Sunday, December 8, 2013

True News Sunday Update:de Blasio's NYC Has A War Room Up and Running, The Secret Race for Speaker


Moreland Mystery None Profit Possibility II

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.         



Governing By War Room

War Rooms Where Strategists Shape Campaigns, Control and Rally the Troops by Controlling the Media Message

Game  Change
De Blasio Style Evident in Effort to Sway Critics of Bratton(NYT) Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and aides are conducting a campaign of diplomacy with influential black and Latino New Yorkers who view William J. Bratton as divisive.  Behind the scenes in the past 48 hours, Mr. de Blasio and his top aides have quietly waged an aggressive campaign of outreach and diplomacy to secure support for Mr. Bratton, whose deep ties to the divisive policing era of the 1990s have unsettled some allies of the mayor-elect.
The effort — including conference calls and other phone conversations among Mr. de Blasio, Mr. Bratton and prominent black and Latino leaders — offers an early glimpse of the grass-roots political style that Mr. de Blasio, a savvy operative with a background in community organizing, intends to bring to City Hall. On Thursday afternoon, after introducing Mr. Bratton at a Brooklyn news conference, Mr. de Blasio and his top political aide, Emma Wolfe, convened a conference call with liberal advocacy groups to reaffirm his commitment to curbing the use of stop-and-frisk tactics. Around the same time, the city’s incoming public advocate, Letitia James, received an unexpected call on her cellphone: Mr. Bratton was on the line. Councilman Jumaane D. Williams of Brooklyn, who helped pass a police oversight bill this year, said Mr. de Blasio’s aides had been in constant contact with him since Thursday about setting up a meeting with Mr. Bratton.

Since Hillary de Blasio Has Went to School and Mastered the Wall Room
In 2000, a War Room Didn’t Fit de Blasio’s Style -

de Blasio Fills NYC's Power Vacuum

Four Factors Make de Blasio's Message and Control Stronger
1. For the first time in 20 years the mayor is from the majority party. (NYC has now become a one party city.  2. The Democratic Party leaders are on life support struggling to hold on to the council speakers position. They used to fight each other for who gets to control the speakers position, now they are working together to hold off the unions and progressives. 3. The press is more go along get along.  The Village Voice and investigative journalism is gone. Replaced by inexperienced reporters who count on the consultants who work for elected officials for the stories they write. 4. de Blasio is a campaign manager at heart he knows how to organize and knows how to enforce message discipline.

New Top Cop Meets the New Boss

Ray Kelly ‘content’ to quit as top dog(NYP)

Bratton faces challenges over crime trends, stop-frisk reform(NYP)

Saturday Bratton Meeting With Sharpton Former Foe; Sunday the Rev. Joins the War Room In Selling the New Bratton
Rev. Al Sharpton writes for The News: There is a real chance for change with Bill Bratton driving police force(NYDN)

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)
Bratton joins Sharpton at rally in Harlem(WABC) * At a Sharpton rally, Bill Bratton invokes Mandela, from (Capital) * Bratton pledges 'respectful' NY police behavior (Fox 5) *Bratton, at Sharpton HQ, pledges respect to community(Newsday) * Incoming Police Chief Bill Bratton On NYPD: "It Will Practice What Mandela Preached"  (NYDN)* Bratton Says NYPD Will Be Committed To Freedom And Equality For All (NY1)  * Bratton's First Stop as Top Cop: Al Sharpton's Headquarters(NY Mag) * In Sharpton's House, Bratton Vows to 'Practice What Mandela Preached'(NYO)*Bratton Pledges "Respectful" NYPD Behavior(NBC) * De Blasio, Bratton join Sharpton at Mandela tribute(WABC) * A NEW HOPE: Incoming NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton vows to reform stop, frisk — but won't end it(NYDN)

Bratton Tells NAN he Will Run NYPD with Mandela's Message: Respect for All
. says when he first heard Bratton was doing good things in LA, he was skeptical  *. "we all know the history of the LAPD...poster child of how to do things wrong." Bratton changed that. That's why he chose him. * . says he and Bratton have frequently spoken about overuse of stop-and-frisk. "You can't break the law" to enforce it, he says *. "as I think of the days ahead, were going to work for social and econ justice every single day."* . said "went to jail" to protest hospital closings. actually -- he got arrested & given a summons, did not go to jail * Stop and Frisk the Campaign and After Video
*   New Police Commissioner Same as the Old Police Commissioner
Did Bratton's apparent success in LA also just really come from gentrification? And if so, damn is this dude lucky to strike gold twice
Bratton’s Time in California May Offer Clues to His Plans for New York Police(NYT) The incoming commissioner, William J. Bratton, has relied on many of the aggressive techniques that have proved divisive in the city, while navigating complicated racial tensions.* New Police Chief Faces Less Crime, More Counterterrorism (WSJ)* De Blasio, Bratton Join Rev. Al Sharpton For Rally(CBS


de Blasio A 4th Man in the An Albany Room

Winds of War On A State Tax Fight
Cuomo is weighing cutting more than $1 billion in taxes, per recommendations from his tax commission co-chairman George Pataki, though Pataki’s plan to slash personal income taxes has delayed the release of the report, The Wall Street Journal writes * Sheldon Silver, the survivor, is setting himself up as the de Blasio-aligned counterweight to Andrew Cuomo Silver time?(Capital)* Cuomo Tax Commission Considers $1 Billion in Cuts (WSJ)* Skelos Wants ‘Broad-Based’ Tax Relief Proposals(YNN) * NY Has A Long Way To Go On Universal Pre-K(YNN) * * Thirty-eight New York State lawmakers, including state Senators Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, signed a letter to members of Congress asking them to prioritize pre-kindergarten funding in budget negotiations, Capital New York writes: *Nassau's Jay Jacobs on Bill de Blasio's inaugural committee via

Outlaw Albany Lawmakers Pension Loss
Albany Rats Panic As Stevenson Discusses Plea-Deal Options With His Lawyer
Judge slaps down allegedly corrupt pol’s ‘unfair’ cry (NYP) A Manhattan federal judge on Friday sided with US Attorney Preet Bharara, rejecting indicted Assemblyman Eric Stevenson’s claim that he can’t get a “fair trial” because the lawman publicly singled him out and said the pol shouldn’t get a government pension if he’s convicted on bribery charges. Judge William Pauley III rejected a change-of-venue motion by Stevenson (D-Bronx) to move his January public-corruption trial outside the Southern District of New York.   Despite his indictment, which attracted wide media coverage, Stevenson had claimed Bharara is trying the case “in the court of public opinion,” referring to bombshell testimony the prosecutor gave in September to Gov. Cuomo’s Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. Bharara revealed to the panel that he’s moving forward with plans to seize the future pensions for Stevenson and state Sen. Malcolm Smith — if they’re convicted of corruption charges. Smith is also awaiting trial in a separate case.

  1. Another Knockout attack in Midwood, this time on a Jewish woman on the Sabbath. Sickening!


NYC Memorial Planned for Mandela (WSJ)

BREAKING: South African President Jacob Zuma says Nelson Mandela has died.
First cut of NYT 's Mandela story up now:(NYT) * BREAKING: Nelson Mandela dead at 95. * "A great man left us today and went to his reward," says former Secy of State Colin Powell. "I will never forget him, nor will the world." * “My first political action ... was a protest against apartheid.” // Obama and Mandela: Inspiration from afar * CNN: PRES. OBAMA TO

TRAVEL TO SOUTH AFRICA FOR MEMORIAL SERVICE.: "We live in a far better world today b/c of the life & work of Nelson Mandela. He met hatred w reason, intolerance w resolve" * Click on this - it's the most infectious song about Mandela by the amazing Specials.   * Nelson Mandela:"Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another."

'He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages': President Obama pays tribute to Nelson Mandela(NYDN) * WATCH: 5 Powerful Interviews From the Inspiring Life of Nelson Mandela * Memorial For Bill Lynch Interrupted By Death Of Nelson Mandela(NYDN *EDITORIAL: Paying tribute to Nelson Mandela — the anti-apartheid hero and figure of wisdom, strength and peace(NYDN) * Dinkins: Mandela "Greatest Figure Of The Century"  * A Global Symbol of Justice(WSJ)* New Yorkers Remember Mandela And His Emotional Trips Here (WSJ)

Smith in Court, Halloran Getting Ready

A federal judge has forbidden lawyers from publicly disclosing evidence in the ongoing corruption case involving state Sen. Malcolm Smith, former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin, and ex-deputy mayor Joseph Desmaret, The Journal News reports:
While indicted Councilman Dan Halloran‘s lawyer is arguing that it’s not illegal trade cash for ballot access. “Payments in exchange for Wilson-Pakula are not bribery,” said Vinoo Varghese, his attorney. “New York State has never prosecuted this as a criminal act.”

Smith Who is Under Indictment For Try to Buy the GOP Party Line and Using the Matching Funds As An ATM Machine
State Sen. drives through $100G in campaign expenses(NYP) *
Queens State Sen. Malcolm Smith has billed his campaign fund $100,632 for vehicle-related expenses since 2010. Smith was reimbursed for two leased cars, E-ZPass payments and even parking tickets, according to an analysis by the New York Public Interest Research Group. Gov. Cuomo’s anti-corruption panel exposed a new twist — legislators who also put in for reimbursement from the state for their travel expenses. But the panel didn’t name any of the lawmakers it claimed were “double dipping.”* Queens Attorney Set to Challenge Malcolm Smith(NYO) Munir Avery, an attorney with close ties to Queens County politics, is planning to challenge embattled Sen. Malcolm Smith next year.
More on Malcolm Smith

New Top Cop

Saturday Meeting With Sharpton
Bratton’s Time in California May Offer Clues to His Plans for New York Police(NYT) The incoming commissioner, William J. Bratton, has relied on many of the aggressive techniques that have proved divisive in the city, while navigating complicated racial tensions.* New Police Chief Faces Less Crime, More Counterterrorism (WSJ)

NYC's New Police Commissioner Is Old Commissioner Bratton
With his hard-charging press-friendly style, Bratton managed to garner considerable acclaim for the crime drop in NYC(NYT) * Cuomo Praises Bratton Pick(NY1)* "I believe fundamentally in the broken windows theory," says * Bratton brought his favorite book as a kid - "Your Police," which he often checked out of library. Bill Bratton says he's been doing community policing since before there was such a term, in 70s in Boston. "There was different leadership in the city back then, that may have had a different set of values," BdeB says of Bratton in Giuliani yrs.

 QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Over an extraordinary career, Bill Bratton has proven that you can fight crime effectively and bring police and community together. He’s focused on preventive strategies, proactive strategies, innovation and the use of the latest technology but also good old fashioned understanding that communication at the grassroots, the cop on the beat talking to a neighborhood resident, is fundamental to protecting our city.” – New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, on his appointment of Bratton as NYPD commissioner, via City & State* Memorial For Bill Lynch Interrupted By Death Of Nelson Mandela(NYP) * Welcome back to NY’s next top cop Bratton(NYP Ed)
NYT Dwyer Stop and Frisk Already Down Times’ Jim Dwyer notes that Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s selection of William Bratton as police commissioner comes with the promise of curbing stop-and-frisk, despite the fact that use of the tactic is already on the decline * The Post laments that neither de Blasio or Bratton mentioned the positive work of current Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, but view Bratton’s appointment as a sign that the new mayor is serious about keeping crime down:* BRATT TO THE FUTURE: Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio names Bill Bratton as NYPD commissioner, promising to mend force's relationship with minority communities * Lupica: "That Bratton did not acknowledge Kelly’s extraordinary service ...was as graceless as it was predictable" * Go get ’em, Bill (NYDN Ed) * New Police Chief Faces Less Crime, More Counterterrorism (WSJ)
de Blasio and Bratton Stop and Frisk Dance“[D]e Blasio supporters looking for the clean break from the Bloomberg administration the mayor-elect promised in the campaign, during which he also pledged to “end the stop-and-frisk era” in New York, may find Bratton's substantive views about police work to be remarkably similar to the current administration's.” (Capital) Bill Bratton on stop-and-frisk: “the most basic, fundamental and necessary tool of American policing." * The Daily News wrote it “inspires confidence that New Yorkers elected a law-and-order mayor after all,” while the New York Post cheered the pick as “welcome news.”* On that topic, New York magazine’s Chris Smith writes Mr. Bratton “still clearly loves the spotlight, and he has warm relations with much of the city’s press”: “The mayor-elect didn’t want to risk choosing an untested police commissioner — but he’ll take his chances on competing with his top cop for headlines.”* Bill Bratton to Inherit NYPD That's Fighting Rising Overall Crime Numbers via  * Bratton’s return a ray of hope, despite truths de Blasio ignores(NYP) * Are @BilldeBlasio/Bratton really going to start by shutting down local media police blotters? * The NYPD ordered the city’s 77 precincts to stop giving out crime reports to local residents, and instead to funnel all requests to the deputy commissioner for public information, DNAinfo reports:

Bill de Blasio frames policing strategy as "focusing resources" on problem areas, not on innocent NYers, particularly "young men of color." Red Hook Community Justice Ctr, site of BdB presser, has close Bloomberg ties: founded & Amanda Burden & others worked on it.* De Blasio praises Banks and Pineiro as "extraordinary leaders" who made it a "tough, tough choice" for police commissioner.* "Stop and frisk is essential to every police department," Bratton said. The difference, he says, is to do it constitutionally. * De Blasio re Bratton: "I knew it in my soul that we were kindred." * Bratton said on hindsight, he contributed to some of the friction between he and Giuliani. Said he's learned from his mistakes. * Instant Reax To Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio's Pick Of Bill Bratton For NYPD Commissioner * SECOND SHOT AT TOP COP: Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio names Bill Bratton as NYPD commissioner(NYDN) * Bill Bratton Tapped as NYPD Commissioner (DNAINFO) * . Rev Al knew Bratton back in the day, when Bill was swaggering cop and Rev an FBI informant ...* Al Sharpton doesn't seem too thrilled with the appointment of Bill Bratton as police commissioner(NYO) * De Blasio Says No Contradiction in Picking ‘Progressive Visionary’ Bratton(NYO) * Sharpton Cool on Bratton Appointment(NYO)\ Ray Kelly: "I congratulate Bill Bratton on his appointment and welcome him back to One Police Plaza." Promises "smooth transition." * Barron Says Hiring Bratton ‘Like Asking an Arsonist to Help You Put Out Fires’(NYO) * With this new job, Bratton’s role as an analyst at NBC News will be ending. * . told in 2010 the NYPD under Dinkins wrongly focused not on crime but community relations (Crains NY) * Next NYPD commissioner shares children’s book that inspired him(NYP) * Author Of Bill Bratton's Favorite Children's Book, 'Your Police,' Was Popular With The Kennedys(NYDN) * Pols, agencies react to de Blasio's police chief pick(NYDN) * Bratton to Lead New York Police For Second Time(NYT)Bratton Is Expected to Reshape Police to Rebuild Relationship With Public(NYT) * Bill Bratton has run police departments in 3 of the country's biggest cities and changed the way cops fight crime: (WNBC) “Bratton will need to work closely with a civil liberties community that aims to curtail the NYPD's surveillance practices, gain access to many of its currently classified internal databases, and overhaul its use of stop and frisk. He will also face unprecedented new oversight from both a city inspector general and a court-appointed federal monitor, put in place after a U.S. judge ruled the stop and frisk practice unconstitutional. … Critics have suggested that better training could significantly improve police-community relations. For beat cops, ‘draconian’ discipline driven by staffing shortages has sapped morale in recent years.”   * Bloomberg Praises de Blasio’s First Administration Picks   (NYO) * Bill Bratton's Favorite Children's Book Gets A Chance At A Second Life (NYDN)
Mayoral Transition Timeline   

Race and the NYFD

Fire Officials Told to Watch for Bias as Rookies Report(NYT) The court-appointed monitor overseeing efforts to diversify the Fire Department has issued a report urging leaders to guard against possible discrimination against new black and Hispanic firefighters.
The newest batch of New York City firefighters graduated from the fire academy yesterday, with minorities making up 60 percent of the class, the most diverse class in department history, part of a court-ordered mandate to increase diversity, the Times reports:

AG Just Solve the Moreland Mystery?
There’s a $3 million mystery at the center of a new report on Albany corruption. Help us solve it:(WNYC)
A non-profit company providing medical services, operating out of a city storefront appears to have received about $3 million in sketchy funds from very important lawmakers. We need you to help us find it.  Or maybe you happen to be familiar with a certain storefront where investigators installed a pole camera for 25 days. Maybe you’re an expert in non-profit law. You get the idea.

Mystery Solved: Another None Profit Indicted 
Looks Like the Several Investigators Were Sitting On this Story - Moreland Report Yesterday Pushed It Out
The founder of a Queens nonprofit, Angeldocs, has been indicted for pocketing grant money, including member items, per .  Organization's Mission or Most Sigriificant Activities AngelDocs believing in the principle that health is a birthright, through advocacy, mentoring and health literacy is dedicated to a mission of improving lives by supporting wellness, accessibility and afforriability of quality healthcare, skills and tools to PREVENT diseases to all but, especially to those most vulnerable members in our communities.An executive at a New York City non-profit organization has been arrested and charged with stealing $373,000 in both state and federal funds, according to a joint announcement from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and city Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn. In addition to the city and state investigation, officials say the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Housing and Urban Development Department played a role in the probe.The organization has received a dozen state, city and federal grants, with Ogundu accused of skimming portions from all 12: approximately $91,000 from the City of New York, approximately $87,000 from the State of New York and approximately $195,000 from the federal government. Ogundu was charged with several felonies, including second-degree grand larceny, second-degree forgery and first-degree falsifying business records.Non-Profit Exec Arrested, Accused Of Pocketing $373K(YNN) * Doctor charged with ‘scamming’ $370K through fake clinic(NYP)

The New Deputy Borough President of Queens Comrie Has A None Profit Member Item Corruption Problem

The City Council dished out nearly $147 million for pet projects throughout members’ districts, including a grant to a dysfunctional medical center in Queens that even Mayor Bloomberg’s agencies doubt should get taxpayer money. Included in the massive list of “member items” — funds individual council members dole out to non-profits — is a $5,000 allocation to Angeldocs, whose city funds are under examination by the city Health Department. Last year’s taxpayer-funded council grants to Angeldocs were reviewed in April by the Department after The Post reported it was delinquent on property taxes and its only staffer, Dr. Dorothy Ogundu, refused to reveal details about her practice. Despite that, Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-Queens) appropriated another $5,000 for the clinic, which Council Speaker Christine Quinn has yet to approve. Council’s pork bill at $147M(NYP and Queens Crap) * Queens nonprofit Angeldocs stole $350000: authorities (NYDN) Founder Dr. Dorothy Ogundu allegedly used the Hollis-based outfit to pocket city, state and federal funds earmarked for public services and capital improvements — to pay for personal expenses, including buying cars and shipping them back to her native Nigeria. Founder Dr. Dorothy Ogundu allegedly used the Hollis-based outfit to pocket city, state and federal funds earmarked for public services and capital improvements — to pay for personal expenses, including buying cars and shipping them back to her native Nigeria.

Looks Like the City Health Department Was Sitting On this Story and Moreland Report Pushed It Out
600G health clinic in a vegetative state(NYP) Dr. Dorothy Ogundu says she created her Angeldocs charity to improve access to health care for the poor. But the former church she turned into the Aki Life Health Center on Hillside Avenue in Holliswood was locked up tight on two visits by The Post last week. Its front door, where the business hours were listed as 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. six days a week, was chained shut with a padlock. Ogundu used government grant money, including a $100,000 allocation from the state Dormitory Authority, to turn the former classroom area of the church into treatment rooms. Rep. Gregory Meeks secured federal grants totaling $380,500 for renovations and programs. A state member item from Assemblywoman Vivian Cook went to renovate a second-floor kitchen.

A sign proclaims the space “Cook’s Kitchen.” She paid $20,053 in property taxes in 2006 and then let the bills mount until they reached $300,368 by 2010. The property was not eligible for a charitable tax break because it was owned by a for-profit.Ogundu transferred the title of the property to Angeldocs in late 2010 and then gained a city tax exemption. But she still owes the $300,368. “I told them this is ridiculous,” Ogundu said. “I think that the city should meet me halfway.” She turned to her local representative, Assemblyman David Weprin, whom she said she has known from his days on the City Council and her own community involvement. Weprin, along with Cook, sponsored a bill earlier this month to let Ogundu file for a retroactive tax exemption, refund any taxes she paid and wipe out her debt.

Citizen United World
NYT's Corruption Solutions for Dummies
The NYT and Good Government Groups Solutions to Corruption Ignores the Facts and Will Do Nothing to Stop the Crimes Committed by Elected Officials
New York’s ‘Legalized Bribery’(NYT) Moreland had done New Yorkers a great service.. The report on ethics in Albany reads like an encyclopedia of scandal One in every 11 politicians leaving the State Legislature since 1999 has departed “under the cloud of ethical or criminal violations.”  The NYT listed the areas of corruption that is already know to every awake New Yorker. The commission, whose work is continuing, has subpoenaed a number of state legislators for details of how they operate. It has not accused anyone by name. But it found instances of “deplorable conduct, some of it perfectly legal yet profoundly wrong; some of it potentially illegal.”  The report condemned the Board of Elections, a bipartisan group that is supposed to enforce the state’s few campaign laws, for its failure “to carry out its duty to enforce the Election law, enabling the culture of corruption in Albany.”  * Thirty-two state senators are opposed to public financing of campaigns, including 30 Republicans and 2 Democrats, leaving the measure unlikely to pass in the upcoming legislative session, Gannett Albany reports: 

NYT Offers the Same Old Ineffective Solution Which Will Not Stop A Culture of Corruption
NYT wants Cuomo to push for a new system of campaign financing that provides public matching grants for small campaign donations. Public financing has not stopped Council member Larry Seabrook, Dan Halloren, Miguel Martinez and  the dozens who would have been arrested if Quinn slush fund scandal was not covered up by the permanent government to make her the mayor for them.  The NYT and the good government push for matching funds ignores the fact that the Met Council's Willie Rapfogel indictment says that he was conspiring with an insurance company to launder his bribery payoffs to elected officials into small campaign campaign contribution to use the city's public financing $$$ to maximize his bribery play to pay corruption.  If the NYT does not writing about their friend Mini Me Rapfogel and Dr. Evil when it comes to corruption Speaker Silver they can write about how Malcolm Smith and his GOP friends Halloren, Queens GOP Deputy Vinny Trombone and Former Bronx GOP boss Jay Savino tried to help rip off millions from the city's matching fund programs.  More importantly the NYT could Investigate the effects of the Citizen United decision on the NYC 2013 election.

NYT:  The Advance Group Is Under Investigation By the CFB For Using PAC $$$ and Matching Funds Illegally
Where is the Media's Investigation of Citizen's United Effect on the 2013 Election?

Now the Campaign Finance Board is investigating the Advance Group’s role. Outside groups can spend themselves silly, but they cannot coordinate with individual candidates. “The board takes very seriously any allegation that campaigns have benefited from spending by an outside group where spending is coordinated,” noted Eric Friedman, a spokesman for the board. “It gives a big advantage.” 
CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping

Parkside working for The Real Estate Board of New York's PAC Jobs4NY worked for and against 35 candidates in the 20 competitive council races.  The Advance Group working through 4 PACs NYCLASS, United for the Future, Citizen Action and Hotel Workers for A Strong Middle Class worked for 27 of candidates in the 20 competitive council campaigns. Of the 21 candidates supported by Parkside Jobs4NY 17 were run by the big 8. Another candidate Dickens who had no race is running for speaker and some Jobs4NY money went to a republican candidate. Of the 44 council candidates supported by PAC in which Advance worked for or had a relationship with 34 when to candidates run by the Big 8.  Half of the other 10 went to incumbent candidates who had no races.

Journalists Fail in the Prime Obligation to Uncover Corruption
The NYT said that "Mr. Cuomo created the commission to fight this kind of ingrained corruption. It has started to give him the tool kit he needs. Now his obligation is to use it." True News and the U.S. Attorney has asked over and over what about the obligation of the journalists to use the media to undercover corruption to build public pressure to force the lawmakers to pass reforms?  

U.S. Attorney Journalism Failure
The Media Reports Indictments Does Not Investigate

Media Ignores U.S. Attorney Plea to Investigate Corruption
Bharara: No Investigative Reporting Equals More Corruption

Bharara to Journalist
Investigate Stop Copying My Press Releases
"Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara
Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY)
The press has a role to play, Mr. Bharara said, noting that he is saddened by recent reports of newspaper closings and staff downsizing. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government."* \Bruno Lawyers Want An April Trial(YNN)
More On Corruption Fighter US Attorney Preet Bharara

Who Prosecutes Corruption? 
Corruption Prosecutions: Albany v. Manhattan (WSJ)  Interestingly, the office prosecuting most of these cases isn’t in Albany but 150 miles away in Manhattan — the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. Just one significant Albany corruption case — a controversial bribery charge against former state Senate leader Joseph Bruno — originated from the U.S. attorney’s office in the city where lawmakers go to work: the Northern District, which encompasses the state capital.

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)

Albany Real Deal Making

Where Albany does business(Capital) Hint: It's not the Capitol.  Legislators call it the Bear Mountain Compact: What happens north of the Bear Mountain Bridge stays north of the Bear Mountain Bridge, and in Albany—where they work in semi-regular sessions for six months a year—business and pleasure often merge into one expensive blur. Time and again, the gears of government have turned not during official confabs in Capitol meeting rooms, but over omelets, dinners, and drinks at any number of “power spots” around the region. Stop by any of these sites on a Monday or Tuesday night in January or July and you might be surprised who you run into, or what's going on.

Blogger and the Media Ignored the Fact That the Advance Group Under Investigation Central Role in NYCLASS At Last Nights Fund  Raiser

Horse-Drawn Carriage Supporters Protest De Blasio's Stance(NY1)

The Advance Group Being Drop by A Speaker Mark-Viverito, But the Reporter Did Not Ask the Speaker Candidate If Any Laws Were Broken?
NYCLASS and its board members were among the major funders of New York City is Not For Sale’s “Anybody But Quinn” campaign, which helped derail Mr. de Blasio’s fiercest challenger in the Democratic mayoral primary: Christine Quinn. While the group insisted that it was unaligned with Mr. de Blasio’s campaign, many of the group’s backers ended up supporting him–drawing questions from critics wondering if it was a de facto pro-de Blasio effort. The group also raised eyebrows for a series of over-the-limit campaign contributions and for its association with the Advance Group, which drew fire during the election for running both campaigns and independent expenditure efforts, among other issues. Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid(NYO)Politicker's Incomplete Journalism About the Firing Of the Advance Group by the Leading Speaker's Candidate. The NYT Said Advance Was Being Investigated by the CFB But Did Not Say it Was Involved In Running Mark-Viverito Campaign to Become Speaker

More On Power Brokers Picking the Next Speaker 

Silver Legal Bills Mount

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 

A Diversifying Fire Department

Minority-Dominated Class Graduates From New York Fire Academy(NYT) The new recruits are another stage in efforts to diversify the department, which have been met with hostility by some firefighters.

How The Independence Party Used GOP Housekeeping $$$ to Create Dracula Addabbo
Independence Party official ‘misused’ funds: report(NYP) A top state Independence Party official who helped funnel $750,000 from Mayor Bloomberg to a consultant who swiped it also played middleman in a scheme to steer more than $350,000 toward attacks against Democratic candidates, a scathing new report claims. Thomas Connolly, vice chair of the Independence Party, approved of the “misuse” of campaign housekeeping funds to help Republicans go after Democratic state senatorial candidates Terry Gipson and Joseph Addabbo during the 2012 elections, according to a Moreland Commission panel.  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. Both candidates won their races.  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. “Absolutely OK to go with us,” Connolly said, according to the Moreland panel.* Independence Party goes along with GOP scheme to dodge campaign finance laws, insiders allege(NYDN) New York Independence Party has gotten major cash influx from state Senate GOP in arrangement questioned by political insiders.

A Cult Remains In  Charge of NYC's Independence Party Because the Senate GOP and Bloomberg Needed the Party to Launder Money Through and Ballot Line
Must has been written over the last 25 years how the Fred Newman and Lenora Fulani wing of the Independence Party. Little has changed over the years.  Newman has died but his cult groups and party continue in his foot steps. The Fulani faction is a major player in NYC because of a court decision that gave them the sole power to grant Wilson Pakula's to NYC citywide candidates.  In 2009 Bloomberg already had a non profit they created to provide jobs to their members on both the city and private payrolls .Mr. Bloomberg supported the Independence Party’s goal of nonpartisan municipal elections and gave the party more than $650,000 of his own money. His administration arranged millions of dollars in bond financing in 2002 and 2006 for a building for Mr. Newman’s nonprofit All Stars Project, which uses the performing arts to help low-income children. The nonprofit group that received $9.5 million in tax-free bonds from the city with Bloomberg's support after his 2001 election.  Bloomberg also payed off Fulani's opponents in the party led by Frank Mackey.  Mackey party pocketed 100,000 from the same deal that sent Haggerty to jail.*Kelly, cop critic Fulani seal deal with kiss - New York Daily News  * The state has to end the confusion that has swelled Independence Party rolls with unwitting and unwilling members(NYDN)

More on the Independence Party Is Really A Cult

Gov Race 2014
To Win His 3rd Term Mayor Wagner Ran Against the Political Machines, The TUThink It Time for Cuomo to Do the Same
The Times Union urges Cuomo to turn the recommendations from the Moreland Commission into a comprehensive package of legislation, and if he meets with resistance from lawmakers* Several state lawmakers have raised concern about the way that the Moreland Commission probe was conducted, with some legislators saying that there are “hard feelings” toward Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approach, The Buffalo News writes:  * Paladino: The Hasidics ‘Set Me Up’ With Anti-Gay Statement(YNN)* Gov. Andrew Cuomo heads to Washington on Monday to raise hundreds of thousands more dollars – this time from some of the most wired lobbyists in the nation’s capital. * Gov. Cuomo Headed To Washington In Search Of Campaign Dollars(NYDN)
Monserrate Girlfriend Sues

The ex-girlfriend of former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate is pressing a $35 million lawsuit against the city, NYPD, detectives, and staff at Long Island Jewish Hospital alleging her domestic violence case against Monserrate was fabricated  New York City attorneys: Nix suit by state senator’s missing ex-girlfriend (NYDN) Karla Giraldo is suing the city and others for $35 million, saying they forced her to fabricate domestic violence claims against jailed former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate, her ex-boyfriend. Trouble for her case is, no one can find her.
Knockout Wow Statement

    1. Councilwoman’s black-Jewish resentment talk slammed(NYDN) Councilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo, who is black, wrote on Facebook that black residents feared being ‘pushed out by their Jewish landlords.’ The Anti-Defamation League said the posting ‘evokes classic anti-Semitic stereotypes.’* . responds to Laurie Cumbo’s letter connecting ‘jewish landlords’ to ‘knockout game’ (NY Metro)

      Incoming Councilwoman speculates that resentment of "Jewish success" fueling so-called "knockout game"
    2. Dumb, dumb, dumb. This kind of excuse-making for criminality doesn't bode well for NYC over the next 4 long years.
Weiner Radio

Anthony Weiner is reportedly in talks to host his own radio show(NYDN)

Is Lobbyist Arzt Breaking Ethic Law?
George Arzt boosts for speaker in this piece (story also has photo of wrong Weprin)
Arzt is working with Brooklyn Boss Seddio and Queens Boss Crowley to elected Weprin. Ferreras is being used poorly to block Melissa Mark-Viverito. Anyway she is damaged by her past and would never qualify for speaker Queens Group Spent City's Cash, but Has No Receipts Showing ... Is Atzt boosting Ferreras  for free?
Liu's 25 Year Old Goes to Jail
John Liu aide headed to jail(NYP) The disgraced city Comptroller John Liu campaign aide convicted of scamming campaign cash from the city’s Campaign Finance Board must report to prison next week. Jenny Hou, a former aide to Comptroller John Liu convicted on various counts during his mayoral campaign, lost her request to remain free pending her appeal and is headed to jail.

Liu Sues Bloomberg Access to Tax Records
New York City Comptroller John Liu has sued the Bloomberg administration in state Supreme Court for refusing to provide access to corporate tax records, accusing the city of blocking his auditing effortsLiu Sues City for Corporation Tax Records(WSJ)

Moreland Report Response

 The Journal News writes that in considering the recommendations made by the Moreland Commission on public corruption, Albany should separate out some of the proposed reforms to insure they pass, instead of getting stuck as part of a big package of legislation:

Thursday UpdateThe Moreland Commission's GOP co-chair says it DID look into Cuomo, and did not find anything 'improper'

There are no recommendation to do anything significant about nonprofit skimming in the first Moreland Report
The Moreland game: Cuomo’s commission comes up short(NYP Ed)  Picture poor Pedro Espada, a former state senator and one of the most accomplished skimmers of his era, sitting there in his federal prison cell and cursing his bad timing: If only he’d waited for such “reform.” Or Willie Rapfogel, former executive director of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, husband of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s closest aide — and apparently so adept at skimming that the feds say they found upward of $400,000 in council cash in his bedroom closet. (Mrs. Rapfogel says she had no idea. None. Honest.

"If prosecuting corruption cases were fishing, Albany would be considered a trout farm."
The reek of Albany(NYP Ed)
Legislator questions why commission isn't looking at Cuomo, Schneiderman(NYDN)
Corruption Panel’s Report Offers Look at the Payback Culture in Albany(NYT) The panel appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said it had found possible sham nonprofit groups funded with public money and businesses using campaign donations to influence laws.
More Moreland madness in Albany - William F. B. O'Reilly (Newsday)
Diaz Praises Moreland’s ‘Magnificent Seven’(YNN)
Cuomo claimed that he is still holding out for public financing of campaigns, saying that lawmakers would already have passed an ethics package if he was okay with leaving out public financing(YNN)
Fitzpatrick: Moreland Free Of Cuomo’s Influence(YNN)
Fred Dicker: “To many observers, the contrast between the new Moreland Commission’s findings on public corruption and Gov. Cuomo’s actions is nothing short of breathtaking.”
Many of the problems highlighted in the Moreland Commission report have been red-flagged before by the media.
Winds of Battles to Come
The Cuomo-de Blasio drama to come(Capital) Their longstanding relationship will be tested when they're governor and mayor. It was supposed to be standard unity event: Six days after the mayoral primary, Bill Thompson was formally conceding the nomination to Bill de Blasio at City Hall. New York’s top Democrat, Andrew Cuomo, was on hand to bestow his blessing. And then something unusual happened. Cuomo aide Joe Percoco and de Blasio campaign chief Bill Hyers got into a heated argument, in public, within earshot of the press. It was a dispute—or “staff level miscommunication,” according to a de Blasio’s spokesperson—about speaking order. But it was also, say sources familiar with the event, the result of a feeling among de Blasio's aides that their boss had been upstaged by the governor. *  Cuomo says state Board of Elections contributes to "manufactured gridlock," argues for independent enforcement mechanism.* Cuomo: Moreland is focused on Legislature because "that's where the indictments are." Willie Sutton would approve.*  DEEP DIVE : Steve Kornacki, writing on Capital, “The state of Clintons and Cuomos,” first installment in a five-part series.

Local TV News Which Makes Millions Off of the Culture of Big Campaign Spending Has Not Cover the Moreland Commission

Pay to Report Local TV
Spending on advertising has fueled the increase in TV lobbying costs. Well-funded special interests funnel millions to lobbyists for public campaigns to sway lawmakers on hot-button issues (TU)  Local News which is mainly weather, traffic, cooking and dog segments is making millions in lobbyists spending.  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.  Local TV stations stand to profit from boom in super-PAC spending (The Hill)*CSNY’s budget blitz: $3.9 million (updated)(TU) *Save NY airing tax cap ad(TU) *Budget opponents up their ads and mailers(TU) *Bloomberg Blames Negative Ads For Poor Showing In Education ...(Politico) *Save NY now airs on school money(TU) *NYC's Bloomberg Pays for TV Ads Backing Cuomo's PensionBloomberg Defends His Administration With TV Ad - * Local TV News For $ale: How Special Interests Control News Content and Public Opinion
Moreland Updates

Lhota Still On Crime

Actress Keri Russell‘s home was broken into, then this happened: “Republican mayoral nominee Joe Lhota, who lives in the area, passed by and asked what was going on. When a scribe told him about the break-ins, Lhota replied by alluding to his campaign warnings that crime would increase in the absence of aggressive use of stop-and-frisk: ‘See, I told you guys this was going to happen,’ he said.”


Ray Kelly will get a 10-officer detail when he leaves, costing taxpayers $1.5M.(DNAINFO)
NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly will stay on through the end of Bloomberg’s administration – at least, he hasn’t told the mayor any different.
More on Ray Kelly 

Rangel Again

RANGEL IS RUNNING — Assemblyman Keith Wright, the Manhattan Democratic leader, told the Post: “You can’t keep the old war horse down,” said Wright, adding, “I’m with him all the way.”* Rangel Meeting with Possible Successors:

Speakers Race Closed Doors

Jumaane Williams Only Speaker Candidate to Knock Bill Bratton (NYO)

Diminishing the power of the Speaker could weaken the entire NYC Council in relation to the mayor (City and State) * El Diario makes the case for New York City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito as the best choice for Council speaker, praising her advocacy on critical community issues, her dedication to participatory budgeting, and strength of character *  Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito discussed her speaker candidacy on Road to City Hall last night. “I’m a very pragmatic person. I’m very opinionated and strong-willed. But that doesn’t mean that you’re unreasonable. I think that being in this position, you have to be also very clear and precise … When you talk to me, I’m talking straight,” she said.
The Speakers Race Was Always Behind Closed Doors
Speaker Race Moving to Behind Closed Doors(NY1)
: We are in a progressive moment right now(NYO)

The Advance Group Being Drop by A Speaker Mark-Viverito, But the Reporter Did Not Ask the Speaker Candidate If Any Laws Were Broken?
Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid(NYO)Politicker's Incomplete Journalism About the Firing Of the Advance Group by the Leading Speaker's Candidate
True News Asks: How come Politicker did not ask Mark-Viverito if she thinks Advance Violated the city''s ethics law by giving her free help? Or Why the CM was  working with a consultant lobbyists under investigation? “They were never employed by my campaign to be clear,” Ms. Mark-Viverito

Many of the City's Lobbyists Consultants are Breaking the Ethics Law By Giving A Gift to An Elected Officials

The Daily News Reported: "Speakers Candidate and Lobbyists Breaking the City's Ethic Law
New York City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules by accepting unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a lobbing firm, to further her candidacy for Council speaker," the Daily News reports * The Daily News urges the New York City Council to disqualify Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito from consideration for Council speaker for “blatantly” violating ethics rules by soliciting unpaid assistance from a lobbyist  WHEN WILL A REPORTER GO  TO THE CONFLICT OF INTERESTS BOARD AND ASK IF THERE IS AN INVESTIGATION GOING ON?

Journalism Lobbyists Disconnect
On the same day the Moreland Commission Reported 
"Various laws passed by the Legislature were “custom tailored” at the behest of a single influential lobbyist"

Politicker Did Not Ask Mark-Viverito If She Was Paying Other Lobbyists Consultants?
CrainsNY also reported Mark-Viverito is getting help by two other consultant lobbyists firms, Bishop Pitta Del Giorno and the Mirram Group.  There are no inkind reports of  Mark-Viverito getting help from Advance or any consultant on the CFB report.

The NYT Said Advance Was Being Investigated by the CFB But Did Not Say it Was Involved In Running Mark-Viverito Campaign to Become Speaker 

From the NYT "As Crain’s New York noted in a spate of fine reporting, the Advance Group helped the city’s teachers’ union spend vast sums on Council races, even as the Advance Group ran individual Council campaigns. Advance used the same office and same press officer for both efforts, though in a halfhearted nod to the potential conflict, it changed its name for the teachers’ union work, to Strategic Consultants. “We took pains to have firewalls internal to the firm,” said Mr. Levenson, who acknowledged that he faced an investigation. “I can say unequivocally, independent expenditures were done independently and not coordinated.”

The Media's Anti-Gay Media Cover-Up 
Ms. Mark-Viverito was attacked for working with a Democratic shop that profited from an “anti-gay agenda” last election cycle–the firm sent mailers on behalf of an anti-same-sex marriage group, which they’ve since apologized for.

Another Question Politicker did not Ask About Advance's Gay Cover Up or How Often Do You Do Favors For Other Consultants
From the Daily News 11/21/2013
“We did a favor for a political operative that we have a longstanding relationship with by sending his mailer to a printer,” an Advance Group spokeswoman said. “It was a mistake that we regret and is completely inconsistent with our history.”

True News Asks Politicker
What do you think Advance meant when Levension said he was doing a favor for a fellow consultant in a Daily News article on 11/21 by mailing out the anti-gay mailers? Who was that consultant that Advance Did the Favor for? Do consultants do favors for one another is that legal?

 True News Reported That the Consultant Do Favors For One Another Creating A Campaign Monopoly They Control
As Reported in True News 4 Weeks Ago
The New Apalachin Crime Summit, 56 Years Later
These same big 8 consultants also have the same monopolized control of citywide, state election and law enforcement elections. There operating model resembles organize crime after the Apalachin crime meeting. That 1957 meeting included over 100 mobsters including "Joe the Barber," divided the illegal operations of loan sharking, narcotics trafficking and gambling  controlled by the late Albert Anastasia.  The big 8 include: the Advance Group, the Parkside Group/Marathon Strategies (join at the hip), Berlin Rosen, Mercury Public Affairs, Brandford Communications, George Arzt, Multi-Media, Hudson TJ and Red Horse. Like the Apalachin mobsters the consultants/lobbyist has divided up New York to control the government and rake in corrupt lobbying dollars. Also like the mobsters the big 8 may even be about the law. A Surprise Progressive Takeover of City Hall - Party Leaders, Partnership and Permanent Government Caught Flatfooted* Speaker Hopeful: Ethics Committee A Tough Sell For City Council Colleagues(NYDN)

So Much for Transparency

The Council is Keeping It Secret From the Public, If They Are Having A Secret Vote for Speaker?
Speaker Hopefuls Don't Know Exactly How They'll Choose a Speaker (NYO)

Albany Travel Expenses Double Dipping
Ten current and former legislators collected at least $220,000 in vehicle expenses from their campaign funds, and then received about $170,000 more in reimbursement from the state for travel to and from Albany.

Moreland Report Out
Moreland Report Link
Gov. Cuomo's Anti-Corruption Commission Blasts Albany's 'Pay-To-Play' Culture (NYDN)
Moreland report blasts Albany ethics
Panel Appointed by Cuomo Calls Corruption Commonplace in Albany (NYT)
Moreland: "Albany’s pay-to-play political culture is greased by a campaign finance system in which large donors set the legislative agenda"*  The Moreland report appears to contain no recommendations to fix JCOPE's broken voting structure * Moreland report cites "attractive and relatively similar" public campaign finance bills from Speaker Silver, * "Both the general state of our political system, and the way business is transacted within it, cry out urgently for reform"  The Moreland panel says it has found "deplorable conduct, some of it perfectly legal yet profoundly wrong; some of it potentially illegal"* Moreland report makes zero reference I can find of any conflicts of interest in the executive branch. Lauds for reform efforts.* On p54 of Moreland report, ineffective and repetitive idea from Cuomo to limit party transfers is included * Moreland dissent references Malcolm Smith's arrest in opposing public financing  * Illegal? pg. 37 of Moreland on GOP/Indy party: "Emails further reveal extensive coordination between the two parties’ housekeeping accounts"* Moreland investigating pay-to-play including "a tax abatement program benefiting certain real estate interests" * Interesting...
"The Commission with its partners, has conducted undercover operations, including surveillance, recorded calls, and meets." * Maybe they took some lessons from DA Bharara? Who's wearing a wire for Moreland? * seven moreland commissioners appointed by offer dissenting opinion on recommendation to create a public campaign finance system * The Moreland Commission put a surveillance camera outside a storefront medical clinic that's gotten $3M in member items. Found v few clients * Commission recommends to fix 's corrupt campaign finance system, p. 41: * Moreland "Despite issuing a number of subpoenas and conducting several interviews" still has no idea who funded Common Sense Principles.* Common Sense, according to the direct mail company, is a “ghost company.” Service of the Commission’s subpoenas cannot be perfected. * . issues statement on Moreland:  * "This Commission has discovered much in just aFew short months.Our ongoing investigations have revealed phantom healthClinics" * Pols "appear to lease or purchase expensive vehicles w/campaign funds while personally claiming .. travel reimbursements from the state"* M Smith bribed the GOP to have access to public $. * Moreland: Emails document coordination between Senate GOP and Independent Party on attack ads targeting Dem candidates.* De Blasio Clan Still Mulling Move To Gracie Mansion(NYDN) * The Fate Of Public Financing In The Senate(YNN) * Common Cause: Moreland Dissenters Misinterpreting IE Findings(YNN)
Moreland and the Media Must Take Into Account How Consultant Lobbyist Have Gamed NYC CFB System
Breaking The Moreland Commission has "uncovered clear relationships between cash and legislative actions," according to one of its co-chairs
A Bandage Fix Without Uncovering Corruption
The Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption's commissioners will vote this morning whether to approve the final draft of its preliminary report before releasing its recommendations to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but sources with inside knowledge of the report have disclosed to City & State that it will call for New York State to adopt a system of publicly financed elections modeled after the New York City Campaign Finance Board. Cuomo was rebuffed by the state Legislature when he pushed for a public campaign finance system in the final days of the last legislative session. The Assembly has already passed a bill that would put in place such a system, but the bill’s prospects for passage in the state Senate died with steadfast opposition from Republicans. A spokesperson for the Moreland Commission did not immediately respond for comment.(City and State) * Dissenting Opinion On Public Financing Expected In Anti-Corruption Panel Report(NYDN) * The not-so open Moreland Commission (TU) * Just 10 of the 25 Moreland Commission members have filed financial disclosure forms with JCOPE. They aren’t required to do so, and those who did it acted out of an “abundance of caution.”  * Moreland Madness(YNN)

Charges fly over Moreland Commission(NYP) Cuomo pooh-poohs this excuse, and he’s right to do so. He notes that numerous lawmakers are cooperating with the panel. That, he says, makes a mockery of the idea that ­opposition here is based on principle. The governor implies that those legislators who aren’t cooperating with the panel are just trying to keep hidden embarrassing — perhaps even incriminating — information.
But the lawmakers are just as correct in their criticism of Cuomo. They claim, for example, that the Cuomo administration convened the Moreland Commission less out of any desire to clean up corruption in New York than to pressure members into passing some of the governor’s legislation they have opposed (e.g., public financing of political campaigns). They further accuse the Democratic governor of trying to push the Moreland Commission to target selected pols, especially Republicans.

Lawmakers Attempt to Quash Subpoenas
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It is an improper and illegal use of Executive authority for appointees of that branch of government to ‘investigate the Legislature’ merely because the Commissioners would like to compel passage of proposed legislation.”  – Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in an email discussing legal efforts to quash subpoenas issued by the Moreland Commission, via The Daily News  

The state Senate and Assembly plan to jointly file papers in Manhattan Supreme Court to quash subpoenas from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission seeking information on lawmakers’ outside income and clients, the Daily News reports:  IDC Pulls Sponsorship Of Moreland Bill, Pay-To-Play Reform(YNN)
One bill, initially co-sponsored by Savino of Staten Island, would have made future commissions impaneled under the Moreland Act to be independent of the governor’s office.
A second measure would require firms seeking state agency contracts to provide a list of political contributions made in the past 18 months to the governor and and the executive branch.* * A pair of law firms that employ state lawmakers filed court papers on Friday to quash subpoenas from Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission, with attorneys from the state Legislature expected to file objections as well, Gannett Albany writes * It's clear what the Moreland Commission is looking for: We found Hiscock & Barclay/Harris Beach clients who lobby NYS  * The Moreland Commission is poised to report recommendations this week, setting the stage for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to try to use the findings to push lawmakers to agree to change campaign-finance and other laws.* The Auburn Citizen would like the Moreland Commission to take a “hard look” at executive agencies, especially (in light of recent headlines) DOCCS.* The TU says Cuomo “needs to fight for campaign reform at least as hard as he campaigned on it.”
More on the Moreland Commission 

Pay to Drop Deputy BP

Comrie Payback for Dropping Out of the BP Race
Incoming Queens Borough President Melinda Katz picks City Councilman Leroy Comrie as her deputy(NYDN)

CrainsNY Anonymous Source

CrainsNY Which Use Parkside's Evan Stavisky to Drop Dimes On Levinson's Advance Group Now Quotes An Anonymous Source to Attack Viverito
Is Stavisky the Anonymous Source?
"I am very certain that he does not want a speaker to his left," the Democrat explained. "He'll want someone who's not going to push him. He'll want to do things when he's ready." Mr. de Blasio has reportedly talked up Ms. Mark-Viverito's candidacy, but many council insiders don't buy it, said the source: "I think he's floating Melissa out there so she can self-destruct. A lot of people believe that."  The math of the speaker's race still does not bode well for the Progressive Caucus, the insider insisted. "Brooklyn has 10 to 12 members [who will be united]; add 13 from Queens, possibly all 14, the two Republicans from Staten Island, and whatever [Bronx Democratic Chairman Carl] Heastie has, 5 to 8," the Democrat said. "I believe the county leaders will work together on this one as opposed to trying to cut each other out." CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double DippingBronx county leader pretends "it's up to City Council members" to pick next speaker:  * Ydanis Rodriguez Rejoining Progressive Caucus; Backs for Speaker (Councilwatch)

TV Lobbyists Loyal to the $$$

Former GOP Senator Helps Funds de Blasio 

NY1 LobbyGuys
DE BLASIO BENEFITED FROM D’AMATO MONEY: While Bill de Blasio was elected mayor as a progressive Democrat, he quietly took contributions from people closely tied to former U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato, who is now a lobbyist and perhaps the state’s most powerful Republican.
Ms. Holtzman's lobbying firm was paid $120,000 in 2009, $90,000 in 2010, and $200,000 in 2011 by SAIC, the maker of CityTime,


Dead Run
Signals Upgraded for Curve in Track Where Metro-North Crash Occurred(NYT) Operators nearing the area, just north of Spuyten Duyvil station, will be warned of a reduced speed limit, and the train will brake automatically. Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it had upgraded its signal network to warn operators as they approach the sharply curved section of tracks in the Bronx where a Metro-North train derailed last weekend

Metro-North engineer jumps the rails — and gets job back(NYP) After an engineer’s alleged dozing caused a derailment last Sunday that killed four people, a Post investigation found that dangerous train drivers get little more than a slap on the wrist by the agency.

Fed Crackdown on Metro-North
Engineer in Metro-North Crash Is Called Dedicated and Kind(NYT)People who know William Rockefeller, who was at the controls when a Bronx derailment killed four passengers, say they are puzzled by the impression that he is a reckless man.* U.S. Orders Changes at Metro-North After Derailment(NYT) * Ocean of tears for tragic train dad(NYP) * Getting back on track after Metro-North tragedy(NYP Ed) *Metro-North Ordered to Modify Signal System (WSJ) *NY railway has until Tuesday to analyze lines (WSJ) * Railroad Administration orders Metro-North to use 2 engineers(WABC) * Funeral for one of victims of Metro-North derailment(WABC) * Metro-North has until Tuesday to analyze lines

Blame the MTA for train crash, too(NYP Ed)* Feinstein: Stick to Train Safety Deadlines After New York City Crash (WSJ) * Cuomo To MTA: Take Steps To Make Trains Safer(YNN) *Changes ordered for Metro-North after fatal crash(NYP) * QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Safety is our highest priority, and we must do everything we can to learn from this tragic crash and help prevent future derailments. While we assist the National Transportation Safety Board in carrying out its investigation, this Emergency Order will help ensure that other Metro-North trains travel at appropriate, safe speeds.” – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, commenting on the response to the Metro-North derailment, via The Wall Street Journal. * * The Federal Railroad Administration issued an emergency order to Metro-North Railroad requiring it to improve its signal system following the fatal train crash in the Bronx, The Wall Street Journal reports:

Thursday Update: Warning System on the Wrong End of the Train
Derailed train’s alarms located away from engineer(NYP) *Train Had a Warning System, Just Not in the Operator’s Cab(NYP) * Federal investigators are leaning toward blaming operator error in Sunday’s Metro-North train derailment, with the train engineer’s attorney firmly stating that the incident was not a criminal matter, The Wall Street Journal reports: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said that an alerter system had been installed in the locomotive pushing the train that derailed in the Bronx, but not in the front cab where the engineer was positioned at the time of the crash (NYT) * Charges Not a Certainty in Train Derailment(WSJ) * Inside the derailed Metro-North train(NYP) * EXCLUSIVE: Train engineer in deadly Metro-North derailment will undergo evaluation for sleep apnea, which leaves sufferers exhausted when they wake up(NYDN)
Editorial in NYT on train derailment highlighting neglect of infrastructure by political system. Tragedy could have been prevented
The Times writes that the Metro-North derailment in the Bronx raises the question on why that train and thousands of commuter trains across the country are not better equipped with automated train control systemsTrain Engineer Was Dazed Before Crash, Lawyer Says(NYT)* Sweat the motorman (NYDN) Zeroing in on the crucial piece of the Metro-North derailment puzzle* 'IN A DAZE': Shocking first words from engineer blame lack of focus for fatal train wreck as NTSB says brakes were working properly and alcohol wasn't a factor(NYDN) * Driver Lapse Cited in Crash(WSJ) * Hudson Line Commuters Get Back On Track (NY1) * The governor also said that the state would explore options for “positive train-control systems,” which automatically slow down trains, in the wake of the Metro-North derailment in the Bronx, Gannett Albany reports

82 MPH At the Curve 30 mph Zone
Driver started early morning shift two weeks ago 
: announces service to be restored to Hudson line for Wednesday morning.
BREAKING: engineer was sober, well-rested before crash. Brakes were working, too. Gov. Cuomo: Law Enforcement Should Look Into Operator Of Metro-North Train Wreck (NYDN) * The engineer of the Metro-North train that derailed on Sunday did not appear to be focused moments before the crash, said sources close to the investigation, with one describing him as "almost hypnotized," The New York Times writes: * The MTA is bracing for lawsuits in connection to Sunday's train derailment in the Bronx that killed four people, but the total cost to the agency may be as little as $10 million, Crain's reports: 

. Spotted Golfing in Bermuda After Train Accident: Report(NYO) * Bill de Blasio Says As Mayor, He Would Have Been At Train Crash Site  * Bloomberg learned of Metro-North derailment while on golf course(NYP)  *Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the train derailment in the Bronx was likely caused by speed and not a product of the tricky turn near the Spuyten Duyvil station, the New York Times reports:* : BREAKING: says train that derailed in the Bronx was traveling at 82 mph as it approached a 30 mph zone. -  

Bruno Back to Court

Ex-Sen. Joseph Bruno going back to court(NYP) * A new trial date of May 12, 2014, was set for former state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno’s re-trial on public corruption charges, The Associated Press reports: 

RIP Vincent Marchiselli, ex-assemblyman and true Bronx tough guy who never had trouble standing up to corrupt Democratic machine.* Vincent A. Marchiselli, Ex-New York Legislator From Bronx, Dies at 85(NYT)

Toll Hike Pushing the Middle Class Out

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

NYT's Knockout Urban Myth Silence

Memo to the NYT: Ms. Small Knockout Attacker Was Not An Urban Myth
Sunday Night Another Knockout Attack
Hasidic man targeted in ‘knockout’ attack(NYP)
Elderly woman could be city’s 10th ‘knockout game’ victim (NYDN) Yvonne Small, 76, fell to the ground after being punched by her assailant on Alabama Ave. and Wortman Ave. in East New York about 11:35 a.m. This attack happen right after Community activist and member of National Action Network, holds a press conference in front of a Nail Salon at 745 New Lotts avenue in East New York, Brooklyn, to speak out against “knockout attacks.” *Elderly woman latest ‘knockout’ victim(NYP) * Police Search For Suspect In Another Possible ‘Knockout Game’ Attack(WINS)

Did the NYT Chase Away Pols When They Suggested Knockout Attacks Was Urban Myth?

Random Attacks Are Rising Threat or Urban Myth(NYT) The New York police are trying to determine if teenagers are picking targets and trying to knock them out with one punch, or if such attacks have always occurred.* "I didn't knock out no Jew" arrested suspect yelled. Possible try in Brooklyn:

 NY1 Does Not Even Call A 76 Year Old Woman Getting Punched In the Head A Knockout Attack Police Seek Man For Questioning In Connection With Brooklyn Assault(NY1)

Albany Fish Stinks At the Head

Albany's 3 Leaders Uses Separation of Powers to Protect Their Criminal Behavior.  Half + of Their Members Disagree
 They’re hiding something (NYDN)As they stonewall what could be the last, best chance to clean up state government for this generation, the top bosses of the Assembly and Senate claim that they are sticking up for the interests of the entire Legislature. It’s a matter of principle, they declared as they went to court to battle Gov. Cuomo’s Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. We’re standing for the constitutional balance between the executive and legislative branches, they said in trying to quash subpoenas for details of the outside income they collect for doing who-knows-what for who-knows-whom. Hogwash. Albany's legislative bosses cover their backsides in subpoena fight* Only ten of the 25 members of the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption have filed financial disclosure forms with the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics, and the panel’s three chairpersons are among those who have not, the Times Union’s James Odato writes:  * Silver, Skelos and Klein join law firms' legal fight against Moreland

Silver, Skelos and Klein Uses Nixon's Watergate Separation of Powers Argument to Kill Subpoenas
 More than half of the 32 chose to cooperate by turning over such basic information as the nature of their work and the names of their nonconfidential clients. That leaves no more than 15 holdouts — at most, a mere 7% of the Legislature. But that small group happens to include all three of the Legislature’s leaders — the only ones who matter in the boss-dominated Capitol. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver collects as much as $450,000 a year — more than triple his state salary — from the trail lawyer firm Weitz & Luxenberg. Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos receives as much as $250,000 a year from the Long Island firm of Ruskin Moscou Faltischek. And Senate Independent Democratic Conference chief Jeff Klein, who shares power with Skelos, garners as much as $85,000 from his own firm in the Bronx.

The ethics laws they wrote require them to disclose only the rough amount of their outside income and the name of their official employer. But what, if anything, do they do for the money is a blank. Do they represent clients with business before the state? Are they rainmakers cashing in on their government titles? In fact, the commission asked nothing from the Legislature as a body — only from a relative handful of its members, who are independently elected and independently accountable. Most appear to have done what’s right for the state and its citizens. Silver, Skelos and Klein are doing what’s right for them. On Wednesday, the Senate GOP’s fund-raising arm backed down from its part of the subpoena fight, wisely choosing to compromise and cooperate rather than stand in the way of openness and reform. The Legislature’s leadership must do no less.* In the days before the election, 's law firm gave $50K to the PAC backing judicial retirement increase (Capital) * Klein, law partner tag-team to score big on appointments(Riverdale Press)

The Daily News BOE Treadmill

Council Has the Power to Clean Up the BOE
The Daily News Keeps Cherry Picking Problems At the BOE When They Can Solve Blow Up the Corrupt Agency By Demanding the Next Council Speaker Pledge to Clean It Up
The Daily News Should Ask Each of the Council Speaker Candidates If They Will Use Their Power to Confirm Board of Election Commissioner to Demand Reforms of That Corruption Institution

The DN Has the Power to Put Pressure on the Next Speaker to Clean Up the BOE, But Does Not Use It
Quinn and a gang of 4 GOP councilmember used  the power to confirm BOE commissioners to throw out commissioner in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx. The result is that GOP party leaders patronage appoints to the BOE are being replaced by people from the councilmembers and their friends. Why is the media not demand that the next council speaker clean out the BOE and restore Democracy to New York City? * Bloomberg rips NYC's scanner voting machines over privacy(NYDN)

Today's Daily News BOE Cheery Pick
BOE Makes Counting Ballots Into A Patronage Bonanza That Has Little to Do With Counting
Have money, will waste (NYDN Ed) The insane, inane inefficiency of the city's Board of Elections never ceases to amaze. Although there was no doubt as to the outcome of the race — or any question about who won other contests on Nov. 5 — the board hired teams of patronage workers to eyeball each and every ballot in search of write-in votes that were not detected by the scanners.They sat before computer screens in five board warehouses (one in each borough), equally balanced between Democratic and Republican temporary hires. One by one, they called up photographic images of the ballots and looked down the last ballot column to spot write-ins in any of the nine races being contested.  If they found none, they advanced to the next image. When they found a write-in, they jotted the name down. But they found almost none. Consider what happened in the 2012 presidential election. Voters cast 2,474,254 ballots, including 2,337 write-ins, about one-tenth of a percent of the tally. Of those ballots, 80% where deemed “unattributable” because the handwriting was illegible or the voter wrote something like “Get lost” or entered a fictional name such as Donald Duck. The board’s claim that every vote must be accurately counted is specious, because there is a much simpler, more cost effective way to get the job done. The manufacturer of the ballot scanning machines says the devices can easily be programmed to display only those ballot images with marks in the write-in areas. Were the board to do that, its patronage workers would have to inspect only several thousand ballots, not 1 million of them. But that would mean few workers and a lower payroll. Sacrilege!* States making strides to move elections from the voting booth into the hands — and even mobile devices — of voters:(Politico)

BOE Investigates Itself, DOI Missing in Action for Years - But the Daily News Keeps Wishing

Seven months ago, Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn assigned a special six-person crew to uncover fraud, waste and corruption at the Board. They haven’t been heard from since. 
NYC Board Of Elections Chief: No Evidence Of Widespread Misdirection From Nov. 5 Pollworkers(NYDN) City Board of Elections boss Michael Ryan says the agency will check out complaints that pollworkers wrongly pushed people to vote straight ticket* Board Of Elections Says Claims Of Poll Worker Misconduct Were Isolated Misunderstandings(NY1)
More on Corruption at the BOE  More 

Making $$$ Off the Homeless
The Podolskys house about 11 percent of the city’s homeless families

How 2 brothers, convicted felons, have made a fortune sheltering homeless
Why Run a Slum If You Can Make More Money Housing the Homeless? (NY Mag) A really, really great article by about the Podolsky family's unsavory, city-financed homeless shelter biz. Altogether, public records indicate that the Podolskys own or control close to 40 shelter properties, which house at least 1,300 homeless families, about 11 percent of the city’s total. (Families now make up the vast majority of the homeless population.) A calculation based on city records suggests that the Podolsky-related shelters have generated rents in the range of $90 million since 2010. One notorious real-estate family has converted its run-down buildings into for-profit shelters, paid for by the city. The going rent per cubicle: $3,600 a month.* For Some Landlords, Real Money in the Homeless(NYT)

Dirt Fly In Speakers Race
Queens Boss Crowley Who Is Trying to Elect Weprin Hit With A Virginia Housing Cover Up
Rep. Crowley’s Va. home scrubbed from Wikipedia(NYP)  Queens Rep. Joe Crowley is apparently not proud of where he lives — Virginia. A congressional staffer deleted from Crowley’s Wikipedia page a link to a 2011 New York Post story that revealed how he and his family have settled in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Va., 250 miles from his home district. The effort to scrub the news article made the BuzzFeed Web site’s list of the “13 more embarrassing Wikipedia edits by congressional staff.” * BuzzFeed was able to link congressional staffers to the deletion from Crowley’s Wikipedia page by the IP address associated with the deletion.* Mark Weprin Makes His Speaker Pitch on the Airwaves (NYO)* In Speaker's race, Staten Island's Debi Rose allies with progressive block, while Republicans wait (SI Advance)

Will the de Blasio Express Deliver a New Council Speaker?(Gay City News) “In many parts of the city, councilmembers aren’t allowed to think for themselves,” observed Ken Sherrill, a Hunter College political scientist and longtime student of New York municipal government.But a key conceit in the current political narrative is that 2013 is different. A new mood among the public. A new direction. A new mayor. De Blasio himself would seem philosophically aligned with charting a new course in choosing the Council speaker.

Who Are the Power Brokers Picking the Next Speaker?

No Smoking Under 21, E-Cigarettes

Vapors and Emotions Rise at Hearing on E-Cigarettes(NYP)
City set to snuff e-cigarettes(NYP) * Council Bill Aims to Limit Use of E-Cigarettes as Their Popularity Grows(NYT) Fearing that e-cigarettes are a gateway to conventional cigarettes, and that they may pose health hazards, the City Council is trying to ban their use in public places.* Council looks to snuff out e-cigarettes(NYDN) * The Power of Cigarette Warning Labels(NYT E)

NYC raises tobacco sales age to 21(NYP)
NYC law banning teen cigarette buyers made official(NYDN)
* The New York City Health Department’s “NYC Quits” campaign to discourage young people from smoking asserts that young men who smoke are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction and females more likely to become infertile, the New York Post writes:


Breaking Ethics Law Widespread

Speakers Candidates and Lobbyists Breaking City's Ethic Law

Corruption Poster Boy
Speakers Candidate and Lobbyists Breaking the City's Ethic Law
New York City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules by accepting unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a lobbing firm, to further her candidacy for Council speaker, the Daily News reports  And the lobbying firm, the Advance Group, may have violated the rules by providing the free advice to the councilwoman, Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-East Harlem). The Advance Group, run by Scott Levenson, helped Mark-Viverito prep for debate forums, set up meetings with county Democratic leaders and network with the Council members whose votes she needs. CrainsNY also reported Mark-Viverito is getting help by two other consultant lobbyists firms, Bishop Pitta Del Giorno and the Mirram Group. The first two have deep labor connections, while the latter has ties in the Hispanic community and in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Ms. Mark-Viverito was escorted around Brooklyn's Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club recently by Michael Cohen, a Bishop Pitta consultant, according a source in attendance. Mr. Cohen has retained an attorney in relation to the indictment of Democratic political consultant Melvin Lowe but says he's not in the complaint. * Will the Advance Group Decide the Speakers Race, Lobbyists Advance and  Parkside Broke the City's Ethic Laws by Running IE PACs

Is the Parkside Group Giving Free Advice to Weprin? Is Berlin Rosen Working for Free With Garodnick?
As a public servant, Mark-Viverito is prohibited by the City Charter from accepting a “valuable gift” from a firm that intends to do business with the city.  And lobbyists, in turn, are prohibited from giving those gifts.  Under the City Charter, a “public servant” found in violation of the rule can be fined up to $25,000. And someone providing that improper assistance could be slapped with a $5,000 fine for an initial violation. A spokesman for Mark-Viverito on Tuesday minimized the extent of the Advance Group’s help. * * The Daily News urges the New York City Council to disqualify Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito from consideration for Council speaker for “blatantly” violating ethics rules by soliciting unpaid assistance from a lobbyist
IE PACs In Violation of City's Ethic Law
True News Exclusive
Advance PACs Broke the  City's Ethics Law by Running NYCLASS and Other PACs
Lobbyist the Advance Group Violated the City Election  Law When the PAC they were running NYCLASS Game Money to Melissa Mark-Viverito and Paul Vallone.  The other PACs Advance worked for United for A Future and Citizen Action gave gifts of  money to several council members.  The City Charter states: “No public servant shall accept any valuable gift . . . from any person or firm” who “is or intends to become engaged in business dealings with the city.”
CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping

Lobbyist Parkside Broke the Ethic By Running Jobs4NY

The political action committee run by the Parkside Group, backed by the city’s strongest landlord organization, the Real Estate Board of New York, has doled out $7 Million for City Council candidates. The City Charter states. Parkside  Jobs4NY gave gifts in the form of cash to the following council members: Chin, Levine, Dickens, King, Cabera, Gibson, Vallone, Prentzas, Lancman, Cumbo, Torres, Espinal, Maisel, Treyger, Mattero, Cohen (16 Members)
“No public servant shall accept any valuable gift . . . from any person or firm” who “is or intends to become engaged in business dealings with the city.” That covers both Parkside and REBNY

Have the Progressive Caucus Also Violated the City Ethic Law By Asking A Lobbyist to Work for Free ?
From the NYT:
"The caucus asked a labor official, Alison Hirsh, the political director of 32BJ, the union of janitors and doormen, to negotiate with the county chairmen, other council members and speaker candidates on its behalf." Alison Hirsh, who is a registered lobbyist. The progressive has not registered with the BOE and CFB to legally hire a lobbyist.

Corrupt Lobbyist Schlien Worked Illegally for Arroyos
Stanley Schlein Works Free for Arroyos, Illegal Contribution?
Bronx Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo paid more than $55,000 to her son to help her re-election campaign, continuing to pay him through December of this year even though she had an non-competitive general election. “The hefty payout consumed half of the $102,256 in private funds raised by the third-term Democrat,” the Post noted.*
Arroyo family made $55G on City Council run Isn't this illegal if you forbid family members from being paid?

More on Lobbyists Corrupt Pol Stanley Schlein 

A Taxing Gov New Mayor Perfect Storm
Is the Dinkin Rebuff A Sign That Team de Blasio Will Try to Put the Senate Dems Back  in Power?
The incoming mayor says a substantial, organized campaign will soon be launched to get the Legislature to pass his plan to tax the rich and use the proceeds to fund universal pre-K and after school programs.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that New York City’s municipal unions have to be “realistic” during negotiations with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, and that they should recognize that the city does not have a “fountain of funds” to tap into, the Daily News reports: * The latest Quinnipiac University poll finds that 63 percent of New York state voters support de Blasio’s proposal to increase income taxes on households making more than $500,000 to fund city public schools, and 62 percent say state government is dysfunctional * Cuomo’s tax focus threatens de Blasio plan(NYP) * Cuomo said that New York City unions negotiating new contracts need a “reality adjustment” and should consider the fiscal difficulties facing the city when making their demands, DNAinfo writes: * Gov. Cuomo Throws Cold Water On Plan To Revise Congestion Pricing For New York City
How de Blasio Dances With Cuomo 

Goodbye Mr. Brooklyn

Borough President for Not Much Longer, but a Brooklynite Always(NYT) Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president and one of the city’s most popular politicians with a personal touch, can be surprisingly polarizing.* Retirement Ends 4-Decade Career of Drafting Big Plans for New York City(NYT) Planning, Samuel Hornick presided over a legal apparatus that instructed developers where and how big they could build.

Congressional Race Dead End

Councilman Recchia slapped with $2,657 city tax lien(NYP)
* New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia, currently running for Congress, wrote to a federal judge seeking leniency for reputed mobster Angelo Spata, extolling the community service Spata performed in his district, the Daily News reports:

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.

More on Black Politics
Stop and Frisk Stands for Bloomberg

More Disclosures About Stop-and-Frisk(NYT Ed)

The latest data shows that crime in New York City has declined even with far fewer street stops.

Officers Are Told Race Can Be a Factor in Street Stops, but Not the Only One(NYT)
* NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks issued a memo to all department commands that police can still stop suspects based on a description that includes race and clarifies the department’s existing policies against racial profiling, the New York Post reports: * Dazed and confused(NYDN) Good soldier that he is, NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks has mightily tried to explain to the city’s cops how to stay on the right side of the “Biased-Based Profiling” law, newly enacted by the City Council. Said to be on Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s short list for replacing Ray Kelly, Banks walked through the law’s ins and outs in a department-wide memo that revealed nothing so much as how confusing those outs and ins are.Next Mayor Will Decide 'Frisk' Policy
Federal Appeals Court Upholds Stop-And-Frisk Ruling (NY1)
More on the Scheindlin's Stop and Frisk Decision

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

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


Bloomberg Closing Game

Bloomberg Era Ends

How the Partnership Lost NY

True News Loser of the 2013 Election 
The Partnership's Kathy Wylde
If you think the Giants are having a bad year check out the head of the Partnership.  Wylede allowed the Working Families Party to take over the mayor's and Public Advocate's office.  She now must count on Virginia resident Corrupt Queens' Boss Joe Crowley to line up enough councilmembers to elect Mark Weprin as Council Speaker. As long as Wyde is in power there will never be reform of the city's corrupt party leadership or Board of elections.
OFFICIAL DISPATCH from Lhota's closed-door meeting yesterday, via Kathy Wylde of the Partnership for NYC: "Joe Lhota met with about thirty members of the Partnership for New York City today to detail priorities he would focus on as mayor including support for job creation, making the city more affordable, and ensuring that it remains safe. the big question was whether there is a path to victory for a Republican in an increasingly Democratic town. Joe argued that most New Yorkers agree with him on big issues if he can get his name known and his message across. Those attending included CEOs from finance, real estate, media and law. The Partnership has met with all mayoral candidates, but does not make endorsements. Joe was introduced by Loews CEO Jim Tisch."
More On How the Partnership Lost the City 

Escape New York First Shot in the de Blasio Boarder War
Christie: Move to New Jersey to get away from de Blasio(NYP) The garrulous Garden State governor said during a speech to The Wall Street Journal CEO Council Monday that New York is going in the “wrong direction” — especially since de Blasio’s election as mayor — and that residents should consider a change.“You have a new mayor in New York who is aggressively talking about increasing taxes in New York City. A Connecticut candidate for governor ran TV ads in the city last week encouraging New Yorkers to come to his state instead.

NYC Economy

The Boyland Crime Family

Boyland's Father A Bribe Bag Man?

Boyland Jr. sent dad to collect bribe money: prosecutors(NYP) Prosecutors will argue that Boyland Jr. used his old man to pick up the check to distance himself from his dirty dealing. “At trial the jury will hear a recording on which the defendant boasts that he uses a ‘bag man’ or a ‘middle guy’ so that he can stay clean,” prosecutors wrote in the filing. “This evidence is powerful proof that Boyland Sr. was a co-conspirator who knew he was collecting a criminal bribe and not a legitimate campaign contribution.” A Brooklyn federal court filing showed that Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. had his own father pick up a bribe from an undercover agent, with William Boyland Sr. picking up a $3,000 check from a man he believed to be a real estate developer.

More on the William Boyland

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:

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."

Journalism Lost

The Lost Art of Jimmy Breslin Journalism
To younger colleagues: the story isn't always the person with the title. Why Jimmy Breslin is a legend in his time
Prints of the city (NYDN Ed) Toasting legendary columnist Jimmy Breslin. Far too long ago, Stanley Walker, legendary city editor of the New York Herald Tribune, described the newspaper you are reading as “a jolly, rollicking brother of all humanity.” The memorable phrase came to mind with Jimmy Breslin’s induction into the Deadline Club’s Hall of Fame. It well fits the man. Breslin came to journalism equipped with the painter’s eye for detail, the composer’s ear for the music of New York speech and a heart that could write. Good columnist? No. Great columnist, one day hilarious, the next heartbreaking, unafraid, on the right guy’s side, always authentic, even when peopling his pieces with characters of the imagination.
More on Jimmy Breslin

CityTime 3 Guilty - What Did the City Know?
The largest and most brazen fraud in city history. 
The payroll management system, originally budgeted at $63 million, that ballooned to $700 million, thanks in part to millions in kickbacks.
3 Found Guilty in CityTime Corruption Trial (NYT) Mark Mazer, a former consultant to the city’s Office of Payroll Administration, was convicted of fraud and other charges; he was accused of taking about $30 million in kickbacks for steering work to favored contractors on the project, called CityTime. Originally budgeted at $63 million, the cost of the project exploded to about $700 million by 2011, with almost all of the more than $600 million that the city paid to the prime contractor, Science Applications International Corporation, or S.A.I.C., “tainted, directly or indirectly, by fraud,” an indictment charged.
911 System Cost Overruns Fines No Legal Cases Again
Verizon to Pay City for Cost Overruns(NYT) Verizon has agreed to pay New York City at least $50 million for falling behind schedule in developing software for the new 911 system that then failed to meet city standards. * Bloomberg, Liu agree on $50M Verizon settlement over 911 system work(NYDN)
More On CityTime Cover Up

NYC Government No Vets

For the First Time In NYC History Its Government Will Contain no Military Veterans
On January 1, 2014 the NYC government with have no Veterans. The last Veteran is Councilman Al Vann. Prior to attending college, Vann joined the United States Marine Corps where he rose to the rank of sergeant. Just who does this new NYC government represent? In coming councilman Rery Lancman served in the National Guard.

Dump Down Local Media

Media Failed At Its Coverage of Campaign 2013 but WNBC TV Does Give Us Bloopers
Campaign bloopers: Highlights (and lowlights) from the 2013 New York City mayoral race | WATCH: (WNBC)  Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese Sal Albanese states thanks to poor coverage of the race, the former councilman argues, New York's voters are the real losers. (City Limits).  New Yorkers are bombarded with a dumbed-down discourse that focuses on sensationalism and the political horserace. This trend is not only pushing smart, underpaid reporters to premium niche sites read mostly by the chattering class; it's hurting our citizens. Then, the Anthony Weiner Circus came to town. Newspaper editors put public safety, failing schools, and the affordability crisis aside in favor of anatomical puns. In a real twist, I received more quotes in the month of July, when I called for Mr. Weiner to step out of the race, than during the preceding six months.Elections have consequences, and so does the way that we cover them. For the sake of our city's future, we must demand better.

Journalism Disconnect

NYT A Tale of Two Jobs Reports

The Fact That Unemployment Went Up Again is Buried In the Upbeat Story by the NYT and Not Seen As An Emergency Problem By Pols That Most Be Solved

NYT Cheerleader Higher Unemployment
NYT Did Not Report That the NYC Unemployment Rate Rose to 8.7% Until the Second Half of Their Story About Record High Number. That kind of Rose Color story on employment removes the press on the city's elected officials to do anything about the rising unemployment rate.Record High for Number of Jobs in New York City(NYT)
The New York State Department of Labor issued a report showing that the number of jobs in New York City rose to a record high of more than 3.98 million, and that the city has added 313,000 jobs since the bottom of the last recession.

Gambling Dark Pool $$$

Gambling Follow the  Money If You Can

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
Gambling and lobbyists 

Pedestrian Fatalities Up

Pedestrian fatalities on the rise across city(NYP) Pedestrians deaths are up this year across the five boroughs compared with 2012 — and have spiked by 15.5 percent since 2011.  While the city boasts that overall traffic fatalities are at record lows, a Post analysis found at least 141 people were killed by cars through Monday, compared with 132 over the same period last year.There were 122 killed through Nov. 25, 2011.* NYPD Traffic Agent Dead After Midtown Truck Accident(DNAINFO) The vehicle ran into the officer at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue, the NYPD said. * The Times praises New York for leading the way in cracking down on distracted driving through the use of Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement, or “stealth S.U.V.’s,” which wrote 5,553 tickets in the first two months of the program:

MTA Fares Washington Cuts

Get on the money train(NYDN Ed)

Take the subway, commuter rail or bus to work? We thought so. Dislike wasting money? You don’t say!
This one’s for you. Hanging in the balance in Washington is a measure that could soon cost thousands of mass transit commuters across New York City, Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut a $500 annual tax hike (and the same for other transit riders nationwide). A lot of grocery money will come out of a lot of pocketbooks and wallets starting in just over a month — unless Congress and the President get off their collective duff.  * In the Post, the Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas crunches the numbers on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 2014 budget, noting that the MTA’s fire hikes “magically” appear after Cuomo’s 2014 re-election campaign:
On Oct. 24, 5,985,311 subway rides were taken in New York City – the most in recorded history, according to an internal memo prepared by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority last week. 
More on the MTA 

Economy and Pushing Out Middle Class
A report prepared last month for the state Tax Reform and Fairness Commission found that New York’s business tax breaks have tripled since 2005, from 33 business tax credits totaling $673 million to 50 credits worth $1.7 billion, Gannett Albany reports:

Median household income in NYC dropped 6%. See the change by neighborhood:
New York State Exposed: Is the SAFE Act driving businesses out of NY? 
Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the state Thruway Authority over uncertainty of funding for the new Tappan Zee Bridge, Gannett Albany reports: 
New pipeline to NYC "gathers gas from a handful of sources, including the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania"  * The proposal by Cuomo’s first tax commission to charge sales tax on clothing and footwear under $110 would punish NYC shoppers, critics say, while the tax break to offset it excludes renters. *
. Kathy Wylde says NYC has lost 100K middle-income jobs over last decade. * Walcott cites Georgetown study: over next decade 3.3m job openings in NYS, only 8pct will be open to those without HS diploma * * The five New York counties with the lowest unemployment are all upstate, with Tompkins County having the lowest rate at 4.8 percent, the Bronx the highest at 12.2 percent and unemployment in New York City still above 8 percent, State of Politics writes:  *Cruel and unusual (NYDN)  Extended unemployment benefits should not lapse * Detroit and the impact on pension reform(NYP)

A Tale of Two Retail Strips(WSJ)
As the holiday shopping season launched and economists poured over sales statistics, another gauge of economic health was in full display in two of New York's shopping districts—one for the haves and one for the have-nots.
NYC Economy


New Job After Shots Are Fired: Keeping Students Feeling Safe(NYT)

Teachers union failing charter schools(NYP) *   In a daylong hearing at the Capitol, members of the Assembly Education Committee grilled state officials on the vast trove of student data the state Education Department wants to build, worried that the data will not be protected, the Times Union writes:  New York Parents, Educators REALLY Want State Education Boss John King To Resign(Huff Post) * At Forums, State Education Commissioner Faces a Barrage of Complaints(NYT) The latest Siena College poll finds that 45 percent of New Yorkers are confident that Common Core standards will make students more college-ready, while 34 percent of voters think the Common Core standards are too demanding* New York is moving forward with its plan to create a database of every registered public school student in the state. This digital information hub will include pupils’ grades, attendance records, test scores and important medical diagnoses. (NY Daily News)*  Ed department announces Common Core forums in NYC(Capital)
* In the Daily News, Campbell Brown, founder of the Parent’s Transparency Project, criticizes Cuomo for his silence as his state Education Commissioner John King is pilloried for imposing the Common Core standards: * Teachers Union Dropping $1.2 Million On New Campaign(Huff Post)
More On  Education

Sandy Fraud

Lights Slowly Come Back in a Storm-Crippled Park(NYT)

Salt water that surged into the park during Hurricane Sandy dealt a big blow to the infrastructure. The federal Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, responsible for identifying fraud in the nearly $58 billion superstorm Sandy aid package, says it is struggling to track grants, loans, and contracts most vulnerable to misuse, Newsday reports:* More than a year after superstorm Sandy, the mounting frustration illustrates a broader dilemma for policy makers in New York City and Albany: Is it better to invest in pricey measures that protect the many or to help those hardest hit immediately? * Hundreds of photos salvaged from the debris in New Dorp Beach, Staten Island after Sandy are now on a Facebook page for their owners to identify.* Gov. Cuomo announces $50M project to protect Hurricane Sandy-battered nabes in Queens from future storms(NYDN) * Sandy Victims Frustrated By NYC Rebuilding Program

More on Sandy



The Takeout Item Left on Bloomberg’s Plate(NYT) The Bloomberg administration says the cups and boxes fill up landfills because they cannot be recycled; a foam manufacturer disagrees and has rallied restaurants to protest.



Times Jumps Gun of  Willets Clear Out

The End of Willets Point (NYT) An earlier version of this article and its accompanying slide show misstated how the city has acquired land in Willets Point. It could invoke eminent domain. It has not done so yet.  

* Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino spent $4.1 million in his re-election race this year, more than twice as much as his opponent, leaving him with just $679,000 in his campaign account for a potential gubernatorial run, The Journal News reports:

City Workers Fret Over Pensions As Detroit Enters Bankruptcy

* Cuomo’s tax commission, co-chaired by former Gov. George Pataki and former state comptroller H. Carl McCall, have not reached an agreement on recommendations due on Friday, Capital New York writes: 

* Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera urged colleagues to vote against a $320 million ice-rink complex at the Kingsbridge Armory weeks after he allegedly asked the developers to donate millions to his former charity, Crain's reports:  

Being progressive and fiscally responsible are not mutually exclusive says at