Thursday, February 5, 2009

Reformers Have Their Annual Press Conference . . . Nothing Else

No Change NY

News Conferences . . . Again

Reform Not Here . . . Again

Editors Note: Every year the well meaning good government groups hold a press conference covered by the media, to plead that the leaders of Albany's corrupt and dysfunctional government change their ways. The public is used to this dance. After the press hits, the pols answer with promises of change, the reformers go home and we end each year with three men in a room cutting member items and a budget deal favorable to the lobbyists and their special interests. Each year we also see a new crop of former elected officials graduate to jail. This year NYU's Brennan Center recycled their old report calling New York's government the most dysfunctional in the nation. NYPIRG, Blair Horner recycled both old charges of voters being upset with numerous indictments and jailing of state lawmakers, and recycled and re-introduced the reformers legislation to improve ethics laws in NYC that they issued in past press conferences begging for reform. In the spirit of going around in circles and accomplishing nothing, True News has decided to reissue its report card on the reform movement. Same press conference in 2005 and more press conferences in the past.

Good Government Groups Report Card:

Strong in the Media . . .Weak in Results
While change has come to the executive branch in Washington, New York’s City and State governments are in free fall. We not only have permanent dysfunction in Albany (run by special interest lobbyists), now we have the City’s elected officials ignoring the vote and the will of the public, when they recently voted themselves an extra term in office. While not responsible for the failure of government the Good Government groups have been ineffectual in fixing its abuses. Sometimes they have been too close with those in power. Before the U. S. Supreme Court overruled the lower courts to restore the Tammany style judicial convents, the Good Government groups were trying to work out a comprise by keeping the conventions and allowing candidates to go the petition route to run for Supreme Court. Since the highest court ruled to restore the party machine-controlled conventions, there has not been a peep out of the groups who say they fight for judicial reform.

The Accidental Ballot Access Reforms

The only reform in ballot access in the last 20 years occurred because the Bush campaign tried to keep John McCain off the New York Primary Ballot in 2000. A Federal Judge ruled after the McCain campaign took the Republican Party to court, to eliminate the need for ADs, EDs and totals on nominating petitions cover sheets. Judge Edward Korman who also ruled that candidates can correct their petitions cover sheets for defects after they are submitted to the Board of Elections, did more then any Good Government group to make a very restrictive ballot access system a little bit easier for challengers.

The City Council slush fund gets no press attention despite spending tens of thousands of dollars in city funds to hire lawyers to protect their members against criminal charges. Coverage does not seem to be a problem with the leaders of the City’s Good Government groups who always seem to be quoted in the press. One group even gives out report cards every year, rating each subway line for its cleanliness. Maybe if we'd had a responsible government that would have stopped Wall Street Ponzi schemes, we would not be facing subway fare increases, cutbacks and other unpleasantness.

Albany As Expected: Padavan wins *** Padavan emerges as Senate race winner after epic recount *** Israel: D'Amato fundraiser was never on, and is now off *** PATERSON'S PAROLE PICK QUIT AMID SEX FUROR: ACCUSER *** STATE'S 100G DO-ZILCH JOB *** Ensuring a state of bankruptcy- Paid to do nothing *** Proposed Rent Rules Stir an Owner Outcry *** Afforable Housing Saved in Brooklyn! *** State Senate Democrats like the idea of reforming the tax structure so the rich pay more and the middle class gets a tax break *** Shop owners fight to keep wine out of supermarkets *** ALBANY MOVES ON RENT LAW *** Monserrate pays PR firm to boost image *** A Governor’s Sense of Humor Is Put to a Rigorous Test *** Why People Avoid Politics By Henry Stern - Kennedy Smear Manufactured from Answers She Submitted in Confidential Questionnaire *** The Manhattan madam Kristin Davis tells all about Spitzer and his prediliction for prostitutes in a tell-all book available online *** State budget cuts may force a guardian program for elderly and disabled to shut down.

City Hall Middle Class Being Squeezed Out Of The City, Study Finds *** City’s middle-class exodus seen accelerating *** N.Y.C. so costly you need to earn six figures to make middle class *** The middle class crunch: 'Trapped' even with 'very decent living' *** City Jobless Rate May Hit 10.5% *** 'CUT!' & RUN LOOMS
*** ELITE-SCHOOL FEARS EASE *** More problems at Deutsche Bank site From the Daily News *** Bloomberg to middle class: GET OUT! From the NY Observer: *** Middle Class Being Squeezed Out Of The City, Study Finds *** Budget Cuts Imperil Guardian Program for Elderly and Disabled *** Times Ed: The Taxing of Broadway ***
New York Expects More Federal Housing Aid to Help Fix Elevators *** In Experiment, Video Screens Show Location of L Trains *** More city high school students are taking and passing Advanced Placement tests than ever before *** Large And Small, Business Owners Feeling The Pinch *** Kings County Hospital Opens New Mental Health Facility *** Hospital sets reforms after woman's death *** Violence and Abuse at City-Run Psychiatric Unit *** Picture darkens for city's museums Funding cuts, shrinking endowments, tourism decline make this recession worst *** NYPD officer caught in drug scandal takes plea, dishes on corrupt cops *** Tenants want Amalgamated to hold line on rent hikes *** As Stadium Rises, Neighbors Wait for Replacement Parks *** A ‘MEGAPROJECT’ BOOST The Second Avenue subway might be a burden to store owners awaiting the project’s completion, but Rep. Carolyn Maloney is focused on its ability to create jobs and bolster the... *** Workers sever standpipe that turned Deutsche into deathtrap . . . again *** City Controller puts cuffs on Brooklyn House of Detention.

Road to City Hall Bloomberg To Not Cap His Spending On 3rd Campaign *** Mike Scoffs At Elex-Cash Cap *** Rudy: GOP Ought To Like Mike *** A billionaire runs for NY mayor during tough times ***Campaigners for Bloomberg Taste High Life ***

Washington Obama: Tough speech *** BAM SLAMS FOES OF $$ PLAN: FUMES AT BILL'S CRITICS: 'THIS IS NOT A GAME *** Obama: No More Mr. Nice Guy *** Obama fires back at critics of stimulus plan *** Obama keeps the faith, revises Bush policy ***
President Goes for the Throat on Stimulus
*** 9/11 KIN MEETING WITH PREZ ON GITMO *** Bam extends olive branch to 9/11 vics' families over Gitmo flap *** CIA chief hopeful rips terror suspect abuse *** Charges Dismissed for Alleged Cole Bomber *** *** Times Ed: Getting Tough in Washington *** Bailout Talks Turn to Equity Stakes *** Lack of 'Car Czar' Stalls Bailout *** Obama Slams GOP Ideas on Stimulus *** Dems to Take Battle With GOP to the Airwaves *** Bam keepin' the faith on faith-based initiatives *** Obama's Faith in Faith-based Works - Christian Science Monitor *** Post Ed: S.O.S.: SAVE OUR STIMULUS *** COME ON, O: BRING BACON - NOT PORK! *** Obama naming advisers to help right the economy *** Will Pay Cap Work? *** MORE TAXING PROBLEMS O'S LABOR PICK HELD UP BY HUBBY WOES *** Labor To Open Fire Over Solis Confirmation *** Gates Delays Decision To Send Troops To Afghanistan *** Panetta Vows 'New Chapter' at CIA *** Panetta Took Trips on EduCap Jet *** Gibbs Gets Testy With Reporter *** WATCH: Jon Stewart Compares Robert Gibbs To Bush's Press Secretaries *** Energy efficiency money for NY in stimulus bill *** Kirsten Gillibrand Not the Master of Her Domains ***Clinton bound for far east on first trip as Sec. of State *** Obama's New Map of the World - Thomas Barnett, Esquire *** On the Edge of an Economic Abyss - Paul Krugman, New York Times *** So Much For Hope Over Fear - Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post *** Don't Be Silly: All Spending is Stimulus - Steven Pearlstein, Wash Post *** Obama's WH Shuts Out Progressives - David Sirota, SF Chronicle
Democrats: Beware Of Michael Steele - Bob Beckel, RealClearPolitics *** Congress Senator: Talk Radio Hearings Could Be On The Way...*** Congress risks criticism over luxury retreat trips... *** The Worst Mortgage Idea Since Barney Frank's Last One - WSJ *** GOP Renews Calls for Rangel to Step Down - CQ Politics *** Graham, Boxer Spar Over Stimulus *** The Collins-Nelson Gang - Open Left *** SEN. REID BRAGS HE HAS VOTES TO PASS STIMULUS; WHITE HOUSE LEAVES FINAL TOUCHES 'TO HARRY'... *** Moderates seek bipartisan OK of stimulus package *** Bipartisan Push to Trim Size of Stimulus Plan.

National Newspaper Chicago mayor refuses to release stimulus project list...

Intenational GERMAN BANK FIRST LOSS SINCE WWII; REJECTS STATE AID... *** Sarkozy: I may not seek re-election, the job is tiring... *** Beware the European Street - Denis MacShane, Newsweek *** US-Sino Space Race Is On - Sophie Elmhirst, New Statesman

Wall Street Mess GE chief warns on USA depression threat... *** GE CEO Looks Beyond 'Doom and Gloom' *** USA Must Spend Trillions to Avoid Entering 'Mini Depression'... *** GOLDMAN, JP MORGAN Won't Feel Effects of Salary Caps... *** Fortunoff succumbs to downturn *** In the Red, Toyota Sees Loss Tripling *** List Shock For Madoff Investors *** BERNIE'S GOT NOTHING ON FED LOOTERS *** Unions and Pension Plans Hurt in Financier’s Scheme *** Court Filings Show Real Estate Families' Madoff Losses *** Bracing Ourselves: America prepares for the worst *** Low on Jobless Funds A growing number of states are running out of cash to pay unemployment benefits, a development that comes as initial jobless claims passed 600,000 last week *** We Didn't Privatize Social Security. Phew! By Eliot Spitzer *** Madoff-linked hedge fund goes under *** WSJ Editor Does Not Recall Getting Markopolos Madoff Tip *** Madoff's Lawyer Was One of His Clients *** Madoff-Mets tie prompts fear of major league losses: New documents make clear Mets' money got caught in Madoff's web of deceit *** Labor unions lost pension funds to Bernie Madoff *** Gary Ackerman Lays His Smack Down on the SEC *** New York needs Wall St. to swim by THOMAS P. DINAPOLI , New York State comptroller *** Keynes Can't Help Us Now - Niall Ferguson, Los Angeles Times *** Keynes: The Triumph of Hope Over Economics - Benn Steil, Financial Times *** GOLDEN STATE TURNS RUST: Furlough Fridays begin for California state workers... *** Could the Stimulus Be Too Small? *** Foreclosures of the Rich and Famous *** Treasury Overpaid On Bank Bailout *** UNEMPLOYMENT RISES TO 7.6%... PAYROLLS DROP 598,000... MOST SINCE 1974... MORE... *** Canada sheds 129,000 jobs in January...

Media Mess NEWS CORP loses $6.4 billion... *** MURDOCH: 'Great faith in the newspaper business... there has never been more hunger for news'... *** CONDE NAST replaces NEW YORKER publisher... *** CEO of struggling SUN-TIMES Media Group resigns... *** TIME MAG COVER S.O.S.: SAVE THE NEWSPAPERS... *** 25 Random Things The Times and Time Mag Don't Agree On *** The Independent, a 36-year-old twice-weekly covering Columbia and southern Rensselaer counties in upstate New York, announced today that tomorrow's edition will be its last ***Times 'Weekender' Commercial Skewered *** MCCLATCHY reports loss on newspapers' decline, plans deep cost cuts...