Monday, October 31, 2011

Did It Take the NYP to Wake Up the DA to the NYPD Ticket Fixing Case?

Sunday's NYP Hits the Outer Borough DAs

 DAs outside Bx. 'ignoring' scandal(NYP)

 Today  The district attorneys in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn say they had never ignored referrals to investigate police department ticket-fixing, despite reports to the contrary Ticket-Fix Cases May Spread(WSJ) * No one told us of NYPD tix fix: DAs(NYP) * Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch thinks the ticket-fixing scandal will grow.* "Its not as serious as the Knapp Commission" PBA spox said. "Does it involve more people?unquestionably" (Capital)

The real question is will the DA's sit back passively closing cases that are feed to them by the Bronx DA.  Or will will they investigate and develop their own leads and indictments?

The Queens District Attorney on Sunday said he expected to hear this week from his Bronx counterpart if there are any ticket-fixing cases in his borough to prosecute.  The announcement comes as Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said the practice of ticket-fixing is a citywide problem

Covering Their Ass
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes issued a statement responding to a New York Post story raising questions about why he and other prosecutors weren't taking on ticket-fixing cases. He said the NYPD and Mr. Johnson hadn't referred any to him.  Officials said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan haven't received information about ticket-fixing cases.  The Bronx District Attorney has a list of more than 500 officers across the city accused of ticket-fixing. Many will face departmental charges.
NYPD Confidential's Len Levitt lays some blame for recent scandals in the NYPD and a lack of criticism of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly at the feet of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a compliant press, particularly the Daily News


The NYT Ignores the NYPD Ticket Fixing Scandal and Police Reactions to Complain About Honking Horns

The $350 Honk Unnecessary horn honking might be hard to fix, but New York City drivers could use the reminder. (NYT Ed) 

Why Media Play Up to Power A One Man Ethics Show

Ex-Official Surfaces as Ethics Gadfly(WSJ) Fred Dicker vs. David Grandeau has morphed into Cuomo vs. Grandeau, with administration spokesman Josh Vlasto slamming the ex-lobbying watchdog in the WSJ.

David Grandeau was long known as the Sheriff of State Street, a punctilious and merciless enforcer of New York's lobbying laws. Four years after he was ousted as the state's top lobbying regulator, Mr. Grandeau, at the age of 52, no longer has his badge. But now as a blogger, he's still digging his spurs into Albany's governing elite. In recent days, Mr. Grandeau has riveted political circles with his biting commentary on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose sky-high poll ratings have insulated him from political attacks.

Last week, Grandeau lobbed another bomb at Cuomo. Quoting conversations with other unnamed "insiders," He said an ethics body should investigate whether the Cuomo administration had orchestrated a smear campaign against Christopher Ward, the outgoing head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Mr. Grandeau's claims were touched off by an Oct. 17 column by Fredric U. Dicker, the longtime New York Post political writer. Mr. Dicker, citing a source close to the Cuomo administration, wrote that an unreleased state audit of the Port Authority will show that Mr. Ward had "engaged in 'extravagant overspending'" as head of the agency leading the reconstruction of Ground Zero.David Grandeau blog

Head of city's Business Integrity Commission secretly gave private secretary three big raises – in seven months!  Her pay climbed from $68,000 to $108,000, a 60% increase.(NYDN)

The Jerks Who Revived the GOP Party in Brooklyn 
Carl Kruger and Senate Democrats beware: Dean Skelos has his sights set on the 27th Senate district in Brooklyn. The majority leader was there last week to help chop vegetables and serve food at the Jewish Met Council’s Masbia soup kitchen in Midwood, but also took some time to consider the possibility of capturing Kruger’s district in next year’s election. 
Skelos said Rep. Bob Turner’s win in the neighboring Ninth Congressional district bodes well for the Senate Republicans’ chances of winning in the 27th district: “This is a wonderful district that looks at who can best represents it. They made a very deliberate choice in electing somebody who was about cutting taxes and creating private sector jobs. And that’s why they voted for Bob Turner.” 

Asked directly whether Kruger’s district is a top target for next year, Skelos said, “Republicans are going to have a great year, because President Obama has not been able to turn the economy around.” Skelos is aiming to strengthen his bond with the Orthodox Jewish community, putting money in this year’s budget that improves their access to education funds. Orthodox Jews were instrumental in Turner’s win last month.

Vito Lopez A Govt Funded 1% Member

Vito Lopez led an Occupy Wall Street march, but he and his girlfriend have a combined income of close to $500,000.


While New Yorkers Remain Unemployed the Elected Incumbent Protection Society Keeps Using Lobbyists and Legislation to Pump Money Into Their Ecosystem

The push to expand lobbying in New York has translated into a big payday for lobbyists. 

Lobbyists cash in on racinos’ big bet (NYP) The New York Gaming Association, the newly formed advocacy group representing the nine racinos, will spend $1 million next year to ramp up its pro-casino campaign, said its president, James Featherstonhaugh. The association just hired political and media strategist Jennifer Cunnigham of Knickerbocker SKD to help lead the initiative. * Gambling interests have spent more than $2.5 million over the past year in New York.

Cuomo Has A Firewall to Stop Millionaires Tax

Cuomo has a GOP ace up his sleeve (Dicker, NYP) Gov. Cuomo has a little-noticed backup firewall against those pushing for the controversial “millionaires tax’’ -- the usually ignored Assembly Republican minority. Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb would use power he gained in the last election to uphold Gov. Andrew Cuomo's veto of a millionaire's tax, even if both houses in the Legislature voted for it * If Senate Republicans cave on the millionaire’s tax, Andrew Cuomo can still count on Assembly Republicans to uphold his veto. * Cuomo surrogates are “actively” trying to discourage key constituencies – including black and Latino lawmakers – that they’ve got a shot at extending or bringing back the millionaire’s tax.


New York City Board of Elections must be prevented from wasting millions on patronage hiring(NYDN Ed) The Board of Elections must be stopped from wasting up to $3.2 million to pay thousands of unnecessary patronage workers to staff the polls for the Nov. 8 general election.

Will Quinn Get Away With Cleaning Up Her Own Mess?

For 6 years Council Speaker Quinn not only pasted budgets that allowed outside contracts to waste millions.  The council speaker also ignored signs of the massive rips off of the CityTime and other contracts.  Now she takes advantages of a media more interested in picking the next mayor than informing the public what is really going on. Quinn targets pact overrun$

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is moving to rein in budget-busting contracts with outside firms after the high-profile CityTime scandal rocked the Bloomberg administration.  City Council Speaker Christine Quinn plans to announce support for Councilwoman Letitia James's bill to regulate city spending on outside contractors* Short list on why Christine Quinn is a big fat liar(Quinn Bloomberg's Mini Me)

The Once Hip New York Magazine is So Disconnected It Is Geek

A Businessman for mayor has no chance after Bloomberg failures. Leo Hindery Jr. is the latest entrepreneur mentioned in the business world as a potential successor to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chris Smith writes in New York magazine, but the 2013 field remains wide open: 

Not Mike  For at least six mayoral candidates, the race is on to invent the post-Bloomberg city. (NY Magazine)

With Generators Gone, Wall Street Protesters Try Bicycle Power(NYT) * Letting Go of Wall Street(WSJ) * Letters to Occupy protesters span broad spectrum(WSJ) * Woman tried to pimp out teen at Occupy protest: cops(NYDN) * Protesters Weather The Storm In Manhattan(NY1)* OWS camp gets really commie-cal (NYP) * Silver: OWS Is Following Our Lead On Millionaire’s Tax(YNN) * Occupy Albany could become semi-permanent.


Bloomberg: Queens Pols Not Invited

Several elected officials in Queens are incensed at Mayor Michael Bloomberg over his failure to invite them to a large town hall meeting last Wednesday at the Flushing Library. Assemblywoman Grace Meng, State Sen. Toby Stavisky, Councilman Peter Koo and Councilman Dan Halloran caught wind of the event and crashed it, but then had difficulty finding seats since the first two rows were reserved for members of the Bloomberg administration. "It's definitely not the normal custom," said one elected official, of the failure to invite the local lawmakers.

They also complained that no one outside the Korean community was invited to the mayor's appearance in the neighborhood, which in the past have been somewhat infrequent. In an email, a Bloomberg community affairs representative told the officials that Korean American Charities Foundation were responsible for planning the event -- and that other ethnic groups would have their own events as well. "They're going to have to do 137 of these this year if they're going to hit every ethnic group in Flushing," quipped another person upset by the perceived snub. A spokesman for the mayor did not return a request for comment.

Shocking: Crowley Courthouse Awards Ragusa
A Queens state Supreme Court justice settled the Queens GOP civil war (for the moment), awarding the chairmanship to the incumbent, Phil Ragusa. 

Charter School Push Grows The rancor that has followed former City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz's attempts to open charter schools across New York City is coming to a place that hasn't experienced it before: a middle-class neighborhood outside Manhattan. (WSJ) * The charter school fight has come to Cobble Hill.

A Peek at the Taxi of Tomorrow(NYP)

The Post chides New York State United Teachers President Dick Iannuzzi for his $345,987 annual compensation package:

In East Harlem, ‘Keep Out’ Signs Apply to Renters(NYT)

Former Adviser to White House Is Likely to Seek Rangel’s Seat(NYT) Former Clinton administration advisor Clyde Williams has raised $50,000 and hired Mayor Bloomberg's pollster in advance of a potential challenge to Congressman Charlie Rangel

MTA service may stop for Halloween mayhe(NYDN) * MTA Plans For Halloween Service Disruptions(NY1)





Government Catching Up With Social Media (CHN) In the race to deliver information faster and connect people online more efficiently, social media is moving faster than government can catch up, experts said at a City Hall panel discussion, but New York City is at the vanguard of trying to learn




 With Fake Education Grades Who Believes the Park Grades?

Most City Parks Earn Solid Marks, With Some Lagging(NYT) * Thousands of restaurants bump letter grades by fighting inspections(AMNY)


You Can Take Your Fingers Out of Your Ears: Quieter Taxi TV(NYT)



Deficit reduction still a devil deal (Politico) * Perry Displays Varied Stance Toward Crime(NYT) * Cain denies sexual harassment raps, calls claims 'tired'(NYDN) * Geraldo Blasts Herman Cain’s Spokesman During Call-In For Not Denying Sexual Harassment Claims * Politico Reports Herman Cain Sexual Harassment Allegation Coverup * Mitt Romney Limits National Media Exposure With Frontrunner Strategy(Huff Post) * Cain, Denying Harassment Charges, Sees a ‘Witch Hunt’(NYT)