Tuesday, January 7, 2014

True News: Cuomo and De Blasio’s Political Chess Match Has Begun

Yes There Are Winning Every Election, But How Do Progressives Govern?
De Blasio’s Next Task Is Turning Passion Into Policy(NYT) They played a sometimes bare-knuckle game to get here. The greatest torrent of so-called independent spending in the last election came from the teachers’ union and a group ostensibly opposed to carriage horses but closely aligned with the de Blasio campaign.  When a primal tug-of-war arose to control the City Council, Mr. de Blasio cut a deal with the Brooklyn Democratic boss to hand the speakership to a progressive. Asked by reporters what he had traded away, the mayor-elect offered the laugh of a non-answer. Ideological discipline is central. It will be a rare Republican, Mr. de Blasio has suggested, who takes a senior position. “They have to share our values,” he said. “That might be a high bar.” How will they distinguish themselves from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose policies on housing, the streetscape, transportation, public health and taxis edged noticeably to the left? 

Did the Progressives Win or Did the Dysfunction and Corruption of the City's Election System Lose It?

Brooklyn Boss Seddio Queens Boss Crowley Foster Corruption
True News: Were Have All the Journalist Gone After Newfield Boss Crowley and the Surroage Court Cash Cow *   Not so Pretty: Queens Machine leaders? Bunch of Nassau County lawyers who milk Courts and Estates of the Dead: (NYT) *True News (The Bund): NY Corrupt Party Boss Crowley * Queens Crap: Crowley trying to cover up his real address(Queens Crap) * QUEENS COURT DOLES LEGAL BUSINESS TO DEM INSIDERS *Crowley Influence In Courts Raises Conflict of Interest Questions ...(City and State) * True News: A Takeover Of Journalism by Lobbyist and Politicians

Golden sought to pressure GOP into using his catering hall (brooklyndaily.com) Leading borough Republicans allege that the widening split in Brooklyn’s GOP started with a spat over the scheduling of a Christmas celebration in 2010* Billionaire ex-GOP mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, went on Road to City Hall last night, where he commented on contributions he gave against Republican candidates like Councilman Eric Ulrich and Congressman Michael Grimm; he simply quipped, “Somebody has to follow Mike Bloomberg.”
More on GOP Bottom Feeders
Power Brokers Fight for Control of New York Machine vs Unions 
Corrupt Brooklyn Boss Seddio 
NY Corrupt Party Boss Crowley
New York's Corrupt Political Party Leaders

Governing NYC is Full With Minefields
A forest of question marks rises around the new mayor. He was a political operative, a public advocate with little power and a Council member who stood in the liberal mainstream.New York has added jobs at a fast clip, but most offer low wages and come without the benefits. Can progressives raise taxes, hold down rents and build dikes against the waves of riches without spooking the wealthy? Can they preserve benefits and wages that allow pensioners and municipal workers alike to scrape by without emptying the treasury? Put to the side esoteric questions of whether there can be progressive garbage collection or firefighting. Defining the word “progressive” can prove elusive. He was also careful to share postelection laughs with real estate barons.* NYC mayor says he can change NYC & thus America by redistributing wealth. Can he?(CNN) * New York is running out of luxury condos(CNBC) * De Blasio’s quest won’t be easy(NYP) * Don Lemon: It's Going to Be 'Tough' if New NYC Mayor Wants to 'Play Robin Hood' (VIDEO)

Media Failure to Inform
A Consultants Lobbyists Production
1. NYT Besides Low Turn-Out the Does Not Analyze The Reasons for the Low Turn Out - Did NYC Corruption Party Leaders and Election System Turn People Off From Voting?

2. NYT Does Not Explain How Candidates Campaign for A Year and Nobody Including Them Knows How They Will Govern?
Amid the huzzahs, keep a desultory fact in mind: Fewer than 25 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the mayoral election, a record poor turnout.The Democratic primary in 1989 between Mr. Dinkins and Mayor Edward I. Koch drew nearly one million voters. The general election, in which Mr. Dinkins beat Rudolph W. Giuliani, a Republican, drew 1.8 million voters. New York City’s population has grown by one million people since those elections. Yet 700,000 fewer New Yorkers voted in the general election of 2013.

Two Weeks Ago True News Asked: ________________________________                                                                                 
What Kind of Progressive Era?

The 1st Progressive Era Goal Was to Destroy Political Bosses 
The Progressive Era was a period of social activism and political reform in the United States that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s.[1] One main goal of the Progressive movement was purification of government, as Progressives tried to eliminate corruption by exposing and undercutting political machines and bosses. Many (but not all) Progressives supported prohibition in order to destroy the political power of local bosses based in saloons.[2] At the same time, women's suffrage was promoted to bring a "purer" female vote into the arena.[3] A second theme was building an Efficiency movement in every sector that could identify old ways that needed modernizing, and bring to bear scientific, medical and engineering solutions. Progressives sought to enable the citizenry to rule more directly and circumvent political bosses. Many cities set up municipal reference bureaus to study the budgets and administrative structures of local governments. Charles Henry Parkhurst (April 17, 1842 – September 8, 1933) was an American clergyman and social progressive. Although scholarly and reserved, he preached two sermons in 1892 in which he attacked the political corruption of New York City government. Backed by the evidence he collected, his statements led to both the exposure of Tammany Hall and to subsequent social and political reforms. Frances Perkins and the New Deal

Are Today's Progressives Reforming Government?  

Progressives Make A Deal With the Corrupt Brooklyn Boss to Elect Speaker
"They went from progressive deals to back-room deals with a machine boss in record time"(Capital)

Forget Reform What About Separation of Powers. Judicial Elections Reforms, Patronage 

More on the Corrupt BOE  More 

Albany's Pink Wall of Silence 
 Here's Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's letter admonishing Micah Kellner, a fellow Democrat Shoe drops for Assemblyman . Ethics Committee finds he violated sexual harassment policy. Silver issues sanctions. * And here's the report of the bipartisan Assembly Ethics Committee saying Kellner created a "hostile work environment"* Kellner was removed as chairman of the Committee on Libraries, which unlike many posts in , doesn't have a special "lulu" stipend.* Micah Kellner Sanctioned For Sexually Harassing Staff Members In 2009...(NYDN) * Ethics board slams ‘harass’ pol Micah Kellner(NYP) * Cuomo: Assemblymen Must Deny Harassment Allegations Or Resign (CBS)* Cuomo challenged Kellner and Gabryszak to deny sexual harassment or resign. Kellner, in a statement, says he'll appeal report.* Cuomo Prods Assemblymen to Resign(NYT) Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called on the State Assembly to “seriously consider” expelling Micah Z. Kellner and Dennis H. Gabryszak if they did not leave of their own accord.* Cuomo issues an ultimatum(Capital) * An attorney for Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak said the lawmaker will participate in the Assembly process for investigating ethics complaints.* I think NYS Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak is getting bad PR advice from his attorney, and I told why. * Two more women are alleging Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak sexually harassed them, in one case allegedly grabbing one of the women and trying to kiss her, the Times Union writes: * Silver’s black box(NYDN Ed)Another dubious process after another sexual harassment mess in the Assembly * Another Candidate Moves to Challenge Kellner (NYO) * Mayor Says Son Lobbied for Snow Day(NYO) * Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted his support of Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak’s latest accuser and said the embattled lawmaker should “immediately” resign.* More come out against latest pervy Albany pol as sex harass allegations mountQUOTE OF THE DAY: “The public trust is eroded by this drip, drip, drip of bad acts, scandals, etc. It erodes the public trust and when you erode the public trust you erode the public trust of government.” – Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the sex scandals plaguing the state Legislature.
Kellner Slammed Violated Sexual Harassment Policy
Assemblyman Micah Kellner can no longer hold leadership positions, including his chairmanship of the Committee on Libraries and Education Technology, or have interns as part of a round of sanctions following a sexual harassment investigation

Daily News Boss Silver Unsafe 
The Daily News writes that the way Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is dealing with Micah Kellner makes clear that Silver runs a boss-ruled organization that doesn’t know how to police its members or protect its employees:
Kellner Appeals Silver’s Sanctions(YNN)
Cuomo says the sexual harassment allegations against Assemblymen Dennis Gabryszak and Micah Kellner “should be the last straw” and that the Assembly should consider ousting them if they don’t resign*\Kellner Challenges Ethics Committee as Gov. Cuomo Calls for His Resignation 
Assemblyman Micah Kellner’s former chief of staff, who brought forward sexually inappropriate conversations between Kellner and another staffer, continued to email Kellner after she revealed his alleged misconduct, the Daily News’s *Cuomo On Sex Harassment: Don’t Change Leadership, Change The Rules(YNN) * Gov. Cuomo twisting himself into pretzel to protect Sheldon Silver in sex assault scandal.   * A Buffalo TV reporter and former communications director for Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak is alleging the politician cut her pay when she voiced displeasure with his alleged sexual comments and actions, the Times Union reports: *Seventh Woman Details Accusations Against Gabryszak * Scandal-scarred Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak did not attend the State of the State, but will reportedly be in Albany for the first session day Monday.
Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline 

Kellner Quart Moreland Lobbyist Corruption

Ethics panel looks into lobbying for liquor bill(NYP) Gov. Cuomo’s Moreland Commission sent subpoenas to lobbyists working for the Rose Group — which leases space in the Third Church of Christ, Scientist on Park Avenue at E. 63rd Street — seeking information about its efforts to pass an exemption to state liquor laws, sources said. Rose has spent $373,401 on lobbying since 2011, including $245,000 to lobbyist and former chiropractor Joseph Mirto’s Empire Consultants. Records show Mirto has sent $27,500 to state legislators and $32,500 to Gov. Cuomo’s re-election committee since 2011, with Rose adding another $5,000 to Cuomo. * Assemblyman Dan Quart, who represents the Upper East Side, sponsored the bill in his chamber. With no Senate sponsor, the bill was introduced through the Rules Committee in an unusual procedural move.

What the NYP Left Out Campaign Consultant George Arzt
How Lobbyists Work Together
Arzt was paid $1500 by Kellner's City Council Campaign
Micah Kellner and Dan Quart co-sponsored a bill specifically to carve out an exception in the state liquor law to give the church-cum-wedding factory the right to sell liquor all the time.  Lobbyists for the Rose Group contributed thousands of dollars to Kellner’s (and Quart’s) campaigns.  Over the last few campaign cycles Micah Kellner took in around $4,000 from lobbying firm Connelly, McLaughlin & Woloz, and from the principals of the firm, and from Brenda Levin and George Arzt, other Rose Group lobbyists.

Arzt's NYP's Inside Connection

The New Political Director of the NY Post David  Seifman and Stringer political consultant George Arzt are long time friends. Arzt used to write for the NYP become he became a lobbyist political consultant.  The two even shared a beach house together years ago.

Another Report BOE is Corrupt

Throw the bums out(NYDN ED)

Established 140 years ago to combat Tammany Hall’s blatant municipal thievery, the Department of Investigation returned to its roots with a damning report that must lead to wiping out every last vestige of the New York City Board of Elections. Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn’s report — the last of her 12 years atop DOI — covered much familiar territory to readers of this editorial column. In fact, she ordered the probe after we exposed that the board had squandered millions of dollars by larding on patronage workers to run the ultra-low turnout off-year 2011 election. But Hearn’s probers turned up blockbusters of their own. Most seriously, they found multiple violations of the city Charter’s anti-nepotism provision. Although supervisors are barred from recommending family members for jobs, two of the board’s 10 commissioners hired close relatives, as did two of the 10 borough managers.  Brooklyn Democratic Commissioner Julie Dent put her sister Ellen Giwa on the payroll. Queens Democratic Commissioner Jose Araujo put his wife Rita on staff. He told DOI that he wanted to qualify for health insurance, since the part-time commissioners are not entitled that benefit. That’s a triple rip-off: 1) a job for Rita in violation of regulations, 2) health coverage for Rita, 3) health coverage for Jose . (By the way, he also put his sister-in-law on the payroll.) Bronx Republican top clerk Anthony Ribustello gave a job to his brother Richard. One of the unidentified supervisors was a woman who hired her daughter. That description fits both Queens Democratic clerk Barbara Conacchio (daughter Amanda), and Brooklyn Democratic clerk Maryrose Sattie (daughter Lisa). Sattie’s son Tom also works for the board, but not directly for mom.

And then DOI also found:
-The board blows a huge amount of time and money by visually inspecting each paper ballot for a possible write-in vote, when their computers could simplify the task 1,000-fold.
-The board wastes staff time and scarce office space by forever storing registration cards.
-The board unnecessarily uses unreadable small-point lettering on its ballots.
-Poll workers are underqualified and undertrained and they cheat on the poll worker test.

Why NYC Hospitals Are Closing

If You Want to Understand Why So Many Hospitals Were Closed in NYC Read This Blog

Can the New Mayor Stop Higher Rents?

De Blasio’s biggest challenge: The rent is still too damn high!(Salon) Bill de Blasio has promised to make New York a more equitable city. Now comes the hard part. Average rent in the four subway-accessible boroughs crossed $3,000 per month this summer, which is about three times the national average. New York City rents have increased by more than 10 percent over the past decade, while median income has fallen. In 2011, according to research from the State Comptroller’s office, one in five NYC households was “severely rent-burdened,” spending more than half its income on rent; 44 percent of NYC households spent more than 30 percent of income on rent (a typical benchmark for affordable housing). The city’s homeless population has reached record levels even as homelessness declines nationally. * Williamburg Gentrification(NY Mag)

Daily News Outer-Borough Low Priority

FORGOTTEN ONES: Even as murders hit record low in NYC, cold cases languish as outer-borough victims found to be low priority(NYDN) *'THEY GOT MY BABY!' High school student, 16, shot dead hours after parents warned him someone was going to shoot up party(NYDN) * Odds that you’ll be killed by a stranger in NYC on the decline(NYDN)
Stop and Frisk *Hear the frisk case (NYDN Ed) The courts have to let the appeal proceed

Hot Tub Tabloid War: Daily News and New York Post Battle Over Spitzer Story(NYP)

Outrage Grows Online About NYP Headline

Suspect in slumlord slay caught on tape(NYP) Brooklyn slumlord Menachem Stark was shadowed for two weeks by his attackers — and one of them boldly lay in wait for him on a Williamsburg street for several hours before his violent, deadly abduction, law enforcement sources told The Post. * ‘Foreign hitman’ staked out slain slumlord for weeks: sources(NYP)

Slain slumlord’s business partner fears he’s next(NYP) Israel “Sam” Perlmutter fears for his life because of his close business dealings with Stark, which date back at least a decade and have involved multimillion-dollar deals that went south, said a source close to the victim’s family. Perlmutter is “loaded up with security guards,” said another source in the Satmar Hasidic community. “Everyone was talking in the synagogue that he’s afraid he’s next.”* ‘Post’ stands by controversial cover on slain ‘slumlord’(Capital) * Hamodia's coverage of controversy:  And one more from the saying-you're-sorry file: Brooklyn pols and members of the Orthodox Jewish community took the NY Post to task for a wood asking of murder victim Menachem Stark, "Who Didn't Want Him Dead?" Brooklyn BP Eric Adams said only a full, formal apology -- which the NYP didn't offer -- would be acceptable. “Who did not want him dead? Who didn’t? His children did not want him dead,” Adams said, per the NYO.* In coverage of slain Brooklyn landlord, calls : “down-market New York tabloid newspaper.” * New York - A VIN Editorial: An Open Letter To The New York Post  * Rabbi Joseph Potasnik Takes NY Post To Task For Lack Of Respect * Slain slumlord’s family offers $25K reward to find killers(NYO) * Judging Menachem Stark's Jewish Life — Not Just His Death (Jewish Forward) Is Hasidic Community Proud of Landlord's Shady Record? * As Mourning Continues for Abducted Man, Rumors Fly in Hasidic Community (NYT) * Slain slumlord was ‘asphyxiated’ in van(NYP) * Finances Probed in Killing(WSJ) * Slain slumlord ‘owed more than $1M to loan sharks’(NYP)

A VIN Editorial: An Open Letter To The New York Post 
Brooklyn BP Eric Adams Calling Press Conference Condemning NY Post
: Did The NY Post Justifiy The Murder Of Menachem Stark?
Condemn the NY Post for Sundays Cover Page (Facebook 2000 likes)
RT “: I condemn the anti semitic headline against the Jewish community.”
Senator Simcha Felder: "I condemn in the strongest possible terms the incredibly insensitive and crass cover of today's New York Post."
Sickened by the condoning the murder & kidnaping of chasidic businessman. I don't subscribe. If I did, I would cancel subscription.
Heartfelt condolences go out to Menachem Stark family/friends.I condemn story-we should come together to mourn, not be divisive
New York Post Cover Angers Pols(CBS)
Disgusting NY Post cover today! The press should assist in finding the killer rather than disgrace the victim, his family, and community!
I am calling for the to publish a formal apology to the Stark family in tomorrow's paper. The 's decision to hang in effigy on its cover, hours after shiva has begun, is a betrayal of journalistic 
Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo: In new admin, we have opportunity to build a better new city. We Have to Q whether has place in society.
Joining the many NYers who agree that today's headline is deeply wrong & inappropriate.

: Rockland Gas Station Puts Out Sign That They Will Not Be Selling NY Post  
CM : Journalism is NYC has reached a new low. Have you no shame, ? Call on ADL to condemn this. 
Public Advocate Tish James: "Today the has reached new low. You have given license to murder."
Councilman : The has disrespect for human life.
just called on a political and governmental boycott on 's NY Post at 's press conference at BoroughHall
  1. To understand how twitter changes the balance of power in journalism, check out the revolt against the NYPost cover today.
    Crown heights leader Rabbi Sperlin calling on news stands and stores not to sell the

    Update NYP Responds to Protects
    'Post' stands by controversial cover on slain 'slumlord'(Capital)"The Post does not say Mr. Stark deserved to die but our reporting showed that he had many enemies, which may have led to the commission of this terrible crime," a spokesperson for the paper told Capital late Sunday afternoon. The accompanying story, based largely on anonymous police sources, portrayed Stark as a "slumlord" and a scam artist with a long list of shady business dealings, debts and enemies."Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time of loss."
    NY Post flogged over cover story on slain Hasidic man(Times of Israel)
    Video: Rabbi Sperlin Squashes Up NY Post In Protest Of Stark Coverage
    A Developer Is Mourned and Vilified in Brooklyn(NYT)
    Post’s report on slain slumlord draws harsh criticism(NYP)_
    It is reprehensible. sunk to yet another low today with callous coverage of a murder victim. My condolences to the family.
    Murdered Brooklyn landlord Menachem Stark was ‘a good man,’ relatives say(NYDN)
    Leading Author Of NY Post Cover Story – Renowned Anti-Orthodox Writer And Awardee - See more at: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/208948/leading-author-of-ny-post-cover-story-renowned-anti-orthodox-writer-and-awardee.html#sthash.2pMnlEPQ.dpuf

    Leading Author Of NY Post CoverStory – Renowned Anti-Orthodox Writer And Awardee(theyeshivaworld)

     New Brooklyn DA to Try the Stark Case

    Brooklyn’s new DA fought for slumlord slay jurisdiction(NYP) That’s because new District Attorney Ken Thompson fought hard for what is certain to be a headline-grabbing investigation — and, if suspects are caught, murder trial, sources said. A spokesman for Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice said Thompson and the NYPD will handle the case but did not explain why. * Ex-prosecutor Vecchione makes case for tough tactics(NYP) A prosecutor whose hard-charging tactics were the subject of bitter debate during the race for Brooklyn DA has no regrets about the way he pursued criminals and justice.

    Open Gracie Mansion House 

    Bill de Blasio Plays Host at Gracie Open House(NYO)
    De Blasio Holds Open House at Gracie Mansion, His New Home (NYT)
    New Yokers flock to Gracie Mansion for de Blasio pics(NYP)
    New Yorkers line in cold to see historic Gracie Mansion
    Public Has Its Day at Gracie(WSJ)
    De Blasio was also busy hosting top pols for a private and unannounced schmooze prior to the Gracie open house, reports Capital NY: "The political breakfast drew at least 100 attendees, including Senator Chuck Schumer, Representative Charles Rangel, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, all Democrats, and Republican State Senator Marty Golden of Brooklyn, according to several people on hand for the event."

The Times is Not Kind to de Blasio's Inauguration Day
"de Blasio promises to take “dead aim” against problems as vast and daunting as inequality and injustice, he is boldly raising expectations for sweeping solutions he — like any mayor — has limited ability to deliver."

NYT Anger Management

NYT: Backward-looking Speeches Both Graceless and Smug

Mayor de Blasio Looks Forward(NYT Ed) * De Blasio stands by speakers who blasted Bloomberg(NYP) * New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first full day in office proved to be a busy one as he dealt with a major snowstorm, swore in Bill Bratton and responded to critics about the barbs directed by others at Michael Bloomberg during de Blasio’s inauguration, The New York Times writes: * De Blasio said he had no qualms about scathing assessments of ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered at his Wednesday inaugural, the NYT reports: "I’m very comfortable with all that was done," de Blasio told the press hours after a top Bloomberg aide, Howard Wolfson, said on WNYC radio that the former mayor's tenure had been mischaracterized.*  De Blasio’s Next Task Is Turning Passion Into Policy(NYT) * Chaplain’s ‘Plantation’ Reference at de Blasio Inauguration Gains Defenders(NYT) In a prayer by the Rev. Frederick A. Lucas Jr. that called New York a plantation, some listeners heard incendiary rhetoric, while others heard just a call for justice.* Stasi: The mayoral inauguration marks the end of 'A Tale of Two Cities' and the start of 'Lost in Space'(NYDN)

James' Difficult Transition to Big Time

During the Campaign Consultants Put Every Word in the Candidate Mouth When Your A Councilmembers Nobody Cares What You Say
Public advocate caught in homeless fib upon taking office(NYP) Just hours after being sworn in as the ctity’s public advocate, Letitia James went on TV to claim that she played a key role in helping expose “the face of poverty in the City of New York” on the ‘front page of The New York Times. “Andrea Elliott [the Times reporter] met Dasani in the course of interviewing residents outside the Auburn shelter, and exposed conditions there by following the family. Andrea never talked to Ms. James, nor was she source for the story,” Times assistant managing editor Matt Purdy said in a statement. From the NYT Ed "Letitia James, who used her moment for her own head-on attack: on the 12 years of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In doing so, she made a prop of a 12-year-old girl named Dasani, who had to hold the Bible and Ms. James’s hand as Ms. James called for a government “that cares more about a child going hungry than a new stadium or a new tax credit for a luxury development.”* Tish James comes in with a bang(Capital) * Will Tish James Back Bill De Blasio, or Shove Him?(Nation) * Tish talks too big (NYDN Ed) The public advocate's shallow political exploitation of a homeless girl

NYP Calls For Doing Away With Office of Public Advocate 4 Days After James Takes Office
Letitia James proves Public Advocate position is useless(NYP Ed)

Liberal Stringer & NYT Moderates
Government Limits
Riding to Utopia…(NYP)Who would have anticipated the day when the most moderate elected official in city government would be Scott M. Stringer — the Upper West Side uber-liberal and protégé of left-wing gadfly Rep. Jerrold Nadler of Manhattan? Only one — Stringer — has been around long enough to have absorbed a sense of the limits of government.* The New York Times writes that the high and low points of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s inauguration illustrate the challenge he faces in taking the city in a new direction but with limited ability to deliver on sweeping solutions that bring high expectations * The Post writes that while de Blasio wants to use city pension money to build affordable housing, new Comptroller Scott Stringer will have to sign off on such a move and hopefully he will remember that taxpayers are on the hook if things go wrong.

It was up to former President Bill Clinton, ad-libbing some gracious thanks to Mr. Bloomberg, and Mr. de Blasio, who did the same, to try to bring the event back to a grown-up level

JIM DWYER IS CRITICAL -- “About New York” column in NYT, “Rewriting the City’s Record on Prisons”: “First to the microphone at the inauguration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, Harry Belafonte got 60 seconds into his talk before grievously mangling history. ‘New York,’ he said, ‘alarmingly, plays a tragic role in the fact that our nation has the largest prison population in the world.’ That is the opposite of true. … He may have been speaking to a truth; he just wasn’t speaking the truth about New York.” 
More on Inauguration Day

Bloomberg Hung by his Own Petard

High Priced Bloomberg Flacks Failed At Protecting Their Boss
Aide defends Bloomberg after verbal attacks during de Blasio inauguration(NYP)Howard Wolfson said he felt compelled to correct smears and outright falsehoods uttered by speakers, including singer Harry Belafonte and Public Advocate Letitia James.* Ex-Bloomberg Deputy Defends Boss After Inauguration Lashing(NYO)
* --HOWARD WOLFSON, on his first day as a civilian, wrote a piece for the Times forum that defended Bloomberg’s record without criticizing de Blasio: “Poverty didn't rise. Incarceration dropped. There is more private-sector employment and more affordable housing.”

Charter School Protocol, Pension Double Dip
New schools boss declines to take a stand on charters(NYP) Asked if she was for or against charters, Fariña said, “I think for or against is very strong — so stay tuned and we will have a protocol on that.” * New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña says many of her first stops will be at middle schoolslike Middle School 223 in the Bronx, where she stopped on her first day on the jobbecause they will be a big focus of her first year, the Journal writes: * New schools boss to collect double de Blasio’s pay
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will collect both a city salary and her pension for a total income of $412,193 a year — nearly twice as much as Mayor de Blasio is…*Bill de Blasio & an anti-charter lawsuit(NYP)* Pay, Plus Pension, for Schools Chief(WSJ) * "It's absolutely lega and appropriate," BdB says on chancellor drawing salary and pension.* Occupy the Department of Education?(NYP) * Mr. de Blasio’s new schools chancellor, Carmen Fariñaintroduced herself to DOE staff yesterday, according to the recently revamped Chalkbeat New York, but “left many questions unanswered, including speculation about who among the department’s top leadership will stay and who will go. Fariña was not made available for questions from reporters.”*De Blasio is having a fight over charter schools with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Cuomo Pre-K Funding Plan
 A Cuomo plan to fund pre-K, preempt mayor(Capital)

More On Education and the new Chancellor

De Blasio Wins the Storm

As Bloomberg's Team Handles the Snow Storm the New Mayor Takes and Tweets the Money Shot  
DN video: Mayor de Blasio gives shoveling tips & brandishes "animal safe ice-melter"  * De Blasio’s snowy second day(Capital) * de Blasio held a conference call at 4 a.m. with senior staff to discuss the snowstorm and later praised the city’s response while shoveling snow in front of his home, The Wall Street Journal reports:

NOT THE SAME AS THE OLD BOSS: Bill de Blasio brings a new style to NYC mayoralty — stripteases, jokes and all(NYDN) * Storm Shows Off a Less Stoic Mayor Now in Charge(NYT) * Dante de Blasio did indeed lobby his father for a snow day, but also had to do his share of shoveling.* Bill de Blasio shows a playful side as New York City's mayor - a sea change from the businesslike Michael Bloomberg(NYDN)* Mayor De Blasio’s snow-day symbolism draws a sharp contrast with Bloomberg: (NY Mag) *de Blasio Takes Hands-On Approach to Winter Storm(WSJ) * Welcome gifts for de Blasio from Cuomo & Bloomberg(NYDN)
The moment of truth for the new mayor is right now*Neighbors Move Out of Slope  New police hut in front of DeBlasio’s Slope townhouse has neighbors wishing he would move on up to Manhattan already.(Brooklyn Paper)  * Former Staten Islander tapped by de Blasio to be state legislative affairs director | * Bill de Blasio Appoints Youth Commissioner, Top City Lobbyists, And Other Officials * De Blasio Appoints 6 to His Team(NYT) * De Blasio's First Days; The Latest in ACA; Taxi Medallions; The Wolf of Wall Street (WNYC)  * New de Blasio aide took heat in ’07 online flap(NYP)De Blasio also named as senior adviser a longtime associate, Peter Ragone, who as press secretary in San Francisco’s City Hall took heat for using other people’s names to post online support for that city’s mayor, according to media reports.* Giuliani: "Nothing progressive" about 's ideas (Capital)

de Blasio Governing By Triangulation 
A Left Progressives Agenda, Cut Throat Politics (Council Speaker) and Experienced Pros Running His Administration

Media Follows the Spin Not the Governing
The Daily News is wrong when it reports today that the inauguration sets the tone for the mayoralty De Blasio's inauguration sets tone for mayoralty. The message yesterday does not explain private hospital establishment mogul like Stan Brezenoff being part of an administration seeking to save hospitals for the poor.  The populists spin of de Blasio's coming out of the subway yesterday with his family gives no hint of the separation of powers power grab connected with the new mayor's support of Mark-Viverito for council speaker.  After an uncompromising inauguration where the new mayor showed he unafraid to make enemies, and eager to keep his friends today de Blasio show his compromising and practical side when he dumped Campaign spokesperson Lis Smith after the headlines of her and Spitzer being joined at the hip.

Team de Blasio while the are very controlling of the media knows how to fold when they have gone to far.  The 180 of no press at the real swearing in at his Park Slope home New Years eve is proof of that.   To look at de Blasio message spin and connecting it to explain his decision making process and how he will govern wrong. De Blasio is a chess playing strategist who it will be hard at first to come to conclusions to what he is really doing. The real question ahead is can he do what he wants, accomplish is ambitious agenda and goals or will reality bite.  * Louis: "Some transition team members are saying .. the talent hunt isn’t going as well as they would like."

Bratton Again
Bill Bratton returns as top cop: ‘Who says you can’t come home?’(NYP)
NYPD union lawyers seek quicker stop-frisk appeal ruling(NYP)
Bill Bratton Doesn’t Have Access to Room at NYPD Headquarters(NYO)
Bratton Takes Helm of Police Force He Pledged to Change(NYT)
Bratton taps CBS' John Miller for counter-terror post(NYDN)
'Who says you can't come home again?' Bill Bratton sworn in as NYPD commissioner(NYDN) * Bratton Takes Helm of Police Force He Pledged to Change(NYT)

RETOOLING THE FINEST: Bratton taps ex-CBS News correspondent John Miller as NYPD pointman on war against terror(NYDN)
Police unions trying to beat Mayor de Blasio to the punch in NYPD stop-and-frisk case(NYDN)
Bratton plans to keep NYPD officers overseas(Capital)
Bill Bratton vows to tackle stop-and-frisk in swearing-in as NYPD chief:(Gurardian)
Unscripted comment from Bratton about not having sufficient security clearance yet, which defused

Bloomberg Iced 

"Will you love me in December as you do in May" Mayor Walker
Speakers at de Blasio inauguration blast Bloomberg(NYP)  Mayor de Blasio’s inaugural guests took turns beating up on former Mayor Mike Bloomberg at City Hall Wednesday — even calling his reign a “plantation” that callously ignored New York’s hungry children. With the ex-mayor seated just feet away, in the front row of the dais, performer and civil-rights icon Harry Belafonte launched the first shot by calling the city’s justice system “Dickensian” thanks to Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk policy — an apparent reference to de Blasio’s “Tale of Two Cities” campaign theme.* City leaders excoriate a good man in Bloomberg(NYP) * Michael Bloomberg deserved better than the way he was criticized during speeches at de Blasio’s inauguration, at which it took more than an hour for Bloomberg’s success to be acknowledged, the Post’s Michael Goodwin writes 

Harry Belfonte said at de Blasio’s inauguration that New York plays a tragic role in the nation’s high prison population, but New York is reducing its entire prison population, according to statistics, the Times’ Jim Dwyer writes:  * Key takeout of de Blasio win, inaugural: Declining sway in party & city of white Catholic &Jewish voters, the ones once deemed "Reagan Dems"* Wolfson: At a time when poverty grew during every other big city in America, poverty was flat in NYC. * NY1 host Errol Louis, speaking on Road to City Hall, also used the word “striking.” “The tone of the thing, I thought was striking. And I know it wasn’t coordinated and each speech seemed to feed on the others. And what I thought was going to be a sort of pageant of unity turned into a pretty sharp-edged, almost partisan kind of party,” he said. Speaking on the same program, columnist Clyde Haberman slammed the early speeches at the event. “If you listened to the speeches … you would think that we live in a city of total Stygian darkness and nothing good has happened over 12 years,” he said. “Rev. Lucas’s use of ‘the plantation called New York City,’ I frankly found that offensive in the extreme.”* New York City Public Advocate Letitia James took a fiery tone in her speech Wednesday. (WSJ) * de Blasio "very comfortable" with controversial inauguration speeches(NYO) * De Blasio Defends His Inauguration’s Sometimes Harsh Tone Toward Bloomberg(NYT) * Mike Bloomberg was very grumpy at Bill de Blasio’s inauguration *Rewriting the City’s Record on Prisons(NYT) "Harry Belafonte got 60 seconds into his talk before grievously mangling history." *New York's Divider-in-Chief (WSJ)  Bill de Blasio's inaugural address took every opportunity to jab at those who aren't on the margin* Wow. Some really tough words for Letitia James from the editorial board.* De Blasio defends tone of inauguration(Capital)

A Second Look At NYC (the Plantation) Program For the Poor
New York City has a great array of hospitals, clinics and public colleges. While several speakers on New Year’s Day condemned the condition of our homeless shelters, it is worth keeping in mind that the city stands nearly alone in declaring that homeless people have a legal right to shelter.  Under Bloomberg, the city has launched several groundbreaking social programs that have produced impressive results or demonstrated significant promise, including the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) and the Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). The administration also pioneered new approaches to social policy, including a greater emphasis on evidence and data, more interagency collaborations, and a dramatic expansion of efforts to leverage private resources.  FACT: NYC's incarceration rate fell 26% from 2001 to 2012, even as it rose 3% nationwide. * De Blasio Inauguration Starts With ‘Plantation’ Rhetoric & other offensive comments  * Letitia James takes parting shot at Bloomberg during swearing-in speech:(AMNY)
Bloomberg Era Ends
More on the Nanny Mayor
Mayor and Snow Storms
Great tape from the WNYC archives of La Guardia, Lindsay, Giuliani and Bloomberg getting NYC ready for winter storms 

Gaspard Making Calls for Mark-Viverito
Gonzalez: De Blasio, ambassador pal are Dinkins success stories(NYDN)

Winds of War In the State Senate


Muppet Speaker Take Manhattan Again?

 Melissa Mark-Viverito dances around how much involvement the mayor-elect has had in her run for City Council speaker
Mark-Viverito's Closeness to de Blasio Causing a Political Headache(NY1)  NY1: Any representative from the mayor-elect there?" Mark-Viverito: There was a whole bunch of people present in the room. I think that there was labor leaders, allies, there may have been a representative, yes. Mark-Viverito did not disclose, in fact, it was the mayor-elect himself.  The de Blasio and Mark-Viverito campaigns have included the same voices, from the Working Families Party to the city's health care workers union. Up until recently, Mark-Viverito's current spokesman had worked for the de Blasio campaign. When asked about her independence, Mark-Viverito's spokesman sent over a statement saying in part she would be an aggressive defender of the City Council.*
Garodnick Not Backing Down In City Council Speaker Race (NY1)

Bill & Hillary & Bill & Andrew
Bill, Hillary Clinton arrived. The former prez will swear in de Blasio, who used to work for his admin, at HUD, under Gov. Cuomo
Liz Benjamin, writing in the latest issue of City & State, profiled the upcoming relationship between Mr. de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “This is de Blasio’s biggest challenge: He knows how to speak Cuomo-ese, but he doesn’t know how to deal with the Legislature,” said Darren Dopp, who worked for ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer. * By asking for the “Fair Play Act,” Cuomo has extended the deadline for deciding if he will legitimize FedEx Ground’s claim that drivers are independent contractors, not employees, the Post writes:

Former SI BP Lobbyist

Former SI BP Molinaro Joins Lobbying Firm With Ties to Mark-Viverito
Former Borough President Molinaro joins high-powered consulting firm with strong Staten Island ties(SI Advancew)  Molinaro has joined the Pitta Bishop Del Giorno and Giblin LLC government relations and consulting firm, a company with strong ties to the Island. In his role as senior managing director, Molinaro will oversee the firm's new satellite office in St. George, close to many of the economic development projects that Molinaro helped become a reality during his time in office. Pitta said that the Wheel development as well as other Island projects, including the development of the Stapleton home port and the re-development of the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility in Charleston, "are sure to spur further growth, opportunity and investment across all of Staten Island." Jon Del Giorno of the politically-prominent law firm Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin LLC (which manages Melissa Mark-Viverito campaign finance filings) also helped pave the way for the councilwoman's deal with Brooklyn Boss Seddio.Feds charge Senate Dems' operative (CrainsNY) Michael  Cohen, who now works for the New York lobbying firm Pitta Bishop Del Giorno and Giblin, did not return a request for comment made through a firm spokesman. Pitta Bishop lists crisis management among its specialties, and is affiliated with the law firm Pitta & Giblin. Ms. Mark-Viverito was escorted around Brooklyn's Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club recently by Michael Cohen

Building An Administration

5 Appointments 
De Blasio plays catch-up. Announces 5 new hires. Homeless, transportation, labor relations commissioners; EDC prez and labor advisor * Stanley Brezenoff, first pres of HHC & deputy mayor to Koch, will be unpaid advisor to First Deputy Mayor, helping resolve labor contracts.Stanley Brezenoff, another Koch alum, is going to be a special unpaid labor advisor. In early 80s he ran City's Health and Hospital Corp.* . announces Polly Trottenberg as transit commissioner, Kyle Kimball for and labor relations commish Robert Linn. * In introducing new homeless services commissioner, Gilbert Taylor, de Blasio again refers to NYT series on homeless child, Dasani. * Incoming NYC transportation commissioner Polly Trottenberg really likes bikes * De Blasio says his administration will focus on experience of children in homeless shelters. *De Blasio Makes Five Appointments Hours Before Taking Office(NYO) Kimball suggests he came into EDC with its approach already set under Bloomberg admin. He looks forward to implementing a new approach. * "“Thank you very much, mayor elect, for letting me keep my job," Kyle Kimball, current & future EDC president says. * . says living wage starts w/ $10 an hour w/ benefits - $11.50 w/out - and he hopes to expand on that. * De Blasio appoints Polly Trottenberg from U.S. DOT as the NYC transportation commissioner.(WNYC) * Fire Cmsr. Cassano, Sanitation Doherty & OEM Bruno will stay on the job for several months, per * Just Ahead Of Inauguration, -Elect Bill de Blasio Names Five Top Aides | New York Daily News *De Blasio Says No Contradiction in Keeping Bloomberg Development Commissioner(NYO) * De Blasio taps Koch veteran to lead labor talks(Capital) * De Blasio Says No Contradiction in Keeping Bloomberg Development Commissioner(NYO) * Bill de Blasio ‘Very Comfortable’ With His Regular Tardiness(NYO)

Press Secretary
Mayor De Blasio To Appoint Phil Walzak As Press Secretary
Mayor de Blasio To Announce Appointment Of Phil Walzak As Press Secretary(NYDN)
De Blasio Waxes Poetic About His Love for the Media(NYO)
Mayor de Blasio to Name Phil Walzak Press Secretary(NYO)

NYC Economy is A World Wide Fight
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio can’t win a fight against the global economy and the world’s wealthy, and to triumph in his fight against poverty he must acknowledge that it’s not the rich who make the poor poorer, the Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas writes in the Post:  * New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio can’t win a fight against the global economy and the world’s wealthy, and to triumph in his fight against poverty he must acknowledge that it’s not the rich who make the poor poorer, the Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas writes in the Post:

De Blasio eyes female candidates to run Fire Department(NYDN)
“I’m sticking around" -Sal Casano, who runs the FDNY, said(NYO)
OEM, Fire and Sanitation Commissioners Will Continue Under de Blasio(NYO)

Bill de Blasio’s counsel pick signals change on crime(NYP)

Using Bullpen
De Blasio to use Bloomberg's Bullpen when he takes office(NYDN)  Sources confirmed Monday that city employees have not been instructed to dismantle the open-air Bullpen or to draw up plans to replace it. It is possible if not likely that de Blasio will decide at a later date to return to a more traditional office layout inside City Hall.

New York City Housing Authority Chairman John Rhea has resigned, ending his four-year tenure and leaving the city’s departing Economic Development Corp. Director Kyle Kimball temporarily in charge, the Daily News reports:

Slow Transition And the Bloomberg Effect
De Blasio is on pace for one of the slowest New York City government transitions in a generation, with fewer than a dozen top officials chosen, compared to nearly 30 when Mayor Michael Bloomberg stepped into office, the Times writes: * Some of Bloomberg’s ideas for his time in office may not have come to total fruition, but others have come close or might become reality long after he has left City Hall, The Wall Street Journal writes: * Bloomberg once noted that a labor union contract would extend past the end of his second term, but with his third term ending, he is leaving behind expired contracts with every union, the Journal writes: 

Yesterday was a day for Bloomberg administration exit interviews on Road to City Hall. Outgoing officials dropping by the show’s set were: the city’s corporation counsel, Michael Cardozo, commissioner of the Department of Investigation, Rose Gill Hearn, and commissioner of the Human Resources Administration and Department of Social Services, Robert Doar

Horse-Drawn Carriages
Whoa: Very strong words from the NYT's edit page editor about de Blasio's push to banish horse-drawn carriages 

Protest To Accompany Bratton’s Official Return As NYPD Commissioner 

Tech Can Bridge the Two Cities
To achieve goals like narrowing the income gap de Blasio should carry on Bloomberg-era policies that stimulated a technology and information sector boom, Michael Mandel of the Progressive Policy Institute and South Mountain Economics writes in the Times: http://nyti.ms/19YvAE9 

De Blasio plan to tax NYC wealthy faces Albany roadblocks |(Bloomberg)

NYC homeless advocates cheer Mayor de Blasio’s 'code blue' shelter policy(NYDN)
Under the previous administration, a family that had been denied shelter would be turned away from a city shelter even on a very cold night, if the temperature dropped below 32 degrees for more than four hours. That changed with de Blasio.

Deputy mayor for Housing & Economic Development,not Economic Development & Rebuilding (CrainsNY)
Mayoral Transition Timeline  

Newspapers Blinked

End of An Era in Journalism
De Blasio Bullies The NYT "Our Movement"

After Editorial de Blasio Meets With Mark-Viverito Council Supporters
NYC Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio met Monday with supporters of Melissa Mark-Viverito to rally the troops in her bid for City Council speaker.BdB told Melissa Mark-Viverito backers, "'You all have made your choice, and I think you’ve made an excellent choice,’ ” one person said.
Newspapers Courage of Their Convictions DOE 2014 
Newspapers Disconnected From the Public Unable to Fight for Separation of Powers at City Hall
 De Blasio backs Mark-Viverito at a speaker’s race breakfast(Capital) All 30 Council members backing Mark-Viverito's campaign showed up at the breakfast, or called in to reiterate their support, and another 30 or so community, religious and labor leaders were on hand, including Peter Ward, president of the Hotel Trades Council, and Hector Figueroa, who leads building-service workers union 32BJ, according to several attendees. Leaders from healthcare workers union 1199SEIU, a political powerhouse where Mark-Viverito once worked, also showed up, as did Bill Lipton of the Working Families Party, several sources said. * Bill de Blasio touts Speaker candidate Mark-Viverito(NYP) The mayor-elect arrived at City Hall restaurant in Lower Manhattan after naming Carmen Farina the new schools chancellor. He spoke about “making history” by selecting the first Latina speaker, according to a source. Another source said de Blasio talked about the pending Jan. 8 vote as being “our moment.” He cautioned the council members not to cave in to pressure to change their allegiance to a rival candidate, Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick.

Elected Officials, Lobbyists Consultant's Spin the New News
 DE BLASIO’S MESSAGE CONTROL -- “You know better” -- De Blasio evades key questions before inauguration -- Observer’s Jill Colvin and Colin Campbell: “Asked about the status of important emergency-response commissioners–notably fire, sanitation and the entire Office of Emergency Management–Mr. de Blasio said Politicker should ‘know better’ than to push on the subject before he is ready to make formal announcements about which current officials will remain in place.”  DE BLASIO’S MESSAGE CONTROL -- “You know better” -- De Blasio evades key questions before inauguration -- Observer’s Jill Colvin and Colin Campbell: “Asked about the status of important emergency-response commissioners–notably fire, sanitation and the entire Office of Emergency Management–Mr. de Blasio said Politicker should ‘know better’ than to push on the subject before he is ready to make formal announcements about which current officials will remain in place.”

Shocking the BOE is Corrupt

Walking Dead NYC Voters

The dead can vote in NYC(NYP) Investigators posing as dead voters were allowed to cast ballots for this year’s primary and general elections, thanks to antiquated Board of Election registration records and lax oversight by poll workers, authorities said. Undercover DOI agents were able to access voting booths in 61 instances — including 39 dead people, 14 jail birds and eight non-residents. Only twice were the agents blocked. In some cases, young investigators were able to vote under the name of a dead person three times their age. At a Manhattan poll site, a 33-year-male investigator was able to vote under the name of a deceased man who would have been 94 on Election Day. On top of that, DOI makes 40 recommendations for changes to fix the embattled agency, cataloging problems with everything from nepotism and less-than-voluntary political activity to pollworker training and ballot design... More to follow... Rose Gill Hearn is leaving the city Department of Investigation to head the Campaign Finance Board, but before she goes, the commissioner and her team released a highly critical report of the NYC Board of Elections. * DOI To Board Of Elections: Get Dead People Off Voter Rolls  * NYC Board of Elections Riddled With Problems, Dept. of Investigation Finds(DNAINFO) * DOI To Board Of Elections: Get Dead People Off Voter Rolls(CBS) * Bloomberg makes last-minute campaign finance appointment(NYP)

NYT Says Mayor's Council Speakers Deal Done Deal
"Well See How Independent Council Is"
The No 
Fight NYT Unseemly
Mr. de Blasio Picks His Speaker(NYT Ed) Melissa Mark-Viverito, who is expected to be the next City Council speaker, insists that she will be independent and fearless. We’ll see.  Ms. Mark-Viverito’s victory was sealed by intense behind-the-scenes lobbying by Mr. de Blasio, after which she declared herself “humbled” by the honor. The mayoral meddling in Council business was unsurprising but unseemly, especially from someone who used to accuse Speaker Christine Quinn of being too close to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But that was then. Now we’re about to get a speaker with an enormous debt to the mayor, leading a legislative body that is supposed to be an independent counterweight to the executive.* At Today's Press Conference Bill de Blasio is asked if he regrets getting involved in speaker's race. He said he expressed his thoughts, and members will decide.* De Blasio Meets with Mark-Viverito Supporters in Council Race(WSJ) * Latino Leaders Try to Boost Mark-Viverito’s Speaker Candidacy(NYO) * Latino Lawmakers Rally For Mark-Viverito's Speaker Candidacy (NY1)
NYT Editorial Did Not Call For Reforms to the Council Lulus System, Member Items Or Call For Any Reforms
Ms. Mark-Viverito’s defenders don’t see a separation-of-powers problem. They also note that the old way of selecting speakers involved powerful party leaders in the boroughs anointing a choice, for the purpose of doling out committee chairmanships and pork. Ms. Mark-Viverito, who was an early and enthusiastic de Blasio supporter, insists that she will be independent and fearless. She points to the ambitious list of reforms that her Progressive Caucus has proposed, including changing Council rules on member-item spending and overhauling the City Charter to improve transparency in budgeting. Those are excellent ideas, and she should pursue them. But the best benchmark for independence will be how she reacts when some ally — this mayor, let’s say — offers terrible ideas and misguided policies. We’ll see. Meanwhile, there are 50 others in the Council who need to remember that electing a speaker is their decision, not any party boss’s or mayor’s. It is their institution whose role and reputation they are bound to protect.
“[De Blasio] wants to break any alternative power structure that would prevent him from turning the City Council into a mayoral agency"
 Bill de Blasio’s council coup(NYP ED) There’s a joke going around among the city’s political reporters: Despite concerns that  Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has moved too slowly to form his administration, the fact is, he’s already named his two most important officials: Bill Bratton for police commissioner and . . . Melissa Mark-Viverito for City Council speaker. The joke, of course, may be on us: The speaker is supposed to be picked by the council, not the mayor-elect. But in an unusual move, the incoming head of the executive branch blasted himself onto the legislature’s turf, twisted arms there (quite effectively, too) and now seems to have his own hand-picked speaker ready to grab the gavel. 
How’s that for irony? The man who overtook current Speaker Chris Quinn in the Democratic mayoral primary largely by suggesting she was Mayor Bloomberg’s toady will soon be a mayor himself — with his own self-chosen go-fer serving as speaker. Council members were livid. Even those who had given her their support originally felt blind-sided and double-crossed. They use terms like “hijacked” to describe the putsch and complain of having been “betrayed.” (They speak off-the-record, of course, so as not to cross either the mayor-elect or the likely new speaker, Mark-Viverito.) Says one observer darkly, “[De Blasio] wants to break any alternative power structure that would prevent him from turning the City Council into a mayoral agency, far more so than in the relationship between Bloomberg and Quinn.”* Mark-Viverito Stopping Co-Locations Charter Schools Mark-Viverito leads charter-halt suit(NYP)A group of public-school parents and politicians, including Mark-Viverito and Public Advocate-elect Letitia James, has filed a lawsuit that seeks to block the placement or “co-location” of 42 charter schools in public school facilities

 Cuomo Vs de Blasio in Speakers Race To Weaken the Mayor
Cuomo pushing to block de Blasio speaker pick Mark-Viverito(Dicker, NYP) Gov. Cuomo, in his first major battle with Bill de Blasio, is engaged in a last-ditch effort to block leftist Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito from becoming council speaker, Democratic insiders have told The Post. Cuomo has been working behind the scenes with city Democratic leaders, including Assemblyman Carl Heastie, the Bronx party chair, and US Rep. Joseph Crowley, the Queens chair, to line up support for Councilman Dan Garodnick, the other candidate in the race, the insiders said.  “It’s certainly not in Cuomo’s political interest to have another left-wing activist along with de Blasio running the city. The sense is that Cuomo wants to see de Blasio defeated on this one, so that he’ll start off as mayor weaker and not stronger, relative to the governor.”* Gov Race 2014 Rob Astorino Seeks To Tar Gov. Cuomo With NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver(NYDN) Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino says Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be leading the charge to push Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver from his leadership position amid sexual harassment allegations against Dennis Gabryszak* Cuomo’s Office Rips ‘Ridiculous’ Allegation of Speaker’s Race Meddling(NYO) * Mark-Viverito is notably not a Cuomo Democrat.

The Getting Even Deal
The City Council speaker’s race is ongoing as well. Last night the news broke that outgoing Speaker Christine Quinn has quietly backed rivals to front-runner Melissa Mark-Viverito, despite her professed neutrality in the race. “I had a conversation with her where she was absolutely discouraging Melissa,” one council member told Capital New York.

Lancman Mayor Quinn? No Done Deal
With the New York City Council speaker’s race still undecided, Dan Garodnick is campaigning to win votes from Council members who have pledged their support for Melissa Mark-Viverito
 All-Out Bid To Change Speaker Vote(WSJ)Council Member Dan Garodnick of the East Side Has Launched a Campaign to Flip Supporters of Melissa Mark-Viverito to His Side * According to several of Mr. Garodnick's supporters, he has 20 solid votes, including himself. A few have voiced a willingness to switch, and the coalition is working on courting a few more to get to 26, one person said. "We only need to pick up a few votes," one supporter said."Calling the speaker race for Melissa today is like calling the mayoral race for Chris Quinn in May," said Council Member-elect Rory Lancman of Queens, who is supporting Mr. Garodnick. (Ms. Quinn was the clear front-runner for months in the mayor's race, but she came in third place in the September primary. Mr. Lancman said. "Dan is the best opportunity for us to have an independent City Council."

NYT, NYP and WSJ Start Coving the Speakers Race No TV
No Coverage . . . 
How Local TV Dumbs Down New Yorkers

The real race to pick the second most powerful elected position in NYC council speaker received almost no coverage until today.  Only True News has reported and gave analysis on this most important race. A couple of the blogs gave out press releases spins of both sides in the council race consultants.  The fake race for council speaker the council speaker, last months speaker forums got extensive coverage over 2 million stories filed on google. New Yorkers that receive all their news from local TV will only know the winner of the council speakers race, not the problems pointed out in the NYT and NYP today.

Daily News Where is the Speaker Race Coverage?
The NYT, NYP and WSJ all had stories today on council speakers race, but not the Daily News. How can a DN editorial tell us on December 21 to keep the Bum Mark-Viverito out because of her conflict of interest lobbyist the advance group and not report on the separation of powers issue as the other papers reported today? Keep the bums out (NYDN, December . 21, 2013)  Cronyism taints Mark-Viverito's bid for Council speaker. "Many of the 30 who signed on share her progressive agenda. Joined in ideology, they overlook the conflict of interest that aided her candidacy. To rally support, she accepted free consulting from the Advance Group, a major lobbying firm that will press Mark-Viverito to support legislation and budgetary requests sought by its clients."
Why  Has the Daily News Stopped Following Up on the Advance Group Mark-Viverito Conflict of Interests?
No to Mark-Viverito (NYDN, Nov. 27, 2013) The would-be speaker crosses a line in accepting free "help" from a lobbyist. The city’s conflict of interest rules bar public officials from accepting freebies from lobbyists, and they prohibit lobbyists from dispensing same to public officials. This is exactly what happened on both ends of a scratch-my-back relationship between Mark-Viverito and influence seller Scott Levenson. The Conflicts of Interest Board must investigate, and the Council must disqualify Mark-Viverito from consideration for so blatantly violating the rules. Elevating her to speaker would send the message that the Council is up for sale.* Trail of Fractured Political Friendships on Way to Advancement in City Council (NYT)

Where Are the Goo Goos Groups Demanding End to Lulus and Member Items?

Daily News Called for End of Lulus and Member Items in the Past. Why Not Demand That the New Speaker and Members Support Those Reforms?
 Say bye-bye to lulus (NYDN Oct 22, 2013) Most City Council candidates have committed to end a corrupting practice * Stop the thieves: City Council must end pork-barrel member items ...(NYDN July, 17, 2009) * End the Slush Fund - NYTimes.com

NYP Picks Up On Queens Tribune (Boss Crowley House Organ) On Speaker Promises
City For Sale II
What does the secret fight for council speaker say about the next 4 years. First it clearly says that this will be a council in which power and money will be it governing tool.  The only talk of reforms was during the fake public dog and pony shows public forums which we have seen has nothing do with how the next speaker will be picked. The media covered the forums but is offering no analysis of the real dealing in the speakers race.  We can expect over the next 4 years that we have a media that will not cover the sausage deal making but will cover the spin.  Not is the time for the media and the so called good government groups to put pressure on the individual councilmember to push for reform. Instead of pushing for change we get that familiar New York silence from people who do know better.

The NYP Picks Up the Anti Mark-Viverito Sides War Plans Spin
De Blasio camp promises sweet gigs for support of Mark-Viverito(NYP) Bill de Blasio’s surrogates are promising plum City Council assignments, along with plumper paychecks, to council members in return for supporting Melissa Mark-Viverito for council speaker

Soviet Queens "Pravda" Tribune 
Newspaper gives vote of approval to paying political candidates (NY World)  In local races, Queens Tribune endorses most clients of its affiliated campaign consulting firm

In queens the local newspaper, the political machine and government all work together.  The paper do not preform the role of checks and balances that Founding Father envisioned to protect the people from the government and ensure a working democracy.  Instead Queens local newspapers have gamed journalism to operate as a co-machine in Queens.  They work in campaigns and are lobbyist to the same elected officials they help elect or reelect.  The papers operate as the house organ for the Democratic  party to controling who becomes gets elected or becomes a judge in Queens county.  The judges in turn send the legal ads worth tens of thousands dollars to the local papers.

No Reforms to Stop the Corruption Just Promises of Gold and Power
“I understand Danny Dromm will get Education [committee chairman],” one source told The Post. “[David] Greenfield will be Land Use.”Committee chairmanships carry generous taxpayer-funded stipends over and above the $112,500 base salary council members get annually. Land Use and Finance committee leadership jobs — two of the most coveted gigs — each pay $18,000. The education chair nets an extra $10,000. “Finance is going to [Jimmy] Van Bramer,” another source revealed. “Julissa Ferreras is getting majority leader,” which carries a $23,000 stipend. In exchange for backing Mark-Viverito, Frank Seddio, the head of the Brooklyn Democrats, has demanded de Blasio promise his allies several city marshal’s jobs, according to an insider with knowledge of the negotiations. One source said assignments are still fluid and that Greenfield has been promised the Finance Committee chair. Another claimed that Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez will be the next Education Committee head. Councilman Eric Ulrich, a Queens Republican, is backing Mark-Viverito and is in line to head a committee dedicated to Hurricane Sandy relief, according to one source. But Ulrich denied he’s been promised any post. At least one council member finds de Blasio’s backroom support of Mark-Viverito ironic, considering his campaign for mayor. “De Blasio criticized the current mayor and the current speaker for their relationship,” the council member said. “Now, instead of focusing on building his administration, he’s working to control the next council.” endorses 's speaker bid, calls her candidacy 'historic'

The Council Has the Power to Clean Up the BOE
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?

Boss Crowley Begins His Attack on Mark-Viverito Deal in His Organization's Newspaper Queens Tribune
Daily News had the cartoon Firday has de Blasio playing with his puppet Mark-Viverito but not the story or editorial to explain what is means. 

New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio allegedly promised several Queens city councilmembers leadership positions as long as they supported Melissa Mark-Viverito for speaker. The story was planted by Boss Crowley who is supporting CM Dan Garodnick Against Front Runner Mark-Viverito

An unsigned article from a newspaper that runs a Queens political consulting firm in its office?
Committee Chairs Found Under the Tree(Queens Tribune) It seems as though a certain new Mayor has been playing Santa Claus in order to get his preferred City Council Speaker.  According to sources close to the situation, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has promised a number of committee leadership posts to City Council members in order to guarantee that Melissa Mark-Viverito is named Speaker come Jan. 8. Sources say the Progressive Caucus was originally split, 12-9, between Mark-Viverito and Dan Garodnick, with Garodnick getting the support of County Leadership.  Among the promises made to the Queens delegation, Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) would be named Majority Leader. Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Woodside) would head up the Finance Committee and Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) would get the Education Committee. Daneek Miller and Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) were also reportedly promised committee.   Republican Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) was also reportedly promised a committee chairmanship in exchange for his support of Mark-Viverito.   QConf was also told that David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) was offered the Land Use Committee as a means of swaying Brooklyn.* Mark-Viverito says she has votes for Speaker (Queens Chronicle)
Among the promises made to the Queens delegation, Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) would be named Majority Leader. Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Woodside) would head up the Finance Committee and Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) would get the Education Committee.
Daneek Miller and Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) were also reportedly promised committee slots, although specifics were unknown as of press time.
- See more at: http://queenstribune.com/committee-chairs-found-under-the-tree/#sthash.55Ddq5ib.mhYidWWW.dpuf

Queens Tribune is the House Organ for Queens Boss Crowley
True News: A Takeover Of Journalism by Lobbyist and Politicians

Boss Crowley is Trying to Get Ulrich's Vote For His Speaker Candidate By Making Him Into the Elephant Man

Crowley's Secret GOP Operatives
What appears to be a form letter being sent to media outlets by veterans criticizes Ulrich’s backing of Mark-Viverito. But sources have told True News that the letters are being orchestrated by Boss Crowley and his mini me Parkside's Evan Stavisky in a last ditch attempt to name and control the next council speaker.Queens Boss Crowley has targeted Queens councilman Eric Ulrich as one of the 4 councilmembers who are supporting CM Melissa Mark- Viverito that he needs to change to name the next speaker.  Democratic Boss Crowley is using secret GOP operatives he controls to shame Ulrich for supporting because of Mark-Viverito did not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in past Council sessions.  

 The secret operation is being run out of the Frank Kenna GOP Club and Western Queens GOP Umbrella organization who worked with Crowley's candidate Lew Simon in November in an attempt to defeat Ulrich. Simon defeated Ulrich by a 53 percent to a 47 percent margin. The Kenna GOP club in Western Queens is miles away from Ulrich's district.  Democratic Boss Crowley has sided with with the Phil Ragusa faction in their Queens GOP civil war against the John Haggerty faction with includes Ulrich. Frank Kenna Jr. is the son of the late founder of the club. Kenna is the deputy of Crowley puppet Audrey Pfeiffer Queens' Chief Clerk.  The point person in the Kenna Club who many believe is behind the pledge attack on Ulrich is former Deputy Clerk of Board of Elections Maria Lynch who now run a consultant company which was part of a GOP operation that supported Simon against Ulrich in the recent election.  Also part of the Kenna Club and GOP shame Ulrich vote changing effort is indicted Vinny Tabone.  Tabone has worked with democrats before.  He told the also indicted Malcolm Smith that he conrolled the Queens GOP as he was arranging a bribe to sell the GOP ballot line to the state senator. The Crowley group is also using that de Blasio has hinted he will not hire republicans against Ulrich.

Vet Commander Attack Ulrich On Mark-Viverito Lack of Respect for the Pledge of Allegiance

“The fact that he will support such an individual who has displayed contempt for our national symbol and refused to pledge allegiance to our flag until she decided to run for speaker is nothing less than disgusting,” Marvin Jeffcoat, former commander of the Queens Veterans of Foreign Wars, said in a letter. Jeffcoat lives in long island city far away from Ulrich district.
Ulrich Set Himself Up By His 180 On Mark-Viverito

CM Supporting Disaster
Eric Ulrich Says Melissa Mark-Viverito Won’t Be a ‘Disaster’ After All(NYO)Back in November, Mr. Ulrich had slammed Ms. Mark-Viverito after it was revealed that the Democrat did not recite the Pledge of Allegiance at council meetings.“Having someone like her running the legislative branch of the city government would be a disaster. I know that a lot of my colleagues feel the same way,” Mr. Ulrich, a Republican, railed at the time, warning that Ms. Mark-Viverito would not be “an effective counterweight to the mayor.” But today he was singing a very different tune. Last Thursday Ulrich said the pledge issue was worked out between him and Mark-Viverito “behind closed doors” and that he had apologized to her for the “disaster” comment. “It was a very strong word for me to make,” he said. “I was being reactive. And sometimes I think we have a tendency to react to what we hear or read about without necessarily getting it from the horse’s mouth.” Published reports said Ulrich may be in line to chair the Council’s Waterfront Committee, which would cover issues dealing with Rockaway Beach and the Jamaica Bay waterfront in his district, including possibly issues like the new FEMA flood maps and other aspects in the recovery from Hurricane Sandy and redevelopment. Republicans, who have been the minority party on the Council for decades, typically do not chair committees. Committee chairs also receive $10,000 stipends, called lulus, for chairing committees.* Eric Ulrich endorsement of Mark-Viverito triggers some backlash (Queens Chronicle)

Team Mark-Viverito Responds With Public Threat to Get Rid of Queens Boss Crowley Patronage in the Council
Some Council Staff Fear the Ax if Mark-Viverito Wins Speakership(NYO)  Ms. Mark-Viverito’s willingness to clean house if she wins, potentially decimating the City Council’s current central staff, which numbers around 300 and is filled with individuals who scooped up choice posts through their ties to the traditional county organizations after the last speaker’s race. Queens in particular could suffer; sources say that county organization was the greatest beneficiary of patronage posts. Mr. Meara, the chief of staff to Ms. Quinn and Mr. Miller, is likely to be on the chopping block, sources said. Mr. Meara, who did not respond to a request for comment through a council spokesman, is the brother of Queens County Chair Joe Crowley’s personal lobbyist. In 2012, Mr. Meara earned $208,884–more than Ms. Quinn, according to records compiled by the Empire Center’s SeeThroughNY website.Another Crowley loyalist, Ms. Quinn’s executive legislative coordinator, Ramon Martinez, who made $206,190 in 2012, is also considered vulnerable–though one council insider said Mr. Martinez, who was Mr. Crowley’s one-time brother-in-law, could be “saved.”

Bronx Almost United Against Mark-Viverito
Resentment of Melissa Mark-Viverito Remains Among Bronx Democrats(NYO)
Ms. Mark-Viverito has notched the backing of only one of the Bronx delegation’s eight members–incoming Councilman Ritchie Torres, a Progressive Caucus stalwart. And that number is unlikely to change in the near future, thanks to deep-seated resentment in the borough stemming from a bitter fallout between Ms. Mark-Viverito and Bronx Democratic Chair Carl Heastie, sources said. The rift, they added, is so wide it could persist even after Ms. Mark-Viverito is officially crowned.* Some Council Staff Fear the Ax if Mark-Viverito Wins Speakership(NYO) * Lobbyists Turn Out for Mark-Viverito’s Swearing-In Ceremony(NYO) * in Yiddish it's 'machers'. See translation: * Also at Mark-Viverito's event, a Garodnick supporter(Capital)
From : "Bronx DA Johnson wants to meet w/ [Pabón atty] Donald Dunn on Thursday re: the Arroyo fraud petitions [complaint]."

Only in NYC Can Corrupt Pols Be Threaten With An Investigation to Win their Vote For A Speaker Candidate
Julio Pabon demands Bronx DA be forthcoming with criminal complaint filed by Councilwoman Arroyo(NYDN) Probe into 3 campaign workers councilwoman accused of forging hundreds of signatures during her reelection bid. Councilwoman Arroyo Admits Petition Signatures Were Fake But Refuses To Accept Responsibility; Scandal Deepens * Resentment of Melissa Mark-Viverito Remains Among Bronx Democrats(NYO)

More on Stanley Schlein 
More on the Arroyo Corruption 

Tribune's Nussbaum Halloran What Bribery?
Halloran is under indictment with state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) on charges of trying to fix the 2013 New York City mayoral race. He has defended his actions. Halloran schemed with Smith to bribe Republican leaders in an effort to win Smith a spot on the city’s mayoral ballot. Halloran said the indictment does not actually charge him with trying to get Smith the nomination. Rather, he said, it charges that he tried to get GOP permission for Smith to seek the nomination. He said that is a step removed from the nomination and is not prohibited by the bribery statutes. In 1987  the Queens Tribune's Michael A. Nussbaum, was convicted of ''acting in concert'' with Mr. Manes in seeking the bribe from Al Simon, the president of Orth-O-Vision Inc., in 1981, when the company was competing for a cable-television franchise in Queens. The prosecution said Mr. Simon refused to pay. His company later failed to win a franchise. Judge Convicted in July Mr. Nussbaum, who is 39 years old, was a friend and political ally of Mr. Manes, who committed suicide last year, after being implicated as a key figure in bribery schemes. Nussbaum conviction was overturned because he was not an elected official. A four-judge appeals panel said it ''agreed with the defendant's contention that the evidence adduced was legally insufficient to support his conviction.''
More on the Council Speakers Race
Power Brokers Fight for Control of New York Machine vs Unions
One Corrupt Political Boss Will Pick the Next Speaker
New York's Corrupt Political Party Leaders           
Soft Machine
Partnership Fails
The Parkside Monopoly

Closing Hospitals

The state has approved $3.5 million in additional funds to help keep Interfaith Medical Center operating through March 7, but the future of the hospital is still unclear, DNAinfo writes: * Cuomo’s last-ditch bailout of a failing hospital(NYP) In the latest twist, the Cuomo administration stepped in Monday — mere hours before a bankruptcy judge was ready to shut Interfaith down — and promised $8 million in state funds that will keep the hospital alive, at least until the first week in March.* Former Queens hospital to become residential(CrainsNY)

More on Closing Hospitals

Liar Liar Kerik Tacopina

EXCLUSIVE: Ex-NYC top cop Bernard Kerik rips high-profile lawyer Joe Tacopina, charging him with dishonesty, fraud and deceit(NYDN)

The Godfather Sharpton Speaks

Is Sharpton Sending Rangel A Message to Hang It Up?
Sharpton ally challenges Charlie Rangel re-election bid(NYP)
In an interview with NY1 on Friday, Congressman Charlie Rangel talked about his decision to run for a 23rd term: “If it works, it works,” said Mr. Rangel, who went on to claim that there are no other qualified contenders on the bench. “The problem has been that everybody that I so-called expected that would be there, guess what? They got old,” he quipped. “There’s nobody in the district–nobody you can think of–that has friends and supporters in all parts.” 
More on Rangel  

Flack You

Call girl: Assistant DA forced me to keep hooking to nail madam(NYP) After hooking for the city’s two most famous madams, turncoat call girl Rebecca Woodard says she suddenly found herself with a new pimp — the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.  “They wanted me to keep breaking the law so they could get more information,” writes Woodard, 37, who also detailed her rough sex-for-hire with disgraced ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer. While servicing Spitzer, Woodard was working for madam Kristin Davis. The DA’s office approached Woodard to go undercover after Davis was busted in 2008 and Woodard had already begun working for Gristina, who had sexy glamour shots taken of her and other girls to entice high-rolling johns. * NY Post goes negative on its alleged Spitzer hooker(NYP) Tax trouble *  Spitzer gal pal in Twitter war with NY political pro(NYP)Eliot Spitzer’s feisty girlfriend Lis Smith and GOP strategist Roger Stone got into a knockdown Twitter fight Thursday night. * Spitzer & Lis overshadow de Blasio announcement(NYP)/ * Why Lis Smith loses the ladies(NYP) * On its front page today–similar to yesterday, as can be seen above–the Post is also running the claims made by Rebecca Woodard, a former prostitute, against the Manhattan district attorney’s office. “It was like sex slavery,” she said of the office allegedly encouraging her to continue working while wearing a wire.* On its front page today–similar, strangely enough, to the Post wood yesterday–the Daily News is running Ms. Woodard’s choking allegations against ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer. However: “Spitzer spokeswoman Lisa Linden denied Sunday that Spitzer had any involvement with Woodard, calling their alleged encounter ‘a complete fabrication that is unequivocally untrue.’”* "Lis Smith is on a tropical vacation out of the country with Eliot Spitzer," source says.

  Roger Stone 
So is @Lis_Smith a swallower or a Spitzer? -shot
Roger Stone
@Lis_Smith least I don't do it in black socks like your pal Client # 9- money launderer ,Mann Act violator and blackmailer

Lis Smith 
@RogerJStoneJr So cute that the nursing home lets you use wireless at this hour! Who is paying wireless bill?

Former Spitzer hooker details her clients in ‘Call Girl Confidential’(NYP) * 'BEYOND SCARY': High-priced hooker recounts to Daily News in exclusive interview how Eliot Spitzer choked her(NYDN) * Spitzer caught sucking Lis Smith’s toes in topless hot tub antics(NYP)


Secret Black Arts Exposed Is Broken

Smith Operates in A Secret Black Arts World
De Blasio eyes replacement for Spitzer gal pal Lis Smith(NYP)* Spitzer Back in Business(WSJ)Less than four months after losing his bid at a political comeback, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is making another attention-grabbing move in a different arena: skyscrapers


NY Populations, Power and Economic Loss

Upstate Population Loss Has Hurt NYC's Ability to Raise Funds in Washington
NY Ignores the Causes for the Losses of the Population and What It Means to the State's Economy
NY's Political Third-Rail High Taxes Link to Population and Job Loss
New York Soon to Trail Florida in Population(NYT) When the Census Bureau releases its latest population estimates on Monday, demographers expect that Florida and New York will be narrowly separated — perhaps by as little as a few thousand people. In 1944 Florida had 482,592 votes for president and 8 Electoral votes.. In 2008 Florida had 1,204,479 more votes for president than NY.  In 1944 had 47 Electorial College and Florida had 8.  Today both states have 29
Electorial College votes. NYC unemployment rate 8.9%. Florida Unemployment Rate 6.7% * NYT spins 'immigrants move to warm states like CA, TX, FL' but the fact is last Census TX gained 4 House seats; FL 2; CA 0 *  Upstate's on-going collapse featured on Drudgereport: * How to keep Gotham growing(NYP) * New York’s hold on its status as the country’s third most populous state is down to fewer than 100,000 people, according to figures released by the Census Bureau. But it’s still ahead of Florida – for now.* Keep those fleeing residents coming to Florida, New York
NYC  Went Through the Entire 2013 Campaign Without One Candidate Explaining How They Would Create Jobs
Empire State exodus(NYP) Florida beats New York hands down as a place to run a business. Upstate’s economy is near-dead. And people go where the jobs are. Not only is Florida one of just seven states with no income tax, its constitution bars localities from imposing their own income taxes. With no tax on income, firms can pay workers less and still have them come home with higher take-home pay. New York, by contrast, has a top state income-tax levy of 8.82 percent. The city has additional imposts of its own, varying between 2.907 percent and 3.876 percent (and Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio wants to raise it even higher to fund his pre-K plan). Florida also has no estate tax. New York’s runs between 5.085 percent and 16 percent. All told, the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate ranks Florida fifth — and New York dead last.* TX-FL surged in pop because they are business/income friendly states while CA (with better weather than FL) is a hellhole * Middle class in New York City struggling with fewer options; most job growth in low-paying industries(NYDN) * NYC Is Pushing Out Its Middle Class - Business Insider * NY finished Nov. nearly $590M behind projections, according to monthly report issued by Comptroller DiNapoli(Capital) 

True News Adds Facts What the Reports Leave Out
NY Electoral College Fall 47 to 29 

    1. NY once had 45 electoral votes, today 29. Now FL is about to overtake it in population:
    2. : NY once had 45 electoral votes, today 29. Now FL is about to overtake it in population:
    3. Funny not in NYT article about Fl overtaking NY in population, but that fact about electoral votes was in the morning's True News  
NYC Bad Economy
  More on How NYC is Pushing the Middle Class Out


Shelters Fill as Rent Aid Disappears(WSJ) New York City residents who received rent subsidies are flocking to homeless shelters. The author of the report, the Coalition for the Homeless, a nonprofit advocacy group, held up the report as evidence that homeless families need longer-term government help with rent to stay out of the shelter system. Since the rental-payment program, known as Advantage, was canceled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration after state budget cuts in June 2011, the city's homeless shelter system population has grown to its highest-ever levels: 52,000 people, including 22,000 children.

More on the Homeless

Moreland, AG, US Attorneys Will Add To This Corrupt List in 2014
NYT: This has been quite a year for New York politics, if not for politicians:
Carlos Danger: Anthony D. Weiner’s second round of online adventures cost him a chance at mayoral redemption.
Vito Lopez: The assemblyman resigned in response to sexual harassment allegations. He then failed in a run for City Council.
Charles J. Hynes: Brooklyn’s longtime prosecutor was brought down by, among other things, accusations of wrongdoing in his office.
Eliot Spitzer: The former governor made an unexpected comeback, which was followed by an unexpected defeat.
Pedro Espada Jr.: The former state lawmaker was denied a few days of freedom before prison. The judge declared, “I can’t trust him.”
John L. Sampson: The former leader of the State Senate Democrats asked a friend in the prosecutor’s office for the names of cooperating witnesses against him so he could arrange to “take them out.”
Shirley L. Huntley: The state senator claimed she had a broken ankle to convince colleagues to come to her house so she could tape them in a corruption probe.
Malcolm A. Smith: The state senator was charged with trying to bribe his way onto the ballot for mayor.
John C. Liu: The comptroller was besmirched while running for mayor when two former associates were convicted of illegally funneling money into his campaign.
Christine C. Quinn: Ms. Quinn, the City Council speaker, suffered a humiliating defeat in the mayoral race despite starting as the heavy favorite. Her candidacy touched off a fierce backlash, including the Anyone But Quinn ads. And the media and prosecutors let her get away with the slush fund scandal and the extension of term limits in 2009.* * In a Facebook message to supporters Anthony Weiner said he hopes “to keep the band together” in 2014 while not specifically suggesting he’d run for political office, Capital New York reports:

No Albany Reforms in 2013

Lots of Promises and Corruption
The NY government’s ‘fix’ is in(NYP Ed) As we head into 2014, Gov. Cuomo’s Commission to Investigate Public Corruption (aka, the Moreland Act Commission) will be continuing its roving investigations into the state Legislature. If its achievements this year are any indication, New Yorkers can expect it to produce little but proposals lacking in imagination, a desire to force taxpayers to pay for the crimes of their elected representatives and contempt for the First Amendment.* The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle writes that Albany lawmakers need to commit to making outing corruption their 2014 resolution, and if they don’t, voters should hold accountable both the corrupt and those who allow them to be so: Resolution for 2014: Clean up Albany
It seems as though a certain new Mayor has been playing Santa Claus in order to get his preferred City Council Speaker. - See more at: http://queenstribune.com/committee-chairs-found-under-the-tree/#sthash.55Ddq5ib.mhYidWWW.dpuf
 New Amsterdam, NYC
Welcome to Buff Place

<![endif]--> Not A Great Year for the NYT and Their Disconnected Friends in the Media and All New Yorkers Who Have to Live with There Bad Judgements and Actions

Get the Delorean

Today's NYT wrote that there were no major ethical lapses connected with Speaker Quinn, of because they would say that as being one of the major leaders along with Quinn, NYP and Daily News in extending Term Limits against the will of the voters. The Times also conveniently forgets about Quinn slush fund and their role along with the prosecutors in covering up to save and protect the permanent government candidate for mayor.  What the every growing smaller and disconnect elite who control New York City's media do not understand is the public is not following them.  The fact that this candidate for mayor Speaker Quinn did not even make the run off after all 3 papers endorsed her, should have been a hint.  Actually the real hint came in 2009 when David Yassky went down to John Liu in 2009 after all 3 papers endorsed him.  The 3 papers lost again when Tish James beat out their candidate for Public Advocate Daniel Squadron.  Losing elections is not the worst thing the 3 newspapers have done.  The 3 newspapers have protected corrupt party leaders like Queens Boss Joe Crowley and lobbyists like Parkside and George Arzt who protect the real estate barons, because of the media mistaken beliefs that they can control how New Yorkers vote. A small group of WFP operatives who have .003% of the city's registered voters have out played the permanent government’s team in New York City's dysfunctional campaign swamp. By protecting the small group that controls the city's dysfunctional election process the NYT, NYP and Daily News (only real journalism left) have created like Biff Tanner did in Back to the Future II, a bad Alternative future for all New Yorkers to live in.

More Diversity in NYPD, Blacks Lag

Committee Chairs Found Under the Tree
More Diversity in New York City’s Police Dept., but Blacks Lag(NYT) Critics charge that police behavior in minority neighborhoods over the past decade has hindered efforts to attract black officers, alienating many young men and sowing broader resentment.* Policing the Projects of New York City, at a Hefty Price(NYT) About 2,000 officers are assigned to the city’s public housing projects, and the housing authority pays for it. That arrangement may end, and there is concern about a possible effect on safety.

News Control is Widespread
News' Gonzalez Was First With the Christmas Dump Spin
Daily News' Juan Hits the Video and de Blasio Hard
Gonzalez: Chiara de Blasio's video feels like damage control(NYDN, Tuesday) Incoming Mayor Bill de Blasio's daughter's video has elements of a skillfully scripted Madison Avenue commercial, crafted by Harold Ikes, former Bill Clinton aide now de Blasio advisor. The Daily News continues the story today SPINS OF THE FATHER: Bill de Blasio plays politics in daughter Chiara's drug abuse video(NYDN) the DN at the same time looks after the interests of the child with this editorial  Chiara’s pain(NYDN Ed) It is wrenching for any family — mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers — to see a loved one suffer the pain of depression and spiral into the grips of substance abuse and addiction.* The de Blasios may not yet officially be New York City’s First Family, but they’ve already had to negotiate the hazards of celebrity – the latest incident being the release of Chiara’s Christmas Eve confessional, Newsday’s Dan Janison writes:

The NYT Reports on Media Control But Limits It Mostly to the Spitzer and Chiara Christmas News Dumps

In Announcing Unfavorable News, Timing Is Everything(NYT)
The timing of disclosures on Christmas Eve by two New York political families followed a pattern by newsmakers hoping to minimize unwanted publicity. “The day that has most good will toward men and women is Christmas,” said Mortimer Matz, 89, a ceaselessly working publicist, who said he helped start the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest.*  The timing of Chiara de Blasio’s video about her substance abuse and depression feels more like a political maneuver by her father, Bill de Blasio, than it does an admission all her own * Lupica: Chiara de Blasio's substance abuse admission was orchestrated by de Blasio camp like a celebrity in crisis(NYDN)\ Somehow, on Christmas Eve, the incoming mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, managed to turn his teenage daughter’s struggles with alcohol and drugs into one last campaign ad, even though this was the darker, flip side of the television commercial he ran in the summer about his teen son.* Pay-To-Report News Brainwashing : The Effect Of Endless Political TV Ads * Mike Lupica says the Chiara de Blasio substance abuse video was like a “final campaign ad,” and “ends up looking like old-time politicking, from a politician who acts as if everything he does is brand-new.” 

The NYP Has Their Own Unique Way of Getting Around the Christmas News Dump

Pay to Report Local TV News Control
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. 

Pols and Interests Groups Use Local News By Pushing Their Paid Ads To Win Support Their Issues 

News Brainwashing
The only real news on dumb down local TV are in the paid ads which are not news but bias views of the pol or interests group who paid for the ads to gain public support. 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 - NY1.com * Local TV News For $ale: How Special Interests Control News Content and Public Opinion

What Has Happen to the Watchdog of Government or Politics?
An explosion of online news sources in recent years has not produced a corresponding increase in reporting, particularly quality local reporting, a federal study of the media has found.Coverage of state governments and municipalities has receded at such an alarming pace that it has left government with more power than ever to set the agenda and have assertions unchallenged, concluded the study. “In many communities, we now face a shortage of local, professional, accountability reporting,” said the study, which was ordered by the Federal Communications Commission and written by Steven Waldman, a former journalist for Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report. “The independent watchdog function that the Founding Fathers envisioned for journalism — going so far as to call it crucial to a healthy democracy — is in some cases at risk at the local level.  

Because newspapers have always serve as tip sheets for local television reporters and for reporters on the national level, the newspaper cutbacks because of lose of readerhip to the Internet have had “ripple effects throughout the whole media system.: With fewer reporters available to tackle in-depth topics, news releases from politicians and policy makers end up having more influence in some cases, he said, contributing to a kind of power shift toward institutions and away from citizens. *Local News  Dumb Down Journalism (True News) *

Where are the Muckrakers Reporters Exposing Corruption?
Muckrakers were journalists who exposed waste, corruption, and scandal in the highly influential new medium of national magazines, such as McClure's Magazine and TIME magazine. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906) was a novel that gave a horrid portrayal of how meat was packed, and David Graham Phillips unleashed a blistering indictment of the U.S. Senate in 1906. Roosevelt gave these journalists their nickname when he complained they were not being helpful by raking up all the muck. The term derives from the word muckrake used by President Theodore Roosevelt in a speech in 1906
 Rethinking TV news, Part I: What’s broken, what’s possible(Buzzmachine)

Did Sydney Save the City From Weiner?
Without ME, they'd be having a gala for a WEINER...why Sydney Leathers is busting for a ticket to de Blasio's inauguration(NYDN) * Does de Blasio have Weiner to thank? (Politico)

 June 25


GOP Bottom Feeders
Eric, Steven and Vincent Excellent Adventure

GOP Lost in Space
Tiny G.O.P. Minority Searches for Voice in New York City Council(NYT) Mr. Ulrich, after some prodding by Mr. de Blasio, has now endorsed Ms. Mark-Viverito’s candidacy for speaker.Yet in a sign of the difference between what it means to be a Republican in Washington versus in that bluest of major cities, New York, Mr. Ulrich struck a friendly tone in speaking of the mayor-elect. He described Mr. de Blasio as “a friend,” and said he did not anticipate major clashes with him. “One thing I have to say about Bill de Blasio is that he never makes it personal, and I think that is one of his great strengths,” Mr. Ulrich said. “We may disagree, but we will not be disagreeable.”* Giving GOPers a say(NYP)With Republicans holding just 5 percent of the City Council, it might be time for proportional representation in New York to give the city’s Republican voters Council representation

De Blasio Does Not Want Republicans, Either Do New Yorkers
The Groucho Marx Party (I would not belong to any party that would have me as a member) has almost twice as many members than the GOP
No Party Trumps GOP
The GOP is not the second largest party in NYC. Bloomberg is one of the 748,693 New Yorkers who are not registered in any party. Only 454,943 are Republicans. Only 10.6% of  the city is registered in the GOP.  68.% are Democrat.  The WFP which is wildly credited with de Blasio and James victory only has .003% (14,389) of the city's registered voters.  Conservatives .004%, Green Party .001% and independence party .024%

De Blasio's Diversity
Bill de Blasio On Appointing Republicans: "Let's Not Get Crazy About This Diversity Idea"(NYO)
“Let’s not get crazy about this diversity idea,” de Blasio quipped Sunday when asked if he’d consider Republicans for administration posts, before breaking out in a lengthy burst of laughter  “I am wonderfully agnostic when it comes to where people served. I care about what they did,” he said. “I haven’t set a goal around Republican representation is the honest truth. But we will look at any candidate and if they fit our values and our approach and have the right ability, you know what, it’s a free country, we’d consider Republicans too.”

Queens Brooklyn GOP Civil War

Conflicts of Interests Board CYA Time
No Connecting the Dots or Follow Up By the Daily News of the Conflict of Interests Board Speakers' Race Duck and Cover
City Board Cover-Up of Big Conflicts Violations 
The Conflicts Board Ignores the Free Work Advance Group and Others Have Done for Mark-Viverito and Fines A Losing City Council Candidate  and the Sister of UFT Union Boss
Daily News EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN Ed) Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy (Nov. 27th, 2013)

Losing Council Candidate Fined by Conflict Board
The New York City Conflicts of Interest Board charged that Yudelka Tapia, an economist for Comptroller John Liu, used city time and resources for her City Council run, and fined her $4,480, the Daily News writes: * Liu aide fined $4G(NYP)

UFT Boss's Sister's
Slap On the Wrist
Ethics no-no for teacher-union chief’s sister(NYP)
The sister of teachers-union President Michael Mulgrew was wrist-slapped Monday for operating a booming tutoring company that was awarded $40 million in work from the city while she was employed as a public-school teacher. The overlapping gigs got Kathleen Mulgrew-Daretany a warning letter from the city Conflicts of Interest Board, after it determined that her work for Brienza’s Academic Advantage violated city conflict-of-interest rules.

Daily News Terrible Ethics Seddio Deal to Make Mark-Viverito Speakers
Many of the 30 who signed on share her progressive agenda. Joined in ideology, they overlook the conflict of interest that aided her candidacy. To rally support, she accepted free consulting from the Advance Group, a major lobbying firm that will press Mark-Viverito to support legislation and budgetary requests sought by its clients. After the Daily News disclosed the arrangement, Mark-Viverito denied impropriety even as she cut loose the Advance Group. She then hired consultants, paying them with money from donors whose identities she is not required to disclose until after the Council vote on her elevation.

Correction to DN Ed: Advance Group Operative Involved in the Seddio Deal
An operative with the controversial Advance Group, Jonathan Yedin, who has been working in Brooklyn Democratic Party politics for more than a decade and belongs to Mr. Seddio’s political club. Though Ms. Mark-Viverito eventually stopped taking free advice from the Advance Group, Mr. Yedin remained a crucial player in the brokering of the deal, sources said.  Inside Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Road to Victory(NYO) * 

Mark-Viverito and her supporters are setting a terrible ethical standard. Further clouding the situation, she garnered support with the help of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who pressed Brooklyn Democratic boss Frank Seddio to put the Brooklyn delegation in Mark-Viverito’s corner. Seddio complied. His Council troops will get plum committee assignments. Sources told The News that Seddio is also angling to line up posts for his loyalists in the de Blasio administration. Let this not be the return to City Hall of Democratic patronage. That cancer was excised 20 years ago with the election of Rudy Giuliani.

Seddio is a ward heeler out of the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club in Canarsie. He climbed from aide to backbencher assemblyman and then was shoehorned into a Brooklyn judgeship.

Mark-Viverito Among Pols Lending A Helping Hand At Sharpton's Annual Holiday Giveaway(NY1)

After this page revealed that Seddio had improperly given tens of thousands of dollars from his campaign to his Brooklyn buds, Seddio quit the judgeship 17 months into a 14-year term to avoid judicial ethics charges. Seddio’s record shows that he wants things. He will make requests of Mark-Viverito, who would be in a weak position to refuse him. And, having helped de Blasio avoid embarrassing defeat, he will no doubt make requests of the new mayor. Vito Lopez expects to anoint a successor as Brooklyn party boss who has his own questionable history(NYDN Ed)  Frank Seddio resigned a judgeship while under investigation by the state's judicial watchdog agency * B'klyn Judge Probed. Allegedly Gave Campaign Bucks To Pols (NYDN) *Brooklyn Dem Boss Seddio Wields Much Power at City Hall(Jewish Voice) 
More on the Advance Group Under Investigation 
The Big 8 Lobbyists
CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping

Background On Boss Seddio

Brooklyn Boss Seddio Resigned A Surrogate Judgeship While Under Investigation
NYP Writes About Daily News Investigation of Seddio Vito's protégé

Daily News Ignores Their Own Editorials on Boss Seddio's Campaign Slush Fund

Brooklyn Democratic Party leader Frank Seddio, a protégé of former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, has become powerful at New York City Hall after tossing his support behind Melissa Mark-Viverito for City Council speaker Vito Lopez protégé now one of the most powerful people at City Hall(NYP) In 2006, he was given a plum patronage gig as a Surrogate’s Court judge. The state Commission on Judicial Conduct investigated why he gave more than $31,000 in campaign funds to political pals at the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club, the group that awarded him the post.

But Seddio stepped down within months, claiming boredom. Because the commission makes decisions public only when disciplinary action is taken, his resignation kept the investigation from being released. Seddio, though unelected, is also in line to play a powerful role in the new administration. He was promised coveted committee chairmanships for Brooklyn politicians as part of the deal to give Mark-Viverito the votes, sources have told The Post. * New Brooklyn Democratic boss Frank Seddio is not a man of his word(NYDN) * Shocker Alert: NY Daily News Calls Frank Seddio a Liar * New York Daily News Speaks Out Against Corruption | Integrity in ... * True News: Seddio: Leave the Gun Take the Cannolis * Is that the stink of corruption I smell in Brooklyn?(NYDN)

Corrupt Lobbyist Arzt Flacks for Seddio
“Frank left the job because the bench was less-than-scintillating,” said Seddio spokesman George Artz. “Frank is a people person, and he found the post wasn’t for him.” You think after losing with Hynes Artz would have gotten out of Brooklyn?* * 2013-10-29 George Arzt - NYS Board of Elections Contributions - Disclosure.pdf George Arzt represents Excell One57 and dozens of other developers * George Arzt - NYC Lobbyist Search Result * More  George Arzt is A Bad Guy LobbyistsWho has done a lot of harm(True News)  One of George Arzt's clients is Extell, and Extell is the sponsor of the exclusive, luxury condo called One57 that is the target of an investigation for possible corruption. * George Arzt Communications, Inc. - NYC Lobbyist Search Result
More on Arzt and Other Corrupt Lobbyists 

More On Brooklyn Boss Seddio
More on George Arzt

Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline 

NYT's One57 Real Estate Disconnect

With Every Pol Getting Cash From One57 to Get $35 Million Tax Break, NYT Asks How Decisions Were Made to Build the Building

NYT Skips the Pols Payoff and Tax Breaks and Asks How Decisions on the Building Were Made?
Seeing a Need for Oversight of New York’s Lordly Towers(NYT)
As new skyscrapers remake 57th Street into a Billionaires’ Row, it’s time to question how decisions get made about New York’s skyline.

One57 Pays Off Pols 
The real reason why the rent is too high (NYDN) Big developers flood politicians with cash* The companies that will benefit, their lobbyists and PACs have donated $1.5 million to Albany campaign accounts over the past five years. The bill’s sponsors — Sen. Marty Golden and Assemblyman Keith Wright — professed ignorance. * Probe these giveaways (NYDN) A luxury tower's tax breaks look more outrageous and suspicious by the day * How the billionaire who bought $90 million NYC penthouse will get $210,000 tax break meant for low income housing (Daily Mail) * Sheldon Silver aided Gov. Cuomo in sneaking through tax breaks for luxury developer(NYDN) * Gov. Cuomo received $76,000 from real estate investors weeks before giving their property a tax break on bill (NYDN) * Gov. Cuomo's long-time city developer donor got more generous when it stood to get $35 million in tax breaks(NYDN) * A towering insult - NY Daily News How the Rich Get a Big Real Estate Tax Break - NYTimes.com *A towering insult - NY Daily News * Assemblyman Keith Wright Sent Letter Acknowledging Developer Tax Breaks In Bill(NYDN) 

Hospital Closing

Christmas Gift Interfaith Cuomo Buys Time
Jeffries: Interfaith needs cash from city or state
* In a surprise move, the state Health Department gave Brooklyn’s Interfaith Medical Center more time and money to stay open, on the same day the court was expected to receive a final closure plan, Crain’s writes

A judge on Monday is expected to order the closure of the cash-strapped Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn(NY1)
Update De Blasio: Interfaith closure 'ain't over til it's over'(Capital) Advocates fight to keep Interfaith Medical Center open(WPIX)*Daily News has it backwards LICH * "no other viable way 2 prevent the imminent closure @ this point than 2 pursue assistance from the state or the city" (Capital) * Cuomo buys time for Interfaith(Capital) * More details emerge of last-minute Christmas gift to Interfaith hospital in . * Brooklyn Hospital has made a bid for the money-losing Long Island College Hospital that would keep its emergency room open and add mixed-income apartments, Crain’s reports:

More About Closing Hospitals

IDC Readies for A Fight
Will the Progressives, WFP Go After IDC to A Force Pre-K Tax Increase?
Klein Spins to Protect
State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein will unveil his “Affordable NY” plan, calling for $750 million for middle class housing over the next five years, and pushing for workers to get six weeks paid maternity and family leave, the New York Daily News reports.  The Rev. Al Sharpton on the Senate IDC: “There is a difference between co-option and coalition.”* State Senate co-Leader Jeff Klein said that he wants Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio to succeed and indicated he will help shepherd de Blasio’s tax i ncrease on the wealthy to pay for universal pre-K programs through the Senate, NY1 reports:  *  IDC member Diane Savino thinks there’s “almost no chance” of de Blasio’s plan to tax rich NYC residents not passing next year, but her Republican colleague, Sen. Andrew Lanza, disagrees.* Klein Unveils ‘Affordable’ Agenda * Westchester County Leader Weighs a Run for Governor(NYT) * Jeff Klein and Stu Appelbaum op-ed: N.Y.’s next frontier: Paid maternity leave * 2 Dems: You won't primary us fr the left MT : Jeff Klein & Stu Appelbaum op-ed: Paid maternity leave  * State Senators Jeff Klein and Dov Hikind plan to introduce a bill to pull state aid from any college or university that joins a movement to boycott Israeli institutions in response to their occupation of Palestine, Capital New York reports: * With Fuschillo resignation, The math in the State Senate is getting EVEN weirder * Republican senator Chuck Fuschillo resigns (Capital) * Shrink By One With Resignation Of Chuck | New York Daily News *Stewart-Cousins: Majority Coalition Didn’t Deliver On Ethics(YNN) * State Sen. Greg Ball wasted no time sending out fundraising letters attacking the new “tax and spend liberal” government in New York City led by Bill de Blasio, State of Politics writes:
IDC GOP Senate Coalition 
2014 Gov Race and Cuomo

Corrupt Pols Pensions
As promised, US Attorney targets pensions of convicted pols
Filings Seek Orders Forfeiting Pension Benefits of Convicted Former New York City Council. Members Larry Seabrook and Miguel Martinez.  Discovery Requests Seek to Locate Benefits Paid to Convicted Former New York City Council.  Member Hiram Monserrate and Former Yonkers City Council Member Sandy Annabi * U.S. Attorney Targets Convicted Pols' Pension Payments (NYO)* Bharara challenges Council-convict pensions; is Albany next?(Capital) * Bharara Targets Convicted Pols’ Pensions(YNN) * The Insider: U.S. Attorney targets convicted pols' pensions(CrainsNY) * Feds target corrupt politicians’ pensions(NYP)
* Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is seeking forfeiture judgments that would divert the pension benefits of three former New York City councilmembers and another from Yonkers following political corruption convictionsU.S. Attorney Targets Ex-Lawmaker Pensions(WSJ)* Bharara: “With today’s actions, we aim to prevent corrupt elected officials from continuing to benefit from pensions paid for by the very people they betrayed in office,.”* Preet Bharara is kind of a badass.(Wash Post) * IDC: ‘No Bigger Champion’ Of De Blasio Pre-K Plan Than Klein((YNN)

.More on the U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

Times They Are A Changing 

City Changed On Randolph
Eleanor Randolph passes the torch(Capital)
Randolph is relinquishing her staff position in order to concentrate on her forthcoming Bloomberg biography.

Last Week's True News
NYT's Eleanor Randolph
Nothing is Our Fault
Eleanor Randolph is disappointed that the Moreland Commission didn't do more to report on the pay-to-play corruption in New York politics
Last week-end, Ms. Randolph appeared in the roundtable segment of The New York Times Close-up on NY1. Forgetting that she is an editor of the newspaper of record, namely, The New York Times, Ms. Randolph seems to be overlooking her own role in being able to expose pay-to-play corruption and corralling public opinion to demand campaign finance reforms. Ms. Randolph, as an editor of The NYTimes, can assign investigative reporters to examine, for example, the corruptive influence of money in politics playing out right now in the New York City Council speaker's race. But she does not.

More on the NY Times Failed Kingdom__________________________________________________
Cross-Party Endorsements
NYP Goes After Independence Party's Cross-Party Endorsements But Their Real Goal is To Weaken the Working Families Party
Cross-party endorsements in NY need to end  (NYP Ed)  In its lengthy report exposing mischief in New York’s political system, the Moreland Commission missed a major target for real reform: the state’s minor political parties. Because of a quirk in state law, minor parties in New York wield influence far beyond their numbers. That’s because New York is the rare state that allows minor parties to cross-endorse candidates of the top two parties. It’s an invitation to corruption: Cross-endorsements give minor parties power by allowing them to extract promises — or cash — out of major-party candidates in exchange for giving them an extra ballot line or doing their dirty work. Take the Independence Party. As Moreland did reveal, its vice chairman, Thomas Connolly, accepted $350,000 in so-called party “housekeeping” funds from Republican consultants meant to fund attacks on Democratic candidates that would have more credibility because they didn’t come from Republicans. If the Moreland Commission is really as worried about the nexus between money and politics as it claims, instead of trying to inject more taxpayer dollars into this rotten system, it ought to call for an end to cross-party endorsements. This would greatly reduce the incentive that now exists for the minor-party leaders to sell their party services to the bigger players.
WFP Takes Over the City
WFP Takes Over City Government and Has Just .0003% of the City's Registered Voters

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

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

More On the Working Families Party

Independence Party is A Cult
Last Week True News Wrote That the Manhattan DA Look the Other Way When He Did Not Go After Corruption in the Independence Party
How DA Vance Gave A Pass to A Corrupt Pol and Party to Protect Bloomberg + Gave Us  Dracula Addabbo
DA's elected by the party machines are force to block or limit political corruption investigations the opposite of U.S Attorney who look to turn  one corrupt pol against another.
In 2011, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. named Connolly and his party as a “noncriminal defendant’’ in the case against former GOP consultant John Haggerty, who stole Bloomberg campaign cash during the 2009 mayoral race.  Vance accused Connolly — who wasn’t charged in the case — of trying to hide evidence and cover up the misuse of Bloomberg’s money. The DA said Connolly and Haggerty also fabricated and backdated paperwork to make it look like the Independence Party had given Haggerty a contract for the poll-watching effort. At one point, Connelly tried to conceal from the Board of Elections a transfer of the mayor’s funds to Haggerty, prosecutors said. CORRUPTION THRIVES IN ALBANY: WHY DON’T PROSECUTIONS? The majority of political corruption cases have originated from the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn, with few pursued by Albany’s own prosecutors, writes Steven M. Cohen(City and State)
Independence Party official 'misused' funds: report | New York Post In the new string of allegations, Moreland investigators detailed a setup in which the GOP transferred more than $350,000 from its own campaign housekeeping account to that of the Independence Party’s housekeeping account — and then Connolly and his operatives used the dough to pay for ads attacking Gipson and Addabbo. In one e-mail, Scott Stevens, operations director for the Senate Republicans’ housekeeping account, sent Connolly a GOP attack mailer that depicted Addabbo as Dracula, and asked that it be paid through the Independence Party.
Independence Party Is Really A Cult
June Primaries and 10 Vacancies
Daily News Misses That A Dozen Empty District Can Be Filled in November
Primary things first (NYDN Ed) A single June election is what New York needs. In 2012, a federal judge ruled that, under U.S. law, congressional primaries must be in June to allow time for overseas military voters to use absentee ballots. The order set up the absurd situation of running primaries for Washington offices in that month and then staging all other primaries in the regular month of September. Voters were asked to go to the polls twice, and taxpayers laid out a wasted $50 million to hold primaries on two dates rather than on one. On Thursday, the same judge ordered that since the Legislature still hasn’t set an appropriate date, he would, picking June 23. Which means two primaries again unless Albany gets off its duff.

Cuomo No Special Elections
Special elections allow party leaders to pick party's nominee which assures winning the seat in one party New York.  Cuomo in a under look bold reform stance has refused to schedule special elections. That means that a least 10 state district in NYC will remain vacant until January of 2015. The state vacancies can be filled two months early and still keep Cuomo's special elections ban if all the primary are held in June of 2014. The June primary would allow both two elections to be held in November, one to fill the normal term and one to fill the vacant offices immediately. (Lawmakers would have to change the special election law to accomplish this)
Council's Pay to Play Land-Use
The Council Promises Transparency But Engages In Extortion In the Real World
Icing New York’s future (NYDN)
Woe be it to anyone who wants to get anything done in New York. The City Council will demand a pound of flesh in secret, with no rules or regulations, under conditions that can verge on criminal.
That’s what happened before the Council last week approved a plan to convert the derelict Kingsbridge Armory into the world’s largest ice-skating center. After competitive bidding, public hearings and numerous levels of review, Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera put the arm on the developer to funnel $100,000 a year for 99 years into a nonprofit organization he founded. Cabrera’s reported threat was not to be taken lightly, because Council practice gives near-veto power over projects to the local member. In this case, he backed down after developer Kevin Parker went public and colleagues shied away from the bald impropriety of the demand.
Kingsbridge Ice Plan Passes Council
Kingsbridge Armory Plan Skates Forward: At a City Council meeting today, members approved a proposal to...  * The City Council is set to approve the $320 million Kingsbridge National Ice Center project in the Bronx after Councilman Fernando Cabrera gave his final approval for the plan, Crain's reports: *Bronx scores $400M soccer stadium(NYP) * Kingsbridge Armory Ice Center Plan Passes City Council  (NYDN)* City Council Approves an Ice Center for the Bronx(NYT)
How Bronx Pols Increase Unemployment
Kingsbridge skating complex plan on thin ice(NYP Ed)Does Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. regret torpedoing the Kingsbridge Armory project four years ago? For the inferior replacement plan he champions is now endangered by similar politicking. Thus we have today’s Bronx, home to politicians skilled at killing off private development and, not uncoincidentally, to the highest unemployment in the state.
The Ice Cut
Ice Cabrera (NYDN Ed)
Like trolls at the bridge, members of the City Council have taken to demanding tribute from anyone who requires approval to do anything, no matter how beneficial to New York. Never has one of the trolls behaved more egregiously than Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who is putting the arm on one of the best projects fighting to get off the ground in the borough in a long time.

NYT Homeless Story

It Great the NYT has Discovered Homeless Families But Their Hands in Terms of the Causes Are Not Clean
What the NYT Wrote About the Homeless Crisis:
Battling Homelessness in New York City(NYT Ed) The city’s affordable housing crisis, a product of recession and years of bad choices by city, state and federal officials. 
Questions the NYT Won't Answer:
The NYT laid out the blame but did not explain what it meant by recession.  The NYT said nothing about NYC's uneven recovery from the recession fueled by the permanent government pushing tax breaks for luxury housing and zoning changes to gentrify poor and minority neighborhoods. When in the past has the NYT written about how the rising costs of housing in NYC is not only destroying the poor but also pushing out the middle class? * Bloomberg & the homeless: What the Times left out(NYP) Bloomberg’s New York has tried everything to help Dasani, easily $1 million worth of spending — including nearly half a million in housing, plus hundreds of thousands more on education, a child-neglect investigation, drug rehab and policing. Times reporter Andrea Elliott tells us how Dasani lives in a “squalid” homeless shelter with her seven siblings, mother and stepfather for three years after they get evicted from an apartment. But she never states the obvious: The reason the mother and stepfather can’t house their family isn’t poverty, it’s drug addiction.* Bloomberg Defends City’s Homeless Policies, Calling Dasani Story ‘Extremely Atypical’

NYT Has the Power and Know How to Control The Narrative in New York City
Did the NYT leave out those important causes of homelessness because people in luxury housing or gentrifying neighborhoods are more likely to read their paper or come from demographic that attract their advertisers to place more ads? The NYT also did not connect the city's long term structural high unemployment rate and how that caused the increase in homelessness.  Even if the new mayor finds a solution to the troubled Dasani family, it will do no good if high unemployment makes an additional 20,000 dysfunctional homeless families in the next four years. The NYT blamed Bloomberg for cutting off public housings for homeless families, Bloomberg blames the cuts in the federal section 8 program.  Both the NYT and Bloomberg blame the state for cutting rent subsidies and job training in 2011 to the city's Advantage program that helped 75% of the families in it move out of the shelters. 
The NYT editorial wrote that, "Mr. de Blasio’s newly appointed deputy mayor for health and human services, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, said the de Blasio administration would restore rental subsidies in some form.  That’s a good start, but more is needed, including from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who can aid that effort by ponying up money for the subsidy program as well as for services that save poor people from eviction."  The solutions offered by the NYT has two major flaws, one it a band aid to cover over the city's economic structural homeless problem.
The Homeless Problem in NYC Will Not Be Solved Until Its Dysfunctional Economy is Fixed
Two, the NYT does not talk about what government services should be cut to fund these homeless programs.  Should the city and state cut aid to education, funds to keep hospitals open (unless Schumer come through the Medicaid bailout is dead in Washington) or money to Metro-North like the lawmakers did in 2010, money that could have gone to train safety technology.  The Elephant in the room that is causing the city's homeless crisis and killing the city's middle class besides the housing problem is New York's business climate, raked last in most studies. Cuomo's no tax for 10 year program may help but not stop existing business from leaving or downsizing. After a campaign that did not examine the city's structural fiscal problems and the cherry picking solutions to the homeless problem the new mayor is about to relive the city's 1976 fiscal meltdown. While de Blasio is not facing bankruptcy, he is looking at the suffering poor, the middle class dripping out and the city's business downsizing.  Rearranging the deckchairs on the titanic will not fix the city's dysfunctional economy or reduce homelessness.* A Discussion on 'How the Other Half Lives' by Jacob Riis(NYT)
 Debate on How the Narrative is Best Driven
  1. Not clear me that mobilizing voters in era of 1 party dominated gerrymandered districts can work
  2. Jerry is on to something. But I think Michael believes mass mobilization can drive a narrative. @IsaacDovere
  3. Did we not learn from Bloomberg that today's media gives the mayor any narrative he wants
Brother Fight Could Take A Toll On the Speakers Race
Toll Proposal Puts Weprin Brothers in Rare Spot: At Odds (NYT) Councilman Mark Weprin and Assemblyman David I. Weprin are on opposite sides of a proposal to impose tolls on drivers on the East River bridges.


AG Race Possible
Republican Interest In Challenging NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Next Year Is Growing (NYDN)* Michael Garcia considering run against Schneiderman: source(NYDN)Michael Garcia, the former U.S. attorney who took down Gov. Eliot Spitzer, has contacted deep-pocketed Republicans to discuss a possible challenge to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman next year. (His defense of the Senate GOP vs. the Moreland Commission could pose a problem, however).

Media: Local News Real Anchorman2
Snow Job by Local News Again
If your looking for
Crime and fire stories today from local TV news forgetaboutit. During snowstorms the local TV news expands coverage and give us reporters in the field telling us it is snowing. “The waste of taxpayer dollars, political corruption, coverage of schools” all get no coverage in local TV news unless you count campaign or special interest commercials. Cuomo and his supporters spent over $10 million last year to gain public support to push through his agenda. Union and business interest like the pro fracking interest are also spending millions on ads to local stations.  All this money is coming in as local news dumbs down.  It is not a secret that TV and radio stations rely on the local newspaper for most of their hard news. So those "rip and read" broadcasters have offered their views much less hard news as newspaper staffs shrivel amid the draconian layoffs caused by the internet and the recession? Local TV stations stand to profit from boom in super-PAC spending (The Hill) * Local News Dumb Down Journalism (True News)
The Post asked a few longtime on-air personalities — some national, some local — for their take.  Their memories are shocking . . . and shockingly hilarious. Fisticuffs! Backstabbers! And Sue Simmons flashing her ta-tas? Stay classy, news world.
Connie Chung “Every part of [Ron Burgundy] depicts the quintessential anchorman. Every single one [I worked with], with the exception of one, [was] just like Ron Burgundy. They were egotistical, they loved to hear the sound of their own voices. They hogged air time when it came time to ad lib.
Geraldo Rivera Back in the ’70s and ’80s, it was a wild time. In terms of [hitting on] interns, there was a free-fire zone. Hard drinking was still the mark of a man. Roger used to go to a pub on Columbus Avenue and have three, four, five drinks between the six o’clock news and the 11 o’clock news.
Len Berman I will tell you, though, about one unnamed anchorperson I worked with. I walked into his office one day, and there was a list of New Year’s resolutions on his wall. Stay 175 pounds forever, jog a couple miles a day. The last thing on his list was, ‘Stay on top of current events.’ I thought that was part of the job description.


.NYC Comptroller Apointments

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

GOP Bottom Feeders
Corrupt Sheinkopf's Pot PAC

Sheinkopf forms a pro-pot PAC(Capital)

More About Corrupt Hank Sheinkopf

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

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

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

Metro-North Railroad Time Sheets Were Falsified, Inquiry Says(NYT) The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s inspector general says a review of Metro-North foremen and repair crews shows that some falsified time sheets, ran errands during work and misused company vehicles.
No Finger-Pointing on Metro-North Crash at M.T.A. Meeting(NYT) MTA board members held their first public meeting since the deadly Bronx derailment, discussing safety features that had been missing from the railroad but refraining from any direct criticism of its leadership. * MTA Director of Security Douglas Zeigler is expected to step down in the near future, according to sources, though the sources say his departure doesn’t stem from the MTA Police response to the Metro-North derailment, the Post reports: 
U.S. Orders Sweeping Safety Review of Metro-North(NYT)The extraordinarily rare inquiry was ordered not only because of a fatal train derailment in the Bronx on Dec. 1, but also a series of other accidents this year. Two weeks after a Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx, the Federal Railroad Administration will begin a rare review of the operations and “safety culture” of the Metro-North Railroad on Monday that will last for 60 days. http://nyti.ms/18G5HVV *Feds launch massive probe into Metro-North derailment   * Metro-North is using  more plainclothes spotters who slip aboard unnoticed to check that train operators are complying with all rules.* Metro-North Seen Lagging in Protection Against Crash(NYT) * Safer Speeds on Commuter Rail (NYT) Safety measures have been proposed, and state and federal officials should help finance those improvements. Rail experts say that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority could have made significant enough safety changes to thwart the Metro-North train derailment in the Bronx, with some simple enough to have been completed within days. * The Times urges Cuomo to help finance safety improvements for the MTA to install video and audio monitoring systems on all passenger trains, in the wake of the train derailment in the Bronx:*Metro-North Repair Job Was a Little Too Speedy for Some Board Members * A President Obama-appointed mediation board is rejecting claims by the MTA that it can’t afford to give Long Island Railroad workers raises, while the MTA wants concessions to fund the raises, Newsday writes:  * As federal officials call for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to install “positive train control” systems, MTA officials are expressing concerns about designing, installing and operating the systems in a tight timeframe, The Wall Street Journal reports: * Howard Permut, Metro-North President, Is Stepping Down(NYT) * Metro-North Railroad President Howard Permut is expected to retire at the end of January following speculation that he would do so in the wake of a December derailment that killed four and injured more than 70, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * Metro-North Railroad's President to Retire(WSJ)


Al Vann Not Going Away

After 38 Years in Office, Al Vann Gives Farewell Interview. Errol Louis and Mark Griffith Say Vann 'Retired' on the Job. Vann Says They'll Pay for Saying That: 'What Goes Around, Comes Around.'(Brooklyn Ron)


Silver Gate

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


Cuomo 2014

The Cuomo administration mandated that an information technology conference next week will open a “VIP reception” to all attendees, after criticism about the state’s reliance on private contributions to pay for conference sponsorships, the Times Union reports: 
Tax Cuts Proposed, NYT's Fed Cuts Hurts Safety Net and Pre-K Tax Proposal
Cuomo's Budget Triangularization
New York tax commission proposes two-year freeze on property tax increases, and a new property tax credit tied to income. Corporate income taxes would be reduced to 6.5% — lowest since 1968. Former state Comptroller Carl McCall says has brought the economic stability that allows for discussion of tax cuts.* Pataki-McCall Commission: A Carrot And Stick For Consolidation(YNN) * Cuomo's tax commission, which balances between NYC businesses and desire to gain upstate love *  Kathy Wylde: "NYC residents do not directly benefit from the commission’s proposed use of $1B of this surplus for property tax reductions." * State Panel Makes Recommendations On Lowering Taxes  * Labor Not A Fan Of Tax Commission Report(YNN) * Cuomo: ‘We Just Have Too Much Government’(YNN)*Cuomo’s pack of tax-cut gimmicks(NYP
Pre-K Funding: Will de Blasio and the Unions go After IDC Members to Return Dems to Senate Power?
Then there is Mr. de Blasio’s ambitious plan to provide universal prekindergarten and after-school programs for middle schoolers, at a cost of at least $500 million a year, to be paid for by a new tax on rich New Yorkers
(To read Cohen's original piecehttp://bit.ly/IrQD7R)
 NYS Sen. Diane Savino Was Against Bill de Blasio's Pre-Kindergarten Plan Before She Was For It  *Cuomo commission on NY taxes to issue report * * In the Daily News, Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, warns that any investment de Blasio makes in preschools will fade if he does not also focus on the city’s mediocre elementary schools:
Pressure On Cuomo From Business Community To Reduce Taxes
Cuomo the comedian(NYP) New York’s income and property taxes are among the nation’s highest. Watchdog groups such as the Tax Foundation routinely rank the state at the bottom in terms of places to do business. Wall Street has apparently taken the lesson. As The Post recently reported, the city’s share of US securities-industry jobs has been dropping: In the ’90s, New York boasted 30 percent of these jobs, but this year our slice dipped below 20 percent, a new low. While the nation has recouped 54 percent of securities jobs lost since the financial crisis, Wall Street got back just 23 percent. Today it employs just 167,000 workers here, versus 191,000 in 2008. The New York Post‘s editorial board–quoting
Cuomo Tries to Frames the Tax Debate
Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying “New York is the least expensive state to locate your business” in certain tax-free zones–declared: “If that president thing doesn’t work out for Andrew Cuomo, no worries: He can always do stand-up.” “That’s a real knee-slapper” the paper added.  * In the Post, the Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon writes that the biggest shortcoming of the report issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Tax Reform Commission was its failure to take a stronger position on the state’s personal income tax * Cuomo tax relief panel does little downstate(NYDN) * Cuomo Gets a Tax-Cut Plan (WSJ)*  an increase in the estate tax exemption  .* Cuomo Backs Plan to Ease Array of Tax Burdens and Faces a Fight  * NYC homeowners were largely left out of the commission’s relief recommendations, though renters may get a break. The panel paid zero attention to Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s plan to tax the rich to pay for pre-K.
State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said that more than 1,100 companies have inquired about participating in the START-UP NY program, though Zimpher didn’t elaborate on the nature of the inquiries, the Times Union reports:* NY politicians play favorites with ‘help’(NYP Ed) For some parts of New York, Christmas arrived early. It came in the form of Gov. Cuomo doling out a $715.9 million package of grants from his Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

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

Council Gives Amnesty to Corrupt Lobbyists and None Profits

Council Lobbyists
Corruption EnablersThe New York City Council voted today to pass lobbying reform legislation expanding the definition of  lobbying, establishing a mandatory training program, as well as an  amnesty program for small nonprofits to disclose restricted past  lobbying activity without penalty, City & State reports: The Bill establishes an amnesty program that will give small nonprofit  organizations the opportunity to come out from the shadows and disclose  past restricted lobbying activity without penalty. How the Lobbyists Milk None Profits
The NYPD Crime Tapes
New York City Subpoenas Secret Tapes by Police Officer (NYT)  Officer Adrian Schoolcraft made hundreds of tapes of police superiors in Brooklyn, who, he said, were manipulating crime reports.* The NYPD Tapes: Inside Bed-Stuy's 81st Precinct (Village Voice) More Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5, and blog updates.) Mr. Graham wrote about the officer’s ordeal in “The NYPD Tapes,” published by Palgrave Macmillan in August. The book grew out of Mr. Rayman’s article in The Village Voice in May 2010.       

Ticker Fixing Back From the Dead

NYPD sergeant first to be fired and stripped of his pension after being charged in massive ticket-fixing scandal (NYDN) * Sergeant is first cop fired over ticket-fix scandal: lawyer(NYP)
NYPD Ticket Fixing Scandal Reporting Drip Drip Drip

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

The Real NYC Economy

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

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

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

Brooklyn Now the 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.* Rangel Rival Lives in New Jersey (Updated)(YNN)
* Well-Known Harlem Figure Looking to Challenge Rangel Plans to Move to Neighborhood
More on Black Politics


BOE Crooks

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

Back pay payback (NYDN Ed) Board of Elections wants to hand out big rewards for a job poorly done Behind closed doors, the Board of Elections voted to give handsome back-pay packages to two top staff members who helped perpetrate electoral screw-ups for which the agency has become infamous.  On Oct. 26, 2010, the board fired Executive Director George Gonzalez from his $172,753-a-year post after the conniver and bumbler was caught trying to rig ballot spots for a pal. Then, the board failed find a replacement for Gonzalez for two years and 11 months while Deputy Executive Director Dawn Sandow ($155,487 a year) and the board’s No. 3 staffer, Pam Perkins ($152,899), stayed on the job. In August, the board finally got around to appointing a new executive director by the name of Mike Ryan. Now, it has voted to give Sandow and Perkins rewards for their work when the board had no executive director, on the theory that each had “worked out of title” — meaning, they had been asked to do more than their positions had called for. Sandow stands to pull down $48,000 and Perkins is up for $7,000. These sums would be for service in a time period when the board: botched the 2010 roll-out of the new computerized ballot counters, excessively featherbedded the extremely low-turnout 2011 elections, mangled the 2012 congressional primary and spent most of 2013 finding untallied votes from the 2012 presidential election.*Since '02, number of NYC students taking & passing AP tests doubled, per . Also true 4 LA , Houston, etc
More on Corruption at the BOE 
At the Center of AEG Investigation
Does Flakes Paychecks Have Anything to Do With the Investigation?
Queens pastor declares no church income in tax filings(NYP) The head of the Greater Allen Cathedral, one of the nation’s largest churches, reported earning nothing from the Queens house of worship on a recent tax filing.  His wife, Elaine, co-pastor of the church and vice president of the nonprofit, also showed no church income on the 2012 and 2011 filings. But in 2010, the church paid Flake $252,719 in salary and benefits and his wife’s compensation came to $250,455, according to Empowerment Ministries’ tax filings for that year. Other tax filings show Flake still gets a hefty paycheck from Greater Allen. Through related nonprofits, The Post found that Flake raked in at least $376,000  in 2012  including $221,958 from the church and $150,000 from the Allen AME Housing Corp. As a former congressman, Flake is also entitled to collect his pension of at least $24,000 a year.


Harbinger of a Changing Gowanus (WSJ)
Some locals are for it, and others are against it. But residents of Gowanus, Brooklyn, generally agree on one thing: The Whole Foods market will irrevocably change the neighbo
South Bronx Advocates Tackle Gentrification Fears in Conference(DNAINFO)
NYC’s immigration population soars(NYP)

More on Gentrification

Gambling Dark Pool $$$
Gambling Follow the  Money If You Can

The next Detroit? Atlantic City and Las Vegas facing catastrophic collapse
The state released a request for proposal to hire a company to provide “gaming advisory services” to review bids for the four upstate casinos with January 9th as the deadline for selecting a firm, Gannett Albany writes: A growing number of casino developers are scrutinizing locations and drafting proposals for upstate casinos, with state officials saying that bids would be due by mid-2014 and licenses awarded in the second half of the year, The New York Times writes: New York Jobs Now Committee took in $1.425,000 but only spent $360,000 according to the State Board of Elections filings. Stu Loeser: The former press secretary for Mayor Mike Bloomberg helped lead NY Jobs Now, a coalition of pro-casino interests, in advocating for the constitutional amendment that passed Tuesday, yet there is no record of him being paid.  The State BOE is know for its poor campaign filing system and the fact that it has nobody investigating improper filings or fraud.  We do know that gambling interests contributed to New York Jobs Now: Monticello' Empire Resorts $125,000, Genting New York $500,000, Saratoga Harness Racing $250,000, Yonkers Racing Corporation $500,000.* NY casinos poised to explode after 'yes' vote(NYDN) * A day after voters approved a New York state constitutional amendment allowing up to seven commercially operated casinos, investors were already placing their bets on where the gambling palaces might be located* Cooper Union and City College are both considering policies that could restrict how, when and where students can express dissent, while raising the penalties for those who disobey. ** Developers are lining up casino site bids in the Capital Region, with Rochester commercial builder David Flaum interested in the former Tobin First Prize packing plant, in addition to his potential bids in the Catskills and Monroe County, the Times Union writes: http://bit.ly/Jhlox4 * After Winning a Raise, 175 Casino Workers in Queens Lose Their Jobs(NYT)
Gambling and lobbyists 

Dark Pool Politics

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


The Always Corrupt Surrogate Court

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

$ Hikes Pushing Middle Class Out

It's a disgrace that people were killed & injured in Metro North derailment bc of failure to invest in infrastructure. An avoidabl
Higher Tolls Adds to Recent Increases in MTA, Con Ed, Taxes, Rents That the Middle Class Already Pay
NYC Toll$ Up Again
Toll hikes start Sunday at New York-New Jersey crossings(NYP)
Low Wages 
Life on $7.25 an Hour(NYT) Older Workers Are Increasingly Entering Fast-Food Industry. 55,000 fast-food workers in New York — more than the entire population of Harrisburg, Pa.
Independent Budget Office Suggests Boosting Taxes on Beer, Liquor and Plastic Surgery(NYO)  * Three cheers for the No. 7 extension(NYP) * The Times Union writes that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority should use existing technology to improve safety, while Congress should step up funding for railroad inspectors:*  A union pushes 1300 workers into the middle class: Living Wage Ruling Gives Queens Casino Workers a Fighting Chance (NYT)
More on How NYC is Pushing the Middle Class Out


Health and Health Care Exchanges

City to require flu shots for kids under six in preschool, day care
New York City to Require Child Flu Shots(NYT)
* The New York City Board of Health unanimously adopted new rules requiring the Health Department to inspect tanning salons and warn customers of the dangers of skin cancer from the overexposure to UV radiation, the Post reports:
* More than 69,000 New Yorkers have signed up for private insurance plans through the state’s new health exchanges, far outpacing the number of new enrollees in the state’s Medicaid program, Capital New York writes: * The New York City Board of Health will vote on a Bloomberg administration measure that requires annual flu vaccinations for children in city-licensed preschools and day-care centers, The Wall Street Journal writes: http://on.wsj.com/IP6wox  Board of Health votes to require mandatory flu shots for kids(NYDN)* With Affordable Care Act, Canceled Policies for New York Professionals(NYT) * Mayor Bloomberg: Mandatory flu shots for pre-schoolers will save lives(NYDN)* A total of 134,662 people have enrolled in New York’s health exchange since its October launch, a 34 percent increase over the past week, according to the state Department of Health.* NY’s Health Exchange: Statistics Galore(YNN) * New York State’s new online insurance exchange — one of the bright spots in the disastrous national rollout of Obamacare — suffered outages Friday because of heavy demand due to today’s sign-up deadline for coverage that starts Jan. 1.*
Though the state exchange is on pace to meet its enrollment goal and is out-performing the federal site, people who have tried to enroll say they’ve found the site out of service, regularly run into issues entering information into the site, spent hours on the phone to get help from someone and waited weeks to receive confirmation of coverage. * New York business owners might be hurting as President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan takes effect, with one business group saying an overwhelming majority of businesses are reporting higher insurance premiums, the New York Post reports
NY Health Care and Exchange

High Tech

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

Special Elections and June Primaries

NYS Senate Dems To Push For June Primaries But Senate GOP and Independent Dems Oppose It
Gov. Cuomo Doesn't Have 'Any Plans as of Now' to Call Special Elections(NYO)
Board of Elections Seeks to Move Federal Primaries to June, Reducing Voters' Trips to the Polls 
Cuomo said that the state Legislature may look to reform the controversial Common Core standards, but added that while he is monitoring the issue it is not something he can control, Gannett Albany writes: * The state Board of Elections agreed to propose the final Tuesday in June as the date for federal, state, and local primary elections to U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe, who oversees the state’s compliance with absentee ballot laws, the Times Union writes:
Federal Judge Approves June Primary Date(YNN) As expected, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe on Thursday designated the fourth Tuesday in June as the date to hold Congressional primaries in New York.* * State Senate Democrats introduced a bill moving state primaries from September to June to coincide with federal primaries for Congress, saying it would save the state at least $50 million and increase turnout, the Times Union writes:  . * Nine spots in the state legislature are set to be vacant when the legislative session begins Wednesday, and there isn’t an indication if special elections will be called to fill the seats, Gannett Albany reports:   * The Times Union writes that moving state and local primaries to June would save money, encourage better turnout and be an all-around win for democracy:


Queens Site May Be Added to Superfund List(NYT
Researchers Study New York City Park Useage (WSJ)
New York City's recycling rate is 27%, low compared to San Francisco (77%), Los Angeles (62%), and Seattle (51%).

Safe Traffic

With traffic deaths down, a renewed push to wipe them out(AMNY)
Editorial: More enforcement would make NYC streets safer(AMNY)
Dire ad warnings as city DWI deaths double(NYP)* NYC to track traffic deaths on Web site (NYP) A new Web site will list everyone who dies in a traffic accident in New York City. It will be divided into four categories: vehicle drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians….





Environmental activists delivered 50,000 comments to the state Department of Environmental Conservation opposing the agency’s proposed draft regulations for liquefied * A report revealed by Wikileaks found New York’s anti-fracking movement started with a series of ProPublica articles published in the TU in 2008.* State Department of Health Commissioner Nirav Shah said that his agency’s health study on high-volume hydraulic fracturing would be transparent “at the end, not during,” to maintain objectivity, Gannett Albany writes: * NY facing fracking lawsuit threat(NYP)* Still Undecided on Fracking, Cuomo Won’t Press for Health Study’s Release(NYT) * Cuomo's coal-to-gas switch facilitated by fracking (elsewhere)(Capital) * Environmentalists are not happy with Cuomo’s announcement that the Dunkirk coal-fired power plant will be repurposed and converted to natural gas.* Cuomo might not make a decision on fracking until after the November 2014 elections * NYC Comptroller-elect files in support of fracking bans(Capital) * A spokesman for Frack Action called a lawsuit filed by Norse Energy against the Cuomo administration seeking to compel a decision on the natural gas drilling technique “ridiculous.”* A bid to open Albany up to tar sands oil(Capital) * Scott Stringer’s amicus brief against fracking(NYP)


State to Pay Firm $55M Through No-Bid Contract for Sandy help
Time Is Up for High-Security Wine Cellar Hit by Hurricane, Judge Rules(NYT)
Sandy Forced Poor to Leave Illegal Units(WSJ)
* Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Con Edison have announced a deal that holds steady electric, gas and steam service prices after the company originally planned rate hikes, citing Superstorm Sandy damage, the Post writes:


The Times holds up New York as a model for other states regarding online sales tax collection after reforming its laws in 2008, after a Supreme Court decision cleared the way for states to collect $13 billion in uncollected online sales taxes: http://nyti.ms/1dl1TMW  New York City Gets $57.4 Million From Gov. Cuomo's REDC Initiative, Lowest In State *@JohnCLiu: has added 380,000 private payroll jobs since Jan 2010, but recovery hasn't benefited everyone.* Brooklyn’s $5 billion Atlantic Yards apartment project is a step closer to being 70% owned by a Chinese developerNY increasing minimum wage to $8 an hour in 2014(NYP) * New York's Minimum Wage Rising To $8 An Hour(Huff Post)
  • Con Edison Drops Bid to Raise Rates(WSJ)Con Edison dropped its bid to raise rates on New Yorkers Tuesday, announcing a settlement with city and state leaders that would freeze electric and steam bills.
More on the NYC Economy 


Affordable Housing

Mtg 2day to block land sale to "foreign company w/no stake in producing Affordable Housing 4 Brooklyn" * Transparency to come after fracking study says Shah(Capital)


In Public Housing, Units Languish in Limbo  (NYT)     In New York City, hundreds of public housing units have sat unoccupied year after year awaiting major renovations or a decision about their fate.
NYCHA hedges bet on finishing fixes(NYDN)
Facing Suit, New York City Agrees to Remove Mold in Public Housing More Quickly(NYT) * A judge will monitor the New York City Housing Authority’s compliance as part of the terms of a settlement requiring it to clean up mold and related problems at its apartments, the Daily News reports:* A LITTLE LATE: NYCHA executive vows to fix 150 Brooklyn apartments by the time Santa arrives as bitter cold sets to grip city * New York City Housing Authority Chairman John Rhea says he has no regrets about his time leading the board, even amid various criticisms from tenants and officials of his tenure:* Want to rent a ‘hotel’ room in the projects?(NYP) * NYCHA ‘didn’t investigate director who abused kids’: suit(NYP) * 55 of 's 328 murders in NYCHA,
More on NYCHA 

Citi Bike

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




FDNY monitor burns through $3M in taxpayer money: lawyer(NYP) The court-appointed monitor overseeing the New York City Fire Department’s minority-hiring program was criticized by the city’s corporation counsel for spending hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars on legal bills* FDNY monitor is excessively billing the city(NYP)






Writing About Gangsters, as Far Back as He Can Remember(NYT) Jerry Capeci has been chronicling the Mafia in New York City for nearly four decades and has produced half a dozen gangster-themed books.
In a tight decision, the Court of Appeals also ruled four-to-three in favor of Fox News reporter Jana Winter, extending the state’s shield law to Colorado.
'60 Minutes' Gets TRASHED
Reliable Sources Panel Knocks 60 Minutes: ‘Who Deputized CBS’ to Tell NSA’s Side of the Story? (VIDEO)
MSNBC shows us just how much panel-talk and politics can be crowbarred into the work day: (Wash Post)
NY Times Ready to Cover Chris Christie Exactly How They Covered Mitt Romney—Badly

Going Unseen, but Asking the Tough Questions for Almost a Quarter-Century at WNYC(NYT) Come autumn, Brian Lehrer will celebrate his 25th anniversary on WNYC, the public radio station on which he hosts his eponymous morning talk show.

Ben Smith on how social media will save journalism. (Heads up: He wrote the article for Playboy).
  1. I left political television because I found the culture toxic and the intentions of most politicians and policy makers dishonest
Bob Grant, a Pioneer of Right-Wing Talk Radio, Dies at 84 (NYT)

R.I.P. Stan Brooks, senior correspondent at 1010 WINS and the hardest working man in radio. "He was 86 years and 11 months old. He worked until he was 86 years and 10 months old." (CBS)* Stan Brooks, a Familiar Voice on 1010 WINS, Dies at 86(NYT) * City Hall Pro: Remembering Stan Brooks(Capital)

Fox's Media Buzz Asks Whether Media Watchdogs Contribute to Public’s Mistrust of the Press http://bit.ly/1cRKLQF (VIDEO)
    1. Anyone know who's staffing City Hall in the new mayoralty? Asking for a friend.
    2. Those sort of questions are fundamentally unhelpful and you should know better

Recent News On the Media


Wall Street

Former AIG chairman Hank Greenberg filed a state ethics complaint against Assistant Attorney General David Ellenhorn, charging that he deliberately lied in the civil fraud case the attorney general’s office brought against Greenberg, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett writes:
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said there are more settlements to come with financial institutions stemming from the financial crisis of 2008, The Daily News writes: http://nydn.us/17NsE9l * The Times praises the $13 billion settlement with JP Morgan Chase, despite the deal not holding individuals accountable, and credits state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for obtaining the settlement:* Stern Words for Wall Street’s Watchdogs, From a Judge(NYT)
Academics Who Defend Wall St. Reap Reward(NYT)
More on Wall Street


Democrats Seize on Income Inequality in 2014 - Burgess Everett, Politico
Class Warfare Flourishes Under Obama - Salena Zito, Pitt Tribune-Review
50 Years Later, War on Poverty a Mixed Bag - Annie Lowrey, NY Times
Obama & de Blasio: False Prophets of Equality - Michael Goodwin, NY Post
The al-Qaeda Switchboard - Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker
Militants Fill Middle East Power Vacuum - Hubbard, Worth & Gordon, NYT
NY Times Unwittingly Destroys Obama - Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post
Obama Looks to Relaunch Bogged Down 2nd Term - Amie Parnes, The Hill
2014 All About Obamacare - Again - John Farmer, New Jersey Star-Ledger
De Blasio's Long Odds - Ross Douthat, New York Times
Obama's 2nd Term Is All About Climate Change - Jonathan Chait, NY Mag
The Unalarmed Climate Scientist - Ethan Epstein, Weekly Standard
Ben Bernanke, Crisis Manager - David Ignatius, Washington Post
Why Edward Snowden Shouldn't Get Clemency - Fred Kaplan, Slate
A Ruling for Polygamy -- and Freedom - Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune
Ariel Sharon: A Man of His Times - Alan Dershowitz, New York Daily News
Andrew Jacobs, the Prince of Parsimony - Carl M. Cannon, OC Register

Machinists' Vote for the Future - Seattle Times
MSNBC's Upside-Down World - The Oklahoman
Unemployed Need More Help During Hard Times - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
More Lies From President Obama on Coal - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Last 30 Days in Washington Coverage

Law and Order

FDNY, NYPD retirees ‘faked 9/11 illnesses’ as part of Social Security disability scam(NYP)* Scores of retired New York City police officers and firefighters were charged in a massive Social Security disability fraud scheme, with many illegally collecting $30,000 to $50,000 a year, The New York Times reports: http://nyti.ms/19bE38M

Man Arrested At Kennedy In Killing Of Landlord(NYT)
  • Solitary Jailing Curbed)WSJ)
    The New York City Department of Correction has stopped its controversial use of solitary confinement for mentally ill inmates who break the rules, a shift that jail officials are hailing as groundbreaking.
Kristin Davis, the “Manhattan Madam” who claims her clients included former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, pleaded not guilty to charges that she illegally peddled prescription pain killers.

Odds that you’ll be killed by a stranger in NYC on the decline(NYP) Just 29 victims of the city’s record-low 334 slayings in 2013 did not know their killers, according to NYPD homicide stats.
Slain slumlord found in trash has enemies list a mile long(NYP)
Brooklyn landlord kidnapped during snowstorm found burned in dumpster was SUFFOCATED, cops say(NYDN)
Friend Of Rapper 50 Cent Fatally Shot in Springfield Gardens, Police Say(Huff Post)
16-year old shot and killed at party in Brownsville, Brooklyn (WABC)
New Report Indicates Trend Between Unsolved Homicides And Detective Staffing In Five Boroughs 
16-Year-Old Is Fatally Shot on His Way Home From a Party in Brownsville(NYT)
Bronx mom stabbed, killed in front of children(NYP)

The NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force busted a Brooklyn man for at least seven "knockout" assaults (NYP)
NYPD investigating abduction of businessman(WSJ)
NY Times Calls Cuomo "Stingy" and "Cowardly."Governor Cuomo’s Stingy Pardons 
[UPDATE] Missing Williamsburg Real Estate Developer Found Dead On LI
Last 30 Days of Crime 


9/11 victims OK to sue Saudi government(NYP)
NYPD Conducts Bus Inspections After Blast In Israel (CBS)
70 years ago today on WNYC: "I tell you it was the greatest thrill I've had since I've been Mayor."