Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Media Black Out Shake Up At Forest City Ratner Surrounded in Kruger Corruption

Where Are the Investigative Reporters?

One of the biggest government funded developers in the city Bruce Ratner had major shake up in his company yesterday having to do with charges of corruption and not a single newspaper picked up the story. A company that has haul in $726 million in special public benefits. It a story of lobbyist bribing public officials to get public money and zoning changes for projects by Ratner's Company Forest City.  Ratner VP Bruce Bender from Kruger's Thomas Jefferson Club who was taped by the FBI getting state money from the convict Carl is gone. Bender is also name in a lawsuit where New Rochelle pols were indicted for bribes on another Forest City project. * Report: Bender, Cantone leave Forest City for new consulting firm; could pending Ridge Hill corruption trial be the spur?(Atlantic Yard Report)

Convict Kruger Bribed and the Developer Knew Nothing? 
The NYT whose HQ was built and financed by Ratner wrote about his bribery problem on January 9th 2012 after Forest City Lobbyist Richard Lipsky pead to bribing Inmate Kruger.  Where did the $250,00 that Lipsky bribed Kruger come from?  or the $100,000 the FBI found in the lobbyist home when they raided it.  Mr. Ratner has walked between the legal raindrops. Federal prosecutors have not implicated him or his company, Forest City Ratner, in either of these corruption cases. He must have no idea how he got the hundreds of millions from Kruger, Filder and the other pols for his company.  He also must be clueless about the bribery cases against him.  Another example how the media filters corrupt story to protect the powerful and only report on the incitements and convictions.


Bruce RatnerGate: Nobody Knew About the Kruger Bribes . . .  Press Clean Up Time

Bruce Bender Leaves Surrounded By Corruption

Forest City Departures, New Firm In Offing(YNN) Bruce Bender and Scott Cantone are striking out on their own to create a new political consulting firm. Bender got some unwanted press recently when he was caught on the federal wiretap negotiating for state funds for a non-Ratner project with former Sen. Carl Kruger, who lost his seat after pleading guilty to federal corruption charges. Lobbyist Richard Lipsky, who represented Ratner, also pleaded guilty in the pay-to-play probe. Federal prosecutors said he paid hundreds of thousands in bribes to Kruger, the former Senate Finance Committee chairman. * Executive departures from Forest City pile up: four of five listed as key lobbyists in 2006 are gone(Atlantic Yard Reports)

Forest City Public Tit Money Caught in Corrupt Kruger Web

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.  Where did convicted Richard Lipsky get all the cash he gave to Kruger?


Bender is Involved in Another Ratner's Forest City Bribery Indictment in A Year                       

Developer of Major New Rochelle Project, Forest City Ratner, Bribed Yonkers Official Sexy Sandy Annabi, U.S. Attorney Charges (Talk of the Sound)

A Forest City Ratner executive whose cozy relationship with state Sen. Carl Kruger is featured in a new criminal complaint against the Brooklyn politician personally lobbied a Yonkers councilman hours before a controversial vote that later led to bribery charges against a councilwoman. Yonkers Council Majority Leader John Murtagh Jr. said 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


No Shame Liu Pimps A Giant Ride
Comptroller Liu only pol to exploit parade(NYP)Of the 10 elected officials invited by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to ride in the parade honoring the New York Giants, only Comptroller John Liu took him up on the offer





Focus Group Quinn Offers Criticism of Stop and Frisk After Remaining Silent On the Issue During Her 3 Terms in the Council

Quinn Discovers Minority District of the NYPD

Quinn Hits Police Over Stop Policy(WSJ) City Council Speaker Christine Quinn issued her sharpest criticism of how the NYPD has carried out its stop-and-frisk policy, saying the tactic has sometimes "sown distrust" in minority communities.




Cuomo Moves to Consolidate Power Over AG and Comptroller

DiNapoli, Cuomo Spar Over Powers(WSJ) * DiNapoli: Cuomo budget a power grab(NYDN) * Expanding Reach, Cuomo Creates Second Cop on Financial Beat (NYT) * State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli offered a “rare public reprimand” of Cuomo, attacking his efforts to expand executive powers and reduce transparency.* DiNapoli’s assessment provoked a harsh response from Budget Director Robert Megna, who accused the comptroller of protecting the “status quo” in Albany.* Legislative leaders don’t like the idea of Cuomo being able to move money around between agencies and authorities after the budget deal is inked.* Gerson Borrero says Assemblyman Joe Rivera wasn’t the one who switched the setting on his unauthorized YouTube video of Cuomo’s Super Bowl party from “public” to “private,” though the administration told him to do it.Update: Cuomo Responds To DiNapoli Criticism: Albany Pols Resisting Change(YNN) * Comptroller Tom DiNapoli went on NPR to defend public pensions *Richard Steier, editor of The Chief, says fire and police unions are skeptical of Tier VI because it will hurt recruitment. * How to Measure Teacher Quality? Ask Parents (NYT) * Queens Questions Need for 2 Convention Halls(NYT)

Union Goes On TV To Fight Cuomo's Pension Refroms

Pension ‘air’strike (NYP) New York’s powerful AFL-CIO yesterday fired its opening salvo against Gov. Cuomo’s proposed pension Cuomo’s Tier 6 proposal overhaul for new government workers, with a statewide ad blitz calling the move an attack on the middle class. * Gov pension reform plan ripped in ad (NYDN)

Bloomberg TV Ads Mind Control

Bloomberg: It Was The Ads!(YNN) Mayor Michael Bloomberg blamed the advertising campaign from teachers unions for a Quinnipiac University poll that shows voters trust him less when it comes to dealing with public education.

Teacher Evaluation Wars
Cuomo should follow the late Steve Jobs’ ethos of simplification and just create new teacher evaluation rules himself, the Post’s Michael Goodwin argues * High marks for Bloomberg's teacher-bonus plan(NYP) NYC voters trust the teachers union more than Mayor Bloomberg to protect students’ interests, but like the mayor’s $20,000 bonus idea to reward good educators, a new Q poll finds. * A Small School Thrives Within a Large One Full of Chall(NYT) * A decision in the NYSUT vs. SED lawsuit over teacher evaluations could be months away, despite the “shot clock” Cuomo set up in his budget proposal, which runs out next week.  

A Big Player Need to Turn the Senate Democratic is Sitting Out in 2012

Samuels not getting involved in 2012 elections(Albany Watch)  The two-time finance chairman for Democrats in the State Senate Bill Samuels says he's not helping anyone out this time around.

Shocking Cost Overruns on A PA Project. . .  Why Not Do Real Audits On the Other Agencies and Authorities?

Audit Calls Out Port Authority On "Dysfunctional" Leadership, Spending

PA lets WTC costs soar $4B (NYP) The Post shrugs off the release of a much-touted audit of the Port Authority’s cost overruns, saying the report contained no new surprise* Popgun report(NYP Ed) * Port Authority Called ‘Dysfunctional’ as Trade Center Costs Rise(NYT) * Trade Center Costs Seen Skyrocketing(WSJ)  .* New WTC Costs Billions More Than Previously Estimated, Audit Finds(NY1) * Audit slams Port Authority over skyrocketing cost  of World (NYDN)* World Trade Center cost rises by $4 billion(WABC) * The audit was released more quietly than expected – perhaps due to the fact that NJ Gov. Chris Christie is under scrutiny for patronage hires at the Port Authority. * The Post’s Fred Dicker first reported last October on the audit and its findings that would reflect negatively on former PA Executive Director Chris Ward. The actual text of the audit indicates that the review of the Port Authority’s operations didn’t actually start until December. * Consulting Firm Has Allowed Project's Costs To Soar TO $14B, Auditors Say(Huff Post)

Was the Absent Not Signed by Eepstein Mother?
In what is surely a coincidence, attendance at city public schools was off by about 20,000 yesterday, the same day as the Giants victory parade.

Senate GOP Redistricting Masters Seeing Gains In Queens Are Hard of Queens Pols
Queens rails against proposed legislative districts(NYDN) Queens residents and lawmakers packed into a public hearing Tuesday to rail against proposed legislative districts they claim fractures neighborhoods and dilutes their political voice.

Cover 911 Cancer Now
Jon Stewart’s 9/11 plea: Cover cancer for first responders (NYDN) Plea comes two weeks before feds meet to decide if cancer will be covered

Foreclosure Paperwork Delays

Push to Avert Foreclosures Hits Court Logjam(NYT) Court hearings meant to protect New York homeowners from foreclosure are hopelessly slowed by endless paperwork and requests for additional information.

Pinocchio MTA First Says They Forgot Train, Now "Says Act of God" Or Does the MTA Think They Are God?

MTA on fiasco: God did it(NYP) Transit officials have flip-flopped on whom to blame for stranding more than two dozen straphangers in a subway car during last winter’s blizzard. First, the agency acknowledged it “forgot about the train,” but now, it’s blaming it all on an “Act of God.”*  A Terrible Transportation Bill(WSJ) House Republicans want to starve mass transit while doing even more for Big Oil. The House bill needs revised. If it passes, the Senate must stop it. 


Casino Fight Over Control: Cuomo, Las Vegas, Native American Tribes and Malaysian Conglomerate

Albany Pols Get Ready for Campaign Contributions and Local TV $$$ From the Ads

Rivals Ready Onslaught to Sway Casino Debate(NYT) A 60-second radio ad running in Western New York in support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s bid to legalize casino gambling is the opening salvo in what is expected to be an onslaught of commercials and newspaper ads promoting and opposing the effort.The battle is already being waged not so much between pro- and anti-gambling forces as among rival factions favoring full-scale casinos. They include the state’s slot machine operators, Las Vegas gambling companies, three Native American tribes and a Malaysian conglomerate, as the anti-casino opposition has mostly been muted.


Reversing Position, Assembly Speaker Silver Drafts Bill To Allow Churches In City Schools(NY1) *  A bad move for religion’s sake(TU) The Times Union says the Senate’s bill allowing religious groups to transform public schools into houses of worship would violate the separation between church



 Feds may bend rule on church and birth control(NYDN)




Chairman Heavy Handed Rule of the Housing Authority 

Bruised Feelings or No, Chairman Applies Jolt to Housing Authority(NYT) John B. Rhea came to the city agency with extensive credentials in banking but no experience in housing, and proceeded to become a provocative figure. Rhea has been credited with shaking up the bureaucracy and securing desperately needed federal grants. But Mr. Rhea (pronounced REE-ah) has also touched off an exodus of seasoned senior officials, stirred criticism over his hiring of expensive consultants and developed a reputation for being brusque or worse.





The NYT says the City’s decision to end the Advantage program will hurt a vulnerable population and lead to more homeless shelter costs

Restore a Homeless-Prevention Program(NYT Ed) Advantage is one New York City program that has helped reduce homelessness. It should be revived and extended. More than 40,000 homeless people now spend the night in New York City shelters. Three-quarters of those are families, including about 17,000 children. Those numbers are about to rise. The city announced last week that it will immediately end what was once a $140 million rent-subsidy program that has helped keep more than 10,000 households in apartments and out of shelters. 




If 11 Times Square is 40% Empty How Does the City Expect to Complete the Nearby Hudson Yards Project and Gov to Build A Second Battery Park Replacing the Javits Center?

The #7 Subway Extension A Train to Nowhere

It's Hardly a Ball for 11 Times Square(WSJ) The risks of speculative office building are obvious at the 11 Times Square skyscraper. More than a year after it opened, the 1.1 million square-foot building is about 60% empty and unleased







Bribed to Stay In New York Tax Free

New York Wins the Battle for Fresh Direct(NYT) * Grocer FreshDirect Chooses to Remain in New York(WSJ) * Bronx residents, activists to weigh in Thursday on public(NYDN)* The Bronx beats out New Jersey for Fresh Direct HQ(WABC)  * Bettina Damiani of Good Jobs New York slammed the Bloomberg and Cuomo for sealing the deal for a new Fresh Direct operating plant in the Bronx before a public hearing tommorow, calling the $83.5 million deal a “mockery of the public process.”


 3 Brooklyn Hospitals in Trouble

Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center Tries To Diagnose Brooklyn's Hospital Woes(NY1)


DSK Panic Button
For Hotel Staff, Panic Buttons and Big Raises Hotel operators and employees agreed to a new labor contract that includes pay raises, full health coverage, larger pension contributions and – reflecting a post-DSK world – panic buttons for housekeepers (NYP)

 Roland Martin suspended from CNN after homophobic tweets during Super Bowl(NYDN)

Election 2012: Santorum Triple Play

Santorum whips Mitt in Colo., Minn. & Mo.(NYP) * Another Twist for G.O.P. as Santorum Fares Well(NYT) * Wins May Not Guarantee an Edge for Santorum(NYT) * Obama Tries to Ease Ire on Contraception(NYT) * Romney Campaign Tries to Keep an Optimistic Front(NYT) * Unleashed, Democrats Hunt for ‘Super PAC’ Donors(NYT) 

Another Campaign for Sale(NYT Ed) Obama reverses his position on the influence of special interests in campaigns and joins the sleazy “super PAC” money race. * Santorum Delivers Republican Stunner(WSJ) * Victories Deal Romney Blow(WSJ)  * Democrats Court Big Donor for PAC(WSJ) * The night was a tough one for Newt Gingrich, whose efforts to make the race a two-man contest have collapsed. * Santorum Delivers a GOP Stunner - King & Yadron, Wall Street Journal * A Repudiation of the Ostensible Front-Runner - Paul Begala, Daily Beast *  Romney Has Reason to Be Concerned - John Fund, National Review *  GOP Race Looks Like a Prolonged Battle - Nate Silver, New York Times * Contraception Issue Heats Up in GOP Race - Sarah Huisenga, CBS News *  RomneyCare: Worth Getting Worried About - Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard * Why Do Liberal Pundits Keep Playing Race Card? - Michael Meyers, NYDN * Romney Is No One's Apprentice - Donald Trump, Washington Times * Foreign Policy Team Preps Romney for World Stage - Scott Conroy, RCP *  Capitol Assets: Some legislators send millions to groups connected to their relatives (Wash Post) * Winners and losers from Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri(Wash Post) * In Santorum’s Sweep, Sign of G.O.P. Unease With Romney(NYT) * A Wealthy Backer Likes the Odds on Santorum(NYT)


Kelly: “I am thankful that the investigation established what I’ve known all along, that I am innocent of the allegations that were waged against me.”

Greg Kelly Accuser Named by New York Post(NY Magazine) *‘Mutual lust’ nixes claim by rape accuser(NYP) * New York Won’t Charge Greg Kelly With Rape(NYT) * Kelly's Son Won't Face Charges(WSJ) * Greg Kelly Will Not Be Charged With Rape, Officials Say(NY1)Greg Kelly will not be charged with rape(NYDN) * Manhattan DA Won’t File Criminal Charges Against Anchor (WCBS)* Manhattan DA will not charge Greg Kelly(WABC)* No Sex Assault Charges for Greg Kelly(NBC) * 

A veteran crisis PR specialist recommended that Kelly do a teary “catharsis” interview to help clear his name and repair his reputation.* The WSJ says the president is making “fools” – again – of goo-goos with his Super PAC about-face.* Greg Kelly Case Well-Handled by Prosecutors, Bloomberg Says - * Recently exonerated Good Day NY anchor Greg Kelly is back on the air Friday. 


Hare-raisin’ ‘perv’ (NYP) Teach-aide ‘porn pix’ with kids PS243 * Aide Accused of Taping Sexual Acts With Students(NYT) * School Aide Faces Child Porn Charges(WSJ) * Brooklyn School Aide Charged With Producing Child Pornography(NY1)* Teacher’s Aide Charged With Making Child Porn Inside Brooklyn(WCBS)

Cardinal Egan Criticized for Retracting Apology on Sexual Abuse Crisis(NYT)


Court meltdown for ‘Mob’ ex-wife (NYDN) * Tears over mob rat(NYP)

Law and Order

Sex horror at W Hotel(NYP) * ‘Drunken’ driver kills Queens man, 89 (NYP) * Judge Sets Trial Date in Alleged Plot to Kill Saudi Official(NYT) * Long Fight Ends Over Arrests for Loitering(NYT) * City Settles Loitering Suit for $15 Million(WSJ) * Wine Steward Admits to New York Art Theft(NYT)  * NJ man accused of posing as NYC police officer(WSJ) *Medical Examiner Rules Brooklyn Girl's Death A Homicide(NY1) * Principal ‘skimmer’ is busted (NYDN)* His brush with law may get him 3 yrs. (NYDN)* Phony Cop Arrested in NYC(foxn5) *Man Is Accused of Impersonating a Police Officer(NYT) F.B.I. Seeks More Abuse Victims at School(NYT) *Stray bullet strikes 81-year-old B'klyn woman in cheek(NYP) * Watch accused NYPD cop killer Lamont Pride's confession(NYP)


WaPo Offers Buyouts to Some Staffers(FishBowl)