Today At the City Council
City Council Members Wear Hoodies To Show Outrage About Trayvon Martin's Death(NY1) * Hooded Sweatshirt Protest Reaches City Council(NYT)
Fidler vs. Storobin Update - Stroobin 37 +
David Storobin’s lead over NYC Councilman Lew Fidler in the 27th SD special election has shrunk to just 37 votes – 83 votes less than the election night tally showing a 120-vote lead – after a day of ballot counting down in NYC. There are about 800 ballots left to count, according to a NYC Board of Elections source. Storobin’s campaign accused Fidler of engaging in “ethnic exclusion” by “objecting to almost all of the absentee ballots from the Russian election districts and with Russian last names.” * Fidler Campaign Manager Accuses Storobin of Running Illegal Mail-in Effort (http://gestetnerupdates.com) *
Claim of Fraud as Votes Are Counted in Brooklyn Special Election(NYT) By the end of the day, when about a third of the roughly 1,500 absentee ballots and affidavits were counted, Mr. Storobin’s lead was down to 37. The counting will continue on Thursday, and most likely on Friday, when lawyers for both campaigns are expected to appear in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn so that a judge can review the ballots in dispute, including 151 from Wednesday. * Storobin: Fidler Challanged 120 Ballots
A More Accepting PBA
New Prosecution Powers for CCRB
In the 60's Mayor Lindsay attempt to create a civilian complaint review board to prosecute police did not last long. The PBA collected signatures to force a ballot measure to bar civilians from having any oversight of police complaints. The ensuing campaign was bitter on all sides; the PBA made appeals to safety and fear, stating that with civilian oversight the police would not be able to do their job properly, and the forces in favor of civilian participation painted their opponents as bigots and racists. The ballot measure won overwhelmingly, and the board returned to its previous all-police makeup. History of the CCRB
An agreement between the NYPD and Civilian Complaint Review Board will allow substantiated cases of police wrongdoing to be tried by the board’s lawyers instead of police
NYC gave broad authority to the Civilian Complaint Review Board to prosecute NYPD misconduct cases – a shift that comes as the department faces criticism over its street tactics and handling of protests. * Police Review Board Given New Powers(WSJ) The city gave broad authority to the Civilian Complaint Review Board to prosecute police misconduct cases, a shift that comes as the department faces criticism over its street tactics and handling of protests. * Independent Agency Gets New Powers to Prosecute New York Police Officers(NYT) * Civilian Complaint Review Board Now Able To Prosecute NYPD(NY1) * CCRB to prosecute NYPD cops(NYDN)
Goodbye John We Hardly Knew Ye
“I’m going big — or I’m going home,” Liu told top allies, according to sources privy to the conversations. “In other words, he’s going to run for mayor or not run for office at all,” an insider said.
Possible Liu is in the Process of Making A Plea Deal With the Feds to Stay Out of Jail
Liu’s crapshoot (NYP) Nixing re-elex with eye on mayor bid Embattled Comptroller John Liu told key supporters that he definitely won’t seek re-election next year to remain the city’s chief financial officer, sources said. * NYC Comptroller John Liu has a new campaign treasurer.
Espada Will Say Accountant Did It
Feds on the at-tax vs. Pedro(NYP) April 15 is Tax Day for most people — but for former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr., and his son, it was cook-the-books day, federal prosecutors tried to show yesterday.* Espada Aide Is Inconsistent as She Testifies in Fraud Trial(NYT)The day’s testimony underscored the fact that much of the prosecution’s case rests on witnesses close to former State Senator Pedro Espada Jr.
Election 2012 Rangel tangle with ex-pal(NYP) * Quinn Woos Gays, Women(WSJ) City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s Standard Hotel fundraiser next week will draw on her support from women and gays, as she seeks to become the city’s first openly gay and first female mayor * Espaillat vs. Rangel inching closer to reality (C&S) * Espaillat declined to comment on Rangel agreeing to pay a $23,000 fine for using a rent-stabilized apartment as a campaign office. But the senator’s spokesman said Espaillat “can bring a bold, fresh perspective to Congress.” * Sen. Adriano Espaillat’s spokesman weighed in on Rep. Charlie Rangel’s campaign finance troubles.* Assemblyman Rory Lancman is really catering to the pro-Israel crowd. * EMILY’s List is backing Grace Meng’s campaign. * Lancman Nabs Another Union Nod(NYO) * Redistricting Plaintiffs File New Complaints Against LATFOR lines (C&S)* Crowley Nabs Firefighters Union (nyo) * It’s Congress or nothing for Assemblyman Rory Lancman, who won’t seek re-election to his current seat if he loses the NY-6 primary.* Rockland County's Hasidic community is the focal point in a redistricting lawsuit.* Redistricting Shakes Up Jewish Map (Jewish Week)* Rory Lancman was interviewed by Algemeiner.* Al Vann is holding what may be his last fundraiser ever.* Councilman Weighing Run for Comptroller(NYT) Councilman Daniel R. Garodnick has told key Democrats that he is almost certain to run whether or not embattled incumbent John C. Liu seeks re-election.
Park Slope Co-op Declares Am Yisrael Chai! Israel Boycott Blocked by Wide Margin
More than 1,600 members of the Park Slope Food Co-op gathered to vote on Tuesday night. Tensions had been running high among members at the venerable Park Slope institution over the issue of whether to stop selling Israeli-made products.
B’klyn food co-op nixes Israel boycott(NYP)* Food Co-op Rejects Effort to Boycott Israeli-Made Products(NYT)* Park Slope Food Coop votes down Israeli boycott(NYDN) * Park Slope Food Coop Votes Down Boycott Of Israeli Prod (WCBS)* Co-op votes down boycott referendum(Fox 5) * The Daily Show Roasts Park Slope Boycott Politics(NYO) * ‘The Daily Show’ Visits the Food Co-op (NYT)
Banning Common Words is the Same As Burning Books
Its Not About DOE Being Nuts, Its About Freedom
DOE ‘thought’ police(Goodwin, NYP) the Department of Education is banning references to wealth, dinosaurs, birthdays, rap music, Halloween, crime, divorce, poverty, religious holidays and scores of other common words and subjects in new tests. It calls the 50 taboo topics “unacceptable,” in documents provided to companies competing to revamp city English, math, science and social-studies tests.* New city education budget avoids layoffs, school cuts(NYDN) * Schools Will Be Protected from Cuts Next Year, Walcott (NYT) * SAT's to institute stricter security measures(NYDN) * School pension $care Pension costs are expected to reach nearly $3 billion in the coming fiscal year — up fivefold since Mayor Bloomberg took office* City Council hearings: More cuts to schools and even larger classes next year as contracts grow fatter??(NYC PS Parents)
School Administrator Resigns After Inquiry Into Wife's Job(NYT) * Educrat axed after getting wife a job(NYDN)
rRatner Jury Going into the 4th Day Battling, As Media Continues Black Out
Jury to begin fourth day of deliberations in Yonkers trial(Atlantic Yard Report)
After three days--not quite full days, since yesterday ended at 2:30 pm--a federal jury is still weighing corruption charges against former Yonkers City Council Member Sandy Annabi and her political mentor, Zehy Jereis.
As noted by the Journal News, the jury yesterday "asked today for the testimony of Jereis and former co-defendant Anthony Mangone, who claimed to have passed along a $20,000 bribe to Jereis in 2006 to influence Annabi's vote on the Longfellow housing project in her district."
There was no such claimed bribe regarding Forest City Ratner's Ridge Hill project, but prosecutors argued that the stream of payments from Jereis over seven years induced Annabi to vote as he wished. Defense attorneys pointed to the absence of any agreement to do so, and argued that Annabi changed her vote because of concessions.
On Monday, Hezi Aris of the Yonkers Tribune described what could be gleaned by courtroom observers:
Shouting matches that seemed to give rise from passionate retelling of events and diminution of opposite minded juror's perspectives espoused broke the decibel level often times in the late morning into the mid afternoon, subsiding after 3:00 p.m., or so. While the expressions were loud, they were not discernible. No inference could be deduced.The Flacks and Media Distracts From the Ratner Lobbyist Trial
Quinn Vote on Prevailing Wage is Buy Union Votes Says the Daily News
NY1 Online: Local 32BJ President Makes The Case For Prevailing Wage(NY1) * City Council Speaker Chris Quinn shouldn’t pass the prevailing wage bill (NYDN Ed) A sop to the unions isn’t what the city treasury needs * Council Likely To Approve "Prevailing Wage Act" * City Council Approves Wage Bill and Condemns Florida Killing(NYT)
City Will Pay $$$ for Racial Discrimination At the NYFD
City rages at FDNY bias bill(NYP) The federal court monitor appointed to oversee hiring at the Fire Department has submitted a $310,758 bill for 53 days of work * Ex-Firefighter Hurt in 1989 Still Fights for Full Pension(NYT)
The Bad Governor Taught Him A Lesson
Gov. Cuomo's carrot-and-stick approach is key to his success in Albany (NYDN) Cuomo has learned from the mistakes of Eliot Spitzer's style of governing. Writes the NYT’s Tom Kaplan: “Given the constraints created by a divided Legislature and a down economy, Mr. Cuomo and lawmakers seemed content simply to have come up with a balanced budget without the usual Albany brinkmanship.” If everything is passed by Friday, as legislative leaders predict, it will be the first time since 1983 that the budget was finalized before the April 1 deadline.NYP Cuomo Made the Budget Boring Again. And Good For Him
With Battles Over, State Budget Set(WSJ) * Cuomo Backs Release of Teacher Evaluations(WSJ) * Cuomo Touts Second On-Time Budget Agreement(NY1)* Opines the NY Post: “Say this for Cuomo: He’s made Albany boring again. And good for him.” (To be clear, though, the paper still doesn’t approve of December’s tax code reform deal, which it calls the millionaire’s tax, even though all parties involved continue to insist it was a middle-class tax cut). - A host of victories for NYC, including a fully-funded MTA capital plan ($770 million), more aid for schools, a plan backed by Mayor Bloomberg for youthful offenders to be incarcerated close to home and not in upstate juvenile facilities. A three-year phase out, beginning in 2013, of the growth in annual Medicaid costs that are now paid by localities. The state will eventually pick up the tab.* The Times-Union urges Cuomo to set up a health exchange, which it deems a good idea regardless of whether “Obamacare” is struck down by the Supreme Court:* But CSEA President Danny Donohue hates the deal, calling it a “a self-serving sound byte agreement that ignores the horrendous consequences it will inflict on working New Yorkers.” * Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature both gave things up in the new State budget deal. * Senate Dems Try A New Tactic On Hostiles: Announcing It(YNN)* Dean Skelos and Shelly Silver on whet's left to be done this year. * Dan Halloran may have made peace with a hostile publisher. * Republicans won’t fight if Governor Cuomo simply orders the health care exchange.
Group spent $12M to lobby gov’s agenda
Group Allied With Cuomo Tops Albany Spending List(NYT) A coalition of business leaders linked with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo spent nearly $12 million on lobbying last year, according to a report. * Lobbying is recession-proof, especially if you’re advocating on something supported by Cuomo.* Cuomo and the pro-Cuomo Committee to Save NY “have long insisted that they do not coordinate with each other,” writes John Eligon, “though the committee has almost uniformly supported the governor’s positions.”* Lobbyists reaping $220M bonanza (TU)
NYC”s mass transit system is set to order more than 300 subway cars to be built in Plattsburgh, keeping 500 jobs alive. The new subway cars aren’t scheduled to come on line for several years, however, because the MTA is brushing up against its debt limit.
Dispute over Bedford-Stuyvesant’s historic Slave Theater is reignited with trespassing arrest of ‘caretaker’ (NYDN) Self-described 'caretaker' Clarence Hardy was busted Saturday after breaking into the Slave Theater, which had been padlocked by the city
Bronx Museum to Drop Admission Fees(WSJ) The Bronx Museum of the Arts is eliminating all admission fees in an effort to overcome a cost barrier in the low-income South Bronx. * Bronx Museum to offer free admission; ‘adopts’ 40 neighborhood (NYDN)
Robert Caro on why mayors should live in Gracie Mansion: “There’s a sense of place there.”
Election 2012 Battle of addition: 152 days until GOP convention
Ron Paul’s Campaign Searches for Answers(NYT) * Gingrich, Strapped for Cash, Lays Off Third of Staff (ABC) * Mitt Romney Cracks To Leno That Rick Santorum Can Be His ‘Press Secretary’ * Is Obama Leading Senate Dems to Slaughter? - Dick Morris, The Hill * Newt Scales Back Campaign, Focuses on Tampa - Shear & Gabriel, NY Times * Santorum PAC Lays Out State-by-State Strategy - Jon Ward, Huff Post * George H.W. Bush to endorse Mitt Romney(NYP) * Rick Santorum is doing well with conservative women.
Supreme Court Hears Health Care Mandate
Contingency Plans Are Few if Insurance Mandate Falls(NYT) * In Court, Sharp Questions on Health Care Law’s Mandate(NYT) * The Supreme Court’s Momentous Test(NYT Ed) * Justices Question Health Law(WSJ) * High Court Greets Mandate With Skepticism - Savage & Levey, LA Times * Court Poised to Defeat Law with Echo of Obama - Toby Harnden, Daily Mail * Why the Health Care Law Might Stand - Eva Rodriguez, Washington Post * Election Will Go Nuclear If Mandate Struck Down - Peter Foster, Telegraph *b A Bad Day for Unlimited Govt at the High Court - Wall Street Journal * Justices Ask if Health Law Is Viable Without Mandate(NYT) * Justices Ask if Health Law Is Viable Without Mandate(NYT)