Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brooklyn Reformers Take A Dive

Cult Reformers Watch the Election of A New Corruption Pope

 Meade Esposito, Clarence Norman and Vito Lopez all left the job as Brooklyn Democratic Boss a little early because of law enforcement.  

It is sad that those who call themselves reformers did not take the opportunity last night to set a real agenda of reform last night. It is sad that they did not look at how Seddio has benefited financially and personally from the machine. Seddio is very week in the main mission of any county leader that is to get out the vote.  In the last year he lost a democratic congressional seat (in his own district) that has not been represented by the GOP in 100 years (Weprin vs. Turner), he lost the Fidler state senate race to GOP new guy on the block David Storobin.  And last week he lost a civil court race in the brownstone belt to the reformers.  Seddio is all smoke and mirrors, no power. So why no demands by the reformers beyond meaningless party rules changes.? 

Meet the New Boss Same As the Old Boss
The new Brooklyn boss has been a longtime beneficiary of the powerful Brooklyn Democratic machine, which supported him for state assemblyman and later as surrogate court judge, a position he soon left during an investigation into thousands of dollars of donations he made to Democratic leaders and organizations before taking office. “Somewhere there are people who need a boogeyman — ‘Vito is coming’ — and I’m past that,” he told The Times. “I’m the good ghost.” Is it the new definition of the good guy who is keeping the deal between Vito Lopez, the Zalmen faction in Williamsburg, DA Hynes that covers up the sexual abuse problem exposed by the NYT. Only Charles Barron and his wife Inez voted against Seddio. Charles Barron speaking about respectibility at the County Committee meeting

No Demands Beyond Party Rules From the Reformers Led By Simon
For weeks the reformers have been trying to make a deal with new Boss Seddio if he agreed to a bunch of rule changes that have nothing to do with the real dictatorial corruption of the party office.  District Leader Jo Anne Simon, only back out of  a deal for a position to co-chair the Rules Committee because of strong opposition of some Central Brooklyn Independent Democratic members. Simon dropped her challenge to the party chairmanship. Simon only gave a general warning to Seddio to do the right thing. "Mr. Seddio make the Brooklyn party less opaque and more participatory, particularly as it goes about influencing choices for judges and legislative positions," Simon said  “Frank has a lot of support.”  Do the reformers believe in a special class of insiders who pick judges and elected officials and have access to the spoils of power if they are included in the mix.?  Or do they do they want to open up the system to the average citizen? Before last night’s vote, both Seddio’s opponents – Assemblyman Karim Camara and District Leader Jo Anne Simon – conceded the race to the former assemblyman. (Simon and Chris Owens abstained from voting).

Gadfly Alan Flacks Has Reforms for Brooklyn Boss Seddio

Simon and the other reformers would have done more for reform if they demanded that Seddio support the 5 reforms being pushed by gadfly Alan Flacks:1. True campaign finance reform. 2. More term limits, but "long," that is, say four terms.3. No Gerrymandering.4. Emphasis on judicial reform
(selection). 5. Abolition of the judicial nominating convention (either direct election or appointment, but no middlemen/women) The Flacks Report

Other Reform Ideas To Open the Democratic Party to More People . . .  It Not Only the GOP that Represses Voting and Participation
1. Prohibit state and federal elected officials from being elected to district leader positions (city elected officials already banned from party. positions, since the Koch Citisource scandal).
2. Term Limits for Part Positions (Some party leaders remain in office for decades).
3. Allow early voting for party positions on the internet (NY has the one of the lowest voting rates in the county.  Early voting on the internet for party positions will lead to early voters for elective office on the voting method is proven).
4.  No endorsement to any mayoral, council president or councilmember who does not pledge to end the corrupt practice of member items.
5. No endorsement to any candidate for state office that does not support public financing of all state offices including District Attorneys (city office)
6. No endorsement for any state candidate that does not support term limits for state offices.
7. No Endorsement for councilmenbers who accept Lulus
8. No Endorsement for any state office seeker who opposes reducing the amount of signatures to get on the ballot.
9. No Endorsement for any state official who accepts contributions for more than $2000
10. Establish a citywide DA to get around borough DAs who will not investigate the pols or political machines who get them into office and help they get reelected


The Twitters Report?
Of Those Twittering Only Pinny Ringel Asked the Question Why Brooklyn Democratic Bosses End Up Going Down In Shame.  But he asked his twitter audience, not Seddio
Why does every Dem boss end up going down in shame with a scandal? Wonder how long Frank Seddio will last.
The other twitters gave the vote : Sorry, three abstentions. 36-2-3. Gave a pix of Seddio eating pic of new Frank Seddio @ a victory dinner @ his fav restaurant   He also gave the DN story . headline: "Vito Lopez crony Frank Seddio to take job of disgraced Brooklyn Democratic Party boss"  

.: "We must make good on this turning point by embracing a more inclusive, transparent and honest democratic process."

Et Tu Tony
Et tu! Dem calls for Silver to quit(NYP) Queens state Sen. Tony Avella yesterday urged Silver  to step down as speaker over his handling of the Vito Lopez sex-harassment scandal — becoming the most prominent fellow Democrat to come out against the powerful legislative leader so far.

* About Cuomo’s Confidential Settlement(Politico)

U.S. Says Espada Swindled Again After Conviction Delusional Espada Loots His Close Health Center's Fire Sale
Espada, Jr. stole part of the profits from a sale of Soundview, his nonprofit health clinic, even after he was convicted on corruption charges
Espadas still looting Bx. nonprofit: prosecutors (NYP) ‘$oak’ nonprofit that pol already ripped off * Lock ’em up(NYP Ed) * Espada was convicted last May of stealing at least $480,000 from his Bronx health clinic. Federal prosecutors yesterday disclosed that he then looted its remaining assets and pocketed the dough.* Convicted Legislator Benefited From Nonprofit Shutdown(NYT) * Espada Faces New Legal Woes(WSJ) * Espada Bond Should be Revoked, Prosecutors Say (WSJ)* Cuomo again defended the embattled JCOPE, saying New York is better off with it than without it.

Quinn Goes Union, Thompson and Mayor Oppose
Mayoral Rivals Divided Over Requirements For Affordable Housing Developers (NY1) The council passed legislation in July to require affordable housing developers report wages and construction complaints to the city. But that is not how Mayor Michael Bloomberg sees it and he has gained an unlikely ally in the debate — his opponent in the 2009 mayoral race, former City Comptroller William Thompson. Developers agree with Thompson, saying the requirements are burdensome and they would particularly hurt women and minority-owned businesses. Regulations are seen by some as  a push by unions to get into the affordable housing business.

Only Hope Left For GOP Gay Bill Backers
Governor and Mayor Are Upset That 2 Backers of Gay Marriage May Fall(NYT) * Cuomo, Bloomberg Discuss Marriage Equality's Effect On Upstate Senate Primaries(NY1) * Mayor Bloomberg said that “in retrospect, maybe all of us could have done more” to help the two Republican senators who voted “yes” on same-sex marriage and now may lose their seats as a result. Cuomo left the door open to endorsing the two senators, Roy McDonald and Steve Saland, should they win their respective primaries, saying he didn’t do so before last Thursday’s election because his nod might have hurt more than it helped.

Election 2012 Councilman Eric Ulrich handily wins Senate GOP race. Will take on incumbent Dem Joe Addabbo Jr. on Nov. 6(Queens Chronicle)Reform Democrats claim widespread voter fraud in Hasidic Williamsburg * Absentee ballots could deliver a victory for Martha Flores Vazquez (Queens Politics) * Pols ‘Sound the Alarm’ Over Voter Confusion(NYO) * Liu plans a 'friends and family' fund-raiser(Capital) * Headaches at the polls for Queens voters (Queens Chronicle) * Did Conservative Brooklyn Primary Voters Like David Storobin... Or Mr. Write-In? * Both sides, not just Lincoln Restler's supporters, are alleging fraud in Hasidic Williamsburg * Democratic State Senate candidate Simcha Felder is confident he snagged away the Conservative Party line from his opponent, GOP Senator David Storobin. If true, he accomplished this by registering lots of new voters–which takes effect immediately, unlike changing an existing voter’s registration–and telling them to write-in Mr. Felder’s name against the incumbent. For their part, Mr. Storobin’s campaign is reserving comment until the final votes are counted. * District Leader Lincoln Restler‘s supporters are crying foul and alleging fraud as the final paper ballots are being counted in his tight race against Chris Olechowski. However, it’s important to remember that alleging fraud is one thing and proving it is something else. For example, one piece of evidence, a photo of a voter’s driver’s license suggesting someone else cast a vote in his name, came from a voter who told Politcker he actually backed Mr. Olechowski’s campaign. “They’re taking their fraud and giving it to the other side,” he said, alleging that supporters of Mr. Restler deliberately tried to disenfranchise him. Additionally, on Election Day, a prominent Hasidic supporter of Mr. Olechowski’s told us they were frustrated by what they claimed were multiple fraudulent tactics from their rivals, so the charges can go both ways. * Friday Means Win, Lose And/Or A Possible City Council Run For Lincoln Restler(NYDN)
* Dan Squadron raising for (presumably) public advocate  * Vito Lopez nemesis Lincoln Restler closes vote gap to 50,(NYDN)

If you can read this you can vote
The NYT urges Cuomo and the Senate to get on board with Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh’s bill that would make the ballot easier to read and voting less complicated in New York City. 

NYPD response to crime calls slows to 9 minutesNYPD response to crime calls slows to 9 minutes(NYP)

Crime Increasing As City's Middle Class Decreases
City’s Jobless Rate Dips for First Time in Months from 10% to 9.9% * Census Data Shows Wider Gap Between Rich And Poor In NYC(NY1)
City Hall: Last Year Shows A Rise In Local Major Felony Crimes(NY1)
NY1 Exclusive: More Police Are Riding Overnight Subway Trains(NY1) * Mayor’s Management Report Shows Spike In Overall Felonies,(NYDN)Police Expand Interrogation Taping(WSJ) The New York City Police Department plans to video record full interrogations of all suspects in murder and sexual assault cases, Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in announcing what would be a significant expansion of an anti-abuse initiative in the nation's largest police force.* NYPD Wants Videotaped Interrogations In All Precincts(WSJ) * The Daily News says the NYPD plan to videotape murder and sexual assault interrogations puts the department “ahead of the curve” in its respect for civil liberties:* EJ McMahon takes issue with Sen. Tom Libous’ claim that he and Cuomo passed “the largest middle-class tax cut in 58 years.”* New York State’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in August, hovering at 9.1 percent – one point above the national average.* Federal Census Data Shows Growing Income Gap In New York (NYDN)

NY Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says state tax receipts below(NYP) * The latest Mayor’s Management Report shows the quality of life in New York City is a bit of a mixed bag as city agencies struggle to maintain services in the face of recurrent budget cuts.

The income gap in Manhattan, already wider than almost anywhere else, rivaled disparities in sub-Saharan Africa
Income Data Shows Widening Gap Between New York City’s Richest and Poorest(NYT) New income data to be released today shows the gap in income between the poorest and richest New Yorkers at its widest margin in more than a decade * Bank of America Ramps Up Job Cuts(WSJ) * Tracking the City's Poor(WSJ) * NYC poverty rate higher than national average(Fox 5) * Between 2008 and 2011, the median household income in New York fell 1.4 percent to $55,246, and property taxes increased 18 percent, according to new U.S. census data. Also according to the Census: New York City’s poverty rate reached its highest point in more than a decade, and the income gap in Manhattan, already wider than almost anywhere else in the country, rivaled disparities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mike rips Walmart ‘block’ pols(NYP) * Bloomberg's Fortune Jumped to $25 Billion, Forbes Estimates(NYT) *  Mayor Michael Bloomberg's fortune grew 28 percent to $25 billion last year, making him the 10th richest person in America, Forbes writes: * Bloomberg 10th On Forbes's Richest Americans List(NY1) * Bloomberg moved from 12th place to 10th place on the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. His fortune grew an estimated 28 percent to $25 billion.

Swiss Drug Giant Picks Manhattan for Research Site(NYT) Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche will open a new research site in Manhattan, in a coup for the city’s bid to become a biotechnology center

Cuomo will be receiving petitions signed by some 10,000 people asking him to avert cutbacks at the financially ailing SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.  

Driving Test Cheats
Cheats at DMV used spy cams(NYP) A husband and wife who ran a Brooklyn truck-driving school admitted yesterday that they used miniature spy cameras and transmitters to help students who spoke little English cheat on their written state driving test. * Guilty Pleas in Scheme to Help Applicants Cheat on Written Driving Test * Bklyn driving school owners plead guilty to scheme(WSJ) * Guilty plea by couple who helped people cheat on tests at (SI advance)

New York state overbilled the federal government more than $15 billion in Medicaid money for housing the developmentally disabled, according to a new report by the House Oversight Committee, Gannett writes: 

Former chief judge Judith Kaye will lead a three-person mediation panel attempting to end dispute between the Cuomo Administration and Seneca Indians over a $460 million casino fee the tribe owes the state, the Times Union writes:

 Defrocked Priest Sues New York Archdiocese for Libel Over Sexual Abuse Statement(NYT) * Ex-Priest Sues NY Archdiocese for Libel(NBC)

New York Public Library Shifts Plan for 5th Ave. Building(NYT)   Responding to objections raised by scholars, writers, artists and others, the New York Public Library has revised its plan to remove most of the books from its flagship research center. * Public Library Dials Back Plan to Move Books(WSJ)

The Post applauds a City Hall plan to crack down on bicycle deliverymen breaking the law
Two-wheeled terrorTwo-wheeled terror(NYP Ed) * New Cab Plan Curbs Hybrids(WSJ) * TLC Approves "Taxi Of Tomorrow" With 5-2 Vote(NY1) * Taxi Commission Passes Standards for New Type of Cab 

MTA trucks burned through $800,000 in gas(NYDN) * Fare beater assaults MTA bus driver in the Bronx, agency says.(NBC)

Fed Judge Rules In Favor Of Attack Ads At MTA Stations Targeting (WCBS) A legal fight over freedom of speech is spilling into New York’s subway tunnels. A sign about "Jihad" is set to debut next week.

Anti-jihad 'savage' ads going up in subway(NYP)

An independent audit requested by the Port Authority found its unpopular and controversial toll hikes last year were warranted, but warned toll increases can’t be relied on to fix all future financial problems. 

Poor Smokers in New York State Spend 25% of Income on Cigarettes, Study Finds(NYT) * A new study finds low-income New Yorkers who smoke spend 25 percent of their income on cigarettes, the Associated Press reports

The Making of A President 2012
Obama has time to meet with Jay-Z and Beyonce at fund-raiser, but can't fit Netanyahu into his scheduleObama has time to meet with Jay-Z and Beyonce at fund-raiser, but can't fit Netanyahu into his schedule(NYP) * Mitt eye on the ‘100%’(NYP)O eyes ‘blind sheik’ releaseO eyes ‘blind sheik’ release(NYP) * Struggling Young Adults Pose Challenge for Campaigns(NYT) * Obama Wields All Levers of Power Within Reach(NYT) * In an example of extreme microtargeting, NARAL Pro-Choice America plans to spend $2.5 to $3 million in an independent expenditure aimed at getting some 300,000 women voters in swing counties to return to Obama’s side.
We Need to Recover From the Obama Recovery - Mort Zuckerman, US News
Does Romney Dislike America? - E.J. Dionne, Washington Post

Redistributing Wealth, Redistributing Poverty - Thomas Sowell, IBD
Romney's Snake-Bit Season - Gail Collins, New York Times
Why Romney Might Beat Obama - Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics
Harsh Politics in the New Middle East - William McCants, Foreign Affairs
Hillary Clinton Faces Capitol Hill Grilling - Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast
Demanding Justice From Libya, Egypt & Pakistan - Sen. Rand Paul, WT
Can Romney Quell Campaign Infighting? - Todd Purdum, Vanity Fair
The 47% Comment & the Echo Chamber - Aaron Blake, Washington Post
Shocking! Candidate Tells Some Home Truths - Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail
Dems Hold Momentum in Senate Battle - Josh Kraushaar, National Journal
Could Romney Survive a Loss in Ohio or Virginia? - Scott Conroy, RCP
Will QE3 Work? It's Already Failed - Louis Woodhill, Forbes
D.C. Area Counties Top Richest List - Morello & Mellnik, Washington Post
Is Obama a "Redistributionist"? Sort of - Timothy Noah, The New Republic
Treasury Must Sell Every Last GM Share - Ed Whitacre, Wall Street Journal
Latest Polls: RCP Average: Obama +2.9 | Battleground State RCP Avgs
U.S. Must Keep Pushing for Mideast Democracy - New York Times
Media in Alternate Reality on Obama Failures - Investor's Business Daily
Mitt Romney Unzipped: A Gift for Obama - The Guardian
D.C. Wants to Keep Government Gravy Train Flowing - Washington Time
Michelle Malkin Slams Conservatives For 'Moaning And Groaning' About Romney  
Schumer: Romney "is taking the whole ticket down"(Capital)
Obama and Karzai Discuss Terrorism Detentions (NYT)
Obama: 'You Can't Change Washington From The Inside' (VIDEO)
President Obama said his inability to get an immigration reform plan past through Congress was his “biggest failure.”
Polls: Obama ahead in Colorado, Iowa and Wisconsin(NBC)
NBC News/WSJ/Marist polls: Obama leads Romney in CO, IA, WI, topping 50% support threshold in all 3 battlegrounds 
In Obama’s Evolution on China Policy, a Tougher Line(NYT)
Libya Envoy’s Killing Was Terror Attack, White House Asserts(NYT)
New Picture Emerging of Attack in Libya - Tabassum Zakaria, Reuters
As Islamists Rise, U.S. on Path to Nowhere - Arnaud de Borchgrave, UPI
Republicans and the 47 Percent: A Case Study - Kevin Drum, Mother Jones
Romney's Chance to Challenge the Welfare State - Robert Samuelson, WP
GM Reveals Bailouts as Devil's Bargain - Charles Gasparino, New York Post
Ripple Effects From Romney Video a Gift to Dems - Alex Seitz-Wald, Salon
The Real Reason Obama Snubbed Netanyahu - Edward Klein, FOX News
Romney's Shameful Views on Palestine - Peter Beinart, The Daily Beast
Who's That Knocking? Is Stagflation at Our Door? - Doug Kass, TheStreet
The Obama You Don't Know - Mark Tapscott, Washington Examiner
Mitt Romney, an Entitled Rich Guy - Ezra Klein, Washington Post
QE3 Is Just a Bailout for Government - Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
State Polls: CO | IA | NV | FL | WI | MI | PA | Senate: MA | NV | WI | FL | MI
Democrats and Jews and Jewish Democrats (Jewish Star)
New NBC/WSJ/Marist polls among LVs: CO - Obama 50%, Romney 45%; IA - Obama 50%, Romney 42%; WI - Obama 50%, Romney 45% * In CO, Obama hits 73% among Hispanics. Chuck Todd
Eugene Robinson: Romney’s class warfare - The Washington Post
The New-New-New Romney Campaign Plan(NY Mag)
Frank Rich Turns Into a Republican (NY Mag)


Monica Lewinsky set to reveal Bill Clinton's sex secrets in tell-all(NYP)
* Surprisingly, Monica Lewinsky’s Book Will Focus on That Thing She’s Famous For(NY Mag)

Jon Stewart Blasts Fox News Over Romney Video: ‘Chaos On Bullsh*t Mountain’


Law and Order
Lindsay Lohan charged in 'hit-run' crash at NYC nightclubLindsay Lohan charged in 'hit-run' crash at NYC nightclub(NYP)

Falling wind-blown bedding knocks out college student(NYP)
* Man knocked out by falling mattress on Broad St(NYDN)

Drawn to Food and Liquor, Burglar Gains a Stiff Term(NYT)* Brooklyn Woman To Face New Charges In L.I. Crash(WCBS) * Lindsay Lohan charged in 'hit-run' crash at NYC nightcl(NYP) * Guilty plea by man who critically injured daughter in Staten (SI Advance)\ * LES Robber Punched Woman in Face: Cops(NBC) * NYPD Takes Over TV Set for Hostage Drill(NBC) * Driver Acquitted of Leaving Scene After Truck Killed Bicyclist(NYT) * Student, 17, Fatally Stabbed Near Manhattan High School(NYDN) * Bedford Park Residents Remain Worried With Robbery Spree (NYDN) * Feds bust $20M heroin distribution den in Queens(NYP) * Teen Stabbed Near High School in Hell's Kitchen(NBC) * Teenage student stabbed near midto(NBC)    Student dies of knife wound suffered in 'Kitchen' melee(NYDN) * Update: High School Student Stabbed To Death After Fight (NY1)
100,000 letters to keep cop killers jailed  (NYDN)