Albany's Democracy Killers
Trained Monkey Committee
There was such a sad disconnect at the redistricting hearing in Brooklyn the other day. Speaker after speaker mostly community activists nervously pleaded with the committee to stop dividing their community. It was very telling that not one pol was at the hearing. There was no need for them to be, the fix was in and the incumbents knew at the end of the hearings they would get the district they need to get easily reelected. The lines are written by Silver, Skelos and the elected officials themselves. The stooges on the redistricting committee are actors picked for their ability to follow directions and sit unmoved and uncaring when citizens plea to them to give them democracy. Opponents Clash At Meeting On New Legislative Districts(NY1)
The Russian Get Screw Again Cut in 4
The Russians who are not as well organized or united as the Asians were there pleading not to be divided into 4 state senate districts. Russian leaders Ben Akselrod and Ari Kagan after explaining with great passion how there community would be hurt by the new districts, not a single question was asked by the committee members how the situation could be fixed. No questions were ask either when the Greenpoint community explained they community was divided. In fact not a single question was asked by the committee members on how to fix a problem that the speakers were pointing out.
A Russian Tragedy After 10 Years of Winning Elections the Russians Still Don't Get A District or Respect. It is A New Russian Cold War Against GOP (True News)
Democracy Lost And the Media Never Noticed
Common cause was there in a cover you ass type of move pushing their silly redistricting lines. Their group left right after they leader gave her testimony at the beginning of the Brooklyn hearing. Only one elderly lady, a patrician type from Brooklyn Heights got it. She started her testimony with the statement that the committee members should be ashamed of themselves for killing democracy in New York. Except for Asian media not a single member of the main stream press attended the Brooklyn hearing. * Dem election officials ask for fewer signatures(TU) * Nightmare Scenarios Spawned By Prospect Of 3 Primaries(YNN) * Three primary election dates could create some crazy electoral scenarios.
Is It A Constitutional Right For An Incumbent to Get The District They Want?
Sen. Velmanette Montgomery says the Senate GOP redidstricting plan that drew her into a potential primary with Sen. Eric Adams “borders on harassment.”
Uncle Bloomberg (Sweater) Gives Us A Soft BudgetNo Councilmember Will Demand That The City Budget Be Cut to Fully Fund the Pension Fund
Bloomberg will be able to balance next year's budget because pension costs are being spread over 22 years(NYP) * Wing-and-Prayer Budget(NYP) The Post says Bloomberg should have cut spending in his new budget rather than rely on one-shot revenue to balance it, but still trusts him more than the City Council or his potential successors * As Fiscal Cloud Lifts, Mayor Offers a Budget Free of Tax Increases or Broad Layoffs(NYT) * Budget Plan Has Less Pain(WSJ) *Bloomberg's Budget Proposal Avoids Layoffs, But Cutbacks Loom(NY1) * Bloomberg says pensions and fringe benefits for uniformed workers are going to cost the city more next year than their actual salaries. * Oddo said Bloomberg's proposed budget is less painful than others have been, but it raises a "huge red flag" about property-tax bills next year. [Judy Randall] * Bloomberg isn't focusing enough on health care costs, which are tied to union contracts he will negotiate with unions shortly. [Nicole Gelinas] * Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the earnings assumptions New York City is using for its pension funds are "laughable."
The New Tax Collector Man
In City Finances, a Subtle Star, Uncredited(NYT) Traffic tickets the best collector of city revenue. The Times’ Jim Dwyer says the New York City budget relies heavily on fines through traps like a bus lane in lower Manhattan, where “one senior official in state government”
Teacher Budget Uncertainties
Truth Justice and Cleaning Up Albany
Ethics Commission Quietly Names New Director(NYT) * Ethics Pick Questioned(WSJ) At the urging of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, one of his most trusted deputies was chosen to run the state's overhauled ethics commission, a move that raised questions about the panel's independence.Biben was chosen to run New York’s new ethics commission only after a search committee member appointed by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos switched his vote in her favor *Ethically Speaking-Careful What You Imbiben(Willets Point United) * NYPIRG: Big Money Flows To Cuomo(YNN)
Grandeau Talk Positive Yesterday About Biben Pick?
Cuomo Critic to Advise Port Authority(WSJ) David Grandeau, the state’s former top lobbying regulator who has regularly criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, was hired as an ethics consultant to the Port Authority * Former Lobbying Commission Executive Director Dave Grandeau, who lauded Biben’s selection, will make $10,000 a month for up to a year advising the Port Authority on “updating and amending” its ethics code.
U.S. Jobless Rate Falls to 3-Year Low, Report Shows(NYT) ** Tom DiNapoli is aggressively pushing back on Andrew Cuomo’s plan to add a sixth pension tier.
Bronx: Rangel No Juice
"Before he was stripped of his power, Congressman Rangel would have been in an excellent position to serve constituents in Co-op City. Today, Congressman Rangel's power is limited, and many people in the Bronx know very little about him," a Co-Op City pastor said. [Michael Horowitz]
Bronx ADA who allegedly had drunk-driving cases fixed axed from job(NYP) * Bronx Prosecutor’s Outlaw Lifestyle Finally Catches Up With her(WCBS)
Even Dead Pols Have Campaign Committees in NY
‘Ghost’ Committees Continue To Haunt NY Politics(YNN) NYPIRG spreadsheet whiz Bill Mahoney put together a list of 43 so-called “ghost committees” – still-active campaign committees belonging to former lawmakers, some of whom are no longer even alive.
A proposal to limit the size of chain stores and banks on the Upper West Side aims to preserve locally-owned businesses
Retail Limits in Plan for the Upper West Side(NYT) In the debate matching chain stores, banks and pharmacies vs. quirky one-of-a-kind shops, city officials and West Siders ponder what this plan may mean to “the soul of the neighborhood.” * Upper West Side Mom & Pops Get Boost from Planning
Fancy Williamsburg Restaurants Draw From Manhattan
Eateries Cross the Bridge to Williamsburg(WSJ) In a New York real-estate fantasy come true, young foodies driven from the East Village by rising apartment rents are seeing many of their old restaurant favorites appear in their new neighborhood, Williamsburg.
Eric Schneiderman Suing Three Major Banks For ‘Deceptive And Fraudulent Foreclosure Practices(NYO) * N.Y. Sues Banks Over Registry System(Fox 5)
Boston Mayor Tom Menino and NY Mayor Bloomberg Anti Gun Super Bowl Commercial
Bloomberg Jets, Cuomo Burger At Rock Center
While Mayor Michael Bloomberg will take his private jet to the Super Bowl and a TV appearance with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels on Sunday, Cuomo will hold a party for 150 people at Bill’s Bar and Burger in Rockefeller CenterMoguls soar to Super Bowl (NYP) * Bloomberg will take his private jet to Indianapolis on Super Bowl Sunday to do “Meet the Press” and take in the big game.
Yankee Parking Biggest Bond Failure Every in NYC Bond
The firm that built and manages the new Yankee Stadium parking garages can’t repay $237 million in tax-exempt bonds the Bloomberg administration arranged for it four years ago, new financial records show, and may turn into one of the biggest failures in decades of bonds issued by a New York City agency.
MTA Bond Fee Rip Off MTA Borrowing Sheds Light On Albany’s “Bond Issuance Fee” Rip-Off(Reinvent Albany)
More Subway Cell Phone Service
Cellphone, Wi-Fi Service Headed for More Subway Stations(WSJ) * Subway stations staying clean: Survey(NYDN) * Straphangers Campaign surveys subway platforms(WABC)