Sunday, March 16, 2014

True News Sunday Edition: History Shows NYC's Educastion Fights Do Not Improve the Education System

Is Someone Looking to Split Black Harlem's Vote Now That The Sheriff of Harlem is Gone

"Whoever wins is going to have to deal with N.A.N. and me,”Rev Sharpton
The Harlem Take Over Again, Adam Clayton Powell Knock Out by Rangel 1971
Sharpton: ‘No sacred seat’ for Rangel(Capital) The Rev. Al Sharpton rejected on Sunday the idea that Rep. Charlie Rangel should be accorded one final term, as a graceful exit for the longtime congressman. "Rangel's been in office 44 years," Sharpton said at a church in Harlem.  "I remember as a kid Rangel ran against Adam Clayton Powell. And won. ... And now, all of a sudden people are going to tell us ‘Well, let Rangel retire in office.’ He didn’t let Adam retire in office." 
"Don’t come with some new litmus test that you din't have," Sharpton said. "Adam Clayton Powell was the first black congressman in New York … led a boycott in Harlem before Martin Luther King did in Motgomery. And they didn’t let him retire. So, all of a sudden y’all got a new rule. ... don’t try to come up with some new test that you didn’t meet." Sharpton has not officially taken a position in the race, but several of his allies have given seed money to Walrond's campaign, and on Sunday, speaking from the podium, Sharpton echoed Walrond’s campaign theme, saying, "I think that we got to really be clear that it's time for us to have a new vision and a new day." Sharpton also rejected the notion that he helped ease Walrond into the race in order to split the black vote, which could help a third candidate, State Senator Adriano  

Espaillat, who nearly unseated Rangel in 2012
Bill Lynch the Sheriff of Harlem Protected Rangel 1941 - 2013

Preacher running for Congress changes view on AIDS(NYP) The Harlem preacher running for the seat held by Rep. Charles Rangel talked up the fantastic claim that AIDS was concocted to destroy black people in an interview six years...* Congressional Candidate Denies Supporting AIDS Conspiracy Theory(NYO) * Rep. Charles Rangel explains his 9/11 comments: (Politico) * Up Close: Harlem Congressional Race(WABC)

More on the Rangel Re-Election

Media Covers the Fight for Control of the Schools Ignores the Effect On Education

De Blasio, Moskowitz rivalry goes beyond charter schools(NYDN) The two figures share a heated, political rivalry that goes much deeper than the charter school issue they are currently fighting over. She loathes the teachers union, while he views the union as a progressive ally. "She always said she wanted to be mayor," said a source with close ties to City Hall. "He sees her as an ideological antithesis, but also as a rival politically." Moskowitz, 50, a Democrat who did not endorse any candidate in last year's mayoral race, was elected to the City Council in 1999, representing the Upper East Side, two years before de Blasio was elected to represent Park Slope. She was a close ally of then-Council Speaker Gifford Miller and chair of the Council's education committee, a position that de Blasio - a former school board member - coveted, sources recalled. * What's missing from de Blasio's analysis: School quality(NYDN) The mayor and Chancellor Fariña are missing the crucial point that student learning matters most

Cuomo the Education Establishment Disruptor

Cuomo embraces his ‘disruptive’ charter stance(Capital) Cuomo cast himself as a "disruptive" force in support of charter schools, in a congratulatory appearance on the first episode of John Catsimatidis' new radio show. "We have a big bureaucracy with a system that is entrenched, and it funds public education," Cuomo said. "They have their lobbyists and they have their little public relations teams, and they have their front groups and their advocates, and this is disruptive to that entire system, which is a multi-billion dollar system, so you get a lot of pressure against charter schools." “Ninety three percent of the kids in charter schools are minorities that finally got a chance to succeed, and we shouldn’t be kicking them in the butt, pardon my language,” he said.* Govs. Cuomo, Pataki Hit Airwaves With John Catsimatidis To Defend Charter Schools(NYDN)

Cuomo bemoans "24-hour blogs": "You have this constant chatter that is not necessarily the most credible"

Dumbing Down News

24-Hour News Cycle Makes Governing More Difficult, Gov. Cuomo Says(NYDN) Gov. Cuomo, media observer: "They have to get it up first. They have to get it up fast." “I don’t believe it raises the quality,” he added. “As a matter of fact, I think it lowers the quality, but it increases the frequency. So you have this constant chatter, that is not necessarily the most credible, the most insightful. But it’s constant and that dictates a rhythm to the governmental dialogue, which again is fast, and quick and facile, but not necessarily intellectual or correct.”

Ocean Hill-Brownsville Fight With UFT for Community Control 1960's

 De Blasio and Moskowitz first clashed in 2003 during Council hearings she held about teachers union contracts. In a heated back and forth, Moskowitz grilled then United Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten about seniority rights and work rules. "I think I hear a lot of clear concern for the common goal of improving the system and helping kids," de Blasio told Weingarten, according to a hearing transcript. Moskowitz later disparaged de Blasio's "softball questions" in a Village Voice interview. Moskowitz and her husband Eric Grannis, a lawyer who runs Tapestry, a pro-charter organization, moved from the Upper East Side to a Harlem condo near her schools.* New York City teachers' strike of 1968

Media Covers the Special Interests Fighting Not the Children
They send the middle of their three children to one of the Success charters. In 2010, the city placed Moskowitz' new Success Academy on the Upper West Side at the Brandeis High School campus, where four high schools already shared space. De Blasio, then public advocate, backed a parents' lawsuit against the plan, which was dismissed. In 2011, de Blasio was outspoken about a city plan to close Wadleigh's middle school in Morningside Heights to make more room for Success Academy middle school students. "De Blasio was a strong leader," recalled Noah Gotbaum, vice-president of Community Education Council District 3 in Manhattan. The city ultimately backed off. The same year, de Blasio's office released a 32-page glossy report that focused on Success Academy as an example of the "flawed processes" of co-locating charters within regular public schools.

The Press Covers CM Dromm' Joe McCarthy Attacks . . . Does Not Hold Him Accountable for the Educations Systems Failure
With No Evidence of Corruption in A City Full of It, Progressive CM Drumm Wants to Asked Charter School Leader Moskowitz if She is Corrupt
Council’s education head: Ask charter network boss about corruption(NYP)  The head of the City Council’s Education Committee said Tuesday he intends to call charter chief Eva Moskowitz to a hearing just in case “corruption were to exist” in the ­finances of her 22-school network. “We need accountability, we need transparency, and we need to know who is giving them the money and what they’re doing with that money,” Dromm said. “This is an opportunity, if corruption were to exist . . . I can’t just let it go.

 Last July, during the mayoral race, he wrote to Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott to oppose a Success co-location expansion, saying: "These changes appear to be a part of a sustained pattern to privilege Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy schools with space and resources at the expense of the traditional public schools with which they share buildings." Education observers said de Blasio turned the fight personal partly to score political points. "The vast majority of public school parents detest Eva Moskowitz," said Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters. "Every time he said something about her at a debate, hundreds of parents would applaud." But Moskowitz's admirers are equally intense. Jacob Mnookin, executive director of Coney Island Prep, a Brooklyn charter, said Moskowitz is a target for the mayor because "she's a tireless advocate for her students and families."

Speaker Takes Shots At Pro Charter School Cuomo On Twitter
City Council Speaker Mark-Viverito takes jab at Gov. Cuomo over East Harlem explosion(NYDN) Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito tweeted to her more than 8,000 followers about Gov. Cuomo's attempt to block Mayor de Blasio's school and policy proposals — and the governor's apparent silence following the East Harlem blast. * Cuomo defends charter schools after Council speaker jibe(NYP)Without mentioning her, the governor pointed out that public schools had deep-pocketed supporters behind them too. “We have a big bureaucracy with a system that is entrenched, and it funds public education. And they have their lobbyists, and they have their little public relations teams, and they have their front groups and their advocates, and this is disruptive to that entire system … so you get a lot of pressure,” Cuomo said Sunday on AM 970′s new “Cats Roundtable” program.

Ocean Hill-Brownsville Panel Discussion at Museum of the City of New York - See more at:
Ocean Hill-Brownsville Panel Discussion at Museum of the City of New York - See more at:
No Fault Education Failure, Tefon Pols
Media Does Not Focus On Education Results Mayor Reason Public Does Not Hold Elected Officials Accountable for the City's Education Failure . . .

NY No Bang for the Education Buck 
Media Does Not Ask Why?

90% of Bronx Students Not Ready for College
90 percent of high school students in five Bronx neighborhoods not ready for college-level work, new analysis finds(NYDN) Annenberg Institute for School Reform study shows shocking disparities in city. Findings run contrary to Mayor Bloomberg's claims, reveal students from poor areas struggled regardless of where they went to school. If you're a kid in the South Bronx, you may graduate from high school — but, odds are, you’ll flunk out of college. A stunning 90% or more of high school students in five Bronx neighborhoods are not ready for college-level work by the end of four years of high school, a new analysis finds.

Black & Hispanic pass rates drop in elite high school exams Where is the UFT's Explanation?

Black & Hispanic pass rates drop in elite high school exams(NYP) More black and Hispanic students took the entrance exam to get into the city’s elite high schools this year, but their pass rates were as dismal as ever, officials said Tuesday. Of the 5,096 students accepted by eight specialized schools, just 5  percent were black and 7 percent were Hispanic. Nationally recognized Staten Island Tech won’t have a single black student among its incoming class of 344 freshmen.

Last year, it had five. Even Brooklyn Tech, which Mayor de Blasio’s son, Dante, attends, will welcome just 127 black students and 130 Hispanics among 1,844 in its freshman class of ’14. Of 27,817 students who took the entrance test last October, 46 percent were black or Hispanic. That’s up from 43 percent in 2012. * * Data shows that the racial demographics for incoming students at some New York City specialized schools remained stagnant, prompting Mayor Bill de Blasio to call for increased diversity at schools, The New York Times writes: * At Top City Schools, Lack of Diversity Persists(NYT 2010)

What Does Cuomo's Ass Kicking of Mayor in Albany Mean?
Goodwin, NYP- "A savvy friend sizes up New York politics this way: “Andrew Cuomo is running against Bill de Blasio.” He was only half joking. Unless you’ve been on Mars, you know that Gov. Cuomo’s re-election campaign is off to an unorthodox start. He’s an overwhelming favorite to win a second term, but his early moves aim not to shore up his Democratic base as much as to appeal to those most likely to support a Republican opponent. That’s where his fellow Dem de Blasio is coming in handy. The radical new mayor thinks voters gave him a blank check and insiders say he believes he can roll Albany and get anything he wants. He started by demanding approval of a tax hike on upper incomes to pay for pre-kindergarten expansion, while also trying to strangle the charter-school movement. Both are terrible ideas — and tailor-made for a governor looking to show he’s no mad lib. Cuomo waited about 30 seconds before shooting down the tax plan, saying the state would fund pre-K, then waded into the charter battle by promising to save them. Both moves aim to give New Yorkers who are thinking of leaving reasons to stay. The result is that de Blasio looks naïve and arrogant, while Cuomo looks both sensible and bold. He ought to pay de Blasio for that kind of image-making. The truth is that Cuomo was always going to take a more prominent role in Gotham after Michael Bloomberg left City Hall. Bloomy had a giant footprint and didn’t let the governor get much traction in his town. But de Blasio’s missteps are speeding up that transition and making Cuomo a go-to guy for those who think the mayor is from another planet. It will be fascinating to see how much political capital de Blasio wastes before realizing he’s being overmatched and outmaneuvered. * PR pros tell mayor how to recover (CrainsNY)

Cuomo Says NY Starting to Look Better
Gov. Cuomo: NY Starting To Win Some Games(NYDN)“You don’t come out of the basement over night,” Cuomo said during an appearance on John Catsimatidis’ inaugural radio show on 970 AM. he said. “We have made progress. Every New York pays less taxes today than they did the day I was elected so the arrows are pointed in the right direction.”  “There’s no doubt New York has a reputation of being anti-business, taxes are too high,” he said. “There’s no doubt these are tough economic times and everyone is looking at their bank account. And there is a tipping point that if one point a city or a state is too expensive to live in, people will move. I believe that.” He argued that state government is smaller than it has been in 50 years, but is more “efficient, effective and getting more results.” He said tax rates are lower than they were when he took office, though his critics note that millionaires are paying more than they would have if he let a surcharge on their income tax expire like he initially promised.

Latest Deals In Albany
Senate rejects Cuomo's push for renters tax credit(NYDN)

FOI Lapses
Editorial: Public records should not be treasure hunt (pressconnects)
Report uncovers FOI lapses

Marie Antoinette Fariña Flaps Again

Sunday Update 
Civil Rights Lawsuit
A civil rights education(NYP)
On Monday, representatives for 19 parents and 21 children will head to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York to file a civil-rights suit. * Kids count after all (NYDN Ed) Progress in Albany toward fairer treatment of charter schools and state-funded universal pre-K
The children are black and Latino. Each had plans to attend an excellent public school, Harlem Central, until they had their school yanked out from under them by Mayor de Blasio and his schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña. So 60 years after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education, these children will make an argument that New York City is violating their own civil rights.

NYC's new schools chancellor's failure to meet charter school principal while visiting same building seen as snub
Schools Chancellor Fariña skips charter in school visit(NYP) Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña snubbed a charter school Friday during a visit to a controversial Harlem site that also houses two other traditional public schools. Farina toured PS 149 at 41 W. 117 St. after making an outrageous statement last week that charter kids blocked from that facility were “on their own.” The chancellor later backtracked and pledged to find space for the newly homeless Success Academy Central Harlem charter middle school. * Marie Antoinette Fariña 2(NYP Ed) A week ago, Fariña apologized after the firestorm that followed her remarks suggesting the charter-school kids whose schools she and Mayor de Blasio had taken away were not really her concern. “I shouldn’t have said it,” she said. “All these kids” — meaning those at charters and those at traditional schools — “are ours.” Yet only a week after saying this, she visits a building that houses three public schools: two traditional schools and a charter. Guess which one Fariña avoids? Correct: the Success Academy Harlem 1 charter.

Fight Over How Much Pre-K $$$

Mayor’s Pre-K Tax Drive: Views Vary on Its Success as Widely as on Its Merits(NYT) Albany may give Mayor Bill de Blasio financing for universal prekindergarten, but the anticipated failure of his preferred revenue mechanism illustrates the limits of mayoral power.* Gov. Cuomo calls Senate's pre-K plan a 'wish list'(NYDN) * Cuomo Pressed for Less Pre-K Money in Senate(WSJ) Assembly urging $540m for NYC education initiatives. Senate urging $540m for NYC. Gov. Andrew Cuomo urging less."Jeff Klein's political issues are his business at this point," Mr. Cuomo said, in interview with WSJ reporter.More on de Blasio vs Cuomo  

The Klein de Blasio Romance
Past month filled with rumbles of left challenge to Klein. Smart politics, as deeply transactional Jeff has rediscovered his Left 
The 50,000 votes WFP needs from Cuomo to keep their ballot line helped a bit with the romance
* Cuomo Says Charter School Protections Will Likely Be Most Contentious Issue in Budget Negotiations(NY1)* Cuomo's new battle with de Blasio: Charter schools (AP)

Cuomo Dances With the Liberal Party to

Pressure WFP! Could Have Killed Party in 2010

Why For Cuomo the Liberal Bell Tolls

Liberal Party buries the hatchet, eyes Cuomo re-election(NYP)

WFP Treating to Work With the Mayor to Elect A Democratic State Senate If the Gov Does Not Support the Tax Increase

WFP Needs Cuomo to Get 50,000 Vote to Keep Its Ballot Line. Cuomo Could Boycott the Party Which Only Has .03% of the registered voters in NYC less in the state

Cuomo Gave the WFP Life in 2010, Second Thoughs? Given the resistance the Working Families Party and its allies are mounting against Governor Cuomo and his agenda, should the governor regret not having killed the party when he had the chance? City State’s Morgan Pehme

Schools Chancellor Fariña Eats her Own Statement
Charters “On Their Own” 
Then Goes Into Hiding

Flip-Flop Fariña
Saturday Education Updates: New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said she regrets saying that 200 displaced Harlem charter school students were “on their own” and that she would work to find space for themChancellor Says She Regrets Remarks About a Harlem Charter School *Flip-flop Fariña now wants to help charter students(NYP) * Opponents blast de Blasio for not blocking more charter schools(NYP)

De Blasio woos parent bloggers *Pre-K Special Education Contractor Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charge(NYT) In a plea deal, Cheon Park, 47, agreed to pay $2.1 million in restitution to the city’s Education Department and accept a sentence of 51 to 63 months in prison.* City now will help displaced Harlem charter students(NYDN) * Parents, bloggers call for more class space(NYP) They have a collective 640,000 followers in the virtual world of Twitter. But the parent bloggers who met with Mayor de Blasio at City Hall on Friday to talk universal pre-K and expanded after-school programs had concerns centered on the real world: classroom space.*  Fariña has more to fix(NYDN Ed) So, less than 24 hours after staunchly defending their stance, Fariña appeared on TV to say that she would find places for the children, which really was not saying very much. They were in a great school and they needed to stay in their great school, not be scattered. Finally, Fariña pledged to find a new home for Harlem Success 4 in a public school building.That’s a start — and only a start. Fariña and de Blasio must also right the wrong they’ve done to hundreds of kids hoping to attend two additional Success Academy schools whose space-sharing arrangements got nixed.

More On Education and the new Chancellor, Charter Schools

UFT A Long Contract? Where is the debate?
The contract will last 4.5 years after the mayor will have to run for re-election
De Blasio Pushing for Unusual, 9-Year Contract With Teachers’ Union(NYT) The de Blasio administration, seeking to be generous to its allies in labor without jeopardizing New York City’s finances, is pushing for what would be the longest-ever contract with the teachers’ union: a nine-year deal that would let the city stretch out potentially huge retroactive pay increases.* De Blasio's Labor Team(City and State) * De Blasio eyes record 9-year deal with (NYP) teachers union * De Blasio Pushes a 9-Year Contract for Teachers(NYT) * De Blasio Proposes Nine-Year Contract for City Teachers(NY1)

Goodwin NYP On Proposed Contract "News flash: With City Hall and the teachers union negotiating a new contract, union boss Michael Mulgrew asked for the sun and the moon, then promised, “We’re not trying to bankrupt the city.” Whew — glad he cleared that up."

More On Education and the new Chancellor, Charter Schools 

A Cult + Corruption Lets Have A Party
Daily News Tells Cuomo to Dump IP

Astorino's Independence move puts onus on Cuomo(Newsday) Suddenly the true value of an Independence Party endorsement for statewide office faces its most serious public questioning in years. Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive and a Republican candidate for governor, said Thursday that he "can't see any scenario" where he'd accept the third party's cross-endorsement for the November election.* Independence Party Is Really A Cult With Lots of Corruption * End the sham, gov(NYDN Ed) It now falls to Gov. Cuomo to end the fraud against voters known as New York’s Independence Party. The governor must — because the Independence Party stands for nothing, is controlled by wheeling-and-dealing insiders and thrives by deceiving voters. A party’s gubernatorial candidate must get at least 50,000 votes in order to win that privilege. The Independence Party rolls are stocked largely by people who intended to register as indepenDENTs with no party affiliation but who instead checked the IndepenDENCE Party box.In the city, followers of the late Fred Newman, known for kooky psychotherapy practices and anti-Semitic outbursts, hold tight sway. Elsewhere, Chairman Frank MacKay, a former Long Island nightclub owner, is in charge.

Will Gary Melius Shooting End the IP?
He has used his power over ballot lines to leverage political contributions and has laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign spending by former Mayor Bloomberg and state Senate Republicans. Recently, the Independence Party has gotten tangled in two scandals on Long Island involving Gary Melius, the businessman and MacKay associate who survived an assassination attempt outside his Oheka Castle hotel and catering hall. In one, Melius was accused of using the Nassau County police to intimidate a witness in a political court fight. In another, an Independence Party-backed judge issued a ruling in a lawsuit that suspiciously favored Melius, and is now apparently the subject of a criminal investigation. Independence Party corruption is different and disqualifying. Lacking a philosophical core and composed of phantom voters, the party boils down to a group of confederates who wield undeserved power based on voter error. Cuomo aides responded by pointing out that Astorino tried to hijack the Independence Party nod for county executive last year by having allies register in the party and sign petitions. While the criticism was well targeted, it made the case for why Cuomo must reject the Independence ballot line: The party is such a hollow shell that a small group could take it over to steer an election.
Hard History Lesson for Mr. Green
. History Lesson: 2001 Dem mayoral nominee refuses Indep Pty while Bloomy grabs it - gets 50k on line & wins by 35k. Juz sayin'.

Independence Party Is Really A Cult, Corrupt Party



  1. Chutzpah Watch: NYPost screamed at Mayor to fire Lis Smith. Now NYP columnist sez biggest mistake not to save her: I should add that Nicole Gelinas a smart, thoughtful columnist. So I don't hold front page idiocy against her

Great Moments In Journalism: "Day 7--The Latest on MH730! Breaking News: We Don't Know What Happened! Team Coverage!"

Nobody Calls After Smelling Gas?

Only man to call Con Ed before blast regrets delay(NYP) The only East Harlem resident to pick up a phone and warn Con Ed when he smelled a gas leak first noticed an odor the night before the deadly explosion — and is devastated that he waited too long to call. “I never thought it could end up like this,” said Corey Louire, 32, one of several area residents to admit smelling the leak but the only one who took action.* Video shows moment Harlem building exploded(NYP) * Amid Rubble, a Bloody Face Spied in Time(NYT)  Officers at the scene of the explosion in East Harlem saw a 15-year-old’s face and hand poking out of the debris. Moments after saving the boy, the rescuers were forced to retreat as the fire intensified. * Search for Bodies Yields to Hunt for a Cause of East Harlem Explosion(NYT) * ConEd Faced Scrutiny in 2009 Blast(WSJ) * The Day the Drills Paid Off(WSJ) Dr. Maurice Wright was certain Wednesday morning that the television footage of a building collapse he had just seen was from a tragedy unfolding in some other part of the world.* Basement could hold clues in deadly NYC blast(WSJ) * Bible survives Harlem building explosion(NYP)

NYP Says CFB Should Not Control Outcome of Elections
Liu-dicrous precedent(NYP Ed)  As for John Liu, we’d never want him as New York’s mayor. But we’d rather that decision be left entirely to the voters instead of leaving it to some unelected board to make a life-and-death decision about his funding.

District Leader Too Old?

Staten Island Democrat Claims He Lost Party Post Because Of His Age(DNAINFO) PORT RICHMOND — A Democrat from Staten Island claims he lost his party post because of his age and has started to rally support for the chairman to resign. Robert Castro, 62, of Port Richmond, said he was asked to step down as North Shore district leader for the Staten Island Democratic Party and was offered a position as the Hispanic Outreach coordinator for the party — but the promised spot never was given to him, the Staten Island Advance first reported.

GOP Senate to Protect NYC Charter Schools, Albany Moves on Pre-K Funding

Friday Update
Charter schools are here to stay: Cuomo(NYP)
Thank you, Mr. Mayor(NYP)New York owes Bill de Blasio a thank you. In trying to squash charter schools, he might just have made them stronger.* Senate Moving Away From Tax for Pre-K Boost(WSJ) * State comptroller cannot audit charter schools: judge(NYDN) * State Senate proposes $540 million pre-K plan(NYDN) * Cuomo Wants More State Control Over Charter Schools(YNN) * Cuomo Doesn’t Want to Earmark Pre-K Cash for New York City(NYO) * Cuomo hedges on mayoral control(Capital) * At an ABNY luncheon, Cuomo continued to defend charter schools, his funding plan for universal prekindergarten and his plans to address the controversial Common Core standards, City & State reports: * Cuomo, who proposed $1.5 billion over five years for prekindergarten expansion, now faces calls for more spending in the Legislature but would not put a price on how much to spend, Gannett Albany writes:  *Cuomo Tweaks de Blasio on Charters at ABNY Luncheon (City and Staste) “The way we’ve now written the law, we give tremendous power to the mayor, and it’s possible for a mayor [to say], ‘I don’t like charter schools, I’m not going to…fund any new charter schools,' and it’s possible that the whole movement would dry up," Cuomo said. "I think that would be bad for the city and bad for the state.” * Cuomo Seeks More State Control to 'Protect' Charter Schools(WNYC) * Scott Stringer Wants To Audit Charter Schools: "Evicting 194 Kids Was Not A Smart Move"(NYDN) * Mayor’s Pre-K Tax Drive: Views Vary on Its Success as Widely as on Its Merits (NYT)
More on de Blasio vs Cuomo


 Bloomberg Speaks

In his first major interview since leaving office, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg talked charter schools, climate change, gun control, the St Patrick’s Day Parade and more, Yahoo reports: Former Mayor Bloomberg granted his first post-office interview to Katie Couric and revealed he’s at odds with his successor on a number of issues – not that he’s being critical or anything.* Bloomberg takes aim at de Blasio in Couric interview(NYP) * Mike Bloomberg still doesn't agree with Bill de Blasio -- and still won't be a critic, he tells Katie Couric(NYDN) * Bloomberg Says He Won’t, but Still Criticizes de Blasio(NYT) In a Katie Couric interview, former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg differed with Bill de Blasio on issues like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and charter schools.* Ex-Mayor Bloomberg won't blast de Blasio but does go after his charter school, minimum wage policies(NYDN) *Bloomberg Defends Mayoral Policies, Legacy in New Interview(NY1)

No Gov Trump (Shocking)

Clearly Cuomo Has Won the Education Battle in Albany
HOW CUOMO AND DE BLASIO WIND IT DOWN -- New York’s Chris Smith: De Blasio would take a short-term political loss by punting on a tax increase for the city’s wealthiest, but his side would be able to claim a big victory for little kids. Cuomo would win by appearing to follow through on his vow to “save” charters and to have held the line on taxes. But is this the first step toward eroding mayoral control of the city’s public schools?(NY Mag) DE BLASIO’S TAX-FREE VICTORY: Bill de Blasio is welcoming news that leaders in the State Senate passed a one-house budget bill with more money for pre-kindergarten and after-school programs than the mayor said was needed. But the budget resolution comes with two major caveats: it won’t come in the form of a tax, which the mayor initially wanted. And second, the Senate is moving to protect charter schools from some of de Blasio’s decision-making, altering the balance of power that Albany had previously given to City Hall. For de Blasio, it’s a victory on his key proposal, coming at a cost he appears willing to accept. * De Blasio Closes In on Pre-K Funding, but Not From a Higher Tax(NYT) * A Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled that state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli doesn’t have the authority to audit New York charter schools because they aren’t technically units of the state, the Daily News reports:  * The Daily News questions the process for choosing a new member of the state Board of Regents, writing that the way education policy is made in the state is pathetic: Just appoint anyone What an abysmal process for choosing a new member of the state Board of Regents * The unexpected election of new Regent Josephine Finn has raised questions about how members of the Board of Regents are selected by lawmakers, the Times Union reports: 5.  The state Education Department is standing behind the new portfolio-style exam for new teachers, which critics say has been rushed in New York—one of two states to currently require it for teaching certification, Gannett Albany writes:  * The Post writes that if a state Senate bill that would provide additional funding for charter schools becomes law, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s overreach in trying to curb charters will be to thank: * Even if a funding stream for universal prekindergarten is found, finding space for more than 20,000 4-year-olds meets the problems of a state rule limiting the number of youngsters per classroom and outfitting the spaces to their size requirements, the Times’ Jim Dwyer writes: 

NYS's Structural Economic Problems Ignored By  Cuomo's Campaign Budget 

Tricks of a phony parent advocate(NYP Ed)‘Etc., etc., etc.”: So did noted United Federation of Teachers shill Zakiyah Ansari respond to a question about why her child still attends the UFT’s failing, co-located charter school in Brooklyn. Ansari was on NY1 this week in an effort to prop up Mayor de Blasio’s rescinding of previously approved co-locations for three Success Academy charter schools. Viewers were given the impression that the co-location of the UFT charter school was happily accepted by the JHS 292 school community. It wasn’t. Parents at JHS 292 vehemently opposed that co-location, especially since the SUNY Charter Institute nearly revoked the UFT school’s charter in 2013.* The Senate resolution also included $540 million a year for five years for New York City prekindergarten and after-school programs – exactly the amount NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio sought – but without a tax increase. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, whose one-house resolution gave de Blasio the power to tax the rich, said he’s fine with the Senate’s plan – as long as the money is provided “without conditions, without attachments, without strings.”* De Blasio is declaring victory, even though the budget is far from a done deal and it looks like he might lose some control over charter schools.* The Senate’s charter proposals were a rebuke to de Blasio, but would directly benefit his political nemesis, Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz.* In response to a lawsuit filed by Eva Moskowitz, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Breslin ruled state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli does not have the authority to audit any New York charter because the schools are not technically “units of the state.”* Now that the smoke has cleared, state lawmakers are asking themselves what happened during the overheated Regents vote.* The state Education Department is standing behind a new portfolio-style exam for prospective teachers, despite pleas from labor unions and some college faculty members to delay the requirement.* The Nation took a critical eye towards Eva Moskowitz and the charter school movement. “Since the Brooklyn Bridge rally I find myself in fundamental opposition to what they’re doing,” said one Success Academy teacher. “It’s never been as political as it been now. If this continues going this way it will be very hard for me to stay,” said another.

Team de Blasio Spins Win on Pre-K
READ --> Daily News: "giant step forward for Mayor de Blasio's pre-k plan":
The New York Post editorial board “thanked” Mayor Bill de Blasio for working against charter schools, which the paper says only emboldened Albany charter advocates to save them: “New York owes Bill de Blasio a thank you. In trying to squash charter schools, he might just have made them stronger.”

Will the Progressive Left Elect A Right Wing President in 2016?

Arne Duncan just doesn’t get it: How the media and phony reformers hurt your kids(Salon)
Defenders of charter schools and Common Core cast critics as ignorant skeptics. It could cost Democrats elections* Is Eva running for mayor of NYC? * 4m
Also interesting that people who resisted mayoral control are invoking it as a principle now. * 14m
People can't argue they favor mayoral control of schools on principle when they oppose it if they disagree with mayor * Later today, education advocates are set to rally against Mr. Cuomo and the State Senate for wanting to take co-location decisions away from the mayor. “This is a clear Quid Pro Cuomo with charter school lobbyists who are bankrolling the Governor’s re-election campaign,” said Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director of the Alliance for Quality Education. In the Post, former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin railed against Ms. Ansari, arguing Mr. de Blasio “should close the rhetoric gap and focus on cooperative ways to improve educational outcomes for all New York City students. Students and parents are ill-served by an education debate beset by adult gamesmanship, hidden relationships and misinformation.”
 State senate makes bid to undo anti-charter school moves(NYP) The state Senate will propose sweeping measures in its budget bill to undo Mayor de Blasio’s ­moves against charter schools, sources familiar with the plan said. The recommendations — to be released as early as Thursday — include overriding the mayor’s decision to block three of Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter schools from opening in city buildings. “We’re going to fix this problem,” said Sen. Martin Golden ­(R-Brooklyn). “We agreed for the first time to provide ‘facilities’ aid as well as operating aid to charter schools.”* Moskowitz: Charter school booted from ‘not overcrowded’ building(NYP) The Harlem public school that critics and the de Blasio administration say is too crowded to accommodate a Success Academy charter school has 15 percent fewer students than anticipated * Senate budget may not include ‘specific number’ for pre-K(capital) * Cuomo Says Charters, Not Pre-K, Will ‘Be the Main Educational Issue’ in Budget(NYO) * Cuomo to make co-locations part of budget talks(Capital) * MT NY Senate may weaken mayoral control over schools, increase guv Regents control. * Cuomo, In Statement, Renews Call For Charter Schools Protection(YNN) * Silver: No Pre-K Tax? Fine * New pre-K teachers in New York won't be unionized, necessarily(Capital)

Sanitation Commissioner Doherty Resigns

Kathryn Garcia to head Sanitation
NYC Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty resigns; last day on job will be March 28.* De Blasio Appoints Kathryn Garcia Next Sanitation Commissioner (NY1)* NYC's newly appointed sanitation commissioner began her career as an intern in the department *   Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty stepping down this month |(SI Advance) *De Blasio’s sanitation commissioner tenders resignation(Capital)

So Long, Road Salt. Hello, Sun and Sand.(NYT) * Sanitation Department Commissioner retiring(NYDN) * City Sanitation Commissioner Doherty Resigns (WSJ) * Sanitation Commissioner Stepping Down at End of the Month(NY1) * New Sanitation Department boss Kathryn Garcia: I ‘love’ garbage(NYDN) * De Blasio names new sanitation chief(Capital) Kathryn Garcia will serve as the city’s next sanitation commissioner, a day after John Doherty’s resignation

What About Parks?
Anxiety Builds as New York City Parks Await a Leader(NYT) The de Blasio administration has not yet hired a chief for the department, leaving some to wonder what the effect will be on longer-term policy issues.

Weak Ethic Panel
New York Bar Association Urges Steps to Improve Ethics Panel(NYT)
A report criticizes the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics as lacking independence from the politicians it is supposed to oversee.* The New York City Bar Association and Common Cause are expected to release a report that criticizes JCOPE and calls on the panel to adopt a series of measures that the two organizations feel will help restore public confidence in the commission* "JCOPE needs gumption." -- Evan Davis, former counsel to Governor M. Cuomo & member of the NYC Bar on Joint Commission on Public Ethics.
It's past time to revisit deeply flawed ethics watchdogs, not just JCOPE, but Legislative Ethics Csmn and SBOE too
More on the Moreland Commission and JCOPE

Lobbying Spending in NYC
Forest City lobbying spending in NYC dips, but company still among top clients, with five firms retained(AYR)
Last year, Forest City spent $287,000.

But it's still among the top clients in spreading the wealth. After MSG Holdings and SL Green Realty Corp., which had six lobbying firms on retainer, Atlantic Yards Development Company joined Altria Client Services (cigarettes!) and Major League Soccer in having five firms retained.
Brooklyn developer Two Trees Management Co. was among several clients retaining four firms, along with The Rector, Church-Wardens and Vestrymen of Trinity Church, which just happens to the spawning ground of Carl Weisbrod, Mayor de Blasio's appointee to head the City Planning Commission
Forest City's 2013 spending, by Forest City

  1. Kasirer Consulting LLC $160,000 lobby target: Office of the Mayor
  2. Geto & de Milly Inc. $46,000 lobby target: Community Boards
  3. Park Strategies, $40,000 lobby target: City Council
  4. LoCicero & Tan, $32,000 lobby target: "Attaches of the Council"
  5. Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP $9,000 lobby target: City CouncilNote that this report deals only with city lobbying, not state lobbying. 
As noted above, the list includes Chairman Bruce Ratner, CEO Maryanne Gilmartin, David Berliner, Ashley Cotton, and Katherine Welch. (Note the word "false" in bottom right corner is some artifact of the database, rather than any editorial comment.)

Kasirer's prominence

Kasirer Consulting far outranked other lobbying firms, with $6.6 million in total compensation.

It had 109 clients.
"Robert Sanna" on board

I was surprised to read, in both the article/supplement and advertisement in City & State, that the city's leading lobbying firm by revenue, Kasirer Consulting, had "Robert Sanna" on its staff.

It seems unlikely, but Forest City does spend its single largest amount of lobbying bucks at Kasirer, so they do have a relationship.

OK, a check of the firm's web site, and LinkedIn, shows that Kasirer government relations associate Robert J. Sanna is a 2012 college grad, having attended high school in Millburn, NJ.

Which was where Robert P. Sanna, whose firm got a state override of local zoning for Atlantic Yards, led a citizen effort to oppose a variance that would allow what locals considered overdevelopment.

More on Corrupt Lobbyists

Campaign Reform?
Can New York Lead on Campaign Finance Reform?(NYT) Senate Finance Chairman John DeFrancisco explained the squishy campaign finance language thusly: “We’re rejecting the governor’s proposal and we want to talk.”The NYT wants Cuomo to push hard for a public campaign finance system, editorializing that he “can earn the most credit at home and nationally if he finally makes campaign finance reform and public financing a workable reality.”

 NYT Silent On Local Impact of Citizens United on Public Financing

NYT's + Media's Blind Side The NYT has written several times on the national impact of Citizens United but never on the impact of that  special interests big money supreme court decision on the 2013 NYC election. The press is focused on  a preacher and 4-year-olds, while not reporting on how our city government was mugged by special interests Citizen United PACs and the lobbyists political consultants who do their bidding in the last election. Have these PACs made NYC government worse (if that is possible)? Have these PACs and lobbyist consultants committed crimes? stay tuned. The Line at the ‘Super PAC’ Trough(NYT) An unlimited source of cash is now a requirement for contested congressional races * Change the Rules on Secret Money(NYT Ed) * Liberal Donors Pollute Politics, Too(NYT Ed) * Campaign finance reformers take a hard line(TU)

The Unreported Citizen United NYC 2013 Election Scandal
We have just gone though the first local election since the Citizen United ruling where two major IE groups Jobs4NT and NYClass has pumped money into almost every first time winning candidate or attacked their opponent.  CrainsNY reporter Chris Bragg has done a good job showing that on of the big PAC groups headed by Advance's Scott Levinson was not following the election law and was in some elections working against the interests of his council clients.

Only True News has asked where is the media on Citizens United effect on the city's elections. Mark Levine ran  in a minority created district he did not even live in won with the help of Jobs4NY, NYClass and United for the Future.* Politicians for Sale (NYT Ed)The Supreme Court should follow its own precedent and uphold overall campaign contribution limits.
More on the Advance Groups Corruption 
CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping
The Big 8 Lobbyists 
Dark Pool Politics

Board of Regents
The unexpected election of new Regent Josephine Finn has raised questions about how members of the Board of Regents are selected by lawmakers, the Times Union reports:

Catskills builders ready to roll dice on casino(NYP)
More on Gambling and Lobbying

NYC Tax Cuts
Cuomo: No Budget Deal Without NYC Tax Breaks(YNN) * Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he will not accept a state budget lacking tax breaks for New York City residents after the state Senate left out a tax credit for renters and a property tax “circuit-breaker,” State of Politics writes:

 Mayoral Control of the Schools Expires Next Year De Blasio’s antics puts mayoral control over schools at risk(NYP Ed) The law that gives the mayor control expires next year. This question fairly jumps out from Eva Moskowitz’s appeal to the state education commissioner to fight the denial of co-location to one of her Success Academies. The filing is being made on behalf of 19 parents of current and prospective pupils of a Success charter school in Harlem.* * A study of prekindergarten practices is being conducted as New York City and the state debate universal pre-K proposals, with the results possibly being used to shape a program in the city and elsewhere, The New York Times writes:  * UFT says that if New York City doesn’t raise teachers’ salaries in the upcoming contract negotiations, there could be an exodus of educators to the suburbs for higher-paying jobs, the Post writes: * While some educators fight hard for charter schools, some top charter officials are making close to or more than schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s $212,000 per year, The New York Times’ Michael Powell writes: * "Eva Moskowitz is Governor Andrew Cuomo’s problem now." (NY Mag)

Mayor Fights for Some Co-Locations

 A tale of two co-locations(NYP Ed) If Bill de Blasio stands for one thing, it’s the notion that co-location is unfair, because it means people who aren’t as well off having to share space with those who have more resources. Or does he? But it’s also true that when it comes to affordable housing, he applies the opposite principle. That’s one of the less-noticed takeaways from the mayor’s intervention in the Domino Sugar development. Under the agreement reached during the Bloomberg years, the developer was to reserve 660 of the 2,300 units for “affordable housing.” After pressure from de Blasio, the developer agreed to build 700 of these units.

Two LICH Bids Offer Few Emergency Room Beds and Bays: Sources and Officials(DnaInfo)
The Brooklyn Hospital Center is proposing some 15 emergency room bays for both adult and pediatric cases and about 10 “observational” beds in its 24-hour freestanding emergency department, officials told a community meeting in Red Hook on Tuesday night that was organized by the hospital. Another proposal from Fortis Property Group, which is partnering with NYU Langone Medical Center, would have four “observational” beds and 10 to 12 ER bays, according to sources familiar with the plan.

Queens District Leader Joins de Blasio Administration

Bill de Blasio Taps Queens District Leader to Join His Administration(NYO) Rebecca Lynch, a district leader in eastern Queens and a registered lobbyist for the teamsters union, recently joined Mr. de Blasio’s community affairs unit. While her exact role is not immediately clear, Ms. Lynch will likely assist Mr. de Blasio’s outreach efforts to Queens’ civic groups, nonprofits and community organizations.


Court Rules to Protect Silver's Assembly From Serial Sexual Abuser Lopez

Thursday Update

From Hush Funds to Court Cover-Up
Silver’s robed protector (NYDN Ed) In an ridiculous ruling, a judge shields the Assembly speaker. The Daily News writes that a judge’s decision to toss a lawsuit accusing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver of failing to protect two women from sexual harassment by Vito Lopez is preposterous: The undeserved breaks keep coming for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. In a preposterous ruling, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joan Kenney dismissed a lawsuit that accused Silver of failing to protect two young women from sexual harassment by former Assemblyman Vito Lopez. There’s no question that Silver exposed the women to Lopez’ predations by conspiring to cover up previous misconduct. But Kenney let Silver off on the ground that the Assembly was, somehow, not the women’s employer.Never mind that Silver’s sexual harassment policy stated that state and federal laws imposed “legal responsibilities upon every Assembly employee as well as the Assembly itself as employer.”Several elected judges stepped aside from handling a case involving Silver, one of Manhattan’s most powerful Democrats. Kenney should have done the same.

 Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline
State Assembly not liable in Vito Lopez grope suit: judge(NYP) The state Assembly is off the hook for Vito Lopez’s groping of staffers, a Manhattan judge ruled Tuesday. Judge Joan Kenney tossed a Manhattan civil lawsuit filed by two female staffers of the deposed Brooklyn assemblyman, ruling that the legislative body could not be held liable for the politician’s behavior because it was not the women’s employer.  She acknowledged allegations that the Assembly didn’t properly address the prior complaints — an action that could have prevented more incidents — but said there was no evidence that other lawmakers “aided or abetted Lopez’s discriminatory conduct.”  Kenney also wrote that because the elected politicians “have no ownership interest in the Assembly itself,” the body can’t be considered an employer for the purposes of the suit. A second, parallel case is still pending in federal court by the two women against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and against Lopez. A state ethics commission found last year that Lopez had accosted at least eight staffers with an unrelenting volley of lurid come-ons since 2010. The women’s attorney, Kevin Mintzer, vowed to re-file the state suit, amending it to show the Assembly as a whole was responsible for their safety because it published a sexual harassment handbook for all members and technically paid their salaries.*Judge tosses suit vs. Assembly for Vito Lopez’ harrassment(NYDN) A judge ruled that the Assembly is not responsible for claims of sexual harassment against former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, although the legislative body did not properly address prior complaints

Albany's Pink Wall of Silence Continues

Women Pols and Groups Remain Silent
NY's Women's Groups & Women Pols More Interested in Political Power Than Cleaning Up Sexual Abuse in Albany 

Albany Update
NY Senate agrees on state budget measure(WSJ) * Boehner accuses N.Y. of 'cheating' food stamp rules(NYDN)* Senate Budget Resolution Blocks Funding For Gov. Cuomo's Prison Education Plan - UPDATED(NYDN) * The Senate approved its one-house budget measure – essentially a wish list heading into three-way negotiations – at 2:19 a.m. The vote was 36-19.* The resolution is “purposely vague in many areas to give lawmakers in the Senate room to negotiate with the Assembly and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in the next couple of weeks.”
Thursday - State Senate leaders are considering including in their budget proposal a provision that would allow the state to use the money it receives from legal settlements to fund a campaign public financing system, rather than use direct taxpayer money, the Daily News reports: * Advocates for medical marijuana spoke to Senate lawmakers as support bills for the program * Senate ‘Modify’ Cuomo’s Campaign Finance Proposal(YNN) * Senate Cuts Moreland, Health Exchange Funding(YNN) * New York's dangerously old public infrastructures: (Guardian) * What Klein delivered for progressives, and what he didn’t(Capital)

. Please tell your readers that one-house budget bills are gauntlets, bargaining chips, political chits; nothing real.

CM Dromm' Joe McCarthy Hearing
With No Evidence of Corruption in A City Full of It, Progressive CM Drumm Wants to Asked Charter School Leader Moskowitz if She is Corrupt

Where is Murrow?
Council’s education head: Ask charter network boss about corruption(NYP)  The head of the City Council’s Education Committee said Tuesday he intends to call charter chief Eva Moskowitz to a hearing just in case “corruption were to exist” in the ­finances of her 22-school network. “We need accountability, we need transparency, and we need to know who is giving them the money and what they’re doing with that money,” Dromm said. “This is an opportunity, if corruption were to exist . . . I can’t just let it go.” Moskowitz, a former council member, has never been accused of corruption even by her harshest critics. It’s not clear if Dromm has jurisdiction over Moskowitz, who is not a city employee. Moskowitz has not received an invitation to testify, said a spokeswoman who would not comment further.  McCarthy-Welch Exchange: “Have You No Sense of Decency” Councilman Dromm? * NYC Councilman Danny Dromm, the chairman of the Education Committee, asked the city’s top investigator whether he has the power to probe the political activities of charter schools.

1954 Journalist Murrow Attacks McCarthyism
As We Mark the 60th Anniversary Edward R. Murrow Attack on Joe McCarthy With All the Corruption Going On In New York Where Are this Generation of Journalist? Edward R Murrow vs Joe McCarthy - YouTube

2014 As Mayor Limits Access Press Warms to Him With Selfie

de Blasio dramatically limits the press's access to him. The liberal media says nothing * De Blasio Talks With Press on City Hall Steps(NY1)
De Blasio talks getting 'out of the bubble,' snaps selfie with press corps(SI Advance) * De Blasio clowns with press, takes selfie on City Hall steps * De Blasio has a message problem, but who’s to blame? (Nation)

Local TV News Has Become Wires and Lights in A Box

This instrument (television) can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference.”Edward R. Murrow 1958 speech * Good Night, and Good Luck: Edward Murrow Speech


Gas Explosion   8 Killed

The New York Times followed Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in the wake of the East Harlem explosion: “‘It’s hard, it’s hard,’ she said, in a quiet voice. ‘It’s not like you want to blame anybody, but you have to say, ‘Look, if you smell something, you’ve got to report it.’’ ‘It’s a big city,’ she went on. ‘We can’t —’ She drove off, the sentence incomplete.”* de Blasio remembers victims of Harlem blast at memorial(NYP) * NYC’s first lady Chirlane McCray announces fundraiser for East Harlem explosion victims(WPIX)
: Police say no one else is missing in rubble of explosion, death toll stands at eight. (WNBC)

Fears in East Harlem of toxic air after blast(NYP)

East Harlem Explosion Smashed Routines(WSJ)

With Gas Explosion in Her District, City Council’s New Speaker Is at Center Stage(NYT)

Source tells DN "the explosion was the result of a water main collapsing onto a gas line under the street."(NYDN)
De Blasio Says He Has No Regrets About Agency Staffing After East Harlem Explosion (NYO)
Councilman Says Explosion Exposes ‘Dire Need’ for Infrastructure Improvements(NYO) Today’s building collapse in East Harlem reveals the New York City’s “dire need” for infrastructure improvements, Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez declared this afternoon. * At Least 2 Killed in East Harlem Building Collapse(NYT) *

Jumaane Williams Hopes Mayor Appoints New Buildings Commissioner ASAP(NYO) * De Blasio, who has not yet named a permanent Department of Buildings commissioner, said that he has no regrets about staffing delays in the wake of the explosion, Politicker reports: * At Least 4 Killed as Gas Explosion Hits East Harlem(NYT)* BLAST RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT LEADERLESS BUILDING DEPT -- News’ Annie Karni: A permanent buildings commissioner is one of many high-profile vacancies de Blasio has yet to fill, ten weeks into his administration. The department is currently led by acting commissioner Thomas Fariello, who served as first deputy commissioner during the Bloomberg administration. De Blasio on Thursday brushed off questions about whether the slow pace of his appointments had any bearing in the city’s response to the explosion: “I think the bottom line is we have very professional, experienced people at each agency.” * For first disaster, de Blasio has Bloomberg veterans on hand - Newsday *De Blasio: We’ll talk about infrastructure later(Capital)
"Witnesses also told that they had complained about a gas smell in the area for months, but no one listened."

Anti-Quinn PAC Fined, What About The Advance Investigation?
Anti-Quinn Group Fined $7,050 by City's Campaign Finance Board(NYDN)The independently-financed group that helped end former Council Speaker Christine Quinn's mayoral ambitions was fined $7,050 by the Campaign Finance Board Thursday morning for failing to report $70,000 in expenditures.
Most of the unreported expenses paid by NYC Is Not For Sale 2013 were towards phone-banking during the summer. Another $5,000 that the group spent, but failed to report as required, went to a newspaper ad.

NY Post Repeats CrainsNY Bertha Lewis Eastside Trash $tory

Last Time Bertha Lewis Registered As A Lobbyist With NYC Was in 2008  . . Is the Black Institute Hired to lobby?

We’ve all heard of crony capitalism. Turns out, the left has its own version. And Bertha Lewis is proving herself a master.  The one-time head of the radical group ACORN, Lewis is a co-founder of the Working Families Party with Bill de Blasio. Now she has a new nonprofit, called the Black Institute. And it is being funded by Pledge 2 Protect, another nonprofit that is fighting the mayor over plans to locate a waste-station? on the Upper East Side.  That’s rich. The UES site was part of deal designed to spread the pain around instead of sticking poor and minority neighborhoods with the trash stations. So you don’t expect a former ACORN leader more comfortable with excoriating the “1 percenters” to be making common cause with them to keep a smelly station out of their neighborhood.  For her part, Lewis says she’s opposed the project since 2003 (others say she’s gone back and forth), because it would also impact a nearby low-income housing project. But it’s not the first time she’s gained from her chumminess with the high and mighty. A few years ago, developer Bruce Ratner helped bail out ACORN with a $500,000 donation and $1 million loan. No surprise, Lewis provided crucial support for Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development project.  We don’t begrudge Bertha Lewis the right to make a buck. But when she advocates, New Yorkers might do well to look at who’s signing her checks.*  As noted Monday by City & State, the Bertha Lewis-led nonprofit the Black Institute continues to operate out of the Advance Group offices, unlike NYCLASS. Ms. Lewis is close to Mayor Bill de Blasio, but there's no indication she was involved in the Advance Group's 2013 electoral efforts, including a super PAC funded in part by NYCLASS that targeted Mr. de Blasio's mayoral rival, Christine Quinn. Other top de Blasio supporters did help fund the group.

NY Pols Consultants Lobbyists Price Fixers On Wall Street, Pension Scandal?

Deep Throat: Follow the Lobbyists $$$
Letters from New York City and state politicians bashing nutritional supplement company Herbalife are raising questions about if the officials played a role in a hedge fund manager’s campaign to drive down the company’s stock price, the Daily News writes:  They are the kinds of letters often written by elected officials. But these letters by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras and State Sen. Adriano Espaillat are raising questions whether the officials played a role in a campaign to drive down the stock price of a nutritional supplement company.* Espaillat (D-Manhattan) said there was evidence that Herbalife is "an illegal pyramid scheme." Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) and Ferreras (D-Queens) cited allegations the company is an "abusive pyramid scheme." The letters were sent at the same time that hedge funder William Ackman was organizing Hispanic officials around the country to pressure regulators to investigate the company. Local political operative Luis Miranda and two local non-profits, the Hispanic Federation and Make the Road New York, were all hired as part of the Ackman campaign to encourage local pols to look into Herbalife’s practices, the Times reported.*
Trinity Padilla is the other . Board Member to resign after my commentary last night . * After Big Bet, Hedge Fund Pulls the Levers of Power (NYT) Staking $1 Billion That Herbalife Will Fail, Then Lobbying to Bring It Down

Global Strategy Robos for Wall $treet Dollars

After paying a $2 million dollar fine as part of the pension scandal, Global Strategy Now is the Bag Man for A Wall Street hedge fund schemeUsing connections made as a political consultant and lobbyists to cash in on Wall Street
Gordon Gekko Global
The Global Strategy Group, a longtime consultant to Mr. Ackman. Global Strategy Group, a consulting firm helping Mr. Ackman conduct the campaign, began to make such payments, including about $120,000 to the Hispanic Federation and another $10,000 to Make the Road New York. Global Strategies Group, whose CEO Jon Silvan will pay $2 million for serving unlicensed broker. Global, which did work for former Gov. Elliot Spitzer, is said to have received $1.3 million for helping facilitate pension fund investments in private equity funds managed by two firms. * Hevesi fallout widens to include Rattner, Global Strategy Group(Politico) * Quadrangle and Global Strategies settle with Cuomo(NYDN)

Queens Machine Payback Goes After Queens' Library 
A preliminary New York City budget hearing turned tense when City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley pressed Queens Library President Thomas Galante on the details of a closed-door meeting for trustees last Thursday, the New York Times reports: * Presidents of the three major New York City library systems came to the preliminary budget hearing with some funding because de Blasio already baselined money to Fiscal Year 2014 levels in his preliminary budget, City & State reports: * Head of Queens Library Appeals for More Money Amid Federal Investigation(NY1)


de Blasio Flip Flops on 911 Dispatch Contract

Intergraph Corp has paid Mercury Public Affairs Over $1,000,000 Dollars
De Blasio to sign with 911 firm he criticized(Capital) 
The Mayor's Office of CItywide Emergency Communications (OCEC) intends to enter into a contract with Intergraph Corp. to provide a computerized dispatch system for the FDNY, according to an announcement in the City Record. Intergraph is the same company de Blasio asked the Department of Investigation to probe when he was running for mayor last year after its software used by police dispatchers failed. In a July 2 letter to former Department of Investigation commissioner Rose Gill Hearn, de Blasio cited a Daily News article detailing problems with the Integraph Computer Aided Dispatch (ICAD) system built by Intergraph and used by 911 operators to assign police officers to emergencies.

Mercury Public Affairs Works for the Right Wing Koch Brothers PAC and For Progressive Council Member Margaret Chin And they Bag Millions from City Contracts

Chin Campaign paid Mercury over 100,000
In 2013  Mercury Public Affairs, which was running an independent spending campaign funded by billionaire David Koch and others boosting Mr. de Blasio's general-election opponent, Republican Joseph Lhota. 


Tuesday's Education War Update

Team Mayor Hits Pause 
in Albany

Thursday Update
Teachers union warns of suburbs exodus if salaries don’t rise(NYP)

An ally comes forward, another steps back(Capital) Assembly plans to include it in a preliminary budget plan, potentially giving the mayor some leverage to negotiate a better deal with Andrew Cuomo. After a weekend building momentum for the plan through rallies and church visits, a union that supported de Blasio's mayoral bid scrapped its plans for a radio ad urging voters to support the pre-K effort, Capital has learned.  De Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, abruptly canceled a planned trip to the state capitol Tuesday to lobby lawmakers for the proposal. And the mayor himself reiterated that he would accept state funding in lieu of the permission to hike taxes, as long as the funding is sufficient. The Professional Staff Congress, a union representing CUNY faculty, confirmed it has canceled its planned ad campaign on Albany radio stations.* Cindy Adams on Eva Moskowitz: "She loves the attention. Loves every little bitch of it."(NYP, Page 6) *Surprise guest at charter operators' second meeting with city: de Blasio himself * Team de Blasio Diane Ravitch penned a Huffington Post column criticizing the “smear campaign” against Mr. de Blasio. Ms. Ravitch writes, “De Blasio did not abandon charters or evict children from charters. The attacks on him are a power play by charter operators, specifically Moskowitz, to restore the good old days of the Bloomberg administration, when her requests were never turned down.”

New Gangs of New York Vs Mayor 
If  Qui-Gon Jinn, “Priest” Vallon and the Princess Are Going to Win For Their Cause, They Must Expose the Corruption Done to the 2013 Elections By the Evil Advance Group PAC Empire
 Mayor's Gang A war on children(NYP Ed)Mayor de Blasio now promises to help charter students whose schools he took away only a few weeks ago. But the Charter War he’s been waging isn’t ending — it’s escalating. And it’s not just de Blasio and his schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña. These kids are going up against an entire city establishment. Take Letitia James. On Saturday, the public advocate vowed to move ahead with her own offensive: a lawsuit against other co-locations. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has also signed on to this suit. And James is also threatening to ask the court to delay the charters’ admissions lottery, which would wreak havoc on tens of thousands of New York City families. * ‘Morning Joe’ Takes a Third Pass at de Blasio’s Charter Policy(Capital) This morning’s show featured a handful of young children learning as they would at their embattled Success Academy charter school: playing chess, solving multi-step fraction problems, making molecular models and, for one student, “doing some writing before she dances.” * A charter-driven space crunch, presented two ways(Capital) In co-location debate, de Blasio and Moskowitz both find alternatives ‘unconscionable’* Charter schools need affordable housing, too(NYP Ed) * While a blind eye was turned to some Bloomberg-era school policies—and negative ones were cheered—everyone from the governor to charter backers wants to stop Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to reform charter schools, the Daily News’s Juan Gonzalez writes: * Listen: Charter school leader Eva Moskowitz finds feud with de Blasio "bizarre" and sees herself as advocate   *    The kind of press de Blasio got from that mommy blogger event:

Did de Blasio Just Blink on Pre-K?

Tuesday Update * The Daily News writes that New York City should be within shouting distance of universal prekindergarten now that Mayor Bill de Blasio appears to be heading toward defeat on his plan to tax the rich to fund it

Monday De Blasio will drop pre-K tax plan if state gives $530M for next 5 years(NYP) While insisting he still prefers his imperilled tax plan, de Blasio made it explicit that he would accept another plan that guarantees the $530 million a year for five years he needs to fund universal pre-K and after school programs for middle school students.
Did de Blasio just blink on the pre-K tax? Looks like it. (Did I just blink on my pledge never to use 'did X blink'?)  * De Blasio: I'd Accept "Verifiable" Alternative To Pre-K Tax Plan (NYP) * De Blasio Shifts Tune on Pre-K Funding, Would Now Accept State Cash(NYO) 
 Nobody Beats the Wiz
Cuomo says de Blasio's funding stream, a tax, is "not" more certain than anything else in the * Cuomo says charters are "spurring a dialogue which we have to have." Cuomo, shorter: My plan offers more certainty than de Blasio tax.* . says he thinks charterschools are the civil rights issue of our day

Whose Civil Rights Issue?
Gov. Cuomo Says Pre-K Tax Is Not 'Verifiable' Funding; Calls Failing Schools 'Civil Rights Issue Of Our Day'(NYDN) Whereas de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, called universal prekindergarten the civil rights movement of our time, Cuomo said the destinction actually belongs to the issue of fixing failing schools. He said charters will play a big part in that.*ZIP IT, LADY! Gov. Cuomo fires back at Chirlane McCray over pre-K 'civil rights' claim(NYDN) * Cuomo Praises Charter Schools After de Blasio Bombarded With Criticism(NYO) * Assembly Budget Resolution To Include Mayor de Blasio's Prekindergarten Tax Plan(NYDN) * The Alliance for Quality Education marched on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to demand more money for education and also criticized the Assembly’s education funding proposal, the Times Union writes:

Mayoral Appointments

. appts Joseph Ponte for Correction, Ana Bermudez for Probation, Elizabeth Glazer for Crim Just, Vincent Schiraldi as adviser * Bill de Blasio Appoints Host of Criminal Justice Positions(NYO) * NYC's 1st deputy mayor acknowledged Monday that BdB has been slower on appointments than predecessors. He said it's best to get it right. Ana Bermudez, new NYC Probation commish, is native of Puerto Rico who went to & *
quality of criminal justice appts. more important, but is new england now rivaling brooklyn for admin origins? * De Blasio Pledges 'Reform' With 4 New Criminal Justice Picks(WNYC)

Needed Park Commissioner
The Tale of Two Cities fight extends outdoors. The mayor needs to welcome spring with a new parks commissioner

Is the Mayor's and Governors Charter Fight Splitting the City Minorities Apart?

The Divider Mayor Over Race?
De Blasio pressures Cuomo through minority voters(Capital) Mayor and allies do church circuit for pre-K* After a battering, de Blasio allies begin to organize against Success(Capital)

Mayor Moves on Cop Lawsuits
De Blasio switches sides to ditch cop suit(NYP)Mayor de Blasio one-upped his vow to ditch the city’s legal challenge to a law that exposes cops to civil suits for racial profiling by announcing Monday that he would, in effect, switch sides to defeat the bid. De Blasio asked Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Anil Singh to swap out the mayor’s position from plaintiff to defendant in the case.

Mayor's Neighbors Save on Property Tax
De Blasio’s neighborhood among city’s top property tax savers(NYP)Small-home owners in Carroll Gardens and Park Slope are saving an average of $10,760 per year on their property-tax bills — the biggest benefit outside Manhattan — thanks to byzantine rules, an analysis has found.The savings are largely due to caps on tax hikes for one-, two- and three-family homes enacted decades ago.

The McGoven Primary Lesson Still Rules

40 Years Ago George McGovern Pull Out Thousands of New Voters in A Primary, A Lot of Albany Incumbents Lost - Schumer and Holtzman and Others Entered

Why 2 Primaries in Presidential Election Years
An Expensive and Unnecessary Election(NYT Ed) The extra New York State primary will cost state taxpayers $50 million for their trouble. New York State is poised to put voters through another needlessly expensive election year. Instead of taking the sensible route — one primary to pick party candidates and one general election to pick ultimate winners — New York is scheduled to have an extra primary. That means three elections when two are enough. The extra primary will cost state taxpayers $50 million for their trouble. The Assembly was right to challenge this scenario with a bill providing for federal, state and local primaries on the fourth Tuesday in June (the 24th this year). That gives officials plenty of time to count ballots and announce nominees for the November general election. It also allows the state to comply with federal law that requires primaries to be held early enough so that troops overseas can get ballots and mail them back in time to be counted. The Senate, however, has yet to agree to a single June primary. Its members want a federal primary in June and a separate state and local primary (which would include their own primary elections) in September. It’s been that way for 40 years, and the Senate, which is now almost evenly divided between the two major parties, seems intent on resisting change.

4 Year Old Ariel Russo

Council Names A Street for Ariel But Does Not Hold A Hearing to Find Out the Cause of Her Death
'It’s been a really emotional day': Manhattan street corner named after 4-year-old Ariel Russo who died in car crash; family reveals they haven't revisited area since tragic day(NYDN)On what should have been Ariel Russo's fifth birthday, the tot's family helped unveil a street sign Monday on the Upper West Side corner where she died last summer. Little Ariel was struck and killed by a teen fleeing police in his parents' SUV on June 4.
The Russo family has filed a wrongful death suit, and criminal charges are still pending against 17-year-old driver Franklin Reyes, who had taken the SUV without his parents’ permission. A report found a series of blunders led to delays in responding to the accident in Manhattan that killed 4-year-old Ariel Russo * City wants $40 million suit launched by Ariel Russo’s family tossed on technicality -- victims did not call 911 (NYDN) The city wants a $40 million negligence lawsuit filed by the family of Ariel Russo, the 4-year-old who was killed by an unlicensed driver last year, tossed because neither she nor her critically injured grandmother personally called 911. The city insists that a “special relationship,” which calls for the victim or a blood relative to call 911, must exist in order to support a negligence claim. RELATED: ARIEL RUSSO CAR CRASH PROBE FAULTS WIDESPEAD HUMAN ERROR, NOT 911 WOES * RELATED: GONZALEZ: ARIEL RUSSO PROBE FINDS ENOUGH BLAME TO FILL A CALL CENTER

Media Never Names the Lobbyist Who Made Money on the Broken 911 System
Both Mercury and George Artz have been lobbyists for Hewlett-Packard which was the main contractor of the city's 911 emergency system that crashes a lot. The city 911 system is now being sued by the parents of 4-year-old Ariel Russo who claim she died because an ambulance to take the little girl to the hospital was delayed by a 911 crash.  Among the lobbyists to get paid by the city’s broken 911 system contractors was George Arzt, Mercury Public Affairs, LLC, Jennifer Carlson, Peter Barden, Jonathan Greenspun, Michael McKeon, Kasirer Consulting LLC. More on Corrupt Lobbyists More on Dark Pool Corrupt Lobbyists

Dead Girl and Lobbyist Still Rake In 911

Last June 4th year old Ariel Russo died shortly aftergetting hit by an SUV.  There had been a four-minute delay in dispatching the ambulance to take the little girl to the hospital. The city is blaming 911 operation human errors for the delay.  The union leader of the 911 operators is blaming the new troubled $2 billion dollars upgrade that the city is installing. The city’s upgrade of the 911 system has not gone very well.  It has been hunted by system crashes, wrong addresses and over a billion and a half dollar cost overrun.  It is now up to a jury to find out who is really at fault for the girls death.
Even though the press says HP was replaced on the 911 project John Liu’s report said that HP was still working on the project and got paid over $300 million in 2012 for their work.  In 2010 thru 2011 when the city council was going after problems in the 911 system, HP hired Kasirer Consulting LLC and paid them over $200,000 to lobby city hall for the company.  Mercury Public Affairs public affairs have been working on the project for Intergraph Corp since 2007.  Before Intergraph hired Sal Salamone as a lobbyist in 2006 to 2008 ($100,000) Salamone worked for the city on the Citytime project until he was let go after the corruption and cost overruns become know on that project, in which Liz Holtzman was one of the lobbyists that cashed in.  It had to get through the fog surrounding the 911 contracts.  Last month Bloomberg lauded Comptroller 911 audit he once called 'stupid.’  He even said there was nothing wrong with the Hewlett-Packard contract and the city paid those most of the money they requested.  The mayor changed him mind on Comptroller budget to stop a federal audit requested by DC 37’s Lillian Roberts.* CM to lobbyist: "You're not really focused on safety, but on the perspective of drivers is that fair? Lobbyist: Yes.(WNYC) * In 2013  Mercury Public Affairs, which was running an independent spending campaign funded by billionaire David Koch and others boosting Mr. de Blasio's general-election opponent, Republican Joseph Lhota.

Speaker and Council Parties On Developers and Lobbyists Dime

Records: 87% of funds for Mark-Vierito’s inauguration bash were raised from 3 developers, 3 unions

Pay to Party and Then Play New Council
EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito's inauguration party paid for by real estate developers, unions (NYDN) Records show that 87% of the $30,000 Mark-Viverito raised for her lavish Jan. 30 party came from three developers — the Witkoff Group, Marathon Development and Lighthouse Group LLC — and three unions. The unions have pushed for the living wage laws recently enacted by the City Council. Records show that 87 percent of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s $30,000 inauguration party was raised from three developers and three unions that hired one of her campaign aides as a lobbyist. And $6,500 came from three unions — the New York Hotel & Motel Workers, Plumbers Local 1 and Hotel Workers Local 6 — that have pushed for the living wage laws recently enacted by the City Council. Mark-Viverito has pushed to expand the laws even further. The Witkoff Group and the three unions have all hired the lobbyist group Pitta, Bishop, Del Giorno and Giblin to press City Hall for various causes. The firm’s founder, Vito Pitta, was a “liaison” to Mark-Viverito’s campaign.

On Morning Joe BDB has Clearly Lost Control of the Education Narrative

Tense Moments in de Blasio’s TV Interview(NYT)
Scarborough, Brzezinski Confront de Blasio: Is Charter School Campaign ‘Personal’? (VIDEO) Morning Joe played a clip of a fiery de Blasio during the campaign arguing that Moskowitz had an excess of money and political influence behind her, both of which would end when he was in office. Brzezinski pointed out that as Moskowitz’s schools were the first he went after, the policy seemed “personal,” a word the morning show hosts invoked four different times. “We approved five Success Academy schools for co-location in this round — we disagreed with three, we approved of five and by the way, we approved fourteen charter schools out of seventeen applications,” de Blasio countered. “I do think the facts matter a lot here. The bottom line is, we’ve got to fix the whole school system, so charters play a role in that. But a lot of other things have to happen. The schools on the receiving end matter too.” “What don’t you like about Eva Moskowitz?” Scarborough pressed. “That statement seemed very personal.”* De Blasio confronts charter-boosting ‘Morning Joe’ hosts(Capital)

Morning Joe’ Cast Grills de Blasio Over Charter Schools(NYO) “I don’t understand your positions on charters,” stated Mr. Scarborough. “The waiting list is 50,000. And it’s not a bunch of rich kids from Manhattan that want to get in there, it’s some of the poorest, most disadvantaged children of colors.” Ms. Brzezinski further brought up Mr. de Blasio’s 16-year-old son, Dante, as she inquired about some charter co-locations recently canceled by the de Blasio administration. “Let me ask it this way mayor: With all due respect, your son goes to–is it Brooklyn Tech? Has a $13 million endowment, it’s a highly-selective school; you’re very excited, I’m sure, that he goes there. If you found out that he wasn’t going there next year, wouldn’t you want to know what the plan was? Do you think you played this out in a way that might not have been effective?” she asked. Mr. de Blasio failed to persuade the skeptical hosts, however, and he was soon pressed on his hostility towards the charter movement and whether he had a personal beef with charter school leader Eva Moskowitz. (Speaking on the same program, Ms. Moskowitz extensively bashed Mr. de Blasio’s charter policy last week.)“There is no hostility,” countered Mr. de Blasio.“It does look like there is …” began Mr. Scarborough.“‘Looks like’ is an important word,” Mr. de Blasio interjected with a laugh. *  Lawsuits are expected to be filed—in New York City and Albany—against New York City for the de Blasio administration’s decision to reverse charter school co-locations, the New York Post writes: 

Parents at 3 NYC Charter Schools filing suit to stop "evictions" by DeBlasio Admin. * Moskowitz on filing lawsuit: can't leave families in the lurch. Says co-locations halted without public process. * Fariña says to ‘stay tuned’ on Harlem Success space(Capital)Mayor pressures through minority voters * Sources: Charter School Parents To File Lawsuits Against De Blasio (CBS) * Mayor de Blasio gets hit with 3 new charter school lawsuits (NYP) * What's missing from de Blasio's analysis: School quality (NYDN) The mayor and Chancellor Fariña are missing the crucial point that student learning matters most* Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Common Core panel wants to restrict how much time can be used teaching to the tests, limit standardized testing to those above second grade, and end the inBloom contract.

Union Workers Bet On the Horses
Sunday Update
Why de Blasio can’t ban horse carriages(NYP) To ban the carriages on health and safety grounds, the city would need evidence — and there is none. Plus, de Blasio has already prejudiced a weak case. By saying that a visit to the horse stables wouldn’t change his mind, he made it clear that he’s not interested in facts. Both courts that struck down Bloomberg’s soda ban noted the mayor’s interference with the scientific process. Ban the carriages on transportation grounds? Still need that pesky evidence.

Bill’s trojan horse(NYP Ed) This week, Bill de Blasio reiterated he’s not open to any arguments against shutting down the city’s horse-carriage trade. The mayor said he’d traveled his own journey to his position, and saw “a lot of other cities around the world” have banned the horse carriages. When we asked him to name those cities, his office sent us the following names: Tel Aviv, New Delhi and Oxford. That’s telling. Because just one year ago, as public advocate, he wrote a piece for The Huffington Post in which he claimed “London, Paris, Las Vegas, Toronto and Beijing — New York City’s chief rivals for tourism — have all banned horse-drawn carriages in recent years.”What he wrote was false. Which explains the switcheroo. The mayor’s shift underscores the dishonesty of the anti-horse-carriage campaign, on everything from a non-existent London ban on carriages to outrageous charges of animal cruelty against the Central Park drivers. All for a cause the public opposes by a more than two-to-one margin.

Wednesday Update
The Daily News writes that de Blasio should protect horse-carriage industry workers as he continues to work toward cutting the industry out of the city. A PETA for people
De Blasio should protect the humans who work in the horse-carriage industry
Central Labor Council Can’t Talk Bill de Blasio Out of Banning Horse Carriages(NYO)

Tuesday Update: Unions push back on horse-carriage ban
WILL BLAZ PONY UP? Group representing more than 1.3 million union workers send letter to Mayor de Blasio begging him to keep horse carriage jobs in tact(NYDNH)
Top union leaders part of the Central Labor Council sent a letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council to urge them not to do away with horse carriage rides* Liam Neeson’s horse sense(NYP Ed) * Labor Council Urges Mayor to Lay Off Horse Carriages(NY1) * Lew's View: Central Park horse-drawn carriages(Fox 5)

No de Blasio Love Actually 
Liam Neeson blasts Mayor de Blasio for skipping carriage horse stable tour: 'He should have manned up and come'(NYDN) The 'Non-Stop' actor hosted a dozen City Council members at the Clinton Park Stables, which house 78 Central Park carriages horses — and expressed his anger at Mayor de Blasio's absence. Neeson also ripped de Blasio's plan to replace the carriages with electric cars.* Liam Neeson’s push to get Mayor Bill de Blasio to visit some horse stables may not have succeeded directly, but it still yielded coverage in The New York Times, The Wall Street JournalNew York Post and Daily News. “He should have manned up and come,” Mr. Neeson said, on the front page of the News. “I’m disappointed he’s not here.” * Tuesday De Blasio: I love Liam Neeson despite carriage horse position(NYP)

No More Tale of Two City's On the Bowery
Bowery Salvation Army to become new Ace Hotel(NYP)Even the homeless are getting priced out of Manhattan. The Salvation Army Chinatown Shelter has sold out for $30 million and is moving to Brooklyn. In its place will be a hip Ace Hotel and a luxury boutique condo complex.

NYC's Teacher Retention Better

Cuomo Campaign 2014

Assembly Democrats say they will look to block Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal to pay down debt by using $40 million in funds raised through a special tax to help the MTA, the Daily News reports:  * Cuomo is expected use a $10-million package of TV ads to “define” Westchester County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino as someone who holds far-right views on abortion, gay marriage and gun rights, the Post’s Fred Dicker writes:Cuomo to define opponent with $10M ad campaign * The Republican-controlled Senate Rules Committee introduced the governor’s ethics package, including public financing of elections, but it may be a tactical move to control legislation they oppose, the Times Union writes: *Hispanic Dems to oppose Cuomo’s budget unless ‘Dream Act’ added(NYP) * Assembly Dems seek to block Gov. Cuomo from taking MTA funds to pay debts(NYDN) * LOVETT: Doubts on Cuomo campaign finance reform, de Blasio's Albany challenge(NYDN) * Gov. Cuomo's office is targeting tenants who use the STAR exemption and live in rent-regulated housing(NYDN) * Donald Trump gets ready to cancel another campaign he never really had the guts to run in the first place: (NYDN) * Astorino 2014 Holding Campaign Kick-Off Fundraiser(YNN) * Governor Cuomo has hired Republican consultant to be a part of his administration. * Cuomo Hits Up Republicans for Campaign Cash - * Cuomo's new hire, Susan Del Percio (), worked with , who is now consulting on 's campaign.* MT Left out of announcement on Del Percio: Just 1 month ago, she was part of new GOP Senate group balancenewyork. * * Cuomo will attend a Manhattan $5,000-per-person fundraiser tonight hosted by Republican donor Ken Langone, the third such event with GOP donors in as many months, The Wall Street Journal reports: * Republican donors – including former Sen. Mike Balboni – are hosting fund-raiser for Cuomo in NYC tonight. Tickets start at $5,000, go to $50,000.  * Cuomo's office says former GOP operative Susan Del Percio, hired as "special advisor," will receive $160,000 salary* Cuomo Hires G.O.P. Adviser as Aides Shift to Re-election Campaign (NYT)* The founder of DailyKos took Cuomo to task for “conspiring with Republicans, hiring Republicans, pushing Republican policies,” and said he’ll never be president.* State GOP Chairman Ed Cox criticized Cuomo’s Moreland Commission for looking the other way on close political allies of the governor like Pigeon.
More on the 2014 Gov Race and Cuomo

Slow Transition, Shorris Defends His Boss

Tuesday Update Deputy mayor: charter expansion could lead to ‘privatized’ school system(NYP) * Shorris heralds a housing-health mix at LICH(Capital)

Monday  Tony Shorris admits at Crain's breakfast forum that 's transition has been "a bit slower than some"* Deputy mayor Tony Shorris, listing de Blasio campaign pledges fulfilled so far, cites living wage expansion... but he hasn't done that yet. First dept mayor Tony Shorris downplays the "Sturm und Drang" the de Blasio administration has faced over charter colocations."No one group of children & no one group of charter operators can be privileged over others," Shorris says, defending co-location decisions.Re financing pre-K, Shorris doesn't mention Cuomo, but says "some folks of means unwilling to give up the latte a day to pay" for pre-K.* . to Tony Shorris: is there a danger of group think? (If all share progressive "values" & "reading off same script") * Shorris: "There'll be arguments about taxes...I don’t believe those are fundamentally the core of why [businesses] make location decisions." * Shorris suggests some advocates are using charters "as a lever to undermine public education in America."* Deputy mayor cites tough ‘criteria’ as cause of slow transition(Capital) * De Blasio Deputy Acknowledges Hiring Process Has Been a ‘Bit Slower Than Some’ (Politico) * De Blasio Deputy Mayor Praises ‘Terrific’ Press Team in Face of Criticism(NYO)

Pay to Play Affordable Housing
Former Bloomberg official will testify in court against housing developer in corruption case (NYDN)
Wendell Walters, a former assistant commissioner at the city Housing Preservation and Development Department, will testify in federal court that developer Stevenson Dunn paid him for contracts to build affordable housing. Walters was the highest-ranking member of former Mayor Bloomberg's administration to be arrested on corruption charges. He could receive leniency for cooperating with authorities.***City Official Accused of Taking Bribes, Left in Boxes and Cups(NYT) Six developers, two of them lawyers, were also charged. One, Stevenson Dunn, 50, a high school friend of Mr. Walters, was also charged with racketeering conspiracy. The others were charged with bribery, extortion, wire fraud and money laundering: Lee Hymowitz, 60, and Michael Freeman, 64, the lawyers; and Sergio Benitez, 51, Robert Morales, 52, and Angel Villalona, 52. All seven defendants pleaded not guilty and were granted bail ranging from $300,000 to $500,000.

Housing Costs Rise, Goodbye Middle Class

Chase or Impossible Spin? Affordable Housing
New York State Reports Steep Rise in Housing Costs(NYP) More than three million New York households — over half the state’s renters and one-third of homeowners — cannot afford their homes, the state comptroller’s office disclosed.* Housing becoming more expensive for NYers: comptroller(NYP) * New York City continues chasing affordable housing(NYP)If your rent is too damn high, blame city government for trying to be Matthew McConaughey. Accepting his Oscar for Best Actor this month, McConaughey said one of the things he needs daily is “someone to chase” — so he chases himself, 10 years down the road. He knows he’ll never “catch” himself, of course. But at least he has someone to chase. When it comes to housing, the city is
also chasing something it will never catch — indeed, something that will never exist: the fantasy of affordable apartments for all who need them. And this chase only deepens Gotham’s never-ending apartment squeeze.* Half of New York residents can’t afford the rent: study(Real Deal) Since 2000, the share of renters in the state who put more than 30 percent of their income towards housing costs has increased sharply, from 40.5 percent to 50.6 percent, according to a report by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, released earlier this week.
How NYC is Losing the Middle Class
A new report by the Coalition for the Homeless shows that the number of people staying overnight in New York City shelters has hit a record of 53,615, with a 12 percent increase in the number of newly homeless families in the system, the Times writes: * Report: Number of Homeless in City Hits Record High (NY1) * NYC homelessness reaches all-time high, according to report(AMNY)
More on Affordable Housing

Gentrification in Progress

Giant 'Gentrification In Progress' Banner Draped Over Graffiti Mecca(Huff Post)

 More on Gentrification

Felling he Heat de Blasio Hands Off the Anti-Charter Fight to James

PA to File Lawsuit
Public advocate wants to suspend charter-school lottery(NYP)  Public Advocate Letitia James not only plans to sue to shut down “co-located” charter schools — her team wants a judge to suspend the admissions lottery for the 2014-15 academic year. The move would slam at least 4,500 city families slated to enter a new class — and thousands more already in charter schools — all because of James’ opposition to Mayor de Blasio’s decision to let 36 schools share space in public school buildings. Children hoping to enroll in a charter next year must sign up for the city-run lottery by April 1. The lottery-deadline delay would be a legal strategy in a lawsuit filed by charter-school opponents including James, who is the lead plaintiff.  Charter-school leaders called the suit “senseless” and blasted James for “putting ideology before kids. “The destructive tactics . . . would create havoc and uncertainty for tens of thousands of New York City families from low-income communities,” New York City Charter School Center CEO James Merriman said. * The Absurd NY Tabloid Propaganda War Against de Blasio's Reasonable Charter School Policies | Alternet Public advocate: Lawsuit to block 30 co-located charter schools will go forward(NYDN) * Mayor de Blasio Preaches Pre-K At Bronx Church * In Rent Plan for Charters, Mayor Faces a Hard Road (NYT)

Charter to File Lawsuit Against Mayor
 Breaking Source: Success Charter parents to file federal civil rights complaint against for charter school eviction. * De Blasio slapped with suit over charter schools(NYP) A federal civil rights lawsuit will be filed against de Blasio for cancelling the co-location of Success Academy IV Central Harlem middle school with a neighboring public school, a source said. Two legal complaints also will be filed with state Education Commissioner John King to try to reverse City Hall’s decision to prevent two new Success Academy charter elementary schools from opening at the Murry Bergtraum HS facility in downtown Manhattan and the August Martin HS complex in southeast Queens. * Who Is Behind the Pro-Charter Schools Group Fighting de Blasio?(WNYC)  * Charter School Parents Say De Blasio’s Plan Will Violate Kids’ Civil Rights (WCBS) * .: "We in this community, more than anybody, needs to be concerned about the issue" (Capital) * NAACP Statement on outrageous Eva Moskowitz lawsuit against Mayor de Blasio: * Mayor and allies on pre-K and, gingerly, Cuomo(Capital) * De Blasio Administration Spreads Pre-K Message to Churches * A Study Seeks to Determine What Makes Prekindergarten Successful(NYT) The study will follow 4,000 children to see if curriculum can create lasting improvement in students’ skills and a likelihood to persevere academically.

Rent Board, Rent Freeze Promise
Renters Hope for Promised Freeze as de Blasio Prepares to Fill Guidelines Board(NYT)

The McDonald's City Council Economy

City Council Fights for Higher Minimum Wages Not High Paying Jobs

New York State’s low-pay employment growth soars(NYP) New York is in a slow economic meltdown, analysts say. The city and state face a future of low-wage job growth, killer taxes and regulations — and a hostile business climate forcing firms out. One in 10 workers in New York City — 400,000 in all — are now in low-wage jobs, with 37 percent of all wage earners paid less than $15 an hour, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Eight of the 10 occupations reckoned to add the most net jobs in the Big Apple over the next 10 years have median annual wages of below $30,000, according to another analysis.* NYC Pols Take Minimum Wage Challenge | New York Daily News * Council Members Rally for Higher Minimum Wage NYC | (NYO)Tax policies hurt hiring in New York(NYP) These hindrances include scheduled increases in the state minimum wage, new city paid sick leave rules for small businesses, high construction costs and burdensome taxes.* The Working Life: Among de Blasio’s Priorities, Minimum Wage Waits Behind Pre-K (NYT)

Does de Blasio Love NY?

De Blasio's sales tactics are a far cry from Mayor Michael Bloomberg's. Bloomberg was a relentless cheerleader for the five boroughs De Blasio Doesn't Give City Ringing Endorsement During Trip to Chicago(NY1) One of the most important jobs of a mayor is selling his or her city to the world, but Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected with the message that things need to change in the five boroughs, which makes selling New York much trickier, and during his trip to Chicago this week, he declined to give New York a ringing endorsement.Gov Carey started the  I Love New York campaign * De Blasio in Chicago: Way, Way Too Much Public Focus on Charter School Wars.(NYDN)
* Meet ‘Oblasio’: De Blasio’s turning into Obama’s twin(Goodwin, NYP) Ending the worst week of his mayoralty — his next good week will be his first — de Blasio got poll-whacked, with his job-approval rating sinking to 39 percent. Only black New Yorkers give him even 50 percent, and he’s under a majority in each of the five boroughs, according to the Wall Street Journal/WNBC/Marist survey. His habit of lecturing and his belief that talking is the same as doing make him a twin of President Obama. Think of them as “Oblasio.”

12 Vacancies: Blame Silver and Skelos for the Special Election Law
The Boss Elections
A dozen districts left in lurch by Boyland conviction(NYP) The conviction of greedy Brooklyn payola pol William Boyland Jr. means there are now 12 districts across the state that don’t have representation in ­Albany — and might not all year. A spokesman for Gov. Cuomo said nothing has changed since January, when the governor told reporters “we are looking at” the possibility of calling special elections, even though they are “very expensive.” “But these special elections aren’t really elections — they’re coronations by party leaders,” Dadey said, noting that party bosses choose the candidates, who then, without the public scrutiny of a primary campaign, almost invariably win.  Once “coronated,” these special-elected pols are almost inevitably re-elected, Dadey said. New York state incumbents are re-elected at an astounding 94-percent rate. Boyland himself was installed in the district covering Flatbush, Brownsville, Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights via a special election in 2003, Dadey noted. * Common Cause, Citizens Union call for Borough Presidents to follow Stringer's reforms in selecting Community Board members; Markowitz's AY purge cited(AYR)

NYT Calls NY's Special Elections Scams and Undemocratic

In Special Elections Tammany Hall Rules

Three weeks ago True News point out that if the governor called a special election to fill the Weiner seat one man corrupt Queens boss Joe Crowley would pick the next congressman from the 9th district.  Today the NYT & Daily News called the party rules which go back to boss Tweed  that allow one man rule undemocratic.  The NYT did not get into why Albany does not want to change the party rules.  Incumbents get help when challengers pop up from Board of Elections which is controlled by the county leaders.  Most time those the BOE makes sure challengers cannot make it passed what the NYT called "not great" NY political parties ballot access rules.  The NYT could have demand that the city's DOI commissioner Rose Gill Hearn stop delaying her investigation of the BOE former Commissioner Gonzalez's reported attempt to fix the ballot in a special election.  The NYT also did not talk about how the same party rules give the party leaders control who become a Supreme Court Judge in the state. Or about all the corrupt coming out of party leaders selling access to their ballot lines. 

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

For Democracy Can the NYT & Daily News Act Like Harper's Weekly

For the NYT Own Good They Should Put As Much Energy Into Cleaning Up NY's Elections From Boss Run Scams as the Paper Put Into the Passage of Gay Marrage. New York’s Especially Undemocratic Elections Now that the governor has ordered special elections, party leaders, not the people, will get to choose the candidates to run for a House seat and six State Assembly seats.  (NYT Ed) *  Campaign against the Tweed Ring

Boyland in Jail

Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr. convicted for soliciting bribe (NYDN)
‘Hole kept getting deeper’ in Boyland case: juror(NYP) The jury foreman from Assemblyman William Boyland Jr.’s trial criticized Boyland’s nonchalant demeanor and called the prosecution’s case persuasive 
* No more Boylands (NYDN Ed)Another Albany gets what he deserves The Daily News writes that the William Boyland Jr. case is a cautionary tale for those who want special elections, which allow party bosses to hand-pick candidates and would give the state more Boylands:
New York State Assemblyman William F. Boyland, Jr. Convicted on ...Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release)* The crooked career of Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. will be soon forgotten, but a comment he made to an undercover FBI agent should be remembered forever.As he took the agent, who played a businessman willing to pay bribes, on a tour of his district, Boyland described himself like a Mafia boss.“Everything you’ve seen — I’m in control of,” the Brooklyn Democrat said. “I’m the politician.”
Brooklyn Assemblyman Found Guilty in Corruption Trial NY1

Pols Blue Wall of Silence Enabled By the Media, Continues
Pols Speaker Silver Silent on Boyland's Conviction
A few years ago Paterson charged that were was a blue Wall of Silence similarly to the cops code of never going after corrupt cops in Albany of never going after corrupt pols. The gov made this charge on a radio show.Albany's 'Blue Wall Of Silence' What Paterson was talking about was that not one Albany pol has said a word against any of their disgraced members convicted of corruption. Come to think of it either has Paterson until after his handlers come to the conclusion that the only way for him to win was by running against the corrupt in Albany.  It is interesting how the newspapers allow the Albany political gang to hide from the public and go behind closed doors and craft a bill with more holes than the Detroit bombers underwear. It is even more interesting how the papers could act this way when their own editorial boards scream out for change in Albany. Why do the papers protect the pols Blue Wall of Silence even when they have written thousands of stories about the cops wall of silence and organized crime wall of silence? True News began pointing out the political wall of silence years ago The Political Wall of Silence: Not One Pol Expresses Outrage, McLaughlin Goes to Jail

More on Boyland's Corruption

Malcolm Smith Trial Starts June 5th

No Delay in Smith Trial
Judge Refuses to Delay Sen. Malcolm Smith's Trial - Hamodia WHITE PLAINS - A New York state senator accused of corruption won’t be able to delay his trial until after his primary, a federal judge said Monday, setting the trial for Malcolm Smith, a Queens Democrat, to June 2
Legislator Up for Re-election Wants to Delay Bribery Trial
(NYT) Senator Malcolm A. Smith, who has been charged in a plot to bribe his way onto the ballot to run for mayor of New York, says his trial would interfere with his re-election campaign. * No delay on Smith trial - Queens Chronicle: Editorials * Judge refuses to delay Malcolm Smith's NY trial -

More on the Malcolm Smith Investigations
More on the AEG Cover-Up

New Taxi Boss Another Insider

Mayor de Blasio to tap former lawyer to run Taxi and Limousine Commission(NYDN)
Meera Joshi, a former lawyer for the agency, is to be tapped by Mayor de Blasio on Saturday, the Daily News has learned. Joshi, who called the appointment an 'honor,' will be the second woman to head the commission. * De Blasio, Critic of Taxi Commission, Picks Its Ex-Counsel to Lead It(NYT)Meera Joshi was nominated by Mayor Bill de Blasio despite her role in expanding street hail service and the Taxi of Tomorrow, has often criticized.* Bill de Blasio Names Meera Joshi to Lead TLC(NYO) * Why doesn’t the TLC fire dangerous cab drivers?(NYP Ed) "de Blasio’s transition team floated possible posts to Liu, including Taxi & Limousine cmsnr & finance commissioner"
More on NYC Taxis 

NY1 Does Not Remember the Name of Their Frequent Guest Consultant

Is the Advance Group's Levinson Investigation into Campaign Violations Blocking the Horse Carriage Ban?

NY 1 did a story on the political developments on the path to banning Horse carriages but do not identify the man at the center of the scandal, Scott Levension of the Advance Group.  They show a picture of Levension and say quickly there is an investigation but not mention his name and explain what he is being charged with doing. Many believe the Levinson investigation is the reason why the mayor and council speaker does not move on ban they promised during the election.

Why Does the Press Cover-Up the Levension Investigation? Is Fixing Elections and Destroying Democratic Elections Important in NYC?

 Path to Banning Horse Carriages in City Seen as Product of Po litical Developments(NY1) One of last's year's biggest ads targeted Christine Quinn, then the front-runner. Those behind it didn't like Quinn's support for horse carriages, but there's a hitch: the ad didn't mention banning horse carriages.* De Blasio Whipped by Horse Lobby(Daily Beast) NY1 reporter Josh Robin's did mention Levinson name in his Daily Beast article but only in one sentence.  He said nothing about the possible criminal actions that Levension is being investigated for.* Parents and children get caught between charter school feud with teachers union and pro-charter forces

Parents and children of charter schools are caught between two well-funded interests. (NYDN) As of last week, the political action committees of the United Federation of Teachers and the four major charter backers were fairly evenly matched financially, a Daily News review found.* .* Mayor's ally being paid to fight him (CrainsNY) Instead of opposing the heavily favored Mr. de Blasio in the general election, however, Pledge 2 Protect hired the Advance Group, a Manhattan-based Democratic consulting firm that had just run a $1 million campaign to sink de Blasio rival Christine Quinn. Pledge 2 Protect also hired Ms. Lewis, who shares an office with the Advance Group and whose nonprofit is a client of it.

de Blasio Makes Cuomo Appealing Centrist
 Cuomo’s rift with de Blasio could benefit the governor’s bid for reelection by making him more appealing to centrist voters in the suburbs, Greg David of Crain’s writes:

Media Coverage Enables Speaker Silver in His Multi-Scandal Escape Plan

No Coverage Allows Corruption, Attack Coverage Destroys

Silver like every elected official and the flacks, media barrons and prosecutors who protect them understand that only media attention to government scandals can cause enough public pressure to demand investigation.  So when the U.S. Attorney Bharara made a plea 7 months ago (Sept. 18, 2013 for more investigative reporting he did not tell the entire journalism cover-up story.* Silver “the Assembly will do what is appropriate to root out corruption" A month after a jury convicted Assembly Stevenson and today a jury sent Assemblyman Boyland to jail

"The Media Reports Indictments Or Corruption Trials, Does Not Investigate to Root Out Wrong Doing In Government" - U.S. Attorney Bharara

Bharara to Journalist
Investigate Stop Copying My Press Releases
"Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara Preet Bharara hopes for more muckraking in ... - Capital Sept 18, 2013

Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY)
The press has a role to play, Mr. Bharara said, noting that he is saddened by recent reports of newspaper closings and staff downsizing. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said. "Groundbreaking corruption\Bruno Lawyers Want An April Trial(YNN)* Robert Addolorato, the new chief of investigations for the Moreland Commission, worked as an investigator for Cuomo while he was attorney general, then started work in the Inspector General’s office in 2011, the Times Union reports: 
More On Corruption Fighter US Attorney Preet Bharara 

Silver Pushes Legal Moreland Cover-Up As Other Cover-Ups Fade
As the media loses interested of the Albany's Hush Fund Scandal with the resignation of Assemblyman Gabryszak and the decision of Assemblyman Kellner not to seek re-election.  With the expected guilty plea of Met Council's Rapfogel with no investigation of Silver or the pay to play elected officials who funded Rapfogel's none-profit in exchange for campaign contributions, another speakers scandal will soon fade from the media attention. More on the Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline 
* More on Kellner and Albany's Sexual Abuse
More on Speaker Silvers Corruption

Silver Creating Moreland Legal Cover-Up
Sunshine for Albany(NYP Ed) Shelly Silver accuses the governor’s Moreland Commission of engaging in a “fishing expedition to intimidate legislators.” The Assembly speaker is probably right about that. Then again, even an angling novice wouldn’t have a hard time landing some big ones in the well-stocked corruption pond that is Albany. Silver’s complaint follows the disclosure that he’s spending even more taxpayer dollars to hire well-connected law firms to fight the anti-corruption commission’s latest subpoenas. One such contract was quietly hiked from $55,000 to $355,000. Meanwhile, other law firms are separately representing legislative Republicans and the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference. Ironically, even as he writes out the checks — including to the firm that employs him — Silver complains about “the great deal of money” that’s ­being spent. Silver’s initial pushback came last fall, when the Moreland people demanded that attorney-legislators such as him disclose a list of their clients to determine if any are doing business with the state (something this page called for three years ago). Until he was forced to do so by an ethics law passed in 2011, Silver wouldn’t even disclose how much he was being paid by his firm, the tort-law powerhouse Weitz & ­Luxenberg. Now the commission reportedly has subpoenaed various lawmakers, their campaign committees and vendors who were paid by their ­campaign accounts. Bribe Assemblymembrs Not to Steal Silver denounced subpoenas issued by Gov. Cuomo’s Moreland Commission as a “fishing expedition,” saying the only way to end corruption is for taxpayers to fund political campaigns. Translation: Taxpayers must bribe politicians if they want them to stop stealing! * Subpoena Aimed At Common Sense Principles Adjourned(YNN) The firm, Strategic Advantage International, has been fighting an effort from the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption that is trying to determine who funded the group, which was aligned with Senate Republicans during the 2012 election cycle. 

The Mayor's Lobbyist

Crain’s New York Business looked at how Bertha Lewis, an early de Blasio endorser, was hired to pressure the mayor on the Upper East Side waste transfer station, noting “a person with knowledge of the hiring said Ms. Lewis’ connection with him was ‘a huge part’ of the decision. It’s an example of how those in the new mayor’s orbit can benefit from proximity to him.”* De Blasio ally paid to fight him over Upper East Side trash station plan(NYDN) The Daily News reported last fall that Lewis, the former head of ACORN, a community-organizing group, had jumped onboard the anti-garbage station campaign. She said at the time she wanted to fight the perception that only rich white people would be hurt by the project, which is near a public housing project and a recreation facility. She and the mayor have long been allies and helped to form the Working Families Party. Both supported developer Bruce Ratner’s controversial Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn.

Acorn 2.0, Inc (NY Communities for Change)
New Tammany Hall GOTV Field 2013
NYCC, Reincarnated Acorn, Rises in de Blasio’s New York(NYO)One of the country’s best known community organizing groups, it crumbled rapidly four years ago, after right-wing activists, posing as a pimp and prostitute, secretly filmed Acorn workers providing them tax advice. But it turns out that Acorn’s exile was only temporary. The very same agitators are now whispering into the open ear of the new mayor, under the name New York Communities for Change. NYCC, which is battling to raise the wages of low-income workers and eventually unionize them, increase affordable housing and beat back the charter school movement, is also entwined with the influential Working Families Party. n the early stages of the mayor’s race.* Housing Activists Rally At City Hall(NYDN) The "Real Affordability For All" launch includes leading progressive groups like Make the Road New York and New York Communities for Change, and is billing itself as the "largest affordable housing campaign in the city." The Black Institute was also paid $23,000 for polling last October by then-state Sen. Eric Adams' campaign for Brooklyn borough president. Mr. Adams faced token opposition for the seat and won handily.

Were the PACS, NYCC and WFP Working Together in the Primary in Violation of the CFB Spending Caps?

NYCC launched a valuable vote-pulling operation in minority neighborhoods where a gawky white candidate like Mr. de Blasio, even with a black wife, might not have held supreme appeal. A 501(c)(4) nonprofit that can participate in political activities without revealing its donors, NYCC has proven most potent in predominantly black areas in central Brooklyn and southeast Queens, where voter turnout is heavily Democratic and deceptively high.  Where the WFP begins and NYCC ends can be difficult to discern. The two organizations are headquartered in the same Nevins Street building, one floor apart. Jonathan Westin, the successor to Mr. Kest at NYCC, who died in 2012, sits on the WFP’s executive board. And their political aims, from unionizing fast food and car wash workers to combating the power of the real estate and banking industries, are all but identical.

The New Machine, Progressives, WFP, NYCC, Lobbyist (Advance, Pitta Bishop Del Giorno, Berlin Rosen)

Machine Coup D'etat
“It seems to me these folks are like the worker ants of the Working Families Party,” said one right-leaning nonprofit executive. “They’re kind of a nonprofit community front for the party.” Lending its ballot line, organized labor troops and dogged get-out-the-vote operation, many credit the WFP will helping to spearheaded the victories of the public advocate, comptroller, council speaker and various council members last year. NYCC’s own greatest coup of 2013 may have been helping crown the speaker of the City Council, ensuring that the group would have its phone calls returned by the two most powerful elected officials in the city. NYCC played a crucial, behind-the-scenes role. Rallying around her speakership candidacy early on, NYCC dedicated a top staffer. After her victory, Ms. Mark-Viverito would hire Ms. Adams as a senior adviser. Meanwhile, Ms. Lewis hasn’t disappeared from the scene entirely. While she has no official role with NYCC, she still uses the pronoun “we” when discussing the organization and remains one of Mayor de Blasio’s closet confidantes. * The New York City Council Finance Committee “lavished praise” on de Blasio’s budget proposal at a hearing, which reflects the “progressive” values the mayor and many Council members share, Crain’s writes:  * Crain's analyzes Lewis's support for opponents of waste transfer station after period of neutrality(AYO) In  Mayor's ally being paid to fight him, Crain's New York Business reports on the curious situation in which Bertha Lewis, head of the Black Institute and longtime friend/supporter of Mayor Bill de Blasio, is opposing mayoral efforts--which began under Mike Bloomberg and which de Blasio supports--to build a waste transfer station on the Upper East Side.* Mayor's ally being paid to fight him (CrainsNY) Instead of opposing the heavily favored Mr. de Blasio in the general election, however, Pledge 2 Protect hired the Advance Group, a Manhattan-based Democratic consulting firm that had just run a $1 million campaign to sink de Blasio rival Christine Quinn. Pledge 2 Protect also hired Ms. Lewis, who shares an office with the Advance Group and whose nonprofit is a client of it.

Lobbyist Campaign Consultants the New Universal Soldier
SKDK for Charters Berlin Rosen for Pre-K

In 2013 Both SKDK and Berlin Rosen Worked Together to Defeat Spitzer and Elect Controller Stringer
Kerry Lyons, a SKDKnickerbocker consultant who works for Moskowitz's schools, sent reporters a snapshot of the three schools, saying the displaced students are "left homeless next year." The loss of space for the two new schools, she said, will mean 420 kids in the kindergarten and first grades lose their enrollment.* I still find it a bit funny when group sends out release praising , who of course is a client.
The group, UPKNYC, is a coalition of citizens asking Albany to raise taxes on the wealthy in order to fund the mayor’s education initiatives. The group was established by Bill Hyers, the mayor’s former campaign manager. Its treasurer, Ross Offinger, is the mayor’s former campaign-finance director. De Blasio’s former campaign consultant Stephanie Yazgi serves as its secretary. Hilltop Public Solutions, the p.r. firm that formerly employed de Blasio senior adviser Rebecca Katz, is doing strategy for the ­UPKNYC campaign out of its Brooklyn office. Dan Levitan, a spokesman at p.r. firm BerlinRosen, which is handling press, said, “UPKNYC is supported by thousands of grass-roots New Yorkers.“Dozens of leaders from business, civil rights, academia, advocacy and the arts have joined our growing campaign committee.” BerlinRosen is also handled communications for de Blasio’s campaign.

de Blasio's Sugar Fix/ Will the Council Demand Its Cut? What Role Did Berlin Rosen Play?

City Hall's Inhouse Lobbyist Political Consultant
Real Estate developers now understand if you want to get an OK for your housing plan hire Berlin Rosen
City Hall Gatekeeper
BerlinRosen's current and recent clients include Two Trees Management Negotiations between Mr. de Blasio’s team and Mr. Walentas’s firm took place over the last few days. The two men share a mutual adviser: Jonathan Rosen, one of the mayor’s top political hands and the chief executive of a public affairs firm, Berlin Rosen, that counts Mr. Walentas’s company as a client. 

SPIN CITY -- Times’ Michael Powell: “A couple of weeks back, I called the mayor’s press office and asked about Mr. de Blasio’s perhaps too-optimistic cost projections for prekindergarten. Twenty minutes later, I heard from Dan Levitan of Berlin Rosen, which is the ‘it’ P.R. firm of the city’s left and a close adviser to the mayor. … I asked if Berlin Rosen had a contract to handle queries placed with the mayor’s office. He replied that he handled the ‘campaign’ for pre-K.”
Setting Up a Better Domino Plan(NYT) In a good start, Mayor Bill de Blasio closed a deal with developers that would add more affordable housing in Brooklyn.* Affordable Housing Advocates Demand More from Mayor * Politicians, unions leave ‘Domino’ deal far from done(NYP Ed) The touted “compromise” to build apartment towers, offices, stores and a park at the Domino Sugar site in Brooklyn is anything but a done deal, despite absurd claims the city has “approved” it. Far from it: The City Council, not the Planning Commission, which OK’d it Wednesday, will have the final say. And construction unions and “affordable housing” agitators are ganging up on the agreement Mayor de Blasio reached this week with developer Two Trees Management. They could easily derail it in the council, which stands even farther to the left than de Blasio.** A coalition of tenant groups, anti-poverty advocates and unions, which includes some of de Blasio’s liberal allies, is poised to begin a campaign to call for more homes for the city’s poorest residents, the Journal writes * Meanwhile, Mr. de Blasio is about to face his first major lobbying effort from the left.  “Real Affordability for All,” a new coalition of tenant groups, anti-poverty advocates and unions, is set to launch a campaign today to create more affordable housing for very low-income residents, “posing an additional challenge for the administration as it develops its own housing plan,” the Wall Street Journal reports. The group “could make it more difficult for the mayor to meet his target of building or preserving 200,000 units of low-cost housing,” the paper reports.

Lobbyist Berlin Rosen Works for Domino's Developer and the Mayor

Labor unions are demanding that the redevelopment project at the Domino Sugar factory in Brooklyn be done using union construction workers, with leaders arguing that City Council members should withhold approval of the project unless workers receive union wagesUnions demand all workers at Domino factory be organized(NYDN) * VIDEO: Inside the Williamsburg Domino Sugar project's affordable housing plan *Mayor de Blasio's plans to go big on housing is building worries over quality of life(NYDN) * BerlinRosen founders say "mission-driven company" turns away clients who don't share ideals (so, what about Ratner?)

Update 2  Deal on Domino between and - developer will build 700 affordable units, 40 more than in previous plan. * Deal Is Reached on Redevelopment of Brooklyn Sugar Refinery(NYT)The compromise on the redevelopment of the former Domino Sugar plant includes more units of affordable housing and taller buildings. From 660 to 700 Affordable Units.
Monday Update The developer of the apartment project at the Domino Sugar refinery in Brooklyn is threatening to sell if the de Blasio administration keeps pushing for bigger affordable housing units than originally proposed, the Daily News reportsThe Domino effect(NYP Ed) Now the city has announced a deal that will produce 700 of the units de Blasio wants. That may be good news for those who end up in these apartments. What the mayor doesn’t seem to appreciate is that building by threats and decree only makes it more expensive for people to build housing non-millionaires can afford. * de Blasio notches an early real-estate win(Capital) Mayor Affordable Housing Goals* Key members of de Blasio’s administration charged with implementing his plan to create or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing met with advocates behind closed doors for a strategy session, Crain’s reports:

Plan to Redevelop Brooklyn Sugar Factory Hits Snag: De Blasio(NYT) A $1.5 billion proposal to redevelop Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar plant is in jeopardy as officials ask for a higher quota of affordable housing Blasio administration, which wants him to add additional affordable housing units in exchange for the required zoning changes* Bill’s sugar rush(NYDN Ed) A dangerous approach to a laudable ideal. 
In an attempt to squeeze out more affordable housing, Mayor de Blasio has touched off a tug-of-war over a 3-million square foot development at the old Domino sugar refinery on the Williamsburg waterfront. While the mayor’s goals are laudable, his timing is bad — and the eleventh-hour action risks upending a delicate deal struck, after exhaustive negotiations, during the previous administration. The iconic Domino site, which has been vacant since 1994, has attracted potentially sweet development schemes, only to see them go sour with turns of the economy and the screws of the city’s arduous community approval process.News * New York Post lies about Greater Harlem Housing Development Corp (Amasterdam News)

The Rubber Stamp Council

Forgetabout: Checks and Balances
The secret to de Blasio’s dance-free budget(Capital) The mayor and the city council are celebrating the end of the dreaded "budget dance"—the if-you-must political theatrics whereby the mayor cuts programs in early version of the budget and the restores them in the final ("adopted") budget.* Hearings Begin on Mayor's First Budget(NY1) * Council budget hearing turns into director lovefest(NYP)

His past co-workers at the Queens Library are Under Investigation by FBI
The Gang of Four (L to R – Dinkins, Paterson, Sutton, Rangel)  - See more at:

The FBI, federal prosecutors and the New York City Department of Investigation are working together to examine spending by Queens Library President Thomas Galante, The New York Times writes:FBI and New York City Department of Investigation launches probe of Queens Library spending on renovations * EDITORIAL: It’s a sorry state of affairs when the Queens Public Library is the target of criminal investigation by the FBI(BTDN) *Book ’em, maybe(NYDN Ed) Law enforcement eyes the mess at the Queens Library

True News' Bum of the Week: CM Dromm

A lesson in political shenanigans(NYDN) Charter kids come to Albany, and learn about the politicians who don't care much about their success. Politicians opposed to charter schools made a great show of outrage over the fact that thousands of charter school students traveled to Albany this week to plead for a cease-fire in the war on their future. One accusation, voiced by City Councilman Danny Dromm, who chairs that body’s education committee, is that the trip was purely political, with no educational valueI beg to differ. The kids in extraordinarily high-performing schools — who worked extra hard, learned everything put in front of them and grinded out high test scores to prove it — are getting a rich lesson in how the city actually works.
And they also have the chance to learn some splendid vocabulary words. One of them: disingenuous. If New York went back to the original vision of charters, the Department of Education would compile a list of the most promising innovations pioneered by Success Academies and other great schools — ideas like expanding the school day, week and year. Then we’d have a citywide discussion of which changes we need to make, instead of the embarrassing spectacle of children begging their government to let them learn.*** New York City Council Member Asks a Senator: Stop the Emails(WSJ) Daniel Dromm Says Newsletters From Ruben Diaz Sr. Were 'Harassing' Him* * New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm's comments about charter schools cut to the heart of the progressive opposition to charters, which is that their teachers typically are non-union, Seth Barron writes in Council Watch: 

Cuomo de Blasio Battle Out In the Open

NY Leaders

Eva Moskowitz Goes on Media Tour Bashing ‘So-Called Progressive’ Bill de Blasio(NYO)
Gov. Cuomo "Five Chess Moves" Ahead Of Mayor de Blasio(NYDN)

De Blasio backers sue to block more charters(NYP) Upset that the mayor didn’t go far enough, Public Advocate Letitia James and Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito are moving ahead with their lawsuit to overturn other charter school co-locations that were approved by de Blasio last week.* THAT'LL TEACH YOU! Gov. Cuomo cheered while airing support for charter schools, going over Mayor de Blasio's head yet again(NYDN)
After meeting, Cuomo and de Blasio don’t budge(Capital)

The Daily News writes that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s promise at a Tuesday rally to save charter schools was a major positive and each commitment he made was a slap at de Blasio’s policies:
De Blasio, Cuomo push dueling education agendas San Francisco Chronicle
Take that, Bill(NYDN)
Hyper-liberal de Blasio is Gov. Cuomo's best asset(NYP)
Charter schools leader Eva Moskowitz again insisted her rally yesterday was not a dig at Bill de Blasio‘s pre-K rally, telling NY1 advocates were simply “very worried with Mayor de Blasio’s campaign rhetoric and then his announcement that he was cutting $210 million from the capital budget and then saying he was going to impose rent on public charter schools. We were just feeling under siege.”The Daily News editorial board praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo for siding with the charters yesterday, writing that he “hit it out of the park on Tuesday with a full-throated promise to ‘save charter schools’ just days after Mayor de Blasio killed three of them, including throwing 210 children out of one of the state’s highest achieving programs.”

QUOTE OF DAY: “I feel fired up!”--Andrew Cuomo, at a charter school rally yesterday
Cuomo touts charter schools in surprise rally appearance, clouding de Blasio's ...Chalkbeat
Over 11K charter school supporters pack Albany rally(NYP)
* The further left de Blasio leans, the more reasonable Cuomo looks to voters, which is why he is continuing to fight the mayor on universal prekindergarten funding and charter schools, the Post’s John Podhoretz 
The mayor is running out of options in his pre-K duel with Gov. Cuomo. (NY Mag)
Gov. Cuomo airs support for charter schools, going over Mayor de Blasio's head — again(NYDN)
"Today, we are all Andrew Cuomo fans now"--
Gov. Cuomo may be friends with Mayor de Blasio but the Democrats have failed to see eye-to-eye on education. While Mayor de Blasio pushed for his universal pre-K tax-the-rich plan, scores of charter school families rallied to keep their schools open.
City’s charter movement gets the Albany day it wanted(Capital) As Cuomo pledges to “save charters” and provide financial support
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Says Charter Schools Are Not The Only Ones That Need Help (NYDN)
* Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said that charter schools are not the only ones that need help building schools, pointing out that many students go to class in trailers for years, the Daily News reports:
* New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray will be in Albany next week to campaign for her Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pre-K plan and dismissed the idea that the fight has been frustrating, the Associated Press reports:
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said a space “crisis” in New York City schools should be fixed before Cuomo helps secure space for charter schools. 

Mixed Message On Stop and Frisk

Basic Tool and Oversight 

NYPD faces five years of oversight after stop-and-frisk ruling(NYP) * Street Stops Still a ‘Basic Tool,’ Bratton Says(NYT) The New York police commissioner, William J. Bratton, told a business group that the department would focus on fighting low-level crime, citing the “broken windows” theory of policing.* Bratton to ride night subways to survey problems: NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton says he'll ride late-n... *'Future' of NYPD: Keeping Tab(let)s on Crime Data(WSJ) * Police unions link contract talks to stop-frisk litigation (Capital) * Astorino insists to the Observer that he's not in this for "the silver medal" * The NYPD will soon be carrying tablet computers in the field. (WNYC)

Crime is Down, Is It Because of the Cold Weather?

Despite an early suggestion that murders were up under Mr. de Blasio, New York reports that serious crime is actually down so far this year, “with murders and robberies dropping despite the declining number of stop-and-frisks, which some former police officials have said are necessary to maintain order in the city.”
De Blasio drops suit over anti-profiling law(NYP)
Off to a good start (NYDN Ed) The NYPD keeps driving crime down

More on Commission Bratton


Education Policy: It is All Politics Now

TWO-FRONT WAR -- Jessica Bakeman: Andrew Cuomo is preparing to chellenge Bill de Blasio on a second education-funding front: charter schools. The move comes as advocates for charters and de Blasio's tax-the-rich plan for funding pre-kindergarten will face off with simultaneous rallies in Albany today. The Post reported that Cuomo told Republican business leaders at a recent fund-raiser that he would back legislation to fund space for charters that get kicked out of New York City public buildings. Last week, de Blasio reversed three Bloomberg administration approvals for charter co-locations. Cuomo spokesman Matt Wing partially confirmed the Post report in a statement: “The governor discussed his support for charter schools but there was no specific conversation about legislation.”
Charters would be the second education area in which Cuomo big-footed de Blasio, or tried to. De Blasio said he "hopes" to meet with Cuomo when he's in town Tuesday for the pre-K rally. --Read more: * Assembly is considering a delay to the Common Core standards for teacher evals and student assessments * Bill de Blasio is headed up to Albany today to pressure the state government to back his universal pre-K tax increase, but New York writes that “his more realistic allies are admitting that the chances of winning the tax hike are shrinking toward zero.” Some in Mr. de Blasio’s camp are reportedly “itching to toughen up the tactics” against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.* rep on charter schools: guv will “work with legislative leaders to ensure they are able to continue to serve the community."

NY Most Overpriced City

New York tops most overpriced city list(AMNY) A report by Forbes magazine places New York City in a tie with Honolulu for the nation's most-overpriced city, largely because of expensive housing and a higher cost of living. Experts and city leaders say the problem is only going to get worse, making the city a less enticing place to call home."From ever-soaring rent levels to higher priced foods and goods invading lower-middle income neighborhoods, many lifelong residents are being pushed out of their homes," said City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan).* The federal budget that Obama unveiled today would impose a number of tax hikes on wealthy New Yorkers.

Sex and the Assemblymen, Pols Gone Wild, Dirty Old Men
Update Rivera Got A Primary
Assemblyman Jose Rivera Throws Fundraiser In The Bronx(NYDN)
Bronx Assemblyman faces challenger due to dirty vacation video(NYDN) Fernando Tirado, the former district manager of Bronx’s Community Board 7, told the Daily News he was convinced to run for the seat after viewing the video, which shows Mr. Rivera chatting up young women in the Dominican Republic. “I am running because I want to present a more positive view of the Bronx,” he told the paper. “If we can’t count on elected officials to raise the profile of the Bronx, then we don’t need them anymore.”
Assemblyman Jose Rivera ogles girls in bizarre video(NYP “Where do you live, what is your street address? What are your body measures?,” the 78-year-old Rivera asks a young woman. In another segment Rivera asks another young woman, “Do you happen to have a little sister?” Rivera had forwarded the video to journalist Gerson Borrero, who posted it on his twitter page. It was then picked up by  

Rivera is accompanied by former Harlem Assemblyman Adam Clayton IV. Powell who is also in the video defended the video as “respectful flirting.” “It’s meant as an educational video,” he said. “A lot of young men don’t know how to flirt.”* NYC Assemblymen behaving badly in Dominican video(NYDN)  A video posted and later deleted of Bronx Assemblyman Jose Rivera shows him ogling women during a 2005 trip to the Dominican Republic, but the lawmaker says he was joking and didn’t mean to offend anyone The Daily News writes that Bronx Assemblyman Jose Rivera is a deserving recipient of the New York Knucklehead Award for his actions taped on video during a trip to the Dominican Republic and for posting the video online: * Dirty old man (NYDN) Jose Rivera makes fool of himself for all to see

DOI Investigation of Adams' Nonprofit That Doesn’t Exist
Brooklyn Watch Out: shady developer with mob ties targets Eric Adams(Queens Politics)

Ethics Problems
The senior adviser for strategic alliances to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams allegedly talked up the services of her private consulting firm during a meet-and-greet with business and community leaders, creating a possible ethics problem, the Post writes: 

1-800-GOPREET The Pension Killer 

Public Service Announcement: NYS Assembly/Senate members—If you suspect you're a thief—turn yourself in now—save your pension. 1800GOPREET* * All freshman members of the Assembly have signed on to a bill that would cut the pensions of public officials convicted of felony corruption, though that support doesn’t necessarily mean the legislation will become law, the Times Union reports:

Will de Blasio's WFP's and Progressive's New Machine Go After the IDC's  Triangulation? 

Savino to Koppell: Takes One To Know One(YNN)  * State Sen. Diane Savino defended IDC Leader Jeff Klein, saying that Klein’s potential primary opponent, Oliver Koppell, was hypocritical in saying Klein has declared war on Democrats, State of Politics writes: 

Winds of War
Brooklyn state Sen. Martin Dilan wants the five senators who make up the Independent Democratic Conference to be removed from the Democratic Party, and plans to call the party chairmen from their respective counties, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett reports: * Senate GOP leader vows to fight for city’s charter schools(NYP)
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said he was outraged at Mayor de Blasio’s decision to cancel classroom space for three Success Academy charter schools this fall, and vowed to address the plight of charter schools in budget talk* Westchester County legislator Virginia Perez said she has had conversations with Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein, and is considering a primary run against Senate Democratic Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, The Journal News reports: 

State Senator Martin Dilan thinks Tony Avella, Jeffrey Klein, Diane Savino, David Carlucci and David Valesky “should all be disenrolled by the Democratic party” for being members of the Independent Democratic Conference, according to the Daily News. “You can’t run and get elected on the Democratic line, work with the opposing party on an agenda against what we put forward, and then run in the election as a Democrat,” he told the paper. “Let them run on the Republican line and see if they can get re-elected.” * WAKE-UP SCOOP: Governor Andrew Cuomo will headline Rep. Joe Crowley’s March 20 fund-raiser at the Dream Hotel, according to an invitation going out later today. Cuomo doesn’t lend his name to many fund-raisers, and Crowley is an interesting choice given his recent history opposing Bill de Blasio’s preferred candidate for Council speaker. The mayor and first lady both made separate appearances with Crowley in recent weeks, but Cuomo is putting his political imprimatur on Crowley in a way de Blasio, so far, hasn’t. See event details (without the Cuomo mention).

Al Sharpton Backs Mayor's Charter School Plan, Blasts Eva Moskowitz For Albany Rally(NYDN) * Richmond County Democratic Committee Executive Director Kevin Elkins said the party remains “fully behind” Sen. Diane Savino, one of the five IDC members.* Stewart-Cousins may face Westchester Legislator Perez in primary(LoHud)

Corrupt Surrogate Court

Another Conviction from the Corrupt Surrogate Court

Stealing From the Dead Court
‘Sorry’ estate robber off to jail(NYP) A crooked Brooklyn bookkeeper convicted of stealing $2.6 million from the estates of people who died without wills expressed remorse Thursday for his crime before a judge sentenced him to 6 to 18 years in prison. A crooked Brooklyn bookkeeper convicted of stealing $2.6 million from the estates of people who died without wills expressed remorse Thursday for his crime before a judge sentenced him to six to 18 years in prison. Crooked bookkeeper Richard Paul * Manhattan DA Statement

More About Corruption in the Surrogate Court

Avella joins Albany Rebel IDC Democrats
Realignment Buzz: Avella's IDC Move Triggered by Queens Machine Losing Speakers Race. Look for Parkside who was paid $2 million by the senate dems and the rest of the Queens Mob to Move Behind IDC. If there is a weak GOP governor candidate the dems would have a shot gaining control of the senate. IDC members are expected to be target by the dem

Update Handful of Protesters Crash Tony Avella Event(NYO)

Avella Quits Democratic Conference For IDC; Dems Say It Hurts Progressive Causes. The move could have “major implications for the battle to control New York’s Senate.
 Albany politics gets even crazier - fifth Democrat joins breakaway faction of state senators  * Avella’s New Title(YNN) * Queens Sen. Tony Avella Calls Protesters Ridiculous; Defends Jump To IDC(NYDN)

Polling Klein v. Koppell(YNN) Someone is polling to gauge former New York City councilman Oliver Koppell’s support if he were to challenge IDC Leader Jeff Klein in a primary

Sen. Ruben Diaz spending time with IDC member Diane Savino. Plot thickens? 

Avella moves to I.D.C., and Democrats grimace(Capital) Democrats, who are trying to reclaim control of the Senate in this year’s elections, were quick to criticize the move: “It’s unfortunate that progressive policies continue to be stymied because of divisions created by Senators who choose to empower Republicans,” said Senate Democratic Communications Director Mike Murphy in a statement early this morning.* is joining the IDC. This will frustrate Democratic attempts to regain control of chamber (NYDN) *Cuomo on Avella’s IDC Move: ‘We’re Headed Into the Political Silly Season’(NYO) * Winds of War Avella Challenger Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens) is set to announce that he’s joining a dissident group of four Democrats that runs the state chamber with the GOP in an unprecedented bipartisan arrangement. The switch could be a serious blow to the effort by mainline Dems to reclaim control of the Senate in this year’s elections. Democrats Already Mulling Tony Avella Challenge(NYO) Sources in the district say that Austin Shafran, a legislative director with the left-leaning Working Families Party, may be willing to take the plunge. * State Sen. Tony Avella said that being in the minority has been “frustrating,” in his first comments since news broke that he is joining the Independent Democratic Conference, State of Politics writes:  * State Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein said that negotiations are underway to give Avella a committee chairmanship, the Daily News reports: * Crowley Blasts Avella’s IDC Move(YNN) * Klein Says Diaz Not ‘On Our Radar Screen’(YNN) * Sen. Diane Savino gave flowers to Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. Could another IDC love match be in the offing?* Queens Senator Defects to Independent Democratic Conference(NY1) * State Senate Democrats Not Ruling Out Primary Challenge For New IDC Member Avella(NYDN) * IDC Leader Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj are forming a new political club in the Bronx.* Grace Meng and John Liu Slam Tony Avella for Joining IDC(NYO)
More on the IDC GOP Senate Coalition 

Is Councilman Dromm Interfering With Charter Parents Rights of Free Speech and to Protest Their Government?

Dromm to hold hearing on Moskowitz’s rally day(Capital) Councilman Daniel Dromm announced Saturday that he will hold an oversight hearing to investigate whether Eva Moskowitz is illegally closing her schools on Tuesday so that students can participate in a pro-charter rally in Albany. * Co-location expansions Charter school expansions to be subject of city public hearings(NYP) The DOE press release notes that “significant changes in school utilization” will be considered at the May 6 Panel for Educational Policy meeting at Murry Bergtraum HS.* Dromm to hold hearing on Moskowitz’s rally day(Capital)
 More on Education and the Charter School Fight 
More On de Blasio vs Cuomo 

A Campaign Manager Mayor's Communications Problems
de Blasio Communications Problem Has to Do With His Campaign Manager Background, Attitude and Policies

The Campaign Manager Mayor Speaks 
De Blasio: I think the Democratic process tends to yield resolution in all matters(WSJ)

City and State blames the fact that Mr. de Blasio’s press shop is filled with campaign holdovers with limited government experience. Some said Mr. de Blasio’s press team “has too many ‘true believers’ and not enough sober, experienced voices in the press office.” Staffers have to “let the Kool-Aid wear off a little bit,” said Leland Jones, a press secretary for David Dinkins. Mayoral Media Growing Pains Not Unique To De Blasio * de Blasio’s growing administration. The New York Times reported the mayor has been picking liberal activists over managers for city posts. “In Bill de Blasio’s City Hall, it seems more and more, there is only a left wing,” they wrote, noting, “The mayor, who advanced in politics by grass-roots organizing, has built a team filled with former activists — figures more accustomed to picketing administrations or taking potshots from the outside than working from within.”

In October the New York Times asked Bill de Blasio what a mayor’s resume should look like.
His response contained many words, but the nut of it was this: “It’s about ability to communicate. It’s about clarity of vision and ability to sense what’s going on on-the-ground, and listen.” * Dinkins spox Leland Jones said that ’s press team “needs to let the Kool-Aid wear off a little bit.” (City and State)

The Associated Press reports on how Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s “ambitious agenda to fight income inequality … has taken a backseat in recent weeks to a series of political stumbles that have become tabloid fodder and shaken his everyman image.” The wire argued that, “ironically, the strength behind de Blasio’s mayoral campaign”–his remarkable message discipline–”may have produced some weakness in his first two months in office.” * Bill Cunningham, a former communications director for ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg argued in the story that Mr. de Blasio’s young staff have had particular “trouble taking a story and keeping it a one-day story.” De Blasio spokesman Phil Walkzak acknowledged the bumps, but dismissed their impact: “We live in a town and a culture where things can become distractions,” he told the outlet. “But I will say I do not think these hiccups have distracted from our larger policy agenda.”

Is de Blasio's Breaking the NY Style?

De Blasio’s anti-rich policies are driving wealthy people out of NYC(NYP) One friend says 10 wealthy people have told him they are leaving and another says disgusted New Yorkers bought $1 billion in residential property in Florida since the November election. The Sunshine State confers an automatic tax cut of about 12 percent because it has no city or state income tax, nor does it have an inheritance tax. Beyond taxes, the mayor’s open hostility is a factor. His insulting treatment of former Mayor Bloomberg at the inauguration remains a cloud over him. As one affluent woman, a self-described liberal, told me, “De Blasio hates me, so I hate him.” She doesn’t personally know him, but draws her conclusion from his words and deeds.*  Billions in philanthropy support the arts, ranging from local dance groups to the flagship institutions that define New York as a world-class city. Nearly half of the Metropolitan Opera’s operating fund comes from donations, which last year reached $143 million. The biggest change in the Bloomberg era was an explosion of charitable dollars to help fund the charter-school movement, and that seems to infuriate de Blasio. One reason might be that it threatens his political base. Charters teach 70,000 kids, and if they keep expanding and succeeding, they will be an existential threat to the unions that back him.

Flordia Move Instant Raise 

Florida’s favorite New Yorker(NYP) If Bill de Blasio keeps going the way he’s going, the Sunshine State’s going to put up a statue of him. Not since Ponce de Leon discovered the place has any one man done more to guarantee future inflows of wealth and investment to Florida than our new mayor. According to IRS figures used by Travis Brown in “How Money Walks,” from 1992 to 2010, Florida saw a net inflow of $95.6 billion in wealth (as measured by adjusted growth income). The largest chunk, $18.9 billion, came from . . . guess where? New York. In a ranking of states in terms of how they treat $500,000 earners, Forbes estimated a New Yorker with that income would pay roughly $37,000 a year in state and local income taxes. Wait a minute. Turns the folks in Florida are already making that pitch. As an ad by one South Florida development association puts it, “With no state income tax, relocating to Greater Fort Lauderdale is like getting an instant raise.”
More on NYC Economy Troubles 

de Blasio's DOI Unexpectedly Going After BOE Corruption On Day One
BOE Surprise Attack

Board to investigate duplicate voters

NYC Department Of Investigation Chief: Board Of Elections "Hostile" To Reform Recommendations (NYDN) The new head of the city Department of Investigation testIfied Friday that his staff has encountered "outright hostility" at the highest levels of the Board of Elections while trying to get the embattled agency to clean up its act.  The Board has not been “anywhere near as cooperative” as necessary in responding to a 2013 DOI investigation that detailed nepotism, incompetence, inefficiency -- and even possible crimes, DOI Commissioner Mark Peters (pictured center) told a joint hearing of the City Council Government Operations and Oversight and Investigations Committees. Peters said DOI has referred several issues for possible civil prosecution, and said criminal charges are still possible. In describing "illegal" activity at the Board, Peters told the lawmakers, “I use the word deliberately. This is an ongoing investigation, so there are aspects of it I am not prepared to discuss."* Department of Investigation, Board of Elections Face Off at City Council (NY1) * Investigations chief briefs the Council on B.O.E. problems(Capital) * D.O.I. Report  The report listed nepotism, violations of voter privacy, and a staff of untrained workers among B.O.E.'s most glaring systemic problems. D.O.I. released a list of 40 recommended changes to the agency, but according to Peters, the agency has been less than cooperative in implementing changes. Peters went onto say that nepotism at the agency was rampant and that in one case, a B.O.E. commissioner admitted to hiring his wife in order to obtain health benefits he was not entitled to receive on his own. According to Peters, close to 10 percent of the staff at B.O.E. is related to other employees of the board.

Political Analysis: New Guard Beginning to Evict the Old Tammany Guard From the BOE

As True News reported last December if the old machine led by Queens Boss Crowley lost the speaker's race that would be there last Hurrah in power.  Well as they say elections have consequences and the newly empowered new guard has begun the process of pushing what is left of the old Tammany Hall out of their 100 year old home the Board of Elections.  The new machine led by the mayor, speaker, WFP, Sharpton and election consultant lobbyists, the Advance Group, Berlin Rosen and Pitta Bishop Del Giorno as their elections victories for mayor, speaker and council races indicate have not only beaten the old machine but understand how to use and gain power. 
 Now besides going after the old gang of 4 power base in Harlem they are looking to take over one of the last remaining power bases of the old Tammany machine the BOE. And who is going to stop them. Crowley army the Parkside Group lived fat off of the Queens machine protection for years, not their ability to win races. The GOP machine has turn into bottom feeders who are trying to stay out of jail for selling ballot lines and contracts at the BOE, not win elections. Brooklyn Boss Seddio who joined with the new guard when he could not control his councilmember is considered untrustworthy by the very group he helped gain power. 

It is a Family Affair At the BOE
BOE NepotismGate
Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan tangled -- protractedly -- with Councilman Ritchie Torres of the Bronx about the definition of "nepotism," saying that just because members of the same family work at the same agency doesn't indicate de facto corruption. Torres countered that the agency -- which gives limited notice of job openings when it gives them at all and hires many of its full- and part-time workers through a patronage system linked to the county parties -- has an inarguably high degree of family relationships in its ranks.* BOE exec dir: "W/ respect to multiple family members working for the , that does not necessarily bespeak of quote unquote nepotism."* * Board of Incompetence: Elections hacks botch introduction of new voting machines (DN Ed)

DOI's Peters told councilmembers, adding that his agency had been received with "outright hostility"
BoE's Ryan re DOI: "I believe that that report does not accurately reflect the reality when it comes to come certain of the recommendations" * Peters has a close relationship with DEB He should urge him to create an independent non partisan BOE we created an Ind Budget off years ago * CM Ulrich argues 4 nonpartisan . Ulrich argues 4 prohibiting employees from doing paid political consultant work. * The problem is that political class benefits from dysfunctional BOE & has for years given lip service to change * not rocket science remove party bosses from hiring process & you professionalize agency & fund it, ex IBO * Is Peters kidding? He's rehashing what everyone knows He should urge the pol class to create an indep non partisan BOE * It's hysterical listening to CM criticize BOE You would never think THEY have oversight & funding responsibility for agency * City report outlines millions wasted by Board of Elections for overstaffing 2011 elections  * Tammany Hall Board of Election Control Goes On and On (True News)

Council Has Oversight Powers Over BOE They Have Never Used to Demand Reform
SalAlbanese @SalAlbaneseNYC: @DNDailyPolitics It's hysterical listening to CM criticize BOE You would never think THEY have oversight & funding responsibility for agency 

The Council Could Use Their Power to Confirm Board of Election Commissioner to Demand Reforms of That Corruption Institution.  Quinn and a gang of 4 GOP councilmember used  the power to confirm BOE commissioners to throw out GOP 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?* GOP Councilmen seize opportunity to appoint election commissioners in Queens, Brooklyn, overruling county party leadership (NYDN) More on the Panic Over the Council Illegal Appointed Commissioners * Ulrich campaign accuses BOE of obstruction (CrainsNY)* The City Council Is Responsible for the Corruption - True News
DOI Got to Be Kidding About the BOE
"We have made several referrals to civil authorities for violations of the law, that is ongoing," Department of Investigations commissioner Mark Peters told City Council friday. "There are aspects of this ongoing investigation that could lead us to criminal referrals, it's too early to tell at this stage."

10 Areas Where de Blasio's DOI Can Start Criminal Investigations
1. Head of Board of Elections Fired One Week Before Election (WNYC)Sources at the Board of Elections say Gonzalez was fired over irregularities that initially appeared on the ballot of a special election in Queens for the City Council seat in the 28th district.*Election Board's "Bungle George" Gonzalez Was Mayor Bloomberg's Baby(Village Voice)*  Gonzalez Firing, DOI Investigation, Could Ease Awaited Bloomberg BoE Power Play(CHN)  (No Action by Bloomberg's DOI)

2. Why Did the City Spend $95 Million on Scanner That Don't Work? Bloomberg said the board’s real problem lay with the paper ballot and electronic scanner voting system it rolled out three years ago *Moving mayoral primary since scanners can’t handle a runoff does not compute(NYDN) * A Week Later, No End in Sight for Primary Vote Count(NYT) In 2010 Feds probing how Board of Elections choose flawed electronic voting(NYP) * Board Of Elections Pushes New Plan For Old Voting Machines During September Elections * Madness of the machines(NYDN Ed) * New York City Elections Are Becoming Ever More Costly(NYT)

3. The Daily News' Errol Louis reports today, the behind-the-scenes battle between Election Systems & Software and Dominion Voting Sytems(a/k/a Sequoia Voting) is being carried on by highly-paid proxies, namely the city's most politically wired lobbyists. Dominion/Sequoia's bid is being led by the estimable Stanley Schlein, who was Mayor Bloomberg's pick as chairman of the Civil Service Commission until he was found to be using the place and staff as his private law office. Not to be outdone, ES&S has its own congressional brother on its team, John "Sean" Crowley of Davidoff Malito law firm and brother of Joe Crowley, who is not only a congressman but also head of the Queens Democratic Party (a major plus, since Queens Dems have their own commissioner on the board) * The Village Voice, Tom Robbins delves into Stanley Schlein's record* Ballot Fixing involving a queens ballot by a Bronx power broker who is also the lobbyist on the losing vendor of the boards voting machines. (No Action by DOI) (No Action by Bloomberg's DOI)

4.  The NYC Board of Elections suspended an employee who’s also a top Queens GOP official, Stephen Graves, after he was caught on tape soliciting a “finder’s fee” from a voting machine contractor in exchange for recommending a particular lobbyist. Qns. elections official under fire for soliciting money from a contractor (NYP) *  Qns. elections official under fire for soliciting money from a contractor (NYP)(No Action by Bloomberg's DOI)

5. True News Has Confirmed From A Current Top Executive That BOE warehouse employee Phil Ragusa the nephew of the Queens GOP leader is on the payroll of ESS as A Paid Consultant.  More  * NYC Board Of Elections: Inquests & Invoices(NYDN) According to True News tipster Phil Ragusa nephew has been paid over 50,000 from ES&S last year in a two month period.  That means that nephew Ragusa was paid from the same voting machine vendor that his grandfather's BOE commission approved after a battle of the lobbyists for which voting machine the BOE would buy. Nephew Ragusa was paid $1800 by a day by ES&S at the same time we was on the BOE payroll. On one 4 day pay period nephew Ragusa was paid over $9000 for 4 days work on and hourly rate that would have taken two weeks to reach the $9000 bill. NYC Board Of Elections: Inquests & Invoices(NYDN)  * From the NY Daily News: The name would naturally jump out at anyone who's interested in Queens politics: Not only is Phil Ragusa the Queens GOP chairman, but his nephew -- also named Phil Ragusa -- works for the Board as a supervisor dealing with voting machines in the Queens warehouse. *Biagio Ragusa, the brother of Queens Republican boss Phil Ragusa. He worked in a board warehouse for 20 years before retiring recently. The job is now held by his son, also named Phil Ragusa. (No Action by Bloomberg's DOI)     

6. A few years back, the Westchester lawyer Anthony J. Mangone, who shared an office with Jay Savino, the Bronx Republican leader, earned a cool $100,000 lobbying the board on behalf of a voting machine company, Election Systems and Software. Former Bronx GOP Chairman Jay Savino pleaded guilty on corruption charges related to a failed scheme to let Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith run in the Republican primary for mayor. *Guilty Westchester attorney Anthony Mangone will help feds in two seperate probes * But his sentence is expected to be a fraction of that in exchange for his cooperation in two ongoing probes in which he is involved, sources confirmed yesterday. In addition to the Westchester case where Yonkers City Councilwoman Sandy Annabi and former Yonkers Republican chief Zehy Jereis also charged, there is a second into the selection of voting machines by New York City's Board of Elections. Mangone represented the winning bidder, Election Systems&Software, of Omaha, Neb. Political Parties for Sale: BallotCorruption 2009 Election Probe Emerges Again(WSJ)  * Bronx GOP boss adds to list of corruption(NYDN)  (No Action by Bloomberg's DOI)

7. The Feds are also investigating a Board Of Election (the cesspool of political corruption) contract for new machines that Hank Sheinkopf was a lobbyist for. Feds investigate switch by Board of Elections ... - New York PostVoting Machine Smack-Down: Lobbyists Brawl(Village Voice) Also pitching hard for ES&S is the team of Hank Sheinkopf and Norman Levy (No Action by Bloomberg's DOI) 8. Not to be outdone, ES&S has its own congressional brother on its team, John "Sean" Crowley of Davidoff Malito law firm and brother of Joe Crowley, who is not only a congressman but also head of the Queens Democratic Party * Sheinkopf took the 5th when asked questions by the NY former state Inspector General Joseph Fisch about the AEG scandal 

9.   Queens GOP Chair Drops Case To Get Ousted Board Of Elections Commissioner Back To Work(NYDN) Robert Hornak the director of machines for the Board of Election testified in sworn statements to the court that  the Queens leadership executive committee members met and voted Nov. 1 to reappoint Stupp, and that on Nov. 3, Ragusa signed a certificate saying so. That information was to have been mailed to the City Clerk and City Council on Nov. 19 -- although apparently neither envelope ever arrived * GOP Councilmen seize opportunity to appoint election commissioners in Queens, Brooklyn, overruling county party leadership (NYDN) More on the Panic Over the Council Illegal Appointed Commissioners * Tabone steps down as Queens GOP honcho amid corruption probe ...(NYP) * Queens GOP Chair Drops Case To Get Ousted Board Of Elections Commissioner Back To Work(NYDN)BOE Head of Machines Illegally Paid by Halloran
Robert Hornak who at the same time he was working at the Board of Elections was illegally getting paid by Councilman Dan Halloran through his consultant company Lexington Public Affairs. It is illegal for BOE employees to run a consultant company.  Hornak is Executive director of Queens County GOP.  His former boss and pal in the Queens GOP party was Vincent Tabone until he quit yesterday after getting arrested the day before.** Citizens Union sticks up for two GOP commissioners(CrainsNY) * rue News Told You On July 16th that the City Council Controls the Appointment of  BOE Commissioner.  

10.   Board of Elections does nothing as hundreds of Bronx votes go missing(NYDN Ed) Ignores warnings of busted ballot scanner  VOTE COUNTING in the fierce congressional battle between incumbent Charlie Rangel and his insurgent challenger Adriano Espaillat Board of Elections does nothing as hundreds of Bronx votes go missing(NYDN Ed) Ignores warnings of busted ballot scanner Why were the poll watchers reassigned in the Adriano Espaillat race to help Rangel?  (No Action by Bloomberg's DOI)
You Can't Always Get What You Want Vinny

Trial Before the Election
The judge also decided that the trial of state Sen. Malcolm Smith, Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran, and Queens GOP leader Vincent Tabone will begin on June 2.

St. Patrick’s Day Parades

If gays want to march in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, they should be able to, and that’s why New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is right choose to not attend in protest of the restriction, Maureen Dowd writes in The New York Times: * Though de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito won’t march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton will still join revelers in the annual march, the Daily News writes

Instead of marching in the official St. Patrick’s Day parade, de Blasio decided to march in the “St. Patrick’s Day Parade for All” in Queens on Sunday instead, celebrating the event’s “inclusion, diversity, unity”
 Bratton Not Following Boss’s Lead on Parade(NYT) * The eyes are smiling(NYDN) The commissioner puts his best foot forward * De Blasio joined the gay-friendly St. Pat's For All Parade in Queens Sunday, saying the parade celebrates inclusion(WNBC)* The nyccouncil had the largest contingent ever of council members marching in this year's * New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has upset some members of the Irish community by failing to appoint an Irish liaison, taking on the Central Park carriage industry and choosing the gay-friendly St. Patrick’s for All parade today over the Rockaway parade – among other things.* De Blasio marches in gay-friendly St. Patrick’s Day parade(NYP) * de Blasio says he rejected Rockaway parade bec it's not "inclusive" Didn't stop him marching last year!* Boycott of St. Patrick’s Day Parade Puts Mayor in Middle(NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio’s refusal to march in the event has left him caught between the city’s traditional Irish enclaves and the progressive advocates emboldened by his leftward leanings.* De Blasio marches in alternative, gay-friendly St. Patrick's Day parade:(TPM) * New York mayor out of step with St Patrick's Day march over anti-gay ban(Guardin)

NYT Mayor's Appointments More Left Than Managers

Aides say [BDB] works backward in his hiring process...identifying a candidate who shares his political philosophy..De Blasio Picks More Liberal Activists Than Managers for City Posts(NYT) In Bill de Blasio’s City Hall, it seems more and more, there is only a left wing. The mayor, who advanced in politics by grass-roots organizing, has built a team filled with former activists — figures more accustomed to picketing administrations or taking potshots from the outside than working from within. His administration is heavily populated with appointees best known for the fights they have fought.* In a letter to the editor, Mr. de Blasio’s press secretary, Phil Walzak, took issue with a New York Times story that framed City Hall hires as more activist-oriented than managerial, pointing to a previous Times story that said “the mayor’s recruitment process has ‘a pronounced bent toward candidates with deep experience’ and that ‘the lengthy résumés of Mr. de Blasio’s picks have earned him praise.’” * The Nation also took issue with the same report, writing “what is definitely off-target is the notion, which the Times repeated Saturday but certainly didn’t invent, that ‘more managerial’ appointees are somehow ideologically neutral. This misconception underlay a lot of the skewed analysis of the Bloomberg administration, which was seen as apolitical.”

More Mayoral Appointments Fit His Mold of Liberal Activists
Mayor Names Immigrant Affairs, School Construction Leaders(NY1) * New HRA Commissioner a Thorn in Side of Past Mayors (City and State) One former Dinkins official who served on BdB transition was "floored" re: Banks pick considering his past battles:* Mayor Names Human Resources, Immigrant Affairs, School Construction Leaders(NY1) * Mayor De Blasio Appoints Former Rival Steven Banks To Top City Post(NYDN) * Litigant Against Social Welfare Agency Will Be Its Leader(NYT) * De Blasio picks ex-thorn to run HRA(NYP)* Diverse Cabinet  Mayor Bill de Blasio has so far fulfilled his campaign promise for a diverse cabinet, but several positions are open

Preparing Teachers for the Common Core(NYT)

A state oversight panel focuses on a crucial issue in the rollout of educational standards. New York, which adopted the standards in 2010, is one of the first states to create extensive Common Core-based curriculum materials and training kits. The problem is that many teachers in New York have not been given the time or the help they need to develop an understanding of the Common Core idea or to master the skills needed to teach it. This failure stems partly from the financial struggles of many districts. Some were actually cutting staff and reducing services to students as the Common Core was being rolled out; they had no money to devote to professional development. Even if the money had been available, professional development programs vary widely in quality from one district to another. The Legislature would do well to follow the Regents’ recommendations. If New York wants to install the Common Core and improve the quality of education it will need to put its money where its mouth is.

If you want a campaign manager mayor elect a campaign manager as mayor

Bill goes ugly(NYP Ed) In cheering the mayor’s decision to take away space promised to three charter schools run by Eva Moskowitz — leaving hundreds of children without a school for next year — Bill de Blasio ally Bertha Lewis hailed it as justice: “Eva Moskowitz got away with murder for so long.”* Chirlane McCray Details How She Was Bullied(NYDN) * The Working Families Party Has Its Moment (WNYC)

de Blasio's Politically Motivated Vendetta: Moskowitz
 De Blasio administration halts expansion of Success Academy charter schools(NYP) The de Blasio administration is blocking the opening or expansion of three Success Academy charter schools run by Eva Moskowitz, sources said Thursday. “I never supported co-locations — ever. Eva Moskowitz got away with murder for so long,” said Bertha Lewis, former head of ACORN and co-founder of the Working Families Party.  Mayor expels Eva Moskowitz's schools from planned sites around city, sources say(DNAINFO)The rejected co-locations proposals were deemed unfair and did not make sense, BdB says.

I am skeptical of the motives and morals of people expressing smug joy that the education of 700 charter school kids is now at risk.

 Chancellor Says ‘We Are Turning the Page’ While Pulling Plug on Some Co-Locations(NYO) * New York City’s Education Department will reverse nine of the 45 school co-locations approved under the Bloomberg administration, including three of Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academies, Capital New York reports:  *De Blasio deals blow to Moskowitz schools(Capital) * The NYC Department of Education reversed nine of the 45 school co-locations approved by the Bloomberg administration last fall – including three charter schools.*Mayor de Blasio vs. Charter Schools, Round I (NY Mag) To Eva Moskowitz, who runs the only three schools being completely rejected, the decision is a politically motivated vendetta. That de Blasio and Moskowitz are bitter antagonists is not new: As a candidate, de Blasio used his harshest language to attack her and the Success Acadamies she's created. Moskowitz wasted no time escalating the battle, staging a pro-charter protest march across the Brooklyn Bridge in October, a month before de Blasio was officially elected mayor* And here, via New York True, is Mr. de Blasio’s response yesterday about his Department of Education’s decision to block the previously-approved co-locations of three Success Academy charter schools:

Mayor de Blasio is rescinding three charter-school plans previously approved by Bloomberg, all run by his antagonist
 New York Mayor's Charter School Decisions Anger Both Sides(WSJ) Reverses Plans to Allow Three Schools in City Buildings, but Approves More Than a Dozen Others * De Blasio Seeks to Halt 3 Charter Schools From Moving Into Public Spaces(NYT) * Don’t write off my son(NYP) * De Blasio’s charter war hurts the minority kids he purports to help(NYP) * De Blasio starts his war on charter schools(NYP) * De Blasio Boots Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy From Some Planned Sites (DNAINFO) * Mike Bloomberg calls charters ‘pathway to success’(NYP) * Cheating poor kids by choking charters(NYP Ed) * The Daily News writes that the hammer unfairly fell on three charter schools looking to co-locate in public school buildings, leaving uncertainty about the other 19 charter plans approved last fall: * Eva Moskowitz’s crisis day (Capital) * DeFran: Pre-K Will Be Revisited In Future Budget Years(YNN) * Cuomo chose not to criticize New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his decision to reverse some charter school co-locations that were approved by the Bloomberg administration, Capital New York reports:  * Bill slams Eva’s kids (NYDN Ed) The hammer unfairly falls on three charter schools

Barack’s lesson for Bill(NYP Ed) How ironic that on the same day Mayor de Blasio was closing doors of opportunity to hundreds of African-American kids in New York, in Washington President Obama was championing a new initiative to help young men of color claim their part of the American Dream.

The Gang of Four (L to R – Dinkins, Paterson, Sutton, Rangel)  - See more at:
Charters. How can de Blasio do this same day Obama making major effort for disadvantaged black and Latino boys 

  1. In the East Room of the#whitehouse for 's initiative for young men of color.

    Urban League Keep the Common Core
    The state can’t afford to stop the implementation of the Common Core standards because students need to be college and career ready without the need for remediation, New York Urban League President and CEO Arva Rice writes in the Daily News:

The Daily News writes that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio should stay in Brooklyn for now and focus on other tasks like filling out the rest of his cabinet:*Moving pros have some advice for Mr. de Blasio, who has yet to move to Gracie Mansion nearly three months after his election: “Moving doesn’t have to be so hard.” The Daily News spoke to experts who said Mr. de Blasio should “Just call some guys and a truck” or “start thinking like the busy executive he is and leave it to the experts.” But the paper’s editorial board offered conflicting advice, arguing that the mayor should be focused on filling more than a dozen open cabinet spots instead. “Just stay in Brooklyn — at least for now,” they wrote. “So chill, Bill, and start taking care of business.”*de Blasio says He is Not Slow De Blasio Disputes That He’s Been Slow With Appointments(NYO) * NYC’s first lady hires new assistant(NYP)

Trump the NY Observer Vs Schneiderman
Observer: "LESS THAN FIVE years ago, Mr. Schneiderman was an anonymous cog in the chaotic, dysfunctional New York State Senate." And how about calling him the most political AG in memory. Earlier AGs since 1954 have run for Gov, Senate, NYC Mayor
The Family Newspaper
The NY Observer, owned by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, published a scathing story on AG Eric Schneiderman, that focuses in part on the AG’s dealings with the Trump family. The original reporter on the story was “spooked” by a conversation with an AG spokesman. “Given his plans to attend law school someday, this reporter resigned from this assignment.” The reporter who ultimately wrote the story said he was “not discouraged or encouraged” by his employer to write anything in particular about Schneiderman. * Newspaper Denies Attorney General Profile Is Donald Trump’s Revenge (Buzzfeed) Bullshit, says the paper. “I obviously don’t see it that way,” says the writer.* Gawker has emails that suggest AG Eric Schneiderman’s case against Donald Trump was a motivating force behind the negative NY Observer profile of the AG. * A New York Observer Article Brings a Spat in Trump’s Orbit(NYT) An article on the New York attorney general portrayed him as vindictive and politically opportunistic. It also included a defense of Donald Trump. Update QUOTE OF THE DAY: “BuzzFeed and the New York Times portrayed the ask as if I walked into my local ice cream place one summer night and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got an idea — how about the kid behind the counter can be a hit man journalist.’ Gawker’s story Wednesday night said that I ‘randomly offered him the freelance assignment.’ That’s not what happened.” – New York Observer Publisher Ken Kurson in a response to criticism of a profile of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. * The New York Observer’s Ken Kurson responded to criticism of an Attorney General Eric Schneiderman profile with his email and text message interactions with a freelance writer who decided not to write the piece: 

Spiderman, Hulk and Emma Frost Get A Tax Break From Cuomo
Super Hero Spin
Four Marvel TV Shows to Film in New York(NYT) Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that Walt Disney and Marvel Studios would spend about $200 million shooting the live-action series in New York City. All of the shows will debut on Netflix. * TV series featuring Marvel superheroes will film in NYC(NYT)

Cuomo vs de Blasio
De Blasio, Cuomo Clash on Local Control of Minimum Wage(NY1)
* Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is expected to decide some time next week whether he will run for governor against Cuomo, NY1 reports:
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is expected to announce this coming week whether he will challenge Cuomo, but he already sounds like a candidate. 
Cuomo 2014 Attacks Astortino to Hold GOP Senate
The Gang of Four (L to R – Dinkins, Paterson, Sutton, Rangel)  - See more at:
Cuomo is advising Republicans not to back Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino as his challenger, perhaps to muddle the race—or, some say, to help state Senate Republicans (NYT) According to the New York Times. One possible explanation: That Mr. Cuomo wants to ensure his opponent is not too far to the right on social issues, potentially alienating moderate voters and costing Republicans control of the chamber.Mr. Cuomo has reportedly warned that, if Mr. Astorino is the nominee, he will receive a pounding. “He’s told me that if Astorino runs, he is going to pound the hell out of him and talk about guns and gays, and it won’t be pretty and will hurt all of us,” one Republican senator told the paper. But party backers aren’t buying it: “Andrew Cuomo is being a bully,” Republican Chair Ed Cox was quoted saying. “His attempts to derail Rob Astorino’s candidacy show just how worried he must be.”* Republicans backing Cuomo, such as Ken Langone and Mike McKeon, are “selling out cheap” in supporting a man with “a long history of defending big government,” Charles Gasparino writes in the Post: *In Web Video, Astorino Pitches Hydrofracking(YNN) * NY Times has page one story on Cuomo and NY GOP race for Guv-never mentions


The Zero Tolerance Stop-and-Frisk Question

Zero tolerance (NYDN ED) An ACLU attack on new Newark stop-and-frisk numbers raises a crucial question for New York City Despite a court-ordered monitor of NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, “it’s only a matter of time” before Blasio runs into “the anti-stop absolutism” reflected in an ACLU report on Newark, the Daily News writes:  It’s only a matter of time before de Blasio and Bratton crash into the anti-stop absolutism of the activists whose federal suit declared the program unconstitutional. For evidence, consider a report that the American Civil Liberties Union has issued on stop, question and frisk in Newark. Now, the ACLU has offered some clarification.
The Gang of Four (L to R – Dinkins, Paterson, Sutton, Rangel)  - See more at:
At 25%, Newark’s hit rate is more than double New York’s, and that is still not good enough. When Bratton was Los Angeles police chief, the LAPD had a hit rate that, at 30%, was only a smidgen higher than Newark’s. He and de Blasio stand warned: No matter how they “fix” stop-and-frisk, it won’t be good enough. That monitor will be on their case for good.* De Blasio and Bratton visit injured officer in Brooklyn(Capital)

McCray Lobbying Glamour magazine editor Cindi Leive to Raise Taxes
The Gang of Four (L to R – Dinkins, Paterson, Sutton, Rangel)  - See more at:
The Gang of Four (L to R – Dinkins, Paterson, Sutton, Rangel)  - See more at:

First Lady Chirlane McCray hosted a private lunch Wednesday to champion the mayor’s plan to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund universal pre-K. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ms. McCray asked the well-heeled crowd, which included Glamour magazine editor Cindi Leive and fashion designer Nanette Lepore, to “call their state legislators and reach out to their friends to convince lawmakers in Albany to allow the city to raise income taxes.” While New York magazine weighed in on Mr. de Blasio’s continued push for the tax, despite resistance in Albany: “But the mayor — by not trading angry words with Albany’s leaders, and by acting as if some form of pre-K is a sure thing this fall — is sticking to his strategy: that to show weakness, or hint at a willingness to compromise, would surely kill the prospects of making anything substantial happen by September,” they wrote.* Actress Cynthia Nixon launches on-line MoveOn petition for 's tax-the-rich plan.





Why Did SUNY Buy A Failed Hospital It Could Not Run?

Errol Lewis Why Did SUNY Take LICH in the First Place?

Carl McCall, chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees blames former governor Paterson for providing the funds to buy the hospital, after a comptroller report told the state not to buy the hospital. (NY1 Interview)  The State University of New York bought LICH in 2009. Big mistake: “This has been very costly for us,” says H. Carl McCall, chairman of SUNY’s board of trustees and a master of understatement — for “costly” scarcely describes it. Mayor cuffed by his own crusade(Mcmanus, NYP)

Brezenoff the Mayor's Labor Advisor, Continuum Health Partners Gets Rid of A Failing Hospital With Not Blame

Hamill: Long Island College Hospital merged to death - NY Daily News(2013) SUNY Downstate Medical Center deal with LICH  absorbed $300 million in LICH red ink run up by a hospital consortium called Continuum Health Partners. Continuum is run by a ruthless powerbroker named Stanley Brezenoff whose nickname at LICH is Darth Vader. Brezenoff is a quintessential member of what muckraker Jack Newfield called The Permanent Government of New York. This professional politico was appointed by Mayor Ed Koch to run the city’s Health and Hospitals Corp., the feudal lord of a medical fiefdom within the city’s patronage-larded permanent government. While in that post, Brezenoff compiled a Rolodex listing all the shadowy players in the city, state and federal medical rackets swimming in Medicaid and Medicare dollars

Hamill: Mayor de Blasio's choice of Stanley Brezenoff as adviser on labor deals a poor one (NYDN)

When he left HHC, Brezenoff took his Rolodex with him and wound up heading Continuum, of which Beth Israel is the mothership with satellites like Roosevelt Hospital, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, LICH and St. Luke’s Hospital.Under Continuum, the once-profitable LICH ran up $300 million in debt from pure administrative malpractice. And then Brezenoff brokered the smelly SUNY Downstate merger, with state taxpayers absorbing the $300 million debt.* “Brezenoff is a poster boy for what the late great Jack Newfield called the Permanent Government,” says one doctor who has worked at LICH for 30 years and lives in the community. “He made his political bones in the Koch administration as the head of Health and Hospital Corp.”

“Brezenoff is a poster boy for what the late great Jack Newfield called the Permanent Government”
Under Brezenoff, the Brooklyn Heights hospital began to hemorrhage red ink. A $140 million bequest to the hospital by a Brooklyn Heights couple named Donald and Mildred Othmer vanished into Continuum. Community activists say Brezenoff wanted to close LICH. Many feared he’d sell the land for condo development. The staff and community protested.  Then in 2010, Brezenoff used his vast political influence to persuade the state, under then-Gov. David Paterson, to subsume LICH into SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, absorbing $300 million in red ink. Meanwhile, in a piece of political sleight of hand even Boss Tweed would envy, Brezenoff’s Continuum stayed on to do $50 million a year in medical billing. Some people who know Brezenoff’s modus operandi fear that once inside City Hall, his influence could spread like a political pox. De Blasio really needs to research Brezenoff’s role in trying to kill LICH. He can start by listening to some of the people who have been saving lives there for decades and have spent the past five years trying to save LICH from Brezenoff and SUNY Downstate.* Brezenoff: Continuum Tried To Save LICH Before “Giving” It To State (City and State)

Council Passes Sick Pay, But Ignores What Happens When the Poor Need to See A Doctor in A City Hospital

LEFT TO SUFFER: Kings County patients forced to wait 2 HOURS in emergency room to see a doctor(NYDN)Kings County Hospital ER wait times soar despite drop in patients 

Council Passes Sick Pay
The New York City Council approved an expanded paid-sick leave bill but some members expressed concerns about the impact it would have on small businesses, Crain’s writes:  * The NYC Council advanced two of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature initiatives, on sick pay and taxing the rich, giving the Democrat a boost in his second month in office. * New York City Council Swiftly Passes Bill to Extend Paid Sick Days(NYT)  The more emphatically liberal Council expanded the law to require businesses with five or more employees to provide up to five paid days off a year.* City Council passes sick-leave bill(NYP) * Hospital acquisitions in the age of Obamacare(Capital) The Mount Sinai Continuum deal was about scale more than brand
More About Closing NYC Hospitals

State to Pick Up Feds Food Stamp Cuts
The state plans to cover the cost of food stamps for 300,000 households that faced reduced aid brought on by $8 billion worth of federal cuts passed in the farm bill, the Daily News reports:

Who are the Council Progressives Fooling Besides the Press and Public?

What difference does it make how the corrupt member items funds are distributed? How can the Goo Goos call for a formula for discretionary fund? All the corruption connected to the member items slush fund have nothing to do with how much money members get, but how the money is spent. Calling the equitable, needs-based formula for discretionary funds (fancy name for member items) reform is like calling those mobsters who attended the 1957 organize crime Apalachin Commission Meeting reformers, because the mob came up with a plan to split the drug, prostitution and gambling money equally among each of the familes. 

Council Dumps Lulus Reform
Note to Daily News: Don't Believe Campaign Promises From Young Fresh Face Progressive Councilmembers to Eliminate Lulus or Institute Reforms
I think Ydanis argument here is about member items, not lulus. Nothing has changed w/ lulus. via   * we discussed this. ydanis explanation can be questioned but there has been a change in lulus. $ different.* 7 what was the change? * the amounts of $ they are given is different. different for committees. new leadership circle * BS Were is the reform? Where are the good government groups on the fake changes in lulus?

 Daily News Say bye-bye to lulus - NY Daily News (Oct 22, 2013) Most City Council candidates have committed to end a corrupting practice. The City Council convenes in January with a fresh crop of members and a two-thirds majority that has called for eliminating bonus pay for being good little boys and girls.The newcomers who pledged to abolish the stipends are: Corey Johnson, Helen Rosenthal, Mark Levine and the winner of the David Garland/Ben Kallos race in Manhattan; Alan Maisel, Robert Cornegy, Antonio Reynoso, Carlos Menchaca, Inez Barron and Mark Treyger in Brooklyn; Costa Constantinides, Rory Lancman, Daneek Miller and the victor of the Paul Vallone/Dennis Saffran election in Queens; Andrew Cohen and Ritchie Torres in the Bronx; and Steve Matteo in Staten Island.

Nobody Noticed Citizens United PACs Have Corrupted NYC Public Financing System
There have been not studies or media investigations of the effects of PACs on 2013 local elections

More Crack for Political Consultant Lobbyists
Ad Campaign Seeks to Increase Chances of Cuomo’s Campaign Finance Plan(NYT) A national group that seeks to lessen the influence of big campaign donors plans to unveil a $1 million advertising campaign aimed at promoting the governor’s plan. The advertising campaign is being financed by Public Campaign Action Fund, which plans to broadcast a television commercial in targeted areas around the state beginning Monday, and will also advertise online and on mobile devices. * N.Y.U. Hospital’s Political Fund-Raising Questioned(NYT) A major benefactor of NYU Langone Medical Center has sent emails to employees and hosted fund-raisers for Senate and House members who helped pass $60 billion in post-Hurricane Sandy disaster aid.

Subpoenas Have Been Confirmed By A 2013 Advance Group Client - There She Blows
Under scrutiny, animal-rights group goes it alone(CrainsNY)Many of New York's top election lawyers have one client or another wrapped up in the probe, according to sources, with various players retaining separate counsel. NYCLASS has hired Martin Connor, the former state Senate minority leader, to represent the nonprofit, while the Advance Group has hired well-known attorney Lawrence Mandelker. Messrs. Connor and Mandelker did not return requests for comment Monday. Others involved in the probe, such as individual City Council candidates, are also expected to separately hire attorneys if necessary. Other recent changes in NYCLASS are also apparent. Advance Group President Scott Levenson is no longer listed as the NYCLASS political director on the firm's website, and nor are any other Advance Group staffers. As noted Monday by City & State, the Bertha Lewis-led nonprofit the Black Institute continues to operate out of the Advance Group offices, unlike NYCLASS. Ms. Lewis is close to Mayor Bill de Blasio, but there's no indication she was involved in the Advance Group's 2013 electoral efforts, including a super PAC funded in part by NYCLASS that targeted Mr. de Blasio's mayoral rival, Christine Quinn. Other top de Blasio supporters did help fund the group. The Advance Group also faces a CFB probe into an outside-spending campaign the firm ran on behalf of the United Federation of Teachers under the name "Strategic Consultants, Inc.," and separately, NYCLASS gave donations to the anti-Quinn efforts far above state-imposed limits.

The Commission That Elects

The first, best way to clean up Albany (NYDN Ed)
Use tax dollars to help fund elections

Why Are Goo Goos Calling for public financing of state campaigns without calling for an investigation of the impact of Citizen United PACs on the 2013 NYC local elections public financing?

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."

Where is the Mayor's Political Opposition?
GOP Bottom Feeders
Ulrich Bought Off? 
Would-be critics are all on the inside
De Blasio’s establishment(Capital) Judging by the reaction of de Blasio's fellow city officials, though, the media freak-out was taking place in a parallel universe. They had no comment on the matter, other than to defer to the mayor. Nothing to see here. This is a normal thing now: It happened when de Blasio placed a personal call to a police precinct about an arrested supporter and, earlier, when his administration bungled a storm cleanup. The media criticizes, the city's political establishment shrugs.

NYC Elected Officials in A Parallel Universe
Surrounded by political sycophants and seeing his 3-1 electoral win over Joe Lhota as a mandate … he seems to think he can do whatever he likes 
Its a stark departure from the dynamic under the previous mayor, when de Blasio and his allies were relative outsiders.Melissa Mark-Viverito, who in part owes her own victory in the City Council speaker's race this year to the mayor, has yet to schedule an oversight hearing on the storm even though several of her members called for one.When Michael Bloomberg botched a snow cleanup in 2010, his critics excoriated him—most notably Letitia James, then chairwoman of the City Council's sanitation committee. At one point during eight oversight hearings on the blizzard, James, who is now the public advocate, dramatically whipped out a set of steel chains to demonstrate the sanitation department's inadequate equipment. Mark-Viverito also declined comment on de Blasio's NYPD call, other than to advise reporters to "move on."* Eric Ulrich endorsement of Mark-Viverito triggers some backlash ... * Councilman Eric Ulrich named chairman of the City Council's Veterans Committee * also interesting to compare MMV budget response to ; Quinn's 1st one in 06 was much tougher on City Hall. most important function of city council is budget negotiations, and MMV's statement indicates nothing but cohesion. * “Judging by the reaction of de Blasio’s fellow city officials, … the media freak-out was taking place in a parallel universe. They had no comment on the matter, other than to defer to the mayor. Nothing to see here,” Capital New York noted, contrasting the reaction to Mr. de Blasio’s controversies with Michael Bloomberg‘s. “Its a stark departure.

More On GOP Bottom Feeders

Does the Advance Group Work for Former Acorn Leader Bertha Lewis?
It is interesting to note that the Black Institute shares office space with the prominent consulting firm the Advance Group, which has deep ties to Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and WFP candidates generally. Until her recent departure from the Advance Group, both the firm and the Black Institute had the same spokeswoman, Chelsea Connor, who handled press inquiries for both organizations. The Advance Group, run by Scott Levenson, made headlines recently for its campaign work in the 2013 elections, during which the firm apparently took campaign dollars from individual campaigns as well as from outside groups supporting the same candidates through independent expenditures. Assurances that there was no improper coordination of resources have been met with skepticism by some observers (and possibly regulators). Bertha Lewis, co-founder of the New York chapter of the Working Families Party, and the former head of ACORN, created the Black Institute in order to promote issues of concern to African-Americans, including education, economic fairness and immigration.Seth Barron () dives into the tangled web involving , Bertha Lewis & Advance Group:  (City and State) * The animal rights group NYCLASS, under scrutiny for spending money to support candidates through the Advance Group, has moved out of the office building it shared with the Advance Group, Crain’s reports:


Coming Media War:  
Old Journalism vs Elected Officials Media
Pols are increasing creating interests group and using twitter and facebook to reach the public going around old media

One Party NY Presidential Bypass

Albany could vault New York into a powerful and lucrative position on the national stage by doing away with the winner-take-all apportionment of the state's votes in the Electoral College, writes James Coll of in City & State:


NYC Elected Officials Have Done Nothing to Reduce the City's High Unemployment Rate

What about NYC? City still holds high unemployment rates(NYP) As many regions nationwide post gains in jobs and economic performance, NYC still can’t shake off its malaise and high unemployment rate — officially 8.1 percent, compared with the nation’s 6.6 percent. And the Empire State’s unemployment rate of 7.1 percent isn’t pretty either. Many see more deep-seated factors undermining New York’s so-called recovery. Rising taxes, increased regulation and red tape, tough access to credit and high business costs foremost among them. Many of New York’s high-paid jobs have been replaced by lower-paid and part-time jobs, many with scant or no benefits. And New York has failed to lure jobs on the same epic scale that other states have, studies show. In this month’s ADP Regional Employment Report of private-sector employment growth, New York state has the lowest growth rate of all 29 states tracked. New York generated 3,950 private-sector jobs in January, a monthly change of 0.05 percent. Texas, by contrast, produced 22,120, a 0.23 percent change.* * Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that IBM will bring 500 jobs to a new state-owned technology center in Buffalo while also joining a $100 million New York Genomic Medicine Center in Manhattan, the Buffalo News writes:

City Council Ignores New Yorkers Out of Work

The Forgotten Jobless
NYC's unemployed do not have the labor movement, activists, lobbyists who can put pressure on the elected officials and media who can make creating jobs a top priority. City Council weighs ban on pet stores buying from unlicensed breeders(NYP) Pet stores would be required under the bill to show customers where the pooches they’re purchasing are from and provide a medical history of the animals. And it would ban puppy mills that breed more than 50 animals a year from selling to city pet purveyors.

NY lost 42% of its manufacturing jobs 1990-2006 while FL lost only 18%. * While the city's unemployment remains higher than before Great Recession, middle-class families continue wage slide(NYDN) * The New York financial industry has replaced only one-third of the jobs it lost during the financial crisis.(Guardian) * Why New York's future is fleeing Nowhere near enough jobs for the younger generation(NYP)  * ‘Wall ST.’ flees NY for tax-free Fla. (NYP) * NYers take worst tax hit in nation(NYP) Poll: 47 Percent Of New Yorkers Are Worse Off Financially Than They Were 4 Years Ago(WCBS) * NY ranks 49 in business tax climate * Taxes, regs hobble NY manufacturing recovery(NYP) *New York advertises its desperation

How will the city reduce unemployment that has been high since 2008? The new jobs New York City is expecting to gain are mostly low-paying and in the service industry. [David Seifman] * State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's scary report about Wall Street shedding jobs is not surprising. [Nicole Gelinas]* * McMahon: NY's still too business-unfriendly(Newsday) Over 400,000 New Yorkers are unemployed * DiNapoli: Wall Street Gets Richer, But Jobs Decline(YNN) * The New York financial industry has replaced only one-third of the jobs it lost during the financial crisis.(Guardian)  *‘Wall ST.’ flees NY for tax-free Fla. (NYP)  * NYers take worst tax hit in nation(NYP) * Bloomberg warned (not for the first time) that his rich friends will leave NYC if their taxes are raised.* Financial future’s not bright(NYDN)  * McMahon: NY's still too business-unfriendly(Newsday) * Why New York's future is fleeing Nowhere near enough jobs for the younger generation(NYP) * Report: NY lost 1.6 million people to other states from 2000 – 2010 (Gannett Albany) * Study Finds More New Yorkers Leaving State(NYT) *  City faces middle-class exodus - Crain's New York Business * Economists Discover Source of New Yorkers' Misery (Gawker)* Albany shorting city $6B in taxes(NYP)

Moynihan Intelligence and Lessons Gone From Today's Generation of Political Leaders
  Pat Moynihan's Tax Lessons for the States(WSJ) * NY ranks 49 in business tax climate * NYC taxes vs. other states(Crains NY) * Papers and Editorial Board Ignore NYC Record High Unemployment* NYers take worst tax hit in nation(NYP) * Bloomberg warned (not for the first time) that his rich friends will leave NYC if their taxes are raised.* Financial future’s not bright(NYDN)  * McMahon: NY's still too business-unfriendly(Newsday) * Why New York's future is fleeing Nowhere near enough jobs for the younger generation(NYP) * Report: NY lost 1.6 million people to other states from 2000 – 2010 (Gannett Albany) * Study Finds More New Yorkers Leaving State(NYT) *  City faces middle-class exodus - Crain's New York Business * Economists Discover Source of New Yorkers' Misery (Gawker)* Albany shorting city $6B in taxes(NYP)    

Wall Street NY's Dying Goose of Jobs Taxes 

Wall Street Shrinking 
In 2008, Wall Street covered about $4.5 billion of the city’s tax payments — 12 percent of the total. Last year, it was $2.8 billion — 7 percent.  The state, meanwhile, got $8.7 billion from the securities industry last year, or 14 percent of its tax dollars. That was down from $12 billion — or 20 percent — in 2008. Losing NY’s golden goose(NYP)* Lower Wall Street pay means less revenue for the state(CrainsNY) * Bye-Bye to the Big Board?(NYT Ed) Regulators must answer whether the proposed sale of the New York Stock Exchange can be regulated in a way that protects the public interest. The question that the Times is has not asked is the current generation of New York financal leaders smart enought to keep NY as the financial capital.  We know the NY pols and media are clueless about how modern capitalism works. The fact that the city's is losing it financial tax base will not even be an issue in the 2013 mayor's race.* Wall Street This Week Is Basically a Bunch of Robots (NY Mag)

We All Know What Happen to Detroit When the Auto Industry Ran Out of that City  . . . NYers Leaving Due to the High Costs 
Escape from New York A new poll last week showed that more than one of every four New Yorkers is headed for the exits. Detroit lost a quarter of its population between 2000 and 2011; absolutely, it could happen here. (NYP). Over 1.5 million more people moved out of the state than moved in from other states, making the aughts the second straight decade in which New York led the nation in out migration. Some attribute the loss to the state's high cost of living and tax rate. The report also found a slowing of immigration from other countries during the 10 years. Since 1960, 7.3 million people have left New York for other states.
Erie Canal Became NY's First Economic Engine, Wall Street and Banking Followed Later
Governor De Witt Clinton in spite of a lack of public support, funding, untrained engineers, and unforgiving terrain had the vision and leadership skills to build the Erie Canal in the early 1800's. The canal which opened New York’s manufacturing goods to the Midwest markets was responsible for the state overtaking Boston and Philadelphia to become the commerce and jobs capitol of America - increasing the state’s population five fold, in the decade after it was open.

2013 Mayoral Candidates Acted Like Fake Medicine Men
The leading mayoral candidates won’t tell you any of this because they are competing for the support of the people who benefit most from the high cost structure. The union bosses are powerful puppeteers. So instead of going after the source of rising prices, the pols sell “affordability” as a magic antidote to the fact that the middle class is being squeezed out of New York.the pols are promising additional subsidies for more people. From housing to child care to transit, they’re saying that, as mayor, they would make life cheaper for nearly everybody else by taking more money from a few wealthy taxpayers. Missing from the promises is the action that would make New York more affordable: reducing the sky-high cost of government, creating jobs.

Big Stop and Frisk Win for the Mayor

Stop-and-frisk case going back to Manhattan judge(NYP) The de Blasio administration scored a big win in the city’s stop-and-frisk case on Friday when a federal appeals panel passed it back to a Manhattan judge — potentially fast-tracking an anticipated settlement deal between the new mayor and plaintiffs, and snubbing city police unions in the process. The new mayor had asked the panel to formerly withdraw the city’s appeal made by the Bloomberg administration late last year and move the case back to Torres in the hopes of soon reaching a settlement with the plaintiffs.* Appeals court stops NYPD unions' bid to halt de Blasio's stop-frisk deal(NYDN)

A Bigger Tale of 2 Cities is Healthy
It is About the City's Economy
Income inequality is higher in thriving cities like New York and San Francisco compared to less dynamic ones like Columbus, Ohio according to a report by the Brookings Institute, the New York Times writes:  If you want to live in a more equal community, it might mean living in a more moribund economy.  But in some cases, higher income inequality might go hand in hand with economic vibrancy, the study found. “These more equal cities — they’re not home to the sectors driving economic growth, like technology and finance,” said its author, Alan Berube. “These are places that are home to sectors like transportation, logistics, warehousing.”

How A Party With .03% of NY Registered Voters Elected Their Speaker
 The New Republic profiled the Working Families Party’s role in Melissa Mark-Viverito‘s victory in the council speaker’s race. “It only happened because there was two years or six years of sitting at a table, working, week after week, deliberatively developing a strategy, building a level of trust that is not a normal political way of operating,” said one participant in the process.
More on the WFP

Breslin Mailer 51st State Again

Progressive Secession?
Downstate's war on Upstate:Secession movement in NY pushes for Big Apple to split from Upstate Washington Times


Schumer's Conflict of Interest Comcast Deal 

The BrotherHood
Schumer recuses himself from Comcast-Time Warner deal(Capital)  Sen. Chuck Schumer will recuse himself from congressional consideration of Comcast's acquisition of Time Warner Cable, because his brother, Robert, was a lead attorney on the deal. "As Senator Schumer and his brother had never discussed the matter before, the piece in American Lawyer was the first Senator Schumer learned that his brother had worked on the deal," said Max Young, a spokesman for Schumer, in a statement. "Now that he’s aware of his brother’s involvement, Senator Schumer will recuse himself from Congressional consideration of the matter to avoid any appearance of bias." Schumer had previously praised the deal, saying Comcast had told him they expected to increase Time Warner's operation in New York, planned to keep New York 1, and were committed to increasing jobs in Buffalo.  “While we still need to review the details, it seems like the Time Warner Cable acquisition will be a good deal for New York," Schumer said in a statement on Feb. 13, shortly after the deal was announced.* REPORT: Chuck Schumer's Brother Tied To Comcast Deal He Supports(Huff Posy) * Reality check: Comcast & FB deals are not entirely in cash. Billion$ in borrowed money will eventually cost consumers & small investors.* . looks at how Comcast-owned MSNBC has covered the Comcast-TWC merger news.

In 1961 Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. broke with Tammany Hall leader Carmine De Sapio and ran a campaign against the Bosses. This poster shows how a Wagner victory will defeat Tammany Hall and De Sapio. Wagner won re-election easily in an upset victory.
Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos has emerged as Cuomo’s chief political ally at the Capitol, backing the governor in his showdown with de Blasio even as all Democratic leaders, including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, refuse to do so. The influential Democrats, who won’t speak out publicly against Cuomo for fear of retaliation by the governor and because they believe his campaign strategy can’t be stopped, predicted de Blasio would fail in his effort to take on the governor. * NY State suspends driver’s license of 7,850 tax deadbeats(NYP) A majority of those six-month suspensions coming in the New York City area

"They Don’t Know What They’re Doing"

de Blasio Learning Curve?
Democrats say de Blasio must learn how to play politics in New York capitol(NYDN) About a dozen Democrats in New York’s Assembly and Senate questioned why, tactically, Mayor de Blasio would suddenly spring the minimum wage issue at the same time he is asking the Legislature to fight for his pre-K tax plan for New York City. 'The job of public advocate is to be a paid complainer,' one Democratic insider said, referring to the mayor’s prior job. 'That’s fine, but it doesn’t move things in Albany.'After waiting for a Democratic New York City mayor, some members of the state Legislature are wishing that de Blasio would slow down with his progressive proposals and focus on one at a time, the Daily News reports:  * De Blasio will be judged on more than just his response to snow or calling the NYPD about an acquaintance, and one judgment that can already be made is the mayor thinks he has more political capital than he actually does, the Daily News’s Mike Lupica writes: * About a dozen Democrats in the Assembly and Senate questioned why, tactically speaking, de Blasio would suddenly spring the minimum wage issue at the same time he is asking the Legislature to fight for his pre-K tax plan. * "Those close to BDB say he also regularly engages w/ state lawmakers personally in a way MRB never did.” * Some New Yorkers who met Mayor Bill de Blasio when he opened Gracie Mansion to the public in early January have yet to receive the photographs of their meeting, NY1 reports:;postID=9220847277452584268;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=postname

de Blasio First Contract Settlement, UFT Demands Back Pay
The de Blasio administration struck its first labor contract settlement, making a deal with 200 environmental officers who will receive an average of more than $50,000 each in back pay, the Daily News writes: 3 retro raises for enviro officers union - 5, 4 and 4 for 2005-07 - but not expected to set pattern for others *
president Mulgrew says retroactive raises "a big issue for us" in next contract, says teacher retention is key too * Teachers union head says getting retroactive pay raises a big issue(NYP) * The president of the United Federation of Teachers is pushing for New York City to provide back pay to the union's nearly 100,000 members, which some estimate could cost more than $3.2 billion, the Daily News reports:  * The Post writes that while United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew is calling for back pay, he’s leaving out the fact that members have received raises because of the Triborough Amendment * Mike Mulgrew’s Whopper(NYP Ed) In his quest to get Mayor de Blasio to cough up $3.2. billion in back pay for his members, union boss Mike Mulgrew keeps claiming his people have gone without raises because Big Bad Bloomberg refused to negotiate a new contract. What Mulgrew never tells you is that most of his members have received raises. They’ve received them because of a perversity in New York law called the Triborough Amendment, which mandates that all parts of a public union contract — including automatic “step” increases in pay — remain in effect even after a contract has expired. * . called $1B in health c are retiree trust a "cushion" that could spend on union contracts.* Stringer Doesn’t Think de Blasio’s Budget Deals With Open Labor Contracts (NYO) * New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer urged de Blasio to settle the city’s outstanding union contracts before the start of the next fiscal year on July 1, calling them the “Achille’s heel” of the budget,

More Mayoral Appointments
More appointments by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.
One of his new appointees, Emily Lloyd, is reprising her role as Department of Environmental Protection chief, which she held under former Mayor Bloomberg.* De Blasio Suggests Parks Appointment Will Represent Departure From Bloomberg(NYO) * De Blasio taps environmental chief he once held ‘accountable’(Capital) * ‘Too Perfect’ Job Offer Lures a Parks Expert Back to Work(NYT)Tupper Thomas, former chief of the Prospect Park Alliance, is coming out of retirement to lead New Yorkers for Parks. * \Citing ‘Inequality Crisis,’ Mayor Names Top Legal Adviser and Fills 2 Other Jobs(NYT) * Former Dinkins aide named de Blasio’s DEP commisioner(NYP) * . says labor contracts need to be resolved by June 30 before labor arbitrators make decisions for taxpayers.* De Blasio Hires Another Transition Team Member to His Administration(NYO) * . hires point person to handle recovery work, reports * The announcement that Legal Aid Society chief Steve Banks will be New York City’s next welfare commissioner signals there will be several giant steps back for fiscal and personal responsibility, Heather Mac Donald writes in the Post:

How Can A Party Of Bottom Feeders Be the Opposition Voice?
Councilman Vinny Ignizio, a Republican and a member of Ms. Mark-Viverito’s leadership team, went on Inside City Hall to discuss his role in the progressive-dominated body. “My voice is to be the respectful voice of dissent–be that to the mayor, be that to the speaker, be that to the city as a whole. There are a lot people in this city that believe we’re going the wrong way,” he said.

More on the GOP Bottom Feeder Party

To the Moon But Not Common Core

A Culture Out of Gas
On September 12, 1962 President Kennedy Said America Would Go to the Moon By the End of the Century. Yet we can't find a way to teach common core until the next decade, 2022?

Left Turns Against Common Core
Common Core Curriculum Now Has Critics on the Left(NYT) The newest chorus of complaints about the common learning standards is coming from one of their earliest champions: New York State. * New York State Regents Delay Full Implementation of the Common Core Until 2022  * More Delay State education officials acknowledge there are flaws in the accuracy of new teacher job ratings, which has forced the state to push back the deadline for the release of ratings until at least mid-March, Newsday reports:  * There’s a Common Core iPad app.* New York’s eighth graders were ranked behind eighth graders in multiple countries and states in a National Center on Education Statistics report on math and science scores, with one think tank concluding the state would benefit from the Common Core, the Post writes: * The Common Core standards represent a positive, and the state should focus on finding the best way to put them into practice rather than considering nixing them because of opposition from critics who don’t have a better plan, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Michael Petrilli and Michael Brickman write in the Daily News

Wall Street Shrinking? Moving Jobs Out

NYSE MAY SHRINK FOOTPRINT IN LOWER MANHATTAN -- So digitized ‘physical proximity is no longer necessary’ -- WSJ’s Bradley Hope and Keiko Morris: “The NYSE still employs hundreds of workers…at 11 Wall St. and …20 Broad St. …the parent company, known as ICE, is trying to decide whether to keep the office space in 20 Broad when that lease expires in 2016 … Another option ….reduce the amount of space it leases there. The NYSE has a lease for 381,000 square feet at 20 Broad … ICE has no plans to reduce the NYSE’s presence at 11 Wall St. … Today, only a fraction of stock trades are excited on the floor. The business has become so digitized that ‘physical proximity is no longer necessary,’ said John Wheeler, managing director at Jones Lang SaSalle Incoming., who oversees the firm’s Lower Manhattan operations.” * The New York Stock Exchange, an institution that has long been at the heart of downtown Manhattan’s identity, is considering a reduction of its presence there as its new parent company cuts jobs and moves positions out of the city.* Boston's mayor wants to woo Wall Street firms away from De Blasio's New York. (Globe)

Rattner Still Sucking On the Government Tit

    1. "Bruce Ratner, a politically savvy fellow who has a dairy-farmer-like appreciation for the teat of public subsidy"After Decades at a Walk-Up, Tenants Fear Losing a Home(NYT)

Councilman Levine wants NYC tax payers to subsidized the state?
Editorial in : "Letting NYC pay for its own pre-k would free up $ to expand the program in rest of state.Retweeted by
Reply  @unitedNYblogs @MMViverito @timesunion No, if the tax is state-wide every region would carry its on weight.  
Answer You did not say make the tax statewide Sir

GOP Operative 
Keep Public In the Dark About Corruption

GOP Bottom Feeders
GOP operative asks judge to delay trial until after elections(NYP) Claiming key GOP campaign strategies could be “exposed” before this year’s gubernatorial and legislative races, a Queens Republican operative wants his federal corruption trial delayed until after November’s elections. Former Queens Republican Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone —
who is accused of pocketing $25,000 as part of a failed scheme to get state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) on the 2012 GOP line for mayor — has filed papers asking White Plains federal Judge Kenneth Karas to delay a June 2 trial set for Tabone, Smith and other co-defendants until at least December. Tabone’s request for a trial delay comes two weeks after Smith made a similar request. He asked the trial be pushed back until at least October, so it would not affect him running for re-election in the Democratic primary. Smith’s Senate district is predominantly Democratic, so a primary victory means a likely win in the general election, too.
 Lawyer for allegedly corrupt ex-politician running for Congress(NYP)A criminal defense lawyer representing accused corrupt ex-Queens Republican Party honcho Vincent Tabone is running for Congress, The Post has learned. Grant Lally’s decision to throw his hat in the ring for Democrat Rep. Steve Israel’s seat on Long Island is raising eyebrows in political circles.

Rapfogel Soon to Be Sentenced
The call has gone out to friends of Willie Rapfogel to write letters describing how the indicted former Met Council leader help the community.  No word yet if the elected offices who sent member items funds to the Met Council in return for cash will face legal charges or even be named.

Lawsuits Against NYPD Double Costing $1B 

Lawsuits against NYPD cost taxpayers more than $1 billion over decade(NYDN) The number of claims against the department doubled over the past decade to a record high of 9,570 filed in 2012. A Daily News review of lawsuits reveals that 55 officers in the 34,000-person department have been sued 10 or more times during that time period. Read the suits and see the settlements of NYPD's 12 most sued with our interactive graphic. Detective Peter Valentin (top) and (from left) Detective Vincent Orsini, Sgt. Fritz Glemaud and Detective Warren Rohan are among the 55 NYPD cops who have been sued at least 10 times over the past decade.

CUNY New Chief
From Plains to CUNY, New Chief Is ‘Coming Home’(NYT)
The president of the University of Nebraska, James B. Milliken, strikes many as having a talent for making people feel listened to

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. 

Special Elections
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I would advise him that we should. The problem is that by law we would miss the budget enactment and once the budget is enacted there isn’t a lot that would be considered between now and the end of the year.” – Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision of when to call special elections for vacant legislative seats, via State of Politics.  * Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver called for special elections for vacant seats in the Legislature but added that the budget timeline should play a factor in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s timing on calling elections, State of Politics writes:

The Bronx is News Starved

The Bronx the Most News Deprived Borough Only 10.7% of the Voters Followed the 3 Papers Endorsements of Quinn

The Bronx's Newspapers Disconnect
In the borough of New York which received the most newspaper coverage 22.5% of the voters supported Quinn. Quinn received 15.6% citywide. Only 17.5% of the Bronx Democrats Voted. Citywide Turnout was 24%
Why Big Newspapers Skip the Bronx(City Limits) For Metro, there's a simple explanation: Fewer Bronxites have full-time jobs, the Bronx is the borough with the highest unemployment 12.2% wrote Wilf Maunoir, Metro's director of marketing, in an email. “Metro is 100 percent advertising funded,” he said. “As any advertising business, the demographic matters.” As a result, Metro distributes about 3,000 copies of its paper in the Bronx out of about 300,000 citywide. New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy would not say how many papers it sells in the Bronx, but suggested that stores there might not stock the paper “if there is no reader demand.”  “This is a problem with advertiser funded media,” said Jim Naureckas, the editor of Extra!, which is published by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a progressive media watchdog group. “It puts a skew in your media system towards people with more money and away from people with less money.” The median household income in the Bronx is about $35,000, compared to about $51,000 for all five boroughs, according to census data. The poor, meanwhile, are tuning out: people who make less than $30,000 a year read, watch, and listen to the news about 30 percent less than people who make at least $75,000, according to the Pew Research Center
More on NY's Journalism Disconnect


21 cabbies in tragic crashes, only 1 charged(NYP) A cabdriver who fatally struck a 9-year-old boy on the Upper West Side Friday was one of at least 21 hacks who have killed or injured pedestrians or cyclists in the city over the past five years — and only one appears to have been charged criminally.
More on NYC Taxis 


* In the Post, the Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas writes that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is overstepping his authority by directing the MTA to give Staten Island residents toll relief, and scolds the agency for failing to act independently:
Threats, porn, distracted driving: LIRR’s staff off the rails(NYP) Sexting while taking tickets on the Long Island Rail Road, threatening to “knock out” a fellow worker and using a video-game player while driving a train were just a few of the infractions committed by nearly 900 of the railroad’s workers in the last five years.* Feds Begin Process of Installing Cameras on Trains After Push From Schumer(NY1) * The Federal Railroad Administration will require cameras on trains to detect risky behavior that could lead to a crash like the one that killed four people in December on the Metro-North line, the Daily News reports: 
For Drivers on Some City Bus Routes, Requesting the $2.50 Fare Can Be Dangerous(NYT) Unlike subway drivers who are shielded from passengers’ emotions by a thick metal door, many bus drivers are fully exposed to the moods of the fickle, and sometimes violent, New York City commuter.
More on the MTA

Permanent Bosses Broken Parties and the Speaker's Race

Last Hurrah
The Progressives , Unions and Working Families Party won the speakers position with Mark-Viverito.  It may be all over for the Democratic party bosses.  The city's GOP bosses died long ago kept alive by Bloomberg dollars and what every they can extort from the elected officials to get through the BOE toll gate  The party bosses have like their partners at the city papers become disconnected from the city's voters.* Rise of the New Machines: Mayor and Labor Supplant County Organizations(NYO)

Moreland, JCOPE Updates

* In praising the state Board of Elections investigation of political operative Steven Pigeon’s WNY Progressive Caucus, state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox criticized the Moreland Commission for ignoring complaints about the fundraising committee, the Buffalo News reports: 
Feds and AG Go After Moreland Target None Profit
The Moreland Commission has referred its findings about a Brooklyn charity with ties to New York politicians to U.S. Eastern District Attorney Loretta Lynch and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for potential prosecution
Lawyers For Moreland And Legislature Debate Over Briefs(YNN)
2 probes against ‘charity’(NYP) Cuomo’s commission to combat public corruption referred its investigative findings about Relief Resources Inc. — a Borough Park-based storefront charity that took in nearly $3 million in legislative grants but did not seem to provide many services — to US Eastern District Attorney Loretta Lynch and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for potential prosecution, sources close to the commission said. The group has received legislative grants from two heads of the state Senate — $250,000 from ex-GOP Majority Leader Joe Bruno and $300,000 from former Democratic leader Malcolm Smith, as well as backing from Brooklyn lawmakers Martin Golden and Simcha Felder.  Bruno was convicted of fraud in 2009, but the case was overturned on appeal. Smith was indicted earlier this year for allegedly trying to bribe his way onto the Republican line for mayor.* One of the TU’s top stories of 2013: Public corruption scandals.*Albany Pro: Another JCOPE resignation(Capital) * Assemblyman Tony Jordan has dropped a challenge against a Moreland Commission subpoena requesting documents related to his law firm, making the firm the first to drop its subpoena challenge, Capital New York reports: * A move for transparency before JCOPE shuts its doors (Capital) * The state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics, long criticized by good-government groups for its closed-door sessions, is agreeing to open up a little bit.* Former A.I.G. executive Maurice “Hank” Greenberg has filed another ethics complaint with JCOPE against Schneiderman, this time accusing the AG’s top spokesmen of prejudicial public statements.* 8m Lovett announces appointment to JCOPE He is married to an Assembly staffer and is from New Jersey
Discord within JCOPE spilled into a public session in which some commissioners complained about recent secret meetings they felt violated state law and the board’s pledge for transparency.* A JCOPE commissioner called the body’s handling of exemptions to rules that require donor disclosures by nonprofit groups that engage in lobbying “an embarrassment.”
More on the Moreland Commission


 Electric company FirstEnergy agreed to work toward reducing carbon emissions after shareholders, including the New York State Pension Fund, pressured the company to do so, The New York Times writes: 
More on the Environment


Att New Yorkers: Casino Revenues Well Below What Was Promised To Voters

More on Gambling and lobbyists


A top American Petroleum Institute official said that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s delay on hydrofracking and the “excuse” of an on-going health study are “shortsighted,” the Post’s Fred Dicker writes: * Common Cause: Pro-Fracking Interests Spending Big(NYO) * Andrew Cuomo’s fracking ‘cone’ job(NYP) 
More on Fracking


Today's comedians make poop jokes instead of challenging authority. Where's their nerve? 
Week in Playback: Sochi games ends, Arizona veto, Twitter typos
Don Singleton, Reporter Whose Articles Delved Into Corruption, Dies at 77(NYT)Mr. Singleton, who worked for The Daily News in New York for four decades, wrote about gamblers and tax evaders as well as corruption in the Fire Department and its unions.
Via : The right loses its hero at CBS:(Politico)

Recent News On the Media


Here is LBJ's letter to MLK after asking Congress for voting rights bill in "We Shall Overcome" speech today 1965:
Young People Abandon the Health Law - Dana Milbank, Washington Post
Fix Obamacare, Don't Repeal It - Lizzy Smith, Chicago Tribune
It's Impossible to Enforce an Unworkable Law - Jay Sekulow, FOX News
What the Health Law Does & Doesn't Do - Amanda Bennett, Washington Post
Barack Obama, Political Wrecking Ball - Peter Wehner, Commentary
The CIA Is Out of Line - Eugene Robinson, Washington Post
How to Become a (Public Pension) Millionaire - Andrew Biggs, WSJ
Is Paul Ryan Racist? - Ian Haney-Lopez, Politico
The Latest Round of Dem Race-Baiting - John Hinderaker, Power Line
Putin's War on Information - David Remnick, The New Yorker
McCain Has Had It With Republicans - Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post
McCain's False Choice on Foreign Policy - David Harsanyi, The Federalist
Democrats Are Addicted to Koch, Too - Alex Roarty, National Journal
Republicans Hammer Away on the Growth Theme - Larry Kudlow, IBD
We Can't Grow the Gap Away - Charles Blow, New York Times
Obama Will Never Be a Democratic Reagan - Matt Welch, Reason Magazine
Where's the Right's Daily Show? - Sean McElwee, The Atlantic

A Pattern of Obamacare Dishonesty - Orange County Register
Craven Statehouse Behavior on Guns - New York Times
Lois Lerner's Dilemma - Washington Times
Charter Schools Are Under Attack - BloombergThe 2016 Iowa caucuses are still more than 22 months away. But according to a new Quinnipiac University poll, Hillary Clinton leads among all possible presidential candidates by double digits.
Scarborough: Dem's Defeat in Florida Sets Up ‘Historic’ 2010-like Midterm Rout (VIDEO)
Political Moments of the Week (NBC)
Robert Gates: "I do not believe that Crimea will slip out of Russia's hand"(Politico)
Sunday Shows in 90 seconds(Politico)
Week in Review: Arizona veto, Washington lets loose(Politico)
Last 30 Days in Washington Coverage

Law and Order

Mayor Bill de Blasio has asked a Manhattan judge to toss a legal challenge brought by two police unions against a city law that makes it easier for those who feel wronged to sue cops for racial profiling. The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the Sergeants Benevolent Association “have not demonstrated any concrete, particularized harm to their members,” the mayor said in court papers this week, according to the New York Post.  The move was met with harsh words from unions’ leaders. “I understand that the mayor is new to his position and most likely has not fully digested the duties and role of the NYPD,” said SBA President Ed Mullins. “Bill de Blasio was elected mayor and not appointed [to be] a Supreme Court justice. Ultimately it is up to an experienced judge to make this decision.” PBA President Pat Lynch piled on, saying the “misguided law … penalizes our members — NYC police officers — and the public rather than addressing bad policies.”*  BRATTON ON JAYWALKING: ‘GET REAL’ -- Capital’s Dana Rubinstein: The NYPD Commissioner dismissed the uproar over the spike in jaywalking tickets issued recently, saying "In a city of 8.5 million people we’ve issued about 300 jaywalking tickets … Let’s get real." After riding the train with Broken WindowS co-author George Kelling, Bratton said "The issues of concern are those quality-of-life issues, the acrobats, the aggressive begging, the people manipulating the swipe cards in the turnstiles … We’re going to be having significant focus on those issues.”*Rage as cops slap 452 with jaywalking tickets — in 2 months!(NYP)

Ten bucks a shot: The homeless as lineup fodder.
Queens boy fought off attempted kidnapper(NYP)
Man known for cleaning Clinton Hill street shot dead
BROOKLYN SHOOTING: 4 people — at least 3 children — hospitalized after Williamsburg gunplay
Boy, 12, and three teens shot in Brooklyn(NYP)
Madoff staff knew about Ponzi fraud: prosecutor(NYP)
Brooklyn attempted rape suspect caught on camera (WABC)
Gang boss who ‘terrorized’ Ebbets Field gets 20 years(NYP)
 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is asking for a judge to toss out the police unions’ challenge to a law that makes it easier to sue officers for racial profiling, the Post reports:
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton rode the subway to see conditions firsthand(NYDN)
* Although crime is declining in New York City, the biggest parks are seeing an increase in felonies, with major crimes up nearly 18 percent in 2013 compared with the previous year in 31 parks, the Journal reports: 

Judge Rules Terror Case Should Go Before Jury(NYT) A federal judge said on Friday that there was sufficient evidence that Sulaiman Abu Ghaith conspired to kill Americans to allow the case to go to a jury.
Hook-handed terror suspect pens note knocking lawyer(NYP)
Interrogation of Bin Laden Relative Is Recounted(NYT)
Interactions of Bin Laden and Son-in-Law Detailed in an F.B.I. Document(NYT)
At Trial of Bin Laden Relative, Witness Describes Meeting 9/11 Mastermind (NYT)
Convicted Terrorist Continues Testimony in Trial of Alleged bin Laden Spokesman (NY1)
Jury Selection Begins at Trial of Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law(NYT)
Effort to Delay Terror Trial of a Bin Laden Relative Fails(NYT)

More on Terrorism