Tuesday, January 10, 2012

NY Still Has A Poll Tax and the True News Wags the NYT Again

NY Still Has A Poll Tax

The modern poll tax is not part of the inhuman shameful Jim Crow era that blocked African-Americans from voting before the Civil Rights Movement.  Today's poll tax uses government funds to create elections that so favor incumbents, harming all the voters not just one racial group.  Our pols have created an election system were 98% of New York's incumbents get reelected. The biggest cause of pols leaving office in the empire state is death and prison. In response to the fixed elections NY voters have surrendered and rightly feel it makes no difference if they vote or not.

New Yorkers Have Stopped Voting In Local Fixed Elections
200,000 less New Yorkers voted for Bloomberg in 2009 than elected Mayor Jimmy Walker in 1925 when the city was two million smaller.  One of the most shocking statement made by Cuomo in his State of the State address last week was that New York ranked 48th in voter participation.  If the Justice Department forces an august primaries to allow proper military ballot time, there is no doubt that our state will rank dead last in voting.  * The Real Campaign is to Suppress Challengers * NY's Falling Voter Participation * Henry Stern who heads up NY Civic sent good analysis that analysis how the numbers of New Yorkers who vote has dramatically fallen

NY's Closed Election System Government Funded Designed

Our election officials do not collect money at the polls but use our tax dollars to pay individuals and non profit groups in their districts out of government funded member items slush funds to help in or run their reelection campaign.  Pols like Kruger who never faced a serious challenger in 10 years used the election system member item funds he gave out to line his pockets. Even indictments or federal investigations don't stop member item funding.  

Mayoral Candidate Quinn Keeps Vito Lopez in the $$$
Both the state and city are funding Vito Lopez's non profit political machine Ridgewood Bushwick which is under federal investigation.  The NYP and Daily News have attacked Speaker Quinn's decision to continue funding CM Seabrook during his second trial for stealing those funds.  Our tax dollars are also directed by our elected officials to pay for a Board of Elections and court system that uses the state's corrupt election laws to act as a gatekeeper by blocking challengers from ballot access.  

 New York's Incumbent Protection Society Is Planned

Other tools besides gerrymandering incumbent pols use to ensure phoney elections besides the corrupt election law is that they draw their own district (like they are doing right now) cutting out their opponents.  The recession which makes it harder to raise campaign funds for challengers and lack of public campaign financing also help keeps state pols in office forever.

NY Reformer John McCain

Newspaper editorials and good government groups despite repeated efforts have failed to bring about any reforms in the election systems.  The only reform to New York's election system was a result of a lawsuit by John McCain in 2000 because he was keep off the ballot for lack of signatures.  It is sad that will all the editorial and good government press conferences it was the McCain reforms that eliminated minor petition filing mistakes as a reason to knock a candidate off the ballot and made it most simpler to bind the petition and cover sheet that are submitted to the Board of Election.  

The Harmful Do Gooders 
So desperate are the papers and good government groups for any election reform that that are eager to accept any election system reform from Albany.  Block by the pols to get independent redistricting they year they have begun pushing for a deal on campaign finance reform.  Oblivious to the fact that public funding has not been enough to beat council members running for reelection under the city's public funding system.  What the paper and goo goos do not under state without reform of the entire election system nothing will change. It they will small reforms in a deal with Albany no incumbent will be in danger.  It a little like fixing a broken leg on someone with stage 4 colon cancer.

Today's News . . .
Happy Birthday Fund Raiser Comptroller Liu
Who Are Your Bundlers? Comptroller Liu Puts Investigation Woes Aside For Birthday Fundraiser

Larry Seabrook attended 's birthday fund-raiser


NYP Birthday Present: Attacks Liu for Not Paying His Con Ed Bill and Other Missteps 

Liu Thanks the NYP

Liu thanks Post for heads-up on unpaid bills(NYP) *  Still a Liu Liu (NYP Ed) *  Whoa! John Liu is the fellow who oversees billions in tax dollars — and he can’t be trusted to pay a $500 Con Ed bill? Or to clear up an equally piddling $943 in unpaid state payroll taxes from his 2009 campaign for city comptroller?*Amid Inquiry, Liu Marks His Birthday With a Fund-Raiser(NYT)

The city stands to lose millions because Liu hired two top officers of Jon Corzine’s bankrupt firm MF Global, whose implosion cost city pensioners nearly $10 million. The city’s pension funds could have headed a class-action suit against MF, but had to decline, thanks to Liu’s actions.

Liu's Payoffs to the Queens Machine and Senator Klein
Liu has named a Democratic Party official from Queens to be his associate director of pensions and a designated trustee to the NYC Employee Retirement System — violating the City Charter, which bars party leaders from holding such positions, as The Post’s Carl Campanile reported last week. * And he’s been doling out lucrative contracts to the law firm of state Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), which took $6.75 million to review lawsuits against the city — even as Klein served “of counsel” to another firm that specialized in suing the city, and reaped millions doing it.

NYT Birthday Present: Charges Liu Uses the Comptroller Office to Campaign 
For Liu’s Allies, Days Without an Award Are Rarity(NYT) Since being elected city comptroller, John C. Liu has given individuals and groups more than 760 official commendations, many linked to people who have contributed to his political campaign,
Courtney Gross (Twitter) 's accused fundraiser, Oliver Pan, gets rid of his public defender and hires a new lawyer

True News Wags the NYT Again and Again 
 On January 5, Right After the Ratner lobbyists took a plea True News wrote a story containing the following facts and asked the following questions
1. True News Asked what Did Bruce Ratner Know and Do About the Lipsky Bribe?

2. Lipsky was Ratner 2nd Lobbyist Bribery Indictment in a Year  3. Developer of Major New Rochelle Project, Forest City Ratner, Bribed Yonkers Official Sexy Sandy Annabi, U.S. Attorney Charges (Talk of the Sound) FCR Vice President Bruce Bender leaned on him in 2006 to change his expected vote opposing a controversial FCR development. Kruger crony leaned on me for vote: pol

4. Forest City Public Tit Money Caught in Corrupt Kruger

Bruce Bender, an executive with the development company Forest City Ratner who came out of Kruger's Thomas Jefferson club, was pressing him for $15 million in state funding for three Brooklyn projects.  Mr. Kruger said he would get back to him. Half an hour later, he checked with his aides, found out he had $500,0000 left over at his own discretion, and told them to give the money for a ice skating  project at Prospect Park.  “I love you,” Mr. Bender said a few minutes late.

Today's NYT Writes . . . 
Developer Bruce Ratner is a recent recurring theme in corruption scandals. Every one of True News points is picked up.

Bloomberg Shows Cuomo Some Love

Mike shows gov love (NYP) The mayor has good reason to try to find common ground with Cuomo since he’s counting on extra education aid when the next state budget is released.


NY is one of 3 states that has been placed on a fed watch list for failing to comply with goals set while applying for federal Race to the Top funds

UFT President On the Spot  . . .  Teachers Will Be Hurt if City Loses the Funds

Threat to NY ed. $$(NYP)  US Department of Education officials warned yesterday that they could yank hundreds of millions of dollars promised to New York state if it doesn’t get its education-reform program back on track. The concerns are based on ongoing delays to a statewide teacher-evaluation system and to a mammoth student-data system that were included in the state’s winning Race to the Top application.* U.S. Faults State’s Progress on Race to the Top Goals(NYT)* State Warned on Race to Top(WSJ) * Bloomberg: No Teacher Layoffs Expected (WSJ) * Education Officials Warn New York Could Fail To Earn Federal School Aid(NY1) * Cuomo Steers Clear Of Bloomberg, UFT Fight(NY1)* “New York has a chance to be a national leader, or a laggard, and we are only interested in supporting real courage and bold leadership,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan


DOE Announces Two More Charter Schools Will Close(NY1) * City Seeks to Close Two Charter Schools(NYT) *  The Bronx High-School Teacher Who Says It’s Not Just the Students Who Cheat (NY Magazine)






Meet the New Gambling Boss The Genting Group

Quid pro quo at Big A convention site (NYP) Cuomo said yesterday the Genting Group will seek more gaming machines at the racino it runs at Aqueduct Racetrack as the Malaysian-based gaming giant pours $4 billion into what would be the country’s largest convention center there. * Will Casino Plan End Aqueduct Horse Racing? (WSJ) * Lobby dollars and a dream Genting, remaking Aqueduct, spends freely on lobbyists in bid to change constitution * Aqueduct racino wants to expand virtual gaming(NYDN)* Cuomo insisted Genting will expand at the Aqueduct racetrack regardless of whether non-Indian casino gaming is approved by the Legislature and the public.* Cuomo Pens Letter To Skelos, Silver On Convention Center(YNN)* Coney Island Casino?(Huff Post)


Kruger A Tough Act To Follow

 Special Vote in March on Successor to State Senator Kruger(NYT)








GOP Golden Screws the Tax Payers

State Senator’s taxpayer-funded mailing violated Senate(NYDN)





2013 The Campaign Consultants

The field of consultants to go with the field of 2013 mayoral contenders | Capital New York * Mayor Bloomberg strongly believes that New York should have non-partisan elections. 



Sheldon Silver Out Twitted By Himself 

Assembly Democrats joined Twitter last week to much fanfare under the handle @NYSA_Majority, but while Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver knows how to use Twitter, he doesn't have much familiarity with his very popular fake Twitter account, @ShellySilver. Asked if he knew about his alter ego, Silver gave a short stare and said, "I, I haven't ..." before press secretary Michael Whyland said, 

"I'll answer for you!" Whyland said the Speaker was "vaguely aware" of @ShellySilver, which has 1,220 followers (compared to just 331 for the real account). Why did the Assembly Majority join the social networking site? "We're just trying to keep up with the times," Silver said, grudgingly. 

Trumps' New Bronx Golf Cause

Plan for Trump to Run a Bronx Golf Course Has Critics(NYT) * Bloomberg Defends Trump's Deal For A Bronx Golf Course(NY1)* Analysis: Trump's Game With Taxpayers(NBC)

The 63rd State Senate seat would shift the state’s prison population * Creation of a 63rd Senate seat would offset the GOP’s loss of population in upstate districts thanks to the reallocation of prisoners.* How to get to 63, a guided mathemagical journey(TU) * LATFOR Complies With Prison Gerrymandering Law(YNN)
* State Prisoners To Be Counted In Home Districts, Panel Rules(NY1) * GOP to Add a Seat to NY Senate, Protecting Power (NBC) * NY Assembly is paying about $1.8 million in public money for legal representation on redistricting * Senate GOP paying $3 million to Jones Day for legal representation on redistricting

City Hopes Affordable Bronx Business Space Draws Interest, Ideas(NY1) * Bloomberg cuts ribbon on city’s first Bronx “business incubator”(NYDN)

NYU Expansion Anger

Tensions High at NYU Expansion Meeting (Fox 5) * First Community Board Meeting Over NYU Expansion Plan(NBC)

So Goes Subways So Goes NY

Lhota Confirmed as MTA Chairman(WSJ) * Portion Of Lexington Avenue Subway Line Shuts Down For Major Repairs (NY1) * NY1 Online: New MTA Chairman Discusses Future Of The Agency* The Daily News calls for newly minted MTA chairman Joe Lhota to upgrade services, while holding the line on labor costs and on fare increases Wish Joe Lhota well as new head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NYDN Ed) * The Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas speculates in a Post op-ed that the MTA could cave to the subway workers’ union in their final week of contract negotiations


Double Happeness Buses Still Rolling

Bus company still operating after ordered shutdownWABC)


Cuomo Faces NY Fracking Groups More Against Than There National Counterparts 

Drilling Critics Face a Divide Over the Goal of Their Fight(NYT) * Even as several establishment environmental groups are pushing for stringent nationwide rules to regulate hydrofracking, a grassroots movement to completely ban the practice has emerged – complicating life for Gov. Andrew Cuomo *Occupy Albany’s next quest: Getting Cuomo to close corporate tax loopholes.


U.S. Criticizes New York on Monitoring Care of the Developmentally Disabled(NYT)


Leroy Comrie Eyes A Kids Happy Meal

The NYC Health Department’s latest ad campaign warns about the dangers of super-sizing. 






Occupy the Courts

Charges Dropped for Some Occupy Wall Street Protesters(NYT) * Protesters Occupy the Court System Police have made nearly 2,000 arrests related to the Occupy Wall Street movement, and a picture began to emerge Monday of how the most common of those cases—disorderly conduct—will proceed through the criminal justice system. Nearly a third of cases against Occupy Wall Street protestors in court yesterday were dismissed, as a picture began to emerge of how the minor charges will be handled * Drop charges against 21 OWS protesters(NYDN) 


NYCHA allows churches to continue worshipping at its community centers.








Romney told voters that he likes to “fire people who provide services to me.”

A Big Check From a Billionaire, and Gingrich Gets a Lift(NYT) * South Carolina Is a Crucial Test for Some Republicans(NYT) * On Eve of Primary, Rivals Try to Put Romney on Defensive(NYT) * Rivals Attack Romney on Bain(NYT) * Tea-Party Backers Are Split in N.H.(NYT) * What Mitt Romney did at Bain(CNN) * POLITICO provides some reasons for why Bill Daley had to go. * Ron Paul walks out of yet another CNN interview. 

The Times says the candidates have only offered “tired or extremist economic prescriptions.” * The votes haven’t even been tallied yet in New Hampshire, but some Republicans have already moved on to the make-or-break state of South Carolina.*  TV broadcasters enjoy spoils of political wars (Reuters) * asmussen also has a last-minute poll: Romney 37, Paul 17, Huntsman 15. Pretty good consensus here.* Convicted Lobbyist Working On Santorum's South Carolina Campaign(TPM) * Romney's Problems Aren't Going Away - Jonah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times * Forget About Delegates, Iowa, NH. The Race Is Over - Roger Simon, Politico * Santorum Compares Romney to Dole & McCain - Josh Lederman, The Hill * Why the Bain Capital Attacks Could Really Hurt Romney - Matt Bai, NYT * The Stupidity of Attacking Romney, Bain - Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post *  Mitt's Masquerade - Matt Thomas, The American Spectator * Third Could Be Huntsman's Ticket to Relevance - Richard Benedetto, RCP * Obama's Executive Overreach Is a Mistake - Michael McConnell, WSJ * Romney Looks Less Electable E * B'klyn GOP chair endorses Romney(NYP) * N.H. Margin Seen as Gauge as Rivals Try to Slow Romney *Rick Santorum now selling sweater vests for $100 

Monkey for Gingrich Grandpa, the Staten Island Zoo’s psychic spider money, picked Gingrich to win tonight.

Fannie Mae CEO Resigns (The Daily Beast)

Stephen Colbert Defends Rick Santorum’s ‘Blah People’ Line

Jon Stewart Wades Through 4 Hours Of ‘Pious Bologna’ From GOP Debates


 Law and Order

Lawyers Negotiating Plea for Terror Suspect(NYT) * Plea Talks in Terror Case(WSJ) * Possible Plea Deal Being Discussed In Manhattan Bomb Plot Case(NY1) * Plea deal eyed for NY ‘terror’(NYP)


Target in Bx. shooting that maimed 2-year-old girl is killed(NYP)


Cabdriver busted in 'rape'(NYP)

Ohio tourist latest busted for guns in NYC(NYT)


Law and Order

Traffic Agent With Unpaid Tickets Is Arrested Over Tow(NYT)* Mob guy's mea culpa(NYDN) * Gloria Allred Represents NY Woman In Suit Against Hotel(WABC)* NYPD Traffic Agent Arrested in Car Tow Fight(NBC) * After-school program worker pleads guilty to fake invoices(NYP) * Genovese capo cops to racketeering, extortion and gambling charges(NYP)Post story prompts cart-kid judge to seek comment from brain-injured philanthropist(NYP) * Queens Man Charged With 3,000 Child Pornography Counts(NYT)* Crime is up in trendy Brooklyn neighborhoods. *  FBI: Dana Connor, a.k.a ‘Dapper Bandit’ Bank Robber Arrested In East New York(WCBS)

Costume criminal gets 9 yrs.(NYP) * Gal slams ‘perv’ cops(NYP) *