Thursday, May 16, 2013

Donovan: Sexual Harrassment and Cover Ups Are Not Crime in Albany . . . Where are the Women's Groups?

New York Held Hostage By Albany Leaders Who Lack Morality and are Corruption . . .  Lopez is Just the Post Boy

Vito Lopez's Pervert Bully Party Continues

The long-awaited 70-page report described Lopez as a vindictive pervert who abused, harassed and even threatened the careers of his female staffers.

Speaker Silver mishandled Lopez sex-harass claims, violated house rules: prosecutor(NYP)
*The Daily News calls for the ouster of Assemblyman Vito Lopez for the disturbing allegations of his sexual harassment of female staffers and for Sheldon Silver to be stripped of his role as Assembly Speaker for enabling Lopez. In the wake of the JCOPE report, the NY Post’s Fred Dicker calls on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign, says he “enabled” Lopez to abuse two additional victims after the first two filed complaints against him.

Update Cuomo said Legislature should expel if he doesn't resign over allegations of sex harassment by several female former employees.* State Republicans Blast ‘Hypocrisy’ Comment(YNN) If the Governor were serious about protecting women, he would join us in calling for Silver to resign as Speaker.”

It’s not a crime that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver covered up Vito’s attacks and made secret payments to the accusers with taxpayer money to shut them up.

Ignoring the chamber’s own rules
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver disregarded house rules by sweeping sexual-harassment claims against Vito Lopez under the rug with a secret settlement that only encouraged the lawmaker to continue harassing female staffers, a special prosecutor said yesterday. “Unsurprisingly, resolving the complaints in this secretive manner and requiring a confidentiality clause edited by Assembly Member Lopez apparently encouraged him to continue the inappropriate conduct,” Donovan said. Instead, the actions by Silver and his staff served as cover for Lopez and the Assembly, not to protect the alleged victims, Donovan said. “The chief concern of those in the Assembly was mitigating the Assembly’s damages,” Donovan wrote.

“That goal outweighed any interest in investigating or disciplining Assembly Member Lopez or in preventing similar occurrences in the future.” He said the request for a confidentiality clause came from Lopez and the Assembly, not the victims.* Report Finds Lawmaker Was Shielded by Leaders(NYT) * Ethics Commission Says Assemblyman Harassed Staff(WSJ) In the Post, Thomas Repetto, the former president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, said that legislators should throw its support behind the federal government in weeding out public corruption in the state: * Special Prosecutor To Not Press Criminal Charges Against Assemblyman Lopez(NY1) * A Silver spokesman said both the JCOPE report and a separate inquiry by Staten Island DA Dan Donovan determined “all actions by the Assembly were lawful and there was no basis for an ethics complaint against the speaker or his staff.”* The Vito Lopez story, as told by his accusers  * Soares: No Plans For Lopez Investigation(YNN) * Cuomo: Expel Lopez If He Doesn’t Resign(YNN) * Touch and Go: Lawmakers Call on Vito Lopez to Resign (City and State) * Cuomo Urges Lopez to Resign Over Allegations (NYT) * Two prominent assemblywomen target Lopez, not Silver (Lo Hudson) The chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, Frank Seddio, is calling on Vito Lopez to resign from the Assembly. * High Rollers and JJOKE's blind eye(davidgrandeau)

Cuomo won't weigh in on calls for to resign.
Cuomo says it's not his place to say whether Silver should lose leadership. (It is, apparently, his place to say Lopez should be expelled.)

It’s not a crime that Vito harassed and molested employees and retaliated against them when they refused his sexual advances.
Donovan noted that two more female staffers filed sexual- harassment claims against Lopez after the initial complaints filed by two others were dealt with in a confidential $103,080 settlement, and were never forwarded to the Assembly Ethics Committee to investigate wrongdoing by Lopez.“In fact,” Donovan said, “such investigation appears to be mandatory.” * Lopez used “power and perks” — such as gifts and raises — to manipulate female staffers to put up with his offensive behavior.* Threatened and punished female staffers who left his office or got other jobs without his approval. * Misused legislative time by requiring one of the plaintiffs to go on a trip with him to Atlantic City that was not government-related. He was accused of groping the staffer’s thighs during the drive. Translation: Donovan got it right when he said Silver & Co. were more interested in a coverup than they were in uncovering and disclosing the facts of Lopez’s behavior. *Reisman: Lustful Lopez is a bully, part of Albany's disease v* Phil Reisman: “It seems a pity that Lopez’s behavior has yet to be corrected by a well-aimed fist from an outraged father, husband, boyfriend or protective older brother.”* Two of Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s former staffers and alleged sexual harassment victims – Chloe Rivera and Victoria Burhans – speak following the release of the JCOPE report that detailed their claims against him.
“Albany’s culture is one in which young women are often mistreated and bad behavior by powerful men is condoned and covered up,” the two women said in a statement.
“We hope that the Commission’s findings will lead to much needed reform.”

Donovan All About the Cover Up
  Fredric U. Dicker(NYP)
 Time’s up! Shameful Shelly has got to go
Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, serving as a special prosecutor. Report reads more like an indictment of Silver than a commentary on Lopez’s conduct. Donovan found that the main concern of Silver’s aides was “mitigating the Assembly’s damages’’ and not getting to the truth of the charges.“That goal outweighed any interest in investigating or disciplining Assembly Member Lopez or in preventing similar occurrences in the future,” said Donovan. “Among other things, the first two complaints against Lopez . . . were not referred promptly to the Assembly Ethics Committee,’’ and, what’s more, before the secret settlement agreement was reached, “there was no investigation into the allegations, nor were any other measures taken to protect Lopez’s female staff.’’

It’s not a crime in New York to Be An Enabler

The enablers(NYP Ed)
It’s not a crime that state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman closed his eyes to the hush-money payoff.It’s not a crime that state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli signed off on the payments without raising a single objection.

 Was the Hush Fund Set Up Because Lopez Was Blackmailing Silver and Others?
In a letter written to a state ethics panel, the lawyer for Lopez, Gerald Lefcourt, accused Silver of inappropriate conduct himself, alluding to rumors of “serial and sometimes overlapping” personal relationships.

Attorney Gerald Lefcourt wrote in a letter to the state ethics panel that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has engaged in his own personal relationships with staffers, and so have several other officials.

Accusing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver of inappropriate personal conduct. “It is no secret, except perhaps from the public, that stories of the speaker’s serial and sometimes overlapping personal relationships with his own staff have long circulated in Albany,” attorney Gerald Lefcourt wrote in a letter to a state ethics panel.He went on to suggest that those relationships may have led the Assembly to quietly settle two initial harassment complaints against Lopez with $103,000 in taxpayer funds.  In his October submission, Lefcourt also listed several public officials in Albany who, he claimed, have “engaged in far more serious conduct” than Lopez.
Among them was Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D-Brooklyn), “rumored to have fathered a child with a staff member” in 1995, Lefcourt said.

Dumb Bloomberg Reporter Freeman Klopott Quotes AEG Lobbyists Sheinkopf That Investigation Scandal Will Hurt Government. What reporter Klopott does not understand that the feds are going after the AEG crooks. If Klopott took a few minutes to google Sheinkopf he would have seen that the lobbyists took the 5th 51 times when the special inspector asked him about the AEG scandal.  That why Mr. Klopott Sheinkopf is against corruption investigations, you should should be ashamed. Klopott Wrote:   “Scandal mania can paralyze,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic political consultant based in New York City. “It becomes a question of what people are focused on and how much time it’ll take to deal with scandals against how much time will be spent dealing with programs.”Cuomo Threatens Subpoenas in Bid for Public Campaign Financing(Bloomberg) Sheinkopf took the 5th when asked questions by the NY former state Inspector General Joseph Fisch about the AEG scandal

If Klopott were a real journalist he would connect yesterday FBI raid in Rockland County with the Smith and Halloran arrests
FBI raid Ramapo Town Hall amid corruption sting(ABC) Town police and investigators from the Rockland County district attorney's office were also on the scene as agents wheeled empty, flattened boxes into the building.  Smith tied to wash a bribe with a member item deal with Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret are accused of taking money and property to approve a real estate project.  The Spring Valley mayor and her deputy mayor today face charges in a federal corruption probe, which the U.S. Attorney's Office also says has led to charges against Bronx Republican Party Chairman Jay Savino. Savino, who has an influential White Plains law firm, was hired by the Town of Clarkstown to handle its property tax litigation matters. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara this morning.

"The complaint describes an unappetizing smorgasbord of graft and greed involving six officials who together built a corridor of corruption stretching from Queens and the Bronx to Rockland County and all the way up to Albany itself. As alleged, Senator Malcolm Smith tried to bribe his way to a shot at Gracie Mansion – Smith drew up the game plan and Councilman Halloran essentially quarterbacked that drive by finding party chairmen who were wide open to receiving bribes. In 2013, Jasmin and Desmaret agreed to steer the FBI's witness and the undercover agents to state Sen. Malcolm A. Smith to obtain state funding.

Women's Rights 
The reason Vito and Silver live is that there is no women's movement today
Where are the Women's Groups Today?

Hiram in the Can

Extras: Former Sen. Hiram Monserrate is behind bars at the United States Penitentiary-Canaan in Pennsylvania. ...

Mayoral Campaign

It Must Have Been the Millions In Member Items and Jobs That Quinn Has Supplied Over the Years
 Qns. Dems to snub Liu(NYP)Queens County Democrats are gearing up to diss their home-borough guy, John Liu, in favor of backing City Council Speaker Christine Quinn next week, several sources told The Post.* Street-Naming Event Gives Mayoral Hopefuls a Chance to Woo Hispanics(NYT)
An email says electing would give ex-Sen. Al D'Amato "a toehold in City Hall." 1st sign she's worried about Billy.

Why is the City Council Still Funding Lopez's None Profit?
Nauseated Christine Quinn Repeats Call For Vito Lopez Resignation, Holds Fire on Silver Describing his conduct as “nauseating,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn again called on disgraced Assemblyman Vito Lopez to resign from office, but held her fire when it came to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

You folks realize the real scandal is that Vito Lopez still runs a non-profit that controls $100M's worth of govt subsidized housing, right?

Bill Thompson and his biggest bundler, Lobbyist Alfonse D’Amato 
"Some of them (Mayoral Candidates) are antigrowth, antidevelopment, just plain wrong," Mr. D'Amato said of the other mayoral contenders: 

Thompson: I’d boost pre-K programs(NYP)
On Education, Thompson Tries to Set Himself Apart(NYT)
For New York Mayor, D’Amato Puts His Money on a Democrat(NYT)
Former Republican New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato is the biggest financial backer of Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, having bundled $65,000 in donations for Thompson through March 11t 
In a speech on education policy at New York University, Thompson said that as mayor he would create a form of merit pay for teachers, rewarding those who take on the challenge of teaching at the city’s struggling schools, The Wall Street Journal reports: 
The was fast. The same day the Post reported that mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, once friendly with Mr. Lopez, may back his Council bid, Mr. Thompson said this: “There is no place in government for Assemblyman Lopez … There’s no place in the Assembly for Assemblyman Lopez. There’s no place in the City Council for Assemblyman Lopez also … There is no place in government for Assemblyman Lopez … There is no place in government for him.” 
While The New York Times looked at former GOP Senator Al D’Amato‘s passionate support for Mr. Thompson, a Democrat whom he said “doesn’t frighten business … They don’t have fear of Bill Thompson, that he’s going to do some radical proposal that’s going to hurt their business.” In contrast, he said, Council Speaker Chris Quinn represents “old-style bossism, cronyism, of the worst kind.” Alfonse M. D'Amato, leader of the state Republican Party for a quarter-century, is backing a Democrat for mayor: Right after campaign slams booster Al D'Amato, Thompson replies w/ 'women for Thompson' pitch from Tish/Gotbaum

Weiner Understands What Journalist Don't That Big Name Consultants Do Not Perform Any Better Than Unknown Upcomers
Weiner: "I guess all I’m saying is, for the time being, is just take a second look."

Exclusive: Anthony Weiner Spotted Shooting Campaign-Style Video at Childhood Home(NBC)

Weiner insists that if he decides to get into the race, it will be because “I think I can win.” Reports that the former congressman has hired a little-known political operative to be his campaign manager drew media to his apartment Wednesday. * Outside of his Manhattan apartment, former Rep. Anthony Weiner said that an official decision on whether he will run for mayor will come in “a matter of days”, and added that he is drawing interest from potential campaign staff, the Daily News writes: * Alternative: “If I run, I’ll run hard: Weiner.” Weiner leaning toward rolling out mayoral campaign with a video. No comment from his nascent campaign. Quinn, HRC did same.

Bill de Blasio is Boxed in by Two Candidates, One Many Times More Famous Than the Other(Barkan)   Anthony Weiner’s imminent and inevitable entrance into the mayoral race is great news for the media, good news for Bill Thompson and terrible news for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who is finally establishing traction as the liberal, outer borough alternative to Council Speaker Christine Quinn. While Weiner, far more infamous and charismatic than de Blasio, hurts him from above, another outer borough liberal is quietly chipping away at him from below: Sal Albanese."Together, Albanese and Weiner could spell doom for de Blasio…" says

The Central Labor Council and the Working Families Party are both unlikely to make endorsements in New York City’s Democratic mayoral primary, with labor unable to unite behind a single candidate despite efforts to do so, Crain's Insider reports:

John Liu Dreams A Poll and A Reporter Writes It As News
John Liu Pegs His ‘True Base of Support’ at 25 Percent(NYO)
 John Liu’s mayoral campaign may be hovering around ten percent in the polls, but according to the candidate himself, they understate his support by more than twofold. Indeed, a beaming Mr. Liu told a room full of teachers yesterday that if the surveys were accurate, he’d actually have the support of a quarter of the city’s Democratic primary electorate.

Lewis Should Ask Harder Question of the Mayoral Candidates In the Debates He Moderates
In the Daily News, NY1 anchor Errol Louis implores the New York City mayoral candidates to start suggesting substantive ideas for the problems that the city is facing in coming mayoral forums and debates

Campaign 2013

comrieQueens Democratic Party Expected to Endorse Leroy Comrie(NYO)

New lines present challenge to incumbent(Mont Haven Herald



Sen. Daniel Squadron’s consultants predict he could have a million dollars more than his competitors in the public advocate’s race to help him reach voters heading into the September primary.


BOE Transformers

Back to the Future: Meet the New Voting Machine

Elex vote-machine disaster looms: Mike (NYP) The upcoming mayoral election could become a chaotic mess where the winner isn’t known for months, Mayor Bloomberg warned yesterday.* Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for the city Board of Elections to bring back the lever voting machines after the Board complained that they would be unprepared to handle the coming mayoral election with the new electronic machines, NY1 reports:

SandyJudge Orders Extension of Hotel Program for Hurricane Sandy Evacuees(NYT)
Judge Orders Hotel Shelters to Stay Open(WSJ)
Hundreds of people displaced by superstorm Sandy who are living in NYC-paid hotel rooms won’t be forced to leave by the end of the month after a ruling yesterday by a state supreme court justice.

Pension Crooks

  The Times applauds Cuomo for ordering the Department of Financial Services to investigate “pension advance” firms that persuade customers to sign over all or part of their monthly pensions in exchange for immediate cash payments:

Courts Rule NY Taxis

Judge Blocks Plan by City for New Taxis(NYT)
In a stumble for New York’s Taxi of Tomorrow, a State Supreme Court justice ruled that the plan violated a rule requiring a hybrid option for cab operators. * Court Sides With Critics of City's Taxi Plan(WSJ)

Car-Sharing Service Suspended Over Insurance Concerns(NYT)
RelayRides has stopped operating in New York after state authorities raised questions about its insurance coverage.* N.Y. Shutdowns for SideCar, RelayRides Highlight Hurdles for Car- and Ride-Sharing Startups(WSJ)

In the Candy Cab, Sweets That Delight, and Heal(NYT)
Mansoor Khalid has turned his taxi into a rolling party featuring confections, colored lights and a fancy sound system. Sometimes, it helps him forget.

New York City Gifted Program's Math Is Questioned(WSJ)
New York City's method of determining eligibility for its gifted-and-talented program this year has come under new scrutiny by a group of critics who argue a fundamental flaw in the city's math meant too many children qualified for the competitive program.
New York City’s method of determining eligibility for its gifted-and-talented program this year has come under new scrutiny by a group of critics who argue a fundamental flaw in the city’s math meant too many children qualified for the competitive program.

Department Of Education To Not Appeal Reaffirmed Decision That Spared 24 Public Schools From Closing In 2012
Fire Alarm Boxes

Sound The Alarm: Advocate For Deaf Pressures City To Repair Fire Alarm Boxes(NY1)

  FDNY To Begin "Zero Tolerance" Hazing Policy

World Trade Center May Be Isolated Again, This Time by Security Measures



Qaeda cut out in e-mail trail (NYT) WASHINGTON — The State Department and CIA scrambled to downplay the deadly Benghazi attack by removing references to al Qaeda and previous incidents in the region from administration “talking points,” e-mails released yesterday by the White House...  

Reeling Bam: We’ll fix IRS(NYP) AG raked over coals on AP spy(NYP)
White House Struggles for Its Footing - Karen Tumulty, Washington Post
Republicans' Gleeful Scandal Lust - Charles Blow, New York Times
The IRS Helped Democrats Win Elections - Michael Barone, DC Examiner
Benghazi Is a Scam, Not a Scandal - Joe Klein, Time
Misleading the American People Matters. A Lot. - Ed Krayewski, Reason
It's Nixon Week at the White House - Derrick Jackson, Boston Globe
Why Republicans Lost the Vote But Kept the House - Sean Trende, RCP
Mitch McConnell Enabled Obama - Isaac Chotiner, The New Republic
My Top-Notch Illiberal Arts Education - Danielle Charette, Wall St. Journal
Gosnell: The Killer Had Help - Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest
Will Rand Paul Alienate Libertarians & Evangelicals? - Nick Gillespie, DB

Sebelius & the Vast New Powers of ObamaCare - Philip Klein, DC Examiner
The Real IRS Scandal - Krumholz & Weinberger, New York Times

Obama confronts IRS, phone hack, Benghazi controversies(NYP)
Time for a Special Prosecutor to Probe the IRS - Keith Koffler, WH Dossier
Republicans' Hispanic Opening - Arthur Brooks, Wall Street Journal
'Race Is a Social Construct': An Explanation - Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic
N.D. Proves Obama Doesn't Get Energy - Thomas Pyle, RealClearEnergy

Jon Stewart Continues Piling On Scandal-Plagued Obama: He’s Either Nixon Or Mr. Magoo
Evidence of Truth-Shading, Arrogance & Intrusion - Chicago Tribune
IRS Scandal Rooted in Money, Power and Washington - Bloomberg
A Pattern of Power Abuse - Investor's Business Daily
Gosnell Behavior Was Aberrational, Not Symbolic - Los Angeles Times
Dan Rather Deems Scandal ‘Trifecta’ For ‘Obstructionist’ GOP: ‘Slapping High Five Behind Closed Doors’ (VIDEO)
BREAKING: IRS memo: 2nd top agency official announces plans to retire amid tea party controversy. -SS
Law and Order

A Conflict Is Seen in a Review of a Detective’s Conduct(NYT)
Some say the Brooklyn district attorney should step aside from its investigation of Louis Scarcella, a detective who has been accused of putting at least one innocent man in prison.

Lawyers for low-income NYers go on strike(WSJ)

  • Bust in teen gal-pal slay(NYT)Cops have arrested the boyfriend of a 14-year-old Brooklyn girl for allegedly killing her and dumping her body on Gerritsen Beach in Januar

Judge Nixes Indictment in Teen's Death(WSJ) * Judge Tosses Indictment IRamarley Graham Case, Says Grand Jury Misled(NY1) Court erupts as Bronx judge dismisses manslaughter charge against NYC cop who shot & killed unarmed teen. 

Mom’s tirade as cop walks (NYP) The mother of slain Bronx teen Ramarley Graham exploded in court yesterday when a judge tossed an indictment against the cop who shot her son.  “That’s bulls--t! He killed my f--king child!” Constance Malcolm wailed.* Bronx Judge Dismisses Charges in ’12 Killing by Officer; New Indictment Is Possible(NYT)

Inmates Using Fake Anthrax to Mess With Brooklyn Courthouse(NY Mag)

Suspect Sought In Connection With 18 Alleged City Burglaries(NY1)

AG, NYPD bust bootleg cigarette ring

Judge Rules Etan Patz Case Can Proceed to Trial (WSJ) * Judge: Etan Patz Murder Case Will Head To Trial