Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Some Independent Commission: If the Legislature doesn’t like what this group does, the whole shebang goes back to — the Legislature.

Albany's Ugly Night Deals Ongoing Looks like there is going to be another big ugly as the Governor and legislative leaders appear to be set to make a deal on a host of issues including redistricting and a constitutional amendment reforming the process, pension reform, a DNA database, a consitutional amendment on gambling – as well as a budget deal.NY to OK up to 7 casinos, expand DNA and lower future pension cost in deals(NYP) * Cuomo, Legislature Working On Mega Deal To Cover Redistricting, Casinos, Pension Reform(WCBS) 

The News Apalachin Commission Divides Up the Loot From Albany
Sources: Agreement On Teacher Evaluations, Including NYC, Also Possible Redistricting - Cuomo's Ace in the "Whole"… Man, he's squeezing deals out...* Here’s The Language Of Redistricting Commission/Gambling Bills (City and State) * Gambling bill allows "casino gambling at no more than seven facilities as authorized and prescribed by the Legislature" As the Assembly starts debating their gerrymandered maps, 83 of the 150 seats are empty. * Cuomo, Lawmakers Reach Mega-Deal on Pensions, Gambling (WSJ) * Cuomo's 401(k) lives: it will be an option for new, high-earning state workers who are not union members, source says. * 401(k)-Type Plan For "High Earner" Non-Union Employees: Source (NYDN) * Cuomo Official: Redistricting Plan Has Several Hammers(NYDN) * Senate Majority Leader Skelos: reform bill gives 2 appointments each on independent panel to Sen/Assembly majority/minority. * Assembly passes redistricting lines 96-40, unofficial tally. o clarify, Smith only senator among Latino and black lawmakers voting yes for lines.* "I've never been happy with any piece of legislation in the 27 years I've been here." -- Vito Lopez * amendment passes Assembly 117 to 12. * Denny Farrell: "This is a back door way of trying to get term limits." Votes in the negative.* Cuomo Legalized casinos have the potential to create thousands of good-paying jobs while keeping tourism, revenue in NYS:* Plan to Reduce Pensions for New Public Workers Takes Shape in Albany(NYT)

NYT Says:  "When it comes to protecting their cushy jobs, Albany’s lawmakers will never keep their promises of reform. Mr. Cuomo must keep his."

Gov. Cuomo’s Word(NYT Ed) If the governor does not veto the politically warped and self-serving election maps, New Yorkers will be stuck with gerrymandered districts for another decade. The Times picks apart Cuomo’s rational for not vetoing the Legislature’s gerrymandered district lines, and calls on him to reject the “shameful and cynical” compromise that’s being floated. If Mr. Cuomo keeps his word, the courts can take over and draw legislative maps according to best practices, not political favors. The Federal District Court in Brooklyn is already drawing New York’s new Congressional maps because the Legislature couldn’t agree on which two districts to eliminate to reflect the 2010 census numbers.* Cuomo made clear, through a senior administration official who briefed select reporters yesterday, that he’s willing to sign off on the Senate and Assembly redistricting lines drawn by LATFOR and expected to be passed today if the Senate and Assembly agree to overhaul the process for 2022 and also pass a version of his pension reform plan.* a reportedly seven-figure ad buy that he will personally bankroll.* Objections must be filed to the House maps drawn by the special master, Roanne Mann, by noon today. A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.* Silver said he’s not worried the legislative redistricting responsibility will end up in the special master’s hands, explaining: “I believe no matter how you cut the state, the Assembly will wind up Democratic.’’

 Big Ugly Eats Redistricting Reform

Kolb Informs Special Master That State Lines Are ‘Anticipated’(YNN) * Assembly Lawyer: Prisoner Count Law Not In Amendment, But Shouldn’t Hurt Effectiveness(YNN) * Camara: Redistricting Map ‘Egregious Assault on the Voting Rights Act’(NYO) * Charles Barron Submits Formal Objection to Court’s Redistricting Plan(NYO) * release a statement to denounce rumored deal linking redistricting & pension reform.* Sampson: Don’t Link Tier Six To Redistricting(YNN)* Redistricting headline: “Poor, helpless Andrew Cuomo.” * Common Cause suggested Governor Cuomo is exchanging redistricting or something else. * Many groups are still not happy with the redistricting lines or the constitutional amendment reforming the process.* Josh Benson writes that if Cuomo approves these legislative redistricting lines he will have “went to Albany to change it, and failed.”

  (Twitter) For reference: See p. 16 for 's campaign promise to veto any partisan redistricting plan.

Good Government Fraud Dadey Should Resign From Citizens Union

A throwaway line in a two-day-old post from Capital New York’s Azi Paybarah on Citizen Union’s nuanced stance on redistricting, has JCOPE member Ravi Batra incensed. In post, Dadey called Batra’s appointment to the ethics watchdog “most unfortunate” but that the others on that commission were “respectable and commendable.”* Dilan Says Good-Government Groups Giving Cuomo Cover(YNN)
Dick Dadey’s morally corrupt promotion of nepotism does not a meritocracy make. It does, however, serve to undermine public confidence in government, expose him as a media-hungry fraud upon the public, and a late night comedy punch line. Accordingly, I accept his intemperate and uninformed comments made to Azi Paybarah as a compliment, and to paraphrase Mark Twain, I will continue to enjoy watching Dick Dadey crack walnuts with the Great Seal of New York. Hard working New Yorkers, however, want a honest government “for the people,” as they applaud Mayor Koch’s efforts to enhance honor in politics and nobility in public service.

Cuomo is Looking for the Big Ugly Deal
Give the Legislature Redistricting in Return for Getting Pension Reform and Other Things He Wants in the Budget
In the meantime, the so-called budget committee “mothership” met for the first time last night, and the budget subcommittees are meeting today. Here’s the schedule.

“They consulted with my people in redoing the lines,” Cuomo told Fred Dicker on Talk-1300. “The lines are far from perfect but I believe they made progress on the lines.”

DNA Database Part of the Big Ugly
A senior Cuomo official tells the New York Times that a deal to expand the state’s DNA database is “very close,” and that the governor is willing to drop the 401(k) option of his pension reform plan if lawmakers approve a new, less generous tier for state workers.* A bill that would give New York one of the most expansive DNA databases in the nation is set to pass Albany, but is mixed with negotiations over the budget and over redistricting. * A9555-2011: Relates to DNA testing of certain offenders convicted of a crime* DNA databank bill includes dna testing upon conviction of all crimes except those involving "marihuana."

Redistricting is A Treat of the Big Ugly
Redistricting Battle Comes to a Head(Gotham Gazette) The legislative majorities have submitted lines that most observers agree are only a miniscule improvement over their initial proposals that were hailed as blatant gerrymandering. Initially it was difficult for reporters to evaluate the new lines as LATFOR didn’t post maps on their homepage for quite some time after the legislation was introduced. A spokesman for the Senate Democrats eventually sent the maps to reporters with this statement, “Since the Senate Republicans are content on keeping the public in the dark and concealing the maps that they produced, we will do it for them. Attached you will find the maps which show very clearly that there is virtually no change from their previous proposal. These hyperpolitical maps cannot rationally be considered a better product.”* An Update on New York Redistricting(NYT) * Federal Judge Modifies Proposed N.Y. Congressional DistrictsNew York State Set to Add All Convict DNA to Its Database(NYT) * County officials call on state leaders to consolidate primary elections (Post Standard)  Central New York officials are calling on Albany to consolidate all of the state’s primary elections on June 26, arguing the three different dates amount to a costly mandate for municipalities * 19th Century Mass. Gov. Elbridge Gerry knew all about gerrymandering of political districts - he invented it!  (NYDN)  In 1812, Gerry drew up a redistricting plan to protect his cronies - including a district with boundaries that resembled a salamande

Albany's Pension Reform Battle
 The lies they tell (NYP Ed) When it comes to Gov. Cuomo’s plan to address the state’s budget-busting retirement costs, labor bosses have decided to just make up their own, um, “facts.” *  Union Workers Rally In Albany As Pension Reform Fight Continues(NY1)Mike puts ad $$ where mouth is (NYP)a reportedly seven-figure ad buy that he will personally bankroll. * Team Cuomo: We’ll get pension deal * Bloomberg Brings Pension Reform Push To Long Island(NY1) *Gov. Cuomo must stand his ground in battle to tame retirement costs(NYDN Ed)  The Daily News says that any deal reached in Albany that excludes a 401(k) option is not true pension reform * Gov may let NYPD, FDNY skate on pension fix (NYDN) * Andrew Cuomo appears to be carving out police and firefighters from his pension reform proposals, a move that would be a blow to Mike Bloomberg’s efforts to rein in costs. * Exhibit A: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was not pleased by Cuomo’s comments about the Legislature being unable to support pension reform because they’re too beholden to the unions. “I think he should have saved those words for the negotiating table,” the speaker said.* Strong Economy For All Presents Rebuttal To CSNY(YNN)

Since 1994: Five governors. Seven Senate majority leaders. Six Assembly minority leaders. One Speaker

Special Interests Lobbyists Gambling Wars
Cuomo and legislative leaders are at loggerheads over how specific the law permitting casino expansion should be the first time it clears the Assembly and the Senate. * Casino Plan: How Organized Crime Could Muscle In(IBT Times)

Election 2012

His District Likely to Be Cut, Congressman Eyes Gillibrand's Senate Seat(NYT) * Rep. Turner Launches Senate Run(WSJ) * Turner Will Challenge Gillibrand For Senate Seat(NY1) * Turner quickly endorsed by the Manhattan and Brooklyn Republican Parties.  * In a 2010 interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Wendy Long said that gay marriage could lead to animal or incestuous weddings. *
The Queens GOP isn't behind their hometown hero, Bob Turner. * Freshman Congressman Bob Turner announces bid for US Senate | The Empire

Michael Grimm received his third endorsement this morning. * And will be endorsed by Staten Island GOP tonight.*  And called the press coverage of his trials “a hatchet job.”





Largest Settlement In City History . .  SAIC Avoid Prosecution

CityTime To Pay City $500 Million

Where is the investigation on which city workers were involved and how this corruption was not spotted by the city's agency or the city or state comptroller  CityTime contractor admits fraud, will pay NYC $500 million (NYDN)  Deal will spare Science Appliations International Corp. further prosecution  Lawsuit for issuing false and misleading statements in connection with its CityTime project CityTime: SAIC agrees to pay more than half a Billion dollars & adopt internal reforms, and consent to the filing of criminal charges  SAIC, Inc. (NYSE:SAI) Investor Lawsuit Deadline on April 23 * Contractor Strikes $500 Million Deal in City Payroll Scandal(NYT)


In June of 2011 Manhattan US Attorney Bharara called CityTime "Truly jaw-dropping" and "epic in duration, magnitude and scope."U.S. Attorney: CityTime Project "Corrupted To Its Core"(NY1) 



Cover Up I
The Bloomberg Administration Knew of CityTime Corruption in 2003
Page, Bondy, Bloomberg, DOI all knew about CityTime in 2003, when the former head of the city's Office of Payroll Administration Richard Valcich wrote a letter to SAIC complaining of waste and bloat in the main contract. City Hall Admits Mishandling Technology Projects(NYT) * Mayor Mike Bloomberg says city did 'pretty good job' with CityTime ...(NYT) * Mike: I share blame in CityTime fiasco(NYP) * Daily News' Juan Gonzalez published a report how several whistleblowers who when to DOI in 2008 to report corruption in the CityTime contract were ignored.*  CityTime Firm Agrees To Pay Back Millions Under New Deal(NY1) * Company In Charge Of CityTime Agrees To Pay $500M To NYC (WCBS)

On May 27, 2011 
Bloomberg claims city did 'pretty good job' with scandal-plagued CityTime

 Liu Crows as CityTime Investigation Widens(NYO) " Letter found by Liu reveals shady CityTime job offer pitch in '02 from main contractor to Valcich.(NYDN) 

What is Liu and Liserg Talking About the CityTime story was not uncovered by the Press

I'm told credited reporters for exposing the CityTime scandal at his presser today. Irony aside, that was nice.


Cover Up II
Why at a City Council oversight hearings about CityTime the past few years, no one at OPA or City Hall ever mentioned the Valcich letter? And Why the City Council Drop the Ball on the Investigating CityTime

City Council to probe CityTime; timekeeping and payroll system(Dec 18, 2009)

Containment Journalism On CityTime/NYPD Ticket Scandal
The Press is limiting itself to reporting on the CityTime Scandal only when the U.S. Attorney indicts someone or to announce how much money will be refunded to the city.  We do not know what role the city officials Mark Page or resigned Joel Bondy who he supervised as head of Office of Payroll Administration played.  Both men knew there were problems with the CityTime contract as the cost of the contract went up over 1000% ($63 million to $700 Million).  This is not the only corruption story the press is covering passively.  We still do not know which city official and or council members had there tickets fixed by the NYPD.
More on the CityTime Cover Up (True News)

In Liu's Criminal Investigation of His Illegal Contributions Charges of Racial Profiling

At a campaign finance workshop for Asian Americans, participants questioned whether Comptroller John Liu’s legal woes were a result of racial profiling by federal prosecutors. Campaign Finance Lessons for Disillusioned Asian-American Group(NYT) After the campaign finance scandal of the city comptroller, John C. Liu, came to light, community groups sought help so that voters would not be discouraged. Asian American civic groups had a session at the Campaign Finance Board on the do’s and don’ts of fundraising.

Espada On Trial

In Espada Fraud Trial, a Focus on Politics and Lavish Spending(NYT) * 'Greedy' Espada and son looted Bx. charity to pamper selves: federal prosecutor (NYP) * The jury in the Pedro Espada trial has been seated.* 'Greedy' Espada and son looted Bx. charity to pamper selves: feds (NYP) * CityTime Firm Agrees To Pay Back Millions Under New Deal(NY1) *Espada and Son Lived Well, but Deny Theft From Nonprofit(NYT)



Charity Officer Is Charged With Stealing(NYT) * The head of a non-profit with close ties to Ruben Diaz, Sr, was arrested for embezzling $75,000.



From Hospital to School  City to buy state-owned building near closed St. Vincent's hospital for school(NYP) * Deal Reached for Former Site of St. Vincent’s(NYT)


Education Mayor Not

New Yorkers disapprove of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s handling of the schools, approve of the public release of teacher evaluation scores and overwhelming support the use of restaurant letter grades, a new Quinnipiac Poll * Cuomo ad pushes for action on teach evals(NYDN) * Voters favor teacher ratings(NYDN) A new poll finds that most voters support the release of the teacher evaluation ratings. * The Democratic Party aired a radio ad on Andrew Cuomo’s behalf urging listeners to pressure school districts and teachers unions to reach an accord. * An Empire Center poll released today found that 71 percent of teachers favor a 401K style pension plan.


GOP Attacks Subway

GOP threat to 2nd Ave.: Lhota(NYP) The state Senate’s latest budget proposal, which would wipe out $770 million in capital funding for the MTA, is putting mega-projects like the Second Avenue subway in jeopardy

TWU Attacked From Within
Clash at Transit Union(WSJ) As leaders of the New York City transit union engage in ongoing contract talks, they are facing a prominent critic from within their own ranks: former union chief Roger Toussaint, who led a crippling three-day bus and subway strike in 2005.  * As the Transit Workers Union engages in contract negotiations with the MTA, the union is being torn apart by a war between current president John Samuelsen and former union chief Roger Toussaint.* Is former TWU President Roger Toussaint plotting a comeback? It sure looks like it.

Tenant Eileen Coello joins landlord Edward Koester in dispute against NYCHA  (NYDN)  Housing authority's $36M system for keeping records causes chaos for Bronx pair

New authority at struggling Peninsula Hospital(NYDN)




Ratner Lobbyist Corruption Trial Might Remain A Mystery 

Charges Not Dismissed in Yonkers Corruption Case(NYT) The judge’s decision could come after a verdict is delivered in the trial of Sandy Annabi, a former Yonkers councilwoman. * The mystery of Ridge Hill may not be revealed: defendants seem unlikely to testify; defense lawyers push for dismissal of some charges(Atlantic Yards Report)

How Bruce Ratner Wins Approval for his Projects and the Latest on Trial (True News)



Brooklyn Bridge gets bashed (NYP) Crane on barge leaves a gouge * Crane Damages Brooklyn Bridge’s Underside(NYT) * Crane on boat hits Brooklyn Bridge scaffolding(NYDN)

Collapsed-crane parts had notes in Chinese (NYP) * Worker Tells Court He Lacked Math to Measure Crane Part(NYT) * At Crane Trial, Mechanic Describes Confusing Emails to China (WSJ)

Foreclosure Increases in New York While National Rate Falls
From The Real Deal:

While foreclosure and delinquency rates fell nationwide, local rates have increased, according to data released today by CoreLogic, and the delinquency for the White Plains-New York City-Wayne, NJ region set a new record. In the State of New York, the foreclosure rate was 4.64 percent in December 2011, up from 4 percent during the same month a year prior.

Seeking Real Estate Profits, Nonprofit Group Stumbled(NYT) The Metroplex building in Far Rockaway, Queens, another unsuccessful project developed by the group.

City Council Members Trash Various Sanitation Department Plans(NY1)

Need some peace and quiet? NYC nabes where you will (and won't) get it(AMNY)

NYP Says Homeless Wifi Deal Dead, Daily News Says Still On
Ad agency axes homeless Wi-Fi plan(NYP) * 'Homeless Hotspots' coming to NYC?(NYDN)

Met Owners Wild Pitch

Sandy Koufax on Mets Trial's Witness List (WSJ) Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz may call former Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau and Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax as witnesses at their trial.

A whistleblower police officer has tapes of NYPD officers raiding his home.

NYPD Stop-And-Frisk: NYC Councilmen Peter Vallone And Jumaane Williams Debate The Pros And Cons(Huff Post)

Election 2012

Santorum Sweeps 2 Southern States(NYT) * Delegate System Gives Small States Outsize Clout Convention(NYT) * Obama’s energy czar takes back comment that US should pay more for gas - * Mitt Romney is raising campaign cash in NYC today.  * Wins in South Propel Rick Santorum - McPike & Cannon, RealClearPolitics * Doubts About Romney's Conservatism Help Santorum - Gary Langer, ABC * Gingrich Fighting to Keep Romney From 1144 - Byron York, DC Examiner * The GOP Goes to War Against Women - Maureen Dowd, New York Times * GOP Race Looks To Be Going All the Way to Tampa - Ed Rollins, FOX News * Romney Winning the Delegate Math - Rachel Streitfeld, CNN * Does Mitt Romney Need More Debates? - Erick Erickson, Red State * Obama's Troubled Handling of Afghanistan - Washington Post * Romney Camp Shrugs Off Losses, Saying Lead Is Solid(NYT) * Five lessons from last night’s elections. * Romney not surrendering Pennsylvania. * The ad wars' next stop: Illinois(CNN) * Democrats Face Ideological House Primaries - Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call * Romney to Saturate Illinois Airwaves - Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune * A Contested GOP Convention Seems More Likely - Alex Roarty, Natl Jrnl * OX News: Romney 38, Santorum 32, Gingrich 13, Paul 12 | vs. Obama * Decision 2012: Confident Romney Courts City GOP Fundraisers(NY1)* Fortunes, and Style, Turn for Santorum(NYT)

Jon Stewart Tells Fox News To ‘Shut The F*ck Up’ About Bill Maher’s Offensive Rants


After 12 Years, Goldman Sachs Exec. Shocked at How Evil the Company is
New Yorkers Support NYPD Terrorism Monitoring
New Yorkers get it(NYP Ed) Quinnipiac University’s pollsters yesterday delivered some refreshing — but not at all surprising — news: By a two-to-one margin, New Yorkers believe the NYPD has acted fairly and appropriately in monitoring the region’s Muslim communities. * Lawyers for Man Accused in Terrorism Plot Make Case for Dismissal(NYT) * Lawyer: Queens bomb plot suspect was victim of NYPD Muslim spying plan (NYDN) Ahmed Ferhani’s attorney criticized controversial program, asked judge to dismiss case.

All eyes on stunning 'call-girl' aide(NYP)* Second Woman Denies Running a Brothel(NYT) * Madam Case 'Matchmaker' Denies Charge(WSJ) * Second Woman Charged In Manhattan Brothel Case Makes Bond(NY1) * Cop’s not tied to sex case (NYDN)

Lawyers Give Final Presentations in Dorm Spying Case(NYT) * Rutgers Jurors Hear Closings(WSJ) * After Delay, Rutgers Spying Trial Nears Close (WSJ)

Law and Order

20 Charged as U.S. Says Heroin Ring Is Broken Up(NYT) * Rep. King's Video Role Raises Questions(WSJ) A video showing Rep. Peter King allegedly accompanying U.S. marshals in the pursuit of a fugitive suspect is being investigated for possible violation of federal policy* Staten Island brothers charged with assault(WSJ)* Police Seek Suspect in Series of Food-Cart Robberies(NYT) * Brooklyn Teacher's Aide Pleads Not Guilty To Child Porn Charges(NY1)

Pusher probation(NYP) * Mob-fire creep’s rape rap(NYP) * Janitor blast kills grocery store punk (NYP) *Heroin smack down(NYP)

Queens Robber Targeting Food Cart Vendors, Police Say(NY1)