Tuesday, June 11, 2013

With So Many Vacancies Because of Corruption and Elections. Will Cuomo Allow Special Elections or Wait for 2014 Primaries

Tonight At the AlbanyLegislative Correspondents Association

Eric Stevenson & John Sampson sing a duet, "Pedro's Highway." 

"Huntley said .. Sampson had warned her earlier to get rid of her phone because the feds were 'on my wire.' " (NYDN)

Coming Soon More Undemocratic Special Elections?

Nothing Has Changed Since the NYT  Published This Letter in 1990

In early 1990 there will be a host of special elections around the state because of vacancies resulting from last November's elections. There are three Assembly vacancies and one Congressional vacancy to be filled in a winter special election.

Although it is the voters who will be able to choose the ultimate winner, it will be the party bosses who will have the power to nominate the party candidates. Under New York State law there is no provision for a primary election to take place in special elections. In Brooklyn alone special elections might be need for William Boyland Jr., Inez Barron, Raphael Espinal, Alan Meisel, John Sampson and Eric Adams. Will Cuomo not call for special elections to fill these seats like he did in the Bronx or will the county leaders who Cuomo needs to roll up big numbers in 2014 pressure he to allow them to fill the seats in Special Elections.  What is clear Albany won't fix the problem of Special ElectionsGov. Cuomo opts against special election for open Bronx Assembly

NYT Calls NY's Special Elections Scams and Undemocratic

In Special Elections Tammany Hall Rules

True News point out that if the governor called a special election to fill the Weiner seat. Would Allow Queens boss Joe Crowley to pick the next congressman from the 9th district.  Today the NYT & Daily News called the special election rules which go back to the days of boss Tweed,  undemocratic.

The NYT did say: "This scam is even worse in state races in New York. Citizens Union reported recently that a third of the Legislature was first anointed as candidates in these back-room, special-election deals. Mr. Cuomo didn’t have to hand those six open seats to the bosses. State law says that the governor can call a special election to fill open seats in the Legislature or wait until the next election. Mr. Cuomo should have allowed the state races to go through the normal process. He can now start making amends to New Yorkers by pushing to change the state’s special election laws, so the voters, not party bigwigs, get to choose who represents them"  The Daily News says: " Long term, Cuomo aides say there's another solution: to persuade legislators to rewrite the law under which they were, in effect, appointed to office so the governor would be required to call for open primaries whenever possible.  Dream On if you think Crowley, Seddio and the other county leaders would sit still as their power was voted away. Right.

Mayor Election

The New York Post‘s editorial board continued to shower praise on Anthony Weiner, whom the publication regularly beats up with its headlines.

Weiner: What About the Right of the Students to Learn
Weiner’s class act (NYP) Anthony Weiner answered: “We cannot let that classroom come to a halt because a teacher [becomes unable to teach]. That teacher has rights. Those students who are not acting out have rights, and we should honor them as well.” Well, of course. Who would say any different? Try most of Weiner’s opponents.  Public Advocate Bill de Blasio essentially declared suspensions racially biased. Comptroller John Liu insinuated students are being tossed out so they don’t bring test scores down.  Former Comptroller Bill Thompson wants “safety agents,” not school administrators, to decide. Meanwhile, Speaker Chris Quinn boasted that her City Council succeeded in getting statistics released on student suspensions. In short, with the exception of Weiner, every one of these candidates for mayor focused on the rights of the disrupters, not on those of the majority trying to learn. Or the teachers trying to teach them.* Weiner's Awkward Moments(WSJ) It was a simple question for Anthony Weiner, the former Democratic congressman running for New York mayor: Does he, on occasion, speak to Gov. Andrew Cuomo? "We haven't spoken but I, frankly, I haven't been staying in touch with a lot of my colleagues in government since my…"*  So, Could Anthony Weiner Actually Be the Next Mayor of New York?(The Atlantic)

Green Party and 2%  Albanese Attack Weiner While the Others Remain Silent
Mr. Weiner hesitated for a beat. "Since my time away." Weiner is negotiating some awkwardness in confronting the “sexting” scandal that forced his resignation from Congress two years ago, coming off as both playful and annoyed.  Weiner’s carefully curated campaign stops, especially with regard to engaging African-American voters, might be an indication of polling data that shows black voters as more forgiving of Weiner’s past infidelities, Politicker reports:  * ICYMI: The Green Party Smacks Around Anthony Weiner (NYO) * Weiner's appearance spices candidates' forum on Staten Island (SI Advance) * Bill Thompson brought NYPD officers into schools, but wants to strike "a balance" on school security. [Azi Paybarah]

Anthony Weiner Gets Celebrity Treatment in Brooklyn(NYO)*  Anthony Weiner said his mother retired because she "stopped feeling safe" in the classroom at Midwood High School. [Azi Paybarah] * Video: Weiner talks about the 1991 flier he sent attacking his rivals a City Council race. [Azi Paybarah] * ."Anthony voted for the invasion of Iraq, which cost us a billion$."-- *Weiner came under attack for his vote on the Iraq War and the campaign flier he sent in the closing days of his 1991 City Council race. [Ross Barkan] * Green Party Mayoral Candidate Pounces On Anthony Weiner Over Sexting Scandal(NYDN) * 'I still have great regrets about that': Anthony Weiner apologizes to the women impacted by sexting scandal(NYDN)

The Times Tweets An Unfinished Weiner Story
We Wonder Who Drop A Dime On the NYT For Weiner
Public Editor Also Gets No Comment 
Margaret Sullivan the Public Editor asked the politics editor, Carolyn Ryan, and the Writer Mr. Barbaro to comment; both referred questions to Ms. Murphy
  1. . some level of irony in posting a Weiner sexting story online then deleting it

Forced Vote Addressing Stop and Frisk Tactic
Speaker Quinn Plans to Get NYPD Bills to Council Floor(WSJ)  Quinn outlined an unprecedented move for her of advancing two bills addressing the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactic by allowing them to bypass a Council committee through a parliamentary maneuver * Quinn Allows Vote On Bill For Racial Profiling Suits As De Blasio Releases Campaign Ad(NY1) * NYPD Inspector General and Racial Profiling Bills Will Be Forced to Vote(NYO)

Quinn Owned By Real Estate
Christine Quinn's Prime Real Estate: Millennium Partners/Friends of the High Line(Village Voice)  Like Jay Kriegal of Related Companies--the subject of last week's profile--Mario J. Palumbo Jr. acts as an intermediary for Quinn's campaign, bundling together a total of $53,900 in donations from real estate figures. He's also a partner at Millennium, in control of the company's assets worth $2 billion. As the former board president of the LGBT Community Center, he's settled in well to Quinn's political career, landing him huge amounts of money in return for his other project: * Christine Quinn and supporters from the National Organization for Women's New York office did not want to talk much about Sheldon Silver. [Dana Rubinstein] * Some Democrats Reluctant to Follow Queens County in Mayor’s Race(NYO) * All Sensibility, Little Sense in a New Political Memoir(Daily Beast) In Christine Quinn’s new memoir, the New York City mayoral candidate portrays herself as emotional and insecure—a bewildering strategy, writes Michelle Goldberg.

de Blasio
NYC Public Advocate and mayoral contender Bill de Blasio reveals in his first campaign ad that his troubled childhood and his father’s battle with alcoholism led him to doubt he’d ever have a committed relationship.  The hallmark of this mayor’s race: Oversharing.

While Crain’s New York Business‘s Greg David took a whack at Bill Thompson for a pattern of alleged pandering: “It is true that most mayoral candidates tailor their message to the group they are talking to (although not Bill de Blasio or John Liu). But I am not sure that anyone is going to the lengths that Mr. Thompson is to be all things to all people.”

Al Sharpton angry that gentrification not getting more play in the mayoral race (Barkan)Al Sharpton on NYC mayoral campaign: “Nobody in the race ever endorsed me for office so I don’t owe anyone an endorsement." Bazinga!
Campaign 2013

. has the scoop on a new challenger to CM Darlene Mealy in Brooklyn via
Corrupt Pols

Prosecutors Seek Seven Years for Espada Prosecutors are seeking a minimum seven-year sentence for a former powerful Bronx politician who was convicted last year of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from not-for-profit healthcare clinics and filing false tax returns

Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley claims that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is continuing to investigate her, which she believes is payback for alleging that Schneiderman was corrupt to federal investigators, the Daily News reports:  Though ex- state Sen. Shirley Huntley is set to surrender next month to start a 1-year prison term for corruption convictions, “Schneiderman’s investigators have been knocking on people’s doors asking if they ever had any dealings with me,” she said in an exclusive interview.

Fine Vito

NYS End of Session

Cuomo Public Financing of Elections Plan
Cuomo to lawmakers: Pass anti-corruption measures or face probe(Lo Hud)
Cuomo: Jcope not perfect, and last few months brought set backs- multiple corruption cases
Skelos: No Vote On Public Financing(YNN)
"It is easier to prosecute an athlete than a public official who is taking bribes"
Cuomo asked if he'd opt into public funding. Creelan jumps in, not effective until 2015.
Creelan says that public finance as laid out in bill is estimated by Budget Div to cost $41m per year on a four-year cycle.
Sen Diaz, key to Dem effort to force public financing of campaigns bill to floor, tells AP he's not for it.
Cuomo Unveils Campaign Finance Package At End of Session(Gothamist Gazzette)
Speaker Term Limits
The state Senate passed a bill that would cap at 12 years the amount of time a lawmaker can serve in a leadership post, with Senate Republicans not denying that the bill was related to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s recent woes, the Daily News writes:

Campaign Finance
Cuomo will introduce a bill calling for public financing of elections and limits on “soft money” donations to political parties, although it’s unclear if there is enough time to pass the legislation with seven days left in the legislative session, the Times Union writes:   * Gov says all 62 DAs are signed on for his campaign finance bill. Calls it "critical" * Cuomo: "This legsltn - or the Moreland commission - will establish the trust. One way or the other, we're going to get it done nxt week." * "one way or the other, we'll get it done by next week," cuomo says of campaign finance reform. way 1 = vote. way 2 = moreland commish

Skelos agrees with the plan to restrict gaming industry campaign contributions... says he was the one who suggested that idea * Talk of Casinos in Catskills Grows, Yet Skepticism Remains(NYT) * Members of the New York Gaming Association oppose Cuomo’s casino bill.

Sen. John DeFrancisco called the abortion plank in Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act a “lighting rod” that could tank the other nine pieces of the 10-point plan.

new chief enforcement counsel at board of elections, selected by and approved by senate, is part of reform package

Tax Free New York
Cuomo released legislation allowing for tax-free development near college campuses, with a new wrinkle that would include New York City university campuses in each borough in areas with the highest poverty rates, Gannett Albany reports * Ten things to know about the governor’s Tax Free-NY plan.  The bill detailing the program was released yesterday and shows it could be established upstate, in New York City’s outer boroughs and on Long Island. It would exclude retailers, real estate and professional businesses. State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long calls Tax Free-NY a “ploy,” and says it “is intended to divert attention away from New York’s well-deserved reputation as a tax hell.”According to state budget records, retired CSEA members and other retired public sector employees will enjoy a total of $886 million in tax breaks this year. (CSEA opposes Tax Free-NY, calling it a giveaway to business interests).

NOW Civil War Over Silver
State’s NOW chief: Shel no! (NYP)
The head of the state chapter of the National Organization for Women called for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s head yesterday over his handling of the Vito Lopez sexual-harassment scandal.
Asked if she wants the powerful Democrat to resign, Zenaida Mendez told The Post, “I sure do.”Mendez blasted Silver hours after NOW’s city chapter president, Sonia Ossorio, gave him a pass. Ossorio said she is working with Silver on passing a legislative package to further women’s rights. But Mendez said, “Every chapter [in the state] knows that he should step down. We want everyone to be able to work in a place without any harassment.”

Silver and the Women's Right Bill
Women's Rights Advocates Want Albany To Switch Focus From Lopez Scandal To Equality Act(NY1)  State Sen. Liz Krueger suggested that Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein should block all legislation from coming to the floor until Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos allows a vote on the Women’s Equality Act, the Times Union writes: * Speaker Silver says Assembly members support him(Fox 5) * A conservative magazine takes aim at Cuomo's abortion legislation. [Kathryn Jean Lopez] *  Speaker Silver: I ain't going anywhere (Brooklyn Eagle) *  McKinstry: How long can Sheldon Silver stay in power? (Newsday)


MIKE LONG: Gov. Cuomo’s contempt for the public(NYP)
Lord Acton, the great English statesman, famously observed that “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” After almost 30 months as New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo has left no doubt that his most important governing principle is acquiring more political power, not advancing the public good. The overriding issue for this state is the lack of jobs and economic growth. The barriers to economic expansion are high taxes, a hostile regulatory climate toward business and the unions’ hammerlock on public policy. Gov. Cuomo, for all his rhetoric, has done nothing meaningful on these fronts.  Indeed, Cuomo again raised taxes on the successful this year; the top tax rate now exceeds 50 percent for those living in New York City, creating new incentives to leave the state. He also raised taxes on everyone who pays a utility bill, and looted over $1.75 billion from a state fund that’s supposed to pay for workers’ comp benefits.  Then he had the audacity to siphon over $100 million from so-called “independent” authorities to pay for TV ads telling New Yorkers he cut taxes and that the state is “open for business.”

By Not Releasing the Video Cuomo Is Making It Into A Big Thing
Update Video Appears:   Video: Cuomo and Staff Crack Jokes About Secrecy(WSJ)

Cuomo’s Office Won’t Release 2012 Video Satirizing His Secrecy(NYT)
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office has not honored a Freedom of Information request for a video he already screened that pokes fun at his reputation for secretiveness. Cuomo and his aides recorded a video poking fun at the administration’s reputation for secrecy but have refused to release it under the Freedom of Information Law * Cuomo Gets Meta, Refuses to Release Secrecy Parody Video(NY Mag)
* Governor Andrew Cuomo is not making public the humorous video he created for last year's Inner Circle Show, despite a FOIL request from the Times. [Thomas Kaplan]

2001 Mayoral Race

NY Failed Economy

Rick Perry Texas is "Wide Open For Business" ads airing here in New York

Texas Gov. Rick Perry launches ad campaign to poach jobs from New York, (NYP) Connecticut ALBANY — Them’s fightin’ words! Texas Gov. Rick Perry is looking to lasso some East Coast business for his low-tax Lone Star State with a new $1 million ad campaign and trip next week to the Big Apple and Connecticut.  Perry has already begun airing...

911 Meltdown

The Daily News details the mounting evidence that the city’s 911 system is plagued by miscommunications, using the death of 4-year old Ariel Russo as an example:


Translate this: Immig kids’ test scores soar (NYP) Students at a Bronx high school for new immigrants may struggle with learning English — but they can suddenly spell success. The International School for Liberal Arts boosted its passing rates on the English Regents exam from a dismal 34 percent in  in 2011 to a stunning 87 percent last year — a difference of 53 points. Despite serving nearly a full roster of Spanish-speaking transplants, the school bested the average citywide pass rate on the English exam — 73 percent — by a full 14 percentage points.

Classes to end at 6 p.m. for 2,000 kids(NYP) City officials have identified 20 public middle schools whose sixth-graders won’t be hearing the dismissal bell this fall until 6 p.m.  The schools — six each in The Bronx and Brooklyn, five in Queens and three in Manhattan — are participating in a...

The Day After Tomorrow

New Climate Data Depict a City More at Risk(NYT)
Over 800,000 New York City residents will live in flood zones by the 2050s, according to warnings issued by the Bloomberg administration, which hopes to encourage better preparation for climate change. Bloomberg administration issued new warnings about New York City’s vulnerability to climate change, estimating that more than 800,000 residents will live in the 100-year flood plain by the 2050s * New York City Braces for Future Flooding(WSJ) * Mayor To Propose New Infrastructure To Deal With Effects Of Climate Change(NY1) * Bloomberg To Discuss NYC’s Long-Term Plans For Climate (WCBS) 

Mayor to discuss prepping NYC for warming world(Fox 5) Bloomberg administration officials estimate that more than 800,000 city residents will live in the 100-year flood plain by the 2050s – more than double the 398,000 currently believed to be at risk. Over 800,000 New York City residents will live in flood zones by the 2050s, according to the Bloomberg administration Bloomberg Outlines $20 Billion Plan to Protect City From Future Storms
Bloomberg Outlines $20 Billion Storm Protection Plan(NYT)

'Seaport City' On NYC's East River? Bloomberg Proposes New Neighborhood To Protect Against Storm Surge (IMAGE)


Population Boom

City's Population Boom Spurs a Need for New Housing(WSJ)
The city is expected to add one million more residents by 2040, but there likely won't be room for hundreds of thousands of them unless a small city of new housing is built, according to a report by a Columbia University think tank.

NYCHA Crisis

NYCHA Budget Clobbered By $205M In Federal Cuts(NY1)

Health Care

Lawyers for Mayor Bloomberg today will try to convince an appeals court to reinstate ban on large, sugary drinks
NYC enduring diabetes crisis (NYP) The city Health Department sounded a new anti-obesity alarm yesterday, citing a record 5,695 city deaths in 2011 from diabetes-related diseases. It was the fourth consecutive increase since 2007. In 2010, 5,537 deaths were tied to the disease....* Battle To Ban Supersized Sugary Drinks In NYC Heads Back (WCBS)
New York City soda ban appeal heads to court Tuesday(WCBS)
City Appeals Ruling Preventing Large, Sugary Drink Ban (NY1)

 Restaurateurs launch $150M lawsuit against 'unconstitutional' Department of Health grading system(NYP)

City Still Trying To Make The Soda Ban Happen(Huff Post)

Thunderbolt Rolls Again

New Thunderbolt roller coaster to join Cyclone at Coney Island(NYP)

Snoozer gets ax at JFK(NYP)
A JFK Airport security supervisor who was caught dozing on duty more than two years ago was ousted from his position yesterday — after The Post revealed he had recently been embroiled in a security breach at the airport, officials said. 


Hunt down geeky leaker! (NYP) The Obama administration began preparing criminal charges yesterday against the 29-year-old contractor who leaked crucial US surveillance secrets — while congressional leaders demanded an explanation about how the embarrassing exposure happened... A Real Debate on Surveillance(NYT Ed)
Congress should hold hearings on the laws that made rampant domestic spying possible.
Privatizing Big Brother? 70 Percent of Secret Intelligence goes to Private Contractors via comment icon

U.S. ambassador accused of meeting with hookers in public park outed as Howard Gutman: report (NYDN)

It is Interesting How Hillary Goes On Twitter Just A Sex Coverup At State Department Breaks
Officials at Hillary Clinton’s State Dept. accused of covering up sexual misconduct(NYP) WASHINGTON — A State Department whistleblower has accused high-ranking staff of a massive coverup — including keeping a lid on findings that members of then-Secretary Hillary Clinton’s security..

'Pantsuit aficionado' Hillary Clinton joins Twitter - 'I'll take it from here'  (NYP) WASHINGTON — Twitter, meet @HillaryClinton. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined Twitter on Monday, describing herself with a dash of humor as a "pantsuit aficionado" and a "hair icon." The former New York senator and first lady...

New Jersey Assembly Speaker Enters Senate Race(NYT)
Sheila Y. Oliver, a Democrat, added her name to the list of five candidates declaring their intention to run for the seat that opened with the death of Frank R. Lautenberg.

 President Obama's Power Grab - Glenn Reynolds, USA Today
The Forgettable NSA Leak - Richard Cohen, New York Daily News
Obama's Uphill Quest for Trust - Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics
Big Data Is Not Our Master - Chris Hughes, The New Republic
Big Brother Really Is Watching Us - Sen. Rand Paul, Wall Street Journal
The Case for Mass Surveillance - William Saletan, Slate
Record Shows Obama Can't Be Trusted - Jonah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times
Why Edward Snowden Is a Hero - John Cassidy, The New Yorker
When Did It Become 'Cool' to Betray Your Country? - Ralph Peters, NY Post
John F. Kennedy's Finest Moment - Peniel Joseph, New York Times
Economics vs. "Need" - Thomas Sowell, Investor's Business Daily
We Need Action on Climate Change - Robert Redford, USA Today
Lessons of 1986 Loom Over Immigration - Stephen Dinan, Washington Times

Edward Snowden's Alleged Girlfriend

The Trouble Within Islam - Tony Blair, Project Syndicate
Use of Force Requires Cold Realism - Gen. David Petraeus, The Telegraph
Using Metadata to Find Paul Revere - Kieran Healy
Tenets of Liberal Education Underpin Govt Abuses - Peter Berkowitz, RCP
Edward Snowden has given Glenn Greenwald "thousands" of documents. [Charlie Savage and Mark Mazzetti]

ABC News interviews Edward Snowden's father

John Oliver Kicks Off Daily Show Hosting With NSA: Amish Must Feel ‘Really F*cking Smart Right Now’

China's Cyber Stonewall - Wall Street Journal
A Real Debate on Surveillance - New York Times
In NSA Programs, Democracy Works in Secret - Washington Post
No Legalization Without Border Security First - Investor's Business Daily

It Finally Happened: America Likes George W. Bush Again(NY Mag)

Law and Order

Little-Known Guide Helps Police Navigate a Diverse City(NYT)
A manual designed to help officers bridge the cultural divide with immigrant groups received passing mention in a trial over the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practice. A police manual seeks to help recruits overcome cultural barriers, like how African immigrants prefer to shake hands

Man in Handcuffs Shoots Officer in His Foot(NYT)
The emotionally disturbed man was being escorted by the police in East Harlem when he grabbed a gun from an officer and shot a second officer, the authorities said.
White Powder Sent to FDNY Headquarters(WSJ)

Bronx gal tracks down man who allegedly killed her father in 1986(NYP)
A determined daughter tracked down the thug suspected of killing her father 26 years ago by conducting an online manhunt. Joselyn Martinez, 36, an aspiring actress from The Bronx, spent years trying...
'I applaud her': Ray Kelly praises woman who tracked down her father’s killer on Facebook and helped close NYPD cold case
 'Death Chamber': Jurors see photos of Soho room where designer Sylvie Cachay died(NYP)

Answers Elusive 6 Months After a Fatal Shooting in Manhattan
The killing of Brandon Lincoln Woodard was captured on surveillance video, but law enforcement officials said no arrest was imminent.* Despite Ample Evidence, Midtown Shooter Is Still at Large(NY mag)
U.S. Requests Shorter Term for Mob Boss Sentenced to Life(NYT)
Joseph C. Massino, the former leader of the Bonanno crime family, avoided the death penalty by helping investigators.
 Crime Fighting Group Patrols City Streets To Try To Prevent Bias Attacks(NY1)
bikes into docks — say the...   7:54 PM
WATCH: Dapper thief nabs $90,000 worth of necklaces from Tiffany's  (NY1)A man in a suit and tie walked into Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue and walked out with two necklaces worth $90,000, cops said.