Friday, March 6, 2009

Cover Up At City Hall Continues

Cover Up At City Hall Continues

New York's Watergate:
Who is Going to Jail?

Sources said they have been informed by Quinn (D-Manhattan), her staff or others familiar with the US attorney's investigation that there would be "a scathing report but no indictments" in the slush-fund scandal, in which lawmakers funneled public money into fake charities.

Lulu of a bill: Speaker Christine Quinn's pay scheme makes case for Council reform The speaker's ability to, in effect, purchase support undermines representative democracy by giving individual lawmakers the incentive to vote on behalf of their wallets rather than in the interests of constituents. The way to end that conflict is to ban lulus, as good government groups have urged for years. Nearly two years after Queens Councilman Tony Avella requested a bill, the Council staff has now drafted a measure that includes such a bar. It will be ready for introduction today, fulfilling a commitment Quinn made a long, long time ago. *** Despite hard times, City Council members still get big stipends for leadership positions.

From True News January 26, 2009
Quinn's Con Game City Council speaker and her cohorts took your money and ran - Council took the pay raise recommended by a special mayoral commission but ignored the part of the report that urged lawmakers to enact reforms aimed at reducing self-dealing and favoritism. Key among the proposed reforms was a call to abolish so-called lulus - extra cash stipends doled out by the speaker to well-behaving sheep - and to rule out raises in the middle of a term.

From True News January 12, 2009
Inspector Clouseau Investigates Inspector Clouseau Investigates NYC Political CorruptionWhen a candidate for council was asked recently at a community meeting if she had been questioned about the investigation of the City Council member items slush fund scandal, she truthfully said no. A review of the member item scandal and other recent political corruption cases that made headlines reveals a very definite pattern. The investigations are more like shooting stars that flare for a second and then burn out and become forgotten by the prosecutors and the media after the headlines disappear. It is another third rail of politics that the media never reports on – the fact that the prosecutors in this one-party incumbent-protected city, must rely on those same elected officials and their political partners to get reelected.

From True News January 4, 2009
Member Item Slush Fund Cover Up What If There Had Been A Media Blackout On Watergate? The media, the prosecutors and even the challengers to the 29 incumbents who voted in favor of extending term limits have been strangely silent for months about the Council's criminal member item slush fund scandal - the earmarking of millions of dollars to fictitious organizations in the council's discretionary budget.

From Room 8 October 10, 2008
Pay to Play Consultants
A Letter to Garcia: (Michael) Garcia U.S. Attorney Only one man can stop this elite gang of elected officials, party leaders, lobbyists and their clients from a complete takeover of New York City’s budget and political system: Michael Garcia, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District ***
Cuomo probing political links to state pension biz The attorney general's office is looking into whether financial firms are using politically connected consultants to get state pension business, the Daily News has learned.

Road to City Hall WEINER'S 'NAUGHTY' HOTTIE$ FOREIGN BABES GAVE ILLEGALLY *** 1,000 vote difference apparently not convincing enough From the Forum South *** Bx. Dem Party boss Jose Rivera won't run for borough president *** WEINER'S 'NAUGHTY' HOTTIE$: FOREIGN BABES contributed illegally *** My thought on John Liu switching to a run for Comptroller because he thinks he has a better chance than for Public Advocate *** Pete King, Earmark Defender And Potential Senate Candidate *** The Post slams Councilman Bill de Blasio's billboard company campaign contributions *** Why Scott Stringer Is Doing It

Luxury Strikes Out In a case of bad timing, this year three of the biggest names in pro sports are opening three of the most expensive stadiums ever built -WSJ

The City Tax rally at City Hall *** BUSES GET A 'SHIELD' FOR DRIVERS *** DEBT-HOUND COMPLAINTS UP *** WTC BOOSTING ECONOMY *** STUY TOWN RENT 'WIN' *** TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE IN TRAFFIC *** UNIONS RALLY VS. BUDGET *** Commish Tells TD Bank It Has Too Many Robberies *** Paul and Ringo Reunite at Radio City *** Big Landlord Found to Have Wrongly Raised Rents *** Taking Sides on New York’s School Chancellor *** Saying He’ll Share Pain, Paterson Trims Paycheck *** NY court deals landlords huge setback *** City has lost 85,000 jobs since August *** Monster crowds turn out for Monster's job fair *** Debt collectors really rile up New Yorkers *** Foreclosed homes becoming havens for crime *** Libraries face $14M in city cuts, but launch fund drive to keep doors open.
*** Stabilized tenants win big in court ruling on rents *** The city's three GOP state senators - Marty Golden, Andrew Lanza and Frank Padavan - could end up being the swing votes on the MTA bailout *** Unemployment in New York hit 7 percent in January - up from 4.7 percent a year ago.

Albany JOBLESS JOLT FOR STATE *** NY WORST IN HOME $ICKNESS: MORTGAGE DELINQUENCY SURGES 35% *** GOV: I'LL TAKE 10% PAY CUT *** STATE ROAD PROJECTS SET FOR $TIMULATION *** SPITZ BUYS 'HO ZONE' PROPERTY ***Governor Paterson does the Falls - the Anger Management Tour *** Unions gather as Gov. frets and jobs vanish *** Paterson Draws Fire in Shift on Emissions *** Saying He’ll Share Pain, Paterson Trims Paycheck *** Paterson Quietly Aids Uphill House Race*** Luv Guv Dropping Big $$$ in D.C. Again *** Stimulus plan complicates states' economic moves *** The Senate GOP outlines their budget proposals, including sweeping consolidation and a tuition “buy-in” for SUNY and CUNY schools *** A preview of the other budget proposals coming next week from Dems in both chambers *** State AG Andrew Cuomo announces more dominoes falling in his litigation against big health insurers. The latest to topple include local provider CDPHP *** More on the new supergroup Lawyers for Bruno *** Gov. Paterson drops the idea of trimming legislative salaries, but insists he will trim his own by 10 percent *** Spitzer Is Back in D.C. -- In Real Estate *** Gov. Paterson makes a 'sacrifice' & takes pay cut *** The fare hikers: Kruger, Diaz and Espada will bear blame for hammering straphangers - DN Ed *** Albany's "Gang Of Three" Oppose Ravitch Plan For MTA *** Three Amigos United Against Tolls *** Senate Majority Courts G.O.P. on Transit Plan *** Lots of MTA Talk From Everyone Except Malcolm Smith

President Obama O'S RX: KEEP 'OPEN MIND' *** Treasury secretary's choice for deputy withdraws *** Gupta withdraws from surgeon general search *** Dr. Sanjay Gupta Will Not Heed the Call of Duty *** The Big Dither When it comes to dealing with banks, the Obama administration is dithering - Krugman, NYT *** The Bogus Class-Warfare Charge Against Obama *** Obama: Every voice must be heard on health reform *** Treasury Nominee Withdraws Her Name *** Team Obama Pulls 'Gray Hair' Stunt Again *** Obama Calls to Overhaul Health-Care *** Top Treasury Candidates Pull Out *** Obama seeks to heal country's healthcare *** If Obama Is Wrong, the U.S. Will Be Bankrupt - Tim Reid, Times of London *** Don't Blame Obama for Wall Street Meltdown - Robert Reich, Salon *** Deception at Core of Obama Plans - Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post *** The Two-Front War Against Obamanomics - Rich Karlgaard, Forbes *** Is Obama Pursuing a 'Stuff the Beast' Strategy? - Mickey Kaus, Slate *** Chas of Arabia: Odd Pick for US Intel Analysis - Rich Lowry, New York Post *** Obama Must Take the Market Seriously - Investor's Business Daily *** Obama's Budget: Wanton Recklessness - New Hampshire Union Leader *** Obama's Remarks at the W.H. Health Care Forum - Barack Obama *** Obama's Troubling Deficits - Ramesh Ponnuru, The Corner

Congress Senate bogs down over $410 billion spending bill *** Are Earmarks That Big of a Problem? *** In Senate, Republicans Block Spending Measure *** The Gun Lobby Outvotes D.C. - NYT Ed *** Senators Ask Who Got Money From A.I.G. ***Gillibrand still waiting to move into Clinton's offices *** Wrangling over the budget in the U.S. Senate will necessitate a stopgap measure *** Bill Seeks $500 Billion for FDIC Fund *** Budget May Revive Big Tax Break *** Political Lobbying Drove FDA Process *** Bill Seeks to Allow FDIC to Borrow $500 Billion - Wall Street Journal *** Pelosi Vows to Examine Earmarking with Obama - CQ Politics *** House Passes Cramdown Housing Bill - Bloomberg *** GAO Says Census Still Imperiled - Washington Post *** At least two New York lawmakers - Chuck Schumer and Carolyn Maloney - have returned campaign contributions from Bernard Madoff.

Wall Street Mess SPIN METER: On stimulus, who's having it two ways? *** Questions, answers on bankruptcy mortgage rewrites *** Penny Shock: Citi Closes At $1.02 *** Bank Sees Bonus Bust *** Quiet Layoffs Sting Workers Without Notice *** Slump Humbling Blue-Chip Stocks, Once Dow’s Pride *** Undisclosed Losses at Merrill Lynch Lead to a Trading Inquiry *** Economix: Handicapping the Jobless Report *** Auditors Raise Doubts About G.M.’s Viability *** Retail Sales Slide Further, Except at Wal-Mart *** Despite Recession and Prices, Exxon Plans to Expand *** Bailed-Out Bankers Still Prefer Cushy Car Service *** When Giant Companies Fall Today's Papers *** GM's Nuclear Option: Bankruptcy *** War on the Rich? The bogus GOP claim that Obama is trying to bleed wealthy Americans *** IMF Urges Global Financial Rules *** GM More Open to Bankruptcy *** Fed's Kohn Admits AIG Risks *** TARP Cop Gets Into Role as Street Tough *** Homeowners flood loan agencies *** Siris: Citigroup woes aren't penny-ante *** Homeowners flood loan agencies with calls, e-mails *** Siris: Citigroup woes aren't penny-ante *** Mortgage woes hit an all-time high *** Building Walls with US Trading Partners - Edward Glaeser, Boston Globe *** Wild Party Days Are Over for U.S. Banks - Sen. John Kerry, Bloomberg *** Repeating Bush's Worst Market Mistakes - Steve Forbes, Wall St. Journal *** Why Can't We Have AIG Transparency? - Josh Marshall, TPM *** GM is Toast - Megan McArdle, The Atlantic *** JOBLESS RATE JUMPS TO 8.1%, HIGHEST SINCE 1983.

National Median Detroit Home Price: $7,500?! *** Rethinking the American Dream - David Kamp, Vanity Fair*** The Health-Care Crisis Hits Home - Karen Tumulty, Time *** Health 'Reformers' Ignore Facts - Sally Pipes, Wall Street Journal *** Cartoon Protest Pits NAACP Against Free Speech - Nat Hentoff, RCP

International HILL TIPS O EUROPE TRIP *** Clinton assures Europe on efforts with Russia *** Sudan’s Move on Aid Groups Censured *** Fresh Start in the Middle East -NYT Ed *** Japan’s Slump Tests Faith in the Resilience of Stocks *** In East Europe, Some Hope of Avoiding Recession *** Mexico: Trucking Program May End *** China: First All-Barbie Store Opens *** U.S. Sets Stage to Meet Iran at Summit *** European Central Banks Cut Rates to Record Lows *** China Signals Economic Confidence *** Kyrgyzstan Waffles on Base Closure *** Hillary Clinton proposes seat at the table for Iran at Afghanistan talks *** Hillary invites Iran to Afghan talks table *** Hillary Says 'Game On' in Middle East - Simon Tisdall, The Guardian *** No 'Grand Bargain' With Russia - David Kramer, Washington Post *** Exiting Iraq - The Nation *** Pakistan's Problems Require Tough Love - The Australian *** PM Gordon Brown's Address to Congress - Gordon Brown *** Clinton's Press Conf. with Palestinian President Abbas - Hillary Clinton ***Obama's Syria Temptation - Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal *** China's Team of Rivals - Cheng Li, Foreign Policy *** The Iran-Mexico Connection - Arthur Cyr, China Post