Monday, May 20, 2013

You Will Have Vito Lopez to Kick Around Again . . .

I Running for Council Sheep

With the resignation of Assemblyman Vito Lopez expected today, the scrutiny now shifts to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver who faces mounting criticism for his role in approving a confidential settlement with two of Lopez’s sexual harassment accusers
Push comes to gov on full Shelly probe(NYP) The state’s top Republican will request that Gov. Cuomo name a special prosecutor — possibly Attorney General Eric Schneiderman — to conduct a criminal probe of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s handling of the Vito Lopez affair, as well as of Lopez’s conduct itself. *  All traces of now former Assemblyman Vito Lopez have been scrubbed from the Legislature and its environs.

No Public Office for Vito Lopez(NYT Ed)
Now that he has resigned from the Assembly after accusations that he sexually harassed young women on his staff, Mr. Lopez is threatening to run for City Council. New Yorkers deserve better.

It is Time for Cuomo Time to Remove Vito Lopez From His Democratic Party Position
It is Time For Cuomo to Get DSC Leader Keith Wright to Remove Vito Lopez From His State Committee Position in the New York Democratic State Committee

Update As of 9AM Albany is Vito Free


A Cover Up Designed by the Investigation's Limits
“Neither the [Staten Island DA Dan] Donovan report or the JCOPE [Joint Commission on Public Ethics] report covered all the allegations against Lopez and Silver’s behavior because Donovan’s inquiry was limited to Brooklyn events and JCOPE, with Silver’s appointees serving on the panel, sharply limited its findings. A special prosecutor wouldn’t be under such limitations,” one source said.

Albany Is Still 60's Mad Men When It Comes to Women
$avior of Albany’s slimeballs(NYP)
The Post’s Andrea Peyser reminds that the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal is not the first time Silver has used the power of his office to cover up “sexual outrages”
Hero Neary Fights Back Against Pigs
She was the first to complain of sexual harassment in Albany — and the first to be paid off with your money by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, just to shut up.  Charmian Neary landed in the state capital back in 1990 as a dewy-eyed legislative aide. She had no idea that she was entering a viper pit. Petite, blond and woefully inexperienced, she claims her former boss, Democratic Manhattan Assemblyman Mark Alan Siegel, propositioned her and made inappropriate advances.* . doesn't want out. "I'm not saying it's a small mistake" but owned up to it.

Neary was the star witness in then-Gov. Mario Cuomo’s landmark 1992 hearing of the Governor’s Task Force on Sexual Harassment. Describing intimate matters was humiliating. All the worse because nothing changed. But in 1995, Silver, who was appointed speaker a year earlier, arranged to pay Neary $85,000 in state taxpayer money to settle a civil suit against the Assembly and Siegel. * Lupica on Silver: "You see him shrinking and becoming less relevant by the minute."(NYDN) * A spokesman for Silver called the drumbeat for the speaker to resign his leadership post “ridiculous,” and insisted he has no intention of doing so.

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle calls on Democratic Assembly members to hold a vote on the leadership of “Teflon-coated Assembly boss” Silver – and to vote “no.” Assemblyman Micah Kellner (who is running for City Council this fall) is the first Democratic conference member to sort of criticize Silver’s handling of the Lopez mess, saying: “I believe the Assembly deserves to know the full truth, and that begins with a complete accounting of the confidentiality agreement — who proposed it, who wrote it, who required it.”SHEL, NO, HE WON'T GO! Assemblyman Sheldon Silver calls quitting 'ridiculous' despite admitted failure in handling sexual harassment claims against vile Vito Lopez Assemblyman Michael Kearns, a registered Democrat who did not support Silver's re-elex as speaker, has called on him to resign* Sources: Silver wants to set up independent abuse complaint handler * Silver, Longtime Assembly Speaker, Faces New Call to Quit (NYT) * Silver Apologizes, Promises Reforms In Sexual Harassment Cases (YNN) * A “best of” reel of vintage Lopez moments – including when he called NY Post reporter Sally Goldenberg a “sick lady” for daring to inquire about his health (which he routinely says is failing).* An Apologetic Shelly Silver Tries to Fix Albany's Sexual Harassment Problem(NYO) * Sheldon Silver Issues Mea Maxima Culpa In Vito Lopez Case; Brushes Off Resignation Calls(NYDN) * Silver spox on Lopez & Kearns: "One was a closet harasser, one a closet Republican. Neither one will be missed.'' * Speaker Silver Apologizes As Assemblyman Lopez Resigns From Office (NY1)

“I’m sorry” for helping to cover up the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal
* For Assembly Chief With Firm Grip on Power, Very Bad Week Is Just a Bump(NYT)
* New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says 'I'm sorry' for his role in the Vito Lopez sex scandal coverup (NYDN) Silver faces growing pressure to quit leadership post, including from upstate Democratic Assemblyman Michael Kearns
* Speaker Silver Apologizes As Assemblyman Lopez Resigns From Office(NY1)

Update 2:50PM - GOP Assembly Members Call For Silver to Resign
NY Assembly GOP Women To Call For Sheldon Silver To Quit As Speaker(NYDN)  Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-S.I.) said the GOPers are hoping their Democratic female counterparts will join them. "For a conference that claims to be pro-women, they have a real life example and now no one wants to stand up for women who have been harassed," Malliotakis said of the Democrats. "They're just embracing the status quo."

Silver: "Everything is being done to rectify the situation." . . .  To Save My Ass
Silver: "this was a failure on my part" "I accept the criticism and should've referred original complaint" to the ethics committee.Silver wants to see end to confidential settlements by every branch of state govt, including agencies. Silver says he gave no thought to resigning. Issues that he cares about still need answers.Silver: "I want to be clear: There was a full investigation here."
What about how the women were treated by him? Can you ask him why Sex Offender Michael Boxley is back in the LOB? I thought that "weighed heavily" on him.
As Sheldon Silver speaks, women email op-ed saying he's "presided over as hostile a workplace as one can imagine" since '95

The Boxley Rapes Cover Up
This isn’t the first time Silver has covered up sexual outrages. Should he remain in office — and this guy has the staying power of a cockroach — I doubt it will be the last. In 2001, his top legal aide, J. Michael Boxley, was accused of date-raping Elizabeth Crothers, then 25, who brought her complaint internally to the Assembly. Big mistake. Silver’s response? He defended Boxley as “a man of the highest integrity and of the highest character.” It came as no surprise that the Assembly dismissed the allegations. But then two years later, Boxley was hauled from the state Capitol in handcuffs, charged with sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman. He pleaded to a wrist-slap charge of sexual misconduct, and spent not a day in jail.  In a deal ironically directed by then-Attorney General (and later Love Gov) Eliot Spitzer, she settled a lawsuit against Silver and Boxley for $507,500, almost all in taxpayer money. Crothers got squat. “I was wrong about Michael Boxley,” Spitzer said later, adding that, “as a father and a grandfather,” he felt “tremendous anguish” about what Crothers went through. Today, Boxley is back in Albany as a lobbyist.
The NY Post wants a “pre-nup” from its legislators in the form of guaranteed loss of pensions in response to illegal behavior of any kind
A bill in Albany to change New York’s Constitution by making pols who took office before 2011 subject to the penalty is stalled. Ask yourself this: Why would lawmakers oppose a change like that unless they feared conviction? New Yorkers shouldn’t have to pay for comfortable retirements for criminal pols. So let’s demand an iron-clad “prenup”: If convicted in any court, they instantly forfeit their pensions. No ifs, ands or buts.  That would shake things up for the better. This is an interesting editorial: “As Kanye West puts it: ‘We want pre-nup!’ From New York pols, that is. Rich folk insist on prenuptial agreements all the time. West’s partner, Kim Kardashian, and her ex, Kris Humphries, did. As have countless others. It’s time New Yorkers insisted on one, too — for the political marriage we enter into with the politicians we elect … And we’d even give Kanye the credit.”

Lopez On the Council Line Will Pull in Any Dem He Chooses To Replace Him In the Assembly

Cuomo: No Special Election to Fill Lopez's Seat
Cuomo has decided against calling a special election to fill Lopez’s seat, stripping the Brooklyn Democratic Party, which is filled with Lopez cronies, of the power to unilaterally select a candidate to run, the New York Daily News’

Only Bloomberg, Cuomo and Quinn Can Stop Vito Lopez From Become the Next City Councilman

In 1993 the NYT wrote an article about Vito Lopez's New Age Political Machine. Lopez has been using his government funded political machine to get himself and a lot of other politicians elected through the years since.  Lopez's machine the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council is what he is counting on to get himself elected this year to the city council. Lopez's machine employees almost 2000 people in his council district.  Those 2000 people service thousands of other voters in Lopez's council district, especially seniors who vote. * Vito Lopez's nonprofit likely to survive(CrainsNY)

The Post has learned.State Republican Chairman Ed Cox will issue the call in the next few days and say that neither of the bombshell reports made public last week detailing Silver’s coverup of Lopez’s alleged sexual harassment of eight female staff members was thorough or complete, GOP sources sai. * Scrutiny of Silver Continues as Lopez Is Set to Resign(NYT) * NY assemblyman accused of sex harassment resigning(WSJ)

Pouring On Sampson
Embattled state Sen. John Sampson is the subject of another ongoing investigation into $39,560 in taxpayer money that he steered to a now-defunct Brooklyn charity whose leader opened a liquor store with Sampson, the Times-Union reports: Apparently, you can get nearly $40,000 in earmarked state funding and not provide any up-front documentation. The leader of one Brooklyn group did just that, and then became partners in a liquor store with Sen. John Sampson, who steered him the funds.Might already-indicted State Senator John Sampson have performed the standard nonprofit graft that has landed so many other pols in hot water too? Investigators are now looking into $40,000 that Mr. Sampson steered to a politically influential partner’s charity.

Albany Rotten to the Core
It’s a notion many of us are eager to accept. While a fair share of people certainly dismiss all politicians as crooks, most New Yorkers want to believe that the elected officials in whom we have invested our vote are faithfully representing our interests in government. The problem with the “few bad apples” argument is that the facts don’t back it up.

BOE No Reform

You Can't Touch Us . . .  We Have No Clue How To Hold This Years Elections And

No reform in sight for bumbling NYC Board of Elections(NYDN)

There are already several red flags emerging at the agency for this year’s citywide mayoral election. The board last week warned it might not be able to conduct runoffs two weeks after the Sept. 10 primaries. And now there are red flags this year’s citywide election is a debacle-in-waiting. The board last week warned it might not be able to conduct runoffs two weeks after the Sept. 10 primaries, and Bloomberg said, “We have a potential disaster here.” The primary run-off election continues to look like a potential disaster thanks to a “bumbling” Board of Elections. “If you ask me if the B.O.E. is doing a terrible job, I would say to you it’s not the B.O.E., that it’s just following the law,” board president Fred Umane insisted. “It’s the guidelines, rules, limitations, and statutes we have to live with.”

Cuomo Poll Up

A Siena Research Institute poll finds that Gov. Cuomo’s favorability rating edged up slightly from last month to 64 percent, while 50 percent of voters agree with the governor that the New York State government is “working again”*
Most voters believe government is becoming more dysfunctional: (NYP)
Members of the Staten Island Tea Party are still angry about gun control: “We really feel that the only way to get rid of the SAFE Act is to get rid of Cuomo.”

Cuomo Releases Dickers Private Email
NY aide releases reporter's 'confidential' e-mail
The FUD just hit the fan (WSJ)

I'm shocked--shocked!--that Cuomo is doing Arbetter instead of Dicker again today

Att Gov. Cuomo: Business conditions deteriorate in New York State » Market Realist

Love Your Legislator, Hate The Legislature: As Liz pointed out earlier with today’s Siena College poll, the re...

Cuomo reiterating Moreland Act Commission threat if the Legislature doesn't pass his ethics reform package. 

Hikind Vs Greenfield

While Councilman David Greenfield and Assemblyman Dov Hikind exchanged some public jabs. Mr. Hikind speculated Saturday that Mr. Greenfield is behind a critical blogger. On Sunday, Mr. Greenfield mocked a Lopez conspiracy theory by tweeting, “Dov Hikind tells people I’m to blame for his ‘blackface’ incident. Must be something in the Albany water!”

Ex Lawmaker Free Parking

Blocking buses attempting to load students

Ex-lawmaker still abusing pol park perk (NYP) He used to be an assemblyman. Now he’s just an ass. Guillermo Linares, who was defeated handily last election by Sen. Adriano Espaillat, is still brandishing his expired assemblyman’s parking placard on the dashboard of his luxury SUV.

Mayoral Campaign

Education, Vision and the Mayor’s Race(NYT Ed) The candidates need to explain how New York City schools will get better after the Bloomberg era.

Republican NYC mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis has developed a habit of suggesting new, often off-beat policy proposals in response to questions. Some are made up on the spot.  .John Catsimatidis Slams 's "Years Of Mismanagement" In Staten Island Mailer

A new mailer from Republican NYC mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis includes a pointed reference to “years of mismanagement” at the MTA.

 NYC: Underdog Dem Albanese blasts rivals' tax spending on politics(Newsday)
Former Councilman Sal Albanese, running as a reformer for New York City mayor in the Democratic primary, Monday issued a provocative and interesting piece on rivals' use of their incumbencies for campaign purposes. He adds this shot on disgraced ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner that he "has yet to apologize for the $350,000" that taxpayers doled out "for a special election to replace him the...

"I don't suspect that we'll be the only union supporting for mayor," 's George Gresham said.1199 prez George Gresham says he regrets not endorsing Thompson 4 yrs ago. "In hindsight...would make sure Bloomberg didn't get a 3rd term.""We will do what is necessary to make sure de Blasio is next mayor," George Gresham says when asked about independent expenditures.

Carrion, Liu Vy for Votes in Brownsville(

Mayoral candidates offer little on creating jobs for New Yorkers(NYDN Ed)
Ideas for economic growth get scant attention in campaign

Queens Dem Make Their Choose
thanks former county leader Tom Manton for helping elect her speaker during her endorsement speech

Queens Democratic Party Irks Black Establishment by Backing Quinn (NYO)

Updates with Melinda Katz comment: County Dems Pick Slate

Crowley's Queens Democrats tap ally Quinn, prompting some S.E. backlash

Speaker Quinn Divides March for Greenwich's Slain Hate Crime Victim (NYO)

250 Bway/East wing of City Hall have been Qns county annexes. Blk candidates must act like big leaguers & rai$e money.

Lhota Against East Side Marine Transfer Station
's Joe Lhota today vowed to stop the opening of the E. 91st Street Marine Transfer Station in - more TK   Lhota: My plan is 2 continue shipping Manhattan garbage to the Waste-to-Energy facility in NJ. No other boro will be burdened.

So much for not pandering to narrow local interests. So where would a Mayor Lhota site this MTS? Hunts Pt, Mott Haven, etc.?

NY1 Online: Candidate Thompson Offers Suggestions For Future Of Public Schools

Clintons to stay out of N.Y.C. race (Politico)

Protests Along Quinn March for Elliot Morales Murder in the Village
Do Quinn Think the FBI Would Ever Work With the NYPD After This Bill Passes?
Quinn’s controversial bill to create an inspector general to oversee the NYPD contains a provision that would allow the IG to access and make public sensitive information related to joint investigations with other law-enforcement agencies.
Campaign 2013

The Queens Democratic Party is expected to endorse Christine Quinn for mayor, Reshma Saujani for public advocate and Melinda Katz for borough president on Monday, Crain's Insider reports: 

How come no reporter writes about how many corrupt pols Boss Crowley has put in office and how he rips off the Surrogate for a living. All the so call journalist do is tell us who the machine endorsed like it a coronation. What the copy boys and girls do not understand that the Queens Machine lost 5 or the 6 people they endorsed for city council in 2009

Queens Surrogate Court Crowley's Bank

Today's Queens Democratic machines still use the Surrogate Court (True News) *   A Court, Not Votes, Sustains a Political Machine in Queens (NYT)

Surrogate's Court And Why It Should Go(True News)

NY Corrupt Party Boss Crowley(True News)

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj sent out to his contact list a rather standard email asking his supporters to join him in celebrating the campaign kick-off of Richie Torres, a candidate running for New York City Council

Schools Add to Test Load, Just to Assess the Questions(NYT)
Parents and testing skeptics say that field-test results, which have no consequences for students or teachers, turn classrooms into focus groups and add more stress to an anxiety-filled process. Some 3,300 schools in New York will hold field tests, which help testing companies fine-tune future questions, in English and math for nearly 374,000 students in June, with many parents saying the tests turn classrooms into focus groups

Brooklyn principal’s 92G bonus(NYP) Good grades earned him more than just a spot on the fridge. PS 172 Principal Jack Spatola has raked in $92,000 in bonus pay from the city since 2008 for his Brooklyn school’s good performance, making him the top earner under a revamped merit-pay

Be Our Guest: Demand for charter schools is high(NYDN)

Walcott Claims Mayoral Candidates Pander To Teachers' Union(NY1)

Waiting is over for $100 million super charter school to open in Harlem housing project - via

Lawsuit Alleges Racial Bias In School Admissions(NY1)


Brushing off Sandy(NYP) Not even mass destruction from Hurricane Sandy can stop local beaches from sizzling this summer. City workers are frantically putting the final touches on a $270 million makeover aimed at getting the Big Apple’s eight public beaches ready for their..

NY1 Exclusive: Sources: Mayor To Propose Installation Of Removable Steel Panels In Some Waterfront Areas 

As deadline looms, hundreds of stimulus projects still incomplete(NY World)




Canarsie Pier To Welcome Back Eager Brooklyn Fishermen(NY1)

In the Post, Nicole Gelinas, a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, argues that the MTA has “no idea” how to spend federal money to waterproof the subway system: 

The Neighborhood

High-end butcher shops grow in popularity(NYDN)

Gulliver Seeks Rental: The Newfound Fascination With Tiny Dwellings(NYT)

Ghetto Tour Canceled
Tour Company Drops Pitch to See a Real Ghetto (NYT)

Staten Island

EXCLUSIVE: First look at Staten Island's Empire Outlets(NYP)
Silicon Brooklyn


Yahoo! going social(NYP) Tumblr’s sale to Yahoo! comes just in time for the New York City-founded startup — investors and staff at the six-year-old blogging site were getting restless as the company failed to make money fast enough. Now, Tumblr founder David Karp, who *
HIGH $CHOOL DROPOUT: David Karp didn't dig the classrooms at Bronx School of Science, so he started Tumblr in his mom's apartment and just sold it to Yahoo! for a whopping $1.1B — in cash(NYDN)

Yahoo to Consolidate New York Headquarters in Times Square(NYT)

Four key staffers on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 “Team of Rivals” presidential campaign will not return if she runs in 2016 – including Bloomberg administration deputy mayor Howard Wolfson.
A rare peek into a Justice Department leak probe (Wash Post)
Competency questions pile up for White House (NBC)
How Obama Can Rescue His Presidency - Albert Hunt, Bloomberg
Four Federal Agencies Targeted the Tea Party - Jillian Kay Melchior, NRO
Don't Throw the IRS Under the Bus - Peter Beinart, The Daily Beast
Crossing Sacred Lines in Washington - David Shribman, Post-Gazette
Legalization First Bill Unlikely to Pass House - Byron York, DC Examiner
Obama's Counsel Told of IRS Findings Weeks Ago - Peter Nicholas, WSJ
Benghazi Is Only Scandal That Matters - Joseph Curl, Washington Times
How Obama Handles Crisis - Jon Favreau, The Daily Beast
The Big Chill on Free Speech - Michael Barone, Washington Examiner
Republican Wolves Have Yet to Draw Blood - Gary Younge, The Guardian
The Higher Education Scandal - Harvey Mansfield, Claremont Review
Inequality & the Modern Culture of Celebrity - George Packer, NY Times
Cool Down Climate Change Rhetoric - Rep. Lamar Smith, Washington Post
What's at Stake With Keystone? - Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker
A handy guide to understanding the IRS scandal(NYT)
Obama's counsel was told of IRS audit findings weeks ago: report(NYP) The Good News About Race and Voting - Andrew Kohut, Wall Street Journal
How to Legalize Pot - Bill Keller, New York Times
Incremental Goals Are Key in Kerry's Peace Quest - Peter Berkowitz, RCP
Sunday Panels: Meet the Press | FOX News Sunday | FTN | This Week
Obama Administration’s War on Leakers Includes Reading Fox News’s E-mails(NY Mag)
Sitting Across From the IRS - New York Post
The Largest Banks Remain Too Big to Fail - USA Today
ObamaCare's Tricky Next Phase - Washington Post
Food Stamps and Fritos - Chicago
Is practicing journalism a criminal act? It appears the Obama administration might think so.
Tribune _____________________________________________________________________________
Law and Order

The state tax department found that its team of agents collaring cigarette smugglers and organized tax cheats was essentially a rogue unit whose evidence might not withstand trials, according to a new report.

Police commissioner brushes off lawsuits(NYDN)
William M. Fine, Who Shaped Narcotics Laws in New York(NYT)

Officer Serrano'sHidden Camera (NY Mag)
The stop-and-frisk trials of Pedro Serrano: NYPD rat, NYPD hero.
Stop-and-Frisk Judge Relishes Her Independence 

Judge Criticizes ‘High Error Rate’ of New York Police Stops(NYT)
Judge Schira A. Scheindlin, hearing a civil rights lawsuit against the city on stop-and-frisk practices, said 88 percent of street stops find no criminal evidence.

Laughing monster(NYP) The homophobic ex-con accused of “executing’’ a gay man in Greenwich Village laughed and boasted about the murder, prosecutors said yesterday. “Yeah, I shot him in the head,” Elliot Morales, 33, sneered while “laughing on the ground” as cops were. *Charges Filed in Killing of Gay Man in Greenwich Village(NYT) * Manhattan Hate-Crime Murder Suspect Held Without Bail(NY1) * NYPD increasing patrols in wake of attacks on gay man(NY1)

Kid slain being a good pal (NYP) The tragic 14-year-old girl who was fatally shot on a Queens bus after a Sweet 16 party had left the bash early to help out her best friend, pals said yesterday. “She was supposed to go to another Sweet 16 party with us, but she left because her...  *Girl Fatally Shot on Bus Wasn’t Target, Police Say(NYT) * Gunfire Kills Girl Riding Bus in Queens(WSJ) * Police Search For Gunman Who Shot Teen Bus Passenger In Queens(NY1)

Bleeding woman gashed with box cutter by boyfriend dies after 911 call gets lost in the city’s emergency response system

 Dozens of drug dealing suspects nabbed in Queens housing (NYDN)

$2M in meth, heroin seized in Corona drug bust(NYP)


Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law Seeks a New Lawyer, but There’s a Snag(NYT)