. 1, and then-Police Commissioner William Bratton as No. 2. After Giuliani bounced Bratton, there was no real No. 2, because as Giuliani wrote, he only considered his loyalists for the job. More recently, Commissioner Ray Kelly was No. 1, because Mayor Mike Bloomberg essentially gave him full reign in everything but the budget. Today, Mayor de Blasio is No. 1, though he’s been as much a critic of the department as its boss. More worrisome, it’s hard to name a No. 2. — and that could mean trouble for the city down the road. To be sure, there are several candidates for the spot. Start with the federal monitor, put in place by a US district judge to make sure cops don’t carry out illegal searches. This month, the monitor, Peter Zimroth, released material to be added to the Police Academy curriculum for training recruits. Most involve precepts that many of us learned at our mother’s knee. For example, recruits are told to “remember most people are good, law-abiding citizens.” And, “don’t assume that only criminals fear the police.” The next offering may be the story of The Three Bears. One wonders whether he was put in place to teach police ethics (for which he has no qualifications) or to ensure that the city complies with the court decree. Since Zimroth is beyond the mayor’s control, he — with the backing of a federal judge — would become, in effect, No. 2 (if not No. 1). The city also has its own special watchdog for the NYPD. The City Council created the position of inspector general in 2013. Recently, the IG, Philip Eure, proposed that the NYPD collect more data on lawsuits against cops.

Speaker's Triangulation: 1000 More Cops But Wants to Limit What They Can Police
City Council doesn’t care about quality of life in NYC (NYP) No, I’m not being sarcastic! The mayor actually made the right call, under a little bit of pressure, when he said last week he was rejected the view propounded by his fellow liberal Democrat, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, that the city should decriminalize low-level offenses such as public urination and turnstile-jumping. “I want to emphasize my vision of quality-of-life policing and my vision related to the ‘Broken Windows’ strategy is the same as Commissioner [William] Bratton’s — we’re very much unified on this point,” de Blasio said. * No arrests for minor crimes? Some readers think that's a badidea  (CrainsNY)

Mayor's Triangulation: Want to Keep Enforcing Quality of Life Crimes But Does Not Want Extra Cops
De Blasio’s tough talk on crime undercuts his apparent opposition to Bratton’s request for 1,000 more police officers on the streets. The cost of that would be some $68 million and would reduce overtime for police, upon which the city spent a staggering $672 million last year. Even Mark-Viverito supports the idea of hiring more cops. De Blasio has been hinting he will not hire the additional officers, even though the city currently has 6,000 fewer cops than it did in 2001. New York has added roughly 350,000 new residents since then, a city the size of Honolulu being added to the existing city.

Council Moves to Finished Off Weaken "Broken Windows" . . . Bratton Limits Police Effectiveness 
A potential showdown is looming over a pair of City Council proposals that would decriminalize a host of offenses that could dramatically impact the NYPD’s “broken windows” approach to policing, the Daily Newsreports: * A potential showdown is looming over a pair of NYC Council proposals that would decriminalize a host of offenses — including fare-beating, drinking on the street and public urination — in an overhaul that could dramatically impact the NYPD’s “broken windows” approach to policing.*The Council’s pee brains seek to set loose chaos on the streets with effort to decriminalize low-level misdemeanors(NYDN) * THE COUNCIL'S PEE BRAINS: Scheme to decriminalize quality-of-life offenses threatens public order and safety (NYDN Ed)*De Blasio expressed strong reservations about a New York City Council plan to decriminalize common low-level offenses, such as public urination and turnstile-jumping, the Post reports: Saturday Update Bratton Council Bill Hurts Police Effectiveness  Bratton: Council plan would limit police effectiveness (Capital)* Bratton Pushes Back Against Council Speaker's Proposal to Decriminalize Some Minor Violations (NY1) *  New York’s top judge came out forcefully in support of a New York City Council proposal to redirect a number of top "broken windows” charges to one of the city's civil administrative courts instead of the criminal system, the Daily Newsreports: 

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton warned that high-level crime could come “roaring back” if the City Council succeeds in decriminalizing these so-called quality of life offenses, the Post writes: * A report from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice shows that New York City has struggled for a decade to handle the half-million summonses issued each year for low-level offenses, The Wall Street Journalwrites: * Bratton: Crime will surge if minor offenses decriminalized (NYP)* Summonses for Minor Crimes Keep Falling, Report Says, but Many Still Lead to Arrest Warrants (NYT) The findings land in the midst of a debate over how New York and its police should handle low-level offenses at a time of diminishing street crime yet increasing tension over police tactics. * Top New York Democrats: Urinating in Public Should Still Be aCrime (NYO) Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer, two of the top elected officials in New York City, agreed today that public urination should remain a criminal offense–breaking with their fellow Democrat, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
City Council doesn't care about quality of life in NYC  via @nypost DEB allegedly differs with Speaker he elected

NYT Ignores Albany's FU an Wants to Fuck the Outer Boro Residences With Tolls Over East River Bidges
New York’s Subway Madness(NYT) Anyone who has squeezed into a subway car recently in New York City knows in a very up-close and uncomfortable way that the city’s mass transit system is overloaded. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority confirmed this week that ridership has indeed soared. The system handled 1.75 billion rides last year — a number not seen since the late 1940s, when many fewer people drove.

That compares with just over a billion rides in 1980 and 1.3 billion in 2000. Yet parts of this network are more than a century old, and a $32 billion plan to restore, repair and generally upgrade the system over five years is short more than $15 billion. This problem falls squarely on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who will have to find new revenues to expand and modernize a system that is vital to the city’s economy. When the city’s economy suffers, so does the entire state. * The Daily News writes that elected officials should “get on board” with The Move NY proposal for tolling free East River bridges, reducing fare on intra-city bridges and raising funds for the MTA: * Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and other borough politicians announced they are opposed to the Move NY plan to toll free East River bridges and reduce fares on intra-city bridges, the Daily News report
More on Tolls 

Shadow Government Lobbyists That Help Mark-Viverito Become Speaker . . . Eat the King They Made Meat
Private Lobbying Groups Like The MirRam Group Elected Mark-Viverito Speaker Not the Elected Party Leaders of the Voters
The Advance Group was not the only lobbying firm to help. Early in Ms. Mark-Viverito's speaker bid, an employee from another lobby firm close to Ms. Mark-Viverito, the MirRam Group, handled an inquiry from Crain's for a story about her past refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. MirRam also was not paid for work on the speaker race. But MirRam maintains the work was merely related to Ms. Mark-Viverito's 2013 City Council bid—for which MirRam was paid—though that campaign had ended weeks before the Crain's inquiry. MirRam has since successfully lobbied Ms. Mark-Viverito on behalf of other clients.* Just don't call these consultants lobbyists(CrainsNY)*CrainsNY also reported Mark-Viverito is getting help by two other consultant lobbyists firms, Bishop Pitta Del Giorno and the Mirram Group. The first two have deep labor connections, while the latter has ties in the Hispanic community and in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Ms. Mark-Viverito was escorted around Brooklyn's Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club recently by Michael Cohen, a Bishop Pitta consultant, according a source in attendance. 

Lobbyists Campaign Consultants Pitta Bishop Works Both for the I Can't Breathe and Pitta Bishop Which Represents the Detectives Endowment Assoc. 
Pitta Bishop Del Giorno Giblin is paid $40,000 a year to represent the PBA's Detectives' Endowment Association, Inc. After the split with the Advance Group, Ms. Mark-Viverito indeed made hefty payments to a number of other consultants (including lobbying and compliance firm Pitta Bishop) that aided her speaker bid. In a novel move, Pitta Bishop set up a 2017 campaign account for an unspecified city office, and Ms. Mark-Viverito raised more than $100,000, despite only needing the votes of 26 council colleagues to win the early 2014 leadership race. That led another good-government group, Common Cause/NY, to charge that she had exploited loopholes in state election law. Ms. Mark-Viverito's opponents in the speaker race did not similarly set up campaign funds to hire staff. But officials from Pitta Bishop say the move was fully vetted by the city   Campaign Finance Board and state Board of Elections.Pitta Bishop Del Giorno Giblin Has Hit the Jack Pot With Over A 100 New Lobbying Clients Since She Took the Speakers Office .One Wonders How the lobbying Firm Explains the Speakers Views to Their PBA Client. Council speaker puts connected lobbyist on payroll(CrainsNY) Melissa Mark-Viverito quietly handed a $130,000-a-year staff position to a lobbyist from the firm that helped propel her to the City Council speakership, payroll records show. In late March, Carlos Beato, who was a lobbyist at the firm Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, joined the City Council payroll as a deputy general counsel. The move came not long after the lobbying shop. 

After the Council Rubber Stamps the Mayor's Budget and the Cops Turn Back On Him the Speaker Becomes the Leader of the Anti NYPD Effort
Triangulation of A Puppet Speaker?

Mulgrew "Gum up the works"
‘Great place’: De Blasio’s budget leaves a (mostly) contented Council(Capital)* As he presented his $73.9 billion budget at City Hall Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was giving up on his campaign promise to get rid of the City Council's discretionary funding, saying he and the Council have "agreed to disagree" on the topic.* Friction by press release only

Was Mark-Viverito's Election for Speaker illegal?

Speaking of speakers (NYDN Ed)  Gifts of service to Melissa Mark-Viverito must not go unpunished. When, after the 2013 elections, then-Councilwoman Mark-Viverito was angling, with Mayor de Blasio’s enthusiastic backing, to become Speaker Mark-Viverito, she relied on the help of a well-connected political consulting and lobbying firm called the Advance Group. The pros helped her prepare for debates, network with county leaders, court fellow Council members — and win the second-most powerful job in city government. She got those usually high-priced services for the low, low price of zero dollars and zero cents. In other words, Mark-Viverito received a highly valuable in-kind campaign contribution from a company with lots of business before the city — including representing dozens of clients who regularly lobby the Council. This column urged the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board to take up the matter. The City Charter, after all, states: “No public servant shall accept any valuable gift . . . from any person or firm” who “is or intends to become engaged in business dealings with the city.” To its credit, the board has now opened up a case; the speaker has filed campaign finance statements that she has spent $20,000 on lawyers to represent her. What could her defense possibly be? Neither the facts of her accepting freebies nor the rules against it are in dispute. She should be fined the max possible, $25,000. Even still, she’ll end up getting away with having violated the charter in order to be one of the top officials sworn to uphold it.

Have the Progressive Caucus Also Violated the City Ethic Law By Asking A Lobbyist to Work for Free ?
From the NYT: "The caucus asked a labor official, Alison Hirsh, the political director of 32BJ, the union of janitors and doormen, to negotiate with the county chairmen, other council members and speaker candidates on its behalf." Alison Hirsh, who is a registered lobbyist. The progressive has not registered with the BOE and CFB to legally hire a lobbyist.

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

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

The Speakers Lobbyists Cash In

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

Council Speaker Campaign Gives the Most Member Items $$ to Her Campaign Consultants Lobbyists MirRam
After a Bad Night for Their Client Espaillat MirRam Still Made Money Today 
Melissa Mark-Viverito Paid MirRam $35,000 for Her Campaign
Hispanic Federation gets biggest @NYCCouncil member item:$400K out of speaker's pot.  (Capital)The federation has ties to almost every Hispanic lawmaker in The Bronx, including Rivera, but primarily benefits two men: political strategist Luis Miranda, who co-founded it and once served as its president, and Roberto Ramirez, a former Bronx Democratic Party boss. The men run a private political consulting firm, the MirRam Group. It’s paid by the Hispanic Federation and is hired by politicians who steer taxpayer money to the nonprofit.Flashback Twi$ted web of political nonprofits in Bx.(NYP)

Puppet Council Speaker Controlled By New Private Tammany Hall
Top Speaker Lobbyists Puts A Man Inside
Council speaker puts connected lobbyist on payroll(CrainsNY) Melissa Mark-Viverito quietly handed a $130,000-a-year staff position to a lobbyist from the firm that helped propel her to the City Council speakership, payroll records show. In late March, Carlos Beato, who was a lobbyist at the firm Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, joined the City Council payroll as a deputy general counsel. The move came not long after the lobbying shop—which has long served as Ms. Mark-Viverito’s campaign compliance consultant—quarterbacked her council speaker bid. The firm’s Jon Del Giorno set up an “appointments committee” for Ms. Mark-Viverito to vet applicants for the council staff. The firm lobbied Ms. Mark-Viverito as her speaker bid was ongoing, and has continued to do so since her ascension to the city's second-most powerful post. The close ties have drawn scrutiny and a call from the Daily News for Ms. Mark-Viverito to sever ties with the firm and its clients. In an unprecedented and clever move, the Pitta Bishop set up a 2017 campaign accountto facilitate Ms. Mark-Viverito’s speaker run. That allowed her to raise $100,000, with more than $20,000 coming from the lobbying firm’s clients. The good-government group Common Cause accused Ms. Mark-Viverito of exploiting loopholes in state election law. Pitta Bishop's clients also reportedly funded much of her $27,000 inauguration party. * NY lobbying grows another 4%, spent $109 M in first sixmonths of this year; now 32 lobbyists for every legislator 

Feds Bag Consultant Who Illegally Coordinated Campaigns and PACs 
Feds Investigating the Advance Group
G.O.P.Consultant Pleads Guilty in PAC Case(NYT) A Virginia-based Republican political consultant pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges that he illegally coordinated spending between a 2012 congressional campaign and a “super PAC,” federal prosecutors said. The consultant, Tyler E. Harber, was accused of managing a congressional campaign while helping create and direct a super PAC that spent $325,000 attacking a rival candidate, according to the Justice Department. The case appears to be the first of its kind brought by federal prosecutors since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, which allowed for the creation of political action committees that can raise and spend unlimited money, including from corporations, so long as they do not coordinate the spending with candidates.* New YorkPanel Approves Fine for Group Against Carriage Horses(NYT)In documents released after its vote on Thursday, the board said it “found credible” statements by NYClass that it did not know the Advance Group was also consulting for Ms. Cumbo’s and Mr. Levine’s campaigns, and that it had relied on the Advance Group’s assurances that NYClass was in compliance with campaign-finance rules.

The UFT Broke the Law With Advance and None of the Prosecutors Noticed

Why Did the UFT's PAC United for the Future Hire the Advance Group? Was It Part of A Conspiracy to Coordinate their PAC and the Campaign Consultant?

The UFT PAC Paid Advance Through the Fake Group Strategic Consultants Inc. $370,000
Her campaign also got support by two PACs controlled by the Advance Group, NYCLASS and the UFT PAC United for the Future that the UFT tried to hid Advance Groups involvement in with a fake made up company called Strategic Consultants Inc., that CrainsNY found was located in the offices of Advance. Your can bet the farm that with Mayor Bloomberg last minute appointment to the CFB Rose Gill Hearn, his former DOI Commissioner, the finances of Advance client Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and others are in the middle of a hot hot hot investigation that the media is completely missing. * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)

UFT Controlling Government By Breaking the Election Law . . .   DAs Don't Notice?

Cover-Up Of Campaign Consultants Advance Group/Red Horse Involvement in UFT PAC United for the Future, Which Conspired To Break Election Law to Control Council

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

The UFT PAC Paid Advance Through the Fake Group Strategic Consultants Inc. $370,000

Nothing Has Happen - Five Months Ago the Daily News Wrote:

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 AG and the DAs By Not Enforcing the Election Law Has Enabled Lobbyists and Special Interests to Legalize Bribery Though PACs
PACs are A Crime on the Book Because Prosecutors Who Look the Other Way
The CFB determined under its rules that the Advance Group’s work on behalf of both Council candidates and the supposedly “independent” anti-carriage PAC really amounted to illegal coordination between the campaigns and NYCLASS. The board properly fined Cumbo and Levine. And its crackdown on the out-of-bounds campaign spending by NYCLASS has done the city a huge favor, by providing a badly needed glimpse into the big money play that successfully swung the 2013 city elections. Using funds from donors that included UNITE HERE — a union chaired by Mayor de Blasio’s cousin John Wilhelm — NYCLASS slimed mayoral rival Christine Quinn into oblivion.Now the FBI is probing the funding of the attacks on Quinn, and de Blasio’s flip-flop that led to his vow to ban the horses. The CFB needs to stay vigilant, making every effort to hold NYCLASS, the Advance Group and sponsored candidates to account for their actions in the 2013 campaign. Among the others benefiting from NYCLASS spending was Melissa Mark-Viverito, who took free services from the Advance Group in her successful bid to become City Council speaker.

On Third of the City Council Was Is Infected With Illegal PAC $$$ From Advance and Red Horse in the 2013 Election  

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

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

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

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

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

Sexual Charges Against Councilman King
A former New York City Council staffer plans to file a lawsuit against Bronx Councilman Andy King alleging that he fired her after she turned down his sexual advances, sources tell Capital New York: * Staffer to sue NYC over sexual-harassment claims (NYP) *  Councilman facing harassment suit is looking for interns (NYDN) The woman, who got the boot earlier this year, filed a notice of claim with the city controller Tuesday for a $1.25 million suit for sexual harassment and wrongful termination. “King created a hostile work environment by sexually harassing and intimidating claimant,” the papers say, also charging he “made demeaning, sexist remarks” and “inappropriate, unwelcome advances.” The claim also alleges he abused his power by trying to change caucus rules to give himself sole power to hire and fire staff.

#NerdProm as the city burned the journalists fiddled. * L. Joy Williams ‏@ljoywilliams  Is every single reporter at the #WHCD that NOBODY is on the street to cover what is happening in Baltimore? * Nobody can leave: Mayor and police ask everyone to stay in ballpark. * Nobody can leave: Mayor and police ask everyone to stay in ballpark. *Live feed from downtown Baltimore, in wake of looting, arrests during#FreddieGrayprotests. * Cable news roundup: CNN, MSNBC covering WHCD, Fox News airing Judy Miller interview, Al Jazeera America in taped programming. No Baltimore. * Tens of thousands of fans stuck in Baltimore Orioles stadium. update Police say it is ok to leave the Ball Park

de Blasio Developer Contributor Blocks the Brooklyn Bridge View 
 De Blasio has not responded to complaints that a high-rise built by a developer who is one of his campaign contributors is illegally blocking iconic views of the Brooklyn Bridge

Activists protest de Blasio pal’s view-blocking high-rise (NYP) Mayor de Blasio has been MIA amid complaints that a high-rise built by a developer who is one of his campaign contributors is illegally blocking iconic views of the Brooklyn Bridge, say local residents. Advocates in Brooklyn Heights say that the luxury 10-story hotel and condo being built by Toll Brothers on parkland just south of the bridge has overshot its 100-foot height limit by 35 feet. That difference blocks age-old views of the landmark bridge from portions of the historic promenade, the residents complain. Last year, Toll Brothers donated $25,000 to the mayor’s nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York — which isn’t governed by campaign-finance donation limits. “It really calls into questions whether public officials are able to act on behalf of the public when so much of their political future rests on these private firms,” said Cristina Page, 44, a member of the advocacy group Save The View Now. Park reps say mechanical equipment had to be put on the roof after Superstorm Sandy, but it’s still within contractual height limits. De Blasio said he didn’t know enough about the controversy to comment.

de Blasio Slush Fund Run By Berlin Rosen Got $25,000 From Toll Brothers Who Over Built In Brooklyn Bridge Park  
When Asked About the Over Building By the Toll Brothers de Blasio Said:  De Blasio said he didn’t know enough about the controversy to comment
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been soliciting contributions to his non-profit Campaign for One New York for advertising campaigns that will support his top policy goals Mayor de Blasio Is Quietly Soliciting Donations for Future Policy Battles (NYT)  Mr. de Blasio and his fund-raising team have quietly solicited large contributions in recent weeks from donors in the mayor’s inner circle, according to three people who requested anonymity to describe moves by the administration that were not yet intended to be public.  Donors are being asked to contribute to a nonprofit fund, the Campaign for One New York, that is operated by political consultants with close ties to Mr. de Blasio. The fund can accept donations that are significantly larger than those allowed within New York City’s strict campaign finance system.* De Blasio is ramping up a political campaign to promote his housing and education priorities, with an eye toward amassing a financial war chest that can compete with well-funded opponents. The mayor and his fund-raising team have quietly solicited large contributions in recent weeks. Donors are being asked to contribute to a nonprofit fund, the Campaign for One New York, that is operated by political consultants close to de Blasio.* Campaign for One New York paid BerlinRosen $363,000 throughJune, according to its lobbying disclosure.(CrainsNY) * Familiar Consultants Hired by de Blasio's Pre-K Drive (NYT) * Give the money back, Mayor de Blasio | New York Post Maybe Mayor de Blasio’s spokesman is right: There’s “zero” connection between the sweetheart deal the teachers union won from the city and $350,000 its parent union donated to Mayor Bill’s Super PAC. Maybe it’s also just a coincidence, as Crain’s reported, that the donation from the American Federation of Teachers to the Campaign for One New York came less than a month before the mayor agreed to a nine-year-contract with its New York local whose health “savings” are vague but whose retroactive pay is all too real.* De Blasio called a hypocrite for raking contributions in pre-K fight (NYP) * Bill de Blasio's Potential Conflict of Interest | Washington ... de Blasio Does Not Know About A Developer Who Contributed to His Campaign and His Re-Election Slush, Over Building in A Park. De Blasio’s ‘conflicting’ accepted donations(NYP)A nonprofit launched by Mayor de Blasio accepted money from at least two donors that his mayoral campaign had rejected because they had city contracts, a Post review found.Joseph and Chris Termini, owners of the yellow-school-bus companies Hoyt Transportation and Dak Transportation, respectively, each donated $4,500 to de Blasio’s mayoral-transition campaign in December.

Daily News Says de Blasio Kills Campaign Finance With One NY PAC
Daily News: What About Data and Fields in 2009, NYCLASS and the UFT;s United for A Future PACs in 2013?  What About the Real Estate's 71/2 Million Jobs for NY PAC?  What About the Millions in Assembly, State Senate and Gov PACs that Go Around the Campaign Finance Laws?
Progressive Bill deBlasio kills NYC's campaign finance program (NYDN Ed) Let Mayor de Blasio admit this fact: His bear hug of the Fund for One New York, the not-at-all-independent nonprofit advocacy group he created, is hastening the demise of the city’s public campaign finance system. For a quarter century, that system — which limits contributions to candidates, matches small gifts with public dollars and caps spending — has been lauded by progressives, de Blasio included, as leveling the democratic playing field and amplifying the voices of ordinary citizens. “We are the gold standard,” he said last year. Those words take on an ironic double meaning as de Blasio hits up donors for millions, including large contributions that would be banned if made directly to candidates — and the fund works in lockstep to advance his agenda. The Campaign for One New York buys television advertisements; coordinates grassroots organizing campaigns; and employs and coordinates with allies of the mayor, including former staffers. In short, it works as a campaign apparatus in years when there’s no election. The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling blew the doors off all previous attempts to limit outside money in government — and made hefty political spending by outside groups inevitable. But it’s no small irony that the man putting the nail in the coffin of the city’s campaign finance caps is Big Bill, progressive friend of the little man.* The state Board of Elections could close the so-called LLC loophole in the campaign finance system, but Democrats say that is unlikely because GOP commissioners do not support it, The Buffalo News reports

As the Concerned Physicians of LICH Keep Up the Fight to Reopen the Hospital the Mayor and Other Pols are Long Gone
LICH supportersrally in Brooklyn as Appellate Court mulls appeal (Brooklyn Daily Eagle) he battle for shuttered Long Island College Hospital (LICH) played out in front of the state Appellate Division in Brooklyn Heights on Thursday, as supporters waved signs reading, “Save LICH!” and “We’re still here, we still need a full service hospital.” The rally was held to support an appeal by a doctors group seeking to overturn the State University of New York’s (SUNY) decision to award the hospital property to Fortis Property Group. SUNY has been trying to throw out the appeal of the Concerned Physicians of LICH, one of many community groups that fought for more than two years to save the historic Cobble Hill hospital. Barbara Gartner, a member of the group Patients for LICH, said, “The Physicians have a good case, they should have their day in court.” SUNY attorney Frank Carone, however, maintains the Physicians lack the standing to appeal. “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” he said on Friday. “SUNY’s position has not changed. The Concerned Physicians or any individual member can spin it all they want. They simply have no standing.” Patients for LICH member Cynthia Nebel told the Eagle during Thursday’s rally, 

Why I am Not Voting Janet (LICH Broken Promise) Gamble, Crown Heights
Why I will no longer vote in NYC(Brooklyn Eagle)As a voter, you put your hope and trust in the person you cast your ballot for and want so badly ... so very badly, that they will try to come through for you.  But now I see how stupid and naive I was. Now I see it is not the voters that some New York politicians are working for — its rich, real estate interests. They are the official owners of New York politics.  It's not hard to see the damage these people have caused the average New Yorker. Affordable housing is almost non-existent in every borough. Once-beautiful historic blocks of brownstone housing are now dotted with newly constructed houses that resemble ugly cereal boxes. The well-off New Yorker has their pick of luxury housing, which brings me to the reason I will no longer vote.

Mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio was arrested Wednesday morning protesting the closure of Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital - Campaign 2013
 Long Island College Hospital (LICH) has just been sold to a developer who donated money to Gov. Cuomo. Several other companies were supposed to bid on running this hospital, but trumped up excuses were made against the first two bidders and they were passed over in favor of a company that donated the most money to the governor. This should be a scandal and fodder for whoever is running against the governor this year...but it won't be. Who is going to investigate this?  No one... not when you've pretty much hired everyone who could investigate you.  Our current mayor got himself arrested last year, protesting the closing of this hospital, but I knew it was just a stunt to gain attention ... and it worked. I voted for him with the silly hope that he would at least try to save the hospital, and when he negotiated a deal for different companies to bid for running the hospital, I had hope again...silly, silly hope. Despite de Blasio promises, troubled hospital is closing down (Fox 5) * Bill de Blasio arrested at SUNY protest - NY Daily News * De Blasio Arrested, Just as He Wanted -
DEB political grandstanding in campaign over LICH & subsequent abandonment when elected is an example of why citizens are cynical about pols @SalAlbaneseNYC is not happy about LICH  @HuffPostNY "LICH already served its purpose as de Blasio's campaign prop."

There is No Discussion Of the Corruption Connected to the 421-a Program as the Extension of the Program is Planned in Albany
Does 421-a Destroy More Affordable Housing By Fueling Gentrification Than It Builds
Affordable Housing Has Become A Band-aid On A Cancer for Elected Officials to Protect Them From What They Are Doing to Our City With Their Tax Breaks to Developers  Corruption probes affecting rent control extensions: Cuomo (NYP) Federal corruption probes of state lawmakers are making it harder to resolve major issues before the Legislature — particularly politically explosive matters such as extension of rent control for New York City, Gov. Cuomo said Friday. “If it was a different time in Albany, frankly, and Albany was a little bit more stable situation, I would normally take these negotiations to Albany and try to work it out among the parties,” Cuomo told business leaders at an Association for a Better New York breakfast. “Albany has a lot going on right now, let’s say.” He was responding to a question asked about the fate of the 421-a tax abatement program for developers and the law covering rent stabilization. Both lapse on June 15.  Tenant advocates are demanding an end to 421-a, which they claim is a giveaway to developers even though it produces units for affordable housing.  Cuomo said even those who support the program — developers and the carpenters union — are at odds over some provisions. At minimum, Cuomo promised that he and the Legislature would simply extend the current laws for both programs with few or no changes. * From Campaign 2013The Bloomberg administration’s ambitious housing plan to create or preserve 165,000 affordable units by the end of June 2014, largely through incentives to private developers, will fall short of meeting the need for affordable housing in the city. “We hardly gained anything because we lost an equal number of units from rent regulation and Mitchell Lama,” said Mr. de Blasio. “There’s over a third of the city paying more than 50% of their income for rent.” Poor Door’ in a New York Tower Opens a Fight Over Affordable Housing(NYT) As public housing becomes a relic, American cities have grown morereliant on developers, who say they can maximize their revenues and build more affordable units, by separating them from their luxury counterparts. * Real Estate Developers, Tax Breakes and Politics * BdB undecided on extending 'affordable' housing tax break (NYP)   * Sad how many of these stories we've heard: Brooklynlandlords pushing black tenants out for whites: (NYP) * The Times Union writes that the New York City real estate market needs tax breaks as much as ice cream trucks need grants to market treats to kids, so the 421-a tax break should be viewed as an integrity test

Albany Times Union Which Has Nothing to Do With City's Poor an Middle Class Losing Their Homes to Gentrification is Opposed to 421-a 
 TU Edit Board: 421-a tax abatements have outlived theirusefulness, now just a giveaway for wealthy political donors: 

Indicted Libous Pleas for His Guilty Son Because He Is Dying 
Dying senator begs judge to spare his son jail time (NYP) Indicted state Senate Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous says he’s dying of cancer and is begging a federal judge to show his criminal son leniency so they can spend his “last days” together. In a letter to Judge Vincent Briccetti made public Wednesday, Libous (D-Binghamton) — who was indicted on public-corruption charges — revealed that he has “cancer which cannot be cured” and that he relies on his son, Matthew, to provide him “the strength and inspiration to get through each day.”* Libous Does Not Agree to Clean Up Albany By Telling What He Knows, While Begging to Keep His Child Out of Jail For Corruption
The War to Clean Up Albany is Hell Mr. Libous 
“Judge, my biggest fear is that he would be placed in prison as my health continues to deteriorate and unable to spend time with me in my last days,” the elder Libous, 62, wrote. “I ask that you please show my son mercy and allow him to be with me and his family.” In January, Matthew Libous, 37, was found guilty in White Plains of under-reporting $69,950 of his income on federal tax returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009. He will be sentenced next week. The No. 2 Republican in the Senate was diagnosed with cancer six years ago and says his son’s trial took a toll on his health.* Indicted state Senate Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous says he’s dying of cancer and is begging a federal judge to show his criminal son leniency so they can spend his “last days” together, the Post writes: Update Sentencing Delayed  U.S. District Judge Vincent Briccetti abruptly re-scheduled Matthew Libous’ sentencing on tax-fraud crimes, pushing it back until May 18. He had previously been set for sentencing this coming Wednesday. * The sentencing of state Senate Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous’ son, who was convicted of tax fraud in January, has been delayed until next month with no explanation from the judge, Gannett Albany reports * Senate Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous says he expects to return to his job at the state Capitol despite a blood infection that will prevent him from coming back to his home state for “several weeks.” The Binghamton Republican is recuperating in Florida.

Just When You Thought NYC Journalism Has Sunk As Low As It Could Get . . . 
A day after City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito criticized Curtis Sliwa for making sexist comments about her on TV, the Guardian Angels founder refused to back off and made comments perceived as sexist, the Daily News reports: * Sliwa’s comments about Mark-Viverito bring a new level of offensiveness and are quite stunning in the depths of their ignorance, former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn writes in the Daily News: Update 'SHE'S JUST FINE': City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito brushes off Curtis Sliwa’s lewd remarks made on radio show (NYDN) * ANGEL'S A HORNY DEVIL: Curtis Sliwa doubles down on Mark-Viverito comments, says he's thought about having sex with her (NYDN)

Mayor de Disney's Fantasy World Future Also Applies to Managing the City 

Big-talking Bill leaves city's future to the imagination (NYDN) In his mayoral campaign, Bill de Blasio made bold promises to apply progressive values to transform New York for the better. Now, he’s promising even more — more than anyone could ever imagine. Sixteen months into his mayoralty, de Blasio Tuesday published a sprawling array of intentions in a mission statement that amounted to 322 pages of “huh?” because the grandeur of his goals far exceeded the credibility of his plans for getting from here to there. He says New York will reduce unnecessary incarceration, deliver cheap broadband to all, open breastfeeding rooms, repair public housing’s chronically leaky roofs and become a city whose residents eat lots more fruits and vegetables. And so much more, in a game plan that conquers environmental ills and social and inequality in one giant swoop. Where to begin?Not with funding, details of which were nonexistent. Nor with benchmarks for measuring progress because those, too, were largely absent. Nor with persuasive, confidence-building evidence that anyone in the world could reach de Blasio’s target of reducing the city’s emissions of greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050. Realism also requires noting that de Blasio pins many of his hopes on Albany. If the Legislature and governor fail to approve an agenda that includes funding energy efficiency, overhauling tax credits for cleaning up polluted land and a substantial minimum wage hike, a good portion of the mayor’s dreams are DOA. The mayor’s document lapsed here and there into incoherence. Asserting that “people are more likely to obey the law when they believe those who are enforcing it have the legitimate authority to do so,” de Blasio envisions fighting crime by “the building of neighborhood-justice mapping centers that will engage residents and promote cohesion through joint action.” Once more: Huh? *  De Blasio’s long-term environmental goals, which include eliminating all waste sent to landfills by 2030, are causing some to question how the mayor will accomplish those feats, The New York Times writes * FUZZY BLAZ VISION: Mayor unveils 'One New York' manifesto detailing grand goals for city's future, but fails to address its cost (NYDN) * Green v. red (NYP) * Mayor de Blasio releases lofty goals for NYC future, butcritics say plan lacks specifics (WSJ) * The de Blasio administration released a report that argued the city could move 800,000 residents away from the poverty line within a decade if Albany authorizes a $15 minimum wage in the city, Capital New York reports:

Council Protests Against the Government They Run 
#NYC’s confused #politicians demonstrate against a system they own and operate (City Journal) Civil disobedience historically involves a demonstration by an aggrieved people against their government. In an unusual twist, New York City is now governed by aggrieved politicians who demonstrate against the people. Standing in traffic, picketing small businesses, and interrupting their own meetings, Gotham’s elected representatives enjoy the privileges of power while simultaneously donning the mantle of the oppressed. Last November, 15 New York city council members interrupted a meeting of the full council to protest the non-indictment of Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. As the presiding officer banged a gavel and lawmakers stomped out of the chamber, Council Member Andrew King read a prepared statement proclaiming that “black lives matter.” The protesting members stood in the lobby of City Hall for five minutes chanting “hands up, don’t shoot,” before heading back inside to take their seats and resume regular business.

Two weeks later, following the non-indictment of NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, 25 council members and a contingent of supporters stood in the middle of Broadway chanting “I can’t breathe,” before staging a “die-in” in front of City Hall. Then the assemblage trooped inside, again begging “hands up, don’t shoot” to an imaginary phalanx of hostile troops, before attending their scheduled meeting. Properly understood, civil disobedience is resistance against an authoritarian state. A powerful elected official involving himself in a labor dispute against a tiny local business scarcely rises to Gandhian levels of moral courage. In New York’s caricature of civil disobedience, politicians pretend to protest, and the police pretend to arrest them. No recent example exists of a city politician spending the night in jail or otherwise suffering any of the discomforts one might expect of the truly politically committed. Council Member Brad Lander, ideological mastermind of the council’s progressive wing, was arrested in March for protesting at a car wash in Brooklyn. Lander and Council Member Carlos Menchaca, who was also arrested, were participating in a labor action by eight employees of the Vegas Auto Spa, who are suing the car wash to gain union recognition and back pay. The two council members were led away in handcuffs, smiling broadly, and were apparently released immediately.* NYPD Commissioner: Relationship between city officials, union better (SI Advance)* NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and officers have overcome their estrangement, but several police sources said they still harbor bad feelings toward the mayor, the Postreports:

Mercury's Lobbyist McKeon Speaking for Rat Silver Real Estate Lobbyists Meara to Protect Skelos Form Lobbyists Avella the Rats Parter?
Meara Avella Dickinson, one of the state's most successful lobbying firms, has dozens of other clients. Though its employees didn't return phone calls, Mike McKeon of Mercury Public Affairs responded to the Times Union on behalf of his friend Meara. In an October 2013 news release, Abtech Holdings — the parent company of AbTech Industries — announced the $12 million contract to construct a stormwater management project for Nassau County. The release stated that another subsidiary of Abtech Holdings, the stormwater engineering company AEWS Engineering, would be involved in the project. More than a year later, AEWS in November 2014 secured Meara Avella Dickinson for "infrastructure" lobbying, records show. The contract was signed by Avella. But according to McKeon, that assignment came not through Glenwood but through another Albany lobbying firm, Capitol Group LLC, which had sought Avella's services. McKeon said the work only lasted two months. * How the Lobbyists Who Make Up the Shadow Government Cover for Each Other and Are Interconnected

Anyone Who Understand Bharara Knows That Silver Rat Meara Has Become Not Only Skelos's Rat But Others
The press office for Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano didn't return a request for comment about the scope of work performed as part of that lobbying contract. (The acting Nassau district attorney launched a probe into the county's process for awarding contracts.) Meara "didn't represent AbTech and never did" in any aspect of the $12 million deal, McKeon said. "He had no involvement in the (stormwater) contract. He stopped representing Nassau County long before the contract was awarded." Lobbying disclosures state Meara's firm was getting paid by Nassau though June 2013, but McKeon said his work on behalf of Nassau stopped in 2012. Top Albany lobbyist Brian Meara is denying any involvement in the ongoing investigation into Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son despite having several clients reportedly involved, theTimes Union reports: Though Meara didn't respond to requests for comment, a friend authorized to speak on his behalf said he has nothing to do with the Skelos investigation.The Skelos probe, described by the New York Times last week, has ties to three current or recent Meara lobbying clients, including a North Carolina subsidiary of a company calledAbTech Holdings.Investigators are reportedly looking into whether Skelos sought to exert influence in AbTech's pursuit of a $12 million stormwater management contract with Nassau County, Skelos' power base.Senate Republicans are reportedly nervous because Meara is a business partner with fellow lobbyist Mike Avella, a former counsel to the Senate GOP and Skelos. The two are principals in the Albany-based firm Meara Avella Dickinson.  Records show Meara Avella Dickinson also recently represented Nassau County, as well as another business mentioned in the Times report: real estate developer Glenwood Management.Run by the state's most generous political donor, Leonard Litwin, Glenwood was Meara's link to the Silver case: A longtime friend of Silver, Meara has reportedly received a non-prosecution agreement in exchange for helping prosecutors link payments made by the prominent Manhattan developer to the Assembly speaker, who was ousted from his leadership position in January following his arrest.* Mercury reopens for business in Albany, with Pat Lynch’s people (Capital)

A Shadow Govt Team With the Reach From D'Amato to Sharpton's Noerdlinger 

McKeon Long Island D'Amato Jointed At the Hip A Meara Panic 
The D’Amato firm’s stable of prominent Republicans includes the son of Congressman Peter King (a potential formidable Cuomo opponent), the ex- Erie County executive Joel Giambra, and Fossella, whose career was undercut by the DUI-related revelations of a second, Washington-area, family. While D’Amato, who was once famously paid $500,000 for a single call to a state official, is not listed as a Cuomo donor. But his partners gave $9000, and D’Amato hosted a Cuomo fundraiser. D’Amato has also long been closely tied to another lobbying firm, Mercury Public Affairs, and one of its principals, Michael McKeon, ran Cuomo’s outreach effort to Republicans.  Mel Miller, the former Democratic Assembly speaker, recently joined D’Amato’s firm as special counsel. Miller sold his firm, Bolton St. John’s, to the staff a couple of years ago. He’d already established a strong D’Amato relationship by recruiting Armand D’Amato, the senator’s brother, as Bolton’s general counsel years earlier. Armand left Bolton to join Park Strategies in 2004, and now the D’Amatos have returned the favor. Who cares that the Senate Ethics Committee found in 1991 that Al D’Amato had allowed his lobbyist brother to use his office stationery to solicit multimillion- dollar Navy contracts for a client? Who cares that Miller and Armand were convicted in unrelated federal trials in the 1990s, only to have their convictions overturned on appeal? In Albany, overturned convictions can be selling points. In the days immediately following Miller’s 1991 conviction and automatic expulsion from the assembly, he told reporters that he was moving on to a new phase in his life and didn’t expect to do jail time for stealing $300,000 from his law clients. “Maybe I’ll make some real money now,” the then 52-year-old Miller said. Having spent a lifetime watching other lobbyists at the Albany trough, Miller’s on-the-mark prediction hardly made him a prophet.

In 2011 NYT Took A Deeper Look At Skelos's Law Firm Lobbyist's Arm  . . .  And Never Followed Up
Where is the Follow Up?
The law firm that employs Mr. Skelos, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, has an independently run lobbying division, Empire Government Strategies, which notes on its Web site that it has “solid relationships with elected officials in every region of New York.” The chairman of the lobbying operation, Arthur J. Kremer, a former assemblyman, said he had no contact on official business with Mr. Skelos, a Nassau County Republican. Albany Money Flows to Clients of FirmsEmploying Legislators (NYT) Lobbyists Clients of Skelos' Firm 500.00, Town of North Hempstead        Cavalry Portfolio Services, LLC        $75,000.00, Canon USA, Inc.            $72,000.00, Association of Wholesale Marketers and Distributors (NYS)     $65,000.00, Jetro Cash-and-Carry      $65,000.00, Great Neck Water Pollution Control District           $60,000.00, Caithness Long Island, LLC      $27,

How the NYT and NY1 Covers-Up for Real Estate Tie Between Silver and Skelos?  
. . .  While Banging the Prosecutor
The Times Wrote More About the Dismissed Charges Against Bharara Than the Connection to Skelos Son Corruption to the Heart of the Silver Corruption Case
From the NYTs On Real Estate Corruption: "Glenwood Management, one of the state’s largest campaign donors, alsosurfaced in the criminal case against Mr. Silver, who is accused of steering Glenwood and another developer to a law firm that gave him a cut of their fees. Glenwood has not been accused of wrongdoing in the Silver case or in the investigation involving the Skeloses." Friday NYT and Mini Me nY1 Goes After Bharara * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is locked in what seems to be an escalating war of words with the federal judiciary, which some judges fear could influence important rulings, the Times’James B. Stewart writes: * Bharara’s Tactics Questioned as the U.S. Attorney Possibly Targets Skelos(NY1)

From the NYTs on Charges That Were Dismissed Against Bharara by the Court
News of the investigation follows the arrest this year of AssemblymanSheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, and his resignation as speaker; any criminal case against Senator Skelos, the majority leader, would throw the Capitol into further tumult. His critics have accused him of grandstanding, and say his unusually blunt public condemnations of how business is done in Albany have crossed the line for a federal prosecutor.  Mr. Bharara’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to comment.

In Their Rush to Protect the Permanent Government Against Bharara the Daily News Even Used A Former Governor Who Many Believe Got Away with Witness Tampering and Bid Rigging 

The Daily News Posts the Same Story Every Day That They Are Investigating the Moreland Shutdown
Now They Are Attacking the U.S. Attorney That is Taking Action On the Cover-Up Which They Have Not Investigated Anything
Daily News and Their Stenographer Lovett Uses True News Reporting Without Crediting the Source 

The Daily News has been tracking New York’s trouble-plagued Moreland Commission since the day Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman teamed up to create it. The powerful duo formed the supposedly independent panel to help root out corruption in Albany, including inside the governor’s own office. Within months, it became embroiled in allegations that Cuomo was working behind the scenes to influence its investigations. In March, the governor disbanded the panel after the legislature agreed to enact some ethics reforms. Here’s how The News has covered the story. * Paterson: Preet’s Great, But…(YNN) * Was former Gov. David Paterson’s criticism of US Attorney Preet Bharara planted, encouraged or otherwise influenced by Cuomo?
More on Real Estate Corruption and 421-a

Bagdad NYT and the Rest of the Media Sees Not Corruption in NY Real Estate . . . 
While the Feds Indictments Connects the Dots Between Family Lobbyists and Albany Pols
Skelos Son's Glenwood Corruption Connection According to people familiar with the questions being asked by federal authorities, investigators are seeking to determine whether Senator Skelos exerted any influence in matters involving AbTech. They are also examining whether his son’s hiring as a consultant was part of a scheme in which the senator, in exchange, would take official action that would benefit AbTech or another company, Glenwood Management, a politically influential real estate developer that has had ties to AbTech. * .@edmangano testified before grand jury probing @SenatorSkelos & his son, was one of several LI pols to do so * Survey: New YorkMost Corrupt State 
NY Real Estate Uses Lobbyists Like Meara and Berlin Rosen to Do Their Dirty Work Protecting Themselves From the Law 

Litwin's Glenwood is the Epiccentre of Albany Corruption Storm 
And the NYT Writes: "Glenwood has not been accused of wrongdoing in the Silver case or in the investigation involving the Skeloses"

True News: "It is Morally Wrong for Journalists an NY's Leaders to Hide From Bharara Work"

The indictment accuses Silver of steering billionaire developer Leonard Litwin, the state’s largest political donor, to the firm, along with another unnamed developer. In exchange, Silver reaped referral fees. The Goldberg firm handled tax appeals for 15 buildings owned by Litwin’s organization, Glenwood Management, and its limited liability companies, prosecutors said. Court records show that in one case that landed in Shulman’s court — involving a high-rise building on York Avenue — Glenwood won a $3.4 million reduction in the building’s assessment, which is used to determine its taxes.* State Senate boss Dean Skelos eyed in corruption case (NYP) * Skelos Confirms Corruption Probe (YNN) * State Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said he has and will continue to cooperate with any inquiry after it was reported that federal prosecutors are probing him and his sonthe Times Union reports:  * A source said prosecutors issued subpoenas to eight of nine Long Island state senators seeking documents from 2013 on, but that Skelos himself was not subpoenaed, NY1reports:  * Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said she will probe the county’s contract awarding process after reports that a federal grand jury is hearing allegations related to it and Skelos, Newsdayr eports:*   Republican state senators are saying nothing – for now – about a NYT report that federal prosecutors have Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, in their crosshairs.* The acting Nassau County district attorney said she will review county contracting procedures after reports of Skelos’ influence on a $12 million local stormwater systemscontract the Arizona-based company that employed his son, AbTech Industries. “If Skelos were to step aside, either temporarily to fight any changes or permanently if the charges turn out to be severe, the top contenders to replace him could be Syracuse’s John DeFrancisco and Suffolk County’s John Flanagan.”

A Park's Commission Nobody Knows Makes A Promise That He Will Never Keep
de Blasioville Spin Promises, Plans Never Judge On Results by the Press
New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver is making a push to expedite construction on the city’s green spaces, as advocates have long complained that it takes less time to build a skyscraper than finish a park, The New York Times writes: 
Spin Trash Plan De Blasio will enact a sweeping new plan to tackle the city’s trash problem and drastically restructure home-recycling programs in an effort to reduce waste exports, the Post reports: 
Spin Initiative to Reduce Premature Mortality Rate by 2040 The city will announce an ambitious initiative to try to reduce the city’s premature mortality rate 25 percent by 2040, in large part by targeting poor neighborhoods with preventive health programs, the Daily Newsreports:  Spin New Subway The de Blasio administration will ask the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to consider running a subway south along Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, despite the agency’s $15 billion budget deficit, Capital New York reports:  Renaming Bloomberg's Environmental Program In his most sweeping bid yet to apply a focus on income inequality across the municipal spectrum, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio today will introduce a reimagined take on the city’s ambitious environmental program, PlaNYC. *De Blasio’s new plan will tackle the city’s trash problem and drastically restructure home-recycling programs in an effort to reduce waste exports from 3.6 million tons now to just 600,000 tons by 2030.* Mayor @BilldeBlasio details new plan, but not the cost, to make city greener (CrainsNY) * Juan Gonzalez in the Daily News analyses the city’sfailure to build a 28-acre waterfront park in Brooklyn, the new Bushwick Inlet Park, which was promised almost ten years ago:
More on he NYC Parks

7 Days Ago True News Said the U.S. Attorney Was Target Silver's Kids to Pressure the Speaker, Skelos Daily News Copies Today
Is Bharara going after pols' kids to press parents?(NYDN) Albany insiders question whether U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (pictured) is deliberately going after the kids of Dean Skelos, Sheldon Silver and other embattled lawmakers to pressure their powerful dads into cooperating or taking plea deals. “The only time I’ve seen it this prevalent is when they’re going after organized crime families, and they’re trying to squeeze the bosses,” a former federal prosecutor said. Albany insiders question whether Bharara is deliberately going after the kids to pressure their powerful lawmaker dads into cooperating or taking plea deals.* Top Lawmakers Often Under Prosecutors’ Scrutiny( YNN)


Feds Pressure Silver's Daughter to Talk By Leaking She is A Is A Target . . .  Will the Speaker Rat on Member and Developers?
Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s daughter is under investigation and will likely face charges in the alleged $7 million Ponzi scheme that got her husband arrested, the Post writes: Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s daughter is under investigation and will likely face charges in thealleged $7 million Ponzi scheme that got her husband busted, a law-enforcement source told The Post on Tuesday. * Michelle Trebitsch, 37, “is involved” and “most likely will squeeze a plea [deal],” the source added. * Trebitsch’s husband, Marcello Trebitsch, was charged Monday with running a five-year fraud that scammed a Maryland-based developer and his accountant with promises of double-digit profits from trades in large-cap stocks. * According to court papers, Michelle met with the developer in 2009 at a Manhattan restaurant where she said she co-owned her husband’s investment fund, Allese Capita LLC, “and that she was a CPA and maintained the books and records for Allese.”


Feds Bang Silver's Family . . .  The Soldiers in Mob Families 
Sheldon Silver son-in-law busted by FBI in alleged Ponzi scheme (NYP) A son-in-law of disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was busted by the feds Monday on charges he ran a $7 million Ponzi scheme. Marcello Trebitsch, who’s married to Silver’s daughter, Michelle Trebitsch, allegedly promised his victims double-digit returns with very low risk before the scam collapsed. Trebistch claimed he would use investors’ money to buy large-cap stocks through Allese Capital LLC, a firm he co-owns with his wife, who is a certified public accountant, according to the feds. But he only actually invested a portion of the funds — and racked up “enormous trading losses” he kept secret — and spent the rest on himself and to pay back other investors.* Sheldon Silver’s Son-in-Law Is Arrested and Charged With Securities Fraud (NYT)Marcello Trebitsch is accused of defrauding investors out of $7 million, according to a criminal complaint.* Sheldon Silver’s son-in-law arrested, accused of defrauding investors with $7M Ponzi scheme (NYDN) * Former NYS Assembly Speaker's son-in-law facing federalfraud charges.(CBS6) *Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s son-in-law was arrested and accused of defrauding investors out of $7 million. Silver’s daughter is co-owner and managing partner of her husband’s investment fund, but she was not charged.

This Arrests of Silver's Son-In-Law Comes After the Former Speakers Lawyers Failed to Get His Case Dismissed On the Grounds  Prejudicial Statements They Claimed My By Bharara

Grand Jury Targeting Skelos Though his Son
Dean Skelos, New York Senate Leader,and His Son Are Said to Be Focus of Corruption Inquiry (NYT) Federal prosecutors have begun presenting evidence to a grand jury considering a case against the leader of the New York State Senate, Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, and his son, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Investigators have served a number of subpoenas in recent weeks, including several to state senators on Long Island, and federal prosecutors have interviewed people who have had dealings with Adam Skelos, the Republican senator’s son. One focal point has been Adam Skelos’s hiring by an Arizona company, AbTech Industries, as well as a storm-water treatment contract that AbTech was awarded by Nassau County — the senator’s political backyard — even though the company was not the low bidder. Another area of inquiry has been a $20,000 payment to Adam Skelos from a title insurance company that he never worked for. Feds are also examining whether his son’s hiring as a consultant was part of a scheme in which the senator, in exchange, would take official action that would benefit AbTech or another company, Glenwood Management, a politically influential real estate developer that has had ties to AbTech.

The Poor Door Affordable Housing Tease 

Chances of Getting An Affordable Apartment .0006%
The “poor door” building on the Upper West Side featuring one entrance for condo owners and another for low-income tenants has drawn more than 88,000 applications for the 55 affordable units, the Times reports: * ‘Poor Door’ Building Draws 88,000 Applicants for 55 Rental Units (NYT) Applications at 470 West 62nd Street, which drew heavy criticism for its separate entrances, could surpass 90,000 by the time the submission period ends Monday.

Was A Black Mayor Dinkins Treated Differently By the Press On Increased Crime Than de Blasio?
During the Dinkins administration a front-page headline in the New York Post had screamed: “Dave do something!”— a direct call to then mayor David Dinkins to get crime down fast. What Dinkins' did with the help of Albany was dramatically increase the size of the NYPD. As the number of NYPD increased during during the next 20 years crime when down to record levels.  With budget cuts this year the number of NYPD will be down to the level before the Dinkins and Giuliani increases.  We have a press and political system that allows mayor and future mayors to chose the issues that are covered in the media.  We know the mayor wants to go on Meet the Press to talk national issues, mayoral candidate Quinn wants gay marriage,

 Weiner will do anything to get himself a headline, Liu wants to drop audit bombs on the mayor contracts to win him points with unions while hiding in the comptroller office, Stringer wants to rebuild the infrastructure and deBlaiso will think of of angles to get in the paper.  But nobody want to talk about the growing crime problem and the press will not hold today's incumbents feet to the filed like that did former Mayor Dinkins *  New federal reform slaps training wheels on NYPD training, including Cop 101 advice like 'don't be racist' and 'don't hassle people for no reason'(NYDN) * The Post writes that efforts to reform police policies in New York City, which became much safer under those same policies over the last 20 years, have gone too far: * Editorial: NYPD: Presumed guilty (NYDN)

As Warm Weather Nears Cops On Edge On Excepted Increase Shootings Murders
Two Arms: Its Time for News Yorkers To Take Back the City From the Real Estate Barron and Their Hired Gun Lobbyists Who Control the Election Process and Run A Shadow Government
Help True News Save Journalism by Continuing Its Investigative Reporting of Corruption and Improve Its Ability to Expose New York’s Permanent Government of Robber Barons Who Used Their Money to Take Over Our Government and Destroyed Our Democracy  

Cuomo Cuba  
It's cool that Cuomo is launching his Cuba mission from an airport named after the guy who ordered Bay of Pigs
Seeking Business, Cuomo Heads to Cuba With a New York Trade Delegation (NYT) Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo would be the first governor to travel to Cuba since President Obama announced plans to ease relations in December.*  Cuomo begins his trade mission to Cuba, where he will meet with Cuban officials and businesses to pave the way for New York companies to expand their reach * Cuomo: Isolation Of Cuba Is Not Working (YNN) * Republicans Pounce On Cuba Trip (YNN) * Critics of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s whirlwind Cuba trade mission say its timing – he’s the first US governor to visit the Communist country since the start of a thaw between the two nations – may diminish its economic value. Supporters say being first in line is key for New York, as is planting the seeds of a relationship that will blossom over time.

On the even of his departure, Cuomo issued a lengthy statement defending his trip, saying: “I agree with the President that engagement is the best way to promote democracy and bring about positive change, rather than continuing a failed policy of isolation.* Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, a Staten Islander whose mother is a Cuban exile, said any efforts to normalize relations must be accompanied by significant concessions from the Castro regime. * Cuomo Stays Optimistic After Seeing the Challenges of Doing Business in Cuba (NYT) Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s enthusiasm was hard to miss, but the obstacles of abject poverty and a poorly developed infrastructure were equally apparent.* Cuomo pushes normalization with Cuba during visit(NYP)* Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited with business interests in Cuba as part of his trade mission, saying that despite the nation’s challenges there are real opportunities for New York State businesses, The New York Timeswrites: * Cuomo In Cuba, Day Two (YNN) * Cuomo announced at the conclusion of his 26-hour trade mission that two New York companies had inked partnerships in Cuba. * Former Gov. George Pataki on Cuomo’s Cuba trip: “I’m not going to criticize the governor, I don’t believe that I would have been as interested in pursuing trade with a Marxist, Stalinist state without them reforming significantly.” * WCBS-TV’s Marcia Kramer gave Cuomo a toy replica of a ’56 Chevy he admired while in Cuba.* Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrapped up his taxpayer-funded mission to Cuba saying he’s more convinced than ever that the Communist nation is ready to do business. He spent less than 27 hours on the island – long enough, the governor said, to see that Cuba is fully committed to developing a free market that can provide opportunities for New York. Before he departed CubaCuomo met with First Vice President Miguel Dìaz-Canel – the highest ranked official the governor saw on his trip – where the topics of discussion included lifting the United States’ trade embargo, and Cuba’s record on human rights. “Human rights are an issue that is very important to the people of the United States and New York in particular, and those issues have to be worked through,” Cuomo said. “What we have learned is the best way to do that is through engagement as opposed to through a policy of isolation.”* Gov. Andrew Cuomo lunched in Cuba with a government official, Gustavo Machin Gomez, who was expelled from the U.S. in 2002 in retaliation for Cuban efforts to spy on the United States,the Daily News writes * Gov. Andrew Cuomo lunched in Cuba with Gustavo Machin Gomez, a government official who was booted from the United States in a spy controversy. Cuomo administration officials defended Gomez’s appearance at the lunch, noting he’s been involved in the ongoing talks to normalize relations.
Hard to believe NYT report that Gov. Cuomo jokes about suppression of press freedom in Cuba.

Only In NYC Can the Pols Want to Give A Tax Break to Mom and Pol Stores Who Are Being Pushed Out By Developers Getting A Tax Break
In NYC, debate oversaving small shops amid chains' rise  Looking for a "Seinfeld"-style coffee shop? It's sharing the city with 280 Starbucks and more than 530 Dunkin Donuts. A good neighborhood deli? It's competing with some 460 Subways. And the corner store may well now be a Chase bank or Walgreens. Amid eye-popping rents and the demise of a number of well-known local haunts, some activists and lawmakers are proposing new rent-renewal rights for small businesses that they see as saving the personality of the city.

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

True News Extra

Promised a Supermarket Five Years Ago, a Housing Project Is Still Waiting (NYT) The Farragut Houses, a city housing project in northwest Brooklyn, suffer from economic and physical isolation.

New construction is needed, the best of the past must be preserved, and the resulting conflicts and debates are unavoidable. Flashback The Surprising Role Jackie Kennedy Onassis Playedin Saving Grand Central * Protect the past and future as the city Landmarks Lawmarks 50 years (NYDN)

Stringer Not Going After de Blasio
City Controller Scott Stringer insists he will not challenge de Blasio in 2017, aims to hold mayor accountable (NYDN)  The city controller, in politics for more than two decades, has made a name for himself since he took his current office 16 months ago as the Democrat most likely to criticize Mayor de Blasio. That independence, combined with more than $500,000 in his campaign war chest, has led to chatter in the political world that he’s mulling a primary run against the mayor in 2017. He insists he’ll be running for a second term in the job he now holds. “My intention is to run for reelection,” he said in one of several sitdowns with the Daily News. “I’m focused on the job I’m doing, not on any employment in the future.” Unfortunately for de Blasio — with whom he has a tense relationship at times — Stringer believes being a good controller means sometimes taking on City Hall.' Stringer emphasized to aides that he had to be on time...He was. De Blasio was not — and ended up getting booed'

Not Running for Mayor But Going After Animal Lovers?  Animals Put at Risk in New York City’s Shelters, Audit Finds (NYT) Animal Care and Control of New York, the nonprofit group that cares for the city’s stray and unwanted animals, has administered unsafe drugs and stored vaccines improperly, the comptroller said. * Stringer blasts ‘stomach-crawling’ state of city animal shelters (NYP)Stringer blasted the city Health Department for fostering a “system of dysfunction” in city-funded animal shelters, which are overcrowded and use dated medicine

de Blasio and His Mini Me WFP See Every Political Event As Meat to Eat For Themselves
The Alinsky Method
Just minutes after Clinton formally announced her run, New York’s Working Families Partyonce again urged Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to get in the race. * In addition to @BilldeBlasio,Tish James and MMV also not ready to endorse Hillary Clinton yet: (WSJ) * Nadler Defends de Blasio’s Non-Endorsement ofHillary Clinton (NYO *  
NYC Mayor de Blasio draws some ire for not endorsing Clinton (AP)

If the Best Way For A Child is A Good Education Why is the UFT Allowed to Use Students As A Political Prop?
Federal officials said there was an “organized political campaign” against standardized tests in New York and that districts could lose money if 95 percent of their pupils don’t take exams, Gannett Albany report


Is the Mayor's Family A Prop or Team?
“That’s the Way We Play Our Game”(City Journal)  New York City’s first family has cynically made political use of their children.  Throughout his career, New York mayor Bill de Blasio has been accused of using his family as a political prop. During his 2009 campaign for public advocate, then-council member Charles Barron, a former Black Panther, called de Blasio’s frequent use of his black wife and biracial children in campaign literature “disgraceful” and “an insult to the black community.” Barron’s criticism didn’t keep de Blasio from winning—or from redeploying the strategy in his 2013 mayoral campaign. In that race, television and print ads presented the happy, mixed-race de Blasios doing their signature “slap dance.” 

Teenage Dante de Blasio’s giant Afro was credited with helping his father win 42 percent of the critical black vote in the Democratic primary and sparing him a runoff. De Blasio sailed to a 50-point victory in the general election. Throughout his career, New York mayor Bill de Blasio has been accused of using his family as a political prop. During his 2009 campaign for public advocate, then-council member Charles Barron, a former Black Panther, called de Blasio’s frequent use of his black wife and biracial children in campaign literature “disgraceful” and “an insult to the black community.” Barron’s criticism didn’t keep de Blasio from winning—or from redeploying the strategy in his 2013 mayoral campaign. In that race, television and print ads presented the happy, mixed-race de Blasios doing their signature “slap dance.” Teenage Dante de Blasio’s giant Afro was credited with helping his father win 42 percent of the critical black vote in the Democratic primary and sparing him a runoff. De Blasio sailed to a 50-point victory in the general election.

Heastie Gets On the Transparency BS Express
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced a 12-member committee will review the chamber’s rules and operations with the goal of promoting transparency and public participation, State of Politics reports

Skelos Friday Update and Spins
Everyone who led the Assembly and Senate from late 1995 until this January Have Been Indicted Except Skelos
The Albany cesspool (NYP Ed)  News leaked Wednesday that Dean Skelos, the state Senate majority leader, is an evident target of another probe by US Attorney Preet Bharara. Skelos hasn’t gotten a subpoena yet, but eight of the nine other state senators from Long Island have — as has Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. Bharara’s not saying much. (After all, a judge recently slapped him for blabbing to the media about the case against ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver.) But he’s gotten as far as compelling testimony before a grand jury — and in his past political investigations, that’s led inexorably to indictments. And no student of New York politics doubts that there’s indictments to be had in Nassau. After all, it’s a county where Mangano may soon legally raise some cash byselling off the sewers *  Feds subpoena top LI politicians in Skelos probe (NYP) County Executive Ed Mangano, a fellow Republican, appeared before the secret panel last week and was asked about various contracts signed by the county, said a government source briefed on the case. Eight of Long Island’s nine state senators — all Republicans — also were issued subpoenas directing them to cough up documents, NY1 reported. Skelos, the ninth senator, has yet to be subpoenaed, sources said. Records show that Dean Skelos’ former legislative counsel, Michael Avella, also has lobbied in Albany on behalf of AEWS Engineering, a subsidiary of AbTech’s parent company. Following disclosure of the federal probe, acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said she would also launch her own investigation into how the county awards contracts.  Sources have told The Post that the feds also are looking into the $20,000 that Adam Skelos, 32, was paid by a title-insurance company for which he never did any work.* Skelos probe threatens GOP control of state senate (NYP)* Editorial: Dean $kelos keeps the cash flowing (NYDNEd) * Skelos may have an easier time holding on to his leadership position than ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver because his caucus is smaller and more cohesive, New York Magazine reports:

DA Covers Ass and Feds Target Skelos' Law Firm Lobbyist 
Amid Dean Skelos Inquiry, Contracting by Nassau County Faces Review (NYT) The county’s acting district attorney announced her own review, in response to revelations of a federal investigation into the leader of the New York Senate. Here Comes the Lobbyists Prosecutors investigating state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, have also been asking questions about the lobbying arm of the elder Skelos' law firm, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, the DailyNews writes * Campaign finance and payroll documents and public information from employers show Adam Skelos appears to have benefited from his father’s position with a series of jobs at GOP-wired entities, the Daily News reports: * The fact that state Senate Republicans have not rushed to publicly defend Skelos and immediate calls for his resignation are already coming from Democrats could spell out bad news for Skelos’ fate, The Buffalo News writes: *  As long as Albany wields vast power, interests large and small will look to rent it and corruption won’t end until the voters insist on changing the kind of people they elect, the Post writes: * Nassau County legislators who approved the contract in question with an Arizona company that employed Adam Skelos, AbTech Industries, said that they did not know the senator’s son worked there.* Skelos May Be Latest Target of U.S. AttorneyBharara (NY1) With news that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office is circling around Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos with roughly two months of session left, it begs the question: What, if anything, will get done?
After Skelos?  “If Skelos were to step aside, either temporarily to fight any changes or permanently if the charges turn out to be severe, the top contenders to replace him could be Syracuse’s John DeFrancisco and Suffolk County’s John Flanagan.”(NY Mag)

As Feds Target Lobbyists Shadow Government DAs Who Used Them In Their Campaigns Caught In A Dilemma of Their Own Making
Adam Skelos, the 32-year-old son of Sen. Skelos, appears to have benefited from his dad’s position with a series of jobs at GOP-wired entities, according to campaign finance and payroll documents and public information provided by firms that employed him.  Should Skelos be indicted and forced to step down, as happened to Silver, no seamless replacement strategy is in place. That is because his second-in-command, Sen. Tom Libous, of Binghamton, faces a federal trial this summer on charges of lying to FBI agents who were investigating the financial activities of him and his son. Barbara Bartoletti, of the NY League of Women Voters, sees no reason for Skelos to give up his leadership post right now. “There is a presumption of innocence, and we should at least wait until federal authorities have finished with their investigation,” she said. “We should all just be aware that the culture of corruption in Albany has very long tentacles.”* A source who recently met with investigators for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara indicatedthat about half the questions focused on the lobbying arm of the law firm where Skelos is of counsel, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, and if there was any direct or indirect interaction with the senator. * Skelos confirmed the existence of the federal inquiry and said he is cooperating – a switch from months ago, when he attacked a report about the existence of the probe as “a thinly sourced” story that did “not meet the standards of journalism.”* In Albany, little consensus on the Skelos effect (Capital) Players unsure of impact on housing and education issues* New York Sen. Dean Skelos to Cooperate With Federal Inquiry (WSJ)* “This is what Cuomo loosed on theworld,” a state Senate operative grumbles. (NY Mag)

Meara is one of the state’s most powerful lobbyists . . .  Part of the Silver, Queens Boss Crowley and Speaker Quinn Crime Families 
The Bayside resident is also close to Queens Democratic boss and US Rep. Joe Crowley, while his brother, Chuck, was chief of staff to former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. In addition to the state court officers union and other labor groups, Meara represents a host of big-bucks industries, including casino operators, insurance companies and soft-drink makers. His clients also include the Yankees owners and the Silvercup Studios production facility in Queens. The Bayside resident is also close to Queens Democratic boss and US Rep. Joe Crowley, while his brother, Chuck, was chief of staff to former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. According to Thursday’s criminal complaint against Silver, Meara got a non-prosecution deal from the feds in exchange for agreeing to serve as a “fact witness” against the Manhattan Democrat. The complaint says Silver got two developers — including “Developer-1,” identified by sources as 100-year-old Litwin — to hire the law firm run by Silver’s former counsel, identified by sources as Jay Arthur Goldberg. Silver allegedly pocketed at least $700,000 by splitting the fees generated by the lucrative property-tax challenges, without notifying either developer or disclosing the payments. 

Companies That Brian Meara Has Been A Lobby For
NRG Energy, Inc. , Motorola Solutions Inc., New York Black Operator's Injury Compensation Fund, Inc., PepsiCo, Inc., Dominion Voting Systems, Inc, New York Black Car Operators' Injury Compensation Fund, Inc., MANHOLE BARRIER SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC., COMMISSION ON INDEPENDENT COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES,  empire racing associates llc, ABC, INC. CBS Corporation, NBC Universal, Harter, Secrest & Emery LLP, Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance, Covanta Energy Corporation (formerly American Ref-Fuel Co.), American Ref-Fuel Company, Essex Enterprises LLC, Power, Crane & Company. LLC, Power, Crane & Company. LLC

Permanent Government of Real Estate Defends Prince Silver to Stop An Investigation That May Expose Their Illegal Practices  
Two legal-defense groups show support for Sheldon Silver (NYP) Two top legal-defense groups have come to the aid of disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed a joint brief Thursday supporting the indicted but still politically connected Silver, despite objections from the government. * Two criminal defense law groups filed court papers Thursday arguing the federal corruption case against Assemblyman Sheldon Silver should be tossed because of comments made by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara * Lawyers for former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are again pressing a federal judge to toss out an indictment on corruption charges due to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s public comments about the case, theObserver reports: * Although US Attorney Preet Bharara has been accused of overzealousness in some insider trading cases, he has pursued fraud and corruption seemingly without regard for political affiliation or hints of personal vindictiveness.

The Columbia Journalism investigation of Rolling Stone was one article in one publication.  The Berlin Rosen political spin that blamed Cuomo for the city's homeless increase effected all of New York's newspapers and almost all of the media outlets. NY1 journalist Errol Louis believes that Berlin Rosen has manipulated and comprised journalism. What Berlin Rosen did was get a homeless non-profit they controlled to issues a report blaming Cuomo for the increase in homelessness in the city.

The non-profit Coalition for the Homeless was run by the son-in-law for a client of Berlin Rosen, Forest City Ratner. The report even praised the mayor who Berlin Rosen works for, despite the fact that the 10% increase in homelessness has come under de Blasio's term. The reason that True News is asking Steve Coll Dean of the Columbia School of Journalism to investigate the influence of lobbyists on the NYC news media, goes way beyond using the homeless as a political football.  Many activists in the city believe that the 421-a tax breaks are causing the increase in homelessness in the city.  Berlin Rosen client Forest City Ratner is counting on that tax break program to help them fund and sell the luxury housing they are currently building in Brooklyn.  True News is asking the Columbia School of Journalism to investigate if Berlin Rosen blame of Cuomo of the growing homeless problem was covering-up the real reason for the increase in homelessness the 421-a tax break program. It is not only the homeless that the 421-a program is hurting.  Thousand of New York's poor and middle class have been pushed out of communities by gentrification, which is being caused or fueled by the 421-a program.  The tax break program is even at the center of the corruption charges against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. The New York Times reporter wrote about how lobbyists control a shadow government.  There is now proof that the lobbyist shadow government control and manipulates the news media.  It is up to the Columbia School of Journalism to restore democracy and a free press to the people of New York City.  The Top media outlets in the city were mislead by Berlin Rosen Cuomo and de Blasio Clash Again, This Time Over Homelessness (NYT, March 25th), *Miley Cyrus urges Andrew Cuomo and state Legislature to boost funds for homeless (NYDN, March 19th), Democrats nudge Cuomo on homeless youthfunding (YNN)  True News: It is Time for Columbia Journalism School to Investigate the Control Over News That Lobbyists Like Berlin Rosen Have in NY

NY1 Attacks Berlin Rosen for Not Registering As A Lobbyists But OK With A District Leader Registered At A Fake Address and Breaking the Law That Sent A Brooklyn Boss to Jail
NY1 Online: Consultants Talk Mayor's Decision to Not Yet Endorse Hillary Clinton (NY1) While lobbyist Evan Stavisky he was never asked how is a Queens District Leader while is wife is boss chairwomen of the Rockland Democratic Party From Nanuet Patch  Rockland Democrats gathered at Clarkstown Town Hall Thursday evening to elect Kristin Zebrowski-Stavisky their new chairwoman.  Stavisky, 40, is the sister of Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New City. And in case you haven't figured it out, she's also the wife of Evan Stavisky. So Rockland County Democratic Party Chair Kristen Stavisky lives in a big house in Rockland County & her District Leader husband Evan Stavisky in the 26th district and lives in a small apartment in Queens? It couldn't be that he needs to be a resident of Queens to be a District Leader there and continue his "Pay to Play" game of handing out Democratic Party Endorsements?  A Strategic Living Arrangement For Top Democratic Strategist(City and State)

If Former Brooklyn Boss Norman Was Sent to Jail For Coercing Candidates to Pay Thousands of Dollars To Favored Campaign Consultant. Senator . . . Why is Gianaris Getting Away With Doing the Same Deal With Parkside

DSCC requirement to use Parkside for mailers reminiscent of Norman's requirement to use Lendler [UPDATED] (Progress Queens) Former Brooklyn Democratic Party chair Clarence Norman was indicted and later convicted for requiring judicial candidates to use party-favored political campaign vendors. Prosecutors said Mr. Norman had coerced two candidates for civil court judge to pay thousands of dollars to favored campaign consultants, or lose his organization’s support in the 2002 primary. In due course, Mr. Norman was found guilty in a jury trial of "coercion, grand larceny by extortion and attempted grand larceny by extortion" stemming from charges of having "coerced two candidates for civil court judge to pay thousands of dollars to favored campaign consultants, or lose his organization’s support in the 2002 primary," according to a 2007 report published by The New York Times.

Gianaris Forces Senate Candidates to Hire Parkside
The New York Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, or DSCC, headed by State SenatorMichael Gianaris (D-Queens), required that "DSCC-backed candidates must use Parkside to print their campaign mail, an arrangement some Democrats have long bristled at," according to a report published by inThe New York Observer.   Parkside as of the last filing pulled in about $3.6 million this year. Primarily their services include direct mail, television ads, Polling and cards or literature. Sources say that in many instances Parkside representatives made clear to the candidates that if they do not use their services, they will not be receiving DSCC money.  Sometimes that was made clear in the form of a threat, other times it was demonstrated through pulled support.  The case many Democrats point to is Justin Wagner who ran the last two cycles for the seat currently occupied by Republican Senator Greg Ball. Wagner wouldn’t sign on to Parkside, and as a result he got limited help from the DSCC. Even though that was an open seat and a potential pickup for the Democrats. Finally, there were charges that Parkside “acted in their own self interest rather than what is best for the Senate.” With DSCC Chairman State Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens acting as “an account manager for Parkside.” And if any Chairman was coming out of dramatic losses such as these, he or she “shouldn’t be in a job any longer.

NY1's Louis Concerned That Lobbyist Have Manipulated and Comprised Journalism
On Inside City Hall host Errol Louis in a discussion of the stations report on Berlin Rosen admitted that he was surprised at the reach of Berlin Rosen. He expressed concern that advocates that use the media might not be independent.  He said he was shocked to lean that the Coalition for the Homeless which was blaming Cuomo for the increase the city's homeless hired Berlin Rosen as its consultant.  Louis on NY1: "Last week when I interviewed the coalition for the homeless, I did not know they were a Berlin Rosen client. The report (the coalitions issued) goes out of their way to blame everyone but the mayor for the record high homelessness in the city.  They talked (blamed) the governor and (blamed) at length the last past mayor.   When I realized they were a client, I realized this is a problem not just for transparency and private sector clients not being registered lobbyist . . . this works both ways. Maybe we got advocates who are not independent advocates."  NY1 Online: Reporters Weigh In on BerlinRosen's Influence onCity Hall

Mayor's Unregistered Lobbyists Berlin Rosen Used the Media to Blame Cuomo for Increased Homelessness
NY1's Louis interviewed Patrick Markee, deputy executive director for advocacy at the Coalition for the Homeless on March 26th.  In the interview Markee blamed Cuomo and Bloomberg for the increase in the city's Homeless.  When Markee offered that de Blasio plan would decrease homeless in the coming year, Louis asked him why his report did not blame the mayor also for increasing homeless. In a period of 5 days starting on March 19th the media acted as a court stenographer for Berlin Rosen and their main client de Blasio on blaming Cuomo for the homeless increase.  *Coalition for the Homeless Demands More from Cuomo ...(NYO, March 19th) * State Budget Expected to Provide Relief for Homeless, but Advocates Say It's Still Not Enough

Is the City's 421-a Housing Policy Causing an Increase in Gentrification Causing More Homelessness? 
Senate Democrats Nudge Cuomo On Homeless Youth ...(YNN, March 19th) * Miley Cyrus asks Gov. Cuomo to boost funds for homeless ...), March 19th) *  De Blasio Slams Cuomo Homelessness Proposals (ObserverMarch 25th) *Cuomo and de Blasio Clash Again, This Time Over Homelessness (NYT, March 25th) Mr. de Blasio’s homeless services commissioner, Gilbert Taylor, told the Council that the administration was going to lobby officials in Albany this week about the rent subsidy issue (for the homeless) * Miley Cyrus urges Andrew Cuomo and state Legislature to boost funds for homeless (NYDN, March 19th) * #MileyCyrus appealing to #Cuomo for more funds. Housing Homeless Youth Poses Challenge for Mayor deBlasio (NYT)  * Ambitious Call for De Blasio, Cuomo to Build Supportive Housing (City Limits, March 25th) * Senate Democrats nudge Cuomo on homeless youthfunding (YNN)  *Activists and politicians laid out an aggressive nine-point plan they say de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo could implement to stem the growing homeless population by the decade’s end, the Observer reports * State Budget Expected to Provide Relief for Homeless, but Advocates Say It's Still Not Enough (NY1) *On Homeless Fight, State Says to City: 'Next Year' - Bergin WNYC 

When is A Reporter Going to Ask A Pol What is Causing the Increase in Homelessness?
Speaker Blames New Yorkers for Not Allowing Homeless in Their Neighborhoods
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called for more supportive housing to tackle the “alarming” homelessness crisis, and slammed local resistance to shelters, the Daily News writes: * NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called for more supportive housing to tackle the city’s “alarming and truly heartbreaking” homelessness crisis, and slammed “NIMBYism” from New Yorkers who have resisted sheltering the poor in their neighborhoods. * Board members at two Brooklyn charities — including a former makeup artist for Oprah Winfrey — kicked homeless and low-income families out of two brownstones so they could sell the buildings for a bundle, AG Eric Schneiderman’s office alleged.

Why Did NY1 Who Help Create the Lobbyists Shadow Government in NYC Only 
Turn Against Berlin Rosen?

The City Blames Cuomo While It Builds Luxury HQ for Its Homeless Agency
Will de Blasio Fire Homeless Commission Gilbert Talyor?
Will Columbia Deans Coronel and Coll Investigate Berlin Rosen Control of the Media?
Homeless agency spends $600K on office upgrades as families live with vermin: report (NYP) The agency that looks after the city’s neediest is blowing through cash for its own digs like LeBron James furnishing his next mansion. The Department of Homeless Services, which was recently blasted over squalid conditions at dozens of shelters, spent $600,000 beautifying its offices, according to a report Monday. The lavish expenditures included two 75-inch Samsung 3-D TVs that cost $3,297.99 each — even after a $500 rebate. DHS also bought 11 28-inch Samsung LED TVs for $308 each and another dozen 19-inch Samsung models that cost $174.14 a pop, according to DNAinfo, which first reported the upgrades. Other pricey electronics included 13 Apple iPad Air tablets with 32GB of memory, and 30 iPad Airs with 16GB of memory. The portable computers retail for $449 and $399, respectively. The agency also spared no expense on seat comfort — dropping $429 apiece on 16 Air Grid office chairs with headrests. n all, the department spent $90,000 on high-tech gear and furniture for its offices at 33 Beaver St.  That’s on top of $171,000 to create additional offices at the Financial District building, and $150,000 on a paint job for the seven floors the department occupies.

Will the CUNY School of Journalism Show Some Social Responsibility and Investigate Berlin Rosen Control on the NYC's News Media?
Last month, the city Department of Investigation issued a scathing report that exposed what Commissioner Mark Peters called “perilous” conditions at 25 shelters housing thousands of destitute families.The report revealed 621 violations of building and fire-safety codes, as well as vermin infestations — including hordes of roaches and a smelly, decaying rat corpse— and garbage littering the hallways and stairs. At one of the worst shelters, the Brooklyn Acacia Cluster in Brownsville — where investigators found one elevator broken, and the other fouled with a large puddle of urine — residents were outraged at the DHS spending. “When we moved in, they gave us a broken bed, a broken dresser, one chest that has two of the drawers broken,” said Denise Annisa, 49, a mother of five whose previous apartment was destroyed by fire. “We’ve requested new stuff, but we haven’t gotten anything. It’s been over a year.” DHS said it was “ramping up its efforts to curb an unprecedented homelessness crisis.” “This includes adding 154 new staff members to keep families at the brink of homelessness in their homes, and help people in shelter transition back to permanent housing, and upgrading old facilities to accommodate this new staff and operation,” the DHS statement added.positioning

They Think We Are Jerks and They Are Right
de Blasio Not Endorsing Silly Theater to Keep the Left In Line and Positioning Himself to Be Left Leader
On National Television, de Blasio Declines to Endorse Clinton for President (NYT) Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said he would hold off until learning more about his former boss’s economic platform.* De Blasio won’t endorse former boss Hillary Clinton — yet (NYP) *Mayor Bill de Blasio declined to endorse Hillary Clinton on NBC’s “Meet the Press” despite her heavy involvement in his campaigns and her status as his former boss, theTimes writes: * The Post’s Fred Dicker writes that Hillary Clinton enters the presidential race with a cold shoulder from de Blasio and few signs of genuine enthusiasm from other top New York Democrats:

Clinton loyalists were miffed at NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for refusing to endorse her second presidential run right off the bat. But fellow “progressives” and some political strategists said the mayor made the right move. * “I think she’s one of the most qualified people to ever run for this office and, by the way, thoroughly vetted,” said de Blasio, who ran Clinton’s 2000 campaign for the US Senate and is headed to Iowa soon to discuss income inequality. “But we need to see the substance.”* A “senior Democratic Party leader” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems “distant and detached from Hillary’s effort, perhaps because it’s not his,” even though he issued a statement “wholeheartedly” endorsing her bid.Sen. Elizabeth Warren to get in the race

NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled new details about her plan to hire 1,000 cops, while de Blasio continued to insist that the police force is fine “in its current state.”

Not Fixing NYCHA, Increasing Homeless & Bad School More Regressive Than Progressive
WSJNY: “De Blasio Undecided on Whether to Endorse Clinton” * - amNY: “De Blasio wants 'substance' before endorsing Clinton” “We progressives have a lot of work to do to influence thedirection of the Democratic Party" said...Scott Stringer! (WSJ) * NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, like Mayor Bill de Blasio, is not ready to support Clinton’s campaign. “I look forward to hearing from all the Democratic candidates,” she said. * Rep. Jerry Nadler defended de Blasio’s non-endorsement of Clinton, saying: “(I)t’s perfectly legitimate to ask candidates for anything to explain their positions on things and to take positions you want them to take.” * Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the first woman to lead a legislative conference in Albanyhas endorsed Clinton. * Though they’re both pushing for the same goal – getting more kids to opt out of the standardized tests to be administered this week – parents groups and the teachers unionhave different motivations. *CLINTON and HUMA ABEDIN spent yesterday in a van headed for Iowa, with Clinton tweeting: “Road trip! Loaded the van & set off for IA. Met a great family when we stopped [for gas in Pennsylvania] this afternoon. Many more to come.” *

Daily News Calls de Blasio's Reduced Stop A Frisk Claims BS

The mayor’s ‘mistake’ (NYP Ed)  Did Mayor de Blasio “misspeak” the other day about the NYPD’s stop-question-frisk tactics, as his aides contend — or was he out to hide the real story?  In the top stop-and-frisk year under Bloomberg, only 12 percent of stops resulted in arrest. In de Blasio’s first year, the number was 18 percent. That’s an increase — but nowhere near the mayor’s suggestion that everyone stopped nowadays has been caught in crime. As for race, 84 percent of those stopped last year were people of color — about what the numbers have been for over a decade. Which leaves the precipitous drop in the number of stops — a drop that began years before de Blasio moved into Gracie MansionMore important are the figures the mayor chose not to mention: a 20 percent rise in homicides and 17 percent jump in shootings this year over 2014. * A modern New York fable:Separating fact from fiction in the stop-and-frisk debate (NYDN) * CCRB declines to adopt ‘perjury’ policy for false complaints * CCRB ‘dragging its feet’ on perjury policy for false complaints: PBA (NYP) * The Post writes that hefty technical and financial burdens need to be figured out before the New York Police Department rushes to put body cameras on every cop, as some on the City Council would urge:* Progressive Groups Tell Mark-Viverito to Drop Push for 1,000 New Police (DNAINFO) Mark-Viverito said the City Council is united on the issue and she won't stop pursuing more police.

De Blasio's own stop and frisk standard comes back to bite him w(NYDN)  As a candidate and in City Hall, Bill de Blasio played a facile numbers game. It went as follows: The cops were arresting or issuing summonses to only 12% of the people whom they had stopped on suspicion of criminality. Starting under Commissioner Ray Kelly and continuing under Commissioner Bill Bratton, the NYPD has sharply cut the number of stops. They are projected to total about 40,000 this year. At the same time, the hit rate has climbed to 18%. Summing up his record, de Blasio told the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference this week: “There were over 700,000 stops and frisks of people in this city, the vast majority of whom were young men of color, the vast majority of whom were innocent in every way shape and form, and this year that number is 40,000 and the people being stopped are people who have done something wrong.” 

Who the Hell Wants To Become A Cop Now?

He spoke proudly — and incorrectly. By his own standard, at a hit rate of 18%, the cops are still letting go 82% of the people they’ve stopped. Monifa Bandele of Communities United for Police Reform criticized de Blasio’s overstatement, saying he “is falsely criminalizing tens of thousands of New Yorkers — the majority of whom are Black or Latino — who were stopped by police last year and found to be doing nothing wrong.” That’s the very critique de Blasio still aims at Michael Bloomberg and Kelly. Delicious.* Police reform advocates criticized de Blasio’s speech at the National Action Network, here he touted a decrease in stop-and-frisks, arguing he exaggerated the effectiveness of his reforms, the Daily News report *  New York City Council Members Vanessa Gibson and Jumaane Williams write in the Daily News that police should be required to wear body cameras, as they are neutral observers and can protect citizens and officers alike: * * New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said police reform efforts do not negate the need for more NYPD officers in response to a question from an anti-police brutality activist, the Observer reports: * Focusing on body cams (NYP Ed) 
* New York City Public Advocate Letitia James will file a brief seeking expedited appeal hearings after the denial of petitions to release grand jury transcripts and evidence in the Eric Garner case, GothamGazette reports * Focusing on body cams (NYP Ed)

Start-Up NY More A Public Relations TV Ad for Cuomo Than A Jobs Program
TheDem assemblyman charged with overseeing economic development says it was amistake to boost $ for Start-UP NY (Capital) * The promotional campaign for Start-Up NY has cost taxpayers $53 million since the its inception in late 2013, while the program has led to $1.7 million in private investment and 76 jobs so far, GannettAlbany reports: * Cuomo’s job creation program Start-Up NY didn’t deserve the $50 million in extra advertising money it swept from the New York Power Authority in this year’s state budget,according to Assemblyman Robin Schimminger.* Andrew Kennedy, chairman of the Start-UP NY approval board, said the job creation program is “on its way towards those thousands of jobs” after officials questioned its effectiveness, Capital New York reports: * Editiorial: Cuomo's Start-Up NY plan slow to pay off so far (NYDN) * Government logic: Spending $28M to create 76 jobs (NYP Ed) *  
Cuomo's Start Up NY is a nonstarter:(CrainsNY) Reminder: Cuomo's Start Up NY spent $28M for 76 jobs. NY's own estimate was ''fracking,''with NO gov't subsidy, could create 25,000 jobs! * The Post’s Kyle Smith writes that Cuomo’s Start-Up NY program does too little for very few businesses and doesn’t justify the investment the state has made in the program:  UPDATE An unlikely coalition from New York’s political right and left has called for the suspension of Cuomo’s Start-Up NY economic development program following reports of modest initial success and significant marketing costs.* Strange Bedfellows Unite Against START-UP (YNN) * A group of liberal and conservative groups called on the state to stop adding new businesses to START-UP NY while the state Comptroller’s Office audits the economic development program, State of Politicsreports * Cuomo’s projections for START-UP NY are not impressive, with the nine out-of-state companies on the 2014 list pledging to create 451 jobs based on a $4.3 million investment, E.J. McMahonwrites in City Journal: * The New Yorkgovernor’s #EconomicDevelopmentprogram is heavy on hype but light on #jobs * The Times Union writes that the state Board of Elections perpetuates a blatant loophole in campaign finance rules in refusing to close the LLC loophole, bowing to their political masters: * Cuomo defended the START-UP program, calling it “inarguable,” and said the report from his own ESDC that found the effort had produced just 76 jobs in a year was “misleading.”An audit of the advertising contract for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Start-Up NY program “is being finalized” and “will be announced shortly,” DiNapoli said.

How Local TV News Make Millions Dumbing New Yorkers Down
Local TV Which Does Not Cover Govt Makes Millions Off of Special Interest Ads Govt Ads

Education War TVAds
Organizations on both sides of the education battle are spending big, with pro-charter groups and the state teachers union spending $757,093 in January and February alone, State of Politics reports:  * Spending on advertising has fueled the increase in TV lobbying costs. Well-funded special interests funnel millions to lobbyists for public campaigns to sway lawmakers on hot-button issues (TU)  Local News which is mainly weather, traffic, cooking and dog segments is making millions in lobbyists spending.  Union and business interest like the pro fracking interest are also spending millions on ads to local stations.  All this money is coming in as local news dumbs down.  Local TV stations stand to profit from boom in super-PAC spending (The Hill)*CSNY’s budget blitz: $3.9 million (updated)(TU) *Save NY airing tax cap ad(TU) *Budget opponents up their ads and mailers(TU) *Bloomberg Blames Negative Ads For Poor Showing In Education ...(Politico) *Save NY now airs on school money(TU) *NYC's Bloomberg Pays for TV Ads Backing Cuomo's Pension *  Bloomberg Defends His Administration With TV Ad - * Local TV News For $ale: How Special Interests Control News Content and Public Opinion 

When Soon Dies Most New Yorker Will Be Left With Is Shit TV Local News 
A ‘Darker Narrative’ of Print's Future From Clay Shirky (NYT) The New York University professor and author responds to my column on print’s importance to The Times.* The Newspaper of Record offers a revealing hit parade.

Albany's Zombie Pots of Pork
Zombie pork (NYP Ed)The Legislature may have eliminated member items back in 2009 after an avalanche of corruption scandals, but that hardly leaves Albany pork-free today.  In fact, the latest state budget is loaded with millions in pork-barrel grants, nearly all added at the last minute without debate — or full disclosure of who inserted them. There’s $24,523 earmarked for ACORN, the hard-left activist group. Never mind that ACORN closed down five years ago. As its own general counsel told The Post: “ACORN is deader than a doornail. It doesn’t exist anymore.”* The Times Union writes that with another questionablepork-barrel grant showing up in the state budget, it’s past time for the state to put more sunlight on member items and the budget: 

"these lump-sum pots are pork by another name."Editorial: We need to know how state is spending every dollar: * On top of the ACORN funds, the Albany Times-Union reports, this year’s zombies include $505,000 for Relief Resources, a politically connected Brooklyn agency that was investigated by Gov. Cuomo’s Moreland Commission, which raised questions about its mental-health referral operation. The group’s funding, said Moreland’s co-chair, “certainly didn’t go to improve the health of anybody in New York City.” But lawmakers have sent it millions over the years — plainly because it’s chaired by a powerful lobbyist for the Orthodox Jewish community. A later report by The Forward and WNYC said Relief Resources’ work was well-known and strongly defended by community leaders, but noted it had spent funds on lobbying apparently unrelated to its official activities.*  

 A coalition of groups is urging the state Board of Elections to prohibit the practice of individual donors giving unlimited campaign contributions through a network of limited liability corporations, State of Politicswrites: Cuomo cuts into pork * A Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll found most upstate voters do not believe the ethics reforms included in the state budget agreement go far enough or will help curtail corruption, State of Politics reports The state Business Council urged the state Board of Elections not to end a regulation that has allowed limited liability corporations to make unlimited political contributions* * Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, state Sen. Daniel Squadron and good-government groups, however, urged the board to close the so-called LLC loophole, which it is slated to discuss Thursday, the Times Union reports * * The eve of the state Board of Elections' consideration of the possible closure of the so-called LLC loophole brought a flurry of activity, including the board's Republican co-chair quietly getting replaced,the Times Union reports: * * The state Board of Elections can show who they work for and what they stand for by finally closing the LLC loophole, which allows wealthy donors to get around the caps on political contributions, the TimesUnion writes:   *According to Citizens Union, despite new pork-barrel spending being banished from the state budget since 2010, previously approved earmarks will be footed by taxpayers for years to come, the Times Union reports: * Elections Board Deadlocks On LLC Reclassification (YNN)* Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this so-called LLC loophole should be closed, either through the Board of Elections or by legislative action, : Gannett Albany reports * Cuomo Admin: ‘Incredibly Disappointed’ BoE Didn’t Act On LLCs (YNN) * New York State Elections Board Retains a Corporate Donation Loophole (NYT) The 1996 ruling, which was kept in place on a tie vote, exempted limited-liability companies from corporate campaign contribution limits, allowing wealthy donors to make huge multiple contributions.* The state Board of Elections declined to change a longstanding ruling that critics say has allowed millions of dollars to flow, virtually unchecked, into campaign coffers across New York. The board’s four commissioners deadlocked 2-to-2 on the issue of whether to rescind its own 1996 opinion that found limited-liability companies should be treated like individuals when it comes to contributions. * Emails between Sony executives and Cuomo’s campaign staff leaked as part of the Sony Pictures hack and published in full by WikiLeaks Thursday appear to show Sony executives believed donating to the governor was a good idea because he is a “strong protector” of New York’s film tax credit.* -- Cuomo reacts: “We commend Commissioners Kellner and Spano for advancing this reform and are incredibly disappointed their fellow commissioners did not follow suit,” administration spokeswoman Dani Lever stated. “The governor has repeatedly introduced legislation to close the LLC loophole and he will continue to fight to make it a reality.”-- Cuomo has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of donations from LLCs, and in the past, has hesitated to push for legal changes. In 2013, he told reporters that "it's not a loophole, it's the law." In February, Cuomo explained he left it out of his ethics reform package because he did not want to antagonize legislators. -- Good-government groups had agitated for the change, and were disappointed when the board deadlocked. Scott Reif, a spokesman for Senate Republicans, replied: “As soon as the so-called good government groups have anything to say about the unlimited money that unions pump into the coffers of Democrats or the dollars that Mayor de Blasio funnels to Upstate County Democrat Party Committees, we may start taking them seriously. Until then, they should get a life.”*  The good-government group Citizens Union found the recently passed state budget includes $2.9 billion in “opaque” lump sum funds, which is $303 million more than proposed in the executive budget* * A coalition of good-government groups urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to not pack a review panel for ethics regulators with commissioners who will rubberstamp any findings, State of Politics reports:  * * A report set to be released shows that political spending by the state's powerful trial lawyers jumped a hefty 27 percent in 2014 over the previous year, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett reports: 

NYT de Blasio Wooing Business Leaders he Denounced
New Tack for de Blasio: Wooing Business Leaders He Once Denounced (NYT) The mayor, who railed against big business during his campaign, is making what corporate executives described as a delayed attempt to meet them on their home turf.

Water Increase Not My Fault de Blasio
De Blasio sought to distance himself from an administration document that projected the city would continue a practice he criticized as a candidate that involves enriching New York City’s budget at the expense of water ratepayers.  * Mayor Bill de Blasio distanced himself from a projection that showed the city would continue to raise water rates, a practice he had criticized, while the city offered new projections, The Wall Street Journal writes *  While running for mayor, de Blasio criticized his predecessor for rising rent payments from the New York City Water Board to the city, but the payments are expected to grow 32 percent by 2019, the Journal reports

Hey Bruno Give $600,000 Back
State auditors said they are disallowing more than $600,000 in legal bills submitted by Joe Bruno, the former Senate majority leader who was acquitted last year of public corruption charges, saying that a public opinion poll and time spent on the phone with journalists are not eligible for taxpayer reimbursement. * State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli determined that $606,112 of the $2.4 million in legal bills racked up by former state Senate Republican Leader Joe Bruno should be disallowed, the Times Union writes

NYC Forgotten Veterans Get Much Needed Attention in City Hall

Why is the Mayor and Bratton Fighting Over Increasing the NYPD by 1000?
Murders in NYC rise 16% this year as 82 people have been killed (NYDN)  NYPD deputy counter-terrorism boss John Miller said the video of a white cop in South Carolina shooting and killing a fleeing black man is "going to cost" police across the country, the Daily News writes  How Much Stop and Frisk Reforms De Blasio exaggerates NYPD stop-and-frisk reforms (NYPD

More ISIS Terrorists Caught in NYC
Woman busted for bomb plot scoured city for targets: source (NYP) * Fourth suspect indicted in alleged plot by Brooklyn men to join ISIS for providing travel services to Turkey, Syria (NYDN) Kasimov and co-defendant Abror Habibov are not charged with seeking to join ISIS, according to court papers. The other two men, Abdurasul Juraboev and Akhror Saidakhmetov, are charged with seeking to travel overseas and join the terrorist group. Kasimov and Habibov “pooled together approximately $1,600 for Saidakhmetov to use in Syria and Kasimov delivered this money to Saidakhmetov at JFK airport” shortly before he was arrested in February, assistant U.S. attorneys Alexander Solomon and Douglas Pravda said in court papers. Habibov, a citizen of Uzbekistan, allegedly paid for a round-trip plane ticket to Turkey for Saidakhmetov who, like Juraboev, planned to cross the Turkish border into Syria and join ISIS fighters.* Editorial: Christians under siege in Africa and beyond (NYDN Ed) * 4th Brooklyn Man Is Charged in Plot to Join ISIS (NYDN) Dilkhayot Kasimov, 26, was added as a defendant in the case of a group of Brooklyn men charged with trying to support the Islamic State.* 4th Brooklyn man faces federal charges in overseas terrorplot (AMNY)* * Dilkhayot Kasimov was named as a fourth defendant and accused of raising money for the travels of Brooklyn men previously charged with trying to join the Islamic State, the Times reports: * Brooklyn Man Charged With Allegedly Funding ISIS Recruitment Plot In NY (CBS)* Clergy group presses de Blasio on police reform (Capital) “If the mayor wants to get re-elected, he’ll make this happen,” said Rev. Calvin Butts, III.* Four Men Arraigned for Allegedly Attempting to Join ISIS (NY1)

Not One Elected Official Has Spoken About the 5 ISIS Arrests in the City 
Two Women in Queens Are Charged With a Bomb Plot (NYT) The women, both American citizens, wanted to detonate a device in the country and had been communicating with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, said a complaint unsealed Thursday. * A terror attack averted by the skin of N.Y.’s teeth (NYDN Ed)* Two women living in Queens have been charged with planning to build a bomb, in a plot revealed by a monthslong undercover investigation that found the women had discussed the merits of various types of bombs and had obtained four propane gas tanks.* Queens Women Held Without Bail Following Terror Plot Arrest(NY1) *Husband of accused bomb plotter: ‘I don’t believe any of it’ (NYP) * TYKES AND THE TERROR QUEEN: Woman accused of bomb strike plot at fallen NYPD hero's funeral worked at preschool(NYDN)* 42 years ago yesterday, the WTC opened. Take a look atclassic images of the Twin Towers(Newsday)* Accused terrorist who allegedly plotted bombing campaignfired from job tutoring kids: (DNAINFO)* New York counties are getting $233 million in FEMA grants to fund counter-terrorism protections and emergency preparedness, the Cuomo administration announced. *  Broken Windows 101 (NYP Ed) Good thing cops weren’t listening to Melissa Mark-Viverito when they arrested Damien Brunson for jumping a Brooklyn subway turnstile. The City Council speaker is a big critic of the Broken Windows strategy that helped bring crime in New York down to record lows. She’d rather police treat so-called minor crimes, like evading a subway fare, with a summons or a desk-appearance ticket. Cops on patrol nabbed Brunson, 32, after he jumped a turnstile at the High Street IND station. He blamed a MetroCard that wasn’t working, but the officers didn’t just write a ticket, as the speaker would have them do. Good thing: They found that Brunson was carrying quantities of crack and marijuana, along with a loaded Smith & Wesson .38.

NYP Has Hope That Bratton Will Keep NYC Safe From Terrorism Despite Political Interference By City Hall

Bratton optimistic that he’ll be able to hire more cops this year (NYP) * NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said he’s still holding out hope of hiring more officers this year. He has proposed adding 1,000 new cops to the force, which has shrunk to about 35,000 officers from nearly 41,000 at the time of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.* Bratton Firm on Adding More NYPD Hires (NY1) * Cuomo’s job creation program Start-Up NY didn’t deserve the $50 million in extra advertising money it swept from the New York Power Authority in this year’s state budget,according to Assemblyman Robin Schimminger.

de Blasio Stands By Sharpton 
Months after a bitter and public feud with law enforcement unions fueled by de Blasio’s alliance with one of their chief critics, the mayor stood with the Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss issues of policing reform and criminal justice, and call for increased police accountability. Rev. Al Sharpton proclaims he never received special perks from City Hall (NYDN)  * Sharpton took pains to say that he hasn’t been the beneficiary of any special perks from City Hall. “There is no political or any kind of relationship based on power politics between Bill de Blasio and NAN or me,” he insisted.

Hynes Sued for Wrongly Imprisoned Man . . .  Why No Legal Action to Date Against the Former DA?
Ex-Brooklyn DA sued for failing to free wrongly imprisoned man (NYP) Former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes did nothing to free a man he knew had been wrongfully imprisoned for 24 years, despite having “clear evidence of innocence” — leaving the man to rot in jail as Hynes’ lame-duck term ran out, a lawsuit charges. Jonathan Fleming, 52, was exonerated and released from prison in April 2014 after new DA Ken Thompson said his office uncovered a hotel receipt that showed Fleming was in Florida at the time of the 1989 Williamsburg killing.

New Yorkpolice cars will feature Twitter handles for each precinct: (NYDN) * The Commish NYC needs (NYP Ed) We’re concerned every time Bratton makes some concession to the mayor’s base — such as formally closing the NYPD unit falsely accused of spying on Muslims in the area. But we trust the commissioner is still finding ways to get the job done — because he knows that, ultimately, it’s on him if it isn’t. Bratton-the-politician can be unpleasant at times — as when he feels compelled todeny a Post story that embarrasses the mayor. But we can take the lumps so long as he can keep resolving the contradictions between the mayor’s political debts and the safety of all New Yorkers.* HEROIN: Number of fatal ODs outpacing homicides in NYC as DEA says drug's comeback causing an 'epidemic' (NYDN)
Robert K. Boyce, Detectives’ Chief, Gains Fame as Gruff Voice of New York Police (NYT) Chief Boyce, leader of New York City’s 3,000 detectives, is increasingly being delegated to appear on camera and discuss the crime of the day.

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

de Blasio At Ground Breaking Press Even of A Chinese Funded Housing Organized By Berlin Rosen
Greenland has agreed to fund Ratner's building in exchange for 70% of the Atlantic Yards housing project ownership.  Much of the Ratner's 30% funding comes from tax breaks from the government. Or borrowing using the govt tax breaks as leverage.  Berlin Rosen is very close to many federal, state and city elected officials.  As the Chinese government who is pumping billions into New York becomes a bigger stake holder in real estate it is unclear what their demands from government and elected officials will be.  With the power of the NY's real estate barons and their lobbyists attack dogs it does not take must imagine to see a future scenario when Chinese or other foreign real estate owners force the elected officials and pay off the lobbyists to pass laws helpful to their them and harmful to American citizens.  True News has written about the The Privatization of the Tammany Hall Machine, which reported that the new lobbyists machine is not accountable to the voters like the old party boss who were elected by the voters.* Just don't call these consultants lobbyists | Crain's New York ...

Berlin Rosen is Already Making Government Work Against New Yorkers 

Berlin Rosen Help Ratner Obtain Millions of Government Dollars As Thousands of Middle Class and the Poor Have Been Pushed Out the Stadium's Neighborhood
The lobbyists are also not accountable to the prosecutors, because they are the ones that elect the DAs and AG.  Berlin Rosen not only started out with AG Schneiderman when he was a state senator they work in both of his campaign for AG.  Berlin Also help elect the Albany DA, as other lobbyists elected the state other DAs and elected officials.  Who will stop a future lobbyists Berlin Rosen, Silver Brian Meara or any of the other scum bag lobbyist or elected officials who decide to go for the foreign money over the interests of the American people? * BerlinRosen Isn’t Registered As A Foreign Agent, Either (Bronx Chronicle)

Do We Have to Hope That A Future Berlin Rosen, Sheinkopf or Advance Don't Get Hired By A Foreign Government and Pay to Play NY's Government
Maybe its already happen why would our government give billions to a stadium and housing they is mostly owned by the Russian and Chinese government. (Nets stadium and team owned by Russia billionaires Mikhail Dmitrievitch Prokhorov). Another component of Chinese deal with Berlin Rosen and Ratner is the EB-5 Program Green Card program that is helping fund the housing.  A $100 million slice of the overall Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project, marketed under the EB-5 program, in which investors and their families get green cards by parking $500,000 in a low-interest loan for five years or so, as long as an economist's report suggests those funds create ten jobs. That means the Chinese government will be able to bring their people into the city. Who is watching them?  Who is watching Berlin? Obama’s nod to China could bring NYC real estate boom

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

At last weeks Inner Circle journalist and lobbyists danced and sung making fun of pols, in front of an audience of lobbyists, developers and special interests paying thousand of dollars a ticket.  When the Inner Circle first started out it made fun of the member of the political machines, de Despio, Manus, Freedman and Esposito  The actors on the stage this year did not make fun of political consultant lobbyists like Berlin Rosen, Advance Group or George Arzt because the developers, lobbyists and the other members of the permanent government ticket holders, need them to run their shadow government to make money off of government.

Atlantic Yards Report's Norman Oder Looks Back at a Berlin Rosen Success: Massaging Ratner's ACORN Bailout 
In 2008, national ACORN--the larger parent of New York ACORN, which signed a Community Benefits Agreement and Housing Memorandum of Understanding with Forest City Ratner--faced a big hit to its reputation. * For eight years, founder Wade Rathke had covered covered up a $1 million embezzlement by his brother Dale Rathke. As the Timesreported September 10, 2008, the news was “concealed by senior executives until a whistle-blower told a foundation leader about it in May.” * Noting that the money had been paid back (Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report)

NYCLASS Advance Group's Levinson and the Black Institute Bertha Lewis Both Have Deep Root in ACORN
“Rathke's misjudgment in covering up his brother's embezzlement has now provided ACORN's opponents with ammunition to attack the organization,” wrote two ACORN defenders in The Huffington Post.  * ACORN’s antagonists extended beyond the right wing, which was attacking ACORN for purported deception in voter registration, the authors suggested, citing critics on the left who were either jealous or disliked “ACORN's tactics or its willingness to forge compromises in order to win victories for its members.”  *One such compromise was about to pay off, as Wade Rathke stepped down and, from New York, Bertha Lewis stepped up. “In a shrewd move to consolidate support for her candidacy as the chief staff member of ACORN, [Lewis] negotiated a combination deal with Ratner to prove her fundraising prowess,” Rathke explained years later. * “With the voter registration crises swirling around ACORN, Bertha pulled the one string where she had leverage from her New York base—damn the torpedoes—realizing that Brooklyn was so polarized around Atlantic Yards and ACORN that it would hardly matter much more,"

Berlin Rosen Has Delivered to Developers While Hiding Under the Progressives Shirt
Rathke continued, "and the likely criticism was secondary to her desperate need for bridge money while she waited for funders to grow a backbone.” * No one, however, knew about that deal until an angry former ACORN staffer, Anita MonCrief, revealed to me that Forest City had agreed to provide a $1 million low-interest loan—with onerous terms if late—and a $500,000 gift. * In New York, ACORN spokesman Jonathan Rosen, of the firm BerlinRosen, tried to deflect the story, which I broke in early December. “This is old news," he said of the bailout. "We have confirmed this to multiple media outlets over the past few months.”  * Actually, no article had been published, though MonCrief revealed that Lewis had confirmed it to the Times, which had covered the embezzlement but not the bailout. So Rosen had been very effective. * As I wrote, the news should have made the Times, since it was just as big as the Dale Rathke story. Nearly a year later, the Times finally backed into the story, mentioning the bailout parenthetically.

How Bruce Ratner Wins Approval for his Projects

Heastie Bronx Machine Under Investigation Fixes Its Financial Filings 
The Bronx Democratic Committee that until recently was run by new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has been quietly fixing years’ worth of financial filings with the state Board of Elections, the DailyNews’ * The Bronx Democratic Committee that until recently was run by new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has been quietly fixing years’ worth of financial filings with the state Board of Elections.

Even With Silver's Arrest Albany Ethics Reforms Limited 
Ethics-reform ‘history’ (NYP Ed) For the third time in the past four years, Gov. Cuomo has hailed the Legislature’s ethics-reform package as “historic,” “significant” and unprecedented. Also for the third time in the past four years, the reforms leave the governor plenty of room to make even more history. Yes, the new rules go farther than the old. But, like everything else that comes out of the Legislature, they have loopholes — ones that may prove wide enough to drive an 18-wheeler through. There are both income limits and full exemptions that at least partly eclipse the full sunlight we’d hoped for. And the new rules likely wouldn’t have caught the behavior for which Silver stands charged. Yes, the ball’s rolling on finally stripping corrupt officeholders of their pensions. But this must be done via constitutional amendment and so can’t take effect until at least 2017. Moreover, that will only cover those convicted of felonies — and many legislators forced to leave office don’t face felony charges. Plus, a convicted lawmaker’s wife and children would still be able to get part of that pension. NYP's Goodwin: In truth, his budget strategy was not realistic and, in policy terms, he aimed too low. His ethics reforms that focus on disclosure of legislators’ outside income are hardly groundbreaking, nor is their confidence they will stem the tide of Albany corruption. Yet that didn’t stop Cuomo from hailing them as a major breakthrough, the third time he has made that claim in four years. The first two claims are now “inoperative” and this one will also bite the dust with the next corruption bust. Maybe he’ll form another Moreland Commission — and then kill it, too. The governor did better on education, increasing from three years to four the time before teachers are eligible for tenure and adding money for charters. Teacher evaluations will be more closely linked to student performance, although murky details and loopholes sound like blasts from the past.

Albany Pay Hikes Forever Without Votes Corruption
How about an honest pay raise panel? Too much to ask from Heastie and Skelos, apparently (NYDN Ed) Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos have engineered a scheme that guarantees lawmakers potentially huge pay hikes forever — without ever having to vote on the increases. This was Gov. Cuomo’s reward to the Legislature for going along with his ethics reform package. He got his bill. They’ll take the money. In some circles, they call this bribery.

A Weinstein Model Tale of Two Tabloids  

Tabloid war over sexual harassment claim against HarveyWeinstein: Targeting the accuser? Amy Holmes on (Fox Mediabuzz Video) The Daily News Follows the Police Reports and the NYP Attacks the Victim Past, Defending the Movie Mogul.  Murdoch's Fox Attacking Murdoch's Post to defend pro Obama Weinstein.  Has Hell Frozen Over?  Both papers are exploiting Ambra Battilana body showing lots of pictures 

de Blasio Work Out Breaks the Law and Not to Healthy for the Rest of Us
"Mayor’s cars running while he jogs at Slope Y …leaving a car idling is also against the law.” (Brooklyn Paper)Finally, it’s important to note that New York’s police force has 6,000 fewer officers than it did when Michael Bloomberg became mayor. So far, de Blasio has shown no sign of wanting to bring the number back up by hiring additional cops. To implement his new strategies, however, he may need to bring on at least 1,000 new officers right away and probably 1,000 more at the beginning of 2016. De Blasio’s predicament offers a chance to reevaluate NYPD operating strategies in 2015. We need to take a new look at neighborhood policing and get out from under the shadow of Broken Windows. NYPD IG Right Back  New York City’s Office of Inspector General, created to monitor the NYPD, referred more than half the complaints it received to the NYPD’s internal investigation body, according to its first annual report, The Wall Street Journal reports: 


Disgraced Former Brooklyn DA Hynes Put Political Bosses, Elected Officials and Judges in Jail 
DA Vance Says He Lacks the Tools?
Manhattan DA wants to crack down on political corruption (NYP)  New York state should take a page from federal authorities and get tougher on crooked pols, Manhattan’s top prosecutor said Sunday.  District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said federal laws on political corruption are far ahead of state codes, allowing US Attorney Preet Bharara to clean up messes the state could just as easily be handling. Vance added that local prosecutors struggle to press bribery cases based on the current state laws. Specifically, he said, bad-acting pols get a near-free pass by simply rolling over and spilling their guts to a grand jury. Bharara has taken aim at a host of New York state politicians over the past several years — none bigger than former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Hynes Flashback  Norman Convicted - Resigns as Brooklyn Boss | Village Voice * Ex-Assemblywoman Gordon Sentenced - NY Daily News * Former Judge Is Convicted of Bribery in Divorce Court (NYT)

The brash New York prosecutor who’s indicting left and right  (Washington Post) Preet Bharara, an Obama appointee, has accused 17 big-name politicians of corruption, 10 of them Democrats.FBI Director James Comey on Preet Bharara: Imagine “if Jon Stewart was a prosecutor" “Preet Bharara’s office is not anyplace a guilty person wants to be, so you search your conscience and wipe your sweaty forehead before entering. The most powerful prosecutor in the country…occupies a four-square chamber flooded with relentless governmental ceiling light, which makes his charcoal suit all the darker and his white shirt, so stiff it could pour itself a glass of water, all the whiter.” * Assemblyman William Scarborough is asking a federal judge to dismiss evidence the FBI gleaned from his cellphone records in a criminal case alleging he wasn't in Albany while claiming reimbursements, the Times Union reports:  * Assemblyman William Scarborough is asking a federal judge to throw out evidence the FBI gleaned from his cellphone records that were used to build a criminal case alleging the Queens Democrat wasn’t in Albany on dozens of occasions when he was reimbursed for mileage and hotel expenses.
Who Watches the Watchmen DAs Conflict of Interests With Elected Officials and Lobbyists
More on the U.S. Attorney Bharara
More on the Moreland Commission
More on DA Hynes
More on the Manhattan DA

Is the Manhattan DA Not Investigating Advance Because of A Conflict of Interests With Red Horse?
Manhattan DA Vance Consultant Red Horse Broke the Law Along With Advance Working for the UFT PACs United for the Future that did mailings for the same  Council Clients that both firms represented  

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.

The Reporter Who Broke the Advance Groups Phony Logo Corruption Story Laid Off By CrainsNY

Crain’s New Yorklays off 40 percent of editorial staff, Including Chris Bragg. CrainsNY reporter Chris Bragg has done a great investigative job exposing how lobbyist/consultant the Advance Group was on both sides of many campaigns by using IE PACS and fake to run the UFT PAC. The Advance Group is also the lobbyist for the NYC Hotel and Motel Trades Council. 

Several payments that a UFT super PAC sent to a fictitious political consulting firm “Strategic Consultants” have the Advance Group logo on their invoices
Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY) Last week, The Insider broke the news that the United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan  consulting firm the Advance Group. An open records request that came back on Tuesday from the City Campaign Finance Board (and is embedded below) offers fresh and somewhat amusing evidence of the connection between the two: Many of the invoices the agency received from Strategic Consultants have the Advance Group logo on them.

What is the Point of This Mass Coverage of the Mayor at the Lower East Side Fire?
STATE BUDGET UPDATE: Wednesday was another day of closed-door negotiations, with the biggest news coming from Republican Senator John DeFrancisco. He’s been leading a group of lawyer-legislators from that chamber in negotiations with the Cuomo administration about the Democratic governor’s desire for lawmakers to publicly name their clients. Language was being drafted,DeFrancisco said. He and others were careful not to state any details, but DeFrancisco suggested that only clients with state interests would need to be disclosed. He drew a rebuke from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top spokeswoman, who said that was “not disclosure, it is current law.”* Skelos: ‘Tremendous Progress’ Toward Ethics Deal (YNN)

KNUCKLEHEAD AND BOBBLEHEADS: State lawmakers must give back Lou Gehrig dolls as they are deemed a gift violation (NYDN) In the latest sign of Albany ethics madness, lawmakers were forced to turn over Lou Gehrig bobblehead dolls given to them by the ALS Association this week because they’re deemed a violation of the Legislature’s gift ban.

Tax Credit Cardinal Dolan ‘discouraged’ tax credit may not make budget (NYDN) * Cuomo: Education And Ethics Remain The Top Priorities (YNN) * Skelos: ‘Tremendous Progress’ Toward Ethics Deal (YNN) * Heastie: Minimum Wage Hike Still Under Discussion (YNN)  * Cardinal Timothy Dolan says he’s looking to the Assembly for “leadership” on the Education Investment Tax Credit, though: “if this doesn’t work out, there’s a lot of blame to go around.” * Outside Income Disclosure the Final Barrier in State Budget Negotiations(NY1) * Campaign Finance Reform Turns to Reward and Punishment (NYT)

Black Caucus Asks Cuomo to Apologize for Saying Silver Not Heastie Runs the Assembly
The state Legislature’s Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic caucus called on the governor to apologize for “disturbing” comments that former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver still runs the chamber, the Daily Newsreports:  The state Legislature’s Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caucus called on Cuomo to publicly apologize for reportedly saying that the indicted former Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, is still running the chamber behind the scenes, saying the governor’s alleged comments show a “disturbing” lack of respect for the first black speaker, Carl Heastie.

Top Ten NYS Lobbyists 
Who were NYC’s top 10 lobbyists in 2014? Find out here.

As Lobbyists Shadow Government Getting Bigger Media Still Ignores Their Work  

  • Lobbyists brought in a record $71.9 million—up roughly 15 percent from last year—targeting the New York City government in 2014, with James Capalino & Associates taking the top spotRecord $71.9M spent on lobbying city officials in 2014 (NYDN) The biggest spenders were real estate developers Albee Development, which paid $1.27 million to two lobbying firms, and Hallets A Development Company, which spent $740,474 at three firms. The lobbyist bringing in the biggest bucks was James F. Capalino & Associates, which earned $8.2 million. It took over the top spot from Kasirer Consulting, which dropped to No. 2.* Lobbyists brought in $71.9 million to target NYC government in 2014, a record high, according to the report by the city clerk’s office covering the first year since de Blasio and the new City Council took office.

de Blasio Fund Raising Chair Lobbyist Capaino Works for Developers That Closed LICH Hospital and St Vincent's  
Capalino, Advance and Bertha Lewis All Are Working to Stop the East 91st Marine Transfer Station
Lobbyist shoots to #1 in NYC after backing de Blasio for mayor (NYP) A veteran lobbyist who was a major supporter of Bill de Blasio’s run for mayor in 2013 saw his business nearly double in 2014 after his pal was elected, records show. Jim Capalino reported hauling in $8.2 million from 237 clients last year — up from the $4.6 million earned by his downtown Manhattan firm during the last year of the Bloomberg administration in 2013. The firm also signed 69 new clients, according to records released Monday by the City Clerk. Capalino’s surge was enough to dethrone the city’s perennial No. 1 lobbyist — Suri Kasirer, of Kasirer Consulting, whose billings also rose, from $6.6 million to $7.7 million.Among the new clients that swarmed to Capalino + Co. were a number trying to change the mayor’s position on public projects, including Asphalt Green. The group has been engaged in a protracted fight over the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station that is under construction near Gracie Mansion. It reported hiring Capalino’s firm to limit the impact of construction and long-term operations of the future trash site, which the mayor has supported. Uber, which wants to avoid further city-imposed regulations as it competes with the yellow-cab industry, also hired Capalino.

“Picking the mayor has helped his business explode, but he’s always been very competent,” fellow lobbyist Hank Sheinkopf said of Capalino. Capalino hosted two fund-raisers for de Blasio’s successful campaign — including a Roosevelt Hotel bash featuring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in October 2013 — where he was listed as a co-chair expected to bring in at least $25,000. Kasirer was also a $25,000 co-chair at the event, which pulled in over $1 million for de Blasio.He has since donated to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, a nonprofit arm of City Hall chaired by de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray. Among other top lobbying firms, Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin — which consulted on Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s campaign for the top council spot — also boosted its billings after backing a winner. The firm climbed from seventh place in 2013 — with $2.1 million in business — to fourth place in 2014, with $3.3 million in billings. * Lobbying Report 


Is the Failed 911 System Causing the Slower Ambulance Time?
Is Vision Zero Making the Streets Harder (more traffic jams) for the Ambulances to Get Around . . . Are Closed Hospitals Making Ambulances Trips Longer, Tying Up the Availability?  
New York City plans to add more ambulance tours as the FDNY commissioner said the average ambulance response time increased by nearly two minutes from last year’s average 'BEYOND APPALLING': FDNY ambulances took 2 minutes longer to respond to emergencies in February compared to last year, fire chief says (NYDN) FDNY ambulances took more than 11 minutes to get to life-threatening medical emergencies last month — almost two minutes longer than the average response time last year — setting off an alarm for city pols, it was revealed Tuesday. The average response time for serious emergencies spiked to 11 minutes and 7 seconds in February, Commissioner Daniel Nigro testified at a City Council hearing. Nigro called the February number an “aberration” that he blamed on snowy weather, even as he acknowledged response times are too high overall — averaging 9 minutes, 30 seconds for the 2014 fiscal year. Last February, there was a similar spike, with response times exceeding 11 minutes, according to data on the FDNY’s website. Last August, it was 10 minutes. Update FDNY raps councilwoman for citing inaccurate response times (NYP) Crowley blasted the department and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro Tuesday for what she described as an “unacceptable” spike in emergency response times last month — citing an “appalling” response of 11 minutes and 7 seconds. But that figure was wrong, according to FDNY figures, which clocked the responses at 9:38.

Media Does Not Analysis Reason for Increased Ambulance Response Time Only Gives the Mayor Spin
FDNY’s Nigro called the February number an “aberration” that he blamed on snowy weather.  Mayor de Blasio’s budget for next year provides $11.3 million for the FDNY to add 45 more ambulance tours and $6.7 million to hire 149 new emergency dispatch staffers. They also plan to add 24 more EMS lieutenants. Nigro said that should shave 20 seconds off last year’s response times. “We’d like to have the fastest response possible, within the resources that we can ask for responsibly,” he said. “I think that the department is answering these calls properly now and we know we can do a little bit better, and we will.”

The transparencymayor adopts a Bloomberg position re refusing to comply with wage reporting law. (Capital)

Comp-Stat At DOE All About Controlling Info = Press  
Principals Still Held Accountable for Failed Schools

de Blasio Shakes Up Press Office
De Blasio wants CompStat-like grilling for school principals (NYP) Mayor de Blasio is borrowing a page from the NYPD’s accountability playbook by launching CompStat-like meetings where top education officials will grill school leaders over their results. Hizzoner announced the “War Room” initiative Thursday at Richmond Hill HS in Queens, one of 94 struggling schools splitting $150 million in extra resources and support to shape up within three years — or else face overhauls that could include closure. “We’re going to hold ­every one of the principals to the same kind of standards that our precinct commanders are held to via CompStat,” de Blasio said.* Mayor de Blasio Defends Efforts to Help Struggling Schools (NYT) At a school in Queens, Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke about “SWAT teams” for schools with poor leadership, newly aggressive language that comes as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo pushes state involvement.* Mayor Bill de Blasio defended his efforts to fix troubled city schools, including sending “SWAT teams” to schools with poor leadership, as “the educational equivalent of house-to-house combat,” the Times reports * Heastie slams Cuomo's education reforms (NYDN) * NYPD data tactics will be used to fix NYC schools: de Blasio (NYDN) * NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio defended his administration’s efforts to fix New York City’s troubled schools, describing those efforts as a cross between a war and a policing operation — “the educational equivalent of house-to-house combat.” * De Blasio ratcheted up his criticism of Cuomo’s school takeover plan, saying: “I think the notion of a group of bureaucrats 150 miles away trying to determine the fate of our children sounds like a formula for disaster.” *On school reform, "Cuomo, de Blasio, Fariña, Moskowitzand the union leaders suffer from tunnel vision."(NYDN) Albany * Mayor Bill de Blasio’s alternative proposal to help turn around struggling public schools is receiving a boost from state lawmakers in both parties, who are leery of Cuomo’s plan to install a receivership modelState of Politics reports: * The Association for a Better New York and the Partnership for New York City are backingNYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call for a permanent extension of the expiring mayoral control law.* The choice to make de Blasio less visible was a deliberateone” (AP)
de Blasio Shakes Up Press Office
Bill De Blasio Shakes Up City Hall Press Office(NYO)

$$$ Non-Profit Tries to Change the NYPD . . .  What Ever Happen to Voters and Elected Officials? 
De Blasio’s pals will ask his top donors to fund NYPD cop-reform push (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio has a new police problem on his hands — only this time from his friends on the left. The North Star Fund, a liberal activist foundation with ties to de Blasio, has launched a campaign to push for changes in the NYPD — and will hit up many of the mayor’s top donors for its efforts. The “Let Us Breathe” push — a nod to Eric Garner’s chokehold death in an altercation with the NYPD last summer — is calling on the mayor to support a special prosecutor to investigate cases of police killings.Although many progressives have demanded the installation of a special prosecutor to investigate those deaths, de Blasio has been mum on the issue.

When Crime Increased in the 90's It Was Blame Mayor Dinkins. . . Defining Accountability Down  
Today the Media All But Ignores the Increase in Shootings and Never Blames the Mayor
Crime-fighting strategy analyzes data of shooters and those shot (NYP) The NYPD is taking aim at 300 pistol-loving thugs responsible for most of New York’s gun violence, using shooting data to tie them to murders and weapon crimes. In a...*  Abandoning the poor (NYP Ed)  Many of those pushing this are in the anti-cop camp, and simply looking for political cover. But Commissioner Bill Bratton plainly wants the reinforcements so he can keep crime down. We’re not unsympathetic to Mayor de Blasio for being reluctant here. The move commits the city to spending millions of dollars in future years — dollars that can’t go to feed the hungry, house the homeless or just fix the roads. Yet the NYPD plainly needs some kind of help — because not a week passes without cops being hamstrung in some new way. Terrorism NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton will continue a controversial and costly counterterrorism program that posts detectives in 11 cities around the globe to collect data, the Post reports: * NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has agreed to continue a controversial — and costly — program that places detectives in cities around the globe to collect counterterrorism data, sources said.* Philadelphiacops shoot and kill people at six times the rate of the NYPD (Mother Jones)

Next Weekend de Blasio Will Make Fun of Pot Smoking in Front of the Media at the Inner Circle and They Will All Laugh Together
The latest lunacy landed this month, and will harm the city’s poor and minorities the most. The brass have had to gut the quarter-century-old “Clean Halls” program designed to increase security in public-housing buildings. It encouraged cops to clear out or detain loiterers who qualified as trespassers. But de Blasio settled another case where stop-and-frisk Judge Shira Scheind­lin opted for injustice. Now cops must have a demonstrable “reasonable suspicion” that loiterers are in a building illegally before approaching them. This, when the most significant uptick in violent crime over the last year has come in public-housing projects. Just last weekend, a man was fatally shot outside the Gowanus Houses in BrooklynFlashback  During the Dinkins administration a front-page headline in the New York Post had screamed: “Dave do something!”— a direct call to then mayor David Dinkins to get crime down fast. What Dinkins' did with the help of Albany was dramatically increase the size of the NYPD. As the number of NYPD increased during during the next 20 years crime when down to record levels.  With budget cuts this year the number of NYPD will be down to the level before the Dinkins and Giuliani increases.  We have a press and political system that allows mayor and future mayors to chose the issues that are covered in the media.
DEB's City Hall weighed down with press people. I would use that $ to hire more people to fix potholes

In the Past most of the Albany Lobbyists Looked Like Ronda

Tuesday PM Update 
A bill in the state Senate that would legalize mixed-martial arts in New York has advanced to its third reading on the Senate calendar, State of Politics reports:
ASSEMBLY OCTAGON: UFC star Ronda Rousey to battle state lawmakers in push to get MMA legalized in New York (NYDN) Breakout mixed martial arts star Ronda Rousey is traveling to Albany today to face her greatest foe — the state Assembly. The Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight champion will press state leaders to join the 49 other states in legalizing the controversial sport. Update Rousey: Cuomo Supports Legalizing MMA(YNN) * The Post writes that because of new leadership in Albany, New Yorkers can look forward to a day when the now-illegal mixed martial arts competitions bring bouts from Madison Square Garden to Buffalo  Albany Updates  A commission to determine pay raises for state lawmakers and cabinet-level commissioners that was opposed by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was taken out of the final budget framework, State of Politics reports * E. J. McMahon of the Empire Centerwrites in the Post that the state budget is poised to make three mistakes, including using state funds to compensate for high property taxes rather than permanently fixing the issue  Ain't No Sunshine Albany Sunshine Week Looked Like an Eclipse to Advocates (Gotham) * Ronda Rousey, the UFC’s world bantamweight champion, met separately yesterday with Cuomo and top lawmakers, making the pitch for the state to lift its ban on professional mixed-martial arts bouts. Also a model and an actress, Rousey squeezed in a trip to the state Capitol – her third overall, but first since 2013 – between appearances on “The View” and Tuesday on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”.* NY "lobbying spending has nearly doubled over the pastdecade: from $120 million in 2003 to $210 million in 2013"

Cuomo's Hug On the hug-heard-’round-the-world: “The governor inappropriately lifted the speaker off his feet in a show of dominance,” said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, a Manhattan Democrat. * On the hug-heard-’round-the-world: “The governor inappropriately lifted the speaker off his feet in a show of dominance,” said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, a Manhattan Democrat.

Mayor's Real Estate Pals Use Their Lobbyists to Try to Dump Lynch As PBA President
PBAbig claims de Blasio behind campaign to oust Lynch (NYP) Mayor de Blasio is the hidden hand behind the contentious campaign to boot his most outspoken critic as head of the PBA, the union’s treasurer charged in a fiery Facebook post. Joseph Alejandro said that Hizzoner sicced public-relations big shot George Shea on PBA president Patrick Lynch, and that Shea was carrying the mayor’s water because of his ties to de Blasio’s supporters in the real-estate industry. “George Shea is the p.r. guy for [PBA rival Brian] Fusco and is also the shill for Mayor de Blasio’s real-estate friends. He also directly represents the mayor, through his representation of the Hudson Yards Development Corp.,” Alejandro wrote in a post Thursday. “So the mayor, who was embarrassed by the PBA, has asked his real-estate buddies to attack the PBA. Those buddies came up with Shea to represent the Fusco team and help them raise the money,” he wrote. But Shea, reached while on vacation in Florida, scoffed at the charge, saying he hasn’t represented Hudson Yards since 2009.* NYPD union leader wants boycott of upcoming Brancato movie(NYP)

George Shea Nathans Hot Dog Flack
Shea Client list,
The HYDC Board :

Political Consultant Lobbyists Secret Government Cover Up 

Lobbyists Rise and Fall As Their Campaign Clients Careers Rise and Fall / Notice Silver's Lobbyist Tag Teams Raking In Govt $$$ Until His Arrest
Michael ‏@powellnyt   Consultants and favored PR firms form a powerful and growing shadow government in NYS. Pols trying to cover that up
Just don't call these consultants lobbyists(CrainsNY) They move government without having to disclose their activities. Call them clever, call them stealthy.Like Ms. Cunningham, Mr. Rosen is not a registered lobbyist. Yet he regularly meets with government officials. The mayor's schedule from his first five months in office shows Mr. Rosen was in at least nine meetings and on two calls.BerlinRosen understands how issues play out in the public sphere, its clients say.
Silver's Shadow Government Lobbyists to Rat On Him In His Fed Corruption Indictment
Close friend, top lobbyist helped feds take down Sheldon Silver(NYP) Brian Meara, 63, is the person referred to in court papers as “the Lobbyist” who revealed that Silver told him “there was nothing to worry about” regarding the speaker secretly sharing in legal fees paid by Meara’s client, billionaire developer Leonard Litwin, the sources said. * Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's arrest aided by closefriend, Albanylobbyist(NYDN) Brian Meara has been cooperating as a 'fact witness' as part of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's investigation, sources told The News. The criminal complaint against Silver references an unnamed lobbyist who the sources say was Meara. According to the criminal complaint, the lobbyist represented a developer who was using a law firm that paid Silver for bringing in business. The developer, sources say, was politically connected Leonard Litwin, who Meara repped at the time. “The fact that Meara is the witness is not a good sign for Shelly,” said one Albany insider, alluding to how much Meara knows about his pal. In addition to the state court officers union and other labor groups, Meara represents a host of big-bucks industries, including casino operators, insurance companies and soft-drink makers. His clients also include the Yankees owners and the Silvercup Studios production facility in Queens.

Lobbyist Pitta Bishop On Both Sides of the NYPD Crisis . . .  Control Power In Puppet City
The  Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin Lobbying Firm Represent the "I Can't Breathe" Council Speaker at the Same Time It Represents the Detective's PBA-  Michael
Palladino, the president of the Detectives' Endowment Association 
Council Speaker Mark-Viverito who last mother put on an I Can't Breathe T-Shirt to join the anti-police protesters has made Pitta Biship Del Giorno millions in lobbying fees after the lobbyists help her win the speakership.  The lobbying firm also represents the Detectives' Endowment Association, whose leader Palladino said Mr. de Blasio should offer an kind apology. As the lobbyists who operate as political consultants have taken over the Tammany Hall machine these lobbying firms like Pitta Biship Del Giorno have moved away from positions or ideology and represents both sides in their quest for power to make money.* Ethics reform in Albanyfar from a done deal @AlanChartock

Pots of Albany Gold Groundhog Day
Taking Shelly’s lumps (NYP Ed) Last week, the new speaker joined Gov. Cuomo to announce a new day in the Legislature — with, in the governor’s words, the toughest ethics proposal in the country. He practically goaded the state Senate to adopt the same package. Meanwhile, the governor and the two legislative chambers were still up to their old tricks. All three have opted to mark off millions of unitemized “lump sums” — open-ended slush funds, in essence. A total of $2.6 billion in proposed lump sums are on the table in state budget talks — oodles and oodles of cash for the governor and the Legislature to play with outside of public view. As is typical, the Assembly and Senate each wants more above the hundreds of millions in dark money outlined in the governor’s initial budget. Silver, keep in mind, was indicted for abuse of the lump-sum process: He funnelled $500,000 to a cancer doctor who, in turn, allegedly sent business to Weitz & Luxenberg, Silver’s main law firm. Corruption seeps in all across politics and government. But spending the taxpayers’ money in secret is at least as big an opening for trouble. It lets officials funnel cash to friends and family — or political allies — without basic accountability. That’s been the heart of multiple non-profit scandals over the years.If Albany is serious about reform, the lump-sum scam must end. Without real sunlight in the budget process — i.e. details on what spending is for — it’s just a matter of time before the next under-the-table outrage erupts.* Albanygamesmanship snags state budget in traditional blow-ups before deals are struckin final full week of talks.  (Newsday)

Silver Smith Like Secret Pots of Budget $$$
State budget proposals earmark $2.6B for unitemized spending (NYP) State budget proposals by Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature contain up to $2.6 billion in unitemized spending — the type of money that led to a corruption indictment against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, ­according to a new report. Cuomo’s budget proposal includes some $2.4 billion in so-called “lump sums” for the executive branch, $902 million for the Senate and $775 million for the Assembly, Citizens Union said Thursday. The state Senate has proposed adding $83 million more for itself and the Assembly wants another $53 million, the government-watchdog group’s analysis found. The proposed capital budget lists $556.8 million in “miscellaneous” spending. There’s another $6.3 million in the same “miscellaneous” category in aid to localities. Nearly $288 million more is earmarked for the Urban ­Development Corp. and $292.4 million for the Department of Transportation. There’s no indication how any of those funds would be spent. About $1.5 billion is distributed through a “partially competitive” process, mostly large construction grants ­administered by the State University of New York, the report said. Still, the remaining $1.1 billion is distributed through legal agreements “that are not public” and “provide considerable discretion to elected officials,” the report said.

The Making of A New Smith or Silver: Pots of Gold in Budget for Personal Gain
Silver was indicted for tapping a secret health-related fund to steer $500,000 to a cancer doctor, who then referred patients to Silver’s law firm.  In return, Silver collected millions in referral fees, authorities allege.Former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith of Queens was convicted last month for conspiring to funnel $500,000 from a transportation account to a developer, who promised to bribe Republican Party officials to deliver Smith the GOP line for mayor in 2013.* New Yorkers want Sandra Lee’s income made public: poll (NYP) * Comp-Stat At DOE AllAbout Controlling Info = Press  (NYP Ed) Even that rule will be a burden on some couples — why should she feel pressure to limit her much more successful career just so he won’t look bad? But the public’s right to know must come first.* The Daily News writes that state Senate Majority LeaderDean Skelos should stop harping about theoretical conflicts of interest in Cuomo and Lee’s relationship and focus on cleaning up his own act; State budget proposals by Cuomo and the Legislature contain up to $2.6 billion in unitemized spending — the type of money that led to a corruption indictment against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, ­according to a new report from Citizens Union. More here. * The ubiquitous Assemblyman Jose Rivera, and his ever-present video camera, captured footage of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s St. Patrick’s Day reception for legislators at the executive mansion, where he invoked the late Gov. Al Smith while discussing ethics.* Bill O’Reilly doesn’t understand why the Senate Republicans didn’t go along with the “surprisingly good package of reforms” proposed by Cuomo and the Assembly Democrats.

Looks More Like Final Budget Deal With Council Will Include More Cops 
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton is in discussions with Mayor Bill de Blasio about adding hundreds of officers as the mayor faces pressure to reverse his stance on not hiring more cops, The Wall Street Journalreports:  Tish James predicts @billdeblasio will increase police head count:
More on the NYC Budget

Cuomo: Silver Still the Boss
 Cuomo believes Silver is still running Assembly: source(NYDN)  According to an inside source, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is telling his political backers he believes that indicted ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is still calling the shots in the chamber

Goo Goos Say the Reforms Are Half Assed
Promising promises (NYP ED) * Eighty-four percent of New Yorkers say elected officials should disclose the source and amount of income from outside jobs and investments, and 64 percent say spouses and live-in partners should too, aQuinnipiac University poll finds: * The Times Union writes that state Senate Republicans should put forth a fuller ethics reform package that includes ending the LLC loophole and not risk being seen as obstructing smart reforms:

The Times Union compiles a summary of the various ethics reform packages proposed in Albany by the governor and Heastie, Senate Republicans, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and good government groups * The Post writes that it likes the ethics reform package presented by Cuomo and Heastie, which doesn’t include “bad ideas” such as limiting or banning legislators’ ability to earn outside income: * Newsday writes that the state Senate Republican majority “disturbingly” balked at the ethics package’s disclosure requirements for legislators earning outside income and that it prefers business as usual: * “Come clean, Dean,” The Daily News urges after writing the state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos “huffed and puffed and complained” that the proposal would not require disclosure of Cuomo’s live-in girlfriend * Editorial: Skelos can't hide from Cuomo's ethics cleanup (NYDN Ed) strong enforcement of the ethics reforms isn't there, but needs to be.* Capital Playbook: Cuomo book recaps DiNapoli spat Capital) * Albanyethics deal covers use of campaign funds -- but not for legal fees 

Cuomo Speaker Heastie reach 2-way agreement on ethics package to be included in budget

2/3 Secret Ethics Deal
agreed on new ethics reforms that would include more detailed disclosures of lawmakers’ outside income. Cuomo said the measures are essentially what he proposed as part of a state budget for the coming fiscal year starting April 1. * Cuomo, Heastie come to agreement on ethics reform(NYP) * The two-way deal, details of which are expected to be announced today, places significant pressure on the state Senate Republican majority to sign on within the framework of the state budget. A spokesman for the GOP conference declined to comment. *  Gov. Andrew Cuomo reached an agreement on new ethics policies with the Assembly, but he has not secured a deal with the state Senate  * Cuomo Lauds Ethics Deal With Assembly, But Senate Deal Remains Up In Air (YNN) 

Republicans in the state Senate are expected to discuss in a closed-door conference this afternoon the ethics agreement forged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Democrats, State of Politicsreports: * Cuomo, Heastie detail ethics agreement (Capital)  Cuomo, who has said ethics changes are a top priority as he negotiates a budget, said the agreement matches the five principles he sketched out after the arrest and ouster of former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver. That means greater disclosure of business and law clients from legislators' side jobs, a ban on the personal use of campaign funds, greater safeguards for per diem reimbursement, pension forfeiture for lawmakers convicted of public corruption and greater disclosure by independent expenditure campaign accounts. * Skelos: Cuomo-Assembly Deal Doesn’t Include Executive Branch Reforms (YNN) * Bonacic: Cuomo Put Himself In A Box On Ethics (YNN) Bonacic, an Orange County Republican, said he didn’t want to comment on Cuomo’s divide-and-conquer strategy with the two legislative houses on ethics. But he added the governor painted himself into a corner on the issue by including ethics legislation in budget amendments that tied the policy to spending measures. * .@NYGovCuomo & @CarlHeastie have releasedan ethics reform deal. Now, they're looking to the Senate to pass it. (NY1) * NY Senate leader: Ethics reform must include Cuomo.(CBS Albany)

Lawmakers Have Money Parties Waiting on Ethics
 The New York Public Interest Research Group found state lawmakers are busy raising campaign cash this budget session, with some 118 fundraisers scheduled between January and March, State of Politics reports: * NY Dems made sure they can still "use campaign fundsfor dinners out & criminal defense attorneys" (Capital)

Cuomo Makes A Deal With Heastie A Day After the AG Proposes Ethics Reform
Cuomo Gains Support for Ethics Policies (NYT) With a budget deadline two weeks away, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Tuesday that he had come to an agreement on new ethics policies with the State Assembly, which his fellow Democrats control, though a deal with the Republicans who lead the State Senate was not secure. Details of the ethics package were scarce, though Mr. Cuomo said he was “more than happy” with the deal. * Lawmakers briefed on the agreement said it includes disclosure of income larger than $5,000, including the name of legal clients, verification for per-diem expenses and tighter campaign fund rules, the Daily News reports:  * Cuomo begins his second term with his lowest job approval rating, at 50 percent, and those polled indicated they trust the teachers union more than Cuomo to improve education, a Quinnipiac University poll found * The Times Union writes that an “unfortunate new narrative”on police-community relations promoted by Rudy Giuliani has lent support to a state law that keeps details about the discipline of cops secret: Quid Pro Quo From Cuomo Prompts Battle With Lawmakers Over State Budget (NYT) Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s prevailing mode of governance this year appears to be extreme horse-trading: demanding changes from the Legislature, or else.* Albany veterans say few executives engaged in trading policy changes for budget concessions with the same gusto as Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but legislative leaders have rebuffed this strategy. “Call it quid pro quo or tit for tat, but the prevailing mode of governance this year for (Cuomo) is tying appropriations to new policy — or else.” This has prompted pushback from state lawmakers.Cuomo said he was “cautiously optimistic” that his agreement with the Assembly would pass with senators as well. “I think we’re there,” he said, adding: “There is going to be more disclosure, more transparency than has ever existed in this government.” The state Senate Democrats, tired of their “bounce-back clown punching bag” relationship with Cuomo, are finally distancing themselves and asserting some independence from the governor.* Schneiderman, Bharara Team Up On Bank Settlement (YNN)

McCall Blasts Paterson "Its All About Negotiating Tactics"
McCall Swipes At Paterson (YNN)Comptroller H. Carl McCall may have been surprised by his offhand swipe at former Gov. David Paterson. It came when I asked McCall, who was pitching the governor and legislative leaders to invest more money in the state’s higher education system, about Cuomo’s tactic of linking seeming unrelated policy items – like the Education Investment Tax Credit, the DREAM Act and TAP funding – in appropriations bills, over which state lawmakers have very little control. “This is all negotiating tactics,” McCall replied.
Paterson Called Cuomo's Puppet Some Democratic state legislators contend Democratic Party Chairman David Paterson is doing Cuomo’s bidding against fellow party members and is not representing all Democrats, the Daily News reports: * State Senate Republicans adopted a budget resolution that would eliminate funding for the state’s Tenant Protection Unit, which was created by Cuomo in 2011 to enhance rent law enforcement, the Daily Newsreports:  Women's Right Democrats who previously pushed for taking up all or none of the Women’s Equality Act say they are now willing to settle for a partial victory and focus on important measures, The Wall Street Journal reports 

NYCHA Begs Albany for $$$  Hundreds of New York City Housing Authority residents plan to rally in Albany today and demand the state help pay for repairs at aging buildings after it stopped contributing to NYCHA in 1998, the Daily News reports NYCHA Update * The Cuomo administration said it is willing to discuss additional funds for the New York City Housing Authority after tenants rallied at the capital for an increase in the $25 million budgeted, the Daily News reports: * Dan Janison: “Heading down the stretch to an April 1 budget deadline, (Cuomo’s) upper hand over the legislature seems difficult to overstate.” As true budget negotiations begin this week, legislators appear to be standing together — at least when it comes to trying to stave off major new education policy changes. Cuomo’s push to raise the minimum wage has won the backing of more than three dozen downstate business leaders, including Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman, Gilt Groupe Chairman Kevin Ryan, Steiner Studios Chairman Doug Steiner, and Mark Jaffe, president and CEO of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce. Tax Credits The Assembly Democrats might consider a compromise on the education tax credit, but the Senate Republicans remain staunchly opposed to the Dream Act, legislators said during a panel discussion on Sunday hosted by the New York State School Boards Association.  Family Leave Advocates press Cuomo to take action on paid family leavelegislation 

Updated  The Post writes that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastiedeserves the perk of a taxpayer-funded Jeep Grand Cherokee, noting that his predecessor, Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, expensed flights to Albany:

The Assembly has spent $39,448 to pay for a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited used by new Speaker Carl Heastie, while his predecessor used a less flashy 2011 Ford Taurus, the Daily News reports: * Report: Lawmaker gets Cuomo admin job offer,then lawmakergoes on PR offensive against Cuomo critics  Astorino Astorino, In Albany, Says Cuomo Is Isolated (YNN) * Cuomo Is Pushed On Paid Leave (YNN) Woman Rights The Assembly will pass a package of anti-human trafficking legislation, but only a bill proposed by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin will then move toward the governor’s desk as the others are sent to the Senate for approval, the Times Union reports: * In a letter to Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Cuomo’s office challenged the mainline Democratic conference to voluntarily submit to the state’s Freedom of Information Law, State of Politics reports:  * Lawmakers including Sens. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Liz Krueger, and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito pushed Cuomo to back a paid leave measure that’s been embraced by both the Senate and Assembly, Stateof Politicsreports

 New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters said the agency was focusing on systemic investigations and should not be judged by declines in arrests and referrals, the Journal reports:

Cuomo Opponents Spin the Press
1.  Less Than 3 Months Into His New 4 Year Term The Groups Cuomo is Running Against Plan to Challenge Him in 2014 . . .  
Silly NYP Would Make This A News Story and Not Connecting It to Budget Ethics Fight

NYC schools ‘removed’ 289 teachers — but only fired 9 (NYP) Nearly 100 of the roving substitute teachers took severance payments — averaging nearly $16,000 each — while an additional 118 resigned or retired, records show. Department of Education officials say an additional 53 teachers retired or resigned while facing disciplinary charges, meaning they can’t return to the system in the future. A dozen other teachers either missed required job interviews or had their probationary periods ended. *
Eric Schneiderman mulling run against Cuomo for governor (NYP)Democratic Party circles are abuzz with talk that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who forced Gov. Cuomo to retreat on his controversial e-mail destruction policy last week, is seriously considering challenging...Eric Schneiderman mulling run against Cuomo for governor (NYP)Democratic Party circles are abuzz with talk that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who forced Gov. Cuomo to retreat on his controversial e-mail destruction policy last week, is seriously considering challenging...Others promoting a possible Schneiderman primary challenge include a bevy of “progressive’’ Democrats associated with Mayor de Blasio and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, both on the outs with Cuomo — Fordham University prof Zephyr Teachout, who ran a surprisingly strong primary challenge to Cuomo last year, and union activists with the leftist Working Families Party, Democratic sources said. * Democratic activists from NYSUT and the UFT have reportedly given AG Eric Schneiderman “preliminary encouragement” to primary Gov. Andrew Cuomo should the governor seek a third term in 2018.* 'We deserve better teachers': Rookie educators with no credentials is the new norm at troubled NYC schools (NYDN) * New York's charter school defenders downplay teacher inexperience amid strong performance (NYDN) * NYC schools battle student poverty, homelessness and domestic abuse to create effective learning spaces (NYDN) * Cuomo pushes to reform NYC teacher evaluations to rid schools of bad apples (NYDN) * A bill before the Legislature would require school districts to clearly notify parents that they can opt out their children from the Common Core tests this year. The hope is that 200,000 to 250,000 children don’t take the test, forcing the Board of Regents to reopen the discussion about using the standards.* * A report from the union-backed Fiscal Policy Institute found that students living in poverty are the reason New York schools are failing, not under-performing teachers, Gannett Albany reports: * Progressive Group Takes Aim at Hedge FundManagers (NYO)* The Daily News wraps up a series on New York City schools with guest columns by a Cuomo official, de Blasio, charter school executive Eva Moskowitz, UFT President Michael Mulgrew and others:* De Blasio to Borrow From CompStat Model forStruggling Schools ‘War Room’ (NYO)* Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie was critical of an effort being pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to have the state take over low-performing public schools, saying it could potentially lead to them becoming charter schools, State of Politicsreports: * Cuomo’s education policy proposals come right from the playbook of pro-charter group Families for Excellent Schools, which dominated the 2014 election cycle, and now the billionaires behind it are getting what they paid for, The Nation reports:  *  Chris Smith in New York magazine writes that he thinks Cuomo sincerely wants to find ways to better educate the state’s students, which is why his confrontational approach has always seemed weirdly miscalculated: * The state Education Department’s role in approving new college degree programs has become a sticking point in the higher education portion of the state budget.* End this moral crisis: Black and Hispanics deserve justice (NYP Ed) Rubin Diaz, Sr.  On Thursday, nearly 100 black and Hispanic religious leaders, representing 650 churches, stood with me to call for an end to our state’s failing-schools crisis. It’s an epidemic that is quietly stealing possibility from New York’s black and Hispanic communities. * Giving kids the schools they deserve (NYP Ed) Corrupt DOE Contract Cancled The New York City Department of Education rescinded a $637 million contract for a private firm to provide computer services after advocates said the firm had been cited in a criminal probe, the Daily Newsreports: * The Times Union writes that the state has broken its promise to end the “shameful practice” of raising tuition at the State University of New York only to direct the extra money to itself: * THE NEWS SAYS: Political and educational leaders must end their feud and hear the pleas of students *Black and Hispanic college students in New York fared worse on new teacher certification tests than their white counterparts, new data show, reprising concerns that efforts to improve teacher quality could undermine a simultaneous goal to boost diversity. *  The union representing State University of New York professors said the state Education Department has failed to issue the passing or “cut” scores required for nearly half of their new tests, which aspiring K-12 teachers must take before they can become certified. * StudentsFirstNY, an education reform group that has been a major financial supporter of Cuomo, is launching a campaign led by parent activists to promote the governor’s controversial proposals to boost charter schools and overhaul the state’s teacher evaluation system and tenure laws.* With help from the Citizens Budget Commission,Crain's has calculated a more accurate figure for the cost of the Department of Education's new and untested parent-engagement program than has been previously reported: 

Who is Forming or Fueling Issues Groups to Spin the Press and Albany?  
2.  New Transit Group With Former Berlin Rosen Staffer Attacks Cuomo
Angry subway riders rip Cuomo over miserable commutes (NYP)  Angry subway riders ripped Gov. Cuomo on Sunday for what they called deteriorating transit service — and even made posters about their miserable commutes while calling for more funding for the MTA.  The advocacy group Riders Alliance collected stories about riders’ commutes from hell at the Atlantic Avenue- Barclays Center station in Brooklyn to share with Cuomo and the state legislature in Albany.“The subway service has been atrocious recently, and people get frustrated with the MTA,” said Alliance Executive Director John Raskin. “People need to take their frustrations to Gov. Cuomo and the state legislature.” Board of Directors of Riders Alliance

The Permanent Government Created Lobbyists As A Way to Control Who Gets Elected and A Way to Get Government to Do What They Want
As the city's political machines weakened the permanent government created lobbyists to remain in control of New York City

Today lobbyist political consultants and favored PR firms that pour money into campaigns form a powerful and growing shadow government in New York. Pols trying to cover that up. They cut government contracts for their clients without media or prosecutors attention who sent Tammany Boss de Sapio to jail for a pay to play government contract for Con Ed.   The Old Tammany Hall Machine was corrupt, but the only function of the new lobbyists consultant created after the de Sapio era to pay to play government contracts.  Today's lobbyist's controlled private machine gain power by getting electing candidates, feeding them with campaign contributions from their clients who are looking for city contracts or zoning changes, they never meet the voters. They move government without having to disclose their activities. They elect candidates who will be helpful to the clients they lobby for.  Call them clever, call them stealthy. Most are not a registered lobbyist. Yet he regularly meets with government officials. 

A Lobbyistsl  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's arrest aided by closefriend, Albany lobbyist(NYDN) Brian Meara has been cooperating as a 'fact witness' as part of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's investigation, sources told The News. The criminal complaint against Silver references an unnamed lobbyist who the sources say was Meara. According to the criminal complaint, the lobbyist represented a developer who was using a law firm that paid Silver for bringing in business. The developer, sources say, was politically connected Leonard Litwin, who Meara repped at the time.

What Happen to Another PAC NYCLASS that de Blasio Help Fund to Control Voters?
Officials at one of Mr. de Blasio’s closest labor allies, 1199 S.E.I.U. United Healthcare Workers East, confirmed on Monday that the union had contributed $250,000 this year. The mayor is not the only prominent elected official in New York to be bolstered by an outside organization. Allies of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, including several real estate developers, donated millions of dollars to the Committee to Save New York, a similar nonprofit fund that supported the governor’s priorities during his first years in office. The funds have drawn criticism from some government watchdogs for accepting contributions from organizations with business before the state or the city. In Mr. de Blasio’s case, the parent union of the United Federation of Teachers made a $350,000 contribution to the fund last spring, as City Hall and the teachers’ union negotiated a labor contract.  “This is a way to get close to, or do a favor for, a mayor who would not otherwise be accepting your campaign dollars in these amounts,” Good government leaders urged the mayor to rely on his taxpayer-funded team: “We believe that elected officials, particularly executives like the mayor and the governor, have fabulous communications apparatuses at their control, through the level of government that they head.”

Who Guards the Guards Themselves? 
The AG and DAs Count on the Political Consultant Lobbyists to Get Elected . . . They Ignore Their Corruption
Since the state attorney general and local district attorneys must run for public office, all of the state's top prosecutors must rely on corrupting influence of campaign consultants and campaign donors to win elected office.  Once a prosecutor relies on the advice of campaign consultants, that opens the door to potential lobbying, because, in New York, campaign consultants often double as lobbyists.  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. Berlin Rosen not only help elected Schneiderman to his AG position, both it partners worked for him when he was state senator. 

NYT Leaves Out Berlin Rosen Illegal Campaign and Lobbying Work 

Or the Firms Cheney Like (Brainwashing) and the Privatization of Tammany Hall Corruption

De Blasio-allied group defends LICH deal to brownstone Brooklyn (Capital)  The outside group that advocated for Mayor Bill de Blasio's pre-K plan is sending out a mailer praising a deal that resulted in a dramatic downsizing of Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill. The Campaign for One New York is the new iteration of UPKNYC, the advocacy group run by the mayor's former campaign aides that spent more than $1 million promoting the mayor's universal pre-K plan. When its name change was announced in May, the group's spokesman, former de Blasio campaign aide Jonathan Rosen, told the Wall Street Journal that it would "build on the grassroots energy of UPKNYC and last fall's  campaign to support the mayor's bold, progressive agenda as it continues to move forward — building the affordable housing we need, fighting inequality, and ensuring that every child receives a great education." The mayor got arrested during his mayoral campaign protesting the prospect of the hospital's closure.

What Role Did Berlin Rosen Play With Data and Field? 
Berlin Rosen Work In the Campaign Where Campaign Workers Have Just Been Arrested for Trying to Defraud the CFB Matching Fund Program
In 2009 Berlin Rosen was paid $125,000 to manage council candidate Debi Rose.  Rose's Campaign treasurer and political consultant were both indicted along with a WFP operative.  The campaign workers were arrested for lying to the CFB about undervaluing work done by a for profit company Data and Fields Services created by the Working Families Party.  The SI DA's Special Prosecutor said the Rose campaign got got "sweetheart deals on campaign services from Data and Field and NY Citizen Services. 

Berlin Rosen Ran All the Campaigns in 2009 That Received Funding from the WFP's Data and Field
Mayor de Blasio's 2009 campaign for public advocate campaign paid WFP's Data and Field $225,000 and Berlin Rosen $6,000.  Councilman Lander's campaign paid Data and Field $55,000 and paid Berlin Rosen $85,000.  Speaker Mark-Viverito's campaign paid Data and Field $1000 and Berlin Rosen $75,000.  Councilman Dromm's campaign paid Data and Field $55,000 and Berlin Rosen $20,000. Councilman Van Bramer's campaign  paid Data and Field $35,000 and Berlin Rosen $80,000.  Councilman Williams' campaign paid Data and Field $55,000 and Berlin Rosen $125,000. Securing the WFP nomination comes with important perks. The candidates that Berlin Rosen worked for in 2009 received $466,000 from Data and Field.   Perhaps chief among them is a formidable ground game, courtesy of the party’s political-consulting arm, Data and Field Services (DFS), created in 2007. DFS works only for candidates whom the WFP endorses. The two entities are supposed to be legally separate to comply with election and campaign-finance laws, but they share office space on the third floor of the building at 2-4 Nevins Street in Brooklyn.   In 2013 Berlin Rosen work with the Advance Group for two council candidates Mark Levine and Laurie Cumbo fined for receiving mailings controlled by the NYCLASS PAC under investigation controlled by the Advance Group. Berlin Rosen's candidate Corey Johnson also received funding from another PAC the Advance Group was working for the UFT's United for the Future PAC.  The Advance PAC funded Johnson despite the fact that Advance Was working for his opponent Yetta Krukland.

Why Did Silver Pay A Consultant $750,000 and Spend Almost $2 Million When He Had No Challengers?
Does It Connect to the Albany DA Berlin Client, Never Going After A Corruption With the Lawmaker?
From 2010 to 2014 Friends of Silver (the former Speakers main campaign account) paid lobbyists campaign consultant Berlin Rosen over $750,000.  During that three election cycles Silver paid his campaign consultant he had only one election with a very weak GOP opponent Maureen Koetz in 2014.  Koetz received less than 20% of the vote against the speaker.  Why was Berlin Rosen paid so much money? Was the speaker trying to hide his involvement in other races that Berlin Rosen was running like de Blasio for mayor in 2013? Or was the speaker trying to get over the spending limit by paying the consultant Berlin Rosen directly for candidates he was supporting? Berlin works in a lot of campaigns.  Developer number one in the Silver indictment used LLC as a “loophole corporations,” to get around the election law to funnel more money to political candidates, to buy influence. Was Silver trying to buy with the $750,000 payment to Berlin Rosen?  Besides his own campaign account Friends of Silver, the speaker controls the Assembly Campaign Committee account and the Speakers PAC, which had Trump, James Dolan and Meryl Tisch among its individual donors.  Other than a handful of individuals with less colorful names (Schedule A) SpeakerPAC is mostly a destination for corporate and PAC money (Scheds B, C).  At its beginning, in 2000-02, SpeakerPac spends over $100,000 on entertainment (MARTEL’S RESTAURANT, THE GRAND DELI, RICK ANGERAMI-D.J., ALBANY PARTY WAREHOUSE, RADIO CITY ENTERTAINMENT, SODEXHO, and so on) and nothing else.  SpeakerPAC makes it rain like crazy on the Assembly, and occasionally writes out fat checks to DACC.

More On de Blasio's City Where Crime is Up Where 91 Failing Persistent Schools Remain Open
De Blasio allowing city to trickle back to bad old ‘Taxi Driver’ days (NYP) A friend who is no fan of Mayor de Blasio’s summarizes the headlines. “What a week!” he writes. “Monday we learned murders are up 20 percent this year.  Now we learn that subway delays are up 45 percent. So here’s my question: Which movie should I rent for the weekend: ‘Taxi Driver,’ ‘Midnight Cowboy’ or ‘Back to the Future’?” New restrictions on school suspensions will make it harder for teachers and principals to keep order in the classroom. The Bad Kids Lobby convinced the educrats that the rights of troublemakers to disrupt an entire class, including cursing out the teacher, are as important as the rights of the good kids trying to learn. And even as he keeps opposing high-performing charter schools, the mayor moved to reward failing district schools. * A de Blasio flashback: he supported AY for "over 3000 low-income units" (nope); "I will take what I can get" (AYR) Flashback 2008 De Blasio claims AY would have 3000 low-income units (AYO)

Escape From New York Increase As State Falls to 4th Biggist . . . Weaking Clout In Congress

New York's cost of living jumps 20% in 5 years (NYDN) A new NY? "Outflow of New Yorkers Rose in 2014": As expectedFlorida has officially surpassed New York as the nation’s third most populous state, according to newly released Census data, State of Politics reports: By adding an average of 803 new residents each day between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014, Florida passed New York to become the nation’s third most populous state, according to US Census Bureau.  The outflow of New Yorkers to other states increased as the national economy improved, surging back to pre-recession levels.* Ceding to Florida, New York Falls to No. 4 in Population(NYT)  With 19.7 million residents, New York now ranks behind CaliforniaTexas and Florida, according to new figures released by the United States Census Bureau.* The U.S. Census Bureau confirmed that, as predicted, Florida has surpassed New York’s population with 19.9 million people, compared with 19.7 million in the Empire State.* New York City legislators distressed at increases in property taxes are going to propose a rebate of about $500 a year for small homeowners, the Post reports:   * A report from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found the state collected $474.2 million more than expected in tax revenue last month, while collections over the last three quarters are $716.4 million more than anticipated, State of Politics reports *  
EJ McMahon considers the ballooning cost of paying for retired NYC workers’ health care.* De Blasio met privately with nearly two dozen Wall Street titans Tuesday and urged them to do more to help the middle class and to back his living wage law expansion and workforce training programs, Crain’s reports: *De Blasio’s cozy relationship with municipal unions is bad for New York City taxpayers, Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute writes in the Post: 

DOI Report Show How Consultants Lobbyists and Bad City Hall Planning Have Damaged the City 911 System

Councilwoman, DOI Commissioner Spar Over 911 Overhaul Report (NY1) * Investigation Finds Problems With Work on New York City 911 System (NYT) The city’s Department of Investigation cites mismanagement, overdependence on contractors and tampering with status reports in a new report on a halted project.* City's 911 upgradeis decade behind schedule and nearly $1 billion over budget, a scathing reportby Department of Investigation finds (NYDN) Report shows Bloomberg administration woefully mismanaged overhaul as vendors and consultants ran it with little supervision from City Hall. A scathing report by the city’s Department of Investigation found the Bloomberg administration mismanaged for years the city’s massive overhaul of its 911 communications system.  The upgrade is 10 years behind schedule, nearly $1 billion over budget and needlessly slowed down by a persistent battle of the badges between the FDNY and the NYPD, the report shows. * A new investigation has found New York City employees were pressured by supervisors to “‘sanitize,’ ‘soften’ or ‘spin’” failures surrounding the long-delayed, $2 billion upgrade of the city’s 911 system by tampering with color-coded ratings,the Times writes:  * * The city’s incompetent attempt to modernize the 911 emergency telephone system has now cost taxpayers almost a billion dollars more than expected and will arrive a decade past its original deadline City pols slam de Blasio administration on city 911 system (NYDN) But Elizabeth Crowley said the city should abandon unified call-taking — where police, fire, and medical emergency calls are all initially handled by the same call takers. "Eleven years later, our system is no more reliable," she said at a Council hearing Wednesday. "Response times are longer than they've ever been in the past."
911 Phone System Failure Scandal

Children's Blame Game in Albany 
Lawmakers Say Governor Should Be Included In Ethics Package . . .  U.S. Attorney Will Make Sure Of That . . . The Expected Plea Deal Of Former Speaker Silver Will Also Have Something to Say on the Cuomo
"More than 30 state legislators have left office in disgrace .. and their first instinct is to point fingers"
State pols say ethics package should include publicdisclosure for Cuomo (NYDN) State legislators say they are willing to enact a number of new ethics reforms, but they argue Gov. Cuomo should subject himself to more public disclosure as well. Republican and Democratic legislative sources say that while Cuomo has attacked lawmakers on the issue of outside income, the governor is making as much as $900,000 from HarperCollins for his recent memoir, which only sold a few thousand copies. They also say that perhaps there should be a ban on governors giving paid outside speeches. They note his big book advance and lucrative salary and investments of his live-in girlfriend, Food Network star Sandra Lee. While Cuomo during his first four years has not given such speeches, former Govs. Mario Cuomo and George Pataki did. * Cuomo’s former chief of staff Larry Schwartz, who left the administration on Jan. 11, is still on the state’s payroll and being paid his usual $181,560 annual salary for a job listed as “Dir of NY Off,” the Post’s Fred Dicker reports:  * Cuomo's proposal for income disclosure has a few holes,  (Capital) 

When Will the Daily News Ask the Albany Lawmakers If Silver Will Rat Them Out? 
(NYDN) “I intend to fully represent my constituents in the best way I know how,” he told the Daily News. “I am confident I will be fully vindicated.” Some close to Silver said he’s had a hard time adjusting after more than two decades as one of the state’s most powerful men. But others, including former Senate Democratic Leaders Martin Connor, Malcolm Smith, and John Sampson, stayed on after giving up their leadership posts. Some believe Silver wants to hang on as a bargaining chip with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. But by law Silver would be automatically required to give up his seat if convicted of any felony regardless of what type of deal is cut.* Cuomo’s ethics reform package includes exemptions that would not subject state legislators to “total disclosure” of their income sources, which Cuomo has suggested was necessary, Capital New York reports Onondaga County DA Bill Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the defunct Moreland Commission, says he has “no personal knowledge of the guilt or innocence of Speaker Silver.” …The DA also says he wasn’t surprised by the charges brought against Silver. Silver marched Sunday in Chinatown’s Lunar New Year parade as he usually does, and there appeared to be no signs that he is under federal indictment. At the parade, some fellow elected officials praised Silver for helping to push through a law allowing a Chinese new year holiday, while others tried to avoid being photographed with him.

With A Gov Trying to Blow Him Up, GOP Senate and Silver Gone
All de Blasio Will Get From Albany is This Lousy T Shirt 
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will head to Albany this week with a sprawling agenda and no shortage of political challenges during an unusually turbulent time in the Capitol, The Associated Press writes: De Blasio's visit comes at an unusually turbulent time in the Capitol, one that could prove pivotal to the always fractious relationship between City Hall and the Capitol. Manhattan Democrat Sheldon Silver - long the city's key advocate - is out as Assembly speaker, consumed by a corruption scandal. New Speaker Carl Heastie of the Bronx could be a formidable ally for de Blasio, but his leadership is untested. While they profess their friendship, the mayor and Gov. Andrew Cuomo often don't see eye to eye.* The policy priority rift between de Blasio and Cuomo will be on display when the mayor comes to Albany Wednesday to testify before a joint legislative budget committee hearing.* De Blasio moving ahead with Sunnyside Yards housing plan | Capital New York *The “total disclosure” Cuomo says he wants of legislators’ outside income is relative, and would have some exemptions under his current reform proposal.*  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to lobby the state legislature for control over setting the minimum wage during his Albany visit today, but has kept details of his presentation close to the vest, City & State writes:

Nobody But True News is Reporting On the Effect of the Millions In Real Estate Money Pured Into NY's Politics
Most were $175 with many of the same contributors giving to more than one candidate.  The Moreland Commission is looking into the state contributions and tax reductions connections, there is no indication if the commission will look into with the city pols for their cash.  * Atlantic Yards Report: Shades of 2007? Another 421-a carve-out to ... * Activists take aim at Litwin donations in report (TU) RE moguls gave 10 times more to Senate GOP than Dems (Real Deal) * Once again, real estate opens up its coffers for Cuomo(Real Deal) * "AssemblySpeaker Sheldon Silver has opened the door to a Legislature of kept men andconcubines." * At least 27 clients of Silver’s recently revealed second law firm received state-authorized real estate tax breaks, a Capital New York analysis has found

The CFB Finds the Advance Coordinated PAC NYCLASS $$$ and Campaign $$$

The Investigation Of the Advance Group NYCLASS Corruption Continues With Fines Against Two CN Cumbo and Levenson  
City council members fined over money from anti-horse carriage group(NYP)Two city council members were slapped with hefty fines for accepting prohibited campaign contributions from a group at the center of the Central Park horse carriage brouhaha. Freshman member Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) was fined $7,868, and newbie Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) was fined $8,686 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board for accepting over-the-limit funding from a “prohibited source.” The board found that the funding source for both campaigns – New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Street (NYCLASS) – was too intertwined with the candidates’ consultant, The Advance Group (TAG).Campaigns are prohibited from coordinating with third-party groups that make “independent” expenditures. Yet TAG president and lobbyist Scott Levenson was political director for NYCLASS, and both groups shared the same office space.* Two NYC campaigns fined over cash from animal rights group(Newsday) But NYCLASS and The Advance Group were intertwined -- NYCLASS' political director doubled as The Advance Group's president, for example -- and spending by NYCLASS "could not be and" was "not independent" of the campaigns, the finance board said. The contributions were over the $2,750 limit as nonindependent spending and weren't reported by the campaigns, the board said. Cumbo and Levine responded with a joint statement, saying their campaigns are opposed to outside spending in elections.* 2 City Council members fined thousands for accepting improper campaign funds from anti-carriage horse group NYCLASS(NYDN)
How the Advance Group Conspired to Steal the 2009 and 2013 Election

More Litwin Lobbyists
Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin Llc $150,000
Carl Andrews & Associates, Inc. $ 144,000
Empire Strategic Planning, Inc. $ 144,000
Meara, Brian R. Public Relations, Inc. $120,000
Lieberman, Mark L. $90,000
Sanzillo, Francis J. & Associates $90,000
Runes, Richard $60,000
Park Strategies $20,000
Meet thebillionaires benefitting from @NYGovCuomo’s giveaway to luxury developments in:

Did Silver Pay the Berlin Rosen and the WFP to Keep the Albany DA Away? 
Was the Albany DA Elected to Protect Silver and His Staff Against Sexual Abuse and Other Corruption?
A capital veteran describes a telling dimension of Silver’s destructive stranglehold on government. The story begins in 2003, when Silver’s chief counsel was charged with rape and marched out of Assembly offices in handcuffs. Although District Attorney Paul Clyne was a fellow Democrat, Silver was furious at being embarrassed.  “He was fuming,” the Albany vet says, “and swore he would get a DA in there he could control and who would never embarrass him.”  Silver found his candidate for the 2004 election, little-known lawyer David Soares, and engineered the support of the upstart Working Families Party.  Against heavy odds, Soares upset Clyne in the primary and triumphed again in the general election. To this day, Soares remains the Albany DA, yet never finds anything amiss in the Legislature. Soares paid Berlin Rosen $30,000 in 2012.  Berlin Rosen's Alex Navarro-McKay as a WFP operative helped Soares get elected as Albany's DA * Cuomo attaches ethics reform laws to state budget voting (NYP)

The FBI May Have to Expand Their Investigation into A State Senator’s Campaign Account to Speaker Silver

“State and federal investigators want to know whether former state senator George Maziarz’s campaign account secretly bankrolled his chosen candidates for local offices in Niagara CountyThe Buffalo News has learned FBI agents want to determine who paid for mailers, advertising, robocalls and other campaign tools in certain local races. There is strong evidence that former Speaker Silver was also using his campaign account to help other candidates. From 2010 to 2014 Friends of Silver paid campaign consultant Berlin Rosen over $750,000 for almost no campaign work. During Berlin Rosen’s employment by Silver, the former speaker had only one weak GOP opponent, Maureen Koetz in 2014, who received less than 20% of the vote against Silver.  Why Berlin Rosen was paid so much money when Silver faced no challengers? Was the speaker trying to hide his involvement in other races that Berlin Rosen was running, like de Blasio for mayor in 2013?   From 2010 to 2014 Berlin Rosen worked in over 50 different state and city campaigns.   The FBI could look to see if the former speaker was trying to get over the candidate spending limit by paying the consultant Berlin Rosen directly?  During the 2009 city elections Berlin Rosen was working for all the candidates who hired the WFP’s Data and Field, which was accused of being used to going around the city’s campaign finance spending limits.  According to Silver’s federal  indictment, developer number one used LLCs as a “loophole corporations,” to get around the election law to funnel more money to political candidates, to buy influence to obtain tax breaks for his luxury building.  The FBI agents, who plan to give the Attorney General Eric Schneiderman the results of their investigation in Maziarz’s campaign, cannot do the same if they investigate former Speaker Silver.  Not only does Silver’s consultant Berlin Rosen worked in both of Schneiderman’s campaigns, its owners Jonathan Rosen and Valerie Berlin stated their political career working for Schneiderman when he was a state senator* Ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver to return to much smaller office (NYDN)

The Media War On An Informed Citizenry  

How Is News Coverage Effect By Journalists Looking for High Paid Lobbyist and Govt Flack Jobs 
Lisberg From Daily News Reporter to MTA Flack
Room 9 reporter leaves City Hall beat to joinconsulting firm (NYDN) A City Hall reporter is leaving behind the cramped press room known as "room 9." El Diario’s senior political reporter Marlene Peralta, 34, is joining the consulting firm Progressive Cities, founded last year by Dan Morris. “Marlene has a deep understanding of what drives news coverage and how press coverage can inform the decisions of elected officials and government agencies in cities,” said Morris in announcing his first hire.

As Reporters Look to Become Lobbyists or Govt Flack Local TV Makes Millions Off of Campaign and Public Interests Tax Payer Funded Commercials While Dumbing Down New Yorkers 
In 2009 when Tom Robbins wrote The Mayor's Press Pass, in the Village Voice it look like independent media coverage of politics was dead and Bloomberg would control news coverage for good. Since the Robbins story lobbyists has gained power over the news media using the advertising dollars they control, in influencing what news stories are covered and how they are covered. Now five years later we not only see new full of fluff and none coverage of issues important to New Yorkers like a closing hospital and a governors race. We also see very little  investigative independent journalism like Robbins, Jack Newfield and Wayne Barrett produced for years at the voice.  Just ask the biggest corruption fighter in town today, U.S. Attorney who criticized the lack of investigating reporting in today's NYC media. Newspaper gives vote of approval to paying political candidates (New York World) * A Takeover Of Journalism by Lobbyist and Politicians (2011 True News)Shrinking Newspaper Coverage Means Less Real TV News More Sexy Reporters(True News)

CrainsNY Engquist Where the Flacking the Truth 
Spin city (CrainsNY) "I took part in a panel discussion recently on discerning spin from truth when politicians speak. I estimated that 90% of what they say is spin. But it's not just elected officials. Everybody spins. Interest groups, flacks, even holier-than-thou good-government groups assail me daily with hundreds of messages spinning ostensibly true information to suit their purposes. I don't resent the spin; these people are advancing their causes. But it's enough to make my head, well, you know."

REBNY jumps into Senate battle, Cuomo Campaign Millions From Real Estate LLCs 
JCrain’s New York reports * But the biggest donors to council races were the city’s real estate titans, who raised nearly $7 million in a bid to influence the election of City Council members. Spending for the PAC was coordinated by the industry’s lobbying arm, the Real Estate Board of New York.  But after the elections, REBNY President Steven Spinola was quick to declare victory, asserting that 18 of the 22 candidates backed by his group had won their elections. But determining just who was doling out the big bucks proved challenging, since most of the contributions to the real estate PAC, dubbed Jobs for New York, came from murky corporate entities that are otherwise ineligible to donate directly to candidates in city elections.

 NY State Senate Republicans have $2.9 million in campaignaccount(NYDN) Campaign Reform and Media Cover Up of Citizens United On Local 2013 Election  *Cuomo Has Raised Millions Through LLCs' Loophole He Pledged to Close (Propublica) The governor has called for closing a gap in the state’s campaign finance laws, but he’s taken far more through the loophole than his predecessors, much of it from real estate developers. * Andrew CuomoBenefited From Same Real Estate Figure That Shelly Silver Did obs for New York Inc., an outside spending group that poured $8 million into New York City’s 2013 elections, is now poised to help Republicans in the high-stakes battle for the state Senate, records show.