Monday, March 25, 2013

Tired Talking Points Candidates


Scary, very scary(NYDN Ed)

Seven candidates appeared at the third of the mayoral forums sponsored by the Daily News and the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation citizens group. The topic was public safety. All were advised to come prepared to explain how he or she would hold the line on crime or drive it still lower — the central duty of any mayor. All were given the opportunity to present their three most important strategies. Not one of them was convincing or spoke with a semblance of coherence or authority.* The newspaper that co-hosted a mayoral candidate forum on public safety wasn't impressed with any of the candidates' answers. [Daily News]

2m Frightened NYDaily News editorial claims to see Demo Mayoral candidates about to hand NYC over to criminals

NYP: Pinata Quinn
Quinn’s sick daze(NYP) City Council Speaker Christine Quinn must have wanted to call in sick Friday. Instead, she walked into a massive headache for her mayoral campaign — the council’s all-day hearing on paid sick leave for New York’s private workers.  It boils down to yet another tax on small businesses and low-wage jobs. As Linda Baran, president of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, testified Friday, the mandates that government imposes on businesses “are adding up so that they can’t afford it

Thompson Quinn Caused the Flu to Spread Because She Blocked the Sick Pay Bill
 ”Quinn’s mayoral opponents have seized on the bill as her biggest weakness. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio showed up Friday to serve as honorary council member, sitting above the speaker on the dais and asking questions of panelists. He finished off by claiming that Quinn could’ve slowed this year’s flu epidemic had she enacted sick leave a year or six months ago. 

State Budget

Cuomo's Budget Dance: Business Leaders and Liberals Are Upset
The Senate convened for a rare afternoon session to consider parts of the state’s $135.1 billion budget, with several senators grumbling after the Assembly Democrats postponed their planned Sunday session until Thursday, the Times-Union reports:  *Early Budget Seems Unlikely For Albany As State Senate Begins Voting Process(NY1)* The Senate held a fairly short session yesterday – Palm Sunday – and passed three budget bills, but has to wait to take up the rest until they’re negotiated and printed.* Tom Precious writes: “One has to wonder, given the strangeness of how this process is playing out during what was to be a vacation week for lawmakers: how many legislators have non-refundable travel tickets?”* Midnight Budget Voting Planned(YNN)

Liberals Dems Upset The liberal wing of the State Legislature has expressed its displeasure with Senate co-leader Jeff Klein for caving on numerous progressive issues in the state budget, namely the DREAM ActAlbany Dems divided as left rips party(NYDN)

Business Leaders Budget Anti-Business
Gov faking care of business, execs fume(Dicker, NYP) Key business leaders are privately portraying Gov. Cuomo’s widely panned state budget as a bitter betrayal of two years of promises to reverse New York’s longstanding anti-business reputation. “In a single stroke, Cuomo has reversed all he claimed to be doing during his first two years to make this state at least a little friendly to the private sector,’’ said a leading business official who, like several others, demanded anonymity for fear of the governor’s political retaliation. “He’s handed the state back to [spendthrift Assembly Speaker Sheldon] Silver,’’ the source continued.The word “temporary” is fungible when it comes to enacting tax policy in Albany.* "Temporary" taxes, surcharges and fees in Albany never seem to sunset. [Rick Karlin]* Dicker: Cuomo Boycotting Radio Show(YNN)

Energy Tax
 Business leaders are infuriated that Cuomo refused to permit a scheduled drop in a “temporary’’ assessment on energy costs for all consumers to take effect, in effect a tax increase of more than $200 million a year.

No New Speed Cameras
Albany nixes speed cameras(NYP) The state budget will not include money for 40 "speed cameras" that city officials wanted to install near schools. [Erik Kriss]

The budget deal includes a minimum fine of $50 for drivers caught texting while driving. (There’s currently no minimum, only a maximum fine of $150). 

An anonymous Cuomo administration source blames people connected to Mayor Bloomberg and the Brady Center for the flawed SAFE Act, saying they – not the governor’s staff – drafted most of the law. *Midnight Budget Voting Planned(YNN) * Schneiderman: SAFE Act Was Rushed, But Legal(YNN) * Governor Cuomo Blasts ‘Propaganda’ Lawsuit Against State Gun Law(NYO)

Wealthy Tax
Cuomo also went back on his word to end the “temporary’’ surcharge on wealthy taxpayers — which during his 2010 campaign he said was damaging the state’s ability to hold and attract corporate executives. 

Tammany Style Rebate
While business leaders weren’t surprised that Cuomo won approval for a costly minimum-wage hike — he’d pledged to do so for months — they were shocked he agreed with Silver (D-Manhattan) to hand out tax “rebate’’ checks of $350 or more to a million families when he’s up for re-election next year, at a cost of $370 million. “That’s one of the most blatantly political moves ever. Boss Tweed would have been proud,’’ said another prominent business leader.

Pay to Play Nominations
Cuomo nominated two top political donors for prestigious appointments, investor Henry Silverman for the Javits Center Operating Corp. board of directors, and Laura Aswad for another term on the State Council of the Arts, the Daily News learns

LICH Not Saved
SUNY Downstate Medical Center will not receive a bailout in the state budget, despite losing $8 million per month, closing Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn and requesting an infusion of $150 million to survive through the year, the Daily News writes: * The budget does not include a bailout for SUNY Downstate Medical Center, despite warnings it could close without assistance. SUNY officials are instead directed to come up with a restructuring plan by June.

Dream Act Missing
A number of the Legislature’s Latino members boycotted a Somos reception at the governor’s mansion Friday out of anger that the DREAM Act wasn’t in the budget. They’re not too happy with IDC leader Jeff Klein, either.  

The very pro-fracking NY Post agrees (!) with Cuomo that the industry must make a better case to the public on how drilling is safe.  

Buffalo Bills Free Seats
The Post admonishes the Cuomo administration for purchasing a luxury suite for the Buffalo Bills, comparing it to former Gov. David Paterson’s infamous acceptance of free Yankees tickets:
How bad is it that former governor David Paterson accepted free Yankee tickets if his successor worked out a deal to have luxury suite in the new Buffalo Bills stadium? [New York Post]''

The so-called Jimmy Fallon law is included in the budget.

Ex-Bloomberg Albany lobbyist picked up by Schneiderman(NYDN)

Campaign 2013

Thompson's Campaign Change of the Guard
Eduardo Castell is out as CM for This time BT has selected Jonathan Prince to head his campaign.With Roberto Ramirez also out will J. Prince be able to connect with the Puerto Rican/Latino vote BT needs in primary?* Thompson Names 2 Campaign Aides With Experience Beyond City(NYT) Mirram will only be advising Not involved in campaign. Jonathan Prince will put the new team together.

Liu sweats out two campaign-fraud trials that could impact his public matching funds for mayoral race 
Liu Matching Funds Good News and Bad
$3.4M is Liu’s to lose(NYP)Operating largely under the radar, Comptroller John Liu has pulled off an amazing feat in the race for mayor by filing claims that would entitle him to $3.4 million in public matching funds. The $564,400 he has amassed for matching purposes is second only to the $637,038 rounded up by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who leads in the polls and has raised twice as much overall as her less successful rival.* On Up Close With Diana Williams yesterday, Comptroller John Liu sided with Mayor Michael Bloomberg over his inspector general fight with Council Speaker Christine Quinn. “I’m not sure what good that it would do. … I’ve said maybe it doesn’t hurt but I don’t think it achieves its purposes,” he argued. “The fact is, both of these people–whether it be the commissioner or the inspector general–they’re still answering to the mayor! If I were mayor I would just set the tone for the police and guard it vigorously and not have to rely on yet another person to police the police.”

Is the Liberal Party A Player Again?
Back-from-dead Libs look to back GOPer for mayor(NYT) Sidelined for nearly a decade, the state’s once-influential Liberal Party is considering endorsing Republican Joe Lhota or John Catsimatidis for mayor — and securing a ballot line for its candidate in the fall election.

Consultant Lynch Earning His $$$ With BS
Black Voters Present Test For Candidate(WSJ) The Wall Street Journal looked at Mr. Liu’s efforts to capture part of the black vote, making the case that the one black mayoral candidate, former Comptroller Bill Thompson, doesn’t have a lock on the community. “The communities we’re trying to mobilize don’t like that kind of stuff,” said Liu adviser Bill Lynch about the federal investigation into the candidate’s fund-raising. “If it turns out there’s nothing there, we will use that.”
de Blasio Tweet Problem
NYC Public Advocate/mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio disciplined a campaign aide for her inappropriate Tweets.* A volunteer coordinator on Bill de Blasio's campaign was "told to suspend her use of social media" after her "foul-mouthed rants" about the NYPD and NAACP came to light. [Sally Goldenberg]

Albanese Stop and Frisk Plan
Former City Councilman Albanese supports the legalization of marijuana(NYP)* Sal Albanese, a former city councilman from Brooklyn and Democratic mayoral hopeful, recommended legalizing pot so people who are found with small amounts of it during stop-and-frisks won’t be arrested.

McDonald Who Cannot Raise Money Will Take the City's Money
Candidate Ends Effort to Sidestep a City Cap(NYT) Testing campaign finance rules has proved more difficult than George T. McDonald predicted, and the mayoral hopeful is now preparing to participate in the very system he wishes to undermine. New York City Republican mayoral candidate George McDonald conceded that he will participate in the city’s public matching funds program, unwilling to wait for his lawsuit challenging the city’s campaign finance laws to get resolved* NYC GOP mayoral hopeful George McDonald will seek to receive matching, taxpayer-financed funds from the Campaign Finance Board – the very system he’s suing to circumvent.

Cuomo Book

Cuomo’s live-in girlfriend, Food Network star Sandra Lee, has written her first novel, “The Recipe Box”, and its main characters bear striking similarities to Lee and Cuomo, with several aspects of the book rooted in their real lives, The Wall Street Journal writes:  * The characters in Sandra Lee’s first novel, “The Recipe Box,” strongly resemble the Food Network star and her live-in boyfriend, Gov. Cuomo. The book ends with a marriage proposal. 

Marty Markowitz

The borough president famously erected signs declaring "How Sweet It Is!" to be in Brooklyn. Was there substance—and success—behind the shtick?

NYC Government

Property Tax
City cracks down on property-tax cheats(NYP) The New York City Department of Finance is moving to collect $9.2 million from 72 properties that have long been receiving nonprofit property tax exemptions, requiring the property owners to prove they are entitled to the exemption

Ratting On Out of State Registrations
Neighbors rat out tax scammers(NYP) Residents on Staten Island are calling their state lawmakers’ offices to blow the whistle on neighbors who are illegally registering their cars out of state 

Sidewalk Divers Get Away With Hitting People
Drivers who hit people on sidewalks not being prosecuted(NYP)

NYCHA Market Rate Housing
Details of NYCHA's plans to allow market rate housing to be built on their property. [Mireya Navarro]

Bus Strike
This sounds like a win for Bloomberg: the bus drivers' union is looking to cut pay and benefits. [Juan Gonzalez]

Catholic schools are getting a funding boost in the budget.

Lack of Subway Cameras

Lack of security cameras at NYC subway stations threatens safety, hinders criminal investigations(NYDN) Only 111 stations of 468 have the crime-fighting technology that might have helped police probing the stabbing of an 18-year-old at the 21st St. and 41st Ave. stop in Queens. The MTA says it lacks the money to equip all stations with the crime deterrents, so it's time for our public officials to step up.


Coney Island Opens Despite Setbacks(NYT)
Coney Island’s colorful rides, which were awash in almost five feet of seawater after Hurricane Sandy, reopened Sunday. Above, Polar Bear Club members take a swim.* Coney Island's Rides Reopen(WSJ) * Peaceful Rally At Coney Island Opening Highlights Area's Sandy Concerns(NY1)

Ellis Island Still A Big Mess  
Ellis Island museum 'not likely' to re-open in 2013(NYP)

[image]Aid Shows Storm's Reach (WSJ)It wasn't the community hit hardest by superstorm Sandy, or the one that received the most attention in its aftermath, but Howard Beach in Queens has emerged as an unlikely center for government disaster assistance.* Hotel Program for Sandy Refugees Set to End(WSJ)* Howard Beach is a the center of federal relief aid for hurricane victims. [Heather Haddon and Alison Fox]

Mental Health

1 in 5 city preteens have mental woes (NYP) More than 145,000 city children — roughly one in five — between 6 and 12 struggle with mental illness or other emotional woes, a new study has found.* 1 in 5 NYC preteens struggle with mental illness(WSJ) * 1 in 5 NYC preteens struggle with mental illness(Fox 5)

Willowbrook At 50
It's been 50 years since Willowbrook. What have we learned?

Developers Giveaway

23 acres of prime real estate for $1!(Queens Crap)

Once upon a time, there was a billionaire that took control of a city. Everyone did whatever he wanted and did not challenge him. He used lots and lots of taxpayer money to buy up land across the street from a stadium run by his fellow billionaire buddies. Then he sold it to them for $1. He also gave them $100M in taxpayer-funded city grants to build a mall. Even though one of his deputy mayors promised that the stadium owner would pay for the total cost of remediation of the land - that, if truly contaminated, hurts no one because no one lives there (save for a man that lived more than 80 years of his life there) - he put a cap on how much remediation cost the stadium owner would be required to pay at a fraction of the expected total.  Now lots of people work there, so to help his minions in the legislative body save face, the billionaire made his buddies promise to build affordable housing. But, the affordable housing has to wait for highway ramps to be built by the taxpayers more than a decade from now, even though the stadium owners can build them themselves in a shorter timeframe. Oh, but the wording of the contract was changed to make sure they don't really have to build it at all...Then there's the free parkland they're going to build their mall on.To make a long story short, after crying over Madoff, the Wilpons are now laughing all the way to the bank at our expense. How do I know all this? It's in this week's Queens Chronicle. I suggest you read Joe Orovic's excellent expose and then call up your elected officials and ask them if they think the "fool me twice" saying applies here.
EMT Hate 



Closing Night for Bloomberg

Journalist and Mayor Performs for their Masters, Real Estate Developers
  Bringing in Help, Mayor Bows Out in Style at Annual Revue(NYT)In his 12th and final appearance as mayor at the annual Inner Circle dinner, Michael Bloomberg paid out of pocket and brought in cast members from current Broadway shows for elaborate song-and-dance sequences* Billionaire Bloomberg paid for not one, but four Broadway casts for his final Inner Circle Show response. An edited version of Bloomberg's performance at the Inner Circle Show. [Youtube] * Watch Mayor Bloomberg pay to humiliate himself and sing horrendously off-key in a hoodie: (NY Mag) * Mayor Bloomberg Goes Full Nerd, Actually Wears a Hoodie in Public(NYO)

Nanny Bloomberg
Three Cheers for the Nanny State(NYT) Give me a 32-ounce soda or give me death! Seriously?* City Health Officials Hope New Smoking Bills Can Curb Number(NY1)


Can Matt Lauer save his Today Show? 

Matt Lauer 'Simply Didn't Like' Ann Curry: NY Mag* NBC refused to let Ann Curry tweet her support to Robin Roberts, writes in must-read story

Like Fox viewers, MSNBC viewers spend *a lot* of their TV time watching MSNBC, seeing the world through that prism


Bloomberg Gun Fight

NRA chief blasts Mayor Bloomberg’s TV ad buy pushing gun control(NYP) * A Cuomo administration source is flatly denying the governor’s claim that his new anti-gun SAFE Act was carefully drafted, saying the governor himself wasn’t even aware of some provisions when it was hastily enacted into law.(Dicker, NYP) *With Newtown Aid Unspent, Tragedies of Past Offer a Guide(NYT) * Bloomberg Steps Up Gun-Law Campaign(WSJ) * New Ad From Mayor's Gun Control Group Demands Background Checks * Bloomberg takes gun control campaign nationwide(Fox 5) * NRA chief LaPierre: Bloomberg 'can't buy America(The Hill) * Morning Joe Clashes Over 'Anti-Semitism' Directed At 'Big City Jewish Man' Bloomberg Over Gun Control * Five red state Dem Senators who are still too skittish to back background checks: (Wash Post)* Mayor Bloomberg Shoots Back at the NRA(NYO) * Wayne LaPierre: Michael Bloomberg 'Insane' On Guns(Huff Post)


How to Celebrate Passover, Obama-Style(NY Mag)
Congress Set to Alter Focus(WSJ) Congress is expected to pivot to issues such as immigration and guns before attempting a broader deal on taxes, spending and debt.
In Leak Case, State Secrecy in Plain Sight(NYT)
Chief Justice’s Guest for Gay Marriage Arguments: His Lesbian Cousin(NY Mag)
E.U. Agrees to Cyprus Bailout - Kanter, Alderman & Higgins, New York Times
Cyprus: It Ain't Over Yet - Felix Salmon, Reuters
Beginning of the End of Too Big To Fail? - James Pethokoukis, Natl Review
Fiscal Stalemate Needs Obama's Leadership - Fred Hiatt, Washington Post
Census Shows People Go Where the Money Is - Michael Barone, Examiner
America's Twilight Zone of Lackluster Growth - Robert Samuelson, IBD
Hot Money Blues - Paul Krugman, New York Times
Grand Old Opportunity - Yuval Levin, Weekly Standard
GOP Growth & Opportunity? Not - Steve Rosenthal, Politico
ObamaCare a Disaster for Dems in 2014 - Betsy McCaughey, New York Post
Gay Wedding Bells at the Supreme Court - Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker
Politicized 'Science' of Gay Marriage - Andrew Ferguson, Weekly Standard
Julian Castro Playing the Long Game - E.J. Dionne, Washington Post
Rubio Brings GOP Hope w/Hispanics - Alex Leary, Tampa Bay Times
No Go for Joe in 2016 - Joseph Curl, Washington Times
How Phil Griffin Became the Anti-Ailes - Rebecca Dana, The New Republic
Why Liberals Still Resent FOX News - Jonathan Tobin, Commentary
Sunday Show Clips: Senator Paul | Mayor Bloomberg | Karl Rove | More

Obamacare's Good Report Card - New York Times
Lowering Expectations on ObamaCare - Washington Examiner
Unions Undermining Immigration Reform - Wall Street Journal
We're Losing the Peace in Iraq - Washington Post
Kerry Arrives in Afghanistan on Unannounced Visit(NYT)
on gay marriage and the upcoming SCOTUS decisions about the constitutionality of Prop 8 and the DOMA: (New Yorker)
Supreme Court will hear Michigan affirmative action case(Politico)

Law and Order

"[G]rossly deceptive" is how a Manhattan Institute fellow describes a Times front-page story alleging an NYPD official urged a subordinate to use race as a stop-and-frisk criterion. [Heather Mac Donald]*
a fellow rips a front page story re: : "twisted McCormack's words...

In an Area Plagued by Violence, a ‘God Squad’ Hits the Streets(NYT)

WATCH: Mugger assaults victim at Times Sq. subway station(NYP)

Elderly man hit by dirt bike in Bx. cop chase(NYP)
Study Says Halfway Houses Don’t Reduce Recidivism
Witnesses Blame Officers for Bronx Dirt Bike Crash(NBC)
Protesters Rally Again Over Police Shooting of Brooklyn (NBC)

 Wrongly convicted man is expected to recover from heart attack(NYP




Cop ‘killer’ suing city (NYP) The man accused of masterminding a botched robbery that ended with a police officer’s death has another get-cash-quick scheme up his sleeve: suing his jailers. Nelson Morales is facing a murder trial for allegedly plotting to break into an apartment...

HUH?: Thieves stealing used cooking grease to turn into quick cash(NYP)
Man Allegedly Beaten By Queens Bouncer Dies (NY1)


Somali terror-support suspect pleads guilty in NYC(NYP)