Monday, April 2, 2012

There Used to Be Investigative Reporters In NYC

Raking the Muck

The two former Village Voice reporters discuss their histories digging up municipal malfeasance.

Wayne Barrett: The mob connections of Geraldine Ferraro. . .  "Who is the most ethically compromised pol u ever covered?" Barrett: "no fucking competition for this: Al D’Amato" . . . Tom, you broke one of the biggest scandal stories of the Giuliani era, which involved Russell Harding, son of Liberal Party leader Ray Harding. Why did you zero in on him? . . .   

Which mayoral administration that you’ve written about was the most scandalous?  T.R.: Koch’s third term. . .  The commissioner of the Department of Transportation actually put the sex therapist, Geoffrey Lindenauer, in charge of the Parking Violations Bureau because he was the bagman for Donny Manes. Manes had enormous power. . . Geoffrey would give the money back to Donny, maybe keep a little himself, and that’s what brought Donny down. Then Donny stuck a knife in his own chest.

How the Meng Campaign for Congress Bought the Queens Tribune

Congressional candidate Grace Meng hires campaign help, spurring a Queens newspaper tiff (Capital) So what does she get for hiring Multi-Media? Political advice mailers and just, maybe last weeks' Tribune front page, which focused on Meng's 'making history' with her campaign (she's Asian, you see) and relegated her competitors to insert-style photos," the Chronicle wrote. * True News: A Takeover Of Journalism by Lobbyist and Politicians

Election 2012

Looks Like the NYT is Under Estimating Thompson Again. . .  Questing How Serious He Is (Come On Why Not Just Endorse Quinn Now)

 Mayoral Hopeful’s Slow Start Has Some Asking if His Heart Is in It(NYT) Thompson Jr. ran a strong race for New York City mayor in 2009, but his current fund-raising lag and his low-key style may hurt him in 2013. Unlike , says he would replace : * Seat ‘Rangel’ers(NYP)  Elbows fly as old pals challenge Charlie * Still fighting the perception that his heart’s not in a second run for mayor, Bill Thompson is re-hiring two members of his 2009 campaign team: Geoff Garin, a pollster; and Doc Sweitzer, a media consultant.

Quinn looking for Campaign Contributions

Quinn for the 1 percent(NYP Ed) Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s exemption of Hudson Yards from the living-wage bill is unfair to other developers and the legislation should be dropped * The Civilian Complaint Review Board’s new oversight of the NYPD adds no new powers but may give Quinn some breathing room as a mayoral candidate

Adriano Espaillat to vie against Charles Rangel in Democratic(NYDN) *The Independence Party is backing Carolyn McCarthy for re-election, even though they backed her opponent, Fran Becker, in 2010.  * Nydia Velasquez and Diana Reyna argue in favor of paid sick leave. * Corey Johnson Files for Quinn’s Council Seat [Update](NYO) * Ed Koch Endorses Rory Lancman(NYO)
* Rory Lancman Has $200,000 On Hand As Grace Meng Sets High Expectations (NYO) * Koch endorses Lancman, on Israel-politics grounds (Capital) imagine how much Meng could get using the same refund method. She's got $1m in the Assembly account * Micah Kellner ‘Inching Closer’ to City Council Announcement(NYO) * Lancman Nabs Working Families Party  * The Assembly Democrats want the judge to dismiss a redistricting lawsuit against their map. * Grace Meng was endorsed by the Italian-American PAC. * Liz Crowley pulled some of her campaign money from her City Council committee.* Nydia Velázquez and Charlie Rangel were endorsed by the Working Families Party as well.* Senator Espaillat To Face Off Against Charles Rangel In Congressional Primary(NY1)

Next Council Speaker Not About Issues or Record
 Race, Ideology And County Politics At Play In Race For Next Council Speaker (C&S)

Senate Race Goes to Court

count is halted until April 4th hearing It is likely the judge will appoint Special Referees to hear ballot objections made by both sides on the contested absentee votes (i.e. one campaign may believe signature similarity on certain ballots indicates the votes were fraudulent). This could either close the book on the election by placing one of the candidates above the 110 vote threshold needed to avoid a full hand recount, or set the stage for such a recount where campaigns and the courts review all 20,000 ballots cast in this election. * 

Sounds Like Somebody Thinks They Will Lose Recount
 Lew Fidler has a fraud lawsuit against David Storobin's campaign.

City Census Down For the Count At 8.2 Million

The U.S. Census acknowledged some errors but rejected a challenge from New York City, which had argued about 200,000 residents were left out of the decennial count. Census Numbers for City Won’t Change, Bureau Says(NYT) * Census Rejects City Challenge(WSJ) * Census Bureau Rejects City's Challenge To 2010 Count(NY1) * Census rejects NYC count appeal (NYDN)

Some Dems Throw Pies At Cuomo Reception Invite To Celebrate Budget Deal . . .  Cuomo Insider Says Some Incompetent
Peeved Democrats lose appetite for Cuomo’s fete (NYDN) Take a pass on lunch invite at Andy' More than one-quarter of the 25 Senate Dems were AWOL for the Thursday reception held in celebration of the legislative successes that culminated in the budget deal. Peeved Sen Dems skipped Cuomo's budget victory lunch at mansion last week, even after getting 2nd floor calls to attend* More on widening rift b/w Cuomo & Sen Dems from : "Our leadership doesn’t see the governor as part of the team" *Budget passes with smiles (TU)* Albany to begin Act II of legislative session(LoHud) * Cuomo insider re Sen Dems: "Some are corrupt or incompetent & have no business in elected office.”

More Cuomo Budget Info
Cuomo whacks Pataki gun law (NYP  Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new budget slashes funding for a Pataki-era anti-gun program that tracked used cartridge shells but “never worked,” writes the Post’s Fred Dicker *
 Awaiting, debating Cuomo's compensation abuse remedy (TU)  Details on agency compliance with Cuomo’s cap on state-funded service provider salaries are scarce as his administration looks at exemptions for hospital executives and others, writes the Times Union * Nonprofits  are still awaiting details from the Cuomo administration about a pay cap, but officials are trying to figure out how to exempt certain entities – like hospitals – so hey can keep paying seven-figure salaries.* Lawmakers however killed a Cuomo plan to boost taxes on loose tobacco and cigars. * Analysis: NY's budget is big, the 'how' is bigger (Lohud) * overnors Journal says Cuomo has exceeded expectations during his first two years in office, linking to Colby Hamilton’s think piece as an explanation of why. (No small factor: His predecessors were really bad).* JCOPE has refused to release to the public any record of the secret vote to hire longtime aide Cuomo Ellen Biben as its $148,000-a-year executive director.

Response Time to EMS and Fire Calls Slows After $2B Fix . . .  After Citytime Scandal City's Tech Disaster Continues and Mayors Covers Up

"City Hall ordered everyone familiar with the document to shut up"

The Bloomberg administration is refusing to disclose a report showing emergency response times have slowed despite investment in a $2 billion 911 system.  City tries to squelch 911 disaster report(NYP)   The Bloomberg administration is waging an all-out battle to suppress a scathing report aptly called “911 CPR’’ — which has determined that the city’s emergency-dispatch system is on life support, The Post has learned, Despite a series of reports showing that it would be more efficient for City Hall to exert direct control over emergency communications — because of incessant brawling between the NYPD and FDNY — the mayor’s office is still ducking responsibility. * Scathing report of NYC 911 system(Fox 5)

What Do the Investigators of DOI Uncover Not CityTime!

What They Say What They Mean

When Ratner's FlackDePlasco says the developer is an example of a good corporate citizen,  he really means that he is being paid to get good press for a guy that will hire corrupt lobbyists who will do anything to get his projects public dollars.  Forest City Ratner: good corporate citizen or relentless seeker of advantage? (100% non-invented quotes)(Atlantic Yards Report)  “I think all of this stems from [Bruce Ratner's] sense of what it means to be a good corporate citizen..." -- Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in the Forward, May 2011 *

"“Just left emergency rm my wife needs surgery tomorrow no fucking around get sandy on bd tell your brother we need help now I have to close this and take care of my family.” -- Forest City Ratner executive Bruce Bender, September 2005, revealed in Ridge Hill corruption trial, February 2012

"My dilemma is as you know, I don't mind fucking the bridge, I can't fuck it right now, I've got to leverage that bridge, what's my value?" -- Forest City Ratner executive Bruce Bender, December 2010, revealed in Carl Kruger investigation, March 2011

No Land Grab Blog April Fools Joke is telling

Leading New York Developer Arrested in FBI Raid

After Yonkers Corruption Conviction, Investigation to Continue U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is promising more to come for those named in the case. Sen. Tom Libous denied the influence-peddling allegation directed at him by a disbarred attorney who testified at the trial, insisting there’s “nothing to investigate.”


Lobbyist Going to Make Millions More in Gambling $$$ After Record Breaking Year

Gold Rush(C&S) With billions at stake among tough competitors, the only sure winners are lobbyists. To a certain kind of operator, New York is filled with rich deposits of gold. *  A History Of Bad Bets (C&S) * Betting’s Past Lives Alongside Its Future (C&S) * One group that is sure to win as Albany wrestles with how to expand non-Indian run gambling: Lobbyists. Racetrack owner on gambling bill: "If you’re asking me if this bill is good for lobbyists, I’d have to say yes *

A Record Breaking Year For Lobbying(Capital Tonight)


Dinosaurs Alive At the DOE

DOE Eliminates List Of Topics To "Avoid" On Standardized Tests (NY1)


Fishy commishy (NYP) Bratton parks free 16 years after quitting NYPD * Former NYPD Chief Still Using Parking Permit(NBC)

Did Crook Kruger Steal His Chair

A new mystery surrounds disgraced former Sen. Carl Kruger: What happened to all his state-owned office furniture and equipment? When the Senate GOP majority did an inventory of the crooked pol’s old Brooklyn district office, they found that several swivel chairs, a couch, two air conditioners and desk lamps were among 30 missing items, sources said. “The desks were all there, but no chairs,” one astounded source said. “We don’t know where the things are.” Kruger is facing federal prison time after pleading guilty to corruption charges.(NYDN)

Prosecutors Claim Espada Ran Rental Scheme To Fund His Health Clinic(NY1)

The Future of the Cab Debate

The NYT Spins This is the Cab of the Future 
New NYC Taxi Unveiled(NBC)

The Daily News Says This is the Cab of the Future
The DN slams the Cuomo-brokered taxi service expansion plan, which it says has forced Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky to “do the ridiculous – propose forcing ambulettes to double as street-hail livery cabs. * City Hall is slashing its auto fleet.
Pair of Fighter Planes will be making passes 9am-11am this morning
Thanks for giving & a tutorial on the difference between taxis & ambulettes

Top Judge Luis Gonzalez turned appeals  court into patronage pit for family & friends: report (NYDN)  Hired ex-wife, two dozen others without advertising jobs

When the WTC Comes Online the City Commercial Real Estate Slump Will Become A Recession - Unemployment 9.6%

Office Leasing's Big Drop(WSJ) Commercial real-estate brokerages on Monday begin releasing their reports on first-quarter office-leasing activity, and the numbers don't bode well for the firms' New York profits * Funny Floor Math Fuels 1WTC's 'Growth'(WSJ) Floors 94 through 99 simply don't exist at One World Trade Center, allowing the tower to reach it's 100th floor at a seemingly impossible speed this week. More Bad Economic News Riskier investments in private equity, real estate and hedge funds aren’t paying off for public pension plans.

Bloomberg Spins 

NYC ranks first as a global business center in a worldwide survey of cities – the fourth such recognition of its influence in the past five months.


Con Edison rate hike takes effec(WABC)


Macy's Stays On the Hudson

Macy's refuses to move 4th fireworks to East River(WABC)


 7 Schools Saved

 City Withdraws Plans to Close Seven Schools(NYDN)

NY Power Authority to fund solar energy projects(WSJ) * Hearings on Canada to NYC underwater power line(WSJ)




NYC Should Eliminate the City Council And Got To A New England Town Hall Meeting Style of Local Government

First Step the People's Member Items

City Residents Have Real Say In Capital Project Spending(NY1)




 OWS Protesters Mark Six Months Since Brooklyn Bridge March(NY1)* Occupy Wall Street March Across Brooklyn Bridge To Mark(WCBS)* Occupy activists march across Brooklyn Bridge(WABC)



Willets Point

Willets Point Development Makes Gain With Highway Administration's Approval(NYT)





1 World Trade Center building now 100 floors(WABC)




No Tax and Spend

For Some New York Shoppers, No More State Sales Tax(NYT) * State's Increased Tax Reprieve On Clothing Takes Effect(NY1)* Yoga Studios Face New Tax(WSJ) * Sales tax break for New Yorkers(NYDN)* Shoppers, Retailers Welcome NY Sales Tax Break(WCBS)* New York sales tax exemption takes effect(WABC) * NY Shoppers Get Tax Break on Clothing, Footwear(NBC)


Christie On the Road to the Vice Presidency 

Christie Takes Trade Mission to Jerusalem(WSJ) *Mitt Romney’s ‘veepstakes’ begin(Wash Post) * Chris Christie visited Israel, fueling 2016 talk. * Christie Treated Like Rock Star In Israel, Meets With Netanyahu(WCBS)

Where is George W. Bush?(Politico) * Gallup: Obama leads Romney(Politico) New poll shows Obama pulling ahead with 4 point lead over Romney in a general election match-up * Former President Bill Clinton on Romney and Etch-a-Sketch (ABC) Bill Clinton weighs in on Hillary in 2016, “If she changes her mind and decides to run, I’ll be happy:" * A major Obama campaign donor has been accused of fraud.  * John Sununu hopes that Mitt Romney goes boring with his VP choice. * The Republicans' Pink Slime Budget - Paul Krugman, New York Times * Obama Leads Romney 51-42 in Key Swing States - Susan Page, USA Today * Romney Would Change Little at Federal Reserve - Ann Saphir, Reuters * USA Today/Gallup: Obama 49, Romney 45 | Obama 51, Santorum 43 *Mitt Romney may sweep tomorrow’s elections. * He was asked questions about Mormonism.


Law and Order 

Seventy-nine-year-old Queens DA Richard Brown is suffering from Parkinson’s, which he insists is controlled by medication and not impacting his ability to do his job. Not everyone agrees with that assessment. 

 Drunk teachers busted for cocaine, dagger(NYDN) * Infant found dead in Brooklyn(WABC) * A March for Those Whose Lives Were Taken, and Yet to Be Taken (NYT) * Queens jury convicts man of murder and robbery stemming (NYP) * NY1 Online: Criminologist David Kennedy On Combatting Inner-City Youth Violence * System, Not Judge, Is Blamed for Nepotism in Court Hiring(NYT)


NYP Unfriends NYC Political Prisoner ?

Has the New York Post Unfriended the Mommy Madam?

* Accused madam seeks lower bail * Stalker in Cashman case hit with perjury rap(NYDN)* New details emerge about Cashman's accused extorter(NYP)


TV Morning Wars 

Katie Couric On 'GMA': Host Returns To Morning TV As AM Wars Reach Fever Pitch(Huff Post) * Hosts as Weapons in Morning-Show Duel(NYT)



Gotti's HQ Ices Cream
Sweets shop is big ‘hit’(NYP) There’s a new iceman working at John Gotti’s old social club in Queens — but he serves up sweet, frosty treats instead of gangland murders.