Sunday, April 5, 2009

True News, Updated All Weekend

Who, What, Where, When and Why?

Yesterday True News reported that neither the Times nor the Post published stories about the indictment of a contractor who (as the charges read), paid off convicted former Queens Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin. Today both papers had stories about the indictment, but they were strangely incomplete.

The Post only mentions a payoff in the form of a car to McLaughlin, but does not explain what the contractor hoped to get in return: CAR-SWAP KICKBACK LABOR RAP Queens labor leader Brian McLaughlin pulled a switcheroo to cover up a kickback he allegedly took from the former owner of a scandal-scarred electrical company, according to federal-court papers...more >

The Times story also failed to explain what the payoff was for, beyond saying it was listed as bribery: "City Contractor Is Accused of Bribing Ex-Assemblyman An indictment charged Santo Petrocelli Sr., who holds lucrative city contracts, with giving cash and a car to Assemblyman Brian M. McLaughlin. "

While not addressing the reason for the bribing, the Times story did say McLaughlin was cooperating: "Mr. McLaughlin has been cooperating with federal prosecutors since at least last year. He was instrumental, for instance, in introducing an F.B.I. agent posing as a businessman interested in legislative favors to Assemblyman Anthony S. Seminerio of Queens, who was arrested last September on federal bribery charges. New allegations were added to his indictment last month."

When the FBI raided McLaughlin's Union headquarters and the business offices of the contract they said it was for a bid rigging investigation. Was the payoff connected to the bid rigging?: F.B.I., in Bid-Rigging Inquiry, Raids Offices of Labor Leader ... *** LABOR GROUP HITIN BID-RIG PROBE. ASSEMBLYMAN IS FOCUS - News - NY ...

Even the DOI commissioner when offering a comment about the indictment does not explain what the indictment was for, in her quote in Crains: "Rose Gill Hearn, the commissioner of the city's Department of Investigation, said "the charges expose the relationship between the contractor and union official for what it was — a long-running partnership of corruption."

For at least a decade, Mr. Petrocelli’s company held several lucrative contracts maintaining city street lighting. The last Petrocelli contract ended in November 2007 — 17 months after the city’s Department of Investigation issued the first of three “caution” alerts about the company in the city’s vendor database.

The City MAYOR MIKE'S MACY'S MISCUE Times Square is indeed the crossroads of the world. Not the crosswalk *** City admits it totally lied about Willets Point redevelopment
From Iron Triangle Tracker: current construction climate. . . will delay soliciting a developer . . . and adopt a piecemeal approach to construction as they move forward *** Coney Island's Cyclone Reopens For Summer Season *** It’s Alive! Step Right Up and See for Yourself! - Coney Island *** Soaked! NYers hit with 14% raise in water rates *** RUDY'S FIRM IN DECLINE LOSING JOBS, CLIENTS *** Governor Giuliani? A Bloggingheads video discussion on the future of New York politics *** BOARDWALK ROCK CITY PUSH FOR CONEY CONCERTS *** Amenities and Expectations at Yankee Stadium Opening *** Nostalgic but Excited, Fans Assess New Yankee Stadium *** Citi Field Unveils Comforts and Quirks *** Mets Fans Bask in History and Luxury at Citi Field *** New stadiums a big hit with fans *** 2 City Schools Get Washington Mayor’s Attention *** MTA agent defends clerk for not rushing to train rape vic's aid *** NYC WATER BOARDEDHUGE HIKE OK'D WITH NEW FEE IN PIPELINE *** Brooklyn Restaurant’s Name Hits a Sour Note *** Councilman blasts 'Obama' chicken restaurants City Councilman Charles Barron plans to demonstrate against Obama Fried Chicken in his ... *** Clerk couldn't go to train rape vic's aid: MTA agent *** Center for Urban Environment Closes After 30 Years *** New Study Will Examine Newtown Creek’s Impact on Health (Queens Chronicle) *** A Brief Overview of the Water Board(Water Watch NYC) *** The Mayor’s Control of Schools Agenda(NY Press) *** Despite Fare Hike and Service Cuts, MTA Budget May Soon Derail Again(IBO Weblog) *** GOURMET GOODBYE AS BALDUCCI'S SHUTTERS *** Brooklyn Bridge historian McCullough denounces Dock St. project *** TN Sunday *** HARLEM IS LOSING A BIT OF ITS $OUL: 125TH ST. BOOM GOES BUST *** City raids area they plan to seize From the Daily News *** City's Coney offer goes down, not up
From the NY Observer *** Foreclosure forum reveals anxiety From the Times Ledger *** Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr Play in New York *** The Sudden Charm of Public School *** Citigroup Lowers Its Pitch for Mets’ Opening Day Festivities *** Hero on the Hudson pilot 'Sully' throws first pitch at Yanks' new home *** Prospect Park may host Woodstock's 40th ann'y *** NYC's changing face: lost landmarks *** Loss of routes would isolate 4 nabes - study

Road to City Hall WEINER: WE ERRED Weiner's mayoral campaign admitted yesterday it had mistakenly deposited illegal checks made in the names of foreign models *** New school chums Rev. Al and Klein unite to close racial ed gap *** DA hopeful predicts crime rise from recession *** TN Sunday *** CARRION SPENT CAMPAIGN $$ FOR 'PARTING' PARTY *** Lisberg: Thompson could pull an Obama *** Rudy hits GOP circuit amid gov talk *** CANDIDATE BLOOMY'S A BAM MAN HE refuses to say for whom he voted in the presidential election, but Mayor Bloomberg is now hitching his political wagon to President Obama in hopes of defusing mayoral challenger Bill...more >*** Two Down, One To Go *** Bloomberg must never get the Republican ballot line again

Pay to Play Weiner's bid to save hospital under a cloud Mayoral contender Anthony Weiner fought doggedly to keep a troubled Queens hospital open - just months after its president raised more than $11,500 for his campaign.Watchdogs say the cash raises questions about his motive *** Campaign Finance Reform -- Not!
Incumbent Protection Society
Daily News Says: Why the bums stay: In Albany, politics is rigged to protect incumbents by Henry Stern - Incumbents are protected by multiple safety nets, political and financial, that guard their tenure and disable potential challengers. 1. The first is gerrymandering. The boundaries of existing districts have been carefully drawn to include areas where the incumbent is popular and exclude areas where potential opponents may reside. 2. The second major advantage office-holders enjoy is free mailing privileges. 3. Third, New York State's ballot access rules are extremely rigorous. 4. Fourth, for years upon years, incumbents have been voting to appropriate to themselves millions of dollars in pork - taxpayer funds they dole out to projects and organizations within their district. The beneficiaries of this largesse can be counted on to contribute, support and campaign for the candidate who has been supplying them with tax funds. True News Said: New York’s Political Mob Wars *** Organized Crime Politics *** Organized Crime Politics Part 1 *** NY' s Leaders Have Lost the Values and Morality that Once Made it the Greatest City in the World *** NY's Non Investigations *** Inspector Clouseau Investigates *** Member Item Slush Fund Cover Up *** Lawyers and Developers Control Comptroller's Campaign *** Tweedies Honor Indicted Pol *** Pay to PlayLatest Queens Eclipses Brooklyn as City's Political Crime Capital *** 'GRAFT' JUST LIKE BAD OL' DAYS OF TAMMANY *** Member Item Slush Fund Cover Up *** It's All About Vito Lopez *** Will Dysfunctional Albany Destroy the MTA? *** Cover Up At City Hall Continues *** Appointments Strengthen Special Interests, Corrupt Politicians *** NY's Non Investigations *** NY's Non Investigations *** Member Item Slush Fund Cover Up *** A Letter to Garcia: (Michael) Garcia U.S. Attorney

Albany DAVE'S LATEST EMPTY VOW Gov. (du jour) Paterson, promising a fare-saving bailout of the MTA, says he's going to call lawmakers back to Albany and force a deal. "I'll just make everybody stay right there until we get a deal," he told business leaders Thursday. He must be thinking duct tape and Krazy Glue, because he won't keep a single soul in the capital with mere words. Nothing he says means a thing these days. - NYP Ed *** Courier not standing by Hiram From Step Down Now, editorial from the Queens Courier *** N.Y. State Passes $131 Billion Budget *** Amid Signs of a Shove, Tedisco Quits as Assembly Minority Leader *** State Senate passes budget as Albany GOP rails *** Powerball may be coming to New York *** State Budget Decimates Staten Island Mental Health Program *** New Tax Bracket a Progressive Victory(The Nation) *** New York’s Murky Budget Numbers(NY Fiscal Watch) *** Transparency in the Budget and Rules Reform(ReformNY) *** Paterson To Extend TV, Film Tax Credits(Daily Variety via NYConvergene) *** A Brief History of the Rockefeller Drug Laws(Time Magazine) *** Questionable Projects Promoted for Stimulus Funding in New York(Clawback) *** TN Sunday *** POLS IN $TATE OF UTTER CONFUSION ON BUDGET - with a whopping 8.7 percent spending hike and between $5.2 billion and $8 billion in new taxes, depending on who's counting -- nobody in Albany can say for sure what's in it *** Spoils of Victory in Albany Are More Funds for Pet Projects Democrats, who control both chambers of the State Legislature, will take the largest share of the $170 million in legislative earmarks allocated in this year’s budget *** Drug dopes: State Senate Democrats deal lightly with scourge of deadly narcotics - DNEd *** The Consequences Arrive, and Generation Greed Politicians Look At Social Security, Pensions, Taxes and the MTA

President Obama O TO EUROS: BE MES AMIS AGAIN: COZIES UP AS ALLIES PLEDGE AFGHAN BOOST *** O TALKS THE FREE-TRADE TALK *** Obama, NATO leaders cross Franco-German bridge *** Obama welcomes Albania, Croatia to NATO *** Obama: Threats to security, economy are worldwide *** Analysis: Obama no-nukes pledge not so farfetched *** Obama’s Farm Subsidy Cuts Meet Stiff Resistance *** Financial Industry Paid Millions to Obama Aide *** Pentagon Weighs Cuts and Revisions of Weapons *** Obama To Bank CEOs: I'm "The Only Thing Between You And The Pitchforks" *** Obama To Lift Some Curbs On Travel To Cuba *** Cardinal Stands By Notre Dame Obama Criticism ***
Allies Spurn Obama's Troop Request
*** White House Helps Banks Skirt Bailout Rules ***
Hedge Fund Paid Summers $5.2 Mil
*** Sarkozy to Obama: Je T’aime, Man *** Biden talks economy at Sharpton's National Action Network *** Bam: new era of cooperation for Europe and 'changing' U.S. *** Budgets fall short of Obama's mandate *** Obama puts positive spin on G-20 *** Obama Abroad: In Some Ways, Much Like Bush - Michael Barone, US News *** What We've Learned About Obama - Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal *** The Return of Statecraft - Fred Kaplan, Slate *** Obama Working with Friends in Europe - Nicholas Burns, Boston Globe *** Hedge Fund Paid Summers $5 Million *** Weekly Address: The Challenges of Our Time *** Meet Obama's pollsters *** TN Sunday *** Obama launches effort to reduce nuclear arms *** Obama urges Iran to affirm peaceful nuclear energy *** Justice Dept under microscope after Stevens trial *** Europe praises Obama, pledges few Afghan troops *** Obama Urges Nuclear Arms Reduction *** Obama administration will relax Cuba restrictions *** White House Helps Banks Skirt Rules *** How Obama Is Using the Science of Change *** Obama Calls on U.N. to Punish North Korea Over Rocket *** Geithner: Government May Pick Execs

Congress Republicans want a more restrained budget approach *** Sen. Gillibrand Unveils First Sunlight Report *** Another snapshot in the 20th *** Murtha requests PMA client earmarks *** Congressional bulls guard their turf *** Lobbyist With Ties to Weldon Sentenced to Five Months Home Detention *** Senate Republicans back Coleman all the way *** Budget OK'd, but little else done for health reform *** TN Sunday *** Analysis: Congress backs some Obama goals, not all *** Agency says bailout will cost taxpayers more *** Senate Republicans Urge Coleman To Take Election Case To US Supreme Court

Wall Street Melt Down MONTH FOR MADOFF BRO ***Agreement Gives Madoff Brother Spending Money **** Bernie's bro can pull $10G/month *** Unemployment soars to 8.5 pct.; 13 million jobless *** Making Google Eyes At Twitter *** BONU$ FLAP HITS THE FAN Beleaguered mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are dealing with their own bonus scandal after a top legislator blasted the companies' plans to parcel out a whopping $210...more > *** Big Bonuses at Fannie and Freddie Draw Fire *** Protesters March Against Bailouts On Wall Street *** Empty Tables Threaten Some Restaurant Chains *** Fed Chief ‘Uncomfortable’ With Bailouts *** Who Gets Hit When the Wealthy Cut Back *** Ticketmaster Receives Subpoenas on Ties to Resellers *** Unemployment Highest Since 1983 *** Jobless Americans protest Wall Street bailouts *** 5M+ jobs lost in recession *** Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to dole out bonuses worth $210 million *** Report: U.S. may face second recession next year *** Pile up! New car graveyards *** Geithner's Vision Was Born on Buffett's Desk - Michael Hirsh, Newsweek *** NATO Boosts Afghanistan Presence *** $500K homes going for $200,000 *** BULLISH ON WALL STREET: MORE GO FOR MBAS *** TN Sunday *** TN Sunday *** Unemployment Rising With the ranks of the unemployed now at 13.2 million, there is no doubt that current recession will be the longest yet in America since World War II- NYT Ed *** This Time, Slump Hits Well-Educated, Too *** Co-op Fees Go Through the Roof *** Obama’s Big, Bold Bet The emergency economic policies represent a huge bet that the administration can confine this crisis to a really nasty recession - Friedman, NYT *** Even Rick Wagoner’s Firing Got Lousy Mileage Detroit’s chief executive had to be beheaded so that the masters of the universe at the top of Wall Street’s bailed-out behemoths might survive - Rich, NYT *** Malls Test Experimental Waters to Fill Vacancies *** Why Creditors Should Suffer, Too *** Louisiana, a Test Case in Federal Aid The $51 billion that Louisiana has received in hurricane-related aid has shown that economic stimulus limits unemployment and helps the economy *** Known for Tight Spending, I.M.F. May Have to Loosen Reins After G-20 Windfall *** Tony Blair steps up fight to be crowned first 'President of EU'... *** Unemployment Still Rising *** Layoffs Will Trigger Layoffs: Economists

National SC Gov.: Okay, I'll Take The Stimulus *** Anti-Obama talk worries some on right *** Gay Marriage Ruling Upholds Proud Iowa Tradition - Des Moines Register *** Texas Mayor Caught in Deportation Furor *** Fixing Health Care Cheaply, Chapter 1: Butt Out

International North Korea Rocket Launch Delayed *** At Summit, NATO DividedOver Chief *** The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Can Call the Shots - India *** Spain's Economic Outlook Grimmest in Europe *** NATO Leaders Form Cohesive Front *** What Actually Got Done at the G20 Summit? *** U.S. deploys warships in anticipation of N. Korea rocket launch *** A 'New World Order' is Simply Fantasy - Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph *** The West's Fatal Overdose - Gabor Steingart, Der Spiegel *** Talking to Turkey, but Islam is Listening - Jack Miles, Los Angeles Times *** Can Pakistan Be Governed? - James Traub, NY Times Magazine *** Afghanistan's U-turn on Women's Rights - Los Angeles Times * ** France rejoins NATO military council *** U.S to Lift Some Cuba Travel Curbs *** How China Is Capitalizing on the Economic Crisis *** TN Sunday *** Defying World, North Koreans Launch Rocket *** NKOREA HAS LAUNCHED 'LONG RANGE ROCKET'...PASSES OVER JAPAN... *** Europeans Offer Few New Troops for Afghanistan *** Karzai Vows to Review Family Law President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan ordered a review of a new law that curbs women’s rights and permits marital rape *** Israeli Nonprofits, Shaken by Madoff Scandal, Regroup *** Tony Blair steps up fight to be crowned first 'President of EU'... ***
NATO's 'Down Payment'
*** State Department says that North Korea has launched a rocket, calls it 'provocative act' *** Darfur Crisis Will Worsen in Weeks: US Envoy *** Pakistan Bristles at U.S. Accusations *** Kazakhstan Eyes Nuclear Fuel Deal *** China Wields Economic Leverage *** The danger of nuclear proliferation and other possible fallacies.

Media Melt Down TIMES MAY FOLD GLOBE IF $20M IN CUTS NOT MET *** Times Co. Said to Consider Closing Boston Globe *** BANNED IN BOSTON NBC THREATENS OVER AFFILIATE'S PLANS TO LOSE LENO *** Google’s Plan for Out-of-Print Books Is Challenged *** Murdoch: Google Is Stealing From Publishers *** Gang of villagers chases away Google car *** Oprah's Network Launch Pushed To 2010 *** Who’s Killing Newspapers? *** Will Google buy Twitter? Blog world buzzes *** Are The Times’ Publishers Born Stupid?(Slate) *** Pre-Obits for the Times Rampant(Business Week) *** ELEGY FOR THE ANCHORMAN
*** If You Blog, Is It Better to Be Blonde?
BY MICHAEL WOLFF *** No Strings AttachedA summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers