Thursday, April 4, 2013

Looking At One Arrest Tentacle: The Board of Elections

The BOE and the Arrests

Why is the NYC Department of Investigation doing comptroller type audits of the BOE when they should doing criminal investigations to clean the place up? City report outlines millions wasted by Board of Elections for overstaffing 2011 elections

Question #1 Were the Voting Scanners Purchased Because They Work for New York Or Where They Because The Party Leaders and Board Commissioners Got the Most Bribe Money?
True News Has Confirmed From A Current Top Executive That BOE warehouse employee Phil Ragusa the Grandson of the Queens GOP leader is on the payroll of ES&S as A Paid Consultant. Back on February 20 True News and then the Daily News were unsure were unsure if the Phil Ragusa named on the BOE scanner was the grandson of Queens GOP leader Phil Ragusa. True News has continued its investigation and now because of a insider tipster we are sure. The crimes committed are large and include the robbing of the right to vote and the rights to live in a democracy of every New Yorker

BOE Head of Machines Illegally Paid by Halloran
Robert Hornak who at the same time he was working at the Board of Elections was illegally getting paid by Councilman Dan Halloran through his consultant company Lexington Public Affairs. It is illegal for BOE employees to run a consultant company.  Hornak is Executive director of Queens County GOP.  His former boss and pal in the Queens GOP party was Vincent Tabone until he quit yesterday after getting arrested the day before

Hornak Also Worked for An Employee of the BOE Who Office Was Raided By the FBI

In April of 2012 True News reported that Hornak was working with Steven Graves who office at the BOE was raided by the FBI as part of their investigation of corruption in the purchase of the new voting machines.Hornak also worked worked with Jay Golub and with accused BOE briber Steven Graves on the Victor Babb City Council Campaign.  Sources: Queens GOP Leader Facing Major Corruption Charges Resigns(NY1)

DOI Going After the Secret Lobbyist Can Start the Clean Up of Corruption at the BOE 
The city’s Board of Elections was notified two years ago that Graves wascaught on tape soliciting a $25,000 “finder’s fee” from a company competing for a $65 million voting machine contract in 2009.  “He 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. All DOI has to do is expose who was the lobbyist who Graves want to receive the $1.250,000.  The chances are that lobbyist is a BOE lobbyist insider or Queens GOP operator who knows where many of the commissioner who run the board bodies are buried.  Note the sting tapes on Graves were made by the BOE vender not DOI
What About the Sworn Papers Filed in Court by Ragusa to Save His BOE Commissioner?

Is DOI, the DA or the AG investigating if the papers were real or forged?  Robert Hornak the director of machines for the Board of Election testified in sworn statements to the court that  the Queens leadership executive committee members met and voted Nov. 1 to reappoint Stupp, and that on Nov. 3, Ragusa signed a certificate saying so. That information was to have been mailed to the City Clerk and City Council on Nov. 19 -- although apparently neither envelope ever arrived. Hornak sworn statement said he mail the papers to reappoint Stupp on Nov. 19. to the executive committee.Ognibene said the gathering at which the organization members supposedly agreed -- having met at Dante's Caterers on Nov. 1 -- to re-nominate Stupp would have coincided with "GOP night," which is more of a cocktail party than a formal party proceeding. "I don’t know if there was ever a notice" of such a meeting, Ognibene continued. "I think they looked back and said, 'Where we all together where we can say we did this?'"

In 2007 Knew About Savino Involvement In FBI Probe of the BOE Voting Machines
Savino and two Bronx GOP associates, Dawn Sandow and Frank Tosi, were reportedly under investigation in connection with their work at the city Board of Elections. In 2010, Savino and others were subpoenaed in connection with a federal probe into bidding on voting machines.

Anthony Mangone, 37, of Purchase faces up to 45 years in jail when he is sentenced  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  New York City's Board of Elections.

ESS Lobbyists Mangone and Bronx Boss Savino Law Partners
A few years back, the Westchester lawyer Anthony J. Mangone, law partner of 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)

Pay to Play BOE's Lemon Contract
According to True News tipster Phil Ragusa has been paid over 50,000 from ES&S last year in a two month period.  That means that grandson Ragusa was paid from the same voting machine vendor that his grandfather's BOE commission approved after a battle of the lobbyists for which machine the BOE would buy. Grandson Ragusa was paid $1800 by a day by ES&S at the same time we was on the BOE payroll. On one 4 day pay period Grandson Ragusa was paid over $9000 for 4 days work on and hourly rate that would have taken two weeks to reach the $9000 bill,

True News Has Also Learned 
Grandson Phil Ragusa lives in Long Island and use his father address in Queens to quality for the BOE job. According to True News Tipster the address used is his father's Biagio Ragusa.  Who retired in 2012 after 20 years of service at the Queens warehouse, and his son, Phil, ended up getting that job.

NYC Party Leaders Hire Elected Officials to Work in Their Criminal Gangs

Organized Crime Politics
Ballot Corruption by Political Mob Bosses

The leaders of New York’s Political Mob are the City’s party leaders who exist with the Tammany Hall power control template, unchallenged and unaccountable to the voters in New York’s broken down election system. Their headquarters is the Board of Elections. Political mob bosses soldiers are campaign consultants who also operate as lobbyists and have the same relationship with the voters as Bernie Madoff had to his investors. In this war the 4th estate are enablers of the political mob bosses covering campaigns only as horse race and simply reprinting the candidate’s press releases.  In this swamp culture the political party leaders have become the new gangs of New York. Protect by the DA who need them to get elected.  .NY Political Parties for Sale: Ballot Corruption(True News) * Tammany’s Ballot Control Again and Again (TN) * Organized Crime Politics - Episode Two: The Rigged Election System * The DN argues against a special election, which would enable major party bosses to pick the candidates. 

More on those Arrested

Smith had no chance of winning, he likely had his sights on the Campaign Finance Board’s 6-to-1 fund matching. As a mayoral candidate, he could get a maximum match of $1,050 for each $175 donation.
The Smith Campaign Slush Fund
Smith blew $2M in elex cash (NYP) State Sen. Malcolm Smith blew through more than $2 million in campaign cash over five years — bunking at ritzy hotels, dining at four-star restaurants and even traveling to China, campaign- finance records show.  The lavish spending included a November 2011 junket to China, where Smith and his entourage forked over $1,148 to stay at the Beijing Grand and about $2,500 for other lodgings. That same month, the one-time Democratic Senate leader shelled out more than $1,000 at four of the city’s top steakhouses — Ben Benson’s, Capital Grille, Bobby Van’s and Smith & Wollensky. FBI agents yesterday served a subpoena on Smith’s Queens office as the senator stayed out of sight.*The king of Queens graft(NYP Ed) Smith has been linked to so many dubious schemes the FBI must have had an entire branch on his tail: Bid-rigging for the Aqueduct racino. Co-founding a Katrina charity that saw nearly $30,000 vanish. Diverting campaign funds for lavish personal trips and meals. Even opening (and then ruining) a Queens charter school in what appears to be a plot to boost home sales for a developer and big-time donor.

Smith and Halloran Never Google The Informer
If they Did They Would Have Detective Something Was Not Kosher
Shoulda known he was trouble (NYP)They should have just Googled the guy. A simple Web search would have shown state Sen. Malcolm Smith and City Councilman Dan Halloran that they were getting into bed with a shady developer who lost a $126 million lawsuit over a failed real-estate...Moses “Mark” Stern, who was the feds’ confidential informant against the pols, took out a massive loan from Citigroup to buy 11 shopping malls in 2007 — and his company promptly went bankrupt, according to court documents.  *Scandal Suggests Narrower Corruption Law Still Survived (NYT) * Case Spurred Bribery Probe(WSJ)

Savino Not A Bronx Resident Says Ne Needed Money to Pay the Rent
Bronx GOP boss adds to list of corruption(NYDN)Joseph (Jay) Savino, the chairman of the Bronx County Republican Committee, took a $15,000 bribe in a plot to get state Sen. Malcolm Smith on the ballot for New York City mayor. He also doesn't live in the Bronx, was subpoenaed in connection with a federal probe into bidding on voting machines and has dined out on Bronx GOP funds.Savino, the chairman of the Bronx County Republican Committee, maintains a Bronx voting address but is listed in the federal complaint unsealed Tuesday as living in Rockland County.

The Only Power GOP Leaders Have Now is to Make Money Off of Ballot Acess
Savino's Double Dipping Bribe

The party boss ended up allegedly taking just $15,000 in cash from an undercover agent on Feb. 14, $10,000 less than Queens GOP boss Vincent Tabone.Not that Savino actually supported Smith. Having backed former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion for weeks, Savino switched camps on Feb. 20 — less than a week after the alleged $15,000 payment — and endorsed ex-MTA chairman Joe Lhota for mayor. Savino himself was a top aide under GOP state Sen. Guy Velella when, in 2004, the longtime Bronx power broker pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for state contracts and housing subsidies. Savino took over the Bronx GOP when Velella went to jail.Savino, an Iona Preparatory School and Iona College graduate, was quite clear about what he wanted from Smith, according to the corruption complaint: $25,000 in an envelope in exchange for his support. “Everyone has to pay their mortgage,” Savino said, according to the complaint.

More Rot in Albany(NYT Ed) A convoluted bribery plot over a spot on the New York City mayoral ballot exposes the worst in the state’s political culture.

The Arrests: Mayoral Race

Fellow Dems team up vs. Quinn at debate Democratic mayoral hopefuls piled on front-runner Christine Quinn last night over term limits at a candidate forum, in one of the liveliest exchanges yet in the race.

“What happened before was a disgrace and it is a mark on the city of New York,” said former city Comptroller Bill Thompson, who ran unsuccessfully in 2009 against Mayor Bloomberg after Quinn pushed through an extension to the term-limits law so Hizzoner could run for a third term. De Blasio, who fought the term-limits extension in 2008, said he had supported only the notion of changing term limits after an open review, which never took place. “Democracy got suspended in our town in 2008,” he zinged at the debate last night.

Lhota Demands IG for the City Council In Response for Quinn Bill for NYPD IG
Lhota: City Council Needs Its Own Inspector General (WSJ)* Plaintiffs Try To Highlight Stop-And-Frisk Bias With Expert Witness(NY1) * GOP Mayoral Candidates Say Scandal Won't Derail Their Bids(NY1)

Twenty new schools will open in Bronx next school year(NYDN)

South Ferry station reopens today(NYP) * Wipeout of Pier Is Blow to Town's Surf Scene(WSJ) * MTA to Restore No. 1 Train Service to South Ferry(WSJ) * Subway Service To Old South Ferry Station To Be Restored Thursday

Dolan welcomes release of Milwaukee deposition documents (NYP)MILWAUKEE — New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan says he welcomes the upcoming release of documents related to sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee* Archdiocese Of Milwaukee To Release Dolan Testimony, Other Documents In Child Sex Abuse Scandal(NY1)

Looking forward to a final year of nasty NBC jabs by Jay Leno before Fallon takes over 'Tonight'(NYP)* Comic reliever as Jay exits Fallon to take over ‘Tonight’

Obama takes tough gun fight to Colorado(NYP)
Upstart Group Pushes Harder Than the N.R.A.(NYT)Although dwarfed by the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, a pro-gun lobbying group, has grown in influence since the debate over gun control has surged.* Lawmakers in Connecticut Approve Gun Limits Bill * Gun Curbs Lose Ground in States(WSJ)
* Conn. Lawmakers Pass Gun-Control Bill(WSJ) * Maloney To Continue Push For Gun Legislation Despite Death Threats(NY1)

Police Surveillance May Earn Money for City(NYT) Microsoft, which developed the Domain Awareness System with the New York Police Department, says it is actively negotiating with a number of prospective buyers.

City Police Officer Charged In Connection With Alleged Conspiracy To Rob Drug Dealers(NY1)
NYC police operation aims to prevent car theft(WSJ)

NY1 Online: Journalist Examines Prosecutorial Misconduct In NYC
Bronx community leader working with NYPD to form peace  (NYDN)

Frat house animal (NYP) A frat boy caught on video allegedly beating and robbing a woman in a Brooklyn subway station was easy to catch — he was wearing a hoodie with the fraternity’s Greek letters and his nickname
Officer Charged in Robberies of Drug Dealers(NYT)
Mentally Ill, but Insanity Plea Is Long Shot(NYT)

Brooklyn carpenter confesses to dicing up his roommate with kitchen tools - but not murder(NYP)