Sunday, December 15, 2013

True News Sunday Update

NYP Goes After Independence Party's Cross-Party Endorsements But Their Real Goal is To Weaken the Working Families Party
Cross-party endorsements in NY need to end  (NYP Ed)  In its lengthy report exposing mischief in New York’s political system, the Moreland Commission missed a major target for real reform: the state’s minor political parties. Because of a quirk in state law, minor parties in New York wield influence far beyond their numbers. That’s because New York is the rare state that allows minor parties to cross-endorse candidates of the top two parties. It’s an invitation to corruption: Cross-endorsements give minor parties power by allowing them to extract promises — or cash — out of major-party candidates in exchange for giving them an extra ballot line or doing their dirty work. Take the Independence Party. As Moreland did reveal, its vice chairman, Thomas Connolly, accepted $350,000 in so-called party “housekeeping” funds from Republican consultants meant to fund attacks on Democratic candidates that would have more credibility because they didn’t come from Republicans. If the Moreland Commission is really as worried about the nexus between money and politics as it claims, instead of trying to inject more taxpayer dollars into this rotten system, it ought to call for an end to cross-party endorsements. This would greatly reduce the incentive that now exists for the minor-party leaders to sell their party services to the bigger players.

WFP Takes Over the City 

Progressivism’s great failure: The rise and fall of the Working Families Party(Salon)   Despite its noble aims, WFP has never coalesced as a legitimate advocate for the interests of the labor movement
Working Families Party giddy at City Hall takeover(NYP)                    

 Letitia James pushes support for Working Families Party(NYP) James sent out a personal email urging backers on the WFP’s mailing list to vote for her on Row D — the Working Families Party line — in the Nov. 5 general election instead of the Democratic line.

Last Week True News Wrote That the Manhattan DA Look the Other Way When He Did Not Go After Corruption in the Independence Party

How DA Vance Gave A Pass to A Corrupt Pol and Party to Protect Bloomberg + Gave Us  Dracula Addabbo

DA's elected by the party machines are force to block or limit political corruption investigations the opposite of U.S Attorney who look to turn  one corrupt pol against another.

In 2011, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. named Connolly and his party as a “noncriminal defendant’’ in the case against former GOP consultant John Haggerty, who stole Bloomberg campaign cash during the 2009 mayoral race.  Vance accused Connolly — who wasn’t charged in the case — of trying to hide evidence and cover up the misuse of Bloomberg’s money. The DA said Connolly and Haggerty also fabricated and backdated paperwork to make it look like the Independence Party had given Haggerty a contract for the poll-watching effort. At one point, Connelly tried to conceal from the Board of Elections a transfer of the mayor’s funds to Haggerty, prosecutors said. CORRUPTION THRIVES IN ALBANY: WHY DON’T PROSECUTIONS? The majority of political corruption cases have originated from the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn, with few pursued by Albany’s own prosecutors, writes Steven M. Cohen(City and State)
Independence Party official 'misused' funds: report | New York Post In the new string of allegations, Moreland investigators detailed a setup in which the GOP transferred more than $350,000 from its own campaign housekeeping account to that of the Independence Party’s housekeeping account — and then Connolly and his operatives used the dough to pay for ads attacking Gipson and Addabbo. In one e-mail, Scott Stevens, operations director for the Senate Republicans’ housekeeping account, sent Connolly a GOP attack mailer that depicted Addabbo as Dracula, and asked that it be paid through the Independence Party.
Independence Party Is Really A Cult

Petition Fraud Charges In Speakers Race

Speaker front-runner mixed up in ‘election fraud’(NYP) The front-runner for City Council speaker is mixed up in alleged election fraud. The son of East Harlem district leader John Ruiz — who ran with Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito for district leaders of the 68th Assembly District — says his dad forged signatures on both of their election petitions. The BOE disqualified 1,055 of Mark-Viverito’s 1,861 signatures. A spokesperson for Mark-Viverito called Johnathan Ruiz’s claims “totally false.”“This person has never been involved with Melissa’s campaign,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

More on the Speakers Race

June Primaries and Vacancies

Daily News Misses That A Dozen Empty District Can Be Filled in November
Primary things first (NYDN Ed) A single June election is what New York needs. In 2012, a federal judge ruled that, under U.S. law, congressional primaries must be in June to allow time for overseas military voters to use absentee ballots. The order set up the absurd situation of running primaries for Washington offices in that month and then staging all other primaries in the regular month of September. Voters were asked to go to the polls twice, and taxpayers laid out a wasted $50 million to hold primaries on two dates rather than on one. On Thursday, the same judge ordered that since the Legislature still hasn’t set an appropriate date, he would, picking June 23. Which means two primaries again unless Albany gets off its duff.
Cuomo No Special Elections
Special elections allow party leaders to pick party's nominee which assures winning the seat in one party New York.  Cuomo in a under look bold reform stance has refused to schedule special elections. That means that a least 10 state district in NYC will remain vacant until January of 2015. The state vacancies can be filled two months early and still keep Cuomo's special elections ban if all the primary are held in June of 2014. The June primary would allow both two elections to be held in November, one to fill the normal term and one to fill the vacant offices immediately. (Lawmakers would have to change the special election law to accomplish this)
Council's Pay to Play Land-Use

The Council Promises Transparency But Engages In Extortion In the Real World
Icing New York’s future (NYDN)
Woe be it to anyone who wants to get anything done in New York. The City Council will demand a pound of flesh in secret, with no rules or regulations, under conditions that can verge on criminal.
That’s what happened before the Council last week approved a plan to convert the derelict Kingsbridge Armory into the world’s largest ice-skating center. After competitive bidding, public hearings and numerous levels of review, Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera put the arm on the developer to funnel $100,000 a year for 99 years into a nonprofit organization he founded. Cabrera’s reported threat was not to be taken lightly, because Council practice gives near-veto power over projects to the local member. In this case, he backed down after developer Kevin Parker went public and colleagues shied away from the bald impropriety of the demand.
Kingsbridge Ice Plan Passes Council

Kingsbridge Armory Plan Skates Forward: At a City Council meeting today, members approved a proposal to...  * The City Council is set to approve the $320 million Kingsbridge National Ice Center project in the Bronx after Councilman Fernando Cabrera gave his final approval for the plan, Crain's reports: *Bronx scores $400M soccer stadium(NYP) * Kingsbridge Armory Ice Center Plan Passes City Council  (NYDN)* City Council Approves an Ice Center for the Bronx(NYT)

How Bronx Pols Increase Unemployment
Kingsbridge skating complex plan on thin ice(NYP Ed)Does Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. regret torpedoing the Kingsbridge Armory project four years ago? For the inferior replacement plan he champions is now endangered by similar politicking. Thus we have today’s Bronx, home to politicians skilled at killing off private development and, not uncoincidentally, to the highest unemployment in the state.
The Ice Cut

Ice Cabrera (NYDN Ed)
Like trolls at the bridge, members of the City Council have taken to demanding tribute from anyone who requires approval to do anything, no matter how beneficial to New York. Never has one of the trolls behaved more egregiously than Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who is putting the arm on one of the best projects fighting to get off the ground in the borough in a long time.
More on Kingsbridge
 Moreland Mystery None Profit
Moreland Has Put A Series of Interconnecting Jewish Social Service None Profits Under the Spot Light
Rabbi’s web of charities under investigation(NYP)  Rabbi, lobbyist and charity chieftain Shiya Ostreicher is one of New York’s most powerful political players — and now, thanks to state investigators, one of the most scrutinized. He has a hand in five Brooklyn nonprofits that pull down millions of dollars in taxpayer cash and private donations. One is under state probe. Another’s murky paperwork has raised questions about its legitimacy. The president of that group says he didn’t know that he was on the board — let alone that he was its president.
Jewish ‘wedding’ group shares space with probed nonprofit(NYP)
A nonprofit that says its mission is to “help defray the cost of weddings” for poor Jewish couples paid $400,000 in rent last year, even though it shares space with another government-funded group that is under investigation. Records show Students Link reported the enormous rent bill while in the same humble Brooklyn building at 5904 13th Ave. in Borough Park with Relief Resources, a health-referral service being probed by the anti-corruption Moreland Commission panel appointed by Gov. Cuomo. The tax return for Students Link says it helps disadvantaged children. But its main program over the past three years was intended “to help defray high costs of weddings in the Jewish community.” Brooklyn state Sen. Simcha Felder, who steered funding to the group when he served on the City Council, defended the work of Relief Resources and Ostreicher.  They have an exemplary record in helping thousands of people with mental-health issues,” he said

Brooklyn agency fits description of mystery nonprofit in Moreland probe(NYP) The state’s Moreland Commission, in a report issued last week, described its surveillance of a questionable storefront in New York City that received almost $3 million in pork-barrel funds to provide various medical services “with little scrutiny and no medical oversight.” The money came from a “geographically and politically diverse group of some of the state’s most powerful lawmakers.”  Relief Resources Inc. occupies a storefront at 5904 13th Ave. in Borough Park, a location it shares with the group Refuah Resources. There is a telephone pole directly outside that would provide an ideal location for a camera. A Post investigation based on public records suggests Relief Resources might be the unnamed nonprofit described in the Moreland Commission report, but officials have not confirmed this. Relief Resources, according to its Web site, provides referral services aimed at helping those in the Jewish community cope with mental-health issues. It has offices in two other countries — Canada and Israel — as well as in New Jersey and upstate Monroe. The agency has used the services of the Albany lobbying firm Malkin & Ross to seek state funding, state records show. The Moreland Commission’s unnamed nonprofit uses “a top-shelf outside lobbying firm.” Relief Resources has taken in $2,901,000 in state funding since 2005, state records show. Lawmakers have sponsored seven member-item grants totaling $1,275,000 since 2006, according to the state attorney general’s Open Government Web site. Shiya Ostreicher, a board member of Relief Resources, is a lobbyist for Agudath Israel of America, a powerful Orthodox Jewish organization.

Malkin & Ross Connected to Catskills Gambling Interests
The lobbying push has continued as the Nov. 5 casino referendum nears.
which is hoping to build a casino adjacent to the former Grossinger’s resort in the Catskills, hired the lobbying firm Malkin & Ross on Sept. 16, agreeing to pay it $50,000 to represent it for the seven weeks leading up to Election Day.          
Did Albany Corruption Fund a City Nonprofit? (WNYC) In the Senate Bruno, Smith and Golden gave money to Relief Resouces  

More on the Moreland Commission
Katz Returns NYC's Chump Change
Melinda’s epiphany (NYDN Ed) New Queens Beep Katz ends her footdragging on keeping public dollars Held up once too often as a glutton for taxpayer money in this space, incoming Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has finally returned $51,630 in excess public campaign finance funding.

Liu ‘blew’ $2B on bad bets(NYP)

Killjoy cops vs. Santa Con(NYP)
Snowy Weather Doesn't Scare Off SantaCon Participants (NY1)


It Great the NYT has Discovered Homeless Families But Their Hands in Terms of the Causes Are Not Clean

What the NYT Wrote About the Homeless Crisis:
Battling Homelessness in New York City(NYT Ed) The city’s affordable housing crisis, a product of recession and years of bad choices by city, state and federal officials. 

Questions the NYT Won't Answer:
The NYT laid out the blame but did not explain what it meant by recession.  The NYT said nothing about NYC's uneven recovery from the recession fueled by the permanent government pushing tax breaks for luxury housing and zoning changes to gentrify poor and minority neighborhoods. When in the past has the NYT written about how the rising costs of housing in NYC is not only destroying the poor but also pushing out the middle class?

NYT Has the Power and Know How to Control The Narrative in New York City
Did the NYT leave out those important causes of homelessness because people in luxury housing or gentrifying neighborhoods are more likely to read their paper or come from demographic that attract their advertisers to place more ads? The NYT also did not connect the city's long term structural high unemployment rate and how that caused the increase in homelessness.  Even if the new mayor finds a solution to the troubled Dasani family, it will do no good if high unemployment makes an additional 20,000 dysfunctional homeless families in the next four years. The NYT blamed Bloomberg for cutting off public housings for homeless families, Bloomberg blames the cuts in the federal section 8 program.  Both the NYT and Bloomberg blame the state for cutting rent subsidies and job training in 2011 to the city's Advantage program that helped 75% of the families in it move out of the shelters. 

The NYT editorial wrote that, "Mr. de Blasio’s newly appointed deputy mayor for health and human services, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, said the de Blasio administration would restore rental subsidies in some form.  That’s a good start, but more is needed, including from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who can aid that effort by ponying up money for the subsidy program as well as for services that save poor people from eviction."  The solutions offered by the NYT has two major flaws, one it a band aid to cover over the city's economic structural homeless problem.

The Homeless Problem in NYC Will Not Be Solved Until Its Dysfunctional Economy is Fixed
Two, the NYT does not talk about what government services should be cut to fund these homeless programs.  Should the city and state cut aid to education, funds to keep hospitals open (unless Schumer come through the Medicaid bailout is dead in Washington) or money to Metro-North like the lawmakers did in 2010, money that could have gone to train safety technology.  The Elephant in the room that is causing the city's homeless crisis and killing the city's middle class besides the housing problem is New York's business climate, raked last in most studies. Cuomo's no tax for 10 year program may help but not stop existing business from leaving or downsizing. After a campaign that did not examine the city's structural fiscal problems and the cherry picking solutions to the homeless problem the new mayor is about to relive the city's 1976 fiscal meltdown. While de Blasio is not facing bankruptcy, he is looking at the suffering poor, the middle class dripping out and the city's business downsizing.  Rearranging the deckchairs on the titanic will not fix the city's dysfunctional economy or reduce homelessness.

NYT's Eleanor Randolph Nothing is Our Fault

Eleanor Randolph is disappointed that the Moreland Commission didn't do more to report on the pay-to-play corruption in New York politics
Last week-end, Ms. Randolph appeared in the roundtable segment of The New York Times Close-up on NY1. Forgetting that she is an editor of the newspaper of record, namely, The New York Times, Ms. Randolph seems to be overlooking her own role in being able to expose pay-to-play corruption and corralling public opinion to demand campaign finance reforms. Ms. Randolph, as an editor of The NYTimes, can assign investigative reporters to examine, for example, the corruptive influence of money in politics playing out right now in the New York City Council speaker's race. But she does not.


The End of Era(s)

A Mayor and a Broadcaster Sign Off (WSJ)
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's is leaving office but is also signing off from a weekly radio show where he shared candid—and often polarizing Q&A With John Gambling
Guns . says there are 4 x as many gun dealers in the country as McDonalds restaurants.* "It’s been a very long time that we’ve had a poor economy upstate and lots of governors have tried to do something," Bloomberg. Every NY governor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says, has taken city money to subsidize upstate.* After 500 radio shows, takes final caller q from parent angry about the rapid implementation of the common core curriculum *

NYC will appreciate Bloomberg in time: girlfriend(NYDN) New Yorkers were looking for a change, says the 57-year-old investment banker who moved in with Bloomberg in 2000, in an exclusive interview, but they will come to recognize the benefits of his policies, including his public health initiatives, in time.  "I am calling to thank Mayor Bloomberg for your wonderful service," sez caller. "I sleep at night peacefully because city city is so safe." * Mayor Bloomberg says NYC is over 800,000 as part of NYC goal to plant 1 million trees.* Mayor Bloomberg Dismisses Anti-Vaccination ‘Crazies’    (NYO) *Bloomberg No Longer News Bloomberg News will not publish news about Mike Bloomberg after he leaves the New York City mayor’s office in January. .* Charitable Donations Up  Charitable donations boomed during Bloomberg’s tenure(NYP)  Ferry Service Extended Bloomberg extends East River Ferry for 5 years(NYP) * Crackdown on e-Bikes Bloomberg’s zap on e-bikers * Jimmy Fallon segment with Mayor B from last night *Bloomberg’s legacy takes shape as three-term mayor prepares to leave office

More on the End of the Bloomberg Era

Mayoral Transition 18 Days Left
Demanding More Populism From Washington
De Blasio repeats ‘tale of 2 cities’ to Obama in sit-down(NYP)"There is a progressive movement in this country that is having a real effect"* Obama Tells New Mayors He’ll Help Fight Inequality (NYT)* ill de Blasio Emerges From White House Ready To Go National With Progressive Agenda (NYDN)  * Bill de Blasio plays leading role at White House gathering of mayors-elect and Obama(NYDN) * President Obama: Mayors Have No Time To Be Ideological Or Partisan  (NYDN) * What Bill (de Blasio) can learn from Rahm (oh, you know). Lessons (good/bad) for NYC from Chicago's whirling dervish(NYDN) * Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio isn't in office yet, but the new guard is being blamed for crime in the city. (NYT)
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I've always said that mayors don't have time to be ideological, and they don't really have time to be partisan, because they, every day, are held accountable for concretely delivering the services that people count on all across the country.  And I think it’s for that reason that when we think about mayors, we think about folks who actually get stuff done." - President Barack Obama, addressing incoming mayors at the White House, via the Daily News. * * New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio talked about income inequality during his meeting with President Obama at a conference with the incoming mayors at the White House, The Associated Press reports:  * What’s at Stake in de Blasio’s Mayoralty? Just About Everything

 Debate on How the Narrative is Best Driven
  1. Not clear me that mobilizing voters in era of 1 party dominated gerrymandered districts can work
  2. Jerry is on to something. But I think Michael believes mass mobilization can drive a narrative. @IsaacDovere

  3. Did we not learn from Bloomberg that today's media gives the mayor any narrative he wants

Brother Fight Could Take A Toll On the Speakers Race
Toll Proposal Puts Weprin Brothers in Rare Spot: At Odds (NYT) Councilman Mark Weprin and Assemblyman David I. Weprin are on opposite sides of a proposal to impose tolls on drivers on the East River bridges.

Media: Local News Real Anchorman2

Snow Job by Local News Again

If your looking for
Crime and fire stories today from local TV news forgetaboutit. During snowstorms the local TV news expands coverage and give us reporters in the field telling us it is snowing. “The waste of taxpayer dollars, political corruption, coverage of schools” all get no coverage in local TV news unless you count campaign or special interest commercials. Cuomo and his supporters spent over $10 million last year to gain public support to push through his agenda. Union and business interest like the pro fracking interest are also spending millions on ads to local stations.  All this money is coming in as local news dumbs down.  It is not a secret that TV and radio stations rely on the local newspaper for most of their hard news. So those "rip and read" broadcasters have offered their views much less hard news as newspaper staffs shrivel amid the draconian layoffs caused by the internet and the recession? Local TV stations stand to profit from boom in super-PAC spending (The Hill) * Local News Dumb Down Journalism (True News)
The Post asked a few longtime on-air personalities — some national, some local — for their take.  Their memories are shocking . . . and shockingly hilarious. Fisticuffs! Backstabbers! And Sue Simmons flashing her ta-tas? Stay classy, news world.
Connie Chung “Every part of [Ron Burgundy] depicts the quintessential anchorman. Every single one [I worked with], with the exception of one, [was] just like Ron Burgundy. They were egotistical, they loved to hear the sound of their own voices. They hogged air time when it came time to ad lib.
Geraldo Rivera Back in the ’70s and ’80s, it was a wild time. In terms of [hitting on] interns, there was a free-fire zone. Hard drinking was still the mark of a man. Roger used to go to a pub on Columbus Avenue and have three, four, five drinks between the six o’clock news and the 11 o’clock news.

Len Berman I will tell you, though, about one unnamed anchorperson I worked with. I walked into his office one day, and there was a list of New Year’s resolutions on his wall. Stay 175 pounds forever, jog a couple miles a day. The last thing on his list was, ‘Stay on top of current events.’ I thought that was part of the job description.
Mayoral Transition
Does Anyone Get the Feeling That Barrios-Paoli Feels More At Home With the New Mayor
Mayor Builds His Team and Becomes the 4th Man in the Albany Room
Or the King is Dead Long Live the New King

De Blasio pick disses old boss Bloomberg
(NYP) Lilliam Barrios-Paoli quickly distanced herself from the administration she’s served for five years.  I would have done many things differently,” said Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, the commissioner for the aging, when asked about the city’s homeless policy at a press conference announcing her new post.Specifically, she said she would never have cut funding for homeless prevention — and hinted her objections fell on deaf ears.  You don’t stop prevention to save money because you end up paying to correct the problem afterwards,” said Barrios-Paoli, who has held numerous positions in city government back to 1980.* Mayor Bloomberg's Appointee Criticizes Her Boss on Homeless Policy (WSJ)

Of 3 top picks so far, 2 have worked for Koch, 2 for Giuliani, 1 for Bloomberg and 0 for Dinkins 
Lilliam Barrios-Paoli will be new deputy mayor PG health and human services* : Lilliam Barrios-Paoli To Be Named Deputy Mayor Of Health And Human Services(NY1) "We can't let children of this city like Dasani down," Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio says, referring to girl in NYT series. De Blasio: "We will quickly, quickly, focus on the Auburn facility, and we will not allow what's happening there to continue." . pledges a "very different approach" to dealing with the city's homeless. "I totally believe we are leading a tale of two cities," Lilliam Barrios-Paoli says at news conference.* Bill de Blasio Names Lilliam Barrios-Paoli Deputy Mayor For Health And Human Services | New York Daily News 

GROWING UP GRACIE: Former mayors' kids offer Chiara and Dante de Blasio tips on making the most of their new digs

 QUOTE OF THE DAY: “To lead this effort, I need- someone who shared my urgency. Someone who saw these children as her children, these families as her family … It was clear to me that person was Lilliam Barrios-Paoli.” – Bill de Blasio on the selection of Barrios-Paoli to be deputy mayor of health and human services, via Crain's. * Incoming New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tapped Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, a former Koch, Giuliani and Bloomberg commissioner, to be deputy mayor for health and human services, Crain's writes: * * State Sen. John Flanagan released a report calling for legislation to address the unnecessary “over-testing” of students, which the state’s largest teachers union, NYSUT, called a good “starting point,” State of Politics writes: *Bill de Blasio discusses how he was moved by NYT's amazing child homelessness story and what he'll do about it  De Blasio Names Barios-Paoli HHS Commissioner (WNYC) *De Blasio Picks Bloomberg Official as Social Services Chief(NYT) * In the fullness of time (NYDN Ed) de Blasio is assembling a cabinet, deliberately.  In exclusive intv with NY1 Tony Shorris downplays significance of his wife's job with  * NO.1 NUN: De Blasio names veteran city commissioner Lilliam Barrios-Paoli as deputy mayor for health, human services * Steady as she goes (NYDN Ed) Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, Bill de Blasio's new deputy mayor, is a tested hand with a tough task* Editorial: Don't bring trash from other boroughs to Staten Island |SI Advance

New Yorkers Optimistic About de Blasio
A New York Times/Siena College poll finds that 73 percent of New York City residents are generally optimistic about Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s first four years, though more than half of city residents did not know enough about him, The New York Times writes: *While majority polled still feel favors rich, his job approvals (53-35) are highest in 3 years * Attn Albany: 72% of NYers support raising income taxes on NYC residents who make > $500k to fund preK * Those people are saying, ‘I’m optimistic, but show me some results,’” said Siena pollster Donald Levy. “They’re sitting kind of on that razor’s edge of, ‘I think he’s different, I think, yes, he is progressive … but I’m not really sure until I see it.’”
Washington, D.C., Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson said she spoke to incoming mayor Bill de Blasio about taking the New York City school chancellor job but took herself out of the running, the Daily News reports:

Sanitation Snow Worries
 Pressure is mounting on incoming New York City mayor Bill de Blasio to re-appoint long-serving Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, at least through the winter months, the Daily News writes:

de Blasio Wants Council Member Item Ban
Mayor-elect de Blasio's first clash with the City Council could come over his plan to pursue of ban on Council member items, NY1 reports: “We’re hoping he will still understand the need for it,” countered speaker hopeful Mark Weprin. “He knows that these funds go to programs of extreme value,” added fellow hopeful Jimmy Vacca.

Transition Fund Raiser
De Blasio held a fundraiser last night at a B.B. King’s Blues Club in Times Square to raise money for transition and inauguration costs, with supporters who raised at least $50,000 winning a “private reception” with the mayor-Bill de Blasio picks up inauguration funding at B.B. King’s Blues Club on Times Square(NYDN) * De Blasio is still fundraising, this time to pay for his inauguration. (WNYC) * Anxiety over de Blasio “overblown”: SL Green chairman(Real Deal)

NYP End City Tax Breaks for Business At the Same Time Cuomo is Giving $68 Million to Businesses
End NYC’s alms for businesses(NYP Ed) Bill de Blasio is rarely accused of shilling for business, so maybe as mayor he’ll do New Yorkers a favor — by putting an end to City Hall’s habit of handing out taxpayer alms to commercial ventures.

Member Items

Lawmakers Want Their Member Items
What all these complaints boil down to is that state lawmakers want more credit for pork barrel grants
With New Member Items Gone, Lawmakers Want More Input On REDC Grants(YNN)  How else would the poor incumbents keep up their 98% reelection rate* AP: NY comptroller says legislative pork grant abused


IDC Readies for A Fight
Will the Progressives, WFP Go After IDC to A Force Pre-K Tax Increase?
Klein Spins to Protect

State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein will unveil his “Affordable NY” plan, calling for $750 million for middle class housing over the next five years, and pushing for workers to get six weeks paid maternity and family leave, the New York Daily News reports.  The Rev. Al Sharpton on the Senate IDC: “There is a difference between co-option and coalition.”* State Senate co-Leader Jeff Klein said that he wants Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio to succeed and indicated he will help shepherd de Blasio’s tax i ncrease on the wealthy to pay for universal pre-K programs through the Senate, NY1 reports:  *  IDC member Diane Savino thinks there’s “almost no chance” of de Blasio’s plan to tax rich NYC residents not passing next year, but her Republican colleague, Sen. Andrew Lanza, disagrees.* Klein Unveils ‘Affordable’ Agenda * Cuomo: "Property tax is one of the greatest problems that the state faces." Bigger than income tax

IDC GOP Senate Coalition

Democratic Bosses Hold On for Dear Life
Permanent Bosses Broken Parties
If the Progressives , Unions and Working Families Party win the speakers position with Mark-Viverito it may be all over for the Democratic party bosses.  The city's GOP bosses died long ago kept alive by Bloomberg dollars and what every they can extort from the elected officials to get through the BOE toll gate  The party bosses have like their partner at the city papers become disconnected from the city's voters. 

It Not the Corruption Prosecutors’ That May End the Tammany Era, It is the Bosses are Losing Elections
The progressives unions and WFP have become better at controlling the city's dysfunctional election system than the permanent. All the papers supported and lost with Quinn and Squadron. The Queens Boss supported Quinn, the Bronx and Brooklyn bosses supported Thompson the Manhattan and Staten Island bosses did not endorse anyone. Over on the Queens side none of the party bosses supported Joe  Lhota in the primary, but the voters in their party did. In in golden era Tammany Hall was corrupt but delivered jobs and services to the community. There were hundreds of political clubs that empowered neighborhoods, were locals completed for services and the chance to run for office. Today the part boss system like everything else in the city is disconnected connected from the public and serves to keep and service a small group of the political class in power. Their mini me's the lobbyist get paid not to empower the community but to mislead or trick into supporting their clients.  If the old Tammany Hall existed today it is had to see how the real estate interests would be allow to break up neighborhoods all around the city, like they have.

Party Bosses Circle the Wagons to Hold On to Power
The major New York City Democratic county chairs, Joseph Crowley, Frank Seddio and Carl Heastie, pledged shortly after Election Day not to independently cut a deal with the Progressive Caucus in the City Council Speaker

County bosses pledge unity in speaker race(CrainsNY)  In past City Council speaker elections, the city's Democratic county bosses have competed with one another for perks and patronage in orchestrating the outcome of the contest. Though that dynamic still exists in this year's race, the city's three most powerful Democratic county leaders are said to have united to an unusual degree, in response to the union-backed Progressive Caucus challenging the status quo for the first time.
Teflon CM Ferreras
Corruption In the None Profit Group Libre Sent Monserrate to Jail, The Executive Director of Libre, Ferreras Was Never Touch By the Investigators
Media: A Speaker Candidate With No Past?
Julissa Ferreras Said to Be Quietlying Maintaining Speaker Candidacy (NYO) 
Former councilman Monserrate is in jail because he used his member item money to help his campaign. The none profit group which Monserrate used was Libre, which was overseen by his chief of staff Julissa Ferreras, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in discretionary funds from the councilman. The group Ferreras ran Libre never produce time sheets, expense receipts, canceled checks or board meeting minutes to document its expenses for the two fiscal years, 2006 and 2007, examined in the audits.  Monserrate admitted to carrying out a fraudulent scheme in which $109,000 in government funds was used to benefit his unsuccessful run for the state Senate in 2006.While he was a member of the City Council, Monserrate had directed the money to a group in his Queens district, the Latino Initiative for Better Resources and Empowerment, or LIBRE. Mr. Monserrate, who in 2008 was running for State Senate, referred at that time questions about the accounting to his chief of staff, Julissa Ferreras, who was Libre’s chairwoman during the period examined by the audits.  “She’s the person to have the conversation with,” he said. “I wasn’t the director. I don’t know what paperwork was there, what books were there.”  Ms. Ferreras, who is running in 2008 to fill the seat Mr. Monserrate will be vacating on the City Council, said at that time in a brief telephone interview with the NYT that the records should be in Libre’s offices. “I personally don’t keep the records,” she said.
 Julissa Ferreras gypped disabled employee (NY1)

Update Ferreras Not Running

  • The Noah's Ark of Patronage Port Authority
    Great column by on how Port Authority is used by Gov of NY & NJ as a patronage haven for cronies & contributors, lobbyists

    Cuomo Trumps Christie in PA Patronage Swamp 
    Investigating Political Hack Work Near the George Washington Bridge(NYT) Apparently — by which I mean, definitely — a political hack shut lanes entering the George Washington Bridge for five days in September and ruined traffic.   On the Port Authority, Cuomo "just stuck a fucking spear in the eye of Chris Christie," reports: * * Port Authority executive Bill Baroni, a friend and appointee of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, resigned over allegations he closed George Washington Bridge lanes in an attempt at political retribution, The Wall Street Journal reports:   * Christie Slammed In DNC Video For Port Authority Mess(YNN) * A second political ally of NJ Gov. Chris Christie at the Port Authority has resigned over the George Washington Bridge lane closure fiasco.* Chris Christie tries to distance himself from very New Jersey George Washington Bridge scandal: (NY Mag) * Christie appointee resigns in wake of bridge traffic probe(NYP) * Christie Views Lane Closings on George Washington Bridge as Overblown(NYT) * Top Chris Christie appointee resigns from Port Authority over George Washington Bridge lane closures(NYDN) * Sunday Update George Washington Bridge lane closures remain a mystery

    Sandy Fix Up Patronage
    While Storm Victims Wait, Troubled Brooklyn Housing Complexes Secure Millions in Aid from Empire State Relief Fund
    EXCLUSIVE investigation: Gov. Cuomo's Sandy Charity Benefits Private Equity Investor Cronies * A Superstorm Sandy charity relief fund organized by Gov. Andrew Cuomo donated money to housing projects managed by a Wall Street firm while storm victims wait for government assistance


    Impertinent Question of the Day
    Did MTA Cuts Cause the Metro Crash?

    Do you think when Albany took $124 million from the MTA in 2010 some of the safety programs That Would Have Saved Lives on the Metro North were cut?

    Albany Didn't “Cut” the MTA Budget. They Stole From It. | Streetsblog ...


    A federal safety agency says the technology known as positive train control would probably have prevented the Dec. 1 train derailment that killed four people in NY


    U.S. Orders Sweeping Safety Review of Metro-North(NYT)The extraordinarily rare inquiry was ordered not only because of a fatal train derailment in the Bronx on Dec. 1, but also a series of other accidents this year. Two weeks after a Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx, the Federal Railroad Administration will begin a rare review of the operations and “safety culture” of the Metro-North Railroad on Monday that will last for 60 days. *Feds launch massive probe into Metro-North derailment * Metro-North is using more plainclothes spotters who slip aboard unnoticed to check that train operators are complying with all rules.
     More on the MTA and Metro Crash

    Can All the Kings Men and All the Kings Horses Protect Speaker Silver Back Together Again

    Top Rapfogel Partner Guilty Plea An insurance executive pleaded guilty to grand larceny and money laundering in connection with the scandal involving the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and its former CEO, William Rapfogel.  Newsday reports: * Joseph Ross, the owner of a Long Island insurance company, pleaded guilty to grand larceny, money laundering, and tax fraud for his role in stealing more than $7 million from the Metropolitan New York Council on Jewish Poverty
    3rd Judge Withdraws From Overseeing Silver Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
    Yet another Manhattan judge has ducked out of presiding over the sexual harrassment lawsuit against the New York State Assembly – the third jurist this week to take a pass.
    Second NYC Judge Recuses Herself From Hearing Case Against Sheldon Silver, Vito Lopez(NYDN)Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Kern filed notice Thursday that she's firewalling herself from the case assigned to her on Tuesday after another judge, Joan Madden, said she had to bow out because of her longstanding friendship with Silver's counsel, James Yates. ern's terse notice gave no rationale for her recusal.  Second Judge Recuses Herself From Hearing Case Against 's Sheldon Silver, Vito Lopez | NY Daily News

    The New York Times reports: *Alleged Rapfogel accomplice cops to role in Met Council ripoff * Alleged Rapfogel accomplice cops to role in Met Council ripoff(NYP) Things were looking grim for a longtime pal of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver after an alleged accomplice copped a plea Wednesday in a long-running scheme to steal more than $7 million from a leading Jewish charity. Joseph Ross, 58, pleaded guilty to grand larceny, money laundering and tax fraud during a sealed proceeding in Manhattan Supreme Court, according to a spokeswoman for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.* Man Admits Role in Theft of $7 Million From Charity(NYT) The terms of Mr. Ross’s plea were sealed, as were the minutes of the proceeding before Justice Obus, and the spokesman would not provide details. Several have suggested that the authorities have been skeptical of Mr. Rapfogel’s account of the events, but it is unclear what he has said that has raised their suspicions.              

    Media Asks Speaker Silver if He Will Get Even With Cuomo Over the Moreland Commission Actions

    Media Blinders
    Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver could not say whether his conference would harbor bitter feelings towards Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the Moreland Commission probe, and added that he feels secure in his post as speaker, The Buffalo News writes: * Silver open to Cuomo tax plan, with a condition(Capital)
    Silver Judge Change
    Judge steps aside in sexual harassment lawsuit against Assembly Speaker Silver and former pol Vito Lopez (NYDN)Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden said Tuesday that she is recusing herself because she has a long--standing friendship with James Yates, who is Silver's lawyer.* Judge removes herself from Silver case(NYP) * Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden removed herself from a case brought by two of Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment victims against the Assembly and Speaker Sheldon Silver because she is a former colleague of Silver’s in-house counsel * Speaker Silver feels secure in leadership post: "I think I have the support of all the members & we go from here." 
    Sheldon Silver's latest legal fees coincide with William Rapfogel arrest--aide denies any links
    Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has spent $65,000 on legal fees since September, related to the state ethics commission’s probe into former assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment allegations, the Daily News reports: 
    Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline 
    Rapfogel's Non Profit Tax Shelters Connects to political payoffs 

    More Member Items None Profit Corruption
    Inez Barron and John Sampson Member Items
    Funds from a $20,000 member item linked to outgoing Assemblywoman Inez Barron was used by a Brooklyn contract to purchase an iPad for her granddaughter, as well as a laptop computer for her husband, an audit released today by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office found.  Faulkner’s husband works for Barron, but the member item itself flowed from Sen. John Sampson, D-Brooklyn. * Comptroller denounces nonprofit linked to Brooklyn assemblywoman(Capital)

    House Passes Additional NY Health Care Cuts
    House budget tweak costs N.Y. hospitals millions(Capital) Legislation which would have saved New York hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars a year, was quashed Wednesday, a victim of procedural hurdles and congressional budget scoring. Sen. Chuck Schumer, along with Sens. Robert Menendez and Sherrod Brown and more than a hundred members of the House, have been pushing for a one-year delay, and it seemed as if they had finally succeeded when language postponing the rule until October was included in the budget bill.  But those billions that hospitals fear losing, the government fears paying. The impact on hospitals is expected to be significant. New York City's Health and Hospitals Corporation, already in financial trouble, estimates losses between $23 and $38 million a year or about 16 percent of all HHC's inpatient revenue.

    Civil War in A Dead Party Cannibalism

    GOP Bottom Feeders Nobody is in Charge

    NYC's GOP which hold only about 3% of the city's elective offices, has gotten so far from reality that some bottom feeders want to go after a sitting congressman with a man with two families.  Fossella, who is married to childhod sweetheart Mary Pat and has three children, was engulfed in scandal after a DWI arrest in the D.C. area in May 2008.He then confessed to having a secret second life, fathering a child in an extramarital affair with a retired Air Force lieutentant colonel. Many think that Fossella is looking to get paid and given a job by the national GOP party to stay out of the race.Now a managing director at Al D’Amato’s lobbying firm, Park Strategies, Fossella has since reconciled with his first family. GOP dislikes sitting congressman, eyes DWI pol with secret family(NYP) * The chair of the state Republican Party, Ed Cox, said Mr. de Blasio was always going to win this year’s election. “The city’s been going so well under two mayors who were elected on the Republican ticket that people thought, ‘Okay, we’re going to elect a Democrat this time,” Mr. Cox explained on Road to City Hall last night.

    Cuomo 2014
    The Cuomo administration mandated that an information technology conference next week will open a “VIP reception” to all attendees, after criticism about the state’s reliance on private contributions to pay for conference sponsorships, the Times Union reports:

    Tax Cuts Proposed, NYT's Fed Cuts Hurts Safety Net and Pre-K Tax Proposal
    Cuomo's Budget Triangularization
    New York tax commission proposes two-year freeze on property tax increases, and a new property tax credit tied to income. Corporate income taxes would be reduced to 6.5% — lowest since 1968. Former state Comptroller Carl McCall says has brought the economic stability that allows for discussion of tax cuts.* Pataki-McCall Commission: A Carrot And Stick For Consolidation(YNN) * Cuomo's tax commission, which balances between NYC businesses and desire to gain upstate love *  Kathy Wylde: "NYC residents do not directly benefit from the commission’s proposed use of $1B of this surplus for property tax reductions." * State Panel Makes Recommendations On Lowering Taxes  * Labor Not A Fan Of Tax Commission Report(YNN) * Cuomo: ‘We Just Have Too Much Government’(YNN)*Cuomo’s pack of tax-cut gimmicks(NYP

    Pre-K Funding: Will de Blasio and the Unions go After IDC Members to Return Dems to Senate Power?
    Then there is Mr. de Blasio’s ambitious plan to provide universal prekindergarten and after-school programs for middle schoolers, at a cost of at least $500 million a year, to be paid for by a new tax on rich New Yorkers
    (To read Cohen's original piece
     NYS Sen. Diane Savino Was Against Bill de Blasio's Pre-Kindergarten Plan Before She Was For It  *Cuomo commission on NY taxes to issue report * * In the Daily News, Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, warns that any investment de Blasio makes in preschools will fade if he does not also focus on the city’s mediocre elementary schools:
    Pressure On Cuomo From Business Community To Reduce Taxes
    Cuomo the comedian(NYP) New York’s income and property taxes are among the nation’s highest. Watchdog groups such as the Tax Foundation routinely rank the state at the bottom in terms of places to do business. Wall Street has apparently taken the lesson. As The Post recently reported, the city’s share of US securities-industry jobs has been dropping: In the ’90s, New York boasted 30 percent of these jobs, but this year our slice dipped below 20 percent, a new low. While the nation has recouped 54 percent of securities jobs lost since the financial crisis, Wall Street got back just 23 percent. Today it employs just 167,000 workers here, versus 191,000 in 2008. The New York Post‘s editorial board–quoting

    Cuomo Tries to Frames the Tax Debate
    Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying “New York is the least expensive state to locate your business” in certain tax-free zones–declared: “If that president thing doesn’t work out for Andrew Cuomo, no worries: He can always do stand-up.” “That’s a real knee-slapper” the paper added.  * In the Post, the Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon writes that the biggest shortcoming of the report issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Tax Reform Commission was its failure to take a stronger position on the state’s personal income tax * Cuomo tax relief panel does little downstate(NYDN) * Cuomo Gets a Tax-Cut Plan (WSJ)*  an increase in the estate tax exemption  .* Cuomo Backs Plan to Ease Array of Tax Burdens and Faces a Fight  * NYC homeowners were largely left out of the commission’s relief recommendations, though renters may get a break. The panel paid zero attention to Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s plan to tax the rich to pay for pre-K.

    State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said that more than 1,100 companies have inquired about participating in the START-UP NY program, though Zimpher didn’t elaborate on the nature of the inquiries, the Times Union reports:


    City receives the least of Cuomo’s grant money
    Cuomo Include the City in the Tax Cuts The Daily News argues that Gov. Andrew Cuomo should make sure that whatever plan he puts forward for tax cuts at the recommendation of his tax relief commission includes New York City's “overburdened” taxpayers:
    Cuomo's Taxmen

    The taxmen(NYP Ed)New Yorkers pay the highest state and local taxes in America, and New York businesses suffer from the worst business tax climate. But there is one thing we have no shortage of: tax-reform commissions. The latest to weigh in is the one chaired by former Gov. George Pataki and SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall. Almost everyone, including Gov. Cuomo, understands New York’s taxes are way too high — sending some of our most productive citizens and businesses to other states and discouraging others from coming here. The Pataki-McCall commission report includes some good reforms of its own, including lowering the estate tax. But it ignores the most onerous tax of all, personal-income taxes. And on property taxes, it would merely add a temporary relief gimmick and a tax credit to an already overburdened system.* Business groups and some lawmakers hailed the commission’s proposals, while left-leaning critics called them unaffordable, ill-targeted toward the wealthy and corporations, and likely to leave less money for public schools * Battle Lines Drawn On Tax Debate  * QUOTE OF THE DAY: “All this sort of stuff has been going on forever. Essentially, this is the same old infrastructure and pork barrel surrounded by an Academy Awards-style production.” – The Empire Center for Public Policy’s E.J. McMahon on the governor’s latest round of Regional Economic Development Council awards, via City & State.* Fredric U. Dicker @fud31: The just-announced NYS economic development grants read like a left-over legislative member item list from 2007.*The Regional Economic Development Grants, In Book Form(YNN)* City receives the least of Cuomo’s grant money(NYP)*
    The Times Union writes that the “devil is in the details” when it comes to the tax cuts proposed by Cuomo’s Tax Relief Commission, warning that cutting taxes could eat into other public needs such as education aid and infrastructure funding: * Ravitch, not a fan of Cuomo’s tax plan(NY1)* Despite NYC Coming In Last In Eco Development Contest, Gov. Cuomo Expresses Big Apple Love  (NYDN) 
    Washington Medicaid Cuts Not Even in  NYC Papers  Cuomo spars with Obama administration over Medicaid exemption (Wash Post) "In recent months, several hospitals have said they will need to close without a new infusion of funds. Ballooning pension costs are also hurting the system’s bottom line.HHC's "debt has doubled in the past 3 years & it projects losses of more than $3B over FYs 2014 to 2016." Cuomo admin relying on uncertain $10 billion federal Medicaid waiver to help fund this year's proposed tax cuts? * The Cuomo and Obama administrations are at odds over New York’s multibillion dollar Medicaid waiver request.* EJ McMahon deems Cuomo’s regional economic development grants “the sort of thing that Albany has been doling out piecemeal for decades now.”* Team : Tax Commission Didn't Diss New York City | New York Daily News

    How de Blasio Dances With Cuomo 

    Lobbyist and 911 Crash Vendors

    Council Passed Bill to Fix Response Time But Does Not Investigate Why and Who is Responsible for the Systems Failure
    City Council Tightens 911 Response Time Rules In Bill Named For Ariel Russo  * Timely’ law on responses honors Ariel Russo(NYDN) The City Council on Tuesday honored the 4-year-old, killed by a car on a Manhattan sidewalk, by imposing new requirements on the city's way of reporting 911 response times.* New City Council Bill To Change The Way FDNY Measures Emergency Response Times(NY1)
    Media Never Names the Lobbyist for the Failed 911 System

    Both Mercury and George Artz have been lobbyists for Hewlett-Packard which was the main contractor of the city's 911 emergency system that crashes a lot. The city 911 system is now being sued by the parents of 4-year-old Ariel Russo who claim she died because an ambulance to take the little girl to the hospital was delayed by a 911 crash.  Among the lobbyists to get paid by the city’s broken 911 system contractors was George Arzt, Mercury Public Affairs, LLC, Jennifer Carlson, Peter Barden, Jonathan Greenspun, Michael McKeon, Kasirer Consulting LLC. More on Corrupt Lobbyists More on Dark Pool Corrupt Lobbyists

    Council Gives Amnesty to Corrupt Lobbyists and None Profits

    Council Lobbyists
    Corruption Enablers
    The New York City Council voted today to pass lobbying reform legislation expanding the definition of  lobbying, establishing a mandatory training program, as well as an  amnesty program for small nonprofits to disclose restricted past  lobbying activity without penalty, City & State reports: The Bill establishes an amnesty program that will give small nonprofit  organizations the opportunity to come out from the shadows and disclose  past restricted lobbying activity without penalty. How the Lobbyists Milk None Profits

     Failed Parking Lot Soccer Stadium
    Bloomberg's midnight rush to fix a $50M fiasco that only Juan Gonzalez bothered to report: Bx soccer stadium deal
    Gonzalez: Bronx soccer stadium deal near Yankee Stadium offers big incentives to Arab firm(NYDN) Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will have 30 days after inauguration to ink a deal that would allow a stadium for the New York City Football Club to be built on city land — that would be rent-free for decades. The New York Yankees and Manchester City have a deal to tear down a bankrupt parking garage on E. 153rd St. to build a soccer stadium on the site. GAL Manufacturing, a producer of elevator equipment that employs more than 350 workers, would also need to be relocated for the deal to go through. 

    Now the garage company is bankrupt and the city is owed nearly $50 million in back rent and taxes that it will never recover. * As Bloomberg departs, a soccer arena deal emerges(Capital)The New York City Football Club, a consortium backed by the Yankees and Manchester City owner Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, has been working with the Bloomberg administration to hammer out the broad outlines of an agreement to build a soccer arena just south of Heritage Field, the site of the old Yankee Stadium.* Deal for Bronx Soccer Stadium in Works as Clock Ticks(NYT) * Manufacturer that must move for Bloomy's new soccer stadium got $1M solar tax deal last year. Now it's 'Never mind.'

    Corrupt Consultant Picks A State Senator
    Rajkumar Committee Address is Hank Scheinkopf Building
    The Speakers Bag Man
    Huntley Told the FBI That Bags of Cash Were All Over the Legislative Office Building Who Knew Corrupt Sheinkopf Was Also Was Also Silver's Bag
    Bribe $$$
    JENIFER RAJKUMAR FOR NEW YORK 152 Madison Ave, Ste 1603 New York NY 10016 Status = ACTIVE
    Sheinkopf LTD. 152 Madison Avenue, Suite 1603
    State Sen. Daniel Squadron may join the de Blasio administration as City Parksa Commissioner clearing the way for Jenifer Rajkuma to possible take his seat in the State Senate
    State Sen. Daniel Squadron may join the de Blasio administration as City Parks Commissioner clearing the way for Jenifer Rajkumar to possibly take his seat in the state Senate, Crain’s writes:   * Jenifer Rajkumar Files for Daniel Squadron’s Senate Seat [Update]

    As the state evaluated the billion-dollar proposals for the Aqueduct Racetrack racino in 2009, principals for the shadiest bidder gave thousands to a political committee controlled by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — money that nobody today can account for. And months later, just before that scandal-plagued bidder was picked, Silver solicited “campaign dough” from Hank Sheinkopf, a friend who was lobbying for the company, the Aqueduct Entertainment Group.

    Campaign Consultant Sheinkopf for the Thompson Campaign Goes After His Own Campaign

    "If Only Thompson Would Have Let Me Run the Campaign We Would Have Won"
           Hank Sheinkopf
    Thompson Consultant

    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 copped a memo, (Barrett, Village Voice, 2010) too, obtaining it from an aide to the top Senate staffer, Angelo Aponte, who Sheinkopf personally installed in the key spot. He had the power to do that because the skillful Sheinkopf doubles as a lobbyist and as a political consultant, and had advised Senate Democrats in the elections that led to the 2008 majority, helping to make Malcolm Smith majority leader. Sheinkopf collected $356,741 in consulting fees from the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee at the same time that he was representing AEG and its precursor with Senate Democrats. Having worked for Bill Thompson and Mike Bloomberg
    most recently, Sheinkopf makes kings so he can then make deals with the kings he’s made."  More on Hank Sheinkopf

    Wag the Media Welcome Gracie's Brand
    There are no food co-ops and granola hubs near Gracie
    Movin' on up to the East Side
    Mayor-Elect de Blasio Says Family Will Move Into Gracie Mansion
    Spoke exclusively with Bill de Blasio about his family's move to Gracie Mansion: *De Blasio Says He’ll Move to Gracie Mansion* Gracie, a Home Again *How does Yorkville compare to de Blasio's old Park Slope haunts* Bill boroughs in (NYDN Ed) A tale of two houses* -- Times’ David Chen: “With the move to an opulent home in a wealthy corner of the Upper East Side, Mr. de Blasio will be relinquishing a major symbol of his political brand.” “OCCUPY GRACIE” headline–played up the move as a contradiction with his populist messaging, emphasizing that Mr. de Blasio is going to be with the “elite” in “one of the city’s wealthiest enclaves.”While the Daily News–under the print headline “WAS THAT SO HARD?–played up Mr. de Blasio’s inability to make decisions by writing that “the delay raised questions whether he is an indecisive manager.” A sarcastic editorial followed up: “Which will come first: blooming flowers or a parks commissioner?”

    de Blasio Closer The Real Spirit of the NY Post
    The great Park Slope vs.Gracie debate: A superb Wag the Dog by Clinton student . Now maybe he'll talk abt how to run city.
    The mayor-elect and the mansion(NYP Ed) Considering his “tale of two New Yorks” rhetoric, we wouldn’t be surprised if the optics of departing brownstone Brooklyn for Manhattan’s Upper East Side also weighed on the minds of the incoming mayor and his advisers. The Post praises de Blasio for deciding to move into Gracie Mansion, noting that the mansion holds historic value for the paper as it was where Alexander Hamilton solicited contributions to help start the “journalistic enterprise”* While the New York Post editorialized approvingly on Mr. de Blasio’s move to Gracie Mansion: “For Gracie Mansion is something of a second home for us. It was here that an important moment in this paper’s history was marked … And we hope it is only the first sign of future decisions that will bring him even closer to the spirit of the New York Post.”* The De Blasio family is ditching Brooklyn for Gracie Mansion.(NY Mag)

    Bratton's LA Style, Kelly Goodbye

    Last Days of Kelly New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly defended the state of his agency, adding that he would have stepped down from his post no matter who won the mayoral election and that he has no intention of ever running for mayorKelly Recounts Successes, Criticism as Commissioner (WSJ) “The danger is that people just accept it as the new reality and it can’t change,” Mr. Kelly said of the crime reductions during his tenure. Asked if he thought it could, Mr. Kelly said, “We’ll see.”* In the Post, the New York Sun’s Seth Lipsky writes that Mayor Michael Bloomberg should use the swearing in of new cadets at Madison Square Garden to pay homage to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly: * Kelly & Bratton's shared assumptions, and different approaches, to Muslim mapping/surveillance. * Don't Believe the Hype: Bill Bratton Vs. Ray Kelly (Daily Beast) The new commissioner of the NYPD will do many of the same things for which the old commissioner has been criticized. Politics change. Policing, not so much.  * Felder calls Kelly city’s ‘best police commissioner ever’ (Brooklyn Eagle)

    Reviewing Resumes Incoming Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is demanding to see resumes from roughly 200 supervisors with the rank of inspector or above in the New York Police Department, though sources say Chief of Department Philip Banks’ job is safeNYPD's top brass 'scrambling' to update their résumés as Bratton delivers directive ahead of his return to One Police Plaza(NBYDN)  * In the Times, Connie Rice, the co-director of the Advancement Project highlights the positive gains made by the Los Angeles Police Department under Bratton, and writes that he is “the best chief” for the challenges facing New York City cops: * Why morale surged in Bratton’s NYPD  (NYDN) * The imaginary crisis in police-community relations(NYDN) De Blasio and Bratton overstate the problem * Hail to the Police Chief(NYT) Can Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s new police commissioner, William Bratton, reduce crime and restore the N.Y.P.D’s relationship with minorities? The experience of Los Angeles says yes.
    Bratton’s LA record is good news for New York(NYP) The most important thing Bratton did was change the culture of the LAPD. The police were despised by the residents of Los Angeles’ poor, minority communities — and, with good reason: The LAPD had become a sort of paramilitary force, with helicopters, machine guns, even tanks. When gang violence erupted, it would rush into a community and then quietly retreat a few days later. Police-community relations deteriorated further with the Rodney King incident and the ensuing riots. In the late ’90s, the Rampart scandal erupted, with dozens of officers in the anti-gang division found to be involved in corruption and abuse.

    The Justice Department placed the LAPD under federal oversight, alleging a “pattern-and-practice of police misconduct.” Bratton won their trust by spending his first few months meeting with community leaders and listening to their concerns. He walked the most crime-ridden blocks and talked to the residents to learn what they thought the LAPD could do to improve life in their neighborhoods. He held monthly town-hall meetings. He brought local leaders in to observe CompStat meetings to improve transparency.Bratton’s community-oriented style of policing generated impressive results in Los Angeles. Not only did violent crime drop by 54 percent but the reputation of the police improved dramatically. * Bill Thompson Thinks Bill Bratton Will Be Much Better This Time Around    (NYO)

    Saturday True News Wag Today's NYP in Recognizing Sharpton's Increased Power

    Sharpton Filling NYC's
    Power Vacuum
    Team de Blasio moves quick to wipe out Bratton Giuliani story line
    Bratton: "your police force will be respectful *Bratton says one of his big regrets is never having met Mandela * "We have has our good days and bad." says about Bratton. Says he worked with him in LA.* Incoming NYPD chief William Bratton pledges equality during appearance with Al Sharpton and Mayor-elect de Blasio: (WSJ)
    A 2009 Harvard study found that 83 percent of Angelenos, including more than two-thirds of blacks and Latinos, said the LAPD was doing a good or excellent job. * What Bill Bratton must beware(NYP) The Scheindlin ruling is an explicit repudiation of policing practices largely invented by Bratton and colleagues more than 20 years ago — which became the foundation for the transformation of New York City from Dodge City to . . . well, if not Mayberry RFD, then close enough.  The Post’s Bob McManus writes that Rev. Al Sharpton’s appearance with de Blasio and new Police Commissioner Bill Bratton signifies that he has become more than just a peripheral player, for better or worse.* MUSLIM MAPPING -- Bratton abandoned proposed program in 2007 -- Capital’s Azi Paybarah : “We will never do anything to the Muslim community, we will only do things with the Muslim community,” Bratton told a group of Muslim community leaders the day he announced his decision, recalled Salam al-Marayati, president and founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, who attended the meeting.

    Shopping Racial Profiling
    'Bill of Rights' Targets Profiling (WSJ) * Bill of rights to protect black shoppers from racial profiling(NYDN) Six weeks after the Daily News reported on a series of racial-profiling allegations from black shoppers, a coalition of high-end retailers and civil rights leaders came up with a “bill of rights” to protect customers from “shop-and-frisk” practices. * Macy's and Barneys Among Stores to Post Shoppers' 'Bill of Rights'(NYT) * Some major retailers to list shoppers' rights after profiling accusations(NBC) * Signs of good faith  (NYDN) Forty-nine days after the Daily News first highlighted what’s now known as a shop-and-frisk case at high-end retailer Barneys, major merchants on Monday endorsed an anti-profiling bill of rights. 

    The NYPD Crime Tapes
    New York City Subpoenas Secret Tapes by Police Officer (NYT)  Officer Adrian Schoolcraft made hundreds of tapes of police superiors in Brooklyn, who, he said, were manipulating crime reports.* The NYPD Tapes: Inside Bed-Stuy's 81st Precinct (Village Voice) More Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5, and blog updates.) Mr. Graham wrote about the officer’s ordeal in “The NYPD Tapes,” published by Palgrave Macmillan in August. The book grew out of Mr. Rayman’s article in The Village Voice in May 2010.       


     Will New York City's Rich Feel Wanted Under de Blasio
    MONEY WALKS? “De Blasio could be Jersey’s best friend: We will welcome the refugees, especially those with seven-figure annual incomes” – cover of (Newark) Sunday Star-Ledger “Perspective” section – column by Paul Mulshine: “Rich people don’t get that way by being stupid. They know when they’re not wanted, and … they realize that every state in the union would welcome them. New Jersey just happens to be closest.”
    Ticket Fixing Back From the Dead
    NYPD sergeant first to be fired and stripped of his pension after being charged in massive ticket-fixing scandal (NYDN) * Sergeant is first cop fired over ticket-fix scandal: lawyer(NYP)
    NYPD Ticket Fixing Scandal Reporting Drip Drip Drip


    True News Wags the NYT's On the Safety Net
     Throughout the Mayoral Campaign True News Wrote the Following: Limiting Their Coverage To Sex the Media Is Allowing Candidates to Get Away With Not Offing Solutions to Rising Health Care, Pension Costs and Other Federal Cuts, Promising Programs and Services That There is No $ For
    The Tinker Bell Mayoral Campaign(True News 11/28/2013) Campaign 2013 Media Failure
    Today's NYT Looks At the Realities of the Federal Cuts on the Safety Net
    The Times’ Michael Powell examines the effect of cuts to the federal social safety net and how it has affected ordinary New Yorkers and presents another challenge for de Blasio to grapple with

    Quinn Wins
    (Washington Post)
    It all went wrong for Quinn. Rather than seeking a continuation of the Bloomberg Administration, Democratic primary voters turned against the Mayor and began to agitate for a major break from his style of leadership. Suddenly Quinn found herself strapped to the hull of a sinking political ship. While de Blasio was blasting Bloomberg’s policies as favoring the one percent at the expense of the average New Yorker, Quinn was slowly but surely realizing that she n

    This Editorial About Fiscal Realities Is What the NYT Should Have Written During the Campaign

    Delayed Budget Realities
    The Times outlines Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s budgetary challenges as he enters office in January, including dealing with the expired municipal union contracts, the prospect of further cuts to federal spending, and his universal preschool proposal.
    Mr. de Blasio’s Fiscal Challenge (NYT Ed) Pain is on the way for the next mayor, despite Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal for a balanced budget. The budget challenges the new mayor faces are real and immense, for the short and long term, both for the new initiatives he has promised and the lurking obligations he will have to confront. There is a reason Mr. Bloomberg’s notional budget was greeted cautiously, if not skeptically, by the de Blasio camp, and dismissively by the city’s municipal unions. The unions have been working on expired contracts for years and are demanding about $8 billion in retroactive pay, which the Bloomberg budget does not account for. His plan assumes, rather, that the unions will accept the five-year deal Mr. Bloomberg has offered them before — no raises for three years, then two years of 1.25 percent raises. There has been intense hostility between the Bloomberg administration and unions representing 300,000 city workers, and it will be Mr. de Blasio’s mighty challenge — as the populist, pro-union candidate — to negotiate, and somehow pay for, a way out of the impasse.   

    Media Ignored Federal Budget Cuts Rising Pension Costs While Candidates Promised the Moon

    NYT Cuts In Federal FundingThey say there are other fiscal concerns, like the prospect of deep federal spending cuts forcing the city to spend hundreds of millions more to support the ailing Health and Hospitals Corporation and New York City Housing Authority. There is also uncertainty about federal aid for the recovery from Hurricane Sandy. 
    If Taxes Are Not Raised What Services Will Be Cut on the State Level to Pay for Pre-K?

    NYT Run By Dummies Corruption Enablers

    NYT Discovers the Poor are Being Push Out by Gentrification But What About the Middle Class?
    A Neighborhood’s
    Profound Divide
    Dasani, one of New York’s 22,000 homeless children, lives on the margins of a gentrified city.

    NYT Gets Scooped on Own Story And the Story is Not Ground Breaking As Promised By Political Editor Carolyn Ryan

    Being a fly on the wall during The New York Times’s editorial meeting Monday morning might be fun. After a series of teasing tweets by political editor Carolyn Ryan on Sunday, the paper built up anticipation for a “groundbreaking story” coming online soon. But the paper ended up being scooped on its own story. Oops. “I can’t say too much, but it’ll make u rethink-well I should stop,” Ryan tweeted. “Stay tuned.” Twitter reacted as Twitter does, with #nytguesses becoming a trending topic. But imagine everyone’s surprise when the story she was referring to, “Invisible Child,” a moving portrait of an 11-year-old homeless girl in New York, showed up on the Las Vegas Sun website. You see, the Sun is a wire subscriber to the Times, and apparently hit “publish” a bit too soon. The Sun took the story down by midnight and apologized via Facebook.* New York Times scoops itself (Politico) * Advocacy Group Pushing To Weaken Law Designed To Crack Down On Illegal Hotels In NYC (NYDN)* Here's a report on subhuman living conditions at Auburn shelter the Times buried in their local section 3 years ago. * Media Pro: New York Times' massive Pulitzer bid(Capital) * Bloomberg's Homeless Pledges Fell Far Short (Robins, Village Voice) * The New York Post slammed yesterday’s widely-read New York Times feature on child homelessness in New York City, editorializing, “If the city is at fault here, it might well be for having been too generous — providing so much that neither the father nor mother seems much inclined to provide for their kids. That would be a story worth reading.”* Invisible Child: Dasani: A Future Resting on a Fragile Foundation (NYT)
    New York in general in a bad way by the end of the 1960s. And the nearly century-old Broadway Central Hotel followed the city on its downward trajectory. Sometime around 1970, the hotel was sold to new property managers who elected to transform the once-elegant inn into a “welfare hotel,” taking in the city’s most desperate and depressed residents whose $5 nightly rent would be paid by the government (a secure source of income for the owners). The refined parlor rooms once rented by New York’s elite society members were now filled with more than 300 impoverished and destitute families, often times packed seven or more to a room. Children by the dozens ran virtually untended through the stairwells and hallways, wreaking havoc wherever they went.
    In the 1970 80's the NYT Wrote About Welfare Hotels in the 1990's They Began to Write About Efforts to Clare Out the Poor
    Past Uncovered: The Hotel Granada | Easy Being Greene

    After Pushing Quinn for the Past Year the NYT Repeats An Old Sad Story to Fix Into de Blasio's new focus on inequality
    NYT Pope Fit Together
    It's hard not to be moved by the deeply reported story of Dasani, an 11-year-old who lived for three years with her parents and seven siblings in a single room of a fetid homeless shelter in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Yet the Times takes a story of poverty and turns it into something else — an ideological axe-grinding piece that seeks to fit Dasani's story into what Times editors have promised will be "a new focus on inequality" to match the agenda of the city's mayor-elect Bill de Blasio.

    The New York Times Magazine has lost its reason for being, says
    Brooklyn Now Center of Black Power

    Brooklyn the new center of black political power in New York City(NYDN) Letitia James, who was elected as the city’s new public advocate; Ken Thompson as Brooklyn’s first black district attorney; and Eric Adams, the borough’s first black president, all hail from central Brooklyn.

    Won't Have Paterson to Kick Around Anymore? Want to Bet?
    I would like to make it clear I have no intention of running for Congress in the 13th District, either now or in the future.* David Paterson Passes on Congressional Campaign   (NYO) *A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by Rep. Charlie Rangel that had sought to overturn the 2010 House censure of the veteran Harlem congressman for financial wrongdoing.

     Rep. Charles Rangel spent $117,000 of the $323,543 raised in the 10-month period ending September 30th on legal bills from his unsuccessful lawsuit over his 2010 House censure which was the result of him being found guilty of 11 different ethics violationsRangel’s legal woes costing his campaign big bucks(NYDN)
    More on Black Politics  

    Knockout Apology

    Laurie Cumbo Apologizes for Controversial ‘Knockout Game’ Letter (NYO) * Brooklyn Councilwoman Apologizes For Her Alleged "Anti-Semitic Stew" (Gothamist) * Brooklyn Councilwoman-Elect Laurie Cumbo Apologizes For "Knockout Game" Comments  (NYDN)

    pols call for more patrols on Jewish Sabbath due to knockout attacks.  


    Hynes Ugly End Continues
    Brooklyn District Attorney-Elect Chooses Top Assistant (NYT)
    Brooklyn prosecutor claims $230G in unused vacation days(NYP)
    Hynes allies want off of police review panel(NYP) Members of a special “independent” panel of retired judges, law professors, and lawyers appointed by Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes to probe 40 controversial convictions based on investigations by a tainted   Kellner Case Reveals Split In DA’s Office  (Jewish Week)  New documents suggest Rackets Division did end-run around Sex Crimes unit in Chasidic whistleblower prosecution.

    The girlfriend of former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate spoke with her lawyers for the first time in months after a report that her $35 million federal lawsuit was in danger of being dismissed because they could not locate her, the Daily News writes:

    Judge allows Stevenson to switch lawyers(NYP)

    Jail House Politics

    Kruger in Jail Gets A Campaign Contribution
    Former state Sen. Carl Kruger received a $500 contribution from the software giant Intuit, despite being in federal prison since June 2012 on bribery charges, one of dozens of former and deceased lawmakers who have active campaign accounts, the Daily News reports:


    Daily News Outs BOE Crooks
    Feds launch massive probe into Metro-North derailment(NYDN) Bronx Democrat Naomi Barrera is stepping down from the city Board of Elections, making her the second commissioner to announce plans to leave in as many weeks. The Board's Staten Island Republican commissioner, J.P. Sipp, submitted his long-expected resignation earlier this month.* Cuomo administration wary of Board of Elections staff changes

    Back pay payback (NYDN Ed) Board of Elections wants to hand out big rewards for a job poorly done Behind closed doors, the Board of Elections voted to give handsome back-pay packages to two top staff members who helped perpetrate electoral screw-ups for which the agency has become infamous.  On Oct. 26, 2010, the board fired Executive Director George Gonzalez from his $172,753-a-year post after the conniver and bumbler was caught trying to rig ballot spots for a pal. Then, the board failed find a replacement for Gonzalez for two years and 11 months while Deputy Executive Director Dawn Sandow ($155,487 a year) and the board’s No. 3 staffer, Pam Perkins ($152,899), stayed on the job. In August, the board finally got around to appointing a new executive director by the name of Mike Ryan. Now, it has voted to give Sandow and Perkins rewards for their work when the board had no executive director, on the theory that each had “worked out of title” — meaning, they had been asked to do more than their positions had called for. Sandow stands to pull down $48,000 and Perkins is up for $7,000. These sums would be for service in a time period when the board: botched the 2010 roll-out of the new computerized ballot counters, excessively featherbedded the extremely low-turnout 2011 elections, mangled the 2012 congressional primary and spent most of 2013 finding untallied votes from the 2012 presidential election.*Since '02, number of NYC students taking & passing AP tests doubled, per . Also true 4 LA , Houston, etc

    State Board of Elections commissioners said county district attorneys do not follow up on election violation complaints and feel they were unfairly targeted by the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, the Times Union writes: 
    City BOE botches Chinese ballot text(Capital) Translators from the BOE were suspended after major error on November ballot * Albany County DA David Soares fired back at the state Board of Elections commissioners.

    What Ever Happen to DOI's Investigation of Former Ex-Director Gonzalez for Ballot Fixing?

    More on Corruption at the BOE 
    At the Center of AEG Investigation

    Does Flakes Paychecks Have Anything to Do With the Investigation?

    Queens pastor declares no church income in tax filings(NYP) The head of the Greater Allen Cathedral, one of the nation’s largest churches, reported earning nothing from the Queens house of worship on a recent tax filing.  His wife, Elaine, co-pastor of the church and vice president of the nonprofit, also showed no church income on the 2012 and 2011 filings. But in 2010, the church paid Flake $252,719 in salary and benefits and his wife’s compensation came to $250,455, according to Empowerment Ministries’ tax filings for that year. Other tax filings show Flake still gets a hefty paycheck from Greater Allen. Through related nonprofits, The Post found that Flake raked in at least $376,000  in 2012  including $221,958 from the church and $150,000 from the Allen AME Housing Corp. As a former congressman, Flake is also entitled to collect his pension of at least $24,000 a year.
    Harbinger of a Changing Gowanus (WSJ)
    Some locals are for it, and others are against it. But residents of Gowanus, Brooklyn, generally agree on one thing: The Whole Foods market will irrevocably change the neighbo

    South Bronx Advocates Tackle Gentrification Fears in Conference(DNAINFO)

    More on Gentrification

    Gambling Dark Pool $$$

    Gambling Follow the  Money If You Can


    The state released a request for proposal to hire a company to provide “gaming advisory services” to review bids for the four upstate casinos with January 9th as the deadline for selecting a firm, Gannett Albany writes:
    A growing number of casino developers are scrutinizing locations and drafting proposals for upstate casinos, with state officials saying that bids would be due by mid-2014 and licenses awarded in the second half of the year, The New York Times writes: New York Jobs Now Committee took in $1.425,000 but only spent $360,000 according to the State Board of Elections filings. Stu Loeser: The former press secretary for Mayor Mike Bloomberg helped lead NY Jobs Now, a coalition of pro-casino interests, in advocating for the constitutional amendment that passed Tuesday, yet there is no record of him being paid.  The State BOE is know for its poor campaign filing system and the fact that it has nobody investigating improper filings or fraud.  We do know that gambling interests contributed to New York Jobs Now: Monticello' Empire Resorts $125,000, Genting New York $500,000, Saratoga Harness Racing $250,000, Yonkers Racing Corporation $500,000.* NY casinos poised to explode after 'yes' vote(NYDN) * A day after voters approved a New York state constitutional amendment allowing up to seven commercially operated casinos, investors were already placing their bets on where the gambling palaces might be located* Cooper Union and City College are both considering policies that could restrict how, when and where students can express dissent, while raising the penalties for those who disobey. ** Developers are lining up casino site bids in the Capital Region, with Rochester commercial builder David Flaum interested in the former Tobin First Prize packing plant, in addition to his potential bids in the Catskills and Monroe County, the Times Union writes:
    Gambling and lobbyists 

    Walcott, exiting: Keep charters, choice, reports (Capital)Outgoing schools chancellor Dennis Walcott gives thoughts on next administration's goals
    School authority hit with huge bill(CrainsNY) 
    Ed chief sees no 'special interests' in supportive crowd(Capital) * How does the Common Core fit in at the private Montessori school where state Education Commissioner John King’s kids are students?
    More on Education

    Dark Pool Politics

    Political Goodfellas Royals
    Eight campaign consultants all but one are also lobbyists, have monopolized NYC elections system that only the Justice Department using the Sherman Antitrust Act can bust.  These consultants run every important campaign in New York.  The campaign monopoly is only part of a conspiracy that is not only about who gets elected.  It is also part of a second conspiracy to make money off of government as lobbyist or insiders. There is serious evidence of illegal coordination between the Independent Expenditure PACs and consultants
    In this monopoly consultants work with each other at the same time they are oppose them in other races.  Some consultants help other consultant’s candidates often at the expense of their own clients. Two Consultant Lobbyists the Advance Group and the Parkside Group were involved in every competitive council race and even some that did not have races through Independent Expenditure PACs they control. These IE PACS have muscled their way in to having seats at the table along the Democratic Party bosses that will pick the next council speaker.  The big 8 along with the special interests whose millions fund PACs, have sabotage the whole idea of local representation and local elections. The pols are more loyal to the centralized campaign consultants and their money backers, the new ruling class, than they are to the voters in their districts. The consultants work like Wall Street investors who trade in dark pools beyond the control of regulators. In NY's dark pool campaign consultants/lobbyists, special interests and elected officials make deals with each other hidden from public view. To understand the reasons for the takeover you must also be aware that the business opportunities for consultants don’t end on primary or election day. In an excellent investigation of the dangers the newly elected Cuomo would face from lobbyist, Wayne Barrett wrote in  the Village Voice in 2010. that campaign consultant lobbyist "Sheinkopf one of the worse consultant lobbyist, makes kings so he can then make deals with the kings he’s made."* Developers are lining up casino site bids in the Capital Region, with Rochester commercial builder David Flaum interested in the former Tobin First Prize packing plant, in addition to his potential bids in the Catskills and Monroe County, the Times Union writes:
    The Always Corrupt Surrogate Court

    Ousted judge boasts with vanity license plate(NYP) The ousted head of Brooklyn’s Surrogate Court — who was booted from the bench and disbarred in a corruption scandal — drives around the city with the custom license plate “NYSJ,” The Post has learned. Michael Feinberg, 70, is frequently seen behind the wheel of the BMW with the plates that suggest he is still on the bench.
    More on Surrogate Court Corruption

    Toll Hike Pushing the Middle Class Out

    It's a disgrace that people were killed & injured in Metro North derailment bc of failure to invest in infrastructure. An avoidabl

    Higher Tolls Adds to Recent Increases in MTA, Con Ed, Taxes, Rents That the Middle Class Already Pay
    NYC Toll$ Up Again
    Toll hikes start Sunday at New York-New Jersey crossings(NYP)

    Low Wages 
    Life on $7.25 an Hour(NYT) Older Workers Are Increasingly Entering Fast-Food Industry. 55,000 fast-food workers in New York — more than the entire population of Harrisburg, Pa.

    Independent Budget Office Suggests Boosting Taxes on Beer, Liquor and Plastic Surgery(NYO)

    More on How NYC is Pushing the Middle Class Out


    A Real Estate Deal to Close A Hospital

    Where is the Investigation?
    Why Did SUNY Buy LICH for SUNY $205,350,000 owned by Continuum Health Partners If They Never Had the Resources to support A Hospital?  Now the WSJ Reports the Growing Debt of the Hospital is More Than A Real Estate Deal Will Take In
    New York State Hospital Data Exposes Big Markups, and Odd Bargains(NYT) As part of an effort to make health care pricing more transparent, the State Health Department released an online trove of hospitals’ median charges and costs for 1,400 conditions and procedures from 2009 to 2011. *
    The $500 Million Question at LICH(WSJ)
    “The liabilities highlight the challenges SUNY Downstate Medical Center faces as it tries to sell LICH to either a new operator or a developer.
    The SUNY Board of Trustees held a hearing in Manhattan on the fate of Long Island College Hospital.(NY1)
    NY1: “It’s not a matter of mismanagement,” said SUNY Board Chairman Carl McCall. “LICH has never had the resources to provide the kind of support that that community wants and probably needs, and we did not have those resources either. And you say that the folks there are angry. They are angry, and I understand that. But we have a lot of people here in SUNY.” McCall said that there isn’t much that they can do right now because of the court case, but they are considering some proposals to turn the hospital into an urgent care facility and also possible condominiums." * #SaveLICH:  SUNY Hearing, McCall Says Condos Possible *Growing Hospital Debt State University of New York officials say that Long Island College Hospital’s mounting financial liabilities have climbed to $500 million, far more than the proceeds expected from the sale of the property, the Journal writes* Many of New York City’s financially strapped hospitals are scrambling to sign up people for health care through the state exchange or through Medicaid, as they brace for $22 billion in federal cuts over the next eight years, The Wall Street Journal reports: * "SUNY chair Carl McCall to de Blasio re LICH: Transfer it from state to city "Maybe they can do a better job."* NYC hospitals suffer (and pay for) poor quality ratings from Medicare.  (NY World)* Health commissioner pledges 'cost transparency' in hospitals(Capital) * How long can city hospitals stay a 'going concern'? | Capital New York
    More About Closing Hospitals


    City to require flu shots for kids under six in preschool, day care
    New York City to Require Child Flu Shots(NYT)

    * The New York City Board of Health unanimously adopted new rules requiring the Health Department to inspect tanning salons and warn customers of the dangers of skin cancer from the overexposure to UV radiation, the Post reports:
    * More than 69,000 New Yorkers have signed up for private insurance plans through the state’s new health exchanges, far outpacing the number of new enrollees in the state’s Medicaid program, Capital New York writes: * The New York City Board of Health will vote on a Bloomberg administration measure that requires annual flu vaccinations for children in city-licensed preschools and day-care centers, The Wall Street Journal writes:  Board of Health votes to require mandatory flu shots for kids(NYDN)* With Affordable Care Act, Canceled Policies for New York Professionals(NYT) * Mayor Bloomberg: Mandatory flu shots for pre-schoolers will save lives(NYDN)

    One More Nanny Mayor Moment

    NYC is considering a ban on foam cups and take-out containers(WNYC) *Bloomberg’s anti-cig push: Smoking ruins sex(NYP) * Foam firm fights Bloomberg ban(NYP) *Pro Styrofoam Styrofoam clan’s bid to to block city ban(NYP
    * E-cigs may deliver more toxins than smoke, researchers say

    More on the Nanny Mayor

    --City Hall release, “Bloomberg Announces Country's Largest Continuous Free Public WiFi Network”: “The Harlem WiFi network will extend 95 city blocks, from 110th to 138th Streets between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Madison Avenue making it the largest continuous free outdoor public wireless network in the nation. The network … will increase digital access for approximately 80,000 Harlem residents, including 13,000 public housing residents … The free public network will serve the community for an initial five-year term and is funded through a generous donation from the Fuhrman Family Foundation.”

    Special Elections June Primary

    Gov. Cuomo Doesn't Have 'Any Plans as of Now' to Call Special Elections(NYO)
    Board of Elections Seeks to Move Federal Primaries to June, Reducing Voters' Trips to the Polls 
    Cuomo said that the state Legislature may look to reform the controversial Common Core standards, but added that while he is monitoring the issue it is not something he can control, Gannett Albany writes: * The state Board of Elections agreed to propose the final Tuesday in June as the date for federal, state, and local primary elections to U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe, who oversees the state’s compliance with absentee ballot laws, the Times Union writes:
    Federal Judge Approves June Primary Date(YNN) As expected, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe on Thursday designated the fourth Tuesday in June as the date to hold Congressional primaries in New York.

    Queens Site May Be Added to Superfund List(NYT
    Researchers Study New York City Park Useage (WSJ)


    Environmental activists delivered 50,000 comments to the state Department of Environmental Conservation opposing the agency’s proposed draft regulations for liquefied * A report revealed by Wikileaks found New York’s anti-fracking movement started with a series of ProPublica articles published in the TU in 2008.

    The Times holds up New York as a model for other states regarding online sales tax collection after reforming its laws in 2008, after a Supreme Court decision cleared the way for states to collect $13 billion in uncollected online sales taxes:  New York City Gets $57.4 Million From Gov. Cuomo's REDC Initiative, Lowest In State *@JohnCLiu: has added 380,000 private payroll jobs since Jan 2010, but recovery hasn't benefited everyone.
    NYC Economy

    Affordable Housing
    Mtg 2day to block land sale to "foreign company w/no stake in producing Affordable Housing 4 Brooklyn"

    EXCLUSIVE: NYC Housing Authority picked general contractor charged by Feds(NYDN)
    NYCHA hedges bet on finishing fixes(NYDN)
    Public housing tenants enjoy posh Poconos resort at taxpayer expense(NYP) This kind of “public housing” comes with a deluxe robe, heated bathroom floors, free Wi-Fi and a mini-fridge. The president of the city’s Drew-Hamilton housing project in Harlem treated herself and 24 other tenants to a getaway at a ritzy Poconos resort last weekend — costing taxpayers at least $15,000, The Post has learned. Calling it a “women’s empowerment retreat,” the tenants stayed two nights at the lakeside Bushkill Inn and Conference Center with the tab paid by the New York City Housing Authority.* A LITTLE LATE: NYCHA executive vows to fix 150 Brooklyn apartments by the time Santa arrives as bitter cold sets to grip city

    More on NYCHA 

    Citi Bike Snow Job

    Citi Bike has a plan to move thousands of bikes from stations in heavy snow
    Citi Bike operators have drawn up plans to handle the winter snow.
    Citi Bike has a winter problem, and they're not sure how to deal with it.(NY Mag)


    Delayed Train? Skeptical Boss? M.T.A. Will Give Passengers a Late Note(NYT) Since June 2010, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has given more than 250,000 Subway Delay Verification notes to passengers to excuse their tardiness.

    * Mayor Michael Bloomberg will announce a five-year extension of the East River ferry service, though fares for weekend service will increase from $4 to $6 and winter weekend service will decrease as well, Crain’s Insider reports:

    Taxi Wheelchair Accessible Victory

    New, Bigger and Bolder ‘T’ Logo Adorns a ‘Model Cab’ That Has an Uncertain Future   (NYT) When a few Taxis of Tomorrow finally hit the streets of New York in October, they came with a much bolder logo as large as the wheels of the cabs themselves.New York City resolved a major legal dispute, agreeing to settle a class-action lawsuit and adopt regulations that require half of all new medallion taxis put into service in any given year to be wheelchair accessible, The New York Times reports:* Under pressure, Bloomberg shifts on taxi accessibility | Capital New York   *Half of NYC taxis to be wheelchair accessible by 2020(NYP) * City Agrees on Access to Taxis for Disabled(NYT)

    * Ride on!(NYP Ed) *Wheelchair-accessible cabs will be a reality * Half Of City's Taxi Fleet To Be Wheelchair Accessible Under Settlement(N* Thanks to Legal Tangles, You’ll See ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’ Tweets Before You See the Actual Cabs    (NYO) * \Tourist who lost leg in cab crash to sue city for $27.5M(NYP) * The taxi industry "owned Chris [Quinn]. Presumably they will try to own the next speaker," says


    In a tight decision, the Court of Appeals also ruled four-to-three in favor of Fox News reporter Jana Winter, extending the state’s shield law to Colorado.

    Recent News On the Media

    Wall Street

    Former AIG chairman Hank Greenberg filed a state ethics complaint against Assistant Attorney General David Ellenhorn, charging that he deliberately lied in the civil fraud case the attorney general’s office brought against Greenberg, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett writes:
    State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said there are more settlements to come with financial institutions stemming from the financial crisis of 2008, The Daily News writes: * The Times praises the $13 billion settlement with JP Morgan Chase, despite the deal not holding individuals accountable, and credits state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for obtaining the settlement:

    More on Wall Street

    Same Des Moines Register poll gives Hillary Clinton a staggering 89% approval rating in Iowa
    Absurdly early DM Register poll gives Paul Ryan 73% favorable rating in Iowa; Mike Huckabee 66; Chris Christie 51
    White House Delayed Policies Ahead of Election - Juliet Eilperin, Wash Post
    Obamacare: Lies All the Way Down - Jonah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times
    How America Created a Low-Wage Work Swamp - Joan Walsh, Salon
    Obama's Robin Hood Policies Hurt the Poor - Nolan Finley, Detroit News
    Return of Podesta Signals Push on Environment - Robert Semple, NY Times
    Economic Reality & the Minimum Wage - Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune
    Ryan, Clinton Top '16 Field in Iowa - Jennifer Jacobs, Des Moines Register
    Is Hillary Clinton the Next Mitt Romney? - S.E. Cupp, CNN
    Why Ted Cruz Needs a Lesson in GOP History - Carl M. Cannon, OC Register
    Can Little Known Lucy Flores Save Harry Reid? - Sherman Frederick, LVRJ
    Kim Jong-un's Game of Thrones - Kevin Bleyer, The Daily Beast
    Inside the Saudi 9/11 Coverup - Paul Sperry, New York Post
    Why the CIA "Stood Down" in Benghazi - Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press
    5 CIA Ops That Went South - Spectacularly - David Kenner, Foreign Policy
    Dear President of China - Thomas Friedman, New York Times
    'Selfie' a Fitting Symbol for Unserious Leaders - Michael Goodwin, NY Post
    Google's Road Map to Global Domination - Adam Fisher, NY Times Magazi
    Paul Ryan: Boehner 'just got his Irish up'
    Battling Homelessnes in New York City - New York Times
    Obamacare Failing to Aid State Uninsured Rate - The Oklahoman
    China Threatens Its Future By Stifling Information - Sacramento Bee
    Charter Schools Win a Victory - Seattle Times

    Obama Strives for Recharge After a Tough Year - Peter Baker, NY Times
    John Boehner Goes Bulworth - Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune
    Kicking the Fiscal Grenade Down the Road - Robert Merry, National Interest
    Washington Is Selfie City - Dana Milbank, Washington Post
    Ryan's Smart Political Solution - Larry Kudlow, Investor's Business Daily
    Dems Divided on How to Recover From Obamacare - Alex Roarty, Natl Jrnl
    Obamacare Has Lost the Uninsured - Peter Suderman, Reason
    Beyond Hypocrisy on Health Care - Ed Kilgore, Washington Monthly
    PolitiFact's Forked Tongue - James Taranto, Wall Street Journal
    The Year After Newtown - Joe Nocera, New York Times
    Hiking Minimum Wage Won't Help the Poor - George Will, Washington Post
    The New Politics of Pot - David Freedlander, The Daily Beast
    Climate Alarmists' Search for Proof Going Cold - Mark Landsbaum, OCR
    The Shale Rebellion - Barry Yeoman, The American Prospect
    Obama: Global Preacher With Shrinking Flock - Charles Moore, Telegraph
    I'm Dreaming of a White Jesus - Jeffrey Goldberg, Bloomberg
    7 Enduring Lessons From "It's a Wonderful Life" - Matt Lewis, The Week
    Backdating Obamacare - Wall Street Journal
    A Disappointing Year of Failures on Gun Control - Kansas City Star
    Sequester Was Forcing D.C. to Cut Spending - Investor's Business Daily
    Putin Violates the Olympic Spirit - Washington Post

    Obamacare: One Punt After Another - Nather & Kenen, Politico
    The GOP's Health-Care Ideas Deficit - Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine
    Pressing the Panic Button on Obamacare? - Yuval Levin, National Review
    A Year After Newtown, Gun Carnage Continues - Michael Cohen, Guardian
    96% of Americans Are Wrong About Congress - David Harsanyi, Federalist
    Why Obama's Political Survival Matters - Steve Erickson, Am. Prospect
    GOP on Track to Gain House Seats - David Wasserman, Cook Political Report
    N.C. Shows Why Voting Rights Act Is Still Needed - Ari Berman, The Nation
    Linda Tirado's Far From Accurate Poverty Tale - Cathy Young, RCP
    North Korea: "Richard III" With Nukes - Gordon Chang, The Daily Beast
    The Biggest Budget Losers - Paul Krugman, New York Times
    Obama the Oblivious - Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post
    The President Should Govern in Poetry - Timothy Egan, New York Times
    Obamacare's Never-Ending Fix-a-Thon - Megan McArdle, Bloomberg
    The GOP Mainstream Strikes Back - Eugene Robinson, Washington Post
    Twilight of the Sequester - Fred Barnes, The Weekly Standard
    Will Boehner's Push-Back Continue? - Caitlin Huey-Burns, RealClearPolitics
    Indulging in America's Gun Fantasies - Joan Wickersham, Boston Globe
    Gun-Control Dishonesty - Charles Cooke, National Review
    Americans Are Pretty Sick of the Tea Party - Morgan Whitaker, MSNBC
    Obamacare Improves GOP's 2014 Outlook - Michael Barone, DC Examiner
    The Desperation of Marco Rubio - Michelle Cottle, The Daily Beast
    Mastering the Bill and Hillary Two-Step - Doug Schoen, Wall Street Journal
    Americans Won't Be Easily Reassured About Economy - Charlie Cook, NJ
    The U.S. Still Can Learn From Iron Lady - Matt Naham, RealClearHistory
    Gay Rights and Putin's Olympics - David Remnick, The New Yorker
    Missing American in Iran Was on CIA Mission - Apuzzo & Goldman, AP
    Budget Deal Doesn't Alter Grim Long-Term Picture - San Diego U-T
    Obamacare Remains Worthy - USA Today
    Here Come the Obamacare Taxes - Las Vegas Review-Journal
    After Newtown, America Failed - Chicago Sun-Times
    Budget Plan Unveiled, But Can They Sell It? - House & Alberta, Natl Jrnl
    Undoing the Sequester Is a Step Backward - John Hinderaker, Power Line
    Thanks, Murray and Ryan. You Did Your Job - Eleanor Clift, Daily Beast
    Health Law Hurts President Politically - Neil King, Wall Street Journal
    Republicans Shouldn't Get Too Excited Yet - Paul Brandus, The Week
    A Parable About Government Health Care - Carl Schramm, DC Examiner
    Obama's Staff Moves Are Just Window Dressing - Ron Fournier, Natl Jrnl
    Rand Paul Gets the Scrooge Award - Ruth Marcus, Washington Post
    Last 30 Days in Washington Coverage

    Law and Order

    Reverend Al Sharpton describes the knock-out game targeting Jews as "despicable" and "reprehensible" behavior
    Police arrest twerking thief(NYP)
    Hair-care cocaine arrest at JFK(NYP)
    Major subway crimes down(NYP)
    Cop busted selling fake North Face jackets: NYPD(NYP)
    A Year of Painful, Daily Reminders in Newtown
    DA to charge frat members in hazing death(NYP)
    Brooklyn eatery owner busted allegedly trying to push meth(NYP)
    Cops probe rash of assaults on officers at city jails(NYP)
    Super Bowl lockdown looming around Times Square(NYP)
    Publishing Giant Pearson's Nonprofit Arm Settles Investigation (WSJ)
    The nonprofit arm of publishing giant Pearson Inc. agreed Thursday to pay $7.7 million to settle an investigation into whether it improperly sent government employees on international junkets
    Hunt on for livery cab robber(NYP)
    Judge: My reverse racism made me convict white ‘killer’(NYP) Retired Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Frank Barbaro wants a white man he convicted in 1999 of killing a black man to be freed — claiming Wednesday he based the verdict *Ex-Brooklyn Judge Seeks Reversal of His Verdict in 1999 Murder Case(NYT)
    Police Break Up Luxury Car Theft Ring and Arrest 16(NYT)
    Bronx Courts Make Gains in Reducing Case Backlog(NYT)
    New York City Backs Off Moving Court to Tribeca(NYT)
    Last 30 Days of Crime 

    70 years ago today on WNYC: "I tell you it was the greatest thrill I've had since I've been Mayor."

    The NRCC’s fake campaign website targeting congressional hopeful Domenic Recchia may violate federal rules. “This doesn’t even strike me as a close call,” said the senior counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign watchdog group. “It’s a slam dunk.”
    IT COULD HAPPEN HERE': Ray Kelly warns of Kenya-type terrorist attacks on NY malls just as holiday shopping season heats up

    Two juries possible in Al Queda bombing trial(NYDN)
    Three Alleged al Qaeda Operatives to Face Joint Trial in Manhattan (WSJ)
    Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup(NYP)