Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Gov's Prom Pick

Senate speculation ‘more like the prelude to a high school prom’ - Gov Paterson

Some Prom

Caroline Kennedy is no front-runner, peeved Gov. Paterson pledges ***SENATE PICK WON'T BE RUSH JOB: GOV *** Lack of donations to city, state Dems may hurt Caroline Kennedy's bid for Senate *** Peter King: "No Evidence" Kennedy Qualified For Senate *** Congressman Ackerman compares Caroline Kennedy to media-ducking Sarah Palin *** Opponents of the Senate Appointment Process.

Speaker Silver Not Sold On Caroline - Always the smartest in his class, Silver who hand picked the State Comptroller, would love to take a shot at having the Assembly fill Cuomo's Attorney General seat *** Kennedy's City Hall forces hit back in today's Post - LMDC NOW SHEL'S OWN 'PORK FARM' - $12 million to many of the same community and cultural groups that Silver has steered pork money to *** The senate campaign has been drawn into the fight between the State and City for control of the LMDC *** Morgy blasts L.M.D.C. & City on Deutsche firefighter deaths; 3 indicted for manslaughter *** Councilman John Liu, who said it's "obvious the mayor's fingerprints are all over" Kennedy's Senate bid, thinks Bloomberg's term limits extension push hurts her.

Boxing In the Gov . . . is it Growing?
With the Blagojevich story exposing the culture of Pay to Play, did some of those being considered for the US Senate seat make Paterson's job more complicated by hiring consultants who also act as lobbyists? Will the press attack the winning consultant's support for the Gov's 2010 election as pay to play? *** Rep. Carolyn Maloney hired consultant Bill Lynch *** Kennedy has retained the services of Josh Isay's Knickerbocker SKD *** Rep. Israel has hired Resi Cooper.

Is the Pay to Play System About to Blow Up?
Blagojevich Lawyer Seeks to Subpoena Obama Aides *** BLAGO'S ON A RAHM-PAGE *** The Rod Blagojevich pay-for-play scandal highlights a structural failure in the design of government *** Blagojevich: Politics or Criminal Intent *** The Illinois scandal is the tip of the iceberg in a culture of corruption that is usually done with more subtlety than Blagojevich *** Blagojevich Mirrors Washington's Pay for Play.

Obama vows to "close the revolving door" between the executive branch and K Street lobbyists, by giving the Office of Government Ethics strong enforcement power

There is Gambling Going On At Rick's Place On your local newscasts, you can catch your senators and representatives in the act of being duly appalled that Blagojevich allegedly dared try this shakedown on something as sacrosanct as a U.S. Senate seat. But you will have a far harder time catching your senators and representatives in the act of another little thing that they do almost daily: Dialing for dollars from lobbyists. It's just another form of "Pay for Play" politics and culture.

Another good example of how Pay for Play while condemned in public as evil, is accepted behavior privately in the American political system, is the attempt to overturn the conviction of the former governor of Alabama. The brief was filed by the leader of one of the city’s largest good government groups which has consistently spoken out against the pay for play system.

The president of the Citizens Union Robert Abrams filed the Amicus Curiae Brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta in an effort to overturn the conviction of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, who was convicted of pay to play bribery. The Gov was found guilty as the result of a deal he made with the head of the largest HMO company in the south, to contribute half a million dollars to a non profit lobbying group (that had been involved in an expensive effort to pass a referendum that would have allowed a state lottery to fund education), in return for an appointment to a state medical review board which determines where and how the state’s HMO funds are distributed.

Abrams brief argued: “Without an explicit quid pro quo connection between the official act and the campaign contribution, the government's interpretation of the statutes would place an undue chilling effect on (the Gov's) First Amendment right.”

When Good Government Groups Go Bad *** The only good news these days about New York State’s dysfunctional Legislature is that in years past it’s been even worse. - Times, Roberts

Political Corruption Queens 2008 Politicians Hall of Shame Seminerio, Gallagher, McLaughlin, Sabini, Hevesi - Queens Courier - Spitzer and Nora Anderson live in Manhattan, Gordon lives in Brooklyn - Council member item slush fund gang live everywhere, the list - the jury is still out on Monserrate and Nora Anderson.

Council's Member Items Slush Fund
Councilman Koppell was also part of the Abrams brief filed for the convicted governor. Koppell suggested that Speaker Christine Quinn develop a policy on legal representation because so many council members aren't sure what to do if they're summoned by the FBI to testify about the council member item slush fund scandal.

Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, said the competition for money among nonprofits had "created this frenzy" to hire lobbyists out of a belief that doing so would increase their chances of securing appropriations. He also expressed concern about council members being lobbied by firms that serve as political consultants to many of them. "It's a closed circle of influence that is totally inappropriate."

Economic $$$ Mess STORES CUT PRICES 'TIL IT HURTS *** In Season of Recession, New Ways to Celebrate *** The deteriorating Hunts Point Produce Market, being wooed to move to New Jersey.

Going Green The amount of residential garbage collected here is dropping even as the population is growing.

Madoff Mess World's richest woman - L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt - tangled up in Bernie Madoff scandal *** Bernie should rot with rats, victim's pal says *** Madoff investor's autopsy awaits tests *** Some Jews Fear Madoff Case Stokes Anti-Semitism.

Albany Court Orders Queens Senate Count to Resume - 1,750 paper ballots to be counted.

Washington Bush Reverses Brooklyn Developer’s Pardon after larger Republican Party contributions are disclosed by the media *** A Father, a Son, and a Short-Lived Presidential Pardon *** Bush missed half-century of corruption scam claims against father and son *** MIKE, GOV HAIL BUSH UNPARDON Obama's Testing Begins: Israel prepares retaliation for Gaza attacks *** CIA Offering Viagra To Afghan Warlords In Effort To Build Alliances.