Friday, May 10, 2013

The FBI Huntley Clue No Good Guys in Albany

Shirley Goes Down Swinging
And while her humble two-story home in Queens is no mystery mansion, the set-up sounds strikingly similar to the plot of the 1985 film “Clue,” which was based on the board game. In the movie, only one of the guests is truly innocent. And according to federal sources, six of the seven pols Huntley recorded are subjects of ongoing investigations, meaning there might be just one innocent party among them. So is there a good guy here? Maybe not. The sole politician in the Huntley recordings who isn’t the subject of an ongoing federal investigation is Ruben Wills — and it turns out he’s the subject of an ongoing state investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Wills is Huntley’s protegé and former chief of staff, and he’s under suspicion for a scheme involving Huntley herself. She steered $33,000 in state funds to New York 4 Life, a “nonprofit” group Wills heads. Only $980 has been accounted for. The rest — more than $32,000 — magically disappeared in Wills’ hands, and he pleaded the Fifth in a meeting with state investigators.

Lady-bug pol gets jail (NYP)  Former Queens state Sen. Shirley Huntley, whose secret recording of powerful New York colleagues has shaken up the Albany statehouse, is going to prison for ripping off a taxpayer-funded nonprofit to pay for shopping sprees with a crony.* Shirley’s parlor games(NYP Ed) In her own smoke-filled back room, she tried to pry confessions of guilt from her pals in the state Senate and City Council. That was the price of a deal she struck with the feds, who caught her embezzling $87,000 from a charity she and her family founded and plundered.* One-Year Prison Sentence for an Ex-State Senator Who Taped Her Colleagues(NYT) * As corruption scandals continue to ensnare the Legislature, some minority lawmakers are suggesting that black and Hispanic legislators are being targeted to weed out corruption, while others see no pattern of bias, the Times-Union writes *Ex-State Senator Huntley Is Sentenced(WSJ) * Growing Cloud Of Corruption Raises Questions In Albany(NY1) * Grandma of graft(NYP) How Huntley buys friends. Ex-Sen. Shirley Huntley was sentenced to a year and a day behind bars for stealing from a nonprofit she ran, which was below the guideline sentence of 18 to 24 months.* NY Sen. Eric Adams To Supporters: Nothing On Shirley Huntley Tapes Implicates Me(NYDN)


Asserted that Huntley helped federal officials put together a case on Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
AG dirty, too: con (NYP) Even as she got a year in jail for political corruption, Shirley Huntley dropped a bombshell allegation yesterday about the state’s top lawman  — her lawyer told the sentencing judge that the disgraced ex-state senator has informed federal investigators about “corruption involving” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Huntley also warned the FBI that there is “a mole” in Schneiderman’s office who has leaked information, said defense lawyer Sally Butler in Brooklyn federal court. In a filing detailing the useful evidence provided by Huntley, the feds made no mention of Schneiderman. One of Huntley’s former aides, Councilman Ruben Wills, is no longer being probed by the feds after she secretly taped him. But the AG’s Office said it is still investigating Wills in connection with a missing $32,000 in state funding that Huntley had steered to a nonprofit he headed. Huntley’s attorney says her client informed federal investigators about “corruption involving” AG Eric Schneiderman, which the AG’s office blasted as lies made by a “criminal.”

JCOPE Groundhog Albany Corruption Fighting Is Done By the FBI and the U.S. Attorney
In Wake Of Scandals, Cuomo Defends JCOPE(YNN)  The June 2011 news release announcing a deal between the governor and legislative leaders on that year’s ethics legislation described JCOPE this way: “The Joint Commission will have jurisdiction to investigate potential violations of law by legislators and legislative employees and, if violations are found, issue findings to the Legislative Ethics Commission, which will have jurisdiction to impose penalties.”Cuomo today added that lawmakers need to restore the trust in government by passing his latest ethics and anti-bribery legislation.  JCOPE, meanwhile, has indicated that it will release “in full” what is widely believed to be the report detailing allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment by Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

 Albany Transparency
Or How Silver Covers Up His Involvement In the Lopez Hush Fund Scandal

Now We Know Silver is Holding Up Release of the JCOPE Vito Lopez Report
The New York Times reported today that lawmakers on the Legislative Ethics Commission have sought to edit the document before its realease and have zeroed in on the areas critical of staff who helped arrange the settlement money for the women who worked with Lopez. Cuomo wouldn’t comment on the story or whether the full report should be released. “I didn’t see the stories and it’s not my place to comment,” he said.   Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline(True News)

The Women's Movement Has Changed
Would Women's Leader Bella Abzug Allow A 258 Days Public Hush Fund Albany Cover Up of Vito Lopez Sex Scandal?  The actual cover up is much longer
Before Censure, a Hushed Settlement Against Assemblyman(NYT) Aug 25, 2012

A Year Has Passed Since Wills Refused to Produce Documents Demanded By the AG
Wills' Pleads the 5th
New documents were filed related to a  controversy that erupted last week, which centered around Queens Councilman Ruben Wills’ refusal to comply with subpoena requests seeking information about his non-profit’s spending.
Court records show that on May 24, the New York attorney general’s office withdrew its “motion to compel” Wills to provide records about the spending of the non-profit, New York 4 Life, which got a $33,000 member item from State Sen. Shirley Huntley in 2008, after City Councilman Ruben Wills pled the 5th amendment in response to the Attorney General’s questions. The Attorney General’s office confirmed that Wills had pled the 5th, which amounted to a technical satisfaction of the “motion to compel,” but which had given the office no more information than they already had. The Attorney General’s office said the investigation is ongoing. The Daily News, which wrote about the case on June 11.  More on Rubin Wills who and had or has 2 arrests warrants on on him 
Wills Investigation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 

A Dumb Daily News Reporter Asks Hank Sheinkopf About Corruption But Not His

Hammond should be thrown out of the Daily News for quoting Sheinkopf About Corruption, but not His

Reporter did you ask Sheinkopf why he took the 5th 51 times when the state IG ask him about AEG? A target of the FBI

Was Sheinkopf Long Time Smith Consultant Behind the Senators Attempt to Rip Off Public Financing
Sheinkopf took the 5th when asked questions by the NY former state Inspector General Joseph Fisch about the AEG scandal which is still being investigated by the feds as part of the AEG investigation.  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  
Sheinkopf working for Robert Williams Scandal
Behind Big Political Gifts, a Mysterious Donor - The New York Times

And Now The Cherry On Top Of The Week(YNN)

 This was blasted out by the office of the under-indictment Sen. Malcolm... 

David Griffiths, former executive director of a Bronx nonprofit and ex-law partner of state Labor Secretary Peter Rivera, will spend five months in prison for mail fraud, making false statements to the government and obstruction of justice.

Mayoral Campaign

Little did Bill know(NYP)  Bill de Blasio’s wife came out to the world as a lesbian in the ’70s — but he had to learn about it first through friends.* One-Year Prison Sentence for an Ex-State Senator Who Taped Her Colleagues(NYT) * Asked if she’s still attracted to women, NYC Public Advocate/mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, said: “I’m married, I’m monogamous, but I’m not dead, and Bill isn’t either.”

Liu Campaign in Tough Spot on Matching Funds(WSJ)
After the conviction of two of his former aides, New York City Comptroller John Liu faces potentially being denied public matching funds for his mayoral campaign by the city Campaign Finance Board because of his questionable fundraising practices.
The New York City Campaign Finance Board has a long history of denying government matching funds to candidates with questionable fundraising operations, and Democratic mayoral hopeful/NYC Comptroller John Liu could become the highest-profile target.NYC Comptroller John Liu had the stage to himself at a mayoral forum today.

Anthony Weiner running for New York mayor and the Italian mob and Irish Americans strong ties(Irish Central)

It's been a month now since Weiner's big NYT story (Capital)

If former Rep. Anthony Weiner going to run for mayor or what?


Media and Queens BP Politics

“Curtis Sliwa, Melinda Katz Accused Of Child-Support Scam In $1.4 Million Lawsuit.”
Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa’s ex-wife accuses him in a million dollar lawsuit of committing adultery with ex-NYC Councilwoman and current Queens BP candidate Melinda Katz and funneling money to her during their marriage.
Ex-wife files explosive lawsuit against Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa(NYP) * The ex-wife of Guardian Angels founder and radio host Curtis Sliwa has filed a million-dollar lawsuit alleging that he siphoned money from their marriage to help pay child support to his mistress, former New York City Councilwoman Melinda Katz, the New York Post writes:

Peralta Tap and $31,000 in Legal Fees
 Queens Sen. Jose Peralta, one of the lawmakers caught in wire conversations with Sen. Shirley Huntley, refused to comment on more than $30,000 in legal fees paid for out of his campaign account
Peralta, meanwhile, is currently running for Queens borough president. The former assemblyman was elected to the Senate in a 2010 special election to replace Hiram Monserrate, who was ousted after being convicted of assaulting his girlfriend.Jose Peralta Wire Tap Brings New Attention to Senate Seat's Corrupt History - Jackson Heights - DNAi   Jose Peralta, lawmaker on wire recording, won't comment on $31,000 in "legal fees" 
FLASHBACK * Assemblyman Jose Peralta scored $500,000 in taxpayer funds for inactive nonprofit(2009 NY Daily News) 
* Update: Peralta, coincidentally, has a BP fundraiser set up for tomorrow night in Corona, and you can see the invite below. Four lawyers will play host. One is Nestor Diaz, who worked for Hiram Monserrate -- the man Peralta replaced in the Senate -- during Monserrate's City Council years. (NYDN) * Peralta, who says he is not a target of federal inquiry, dropped $50K on legal bills.(NYO)

The Brooklyn BP Race Who is Running Fog
The Working Families Party is throwing its support to Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James in the hard-fought race for public advocate. State Senator Eric Adams, a candidate for Brooklyn borough president, did not show up at a scheduled club endorsement meeting yesterday after recent revelations that he could be under investigation. Politicker, which was at the Bay Ridge Democrats event, overheard organizers saying Mr. Adams’ confirmation to attend happened right before the news broke. His campaign did not respond a request for comment but in a message to his supporters, Mr. Adams did write, “I WANT TO ASSURE YOU THAT THERE IS NOTHING ON THOSE TAPES THAT WILL IMPLICATE ME IN ANY WRONGDOING.

”While Mr. Adams’ actual rival, former Councilman John Gangemi, released a statement this morning saying, “Even though he and I strongly on [sic] many fundamental issues facing our community, …. I believe Senator Adams is entitled to the same due process under the law that everyone else is. That being said, … Why are so many Senator Adams’s close associates accused or convicted of political corruption?”

. Senator Adams should send Gangemi a bouquet of flowers. If he raises some $, Adams will get up to $795,300 in matching funds.

2 Democrats eye runs for Staten Island Borough Hall: View full sizeUpcoming opening at Borough Hall: St...
Cuomo's Gambling

Cuomo Wants Voters to Decide on Full-Scale Casinos(NYT)

The governor envisions seven Las Vegas-style casinos to be built throughout New York with high-end hotels and table games like craps.  Cuomo issued an ultimatum to the Seneca Nation by giving them until the third week of June to resolve its $600 million casino revenue-sharing dispute with the state or he will push to locate a commercial casino in Western New York, The Buffalo News reports
* Cuomo Warns Indians on Casino Changes(WSJ) * Cuomo outlines upstate, city casino plans(NYDN) * In Cuomo’s perfect world, New York’s three newest casinos would be destination gaming resorts built in the Catskills/Hudson Valley, greater Capital Region and the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes. * Cuomo wants to undo the work of his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, by having the Oneidas start sharing their casino cash with the state or face competition from a new state-sanctioned and non-Indian run casino complex.  Cuomo is giving the Senecas until the third week of June to resolve its $600 million casino revenue-sharing dispute with the state or he will push for the right for a commercial casino to locate in Western New York. The tribe declined to comment. The governor reversed himself on the timing of a casino public referendum, saying he would like it to go before the voters this fall even though there are no statewide elections scheduled, and not in 2014.* Under Cuomo’s plan, there would be no NYC casinos for at least five years.

Bloomberg Defends the NYPD

Bloomberg Recalls Upper East Side’s Gritty Roots in Safety Speech(NYO)
“We can’t thank the NYPD enough for all they do for our city or ever repay the debt we owe these six fallen officers and their families,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “But we can begin by fulfilling our responsibility to keep our police officers safe from harm as well. And that means doing everything in our power to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” he said.

State Senate GOP Corruption

In a radio interview, state Sen. Thomas Libous denied having any financial stake in a company run by a developer who has drilling lease deals and said he was unaware of any FBI probe into contracting work done at his house, Gannett Albany writes:

  In the Times-Union, Bill Samuels, chairman of the New Roosevelt Initiative, accuses state Senate Republicans of accepting campaign contributions from various special interest groups in return for legislative inaction and de-regulation: 

Editorial Board blasted the GOP's recent hearing on campaign finance

New York Water Rangers is calling on state Sen. Tom Libous to recuse himself from fracking deliberations after his ties to a real estate company with a natural-gas lease were disclosed. 
Noncitizens Vote

The New York City Council is weighing a bill that would allow noncitizens to vote in local elections if they have lived in the city legally for at least six months, though some Council members are pushing for a longer residency requirement, the New York Daily News reports:

The Daily News writes that a proposed New York City Council bill to allow noncitizens to vote in city elections is not feasible because the Board of Elections could not accommodate immigrant voting: 

The Unmighty Quinn: City Council Members Sense New Opportunities in Mayoral Politics(NYO)

New Security Plans In Place For Lady Liberty’s July 4 O (WCBS))
New security measures at the Statue of Liberty are raising (WPIX)
City to Begin Distributing Storm Aid This Summer(NYT)
In the first installment of federal aid, $648 million will go to programs to rebuild homes and make them more storm resistant.
Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath Reshapes Art Insurance Poli (NYT)
NY1 For You: Elevators, Escalators At Howard Beach/JFK Station 
The federal government has approved New York City’s plan to spend the first $1.77 billion in aid for Hurricane Sandy recovery, with the money expected to start flowing by early summer to homeowners, businesses and others in need.

State ed chief John King must impose a fair, smart plan for evaluating teahers(NYDN Ed) It’s up to him since city and teachers union failed to agree

The Michael Moore of the Grade-School Lunchroom
A fourth-grader took a hidden camera into his Manhattan public school cafeteria to show how the offerings often fell short of the yummy-sounding menu descriptions.

Former PTA Official Jailed After Failure to Repay Funds(NYT)
Providence Hogan pleaded guilty to embezzling $82,000 while treasurer of the Public School 29 Parent-Teacher Association in Brooklyn and has fallen behind on

City reveals new school bus contracts without job protection(NYDN)

EXCLUSIVE: I can't believe they banned butter — NYC schools' latest, craziest crackdown is the sweet spreadable delight

Hospital Closing

Rally Held To Keep SUNY Downstate Medical Center Open(NY1)

Continuum Health Partners CEO Stanley Brezenoff defended his past management of Brooklyn's Long Island College Hospital, which ended with the facility incurring debt reportedly as high as $300 million. At a City & State panel, Brezenoff said Continuum put forth ideas to try and stem the bleeding, including merging with other hospitals, eliminating costly services and selling off property. 

When a consensus could not be reached, Brezenoff decided to "sell" the hospital to SUNY Downstate Medical Center. The hospital’s fate has been up in the air recently, ending for now with the decision by state officials to keep it open even it loses millions of dollars every month. "SUNY had a plan too. They had a plan that to me seemed credible," Brezenoff said. "It wasn’t my place to evaluate it, but they had a plan that included the infusion of higher-end services in Long Island College Hospital and so on. As far as I can tell that never happened, so what you get is a lot of rhetoric that masked the perpetuation of the status quo that can only create deteriorating finances."(City and State)

New York City hospitals lag nation on free and discounted care(NY World)

A dozen New York City institutions spend more on salaries of executives earning $500,000-plus than they do on charity services

Water Increase

Water Board Set To Discuss Rate Increase(NY1)

Slower Mail in Brooklyn


Willets Point

EDC required FMCP parkland replacement...then changed its mind to help out developer(Queens Crap)

From the Times Ledger: The development group selected to build Willets Point planned to replace about 32 acres of parkland in a 2011 failed proposal for a casino complex, but now contends its current $3 billion project does not require it. A partnership between Related Cos., a Manhattan developer, and Sterling Equities, the real estate arm of the New York Mets, is currently seeking approvals to construct a 1.4 million-square-foot mall in the western parking lot of Citi Field, which is mapped

Another Tax Break for MSG?

MSG Permit Could Be Limited to 15 Years, Encouraging Owners to Move
City Council Documents

A Treasure Trove of Documents, Courtesy of the City Council(NYT)
A lesson in diplomacy and civics can be found among more than 930,000 City Council documents that have been microfilmed and digitized and are being made available by the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College.

Bike Share Start

I don’t care what they do in Paris! I live in New York City!" Bike share rage in Greenwich Village:
Bike-Share Program to Start May 27
This story about the bike-share backlash is chock-full of hilarious, un-self-aware quotes. via
Delayed Bike-Share Program Is to Start on Memorial Day(NYT)
Editors ‘Voice’ their displeasure by quitting(NYP)
Bike Share to Launch May 27 (WSJ) 
New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced that the city’s long-awaited bike share program will officially start on Memorial Day, and that 8,000 people have already signed up for annual membership, NY1 reports: 
Bike share registrations on a roll(NYDN)


Top Editors Abruptly Leave Village Voice Over Staff Cuts(NYT)

Tom Robbins1993-2013: Mort Zuckerman's idea of a 20th anniversary party as Daily News publisher: Sack 30 more loyal reporters, the older the better

Jon Stewart Mocks ‘Dark Mistress’ Nancy Grace, Blasts Democrats For Blithely Offending Minorities

O’Reilly And Bernie Goldberg Tear Into Benghazi Media Bias: MSNBC Is White House’s ‘Public Relations Firm’

1,776 Feet


Heat’s on Hill over Benghazi (NYP) WASHINGTON — Republicans are turning up the heat on former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in the wake of this week’s emotional hearing on the terror attack at the US consulate in Benghazi — with calls to launch a further probe into the...* The Republicans’ Benghazi Obsession(NYT Ed)  While they focus on the attack that killed four Americans in September, Libya is unraveling. 
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said former secretary of State Hillary Clinton should return to Capitol Hill – under subpoena if necessary – to answer new questions about the Benghazi attacks.
Former VP Dick Cheney met with House Republicans to discuss Benghazi and said Clinton should be subpoenaed to testify “if necessary.”* ‘It’s 3AM…’ Fox’s Eric Bolling Presents The First Hillary Clinton Attack Ad For 2016
  1. Conspiracy-mongering & relentless effort to discredit Hillary Clinton/ The Republicans’ Benghazi Obsession
The Inconvenient Truth About Benghazi - Peggy Noonan, Wall St. Journal
Republicans' Benghazi Witch Hunt - Eugene Robinson, Washington Post
Exclusive: White House Talking Points Scrubbed - Jonathan Karl, ABC
Obama Renews Focus on Jobs, Economic Growth - Jeff Mason, Reuters
The Texas Economic Lesson Obama Refuses to Learn - John Merline, IBD
Is Bernanke Blowing Bubbles? - Paul Krugman, New York Times
The Republican Party's Road Back to Victory - Peter Wehner, RCP
Can Senate "Gangs" Save Us From Stalemate? - Ron Brownstein, Natl Jrnl
Dems, Gang of 8 Defeat Border Security Measures - Byron York, Examiner
Obama to Invoke Moms in Health Care Pitch - Alexis Simendinger, RCP
Overselling ObamaCare - Robert Samuelson, Washington Post
Joe Biden: The Last Guy in the Room - Douglas Brinkley, Rolling Stone
Political Stars May Be Aligning for Christie - Scott Conroy,RealClearPolitics
Obama's Pink Line on Syria - Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post
Benghazi Isn't Watergate - Frank Rich, New York Magazine
Without Real Journalism, You're on Your Own - David Freddoso, Examiner
Back to the 90s With Hillary Clinton - Melinda Henneberger, Wash Post
A top State Department official pressed the CIA and the White House to delete any mention of terrorism in public statements on the Benghazi attack to prevent critics from blaming lax security at the consulate.
The Internal Revenue Service apologized to conservative political groups  for giving their tax documents extra scrutiny.


Diplomatic Stirrings on Syria - New York Times
The Benghazi Beat - New York Post
Sexual Assaults Stain the U.S. Military - Kansas City Star
Celebrate 3 Girls' Freedom, Then Learn Lessons - Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Dam Bursts on Benghazi - Paul Brandus, The Week
Administration's Gotten Away With It; It's Old News - Rush Limbaugh
Scrubbing the Truth From Benghazi - Ron Fournier, National Journal
Now It's the NRA's Turn to Understand Us - Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg
Gang of 8 Bill Unserious on Border Security - Conn Carroll, DC Examiner
The Successes of ObamaCare - Nancy-Ann DeParle, Washington Post
ObamaCare Train Wreck - Rep. Mike Pompeo, USA Today
GOP Pushes Female-Friendly Issues, Candidates - Caitlin Huey-Burns, RCP
Kirsten Gillibrand's Moment - Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast
Solyndra on Steroids - John Fund, The American Spectator
Reality of the Climate Crisis Is Upon Us - Al Gore, Huffington Post
The Pentagon's Problem With Proselytizing - Mollie Hemingway, WSJ
Videos: Carney | Christie | Boehner | Boxer | Obama | Krauthammer

Law and Order

Thieving trio wanted for Inwood robberies
‘Wad’ a heist for ATM duo! (NYP) These guys were rolling in dough, merrily driving along with wads of cash — all stolen from city ATMs in mere hours as part of a $45 million global heist, officials said yesterday.* In Hours, Thieves Took $45 Million in A.T.M. Scheme(NYT) * Group Charged in Cybercrime Thefts(WSJ) * Feds: Seven Charged In Cyber Heist Stole Millions From City ATMs(NY1)
Common Sense: How Cooper Union’s Endowment Failed in Its Mission
CONFIRMED: Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X, slain in Mexico (NBC)
Blueprints for printer gun downloaded 100,000 times in 2 days...
NYC man accused of carjackings in Queens(WSJ)
Man Charged in Armed Queens Carjacking Spree(NBC)
Steely Sentinels When Bullets Come Knocking(NYT)
In public housing projects, the apartment door has become a target with which, via a strategically aimed bullet, a dispute is made public, an enemy is warned, or a rival is brought to the attention of the police.
Man accused of possessing 20 driver's licenses(Fox 5)
Two Arrested In Second Midtown Bias Attack
Burglar Caught on Nanny Cam(NBC)

There Were Two Gay-Bashings in Midtown This Week


Tunisian Is Accused of Proposing Contamination of Water or Air in U.S.(NYT)
Ahmed Abassi is also accused of seeking to develop a terrorist network in the United States, federal prosecutors said.

Boston cops got no fed warning(NYP)
Bacteria terrorism scheme(NYP)

Man Accused Of Plotting Terror Cell Appears In New York Court(NY1)