Thursday, March 5, 2009

New York Needs A Sun Burn

New York Needs A Sun Burn

Why call for piece meal sunshine, City Councilman Bill de Blasio? Why is your legislation limited to calling for an online data base to keep track of stimulus dollars in New York? Have we not had enough corruption by elected officials to call for transparency in the entire budget and contracting process? Just this week Majority leader Smith has to threaten to withhold his support for tolls on the East River Bridges to get the MTA to turn over budget information to the senate. How much money as Assembly Brosky says, is wasted by the unregulated state authorities? Do you think convicted former Assemblyman McLaughlin would've been able to rip off government money if the public had been able to follow its money in his crime spree? How about a crime wave closer to home councilman? Do you think any councilmember would have the guts to hide secret slush funds in the city budget if their actions were clear to all online? Do you think your fellow councilmembers would put their families on non profit payrolls if they knew that it was easy for anyone and everyone to look online and discover their corrupt acts?

Last year former Assemblyman McLaughlin who most believe is in witness protection, pleaded guilty in federal court to fixing street light contracts. Street lighting contracts have been fixed in this city since the days of Tammany Hall. Do you think putting the bidding process online might give that mob second thoughts? Do you think former Senator Velella could have delivered public works contracts for bribes if the state’s contracting process had been open and online? Two hospitals were closed this week in Queens at the same time one of its lawmakers stands accused of ripping off hospital funds.

300,000 more New Yorkers will be out of work this year. When will anyone step up in New York and say elected officials and their fat cat friends have to stop the rip-offs of our city and state budgets. Let's follow the example of the Obama administration which has promised transparency, in New York. It's time for candidates running for office to step on toes and stop doing safe press hits. The people are hurting and they need their money now.

Reporters Should Use Google
To the trough! Lulu is the nickname for the stipend City Council members get for heading committees and subcommittees or holding leadership positions. It comes from payment en lieu of expenses. This week's "LuLu" reports have managed to omit the fact that the council had promised to reform this practice once it had enacted pay raises for itself. Pay raises: Enacted. LuLus: Ongoing.

From True News January 26, 2009
Christine 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.

The City MIKE: ALBANY STEALING OUR STIMULUS $$ *** MTA DISSES AWAY $6M: HIRES AND IGNORES $$ CONSULTANT *** GRADE PLAN FOR TEACHERS *** A HEALTHY APPLE: NYERS SEEING DOCS MORE AND KICKING BAD HABITS *** City Says New Yorkers Are Healthier *** Mayor Says Medicaid Funding Falls Short *** MTA Reconsiders Weekend Service Cuts *** Survey Claims Major Drop In City's Homeless Population *** While Brooklyn Fusses, Newark Pushes for the Nets *** Killer cuts to ambulance services coming From the Daily News *** Companies and jobs leaving NY From the NY Times *** Hamill: Finally, justice for two victims of Mafia cops *** HOMELESS COUNT DOWN *** Drop in Homeless Count Draws Skepticism *** Map: Flight Patterns Over the U.S. *** Spurned as a Successor, a Prosecutor Is Moving On *** Coney Island 'Foxy' 'gentleman's club' opens two floors below Brooklyn Community Board 13 *** Luxury developers battle tenants and small-biz owners in Chinatown *** Kelly tells TD Bank to put public safety first after heists *** Mayoral control of city schools up for renewal *** Would you add Island politicians as Facebook friends? ***Economic woes claim Staten Island bridal shop *** PM Tenants Wary of Clustering of Homeless *** Pro-Bloomberg D'Amato At City Hall *** State Sees Highest Unemployment Rate Since 2004 *** NY court deals landlords huge setback - Tishman Speyer must keep units rent regulated as long as they get tax breaks, derailing building owners' plans to deregulate units to pay off their mortgages *** ALSO: Atlantic Yards wins key victory *** City has lost 85,000 jobs since August.

The Road to City Hall Source: Stringer Mulling Primary Against Gillibrand *** Challengers to Gillibrand Emerging *** A Challenger for Councilwoman James *** NYC Comptroller's Race *** Morgy won't support top aide's bid to replace him: he's an 'inside man' *** Kappstatter: An Espada eying Rubencito's Albany seat? *** Brooklyn GOPers like Mike for nod *** 'Overvote' discovered in recount of Staten Island Council ballots *** Jacob Gershman pans Comptroller Bill Thompson's tenure as Board of Education president, saying his secret to survival was "careful cultivated irrelevance" *** Days after calling for looser regulations for the billboard industry, Councilman Bill de Blasio accepted $8,000 in campaign contributions from billboard companies *** 16,500 Names And 'Bronx Unity' For Diaz Jr. *** Acting Bronx President Lives in Brooklyn *** Saul, the Potential Swing Vote for Bloomberg, Says Protocols Must Be Followed *** Brooklyn G.O.P. Votes to Let Bloomberg In

Albany How Paterson Got to 26 Percent Approval *** Yeah, I'd take a pay cut, too, says Paterson *** Governor gets heat at Niagara town hall meeting *** STATE DEMS KO ROCKY DRUG LAWS *** Rockefeller-era drug laws near extinction *** Lawmakers Poised To Ease State Drug Laws *** Amid N.Y.’s Budget Crisis, a Scramble to Spend Billions *** Albany Takes Step to Repeal ’70s-Era Drug Laws *** In a first, NY State hopes to sell bankrupt in... *** Senate, Assembly leaders promise budget votes next week *** State regulators frown on NYC doctor's flat fee *** The proposed expansion of the bottle bill gets a hearing. More here *** Gov. Paterson says he’s rethinking the executive payroll, including his own salary *** Subpoenas Issued to Top Merrill Execs AG Cuomo *** Gov's EMS plan would slow response - city *** Stars lobby Albany to renew tax credits benefiting film industry *** Dems open to E. River tolls - pol *** Former Chief Judge Sol Wachtler calls for the Legislature to pass a bill that would end the practice of locking up mentally ill prisoners in the "box." *** PM Paterson Will Take a 10 Percent Pay Cut *** State’s Jobless Rate Rises to 7 Percent *** Skelos opposes pay cut for lawmakers *** Skelos Counterproposal: Yes to Cuts, No to Taxes *** Three Amigos United Against Tolls *** State's troubled-mortgage ranks spike to 10.2% *** Jerusalem - Mayor Rejects Clinton's Criticism *** Senate consolidation ideas (Updated) *** Medicaid relief to last 27 months *** Group of NY lawyers supports Bruno

The President Obama declared war against the military-industrial complex yesterday for wasting billions of dollars in government contracts *** BAM'S $275B LIFELINE TO KEEP 9 MILLION to keep their Homes *** Housing plan aims to help 9M, but leaves out many *** Obama to hear ideas on how to overhaul health care *** Obama's push for cleaner cars gets public airing *** Obama Taps Clinton Ideas but Not Clinton Herself *** Clinton Not Invited To Obama's Health Care Planning Sessions *** Obamas Host Congressional Leaders For Dinner (PHOTOS) *** Gibbs "Pleads Guilty" To Feeding "Counterproductive" Cable News Chatter ***President Obama and John McCain team up to take on no-bid contracts *** Rove: Presidential Bait-and-Switch ***Team of rivals: Obama & McCain unite to slash no-bid contracts *** President Obama suffers a trust deficit - Goodwin *** President Obama's bailout critics should grow up - Errol Louis *** Public Stands Between Reagan, Obama - David Paul Kuhn, RealClearPolitics *** Why I Miss Bill Clinton - Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune *** Obama Overhauls Federal Contracts *** On the White House: Obama Sticks to the Script *** PM Politico: Obama Doesn't Go Anywhere Without His Teleprompter... *** Obama and the Filibuster Killer *** The White House is getting its first Chief Information Officer *** Biden To Labor: Let’s Dance

Congress Rove, Miers to testify in prosecutor firings... *** Top Bush Aides to Testify in Attorneys’ Firings *** Rove Blasts 'Show Trial' *** House to vote on bankruptcy mortgage rewrites *** Congress may cut off spending on Mexican trucks *** SPIN METER: Both parties deny it's their economy *** Key Democrats oppose Obama's tax deduction plan *** White House Rethinks Tax Hikes *** Obama Overhauls Federal Contracts *** Pelosi: Chipper On The Hill - Marie Cocco, Indianapolis Star *** Democrats Desperate To Change the Subject - Rep. John Boehner, Wash Post *** PIN METER: Both parties deny it's their economy *** PM Who Cares About Earmarks? *** Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is worried about Chas Freeman's role as head of the National Intelligence Council *** Sen. Ted Kennedy may be ailing, but he told attendees at the White House health care summit today, "I commit... to be a foot-soldier in this undertaking."

National AFL-CIO Union Execs Hold Winter Meeting at Luxury Miami Resort... *** HOMEOWNERS ARE DROWNING: 20% OF HOMES WORTH LESS THAN THEIR MORTGAGES *** Fears of a Clown Joy felt among Democrats as Rush Limbaugh emerges as the face of the Republican Party *** Supreme Court rejects limits on drug lawsuits ***
Courts Say Drug Companies Can Be Sued
*** The Latest Chicago PolMike Quigley isn't quite Rahm Emanuel, but he's not Rod Blagojevich, either *** How the Supreme Court Was WonReturning the interest to conflicts of interest *** Sides Prime for Gay-Marriage Fights *** The Limbaugh Liability - Jonathan Alter, Newsweek *** Newsday editorializes in defense of earmarks. *** PM Cities face painful cuts, higher taxes; Philadelphia tries to involve citizens in decisions... *** The California Supreme Court is considering whether the right to marry can be taken away by a popular vote *** Charges In L.A. Campaign Money Laundering

MADOFF GAVE THOU$ANDS TO POLS Schumer tops the donor list of Madoff and his family, at $29,300. Schumer's office said it had donated $8,000 of the stash to police and fire endowments. Others who got donations from Madoff or his family were Democratic NJ Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who got $11,600; Hillary Rodham Clinton, who got nearly $9,000 for her Senate and presidential campaigns; disgraced former Republican Rep. Vito Fossella and Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who both collected $3,000; and Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel, who received $2,000.

Wall Street Mess Swiss bank exec criticizes US effort to get account data... *** MIKE'S STOCK ADVICE: TOUTS GE, MACY'S & SAKS AS GOOD PLAYS *** BRAIN-TRUST BUST: WHAT'S REALLY SCARING WALL ST. *** China Plan Breathes Life Into Us Market *** Ubs: No More Info, Irs *** CAPITAL PUNISHED: IMMELT SCRAMBLES AS GE STOCK DIPS BELOW $5 *** U.S. Sets Big Incentives to Head Off Foreclosures *** Unlucky or Unwise, Some Borrowers Are Left Out *** GM Auditors Raise Doubts on Automaker's Viability *** The Crisis at Home and Abroad - NYT Ed *** Out of Work? Read a Recession Blog. Or, Better Yet, Write One *** Ford Seeks to Eliminate $10.4 Billion of Its Debt *** UBS Executives May Face Prosecution in Tax Evasion Inquiry *** UBS: 47,000 in U.S. used accounts to dodge taxes *** Liz Claiborne posts 4Q loss on charges *** Merrill Lynch Gave Top Earners $209 Million In 2008 (SLIDESHOW) *** WATCH: Madoff Victims Speak Out About Swindle *** Making Sense of the Credit DebacleFailure to connect the dots *** Bailout Aims to Aid 1 in 9 Homeowners *** GM Warns of Possible Bankruptcy *** GE Shares Fall to 18-Year Lows *** Morgy won't support top aide's bid to replace him: he's an 'inside man' *** The Survivors: How long will these banking CEOs last? *** Daly: Mortgage madness' huge toll *** PM Stocks Drop Sharply on Retail Data and G.M. Audit *** Auditors Raise Doubts About G.M.’s Viability *** CITI IN PENNIES; SHARES FALL BELOW $1... *** FDIC: Insurance Fund Could Be Insolvent This Year... *** Business14 Wall Street Firms Cheated Customers, Settle With SEC *** ‘Creepy’ Bernie Madoff Watercolor Fails to Sell at Armory Show *** Stocks plunge as banking fears mount *** Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner seems ready to trade away some of the caps on itemized deductions *** Corzine to Give Madoff Campaign Donations to Charity

International China to boost military spending by 15%... *** Clinton accuses Iran of seeking to intimidate *** China Plan Breathes Life Into Us Market *** Bashir Defies War Crime Arrest Order *** Clinton Says NATO Must Make Fresh Start With Russia *** China Outlines Ambitious Plan for Stimulus *** China Closes the Pump *** Tracking Hillary *** The Times' Fearless Man in Africa *** Sudan Government Expels Aid Agencies *** Opinion: Beware of Deals With Putin *** Pakistan detains 20 after cricket massacre *** PM Hillary Clinton Invites Iran To Afghan Talks *** Gorbachev Slams Putin's Party, Likens Them To The Worst Of The Communists *** Jerusalem - Mayor Rejects Clinton's Criticism

Media Mess SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER staff asks for donations... *** Philadelphia Newspapers Bankruptcy Predictably Gets Ugly *** YouTube and Universal Music Are Said to Discuss Deal *** Redstone reportedly fought CBS dividend cut *** WNBC to debut 'Nonstop' digital-TV channel *** Journalists To Blame for Financial Mess? *** The Times has a new blog, "The Local."*** PM The Death of a Brooklyn Blogger *** America Offline *** Three Laid Off at Cosmo *** Newspaperman contemplates suicide *** The Times & CUNY (and others) go hyperlocal