Monday, March 12, 2012

Albany Drops News After Midnight District Lines And Swiss Cheese Constitutional Amendment

Albany Fears Federal Court Which Will Do Congressional Redistricting. Will Take Over Drawing Senate and Assembly Also

Albany Rushes To Protect Their Asses

Legislative leaders released bills for new Senate and Assembly district lines late last night, as well as plans for a constitutional amendment to reform the process in 2022. Albany Rushes to Come Up With Maps Before the Federal Court Takes Over Drawing the Senate and Assembly Lines Also. Federal Court Meets Monday Morning to Announce Final Congressional lines. The three-judge panel that appointed US Magistrate Judge Roanne Mann special master over redistricting has asked legislative leaders to submit an update on their progress with the Senate and Assembly lines by Thursday, which is also Mann’s deadline for her own final proposal. The new LATFOR legislative lines are out (in bill form). No maps yet, but the redistricting constitutional amendment for 2022 is also out. State legislative leaders are moving to closer to a redistricting deal, although Albany insiders say Andrew Cuomo is holding out for the prospect of an pension reform to be included in the deal.. "i hope the legislators who vote 4 it r thrown out of office" Koch * Editorial: The congressional lines drawn by a judge make sense and legislators shouldn't be part of the redistricting process. [Post-Star] *Cuomo points to statute, to serve as backup to constitutional amendment, as sticking point in negotiations. Cuomo: "They (the Legislature) made progress on the lines." Calls them far from perfect. * Gov Cuomo, Legislature headed to
Big Deal, or Big Ugly: Redistricting, pension reform, budget talks in works.* Cuomo: The State Lines Look Better, Magistrate Lines Are Just ‘Tweaks’(YNN)Albany Releases Full State Senate and Assembly Maps(NYO)

New Senate Maps Few Changes
"Cuomo attempting to put himself on the side of reform while not actually confronting Albany's power structure."* Ruben Diaz Pulls The Curtain Back On Redistricting(NYO) * On Redistricting, Cuomo Criticizes Courts(NYO) * n  New bill & amend not independent - permanently ensconces l * Democratic Attorney: Redistricting Amendment Brings Back Prison-Based Gerrymandering(C&S) * New York Legislators Propose a Revised Redistricting Plan (NYT) At a Rally to Boost Black and Latino Representation in Congress Espaillat, Cautions Against Redistricting "Crakers"  * Gianaris On Amendment: ‘Epic Fail’ (YNN) * "Legislature’s redistricting plan remains largely indecipherable to the general public"-* NYPIRG will not back the constitutional amendment, it says in statement. Insufficiently stringent criteria for districts. * NYPIRG splits w/LWVNY & CU opposes constitutional amendment bc of deviation issue. Here's the goo-goo org's statement And Here Are The Revised Senate Districts(YNN)* Azi NYS Senate Dem spox re: GOP maps: "virtually no change from their previous proposal...cannot rationally be considered a better product"* A Democratic attorney argued the new redistricting amendment would protect prison-based gerrymandering. * How accurate is Governor Cuomo's "98%" claim? *Reformers’ Hopes Fade on Albany Redistricting Deal (NYT) Cuomo, who had threatened to veto any boundaries drawn by lawmakers instead of an independent panel, says it is now too late for an independent process. 

 It’s the most devious Legislature in America,” Mr. Koch said. “We tried our best, and the ghouls won." * Sen. Krueger on Redistricting No real change

Why Are These Lines Secret?
Cuomo: Magistrate’s congressional lines ’98 percent’ the same as legislature’s proposals (WNYC)
Where are the Assembly/Senate Revised Maps?
Tired of waiting for GOP, Senate Democrats release maps, saying "Happy Sunshine Week" Here's the maps: * Senate Dems took some ironic glee of pointing out that it's open-government Sunshine Week, but LATFOR hasn't released the lines yet.

A Fake Independent Redistricting Committee

After one years and spending $1 million dollars Albany's Redistricting Committee never did produce congressional lines. The federal court did their work in 1 week. Why did Albany spend so much time coming up with the wording and act in secret to write a constitutional amendment? Because they wanted to leave final say on how their district lines would be draw in their hands.  * The Constitutional Redistricting Amendment (NYO)

The Post argues that machine politics, not gerrymandering, accounts for why a majority of incumbents are re-elected, and that the brouhaha over redistricting maps matters very little. 

Why the maps don’t matter(NYP) Citizens Union reported last year, 96 percent of incumbents in Albany won re-election between 1999 and 2010. New York’s ballot-access laws “prevent many candidates, in particular less-funded candidates, from appearing on the ballot,” CU says. It calls this state’s laws “some of the most arcane in the country.”An Update on New York Redistricting(NYT) * Pols moving on redistrict plans (NYDN) 

 NY's Corrupt Political Parties (True News)


The Goo Goos At War on Redistricting 

Citizens Union and League of Woman Voters Support Albany's Self Serving Redistricting Amendment

Citizens Union exec dir notes "this position has the support of both major political parties." hear that   * , League of Women Voters throw support behind amendment * in endorsing plan unveiled at midnight, CU spox Aelx Camarda says new proposal would ensure 'historic transparency' * CU's Dadey: "For some out there to continue to criticize this solid reform proposal, I think enables the continued dysfunction Albany." * Dadey: "Talking about it is not good government. Good government is about enacting reform." * CU's Dadey: "For some out there to continue to criticize this solid reform proposal, I think enables the continued dysfunction Albany." * any talk of eliminating power to expand NYS Senate? CU Dadey's said it was discussed, but not agreed upon by the parties * Goo-Goos At Odds Over Constitutional Amendment (YNN)

Goo Goo Common Cause Lerner Wars Against CU and League of Woman on Fake Redistricting Proposals

Common Cause's Lerner: "The proposed amendment is very disappointing and, in fact, somewhat scandalous." * Common Cause's Lerner: "Reform in this redistricting cycle now lies with the governor's veto pen." * Lerner: Elimination of "block on border" rule (for the Assembly only) would enable manipulation by party bosses in NYC. *RT : Common Cause's Lerner: Proposed redistricting amendment "is not even reform, let alone an improvement" * Susan Lerner refers to Cuomo's statements on redistricting during a radio interview today as "bizarre" * ...that the Legislature is supposed to work for us that reform is not what the Legislature is willing, grudgingly, to put up with" S.Lerner * "New York Civic 2day joins Mayor Koch in once again calling 4 2 honor his pledge 2 veto the Legislature’s gerrymandered lines"


Election 2012  State Senate Explores Run for Congressional Seat(WSJ) * Andrew J. Hawkins takes a look at Senate hopeful Wendy Long’s undergraduate career with the Dartmouth Review, a right-wing organ that was accused of publishing racist and homophobic articles.* State Independence Party Backs Gillibrand(YNN) *Senate GOP Carpet Bombs Lew Fidler(NYO)
RUDY GIULIANI ENDORSES STOROBIN FOR STATE SENATE - Russian TV Ad(Russian) * Cut Out of Congressional District, Hakeem Jeffries Continues Campaign(NYO) * Wendy Long’s opposition to Sonia Sotomayor may hurt her among Latinos.* Rep. Turner considering a challenge to Sen. Gillibrand(NYP)

The Daily News Says Tallies By Scanners Machines Leave Questions. . . Wait All Votes in NYS Are Now Counted by Scanners

Paper ballots tallied by scanner machines leave too many questions  The News says the city Board of Elections needs to improve transparency as it investigates how hundreds of votes from the Bronx were miscounted in the 2010 primary and general election

NYP Continues Hamming Corruption Connected to Meeks

Jamaica money pit(NYP) wo years after it opened as an “incubator” for small businesses, the $2.5 million Jamaica Export Centre — built with mostly taxpayer cash — is virtually deserted. Among the pols who showed up for the ribbon cutting were Rep. Gregory Meeks, state Assemblywoman Michele Titus and City Councilman Leroy Comrie, Democrats who each secured cash for the project.

Mr. Espada Goes to Court
Ex-Lawmaker Espada Prepares For Federal Embezzlement Trial(WCBS) * Pedro Espada Jr. federal trial begins this week(WABC)


DiNapoli Blasts Klein Pension Blast At Him As Distraction of His Own Corruption

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli suggested Sen. Jeff Klein criticized the comptroller’s stewardship of the state pension fund to deflect from his own troublesome news cycle. 

DiNapoli suggests Klein criticized pension fund fees to distract(TU)

 DiNapoli pays Wall St. 163% more as pension fund flops



 Media: What Corruption Trial?

Media is Downplays Corruption Trial To Protect Politically Connected Developer Bruce Ratner Who Pocketed $750 Million in Government Funds to Build the Nets New Stadium

Media Corruption Cover-Up

As for Forest City, its efforts to win approval have been detailed at great length in the trial. Here's the bottom line. To push the project, it hired the most powerful people in Westchester—namely Al Pirro (ex-husband of former Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro) and Mr. Spano. When the firm had already invested some $78 million in Ridge Hill and the council seemed unwilling to approve its plan, Forest City became desperate. It hired Mr. Mangone and eventually gave Mr. Jereis a no-show job in hopes they could change Ms. Annabi's vote. That's just what she did.

NYP Does Not State That We Learned About Libous Pay to Play During the Ratner Lobbyists Corruption Trial

Sen. Libous & $on(NYP Ed) Albany pols with a penchant for taking good care of themselves, a Westchester County court, where the corruption trial against a Yonkers politician unearthed some pregnant details regarding state Sen. Libous. Disbarred lawyer Anthony Mangone testified last week that Deputy Majority Leader Libous pushed for a $150,000-a-year gig for his son at Mangone’s firm. In return, according to testimony, Libous promised he would steer heaps of government business to Mangone’s practice — that he “was going to get [Mangone] so much work you would need to add a wing to your firm.”

Media Blackout of Corruption Trial

Crain's columnist David: Forest City's getting a break from light coverage of Yonkers corruption trial (Atlantic Yards Review) Crain's New York Business columnist (and former editor and Atlantic Yards cheerleader) Greg David implicitly criticizes his own publication and nearly all the New York press by pointing to the light coverage of the Yonkers corruption trial.

In Forest City in the woods in Yonkers: Developer's reputation takes a hit in Westchester scandal, David writes:

One of the most eye-opening exposés of political corruption in New York is getting very little attention—and at least one local player, Forest City Ratner, can only be relieved about that because the developer's reputation is taking a big hit. The revelations are coming in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where Sandy Annabi, a Yonkers city councilwoman, and Zehy Jereis, a political operative and Forest City consultant, are on trial for bribery, extortion and conspiracy. The charges say that Mr. Jereis bribed Ms. Annabi, his cousin, to change her vote and swing the council in favor of Forest City's $842 million Ridge Hill development in that city. Only the Journal News of Westchester has covered the case in detail.
David notes the defendants' claims, as well as the testimony by key witness Anthony Mangone, who has "shone a spotlight on two powerful Republicans," former Sen. Nick Spano, who was part of "a vote-fraud scheme more than a decade ago" and state Sen. Tom Libous, who got Mangone's law firm to hire his won.


Will Obama Replace Treasury's Geithner With Bloomberg?  Will Bloomberg Leave the Mayoralty Early if the President Calls Him to the Aid of Our County?

At Lunch, Bloomberg and Obama Discuss FutureBloomberg had a long, previously undisclosed lunch with President Barack Obama at the White House a few weeks ago, but aides close to each man said the possibility of the mayor joining the president’s administration did not come up. & obama mtg: aides say MRB might endorse a 2012 candidate.* Bloomberg On Lunch With Obama, Working In The White House And His Potential Presidential Endorsement(NYO)



Bloomberg’s favorite java joint doesn’t get any special perks when it comes to inspections

Lighten up, Mr. Mayor! Bloomberg's coffee joint on upper East Side cries over ‘B’ grade (NYDN Ed) Nectar Coffee Shop blames 'cracked egg in refrigerator' and overzealous members of Mike's minions


Labor leaders concede some pension reform is inevitable. Just don't call it Tier 6

Truth behind union ‘resistance’ to reform (NYP) Top labor sources tell the Post’s Fred Dicker that Cuomo will likely win his fight for a new pension tier, and that union opposition to the measure is largely driven by CSEA President Danny Donohue’s quest for the presidency of the national American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees * Cuomo’s Pension Plan Rejected by New York Assembly Democrats (Bloomberg) * Analysis: NY's pension headaches to endure(Newsday) * The Assembly Democrats’ budget rejected Cuomo’s proposal to raise the retirement age of public workers and offer a 401(k)-style option in Tier 6, but pension reform talks are underway and “pretty intensive,” according to Majority Leader Ron * Canestrari. Cuomo basically just said he would dare legislature to shut down the government over Tier VI in * Cuomo: "If they really believe in their position that we don't need pension reform, fine. We'll do the extenders." * CSNY Starts Air Campaign For Tier Six(YNN) * AFL-CIO Reignites Pension Reform Ad War(YNN)* AFL-CIO rep confirms tip that Tier Six ad war re-commences starting tomorrow.

AFSCME Plans To Greet Albany Lawmakers With Anti-Pension Reform Inflatable Pig Protest




The Senate and Assembly are expected to pass their respective one-house budget bills, officially starting the march toward an early budget – perhaps the earliest in modern memory. * he Assembly is also fighting to restore anti-smoking funding. (AP) * tate legislators will shift $200 million in education money from competitive grants, as Cuomo has designated, to general school aid. (TU)

Cuomo Isn’t Sure About Abortion Rights Bill He Previously Supported(NYO) * More Liberal Cuomo On Tap?(YNN) * The Senate GOP’s budget isn’t kind to the MTA. * Or to Governor Cuomo’s reach for more budgeting power



Sunshine Week

Cuomo, who promised to have the most transparent administration in NY history, is often late filling FOIL requests and threw out his AG schedules even though the TU had a long-standing request to view them.* Cuomo's record on transparency is "mixed." [Democrat and Chronicle]

The More Political Dolan Era Begins

Cardinal Dolan fumes: Albany 'burned' us on gay nuptials! (NYDN) GOPers told Church bill had no shot to pass. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who plans on meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders today, said the church felt “burned” by Senate Republicans who voted for gay marriage last year. Cuomo is scheduled to meet with the NYS Catholic Conference delegation, in Albany for its annual lobby day led by newly-minted Cardinal Timothy Dolan * "Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today designated March 12-18, 2012 as Timothy Cardinal Dolan Week in New York State."



City gets a 'super' big F  (NYDN) The city's high-profile reform effort to place “super principals” in high-needs schools has been quietly put on ice. * Nonfiction Curriculum Enhanced Reading Skills, Study Finds(NYT) * A high school in the Bronx is trying to keep out from their building a charter school that specializes on students who have had run-ins with the criminal justice system


OWS Movement Badly Run, Disjointed, Off of Message

Wall Street Protesters Complain of Police Surveillance(NYT) As organizers plan new demonstrations, they worry that they are under scrutiny with the same controversial methods used in Muslim communities.

Cement Does Not Make A Board Walk

Coney Island Boardwalk Faces a Vote(WSJ) * Controversial Coney Is. concrete boardwalk plan approved(NYP)


NYCHA wants residents with too much space to downgrade

Alone in Public Housing, With a Spare Bedroom (NYT) Getting a tenant to downsize from a two-bedroom she doesn’t need anymore is a delicate problem for the New York City Housing Authority.

Election 2012:  Romney edges ahead of Obama in new ABC/WashPost poll. 49-47. Why? POTUS smells gas

GOP bigs declare: Mitt’s it (NYP)Romney’s rivals down for the ‘count’ * Tight G.O.P. Primaries Suggest Unpredictable South(NYT) * As Rivals Divide, Romney Gains(WSJ) * Romney turns 65 today; he’ll spend his birthday campaigning in Alabama.* The AFL-CIO plans to endorse Obama tomorrow. Labor leaders say they will mount their biggest campaign effort, with far more union members than ever before – at least 400,000 – working to re-elect the president and counter the GOP super PACs. * Labor to Mount Big Campaign for Obama - Steven Greenhouse, NY Times * As Gas Prices Rise, Obama's Ratings Fall - Balz & Cohen, Washington Post * Mitt May Recapture Upscale Whites for GOP - Michael Barone, Examiner * Catholicism Is Not the Tea Party at Prayer - E.J. Dionne, Washington Post * ABC News/Wash Post: Romney 33, Santorum 29, Gingrich 14, Paul 12 * Poll: Tight race for Obama vs. Romney, Santorum(CNN) * Poll: Romney moves up in Mississippi(CNN) * Mitt Romney flip-flopped on catfish*Obama Sees Sharp Drop in Approval Rate, New Poll Finds(NYT)



War journo’s funeral today(NYP)

Why the $2 Million Dollar Bail?  Are They Trying to Get Her to Talk?

Attorney for 'Madam' puts own condo up for collateral so she can make bond (NYP) * Madam pal may give up (NYDN) * Lawyers Debate Bail In Case Of Accused UES Madame(NY1)

2 suspects ID'd in connection with Chelsea floral designer slay(NYP)

Police Seek Bronx Bodega Shooter Seen On Surveillance Video(NY1)

Law and Order

Brooklyn teen on probation 'confesses' to killing girlfriend's 2-year-old(NYP) *Qns. standoff ends in suicide(NYP) * Jailbreak jitters(NYP) * Rat? What rat?(NYP) * Boy’s Death a Homicide; Man Charged(NYT) *Woman's Boyfriend Charged in Baby's Death(WSJ) * NYPD Arrests Teen After Death Of Brooklyn Toddler(WCBS) * Parents, Son Dead in Murder-Suicide(WSJ) * Brooklyn boy's death ruled a homicide(WSJ)* Q&A: Legal issues in NYPD Muslim spying program(WSJ) * Gay-threat lawsuit vs. MTA(NYP)* Man Shot To Death In the Bronx(Fox 4) * Rutgers Webcam Trial Continues Monday(Fox 5) * Gunman Fires Shots At Police(Fox 5) * Suspect kills himself in Queens standoff(WABC) * Federal prosecutors take over murder case from Staten Island'sDA(SI Advance)