Sunday, April 17, 2011

City Council

 Council Pigs are More Equal Than the Rest of Us
As thousand of city workers face layoffs, cuts in their pension and their constituents faces much less city services in the future the pigs is the council are continuing their payoff system of lulus Christine Quinn passes out lulus to Council members who don't have the guts to reject corruption (DN Ed)

Albany Footprint on New Council

Warning Albany Corruption Plague Spreading to the Council

COUNCIL WATCH: MUSICAL CHAIRS: About a quarter of the 21 New York City Council members leaving office are likely to be replaced by Assembly members, and they have a history of political and financial ties that will certainly affect their work on the Council, writes Seth Barron:

Controlling the News: What Happen to the Council Slush Fund Investigation?
Breaking News: Giuliani Is Said to Have Decided Not to Run for Governor (NYT) *** Giuliani Denies Report That He Will Not Run For Governor (NY1) *** Giuliani to run for U.S. Senate, NOT NY gov.: source

Controlling the News
What Happen to the Council Slush Fund Investigation?

Federal Investigation
The Daily News reported on June 24, 2008 that U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia asked the NYS Supreme Court to delay for 90 days a special inquiry into the city council pork spending and slush fund, for fear it would derail their case. The inquiry requested by civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel under an arcane law, would require a parade of public officials to publicly testify under a grant of immunity. It not about Siegel ongoing suit which seeks to invoke a a rarely used City Charter provision to combat Tammany Hall corrupt in the 1870s but what happen to the U.S. Attorney Investigation. We know that since then Both Garcia and Lev Dassin have left to white shoe law firms. With the new U.S. for New York's Southern District
Preet Bahrara responsibilities with the terror trials we wonder if he has any time for the council investigation or if we will ever see a report if they decide not to indict the big fish.

Only True News Keeps This Story Alive
August 7, 2009
NY's Watergate: Several Slush Fund Cover-up
July 15, 2009The City Council Slush Fund Scandal Is Way Bigger Than Miguel Martinez
March 6, 2009 Cover Up At City Hall ContinuesJ
January 12, 2009
Inspector Clouseau Investigates NYC Political Corruption
January 4, 2009
Member Item Slush Fund Cover Up
November 11, 2009 The Dishonor Roll - The Shame of New York
The 29 Councilmembers who voted to extend their term in office
November 8, 2008 Massive Lobbyist Scandal at City Hall

Media Switch On Then Off - Slush Fund Story
From a period of two weeks before the indictments of two city council aides to about a month after the arrests, the newspapers hammered away almost every day at the slush fund scandal. From the beginning of April to the the end of May over 100 story and several editorials were published about the scandal and the need for reform, including over two dozen investigative reports that exposed how councilmembers used member items for family, friends and paid off lobbyists for their campaign help. Since the end of May less than a handful of stories have been written about the slush fund, none during and since the debate and vote extending the council's term limits. It is inexplicable that challengers who use the Internet and Facebook for requests for funding, have not tried to use the online community against the media blackout, and to organize against the council's term limits vote.

Slush Fund Coverage Day by Day, April - May Pork handouts offered to pressure council members to OK congestion plan, April 2, 2008 *** City Council investigated for slush fund, April 3, 2008 *** City Council Speaker's "Slush Fund" Investigated, April 3, 2008 *** Slush Fund Scandal May Drag Quinn To Court *** City Council invented phony charities to hide more than $17M, aides say, April 3 *** Christine Quinn Joins the Scandal Bandwagon, April 3, 2008 *** The Perils of Christine, April 4, 2008 *** NYC City Council Hiding Taxpayer Money, Created a Slush Fund, April 4, 2008 *** NYC pol caught in slush fund probe - April 5, 2008 *** City Comptroller To Audit Council Over Slush Fund - April 9, 2008 *** Discretionary funds in City Council must now be OK'd, April 11, 2008 Speaker Quinn Decides to Talk to a Lawyer, April 12, 2008 *** *** Slush Probers Eye Fraud Rap for Quinn, April 13, 2008 *** Unanswered Questions: City Council's Phantom Funds - April 14, 2008 *** 2 NYC Council workers indicted in slush fund probe -April 16, 2008 *** What Roll Did Chuck Meara Have In Creating The City Council Speaker's Slush Fund, April 16, 2008 *** Council member in funding flap, April, 17, 2008 *** SLUSH-FUND SHENANIGANS - April 17, 2008 *** Lobbyists’ Role in Council Slush Fund Scandal Probed - April 17, 2008 *** AIDS Groups Have Doubts On Quinn Reforms, April 17, 2008 *** Indictments fall as Quinn eyes reforms in slush fund scandal - April 18, 2008 *** NYC pol caught in slush fund probe, April 18, 2008 *** Quinn Offers Apologies to Council, April 18, 2008 *** City Council scandal has nonprofits nervous, hampers budget talks, April 19, 2008 *** CITY HAUL POLS WANT YOU TO PAY LAW BILLS, April 19, 2008 *** DA weighs charges in City Council slush fund scandal - April 21, 2008 *** Quinn would flush ‘slush fund’ in a budget overhaul proposal - April 22, 2008 *** Daily News Editorial: All in the family - April 22, 2008 *** Brooklyn Pol Put $187G of Your Dough into Wife's Nonprofit, April 22, 2008 *** City Freezes Bronx Councilman’s Million-Dollar Non-Profit Play, April 24, 2008 *** The City Council Operates Under "Afikomen Rules", April 25, 2008 *** Councilman sent $406G to nonprofit with sister on board, April 25, 2008 *** Baez Tied to Council Slush Fund Scandal - April 30, 2008 *** Daily News Editorial: All in the family - April 22, 2008 *** Feds Probing Larry Seabrook Non-Profits in Council Slush Fund Inquiry - April 30, 2008 *** Slush pols look after their own, -April 30, 2008 ***Bloomberg downplays slush fund scandal, May 2, 2008 *** Papers Filed for Judicial Hearing on City Council Spending, May 3, 2008 *** More slush fund shadiness exposed, May 5, 2008 *** Gifford Miller: Slush-Fund Refugee, May 6, 2008 *** WHILE THE COUNCIL ROILS IN SCANDAL, THE FORMER SPEAKER STAYS MUM, HANGS WITH DEVELOPER CHUM - May 7, 2008 *** Brooklyn councilwoman Darlene Mealy's 25G for nonprofit run by sister tabled, May 11, 2008 *** Once Again, Quinn Tries to End the Funding Furor, May 12, 2008 ***Quinn: SLUSH FUND HELPED ME, May 12, 2008 *** Slush Probers Eye Fraud Rap for Quinn, May 13, 2008 *** More City Hall Slush, This Time From Mayor Bloomberg - May 14, 2008 *** Council slush fund quid quo pro, - May 15, 2008 *** Slush Fund Follies in New York - May 15, 2008 *** Vallone, Sr. subpoenaed in slush probe, May 19, 2008 *** Council slush funds date back to 1998 - June 1, 2008 *** Kendall Stewart - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, June 11, 2008 *** Lobbyists' Role in Council Slush Fund Scandal Probed, June 20, 2008 *** Role of Lobbyists Examined in Council Slush Fund Scandal - June 20, 2008 *** Baez Silent Amid Sea of Controversy, July 10, 2008

Is there anyone not under investigation in New York?

The Empire State has become the Organized Political Crime State True News - How Albany Operates Like the Mob

To save money and transportation costs New York should open up jail in the basement City Hall and the Capital Building in Albany
1. The Council Slush Fund The Council's slush fund has become a seemingly bottomless well of corruption. In 2008, questions from the Manhattan U.S. attorney led to the discovery that the Council squirreled away money for groups that never existed. *** The DN says Seabrook's indictment should bring an end to the Council's "slush-fund budgeting."
Dozens of Council Members did what Seabrook did. Chief among Seabrook's opportunities for alleged thievery was the Council's so-called discretionary money, a vast pool of funds that members dole out to favored groups with virtually no effective oversight so jobs can be given to family members and friends. Let alone it value for the councilmember reelection. True News has been the only media outlet covering the council slush fund for the past year True New Council Slush Fund

Councilman Serving Time Manhattan City Councilman Miguel Martinez admits he stole tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars
a. Maria del Carmen Arroyo says her sister and nephew had left the nonprofit by the time the group was given the money. Bronx City Council member Maria Del Carmen Arroyo has a unique way to get taxpayer support for her family.
b. In her penultimate year as a member of the New York City Council, Maria Baez has found herself the subject of media scrutiny. News stories regarding poor attendance at Council meetings, enormous cell phone bills and a check to a non-existent organization, have left Baez with a tarnished public image.
c. Leroy Comrie, who represents southeast Queens, has co-sponsored $115,000 in member items for a nonprofit that lists his wife, Marcia Moxam Comrie, as an unpaid vice president.

d. Brooklyn Pol Put $187G of Your Dough into Wife's Nonprofit
e. Pork Pig Fidler’s Media Friends Put Lipstick On Him
f. From the article "Slush pols look after their own" Helen Foster
g. Millions shifted to unregistered charities with ties to Council members Sara Gonzalez

Reform Design to Fail Quinn and the Council enacted new regulations to ensure proper use of the money. That didn't work, now, did it? As Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said yesterday, the reforms "have effectively vetted out conflicts and companies not worthy of city funds. But as today's indictment shows, there were other ways to fly this money under the radar."

2. Seabrook Latest to Fall Councilman Charged With Money Laundering *** A free pass to thievery: Seabrook case proves Council slush funds must go *** Councilman ripped off 'hole' lotta dough: feds *** FDNY minority hiring was $moke screen *** Bagel, borrow & 'steal' for pol *** Seabrook's mistress, also possibly a shady situation *** Bronx City Council member Larry Seabrook's go-to guy was longtime powerbroker Stanley Schlein ***What Happens to Professor Seabrook? ***City Councilman Larry Seabrook Eats Bagels Made of Gold Dust and Panda Tears New York Magazine

"Apart from his guilt or innocence, an issue in the Seabrook case is: who else knew what he was doing, and where was municipal oversight over the spending of discretionary funds? To some extent, the process involves Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who allocated the money among her members. The millions were granted as a reward for Seabrook's political loyalty and reliability as a vote on the Council. Is it surprising that he should apply the same standard to the recipients of the money as were applied to him -- No questions asked? Was there the slightest review by anyone in government over the seven years the scam was operating? (Four of those years were under former Speaker Gifford Miller.) Did Comptroller Thompson ever look at how the city money was being spent?" Feds Nail Seabrook For Seven Fat Years, Monserrate Expelled (Stern NY Civic)

Seabrook Only in New Your would a City Councilman wish the problem of their fellow members stealing from council programs simply go away rather then reforming the programs they rip-off to prevent future looting of the public pay roll. "There's a feeling of "disappointment that these issues continue to pop up," said Councilman Leroy Comrie of Queens, who, like Seabrook, is a Democrat. "Hopefully, this is the last one," he said." Pols jittery over 'Dirty Larry *** Bagel-nomics: For $177, You Also Get the Kitchen Sink?*** The Biggest Losers Our question for today is, who has the most awful political culture, Illinois or New York? *** Divorce a secret: Indicted City Council member Larry Seabrook didn't tell wife about split for years *** A free pass to thievery: Seabrook case proves Council slush funds must go *** Greg Smith notes that some of Larry Seabrook's alleged wrong-doing came after Christine Quinn reformed to the way the Council gives out money.

Council Slush Fund and the Parkside Consult Group
Yesterday the New York Appellate Court ruled two to three against Normal Siegel Petition to set up a public inquiry into who was responsible for the Council Slush fund scandal. Siegel is expected to appeal. If one more judge sided with the inquiry we might have gotten some answers to who was behind the slush fund which we have not gotten to date from the federal investigation or the press. Siegel would have been able to question former Speaker Giff Miller and Speaker Quinn why the Parkside consultant/lobbying group had some many non profits funded by the city as clients. Parkside had worked closely with Miller until press reports during his campaign for mayor forced him to put some distance from Parkside. This blog story has a lot of question Siegel could have asked Miller, Parkside and the other Council Bums A Letter to Garcia: (Michael) Garcia U.S. Attorney  

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quinn Gave Members Their Cut of the Pork Budget

Quinn Gave Members Their Cut of the Pork Budget

How did Quinn get the City Council Almost Unanimously Passes Budget in spite of the ongoing (?) federal investigation of the council slush fund. She pay off members with with Council 'Pork' Wonder if Maria del Carmen Arroyo got any funding for her family members? Ex-Bronx non-profit leader pleads guilty to bilking group of $50K Just like the Apalachin organized crime meeting in upstate NY, everyone got a piece of the action (member items) to buy piece among the families, I mean councilmembers. Only member voting against the budget Councilman Charles Barron.
The sounds of silence There were no raucous City Hall Park protests yesterday. No threats of strikes by "hard hit" public employees. Almost no one is griping -- or not very loudly, anyway -- about their fate under the city and state budgets. And their silence speaks volumes.(NYP Ed) * Council Passes Budget, but Loss of State Aid May Require Fixes (NYT) * The Wrong Way and the Right Way New York City’s budgeting process may not be perfect, but it was the height of fiscal responsibility compared to Albany. (NYT Ed) * Layoffs Slated in City Budget (WSJ) * The Post says the 6 percent increase in spending is "unconscionable." * Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez denied he had attacked a female member of his staff.

Council Grants Often Shortchange Needy New York Districts

 True News: What ever happened to the City Council Slush Fund Investigation (It has been 2 years)

Quinn Slush Funds Continue

Christine Quinn wants to be Mayor of NYC(Video)


City Council Three Years Delay of Lobby Reforms

After a three-year delay, the City Council will today appoint a Lobbying Commission, an advisory body tasked with making recommendations for improvements to the 2006 lobbying laws. But with few actual lobbyists among the appointees, the panel’s effectiveness is already being called into question. (City Hall News)

Councilmembers With Poor Attendance Records

Attendance a sore spot for some on Council(NYDN) Councilmembers Gennaro, Mendez, Mealy and Sanders also were frequent no-shows in the previous fiscal year. During his final year as a Bronx lawmaker, Larry Seabrook posted the worst attendance record in the City Council. He skipped out on 30 of his 106 required sessions in the fiscal year that ended in June.  He wasn’t the only Councilmember with an attendance problem: Queens Councilman James Gennaro came in second to Seabrook, missing 26% of his meetings; Manhattan Councilwoman Rosie Mendez was a no-show 25% of the time; while Brooklyn Councilwoman Darlene Mealy and Queens Councilman James Sanders Jr. duked it out for a tie at 24%, according to council records released Wednesday in response to a Freedom of Information Law request. 
Gennaro said he has been the “primary caregiver for an immediate family member who suffers from a long-term, debilitating illness.” Sanders copped to skipping meetings to campaign in his successful primary challenge against indicted Queens state Sen. Shirley Huntley. “The election took its toll, but the election is over, and I will be back to serving ... at the high levels I always have in the past,” he said. * Former Councilman Larry Seabrook was basically a no-show. [Erin Durkin and Tina Moore]

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