Tuesday, January 15, 2013

True News Updated 24/7

Vito Lopez: I am Staying and I am Not Supporting Silver for Speaker

Vito Lopez Has to Sit With the Freshmen(NY mag)

Assemblyman Vito Lopez declines to endorse Sheldon Silver as Speaker. Lopez was not in Albany last week for conference vote* Vito Lopez Says He's Staying Despite Sex Harassment Allegations and Health Issues (NYDN) “I won my district after a huge barrage of attacks on allegations,” he told reporters on the floor of the Assembly. “I have a strong mandate to come here and to represent the district. Would you like no one to represent them and me to resign?”* Lopez Won’t Say If He Supports Silver For Speaker(YNN) * Vito Lopez Says He Hasn’t Been Questioned in Harassment Probes(LoHud) * Vito agonistes: Assemblyman Lopez meets the press(TU) * Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez Returns to Albany After Scandal(NYT* Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez returns after sexual harassment case(NBC)

One Day Soon Lopez Will Be Making License Plates
Assemblyman Vito Lopez made his first public appearance in Albany on Monday afternoon since news that he allegedly harassed his former staff members broke this summer, taking his seat on the floor of the Assembly. Lopez told reporters he intended to finish out his two-year term, but would not step aside based on the results of any ongoing investigations. *
Embattled Assemblyman Vito Lopez returned to work in Albany yesterday. He looked pale and tired, but remained combative as he railed about the sexual harassment charges lodged against him and vowed that he won’t back down because of them.

The Beast Plays A Sympathy Card
He confirmed he has been thinking about running for City Council, but said he is leaning against it because of concerns about his health. "I don't want to walk away from people I represent - I was elected in my district," he said. Lopez is currently undergoing additional cancer treatments at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, but he did not specify what kind of cancer. He has suffered from leukemia and esophageal cancer in the past, had his thyroid removed three years ago, and fought off a bout of pneumonia this summer, when news about the sex scandal broke. *
Lopez was joined in Albany by his girlfriend, Angela Battaglia. He insisted none of his colleagues had been critical upon his return, and said he has been suffering “serious health problems.”

Zombie Vito Lopez Who is Keeping Him Alive?
Lopez would not comment on any ongoing investigations, and shrugged off losing his parking space, having his seat in the assembly moved, and his office downsized by Speaker Shelly Silver amid the scandal, saying they were never that important. "Why did I come here in the wake of intense chemotherapy?" he said. "People thought I was crazy. But if you had a job to do, what would you do?" Lopez missed a chance to cast his vote for speaker last week, but said that even if he were there, he wouldn't necessarily have voted for Silver. "That would have been a decision I would have had to make at that time," said Lopez. "I believe in something called due process." Lopez stayed in the chambers long after the assembly recessed for the evening and caught up with several Brooklyn colleagues, including Assemblyman Dov Hikind. (City and State)

You Thing the Feds are Trying To Get Chung Seto To Talk About Something?
Liu’s top aide a tax cheat: IRS(NYP) The top campaign adviser to city Comptroller John Liu is a tax deadbeat, the federal government claims. The IRS has filed a lien against Chung Seto,.

Liu’s aide pulling strings(NYP) Lurking campaign adviser not even a city employee

Bloomberg: Who Wants to Be Mayor?
As Clock Ticks, Bloomberg Is Still Seeking a Worthy Heir(NYT) Of late, the mayor and his team have taken to dialing up well-known personages and asking: Would you, could you, might you run for mayor? *  The Times’ Michael Powell examines Bloomberg’s “fantasy baseball” behind-the-scenes search for a worthy replacement for him as mayor, calling into question his public support of mayoral candidate City Council Speaker Christine Quinn:* Michael Powell: “Bloomberg’s got separation anxiety and a lot of aides telling him the city cannot get along without him,” says a person who is familiar with the mayor’s world and eager not to be exiled by speaking on the record. “It’s complete self-absorption.”

Thompson In the Money
Thompson Raises $1 Million in 6 Months for Mayoral Bid(NYT) New York City mayoral candidate Bill Thompson announced that his campaign has raised $1 million over the last six months, easily his strongest showing yet after lagging behind other candidates in previous fundraising cycles,* Thompson Gains in Funding(WSJ) * Bill T. flexes mu$cle(NYP)

  1.   Anthony D. Weiner (Mayor), net contributions for 6 months ending on 1/11/13: $0
    * John C. Liu , net contributions for 6 months ending on 1/11/13: $523,417  
    . raises whopping $493K for #2013 public advocate race; Squadron had $375K, no # yet for James  

Lhota, at Business Luncheon, Talks Up ’13 Race for Mayor(NYT) * Former MTA Chairman Lhota To File Papers For A Mayoral Run(NY1) * At an annual meeting of the New York Building Congress, former MTA chairman Joe Lhota told the audience that he would be running for mayor of New York City as a Republican, the Post reports:* Joe Lhota: “I would not have left the MTA, a job and a position that I loved, if I wasn’t going to run for mayor of New York.”


 Lots of Republicans running for mayor(Queens Crap)

From the Village Voice: Day by day, the wide open upcoming race to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg is getting more entertaining, and morphing into a new year's gift for reporters, political junkies, and maybe the public.Last week, Mayor Giuliani's former deputy mayor, Joseph Lhota, a man not known for conversational subtlety, confirmed he was running as a Republican. This week, we learned that supermarket mogul John Catsimatides, an old-fashioned boot strap guy turned billionaire, put up $1 million of his own money to start building a campaign operation. Local newspaper publisher Tom Allon has raised $234,000. Doe Fund founder George McDonald has declared, but has yet to report any fundraising numbers.
Mayor Candidate Don't Touch Our Reelection Member Items Machines
Growth of a New-Age Political Machine - New York Times(1993)Vito Lopez Uses Government Funds to Run His Machine(True News)

Campaign 2013 Mayoral Candidates To Weigh In On Nonprofit Political Spending(City and State)Schneiderman wants to require that nonprofits, including 501(c)(4) organizations registered with the state, report how much of their expenditures go toward federal, state, and local campaigns. Groups that spend at least $10,000 to influence elections in the state must file itemized schedules of expenses and contributions, and groups that spend $25,000 or more must disclose that information for every contribution over $100.* Cuomo 2014 Raises $4M, Has $22.4M(YNN) * . repeats desire to have "an educator at the top of that system," drawing applause from deBlasio & Liu, but not Quinn* RT “: Bill de Blasio touts after-school programs, same day Quinn calls for extended school days.”* Public Advocate Bill de Blasio criticizes the blocking of sick pay bill at mayoral forum as Christine Quinn sits behind him.* Religious backlash on Quinn? (Queens Politics) * John Liu wants end to stop-and-frisk, says "it makes everybody less safe." * John Liu reconfirms his stance that he would replace Ray Kelly. "There will be a change if I have anything to do with it," he said. *Residency requirement for members? Quinn: yes, Liu: yes. De blasio: no. Thomspon & albanese hedges. ": Christine Quinn gets booed for saying she would want to keep Ray Kelly if she is mayor."* . booed after praising . "If im mayor, the police commissioner will answer to me."

 Quinn floats plan to replace textbooks with tablets(NYP) * Quinn Offers Different Approach to Schools’ Faults and Student Services(NYT) * Christine Quinn Wants to Model NYC’s School System on Zappos


Racial Tensions Flare at Queens Redistricting Hearing(NYO)


Cuomo Signs Gun Legislation Into Law(NYT)
The State Senate passed legislation to tighten restrictions on firearms by an overwhelming margin on the first day of the session, but few senators seemed to know or care who their Temporary President was yesterday:*NRA spits on the graves of Newtown massacre victims with release of mobile shoot-'em-up app for iPhone, iPad(NYDN)

Assembly Gun VoteAssembly Passes Gun Control, Awaits Cuomo’s Signature(YNN)

State Senate OKs assault weapon crackdown(NYP) * Lawmakers in New York Reach Deal on New Gun Curbs(NYT) Senate voted 43-18 on a package of legislation that would expand the state’s ban on assault weapons and keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill individuals * New York Has Gun Deal, With Focus on Mental Ills(NYT) * New York Nears New Gun Limits(WSJ) * Gun Control Bill Moves Through State LegislatureNY1) * NY passes toughest gun control law in nation(Fox 5)* Mark McGuire () reports guns were flying off the shelves yesterday as details of the new law came to light(TU)
* Long Decries ‘Political Charade’ Of Gun Control(YNN)
* "The changes in NY are largely cosmetic"--CNN legal analyst re: 's bill. cc:* In the dark of night–often the time that controversial legislation passes in Albany–the State Senate wrangled up the votes to pass new legislation to expand the state’s assault weapon ban and restrict high-capacity magazines. According to Associated Press sources, the bill also limits FOIL requests for handgun permit owners in the aftermath of the Journal News controversy. Governor Andrew Cuomo offered praise to the legislative body’s 3 leaders in reaction to the “bold” package.* NRA membership grows by quarter million in one month...

The Senate GOP Don't Want A Campaign Run Against Them in 2014 That They Were In Charge Getting the Gun Bill Passes

Senators Unsure Who Was Majority Leader Yesterday(YNN)This reads like "who's on first," state Senate style. Bizarre.* No one in the Senate seemed certain who was actually in charge last night as the SAFE act passed, but it apparently didn’t matter.

Sandy Hook parents’ promise to the nation(NYP) * Obama Would Use Executive Power for Action on Guns(NYT) * Families of Newtown Victims Organize Violence Prevention Effort(NYT) * The Moment for Action on Guns(NYT Ed)  * As police investigate a burglary over the weekend in White Plains, Public Safety Commissioner David Chong said it’s premature to suggest that the house was targeted because a resident there is listed on a map of pistol permit holders published last month by The Journal News.* DN editorial: Cuomo's gun safety bill puts the NRA on notice: The people will no longer fear the gun lobby. * DiNapoli Freezes Investments Into Gun Manufacturers(YNN) * NRA: Albany Gun Bill "Tramples The Rights Of Law-Abiding Gun Owners In New York"(NY1)
Bloomberg urges Obama to defy Congress...

* Lupica: Bloomberg "continues to be the single most important voice for gun control in the history of American politics" Mayor Bloomberg pushed for key changes to federal gun laws in a speech at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, as his Mayors Against Illegal Guns group released a report accusing the gun lobby of suppressing data on gun violence, the News writes: * White House readies 19 executive orders on guns... * Biden Recommends Federal Trafficking Law In Gun Reforms(Huff Post) * Cuomo isn’t the only potential Democratic 2016 White House contender pushing the gun control issue.* In the wake of the Christmas Day Webster shooting, Rep. Louise Slaughter has been appointed to the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force – a group of U.S. House Democrats that will participate in talks about federal reforms to gun control laws.* Mayor Bloomberg took his push for tougher gun control to Baltimore as his Mayors Against Illegal Guns group release a report accusing the gun lobby of suppressing data on gun violence, launched a new TV ad featuring victims’ families, and hosted events across the country headlined by mayors.

Only Federal Laws Can Reduce Guns in NYC
85% of guns recovered in crimes in New York City originally sold out of state'

NYC Criminal Justice Coordinator - Confronting Crime - Illegal Guns

Another Hynes Sexual Abuse Fog
Sam Kellner, who says his son was abused, helped the Brooklyn DA in his fight against child sexual abuse. Now, Kellner himself is himself facing accusations of extortion. Is he being set up? *

Sandy Bill Pasted House Update House Of Representatives Approves $33.7 Billion Amendment For Sandy Relief (NY1)Members voted in favor of an amendment written by lawmakers from New York and New Jersey for $33.7 billion, which provides funding for long term mitigation efforts.
They'd already approved a bare-bones measure for $17 billion.
We're in love! sells vintage & MCM to collectors, enthusiasts
House Passes $50.7 Billion in Hurricane Aid: The package passed 241 to 180, with 49 Republicans joining 192...

Show Us the Money Washington Now
Don’t Skimp on Sandy Aid(NYT Ed) After more than 11 weeks since the devastating storm, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are still waiting on adequate federal aid.* House Set to Debate $50 Billion in Sandy Aid (WSJ) * House Republicans tried to chip away at the $50.7 billion Hurricane Sandy federal aid package by requiring offsetting spending cuts to pay for the recovery effort, setting up a fight with Northeastern lawmakers eager to provide aid, the Associated Press reports: * Staten Island Rep. Grimm again optimistic that GOP-led House will finally pass Hurricane Sandy aid bill

Storm-ravaged Brooklyn libraries slowly return to life after Sandy — but Coney branch's reopening still nearly a year away(NYDN)

An emotional wreck on SI: Demolition of ’cane-struck homes begins(NYP) * Corps to expedite Fire Island dredging(WSJ)
* Coney Island Crews Fix Amusement Rides Damaged By Sandy(NY1)
* After the deluge: Search for cash to rebuild artists’ studios (NYDN) * Demolition begins for some Staten Island homes damaged by (SI Advance) * Geraldo Rivera Pledges To Replace Tree Destroyed By Sandy(Huff Post)
* SI Lawyer Sues Con Ed After Sandy Left Him Without Power for 17 Days(DNAINFO)

The Amalgamated Transit Union 1181, representing about 8,800 New York City school bus drivers and matrons plans to strike on Wednesday demanding that the city require private bus companies to hire drivers based on seniority
Bus Strike Wednesday
The bus stops here: Strike tomorrow to affect 152K kids(NYP) * School Bus Drivers’ Union Calls for Strike on Wednesday(NYT) * Strike Is Set; Parents Brace for No Buses(WSJ) * How Parents Can Prepare for a School Bus Strike (WSJ) * Union: School Bus Strike To Begin Wednesday Morning(NY1)* The News argues that the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 is wrong for calling for a strike of its school bus drivers, saying that the fight should go to court instead of jeopardizing children: * Union: NYC School Bus Drivers Will Strike On Wednesday(WCBS)

Mayor Bloomberg speaking at first FDNY class swearing-in ceremony since 2008

318 FDNY 'probies' sworn in(NYP)


Company Defrauded City in Water Plant Work, Contractor Says(NYT) At a Bronx plant that has been plagued by problems, a firm is said to have evaded requirements on oversight by an electrician and on hiring companies owned by women or minorities.

After a spate of recent subway deaths, the Transport Workers Union is instructing train operators to reduce speed significantly when entering stations, with the MTA accusing the union of using the safety issue to slow down trains

Transit union tells subway operators to slow down when entering stations; MTA calls safety concerns bogus(NYP) * Union of Subway Drivers Urges Slower Train Speeds(NYT) * Suspect in Subway-Pushing Death Is Mentally Fit, Judge Says(NYT) * Cut Subway Speed, Union Tells Drivers(WSJ) * Accused Subway Pusher Deemed Fit to Stand Trial(WSJ) * Judge: Woman Charged In Fatal Subway Push Fit For Trial(NY1) * MTA Puts Brakes On Union-Endorsed Subway Slowdowns(NY1)
* Transit Union: Slow down trains to save lives(NYDN)* Queens subway pusher fit to stand trial(NYDN) * Union tells subway operators to slow train speeds(Fox 5) * Train Operators Told to Slow Down, MTA Disapprove(NBC)

The Times-Union writes that the state Department of Environmental Conservation does not understand the risks that could arise from hydraulic fracturing drilling, and argues the public should have an opportunity to weigh in on the debate: * The state is defending its labeling of the Hudson River near the Indian Point nuclear power plant as critical wildlife habitat as owner Entergy Nuclear makes a bid in court to reverse the classification.

The “Quick Start” process, in which the governor and lawmakers are supposed to get a jump on the budget, was shelved this year by the Cuomo administration, which cited the chaos caused by Superstorm Sandy as an excuse. 

Brooklyn System's Lesser-Used Branches Could Close; 'Info Commons' to Open
Library Eyes New Page(WSJ)Facing the need to spend $230 million on long-delayed repairs and adapt to a new digital age, the Brooklyn Public Library is considering casting off some of its aging and lesser-used branches to pay for upgrades throughout the system. 

The Gentrification Of Crown Heights(Huff Post)

Latino Williamsburg's Struggle Against Hipsterville(Huff Post)

EXCLUSIVE • UPDATE: Brooklyn Public Library confirms plans to pull biz library from Downtown, relocate Heights branch. (Brooklyn Eagle)

Projects at parks went significantly over-budget(NYDN)

The beauty of Brooklyn(NYP) * WATCH: Miss America Winner Discusses New York Life

The fat lady zings (NYP) Set aside the fat jokes, though, and her fall points to something even more serious than the two breaks in her arm. As the laughter fades and the litigation starts, her fellow Gothamites might come to see the sidewalk that crumbled below Williams as a metaphor for the city’s distressing abdication of responsibility for its public places.


Would Chuck chuck Chuck?(NYP)

N.J. Democrats Scold Cory Booker for Picking on Elderly Colleague(NY Mag)



 Harry Reid Reid Calls For 'Cautious' Approach On Guns: Assault Weapons Ban Not Likely To Pass*Coulter On Gun Violence: ‘If You Compare White Populations, We Have The Same Murder Rate As Belgium’
Rep. Richard Hanna joined about two dozen Republicans and Democrats who agreed to try to break the gridlock in Congress by meeting monthly to find common ground. Rep. Michael Grimm is also a member.  * Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will testify Jan. 23 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the deadly Sept. 11 assault on the US mission in Libya.
No More Mr. Nice President - Dana Milbank, Washington Post
Obama's "Magical" Debt Limit Answer - John Podhoretz, New York Post
Cloudy Future for Obama's Second-Term Agenda - Steven Dennis, Roll Call
President Eyes Executive Orders on Guns - Shear & Steinhauer, NY Times
Obama Is Not King - Sen. Rand Paul, Christian Broadcasting Network
The NRA's Democratic Helpers - Steve Kornacki, Salon
Totally, Unequivocally Hagel - William Kristol, Weekly Standard
Borking Chuck Hagel - James Antle, The Daily Caller
The Foreclosure Fiasco - Joe Nocera, New York Times
Against Government Debt - Sheldon Richman, Reason
Real Debt Danger Is People's Sense Of Entitlement - Samuel Gregg, IBD
GOP's Destructive Game of Chicken - Eugene Robinson, Washington Post
Liberalism Versus Blacks - Thomas Sowell, Investor's Business Daily
Republican Party Resembles a Failed State - Paul Begala, The Daily Beast
Colleges Neglect Core U.S. Principles - Peter Berkowitz, RealClearPolitics
The Man Who Banked on Lance Armstrong - Andrew Ross Sorkin, NY Times
Think You Own Your House? Think Again - Roger Kimball, Wall Street Jrnl

Obama True to Form as the Great Divider - Washington Examiner
The Moment for Action on Guns - New York Times
Obama Blames Congress for His $5 Trillion Debt - Investor's Business Daily
Arab Spring Needs a Mini-Marshall Plan - Bloomberg
Once a Critic of Deficits, Obama Goes for Broke - Byron York, DC Examiner
GOP Holding U.S. Economy Hostage on Debt - David Rothkopf, CNN
How Obama Can Avoid the Second-Term Curse - Susan Page, USA Today
Inconvenient Truths for Gun-Control Advocates - Nick Gillespie, Reason
How We Will Beat the NRA - Michael Bloomberg, New York Daily News
We Need a BRAC Commission for Spending - Erick Erickson, Red State
GOP Better Listen to Colin Powell - Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post
Vast Majority of Natl Sec. Insiders Support Hagel Pick - Sara Sorcher, NJ
ObamaCare's Job-Killer - Jillian Kay Melchior, National Review
Specious Arguments From ObamaCare Opponents - Jonathan Cohn, TNR
Colleges Neglect Core U.S. Principles - Peter Berkowitz, RealClearPolitics

Stewart Shreds ‘All-White’ Obama Cabinet Controversy: A Black Guy ‘Appears To Be Running’ The Show

Law and Order

Cuomo Nominates CUNY Law Professor For High Court(YNN)

You lowdown ‘cop-killer!’ Thug’s Figoski-slay video played in court (NYP) The brute accused of gunning down hero NYPD cop Peter Figoski was in court yesterday, watching the video statements he made to investigators in the hours after the fatal shooting

Bid rejected as new details reveal that Valle's 'mouth watered' while visiting alleged target(NYP)

Lawyer: I warned feds that Reddit founder Aaron Swartz was suicidal(NYP)

Kelly to announce measures to tackle prescription drug problem in NYC(NYP)

Subway ‘pusher’ is ‘sane’(NYP) * Defendant Accused Of Fatal Midtown Subway Push May Claim Self-Defense

Man ‘fingers’ cop in $2M suit(NYP)He flipped the bird, now he wants the dough. A Manhattan man in suing the city for $2.1 million in damages for what he claims is a false arrest.
NYPD to hide GPS chips in pill bottles (CBS)

Photo Shows Gunman Moments Before Livery Driver's Shooting(NY1)

NYPD cop arrested for pulling gun while off duty(NYDN)

Witness tells of encounter with accused rapist(NYDN)

'Prisoners of Love' tagger pleads guilty(NYDN)

Woman Accused of Biting and Robbing Driver, Say

Police to Plant Fake Pill Bottles to Track Drugstore Robbers(NYT)
 Police: Man Hit, Killed By Subway Train Following Fight In Harlem Station (NY1)
Train Kills Man in 125th Street Subway Station(NYT)

 Terrorism Harsh New Restrictions Imposed on Muslim Cleric, Lawyers Say