Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Albany's Groundhog Day: Three Men in A Room Again

Three Men in a Room is an insider's exposé of how one of the country's largest and most powerful governments—with the fourth-largest budget, behind only the federal government's, California's, and Texas's—has become a model of corrupt, inefficient, and undemocratic governance

 Beware the budget (NYP Ed)

State lawmakers are taking up Gov. Cuomo's $133 billion budget in earnest this week, with both the Senate and the Assembly moving ahead with their own individual proposals. According to the game plan, each house of the Legislature will move its own bill and then work out differences in public "conference committees." The real heavy lifting, of course, will come behind the scenes -- with a three-way deal (between Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver and Cuomo) struck in time, presumably, for a final budget to pass by the April 1 start of the new fiscal year. *  In Albany, Battle Lines Are Drawn Over the Budget On Tuesday, both houses of the State Legislature passed budget proposals that rejected crucial provisions of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan. (NYT)

 Albany isn't exactly known for its high-quality sausage

Kruger Will Now Use His $2 Million in Campaign Funds For Legal Fees

Albany which has played with Kruger's  dirty money for years now calls him a pariah Back in Albany After U.S. Charges, State Senator Finds a Different World(NYT)N.Y. Senators Give Away Cash Linked to Kruger (WSJ)Embattled state Sen. Carl Kruger's medical malpractice bill could be big help for pal's business Kruger introduced a medical malpractice bill that would have benefited his "intimate associate" and co-defendant in a bribery case. (DN)* Driver's Criminal Past Emerges In Wake Of Bronx Bus Crash (NY1) * Two Dead After NYC Bus Crashes In New Jersey(NY1)Not all of lobbyist Richard Lipsky’s clients are rushing to dump him after he was hit with federal corruption charges along with Kruger and Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. * Indicted Kruger: I'm not going anywhere (Brooklyn Paper) * Hospital CEO's snared in Kruger bribe net (Queens Courier) * Suspicions surrounding ex-MediSys head Rosen were nothing new  * Hospital Chief Facing U.S. Charges Is Fired David Rosen, who had built the MediSys Health Network in Brooklyn and Queens, was accused of bribery last week.(NYT)

Brighton Beach New Memoirs 
Lifetime’s "Brighton Beach" reality show will star a confessed criminal and local nightclub owner facing disbarment and six months in jail after a political scandal. Michael Levitis, lawyer and owner of Rasputin Nightclub said the show is focused, in part, on his family, a casting decision that comes as Levitis is caught up in an alleged corruption scheme with Kruger. (Sheepshead Bites) * New 'role' for restaurateur ensnared in Kruger corruption probe He rejected an offer by the feds to play a role in a corruption case against state Sen. Carl Kruger, but now this Brooklyn restaurateur has landed

Manhattan US Attorney names top staff for newly reinvigorated public #corruption unit(CHN)

Albany Ethics: "We can only hope that the Legislature, hounded by the FBI, will try to turn the heat down by agreeing to a really strong ethics bill. I bet they don’t." [Alan Chartock]

 NYP Pigs Use True News As Their Cheat Sheets

Last Sunday's True News

Lipsky was Ratner's Forest City 2nd Lobbyist Bribery Indictment in A Year 

Today's NYP
In 2006, Bender, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, was the point man for Forest City's efforts to win approval from Yonkers for a $630 million commercial and residential development.  A Yonkers councilwoman, Sandy Annabi, stunningly switched her position on the development, and helped pass it. Last year, Annabi was charged by federal authorities with accepting more than $166,000 in bribes to vote for that deal and another development. A Forest City spokesman said the company backs Bender, and noted, "We cooperated fully with the [Yonkers] investigation, and neither the company nor any of its employees were found to engage in wrongful behavior." FOREST CITY RATNER EXEC WHO LOBBIED "CROOKED" STATE SEN. CARL ...(NYP)

  Another Family With A Business

Huntley Pay to Play Family

Sen. Shirley Huntley’s campaign committee paid her daughter $50,700 for three months of work on the Queens Democrat’s 2010 re-election bid.


  Mad Feature: What the Say, What They Really Mean

GOP Does Dem Incumbents A Favor On Redistricting

Every pols in Albany says they want independent redistricting in public but are so happy that the GOP senate came up with a constitutional plan that would put it off until 2022.  Senator Schumer and Congressman Rangel have let the true drop when they said that independent commission would cost the dems house seats.  The senate GOP knows they will lose the majority if district were drawn without politics.   Even the senate dems had they chance to pass a independent redistricting bill when they where is power, passed when they had a chance.  The assembly dems know that Speaker Silver will cut the their line like in the past, and they know that he will protect their reelection by giving them the best district for that goal.  Schumer and the congressional incumbents know that the same deal as in 2002 will be cut, when the state also lost two house seats.  One dem and one GOP seat will be lost and the rest of the districts will be cut to protect the incumbent house members.  Critics: Senate Redistricting Bill Inadequate* The Republican redistricting bill passed with the help of the four IDC members and wouldn’t have made it otherwise because Sen. George Maziarz was hospitalized.* The Senate vote angered former NYC Mayor Ed Koch.

Meaningless Albany Spanking 

Group swats back at Gov. Cuomo on disclosure (DN) AQE released its donor list and called on the Committee to Save NY to do the same. * Mike backs tax ax Pooh-poohs Silver's scaled-down hike (NYP) * Newsday editorializes against the millionaire’s tax. * DiNapoli: Risks Remain In Cuomo Budget (YNN) * Silver: Senate GOP Spending Money “That Doesn’t Exist”  * School Budgets: GOP restores $280 million.  * Jackson On Rodriguez & Espaillat: 'I Have Had Enough of Their Shit' (NYO)



Operative awaits ruling in NYC mayor's money case(WSJ)

John Haggerty charged with bilking New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg out of more than $1 million may be set to get an answer on his bid to have the case thrown out. Haggerty Trial Set For 6/1  Considering the political nature of the case, the judge also issued a gag order to both sides, barring them from talking to the press.  * Judge slaps down Haggerty in Bloomberg campaign cash swipe case (NYP) * John Haggerty, ex-Bloomberg aide accused of stealing $1M mayor's campaign, ordered to stand trial (DN) John Haggerty: Gag order (WSJ)


What Role Did the Unions Play in the Hevesi, Morris Rattner Pension Corruption?
Since ever case was settled by lawyer with fines or pleas we never had a trial to find out who did what and who else was involved.  It really strange that the PBA is not mad at Blackstone for having some of their employees involved in the pay to play pension scandal or taking to big of a cut of the pension funds, but for calling police pension too generious. PBA pension shock KO'd deal in 'revenge' for exec's comment. Financial giant Blackstone Group may have been blackballed out of handling a $150 million city police pension-fund investment because of resentment over an executive's comment that government retirement benefits are "too generous,"
A City Without Shame or Justice                                     
A Polling Consultant Group That Was Involved in the Pension Scandal and Paid A $ 2 Million Fine Now Works For the DOE The NYC Department of Education will pay Global Strategy Group close to $48,000 for holding focus groups with teachers.* Cuomo Makes Obama Aide Pay $7 Million Fine - Andrew Cuomo News and ...

Another Connected Pol Gets Off With a Fine      

Better to Quit Than. . . 

Head of City’s Main Labor Federation Quits Amid Criticism (NYT)Union leader Gregory Floyd eyes 2013 mayoral run (DN) * Many Workers Seen Lacking Skills for New Jobs(WSJ) * New York state is poised to generate one million new middle-skills jobs in industries like health care and transportation over the next seven years. But the state is also facing a shortage of qualified workers who can fill those positions, according to a new report. (WSJ)

 Some People Knew Before the Accident About the Cheep Bus Services in China Town?

100 years after the triangle shirtwaist fire it still takes massive death for those in charge to take notice and do what they should have done before people died. Now we are told by the pols and press to fix  lax safety regulations for the discount bus tour industry that has been around for a decade. Lax Rules for Discount Buses Cited After I-95 Crash (NYT) * Bus Crash Toll Grows; Driver's Actions Under Investigation (WSJ) * Driver in horrific Bronx bus crash did prison time for slay, forgery (DN) *Two dead as tour bus from Chinatown carrying 45 passengers crashes on New Jersey Turnpike (DN) * Horrific casino bus crash must spur investigation of rules supposed to prevent driver fatigue (DN Ed) * Casinos and Buses Cater to Asian Roots (NYT)

  Tail of Two Educations

 The Best of Education Preschool Sued for Test Prep A Manhattan woman is suing an Upper East Side preschool, arguing that its classroom environment didn't challenge her 4-year-old daughter or adequately prepare the child for the exam that elite private schools require for admission. (WSJ) * Suit Faults Test Preparation at Preschool (NYT) * NY schools earn spots on U.S. News & World list (DN)

The Worst of EducatioStudents' English Misses the Mark More than a third of New York City students who entered first grade in 2003 identified as English language learners couldn't pass an English-language proficiency test last year when they were in the seventh grade.(WSJ)*  City Students Fall Short in Science (Gotham Gazette)

Why is MLB Protecting the Wilpons Madoff Crooks?   

MLB Looks to Protect Mets From 'Vultures' Major League Baseball has instituted restrictions on the resale of some team debt that protect the Mets from pressure by so-called vulture investors. (WSJ)





  Lost New York                                                      

N.Y.C. eateries biting the dust The eerie death toll of large, high- profile restaurants this year is likely to grow larger (NYP)

Rising Rent Threatens East Village Bodegas(Huff Post)


 Planned Gentrification

 Towers Built for the Poor Hear Call of the Condo (NYT)Affordable Housing Policies May Spur Gentrification (Gotham Gazette)

Forgotten Child, Still Forgotten

City to Revise Treatment of Children in Foster Care New York can no longer keep foster children in psychiatric hospitals after doctors have recommended their release, under terms of a new settlement agreement. (NYT)

Hoping Gowanus Canal Cleanup Turns Up Old Treasures (NYT)

Law and Order  Lover freed cop 'slayer' Refused to testify (NYP) *  LI officer doomed by cry of 'gun' (NYP) * Cry of ‘Gun!’ Is Claimed in Fatal Shooting of Fellow Officer (NYT) * Anger, Disbelief After Nassau Cop Is Shot by MTA Officer (WSJ) * Relative of suspect accused of pushing cop to his death: It was accident (DN) * Rape vic sues Midtown hotel (NYP) * Newlywed slain saving hubby's texts (NYP) *Woman Killed in Struggle With Muggers: Police * Man’s Arc of Domestic Abuse Led to Death of an Officer (NYT)Man Poisons Wife Then Himself: Police(WSJ) * Widower fears muggers who killed his wife will come after him (DN) * Thugs yell gay slurs, beat teen to death (DN) * Ex-cop who sued NYPD for sexism settles for hefty $600,000 (DN) * Hospital gave our sister a deadly overdose of painkillers: suit (DN) * Revolving-door justice in domestic violence cases freed accused killer of Officer Alain Schaberger (DN Ed) * Brooklyn Man Faces Murder Charges After Fatally Pushing NYPD Officer (NY1) * Officers to Be Mourned in Back-to-Back Funerals (NYT) * NYC spent $75 million in 2010 arresting and jailing people who possessed small amounts of marijuana.*  Brooklyn Stabbing Spree Suspect Told Cops He Had ‘Doozy Of A Day’ (WCBS) * Muggers Targeting Postal Workers In The Bronx (WCBS) * NYPD cracks down on cyclists who run red lights in Central Park (NYP)

Media and New Tech JUAN WILLIAMS: NPR: tripped up by its own elitism (NYP) *  Did That Reporter Just Lift Copy from a Press Release? Churnalism Website Helps You Find Out * The Huffington Post and The New York Times Battle On (Fishbowl) * Report: Internet usage transforming news industryBusinessWeek - *Breaking: News No Longer Breaks in Print
* Friends of the Cuomos (Gotham Gazette)


Nasdaq Nears Rival NYSE Bid (WSJ)

NY's Indian Point is located 'closer to more people' than any other nuclear plant in U.S. (DN) * Most Plant Workers Evacuate; Residents Told to Stay Indoors (NYT) * Doubts Revived Over Nuclear Regulation (WSJ)





Triangle Fire, Plus 100

Family Members Learn Little of the History-Changing Disaster from Loved Ones By JIM CALLAGHAN