Lobbyists and Payoff Was All That Counted in the Awarding the BOE Contract for the New Voting Machines . . . . Result Long Lines and Broken Machine, Slow Counts and ProtectedCommissioners Who Awarded the Contracts. . . Democracy take a backseat to corrution in NYC and the Media could care less and pretends it does not notice. Evan as the the runoff requirements are forcing the moving up of the primary date or going back to the old machines
Meet The Briber Who the BOE Commissioners Fear More Than Councilman Eric Ulrich
Anthony Mangone, 37, of Purchase faces up to 45 years in jail when he is sentenced on March 18 for conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax evasion.
But his sentence is expected to be a fraction of that in exchange for his cooperation in two ongoing probes in which he is involved, sources confirmed yesterday.In addition to the Westchester case where Yonkers City Councilwoman Sandy Annabi and former Yonkers Republican chief Zehy Jereis also charged, there is a second into the selection of voting machines by New York City's Board of Elections.
A few years back, the Westchester lawyer Anthony J. Mangone, who shared an office with Jay Savino, the Bronx Republican leader, earned a cool $100,000 lobbying the board on behalf of a voting machine company, Election Systems and Software. In 2010, the board gave the company a $50 million contract. The next day, federal prosecutors indicted Mr. Mangone in an unrelated bribery case. Mr. Mangone has pleaded guilty and is talking with investigators. Mr. Savino received a subpoena two years ago.Bronx GOP Chairman Jay Savino, and his deputy and NYC Board of Elections Commissioner J.C. Polanco, were hit with Federal subpoenas, as part of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s investigation into political corruption, in Westchester and in New York City. Here is a compilation of stories that ran in the New York Post, The Daily News and The Gothamist in 2010. According to the Post-”the subpoenas were sent ‘all over the place,’ said one source.” “Another source said Bharara began focusing on the voting-machine contract after indicting Anthony Mangone, a politically connected lawyer, for allegedly bribing a former Yonkers city councilwoman to switch her vote on two development projects. Mangone, who has ties to the Queens Republican Party, was one of several lobbyists hired by ES&S.” Guilty Westchester attorney Anthony Mangone will help feds in two seperate probes(NYDN)
Citizens Union Sticks Up For BOE Commissioner Who Have Been Issued Subpoenas In Corruption InvetigationCitizens Union sticks up for J.C. Polanco (CrainsNY)
Where are Quinn and Brewer Who Were in Charge of the paper work for the commissioners? Why have they not been touch in this scandal?The City Council Is Responsible for the Corruption - True News * Brewer Threw Her Hearing on the BOE Screw Up on Election Day
A Key Figure in A Yonkers Corruption Cases Involving Bruce Ratner Could Be the Key to Breaking the BOE Apart
Disgraced ex-Yonkers City Councilwoman convicted of taking bribes for vote on proposed $600M development project(NYDN) Former Yonkers City Councilwoman Sandy Annabi accepted $175,000 in cash, gifts and jewelry in exchange for voting in favor of a Bruce Ratner development project. Here’s the tie to Mangone, the Westchester corruption investigation, and the ES&S scandal. Interesting to note that the post states that Mangone also has ties to Queens GOP.The Daily News writes-“Also served was Bronx Republican Party Chairman Jay Savino, who stressed he plans to be as cooperative as possible with investigators but declined to say anything more. “Among ES&S’ fleet of hired guns was Anthony Mangone, a Westchester-based attorney and lobbyist who was indicted on Jan. 6 on charges of extortion, tax evasion and conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with a vote-selling scam.“ES&S paid Mangone’s firm, Mardon Consulting, $63,100 from January-December 2009.
A Secret World Of NY Corruption Interconnects . . . Why Did Ratner Step Down?
Mangone and Savino share an office suite in White Plains. The subpoenas received by the chairman and elections commissioners originated out of the US attorney’s White Plains office, according to sources who viewed the documents.” From the Gothamist—“The suspicion comes after the indictment of Anthony Mangone, a lawyer who allegedly bribed Sandy Annabl, a member of Yonkers city council, to change her vote on development projects. Mangone was hired as a lobbyist for ES&S, and was arrested on January 6th, the day after the BOE voted 6-1 on ES&S.* Forest City Ratner was “relentless” in pursuit of Yonkers development * Outrageous, Dirty Lobbyist Sheinkopf A Character Witness for Convicted Lipsky(True News)*Bruce Ratner to step down as Forest City CEO | Crain's New York ...(CrainsNY)
John "Sean" Crowley of Davidoff Malito law firm and brother of Joe Crowley, who is not only a congressman but also head of the Queens Democratic Party (a major plus, since Queens Dems have their own commissioner on the board).
AEG is Not the Only Problem Sheinkopf is Facing
Also pitching hard for ES&S is the team of Hank Sheinkopf and Norman Levy. Sheinkopf was considered a die-hard Democratic consultant/lobbyist but he went to pitch for Team Bloomberg in the last election. Levy is one of comptroller Bill Thompson's closest cronies. Sheinkopf took the 5th when asked questions by the NY former state Inspector General Joseph Fisch about the AEG scandal The Feds are also investigating a Board Of Election (the cesspool of political corruption) contract for new machines that Sheinkopf was a lobbyist for. Feds investigate switch by Board of Elections ... - New York Post More on Sheinkopf
The Competition for the Machine Contracts Was Extreme
The Daily News' Errol Louis reports today, the behind-the-scenes battle between Election Systems & Software and Dominion Voting Sytems(a/k/a Sequoia Voting) is being carried on by highly-paid proxies, namely the city's most politically wired lobbyists. Dominion/Sequoia's bid is being led by the estimable Stanley Schlein, who was Mayor Bloomberg's pick as chairman of the Civil Service Commission until he was found to be using the place and staff as his private law office. Schlein has a nice inside edge at the board, thanks to his long-time friendship with board deputy director George Gonzalez, a Bronx pol who is so cheap that he was billing the elections board for his morning coffee until the News caught him at it last year. Also on board for Dominion is the powerhouse Greenberg Traurig law firm, as well as Brown, McMahon, Weinraub which includes a brother of congressman Michael McMahon.
Queens GOP Boss Phil Ragusa's BOE Appointee Graves Asked for A Bribe to Support Company for New Voted Machines, His Office Was Raided by the FBI and He is Out of the BOE
The NYC Board of Elections suspended an employee who’s also a top Queens GOP official, Stephen Graves, after he was caught on tape soliciting a “finder’s fee” from a voting machine contractor in exchange for recommending a particular lobbyist. Qns. elections official under fire for soliciting money from a contractor (NYP) he city’s Board of Elections has suspended an employee who is a top official in the Queens Republican Party after being notified that he was caught on tape soliciting a $25,000 “finder’s fee” from a company competing for a $65 million contract in 2009. Department of Investigation provided information to the board that Stephen Graves, first vice chairman of the Queens GOP and a $66,392-a-year board employee, asked for the money from Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems as it was battling rival Elections Systems & Software of Omaha, Neb., to sell the city its first electronic voting machines.
The NYP Did Not Name the Lobbyist for Dominion But in 2009 the Village Voice and Daily News Did
"Graves was recommending the use of a particular lobbyist,” said one source. “In exchange for that he wanted a finder’s fee.” The lobbyist, who was not identified, was supposed to receive $250,000 a year for five years, the source said."
BOE History of Corruption and Incompetence Timeline(True News)
From the NY Daily News:
The name would naturally jump out at anyone who's interested in Queens politics: Not only is Phil Ragusa the Queens GOP chairman, but his nephew -- also named Phil Ragusa -- works for the Board as a supervisor dealing with voting machines in the Queens warehouse. (Of note: Ragusa's brother, Biagio, retired in 2012 after 20 years of service at the Queens warehouse, and his son, Phil, ended up getting that job.) In response to a Daily News inquiry, the Board of Elections said ES&S officials specified via emails last October that the Phil Ragusa they paid for work done last November is neither the GOP chairman nor his nephew, but a totally different person who is unrelated to either. What are the odds? The Board also noted that "to avoid the appearance of impropriety," Ragusa #3, hired by ES&S on an outside-contractor basis as "a pre-election testing support person" and "a Call Center support person" for the November general election, was assigned to work in Manhattan, not Queens. I have put in requests to an ES&S rep for further explanation of how exactly they confirmed the lack of a family relationship between Ragusas #1 and #2 and their employee, Ragusa #3...
City Board of Elections Mulls Lever Machines for UpcomingVote(WNYC)
It's good to be state Sen. Malcolm Smith, who used $100G in campaign funds on lodging, meals, travel and entertainment last year(NYDN) The former state Senate leader spent $20,000 at upscale restaurants like Le Cirque and Statler Grill in Manhattan and dumped $23,000 into a 'fundraiser' at a Long Island country club though he was uncontested in his run for reelection. Last summer, the News revealed he dumped $41,000 in campaign cash into trips to exotic locales such as Shanghai and the Breakers resort in Palm Beach.* State Senator Malcolm Smith has spent $41,000 in campaign donations on travel from China to Palm Beach Malcolm (NYDN)Smith also used the cash to pay for cars and car-related expenses, the Daily News found* Malcolm on the Muddle(City and State)
Lopez Says He Has Pneumonia(YNN)As a report from a state ethics panel reportedly detailing his sexual harassment of female staffers was sent last week to the Legislature, the office of Assemblyman Vito Lopez in a statement today announced that the Brooklyn Democrat has pneumonia for the second time in nine months.Lopez’s office says that the once-powerful Brooklyn powerbroker who was considering a run for city Council later this year is “extremely fatigued” and has limited mobility due to the illness.* JCOPE Commissioner Joins Cohen’s Law Firm(YNN) * The NY Post called David Grandeau with questions about JCOPE (or JJOKE, as he calls it). Naturally, he blogged about the experience.
It is Better for Lhota if Carrion Runs In November and Spits the Latino Vote With the Democrats
Is Molinari trying to keep Carrion's campaign from falling apart to insure that he does not drop out and runs on the independence line? “It’s fight, fight, fight,” Staten Island powerbroker Guy Molinari said of his recent decision to buck GOP mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota. “If you didn’t have the stomach for it, then Staten Island would suffer.” After Mr. Molinari dropped his endorsement due to unreturned phone calls, it should be noted, Mr. Lhota “later called personally.”* Adolfo Carrión Jr. to Embark on Longshot Mayoral Bid (NYT) Adolfo Carrión Jr. says that the time may be right for an independent candidate who can offer a moderate alternative to his Republican and Democratic rivals.
Adolfo Carrion Says He’s Running for Mayor With or Withoutthe GOP(NYO)Former Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion thinks he can move the “silent majority” – the 71 percent of New Yorkers who didn’t vote in the last mayoral election – to over come the odds and win the race.
Update Independence Party Of NYC To Back
Greg David: What race? Voters haven't tuned in yet(CrainsNY)
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s mayoral campaign is struggling with how best to utilize the endorsement of the late Ed Koch, who voiced his support for Quinn days before he passed away
An Endorsement Hard to Pass Up, and Harder to Promote(NYT)Former Mayer Edward I. Koch supported Christine C. Quinn, the speaker of the City Council, two years before the mayoral election
The Deals Were Made With the Councilmembers During Redistricting
"City Council Members Fear Budget Revenge if They Don't Endorse Quinn" Member Item fight* Quinn: I know Nothing About Using Redistricting to Get Elected(True News) *
The bus stops here(NYP Ed) No one’s ever accused Michael Bloomberg of being reluctant to toot his own horn. With bus drivers returning to work tomorrow, he’s entitled. He proved that a mayor willing to stand firm and speak the truth about an issue distorted by those who seek private profit at public expense can prevail — even in New York. One big reason: not everyone’s taking the lesson here. Bill de Blasio. “We pledge,” they wrote, to take “effective action to insure that the important job security, wages and benefits of your members are protected within the bidding process, while at the same time are fiscally responsible for taxpayers.”Remember, we are talking about bus contracts that raised the average cost to an absurd $7,000 per passenger. The best New Yorkers can hope for is that the letter is a cynical promise these politicians have no intention of fulfilling. The problem is that political promises create expectations. And in this case, the signal being sent to city unions is this: When we get in, you guys won’t have to settle.
Quinn and the Brooklyn Machine Block A Black and Orthodox District to Save the Thomas Jefferson Club and Boss Seddio
So long Albany(Brooklyn Daily) Assemblyman Alan Maisel (D–Canarsie) has spent that past seven years representing parts of southern Brooklyn in Albany, but now he’s eyeing a shorter commute with a run for City Council.Russian Jews and Brooklyn Orthodox Who Have Similar Views Turned Against Each Other to Save Old Time Pols and Help Quinn Win the Mayor's Race
Alan Maisel vs. Mercedes Narcisse (and demographics) | The Barkan Report:
Again! Teacher Evaluations New Ad Battle
Independent teachers group demands Albany eval plan(NYP)* Cuomo Eyes New Deadline For Teacher Ratings Deal(NY1) * Teacher Evaluation Battle On The Airwaves(YNN) * Educators 4 Excellence plans to flood network and cable TV stations in the city with a 30-second ad calling on Albany to impose an evaluation system as soon as possible in the face of an impasse between Mayor Bloomberg and the UFT. * Teachers' Group Backs Possible Cuomo Intervention In Evaluation System Struggle (NY1) * New York City School Bus Drivers Wonder What Strike Achieved(NYT)
The Times’ Michael Powell examines the New York City Housing Authority’s plan to allow construction of residential towers on parking lots in authority developments and use lease payments to underwrite repairs for NYCHA facilities
The DCCC brought in $6.1 million in January and ended the month with $4.6 million in the bank – that’s nearly $1.7 million larger than the NRCC’s January haul.
NY1 Online: Wiseguys Weigh In On Homelessness In New York City(NY1)
NYT Cleaning Up One of Their Own
More BS from the NYT
The Gov Answers His Own Questions Like Mario
Got Questions for Cuomo? So Does He (WSJ) Like many high-profile politicians, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives few on-the-record interviews. But there may be one person who questions him publicly more than anyone else—Andrew Cuomo.* Gov's Progressive Approach A Welcome One For Caucus(NY1) * Laura Nahmias on the governor’s Socratic method of speaking: “During his two years in office, Mr. Cuomo has developed a habit of answering reporters’ queries by asking his own questions. He sometimes engages in a lengthy back-and-forth, asking four or five questions and replying in a single response.”* Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner insists she has no plans to resign from her job as co-chair of the NY State Democratic Party.* Pro-life advocates want to see the details of the abortion rights bill Cuomo says he’s working on.* Why Cuomo’s abortion rights plan is “more about symbolism than changing much of anything for women’s reproductive health – in New York state or anywhere else.”
Opponents of a measure in Gov. Cuomo’s proposed Women’s Equality Act that would codify women’s abortion rights has been met with opposition from conservative and Catholic church groups, who want the bill to be publicly vetted, LoHud writes: http://lohud.us/YvU4vZ
Freshman state Sen. Kathy Marchione will donate her $66,000 pension for her work as town clerk in Halfmoon to charity to avoid accusations of being a “double dipper” on top of her $79,500 Senate salary, the Times-Union reports: http://bit.ly/Y0KwuO * EJ McMahon says Sen. Kathy Marchione’s decision to donate her pension is “not entirely altruistic.”
According to state Medicaid Inspector General James Cox, since 2006, New York City’s Human Resources Administration has spent $15.6 million on audits to recover $11 million in wasteful Medicaid spending, costing taxpayers $4 million, The New York Post learns: http://bit.ly/Zo86EQ
Are state pensions bomb proof?(TU)
Mourning a gossip meister(NYP)Abraham recalled how Hillary Rodham Clinton once greeted Weinberger at a parade. For religious reasons, he couldn’t shake her hand — so he removed his hat as a sign of respect.
“A Secret Service agent took it and threw it half a block away,” Abraham said. “He didn’t know what he had in the hat.” Clinton ordered it recovered.*
RIP Isac Weinberger.
Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaners as a Barometer of Gentrification(NYT) Many dry cleaners in gentrifying neighborhoods like Natural Cleaners in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, use alternatives to traditional chemicals, responding to customers' desires. In less affluent areas, though, the old solvents remain. Businesses promoting the “organic” and “natural” service have blanketed affluent Manhattan neighborhoods and crept farther afield.
House Approves Storm Aid for Religious Institutions(NYT) Opponents of the bill worry that federal aid to rebuild churches and synagogues damaged by Hurricane Sandy could violate the doctrine of separation of church and state.The House of Representatives passed legislation 354-72 that would allow the use of federal money to rebuild churches and synagogues damaged by Hurricane Sandy, with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand working to get the bill passed in the Senate* Brooklyn Winery Uncorks New Chapter In Sandy Recovery(WSJ) *
* Four-legged victims of Sandy still looking for homes(NYDN)* With ‘Project Pay-It-Forward’ Neighbors Help Neighbors Rebuild (WCBS) * Savino bill guards Staten Islanders against mold(SI Advance)* The House overwhelmingly approved legislation to allow the use of federal money to rebuild churches and synagogues damaged by Sandy, despite concern that such aid could violate the doctrine of separation of church and state.* Staten Island court employees to receive Sandy assistance from NYS Trial Lawyers AssociationSI Advance http://SILive.com http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/02/staten_island_court_employees.html …
Civil Service: Judge thwarts city's move to reclassify skilled Workers(NYDN)
Obama Could Revisit Arming Syria Rebels as Assad Holds Firm(NYT)
Chicago Candidate Accuses Bloomberg’s PAC of Violating FEC Laws(NY Mag)
Krauthammer Dismisses Obama Press Access Outrage: Biggest Fabricated ‘Non-Story’ Since ‘Kardashian Weddings’
Madeleine Albright: Drones ‘very effective:'
Only Spending Can Save Us Now - Dean Baker, New York Daily News
The Coolidge Lesson on Taxes & Spending - Amity Shlaes, Wall St. Journal
Obama: The Media Puppet Master - Jim VandeHei & Mike Allen, Politico
President Blackmails Tax Payers, Blames GOP - Peter Morici, FOX News
Obama's Agenda Is a Weapon For Dems in 2014 - Steve Kornacki, Salon
Jack Lew & Obama's Finance-Friendly Status Quo - Lloyd Green, Dly Beast
Can This Man Help Dems Hold the Senate? - Jonathan Weisman, NY Times
Obama's Minimum Wage Welfare State - Brandon Crocker, Amer Spectator
Chicago Reclaimed the Projects, But Lost the City - Kevin Williamson, NRO
Will Tax Hikes Derail CA's Comeback? - Jim Tankersley, Washington Post
Guns and Pensions - Thomas Sowell, Investor's Business Daily
Building Keystone XL Pipeline Is Folly - Bill McKibben, USA Today
How Not to Fix Climate Change - Joe Nocera, New York Times
Send Hagel to the United Nations - Joel Pollak, Breitbart
Christie, Not Rubio, Best Bet in 2016 - DeWayne Wickham, USA Today
CA Regents Deny Critics a Fair Hearing - Peter Berkowitz, RealClearPolitics
Inside the Chinese Cyber War on the U.S. - Sanger, Barboza & Perlroth, NYT
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is poised to hit the lecture circuit, and is expected to fetch six figures per speech.
Stop the Foot Dragging & Build the Pipeline - USA Today
The Time Has Come to Cut Farm Subsidies - Washington Post
After 20 Tries, Cuba's Most Famous Blogger Is Free - Miami Herald
Alec Baldwin for Mayor - New York Post
Less than a year before Americans will be required to have insurance under “Obamacare”, many of its backers are growing increasingly anxious that premiums could jump, driven up by the legislation itself.
Gen. John Allen retires, declines top post in Europe(NYP)ag)
Chris Christie Denies Agreeing With Andrew Cuomo on ‘98 Percent of the Issues’(NY Mag)
NJ Gov. Chris Christie backtracked on his comment that he’s “98 percent the same” as Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but did note that both of them were raised by Sicilian mothers.”
Mayor Bloomberg: ”I happen to have some money, and that’s what I’m gonna do with my money - try to get us some sensible gun laws.”
The Illinois congressional candidate Bloomberg is targeting, Debbie Halvorson, says the mayor is trying to “buy this district from New York.”
Supreme Court Takes Case on Overall Limit to Political Gifts(NYT)
Obama’s Forecast on Cuts Is Dire, but Timing Is Disputed(NYT)
Obama's pick for treasury secretary grilled on NYU loan(NYP) * Simpson, Bowles to Offer Up Deficit Fix(WSJ)
Newsday endorsed Schneiderman’s proposal to require disclosure for so-called “dark money.”
Payday for traders and investment bankers slashed by 38% last year: reportOuch! Top honchos on Wall Street see biggest cuts to bonuses
NBC hires former Obama strategist David Axelrod(NYP)David Axelrod has signed on to MSNBC and NBC News as a senior political analyst* MSNBC boldly moves to plug its one remaining hole(Guardian) By hiring long-time Obama spokesmen Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod, the cable news network clarifies its function
Law and Order
Cold Cases Heating Up(WSJ) New resources enable district attorneys and police to revive investigations, drawing on DNA profiles and databases
Step-by-Step Instructions for Crime-Solving in the City(NYT) The New York Police Department has been moving, through a series of memos, to standardize detective work and codify crime-solving tactics that had mostly existed as an oral tradition.
The Times-Union writes that the state should draft legislation allowing videos and pictures to be taken in court to allow the people a view into how the criminal justice system works
Police Identify Suspect In Alleged Bronx Cemetery Grand Larceny
CBS anchor Morrison in wife ‘choke’(NYP) * New York TV Anchor Accused of Choking His Wife(NYT)
Local CBS Anchor Denies Choking Wife; Mother-in-Law Unconvinced(NY mag) * CBS anchor threatened to fatally attack spouse during arrest: court papers(NYP)
Ghouls go for bronze: Bronx grave robbers loot precious metal(NYP) * $160,000 in valuables stolen from Bronx cemetery(WABC)* Big Weekend for Thievery at Bronx Cemetery(NY Mag)
Beach body feud: Beau & mom at odds over who killed co-ed found in Breezy Point(NYP) * Body Found on a Beach Was Tied Up(NYT) * Sources: Body Of Queens Woman Found On Beach Was Bound(NY1)
Deli’s Forest apology for frisk(NYP) * Deli worker who 'stop and frisked' Forest Whitaker fired
3 Men Arrested in Scheme to Sell Counterfeit Car Parts(NYT
Nut job nabbed stealing 75lbs of almonds (NYP) A nut job tried to run away with 75 pounds of almonds in Brooklyn --
Sergeant Held on Child Pornography Charges(NYT)
Judge blocks city from Ken Burns film footage(NYP) * Judge Prevents City From Gaining Access To Footage From Documentary On "Central Park Five" (NY1) * City Rebuffed in Bid for Outtakes From Central Park Jogger Film(NYT)
NFL lineman Da’Quan Bowers flagged for gun at LaGuardia(NYP)
Girl, 6, maced in laundry attack(NYP) * Man Arrested in Laundromat Assault of Father, Girl(NBC)
Four Seasons Hit in Heist(WSJ) * Two Sought In Four Seasons Smash-And-Grab(NY1)* Arrest in Staten Island stabbing death(WSJ) *NYPD Sgt. collared for possessing child porn(NYDN)* Man kills his girlfriend, tries to stab himself to deat(NYDN) * Cops hunting brute who maced man and 6 y/o(NYDN)* Taxi driver hit with charge for mowing down seven(NYDN)* Rapist’s appeal rejected(NYP)