Friday, February 12, 2010

Delusional New York Politics: You Can Run But Can't Hide

Growing Aqueduct Investigations

Muck out the stable: Bet on the U.S. attorney to clean up the rank Aqueduct deal(NYDN Ed) *** Subpoena Seeks Senator’s Records on Funds He Directed to Community Groups *** Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver yes terday raised the stakes in the rapidly growing Aqueduct scandal, formally calling on state Inspector General Joseph Fisch to launch an immediate investigation of the mess (NYP Ed) *** A spokesman for Gov. David Paterson said Silver and the Legislature should be included in any AEG inquiry *** The US attorney's office subpoeaned information about Senate President Malcolm Smith's member items, but are focused on the cash he funneled to a non-profit he helped found, New Direction *** Federal investigators subpoenaed records of Senate President Malcolm Smith’s member-item grant requests for a nonprofit with ties to AEG partner Rev. Floyd Flake. (TU) *** U.S. Attorney Subpoenas NY Officials On Rep. Meeks' Non-Profit *** War on Fraud Widens: U.S. Attorney and DOI Following Money Trail (Henry Stern NY Civic)

The Siegel Monserrate Show Judge Denies Monserrate’s Request to Block Expulsion *** Dems' fightin' words: Two-fisted Kevin Parker makes a circus of Senate caucus(DN Ed)

Where the NYT Story?
Paterson points blame at Spitzer in Larry King interview *** No GMA For You *** Blame Spitzer: Paterson *** Liquor distributor pours it on for Paterson *** The executive mansion does indeed have at least one utility closet, and perhaps more * Gov. David Paterson tells CNN’s Larry King that Eliot Spitzer’s fall helped put Paterson in the gossip fog he’s been trying to dispel. (DN) * Video links from the same interview: Paterson describes his New York Times problem. (CNN)

Can the City Council Police Itself: Quinn Yes, U.S. Attorney No
Is the council speaker saying the the moral character of the council is such that only a reform will stop them from looting the public? Quinn: Seabrook Wouldn't Happen Now *** Indicted Seabrook a no-show; sources say associate Arroyo is targeted in probE *** Seabrook Is Not Unique City Should Investigate (Henry Stern NY Civic

Zuckerman Is Said to Be Weighing Bid for the Senate Seat Held by Gillibrand *** Harold Ford Jr.'s contract with NBC is suspended.

You Can Run But Can't Hide The political corrupt tax that is destroying our governmental budgets is so harmful to New York that the U.S. Attorney from the Southern saw fit to join the ingestion of AEG deal, which is already being investigate by the Eastern District because it is in their jurisdiction. This development just show how important the investigative authorities are taking this. So a word of to the Albany gang and their lobbyists time to cut and run. Prosecutors seize state info on Aqueduct casino deal *** Meeks aide's wife got campaign $$ *** Figure Under Scrutiny in Inquiry Into Charity Was on Senate Payroll *** Fed probe of Lottery not tied to Aqueduct bid: gov aide ***Feds target VLT data (TU) *** Sources tell Jim Odato the feds are interested in New Direction Local Development Corp., which has ties to Senate President Malcolm Smith * A former prosecutor under scrutiny in a federal investigation into a charity set up by Meeks and Smith was placed on the Senate payroll by Simth in 2002 * Updated: Smith’s member items are of interest to the U.S. Attorney * Sheldon Silver wants the state Inspector General to look at the Aqueduct deal.

1. The Green Felt Jungle Returns was the first book (published in 1964) that exposed the mob takeover of Vegas. One center of Mafia activity in the U.S. was the Chicago- Hollywood-Vegas connection. After Bugsy Siegel was blown away in 1947, the mob began taking over Las Vegas in earnest, buying off the authorities as needed. Legalized gambling made for high profits (particularly when an unreported percentage was skimmed off the top), and casinos were excellent for laundering money. Now the political mob has won control in New York and the fed are after them

Delusional New York Politics

2. Council Hide Go Seek
Only in New Your would a City Councilman wish the problem of their fellow members stealing from council programs simply go away rather then reforming the programs they rip-off to prevent future looting of the public pay roll. "There's a feeling of "disappointment that these issues continue to pop up," said Councilman Leroy Comrie of Queens, who, like Seabrook, is a Democrat. "Hopefully, this is the last one," he said." Pols jittery over 'Dirty Larry *** Bagel-nomics: For $177, You Also Get the Kitchen Sink?*** The Biggest Losers Our question for today is, who has the most awful political culture, Illinois or New York? *** Divorce a secret: Indicted City Council member Larry Seabrook didn't tell wife about split for years *** A free pass to thievery: Seabrook case proves Council slush funds must go *** Greg Smith notes that some of Larry Seabrook's alleged wrong-doing came after Christine Quinn reformed to the way the Council gives out money.
4. The Comeback Kid? The NYT which is not sold much in Hiram district calls on Queens voters to reject Monserrate if he runs for his seat again. 'They haven't seen the last of Hiram,' says Hiram *** Got it right, did wrong: Monserrate's deserved ouster was too secretiveThe Daily News today does a follow up to the True News published yesterday (below) New York City Council chicanery knows know bounds: Slush fund scandal stretches beyond Seabrook

Is there anyone not under investigation in New York?

The Empire State has become the Organized Political Crime State True News - How Albany Operates Like the Mob

To save money and transportation costs New York should open up jail in the basement City Hall and the Capital Building in Albany

1. The Council Slush Fund The Council's slush fund has become a seemingly bottomless well of corruption. In 2008, questions from the Manhattan U.S. attorney led to the discovery that the Council squirreled away money for groups that never existed. *** The DN says Seabrook's indictment should bring an end to the Council's "slush-fund budgeting."

Dozens of Council Members do what Seabrook did. Chief among Seabrook's opportunities for alleged thievery was the Council's so-called discretionary money, a vast pool of funds that members dole out to favored groups with virtually no effective oversight so jobs can be given to family members and friends. Let alone it value for the councilmember reelection. True News has been the only media outlet covering the council slush fund for the past year True New Council Slush Fund

Councilman Serving Time Manhattan City Councilman Miguel Martinez admits he stole tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars

a. Maria del Carmen Arroyo says her sister and nephew had left the nonprofit by the time the group was given the money. Bronx City Council member Maria Del Carmen Arroyo has a unique way to get taxpayer support for her family.

b. In her penultimate year as a member of the New York City Council, Maria Baez has found herself the subject of media scrutiny. News stories regarding poor attendance at Council meetings, enormous cell phone bills and a check to a non-existent organization, have left Baez with a tarnished public image.

c. Leroy Comrie, who represents southeast Queens, has co-sponsored $115,000 in member items for a nonprofit that lists his wife, Marcia Moxam Comrie, as an unpaid vice president.

d. Brooklyn Pol Put $187G of Your Dough into Wife's Nonprofit

e. Pork Pig Fidler’s Media Friends Put Lipstick On Him

f. From the article "Slush pols look after their own" Helen Foster

g. Millions shifted to unregistered charities with ties to Council members Sara Gonzalez

h. Brooklyn councilwoman Darlene Mealy's 25G for nonprofit run by sister tabled

Reform Design to Fail Quinn and the Council enacted new regulations to ensure proper use of the money. That didn't work, now, did it? As Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said yesterday, the reforms "have effectively vetted out conflicts and companies not worthy of city funds. But as today's indictment shows, there were other ways to fly this money under the radar."

2. Seabrook Latest to Fall Councilman Charged With Money Laundering *** A free pass to thievery: Seabrook case proves Council slush funds must go *** Councilman ripped off 'hole' lotta dough: feds *** FDNY minority hiring was $moke screen *** Bagel, borrow & 'steal' for pol *** Seabrook's mistress, also possibly a shady situation *** Bronx City Council member Larry Seabrook's go-to guy was longtime powerbroker Stanley Schlein ***What Happens to Professor Seabrook? ***City Councilman Larry Seabrook Eats Bagels Made of Gold Dust and Panda Tears New York Magazine

"Apart from his guilt or innocence, an issue in the Seabrook case is: who else knew what he was doing, and where was municipal oversight over the spending of discretionary funds? To some extent, the process involves Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who allocated the money among her members. The millions were granted as a reward for Seabrook's political loyalty and reliability as a vote on the Council. Is it surprising that he should apply the same standard to the recipients of the money as were applied to him -- No questions asked? Was there the slightest review by anyone in government over the seven years the scam was operating? (Four of those years were under former Speaker Gifford Miller.) Did Comptroller Thompson ever look at how the city money was being spent?" Feds Nail Seabrook For Seven Fat Years, Monserrate Expelled (Stern NY Civic)

4. The Love Gov?
Joe Sexton, The Times’s Metropolitan Editor, said: “Obviously we are not responsible for what other news organizations are reporting. It’s not coming from The Times.”
The NYT Scandal about the Scandal In Albany, a Rumor of a Rumor Catches Fire * Gov aide takes Times to task Rips rumor story *Paterson: Reported Speculations Were "Orchestrated"** Paterson Aide Calls For Inquiry Into New York Times *Gov complains of 'Kafkaesque' treatment on 'Imus' (video)* Paterson to Times: Have Some 'Common Decency'
True News Had the NYT Scandal Story First
The NYT Vs. Paterson: It's Personal: Sex Media and Politics Metastasize

5. The Mayor DA probes Mike's 'slippery' poll $$ *** Frank MacKay and John Haggerty were subpoenaed From True News Organized Crime Politics Ballot Lines for Sale *** Councilman Dan Halloran, who ran on the GOP and Independence lines last year, said he was "not aware" of any of the poll watchers supposedly paid with the $750,000 *** Independence Party to Haggerty: Where's our money? *** Third Subpoena In Vance Probe Of Bloomberg's $750K *** Vance digs deeper into $750K Bloomberg donation

6. The Governor
Paterson is being investigated by federal prosecutors over how he awarded the contract for slot machines at Aqueduct. (WPIX) *** Governor Paterson Being Investigated for Non-Salacious Things New York Magazine *** The Fake-News Cycle

7. Education Since 2005, auditors from the state comptroller have found almost $1 billion in fraud in school districts. (TU)

8. Albany Ex-NY Legislative Aide Admits Theft of Service

9 Aqueduct Deal Report: Feds Probing Aqueduct Deal *** Paterson: 'Nothing Unethical' About Flake Meeting On AEG*** Challenged Winner Of VLT Concession Makes New Pledges Henry Stern NY Civic *** Feds to look into 'shady' Aqueduct deal: report *** N.Y. Governor Paterson’s Aqueduct Problem (WSJ)

10. Board of Election
Machine politics Federal prosecutors have opened an investigation into how the city's Board of Elections awarded a $50 million contract for electronic voting machines

Tech big to repay in double-dip tax slip

Enviable Access Given Top 10 Donors to New York Lawmakers

Unfit for Office Hiram Monserrate was rightfully expelled by the New York State Senate for assault charges and should be rejected by voters if he pursues public office again (NYT Ed)

The third Charter Revision Commission rumor in as many days: Ron Lauder.

Morgy Was One of the First Against Terror Morgy: No NY 9/11 trial! *** Penny wise, security foolish: Pulling elite Coast Guard unit out puts city at risk (NYDN Ed) *** Terror Suspect's Father Pleads Not Guilty To Justice Obstruction Charges *** 9/11 Trial in Manhattan Would Be "Wrong": Morgenthau *** Jail Imam Released in Razor Blade Case *** Obama's National Security 'Attack Dog' Fighting GOP On Terrorism Policy *** Vallone Hearing At City Hall On Risks, Costs Of Terror Trial In NYC *** Poll: Americans don't want 9/11 trials in NY - or any court *** Dangerous 'ACLU Mentality' on Terrorists - Jed Babbin, Human Events *** WH squashes reports of military tribunal for 9/11 thugs *** Rep. Peter King says the White House is having trouble finding a city to willingly host the terror trials. (Perhaps Newburgh isn't yelling loudly enough?) *** Manhattanites Oppose City 9/11 Trial At Council Hearing *** The Danger of an Iranian Bomb - Fred Kaplan, Slate

Thompson: Close The Council Term Limits 'Loophole'

Gov of La Mancha Albany
For Detained Youths, No Mental Health Overseer *** Another Senate brawl in Albany: Sen. Kevin Parker charges towards then curses out female colleague *** Chris Smith worries that the circuslike atmosphere surrounding Paterson will ensure "only crazy people will run for office."
*** Wednesday *** Dave's hometown hosing: Governor pillages his native city to balance budget*** This doesn’t make things better for Paterson, Joanna Molloy says. (DN) ***Paterson Aide Calls For Inquiry Into New York Times*** Bill Hammond says Paterson’s irrelevance gave the rumors legs. (DN) *** The Last of the Paterson Donors *** 'I'm Black, I'm Blind And I'm Still Alive'*** Charter school advocates worry what a world without Paterson would be like *** Governor David Paterson Threatens Political Suicide *** Paterson To Sit Down With Larry King Election 2010 The Politician’s Wife Claims No Baggage *** Wayne Barrett compares Rick Lazio to Bill Belichick
*** Wednesday *** Republicans gained some Assembly seats in special elections yesterday. (AP) *** Harold Ford visited a Westchester County nursing home. (Journal News) *** David Weprin won in Queens in the elections yesterday, but Republicans won in Nassau and Suffolk Counties *** Former Bloomberg Campaign Manager Interviewing at REBNY/Independence Party *** Gawker wonders if Harold Ford Jr. has paid taxes in New York.
New York Economic Melt Down St. Vincent's Hospital Lays Off More Than 300 Workers
Fraunces Tavern to Close Briefly *** Price cuts yield condo sales in Williamsburg *** Taxed NYers taking the 'pay' train *** The federal cash Paterson is banking on hasn't yet been approved by Washington and won't be available until 2011 *** Stymied Projects: On the Map, and Under Scrutiny *** Derailing New York MTA may sink whole state *** Stella D'oro Auctions Off Its Legacy *** Paterson budget plan would cut NY afterschool care *** Famed Spanish Restaurant to Close

Law and Order Officer Testifies He Used Baton to Subdue, Not Abuse *** Jury Views Recanted Confession to a Killing ***
Suspect grilled in Mad. Ave. slay *** Mugging Compstat: Assault on NYPD crime-tracking program is wrongheaded *** Wednesday *** Cops smash uptown ring of bling 'burglars' *** Woman: Doggie Coat Stolen Off My Park Slope Pooch

More City News
New York Traffic Experiment Gets Permanent Run
Northeast China Branches Out in Flushing *** Never Before Seen Photos of WTC Collapse Released *** Deal may bring $100M aquarium to Times Square *** Clash Over Plans for a Brooklyn Park *** Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz and residents who live near Asser Levy Park are divided over the park's future *** A Closing on Broadway Becomes Permanent

National The California governor’s race may pit young v. old. (WP) *** Once Stigmatized, Food Stamps Find Acceptance

International Greece’s Woes May Give Pause to Euro Zone Candidates
Iran Claims Nuclear Gain as Protesters Clash
*** Wednesday *** Gentle Diplomacy With Iran Will Not Work - Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe *** Greek Civil Servants Strike Over Austerity Measures

White House
Deal on Jobs Shows Limits of Push for Bipartisanship *** Poll Finds Edge for Obama Over G.O.P. Among the Public *** What’s Next, Mr. President?President Obama has failed to bring the third Democratic wave. He needs to redefine what his administration hopes to achieve (NYT Ed)

Talk to the hand Robert Gibbs ***Obama now says he's 'agnostic' on hiking taxes for families below $250K annual income *** White House hits Iran's Revolutionary Guard with new sanctions over WMDs *** The White House objects to how Bloomberg News wrote up an interview with Obama *** President Obama shifts on a tax promise.
*** Wednesday *** Read more: *** The President Needs a Staff Shakeup - Doug Wilder, Politico *** What Is Obama Up to on Health Care? - David Corn, Politics Daily *** Seeing the Big Picture on Obamanomics - Robert Reich, Salon *** The Personnel Change Obama Needs Most - David Rothkopf, Foreign Policy *** Doubts About Obama, Economy Lead to GOP Rise - Gary Langer, ABC News *** Obama, GOP Jockey for (Bi)partisan Advantage - Michael Scherer, Time *** Where'd The Outrage Go? Obama Softens Tone On Big Bank Bonuses *** Why Voters Turned Against Obama Policies - Jay Ambrose, OC Register *** Obama Wants GOP Surrender, Not Bipartisanship - Mark Knoller, CBS *** Obama Must Resist 'Deficit Fetish' - Joseph Stiglitz, Politico *** We Could Live With Bush Deficits, Not Obama's - Megan McArdle, Atlanti

Congress Health Reform in Limbo, Top Drug Lobbyist Quits *Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy won't seek re-election *The logjam bursts for Obama’s nominees seeking Senate confirmation. (Politico)* How Not to Write a Jobs Bill (NYT Ed) *** Senate Jobs Bill Rejected After Less Than A Day *** Unemployment Benefits Extension Left In Limbo *** Charlie Wilson's Way - David Rogers, Politico *** Former lawmaker Charlie Wilson of Texas dead at 76 2:22 PM CT Dallas Morning News *** Jobs Bill Likely to Be Delayed in Senate Wall Street Journal *** How the Plaintiffs Bar Bought the Senate - James Copland, Wall St. Journa *** A Kennedy Departs Congress, Ending an Era

Political Party The American electorate is now split evenly by the party it trusts, a new poll finds. (WP) *** Liberals Can't Put Their Finger on Palin - Aaron Goldstein, Am Spectator *** Dems Hurting Themselves With Wedge Issues - Noemie Emery, Examiner *** Sarah Palin's hand crib notes mocked by White House aide *** Tracking the 2010 Races *** The Dangers of Sarah Palin - Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive *** Washington Post Columnist David Broder Lavishes Praise On Palin *** Palin a Force and Hazard in the GOP - Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg *** Political Class Must Heed Voters' Message - Michael Graham, Boston Herald

Wall Street and the Exonomy How Long-Term Unemployment Could Change U.S. Culture *** S&P's Warning: Era Of 'Too Big To Fail' Might Be Dead *** Secretive Culture Led Toyota Astray - Linebaugh, Searcey & Shirouzu, WSJ *** The Atlantic: How A New Jobless Era Will Transform America *** NYT Swings, Misses at IPCC Story - Walter Russell Mead, American Interest *** Where Are the Next Jobs Coming From? - Thomas Cooley, Forbes

Media and New Tech
Wi-Fi Turns Rowdy Bus Into Rolling Study Hall

Ellen injects color on 'Idol,' but big-laugh moments were absent *** RealNetworks, MTV to spin off Rhapsody *** Fox News Contributor Running For Congress *** 'YOU'RE FIRED!' Trump Ushers Leno Out At 10PM *** CENSORSHIP? MTV Pulls 'South Park' Mexico Spoof Episode From Mexican TV *** Daily Beast Chief Investigative Reporter Suspended For Repeat Plagiarism *** Stephanopoulos: 'GMA' Transition Not As Awkward As I Imagined *** 'American Idol' Without Simon Cowell? Sarah Silverman Is Worried *** Times Company Makes (Some) Money *** Rachel Uchitel Lands T.V. Gig *** Leno Ends Prime-Time Show *** Google To Build Super-Fast Broadband Networks *** Warner's Bronfman takes a bite of Apple *** Conservative Radio Host Mancow FIRED *** Citizens United Ruling A Windfall For Consultants, TV Stations\

Page 6 John Edwards proposes to mistress Rielle Hunter, buys $4.5M beach house: report