Saturday, September 1, 2012

True New Updated 24/7 All Weekend, Monday Updated

The Effects of Getting Caught Allred Handed
Silver to Lopez Resign Now

Breaking Shelly Silver Just Moved From Hush Money to Throwing Vito Lopez Under the Bus in Effort to Save His Own Ass
RT : Vito Lopez should quit assembly: Shelly Silver tells me in long interview. Story at seven. * EXCLUSIVE: Silver says he asked Vito Lopez to resign(NYDN) * Pols rain on Vito at parade(NYDN) * Speaker Says He Asked Assemblyman to Resign(NYT)* Assemblyman Vito Lopez Refused Request to Step Down, Speaker Says(NYT)

Breaking Cuomo wants investigation launched into activities of Vito LopezYNN

    1st Sheldon Silver uses $100,000 in taxpayer hush $ to cover up Vito Lopez's sexual harassment suit, now he calls on him to resign!

Shel Game

Sheldon Silver, the most gifted Albany player of his generation, kept a payoff uiet. Will Andrew Cuomo win? (NY Mag)* Speaker Silver tells reporters in Charlotte outside event that he asked Vito Lopez to resign. Silver said he plans to lead NY delegates here
Impeachment of Lopez Possible
* Speaker Sheldon Silver has called on Vito Lopez to resign and is looking at legal options to remove him if he balks.* Silver said he told Lopez last Friday to resign, saying the sanctions by Ethics Committee would "make him ineffective" in Assembly.* has video of Cuomo's scrum at the West Indian Carnival

Sheldon Silver plans major role at DNC despite heat over Vito Lopez sex harass scandal (NYDN)
Assembly Speaker Silver is holding fast to his high-profile role at the Democratic National Convention, despite swirling controversy over his handling of sexual-harassment accusations against Vito Lopez. * The state’s Democrats are pondering how to be relevant nationally with their governor all but skipping the convention, its senators split among downtown hotels, and its speaker hobbled in a harassment scandal, the Albany Times Union reports: 
Does Silver's Appointees on JCOPE Have to Recluse
Mr. Chairman As Leader of the Corruption in the State Of New York I Nominate   . . .
Some Democrats have also started pressing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to skip next week’s Democratic National Convention, according to a Democratic lawmaker. “It is going to be a huge distraction,” the lawmaker said.(NYDN) * The DNC quietly suggested he “reconsider” his role in the delegation, but he’s full steam ahead. * Cuomo: Everyone Has A Role At DNC(YNN) * Wright: Hurricane Isaac Was A Distraction, Lopez Isn’t(YNN) * DNC 2012: Cuomo, Silver, Lopez(NYDN)*   So this is interesting: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is here at the Doubletree in Charlotte + Gloria Allred is hanging out in the lobby.* Silver Keeps DNC Role Despite Scandal(NBC) * DNC Delegates Comment On NY Assembly's Harassment Settl (NY1)

Passing the Corrupt Torch  to an Impotent Leader . . .  Weprin and Flider Loses in His Home Base

NYT Report Liz Robbins Short on Facts?
NYT's Robbins Writes:
"If recent experience is any indication, the post could allow him to influence the next mayoral election, in a borough that is 71 percent Democratic."

True News:
Robbins should have explained more what she meant by influence.  Lopez supported Thompson in 2009 and every democrat mayoral candidate since he was elected county leader in 2005.  All losers to Bloomberg.  The former Booklyn Boss Clarence Norman never supported Mayor Giuliani or Koch.  But Lopez did support Bloomberg successful effort to extend term limits so he can run again. Robbins never talked about the recent major loses by Seddio of Weprin for congress and Filder for state senate. Both defeated by GOP political unknows in districts that have elected only democrats for 100 years. Weiner's old seat goes Republican for first time in 90 years  * Fidler Gets His Ass Kicked by A Nobody  Or the weakness of the Thomas Jefferson club located in a neighborhood that has completely racially changed since the time that club controlled Brooklyn with Meade Esposito.

Robbins could have looking into the non profit that the TJ Club, Kruger and Fider use government funds to buy with government funds minority support for the club and its candidates. The is no diffenence between how the TJ Club's uses it non profit Millennium Development  and Lopez uses his Ridgewood Bushwick non profit machine. Pork Pig Fidler’s Media Friends Put Lipstick On Him  The NYT reporter could have written about how the lose of Weiner, Kruger and Filder in one year has weakened Seddio's political power. Or what Seddio is going to do to prevent Southern Brooklyn from becoming more republican. Will The GOP Domino Theory Continue in Southern Brooklyn * Robbins did not write about how Seddio had hoped to take over Fidler's council senate or how the Fidler district will be turned into a minority seat in the 2013 council redistrict.  All we really have with Seddio taking over for Lopez is somone who has support if disconnected district leaders in a dysfunctinal party that has no connection or responsiblities to the people they represent.

Robbins did not write about the district leaders who are expected to elected Seddio after the September 13 Democratic Primary are a cult who represent nobody but themselves.  Or how their power comes from their office not their ability to produce votes.  Most of the elected district leaders who will elect the new county leader have never faced a primary challenge. Either have the elected officials in their district.  Some have been in office for a generation. You have to go back to the 1980's to find the last time there was a district leader war in Brooklyn.  That one was between Boro President Howard Golden and Thomas Jefferson Club leader Tony Genovesi.  Robbins never talked about what Mr. Seddio did for a living, He is a lawyer. Or how he used his position in poltiics to gain financially.  All Robbins said was "Mr. Seddio acknowledges that the machine has served him well."  Another example of the NYT not investigations some people while destory the political careers other others like, David Paterson and John Liu. * NY Democratic leaders call for Lopez to step down(NYP) But the same delegates defended Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who approved a settlement for two harassment claims filed against Lopez. * New York Democrats Call for Vito Lopez's Resignation(NY Mag) * DNC Delegates Comment On NY Assembly's Harassment Settlement(NY1) Update there is a civil court race in Brooklyn Heights that pits Seddio who is supporting the last Tony Genovesi daughter against the reforms which was also not in Robbins article.Genovesi is running against Richard Montelione, an openly gay attorney in private practice, who is a longtime member of the Lambda Independent Democrats and has been active on LGBT issues.* Hakeem Jeffries said Frank Seddio should not use the 11 at-large district leaders to win the leadership, even if he abolishes them afterward.

Seddio and Mayor Candidates Attend Victory Celebration for Fidler That Never Came
On election night most of the clueless mayoral candidates showed up to celebrate a Fidler victory. What they got was shock that the election was tied and a song and dance presentation put on by Fidler and his handlers declaring victory.  Quinn, de Blasio and Thompson all came to the party in hopes of getting Fidler and his Thomas Jefferson Club support for mayor.  Quinn who give Fidler the third highest amount of member items used good city money to ensure that Fidler pick her. True News: Fidler the Angry Bum Fooled the Pols, Press * Congressman Weiner A Strong Symbol That Keep Southern Brooklyn Democratic Party Together

Likely Successor to Disgraced Brooklyn Party Leader Is a Friend and Protégé(NYT) The pasta-loving patriarch of the Thomas Jefferson Club in southern Brooklyn, Mr. Seddio, 65, was the machine’s pick to become a state assemblyman and later a Surrogate’s Court judge, through a much criticized process that sidestepped the usual electoral vetting. He resigned from the bench in 2007, just 17 months into a 14-year term, amid an ethics inquiry into the tens of thousands of dollars he donated to Democratic leaders and organizations before he assumed the post with the party’s backing. Seddio vows to eliminate the at-large district leaders. The leading candidate to replace Assemblyman Vito Lopez as Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman, Frank Seddio, vowed to unify the party, but progressives and some black and Latino party leaders are wary


NYT Helps Out Schneiderman Change the Subject Sunday . . . GOP Pushes Back
Inquiry on Tax Strategy Adds to Scrutiny of Finance Firms(NYT) * AG using Bain to bury Vito scandal: GOP big (Dicker, NYP) Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is trying to drive attention away from his role in the Sheldon Silver/Vito Lopez secret sex-harassment settlement with a “blatantly political” probe of Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, the state GOP chairman blasted yesterday.* AG Firms Probed Over Tax Practice(WSJ)

City is Hemorrhaging Hing Paying Wall Street Jobs That Will Not Come Back . . .  City's 10% Unemployment Explained . . . Mayoral Candidates Silent
Wall street’s labor daze(NYP) NYC’s job engine sputters  The number of workers employed in the financial sector has dropped by 5.1 percent since its 2007 peak — and few expect those 30,000 to come back any time soon. Indeed, Wall Street lost nearly 30,000 jobs since hitting peak employment of 188,945 in November 2007 — shaving nearly 15 percent of the securities sector’s staff by Jan 2010, according to statistics from the New York State Department of Labor. And many in the financial industry believe that the bleeding of jobs on Wall Street may not be over any time soon, with many of the high-profile trading jobs in areas like proprietary trading gone for good. Besides a sluggish economy, the biggest thorn in Wall Street’s side has been new rules still being implemented under regulatory reforms tied to 2-year old Dodd-Frank, which have resulted in whole businesses being lopped off.

GOP West Nile Districts
Map of NYC's Republican districts bears eerie resemblance to West Nile Virus mosquito map.(Brooklyn Eagle)

Campaign 2012 Bill de Blasio is stepping up his criticism of Christine Quinn on paid sick day legislation. * A Grace Meng campaign sign made a list of New York City’s historically significant objects.* Unions are building a 65,000-member coalition, led by the Detectives Endowment Association’s Michael Palladino and the Correction Officers Benevolent Association’s Norman Seabrook, to elect the next mayor, the News reports:  * Unions build 65,000-member coalition to elect next mayo (NYDN) * NY pol's reliance on rabbi comes back to haunt him(WSJ) * Gjonaj Headline-Bombs Naomi Rivera in Mailer(NYO) * Simcha Felder was “very upset” with “this Twitter thing and the blogs.”* Associated Press connects Congressman Michael Grimm to folks involved in the pornography business.

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.

Albany Pirates: Corruption With A Few Pieces of Silver
$weet life in Rotten Apple$weet life in Rotten Apple(NYP) The Queens Democrat was indicted after a probe by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, prompted by a Post exposé. She was charged with trying to cover up the alleged theft of $29,950 in state money that went to the organization. Huntley’s niece and an aide were also charged in the purported scheme to pocket the taxpayer cash. * Southeastern Queens politicians seem to have lots of questionable nonprofits.

Malcolm Smith (Mr. Mayor)
State Sen. Malcolm Smith and Rep. Gregory Meeks, each a Queens Democrat, were among those credited with founding the New Direction Local Development Corp. in 2001. Smith’s wife was on the initial board of directors. Later that year, Smith began sending state member-item cash to the Queens group, an amount that eventually totaled more than $56,000. One $10,000 grant was to go toward the salary of a former Smith staffer who was the group’s executive director. But the group had little accountability for how it spent its money. A separate fund it started in 2005 to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina gave out a small fraction of the more than $30,000 it raised, according to public documents. The rest of the money remains missing.
A New Orleans resident who was coordinating the distribution of the promised aid money to local victims said it never arrived. Smith has maintained he had nothing to do with the operation of the charity and didn’t know what happened to the Katrina cash. Federal prosecutors began probing the now-defunct non-profit after a 2010 Post exposé.

Vivian Cook
Assemblywoman Vivian Cook, who has represented Jamaica and surrounding areas since 1991, set up the Rockaway Boulevard Local Development Corp. in 1979. The Queens Democrat lobbied the Port Authority for money for the nonprofit when the PA was planning to build the nearby AirTrain to Kennedy Airport. The agency agreed to provide $8 million to the nonprofit as part an effort to mitigate the impact of the AirTrain construction on local communities and by 2010 had paid out $2.5 million. The LDC was supposed to build a business-resource center and in 2006 spent $560,500 to buy a vacant lot on Rockaway Boulevard. It remains an empty, weed-choked eyesore. The nonprofit, which had at least two paid employees, also spent more than $250,000 on street sweeping along Rockaway Boulevard, although it farmed that work out to another nonprofit. After The Post exposed the wasteful spending in 2010, the Port Authority opened an investigation and said it would no longer fund the organization, which has since shut its doors. The US Attorney’s Office also opened a probe.

Barbara Clark
Democratic Assemblywoman Barbara Clark helped found the Community Care Development Project in 1989, two years after taking office, and steered almost $500,000 in state money to it. The group operated out of a storefront down the street from Clark’s office in Queens Village and offered similar services, such as helping people avoid bureaucratic obstacles. What the group actually does, however, is a mystery. Most of the taxpayer money went to rent, salaries and office expenses. In 2010, when The Post visited its offices, there was just one employee sitting at a desk, unable to help with any questions. The nonprofit shut its doors on Nov. 30, 2011, because it no longer received state funding, according to former director Shirley Alexander.

Albany Establishment Afraid and Running for Their Lives
The NYP Michael Goodwin wonders why state officials are beginning to panic over the Lopez sex scandal if they are asserting their “innocence” in the manner, and calls the special prosecutor appointment a good start
Shhh hits the fan for Albany Dems(NYP Goodwin)  The finger-pointing and run-for-your-life atmosphere suggest that a level of panic is taking hold. It’s a curious reaction because, if they’re all innocent, why are they so afraid? Take Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, who belatedly decided to get out of the way of a probe into one of his patrons,
Assemblyman Vito Lopez. Hynes regularly received the backing of the party machine, courtesy of Lopez, and recently called him “a good guy.” Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is trying to wiggle out of any responsibility for the secret payout. That won’t be easy because an e-mail trail shows his office helped Silver craft the agreement and the confidentiality clause.
It counts as big news that the Attorney General’s Office played any role in conspiring to hide from taxpayers such seedy deals. Are there other cases we should know about? In true Albany style, Schneiderman began his defense by going on offense. He declared that it “is time for Mr. Silver to stop his attempts to deflect his responsibility for his . . . own misconduct.” The bravado to take on Silver suggests that Schneiderman sees very high stakes in the investigation. And his language suggests he knows more than he’s saying about the hush money. Take note, Mr. Donovan. The clues of a cover-up are piling up. Silver, of course, is the big fish. Speaker for 18 years, he is a power center that, in some ways, eclipses that of the governor. Chief executives come and go, but Silver has played a steady, masterful game of accumulating control over legislation, spending and patronage. Hardly a dime leaves Albany without his say-so, and that includes all those “member items” that fund phony community organizations. They are an expensive scandal, yet there is a black hole about the decisions to fund them. In this case, Silver admitted he was wrong to make the secret payout, but an honest investigation would almost certainly find that this was not the first time he buried something unsavory. SI DA fears leaky Lopez probe(NYP)  * The Daily News wondered what took Joe Hynes so long in applying for an independent prosecutor and entitled their editorial, “Hynes’ catch-up.” * While the Post dubbed the entire situation “Gropegate.” * Albany has barely made headway in the transparency department.  

Rangel Non Profit Pork Tied to His Election Campaign Manager
   Rangel lobbies for disgraced-nonprofit palRangel lobbies for disgraced-nonprofit pal(NYP) The doors of uptown nonprofit Alianza Dominicana are shut, and dozens of clients a day are turned away from its empty, taxpayer-funded $30 million headquarters — yet Rep. Charles Rangel thinks the remedy is to reinstate its disgraced director.* Charlie Rangel is heavily lobbying to get his former campaign manager back atop a troubled nonprofit.

Marshall Life is A Beach
  Beep is Helen on wheelsBeep is Helen on wheels (NYP) Always away: critics Life’s a beach if you’re Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, who spends more time in the Hamptons than the halls of government, sources told The Post.

Bronx senator raps NYPD on treatment of daughter(NYDN)

Bad election notices will send voters to wrong polling places(NYDN)
  NY Assembly primary is just before Rosh Hashana and Jacobs supporters are (rightly) worried about turnout.
NYP Hitman For Silver
Allred Smashing Silver For NYP Hit Job on the Victims
Allred: Silver, others ‘targeted’ Lopez accusers(TU) In the harshest statement yet in a week of harsh statement from Gloria Allred, the high-profile attorney lambastes Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and “other unnamed political sources,” who she blames for Friday’s New York Post story identifying two of Vito Lopez’s accusers (and noting that one of the women once accused Albany County Legislator Brian Scavo of stalking, a charge that was dismissed).“We look forward to cooperating with any process that is geared towards bringing to light the true facts,” said attorney Gloria Allred, who represented Hebert and Pasarell.*

NYP Albany Mob Enforcer 
Here’s Allred’s latest; we’ve asked Silver’s spokesman for a response:

"I don't care a straw for your newspaper articles, my constituents don't know how to read, but they can't help seeing them damned pictures (Thomas Nass Cartoon)." Boss Tweed
Today’s article in the New York Post is a litany of false and outrageous statements. First, Speaker Silver and other unnamed political sources targeted the women who complained, by implying falsely that they sought only financial gain and did not want an investigation, and then by releasing their names and what appeared to be out of context and misleading confidential settlement communications to the press. Now, the Speaker and others seem desperately to be trying to target their attorneys. It is time for Mr. Silver to stop his attempts to deflect responsibility for his and the Assembly’s own misconduct and to take a good, hard look in the mirror at the actual events that really occurred.

‘Grope-a-dope’ Vito target of criminal probe (NYP) Start sweating, Vito. The Brooklyn DA has ordered up a criminal probe of state Assemblyman Vito Lopez — calling on a special prosecutor to investigate claims that the powerful Democrat groped and sexually harassed female aides, * Special Prosecutor to Investigate Lawmaker in Harassment Case(NYT) * Prosecutor Opens Probe of Lawmaker(WSJ) * Special Prosecutor Sought for Vito Lopez Probe (WSJ) * Lopez case gets the independent prosecutor it needs - NY Daily News * SI DA Named Special Prosecutor In Lopez Investigation(NY1) * Vito Lopez could face charges in sex harassment scandal(NYDN) * Staten Island D.A. Donovan to sift sex-harass charges vs(SI Advance) * Seiler: Footing the bill for Vito Lopez(TU) * Special prosecutor to investigate Vito Lopez(Newsday)

"This is like deja vu all over again" Yogi Berra
Donovan Has Second Shot At Lopez As Special Prosecutor
In 2010 Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan Was Named A Special Prosecutor Against Lopez in A Corruption Case Involving Ridgewood Bushwick . . .  He never investigated Lopez  Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes takes himself off hot-potato Vito Lopez ...Prosecutors charge Tyess Crespo, an employee at a Brooklyn senior center that's part of Lopez's sprawling Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, faked paperwork to steal $4,080 in taxpayer cash. Her April bust is part of an ongoing city investigation. * Donovan: I'm Not Investigating Vito Lopez * Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan tapped to lead investigation to see if disgraced Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez broke law in sexual harassment scandal(NYDN) Donovan appointed after Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes, citing political ties to Lopez, asked courts to appoint special prosecutor

A year ago, Hynes defended his decision to appear at Lopez’s summer barbecue despite a funding scandal involving the Lopez-linked Ridgewood-Buswick Senior Citizens Council. “I have convicted more politicians than any other district attorney in this state’s history, and I know the difference between a crook and others,” Hynes said, adding “so Vito is a good guy." * Hynes’ catch-up  (NYDN ED) Not after Hynes attended Lopez’s picnic last summer at the Ridgewood-Bushwick Senior Citizens Council — despite reports that the Lopez-founded organization was under federal investigation.

Albany's Culture or Corruption Tripped Up By Allred - Not Investigators DA AG JCOPE
The real issue here is Albany’s ingrained culture of corruption — and the instinct that led Speaker Sheldon Silver to negotiate a hush-money payment.
According to the e-mails, the allegations were limited to inappropriate comments and “creating a hostile work environment.”  But Silver grew concerned when celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred got involved and “threatened to go public.” So his staff negotiated a $135,080 payment — most of it in public funds — to silence the accusers and secure their resignations.* Gropegate grows(NYP Ed) Fiscal watchdog E.J. McMahon of the Manhattan Institute likened the settlement expenditure to discretionary spending from a slush fund. "It's another example of why (the Legislature) should be subject to FOIL and why their finances should be an open book," he said.

Silver Cuts Off the Investigators Just Like Nixon's Saturday Night Massacre

The payment also allowed Silver to cut out the Assembly Ethics Committee.  And it would have worked, too — had two Lopez interns not made their own allegations that they were groped, leading Silver to publicly censure the Brooklyn Democrat.

Schneiderman and DiNapoli Caught
Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli have been scurrying for cover as their roles in the affair came to light. The two swear that neither was personally involved and tried to shift any blame to subordinate staffers — saying the AG’s office was merely contacted “for an informal consultation” and DiNapoli’s general counsel was asked about “income tax implications” regarding “a pending legal settlement.”  Frankly, it defies belief that high-powered pols like Lopez and Silver could be negotiating a six-figure sexual-harassment payout without Schneiderman and DiNapoli being aware of every detail. Both officials come out of the Legislature, after all.

 Plausible Deniability AG
“The decision of the Assembly to keep secret the provision of and even the existence of a settlement agreement was wholly inappropriate and contrary to the public interest,” Mr. Schneiderman said. But a top Assembly lawyer did consult a number of times with a staff lawyer in the attorney general’s office about the settlement agreement as it was developed, and even provided the office with a draft agreement that included an extensive confidentiality clause.Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a statement yesterday attacking the secret settlement as “wholly inappropriate and contrary to the public interest.” Documents made public Thursday, however, showed a top member of Schneiderman’s staff had been consulted during the Assembly negotiations and had seen draft copies of the deal.

NYT Shocking  Vito's Assembly Office Workers Forced to Preform Political Work . . .  In 1993 NYT Knew What Lopez is Up To
"In addition to potential violations of the penal law, Mr. Hynes, in a court petition, cited potential violations “of the election law,” raising questions about the scope of the review. It was not clear what violations of the state election law would be scrutinized, but some former Assembly employees who had worked for Mr. Lopez and who spoke to The New York Times about what they said was his abusive behavior said they had been routinely forced to perform political work." (NYT)* Vito Lopez likely to easily be re-elected since Republican challenger is inexperienced and unprepared (NYP)

Growth of a New-Age Political Machine - New York Times(1993)

Where is the DOI Report? Why is Bloomberg Not Releasing the DOI Report? . . .  Fisher Fired As Ridgewood Because of DOI

Albany Would Even Fix Tests To ID Larcenist Leanings
Albany: NY’s crime capital? Shirley you don’t jest!(NYP)Each day seems to reveal a new crop of government officials like Rivera and Huntley, who are in the game for their own gain, constituents be damned.  Maybe it’s time we give candidates personality and psychological tests to ferret out those with larcenist leanings.

Peralta a candidate for borough president

From the Times Ledger:


Crony on the Green
The friends of Mike(NYP Ed) What kind of a restaurant does the city Parks Department envision for the Tavern on the Green site in Central Park?  A pretty mediocre one, apparently, according to Post restaurant critic Steve Cuozzo. But Cuozzo’s review — which, granted, is just one man’s opinion — suggests that the possible cronyism factor may not be as irrelevant as Mayor Bloomberg contends.The crony in this case being former Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey — Mayor Mike’s political guru, key strategist of his flirtations with a presidential run and now a top exec at Bloomberg LP. Sheekey’s wife’s brother, Jim Caiola, is one of Emerald Green’s co-owners.

State Economic Hit Continues
Another state pension wallop(NYP) Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says public pension contributions from the state, local governments and schools will rise another 2 percentage points. That means employers will have to contribute almost 21 percent of salaries to the pension fund. The increase reflects the cost of the pension fund, which the comptroller controls, continuing to absorb losses from the stock market in 2008 and 2009 during Wall Street’s collapse. * New York City to Pay in Another Prisoner Suit(NYT) * A Fight Over Spending in New York State(NYT Ed) Two court rulings could unnecessarily cost New York City and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority billions of dollars. * State, Strip Club Fight Over Taxes(WSJ)
* DiNapoli vs. taxpayers(NYP Ed)

Mainstreaming Efforts Praised in Schools Study(NYT) * History lesson in how to cheat Stuy HS * School Choice Is No Cure-All, Harlem Finds(NYT) * Bronx Community College Gets a Library, and Building, Truly Its Own(NYT)  Department of Education officials say Harlem students are better off than they were a decade ago, but some parents complain that their schools are performing poorly even with the influx of charters

The Post says Cuomo should reconsider shutting down the Indian Point nuclear power plant because parts of the state between the Catskills and Long Island could experience electricity shortages: 

Bronx Community College Gets a Library, and Building, Truly Its Own(NYT)

More Shooting
Boy, 4, still asking for his mommy after witnessing her shooting in BrooklynBoy, 4, still asking for his mommy after witnessing her shooting in Brooklyn(NYP) * A Killing on a Brooklyn Block Known for Its Violence(NYT)

Hundreds Mourn Slain 13-Year-Old in Brownsville(DNAINFO)* WTC hardhats busted for boozin'(NYDN) * Brooklyn Gunman Kills 1, Wounds 3(WSJ) * Arrest Made In Connection To Boy's Shooting Near Yankee Stadium(NY1) * Funeral For 13-Year-Old Gunned Down In Brownsville(NY1) * Cops offer reward for info on shooting of 9-year-old(NYDN) * Parents inconsolable as yet another child’s life cut sh (NYDN) * Cops searching for gunman who shot 9-year-old boy near Yankee Stadium; 'getaway driver' arrested(NYP) * Man Fatally Shot Overnight in the Bronx(NBC) * Basketball Tournament Held To Send Anti-Violence Message * 'Friend' fatally shoots Bronx man in the back (NYDN)

City could save money by extending cops’ daily shifts: studyCity could save money by extending cops’ daily shifts: study(NYP) 

Manhattan by far the most expensive place to live in the USManhattan by far the most expensive place to live in the US(NYP)

Central Park bicyclists ordered to play it safe (NYDN)

MTA removes trash cans from more subway stations(News12)

Gas soars as high as $4.79 a gallon in NYC after Hurricane IsaacGas soars as high as $4.79 a gallon in NYC after Hurricane Isaac(NYP)

The Making of A President 
Bill Clinton made insensitive 'race jab' about Obama in 2008: report(NYP) I’m still a Clint fan, says ‘Chair’man BamI’m still a Clint fan, says ‘Chair’man Bam(NYP) Gov. Andrew Cuomo will maintain a low profile during his party’s convention in Charlotte, skipping all but its last day and refusing to address national delegates despite his interest in a presidential run in 2016, the News writes * To Calm Israel, White House Offers Ways to Restrain Iran(NYT)
* In Politics, as in Everything Else, Obama Plays to Win(NYT) * House Speaker Proves a Mighty Fund-Raiser(NYT) With local and federal officials, Pres Obama will tour areas of St. John the Baptist Parish & make a state reaffirming federal assistance. * Poll: Most Florida Residents Think Obama Is Better Speaker Than Romney(NY Mag) * Joe Biden Isn’t Finished (NY Mag) The Paul Ryan selection shone a spotlight on the vice-president. He’s ready for it—no matter what just came out of his mouth. * Democrats woo big donors in Charlotte without Barack Obama's help(Politico) * Stephanie Cutter: ‘Absolutely,’ Americans Are Better Off Than They Were 4 Years Ago * The Democratic convention’s lineup is heavy with big city mayors. *  San Antonio’s Julián Castro will be giving the keynote address. * As Dem Convention Begins, It's Obama vs. Obama - Rick Klein, ABC News * The Obama Delusion, Explained - Andrew Ferguson, The Weekly Standard * Obama Must Remake Persona for Any 2nd Term - Al Hunt, Bloomberg * Obama's Message: Look What I've Done - Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times * Barack Obama's Economy Accelerates Downward - Peter Ferrara, Forbes * Why Barack Needs Bill - Peter Boyer, Newsweek * Clinton, As Ever, Offers Risks & Rewards - Fournier & Garrett, Natl Journal * Romney Showed Right Stuff - Michael Barone, Washington Examiner * Joe Biden: Unchained - John Heilemann, New York Magazine * Obama's Broken Promises - Gov. Scott Walker, Politico * Clint, You Made My Day - Willie Brown, San Francisco Chronicle * Egypt Kicks Sand in Obama's Face - Barry Rubin, Jerusalem Post * 2012 Polls: Florida (PPP): Obama +1 | North Carolina (Elon): Romney +4 * Romney & Ryan Offer Leadership at Last - NH Union Leader* Romney Appears AWOL on Afghanistan, as the Eastwood Doctrine Goes Unanswered(Sun) * Convention vote expected to be unanimous for Obama:(Politico) * Mitt Romney exited Bain Capital with rare tax benefits in retirement(Wash Post) Obama Takes Credit for Ohio’s Economic Recovery  * Clint Eastwood’s speech, re-examined(Wash Post) * The New York delegation gets to sit in the very, very back of the convention hall. * Obama had the most popular tweet of the Republican convention. It was a Clint Eastwood joke. * Mitt Romney is taking his debate prep seriously and scheduled three days for it. * here’s a split verdict among polls as to whether Romney’s speech moved the needle. * Team Obama has switched gears on the “are you better off” question. …But the Republicans have already seized on yesterday’s display of tentativeness by Democratic surrogates on the subject.* Obama’s acceptance speech at the Bank of America stadium Thursday night will go forward “rain or shine,” convention organizers insisted.* Mitt Romney is heading back to Manhattan next week for some more fundraising.* Charlotte could be a pivotal moment for Democrats in the big money chase, who are so far losing big to the Republicans.


Democratic convention will be a far cry from the enthusiasm of 2008  (NYDN) From 2008's hope to 2012's history * Mitt opens 3-pt. lead(NYP) * In a Tactical Test, Romney Stakes Hopes on Ohio(NYT) * The Other Power in the West Wing(NYT) Hard to keep track of the dozen or so scoops in this blockbuster Valerie Jarrett profile by the brilliant * It’s Still Halftime in America (NYT)Being at the Republican convention brought to mind what this race really needs: a choice between two exceptional journeys * Why Campaign Reporters Are Behind the Curve(NYT) Journalists are unable to keep up with the the revolution in political information gathering. * Mexican Mitt’s show of new-found pride(NYDN)* Barack Obama Promised A New Kind Of Politics, But Played The Same Old Game(Huff Post) * Obama: Republican Ideas Are From 'Last Century'(Huff Post) * Anna Wintour fundraisers for Obama in England, Paris this month (Politico) * New York Democrats ready to re-nominate Obama  * Democrats take center stage on today's Sunday’s television talk shows: (Politico) * Bill Kristol Slams Romney For Ignoring Troops, Afghanistan In RNC Speech

President Clinton could very well upstage President Obama at the convention, and reportedly won’t share advance copies of his speech with the White House. * Rahm calls gop convention "groundhog day" - looking back.    * Will the media swoon over Obama in Charlotte? (CNN) * The Real Obama Needs to Fight Five GOP Myths About the Imaginary Obama (Daily Beast) * Myth of Democratic Socialist Society Is Finished - Janet Daley, Telegraph * Obama Has Had a Truly Momentous Presidency - Jamelle Bouie, NYDN * Ridiculing Obama's Silly Promises - James Taranto, Wall Street Journal * Cruel Conservatives Throw a Masquerade Ball - Maureen Dowd, NY Times * Virginia Moves Toward Romney - Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review * Both Sides Still Looking for Breakout Moment - Doyle McManus, LA Times * The Trials of a Democratic Reformer - Allysia Finley, Wall Street Journal * Reviving the Labor Movement - Kahlenberg & Marvit, Washington Post * New Stars Shine in the GOP Galaxy - Rachelle Cohen, Boston Herald * Why Hasn't Obama Changed Washington? - Dan Balz, Washington Post * Romney: The Hidden Candidate - John Powers, American Prospect * Will Clinton Upstage the President in Charlotte? - Edward Klein, NY Post * Movie Star Debates Chair, Loses - Steve Benen, MSNBC * President Needs a New Message and a Bold Agenda - Miami Herald * Obama Selling a Story Voters Won't Buy - San Diego Union-Tribune * The GOP's Divisive, Dubious Campaign - Las Vegas Sun *  Romney Understands 2012 Race Is Not All About Him - DC Examiner * Gibbs: Don't expect '08 enthusiasm(Politico) * WSJ editorial says Romney made a huge gamble not detailing his economic plans in his convention speech... * Axelrod: "We met an implacable opponent in the Republican leadership."  * "If Karl Rove was known as George W. Bush's political brain, Ms. Jarrett is Mr. Obama's spine."  * George Will on why Obama's liberalism and "trickle down government" isn't working - * Axelrod To Chris Wallace: Americans 'In A Better Position Than We Were Four Years Ago' (VIDEO)* Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows Romney 48% of voters nationwide Obama 44%* Journalists rolled oranges at Mitt Romney in an attempt to communicate. More here. * Anna Wintour will help President Obama raise money in Paris and London this month. * Ohio has become the Mitt Romney’s focus. * Ben Smith isn’t impressed with Democrats’ attempts to demonize Paul Ryan’s brushes with factual inaccuracy.*  Romney's speech left opening for Obama(Wash Post)* Meet five donors that have each pledged to help raise $1 million: * Obama's response to Clint Eastwood was the most RT's tweet of the GOP convention (TPM) * Obama campaign faces delicate balance at Democratic National Convention - Washington Post(Wash Post)
*In Swing State, Ryan Shows His Ohio Chops(NYT) * Obama Casts G.O.P. as Stuck in the Past(NYT) * Mormon Says Romney Leading Church ‘Out of Obscurity’(NYT) * Obama: GOP agenda better "for the last century"(CBS) * President Obama Talks About How Being Black Affected His Ideas About ‘Opportunity’(NY Mag) * President Obama Says He's Still 'a Huge Clint Eastwood Fan'(NY Mag) * Mitt Romney's Federal Bailout: The Documents (Rolling Stone)  * Inside The Democrats' Convention Media Plan (Buzz Feed) *A Spotlight With Precedent Beckons a Mayor From Texas(NYT)


GOP Convention Watching Down

An estimated 30 million watch Romney's speechRatings for the final night of the Republican National Convention, ... CBS down 30%, ABC down 26% and MSNBC down 25% compared ...Romney's speech was seen by 30.3 million, as compared to McCain's four years ago which was seen by 39 million..* The first GOP Convention in Philadelphia in 1856. My, how times have changed. * Why Americans Hate the Media(The Atlantic) The press, the conventions, and the cult of political celebrity

Mitt tours La. floods (O: Me too!)Mitt tours La. floods (O: Me too!)(NYP) * Ryan Budget Plan Pits G.O.P. Troops Against Top of Ticket(NYT) * 2 Campaigns Have Sharply Different Visions for Medicaid(NYT) * Before Eastwood’s Talk With Chair, Clearance From the Top(NYT)
Campaigns Play Loose With Truth in a Fact-Check Age(NYT) * Obama's new challenge: Disappointment(Polititico) * The Assassination of Clint Eastwood by the Coward Mitt Romney (Slate) * Bill Maher Takes On Dinesh D’Souza Over Anti-Obama Documentary 2016 * DEAD SILENT: Romney Doesn't Mention War Once In Big Speech(Huff Post) * Oops! Romney accidentally calls the U.S. a "company" (Huff Post) * Romney gets personal, more likeable(CNN)* Romney Rising, But Obama Has Big Advantages - Jon Freedland, Guardian  * Why Independent Voters Remain Uncertain - John Kass, Chicago Tribune * Liberalism, as We Know It - George Will, Washington Post  * This Convention Drew Blood - Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle * Clint Eastwood's Imaginary Friend - Erin Keane, Salon * On Eastwood, Are Liberals Dumb or Just Playing Dumb? - Ann Althouse * Election 2012: Obama +0.3 | 2012 vs. 2008, vs. 2004 | RCP Electoral Map * Challenger Offers a Sharp Contrast to the Obama Years - NY Daily News * Romney Not Plausible Enough to Replace Obama - The Guardian * Obama Takes a Page From an Unexpected Victory in Colorado(NYT)  Now there's George McGovern. Think Clint Eastwood was poor planning? Well, George gave his acceptance address in '72 AFTER 2 am ET!  * Cincinnati Is the Opening Act for a Romney Road Show(NYT) * Convention Bounce for Romney Looks Modest, So Far(NYT) * Obama Takes a Page From an Unexpected Victory in Colorado(NYT)

Jon Stewart Basks In The Glory Of Clint Eastwood’s ‘Awesome’ Speech While Tearing Apart Romney’s * Rush Limbaugh: ‘Eastwood Succeeded In Getting Under Obama’s Skin’ * Bill Maher Defends Clint Eastwood: He Spoke To A Chair For Ten Minutes And The Audience Loved It * CNN’s Gloria Borger: Eastwood Speech ‘Complete Embarrassment To The Romney Campaign’ * Rachel Maddow: Clint Eastwood’s RNC Speech Was ‘A Political Disaster’ For The GOP * Critics Pan Eastwood, Go Wild for Empty Chair(NY Mag) * The Brilliance of Clint's Empty Chair - Justin Katz, Ocean State Current  * Clint Eastwood Rightly Mocks An Empty-Chair Presidency - IBD * How Obama (real and imaginary) responded to Clint Eastwood(Wash Post)

Peter King: AP has “no moral integrity”(Salon)

Law and Order
For Times Square Patrol, a Stage the Tourists Don’t See(NYT)

The Ice Pick Seems Antiquated, but It Still Shows Up on the Police Blotter(NYT)

Man Had Extensive Weapons Arsenal In Apartment, Police Say(NY1) *Cops seek two in beating of homeless man(NYDN) * S.I. pair busted in fraud (NYDN) 
 * Queens man busted with massive arsenal, mountain of ammo (NYDN) * Hothead hubby 'pinned' with attempted slay charge(NYDN) * Weapons Arsenal Seized from Queens Home(NBC)
Police Seek Gunpoint Robber Who Struck on 6 Train in East Harlem(DNAINFO) * Police Look For Suspect In Alleged Manhattan Spa Robbery(NY1)* Dizzy's Diner employee stabbed(NYP) * Convicted Cop Killer Caught In Legal Limbo(WCBS) *

Police seize weapons from Queens apartment(Fox 5) * Fatal shooting in the Bronx(Fox 5) * Man Charged With Assault Following Alleged Acid Attack On his daughter(WCBS) * 2 sought in robbery of livery cab driver (ABC)* Man Stabbed Outside Park Slope Diner(DNAINFO) * Police Arrest Brooklyn Man on Charges of Dousing His Daughter With Acid." Yes, you read that headline correctly.(Village Voice) * Four Injured In Stabbing At Bronx Playground (CBS)
* Four people stabbed during Bronx playground fight * * Four people stabbed during Bronx playground fight(NYP) * Siblings’ Throats Slit by Intruder; Boy, 6, Dies(NYT) * Police investigate reported rape of 19-year-old woman in Riverside Park * Woman, 19, Reports Rape at Riverside Park(NBC)

NYPD cop killers haven't shown remorse for 1988 death, relatives and politicians sayNYPD cop killers haven't shown remorse for 1988 death, relatives and politicians say (NYP) * Queens woman recovering from acid attack(NYP) * 4 Stabbed at Bronx Playground Picnic(NBC)