Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Night JCOPE Massacre, NYS Top Leadership Caught in the Hush Money Cover Up Web

Operation Containment: NY Papers Downplay Batra Charges of Corruption Inside the State Ethics Commission JCOPE

NYP buried the Batra resignation to the end of its article 
"Also yesterday, JCOPE Commissioner Ravi Batra resigned after slamming his own panel as being “remote-controlled” by Cuomo’s minions.  “I welcome a subpoena from a federal prosecutor or a Moreland Act-empowered special prosecutor to share my experiences and impressions about the reality of JCOPE in practice,” he told JCOPE Chair Janet DiFiore. Batra claimed he contacted “independent federal law enforcement almost a month ago” about “festering misconduct” at JCOPE. He cited “apparent illegal leaks” and “deception of commissioners” by a JCOPE staff dominated by former Cuomo aides."  More heat on Silver

NYDN Reported "Josh Vlasto, a spokesman for Gov. Cuomo, downplayed reports that JCOPE had narrowed its probe as “rumors,” but also warned that the governor would appoint a separate investigative commission if JCOPE does not conduct a wider inquiry." Albany Times Union Reported Ravi Batra — who was Friday afternoon the object of a swipe by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on a radio interview — says he is stepping down from the organization."Cuomo was on former Gov David Paterson’s WOR talk show about an hour ago. He said “the behavior of an appointee is not something you’re proud of.” Cuomo was referring to Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson — who appointed Batra to JCOPE."Updated with letter: Ravi Batra resigns from JCOPE(TU)  NBC reported On Friday, Batra said the secrecy the panel requires of commissioners may have become a cover for unspecified illegality.  Batra's greatest battle was this summer when he, as usual alone, fought to require donors to the lobbying group the Committee to Save New York be divulged back to the effective date of a 2011 ethics law. The board instead set a date that allowed six- and seven-figure donors of $17 million to the pro-business lobbying group to remain secret. The lobbying was set up to conduct its unprecedented TV ad campaigns that promote Cuomo's achievements. Outspoken NY Ethics Board Member Quits in Protest(NBC)  Politics on the Hudson “Confidentiality may have become a cloak for possible willful illegality operating with a ‘nod and a wink’ means of communication from within JCOPE to a chosen few for political gain and corrupt back-scratching,” he said. Reported  After Batra called for a federal probe of JCOPE, Cuomo criticized Batra and the lawmaker who appointed him, Senate Democratic leader John Sampson. Cuomo spoke in a radio interview.

The Daily News Limited the Batra Resignation to 2 Sentences 
Meanwhile, Ravi Batra, a JCOPE board member, blasted the ethics agency for a spate of “illegal leaks” and being “remote controlled by person or persons” that it is supposed to oversee.  Batra, who officially resigned from the board Friday, would not elaborate but called for a special prosecutor to investigate JCOPE. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in crosshairs of criminal investigation linked to Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal(NYDN)  Judge gives Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan authority to probe Silver's handling of matter. Silver used $103,000 in state funds to pay off two of Lopez's staffers

Friday Night JCOPE Massacre

Ravi Batra Quits JCOPE
After Calling JCOPE A Puppet of the Pols 
Calls It Controlgate 
Calls for A Moreland Commission Before he Quits 
"This is why, consistent with my confidentiality obligations, I notified 
independent federal law enforcement almost a month ago, that Jcope needs 
disinfectant sunshine because confidentiality may have become a cloak for 
possible willful illegality operating with a "nod and a wink" means of 
communication from within Jcope to a chosen few for political gain and 
corrupt back-scratching.

"Recent events have been cascading into a crescendo where I feel compelled to resign over principle. A concept that US Attorney Preet Bharara announced upon taking his public oath of office and one I have previously mentioned.I wish you well and hope that my resignation aids in focusing attention on the need for proper policies and practices to effectuate honest and independent ethics enforcement so as to actually restore public confidence in government and public service. NY ethics board member wants fed probe of panel(WSJ)

I acknowledge the continuing confidentiality obligation as well as the 2-year bar. I welcome a subpoena from a federal prosecutor or a Moreland Act-empowered special prosecutor to share my experiences and impressions about the reality of Jcope in practice, for then the confidentiality bar would no longer apply, and public trust further enriched." I have tried to serve, to the best of my ability, so that everyday New Yorkers knew that I was working overtime to honor our leaders' call to bring integrity back to Albany. 

That Vito Lopez's alleged conduct is unbecoming a gentleman is not an issue, but even he is entitled to due process before the facts overwhelm him, and separation of powers is still constitutionally worthy. Indeed, just when New York is faced with press reported issues of serious breach of public ethics raised by Vito Lopez's allegedly ungentlemanly behavior and Jcope needs to be able to swing into maximum action with all its capability to identify any and all breaches of the public trust, onsistent with its independent authority and commission-voted judgment, Jcope may be self-destructing with issues raised from apparent illegal leaks, deception of commissioners by staff, legally false prior public pronouncements and inter alia, operating in a manner that raises substantial concern that Jcope is being remote-controlled by person or persons that are themselves subject to Jcope's direct oversight and disinfectant jurisdiction; thereby making Jcope an unlawful political tool, if the substantial concerns raised are true. 

For lack of a better term what appears to be happening at Jcope is "Controlgate," despite the horrible, yet instructive, lessons of NYS Public Integrity Commission and Suffolk County's Ethics Commission documented by NYS IG's Trooper-Gate Report and DA Tom Spota's released Grand Jury Report, respectively. Until Jcope itself isn't acting independently, exercising commission-voted judgment and staff honoring their fiduciary duties imposed upon agents, given the delegation of authority resolution, Jcope is unable to honor its critical and vital statutory mandate to bring integrity back to Albany and beyond and those who breach the Public Officers Law may be able to escape ethics-imposed investigation and any referrals for criminal prosecution or punishment that Jcope could have imposed. Instead, the issues of Controlgate could make Jcope impotent, public ethics a farce and as a result undermine public confidence in governance itself. I therefore request our great Governor to appoint a truly independent special prosecutor, pursuant to inter alia, Moreland Act authority, to address issues of Controlgate and thereby restore public confidence in governmental ethics-oversight regime and prevent it from being an unlawful political tool. * Cuomo spox, Batra issue eyebrow-raising JCOPE statements(Capital) * Governor Cuomo said, if true, JCOPE’s move is “unconscionable.” * Ravi Batra To JCOPE: Shape Up Or I Quit | New York Daily News Updated with letter: Ravi Batra resigns from JCOPE(TU) *JCOPE Member Says “Au Revoir” And Resigns | Vote Up! | Vote Up ...( * Governor Demands a Probe of Speaker(WSJ)

Is State Supreme Court Justice Fern Fisher New York's Judge john Sirica
Judge orders wider Assembly sex harassment probe A state judge on Friday ordered a special prosecutor to expand his probe of a sexual harassment case in the state Assembly to include a secret settlement using public money approved by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.  * Judge orders wider Assembly sex harassment probe ...

Vito the Rat Could Take Down the Albany Mafia
Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano — 'The Bull" Becomes "The Rat' — Crime The Bull' Becomes 'The Rat'. Gotti explained away his words to the effect that he was just letting off steam. But Gravano knew there was more to it. Gotti then told ...

 JCOPE Does A Schultz: When It Comes to Silver Hush $$$ They See Nothing 
In NYS Paying Tax Payer Hush $$$ Cover Ups are Legal

Ethics panel declines to probe Sheldon Silver over Lopez settlement(NYP) * New York Ethics Inquiry Won’t Look at Speaker’s Actions(NYT) The state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics will not probe Speaker Shelly Silver for his role in a sexual harassment settlement and instead focus on charges against Assemblyman Vito Lopez* Ethics Body Eyes Lopez(WSJ) * Plus: Sexual-harassment lawyer Gloria Allred, who represented the two women who received the secret settlement approved by Mr. Silver, said she had already received subpoenas from the commission. [Capitol Confidential] * Shelly Silver Off The Hook For (Taxpayer Funded) Coverup Of Vito Lopez Sex ...(Village Voice) * Good government groups questioned JCOPE’s curious decision to not focus on Shelly Silver in their probe of the Vito Lopez scandal.* Governor Cuomo said, if true, JCOPE’s move is “unconscionable.” *  One member of the ethics panel, Ravi Batra, said this. * A judge ordered the prosecutorial probe to be expanded to Silver’s settlement. * Lopez’s downfall, a Shakespearean tragedy.

Judge Broadens Prosecutor’s Authority in Lopez Case(NYT) * Staten Island DA Donovan Takes Aim At Sheldon Silver(NYDN) * Sheldon Silver, John Sampson, Andrew Cuomo and Kevin Parker. Azi Paybarah(Capital) * Letter: Lopez and Silver should resign(Newsday) * Cuomo Threatens Broader Sex Harassment Investigation(NBC)

Remember When the NYT Uncovered Cover Ups By Pols Rather Than Enabling Them
As the Silver Cover Up Heat Up the NYT Distracts With An Editorial About Moonlighting Lawmakers
Not even a call by the times for reform or more transparency so tax payer hush money cannot be paid by pols to cover up sex abuse
New York’s Moonlighting Lawmakers (NYT) If we are serious about uprooting corruption in Albany, the next step is to make service as a legislator a full-time job and ban outside sources of employment and income for our public officials.

Quick Hide Lopez's Body
Pols Work to Get Him Out to Protect Silver .: if lawmakes unanimously pass reso 4 Vito Lopez 2 resign, "i think he'd have to step down." Sen. Chuck Schumer wants the Assembly to pass a resolution calling on Lopez to quit if he continues to refuse to resign from office amid charges he groped female former staff members * Schumer Wants Resolution Pushing Vito Lopez to Quit(NY Mag) * Bloomberg: Nope, Schumer’s the One Who’s Wrong about Obama and Gun Control(NYO) * Boss loss emboldens borough Democrats (Brooklyn Daily)

Cuomo Threatens Special Prosecutor Today

Special Prosecutor's Probe Widens from Lopez Harassment to Silver Payout(WNYC)* Cuomo threatens broader sex harass investigation(WSJ)

On September 1 True News Said Cuomo Would Have to Appoint A Special Prosecutor

We Need A New Seabury Commission to Clean Up Albany and Go After All of Vito Lopez's Corruption
The Moreland Act: Cuomo's Big Stick To Clean Up Albany 
The Moreland Act
Cuomo's Big Stick
No Faith in Government

The measure gives the Governor broad powers to investigate state departments and institutions, at his own option and with the help of experts, on the theory that he will recommend remedies to the Legislature. The most recent Moreland Act commissions were appointed in 1976, by Gov. Hugh L. Carey, to investigate nursing homes and in 1963, by Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, to investigate alcoholic-beverage control laws. Seabury Commission - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia * JCOPE is holding a special meeting this week, probably to discuss this controversy. * Corruption Springs eternal: reining in NY’s shady pols(NYP) * The situation only strengthens Governor Cuomo’s hold on Albany.

If The Governor or Investigators Do Not Clean Up Albany the People Can At A Constitutional Convention in 2017
There are two ways to amend the New York constitution. First, state legislators may identify problems with the political system and propose changes to the people. Second, if politicians benefit from the system's imperfections (as now) and are unlikely to change it, the constitution provides that every 20 years the people can propose necessary revisions. This is where a convention comes in. Our next chance to have one will be in 2017.

The woman-suffrage movement in New York City society leaders securing signatures to petitions to be presented to the constitutional convention - scene at Sherry's / / Clinedinst.

David: Clear His Name for Paying Hush Funds and Saying He is Sorry He Did It ?
not investigating sheldon silver doesn't give Silver the chance to clear his name--

Election 2012 GOP opponent Reyes: "'s rude & mocking comments about Senator Bob Dole prove that 27-yr old Ulrich is unfit for public office."* Terror Attacks Anniversary Delays City Primary Day(NY1)* The Amsterdam News issued its endorsements for state legislative races, picking, among others, Ola Alabi, Rodneyse Bichotte, Brad Hoylman, and Guillermo Linares. * The Haitan Times profiled Bichotte.* Stalinist Accusations Fly in Queens State Senate Race(NYO) * After Primary Dis, Cuomo Backs Espaillat(NYO) * Governor Cuomo Endorses a Democratic Senator for Reelection(NYO) * The Queens Chronicle and Forum News picked Eric Ulrich in the GOP primary. * Lincoln Restler’s 2010 opponent Warren Cohn endorsed him. * Ben Akselrod said yeshiva tuition would be his top priority.

Marty Markowitz Forget About Otano
State Sen. Martin Dilan is in a primary battle against Borough President Marty Markowitz's former counsel Jason Otano, who has tried to tie Dilan to embattled Assemblyman Vito Lopez. Dilan is a longtime ally of Lopez and has given tens of thousands of dollars to the nonprofit Lopez founded, but he has kept his distance lately. Dilan's political strategist, Mike Olmeda, said the race should be a "shellacking" of around 78 to 22 percent but that the race will likely be closer because of the Lopez factor. "Martin Dilan is running on his record, he stands on his record," Olmeda said. "For the other side to convolute the issue and associate himself, and make him look in the same light as Vito is a disservice to the constituents of the community. He’s going to win." Otano says he's making progress just by showing up. "We're making the argument that the whole Brooklyn Democratic machine needs to go, but most people don't even know who their state senator is and they appreciate someone is actually reaching out to them in person and asking them for their vote," he said. "The state senator they've had over the past 10 years has been nowhere to be seen."

Hoping for Change at Queens School Where Chancellor Has Ties(NYT)More Field Tests Slated(WSJ) Students in 550 schools around New York state this fall will sit for another standardized test that doesn't count, as the state again tries to fine-tune future test questions, according to a memo sent to superintendents.Students in 550 schools in New York State will sit for a standardized test that doesn’t count as the state revises future test questions, but some parents vow to pull their kids out of school in protest * City Courts Investors to Fix Schools(WSJ) * Special Ed Gold Mine, Part 3: Some Money Intended For Special Ed Ends Up Elsewhere(NY1) *The News describes United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew successful effort to stall teacher evaluations as an “anti-kid victory”: 

(Photo: Getty)Bloomberg Castigates Both Parties in Response to Weak Jobs Report(NYo)

The Making of A President 2012
President Obama says he will need years to achieve his goals(NYP) * Ka-Bam! Prez blew up at Boehner over budget deal (NYP) *Obama Asks for Time to Win Revival(NYT) * President Warns of Perils of a Return to G.O.P. Leadership(NYT) * Joblessness May Undermine Obama’s Convention Bump(NYT) * For Ryan, Perks of Joining Ticket Can Be Weighty(NYT) * Speeches Under a Magnifying Glass(NYT) * Character, Not Audacity(NYT) * President Obama’s Second Chance(NYT Ed) The president makes a strong case for a vision of government that serves the middle class. * Joe Biden's Speech(NYT) * Obama Pledges U.S. Revival(WSJ) * Barney Frank: GOP Gays Are 'Uncle Toms'  * * Democrats Look Ahead to Prospects for 2016 (NYT) * Goodwin: "It turns out that the party that left God out of its platform has a religious zeal for its leader."(NYP)
Romney camp to air 15 new ads in 8 battleground states:(TPM) * Daily News editorial: "Facts make hope a hard sell for the President." So both conventions are over, 60 days to go and Romney's still only advertising in 8 states. No PA, no WI, no MI. Battleground didn't expand  * Two conventions tell the tale of 2012, (Politico) * Obama sets Tweets-per-minute record(Politico) * Nancy Pelosi Denies Bob Woodward's Claim About Pressing Mute On Obama's Calls  * President Obama Lays Out His Agenda For A Second Term In DNC Speech * Mitt Romney Didn’t Watch the Democratic National Convention(NY Mag) * Obama lays out stark "choice between two different paths":(TPM)  * Joe Biden Portrayed as Key Deal Broker in New Bob Woodward Book on Obama (Daily Beast) * A Post columnist, meanwhile, characterized the overall convention in more simple terms: “Barack Obama lights candles, Mitt Romney spreads darkness, and Osama bin Laden is dead.” * Politico’s Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman provided their own conclusions on Obama’s address, which, among other things, noted that Bill Clinton’s speeech was better. * You can just watch the entire speech for yourself, if you missed it. * John Kerry: “Ask Osama bin Laden if he’s better off now than he was four years ago.” * Biden’s actual address wavered from the text in parts: * Bill Clinton beats football(Huff Post) * Local reporter's audacious Obama interview  * Jobs report brings end to Democrats' convention high * Romney says disappointing jobs report shows Obama 'hasn't lived up to his promises' * “They vet most of the people, but I told them, ‘You can’t do that with me, because I don’t know what I’m going to say,’” Clint Eastwood recalled, giving the background for his widely mocked convention speech. * Another Kennedy will soon be in Congress. * Bill Clinton did a better job selling President Obama than the President himself did. * You thought New York had the worst seats at the convention? * Mitt Romney called the weak jobs report a “hangover” from last night. * For his part, Obama urged patience * Obama beats Romney - in TV ratings (CBS) * Obama, Romney embark on post-convention drive to Election Day(Wash Post)

Cuomo, in Convention City, Gives Spirited Speech From Small Stage(NYT) *Cuomo Joins Democrats In Charlotte(WSJ) Political observers believe Gov. Andrew Cuomo will run for president after giving a partisan speech to the state delegation, but he could have difficulty swaying delegates who love Hillary Clinton

New York’s health-care time bomb(NYP) Here in the Empire State, the number is staggering: an unfunded liability of nearly $250 billion for future health costs of government retirees. * With Medicaid, Long-Term Care of Elderly Looms as a Rising Cost(NYT)

Marathon Bags Policy Is Speedily Reversed(WSJ)

The News calls McCarren Park Pool a success because 142,100 swimmers visited the new pool site this year, beating out the city’s other outdoor pool venues:

The Bloomberg administration wants to market the city’s logos and brands to corporations as a way to raise funds more quickly through the quasi-public tourism agency, NYC & Co., the News reports:

The New York Police Department released new data showing the vast majority of victims and perpetrators of violent crime in the city are black and Latino
Gun crime by the numbersGun crime by the numbers(NYP ED)The Post defends the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, citing violence at the Bronx Zoo this week and data that shows that blacks and Latinos account for 96 percent of the city’s shooting victims * NYPD Report Says 96 Percent Of Shooting Victims Are Black or Latino (Huff Post)

For Now, Taxi Office Says, Cab-Hailing Apps Aren’t Allowed(NYT)

NYPD officer canned for ticketing dead people says he was doing it to meet 'quotas'NYPD officer canned for ticketing dead people says he was doing it to meet 'quotas(NYP)'

Housing Complex's Security Cameras Frowned Upon By NYCHA(NY1)With so many shootings in public housing developments this summer and a cry for many security cameras, one family has taken matters into its own hands. But that's not sitting well with the housing authority.

Law and Order
Bronx bodega worker killed by cop after being mistaken for a robber: witnesses (NYDN)

Innocent bodega worker shot, killed by cop responding to armed robbery

WATCH: Video shows heartless thug attacking dog in E. Harlem elevator(NYP)

Seized motorbikes swiped from Bronx cop lotSeized motorbikes swiped from Bronx cop lot(NYP)

‘Innocent soul’ eyed a future far away from Bx. violenceInnocent soul’ eyed a future far away from Bx. violence(NYP)

Queens man dies after attacking kickboxing gas-station clerkQueens man dies after attacking kickboxing gas-station clerk(NYP)

'Genius' accused of cab-jacking shouts down judge'Genius' accused of cab-jacking shouts down judge(NYP)

Cyber bully gets four years for threatening to rape, murder women who complained about his web biz(NYP) * Gun-filled Storage Locker Rented by NYPD Shooting Suspect(WSJ)  * Man fatally shot outside Bronx bodega(WSJ) * Arrest Made In Brooklyn Shooting As Wake Held For Victim(NY1) * Police Look For Man Shown Kicking Dog In Disturbing Video(NY1) * Man Dead After Gas Station Fight(NY1)* Deadly shooting at bodega in the Bronx(WCBS) * Aunt of shot Bronx 2-month-old rails over gun...(NYDN) * Queens teacher pleads guilty to sex act with 13-year-old student  *Police Fatally Shoot a Man Outside a Bronx Bodega(NYT)

Illegal immigrant admits using dead man's ID to work at Newark airport(NYP)