Friday, May 16, 2014

True News Friday Update: de Blasio News Jobs Kill Green Cab Jobs

de Blasio 1 Day 180 Taxi U Turn
Taxi commission now says it will sell new permits late summer

De Blasio administration relents on green taxi expansion(Capital)  Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio's taxi commissioner, Meera Joshi, said the city couldn't commit to issuing any new green taxi permits in 2014, pending further conversation with "stakeholders."  Today, following reports in both tabloids, The New York Times and the blogs that de Blasio was delaying the program, and that he had also reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from its opponents in the yellow-taxi industry, the administration is now committing to resume the expansion after only a minor delay.* NYC was supposed to getting 6,000 more green cabs next month, but the plan's now being delayed: (WNBC) * City Now Expects to Authorize More Green Cabs by the Fall(NYT)

de Blasio Repays Taxi Bosses by Cutting Green Taxis for Support of His Campaign for Mayor

Mayor Off Duty Sign
New York City Moves to Slow Growth of Popular Green-Cab FleetThe administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose campaign relied heavily on contributions from the yellow cab industry, signaled on Thursday that it would slow the growth of a rival taxi fleet.* Next wave of popular green cabs hits TLC snag(NYP) The new chair of the Taxi and Limousine Commission on Thursday said she couldn’t guarantee that the next batch of 6,000 green taxi permits would be issued at any point in 2014, as previously planned.* How de Blasio stopped the borough taxi program(Capital) Mayor delays industry-opposed rollout of until further notice. Commissioner Meera Joshi gave no date for resuming the expansion. The move is consistent with the positions on borough taxis previously adopted by the mayor, who has received substantial support from major yellow-taxi medallion owners and has consistently echoed their concerns about Michael Bloomberg’s signature overhaul of the previous system.

Taxi Industry Gets $ to Pay for Handicap Cabs + Tip to Pocket From Mayor They Backed
Taxi fares getting $.30 hike to fund city’s handicap cab goal(NYP) All taxi passengers will begin paying a 30-cent surcharge next year to make half of the city’s cabs wheelchair accessible by 2020, according to new rules approved by the Taxi... The surcharge will start next January, and will be added on to yellow and green taxi trips, as well as livery car rides. Flashback the WHY The News says de Blasio's 30-cent surcharge on cab fares is a huge gift to a prosperous industry. The Daily News writes that the proposed 30-cent surcharge for taxi trips would create roughly $53 million per year in revenue—a huge amount of money to give to a prosperous industry: Flashback De Blasio Reaps Big Donations From Taxi Industry(NYT)De Blasio, a taxi-industry ally, will start by ditching Yassky(Capital*   Analysis: Cab industry donors going strong for de Blasio(Newsday)
Taxi Lobbyists Bolton St. Johns, Inc., Connelly McLaughlin; Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP;  Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Inc., Connective Strategi* Taxi Smartphone Hails Increase(WSJ)
More on de Blasio Pay Back to the Taxi Industry

4500 Wall Street Jobs Moving Out of NYC      
Is NYC's Jobs Plan to Lose High Paying Wall Street Jobs and Increase the Wages for Fast Food Workers? 

JPMorgan, RBC putting 4,500 workers in Jersey City(Capital) JPMorgan Chase Bank and RBC Capital Markets will move thousands of employees to Jersey City after the state of New Jersey agreed on Friday to provide the companies nearly $303 million in combined tax credits over the next decade.* DiNapoli: Revenue In April Lower Than A Year Ago((YNN) * Remington move production lines from NY to Alabama: Remington Arms Co. is moving two production lines from ups...  * Tax collections in April fell by more than $1 billion compared to a year ago, a 17 percent drop, but were $86.8 million higher than projections from earlier this month, according to the state comptroller:* Hundreds of demonstrators protested outside a Manhattan Domino’s Pizza yesterday as part of a push in 30 countries to pressure McDonald’s and other fast-food chains to raise worker pay, CBS Local reports:

Convicted Stevenson Did Not Live in the District He Represented      
Convicted former Assemblyman didn’t live in his own district: prosecutors(NYP)Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara in the filing says Stevenson lied to probation officers by claiming he “rented a room” at a Prospect Avenue address in the 79th Assembly District from 2000 until June 2013. He said officers interviewed the man who lives in the apartment and the building’s longtime superintendent – and neither knew Stevenson. “This misrepresentation is even more troubling in light of Stevenson’s apparent motive: The Prospect Avenue address is within Stevenson’s former Assembly District 79, and it appears that Stevenson misled the Probation Office regarding his true address in order to conceal the fact that he was not living in Assembly District 79, as required, either time he ran for an Assembly seat in that district,” Bharara wrote in a sentencing submission recommending roughly four to five years of jail for Stevenson.

Little Time Left for Campaign Reforms(NYT Ed) What Albany needs is competition, and now may be the right moment for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pass a full reform package that could provide it. New York’s campaign laws are so lax that a few special interests can flood any race. Progressives and reform-minded activists who have been unhappy with Mr. Cuomo’s fiscal policies have suggested that he can firm up their support if he gets public financing of campaigns approved. The public funding cap for candidates must be high enough for them to be able to compete, and there must be an enforcement body similar to the city’s strong campaign finance board. The time is exactly right to pass a healthy campaign finance reform package because Republicans have already endorsed the pilot program and one of their own is already using it. It will be up to Mr. Cuomo to talk less enthusiastic legislators into doing the right thing and perhaps threaten to campaign against them if they don’t.

Is Dinkins Looking for A Cuomo Endorsement of His Pal Rangel?     
Former NYC Mayor David Dinkins isn’t ready to endorse Gov. Andrew Cuomo for re-election.

Bruno Found Not Guilty    
Bruno Verdict is a dog whistle to the Albany lawmakers that you can win in court even if your guilty

Joe Bruno found not guilty(Capital) Jurors find no evidence of bribery in consulting gig. Bruno was found not guilty of federal corruption charges on Friday.The trial was the second for Bruno, a Rensselaer County Republican, whose first conviction on theft of honest services charges was overturned following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.Federal prosecutors successfully sought a second trial for Bruno on charges that he received bribes from a businessman in exchange for official acts, such as providing access to key state officials and providing lucrative state contracts.In particular, prosecutors had focused in on Bruno receiving $360,000 in consulting fees, along with $80,000 for a valueless racehorse while backing businessman Jared Abbruzzese interests in thoroughbred racing.Bruno had served as majority leader in the Senate for 14 years before leaving the Senate in June 2008.* After all that, Joe Bruno, and ‘this system,’ are off the hook(Capital) Jurors took only four hours to determine that the 85-year-old former Senate Republican leader from suburban Troy acted legally when he accepted a $20,000-a-month consulting from Jerry Abbruzzese, a telecomm consultant and horseman who, prosecutors said, was simply buying favor.* Bruno, Ex-State Senate Chief, Is Acquitted of Fraud in Retrial(NYT)

 New Landmarks Preservation Commission   
Mayor Bill de Blasio nominated Meenakshi Srinivan—currently head of the Board of Standards and Appeals—as the next chair of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Observer reports: 
De Blasio Chooses a City Planner to Lead Landmarks Preservation(NYT)

Meenakshi Srinivasan, 52, was named on Friday as the mayor’s choice for chairwoman of New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.

War of the Machines: WFP Attacks Democratic Power Centers
Winds of War: With the Coalition that is supporting Espaillat and the splitter who was put into the race to take votes away from Congressman, it is clear the WFP and the progressives groups who work with them, including Rev. Sharpton want  to take over the power centers where Rangel and his Gang of 4 have run Harlem for a generation .  Queens Boss Crowley Parkside Power Center is Target by WFP  Long-time activist and businessman S.J. Jung kicks off Democratic primary challenge to State Sen. Toby Stavisky Crowley and Evan Stavisky and the late Queens Boss Manton have ruled NYC through Council Speakers Quinn, Miller and Vallone  for the past generation.  Stavisky controls DSCC of the state senate taking in over $2 million each election.  With Jung the WPA progressive coalition hopes to wipe out the only county leader who can still deliver voters (or support popular candidates who can win like Meng and Katz's), but wipe out Stavisky's Parkside which is their competition in the consultant business (Data and Field, NY Communities of Change, etc.). The Koppel Challenge against Kline aims to wipe out another power center the IDC-GOP coalition that runs the state senate.*The Unions are a big part of the WFP new progressive machine.  Hotel Trades Council Backs Two Assembly Contenders in the Bronx(NYO)

De Blasio headlines fund-raiser for ACORN honcho(NYP)The mayor is rewarding former ACORN honcho and longtime pal Bertha Lewis by headlining a fund-raiser for her new group, The Black Institute. “It’s a big deal for me. It’s a coup to have the mayor and Chirlane there. It’s The Black Institute’s coming-out party!” Lewis told The Post Wednesday night. The invitation to the gala, which asks donors to contribute up to $50,000, is being held Thursday night at the 32BJ SEIU headquarters in Chelsea.* Skelos: Public Financing Debate Won’t Break Up Coalition(YNN)* Skelos also told reporters that there have been “discussions” taking place on public campaign financing and said “we’ll see,” the Daily News reports:
* * Progressives worry that the future of the state’s Democratic Party lies with Cuomo, who is described as a moderate and has pushed for progressive change on social and cultural issues but has clashed with progressives on economic issues, Vox writes:
* Skelos sees ways to fund public financing without taxpayer money 
*Klein Scores Endorsement of Koppell Protégé(NYO) Councilman Andrew Cohen, Mr. Koppell’s protégé, and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who represents Mr. Koppell’s Riverdale turf, announced they were throwing their support behind State Senator Jeff Klein*Conservative Party Warns Republicans: Don’t Go There on Public Financing(YNN) Mike Long warns Senate Rs: If public financing goes through it's a vote for the WFP *
Working Families Party Honors QueensOfficials(Queens Tribune)
Working Families Party Honors Queens Officials

NYP: GOP's Failure to Communicate on the Economic Message     

The Post writes that New York’s Republican Party has a strong statewide candidate lineup, but if they can’t make the case for smaller, freer, more business-friendly government, the party may as well pack it in: *
In contrast to the intra-party fight they endured four years ago, Republicans are emerging from the convention relatively unified. The proceedings were scripted and undramatic. But there remained among the participants a sense that they needed to justify their expressions of enthusiasm, and to convince others, if not themselves, of the plausibility of this year's ticket. NEW ONLINE: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s campaign has launched a Tumblr to document what it says are instances of his Republican opponent, John Cahill, running from some of his positions. * Astorino closes his party’s convention with a grim diagnosis(Capital)Republican pitch is that the New York economy is dying under Cuomo* Astorino embraces underdog role - Times Union*Cuomo Rival Focuses on Jobs(WSJ) * Skelos Backs Astorino, Bullish On 2014(YNN)

A News Pioneer Calls On Reporters to Stand Up to City Hall's Restrictions     

Gabe Pressman of the Press Club and press corps wants press uprising at City Hall  
De Blasio’s game: Beat the press (NYDN)  Pressman: "I was there at the beginning of the television age at City Hall. A few newspaper reporters objected when I tried, for the first time, to film a mayoral press conference.“We’re not actors,” they said. But several of my newspaper colleagues backed me up when I objected to being excluded. Ultimately, Mayor Robert Wagner ruled that television reporters had every right to cover his press conferences along with the written press. Perhaps the battle we fought 60 years ago needs to be fought again today. New mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides are choking off television and newspaper access by tightly defining what we are given access to cover, as well as our access to the mayor himself.

Koch Look Forward to Answering Every Question, He Saw As Part of the Requirements/Responsibility of the Office of Mayor
It’s not a new phenomenon. Mayor Bloomberg would ration reporters generally to one question, with no follow-ups allowed. Rudolph Giuliani was a little more available. But there’s been a steady fall-off over the years in mayoral accessibility. The high point of availability of a chief executive to the press was the Ed Koch era. He loved to joust with the press, at formal Blue Room press conferences, more intimate ones in his private office and informal, on-the-run encounters at the radiator in the corridor as he was rushing in or out of City Hall. Mayor de Blasio’s printed schedule, by contrast, shows an abundance of mayoral events with the words “closed press.” That means we are told where the mayor will be but also that we’re not permitted to follow him there.

de Blasio Secret Meeting Expose A Press Core With Different Values Then Pressman's Era
Mayor de Blasio’s printed schedule, by contrast, shows an abundance of mayoral events with the words “closed press.” That means we are told where the mayor will be but also that we’re not permitted to follow him there. On May 7, the mayor was listed as speaking at the Urban Fellows graduation ceremony. The schedule noted: “This event will be closed press.” On May 6, de Blasio went to Washington, where his schedule listed him meeting with Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand along with the New York Congressional delegation. “Closed press.” At noon the same day, he was to speak to a meeting of the Communications Workers of America. “Closed press.” That evening, de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray and their daughter, Chiara, were to speak at the National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. That was listed as open press, but noting that “there will be no Q and A.

Jefferson Supported A Free Press to Enlighten Citizens to the Real Activities of Their Government, Modern Day Lobbyists Get Paid to Hide the Truth

We live in an age of consultants and press officers, whose mission is not to open up public officials and politicians to more scrutiny. Their goal is the opposite: to keep journalists from too much prying, too much in-your-face kind of questioning, especially on certain topics. But journalists are eyes and ears for all of us, and we need them to push office-holders and politicians who try to limit our access to them. Here at City Hall, we journalists have to take some responsibility for what has been a gradual limiting of our access.

In 1735 Zenger When to Jail to Give Reporters the Right to Inform the Public What Their Officials Where Reall Up Too

New York has a proud tradition of in-your-face journalism going back to John Peter Zenger, who was jailed for writing critically about the English governor back in 1735. Zenger was jailed, then freed after a dramatic trial that was a milestone in the struggle for freedom of the press. In Zenger’s name, we need to renew that struggle whenever mayors, governors or presidents try to limit us or deny us access.
The UFT Contract Almost Doubles in Its First Week     
480 Weeks to Go Before the Contract Ends
The Daily News, the New York Times and Capital took deeper looks at the circumstances behind an unusual deal between Mr. de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer concerning the way the mayor’s executive budget accounted for certain retroactive pay raises that are part of the deal with the teacher’s union. The Times “described “a high-stakes tug of war” that “caused Mr. de Blasio frustration and embarrassment and raised questions about the mayor’s approach to brokering deals with 151 other municipal unions that remain without contracts.” * Real cost of teachers union labor deal rises to nearly $9 billion, city says: (DNAINFO) The estimated cost for the city’s deal with the United Federation of Teachers has ballooned since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the deal earlier this month.The day the deal was announced, his office said the 9-year contract, which includes two years of retroactive pay and raises going forward, would cost the city $5.5 billion.

SHOWDOWN AT GRACIE MANSION: Mayor de Blasio and Controller Scott Stringer held secret late-night meeting to discuss problems with city budget(NYDN)* Showdown at Gracie Mansion: Mayor de Blasio and city Controller Scott Stringer hold extraordinary late-night meeting on city budget. De Blasio was celebrating his 53rd birthday with a low-key party Friday evening at Gracie Mansion. His wife, Chirlane McCray, surprised him with a rendition of “Be My Love” sung by Metropolitan Opera tenor Lawrence Brownlee. Upstairs, however, a far more somber gathering was to about to take place. The mayor, city Controller Scott Stringer and several of their senior aides held an extraordinary late-night sit-down over the mayor’s newly proposed $73.9 billion budget, sources familiar with the meeting told the Daily News.* “THE ACCOUNTING QUESTION behind a de Blasio-Stringer spat” by Capital’s Sally Goldenberg: “The first major dispute between Comptroller Scott Stringer and Mayor Bill de Blasio began with an inquiry from Stringer's staff about the city's agreement with the teachers' union. Emails obtained by Capital show that an aide to Stringer first contacted a top official in the city's Office of Management and Budget to to ask several questions about the accounting for the contract. Administration officials have said they were not briefed by Stringer's office on the matter until the following Friday, May 9.”

Stringer In the Budet Crosshairs As the Daily News Says the Budget Smells 1975 . . .   

De Blasio: ‘Respectful disagreement’ on budget change(Capital)
High-Power Tug of War Over Teachers’ Deal(NYT)
Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration will make a $725 million adjustment to its settlement with the city’s teachers’ union after the city comptroller spotted an accounting problem. * Bill pays his bills: To satisfy political debts, that is(NYP)Just five months into the Age of de Blasio, New York has been transformed from a city with a modest budget surplus and great expectations into a municipality of some suspicion to the credit snoops.
 Mayor Bill de Blasio minimized his concern over a multi-million-dollar accounting change he made to the budget related to the recent, tentative deal his administration struck with the teachers union.
After a negative Moody’s report and criticism from the city comptroller, the de Blasio administration shifted $725 million in retroactive pay to this fiscal year instead of spreading it out over four years, The New York Times reports:
More on Comptroller Scott Stringer and the Budget

Speaker to Push for Free Lunch and More Cops, What Budget Problems? . . .  
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito ready to battle Mayor de Blasio for free school lunch, more cops(NYDN) City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said she’s ready to battle her ally Mayor de Blasio over his snub of Council proposals to hire more cops and give all city schoolkids free lunch.* De Blasio aides insist that the contract brokered with the United Federation of Teachers is fiscally sound, and that the mayor’s disagreement with Comptroller Scott Stringer on the matter “did not represent a significant conflict,” the Times reports:  * The Post’s Bob McManus writes that de Blasio’s budget makes it clear that he is a man who pays his political debts, even at the expense of fiscal prudence. The Council proposed $94 million to hire 1,000 new officers and $24 million to extend free lunch to all students — but de Blasio left both ideas out of his executive budget last week.

de Blasio Food Stamp Changes Removes Work Provisions, But No Free School Lunch for All The de Blasio stamp: Moving to boost dependency(NYP Ed) The city’s Human Resources Administration just informed able-bodied, childless adults that they no longer need to do anything in exchange for their food stamps. Until this Monday, New York City required able-bodied adults without dependents to work or to participate in a work-placement program for 20 hours a week in order to maintain their food-stamp eligibility. (Mothers with children are exempt from the work requirement.) Federal law limits healthy, childless recipients who refuse to seek work to three months of food stamps over a three-year period. That same law, however, allows states and cities to request a waiver of the food-stamp work requirement, if their economies are less than robust. The Obama administration grants those requests as a matter of course.* New York City school antipoverty advocates thought de Blasio would champion a push to get students more free food, but food programs have been left alone as the mayor’s prekindergarten and afterschool programs have taken off, the Journal reports:  * Free Student Meals Bid Stalls Under de Blasio(WSJ)

NYC Pot Arrest Up? . . .   
The Times highlights data for New York City showing that the number of arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana in March is up from last year, indicating de Blasio’s lack of concern for the racial disparities in arrest statistics

Shake Up At the City's Trouble 911 Emergency Phone System . . .    
EXCLUSIVE: NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton removes high-ranking cop from heading city's troubled 911 system(NYDN)In March, NYPD Assistant Chief Charles (Chuck) Dowd was removed as head of the 911 operations and transferred to oversee the transit division. It was not immediately clear why he was bounced, but a source said Dowd has put in his papers to retire. The 911 system has been plagued with problems despite a $2 billion overhaul. His removal followed a meeting about the foulups and problems that have been plaguing the system despite the $2 billion and 10 years the Bloomberg administration devoted to overhauling and modernizing the 911 operation.


“Sacked Times editor ready to rumble: AN-GREY LADY!”

Is Bloomberg looking to hire Jill Abramson?(NYP) “He likes her toughness,” a source who recently talked to the former mayor told me. Abramson is becoming a feminist martyr and a hero for equal pay. Bloomberg could be too, if he hires her.

“Mom’s new hobby,” Abramson’s daughter (Instagram)
--NYT SALARIES – “Jill Abramson and the Times: What Went Wrong?” by The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta: “As executive editor, Abramson’s starting salary in 2011 was $475,000, compared to Keller’s salary that year, $559,000. Her salary was raised to $503,000, and—only after she protested—was raised again to $525,000. She learned that her salary as managing editor, $398,000, was less than that of the male managing editor for news operations, John Geddes. She also learned that her salary as Washington bureau chief, from 2000 to 2003, was a hundred thousand dollars less than that of her successor in that position, Phil Taubman.”What the Internet is Saying * The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta has a second report on the reasons for Ms. Abramson’s firing, which he attributed to Ms. Abramson’s dissatisfaction with her compensation. He provides salary numbers. (The New Yorker) * Jill Abramson Refused to Go Quietly From the Times(NY Mag) Jill Abramson, fmr Exec Editor of confirms she will deliver the Commencement address at Wake Forest University on Monday, May 19

Shock At the NYT
Jill Abramson, the New York Times' top editor, is abruptly stepping down after less than two years

 Jill Abramson out over 'management issues,' NYT publisher says 
on Jill Abramson, Mark Thompson, and the Times
'New York Times' Replaces Jill Abramson As Executive Editor
NPR (blog) *Jill Abramson to exit New York Times Politico * Jill Abramson, NYT's first female top editor, will be replaced by Dean Baquet, its first African-American editor This is probably the first time in years anyone's said, "I can't wait to read Bill Keller's column on this." *New York Times Keeps Changing Story About Jill Abramson’s Salary(Gawker)* The New York Times innovation report, which was recently leaked, is “one of the key documents of this media age.” (Nieman Journalism Lab) * The scoop on Jill Abramson's firing from the NY Times (NYP)

Jill Abramson’s daughter posts an Instagram photo of her ready to hit a punching bag: “Mom's badass new hobby
Jill Abramson’s ‘badass new hobby’ after Times fires her* Part of what makes Jill Abramson's firing puzzling is the NYT is thriving as a business:(Vox)* Of all the tweets, the most chilling: that Sulzberger didn't like Abramson's rising profile. She was doing too good a job?* Get ready for the NYT's world of hurt(TPM)* Jill Abramson’s Firing And The ’ Chaotic Future(Buzz Feed) *Why Jill Abramson’s departure will ricochet(Politico) * Jill Abramson forced out as New York Times executive editor(The Guardian)• Managing editor Dean Baquet will replace Abramson • Abramson reportedly confronted 'top brass' over pay equity* Times Ousts Its Executive Editor, Elevating Second in Command(NYT) * Ken Auletta: Jill Abramson firing 'broader than' equal pay * How staffers at the New York Times reacted to Jill Abramson's departure:(NY Mag) Guardian editor Janine Gibson confirms NYT's Jill Abramson offered her co-managing editor job--a slap at Dean Baquet, who now has top job * Would a similarly gruff male editor have been similarly controversial? (The Atlantic) * Sulzberger swings the axe again: Why the Times publisher and Jill Abramson were doomed from the start(NY Mag)Don’t call Jill Abramson “pushy”(Salon) * SCOOP: Here's the full, 96-page internal Times report, painting a dire picture of digital failings * Republicans Back Astorino For Governor(YNN) * ‘Full-Throated Republican’ Skelos Backs Astorino(YNN) * The New York Times’ new executive editor, Dean Baquet, had been courted by Bloomberg News to oversee its Washington, D.C. coverage.*Greenwald: New NYT Editor Has Disturbing History of Being ‘Subservient’ to Gov’t
More on NY Times Failed Kingdom and Jill Abramson

A City Remembers What the Bastards Did to Us 
Hamill: Powerful 9/11 shrine — built with raw emotion and dignified beauty — salutes spirit those bastards couldn't dent(NYDN) * President Obama and his wife Michelle are in New York to attend a dedication ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in downtown Manhattan.*
FIELD TRIP -- WIRED magazine, “The Near-Impossible Challenge of Designing the 9/11 Museum,” by Cliff Kuang: “You descend into the museum on a long ramp, sloped so gradually that you barely feel your steps gathering momentum. … Then you walk out onto an underground balcony overlooking the museum floor, some 40 feet below, and gaze out into a vast, nearly empty space punctuated by the Last Column—the final piece of steel hauled away from Ground Zero … Weighing 60 tons and standing nearly 40 feet high, it’s still covered in spray-painted messages, tributes to the dead left by those who did the work. … You get an overwhelming sense of absence and awe. There may be no public space more cavernous in New York City.”* 'NOTHING CAN EVER BREAK US': Obama, dignitaries mark opening of 9/11 Memorial Museum in solemn ceremony at Ground Zero with survivors and victims' families(NYDN)
* The Man in a Red Bandanna(NYT Ed) The opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum was a day for remembering extraordinary people and their acts of compassion.

Celebrity Journalism Builds An Uninformed Public to the Corruption that has Taken Over the Campaign Process

An Uninformed Populace
John Wilhelm, cousin of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, sidestepped questions about an FBI investigation into a $175,000 donation to NYCLASS, an animal rights group that attacked de Blasio’s mayoral opponent Christine Quinn, the Daily News report UNITE HERE! gave the $175,000 to the anti-carriage horse group NYCLASS on June 1, and two days later, NYCLASS passed along the money to a political action committee that was funding a flood of TV ads attacking the candidacy of then-City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. 

In addition to being affiliated with UNITE HERE!, Wilhelm was a top fund-raiser for de Blasio’s campaign. Under the law, independent political action committees like the anti-Quinn group, which was called New York City is Not for Sale, cannot coordinate their activities with any candidate’s campaign. The de Blasio campaign has denied that any coordination took place. UNITE HERE! represents food service, hotels, transportation, textile, laundry manufacturing and distribution, airport and gaming workers. Wilhelm stepped down as president in late 2012, according to the union’s website, but he’s still chairman of the board and assistant to the president for benefits. His wife, Elizabeth Gilbertson, is chief of strategy of UNITE HERE! Health, the labor-management trust fund that provides health benefits to UNITE HERE members. * If de Blasio goes ahead with his plan to ban horse-drawn carriages 24 percent of voters say they would be more likely to vote against him and only 15 percent say they would be more inclined to support him, according to a new poll by City & State Reports, the Daily News writes: 
There’s a bigger spread among likely voters: 31% say a ban would make them less inclined to support the Democrat for reelection, and 11% said it would sway them de Blasio’s way.*

NY Press 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 NYC press is focused on Jay-Z and a Baldwin nut, 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. The control of the real estate industry in the city over the media is clearly the reason for the lack of PAC coverage. Have these PACs made NYC government worse (if that is possible)? Have these PACs and lobbyist consultants committed crimes?

How the Citizens United PACs Took Over New York's City Hall . . .   
Only the Blogs Report on PAC Corruption in New York City
Is Fixing Elections and Destroying Democratic Elections Important in NYC?

In 2013, NY PACs Rushed to Fund Campaigns(Voices of New York)"Names of the real estate firms that paid for the push were nowhere to be found" in their mailings. In New York’s 2013 elections, candidates for office weren’t the only ones raising and spending millions of dollars to influence the outcome. In the biggest surge of outside campaign spending since New York City adopted a public campaign finance system in 1988, 50 separate political action committees spent almost $16 million. The spending binge was a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, which opened the floodgates to unlimited spending by independent groups in political elections. The back-door money went for TV ads and mailings aimed at helping favored candidates win election, and trying to make sure their opponents lost.Thanks to a preemptive move by the city’s Campaign Finance Board to mandate disclosure of the spending, New Yorkers at least got to know the names of donors and how they were spending their money. But unlike the limits imposed under the city’s campaign finance laws, which allow only individual donations up to $4,950 per candidate, the sky was the limit as long as the PACs remained independent of candidates’ campaigns. Records show that the PACs spent as little as $1,200 (by a union representing school cafeteria employees and crossing guards) and as much as $4.9 million (by a real estate group). The second biggest expenditure was by the United Federation of Teachers, a city election powerhouse representing 200,000 teachers and educational employees. The UFT plowed $3.5 million into the elections, most of it to support races by City Council candidates.

Awards And Media Coverage for Failed Lobbyists Parkside Group
Lobbyists Groups Parkside Spent $7.5 Million of Real Estate Developers Money and Failed to Elected A Council Speaker. . . Making Their Queens Boss Crowley Their Benefactor A Loser

But the biggest donors to council races were the city’s real estate titans, who raised nearly $7 million in a bid to influence the election of City Council members. Spending for the PAC was coordinated by the industry’s lobbying arm, the Real Estate Board of New York.  But after the elections, REBNY President Steven Spinola was quick to declare victory, asserting that 18 of the 22 candidates backed by his group had won their elections. But determining just who was doling out the big bucks proved challenging, since most of the contributions to the real estate PAC, dubbed Jobs for New York, came from murky corporate entities that are otherwise ineligible to donate directly to candidates in city elections.

Parkside Doll Toby Stavisky Gets A Primary   
Queens businessman and activist S.J. Jung is mounting a primary challenge against veteran Democratic Sen. Toby Stavisky.
All told, 134 separate contributions were made to the real estate PAC, via checks submitted by subsidiaries of major corporations with obscure names like 1345 Cleaning Service Co., II LP, and TS/TSCE India Nominee LLC. In an effort to determine who exactly was writing the checks, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism students sifted through property records, corporate registrations and court documents to identify the names behind the corporate donors. The search revealed a who’s who of New York’s real estate heavyweights, including many of the city’s most active developers. Eighteen of the 26 major companies responsible for the bulk of the donations, the investigation found, are included on the official “Doing Business” list compiled by the Mayor’s Office of Contracts. Under a 2007 city law (see “Business Donors Get Around NYC Campaign Curbs“), principals of those firms are limited to a maximum donation of $400 per candidate. But when it comes to the independent spending authorized by Citizens United, all gloves are off, and records show that the city’s real estate industry made the most of it. Among those writing big checks to the independent PAC, the investigation found, were many of the same players who served as major bundlers for candidates. They included click here 
Campaign Reform and Media Cover Up of Citizens United On Local 2013 Election 
The Parkside Monopoly

The Cuomo Dilemma, Give Up Your Beliefs For A Temporary Ballot Alliance

Soul Selling
Is Washington winning dear? Cuomo: Noooo. Those damn Yankees
. believes WFP should endorse * De Blasio Reverses Stance, Says He Hopes WFP Endorses Cuomo(NYO) * London: It’s Cuomo vs. de Blasio, Not Astorino London, who is not attending the GOP convention in Rye Brook today, echoed comments made here earlier this afternoon by economist Larry Kudlow, suggesting Astorino’s strongest case in this campaign is on the economy and continued lack of growth in New York on Cuomo’s watch  London said Astorino has his own “tale of two cities” (a Mario Cuomo reference) – the tale of Chautauqua, NY, where there are “tumbleweeds” on Main Street, and nearby Erie, PA, which is booming, thanks to fracking. It’s notable that London is raising the specter of de Blasio in connection with the governor’s race. The mayor and the governor spent much of the budget battle at odds over a host of issues – most prominently how to pay for universal pre-K.


 6 Degrees of Separation and Corruption
Rangel aide linked to nonprofit looted by Wills: feds(NYP) Rangel’s campaign manager helped create a shady nonprofit, New York 4 Life which  at the center of a corruption investigation involving City Councilman Reuben Wills, The Post has learned. Rasheida Smith, a longtime southeast Queens Democratic operative, is listed on the incorporation papers of New York 4 Life, the group that federal authorities say Wills looted for more than $30,000 to buy such luxuries as a $750 Louis Vuitton handbag. Smith’s home address was listed as the nonprofit’s headquarters when it was formed on Sept. 29, 2006, according to state records. Wills served as Huntley’s chief of staff before being elected to the City Council in 2010. The group received a $33,000 state grant from former state Sen. Shirley Huntley, who pleaded guilty last year to swiping $87,700 from a separate education nonprofit she founded. Smith is the founder of her own consulting firm, Dunton Consulting, and previously worked for at least two other politicians facing corruption charges, state Sens. Malcolm Smith and John Sampson. Smith has her own problems with the government. Records show she has three active New York state tax warrants totaling $4,068. The address on those liens is the same she used to form New York 4 Life. Ms. Smith told the paper she only filed paperwork on the group’s behalf.

Will the Assembly Which Paid for Hush Funds for Sexual Abuse Stop Blocking the Passage of A Sex Trafficking Bill?
Advocates for a bill that would increase penalties for sex trafficking are calling on the Assembly to pass the stand alone bill instead of holding out to get the full 10-part Women’s Equality Act, the Times Union writes: 

de Blasio to Rangel See U Around Old Man, UFT Flips to EspAillat . . . 
The mayor twice underscored the youth and vitality of several younger lawmakers before introducing Rangel
‘Daily Show’ Takes on Charlie Rangel’s Mock Phone Call(NYO)
Hotel workers union endorses Espaillat for Congress(NYP)The Hotel Trades Council, which was neutral in the 13th congressional district Democratic primary in 2012, is backing state Sen. Adriano Espaillat in his bid against Rep. Charles Rangel and Michael Walrond
Rangel, at Debate, Wields a Phone to Mock His Opponents(NYT)
Representative Charles B. Rangel deployed an unusual weapon against his two Democratic primary opponents in a debate on Wednesday night: his BlackBerry.* Wily Charlie Rangel pulled an unorthodox opening move in tonight's debate... *Charlie Rangel playing telephone: (NYO) * Rangel starts second debate with a phone-call attack(Capital) Democratic consultant Lis Smith has joined the congressional campaign of state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who is running to unseat Rep. Charles Rangel. And here, via New York True, is Mr. Rangel’s scrum with reporters after last night’s memorable debate, which you can read all about here.

Even the Doctors Are Leaving New York . . .   
Doctors trained in New York State are leaving in droves in part because of the high medical-liability insurance costs and the trend could hurt the state’s economy as well as the healthcare system, writes Dr. Andrew Kleinman, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York, in the Post

Who is Fighting to Keep LICH A Full Service Hospital, Activist, Pols or the Community?

LICH follies (NYDN Ed)

Judge Baynes turns the closing of a Brooklyn hospital into a circus

A Real Dying Need Clouded By the New NYC Politics
The NYP is their quest to turn over another hospital to real estate developers and their cluelessness of what is really going on at LICH Hospital gets to their point by miss-reading the facts.  First the activists who want to changes the bidding process because of BHP's being rejected by SUNY are people who live in the community and want a full hospital.  The activists who were their when the mayor then candidate got arrests, that the NYP is talking about. have gone on to other projects like the one at the airport and the fast food joints.
You have to ask the Advance Group or Bertha Lewis why they are not at the hospital with community residents who still want a full service hospital.  While billions in government dollars go to private hospitals in the city, it is clear that the big hospital using the Berger commission have continued on the policy of closing neighborhood hospitals that serve the poor and middle class to get more of the government health care pie for the big guys.  The local pols who were their during the elections have also left.  Is there an on and off switch to protesting that we are missing in this town?*  Tale of Two Cities” narrative that de Blasio rode to election as mayor. He said children and low-income residents are not only at an economic disadvantage, but at a health disadvantage as well. “Bridging the chasm between 'two cities' and addressing growing inequity must include an honest and open discussion on disparities in housing, health and standards of living,” he said.

Mayor Moskowitz - January 1, 2018

Charter school boss Eva Moskowitz: I may run for mayor(NYDN)“I might run for mayor some day,” she said on the John Gambling radio show. “But right now, I’m very, very focused on educating the 10,000 kids that will be with us in 95 business days.”The controversial former City Councilwoman and Success Academy head said she thought she was getting out of politics - but found running schools was no less politically charged.


Winning Bid Take Over Long Island College Hospital Falls Apart (10 Days Ago)

Mr. Mayor These Men Mad History Not You
 Big plans, weak foundation (NYDN) De Blasio's troubling pattern of grand pronouncements followed by shakier particulars* "The Statue of Liberty will be showered with one million rose petals for the 70th anniversary of D-Day"

NYP Joins True News Is Going After the Gray Ladies Selective Coverage of News

Missing Mulgrew
The Post writes that UFT President Michael Mulgrew's comments about charter school supporters weren't as surprising as the fact that New York City's paper of record, the Times, didn't report them:


Saturday Daily News Picks Up on the Friday's NYP's UFT Taping Story Sabotaging Education Reformers

According to the New York City Independent Budget Office, the number of New York City teachers quitting their jobs has dropped by 11 percent since 2000, while racial disparities among teachers’ placements persisted, the Journal writes: 

King: Cuomo, lawmakers should learn from year one of pre-K(Capital)
Ed commissioner says it’ll take years to get expansion right* de Blasio added millions in the executive budget for charter schools, with $26.9 million budgeted for the current fiscal year, and an extra $217.9 million next year, an increase from the preliminary budget unveiled in February, Capital New York reports:

School critics say teachers union deal doesn't help kids — it's 'petty politics'(NYDN) After teachers union president Michael Mulgrew gloated about the labor deal in a leaked recording, critics of the $5.3 billion deal are fighting back, saying the contract isn’t good policy. Michael Mulgrew said he’s at war with education reformers — and now they’re fighting back over his dismissive comments and the teachers contract they say condemns students to subpar schooling. Jenny Sedlis of Students FirstNY, a pro-charter, anti-union group, called Mulgrew’s victory lap “shameless.”“For anyone that thought this was about kids, we know this is the truth,” said Campbell Brown, a former CNN anchor and outspoken critic of the union. Critics said a close reading of the memorandum of agreement between the city and union reveals the new process of terminating teachers in the 1,200-strong costly Absent Teacher Reserve doesn’t actually increase the likelihood they’ll be canned.*IT'S 'PETTY POLITICS': School critics slamming teachers union $5.3 billion deal and UFT boss Michael Mulgrew(NYDN) * Mulgrew’s wicked game(NYDN Ed) Mayor de Blasio just struck a major deal with a union boss who boasts about using negotiations to gut reforms he claimed to support.


$1000 Reward If You Find A City Council Member Who Understand What "Credit-Negative" Is
Comptroller Stringer who like to hid behind safe issues or take politically popular positions now is the last man standing who can force changes to the mayor's budget uncertainty.  Stringer has to be worried that if he takes no action he could be blamed for the budget's failure. The NYT wrote in their editorial Saturday, "Against this happy backdrop, it is important not to brush aside skeptical experts like those at the Citizens Budget Commission, who note the absence of tax increases and spending cuts, and abundant budgetary “unknowns.” This is where the City Council and Comptroller Scott Stringer come in, to make sure the budget ends up being as responsible as the mayor says it is." (memo to the NYT: city council is a rubber stamp) * Update  Mayor de Blasio forced to change $74b budget after controller disputes accounting

He Who Picks Judges Controls Judges Decisions, Silver Gets Over Hush Fund $$$
Judge tosses lawsuit against Sheldon Silver over secret settlement with Vito Lopez accusers (NYDN)
A judge Monday threw out a lawsuit seeking to force Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to reimburse the state for a $103,000 secret payout to two sex harassment victims of pervy former Assemblyman Vito Lopez..The lawsuit filed last June by Albany gadfly Robert Schulz argued Silver should be on the hook for the payout to the Lopez accuser because he did not go through proper Assembly channels in dealing with the complaint. In a 7-page decision, acting Albany County state Supreme Court Justice Kimberly O’Connor ruled that because Silver’s decision was discretionary, it made him “immune from civil liability, and the complaint against him must be dismissed.”

Judge Kills AG Subpoena of Airbnb   
A state Supreme Court has ruled in Airbnb’s favor, quashing a subpoena from Schneiderman’s office requesting personal information and data about the website’s users.* Airbnb doesn’t have to give out ‘host’ records: judge(NYP)
Court decision gives Airbnb a little time, looks like that's it. AG prevailed on every point save one techical issue w/ breadth of subpoena.New York Judge Quashes Airbnb Subpoena(WSJ)

Has Queens Boss Crowley and His Mini Me Parkside Split? Or Has Cuomo and His Mini Crowley Folded to the WFP?

Parkside Avella Split? Or Did the News Get It Wrong and Crowley Covering His Ass?
EXCLUSIVE: Queens Democratic Party pushing for John Liu to run against Tony Avella(NYDN) Party officials want Liu to go after Avella in the Democratic primary now that Avella has switched to the Independent Democratic Caucus.
Parkside Doll Toby Stavisky Gets A Primary   
Queens businessman and activist S.J. Jung is mounting a primary challenge against veteran Democratic Sen. Toby Stavisky


WFP Saying It Wants Public Financing  But Demanding Senate Take Over in Private?
Cuomo Spins Possible Democratic Take Over of the Senate
Liberal pressure on Gov. Cuomo and Jeffrey Klein impacting Senate Republicans(TU)
The fight for control of the soul of the state Democratic party is proving problematic for Senate Republicans. Heading into campaign season, Gov. Cuomo and Klein are under heavy pressure from their party’s left wing to deliver liberal initiatives like the creation of a statewide public financing system. In hopes of wooing the Working Families Party, which has threatened to back a different candidate, allies to Cuomo said the popular governor could call for a full Democratic take-over of the Senate if the Republicans don’t agree to a public financing system in coming weeks.

After New Contract, Will Bad Teachers Be Fired?  . . .  
De Blasio said he trusts principals to decide whether to keep teachers from a pool of rotating substitutes or send them back, after criticism that a new teachers’ contract would bring back poor teachersMayor de Blasio Backs Principals on Substitutes(WSJ)
* NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says he trusts principals to judge whether to keep teachers assigned from a pool of rotating substitutes or send them back. His comments followed critics’ claims that the tentative city teachers’ contract wouldn’t ensure that the pool’s poor performers would be kept out of classrooms.

 The Political Class Jerking Off for the Press. . .
Mayor Bill de Blasio took quite the beating at the Manhattan Institute’s annual Alexander Hamilton Award dinner last night. According to Twitter accounts of the evening, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush drew loud applause when he called on former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to campaign against Mr. de Blasio is 2017. Quipped hedge fund manager Paul Singer, “Our new mayor is the kind of guy who watched ‘Waiting for Superman’ and rooted for Lex [Luthor],” according to one Times reporter present. Assemblyman and state Democratic Co-Chair Keith Wright has filed a complaint against state GOP Chair Ed Cox, accusing the Republican of living in Manhattan but voting on Long Island, the News reported. “For the leader of one of the state’s major political parties to engage in voter fraud is as unconscionable as it is unlawful,” charged Mr. Wright. Responded Mr. Cox: “I was born there, I was brought up there, we have our burial plots there … That’s what I define as home.”* BOE spox: "There's no such thing as a primary residence in New York anymore."(NYDN)

de Blasio Rewards Those That Help Fund His Campaign
TAXI FUND-RAISER, NOW REGULATOR(Capital) -- De Blasio aide gets gig at taxi commission -- Capital’s Dana Rubinstein: Izabella Vais been named an assistant commissioner for policy and intergovernmental affairs at the Taxi and Limousine Commission, the agency charged with regulating New York City's fractious, litigious, and monied taxi industry. The mayor raised more than $350,000 from taxi interests, while championing the industry's fight against Mayor Michael Bloomberg's efforts to bring green taxi service to the outer boroughs. Several sources in the taxi industry told Capital that Vais was a point person handling donations.* De Blasio raised prodigious amounts of money from the taxi industry during his run for mayor. Now, one of the consultants who helped him raise money from that industry is helping him regulate it. * Republican Rob Astorino has chosen a little-known upstate sheriff - and a vocal critic of Gov. Cuomo’s gun control law - to be his running mate. Astorino chose Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss to run for lieutenant governor, making him the first black candidate to run on the GOP’s statewide ticket.

Bet the Farm That the Cuomo Campaign Doing Polling If Support for Olympics Will Help His Re-Election . . . 
GOING FOR GOLD: Gov. Cuomo considering push to bring 2024 Summer Olympics to New York City(NYDN)* Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s dream of having the Olympic flame burn in New York is flickering back to life. Gov. Cuomo acknowledged Wednesday that he is mulling whether to make a push to lure the 2024 Summer Games to the Big Apple. “We are looking at it,” Cuomo said following a tourism event in the city. Bloomberg’s point person in trying to land the 2012 Olympics — former Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff — is behind the new effort.

Astorino Picks A Lt. Governor / Start Their Convention 
Long: Astorino Selects Chemung Co. Sheriff(YNN) * Astorino: Moss Comes With ‘Hands-On Experience’(YNN)  Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino formally announced his running mate on Tuesday afternoon, selecting Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss.* Astorino’s Record Praised, Criticized In Westchester(YNN)* Rob Astorino selects Chemung sheriff to run for Lt. Gov.(NYDN) * Astorino Names County Sheriff Christopher Moss as Running Mate(NY1) * Source: Astorino will pick upstate sheriff as running mate(Capital) * Astorino nominates sheriff as running mate(NYP) *Gubernatorial Candidate Astorino Picks Sheriff as Running Mate(WSJ)
Running From Behind: But With A Diversify Ethnic Ticket, Cuomo Will Define
Cuomo’s Camp Prepared to Define Astorino Before He Gets a Chance(NYT)
Wednesday Update: State Republicans begin their convention vying for attention with President Obama, who is speaking 12 miles away, which underscores the uphill battle they face in this election cycle, the Buffalo News’ Robert McCarthy writes  * Attacks by both Gov. Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on their respective Republican campaign opponents define themselves just as clearly as they are trying to define their challengers, Bill Hammond writes for the Daily News: * The Daily News writes that Republican John Cahill’s entrance into the Attorney General’s race is a welcome addition because it brings choice and competition, which are keys to a health democracy.  

Seat-gate? Astorino aide says at today's Obama visit, a Cuomo rep blocked Astorino from a front-row seat arranged by the White House.
Rob Astorino didn't get a seat to the Obama event in his own county: to see the diversity of the county in person instead of continuing to push through HUD a claim that the area is guilty of housing discrimination.* Republicans say LG pick will force Cuomo to 'diversify' (Capital) *On Day One Of Republican Confab, State Democrats Unleash New Attack Ad (YNN) * On Day One Of Republican Confab, State Democrats Unleash New Attack Ad(YNN) * John Cahill, running(Capital) *

. "makes President Obama look like William F. Buckley," says in his acceptance speech.* GOP AG candidate Cahill, talking about charter schools, says Bill de Blasio "makes President Obama look like William F. Buckley" * Cahill is referring to the secret settlement reached w/ sexual harassment victims of former Assemblyman Vito Lopez.* John Cahill becomes GOP’s pick for attorney general(LoHud) * Democrats mock Rob Astorino as a cry baby over seat controversy(NYDN) * Team Cuomo is taking a very deep dive into Astorino’s past as part of its opposition research effort. * Harry Wilson, the 2010 GOP state comptroller candidate, said it’s “unfortunate” 2014 state comptroller candidate Bob Antonacci will accept public campaign financing.

Mayor de Blasio is the designated whipping boy at the State GOP Convention. Both Ed Cox and John Cahill have taken some whacks.* Antonacci on DiNapoli: “I can't believe it took him 27 yrs as an Albany veteran to realize there's corruption in Albany.” * Antonacci says with his legal background, he would have known not to approve settlement money to Lopez legislative aides * Cahill accepts nod against 'Silent Schneiderman'(Capital) *De Blasio’s Role Among Republicans: Nemesis(NYT) In Bill de Blasio, New York City’s mayor, national Republican leaders see the embodiment of their fears over an empowered New Left.  * Abramson's name already removed from NYT masthead * At the GOP convention, John Cahill and Robert Antonacci were officially nominated as the Republican candidates for state attorney general and state comptroller, respectively, Time Warner Cable News reports:  * Former Gov. George Pataki gave his support to the comptroller-only public campaign financing program in the state budget, saying Cuomo and lawmakers “did it exactly the right way,” State of Politics reports:  *Pataki On Comptroller-Only Public Financing: ‘Let’s Try It Out’(YNN) * Cahill Nominated For AG, Blasts ‘Silent Schneiderman’(YNN) * Antonacci Pledges Positive Campaign, But Has Some Criticism Of DiNapoli(YNN)*

The Dems Attack During the GOP Convention
Former GOP AG Dennis Vacco: “There was never a substantive, coordinated effort (by the Republicans) to build on the successes of ’94.”* Republicans Aim for Broad Appeal in Race Against Cuomo(NY1) * When Rob Astorino opposed fracking(Capital)Cuomo challenger quietly approved fracking-waste ban as county executive* GOP CONVENTION SIGHTS AND SOUND BITES: A wrap up of top quotes, talking points and observations from Day 1 of the Republican State Convention: (City and State) * Rob Astorino takes to airwaves to slam Gov. Cuomo as ‘down-in-the-mud’ politician in response to ad labeling him as extremist(NYDN) * Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the Republican candidate for governor, claimed that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s staff refused to allow Astorino to sit in the front row at President Barack Obama’s speech in Tarrytown, The Journal News writes * New super PAC called "New York 2014" appears. Treasurer is Lisa Lisker, who serves same roll for many GOP cmtes
* Democrats go old school Daily News in mocking Rob Astorino over seating complaints(NYDN) * Sharpton Wades Into the LG Fray(YNN) * Just A Hint of GOP Conflict(YNN) * GOP Counting On Upstate Turnout(YNN) * Astorino, Moss Are Upstate Bound(YNN) * Moss Says He Will Have A Role As LG(YNN) * In Speech, Astorino Mocks Renovation Flap(YNN) * Democrats Blast Astorino Speech(YNN) * At least 100 protesters rallied outside the GOP convention to call out Astorino for his positions on abortion rights, women’s issues, labor issues and housing, Gannett Albany reports: * The Astorino Truth Squad—run by the Westchester Democratic Committee—released a spoof of the famous Daily News Newt Gingrich crybaby cover with Astorino at the center—a jab at the gubernatorial candidate for alleging that he was kept from sitting in the front row, the Daily News reports:  * A political operative with ties to Cuomo was researching Astorino’s past more than a month before he announced his bid to run for governor in March, part of an effort on the part of Cuomo’s allies to define the Republican before he can define himself, the Times reports: 

Killing Stuy-Town Peter Cooper for the Middle-Class II . . .  
Real Estate Baron Who Tried to Drive Middle Class Tenants Out Of Stuy Town to Host Mayor's Birthday Bash
Stuyvesant Town, Bastion of Affordable Housing, Is on Way Back to Auction  (NYT) CW Capital, which controls Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, is announcing on Tuesday its intention to foreclose on a loan, a step that could trigger a sale.* Stuyvesant Town likely headed to auction after its lenders moved to foreclose on loans (NYDN) * Stuyvesant Town Has Sale in Its Sights (WSJ)

Killing Affordable Housing First Attempt
1. Tishman Lost Billions In Pension Funds in 2006 when they bought Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village for $5.4 Billion and $1.5 billion of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac funds. Funds which FDR created to help the poor and middle class to buy homes. The Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac funds were ripped off by the Tishman Barons were according to some were intended to push people out of their homes.  Real estate experts agree that the only way Tishman could have made money with that deal was push the middle class tenants out of Stuy Town. The Biggest, Baddest Real-Estate Loan(NY Mag) Tishman Speyer’s $3.4 billion Stuyvesant Town mistake.Speyer and McCray to host birthday bash for de Blasio(Capital) Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife Chirlane McCray and real estate developer Rob Speyer will host a birthday party for de Blasio at Gracie Mansion on Friday, according to an invitation obtained by Capital that's been sent to real estate folks and other municipal powerbrokers. McCray chairs the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, a city-controlled group that raises money for mayoral initiatives (and allows people with money to gain access to the mayor). Speyer chairs the fund's advisory board. He's also the chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York, the city's main real estate lobby, and the president and co-C.E.O. of Tishman Speyer, an international real estate concern that controls, among other things, Rockefeller Center.* Mayor de Blasio's birthday party at Gracie Mansion is low-key event(NYDN)
More on How Wall Street Hijacks Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for Stuy Town

Bratton is Bring Broken Windows to Israel
Israel may be known around the world for its terror-fighting security forces, but the nation could learn a few things from the NYPD, Commissioner Bill Bratton told a crime-fighting conference in Jerusalem Tuesday. Bratton, who famously employs the “broken windows” approach of aggressively targeting minor offenses to fight violent crime, called on Israeli cops to respond more aggressively to anti-Arab vandals.

WFP Problem is A Secret. . . 
WFP Winning in the Street, Blocking In Court

A political investigation shrouded in mystery reached the Court of Appeals Tuesday in a case that could determine if the judiciary will stop an investigation of charges of illegal in-kind help by the WFP to defraud the city's public financing system. This court hearing came months at the WFP and their partners in the progressive unions used the Citizens Unions PAC and the city's public campaign finance system to take over City Hall, and at the time the party is pressuring Cuomo to adopt a public campaign finance system statewide.

WFP's Lawyers Attacking the Prosecutors 
The Statan Island special prosecutor is looking into if the WFP skirted campaign finance rules by providing services to endorsed candidates at discounted rates, thus defrauded the city's public financing program. Special prosecutor Adler said the underlying campaign finance issues transcend the Working Families Party matter. "The public needs to know that people gaming the system will be held accountable," he said. "Accountability is important to ensure that … people will not be able to game the system and take unfair advantage and unlawfully affect elections. The investigation deals with the fairness of the council campaign and whether or not the campaign finance system was gamed during the 2009 election. That is what the grand jury needs to resolve."

 How the WFP is Trying to Stop the Special Prosecutor
 The Working Families Party is trying to stop an investigation of a city council election launched by Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, the prosecutor's ex parte application to be relieved of the case, and a judge's decision to grant the motion and appoint a special prosecutor without revealing why. Working Families Party v. Fisher, 59, centers on a probe Donovan launched into a 2009 City Council campaign and apparently involves the party's use of a not-for-profit arm to promote liberal Democrats. The WFP has challenged Donovan's authority to recuse himself and Fisher's authority to relieve the district attorney without "a showing of actual prejudice based on a demonstrated conflict of interest," as mandated by County Law §701. The Appellate Division, Second Department, last August rejected the party's petition and affirmed the appointment of Adler. It held that a writ of prohibition is suitable to challenge the appointment of a special district attorney only if the special D.A. is performing a quasi-judicial function, as opposed to conducting an investigation. In another case in the past WFP lawyer Avi Schick has been trying to quash subpoenas from a special prosecutor that involve a 2009 council race on Staten Island. * Boot special prosecutor in S.I. election probe, Working Families Party tells court(SI Advance)

What Was Argued  At the Appeals Court Hearing 

Last Tuesday, WFP's lawyer Avi Schick, counsel for the WFP, stressed that the party is not questioning Adler's investigation. Rather, he said it is challenging Fisher's authority to replace the district attorney. During oral arguments, Judge Victoria Graffeo questioned why the WFP cares if Donovan or Adler investigates. Judge Eugene Pigott seemed troubled by the secrecy of the matter. Judge Robert Smith hinted more than once that Schick might want to move to unseal the record to find out just why Donovan recused himself. Judges also questioned whether the target of an investigation should be permitted to choose its own prosecutor, and whether the WFP, if it gets Donovan restored and then finds he had a legitimate reason for stepping aside, could then seek to have him removed. The District Attorneys Association of the State of New York appeared amicus curiae in support of Donovan. In its brief, the group said that "justice is not served when a district attorney is put in a position where he or she believes there is a conflict of interest but recusal is not permitted." Interestingly, none of the issues before the Court of Appeals would stop the investigation from going forward. Rather, the most the Working Families Party can hope for is an order shifting the case back to Donovan. A six-judge panel will hear arguments late Tuesday afternoon. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has recused himself for unstated reasons.* Judge Fern A. Fisher appointed Roger Bennet Adler special prosecutor in January 2012. * A decision in the appeal is not expected for weeks.

The Media Ignores Efforts to Block An Investigation Into the Most Powerful and Successful Party in New York
The News Blog City and State under their former name City Hall did a 5 part investigation of Data and Field. That investigation for unknown reasons have been taken off the internet. But the following are some of what was in the City and State investigation: The NYC Working Families Party Scam UPDATED - Daily Kos *   The incestuous relationship between Working Families Party & Data & Field Services * ACORN, the Working Families Party and Political Corruption, Part I (Brightbart) * The Working Families Party Scam - Huffington Post * Breaking: WFP/ACORN Takes The Fifth On Corruption Suit. * Alleged Corruption In Obama's Working Families Party: 'Inside The DFS Experience' * Meet Avi Schick, New York’s New Steamroller (NYO) * Manhattan federal prosecutors previously launched a criminal probe into the matter but closed the case in 2010 with no charges being filed, according to published reports.

What the WFP's Data and Field Case is About
In 2012, Brooklyn attorney Roger Adler, a Democrat, was appointed as a special prosecutor to probe allegations that Working Families had been manipulating state and city election law. Critics of WFP have charged for years that Data & Field Services (DFS) has provided heavily discounted consulting work for Working Families candidates, essentially giving them in-kind contributions without publicly disclosing it. The NYT editorial in 2009 Questions for Data and Field, wrote: "For example, the company charged City Councilman Bill de Blasio of Brooklyn $5,000 for lists of voters. Officials from other campaigns have complained that sophisticated voter files like those often used by the Working Families Party could cost $25,000 to $40,000. If there is such a differential — and lists can vary considerably — the extra should be counted as a campaign contribution and as part of the cap on allowed spending."  In 2010, Working Families agreed to settle a civil lawsuit on the issue but didn’t admit wrongdoing, paying $100,000 for legal bills to Randy Mastro, a former Giuliani deputy mayor who brought the suit. It also signed a court agreement that DFS would end its association with the party. In 2011 Supreme Court Judge Anthony Giacobbe found Data and Field Services in contempt of court for not complying with the court's February, 2010 order, which we explain in some detail here. Data And Field Services Held In Contempt(NYDN) The upshot is that DFS was required to do a number of things the court felt it didn't do. Instead, it changed its status from for-profit to non-profit, decided the costs of its own services rather than getting an estimate of fair market value, didn't make sure board members had the required degree of independence from the WFP and failed to get an independent evaluation of the software it uses for its clients. * In Feud, Working Families Party Turns Tables on Prosecutor(NYT, 2013) * Working Families Party back under investigation | Crains (2012) * NY Political Parties for Sale: Ballot Corruption 2009 Election Probe Emerges Again(WSJ)* The Death Of DFS (Updated)(YNN) * WFP Concedes Admits No Wrongdoing  (Capital) * Kaye Report - Working Families Party * No Charges Against Working Families Party - * For Working Families Party, Inquiries Without End (NYP) * Dan Cantor's Machine - The American Prospect

WFP, Acorn 2.0 and the New Progressive Machine

Daily News Tells Cuomo to Just Say Not to WFP and IP
The Daily News writes that with both the Working Families and Independence parties courting Cuomo to be on their ballot lines, Cuomo should just say no to both parties

The NYT Looks Only At the WFP Estrangement From Cuomo
Public financing emerging as the price of a Cuomo-WFP bid 
"I obviously will be supporting Cuomo for re-election," says when asked about WFP considering another candidate 

De Blasio Mum on Whether WFP Should Endorse Cuomo(NYO)
Worried that a liberal challenger could take votes away from him, Cuomo is working to repair his relationship with the Working Families Party, which needs a candidate who can garner 50,000 votes in order to keep the party on the ballot.
Cuomo Works to Mend Fences With Liberals(NYT) leader Dan Cantor says party leaders honestly don't know how rift with will work out. Leaders of the Working Families Party say Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has drifted too far to the right, and are privately talking about nominating their own candidate to run for governor this year. Cuomo has won significant support from traditionally Republican constituencies, including business executives who like his tax cuts and Wall Street financiers delighted with his support of charter schools. But this courtship has come at a price: As he begins his bid for a second term, he is struggling to hold on to support from the left wing of his own party. According to the paper, Mr. Cuomo “has expressed resentment at being issued an ultimatum over public financing by party leaders.” But he has nonetheless been working behind-the-scenes “to convince the party’s leaders and other activists that he shares their goal. In a private meeting with advocates of campaign finance reform, Mr. Cuomo said that when he is eulogized, he wants to be remembered for three accomplishments: legalizing same-sex marriage, tightening gun laws and passing a public-financing system, according to people with firsthand knowledge of the meeting.” * "If it's close, everything matters -- including running mates." Cuomo and Astorino LG Picks. (Newsday) * Westchester County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino plans to invite President Barack Obama and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to take time Wednesday to visit Westchester communities “in search of any evidence of racial discrimination,” the Post’s Fred Dicker writes:  

*Your Not Talking to Me Cuomo has shown that his campaign strategy is to refuse to engage Astorino while Democratic operatives engage him instead, the Wall Street Journal writes *Cuomo lets a running-mate question linger(Capital) What LG pick will do the governor the least harm?* The Wall Street Journal chronicled Mr. Cuomo’s refusal to says the name of his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino. “In public, Mr. Cuomo avoids even oblique references to Mr. Astorino; the governor has never said his challenger’s name in public, an aide confirmed. And he declines to answer reporters’ questions on the subject. Asked in early April to respond to Mr. Astorino’s criticism of the state budget deal, Mr. Cuomo listened—stone-faced—to the question while squeezing a baseball (a news conference prop) between his hands. His curt response: ‘Yeah, that’s nice.’”* In the Wall Street Journal, Jessica Proud, a spokeswoman for Mr. Astorino, “questioned why a government official intervened on Ms. Lee’s behalf.” “If the average person has to go through this then the governor should as well,” she said. Mr. Cuomo’s campaign in response: “This is just Rob Astorino playing his little Westchester political games about a gazebo when he should be doing his job.”* "lieutenant governor is arguably the least important of all of NY's many elected posts, until the moment it’s not" (Capital) * . likes working with Republicans, but he won't take their ballot line. via * Republicans pounce on renovation   *DiNapoli On The ‘Ironies’ Of Public Financing (Updated)(YNN) * Assemblyman Keith Wright, the co-chair of the state Democratic Party, filed a complaint accusing state GOP Chairman Ed Cox of fraud for living in Manhattan and voting on Long Island, the Daily News reports:* GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino blasted Cuomo for not seeking a permit to renovate the home owned by his partner, Sandra Lee, although a local official dismissed concerns about it, Gannett Albany writes: 
Absent a major win like pub financing, how does WFP back Cuomo in conscience? On fiscal policy he is what party claims to exist to oppose.

NYP Rips Off City and State's Investigation On the Moreland Commission

 Corruption panel records show improperly reported campaign expenses(NYP)* Sen. John DeFrancisco and Onondaga DA Bill Fitzpatrick traded barbs over the senator’s proposed Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct, which he insists has nothing to do with the Moreland Commission, an investigatory panel co-chaired by Fitzpatrick that subpoenaed legislators as it looked into public corruption and campaign finance laws.* Citing City & State’s reporting on the Moreland commission, the Democrat and Chronicle’s Kevin Frisch writes that the people would love to change the system that allows state lawmakers to spend campaign cash on virtually anything, but lawmakers not so much* Cuomo said the findings of the Moreland Commission he scuttled should be “pursued vigorously” by federal prosecutors.

Monday Moreland Cover Up Of Lawmakers questionable campaign spending

Inside Moreland: Documents Reveal Details of Lawmakers' Campaign Spending (City and State)
Internal documents reveal the Moreland Commission targeted questionable campaign spending by state lawmakers. State Sen. George Maziarz shelled out more than $140,000 in campaign funds over a six-year period without identifying what exactly he purchased, according to an investigation by the now defunct Moreland Commission on Public Corruption—by far the most of any state lawmaker. State Sen. Patrick Gallivan was found to have about $80,000 in unreported campaign credit card expenses, including hundreds of dollars spent on cigars, tanning, and at salons and casinos. State Sen. Greg Ball laid out around $23,000 at retail stores, including Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic and Amore Clothing. The Commission also flagged purchases ranging from car repairs and auto insurance to children’s items—even a payment to Do-do, the self-proclaimed “Clown of Clowns”—as well as tens of thousands of dollars charged to state lawmakers’ credit cards with little to no explanation of what they bought. These revelations were uncovered by the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption as part of a broad investigation into the spending of campaign funds by state lawmakers that was shut down when Gov. Andrew Cuomo abruptly disbanded the Commission last month. State Sen. John Sampson, who is currently under indictment for a host of corruption charges and others allegations, got the Commission’s attention for $38,000 in “unitemized credit card expenditures without any memo detailing the expenses.” Sampson also had over $50,000 in expenditures related to the New York Yankees described as fundraising costs. The Commission documents also note that another Democrat, state Sen. Rubén Díaz, Sr., who had over $18,000 of unexplained charges and expenditures to American Express from mid-2007 through mid-2013, at one point “held five cars under his campaign account,” although by 2010 he had “surrendered the plates” of four of them. State Sen. Diane Savino, a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, had $40,000 in self-reimbursements without any memo detailing the reason or source of original payment. Bronx Democratic Party Chairman Carl Heastie, one of the few members of the Assembly who turn up in the Commission documents, attracted attention for the approximately $25,000 in unitemized credit card expenditures his campaign made over the years the investigators analyzed, most of which without any explanation of their purpose. Heastie, reached by phone, said, “I’ve heard nothing from them. I’m not concerned whatsoever. You’re not required to itemize expenses under 50 bucks.” spent $125K at retailers such as BJ's and Target; spent $23K on new threads at Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers*  Update Moreland referrals spur call for itemized expenses(Capital) * Citizen Action is calling on state lawmakers to itemize campaign expenditures after a report that the Moreland Commission referred two dozen cases to Albany DA David Soares.* * Former Moreland Commission Co-Chairman Bill Fitzpatrick claimed that a proposed oversight commission for prosecutors was retaliation to Moreland investigations, The Syracuse Post-Standard reports:
Since when are tanning salon appointments and Dodo the Clown of Clowns not legitimate campaign expenses?
More on US Attorney Preet Bharara
More on the Moreland Investigation Updates or Media Cover-Up

Last Month Before Cuomo Closed Moreland True News: In NY We Kill the Investigation prosecutor

Investigating the investigators(NYP) GOP Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin said it best: Only in New York, he tweeted, could the governor appoint an anti-corruption commission and wind up with a federal prosecutor investigating whether the governor corrupted it.  Before the panel was closed down, there were repeated and disturbing reports that its executive director, a long-time Cuomo aide, blocked subpoenas and diverted investigations of the governor’s political allies and donors.This, despite Cuomo’s repeated insistence that the commission was “independent” and had the right to investigate whatever it wanted. Cuomo now suggests he always intended the Moreland Commission to be little more than a political lever to prod Albany into passing an ethics package.

Crime Spike in the Bronx. . .   
In the public safety chair’s backyard, crime is on the rise(Capital) CM Gibson, a Democratic former assemblywoman who is now chair of the Council's public safety committee, reiterated those sentiments at a hearing yesterday, telling Carlos Gomez, chief of the NYPD's housing bureau, “What is the problem? Why are we having such an increase in crime at public housing? … Crime is actually going in the wrong direction.”

The Judges Rip Off Phillips Estate. . .   

DA probes prominent judge’s penniless death in nursing home(NYP) The Brooklyn DA is probing how a prominent judge came to die penniless in a nursing home, after angry relatives claimed his estate had been looted and demanded an investigation.Relatives of Civil Court Judge John Phillips — known as “the kung-fu judge” because of his black belt — say his court-appointed guardians took exorbitant fees and ran up a million-dollar IRS bill by failing to file taxes. The Rev. Samuel Boykin, a nephew of the Alzheimer’s- stricken Phillips, estimates the alleged rip-off cost the judge and his heirs $20 million to $30 million. One guardian was accused in 2006 of improperly paying herself out of Phillips’ assets. Then-DA Charles Hynes referred the case to the Appellate Division, and the guardian was suspended for taking $327,000.
More About the Brooklyn DA Office

Hate Speech and A Threat By Assemblywoman Hooper At A Young Person. . .   
Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper, who serves as the Assembly’s deputy speaker, was kicked out of the annual mock session for legislative interns after yelling at an intern and threatening her with a poor gradeBad temper gets Assemblywoman booted from mock session(NYDN)

Smith Said He Bought With Cash His Senate Major Position. . .   
Smith kept pols ‘on the payroll’ before ballot bribes: feds(NYP) Embattled state Sen. Malcolm Smith claimed he had fellow pols “on the payroll” long before he got busted in a scheme to bribe his way onto the New York City mayoral ballot, the feds say. Court papers filed ahead of Smith’s upcoming Manhattan corruption trial say he unwittingly told an FBI informant that he bought his way into power as majority leader by doling out campaign cash to other senators in 2008. According to court filings, state Sen. Malcolm Smith told an FBI informant he paid other senators with campaign funds to become Senate majority leader in 2008 and planned to use the same process while running for majority leader again in 2012

AEG51 5ths' Hank Sheinkopf An Adviser to Smith When the Dems Won A Majority of the State Senate
Indicted senator Smith told FBI informant about pay scheme to get majority leader position
 "Hank Sheinkopf, an adviser to Mr. Smith, (2008) denounced the senators behind the revolt. “This is obviously an attempt by a couple of people to get personal power at the expense of the taxpayers,” Mr. Sheinkopf said. “It disrupts the Senate at a critical period, when issues like mayoral control are yet undecided."*  From Daily News 2008 "Smith's supporters say the 52-year-old is perfectly suited for the task: a skilled communicator who's adept at bringing lawmakers together. "He's like one of those really great coaches who gets the absolute best out of his players," said state Sen. Eric Schneiderman, a Manhattan Democrat. "That's a real special quality." * Aqueduct IG gaming report rips Paterson, Senate leadership (TU)  In revelations likely to have an impact on the elections just 11 days away -- especially the races that could determine Democrats' tenuous control of the state Senate -- the report holds special disdain for the behavior of Senate leaders John Sampson, who runs the majority conference, and Malcolm Smith, the former majority leader who was pushed aside after the June 2008 Senate coup. In May 2009, an assistant to Senate Secretary Angelo Aponte e-mailed a memo analyzing the bids of all six bidders at the time to AEG consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who has worked for numerous Democrats. When questioned by the inspector general's investigators, Sheinkopf invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.* * Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley is due to be release from a federal halfway house May 31, but the fate of Smith and the eight people she caught on a federal wire is still unclear, the Post writes: * State Sen. Malcolm Smith allegedly put lawmakers ‘on the payroll’ to win majority leader position(NYDN) The Queens Democrat spent $50,000 or $60,000 to secure other senators’ votes to appoint him majority leader, according to court papers filed ahead of Smith’s bribery trial. Long before his bust in bribe scheme to secure a spot on the mayoral ballot, state Sen. Malcolm Smith had fellow lawmakers "on the payroll," the feds say. Smith said he contributed $1,000 to the campaigns of approximately 10 senators during the last week of their 2008 campaigns, the court papers allege. "In return, he gained their votes for majority leader," the Manhattan Federal Court filing says.

Corrupt Lobbyist Sheinkopf Says the WFP is Corrupt . . .  Rebuild the Liberal Party

Dems adviser urging Cuomo to forget Working Families Party(NYP) A long time Democratic political strategist and current member of the state party is urging Gov. Cuomo to forget about the Working Families Party and focus on creating his own liberal third party. Hank Sheinkopf told The Post it would look bad if Cuomo sought and accepted the line given the party’s current state. “The guy who put Hevesi in jail could be part of a party under investigation,” Sheinkopf said speaking about a 2009 federal probe into the party regarding campaign related services. Sheinkopf, a well know Democratic strategist, said he was speaking not on behalf of the state party–where he was hired to do consulting work—but rather on his own. Accepting the WFP line, in its current state, would give Cuomo’s challenger, republican Rob Astorino, real ammo in the campaign, Sheinkopf said. Instead Sheinkopf believes Cuomo should form his own liberal party minority line “a party that doesn’t put pressure on the middle class”. “He has the popularity and resources,” Sheinkopf said of Cuomo’s potential to garner the necessary 50,000 votes to keep a smaller liberal party line in future elections.

The WFP Already Throws Mud Back At the Liberal Party

NY's Corrupt Parties Good@Throwing Mud
“The idea that reviving the corrupt Liberal Party that endorsed [Rudy] Giuliani as a progressive alternative to the Working Families Party won’t fool a single person,” said Khan Shoieb, New York Communications Director for the Working Families Party. Gov. Cuomo and the WFP have been at odds in recent months over Cuomo’s agenda.

Is  Sheinkopf Hit On the WFP Intended to Lower the Reform Demands on Cuomo to Get the Party's Ballot Line?

Or is Sheinkopf Warning the WFP to Play Ball?
The party says Cuomo is not acting progressive enough, pointing to what they call his watered-down version of a public financing bill, and to his creating a rift between himself and Mayor de Blasio over charter schools. A chess match between Cuomo and the WFP has been going on since the spat began. Shortly after the tension started to mount between the two Cuomo let on he was trying to revive the Liberal Party. But of late reports have surfaced that the Governor’s people are quietly talking with WFP heads behind closed doors.  The party, who will nominate a gubernatorial candidate at a May 31convention, has not ruled out picking someone other than Cuomo

WFP Campaign Finance Push But the Real Fight is About Control of the State Senate Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with good-government advocates and a top Working Families Party official to gauge support for a possible compromise on public campaign financing, Capital New York reports: * Members of the Democratic Senate conference and advocates who have pushed for public campaign financing over the years say they won’t support any agreement they deem watered-down, State of Politics reports:* Sources: Negotiations Underway for State Campaign Finance Reform Agreement(NY1) 

. says privately that when eulogized he wants to be remembered for 3 things: gun control, gay marriage, public campaign finance.

Sheinkopf Up to His Balls In the FBI AEG Corruption Scandal is Somehow Working for the Democratic Party

Sheinkopf took the 5th when asked questions by the NY former state Inspector General Joseph Fisch about the AEG scandal which is still being investigated by the feds as part of the AEG investigation.  The Feds are also investigating a Board Of Election (the cesspool of political corruption) contract for new machines that Sheinkopf was a lobbyist for. Feds investigate switch by Board of Elections ... - New York Post  "Sheinkopf copped a memo, (Barrett, Village Voice, 2010) too, obtaining it from an aide to the top Senate staffer, Angelo Aponte, who Sheinkopf personally installed in the key spot. He had the power to do that because the skillful Sheinkopf doubles as a lobbyist and as a political consultant, and had advised Senate Democrats in the elections that led to the 2008 majority, helping to make Malcolm Smith majority leader. Sheinkopf collected $356,741 in consulting fees from the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee at the same time that he was representing AEG and its precursor with Senate Democrats. Having worked for Bill Thompson and Mike Bloomberg
most recently, Sheinkopf makes kings so he can then make deals with the kings he’s made."  More on Hank Sheinkopf
More About Corrupt Hank Sheinkopf

de Blasio's Pro-Israel Lobby Meeting Behind Closed Doors . . .    .
EXCLUSIVE: Mayor Bill de Blasio's secret appearance at right-leaning pro-Israel lobby angered liberal Jewish supporters (NYT) Groups that usually back de Blasio were upset to learn Hizzoner had participated in an event with the hard-line American Israel Public Affairs Committee without making it public, emails obtained by the Daily News show. State Sen. Liz Krueger said City Hall admitted it needed to do a better job conveying de Blasio's feelings about Israel to liberal Jews. “I am actually getting as many angry messages from Jewish non-AIPAC folks (Pro Israel, J Street and Peace Now Supporters) than I did on the east side snow problems,” State Sen. Liz Krueger wrote to de Blasio’s senior aide Emma Wolfe on Jan. 30.

The kind of "bad press" a NYC pol dreams of :
What Happens to the Poor If the City Runs Out of Money?  . . . 
“BILL’S COOKED BOOKS” -- Nicole Gelinas in the Post: “[I]t’s not progressive or responsible to put poor New Yorkers at risk of severe and sudden cutbacks in a couple of years’ time so that our fresh-faced mayor can pretend that everything is wonderful now.”Is Mayor de Blasio a progressive? Revealing his budget last Thursday, the mayor said he equates “fiscal responsibility” with “progressive values.”But it’s not progressive or responsible to put poor New Yorkers at risk of severe and sudden cutbacks in a couple of years’ time so that our fresh-faced mayor can pretend that everything is wonderful now. City Comptroller Scott Stringer — our elected fiscal watchdog — should say so. to : the city is dangerously dependent on tax revenue from the top 1% of earners.* . says she was blocked from asking Qs at a de Blasio budget hearing.* Updated: Moody's: pattern bargaining with could bloat future gaps (NYDN)* * New York City’s new $5.5 billion contract with the teachers union and looming labor deals will drive up future deficits, leading Moody’s to label Mayor Bill de Blasio’s executive budget as "credit negative," Crain’s reports:

NYT Says A Puerto Rican Community is Gone But Does Not Explain How It Was Removed

Rebuilding a Neighborhood, but Not a Community(NYT) Like much of the Lower East Side, Delancey Street has gone upscale. And now, the more than five blocks that lay fallow for nearly five decades will be rebuilt over time as Essex Crossing. There will be 1.9 million square feet for stores, offices, restaurants, the Andy Warhol Museum and, finally, housing. Half of the 1,000 planned apartments will be at market rate; the rest will be for low- to moderate-income tenants. Gone is a community on the Lower East Side of Manhattan that vanished 47 years ago, when some 1,800 families, mostly poor and Puerto Rican, were uprooted and their tenement homes demolished in the name of urban renewal. 

In March the NYT Explained How Silver and Rapfogel Kick the Puerto Ricans Out 
Amazing look at New York power brokers ensuring...inertia 
 "Mr. Silver and Mr. Rapfogel steadfastly opposed any mention of affordable housing ..."(NYT) They Kept a Lower East Side Lot Vacant for 47 Years. The long-ago walk was the first public display of an alliance that became central to the lives and careers of both Mr. Rapfogel and Mr. Silver. They worked together across the decades while climbing parallel ladders: Mr. Silver to Assembly speaker and Mr. Rapfogel to leadership of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a large, publicly financed charity. But their long affiliation came to an abrupt end last year when Mr. Rapfogel, 59, was arrested and charged in a scheme that had allegedly looted more than $7 million in kickbacks from Met Council’s insurance broker over the years.

True News Called the Council's Member Items Reforms Bull Shit Before the Daily News, NYT

Last Weeks Cartoon From True News Wags the NYT 

Today's NYT writes that proposed rule changes to improve the legislative process for the New York City Council are good, but where the rules reform package doesn’t crack down harder on members’ ability to steal money is bad The City Council, Playing by Better Rules(NYT Ed) The New York City Council missed an opportunity by seeking to study “member items” rather than end these stipends that pad members’ salaries.

De Blasio Says End Member Items Now  . . .  
Bill de Blasio Says ‘It’s Time to End Member Items’(NYO)
Mayor Bill de Blasio today repeated his opposition to City Council member items, setting himself up for a showdown in the coming months with council members, who rely on the millions of dollars to fund senior centers, parks and other projects in their districts, boosting their reputations in the process.

Fake Council Progressives Have Removed Reform From the Progressive Movement

Daily News Editorial  Stick a fork in the pork(NYDN Ed) The Council doubles down on "what, me worry?" as yet another member is arrested.  Following the arrest of Ruben Wills, Mayor de Blasio needs to stand up to objections from City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and push to abolish member items or require that all contracts be awarded based on competitive sealed bids.
Councilman's Arrest Revives Debate on Grants(WSJ)

NYC Councilman Ruben Wills: “ I am not resigning on charges, this is America, people. We are presumed  innocent before we are proven guilty.” * Ruben Wills: ‘I Am Presumed Innocent and That’s What I’m Going With’(NYO) * Wills Used Charity To Conceal Matching Funds Theft (Updated)(YNN)  * Councilman Ruben Wills defiantly proclaimed his innocence after arrest for looting a non-profit group he once ran (NYP) * Schneiderman Slams Councilman Wills’ ‘Shameful Breach’ of Trust(NYO) 

Bill de Blasio Says ‘It’s Time to End Member Items’(NYO) Mayor Bill de Blasio today repeated his opposition to City Council member items, setting himself up for a showdown in the coming months with council members, who rely on the millions of dollars to fund senior centers, parks and other projects in their districts, boosting their reputations in the process.

Now Wills is A Crook and Failed Rat?  .

Wills hit with corruption charges as wire doesn’t catch(NYP)
Indicted City Councilman Ruben Wills was trying to get the goods on fellow lawmakers — and get the heat off himself during a state probe of his shady nonprofit — by wearing a wire. Wills, who was arrested last week by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, was doing the secret recording at the behest of Schneiderman’s ­office, two sources said.But Wills apparently failed to deliver. “He was radioactive, and nobody would speak to him,” a lawmaker said. “Nobody would have anything to do with him.”

Wills's Campaign Finance Reality Check?  

The arrest of Queens Councilman Ruben Wills is a reality check for those who tout public financing of campaigns as the key to cleaning up Albany. Welcome to the notoriously sleazy Legislature in Albany, where gaming the campaign finance laws is an art form. A see-no-evil Board of Elections, which is party-controlled and paralyzed in the face of runaway lawbreaking. Good money after bad  (NYDN) The arrest of Ruben Wills should give public campaign finance enthusiasts pause. During his first, failed run for the City Council in 2009, Wills collected $139,818 in public money from the CFB — 79% of his total budget. According to the indictment from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Wills then secretly funneled $11,500 of his campaign funds to a nonprofit group he controlled, NY4Life, and glommed the money for strictly personal expenses — such as buying a $750 Louis Vuitton handbag.

True News Wag the NYP on Huntley Release  

Today's NYP
Huntley to be released as other politicians await probe fallout(NYP)

Last Thursday
Shirley Huntley Also Home From Prison

True News Exclusive 
Shirley Huntley was rewarded Thursday for her work as a government snitch and got out of jail. One day after her former chief of staff Councilman Ruben Wills is arrested.  To save herself, Huntley agreed to secretly record fellow politicians and two political operatives at her Queens home, where she was recuperating from a broken ankle.In June, July and August 2012, Huntley hosted fellow lawmakers in her den, catching them on recording devices hidden in a water bottle, a key chain and a cigarette case. It was unclear why the feds focused on the nine guests, but at least four had links to the tainted bid by the Aqueduct Entertainment Group to build a racino at the Queens racetrack. The feds reportedly directed Huntley to ask them about Aqueduct.

With the arrest last week of one of the group, Rubin Wills, the “Huntley Nine” are asking: Who’s next?

Get the Feeling Queens Pols Feel They Can Get Over On DA Brown?
9 Queens Pols Arrested Since 2006 With the arrest of New York City Councilman Ruben Wills marking the ninth Queens politician to have been investigated, arrested or convicted of corruption since 2006, some borough residents say they’re fed up with lawmaker corruption, the New York Post reports: 

Queens Corruption and District Attorney
Albany Corruption

CM Dromm Foe Of Charters Goes After Their Leasing Arrangements ?  

Monday Update 
Charters, Public Schools and a Chasm Between(NYT)Although a primary rationale for charter schools is to test practices for wider public-school use, battles over space and money have inhibited attempts at collaboration

Charter schools paying millions in taxpayer money to middlemen while students suffer(NYDN) Brooklyn Dreams pays $2.3 million to for-profit firm National Heritage Academies to lease space from the Catholic Church — at a price much higher than what the city would normally pay. Dozens of for-profit vendors such as NHA are collecting millions from charter schools, but can't always account for how it's spent. Parents say for all the funding, charter school students are still being shortchanged.On a quiet Ditmas Park side street, taxpayers shell out $2.3 million a year to lease space from the Catholic Church for a charter school called Brooklyn Dreams. What’s shrouded in a cloak of secrecy is whether the arrangement is a good deal for the taxpayer. That’s because a for-profit firm called National Heritage Academies acts as a middleman, renting space from the church at rates it calls “private.” Then NHA sublets the space to Brooklyn Dreams. The firm charges the school $46.99 per square foot — much more than the $14.25 to $25.50 per square foot the city typically pays to lease school space from the church. In effect, the for-profit company is charging the taxpayers at a far higher rate— in some cases more than double — than what the city would normally pay to rent space for public schools. Each year dozens of for-profit vendors are paid by charters, including accountants, financial advisors and real estate brokers. One company, the Manhattan-based Charter School Business Management Inc., has experienced 176% growth since 2009, with revenue growing from $1.4 million to $3.8 million in 2012. CM Dromm wants to know how these contracts are awarded, if there’s competitive bidding to hold down costs and whether board members have financial ties to vendors hired by the schools — a conflict that’s emerged several times in recent years.

Dromm Beats the UFT Drums Against Charters
Opponents blast charter schools at testy hearing(NYP)  Charter-school opponents bludgeoned the schools’ leaders during an eight-hour City Council Education Committee hearing Tuesday — in sharp contrast to Mayor de Blasio’s recent bid to mend ties with charter operators. Committee Chairman Daniel Dromm wore an orange United Federation of Teachers shirt inside-out to protest one charter school’s disciplinary policy.* Beating the Dromm(NYP ED) * A real win for NYC’s schoolkids(NYP) * Success Academy boss Eva Moskowitz a no-show for City Council hearing on charter schools(NYDN)

de Blasio Has Made Women Equal Partner and More At City Hall?  

The Women of 
City Hall
The Women of New York’s City Hall(NYT) The longtime fraternity of government power — a boys’ club that women have been admitted to for years but without ever becoming a dominant force — now resembles a sorority where women are helping set Mayor Bill de Blasio’s agenda, squeezing real estate developers for better deals, and prodding entrenched bureaucrats out of their comfort zones.
“The longtime fraternity of government power now resembles a sorority where women are helping set Mayor Bill de Blasio’s agenda, squeezing real estate developers for better deals, and prodding entrenched bureaucrats out of their comfort zones. …At meetings at every level throughout City Hall, women now equal or outnumber men.” And even the men in the administration, according to Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, have a different quality than those she’d worked with under previous mayors. “The men in this administration are in touch with their feminine side,” she told the paper. “There’s a gentler group. I’m used to the high masculinity, testosterone-driven group, and they’re not.”

Hey Manhattan Who is A Bum Now

BK real estate "feels like 2005 a little bit”; new hotels TK on Schermerhorn & nr BAM "Brooklyn" surges as baby name. The residential developers offered their views and advice on the future of Brooklyn’s commercial real estate landscape at theBrooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, stressing the importance of a careful plan and high-end amenity package in commanding higher pricing and rents.
“The competition is very tough out there,” said Douglas Patrick, a principal atHeatherwood, who sat on the “Brooklyn Unveiled” panel with a number of developers with up-and-coming residential projects across the borough. “Invest the extra money and you will get the return on your investment.”
Heatherwood developed 568 Union in Williamsburg, which features a concierge, fitness center, roof terrace, parking and outdoor pool, much like the other projects discussed. Panelists noted that Brooklyn is no longer just a value play for those moving into the neighborhood. The borough has some of the best schools in the city and more people working in Manhattan are living in Brooklyn, meaning that neighborhoods with the best access to transportation (and waterfront access) have been among the quickest to evolve.

Now NYT Puts Pressure On Cuomo to Reject the Independence Party . . .
NYT's Move Seen As Attempt to Knock Out IDC GOP Coalition Government

Independence Party leaders use endorsement for profit, Jay Jacobs alleges - Newsday

The NYT Political Club House
The New York Times writes that the Independence Party should lose its prime place on the state ballot, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo could make that happen by rejecting the party’s endorsement:  * Nassau County Democratic Party leader and former state Democratic Party chair Jay Jacobs is trying to convince Cuomo not to accept Independence Party backing in his quest for re-election, the Daily News reports:

Daily News Also Puts Pressure On Cuomo to Dump the IP
Gonzalez: City union leaders to fund raises with $1 billion transfer from health account(NYDN Ed)

Independence Party Is Really A Cult

Putin Nyet: How the Mulgrew's UFT and the Scott Levenson's Advance Group Illegally Took Over NYC's Government

Story to be posted later this weekend

Saturday Daily News Picks Up on the Friday's NYP's UFT Taping Story Sabotaging Education Reformers

School critics say teachers union deal doesn't help kids — it's 'petty politics'(NYDN) After teachers union president Michael Mulgrew gloated about the labor deal in a leaked recording, critics of the $5.3 billion deal are fighting back, saying the contract isn’t good policy. Michael Mulgrew said he’s at war with education reformers — and now they’re fighting back over his dismissive comments and the teachers contract they say condemns students to subpar schooling. Jenny Sedlis of Students FirstNY, a pro-charter, anti-union group, called Mulgrew’s victory lap “shameless.”“For anyone that thought this was about kids, we know this is the truth,” said Campbell Brown, a former CNN anchor and outspoken critic of the union. Critics said a close reading of the memorandum of agreement between the city and union reveals the new process of terminating teachers in the 1,200-strong costly Absent Teacher Reserve doesn’t actually increase the likelihood they’ll be canned.*IT'S 'PETTY POLITICS': School critics slamming teachers union $5.3 billion deal and UFT boss Michael Mulgrew(NYDN) * Mulgrew’s wicked game(NYDN Ed) Mayor de Blasio just struck a major deal with a union boss who boasts about using negotiations to gut reforms he claimed to support.* Teachers lose retroactive pay in if they quit before 2020(NYP0

Finally: The Post is no longer alone in claiming the teachers union acted in bad faith. The union’s boss says so himself

Mulgrew "Gum up the works"
 Parents, staff & pols won’t support union head’s reform ‘war’(NYP) * A union boss confesses(NYP Ed) United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew has admitted he and his union are “at war with the reformers.” He said they sought “to one more time wink at Bloomberg” — the union had clashed bitterly with the former mayor — “and say ‘gotcha.’ ” Mulgrew confessed his real aim was to “gum up the works” to thwart any teacher ratings: “We had a goal that this year would be the first and only year” teachers were subjected to the new system. In the end, Mulgrew’s secret war paid off. He waited for a sympathetic mayor, Bill de Blasio, to give him what he wanted. And as StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis noted on these pages Friday, the city’s kids got little in return.

Campaign 2013: UFT Gumming Up the  City Council's Checks and Balances Role With Campaign Contributions
The UFT PAC Contributed to 31 of the 51 Council Members

Mulgrew "Gum up the works"
When we think "outside spending," it's usually corporations who come to mind, but with the education system becoming further and further embroiled in controversy over efficiency and charter schools, it makes sense that this would be a key race for educators' unions such as UFT. The United Federation of Teachers, through its political spending body, "United for the Future," has spent the most money of any group in the race, $3.3 million on 37 elections. United for the Future contributed to the following 31 of the 51 council members.

Thomas Jefferson Fought Centralized Power, UFT's Mulgrew Worked With the Advance Group to Centralized With Money NYC's News Progressive Tammany Hall

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Inez Dickens (Advance Client), Corey Johnson (Berlin Rosen Client) (running against Advance client Yetta Krukland), Mark Levine (Advance Client), Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez, Paul Vallone (Mercury Client), Rosie Mendez, Councilman Andrew King, Councilman James Vacca (Red Horse Client), Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson (Red Horse Client), Councilwoman Annabel Palma (Red Horse Client), Councilman Costa Constantinides, Mark Weprin (Hudson TG), Councilman Daneek Miller (Red Horse Client), Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (Hudson TG), Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (Berlin Rosen Client), Councilman Richard Donovan (Berlin Rosen Client), Councilman Eric Ulrich, Councilman Antonio Reynoso (Red Horse Client), Councilman Brad Lander, Councilman Mathieu Eugene (Advance Client), Councilwoman Inez Barron, Councilman Jumaane Williams, Councilman Alan Maisel (Brandford), Councilman Mark Treyger (Hudson TG), Councilwoman Debra Rose (Brandford), Councilman Steven Matteo, Councilman Robert Jackson (Boro President Candidate), Councilman Vincent Ignizio.

Where the Check On de Blasio Budget? Council? Comptroller?  . . .   

Mulgrew "Gum up the works"
‘Great place’: De Blasio’s budget leaves a (mostly) contented Council(Capital)* As he presented his $73.9 billion budget at City Hall Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was giving up on his campaign promise to get rid of the City Council's discretionary funding, saying he and the Council have "agreed to disagree" on the topic.* Friction by press release only.

 Now We Have Secret UFT Tapes That Take Credit for Sabotaging Education Reformers
Teachers union boss declares ‘war’ on school reform(NYP) Believing he was among friends, UFT boss Mike Mulgrew showed what he’s really made of during a closed-door meeting with union activists — spewing hatred toward education “reformers,” charter schools and even admitting he sabotaged teacher evaluations. “We are at war with the reformers,” Mulgrew said.  “Their ideas will absolutely destroy — forget about public education — they will destroy education in our country.” The Wednesday-night meeting of union delegates was closed to the press — but a union member taped Mulgrew’s comments and forwarded them to the Web site In another provocative admission, Mulgrew said he deliberately “gummed up” the implementation of teacher evaluations last year during negotiations with the prior Bloomberg administration. 

More Money for DOI to Fight Corruption . . .   
De Blasio boosts manpower to crack down on city corruption(NYP) de Blasio boosted the Department of Investigation’s budget by 20 percent — to $27.6 million from $21.9 million — DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said Friday, adding he’d hire 63 new staffers to work under the NYPD inspector general and analyze databases of contracts to find government waste and abuse. Peters said that his office has been involved in an investigation that led to Councilman Ruben Wills’ indictment this week on charges of stealing $30,500 in government funds.

More On The UFT Sabotage Plan
He lobbied to have teachers rated in 22 different categories, presumably to make it easier for teachers to contest bad ratings. The new labor contract reduces the number of rating categories to eight. “That’s things I don’t get to say in public when I’m doing them, because we knew they had a plan to use the new evaluation system to go after people.”School-reform leaders were outraged by Mulgrew’s remarks. “Mulgrew saw the teachers contract as an opportunity to settle scores rather than as a tool to improve schools for kids,” said Jenny Sedlis of StudentsFirstNY.* Cynthia Nixon honored for aiding NYC pre-k program(NYP)  * The new contract for New York City’s teachers is a sweetheart deal for the United Federation of Teachers and it’s disappointing that a mayor who talked so much about fighting inequality would agree to a contract that delivers so little for children, StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis writes in the Post* The satanic details(NYP Ed) The mayor got his press conference, the union chief got his revenge — and the city’s schoolchildren got nothing.  Bonuses for serving at failing, “hard-to-staff” schools will go to teachers who are not effective. The contract language clearly states that teachers who are rated as “developing” — that is, who are getting help in hopes they become effective — will qualify for the bonuses.* The Mulgrew story landed on the front page of the New York Post, which reported on the subsequent outrage among school-reform advocates. “Mulgrew saw the teachers contract as an opportunity to settle scores,” said Jenny Sedlis of StudentsFirstNY. “It is so cynical and proves that this is someone who does not care about kids,” said activist Campbell Brown.* Well, we'd sure see how much NYers like a strike by 6-figure teachers who pay nothing for healthcare * The mayor will borrow a good $2½ billion to pay for operating expenses..." warns:* *After* health savings, annual cost of these labor agreements (still unfunded) = $865m in 2015, $2.1b by 2018. Why 2018 gap up eightfold. * Big picture here (p45 of budget doc) is that unpaid-for labor deal(s) massively increasing outyear deficits - doubled 2016 budget to $2.2bn. Takeway from book: unfunded labor agreements massively increase outyear gaps - double gap to $2.2b for 2016, up 8x to $3.2b by 2018.

150 Horses Died At Aqueduct Not One From An Accident in Central Park . . .   
Amid Carriage Debate, Silence on Race Horse Deaths Confuses Some(NY1)
Almost 150 have died since March 2009, most of them from injuries during races.  Seventeen horses died at the Queens track during the season ending last month. Ten of them died during races. Not one horse carriage horse died in central park Six carriage horses died in the last five years, but none after accidents, riders say.

More on Horse Carriage Politics

Queens Library Closed Book, Tells Comptroller to Fuck Off . . .   

Queens Library votes against opening books to Stringer(TimesLedger)

Juan Gonzalez: Queens Library's questionable construction bills spurs federal and city investigations(NYDN) Queens Library chief Thomas Galante insists library renovations that his organization supervises are done faster and cheaper than what the city's Department of Design and Construction can do. But city officials disagree. Meanwhile, the city’s Department of Investigation and the FBI are poring over the library’s contracting records.* Close the book on Galante(NYDN ED)Tom Galante, boss of the Queens Library, should have been forced to pack up his desk months ago.Instead, he’s hanging on to his $392,000 job while the feds and the city Department of Investigation probe his affairs — which include a lucrative, previously undisclosed gig at the Elmont school district on Long Island. * Stringer: 'Disgrace' for Queens Library to withhold records
More on the Queens Library Scandal

NJ Trying to Suck Wall Street Up... 

NY, NJ vie for Bank of New York Mellon(CrainsNY)
The bank is considering space at 225 Liberty St. or space across the river in Jersey City as it sells its Wall Street headquarters tower. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are looking for a way to keep the institution in New York. Since 1784 the Mellon bank have been here in NY & now, 850 employees might be leaving the state for good?

 Fredo You Will Always Be My Brother
-- BERTHA LEWIS, to Capital, on the WFP’s potential challenge to Cuomo: “Progressives are finally speaking out about what they don’t like. And, you know, you need a little bit more substance and real action and not just saying, you know, i support you. Now, [it’s] not too late. I am the eternal optimist. I’ve known Andrew for a long time. I am optimistic that Aaandreeew will come aaaaaround. And actually come out with a bold, issue that matters to the WFP. … Now make no doubt about it. Pushing gun [control] and marriage equality and those kind of things, you know, absolutely … but of course, we’re like that Prince song, we’re never satisfied. Hahaha.” 
More on Bertha Lewis

New Fire Chief Push Diversity . . .  
Retired FDNY Chief of Department Daniel Nigro emerges as leading candidate for department’s top job: sources (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio is expected to name a new top firefighter any day now and Nigro, who was the top uniformed FDNY officer in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, is considered the main contender.* Daniel Nigro, a retired fire chief credited with shepherding the FDNY through some of its darkest days on and after Sept. 11, 2001, will return to city government as the new fire commissioner.* Former New York City Fire Department official Daniel Nigro, who took control of rescue operations on Sept. 11 when the chief of the department was killed, is set to be named the department’s commissioner, The New York Times reports:  * De Blasio Set to Tap Insider for Fire Post(WSJ)* Councilwoman Crowley Wants Mayor to Add More Women to FDNY(Capital) * . says Nigro spearheaded merger of EMS into the Fire Dept and implementation of CompStat* Cuomo eyes potential new running mates(NYP) * Mayor Bill de Blasio named as fire commissioner Daniel Nigro, a retired FDNY fire chief who led the department after the 9/11 attacks claimed the life of his predecessor, Chief Peter Ganci, CBS New York reports: * City’s New Fire Commissioner Vows a Push for More Minorities in the Department(NYT) * Veteran Firefighter Is New FDNY Chief(WSJ)

McLaughlin Out of the Can Early, Ratting on Kruger, Seminero

Albany Rat Infestation Growing
Prison Time Ex-Legislator Must Serve Is Reduced(NYT) Brian M. McLaughlin, a former state assemblyman and labor council head, was praised for cooperating with federal investigations that resulted in several corruption convictions. Mr. McLaughlin’s assistance, prosecutors said in court papers, helped them win convictions for bribery and corruption against State Senator Carl Kruger, Assemblyman Anthony S. Seminerio and David Rosen, the chief executive of the nonprofit MediSys Health Network. Mr. McLaughlin also was the prosecution’s main witness against Santo Petrocelli Sr., an electrical contractor who pleaded guilty in 2009 to paying bribes for labor peace, those papers said. That investigation began with several secretly recorded conversations between Mr. McLaughlin and Mr. Seminerio in the fall of 2007 at the Atlantic Diner in Ozone Park, Queens, the letter said. Facing a thick racketeering indictment, Mr. McLaughlin agreed to wear a wire for the F.B.I. and recorded Mr. Seminerio talking about consultant’s fees he received from hospitals. The assemblyman said he had grown tired of helping hospital executives win state business for no charge. * Former Queens state Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin gets four years off prison sentence(NYDN) McLaughlin, 62, sentenced to 10 years in 2009 for stealing $3.1 million from Little Leaguers, lawmakers, contractors and his union. * McLaughlin "provided background as recently as last week for a probe of the Moreland Commission"(NYDN)
Some Exclusive Daily News Claims An Exclusive on the McLaughlin Prison Story That Was Posted At 2:30 AM Today. Same story was on the NY Times Website Before 10PM Last Night

Why Did the NYT Publish This Puffery BS After It Was Known Wills Was A Crook?
Did the NYT Wills Puff Piece in 2011 Have Something to Do With Corrupt Flack Arzt Who Was Paid $20,000 By Wills in 2011 After the councilman election?
NYT Puffery: "Wills approaches the job with enthusiasm and irreverence, distrustful...of back room politics." 

Flashback 2010 What they should both look at was a CHN report last years on how  Huntley Steered $33,000 Member Item To Top Aide Wills Now Running For Council(CHN 2010), True News 2011
Newest City Council Member Is Learning on the Run (NYT, March 11, 2011) * Quinn Backs Council Member Accused of Stealing(WSJ, Aug 18, 2011)* NYC Councilman Ruben Wills facing jail time over 14-year-old larceny case(NYDN, June 25, 2011)* Attorney general investigates $33,000 state grant tied to City Councilman Ruben Wills' nonprofit(NYDN, June 11, 2012) Eric Schneiderman files motion to compel New York 4 Life to open its books Ruben Wills, Queens city councilman, busted as part of a corruption investigation: source (NYDN)* The "drip drip" of NY corruption continues. Accused CM Wills should b stripped of comm chair and lulu.

More Evidence That Arzt Protects and Causes Bad Government
In 2009 Juan Gonzalez wrote in the Daily News City officials were unhappy with Hewlett Packard Company.  By 2006, ECTP was suffering from so many problems that Mayor Bloomberg assigned his chief troubleshooter, Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler, to supervise it. In 2007 HP hired George Arzt to lobby Skyler on communications. 2013 the family of Ariel Russo, the 4-year-old who was killed by an unlicensed driver is suing the city because they believe a flawed 911 system led to the death of their daughter. The Russo lawsuit says there was a four-minute delay in sending an ambulance to the scene of the crash because of problem with the 911 system. NYC's already beleaguered 911 system crashes again and again — and again(NYDN)
More on Corrupt Lobbyists Arzt
911 Phone System Failure Scandal

Daily News Says De Blasio First Budget A Lot of High Hopes
Saturday Update

A budget balanced on ifs(NYDN Ed)
The Daily News writes that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first budget is balanced with a lot of hopes that he’ll be able to pay for raises to municipal employees with savings on healthcare * De Blasio Unveils $73.9 Billion Budget, With Focus on Schools and Housing(NYT)de Blasio unveiled his $73.9 billion executive budget, which included significant new expenditures in education, housing and municipal payrolls, but little in the way of savings or additional revenue raisers, de Blasio’s proposal offers an early glimpse at New York City’s commitments to its unions.* Council Members Preview Mayor’s Executive Budget Plan(NYO)The full Exec Budget, including summary & Mayor's Message, are now online: * De Blasio Budget Projects Raises for City Workers(WSJ)* Mayor de Blasio unveils his "fiscally prudent" $74 billion budget (NYDN) * In the absence of assistance from Albany, de Blasio allocated $145 million in city funds to after-school programs for middle schoolers.* numbers you won't see in press release: $2B+ deficits in outyears, $500M drawn from reserves:(Capital) * One Big, Happy Budget(NYT Ed) Uncertainties aside, there is a lot to like in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s budget proposal.*   De Blasio Budget Projects Raises for City Workers * De Blasio’s $73.9 Billion Budget Gives More, With Few Cuts(NYT) * $17.75B for labor deals in 's exec budget via *'WE CAN'T JUST STAND BY': ACS getting new hires on Mayor de Blasio’s orders after deaths of 3 children(NYDN) * De Blasio’s budget plan: No tax hikes, no new cops(NYP) DEB sends wrong message by increasing budget for his office by 7% as a result City Council will spend more it will =patronage & inefficiency* The Politics of Budgets(WNYC)
After ’s budget release, questions remain about health care savings: "A lot could go wrong…we'd be stuck with a much bigger...

de Blasio orders ACS to hire 100s new employees
In the wake of the deaths of three children, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the hiring of 362 new staff members for the Administration for Children’s Services, the Daily News writes:  *Really fine news(NYP Ed) The new budget has total fine revenue dropping 8 percent, to $789 million from $859 million. Fines from the Health Department, such as at restaurants, dip 44 percent. And fines from Consumer Affairs will go down 21 percent. This has to be music to the ears of thousands of Gotham’s mom-and-pop shops and eateries. For years now, they’ve struggled with a bizarre network of rules and aggressive, unpredictable enforcement.* THE BUDGET DE BLASIO BELIEVES IN: Mayor de Blasio proposes $73.9 billion city budget ramping up education, housing and labor contract spending(NYDN) * Brecher: Issues remain in Mayor de Blasio's new budget(NYDN) * Mayor de Blasio tucks $35M into 2015 city budget proposal for East River Esplanade(NYDN)* Ms. Sedlis also tore into Mayor Bill de Blasio in a New York Post column. “The mayor got his press conference, the union chief got his revenge — and the city’s schoolchildren got nothing,” she fumed. “It’s disappointing that a mayor who has spent so much time talking about fighting inequality would agree to a contract that delivers so little for the children he swore to represent.”

Meanwhile, the Daily News editorial board was more critical of the budget today, writing that Mr. de Blasio “doles out $13.5 billion in total raises to municipal employees — and is balanced with a lot of hopes that he’ll be able to pay for them with savings on health care.”* De Blasio Budget Projects Raises for City Workers(WSJ) * The mayor's ability to pay for more programs without cutting services or raising taxes comes in part from an additional $1.2 billion the city took in during the current fiscal year--money that gets rolled into the following budget--and an extra $95 million for FY2015. The bulk of those funds came from a spike in personal income tax revenue, said his budget director, Dean Fuleihan. * THE FINE PRINT -- Page 92: De Blasio is proposing the city’s Department of Social Services “reverse” a Bloomberg policy and accept the federal Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) waiver, allowing people “who are unable to find work to have access” to receive food stamp benefits. The mayor advocated for this since he was in the City Council:* de Blasio budget for has $$ for 9 new select bus routes over 1st term, 120 spd cameras, + staff *Despite health-care savings, health-benefits costs (in "fringe") going from $6.9b this year to $9b by 2018 (p47).* ‘Fundamental values’ (Capital) De Blasio’s $73.9 billion spending plan funds ‘progressive’ priorities, without cuts * Mayor Rejects Two Major City Council Proposals in Budget(NY1) * Mayor's Ambitious Budget Raises Questions(NY1) The New York City Department of Homeless Services is planning to spend more than $1 billion this fiscal year, which is $140 million more than anticipated in the city’s budget, The Journal writes: * Mayor continues city parks-funding policies, for now(Capital)

City Council 2014, Progressives
 City Council Member Items Slush Fund

No Reaction From Progressive Councilmembers on Wills Arrest

NY's Corruption Extortion Governing 
After Years Of Insider Knowing the Facts of Wills' Corruption, An Arrest  Indicted City Councilman Ruben Wills went to great lengths to avoid investigators’ questioning in past years, ignoring requests for meetings, using excuses about a sick family member and even storming out of a hearing with state prosecutors, DNAinfo reports: 
NYC Councilman Ruben Wills arrested(NYP)

Queens Councilman Ruben Wills was arrested Wednesday morning in connection with misuse of public funds, law enforcement sources said. Wills had been under investigation by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s over tens of thousands of dollars in missing state funds given to a not-for-profit group he once headed, New York 4 Life. Wills was arrested and charged with misusing public funds, falsifying records and trying to conceal the theft after tens of thousands of dollars went missing from a charity he ran

Sad "Wills's arrest marks the end of a long, nine day drought since a New York City politician was arrested"
Wills personally submitted a voucher with the state Office of Children and Family Services on behalf of the group in 2010. But Wills declined to answer questions and invoked his Fifth Amendment rights when he was asked about the missing funds by investigators last year. Wills, a former aide to ex-state Sen. Shirley Huntley, who was convicted in another not-for-profit scam.  The councilman is also being probe for steering funds to another non profit group, the Young Leaders Institute. Wills and a relative on his payroll, Jelani Mills, were arrested and being processed at the 112th Pct. in Forest Hills.

 The Daily News posted a copy of the corruption charges brought by the state attorney general and unsealed against New York City Councilman Ruben Wills in Queens: * Queens Councilman Arraigned on Fraud Charges(N1) * Councilman Is Accused Of Stealing Public Funds(NYT) * HELL IN A LOUIS VUITTON HANDBAG: Ruben Wills, Queens city councilman, busted on charges of stealing over $30K and using some for shopping trips(NYDN) * Wills indictment a blow to advocates of taxpayer funded campaigns(NYP)  With the help of his cousin, Wills is accused of stealing $11,500 in matching funds from the Campaign Finance Board by submitting a phony invoice for his failed 2009 race for the City Council.

Good Government Groups Good At Getting Press Poor At Reform
Do Nothing Goo Goos Run to the Press On Willis's Arrests

Good government groups ask for more on City Council rules reform(NYDN) 
Goo Goos: Reforms Have Their Press Conferences . . . And Nothing Happens

A Generation Lession Lost  . . .  

Ravitch About the City Borrowing $$$ For Its Operating Budget: "We won’t make that mistake again." Or will we?
Bill de Blasio’s risky ‘Boogie Nights’ budgeting(NYP Ed) Mayor de Blasio announces his revised budget today; it could bring us back to the ’70s. The mayor will borrow a good $2½ billion to pay for operating expenses — precisely the practice that led the city to bankruptcy four decades ago. In 1975, New York needed a federal and state bailout. For years, the city had spent more — on workers and welfare — than it took in. It managed this by borrowing from banks — which didn’t care about the city’s plight, because they figured they’d get a bailout. Richard Ravitch, an informal adviser to Gov. Hugh Carey back then, notes in his new memoir that “in those six months” before the city went bust, “Merrill Lynch and the city’s six largest banks underwrote more than $4 billion in city debt despite New York’s lack of a truly balanced budget in over a decade.”


A Lost Generation of City Leaders Without Historical Knowledge or Understanding Borrowing Again
Can we trust Bill de Blasio’s numbers?(NYP ED “From the pledge of billions of undefined health care savings in its newly struck deal with the teachers’ union, to its plan to reduce traffic deaths (in a city of eight million) to zero, [the de Blasio administration] has spun the dial on expectations well past 11,” a Times editorial frets. The paper’s skeptical — not just because de Blasio’s plans often lack detail, but because they seem based on wishful thinking. Moody’s, the credit-rating agency, says the agreement “could increase future budget gaps to levels that would be more difficult for the city to deal with, especially during another downturn.” Ditto for de Blasio’s 10-year housing plan. He says $41 billion will fund 200,000 below-market-rate units. But $30 billion is supposed to come from private developers — unless they opt out. Likewise for the $3 billion from Albany and Washington, which might never arrive. Even the city’s $8 billion share is uncertain. * As Mayor de Blasio prepares to deliver his executive budget the Post is skeptical about his numbers, saying his plans often lack detail and are based on wishful thinking:

The Orchestrated Dearly Departed . . . Now Flacks Controlling Information
Winging it (NYDN Ed) The governor's spokesman makes a boo-boo. Late Wednesday, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported on its website — quite correctly — that Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy had declared, in a letter to Cuomo, that he will not seek reelection this fall. Pursuing the story, a local TV station spoke with gubernatorial press secretary Matt Wing and quoted him as saying:“The D&C article is not true. No letter was sent. The D&C is taking the article down.”All of which was wrong and — even allowing for the possibility that Wing inartfully left a misimpression — just plain dumb, too.* Information isn't yours or mine. It's ours
From the decision of the New York lieutenant governor not to seek re-election to the ongoing furor over the Benghazi attacks, there has been a disturbing trend locally and nationally of overt manipulation and control of information.

Stop and Frisk Stops Down   . . .     
NYPD Suspicious-Activity Stops Down From Year Ago(WSJ) Stop-question-and-frisk stops made by NYPD are down 86% from a year ago:* Bratton: 16% of stops lead to arrests. Up from 10%. Credits drop to directives issued by Ray Kelly two years ago.


Anti Reform Tricks Hidden in the Teachers Contract   . . .     
The Opportunity School Reform Tease
Some education reformers say the provision in the deal between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the United Federation of Teachers to create 200 “opportunity” schools is not realistic because of the 65 percent vote required, the New York Post writes:

Council Speaker and the Progressives Councilmembers Do Not Say The Member Items System Sucks After Wills Arrests

SHOCKING Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito Who Continues the Corruption Member Item System Will Not Allow Wills to Control Who Gets Member Items in His District Anymore CM Ruben Wills will not be allowed to select his own "member items" when fy15 budget is approved next month.(WSJ)

Flashbacks  the Daily News reported in 2012 that Mr. Schneiderman’s office was investigating a $33,000 state grant that allegedly went missing after being doled out to a nonprofit linked to Mr. Wills. * According to the 2012 News report, Mr. Wills repeatedly failed to provide an account of tens of thousands of state dollars allocated to New York 4 Life, a shady nonprofit founded by Mr. Wills in 2009 that does not have a website. The funds were reportedly earmarked by Ms. Huntley in 2008 to fund various programs, including meals for single parents and a campaign to fight childhood obesity, but Mr. Wills was never able to provide documentation of how the cash was spent and failed to cooperate with the state comptroller and attorney general’s office.
Court Gridlock By NY Pol Corruption Trials . .

Bruno's Short Court Days Start
CLOSING ARGUMENTS IN BRUNO TRIALTimes-Union’s Robert Gavin: Joseph L. Bruno's attorneys completed their case Wednesday without calling the ex-state senate majority leader to testify at his trial for alleged corruption. The U.S. Attorney's office and Bruno's lawyers, E. Stewart Jones and William J. Dreyer, are scheduled to give their closing arguments Thursday morning. Albany lobbyist James Featherstonhaugh, who was the government's first witness at Bruno's 2009 trial, was the final witness called by Bruno's legal team on Wednesday. He gave a behind-the-scenes look at how lobbying works in Albany, acknowledging people regularly hire lobbyists with ties to state leaders. "You can't have the decision-maker on your team but you can have someone who has (worked) with the decision-maker," he said.
Ex-State Senate Leader On Trial Again for Fraud(NYT)
Joseph L. Bruno, a former State Senate majority leader, is facing federal charges for a second time. His 2009 conviction was thrown out by a higher court. Bruno corruption trial, take II. “This case is about a no-show job and the sale of a worthless horse” vs. “Joseph Bruno is an open book.”* 'Did you ever bribe Senator Bruno?'  * Jared Abbruzzese, a key witness in the corruption retrial of former state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, denied making bribe or kickback payments to Bruno between 2004 and 2006, the Times Union writes * Mallick said that Bruno's work schedule was filled with meetings with Senate members and companies looking for grant money.   * Bruno trial jury sent home, move to close discussions denied

 Which parts of New York City government are most corrupt? Gothamist reports on which agencies produced the most cases at the city’s Department of Investigation between 2011 and 2013:

The federal judge in former state Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno’s second corruption trial, due to start Monday, has agreed to Bruno’s request for shorter court days on the condition that Bruno doesn’t use the early dismissal time simply to chat with the press outside the courthouse. (TU) Tomorrow, former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno will return to U.S. District Court in Albany to face trial for the second time. The charges center on hundreds of thousands of dollars in “consulting fees” Bruno received from businessman Jared Abbruzzese, or companies controlled by him, between 2004 and 2006.The federal corruption re-trial of former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno is set to kick off Monday in Albany. Bruno was convicted in 2009 on two of eight charges. But the convictions were thrown out after the US Supreme Court in a different case watered down the honest services statute that was used by the northern district US Attorney’s Office. Despite saying during the initial trial that it was not a case about quid pro quo, the feds are taking that tact this time around. The case involves $280,000 consulting fees Bruno received from a businessman and friend, Jared Abbruzzese while the upstate Republican was still majority leader. Bruno, during an interview with the Albany NBC affiliate aired Sunday, insisted he’s innocent.* Opening arguments for former Republican Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno’s trial on corruption charges were set to begin today for a second time, Gannet Albany reports:
More on Albany Corruption

Team Comrie Smell Smith's Blood, Smith Trial Starts June 5th

 Leroy Comrie to Challenge State Senator Malcolm Smith in Primary: NY1 has learned that former City Queens Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie will run for the state Senate seat held by indicted Sen. Malcolm Smith, even if he has to run in a primary against the current senator, whose federal bribery trial is set for June, the Daily News reports:

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
More on the AEG Cover-Up

CM Hallorian Arrested

New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, indicted on federal corruption charges, has rebooted his law firm while awaiting trial, with one client saying he met repeatedly with Halloran in his district office, a violation of city law, the Post reports:
. says she is referring use of office by dan halloran to da's office, says he can't take a step right latel
Corrupt Dan Halloran

Indicted State Senator John Sampson Seeking Re-Election: Sources(NYO)

Sen. Sampson pal in US Attorney's office quick to turn mole for corrupt pol: legal papers(NYP)
 Those papers also disclosed for the first time that Sampson's mole -- federal paralegal Samuel Noel -- later became a cooperating witness for prosecutors investigating the Brooklyn senator after Noel's betrayal was uncovered last year. New York Political Consultant Charged in Corruption Case(NYT) Melvin E. Lowe, whose clients include the State Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and top real estate developers, faces nine criminal counts. An influential political consultant whose clients include the New York Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and leading real estate developers, including Forest City Ratner, was arrested on federal corruption charges* Melvin Lowe Political consultant Lowe, 53, was busted in October on federal fraud and tax violations. A former top aide to Sampson, he was accused of defrauding the state Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee out of $100,000 by using a false invoice for printing services. No trial has been set.
More About Sampson Arrests 

Comptroller DiNapoli Has An Opponent  . . .  
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is set to announce the creation of an investigations division in his office, the Daily News reports:(NYDN)

Antonacci Launches Campaign For Comptroller(YNN) As widely expected, Republican Bob Antonacci on Wednesday launched his campaign for state comptroller, taking on Democratic incumbent Tom DiNapoli.
Antonacci, currently the Onondaga County comptroller and serving his second term, had reportedly taken last weekend to consider launching a statewide bid.* Antonacci To Accept Public Matching Funds(YNN) * Astorino Urges Senate GOP To Vote Against Public Financing(YNN) * Republican Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci launched a state comptroller bid and said he would “happily participate” in the new public campaign financing system shunned by the incumbent, Gannett Albany reports:  *Upstate Republican Announces Bid for State Comptroller(NY1) * EJ McMahon says state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s report of “stellar” pension fund earnings in 2014 needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Has Bharara Investigation of Moreland Empowed the WFP in State Government?  . . .   A Criminal Investigation of Moreland?
Now Cuomo's Pushing for Full public campaign finance

Team Cuomo's Secret emails
Good government group calls for investigation of Cuomo administration's emails(NYDN)A Washington, D.C-based good government group is calling for an investigation of the Cuomo administration’s use of private emails and BlackBerry PIN messages to conduct official business.In a letter to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Executive Director Melanie Sloan said the administration’s use of private emails and untraceable text messages appears shields the contents from public disclosure and may violate state law.* CREW called on AG Eric Schneiderman to investigate Cuomo and his aides for using private email accounts to conduct government business.* After Pledge Of Sunlight, Gov. Cuomo Officials Keep Their Email In The Shadows

Thursday Even if Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara were to find Cuomo’s administration interfered with the recently disbanded Moreland Commission, some legal experts doubt a federal prosecution would be possible.
Wednesday Cuomo Update Is the WFP Now Running the State Also?

CUOMO’S NEXT MOVES: The governor suddenly has several urgent political reasons to address public financing of elections. It’s a potentially useful change of topic, after the Times reported that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara issued a subpoena to a top aide to the governor’s Moreland Commission—evidence, it said, that the federal prosecutor “may be examining allegations of interference with the commission. And as Blake Zeff writes for Capital, there’s the matter of the Working Families Party and its upcoming endorsement. The state committee, made up largely of activist types who back public campaign financing, is set to meet on May 31 to determine the party’s gubernatorial nomination—essentially deciding whether to go to war with Cuomo by backing a margin-damaging challenge from the left 

--ON CUE Pandering to the WFP: Cuomo vowed in a late Tuesday essay to keep fighting for a broader system of public campaign finance —this year. Writing in The Huffington Post, the governor tried to walk the line between defending deal he struck with lawmakers to disband the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption and vowing to press on. * Source: Cuomo Backs Phase-In Of Public Financing Starting Next Year(YNN)  * Gov. Andrew Cuomo supports a plan to phase in public campaign financing starting in the 2015 election cycle, initially only for open seats or elections where no incumbent is running, State of Politics reports: 

Cuomo's Two Front War
Federal prosecutors issued a grand jury subpoena for emails, text messages and other records from all members of the Moreland Commission, seeking information about the panel’s formation, how it was run, overseen and closed
U.S. Said to Seek Records From Anticorruption Panel’s Members(NYT) Prosecutors have issued a grand jury subpoena related to the so-called Moreland Commission that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo abruptly shut down in March, people briefed on the matter said. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have issued a grand jury subpoena seeking emails, text messages and other records from all the members of the anticorruption commission that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo abruptly shut down in March, three people briefed on the matter said on Monday.* NYT: Preet Bharara is just starting with Moreland Commission (LoHud)

More on the Moreland Investigation 

SUNY BHP LICH Deal DOA, de Blasio Now Pushing for Mixed Use Hospital  . . .     

LICH Plan B: Less of A Full Scale Hospital 
Was BHP Designed to Fail?  So Real Estate Can Get the Land

De Blasio vs. de Blasio
The Daily News writes that last summer Mayor Bill de Blasio was trying to block SUNY from selling Long Island College Hospital to developers who planned a mix of medical services and housing, but now he’s urging SUNY to go through with a practically identical deal:  "The fight over Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital took a bizarre turn this weekend, as police arrested mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio on the steps of City Hall during a protest against the actions of Mayor Bill de Blasio."

Friday BHP Still Alive
Despite rumors of death bidder BHP still in the game. court accepts $25 million deposit.
* SUNY Downstate has moved on to negotiating with another developer for Long Island College Hospital, but that doesn't mean the original winning bidder is giving up.* The end of the full-service hospital in (Capital)* Crowd expected for BHP's hearing in Thurs morning. No development ever surprising in case.
More About Closing Hospitals, LICH

More Bad Hynes Convictions, Thompson Requests Exoneration. . .
The Brooklyn district attorney’s request to exonerate the men, who are half-brothers, comes after a review of trial convictions obtained through the work of Detective Louis Scarcella.* 3 convicted half-brothers to be cleared in 1980s murders(NYP) * Brooklyn Judge Vacates Murder Convictions of 3 Half Brothers(NYT)
More About the Brooklyn DA Blown Cases

1 Year Rent Freeze Possible. . .     
Rent Board Backs Raises Much Smaller Than Usual(NYT)
The recommendations of New York City’s Rent Guidelines Board include the possibility of a freeze for one-year leases. The board will take a final vote in June.* Tenants could see rent freeze after Rent Guidelines Board votes for 0% to 3% hike(NYDN) * Nearly a million New Yorkers could get rent freeze(Capital)The Rent Guidelines Board voted overwhelmingly Monday to consider a zero-percent increase.* Rent Guidelines Board Vote Could Indicate Swing Toward Renters(NY1) * Too damn low? (NYDN) Someone has to pay the rent

DOIT Under Heat From the 911 and CityTime Scandal New Commish. . .
Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Anne Roest, a 25-year public sector IT director from the Cuomo administration, as his new commissioner of the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Crain’s reports * Anne Roest appointed city IT commissioner
More on the 911 Phone System Failure Scandal
More on the The CityTime Cover Up

War for the State Senate Many Hidden Players. . .     

Tuesday: Senate Dems Get A Their Reform Package On Record
The state Senate Democrats unveiled an ethics package that includes legislation that would bar lawmakers from using campaign funds to pay for legal fees, create a public campaign finance system and strengthen restrictions on what campaign money can be spent on, the Daily News writes:

Koppell Runs Against Klein, Winds of A Bigger Battle For Control of the State Senate
Rivera Dodges On Koppell Endorsement(YNN) * Jeff Klein Isn’t Sure Senate Democrats Are Trying to Oust Him(NYO) * Though Senate Democrats were reportedly encouraging of Oliver Koppell’s primary challenge against Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein, none have publicly endorsed him since the former Bronx councilman became a candidate, State of Politics reports:
KLEIN SCORES UFA ENDORSEMENT: The Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York lined up behind state Sen. Jeff Klein, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, shortly after a challenger entered the race, City & State writes: * KLEIN VS. KOPPELL: It may be too early to tell who will win the battle between state Sen. Jeff Klein and Oliver Koppell, but campaign cash, union support and minority issues like the DREAM Act will all play a role, City & State reports:  * Jeff Klein Snags Teamsters Endorsement 
More About the IDC GOP Senate Coalition 

Mayor's Affordable Plan More an Outline Says Many Housing Experts  . . .     


With Caution, a Poor Corner of Brooklyn Welcomes an Affordable Housing Plan(NYT) The East New York neighborhood could emerge as a centerpiece of the mayor’s 10-year plan, which includes a push for more residential development, , and residents are cautiously welcoming the idea of more development and affordable housing.* Mayor Requests Washington Help With Housing Mayor Bill de Blasio met with top federal lawmakers, including House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, seeking billions of federal dollars to help finance his affordable housing plan, the New York Post reports:  * De Blasio seeks affordable-housing money in Washington(NYP) * Catholic Church will aid Mayor de Blasio's plan to add affordable housing (NYDN)
UFT Health Care Costs Uncertainty * Moody’s weighed in on New York City’s teachers union contract, saying that it “could eliminate” fiscal uncertainty but that it comes at a “large” cost and relies on questionable assumptions, State of Politics reports:   * Despite assurances from teachers union leaders that members “should not” have to pay more toward their health insurance as a result of their agreement with the city, it could still happen, Capital New York reports:

Efforts to Make Part of Airbnb Business Legal On the Same Day the Mayor Declares A Housing Shortage That is Pushing Out the Poor and Middle Class
A group of affordable housing advocates, labor unions and tenant associations is opposing a pair of bills in the state Legislature that would loosen restrictions on New Yorkers who use to rent out their apartments, the Daily News reports
More About Airbnb and Their Lobbyists
More on Gentrification
How NYC is Losing the Middle Class

DE BLASIO’S HOUSING PLAN: After a brief delay, Mayor de Blasio is set to unveil details this morning on how he’ll create 200,000 affordable housing units over the next 10 years. De Blasio has already pushed developers to add more affordable units to their developments, but most of those agreements only added incrementally to deals he inherited from Michael Bloomberg. Today is Bill de Blasio’s first real step toward accomplishing his goal. He’s blamed “gentrification, unscrupulous landlords and the real estate lobby’s hold on government” as factors that led to a lack of affordable housing in New York City. And the plan is expected to take a broad approach, building not on one particular initiative, but many. “De Blasio is right that high rent in New York City squeezes many residents.--THE 116-PAGE PLAN, “Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan” PDF
More on Gentrification and Race
More About Real Estate Developers, Tax Breakes and Politics
Affordable Housing, Building, Low Wages


Education and the UFT Contract . . .       
Its Not About Countering Charters, Its was the Mission of Charter Schools to Pressure Public Schools to Change 
Two-thirds vote from teachers required in new contract(NYT) * City and charters settle on an expensive Catholic-school ‘Band-Aid’(Capital) The de Blasio administration and New York City's charter sector are looking to empty Catholic schools as a solution to their fight over shared school space, though that space won't come cheap for the city. * * In a closed-door meeting with public school teachers Wednesday, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew offered a behind-the-scenes account of the recent contract negotiations with the city, arguing that the deal was the union’s best chance at winning a “war with the reformers” and admitting that the union’s position last year on a controversial part of the new teacher evaluation system was designed to “gum up the works” when it was rolled out this year, Chalkbeat reports:

More Details of the Teacher Union Agreement 
More on Edcuation

Independent News' Future   . . .   
True News Battles News by Spin
In a Daily News op-ed, 3 former Moreland Commission members keep up the fight for campaign finance reform Moreland is gone; its cause lives on
Tell those Moreland commissioners to talk to the AG about the Rapfogel matching fund scandal or Advance mixing PACs and CFB $$

Breaking News
Port Authority Port Authority head orders internal corruption probe after suit

Top Topics In Depth In the News
1. Sandy  HUD May Make NYC Compete for Sandy Aid 
2. Gambling  A proposed casino development is in Tuxedo — only 41 miles away from NYC
3. Gov Race  Republican Rob Astorino rips Gov. Cuomo over attack ads
4. Affordable-Housing   Unions offer pay cuts for jobs in affordable-housing plan
5. NYPD Supreme Court Hears Cases Involving Police Searches of Cellphones During Arrests(NY1)
6. NYC Poverty  NYC poverty rate hit 21.4% in 2012: study(NYDN)
7. NYFD Discrimination Payouts start flowing in FDNY discrimination suit
8. Rangel Race  The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union plans to endorse state Sen. Adriano Espaillat in his bid to defeat  Rangel
9. Voucher Scandal State Sen. Phil Boyle, who is behind a bill to build a dorm for legislators in Albany, racked up $127,481 worth of lodging and food per diems during his six-year tenure in the Assembly
10. MTA Report suggests subway service is 'deteriorating' 
11. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito Taking Her Time in Appointing Chief of Staff 
12. Speed Cameras This City is just all too clever...Let's put speed cameras everywhere, then lower the speed limit to a ridiculous
13. Transparency New York officials are using private email to stay out of the public record.
14. Rapfogel Scandal Calculation behind charity? Despite scandal, Developer Bruce Ratner sticks with the Met Council  
15 BOE Corruption City Councilman Ben Kallos rips Board of Elections for dodging blame after probe revealed problems 
16. Citi Bike Majority of Citi Bike users are men: study


Trending Topics in the News and In Depth
Charter Schools  City parents jump to get kids in charter schools(NYDN)
How NYC is Losing Its Middle Class Law meant to lower NY auto insurance made it surge: study
Affordable Housing  Tivoli Towers Residents Resist City Orders to Move to Smaller Apartments

True News Respects New Yorkers By Giving them Unfiltered News, Printer All Sides of An Issue and Give the Reader A Background on the Topic So They Are Not Manipulative By the Spins of Flacks, Pols or Even Newspapers
The New Journalism Supported by Lobbyists
From Capital NY Morning Email Today Sponsored by 21st Century Consumers A Lobby Group Pushing Online Wine Shoping in NY
**A message from 21st Century Consumers: 70% of consumers prefer to shop online. Wine shouldn’t be an exception. That’s why 21st Century Consumers, urges the State Liquor Authority to approve pending applications for online wine sales. Visit and tell the state that you support online wine sales. **
Online alcohol sales fueling underage drinking - Chicago Tribune * Underage Drinkers Buy Alcohol Online With Few Barriers ...(Bloomberg News) * Buying alcohol online? It's not hard for underage drinkers ...(LA Times)

Gambling Lobbyists Hit Jackpot  . . .    
NYT Names Gambling Lobbyist Connected to Cuomo . . . What About the Lobbyists Connect to Silver and others?
Silver's Genting's Lobbyists Genting’s lobbyists in New York, according to state lobbying records, include Patricia Lynch, a former top aide to the Democratic Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, and Nicholas A. Spano, a former Republican state senator and ex-state Senate staffer John Cordo and racing maven Brian Meara. The company has also hired Knickerbocker SKD Jennifer Cunningham, a close friend of Mr. Cuomo’s, to do public relations work and Bradley Tusk, who was Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s campaign manager in 2009, to assist with planning. Genting even created an advocacy group called the New York Gaming Association, which is led by another prominent lobbyist, James Featherstonhaugh. Delaware North, which runs two tracks and racinos in the upstate Finger Lakes region, paid $360,000 to three lobbying firms, including Lynch’s and Meara’s. The horse-racing industry also has its stable of lobbyists. The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association pays Featherstonhaugh $108,000 to represent its interests.* The 22 entities vying to build casinos in New York appear to have one thing in common: a willingness to use whatever political, financial and public-relations muscle they can to win a casino license in a process that is moving at a speedy pace.

At the Time of the Smith Trial in June Expect Movement in the AEG Gambling Investigation
Others representing clients in the hunt include another longtime Cuomo family retainer, Tonio Burgos; the firm founded by Dan Klores, a close friend of the governor’s; and the firm headed by former Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato, a Republican who has become a major fund-raiser for Mr. Cuomo. Nowhere is the competition more intense than in the Catskills and the Hudson Valley, the area closest to New York City, where 11 bidders include the casino giant Caesars Entertainment and Genting Group, a Malaysian company with a popular video lottery outpost at the Aqueduct racetrack, in Queens.Still, like its rivals, Greenetrack is gearing up fast: Its representatives include Park Strategies, Mr. D’Amato’s lobbying firm, and Charlie King, a former executive director of the State Democratic Party and a longtime friend of Mr. Cuomo’s. Flashback Behind an Army of Lobbyists, an Instant Force in Gambling(NYT)GamblingIndustry Bets Big on NYS, Has Spent $50M on Lobbying and Campaign ContributionsSince 2005 (Common Cause)  * Lobby dollars and a dream - Times UnionOneida Indian Nation spent the most in NY on gambling ...Lobbyists cash in on racinos' big bet | New York Post * Interests Spent Big for NY Casino Lobbying | * Is Cuomo's Gambling Plan a Win for Lobbyists? - New York Mag * NY Times: Casino Referendum Hot Target for Lobbyists(NYT)
Gambling Industry Bets Big on NYS, Has Spent $50M on Lobbying and Campaign Contributions Since 2005   - See more at:
 More About Gambling and Lobbyists
FOIL Bishop Email?  . . .    
FOIL: NYPD Bishop Emails Documents Exempt or They Do Not Exist?

Gothamist appealed the Bill de Blasio administration’s non-response to their FOIL request for documents associated with the Bishop Orlando Findlayter controversy. The publication found that the administration is now arguing those documents are exempt: “Their claim: none of the records exist, except that they do, but we can’t have them. Confused? So are we.” Mr. Findlayter appeared in court yesterday to argue that he was arrested in error back in February, the Wall Street Journal reports: “On Thursday, defense attorney Mark Pollard rejected an offer from Brooklyn prosecutors that the bishop pay a $75 fine to resolve that case. Mr. Pollard outside court said he would … present evidence that his client’s license was suspended in error.”*What We Have Here is A Failure to Communicate Bishop sprung after de Blasio call: It was all a misunderstanding(NYP)

No Jobs NYC  . . .     
Unemployment Up in NYC to 7.9%
NYC Elected Officials Have Done Nothing to Reduce the City's High Unemployment Rate 
You Wonder Why the NYC's Poverty Rate is Rising

THE 99% -- “Poverty Rate Continues to Climb Among NYC's Working Adults, Study Finds,” by DNAinfo’s Colby Hamilton: “The number of full-time working adults living in poverty in NYC has continued to rise in the past five years, even as the economy improved, according to a report released Wednesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office. The poverty rate for full-time working adults in the city rose 1.8 percent between 2008 and 2012, the most recent year for which statistics were available, according to the report, issued annually for the mayor’s office by the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO). …Nearly 30 percent of Asians …were…living in poverty in 2012…Hispanics…[at] 25.7 percent, followed by blacks at 22.5 percent, while whites…had the lowest poverty rate at 14 percent”.
More on the Unemployed
NYC's Elected Officials Have Not Created Jobs

More Rev. Sharpton's Secrets  . . .   

Will Sharpton Nation Survive?
Donald Sterling blowup’s surprise: Al Sharpton’s diminished influence(Salon) The Rev is a timeless adapter, able to exploit every news moment to maximum effect. It didn't happen this time. Sharpton’s name appeared at the top of the Los Angeles NAACP dinner invitation, right above Sterling’s (before it was deleted), and Sharpton is still scheduled to receive his “Person of the Year” honors, amid awards to such civil rights giants as top Wal-Mart executives. Leon Jenkins, the head of the NAACP chapter in Los Angeles that picked Sterling, recently co-authored an Op-Ed on state budget cuts with the president of Sharpton’s local National Action Network. Maybe the Rev and the NAACP need to have a meeting of their own “to make sure” that the sale of civil rights honors “never happens again.” The Sharpton camera-grab on Sterling didn’t attract much support, an unfortunate surprise for the TV host, as insinuating himself into an overnight win-win situation could have counterbalanced one of his worst stretches in the media since his latest reinvention.* NO GOOD SAMARITAN: City & State columnist Alexis Grenell explores New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “special treatment” for Rev. Al Sharpton despite the civil rights activist's shady past.
The Secret World of Rev. Sharpton

Grimm Arrest and Campaign  . . .

Is the GOP Looking to Dump Grimm
Prosector who investigated Rep. Michael Grimm eyed Assembly seat before indictment(NYDN)

“Staten Island Democrats nominated candidates for state races on Thursday night, but their eyes were on the federal House battle” between Congressman Michael Grimm and Democrat Domenic Recchia, the Staten Island Advance reports. “Boy, are we excited now,” declared State Senator Diane Savino.
Grimm Race, NYC Congressional Delegation

.Attorney General Campign  . . .
GOP Candidate for AG 

AG Eric Schneiderman picked up the first major endorsement of his re-election campaign with the backing of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.
Ex Pataki aide announces run for governor(NYP)
Prominent Pols and Women’s Groups Trash Cahill Candidacy(NYO)
* A complaint filed with the state ethics commission against GOP state attorney general candidate John Cahill seeks an investigation into whether his consulting firm illegally lobbied the state, the Daily News reports: 
Speaker joins the Cahill attack via  

Schneiderman Counter Punches Super PAC
GOPER John Cahill decides to challenge Democratic AG Eric Schneiderman (2nd item)

Schneiderman makes fund-raising appeal to counter Super PAC(NYP)
John Cahill takes major step toward NY attorney general run by creating campaign committee(NYDN) A former top aide to ex-Gov. George Pataki has taken a major step toward announcing his candidacy by creating a campaign committee that allows him to begin accepting contributions. Cahill has never run for office. He currently heads an energy and environmental consulting firm with his former boss, The Pataki-Cahill Group.
Attorney General Schneiderman and His Re-Election

Bad Schools Open, But Losing Students  . . .    .
Poor Schools Not Being Closed . . . But, Parents and Students Closing Them With Their Feet

Wasting Students
City’s worst high school has hundreds of empty seats(NYP)  The troubled Springfield Gardens school is the least popular in the entire city, Department of Education statistics show. It raises the question why August Martin is still in business, considering it had a dismal 39 percent graduation rate in 2013 and got an “F” in student performance and progress. “This school holds students back, especially the ones who are doing well,” one anonymous student posted online. “They treat us and talk to us as if we’re animals.” The school also has a reputation for violence. Students committed at least 72 offenses in the 2011-2012 school year, including eight assaults, two sex offenses and 19 instances of intimidation, state records show.
More On Education and Charter Schools
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña

As of Friday, it took 126 days on average to get a repair done that required skilled labor. That's two-and-a-half times what de Blasio said. - See more at:
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:

Media Update   . . .    

Today Show reunion? (NYDN)
Veteran Journalists to Start Politics Site for Bloomberg(NYT) John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, political journalists known for their detailed, gossip-filled books on the past two presidential campaigns, will join Bloomberg in the coming days to start a new site that will focus on American politics and policy. The new project, Bloomberg Politics, is part of a broader strategy put in place by Justin B. Smith, who was appointed chief executive of Bloomberg Media Group last summer after serving as president of Atlantic Media.The cost of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann for Bloomberg: $1 million-plus per man, per year through 2016.
President Obama made jokes about FOX News and Hillary Clinton at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who plays the VP on TV, teamed up with real life VP Joe Biden for a Correspondents Dinner video that features several VIP cameos.

Al Franken’s crusade to stop Comcast and save media (CNet)

‘Daily Show’ Mercilessly Lampoons State Senate’s Yogurt Debate(NYO)
‘Game change’ for Bloomberg?(Capital) As part of a developing digital strategy, Bloomberg L.P. has talked to the prominent political journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin about launching a new politics offering, sources tell Capital.
Washington   . . .    
Obama approval in KY: 32% among reg voters; AR 34%; GA: 41%, per NBC-Marist polls
THE WALL STREET PRIMARY -- “Wall Street Republicans’ dark secret: Hillary 2016,” by Ben White and Maggie Haberman.: “Two dozen interviews about the 2016 race with unaligned GOP donors, financial executives and their Washington lobbyists turned up a consistent … consolation candidate if [Jeb] Bush demurs, … Chris Christie doesn’t recover politically and no other establishment favorite gets nominated: Hillary Clinton. Most donors and Wall Street titans have not lined up with any candidate yet, waiting for the field to take shape after the midterms. But if Bush doesn’t run, the list of Republican saviors could be short. Some donors fear Christie will never overcome the Bridgegate scandal. Rep. Paul Ryan … so far seems more inclined to stay in the House … And to varying degrees, … Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio … are either unknown or untrusted.”
 Last 100 Days in Washington Coverage

Crime Law and Order   . . .     

Relying on a GPS device placed in a decoy pill bottle, police officers tracked an armed man suspected of robbing a pharmacy and fatally shot him during a confrontation on the Upper East Side, police said.
Brooklyn Cantor Pleads Guilty in Sexual Abuse Case(NYT)
Baruch Lebovits, whose prosecution divided the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in New York, received a two-year sentence in a molestation case.

Brooklyn beauty supply store robber caught on camera   
ReBar Owner Arraigned in Brooklyn Court(WSJ)
Orthodox Jewish man admits to sex 8 times with teenage boy(NYP)
Mom says son was high on Molly during brutal attack(NYP)
Baby-faced thug convicted of murdering cab driver(NYP)
Leader of sex-slavery ring gets life in jail(NYP)
Arrest Is No Help for Ruined Wedding Plans(NYT)
The owner of reBar, who abruptly closed the Brooklyn restaurant, was charged with tax fraud and grand larceny.

MTA cops will carry heroin OD cures(NYP)
Bernie Kerik ordered to turn over records in case that sent him to slammer(NYP)
Police Hunt Suspect in Beating Death of Elderly Manhattan Man(WSJ)
Cops question thug in fatal East Village beating(NYP)
DA: 4 NY men diverted $12.4M in special ed funding: Prosecutors say a New York rabbi and three associates dive...
Three Years and a Daughter Lost after a father's Wrongful Conviction, but No Apology from Qns DA & City. My Gotham: (NYT

Terrorism   . . .    
\Milder View of Suspect in U.S. Case on Terror(NYT)
Ahmed Abassi, who prosecutors in Manhattan once said had spoken of killing 100,000 people, was offered a plea bargain that could lead to a sentence of six months.
Witness in Terrorism Case Recalls Being Taken Hostage in Yemen(NYT)
Testifying in Manhattan at the trial of Mostafa Kamel Mostafa, who is accused of aiding in the abduction of 16 tourists in Yemen, a woman described her ordeal.
More on Terrorism