Thursday, April 5, 2012

Media Cover Up: Pay to Play BOE Connected to Queens GOP and Politically Connected Lobbyists

With the Political Parties and Their Lobbyists Controlling the Board of Elections is Anyone Surprised Investigators Found Bribery in Their Contracting Process

The NYC Board of Elections suspended an employee who’s also a top Queens GOP official, Stephen Graves, after he was caught on tape soliciting a “finder’s fee” from a voting machine contractor in exchange for recommending a particular lobbyist. Qns. elections official under fire for soliciting money from a contractor (NYP) he city’s Board of Elections has suspended an employee who is a top official in the Queens Republican Party after being notified that he was caught on tape soliciting a $25,000 “finder’s fee” from a company competing for a $65 million contract in 2009.  Department of Investigation provided information to the board that Stephen Graves, first vice chairman of the Queens GOP and a $66,392-a-year board employee, asked for the money from Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems as it was battling rival Elections Systems & Software of Omaha, Neb., to sell the city its first electronic voting machines.

The NYP Did Not Name the Lobbyist for Dominion But in 2009 the Village Voice and Daily News Did 
From NYP: 
"Graves was recommending the use of a particular lobbyist,” said one source. “In exchange for that he wanted a finder’s fee.” The lobbyist, who was not identified, was supposed to receive $250,000 a year for five years, the source said."

The Village Voice Named Schlein As the LobbyistFor Dominion

Dominion Voting Sytems(a/k/a Sequoia Voting) is being carried on by highly-paid proxies, namely the city's most politically wired lobbyists. Dominion/Sequoia's bid is being led by the estimable Stanley Schlein, who was Mayor Bloomberg's pick as chairman of the Civil Service Commission until he was found to be using the place and staff as his private law office.  Voting Machine Smack-Down: Lobbyists Brawl(Village Voice)

Is the Bronx Fixer Involved in A BOE Bribery Scheme? Or Some Queens Operatives Who Help Get Graves His HAVA Job At the Board
More on Schlein:  The lawyer, Stanley K. Schlein, a well known lobbying is representing Senator Pedro Espada, he was the lawyer representing D.A. Johson against accusations that he live in Westchester County. Sound familiar? (see article by Sam Roberts NY Times July 26, 2005).Pedro Espada Jr. live in Westchester County too. * A Bronx fixer's scandalous history doesn't bother Yankees or Democrats Schlein was there representing the three renegade Democratic senators who are demanding a fat share of the spoils before they agree to give their own party its long-sought majority in the state senate.  *  

While rooting the Yankees to a new home, Democratic political fixer Stanley Schlein failed his other clients. *In an investigative profile in The Village Voice, Tom Robbins delves into Stanley Schlein's record, not as lawyer to George Steinbrenner, nor as counsel to the Bronx Democratic Party-which he both, fortunately for the new Yankee stadium, serves as. But rather as court-appointed guardian for the incapacitated * Schlein the Lawyer Making Bronx Judges -- Again (Village Voice) * Bronx Lawyer Is a Power Behind Several Thrones(NYT) There he was, advising the Rev. Al Sharpton during last year's presidential primaries. This spring, he joined the legal team promoting the Jets' proposed West Side stadium. Now he is navigating government bureaucracy for the Yankees and also counseling Fernando Ferrer about mayoral campaign arcana. His name is Stanley K. Schlein, and he has a hand in some of the city's biggest projects and political campaigns. 

But few people outside the city's intimate political world have ever heard of him. Even one of Mr. Schlein's political rivals in the Bronx, Vincent A. Marchiselli, a former assemblyman and former member of the Civil Service Commission, said: "He'd always have a connection to protect himself. He was a judge-maker, a kingmaker.* Bronx City Council member Larry Seabrook's go-to guy was longtime powerbroker Stanley Schlein(NYDN)  Schlein is not mentioned by name in the indictment, but sources confirm he's the "Yankees representative" described by prosecutors as a bridge between Seabrook and the team. He's been a lobbyist and consultant to the Yankees for years and helped draft an agreement that required the team to give 25% of Stadium contracts to Bronx firms.


Espada's Defense Down to Musical Chairs

De-seatful Pedros (NYP) Son in chair switch to try to fool witness Ex-state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. and his similarly named son engaged in some musical chairs yesterday at their embezzlement trial — as defense lawyers suggested a witness was confusing the son with the dad. * Pedro ‘raised’ hell and gave me ax(NYDN)

Election 2012  Q&A: Saujani, Seasoned by Tough Loss, Aims for Public Advocate(WSJ) She says “Abraham Lincoln lost 11 times before he won.”* All sides in 63rd Senate seat legal battle have outside counsel. Cuomo retained ex-chief Steve Cohen's firm (pro bono). * Con‘Dem’nation (NYP) It’s a “great shame” that there likely won’t be a serious Republican or independent mayoral candidate next year, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday. * Is AM Grace Meng trying to downplay her ethnicity in the congressional race? Her signs omit her last name.Is AM Grace Meng trying to downplay her ethnicity in the congressional race? Her signs omit her last name * Bob Turner Leads In Early Poll(NYO) * Mom and Pop Rejoice! Borough President Stringer Supports UWS Retail Rezoning(NYO) * Quinn & de Blasio bid to boost unions (NYP) City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio — two of at least five Democrats eyeing the job and courting union leaders in the process — both implored the city Campaign Finance Board to exempt unions and nonprofits from the stringent disclosure rules it recently adopted. "These people have no shame" said WOR710 host John Gambling re: & re: 2013 union spending* Espaillat Losing Allies to Rangel in Tough Uptown Congressional Race(DNAINFO) * Cuomo's Redistricting Lawyer Doesn't Admit to Much(C&S) * Roberto Perez says power plays are ongoing in the Rangel-Espaillat battle. * Oddly, Bronx chairman Carl Heastie would get a say in who replaces Charlie Rangel via vacancy committee. * The push for campaign finance reform involves aggressively targeting individual state senators. * Barack Obama Democratic Club Backs Espaillat (NYO) * Gillibrand To Report $1.5M Raised, $9.1M In Bank(YNN) * Kirsten’s Comfortable Lead(YNN) * Rangel challenger Clyde Williams as Washington insider: 'I know most of the people who work in the White House' (Capital) *Ed Towns’ Reelection Campaign Off to A Curious Start(NYO) * Inez Dickens Describes Charlie Rangel’s Health Woes(NYO)Latino Leaders Endorse Grace Meng For Congress(NYDN) * Ex-Councilman Allan Jennings Running As Republican Against Rep. Greg Meeks(C&S) * Ulrich Calls For Boycott Of Queens GOP Dinner(YNN) * NYC Councilwoman Inez Dickens took Rangel to the hospital after he hurt it moving furniture for his wife, Alma. She says he’s now back home, even though she suggested he stay in.* Grace Meng may face a primary on the Independence line. * John Liu pays attention to optics while at government events.* ohn Scandalios, now running for Grace Meng’s seat, has a theme song.


Bitter Ballot Fight Continues In Brooklyn Special Election(NY1)

Liu Back To Raising Money And Spinning on NY1 how His Office is Still Working 4 The People

Liu right back to raising $$(NYP)  Embattled city Comptroller John Liu will hold a fund-raiser next week as he seeks to regain his political footing amid a criminal probe of his campaign operation,

NY1 Exclusive: Fundraising Investigation Does Not Deter Comptroller Liu From 2013 Plans * John Liu Knows What He’s Going to Do Next Year; Expects More Allegations(NYO) * John Liu, undeterred: 'If there is anything that my campaign is guilty of... then prove it (Capital)

No Pay Raise Fools

Legislative raise? April Fool(TU) With on-time budgets common elsewhere, salaries already among the highest and with many lawmakers having reneged on redistricting reform, a pay raise for state lawmakers is an April Fools’ joke, writes the Times Union * N.Y. voters love Gov. Cuomo, hate state budget process (LoHud)



NY Government For Sale

NYPIRG: $220m Spent In Lobbying In 2011 (YNN)* Long List: The Number of Lobbyists In Albany in 2011(Albany Watch)




The Owner That Killed the Amazin Mets

The Wilpon's who never understood how to build a winning team, us their live long friendship with the commissioner of baseball and high price lawyers to defend themselves against the Madoff lawsuits.  Now they can't even sell out opening day. Mets in Opening Day ticket panic(NYP) The mests are so terridied by the embarrassing prospect of playing to empty seats at today's opener, they've made an Amazin' "buy one get on free" pitch. * Mets Play Braves In Thursday Home Opener(NY1)
Mets Not the Lovable Losers Anymore
The Met have lost the charm that Jimmy Breslin started in his book Can't Anyone Here Play. Breslin's marvelous account of the improbable saga of the New York Mets' first year, as Bill Veeck notes in his Introduction, "preserving for all time a remarkable tale of ineptitude, mediocrity, and abject failure." Indeed the 1962 Mets were the worst major league baseball team ever to take the field. (The title of the book is a quote from Casey Stengel, their manager at the time.) Breslin casts the Mets, who lost 120 games out of a possible 162 that year, as a lovable bunch of losers.

Farms Return to Brooklyn 

Maize the roof (NYP) Produce mega-farm high above B’klyn

The Last Working Farm

Schools chancellor eyes teacher data for parents -- but not the public(NYP)* Walcott gets mixed marks in first year(NYDN) * Budgeting experiment boon for classrooms and library(NYDN) * City restores buses for 7th and 8th graders(NYDN) Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott hasn’t imploded in his first year like his predecessor Cathie Black, but some observers want to him to assert his independence* Acquainting Parents With New Special Ed Plans(NYT)


History Lession: The Education Mayor

Mayor's Work on Schools Gets Backer(WSJ) Some of the most recognizable names in New York City education—including former schools Chancellor Joel Klein and educator Geoffrey Canada—have formed a group that will work to sustain Mayor Michael Bloomberg's school-reform efforts after he leaves office.* Supporters Prepare To Defend Bloomberg's School Reforms Under Next Mayor's Watch(NY1)




The 411 on 911(NYDN ED)

Manhattan Wants To Ship it Trash to the Outer Boroughs 

Opposition mounts to trash stations(NYDN)




No Fault NY Census Under Count Pols Remain Blameless

The Media Does Not Blame the Pols Who Used the Census As A Jobs Program. Where They Dumped Dumb Family Members and Special Friends Who Have Trouble Counting When They Run Out of Fingers.  Meanwhile the NYT Reports City Continues to Grow. Population Growth in New York City Is Outpacing 2010 Census, 2011 Estimates Show(NYT) In the 15 months ended July 1, 2011, New York City gained nearly 70,000 residents, bolstering city officials’ claims that thousands of people in Brooklyn and Queens were undercounted in the 2010 census. * New estimates from the US Census Bureau indicate faster growth in the outer boroughs than the 2010 count indicated – a point of contention for the Bloomberg administration.* How did the Census estimate New York City’s population?


 In order for Cuomo’s goal of an “energy superhighway” to be realized, the state’s ailing electrical grid must be fixed – and fast. * If that does not occur – and building new transmission lines is never easy – closing Indian Point is going to be difficult, and unlikely.* Cuomo’s Energy Highway Kicks Off Modestly(C&S)


There are a lot of ideas on how to turn the old Tappan Zee Bridge into a park once it’s finally replaced. But getting that done is a big job.

 The governor did not rule out a minimum wage hike, but noted the Senate Republicans would have to compromise from their current position of “no way.”

Crane Was Scheduled to Be Inspected Today

A crane whose collapse killed a man at an MTA work site had a partial inspection in January that apparently skipped the boom, with a full inspection delayed and scheduled for today Work Is Halted at Subway Site After Fatal Crane Collapse(NYT) Yonkers Contracting, the crane’s owner, had past problems including the death of a worker in 2000, a monitor installed to oversee operations in 2003 and an executive convicted of fraud in 2010* A Fallen Worker Had Proudly Joined the Family Trade(NYT) * Fatal Crane Was About to Be Checked(WSJ) * MTA: Crane In Midtown Accident Was Scheduled To Be Inspected This Week(NY1)


More MTA Illegal Activity 

NY1 Exclusive: MTA Contractors Mishandle Debris From Second Avenue Construction * 7.5M to settle contractor fraud suit (NYDN)The lead contractor on the MTA’s East Side Access project will pay $7.5 million to settle civil fraud charges arising from its use of minority-owned front companies * Post 9/11 Security Upgrade to NYC Transit Lags(WNYC) * MTA Security Updates Years Off Track, State Comptroller Finds(NY1)


During His Reelection Campaign the Mayor Promised Free Crosstown Bus Services, Now #7 Train to NJ, Lhota Says Show Me the Money 

Pipe dream No. 7 (NYP Ed)The MTA’s Joseph Lhota is right to say that the No. 7 subway will never be extended into New Jersey as Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed, since “the cash just ain’t there,” (NYP Ed) Mta Chairman Joe Lhota has thrown cold water on Mayor Bloomberg’s nutsy notion of extending the No. 7 line to Secaucus — and good for Lhota

Bloomberg Calls for Free Crosstown Buses - 2009,



Transit Union Members Join Occupy Demonstrators In Subway Protests(NY1)




Staten Island Fights Reeds That Feed Its Brush Fires (NYT)




3 agencies account  for  L-OT-sa extra pay(NYDN) * State OT king reigns (TU) A treatment assistant at Orange County’s Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center got more overtime than any other state employee for a second year, earning over $123,000, about double his base pay* With overtime again in the spotlight, CSEA noted that granting workers the right to work past their allotted hours is a management decision and not ruled out in contracts.


State Closes A Hospital in Queens and Makes A Scholarship Deal With A Medical School 3000 Miles Away

Workers hold rally in support of Peninsula Hospital(WABC) * Workers rally in support of Peninsula (Queens Crap)



City Hospitals Reach $11 Million Scholarship Deal With Medical School in Grenada(NYT) St. George’s University Medical School will offer $11 million in scholarships to New Yorkers in return for the students’ promise to work in New York City hospitals.St. George’s University Medical School, which has been criticized for paying to have its students train in New York City public hospitals, expanded its ties with a scholarship deal with the city

Economic Developement

Community groups are pooling money to buy the vacant Pfizer site in Brooklyn in order to build affordable housing there. * The Bloomberg administration touted two development deals in the Bronx–at Kingsbridge and at Zerega Avenue–which are expected to bring 900 jobs to the area.

The Making of the President 2012

Budget Author Becomes Focus of Election for Ties to Romney(NYT)* Romney opens up 2 to 1 lead in New York primary(The Hill)* Mitt Romney is beating Rick Santorum 2-to-1 among New York Republicans, but Barack Obama and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand both maintain strong leads over their opponents among all the state's voters, a new Quinnipiac poll says: *Can Obama Be Trusted To Save Israel? (Jewish Week) * Rick Santorum is now trailing behind Mitt Romney in his home state of Pennsylvania: poll  Fresh off the heels of a string of primary losses, Santorum — who represented Pennsylvania in Congress from 1991 to 2007 — has called his state's April 24 primary a must-win to stay in the race(NYDN)* The GOP Is Stuck With Romney - Charles Blow, New York Times * Romney's Health Care Scare Averted? - Beth Reinhard, National Journal *Santorum Sees Long Road Ahead, but Many See Dead End(NYT) * Romney Has 2-to-1 Lead Among Republican Voters in New York(NYT)* Obama's Organizational Advantage on Display in N.H. - Scott Conroy, RCP * It's Almost Over for Santorum - Karl Rove, Wall Street Journal * After Primary, a Different Kind of Fight in the Fall - John Harwood, NYT * Mitt Romney Is Coming On Strong - Emmett Tyrrell, American Spectator * Romney Has Weakened the Republican Party - Mark Levin, Right Scoop * Pennsylvania (Rasmussen): Santorum 42, Romney 38 | More 2012 Polls


 Murdoch's Sky News says it OK'd email hacking for stories, but insists move was for public interest: * Sky News Admits Hacking Email (Daily Beast) * Murdoch’s Sky News Channel Admits to E-Mail Hacking(NYT)

Huffington Gains More Control at AOL(NYT) Arianna Huffington will continue to report to Tim Armstrong, AOL’s chief executive, left, but several business functions will be transferred to her control.



 Keith Olbermann once threw – and broke – a glass mug on the Current TV set, prompting an email to the higher ups from a concerned staffer.* As expected, Olbermann has reportedly sued the network for wrongful termination.* So far, Eliot Spitzer is saving Current TV from being dropped by (our parent company) Time Warner.

R.I.P. Gil Noble

Gil Noble, journalist and 'Like It Is' host, dies at 80(ABC)



‘Gay hookup’ link in French scholar’s Manhattan hotel room death: sources(NYP) * Few Answers in Death of Scholar From France(NYT)



B'klyn dismember-killer tore flesh from corpse and ran it through a meat grinder: police (NYP) * Brooklyn Man Is Charged in Murder of Roommate(NYT) * Brooklyn Man Charged With Murdering, Dismembering Roommate(NY1)

Law and Order

HIV Drug Scheme Leads to 4 Arrests(WSJ) * Took mob of G-men to tail Gioeli(NYDN)Indicted in S.I. cash/drug rob, slay(NYDN) * MTA bus driver  nabbed on kiddie porn raps(NYDN) * Hard to stem fake weed as banned substance is found at Bronx(NYDN)  * Metro-North Robber’ Strikes Again In Pelham, 7th Time Along (WABC) * Pit Bull Shot In The Head Trying To Protect Owner, But Miraculousl(NYDN) * Pit bull saves family during home invasion(WABC) * Peter Vallone had the NYPD install a surveillance camera at a parking lot where a vicious mugging occurred, and hung a sign that seemed to taunt would-be assailants.* Queens man pleads guilty to killing bodega owner(NYP) * Union Ad Stresses the Stress Officers Deal With(NYT) * Meng Touts Support From Latino Pols(NYO)

Mom charged for feeding allergic daughter M&M'(NYDN) 


Auxiliary NYPD cop murdered(NYP) *Auxiliary Officer Found Dead(WSJ)  * Sources: Off-Duty Auxiliary Officer Gunned Down On Brooklyn Street(NY1) * Auxiliary Cop Found Shot To Death In Brooklyn(NYDN)Auxiliary officer killed on his way to work(WABC) * Auxiliary Cop Fatally Shot in Brooklyn(NBC)


Terror trio to spill in B’klyn(NYDN)


Cops on the hunt for man in Coney Island sexual assault (NYDN)

Finally a Khalid trial(NYP) * Military Advances Trial For 9/11 Conspirators Held In Gitmo(NY1) * Two Would-Be Subway Bombers On Terror Trial Witness List(huff post)