Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Not Everyone Dislikes Dysfunctional Albany: Unions, Lobbyists and Law Firms Buy the Government

PM Breaking News
M.T.A. to End Relationship With Goldman Sachs *Mexican Prez Condemns AZ Law* Financial Reform Fails Crucial Test * Senator Blocks New Oil-Spill Liabilities *Missouri Man Pleads Guilty To Aiding Al Qaeda *Kagan Hearings to Begin June 28 Grand Jury Empanelled In Haggerty Case Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr. has empanelled a grand jury that is taking testimony in a case involving Mayor Bloomberg’s $750,000 contribution to the state Independence Party in 2009 that was passed on to campaign operative John Haggerty, who has never fully accounted for how he spent the cash, sources confirm *Gov. Paterson won't discuss layoffs until after a May 26 court date. *Blumenthal's poll numbers tumble after Vietnam lies surface *NY rolls out new lineup guidelines (NYP)* Sources: Cuomo Opposes Key Parts of Ravitch Fiscal Plan (WINS)

Not Everyone Dislikes Dysfunctional Albany
Unions, Lobbyists and Law Firms Buy the Government

Like the ecosystem in a swamp the special interest in control of Albany grow and prosper. Not everyone hate Albany's control of redistricting, the corrupt election system that will result in less incumbent than every being challenges this year and member items which election officials use to buy election support from local community leaders. Without campaign finance reform the UFT and the unions in solidarity with it can do anything it wants to protect its charter school cap. Unions put 'bounty' on reformers promising candidates as much as $200,000 in campaign cash and help from the Working Families Party to take on leading charter proponent Sen. Craig Johnson.

Big law firms can buy the AG position, speaker or the leader of the state senate. Law Firm Is Big Donor to Attorney General Hopeful Weitz & Luxenberg is pouring money into the campaign of Kathleen M. Rice. The law firm counts Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as among its members, a source of suspicion for critics of Mr. Silver, who has been a loyal ally of trial lawyers. Why would the UFT, Weitz & Luxenberg or Belluck & Fox which hired senate democratic leader John Sampson want election law reform in Albany which would cut back on much of their power. * All In The (Rice) Family (Daily Politics)

Nuts on Planet Albany
'Beam me up,' groans gov over pols (NYP) * How Long Can Albany Go Without a Budget? (WSJ) * The drones drone on: Still all talk and no leadership or guts in Albany(DN ED) * Paterson mulls moves to break budget gridlock (Crains NY) * LG Richard Ravitch doesn’t think Albany can “survive” through November with no budget * Paterson and the Senate struck a two-way Power for Jobs deal; the Assembly is not yet on board. * Paterson Won't Let Lawmakers Attend Dem, GOP Conventions * Senate Moves On Budget Conference Committees, Will Assembly Sign On? (YNN) * Sampson Actually Makes Conference Committee Assignments (Daily Politics)

Subways Sunk
Election 2010 AG Andrew Cuomo will seek a property tax cap, a source close to him tells Newsday * Conservative Party Civil War “The faster we put this together and put it to bed, the better,” said state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long, explaining why he called his convention before the Republicans will hold theirs * Suffolk County Conservative Chairman Ed Walsh threatened to draft someone to primary Lazio if he lands Row D. * Jerry Skurnik disagrees with Carolyn Ryan, saying he "always thought state attorney generals have a pretty good record in elections." * Andrew Cuomo hints at big budget changes, telling Michael Goodwin, "An adjustment this large is going to be painful." * Carolyn Maloney's poll shows Carolyn Maloney leading her Democratic opponent * Former Rangel Intern to Challenge Rangel, Again * Steve Levy Goes Comic on Cuomo -- Has the AG Got a Comeback Line? (Robbins, Village Voice)

Wall Street Runs for Congress
Lots of hedging from Carolyn Maloney's foe, hedge fund lawyer challenger Reshma Saujani. Her financial colleagues clearly believe the lessons took. Her campaign filings read like a Wall Street who's who: There is Steven Rattner; Morgan Stanley's John Mack; Goldman Sachs' Gary Cohn. Saujani estimates that about one-third of the $800,000 she has raised has come from the financial industry. That's a pretty hefty proportion, although a review suggests that the figure is closer to 40 percent. (Robbins Voice)

Political Corrupt Costs Taxers More Money
It not enough we had to pay for ex assemblyman now federal inmate Tony Seminerio trial, investigation and his pension which he will get, maybe even in prison. We now have to bail out the hospitals that he rip off. Bill Would Aid Hospitals Linked to Probe New York City hospitals linked to a corruption scandal in Albany would be allowed to borrow an additional $160 million with state backing under a bill now being considered by lawmakers. The governor is also trying to give a loan to NYRA because of the funds it lost due to the funds it lost when the AEG deal was killed because of political corrupt in awarding the contract, which the gov and others are under federal investigation for. Paterson insisted NYRA will get a loan to enable racing at Belmont and Saratoga to continue as planned this summer.

Its Godzilla vs King Kong
In the Charter School War

Randi's long arm AFT's Randi Weingarten go the education secretary Duncan to move his press conference yesterday from PS 65, a successful traditional public school, because the principal of that school Ms. Garcia's been unafraid to label incompetent teachers as such -- and plow through the mountains of red tape required to get them out of the classroom. (NYP Ed)
* Education Secretary Steps Into a Minefield in Brooklyn (NYT) * Charter Effort Gets Boost With Duncan Visit (WSJ) * Gov: Without cash, we can't add more charter schools * Charter debate: Parents have long fought for better school alternatives * 'You guys are best' US Education Secretary Arne Duncan was wowed by the Brooklyn charter school he visited yesterday, telling students their stellar academic performance was a model that needs be replicated across the nation. * 'Bummer' school Acceptance-letter snafu leaves kids in lurch Parents already upset that their kids were wait-listed for seats at two coveted Upper West Side public elementary schools are fuming after education officials wrongly told them their kids had been let in for the fall (NYT) * School's Error Dashes Parents' Hopes (WSJ) * Gov. David Paterson said he doesn’t have sufficient “resources” to persuade recalcitrant lawmakers to agree to lift the charter school cap. * Randi Weingarten, more powerful than Arne Duncan, says the Post * Teaching Candidates Aplenty, but the Jobs Are Few (NYT)

Teacher Layoffs
Guildless Tour Buses?
City Council Destroys Jobs

Bloomberg Hesitates on Tour-Bus Bill the bill might force tour companies to automate the guides and fire the tour guides Nevermind Bloomberg Gets On The Bus (Bill)

True News
Mob Still Controls NYC Housing Department * Crane Owner Pleads Guilty to Bribery * Crane company admits bribing NYC inspector (Crains NY)

Will the Paywall Kill the Kingdom?
The Paywall Revolution Could Actually Be a Revolution The Wall Street Journal’s paywall contributed to its fall from favor and ultimate sale. As the web’s prominence rose, the Journal’s prominence sank. Left out of search results, it was absent as a source and authority on most issues. So what happens to the news world when most people no longer get their news from the most established sources? This is a different question than whether Murdoch or the NYT can make a viable business—or at least gain a meaningful contribution to their costs—from a paying, albeit smaller, audience. This is about what happens to the 90%—and by some estimates 99%—of the audience that will change its daily news habit rather than pay. By some estimates this could be more than 50 million people suddenly untethered. (Wolff Newser) * The Unabridged Wall Street Journal Greater New York Advertising Assault

Investors Using Pension Funds Destroy Affordable Housing
Stuy Town residents seek CalPERS' help True News background of how Stuy Town was destroyed by investors and government programs taken over by them Wall Street Hijacks Fannie Mae /Freddie Mac for Stuy Town

Law and Order To the brig! Pirate nailed in NY court (NYP) *Somali Man Pleads Guilty in 2009 Hijacking of Ship (NYT)* 2 Officers, 2 Courts and Charges of Eliciting Sexual Favors (NYP) *NYPD Detective Arrested On Sexual Misconduct Charges (NY1)* Officer Charged With Sex Abuse (WSJ) * Students Use Video to Explore the Impact of Gun Violence (WSJ) * Spitzer kicks jailed Bruno while he's down (DN) * Thug in mom-kid slay tunes out kin (DN) * Judge: Sean Bell Civil Lawsuit Can Proceed (WCBS TV) * 1 Of 'Central Park 5' Actually Met The Real Rapist (WCBS TV) * New City Memorial Adds NYPD Cop Who Died after 9/11 (WINS) * Knicks' Wilson Chandler caught with pot: cops (NYP) * Cops Out Drinking Until 5 a.m. Before Fatal Crash

NY Terrorism Court fester Faisal Bomber's 1st time before judge (NYP)* Times Square Bombing Suspect Appears in Court (NYT) * Times Square Bombing Suspect Appears in Court (NYT) * Times Square Suspect Appears in Court (WSJ) * Cops slam Obama's delay of 9/11 cancer study (DN) * NYPD is hoping to build cultural link to Mideast (DN)
* Sources: Shahzad Eyed More Terror Targets (WCBS) * Times Square bomb suspect appears in court (WABC) * Times Square Car Bomb Suspect Appears In Court (NY1) * Pakistani Army Major Arrested in Times Square Bomb Probe NBC New York * Pakistan army major arrested over link to Times Square bomb suspect (NYP) * Judge refuses to dismiss NY synagogue-bomb case (NYP) * Faisal Shahzad mug shot revealed; Times Square bomber also eyed Grand Central, finance district (DN)

A new American Revolution Starts
Public Votes Political Revolt The Internet, the tea party and public anger at government is making the parties campaign committees, the establishment irrelevant. WSJ: "voters showed they were ready to sever ties with candidates too closely identified with Washington and its political leaders." Voters Rebuke Parties (WSJ) *Voters back anti-DC, anti-establishment candidates (AP)* Specter spiked in Pa. voter rebellion (NYP) *Specter Defeat Signals a Wave Against Incumbents (NYT)*After 30 Years and Party Switch, Career Curtain for Specter (NYT)* Paul wins in Ky., Specter in close race in Pa. (NYP) * Sen. Arlen Specter's primary loss continues bad 2010 for President Obama, Democrats * Party-switching Dem Specter loses bid for sixth term (DN) * Daily News: "If the Republicans seize control of either chamber, Obama's legislative agenda is pretty much shredded." * Obama endorsements don't seem to help Democrats - Yahoo! News * Voters Lose Faith as Establishment Keeps Spinning - Joe Trippi, FOX News

Pol Swift Boats Himself
I made a mistake I was not in Vietnam

Conn. pol admits he's no 'Nam vet (NYP) * A debt of honor (NYP Ed) * Colleague Says Blumenthal Claims Grew in Time (NYT) * Mr. Blumenthal’s Misdirection The Connecticut AG’s false claim that he served in Vietnam seems to have been part of a larger pattern of misleading voters. (NYT Ed) * Connecticut's Veterans Divided * Linda McMahon Campaign Unsuccesfully Scrubs Evidence of its Role in NYT's Richard Blumenthal Story (Village Voice)

Wall Street Clients Worried About Goldman’s Dueling Goals (NYT)* The Senate at the Finish Line There are too many unresolved issues in financial regulatory reform. Protecting the system and taxpayers should come ahead of bank profits.(NYT Ed) * SEC proposes new circuit breaker rules (Crains NY)* Goldman Sachs Tries to Uncover the New York Times' 'Shoddy' Reporting, Fails Miserably (Village Voice)

Oil Spill Obama and the Oil Spill An environmental 9/11 is unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. Will President Obama have the courage to ask the country to get behind a new strategy on energy? (NYT Ed) * Current Could Bring Slick Up Coast(WSJ)

Inside City Hall Bloomberg Economic Aide Steps Down * Once the Mayor, Always Relevant

Reform Samuels Pushes Redistricting Envelope * Clash of the Charter Titans (Gotham Gazette) * The $64,000 question with term limits (NYP)

Intrepid president steps down

Will Spitzer Get the CNN Job?
Or Work for the Playboy Channel?
Eliot Spitzer May Join CNN At Campbell Brown Time Slot, Reports Washington Examiner
* Campbell Brown Leaving CNN Due To Poor Ratings * NY1 Exclusive: Spitzer Hints At Return To Politics

“You always had that sense about him, that he was in this to get money in his pocket,” ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer said of his old nemesis, former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.

Media and New Tech CBS Axes 7 Shows to Make Way for Newcomers * Obama Turns His Back On the Press (NYT) * Three Birds, a Billionaire and the Hyper-Local Future of News (Obsever)* Jill Abramson Steps Away from Managing Editor Role to Focus on the Times Digital (Obsever) * B&N follows Amazon into vanity e-publishing * Conan Gets a Start Date * People Loses Two (Five?) Senior Staffers * Explained: Why Jill Abramson (NYT) is Getting a New Job * CBS Upfront Analysis: The Play-It-Safe Network Plays It Slightly Less Safe