Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The NYT Joins the Fight To Clean Up Albany

NYT Cover Up Ended

The Kingdom Speech On NYT Corruption
On Tuesday the  NYT Finally Printed An Editorial On How to Fix NY Pol Corruption 
Of all the proposed reforms, the most critical is to open up elections so that voters have real choices. And that means creating a workable public financing system to encourage more candidates to come forward, much as New York City did almost 25 years ago. The New York Public Interest Research Group found that over the last 30 years, only 55 incumbents have been defeated in general elections.

The NYT is the Only Paper That Still Has the Power to Force Albany to Change . . . This Story Now Has Legs and Cannot Be Buried

NYT Dump Wilson Pakula and Special Elections
There are, of course, other useful changes to be made. The scandalous tradition that allows party leaders to sell party lines on election ballots must be brought to an end. That party leaders can handpick the candidates for special elections after an incumbent’s retirement, death or conviction (not an uncommon occurrence these days) is another odious feature of New York’s political life.* Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long says anger over the state’s Wilson Pakula law is misdirected, insisting the focus should remain on punishing those who try to “game the system.”

NYT: Reform the Board of Election
Mr. Cuomo and the Legislature should also pass a law to make it easier for voters to change party registration (which can now take more than a year), and to revamp the state and New York City boards of elections. The city board is riddled with patronage jobs and incompetence. The state board has so little enforcement authority that it is widely dismissed as a joke. 

NYT Tells Bharara Keep Going
Mr. Bharara said he yearned for something better than what he called this “blunt prosecutor’s tool.” Right now, that is the best that voters have until Mr. Cuomo provides for wider and better choices at election time.

True New Will Take Not Credit for Putting Pressure on the NYT to Present A Plan to Clean Up Politics, We Were Just Doing Out Job

The Silent Spring of the NYT

On Saturday NYT
A Tax Scandal Adds to French Malaise(NYT Ed) What happened to those promises of clean government and economic
Today the Daily News Said Biker Should Pay Their Own Way The Daily News argues that New York City’s Five Boro Bike Tour should pay for its own policing costs because the amount of Bike New York’s charitable donations do not justify taxpayer support:

Bob Schieffer believes decline of newspapers could lead to unprecedented 'corruption'
Civil War in Albany

Assembly Democrats quickly rallied to the defense of Speaker Sheldon Silver yesterday after a report indicated that Gov. Cuomo was considering a coup attempt, and some believe this will affect the governor’s legislative agenda. Cuomo insisted he would “never even for a moment” try to influence assembly members’ decision about who should leader their conference.
Coup against Silver? Cuomo’s the one feeling the heat(Bufflalo News)Anonymously sourced report targeting Assembly speaker backfires among lawmakers.* The root of Albany evil: Cuomo blames ‘power’ of entrenched leaders(NYP)  Cuomo yesterday shifted blame for New York’s political-corruption crisis to a “power establishment” that includes Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and other entrenched members of the state Legislature.“It’s been going on for 20 years. That’s where I think the Post story came from today,” Cuomo said, referring to Fredric U. Dicker’s column that the governor and his team discussed ousting Silver from the powerful speaker post he’s held since 1994.During a meeting with the New York Post’s editorial board, Cuomo condemned the “power establishment” that has been controlling Albany for years. (Silver is the longest-serving currently serving member of the four men in a room). “You can make major reforms when you have the people’s attention and I think we have the people’s attention and that’s a good thing,” Cuomo said. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for many, many years.”Former state ethics board Executive Director Karl Sleight says more reforms aren’t going to fix Albany’s corruption problem. “At the end of the day, crooks are crooks. It doesn’t matter what ethics law you pass. If you are willing to take a bribe, you take a bribe.” * Cuomo isn't talking to Fred Dicker, at least not publicly(Capital) * Morelle: ‘The Whole Thing Is Ridiculous’(YNN)

Cuomo proposes 3 new anti-corruption laws in wake of politician bribe scandals(NYP)

 Cuomo's Corruption Plan "Public Trust Act"
 via : If you are a public official & if you break the law, you will get caught, you will be prosecuted & you will go to jail, Gov* Dinerstein: Proposal would make it no longer necessary to prove a "corrupt understanding" between both parties of a bribe. * The Gov's Act includes new crimes for bribery of a public official, defrauding the gov't, failure to report public corruption* Why not empower the AG? "This step one," Cuomo says. " ... Silver defends work in Albany amid corruption scandals, calls Cuomo a 'partner'(NYP) We'll be looking at other areas going forward."Oh, hi Staten Island DA Dan Donovan. Interesting to see you, the guy who ran against Eric Schneiderman, here at this Cuomo press conference.Cuomo on a full-time legislature: "Some people think that if they're in Albany more, they'll do more harm." * Just got an official statement from Schneiderman. He says these proposals build on a bill he carried in 2010, and are a "step forward."* Cuomo Proposes Anti-Corruption Package(YNN)

3h Very strange that new Cuomo anti-corruption proposal doesn't include criminal investigation jurisdiction for the

 . Time to stop rewarding bad-behavior in NY politics & put anti-corruption tools in place. * DAP says that there's a "lower caliber type of legislator" than back in the day. "Our best and out brightest are not going into g'ment."* David Paterson: "What's gone from Albany is nobody's passionate about anything except personal gain."

Crooky Monster Tops Corruption
“The power establishment has been there a long time. I think that’s what [Bharara] was saying,” the governor said. “We’re going to use [the crisis] to push forth a very aggressive reform package. We’re going to put forth electoral reform, campaign reform. We’ve been talking about this for years and years,” he said.* The Journal News’ Phil Reisman lays out several ideas to fight corruption in Albany, including raising the pay of state legislators and term limits*Silver is still Teflon Shelly(NYP)* Cuomo’s long honeymoon appears to finally be over.* “(I)n this case I don’t see what the speaker had to do with any of these purely personal individual acts by two Assembly people,” Cuomo said, while side-stepping a question on whether he and his staff had discussed Silver’s ouster.

Malcolm Smith Planned to Rip Off NYC Public Campaign Finance $$$
The Daily News’ Bill Hammond argues against government financing of election campaigns, saying that Albany politicians simply cannot be trusted to do it right:* Criticism of Cuomo Grows as the Problems in Albany Endure(NYT) In a radio interview with Susan Arbetter on “The Capitol Pressroom”, Cuomo names some of the issues that would likely be addressed in a potential comprehensive ethics package, including the Wilson-Pakula law and member items, the Times-Union reports:  * Cuomo: what about the $280 million discretionary spending budget for multi-modal projects? (WNYC) Cuomo Wants To Attack Corruption In Remainder Of Legislative Session(NY1) *Dan Halloran Touts Questionable Constituent Services Ranking(NYO) * Gregory Meeks Staffer May Try to Unseat Malcolm Smith

Eric Stevenson

Convicted Cocaine Trafficker’s Name Among Eric Stevenson’s Donors

Nelson Castro
Assemblyman and Informer, Nelson L. Castro Led Double Life

Wilson-Pakula Keeps the Cult Party Alive
Cuomo Wilson-Pakula Must End
“Something has to be done about Wilson-Pakula and cross-endorsements. You have mayoral candidates that are talking about this outwardly, about what they have to do to get on the ballot. That whole electoral process stinks and has for a long time. I think there’s an opportunity to reform that,” he said. “In an ideal world,” he said, “you’d have no cross endorsements.”

The Daily News to Cuomo Clean Up the Independence Party
Cuomo is correct that felons will be felons. But, leading by example, the governor can also attack the quid pro quo culture that fertilizes them. He can take as his starting point the outright fraud of the Independence Party.This editorial page revealed in December that party membership rolls are filled by thousands of unwitting voters: people who had intended to register as independents but fell instead under the Independence umbrella. The party’s leadership — here in the city, members of a bizarre, cultlike group — have traded on this mass public error to wield undeserved influence over elections. They have opened their ballot lines to politicians, including Mayor Bloomberg, and have reaped the rewards of substantial financial support. Cuomo the reformer(NYDN Ed) Confronted with yet another corruption eruption in the capital that he pledged to reform, Gov. Cuomo is mulling new clean-up-the-state actions. He has our encouragement and sympathy. New York’s political class operates in a culture in which everything is for sale, be it a vote on legislation, placement on a party’s ballot line or formulas for distributing state aid.: Remember when Cuomo got the Independence line in 2010? Does he?

Bloomberg Spent Millions to Buy IP and GOP Ballot Lines
The Times’ Michael Powell writes that Mayor Michael Bloomberg deserves some of the blame for engendering a culture of corruption in New York City: Mr. Powell wrote. “[W]hen he decided that his professed love of term limits was silliness and that he would like the Republican Party nomination, he spread cash the way a farmer spreads manure in spring.”

Secret Member Item Type Money Hidden All Over the NYS Budget
STATE SPENDING REMAINS HIDDEN: The allegations against state Sen. Malcolm Smith reveal a shadowy part of New York’s budget that persists despite the governor’s attempts to curtail lawmakers’ discretionary spending *
State spending remains hidden from public view(NY World)
Corruption case puts spotlight on shadowy development funds in state budget

Carrion No GOP Line
. won't be running on GOP line. Brooklyn Republicans join Manhattan and Queens - endorsing for mayor.

Through A Corrupt Storm Albany Lobbyist Keep Working
Nearly half of the state Assembly has signed on to a bill that would legalize and regulate Mixed Martial Arts in New York, with a promise from Speaker Silver to bring the bill before the entire conference before the end of the legislative session, the New York Post writes:

Pol's Teflon Pensions
The Times-Union writes that the state law that forces public employees and elected officials who commit felonies to lose their pension is “corrupt” because it does not cover every felony a public official might commit in office:

Scandal Will Lower Voter Turnout
 Already-low Voter turnout in Bronx will get worse with scandals(NYDN)

Quinn Ties Censorship

de Blasio on Quinn's ad threat: "I'm not surprised she's in denial" about ppl being upset at her positions.  Thompson says Quinn's legal threat over attack ad is an attempt "to bully" the TV stations. 
Update NYC is Not For Sale hires Attorney Norman Siegel; spox says cease & desist letter... "is a desperate attempt from the Quinn campaign."

Both Attacked the Media
Ad nausea for Quinn: Demands enemies’ TV spot be pulled(NYP) Democratic mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn declared war yesterday on the left-wing backers of a TV ad attacking her, demanding that Time Warner Cable stop airing the spot because, she claims, it is factually wrong. Quinn’s campaign attorney, Jerry Goldfeder, disputes the ad’s characterization of Quinn as on the “wrong side” of a bill forcing companies taking city subsidies to pay a so-called living wage of $11.50 an hour. Chelsea Connor, director of communications at The Advance Group, which created the ad, called Quinn’s move “desperate.* Rivals slam Quinn's ad threat(Capital) * Ad Watch: Quinn and a ‘Smoke-Filled Room’(NYT)

” Some of the backers of the $250,000 ad buy — a group called New York City Is Not For Sale — held a raucous press conference on the steps of City Hall yesterday to denounce Quinn and insist they are not working with any other mayoral campaign.* Negative TV Ads Target Quinn(WSJ)NY1 Exclusive: Quinn Pressures NY1 To Stop Airing Attack Ad On Term Limits, Living Wage Bill * “The NYC is Not for Sale spot will continue to air as ordered unless we arrive at a decision to act otherwise,” Time Warner Cable’s lawyer wrote back to Ms. Quinn’s campaign. “We will contact you immediately once a decision is rendered.”

A Liberal Lawyer Goes After the A TV Ad
A day after an independent group launched an ad attacking Democratic mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, her campaign's lawyer warned that stations could lose their license for airing what they call a false advertisement, NY1 reports:

Goldfeder Spins Away From the Quinn Miss
Election law attorney Jerry Goldfeder proposes reforms to improve voter participation.

Wendy Neu and Communications Workers of America Local 1180 Fund the Ads
“Some of these issues — living wage, sick-leave pay — these are not luxuries, these are necessities in my opinion,” said Wendy Neu, a politically active businesswoman who actually raised money for Quinn in previous elections.“I am very troubled that, unless enormous pressure is put on Christine Quinn, nothing happens.” Neu claims that she turned on Quinn when the speaker refused to ban horse-drawn carriages, the pet issue of another group funding the ad: NYCLASS. Stopping NY Horse Abuse

Your 15 Minutes Are Up

Embattled Queens Councilman Dan Halloran sent out a press release on Monday touting the results of his participatory budgeting elections, despite the fact that the City Council stripped Halloran of his ability to distribute member-item funds

Halloran bizarrely carries on(NYP) Someone needs to remind City Councilman Dan Halloran that it’s no longer business as usual. Halloran’s office issued a delusional press release yesterday about capital spending — without mentioning that he’s lost his legislative powers after being arrest

Nelson Castro
Albany Riveted by Bronx Lawmaker’s Years as Informer(NYT)

Political Operative Tabone is Now Toxic
Queens Republican Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone, who is implicated in the corruption scandal involving state Sen. Malcolm Smith and City Councilman Dan Halloran, has been emailing friends offering to perform legal work at cut-rate prices, the New York Daily News writes:*Suspended from his $100,000-a-year job working for mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis due to his arrest on corruption charges, ex-Queens GOP Vice Chair Vincent Tabone has emailed friends and acquaintances offering to perform legal work at cut-rate prices. 

Savino Gone More Bad Takes Over
Joseph “Jay” Savino officially resigned as Bronx Republican chairman on Monday after being arrested last week for bribery and conspiracy charges and a career dotted with corruption allegations, with John M. Greaney named as his replacement, The Journal News reports: * EXCLUSIVE: New Bronx GOP Chairman has checkered financial past New Bronx Republican Chairman John Greaney has dubious financial past John Greaney once filed for bankruptcy, and he has been slapped with tens of thousands of dollars in tax warrants and court judgments, and with liens for unpaid child support, according to court records obtained by the Daily News.
Greaney and Ferrer had a falling out over Bronx Lebanon Hospital’s controversial plans to build an incinerator plant.Ferrer — who supported the plant and then flip-flopped — publicly blamed his waffling on Greaney. He claimed Greaney had not researched the project.Greaney sued Ferrer for libel and received a $15,000 settlement.* Former Bronx GOP Chairman Jay Savino, who was also netted in the US attorney’s corruption sting, has a long and troubled history.

The John Liu Trial Jury Poll Tainted?
  1. 1m\Oliver Pan's attorney says they wonder whether last week's corruption scandal will taint the jury pool for fundraiser trial #2013 * Last hearing today before trial of treasurer and fundraiser. Oliver Pan is in attendance #2013

Vito Lopez Lives! Why?


Campaign 2013

Rudy Giuliani set to give Joe Lhota support in cash bas(NYDN)
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani is to headline his first campaign fund-raiser for his former deputy, Joe Lhota, on April 29, chatting up supporters at a Staten Island catering hall.

Mayoral Candidates Attend Forum On Post-Hurricane Sandy Waterfront (NY1)

Weiner Polling Again?
Former Congressman Anthony Weiner polling again for mayor. Update * Update: Weiner wrote back via email denying that he is polling for mayor today
* A New York Times magazine interview with ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, will appear on line at 5 a.m. tomorrow.


Slightly Fewer Children Eligible for Gifted Classes in New York(NYT) The decrease comes after a change to the tests given by the Department of Education, which has been trying to address a surge in the number of students who qualified. * Gifted, Talented—Squeezed(WSJ)


Some Stories of 9/11(WSJ)When the 9/11 Memorial Museum opens next year, its first exhibit will envelope visitors with the personal accounts of people from around the world describing where they were, and what they felt, on Sept. 11, 2001.* Public Housing Residents Divided Over NYCHA's Plan For Nearby Private Development(NY1)


Private Development Feared in City-Owned Complex(NYT) A plan by the New York City Housing Authority to raze the busy community center in the Washington Houses for private residential development has aroused concern.

New Brooklyn Greenway

Piecing Together Brooklyn Greenway(WSJ)The DOT said it hopes to start construction on the pedestrian-and-bike path in parts of Red Hook this summer. Preliminary plans for two other portions of the greenway have also been approved.

Bike Share Starts in May 
Bike Sharing Gets Into Gear(WSJ)* NYC bike-sharing program slated for May(WSJ)New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced Monday that the city’s bike share program will officially launch in May, with the first docking stations already beginning to appear around the city* The First Citibike Stations Have Arrived in Brooklyn(NY Mag) * NYC bike-sharing program slated for May(Focx 5) * After months of delays—some due to superstorm Sandy, others because of software racked by technical glitches—New York City is moving toward the launch of a bike-sharing program.

City Tries to Boost Pier Use(WSJ)City officials selected Billybey Marina Services LLC, an offshoot of the ferry company that operates in New York harbor, to take over seven city-owned waterfront sites in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island. 

New MTA Maps

Subway Kiosks Will Guide Riders (in Between Ads)(NYT) Dozens of interactive kiosks are to be installed in 16 subway stations in the next few months, designed to help commuters navigate the system.* NYC getting subway interactive info kiosks(WSJ)


NY Airport Safety Problems
Authority Fined $3.5 Million for Lapses in Airport Safety Training(NYT)Along with the fine, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered the Port Authority to create cadres of aircraft rescue and firefighting officers, to work independently of its Police Department.* FAA fines Port Authority for airport violations(Fox 5)



Obama fires back: Pushes gun law in Conn.(NYP) * Obama Invokes Newtown Dead in Pressing for New Gun Laws(NYT)

Update Thursday Gun Vote
Update G.O.P. Senators Signal Possible Breakthrough on Gun Bill(NYT)
Reid says Senate will vote on gun laws Thursday, Bloomberg vows to grade lawmakers on their votes (NY1)
Threat to Block Debate on Guns Appears to Fade in Senate(NYT)

She Changed World's Political System(WSJ)Former Secretary of State Kissinger says Thatcher courageously addressed issues from missile deployment in Europe to the Falkland Islands changing foreign policy and geo-politics

Early Line for 2016: A Vice President Who’s an Underdog(NYT)

Watch Stephen Colbert Force Bill Clinton to Join Twitter(NY Mag)
A Champion of Freedom for Workers, Nations - Charles Moore, Telegraph
"Iron Lady" Reagan's Most Resolute Ally - Lou Cannon, RealClearPolitics
Did Thatcher Really Turn Britain Around? - Paul Krugman, NY Times
How Thatcher Revolutionized Britain - David Ignatius, Washington Post
Next 2 Weeks Crunch Time for Obama & Washington - Gloria Borger, CNN
Poverty Plagues Obama's America, MSM Shrugs - Stuart Stevens, Dly Beast
Early Line on 2016: Vice President an Underdog - Peter Baker, NY Times
Will Hillary's Media Honeymoon Last? - Scott Conroy, RealClearPolitics
Pryor the Most Vulnerable Senator in '14 - Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call
Tests and Tiger Moms - Thomas Sowell, Investor's Business Daily
Reporter Facing Jail Time for Doing Her Job - Judith Miller, LA Times
Invoking Newtown, Obama Presses Gun Laws - Applebome & Weisman, NYT
Gun-Rights Lesson from a Communism Survivor - Erika Johnsen, Hot Air
Why Teens Need Access to 'Morning After' Pill - Nancy Northup, USA Today
Planned Parenthood's Defense of Infanticide - Marc Thiessen, Wash Post
Silly Outrage Over Obama's "Best Looking" Remark - Cathy Young, RCP
MSNBC: Kids Don't Belong to Their Parents - Rich Lowry, New York Post
Scarborough Tears Into GOP Filibuster On Gun Bill: ‘Is Anybody Awake In My Party’?
The Woman Who Made Britain Great Again - The Telegraph
"Iron Lady" Forged a New Britain - USA Today
A Reporter Faces Jail - New York Post
Federalism: How to Restore Government's Credibility - DC Examiner
Black Conservatives In Explosive Hannity Townhall: ‘Liberals Believe They Own Black America’

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the nonprofit group financed by Mayor Bloomberg, will unveil a scoring system to award lawmakers grades of A through F – much like the National Rifle Association.* Bloomberg’s group also released a new ad that applauds Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Pat Toomey’s past calls for reforming the gun background check system, and urges him to cosponsor legislation that would require background checks for all commercial gun sales.
Bloomberg's Advocacy Group To Grade Lawmakers' Positions On Gun Control (NY1)
Republicans who want a gun vote:(Politico)
President Obama is back in NYC to rase campaign cash from high-dollar donors.
BREAKING Watergate Redux? FBI Investigating Mother Jones Bugging Mitch McConnell Campaign HQ

Law and Order

‘Cookie’ costume creep faces rap for ‘shoving’ 2-year-old over tips in Times Square(NYP)

‘Thief’ suitable for bust (NYP) A well-dressed crook posing as a businessman was busted nosing around a Times Square hotel yesterday, authorities said. Jonathan Henry, 48, was clad in a button-down white shirt and dark jacket and pants when he was caught at the St. James Hotel on

‘Liar’ actor changes story, admits to theft (NYP)Actor Parker Bagley — best known for his role as the original Jason DiLaurentis in ABC’s “Pretty Little Liars” — pleaded guilty in Manhattan yesterday to misdemeanor petit larceny for lifting $7,000 in jewelry and electronics from a gal pal’s Murray..
Jurors Hint at Deadlock Over Killing of Therapist(NYT)The jury considering murder charges against David Tarloff sent a note to the judge requesting “clarification of the consequences of a hung jury,” and added, “We are at risk.”
Desecration on Doorways in Brooklyn(NYT) The police said at least 11 mezuzot were burned at a Williamsburg building, and they are treating the burnings as a hate crime.
Brooklyn woman who runs Staten Island day care, faces charges (SI Advance)

Citing Cuts, Lawyers Seek Relief in Terrorism Case(NYT)Public defenders representing a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden have asked a judge not to hold an earlier trial because automatic government budget cuts are requiring furloughs in their office.* Bin Laden's Son-In-Law Appears In Federal Court In Lower Manhattan(NY1)