Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Eight Years After the Release of the Brennan Center Report Calling the NYS Legislature the Most Dysfunctional in the Nation Corruption and Secret Hush $$$ Agreements Rule Albany

“I WILL NOT CAPITULATE TO THOSE SELF-SERVING TACTICS AND DEMANDS,” Lopez said in his statement without mentioning Silver by name
If This Brooklyn Kingmaker Is Asking, Saying No Is Risky Option(NYT) State Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, now engulfed in accusations of sexual harassment, demands loyalty, but some criticize what they called heavy-handed tactics. * Legislators Debate Expulsion in Sexual Harassment Case; Lopez Vows to Remain(NYT) * Vito Lopez: Let My Constituents Decide If I Should Stay Or Go(NYDN) * Assemblyman Vito Lopez fires back at Speaker Sheldon Silver who said Lopez ... * Lopez Defiant On Calls to Resign(WSJ)

Subpoenas to put the heat-o on Vito(NYP)

Not so fast, Shelly(NYP)  Let’s not mince words: Lopez is a recidivist molester, a pig who should’ve packed it in long ago.  But the real scandal is the Silver-orchestrated, publicly-funded coverup of Lopez’s sexual misconduct — the $100,000-plus in damages secretly approved by the speaker and checked off on without comment by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.They’re all Democrats, of course — convening now in Charlotte, NC, to help fellow Democrats condemn the “Republican War on Women.” Without a trace of irony. But Silver is the Assembly’s enabler. Pious public declarations of the “Lopez must resign” sort — fully two weeks into the scandal — are meant simply to change the subject.
Not good enough, Mr. Speaker. Not now.

The Brennan Center and Every Elected Official Should Be Asked, Is the NYS Legislature Any Less Dysfunctional Than It Was in 2004, When They Release Their Report

On July 21, 2004, the Brennan Center released The New York State Legislative Process: An Evaluation and Blueprint for Reform. The report concludes that New York's legislative bodies discourage rank-and-file lawmakers from participating fully in the legislative process and, in turn, deprive citizens of full representation in Albany. In New York State, representative democracy is alive in name more than reality * We’ve Still Got It! When It Comes to Corrupt Pols, New York Is Still Tops (NYO) * “For voters and taxpayers, the ultimate question is whether this scandal changes the way Albany conducts business,” Clyde Haberman wrote. “Or does it keep doing the same old — livin’ la Vito Lopez?”

.The Brennan Center For Justice: Reform of the New York State Legislature * “New York’s legislature is the most dysfunctional in the nation” (Brennan Center) *The Sad State of New York's Government | Brennan Center for Justice(2004)

Retro Silver Bruno BS
In 2004 Senator Bruno called the report ''pure nonsense,'' saying that other Republicans in the Senate confer with him constantly but that it falls to him to lead.  In 2004 Speaker Silver said that he talked to the Democrats who make up his conference all the time. ''Nothing happens here in Albany, in the Assembly, without the input of the rank-and-file legislators,'' he said.

 Including Hush Payments?

NYT It it Time for A Follow Up To Your 2004 Editorial on the Brennan Report . . .  We know that NYU is to preoccupied buying Pols to get zoning clearances?

New York's Fake Legislature (NYT Ed) The most galling part of watching the New York Legislature in action is the sight of thousands of students innocently touring the State Capitol. Their teachers are usually telling them about how democracy works, how Teddy Roosevelt and Al Smith once roamed these very halls, how Mr. Bill becomes Mr. Law in Albany. In reality, what these crowds of young people see is men and women on public salaries, going through the motions. The whole place might as well be made out of cardboard.  As a report released last week from the Brennan Center for Justice at N.Y.U. School of Law has documented, New York's Capitol houses a Potemkin legislature. The Capitol's splendid chambers are for show; voting is automatic once a legislator swipes a card or waves at a clerk at the beginning of each putative workday.

Legislation that goes to the floor always passes -- always -- because the leader in each house has more power than most dictators. The other 210 members either follow their leaders or watch their backs. Mr. Bruno and Mr. Silver, who could change these suffocating rules, were dismissive of the very idea. Mr. Bruno called the proposals ''third world country stuff.'' Clearly New York's leaders need to get around more -- especially to other statehouses in the United States.

Albany A in Dysfunctional  F in Turning Around the State's Economy and Creating Jobs
The Brennan Center's flagship issue in New York is legislative reform. In 2004, the Center released a landmark report documenting in detail the pervasive dysfunction in New York's legislative process and offering a blueprint for reform. Still Broken, our 2008 update on these issues, detailed the reforms made by the Senate and Assembly in 2005 and concluded that the broken legislative process had not been substantially fixed by either chamber. Since the report's release, all of New York's major daily newspapers, from upstate and downstate, have used their editorial pages to call the public's attention to the report's findings. More than 30 organizations from across the political spectrum have endorsed our package of reforms.

Silver Throws Lopez Under the Bus to Try to Save His Own Ass
Tells 'Gropez' to quit Assembly(NYP) If Lopez continues to refuse to step down, Silver said he would be “exploring all legal options” to find a way to boot him out of the Assembly, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state leaders insist he must step down* New York Speaker Says He Asked Lopez to Step Down(NYT) * Silver to Lopez: Resign(WSJ) * Web Extra: Extended Shelly Silver Interview Regarding Vito Lopez(NY1) * EXCLUSIVE: Silver says he asked Vito Lopez to resign(NYDN) Speaker Shelly Silver told Assemblyman Vito Lopez to resign 10 minutes before publicly issuing a letter censuring him for sexual harassment allegations, but Lopez wouldn’t take his advice* Pols rain on Vito at West Indian Day parade(NYDN) * Speaker Silver Demands That Assemblyman Lopez Resign From (WCBS) * NY ethics board expected to take sex harass case(Fox 5) 
Some Republicans say that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s review of the tax payments of private equity firms, including Mitt Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital, is “politically motivated,” the Wall Street Journal reports:  * Report: Sheldon Silver Asked Accused Sexual Harasser Vito Lopez to Resign(NY Mag) * State Ethics Board expected to meet on Vito Lopez sexual harassment case. * in Charlotte. Gloria Allred is a member of the Calif delegation. * “He basically was inaudible,” Shelly Silver said of Vito Lopez’s response to his call for him to step down. “I got the impression he didn’t appreciate my advice.” * Celebrity attorney, and California delegate, Gloria Allred was on hand at the convention to press her case on the matter.* Silver said he plans to explore “all legal avenues” to get rid of Lopez if he won’t bow to pressure and go on his own steam.* “Albany’s puppet master has gone too far,” writes Denise Jewell Gee.* State party co-chair Stephanie Minor call Sheldon Silver "a man of integrity."* Vito Lopez Harassment Case Casts Shadow Over New York's Delegates * who made these rules again? MT : 2/8 vote to investigate a leg member must come from party of target. Silver appointed 3/4 dems* Dem Candidate Says He Won’t Back Silver(YNN) * Not The First Time(YNN) * JCOPE Mum On Lopez Probe(YNN) * The Republicans blasted the Democrats for dropping calls for the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital from their convention platform.* Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Nydia Velazquez will be on the convention stage in Charlotte tonight.* JCOPE met today. Who knows what they talked about though.* Wendy Long thinks Shelly Silver should step aside until the issue is resolved.*  Ed Cox concurred.*Lopez Says He Won’t Resign(Gannett) * Assembly Lopez Says He Won’t Quit in Wake of Sexual Harassment Scandal(NYT) * Vito Lopez Scandal Will Hurt Sheldon Silver (NY Mag)

Campaign 2012 WFP Endorses James Sanders, Andy King * David Storobin and Simcha Felder are still going at it in court.* John Liu denied that he was denied convention credentials.

The proposed lines for a segment of Kings County.City Council Redistricting Drafts Released(NYO)

Daily News Questions Seddio's Temperament
Meet the new Brooklyn Democratic boss (NYDN Ed)Frank Seddio has shown troubling judgment in the past The News is far from enthusiastic about former assemblyman Frank Seddio’s emergence as the presumptive future chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, questioning his temperament

How NY Celebrates Labor: With ‘Made In Cambodia’ Hat(YNN)

Parade Murders Again
Violence once again marred the aftermath of Brooklyn's West Indian American Day Parade

Tempers Cool in Brooklyn After Pool’s Rocky Rebirth(NYT)

Fares Going Up Up Up
Oh, hail! Taxi fares rise todayOh, hail! Taxi fares rise today(NYP) * As of Tuesday, Yellow Cabs Can Charge Higher Rates(NYT) Yellow cabs are starting to charge customers new fares, which increase rates by 17 percent, on Tuesday, after the Taxi and Limousine Commission approved the changes in July, * New Taxi Fare Hike Goes Into Effect Today(NY1) *As a Taxi-Hailing App Comes to New York, Its Legality Is Questioned(NYT) * Cab Fare Calculus: New Decal + New Meter(NYT)


 The number of city residents with union jobs in the private sector has dropped by 20 percent since 2008, eroding one of the last bastions of union power, according to a report by the City University of New York, the Times reports: http://nyti.ms/PF9bPg

Suspended Principal Among 5 Fined by Conflicts Board(NYT)

As Vendors Hustle for Space, Tempers Flare(NYT)
In Taking Fat Out of School Lunches, City Left Students Too Few Calories(NYT)

Mayor Bloomberg held a press conference announcing that Weigh Watchers and other groups support his soda ban proposal.

The Making of A President 2012

Cuomo nixes breaking bread with O’s donorsCuomo nixes breaking bread with O’s donors(NYP) Cuomo declined to meet with about 20 of President Obama’s donors who were planning a private luncheon for the governor on Thursday at the Democratic National Convention 
* Iowa Democratic delegates, whose votes will be crucial in determining the party’s presidential nominee in 2016, know next to nothing about Cuomo, the Albany Times Union writes: * Without Spirit of ’08, Mutual Fears Reunite Democrats(NYT) * In Looking Back, Voters Have Short Memories(NYT) * Obama to Press His Case(WSJ) * Wasserman Schultz On Fox: Americans Are Better Off Today Than Four Years Ago (VIDEO)* Julian Castro’s keynote could bring national spotlight: *"Obama has a Jewish soul!": The DNC's guide to winning the Jewish vote(TPM) * Michelle Obama won’t take on GOP, via  * California Democratic Party Chairman Likens Paul Ryan to Nazi Propagandist(NY Mag) * President Obama’s tough sell on the “are you better off” question(Wash Post) * The media is disillusioned with the whole “presidential election” thing this cycle. * They are ready to answer that all-important “Are you better off” question.*
Obama's New Top-Bottom Coalition vs. Clinton's - Joel Kotkin, Daily Beast *  President Has One Job to Save: His Own - Mike Lupica, New York Daily News * Obama's Never Faced a Tough GOP Opponent - Byron York, DC Examiner * The GOP's Rubio Paradox - Matt Miller, Washington Post * Why Dems Flubbed "Better Off" Question - Jill Lawrence, National Journal * Central Planning a la ObamaCare - Ralph Reiland, Pittsburgh Trib-Review * Why Unions Matter More Than Ever - Edward Smith, Politico * Why Unions Matter More Than Ever - Edward Smith, Politico * President's Confident Ignorance - Thomas Sowell, Investor's Business Daily * Obama Team Sees DNC as Paving Way to Victory - Alexis Simendinger, RCP * Barack & Bill: Let's Be Friends - Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker * How Romney & Ryan Can Win Libertarian Voters - Nick Gillespie, Reason * Did the New York Times Just Get Obama Fired? - Rich Karlgaard, Forbes *Democrats Link Charlotte's "Promise" to Obama's - Erin McPike, RCP * This Week, Obama Must Fight Back - Los Angeles Times * ]Obama Must Answer Tough Questions to Win New Term - Pittsburgh PG * Obama grades himself: Incomplete, again(Politico) * Without Spirit of ’08, Mutual Fears Reunite Democrats(NYT) * A new poll shows President Obama and Mitt Romney running closely in North Carolina. Paul D. Ryan sat for interviews.* Pro-Romney Super PAC Launches Anti-Gay Marriage Ad to Snag Southern Swing State Votes  * Party Aims to Burnish Obama Record and Rebut G.O.P.(NYT) * Democrats dropped the word “God” from their platform. * Team Obama isn’t quite sure what Clinton is even going to say.* First Lady to Extol Obama’s Record at Start of Convention(NYT) * Clinton Carves Legacy of Giving (to His Party, Too)(NYT)

Law and Order
Street presence starts with a name(NYP) * NYPDer took my Benz for joy ride while I was in jail(NYP) * PA big faces ax over ‘diploma mill’ résumé (NYP) * Riverside Pk. rapist strikes(NYP) * South Street shooting bust(NYP) *

Taxi Drivers Offer Reward For Info On Bronx Livery Cab Robbery(NY1) * Rape Reported In Riverside Park, Police Hunt For Potential (WCBS) * Woman, 19, Reports Rape at Riverside Park(NBC) * Michael Powell looked at the human toll of violence in New York’s streets.* Man Gets 20 Years In Rape, Sexual Assault Case(NY1) * Sicko sentenced for UES home-invasion sex assault(NYP)