Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Daily News Say Schneiderman  would show great courage by backing out on principle by Not Defending A Lawsuit to Do Away With Teacher Tenure
Think of the kids, Eric(NYDN Ed) Cast into defending New York’s education-deadening teacher tenure laws, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman faces the prospect of arguing against the interests of children and for those of teachers unions. As a “progressive” in a Democratic Party in tune with labor (see Mayor de Blasio’s defense of tenure), Schneiderman may be quite comfortable battling a tenure challenge. His office says he has not formulated a position on the merits of two lawsuits — one filed, one soon to be filed — challenging New York’s lifetime job protections for teachers, no matter how poorly they do their jobs . Whatever the case, the litigation will test his mettle in an election year.

Blame the Elected Officials Who Fail to Treat the Mentally Ill for the Jail Horror 

The Kasirer Reps Rapfogel's Met Council  Forest City Ratner Nexus
Rapfogel nwas ForestCity's partner on ncil Seward Park bid, charity show,etc  Former Forest City Ratner lobbyist Melvin Lowe, Sampson crony, charged with corruption; charges do not involve developer(Atlantic Yards) The Forest City angles 1) Given that Forest City Ratner joinedwith the Met Council on a bid to redevelop the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, the departure of Rapfogel--surely highlighted as a key executive in the bid package--casts a major shadow on that bid.  2) The Barclays Center chose to give the Met Council--and a music camp--profits from a  2/28/13 cantorial concert. Shouldn't investigators look into any ulterior motives, like buffing the developer's relationship with Silver as a prelude to that Seward Park bid? 3) The position of Rapfogel's son Michael, a Forest City VP of External Affairs who's the developer's chief legislative liaison, has to become a little uncomfortable, though he is of course not responsible for his father's actions. His mother Judy is still Silver's top aide, and that has to be the key legislative relationship. But the name Rapfogel is now associated with an emerging scandal. I've written at length about the ties between Forest City, Silver, and the Rapfogels.

Reporters Spin Political Outcomes . . .  Mayor Quinn  

Heading off Cuomo’s Tim Wu problem(Capital) Growing up running his father’s races and helping him govern has made Andrew Cuomo a political operator of exceedingly rare skill. Having seen the old man’s mistakes and misfortunes first-hand, Cuomo has reacted with determination and force at the merest possibility of anything similar befalling him. Hence the spectacle of the governor’s newly reconfirmed ally, the Working Families Party, taking a shot at a little-known lieutenant governor candidate, Tim Wu, on Thursday. The cause of the broadside, like its target, was relatively obscure. (Wu, a Columbia Law professor and leading advocate of net neutrality, had told a radio host he’d like to relieve small businesses of “red tape,” a comment that caused W.F.P. to “strongly disagree” with his “slippery slope” position on the Scaffold Law.) Cuomo, as has been widely discussed, has picked former Western New York congresswoman Kathy Hochul to be his lieutenant governor. In the general election, she may help him do better in the region than he did last time, when he ran against area bu

City Government Needs A Cash Fix? 

Almost From Out of Nowhere, Some of NY's Most Established Industries are Now Finding Their Business Models Under Siege, Thanks to New Technology 

Take Airbnb, an online service that connects people who want a place to stay with people who have space to rent — and is diverting revenues from hotels.  Or look at Uber, the app that allows riders to call and pay for a cab via their smartphones. Uber is upsetting yellow cabs.  But it gets crazier. Now Uber and the yellow cabs are both complaining about Lyft, a ride-sharing app that has car owners driving passengers for a “suggested donation” rather than a fare. Lyft postponed its debut in New York — complete with the bushy pink mustaches its drivers affix to their cars — because of a legal back and forth with city and state officials.On behalf of ordinary residents benefitting from the greater choice, better service and lower prices these apps are bringing, we say: Let the disruption continue!* Lyft Company Officials Due In Court To Discuss TLCCompliance  Car-hailing app Lyft won't launch in NYC yet as company, regulators fight in court(NYDN)Tuesday Update * A Manhattan judge gave lawyers for the ride-sharing app Lyft and regulators who oppose the organization until Friday to work out a deal for the car-hailing company to operate legally, the Daily News reports: 

Another Return to Coney Island?  de Blasio Test Dunks the Speaker to Possible Return of Shoot the Freak Booth   

DE BLASIO HAS A BALL: Mayor tries to dunk City Council speaker at Brooklyn cookout ahead of family vacation in Italy(NYDN) More from the Council outing. Speaker @MMViverito waits to get dunked again, this time by CM @JumaaneWilliams I

Donovan Richards ‏@DRichards

I thought I was loved by @MMViverito until she dunked me #LMAO

  • Stringer Tracking of Court Costs Questiones

  • Comptroller's New Claim-Mapping Tool Shows Trends, HasGlitches (Gotham)* New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Claimstat will not save taxpayers money as long as the city keeps making “bad judgment calls” like the precedent-setting $40.7 million payout to the Central Park 5, the Post writes:

  • Media Covers Pols Promises As Mission Accomplished 

    Gonzalez: Mayor de Blasio calls overcrowded public schools 'unacceptable'(NYDN)
    He spoke a day after a new audit by city Controller Scott Stringer found a shocking one-third of nearly 1,500 school buildings were overcrowded in 2012.

    A Clue Of No Education Leadership 

    Running Against Bloomberg's Education Policy is Not Policy
    Top administrators fleeing de Blasio’s Dept. of Education(NYP)  The de Blasio administration’s warmer, fuzzier approach toward teachers apparently hasn’t reached senior staffers at the Department of Education — they’re quitting in droves, sources told The Post. As many as 100 top-level administrators have left the state Department of Education since January amid low morale due to mismanagement

    de Blasio 180 on 420   

    DE BLASIO ALLIES IN POT RIFT -- Mayor agrees with both -- Capital’s Azi Paybarah: Two  of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s allies appear to disagree over how to deal with first-time offenders charged with possession of small amounts of marijuana. Brooklyn D.A. Ken Thompson announced Tuesday that his office will no longer prosecute most first-time  offenders for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Police commissioner Bill Bratton said the news “will not result in any changes” at the NYPD and that officers will continue to arrest people for that offense. Later, a de Blasio spokeswoman said the mayor agreed with both Thompson and Bratton.

    Drone Gentrification  

    Hazardous skies as city’s drone unchecked population soars(NYP)

    What CrainsNY Should Look At Who Gets Chin's Member Item Dollars? Not Seniors?  

    COUNCILWOMAN CHIN: CRAIN’S ARTICLES ARE “ILL-INFORMED AND POORLY-REASONED”: In an opinion piece in the Observer, Councilwoman Margaret Chin took Crain’s Thornton McEnery to task for two news articles on bus stop clocks. McEnery wrote that “City Council members are throwing millions of dollars at a problem that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has, to a large extent, already solved.” In her reply, Chin said his “tone and one-sided perspective” are “clear.” She also called his “reasoning … false, disappointing and, ba

    Vito and Kellner Live On As District Leaders? 


    SAFE HOUSE: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a comprehensive plan today to improve the safety of NYCHA developments around the city. City & State’s Azure Gilman breaks down five of the key changes:

    Forget the Patronage Gain, Will The Council Speaker Become the New Political Boss?

    Melissa Mark-Viverito A Gatekeeper Deciding Who Will Run in New York

    Tuesday Update

    Speaker Says in the Council Hands - Wait She Control the Council
    Melissa Mark-Viverito on elections board prez's future: "It's in the Council's hands."(NYDN( City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito personally acknowledged Monday that lawmakers might ignore the recommendation of Manhattan's Democratic Party boss and appoint a new Board of Elections commissioner of their own choosing. In discussing the possibility -- raised by the News -- Mark-Viverito did not tip her hand as to whether Board President Gregory Soumas would be replaced. By taking over the commissioner selection process, Mark-Viverito stands to gain influence over patronage hiring and firing at the Board.

    Elected Officials Take Over the Political Machine

    What is next if you try to run against an incumbent councilman you get knock off the ballot?

    EXCLUSIVE: Melissa Mark-Viverito may replace Board of Elections head with her own pick(NYDN)  City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito may dump election president Gregory Soumas for a pick of her own, giving her power and control of a host of patronage jobs. One of the perks of being a county boss is having the power to appoint elections commissioners.—expanding her power and control of a host of patronage jobs

    Michael Benjamin ‏@SquarePegDem 
    Council Speaker Mark-Viverito should focus on city policy, rather than political revenge scenarios for her pal,...

    Elected officials have for the most part taken over the role of district leaders. Is anyone looking at the centralization of power into the hands of elected officials?

    de Blasio Raise Funds for A Democratic State Senate . . .  Where is the Trust  

    IDC Said They Would Join Democrats?
    Mayor de Blasio helped Democrats raise a half-million dollars last week toward reclaiming control of the state Senate. De Blasio headlined a Wednesday night fund-raiser that drew more than 200 people at up to $25,000 a head. “It’s a tremendous start to the campaign season, and we very much appreciate the mayor’s support,” said Queens Sen. Michael Gianaris, head of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee.
    The Senate Dems in January reported having virtually no money in their coffers after retiring a multimillion-dollar debt. Besides the mayor, Wednesday’s event drew state Controller Thomas DiNapoli, city Controller Scott Stringer and powerful union heads who helped create a coalition with de Blasio aimed at winning the Senate for the Dems. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio de Blasio helped Democrats raise a half-million dollars last week toward reclaiming control of the state Senate, headlining fund-raiser that drew more than 200 people at up to $25,000 a head. Neither Cuomo nor IDC Leader Jeff Klein attended.* Queens BP Melinda Katz broke from the Democratic pack and endorsed her former rival, NYC Comptroller John Liu, in his primary challenge to Sen. Tony Avella.* Klein Files 9,000 Petition Signatures(YNN)* Queens Borough President Melinda Katz backed former rival John Liu in his bid to unseat State Sen. Tony Avella, who is a member of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, the Daily News reports:

    NYT A Year Laters Discovers That Albany's Redistricing Reform is Bull Shit 
    New York’s Mapmaking Scandal(NYT) A constitutional amendment would only make it easier for legislators to continue to draw district maps that help no one but the incumbents. In his 2010 campaign for governor, Andrew Cuomo promised to end “partisan gerrymandering,” in which lawmakers draw their own districts. He failed to do that, and instead, as governor, signed onto a set of legislative maps in 2012 that were carefully designed to keep legislators safely in their jobs.Then, he and lawmakers came up with a counterfeit reform, a constitutional amendment on November’s ballot that would only make matters worse and make it harder to clean up the whole inbred process for years to come. The flawed maps created in 2012 will be in use until 2022. The constitutional amendment would put a new, virtually permanent system in place for the next round of mapmaking that starts after the 2020 census. The amendment sets up a bipartisan commission, a majority of whose members are appointed by legislative leaders. The possibilities for partisan gridlock are endless, and it will take another constitutional amendment to make any corrections of what is destined to be a flawed system. In a recent report, Common Cause/NY, New York Public Interest Research Group and Effective NY warned that the amendment would only make it easier for New York legislators to continue to draw district maps that help no one but the incumbents. Amendment supporters say the maps would be drawn by a bipartisan, independent commission, with co-executive directors, one Democrat and one Republican. That sounds reasonable, except that it is much the same as the state’s Board of Elections, one of the least effective public operations in New York. That board is also bipartisan, which often means stalemate, not compromise. Under this new system, if the Legislature does not like the commission’s maps, they can vote them down and send them back for amendments. If the maps return and the lawmakers still don’t approve, they can vote them down and then draw their own, much as they do now. This amendment is not a reform. It is another way to maintain the status quo, and does not deserve voters’ support.

    Why is There No Journalism School Looking At the Quality of Reporting 
    How the City Council Going To Name A Street After Thomas Paine if They Don't Even Know Who He Is?
     An effort is under way to change the name of tony Barrow Street in the West Village to honor Thomas Paine, the 18th century writer who helped inspire the American Revolution. “Thomas Paine is like the Founding Fathers’ founding father. He’s the one who made the convincing case for independence,” writes Dylan DePice in an online petition to the City Council calling for the switch. “The guy who did as much as anyone to spark the creation of a country founded on religious liberty deserves to be honored for it.”Barrow, which runs from Washington Place to the West Side Highway, was once called Reason Street, in honor of Paine’s 1795 “The Age of Reason.” The street became city property in 1809 and was renamed Barrow to honor rich landowner Thomas Barrow, a vestryman at nearby Trinity Church. * Freedom of the press came of age in NYC (NYDN) When a newspaper publisher was accused of seditious libel.
    The Burial Site of 11,500 New Yorkers, Many Who Gave Their Lives Fighting For America Again Goes Unnoticed on the Nations Birthday
    The Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument in Brooklyn's FortGreenPark.

    Is Rangel Going Rogue? 

    Rangel gets payback on teachers union, boosts charter schools(NYP) Hell hath no fury like a congressman scorned. Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel is giving the teachers union a lesson in political retribution for snubbing him and endorsing his rival

    Daily News Bangs Rangel for Opposing Downsizing Subsidies Apartments
    Pandering in a crisis (NYDN Ed)  The fix to a housing problem is staring us in the face. Because Congress has disastrously cut housing programs, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development has no choice but to push such downsizing. Many of the tenants live in buildings that used to be part of New York’s middle-income Mitchell-Lama program. As that expired, the buildings became market-rate luxury properties, Single occupants like the one in Tribeca are being shifted to studio apartments. Their rent will stay constant, but the city’s subsidy will fall and the savings will be diverted to others. Regardless, at a City Hall rally on Wednesday, politicians, including Reps. Charlie Rangel and Carolyn Maloney, decried the de Blasio administration’s actions.

    The Mayor's Disconnect With Some  


    Brooklyn BP Slush Fund OK With City's Ethic Board 

    Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams cleared to raise money for his One Brooklyn Fund(NYDN) Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams thinks Brooklyn doesn’t get enough charitable dollars –and the fund he’s creating to remedy that is now a step closer to reality. The city’s ethics board in June cleared Adams to fundraise on behalf of the One Brooklyn Fund as a city-affiliated non-profit.A spokesman for the Borough President's office denied previously published reports that Adams solicited checks for the non-profit before the fund even existed.* Nonprofit run out of Adams’ office hit up donors before city OK(NYP)