Monday, November 25, 2013

How the Advance Group Conspired to Steal the 2009 and 2013 Election #555

Horse Carriage Politics and the Central Park Stables
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
How the Advance Group Conspired to Steal the 2009 and 2013 Electio











NYP: Mahattan DA Or U.S. Attorney Bharara Should Investigate de Blasio Horse Deals

De Blasio’s suspicious obsession with killing the carriage trade (NYP Ed) Mayor de Blasio says the transit union’s demand for an investigation into his secretive deals to kill the city’s horse-carriage trade is “just foolish.”Sorry, Bill — the union has a good idea. Well, basically: Transport Workers Union President John Samuelson wants Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to head the probe. Likely better choices? Manhattan DA Cy Vance, who has no apparent political ambition at the moment, or US Attorney Preet Bharara, a proven corruption-fighter. But someone should be looking into the mayor’s obsession with ridding the city of horse carriages — and whether some special obligation to reward special-interest donors is behind it.Granted, the mayor and Samuelson have had their differences on other issues. * The Growing Call for An Investigation of de Blasio HorseGate Corruption All the Way Back to the 2013 NYCLASS Election
And the union has been cozying up to de Blasio’s rival, Gov. Cuomo. But the TWU’s charges have plain merit. After all, this was never about animal rights, for all the claims to the contrary. Those who sank money into de Blasio’s 2013 campaign — and worked to sink his chief rival, Christine Quinn — were real-estate developers with eyes on the West Side parcels that house the horse stables. Asked about that link Monday, the mayor insisted he doesn’t “think it’s an issue.”Sorry: Lots of New Yorkers don’t buy it. Why is he so reluctant to say he just can’t deliver on this promise? De Blasio also claims the press is making too much of his anti-horse-carriage crusade, telling reporters to “really think about what’s important.”But it was Bill de Blasio who called the issue so urgent that he vowed to ban the horse carriages on “Day One” of his mayoralty. And it’s de Blasio who won’t take no for an answer — coming back this year to a fight that humiliated him last year. And then, the moment his latest “deal” collapsed in flames, immediately setting out to find an alternative. Something strange is going on here — so strange the issue deserves a closer look.
How the Advance Group Conspired to Steal the 2009 and 2013 Election


de Blasio TWU's Call for Investigation Into the Horses A Foolish Idea
De Blasio wants the press to pipe down about his horse carriage fail (NYP) Mayor de Blasio has spent two years trying to ban carriage horses from city streets — but he told the press Monday to focus on more important issues. “You guys think I’ve been spending more energy than I’m spending,” he said at a press conference in Chinatown. “I think this legislation is necessary, but I think you guys are interpreting it in ways that don’t reflect reality.” After questions kept coming at him on the same topic, the mayor had enough.* NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio dismissed as “foolish” the push by the Transport Workers Union for a state investigation into his drive to ban horse drawn carriages in Central Park.



TWU Asks the AG Who Gave A Low Fine to the Advance Group Which Ran NYCLASS to Look Into deBlasio's Quests to Kill the Horse Carriage Industry 
A letter indicates that Transportation Workers Union President John Samuelsen will ask Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to weigh in on de Blasio’s “ quest to kill the horse carriage industry,” the Daily News reports:  *  Transport union joins push for Mayor de Blasio to end his anti-horse carriage plan (NYDN) * Mayor dismisses call to probe anti-horse carriage plan as"foolish" (NYDN) He noted the union has clashed with him on other issues, especially the Vision Zero law to charge drivers who hit pedestrians who have the right of way, which has led to arrests of bus drivers. “I have disagreements with that union as we are trying to protect the lives of New Yorkers,” de Blasio said. “I think it’s just politics.” The union shot back with a reference to two disgraced ex-legislative leaders both convicted of corruption. “That’s what Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver said,” TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen said. “If anyone’s a fool, it’s the mayor. He tried to rip the livelihoods from hundred of pedicab and horse carriage workers to reward his rich campaign donors and real-estate interests, and thinks he can get away with it.” He brushed off the effect of his political contributions, from people associated with the group NYCLASS. “I don’t think it’s an issue,” he said.


NYP: CFB AG Chump Change Fines Say BullShit to Fair Election in NY
NYC’s campaign cops hand down champ-change fines (NYP) Stop the presses: The City Campaign Finance Board slapped a consultant with a $15,000 fine for breaking the rules. Finally, the world is safe for democracy. Or so you might think from Thursday’s big-noise announcement. If only. In fact, the fine — plus a $10,800 one from state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman — merely highlights the lunacy of the city’s campaign-finance scheme. In 2013, the consultants at The Advance Group repped four Democratic candidates while also working with two “independent” groups: the teachers union and the anti-horse-carriage folks, NYCLASS. The two special interests shelled out tens of thousands to promote TAG’s candidates, but failed to build a “firewall” between themselves and the campaigns. The board says TAG’s dual roles amounted to “coordination” — a no-no under the rules. “Today’s agreement sends a clear message that campaign coordination is unacceptable in New York,” huffed the AG. Bull. These fines are chump change compared to the cash these interests toss into city politics. And what’s wrong with “coordination”? Well, says Schneiderman, the lack of a bright line between outside groups and campaigns “distorts the democratic process.” Huh? Democracy is better served if the middleman puts up some barrier between the campaigns and the groups, then everyone winks and nods around it? That’s all the law requires, and what plenty of players do. In truth, all the rules and fines do is shut out the amateurs, and empower the insiders — i.e., the special-interest groups whose influence the system supposedly reins in. Benefit democracy? The central point of the First Amendment is to protect political speech (e.g., advertising), allow free debate — and so improve democracy. Gotham’s system works to limit speech and debate. For all this, taxpayers get to pay millions for the public-financing part of the law. Oh, and have their intelligence insulted by the moral preening of Schneiderman and the Campaign Finance Board.
 Flaws in @NYCCFB public dollars on political campaigns are wrong & the results of the election stand! That's wrong! 

Advance Gets A Slap On the Wrist Fine No Criminal Investigation from CFB and AG In An Incomplete Fine On Their Campaign Coordination in the 2013 Election
Political insider fined for playing too many sides of 2013 elections (NYP) A political consultant has agreed to pay $26,000 in penalties after authorities accused him of double dealing in the 2013 municipal elections. Scott Levenson’s The Advance Group played both sides of the fence by advising the political arm of the United Federation of Teachers and the anti-horse carriage group, New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets, to influence contested city-wide and council races. At the same time, he also represented four candidates: first-term Council members Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) and Mark Levine (D-Manhattan), Comptroller Scott Stringer and Manhattan borough president candidate Robert Jackson. “Today’s agreement sends a clear message that campaign coordination is unacceptable in New York City and state politics.” The UFT had spent more than $40,000 combined on behalf of TAG clients Cumbo, Levine, Jackson and Stringer. NYCLASS spent $20,000 on the campaigns of Cumbo, Levine and Stringer. TAG presdient Levenson was the political director of NYCLASS and its campaign was run out of his Manhattan office, while at the same time the group spent money to promote the candidacies of two of Levenson’s clients — Levine and Cumbo.

Levenson also created an “altar ego” called Strategic Consultants — apparently to keep secret his consultant work with the UFT while also repping candidates the union supported, the findings said. The action “suggests that TAG understood that its dual role potentially violated CFB’s role against coordination . . .” the settlement  *Advance Group fined $26k by Schneiderman, CampaignFinance Board (TU) The attorney general’s office, in part, found that the Advance Group had set up an “alter ego” corporation, Strategic Consultants, which obscured its working both for candidates, and for an outside spending group funded by the United Federation of Teachers that supported some of the same candidates. “The very fact that [Advance Group] created an alter ego, Strategic Consultants, to act as its public face in connection with the UFT…suggests that TAG understood that its dual role potentially violated the CFB’s rule against coordination…” the attorney general’s office stated in its settlement agreement with Advance, “and intentionally attempted to deceive its clients, the CFB, and the public about its role with respect to UFT and its individual clients.” *  Schneiderman, NYC Campaign Finance Board Settle With Advance Group (YNN)Advance Group fined $26k by Schneiderman, Campaign Finance Board Albany Times Union (blog)






















de Blasio Horse Plan Will Make Millions For His Developers Friends As He Puts New Yorkers Out of Work 
Properties could collect up to $70M if they house Central Park horse carriages (NYP) The properties that house the city’s four West Side stables could fetch a combined $65 million to $70 million if they are sold to move carriage horses to Central Park under a controversial plan pushed by Mayor de Blasio.The Post asked real-estate vets Steven Hornstock and Randy Modell of ABS Partners to analyze the value of the four properties: 618 W. 52nd St., 547 W. 37th St., 538 W. 38th St. and 608 W. 48th St. “The Far West Side is taking off like a rocket,” said Hornstock, the broker who helped a group of horse-carriage drivers purchase the property that is now the Clinton Park horse stable on West 52nd Street for $4 million in 2003. The properties are small, roughly 25 feet by 100 feet. But the commercial zoning for the Hudson Yards district provides the potential to build 21.6 times the lot size, or 40,000 square feet for each property. * New York Cityhas a new plan for horse carriages that nobody seems to really like:  (NY Mag) *  PEDICAB REVOLT -- Initially left out, pedicab drivers show up in force in horse carriage debate -- POLITICO New York * City Council Grills Officials Over Proposed Deal on Horses - WSJCity Council Grills Officials Over Proposed Deal on Horses - WSJ  *  Historic Central Park Building Shouldn't Be Used as HorseStable: Critics (DNAINFO)


de Blasio, CFB, Conflict of Interests Board and the Media's NYCLASS Horse Carriage Cover -Up



NYP Columnist Joins True News Calling for A NYCLASS Criminal Investigation of de Blasio
De Blasio gets knocked off his high horse (NYP) Two cops shota crane collapserandom razor-slashing attacks and chaos and corruption at City Hall. A mosaic of snapshots of life in New York spells mounting troubles for Mayor Putz. In a foolish bid to make himself a national player, de Blasio spent nearly four days in Iowa during the presidential primary. The trip was a bust, and he returned to discover that the unholy alliance he forged to reduce the popular horse carriages was collapsing. This was no routine policy failure. Beyond giving him a political black eye, the acrimonious collapse exposed both his arrogance and incompetence. Most troubling, the misbegotten venture galvanized suspicions that his is a pay-to-play administration.  In a naked bid to deliver a promise to donors who funded his 2013 campaign, the mayor tried to buy off the Teamsters union that represents the carriage drivers and skeptical members of the City Council. Knowing he had a weak hand and that disclosure of the details would doom the deal, he tried to speed it through the council. Yet the bid to squash the horse carriages stands out like a sore thumb, and the collapse cannot be the end of the matter. As I noted, I believe de Blasio’s efforts probably crossed the legal line. He spent too much time and political capital on an issue that never troubled him much before donors raised it. Moreover, horses have zero relevance to what he says is the central purpose of his mayoralty–tackling income inequality. So why did he do it? Something is rotten and I believe the episode warrants a criminal investigation. The mayor is permitted to be arrogant and incompetent and even lie about his motives. But he is not permitted to sell his office to the highest bidder or use taxpayer money to reward donors.



The Daily News Snarky: the FBI Knows de Blasio's Man With Horses When Will the Daily News Also Call for Election Fixing By NYCLASS ? 
At this point, de Blasio’s obsession for carriage horses is nothing short of a mania. He appears to be irrational. But is he? To find out, call a psychiatrist or call the FBI
Mayor, money andmania: Ugly truths drove necessary defeat of de Blasio's carriage horse plot(NYDN)  In 2007, as a councilman, he spurned a carriage-horse bill. In 2008, animal-rights activist Wendy Neu gave $1,000 to his public advocate campaign. For a time, de Blasio remained uninterested in efforts to rein in carriage horses. Even so, wealthy activist Stephen Nislick, founder of a group called NYCLASS, and likeminded others kept donating. By January 2011, NYCLASS supporters had written $20,400 in checks to de Blasio’s treasury — and the then-public advocate came around to supporting an anti-carriage-horse drive. Money continued to flow into his coffers: $45,350 by the mayoral election. Then, in 2013, Neu, Nislick and NYCLASS poured $625,000 into a political action committee that was hammering mayoral rival Christine Quinn with powerfully effective negative ads. Run the total: $670,000. For that sum Nislick, Neu and NYCLASS surely want their money’s worth, and, hell, de Blasio is trying to give it. Whatever a psychiatrist might ask about, an FBI agent would want to discuss the conversations surrounding payments and services rendered. On the eve of his inauguration, de Blasio famously vowed to ban carriage horses entirely on Day One, but the Council balked.* The lessons of de Blasio’s latest carriage-horse fiasco (NYP) De Blasio could satisfy those developers — his donors — by just negotiating a true deal to move the stables, as Mayor Rudy Giuliani did in his day. Apparently, though, fair negotiation just isn’t part of this mayor’s skill set.* If the Teamsters Did Not Kill the Horse Bill Council Was Willing to Accept Legal Bribes to Pass









The Daily News Snarky: the FBI Knows de Blasio's Mania With Horses, Seems A Little Insensitive to Election Fixing By NYCLASS 
At this point, de Blasio’s obsession for carriage horses is nothing short of a mania. He appears to be irrational. But is he? To find out, call a psychiatrist or call the FBI
Mayor, money andmania: Ugly truths drove necessary defeat of de Blasio's carriage horse plot(NYDN)  In 2007, as a councilman, he spurned a carriage-horse bill. In 2008, animal-rights activist Wendy Neu gave $1,000 to his public advocate campaign. For a time, de Blasio remained uninterested in efforts to rein in carriage horses. Even so, wealthy activist Stephen Nislick, founder of a group called NYCLASS, and likeminded others kept donating. By January 2011, NYCLASS supporters had written $20,400 in checks to de Blasio’s treasury — and the then-public advocate came around to supporting an anti-carriage-horse drive. Money continued to flow into his coffers: $45,350 by the mayoral election. Then, in 2013, Neu, Nislick and NYCLASS poured $625,000 into a political action committee that was hammering mayoral rival Christine Quinn with powerfully effective negative ads. Run the total: $670,000. For that sum Nislick, Neu and NYCLASS surely want their money’s worth, and, hell, de Blasio is trying to give it. Whatever a psychiatrist might ask about, an FBI agent would want to discuss the conversations surrounding payments and services rendered. On the eve of his inauguration, de Blasio famously vowed to ban carriage horses entirely on Day One, but the Council balked.* The lessons of de Blasio’s latest carriage-horse fiasco (NYP) De Blasio could satisfy those developers — his donors — by just negotiating a true deal to move the stables, as Mayor Rudy Giuliani did in his day. Apparently, though, fair negotiation just isn’t part of this mayor’s skill set.* If the Teamsters Did Not Kill the Horse Bill Council Was Willing to Accept Legal Bribes to Pass




The Daily News Which Investigated the Advance Group Ducks Comment the CFB AG Parking Ticket Fine 
In 2014 the Daily News repored that the FBI was investigating donations to NYCLASS from men closeto Mayor de Blasio that may have been used toward anti-Christine Quinncampaigners    On May 21, lawyer Jay Eisenhofer gave $50,000 to NYCLASS, the animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. Ten days later, on May 31, NYCLASS gave an equal amount — $50,000, to the anti-Quinn group. On June 1, NYCLASS received another large donation, this time for $175,000. It came from UNITE HERE! — a labor union headed by John Wilhelm. Two days after that, on June 3, NYCLASS sent the same amount, $175,000, to the anti-Quinn campaign. The issue? Both Wilhelm and Eisenhofer have long-standing ties to Bill de Blasio, one of Quinn’s Democratic rivals in the mayoral campaign. Wilhelm is de Blasio’s cousin — and a prolific fund-raiser for him. Wilhelm raised $6,950 for de Blasio’s 2009 race for public advocate and $80,000 for de Blasio’s successful campaign for mayor. * EXCLUSIVE: FBI investigating claim Christine Quinn was threatened for refusing to support carriage horse ban during the mayoral race (NYDN) *Consulting firm head hired by de Blasio for Central Parkcarriage industry review was early supporter of NYCLASS (NYDN)



The Daily News and Good Govt Groups Who Said UFT PAC Illegally Funding Advance Now are Silent
Getting Away With Fixing Elections
UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)The city’s powerful teachers union is under fire from good-government groups for apparently trying to hide the identity of a consulting firm it was using to boost union-backed candidates.  "The listing of the phony firm, 'Strategic Consultants, Inc.,' in campaign filings, obscured that Advance Group was being paid both to promote candidates for the United Federation of Teachers' independent political action committee, and working as the main campaign consultant for several of those same candidates."







The Daily News is Ducking the Low Advance Fine and No Criminal Investigation Means Nobody is Watching the Watchmen
The Daily News Reported That People Close to de Basio Sent Cash to Advance Run NYCLASS
Bill at the trough (NYDN Ed) De Blasio's conversion on horse carriages coincided with a rush of campaign cash. This is the curious story of how a self-described skeptic of the ban in 2007 became, by March 2013, a man who pledged to “ban the horse carriages in Central Park within the first week on the job.” In 2007, then-City Councilman de Blasio declared himself “skeptical” of a bill seeking to ban the carriages. In January 2008, the checks began arriving — and, presumably, the reeducation of the politician got underway. Wendy Neu, a longtime animal rights advocate who would later become a NYCLASS board member, gave $1,000 to de Blasio’s campaign for public advocate.Before long, more checks from Neu, NYCLASS co-founder Stephen Nislick and others started rolling in.Conversion complete? Not quite.


The Daily News Broke the Story That Advance Illegally Worked On Mark-Viverito Speakers Race Says Nothing Today
EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN)  Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy (Daily News 11/27/2013) * New York City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito’s ties to the consulting firm Advance Group may be hurting her candidacy for speaker

Daily News's Myler Who Counted On Nude Hits Gone and the Paper Cuts the Meat
Colin Myler is resigning his post at the New York Daily News, where he has served as editor in chief since 2012. He’s returning to his native London, and will be replaced by Jim Rich, his deputy, after leaving the paper later this year. * Desnuda brings topless toddler to panhandle in Times Square (NYP) * NY Daily News staffers are bracing for another round of cuts this week as owner Mort Zuckerman tries to stanch the flow of red ink at the tabloid – perhaps in advance of trying to sell it again. Mayor's Times Square Task Force Has Yet to Meet Mayor's Times Square taskforce to deal with topless, painted women and costumed characters still hasn'tmet  (WNBC)* City & State columnist Alexis Grenell mourns the loss of Bill Hammond’s byline from the pages of the Daily News. * The Daily News Layoffs and Digital Shift May Signal the Tabloid Era’s End (NYT) To veteran media watchers, the layoffs mean that the recent attrition at newspapers across the country has finally arrived in force in the nation’s media capital *  The recent layoffs and digital shift at the New York Daily News, once the city’s ultimate hometown paper, signals something bigger afoot in the newspaper industry. “If people don’t want horses and buggies anymore and they want to ride in automobiles, then you better damn well get into the auto business,” said DN owner Mort Zuckerman.


The Media Has Not Only Protected Lawmakers From Corruption But Has Ignored the Fact That Real Estate and Unions Fund NY Election System
That list also covers a variety of prominent faces with political ties, including real-estate executives Larry Silverstein, Gary Barnett and Charles Dorego; and Columbia mesothelioma researcher Dr. Robert Taub.


Real Estate and the UFT are the Two Main Controller's of the State's Election System

NYT's 485 Word Story of the CFB Fine Latest Move By Paper to Empower Consultant Lobbyist 









Powell When He Was Writing News Broke the News That the Advance Group Was Being Investigated Advance Group President Scott Levenson is no longer listed as the NYCLASS political director on the firm's website. In Campaign, Cash Flowed Circuitously - NYTimes.com Advance under investigation * In Campaign, Cash Flowed Circuitously (Powell, NYT)



True News: Following Covered Up in CFB And AG Fines and How It Effects Campaigns and Governing
1. The UFT PAC Paid Advance Through the Fake Illegal Group Strategic Consultants Inc. $370,000 and More Than $4 Million in City Campaigns 
The Daily News and Good Government Groups In 2013 Blamed the UFT for the Strategic Payment Cover Up 
UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(2013 NYDN)The city’s powerful teachers union is under fire from good-government groups for apparently trying to hide the identity of a consulting firm it was using to boost union-backed candidates.  "The listing of the phony firm, 'Strategic Consultants, Inc.,' in campaign filings, obscured that Advance Group was being paid both to promote candidates for the United Federation of Teachers' independent political action committee, and working as the main campaign consultant for several of those same candidates."

2. Red Horse Like Advance Worked for the UFT PAC United for the Future
Clients in 2013 Who Received United for the Future Mailings and Red Horse work for:
James Vacca, Helen Rosenthal, Annabel Palm, Daneek Miller,  Antonio Reynoso,  Ritchie Torres

Red Horse In Addition to Working for 2 DAs and Two DA Candidates, Works in Dozens of Other Races




3. In the 3rd Council District Advance's Candidate  Krukland Received NYCLASS Mailing and Her Opponent Also Got PAC Mailings From UF PAC Also Controlled by Advance

The Lobbyists Consultants Work With Each Other Sometimes Against Their Own Candidates Interests

The Advance  group was paid by democratic candidate Yetta Krukland $28,000 and the IE NYCLASS that Advance paid for $30,000 in mailings to promote Yetta Krukland.  The UFT PAC which Advance Was Working for United for the Future funded Krukland Opponent Corey Johnson. Krukland fired Advance during the campaign. Advance Also Worked for Ydanis A Rodriguez who was funded by the United for the Future PAC Which Advance Worked for



4.  The Advance Group PAC NYCLASS Funded Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and Worked In Her Campaign to Become Speaker
The Advance Group also has faced a city Conflicts of Interest Board probe into free help it provided New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. The status of that probe is unclear.
Campaign Finance Board Votes on Penalty for The AdvanceGroup, Inc. - The New York City Campaign Finance Board today determined that The Advance Group, Inc., committed violations and assessed penalties totaling $15,000 for those violations. The Board determined that The Advance Group, acting as agent for an independent spender and two of its campaign clients, cooperated in expenditures reported to be independent. This substantial penalty sends a clear message that the Campaign Finance Board will vigorously enforce coordination between outside groups and candidates that violates the law. These violations strike at the very heart of our campaign finance program. When a consultant’s actions make it impossible for their clients to comply with the law, the Board will hold the consultant accountable. The facts in this matter are clear. The Advance Group arranged mailers for one client, NYCLASS, which promoted the election of two of their campaign clients. CFB staff notified The Advance Group that such expenditures would be violations, yet the expenditures went forward.  In addition, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is announcing today a $10,800 penalty against the Advance Group. Combined, our two agencies are penalizing The Advance Group $25,800. I want to thank Attorney General Schneiderman and his staff for their assistance on this matter


Advance's Yedin Who Was Push Out as Manager of McMahon DA Campagn Was Involved With the Speaker Race After Advance Said it Was No Longer Involved With Mark-Viverito 
Staten Island DA Race Fallout McMahon campaign manager resigns amid consulting firmfines (SI Advance) *  McMahon Campaign Manager Resigns Over Political Consulting Group Fine(NY1) * McMahon campaign manager resigns amid consulting firm fines SILive.com  Politicker Reported That Advance Was A Crucial Player In the Seddio Deal After the Advance Group Left the Speakers Race


CFB Ignores That Fact That Their Fine On  Mark-Viverito Came From An Illegal Account
Melissa Mark-Viverito fined over consulting payments connected to re-election (NYP) Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was whacked by the city’s Campaign Finance Board Thursday after her 2013 campaign committee failed to show $3,000 in consulting payments were connected to her re-election efforts. The board fined her campaign $750 for a payment made to consultant Brendan Kelly on Nov. 16, 2013 — nearly two weeks after the general election that put Mark-Viverito back into her East Harlem/Bronx council seat. At the time, Kelly was a lead strategist on Mark-Viverito’s bid to become council speaker — a race she won in 2014 with Mayor de Blasio’s backing. Illegal to Use the 2013 Campaign Account to Pay for the Speaker Race Under city election rules, Ms. Mark-Viverito was not allowed to spend money from her 2013 campaign account for the speaker race. She was also not allowed to spend money from a "transition committee" meant to pay only for inauguration activities. And she was likewise not allowed to yet set up a new 2017 campaign committee with the city Campaign Finance Board. Instead, on Nov. 5, she set up a 2017 campaign committee for an as-to-be-determined city office, according to the state Board of Elections, and then spent on the speaker race.  Mark-Viverito spent big on speaker race (CrainsNY) Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito got a boost in her speaker campaign by spending nearly $80,000 in recent months.


5. The UFT is A Client of Berlin Rosen and Worked for the Following Candidates Funded By the UFT PAC United for the Future
Corey Johnson, Mark Levine, Ydanis A Rodriguez, Austin I Shafran, Rory Lancman, Elizabeth S Crowley, 


Although the CFB and AG Tried to Clean Up the Advance Group the Firm Remains Toxic in Campaigns
"Although, the civil matter settled today related to a campaign from 2013, Jonathan Yedin offered his resignation to avoid any appearance of impropriety and to ensure that this unrelated matter does not distract from the important issues facing Staten Island as we elect a new district attorney," Owens said in a statement.  McMahon campaignmanager resigns amid consulting firm fines (SI Advance)  Republican Joan Illuzzi's campaign for DA, said, "Throughout this campaign, McMahon has tried to compensate for his utter lack of prosecutorial experience by touting his supposed administrative skills. First he hired an unscrupulous company to collect forged signatures of dead voters to get him on the ballot, now his campaign manager is resigning amidst findings of illegal campaign activity. We will leave it for the people of Staten Island to decide if Mr. McMahon possesses the ethical compass and administrative judgment to be the chief law enforcement officer in our borough."  According to the NYC Campaign Finance Board and the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the Advance Group, of which Jonathan Yedin McMahon campaign manager who was fired from, is vice president of campaigns and elections for Advance, was fined for coordinating what were supposed to be independent expenditures with two City Council campaigns in 2013. Yedin, a Democratic Brooklynite, worked on the 2013 Cumbo campaign. Yedin previously was McMahon's Brooklyn district director in Congress and ran McMahon's unsuccessful 2010 congressional campaign against Michael Grimm. He is also the former executive director of the Brooklyn Democratic County Committee.
horses is kaput (NYDN Ed)

Savino Advance is Fine But PACs Who Skirt State Campaign Finance Donation and Spending Limits if Their Efforts are Not Coordinated With a Campagin is Bad?
Sen. Diane Savino stands by her consultants (NYDN) Sen. Diane Savino is sticking with her longtime political consulting firm after The Advance Group was hit with fines last week for helping an anti-horse carriage group avoid contribution limits in supporting City Council candidates in 2013. “They’ve been my consultants for my entire career,” said Savino, a Staten Island Democrat who has paid The Advance Group nearly $900,000 since first being elected to the Senate in 2004. “I have no concerns about their ability. They’ve settled the issue.” Savino said the larger issue that needs to be addressed is the the continuing fall out of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision that allows political action committees to skirt state campaign finance donation and spending limits if their efforts are not coordinated with a campagin. "We're going to continue to run into these kinds of problems," she said.



The Daily News Which Investigated the Advance Group Ducks Comment the CFB AG Parking Ticket Fine 
In 2014 the Daily News repored that the FBI was investigating donations to NYCLASS from men closeto Mayor de Blasio that may have been used toward anti-Christine Quinncampaigners    On May 21, lawyer Jay Eisenhofer gave $50,000 to NYCLASS, the animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. Ten days later, on May 31, NYCLASS gave an equal amount — $50,000, to the anti-Quinn group. On June 1, NYCLASS received another large donation, this time for $175,000. It came from UNITE HERE! — a labor union headed by John Wilhelm. Two days after that, on June 3, NYCLASS sent the same amount, $175,000, to the anti-Quinn campaign. The issue? Both Wilhelm and Eisenhofer have long-standing ties to Bill de Blasio, one of Quinn’s Democratic rivals in the mayoral campaign. Wilhelm is de Blasio’s cousin — and a prolific fund-raiser for him. Wilhelm raised $6,950 for de Blasio’s 2009 race for public advocate and $80,000 for de Blasio’s successful campaign for mayor. * EXCLUSIVE: FBI investigating claim Christine Quinn was threatened for refusing to support carriage horse ban during the mayoral race (NYDN) *Consulting firm head hired by de Blasio for Central Parkcarriage industry review was early supporter of NYCLASS (NYDN)



The Daily News and Good Govt Groups Who Said UFT PAC Illegally Funding Advance Now are Silent
Getting Away With Fixing Elections
UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)The city’s powerful teachers union is under fire from good-government groups for apparently trying to hide the identity of a consulting firm it was using to boost union-backed candidates.  "The listing of the phony firm, 'Strategic Consultants, Inc.,' in campaign filings, obscured that Advance Group was being paid both to promote candidates for the United Federation of Teachers' independent political action committee, and working as the main campaign consultant for several of those same candidates."







The Media Ducking the Low Advance Fine and No Criminal Investigation Means Nobody is Watching the Watchmen
The Daily News Reported That People Close to de Basio Sent Cash to Advance Run NYCLASS
Bill at the trough (NYDN Ed) De Blasio's conversion on horse carriages coincided with a rush of campaign cash. This is the curious story of how a self-described skeptic of the ban in 2007 became, by March 2013, a man who pledged to “ban the horse carriages in Central Park within the first week on the job.” In 2007, then-City Councilman de Blasio declared himself “skeptical” of a bill seeking to ban the carriages. In January 2008, the checks began arriving — and, presumably, the reeducation of the politician got underway. Wendy Neu, a longtime animal rights advocate who would later become a NYCLASS board member, gave $1,000 to de Blasio’s campaign for public advocate.Before long, more checks from Neu, NYCLASS co-founder Stephen Nislick and others started rolling in.Conversion complete? Not quite.


The Daily News Broke the Story That Advance Illegally Worked On Mark-Viverito Speakers Race Says Nothing Today
EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN)  Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy (Daily News 11/27/2013) * New York City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito’s ties to the consulting firm Advance Group may be hurting her candidacy for speaker
Why is the Campaign Finance Board Only Looking At 1199 SEIU and Not the UFT Illegal Coordination With the 2013 de Blasio Campaign?
De Blasio’s 2013 campaign committee under investigation (NYP) The Campaign Finance Board has been looking into possible violations by Mayor de Blasio’s 2013 campaign committee for coordinating operations with powerful Local 1199 SEIU — his most important supporter. Board officials asked the de Blasio campaign to account for a host of “coordinated” activities described in an Oct. 10, 2013, City & State magazine interview of Local 1199 political director Kevin Finnegan, documents obtained by The Post show.  The interview raised red flags at the board because the campaign had paid the union only about $19,000 at that point. Unpaid coordinated campaigning violates regulations because it circumvents spending limits. A de Blasio lawyer wrote to the board 15 days later, claiming the article contained “significant” errors. “Virtually all of the 1199 activities . . . were not in any way coordinated with the de Blasio campaign,” the lawyer wrote. City & State’s publisher said the magazine stands by its reporting, which stemmed almost entirely from an on-record Q&A with Finnegan. Local 1199 shelled out roughly $200,000 in independent expenditures for de Blasio’s mayoral run in 2013, records show.


de Blasio Puts A Ringer In the Horse Carriage Debate


A Ringer Who Works Along With the NYCLASS Advance Group for Edison Properties 
Dragging its feet, Assembly protects felons’ pensions (NYP ED) *  Consulting firm head hired by de Blasio for Central Parkcarriage industry review was early supporter of NYCLASS (NYDN) The head of the consulting firm hired by Mayor de Blasio to do an independent review of the Central Park carriage industry has a history of horsing around with animal rights activists. Langan Engineering CEO David Gockel was an early supporter of NYCLASS, the group that wants to ban carriages, NY1 reported Thursday. His firm has also done extensive for Edison Properties — the company of wealthy developer and NYCLASS funder Steve Nislick.Langan’s website also says it has “been retained by multiple teams” involved in the development of Hudson Yards — a real estate project close to many of the West Side stables where carriage horses are kept. Many of the carriage owners suspect their valuable real estate assets are driving NYCLASS’s and Nislick’s determined efforts to get the industry shut down. 



Berlin Rosen Worked With the Advance Group for the Two Councilmembers Fined By CFB
Two City Council members were slapped with fines Wednesday for taking off-limits contributions from animal rights group NYCLASS, which bankrolled Mayor de Blasio's mayoral campaign for his pledge to ban horse-drawn carriages. Council members Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) and Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) have to pay back money they were given by New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets because they shared the same political consultant — the Advance Group — as the anti-carriage group. One ambiguity is that Ms. Mark-Viverito was not running in an election regulated by the city Campaign Finance Board, but rather in a leadership race within the council. City council members fined over money from anti-horse carriage group(NYP)Two city council members were slapped with hefty fines for accepting prohibited campaign contributions from a group at the center of the Central Park horse carriage brouhaha. Freshman member Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) was fined $7,868, and newbie Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) was fined $8,686 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board for accepting over-the-limit funding from a “prohibited source.” The board found that the funding source for both campaigns – New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Street (NYCLASS) – was too intertwined with the candidates’ consultant, The Advance Group (TAG).Campaigns are prohibited from coordinating with third-party groups that make “independent” expenditures. Yet TAG president and lobbyist Scott Levenson was political director for NYCLASS, and both groups shared the same office space. Councilman Rodriguez was also a client of the Advance Group and got mailing from Advance's PAC United for the Future and was not fined by the CFB

The Advance Group Represented Yetta Krukland and the PAC It Controlled Contributed to Its Opponent Represented By Berlin Rosen
The Advance  group was paid by democratic candidate Yetta Krukland $28,000 and the IE NYCLASS that Advance paid for $30,000 in mailings to promote Yetta Krukland.  The UFT PAC which Advance Was Working for United for the Future funded Krukland Opponent Corey Johnson. Krukland fired Advance during the campaign. The following Berlin Rosen clients were funded by Advance's PAC United for The Future: Elizabeth Crowley.Donovan Richards, Rory Lancman, Steven Levin, Mark Levine, Ydanis A Rodriguez, Austin I  Shafran (Not Elected), Kirsten J Foy (Not Elected)


de Blasio NYCLASS Advance Group Pay to Play

Edison Hires the Advance Group Six Days After de Blasio Became Mayor, Where is the Prosecutors?
 Edison is also pushing a plan to extend the No. 7 train from Manhattan's West Side, where it owns properties, to a Secaucus, N.J., site, where a major Edison parking facility sits next to a New Jersey Transit hub.  Six days after Mr. de Blasio's inauguration in January 2014, Edison inked a $7,500-a-month lobbying contract with Manhattan-based Advance—which had orchestrated the anti-Quinn political action committee and NYCLASS' own efforts to undermine Ms. Quinn's bid. Advance's political consulting activities during the campaign season are now reportedly being investigated by the FBI, and last week NYCLASS was  for violations stemming from its work with Advance.* Nislick &Feldman ('spender") held personally "LIABLE" for $26K @NYCCFB Hearing

Advance— Orchestrated the anti-Quinn political action committee and NYCLASS' own efforts to undermine Ms. Quinn's bid. 
 Edison’s StephenNislick pushes real estate agenda with mayor (Real Deal) Among other things, the developer is pushing for an extension of the 7-train to New Jersey. Nislick co-founded a political action committee — New York City Is Not For Sale — that spent more than $1 million to help defeat Christine Quinn, who was then de Blasio’s main opponent and didn’t support the horse carriage ban. A spokesman for the mayor told Crain’s that the meeting between de Blasio and Nislick in 2013 was about “parking rules and regulations, specifically things like parking minimums.” Developers have lobbied to city to try to cut down parking mandates. In May, the mayor said his administration would re-examine those mandates. [Crain's]


Chris Bragg ‏@ChrisBragg1  Days after deBlasio inaguration, Edison Properties inked the Advance Group to lobby him (CrainsNY) Edison and its related companies own some 40 parking lots and garages, and have made a fortune constructing everything from Manhattan Mini Storage facilities to luxury apartments on their extensive roster of parcels.* The man behind the horse-carriage fuss(Capital)  Steve Nislick believes his ally de Blasio will deliver


Who Guards the Guards Themselves? 
Berlin Rosen Worked for the AG Other Consultants for the DAs
Since the state attorney general and local district attorneys must run for public office, all of the state's top prosecutors must rely on corrupting influence of campaign consultants and campaign donors to win elected office.  Once a prosecutor relies on the advice of campaign consultants, that opens the door to potential lobbying, because, in New York, campaign consultants often double as lobbyists.  Political consultant Red Horse worked for Brooklyn DA Thompson campaign along with Berlin Rosen.  Both Red Horse and Advance Group worked for the UFT's PAC United for the Future (the UFT attempted to covering up Advance involvement by paying them through a fake company) Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA. Red Horse worked for Brooklyn BP Adams, Bronx BP Diaz and PA James. Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA Cy Vance. Red Horse worked for Pitta Bishop for Brooklyn BP Adams. Red Horse worked with George Arzt in the Queens BP campaign. Berlin Rosen not only help elected Schneiderman to his AG position, both it partners worked for him when he was state senator. * Preet Bharara has become well-known in New York for prosecuting the state’s top political players. This month, the Manhattan U.S. attorney might be better known as the hottest ticket in town when it comes to law-school commencement speakers.
Who Watchers the Watchman, Lobbyists, Grand Jury, AG - DAsConflict of Interests With NYPD and Elected Officials






Berlin Rosen Worked With the Advance Group for the Two Councilmembers Fined By CFB
Two City Council members were slapped with fines Wednesday for taking off-limits contributions from animal rights group NYCLASS, which bankrolled Mayor de Blasio's mayoral campaign for his pledge to ban horse-drawn carriages. Council members Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) and Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) have to pay back money they were given by New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets because they shared the same political consultant — the Advance Group — as the anti-carriage group. One ambiguity is that Ms. Mark-Viverito was not running in an election regulated by the city Campaign Finance Board, but rather in a leadership race within the council. City council members fined over money from anti-horse carriage group(NYP)Two city council members were slapped with hefty fines for accepting prohibited campaign contributions from a group at the center of the Central Park horse carriage brouhaha. Freshman member Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) was fined $7,868, and newbie Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) was fined $8,686 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board for accepting over-the-limit funding from a “prohibited source.” The board found that the funding source for both campaigns – New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Street (NYCLASS) – was too intertwined with the candidates’ consultant, The Advance Group (TAG).Campaigns are prohibited from coordinating with third-party groups that make “independent” expenditures. Yet TAG president and lobbyist Scott Levenson was political director for NYCLASS, and both groups shared the same office space. Councilman Rodriguez was also a client of the Advance Group and got mailing from Advance's PAC United for the Future and was not fined by the CFB

The Advance Group Represented Yetta Krukland and the PAC It Controlled Contributed to Its Opponent Represented By Berlin Rosen
The Advance  group was paid by democratic candidate Yetta Krukland $28,000 and the IE NYCLASS that Advance paid for $30,000 in mailings to promote Yetta Krukland.  The UFT PAC which Advance Was Working for United for the Future funded Krukland Opponent Corey Johnson. Krukland fired Advance during the campaign. The following Berlin Rosen clients were funded by Advance's PAC United for The Future: Elizabeth Crowley.Donovan Richards, Rory Lancman, Steven Levin, Mark Levine, Ydanis A Rodriguez, Austin I  Shafran (Not Elected), Kirsten J Foy (Not Elected)


de Blasio NYCLASS Advance Group Pay to Play

Edison Hires the Advance Group Six Days After de Blasio Became Mayor, Where is the Prosecutors?
 Edison is also pushing a plan to extend the No. 7 train from Manhattan's West Side, where it owns properties, to a Secaucus, N.J., site, where a major Edison parking facility sits next to a New Jersey Transit hub.  Six days after Mr. de Blasio's inauguration in January 2014, Edison inked a $7,500-a-month lobbying contract with Manhattan-based Advance—which had orchestrated the anti-Quinn political action committee and NYCLASS' own efforts to undermine Ms. Quinn's bid. Advance's political consulting activities during the campaign season are now reportedly being investigated by the FBI, and last week NYCLASS was  for violations stemming from its work with Advance.* Nislick &Feldman ('spender") held personally "LIABLE" for $26K @NYCCFB Hearing

Advance— Orchestrated the anti-Quinn political action committee and NYCLASS' own efforts to undermine Ms. Quinn's bid. 
 Edison’s StephenNislick pushes real estate agenda with mayor (Real Deal) Among other things, the developer is pushing for an extension of the 7-train to New Jersey. Nislick co-founded a political action committee — New York City Is Not For Sale — that spent more than $1 million to help defeat Christine Quinn, who was then de Blasio’s main opponent and didn’t support the horse carriage ban. A spokesman for the mayor told Crain’s that the meeting between de Blasio and Nislick in 2013 was about “parking rules and regulations, specifically things like parking minimums.” Developers have lobbied to city to try to cut down parking mandates. In May, the mayor said his administration would re-examine those mandates. [Crain's]


Chris Bragg ‏@ChrisBragg1  Days after deBlasio inaguration, Edison Properties inked the Advance Group to lobby him (CrainsNY) Edison and its related companies own some 40 parking lots and garages, and have made a fortune constructing everything from Manhattan Mini Storage facilities to luxury apartments on their extensive roster of parcels.* The man behind the horse-carriage fuss(Capital)  Steve Nislick believes his ally de Blasio will deliver


Who Guards the Guards Themselves? 
Berlin Rosen Worked for the AG Other Consultants for the DAs
Since the state attorney general and local district attorneys must run for public office, all of the state's top prosecutors must rely on corrupting influence of campaign consultants and campaign donors to win elected office.  Once a prosecutor relies on the advice of campaign consultants, that opens the door to potential lobbying, because, in New York, campaign consultants often double as lobbyists.  Political consultant Red Horse worked for Brooklyn DA Thompson campaign along with Berlin Rosen.  Both Red Horse and Advance Group worked for the UFT's PAC United for the Future (the UFT attempted to covering up Advance involvement by paying them through a fake company) Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA. Red Horse worked for Brooklyn BP Adams, Bronx BP Diaz and PA James. Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA Cy Vance. Red Horse worked for Pitta Bishop for Brooklyn BP Adams. Red Horse worked with George Arzt in the Queens BP campaign. Berlin Rosen not only help elected Schneiderman to his AG position, both it partners worked for him when he was state senator. * Preet Bharara has become well-known in New York for prosecuting the state’s top political players. This month, the Manhattan U.S. attorney might be better known as the hottest ticket in town when it comes to law-school commencement speakers.
Who Watchers the Watchman, Lobbyists, Grand Jury, AG - DAsConflict of Interests With NYPD and Elected Officials



An operative with the controversial Advance Group, Jonathan Yedin, who has been working in Brooklyn Democratic Party politics for more than a decade and belongs to Mr. Seddio’s political club. Though Ms. Mark-Viverito eventually stopped taking free advice from the Advance Group, Mr. Yedin remained a crucial  player in the brokering of the deal, sources said.  Inside Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Road to Victory(NYO) * Melissa Mark-Viverito Lobbyist Firm Never Quit, Continued Lobbying Despite Investigations * More on the Advance Group Under Investigation  * Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid(NYO) Ms. Mark-Viverito insisted today that this was not the case but out of an “abundance of caution,” the relationship would end. Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid - Blogs(TU) * Melissa Mark-Viverito Lobbyist Firm Never Quit, Continued Lobbying Despite Investigations *EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN) Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy (Daily News 11/27/2013)

The CFB and Conflict of Interests Board Continue to Cover-Up Advances Involvement in Advances Illegal Work for Mark-Viverito in Her Speakers Race Campaign
The Conflicts of Interest Board probe, which was reported earlier this year, stems from a complaint made over forbidden pro-bono work Mark-Viverito received in late 2013 from The Advance Group. An official at the Conflicts of Interest Board declined to comment on the status of the case.

Feds Bag Consultant Who Illegally Coordinated Campaigns and PACs 
Feds Investigating the Advance Group
G.O.P.Consultant Pleads Guilty in PAC Case(NYT) A Virginia-based Republican political consultant pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges that he illegally coordinated spending between a 2012 congressional campaign and a “super PAC,” federal prosecutors said. The consultant, Tyler E. Harber, was accused of managing a congressional campaign while helping create and direct a super PAC that spent $325,000 attacking a rival candidate, according to the Justice Department. The case appears to be the first of its kind brought by federal prosecutors since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, which allowed for the creation of political action committees that can raise and spend unlimited money, including from corporations, so long as they do not coordinate the spending with candidates.* New YorkPanel Approves Fine for Group Against Carriage Horses(NYT)In documents released after its vote on Thursday, the board said it “found credible” statements by NYClass that it did not know the Advance Group was also consulting for Ms. Cumbo’s and Mr. Levine’s campaigns, and that it had relied on the Advance Group’s assurances that NYClass was in compliance with campaign-finance rules.




Feds Bag Consultant Who Illegally Coordinated Campaigns and PACs 
Feds Investigating the Advance Group
G.O.P.Consultant Pleads Guilty in PAC Case(NYT) A Virginia-based Republican political consultant pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges that he illegally coordinated spending between a 2012 congressional campaign and a “super PAC,” federal prosecutors said. The consultant, Tyler E. Harber, was accused of managing a congressional campaign while helping create and direct a super PAC that spent $325,000 attacking a rival candidate, according to the Justice Department. The case appears to be the first of its kind brought by federal prosecutors since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, which allowed for the creation of political action committees that can raise and spend unlimited money, including from corporations, so long as they do not coordinate the spending with candidates.* New YorkPanel Approves Fine for Group Against Carriage Horses(NYT)In documents released after its vote on Thursday, the board said it “found credible” statements by NYClass that it did not know the Advance Group was also consulting for Ms. Cumbo’s and Mr. Levine’s campaigns, and that it had relied on the Advance Group’s assurances that NYClass was in compliance with campaign-finance rules.




Is the Manhattan DA Not Investigating Advance Because of A Conflict of Interests With Red Horse?
Manhattan DA Vance Consultant Red Horse Broke the Law Along With Advance Working for the UFT PACs United for the Future that did mailings for the same  Council Clients that both firms represented  

Political consultant Red Horse worked for Brooklyn DA Thompson campaign along with Berlin Rosen.  Both Red Horse and Advance Group worked for the UFT's PAC United for the Future (the UFT attempted to covering up Advance involvement by paying them through a fake company) Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA. Red Horse worked for Brooklyn BP Adams, Bronx BP Diaz and PA James. Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA Cy Vance. Red Horse worked for Pitta Bishop for Brooklyn BP Adams. Red Horse worked with George Arzt in the Queens BP campaign.



The Reporter Who Broke the Advance Groups Phony Logo Corruption Story Laid Off By CrainsNY

Crain’s New Yorklays off 40 percent of editorial staff, Including Chris Bragg. CrainsNY reporter Chris Bragg has done a great investigative job exposing how lobbyist/consultant the Advance Group was on both sides of many campaigns by using IE PACS and fake to run the UFT PAC. The Advance Group is also the lobbyist for the NYC Hotel and Motel Trades Council. 

Several payments that a UFT super PAC sent to a fictitious political consulting firm “Strategic Consultants” have the Advance Group logo on their invoices
Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY) Last week, The Insider broke the news that the United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan  consulting firm the Advance Group. An open records request that came back on Tuesday from the City Campaign Finance Board (and is embedded below) offers fresh and somewhat amusing evidence of the connection between the two: Many of the invoices the agency received from Strategic Consultants have the Advance Group logo on them.






The UFT Broke the Law With Advance and None of the Prosecutors Noticed

Why Did the UFT's PAC United for the Future Hire the Advance Group? Was It Part of A Conspiracy to Coordinate their PAC and the Campaign Consultant?


The UFT PAC Paid Advance Through the Fake Group Strategic Consultants Inc. $370,000
Her campaign also got support by two PACs controlled by the Advance Group, NYCLASS and the UFT PAC United for the Future that the UFT tried to hid Advance Groups involvement in with a fake made up company called Strategic Consultants Inc., that CrainsNY found was located in the offices of Advance. Your can bet the farm that with Mayor Bloomberg last minute appointment to the CFB Rose Gill Hearn, his former DOI Commissioner, the finances of Advance client Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and others are in the middle of a hot hot hot investigation that the media is completely missing. * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)

UFT Controlling Government By Breaking the Election Law . . .   DAs Don't Notice?

Cover-Up Of Campaign Consultants Advance Group/Red Horse Involvement in UFT PAC United for the Future, Which Conspired To Break Election Law to Control Council

How Campaign Consultant Lobbyists and The PACs They Controlled Broke the Election Law and Got Away With It and Built A Shadow Government

The UFT PAC Paid Advance Through the Fake Group Strategic Consultants Inc. $370,000

Nothing Has Happen - Five Months Ago the Daily News Wrote:

UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)The city’s powerful teachers union is under fire from good-government groups for apparently trying to hide the identity of a consulting firm it was using to boost union-backed candidates.  "The listing of the phony firm, 'Strategic Consultants, Inc.,' in campaign filings, obscured that Advance Group was being paid both to promote candidates for the United Federation of Teachers' independent political action committee, and working as the main campaign consultant for several of those same candidates." 


The AG and the DAs By Not Enforcing the Election Law Has Enabled Lobbyists and Special Interests to Legalize Bribery Though PACs
PACs are A Crime on the Book Because Prosecutors Who Look the Other Way
The CFB determined under its rules that the Advance Group’s work on behalf of both Council candidates and the supposedly “independent” anti-carriage PAC really amounted to illegal coordination between the campaigns and NYCLASS. The board properly fined Cumbo and Levine. And its crackdown on the out-of-bounds campaign spending by NYCLASS has done the city a huge favor, by providing a badly needed glimpse into the big money play that successfully swung the 2013 city elections. Using funds from donors that included UNITE HERE — a union chaired by Mayor de Blasio’s cousin John Wilhelm — NYCLASS slimed mayoral rival Christine Quinn into oblivion.Now the FBI is probing the funding of the attacks on Quinn, and de Blasio’s flip-flop that led to his vow to ban the horses. The CFB needs to stay vigilant, making every effort to hold NYCLASS, the Advance Group and sponsored candidates to account for their actions in the 2013 campaign. Among the others benefiting from NYCLASS spending was Melissa Mark-Viverito, who took free services from the Advance Group in her successful bid to become City Council speaker.



Almost the Entire Council is Infected With PACs That Advance Worked for 31 of the 51 Members, Including the Speaker
Candidates Funding By Advance's NYCLASS PAC: Yetta Krukland (Advance Client), Councilman Mark Levine (Advance Client), Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo (Advance Client)
Candidates Funding By Advance's United for the Future PAC: 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




What True News Reporter Months Ago and NYT Ignored
Election Fraud is No Longer Limited to Ballot Stuffing at the Polls
The NYCLASS PAC Caper to Steal the 2013 Mayoral Election is Now Being Put to Sleep
NYCLASS which was used to destroy mayoral front runner Speaker Quinn race for mayor by forces close to de Blasio is now being sabotage from within to please the unions and other special interests who want to keep carriages rolling in the park.  It is not the voters who were behind the horse carriage ban, 70% of New Yorkers support the horses.  It was the money the NYCLASS PAC made available during the campaign that was the goal of the de Blasio conspiracy team.  NYCLASS PAC spent more than $1 million to help defeat Christine Quinn, who was then de Blasio’s main opponent and did not support the horse carriage ban. As a councilman and public advocate de Blasio supported horse carriages.  As a candidate for mayor, de Blasio switched positions and embraced NYCLASS’ call to banish the carriage horses from Central Park and city streets. de Blasio made his pledge to support the horse carriage ban in March of 2013, the next month the attacks on Quinn started. In the year and a half that de Blasio has been mayor there have been many promise to ban the horse carriages but no bill in the council to make the campaign promise real. During the 2013 campaign NYCLASS hired campaign consultant lobbyists Scott Levinson who runs the Advance Group. Before the NYCLASS campaign Levinson worked with  Bertha Lewis, co-founder of the New York chapter of the Working Families Party, and the former head of ACORN in a tangled web of political cover-ups disguises as activism.  It was during de Blasio run for public advocate that the WFP created Data and Field to help the candidates they endorsed.  During the 2009 campaign the CFB declared Data and Field connected to the WFP in violation of the city's campaign finance laws.  In 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation.  In 2013 Levinson was named the consultant for NYCLASS which is credited with taking out Quinn. The NYCLASS PAC was financed by true believer and team de Blasio. * As the Media Write About Not Enough Council Votes to Ban Horse Carriages TRUE NEWS Investigates How NYCLASS Was Hijacked To Fix the Outcome of the 2013 Mayoral Election

Team de Blasio Poured $$$ Into NYCLASS to Kill Quinn
In 2014 the Daily News repored that the FBI was investigating donations to NYCLASS from men closeto Mayor de Blasio that may have been used toward anti-Christine Quinncampaigners  On May 21, lawyer Jay Eisenhofer gave $50,000 to NYCLASS, the animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. Ten days later, on May 31, NYCLASS gave an equal amount — $50,000, to the anti-Quinn group. On June 1, NYCLASS received another large donation, this time for $175,000. It came from UNITE HERE! — a labor union headed by John Wilhelm. Two days after that, on June 3, NYCLASS sent the same amount, $175,000, to the anti-Quinn campaign. The issue? Both Wilhelm and Eisenhofer have long-standing ties to Bill de Blasio, one of Quinn’s Democratic rivals in the mayoral campaign. Wilhelm is de Blasio’s cousin — and a prolific fund-raiser for him. Wilhelm raised $6,950 for de Blasio’s 2009 race for public advocate and $80,000 for de Blasio’s successful campaign for mayor.














Feds Investigate AdvanceGate and NYCLASS



The Daily News Outlines the Corruption of the 2013 Campaign But Does Not Call for the Prosecution of This Crime

Bill at the trough (NYDN Ed) De Blasio's conversion on horse carriages coincided with a rush of campaign cash. This is the curious story of how a self-described skeptic of the ban in 2007 became, by March 2013, a man who pledged to “ban the horse carriages in Central Park within the first week on the job.” In 2007, then-City Councilman de Blasio declared himself “skeptical” of a bill seeking to ban the carriages. In January 2008, the checks began arriving — and, presumably, the reeducation of the politician got underway. Wendy Neu, a longtime animal rights advocate who would later become a NYCLASS board member, gave $1,000 to de Blasio’s campaign for public advocate.Before long, more checks from Neu, NYCLASS co-founder Stephen Nislick and others started rolling in.Conversion complete? Not quite.


EXCLUSIVE: FBI investigating claim Christine Quinn was threatened for refusing to support carriage horse ban during the mayoral race (NYDN) In the past few weeks, FBI agents have been asking questions about the campaign by the animal rights group NYCLASS to get Christine Quinn to support a ban on the iconic carriages, two sources familiar with the matter told The Daily News. The FBI wants to know if the nature of the threat became extortion. When Quinn refused to support a ban on the carriages, an ad blitz began, and she later lost the race. A political consultant hired by NYCLASS, Scott Levenson, twice approached aides to Quinn and allegedly told them that if she didn’t back the proposed ban on carriage horses, they would spend big money on a political campaign attacking her. Top de Blasio supporters funded anti-Quinn group(CrainsNY)  The newly disclosed donations to NYCLASS include $50,000 from Jay Eisenhofer, an attorney who is Mr. de Blasio's largest campaign bundler, having separately raised nearly $85,000 for the candidate. The group also got $175,000 from the international labor union UNITE HERE, whose former president is John Wilhelm, Mr. de Blasio's cousin. UNITE HERE Local 100 backed Mr. de Blasio's candidacy in June, and Mr. Wilhelm bundled $17,000 in donations for his cousin. Ms. Quinn's campaign had accused NYCLASS of of being supportive of Mr. de Blasio, a charge the nonprofit has denied. Another major union funder of the anti-Quinn efforts, CWA Local 1180, backed the mayoral candidacy of city Comptroller John Liu. NYCLASS disclosed the donations to the city Campaign Finance Board Wednesday after The Insider reported last week that the group had not done so, in violation of city regulations.* Powell Also Reported That A Couple of de Blasio Big Bucks Guys Backed NYCLASS Attacks on Quinn "Her opponents knew this. Jay Eisenhofer, a backer of Mr. de Blasio, gave $50,000 to a group that ostensibly wanted to ban carriage horses. And John Wilhelm, Mr. de Blasio’s cousin, is a powerful figure in Unite Here, the hotel workers’ union. That union also gave $175,000 to the horse group.  Perhaps Mr. Eisenhofer and Mr. Wilhelm are horse lovers. What’s clear is that the so-called horse group ran ads attacking Ms. Quinn on many fronts.)


Who is Investigating the Horse-Carriages


UFT Advance Secret Relationship Secret Illegal Relationship During the 2013 Campaign
 The Advance Group also faces a CFB probe into an outside-spending campaign the firm ran on behalf of the United Federation of Teachers under the name "Strategic Consultants, Inc.," and separately, NYCLASS gave donations to the anti-Quinn efforts far above state-imposed limits.United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan consulting firm the Advance Group. Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY)* The advance group got paid $28,000 by gay city council candidate Yetta Kurland at the same time the firm work for the City Action Coalition PAC, which on its website touts itself as supporting candidates who oppose gay marriage and abortion rights.Advance was on both side of the Kurland race.  The firm also secretly worked to have been promot Johnson’s candidacy through an IE paid for by the UFT via a company called Strategic Consultants—apparently a dummy shell corporation set up to obscure the Advance Group’s double-dealing.  "Questions Raised Over U.F.T. Campaign Filing" [Beth Fertig]* * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN) *UFT paid $370,000 to fake consultant (CrainsNY)* Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY)

Daily News Charges Against Advance and Mark-Viverto
EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN) Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy (Daily News 11/27/2013)

Conflict of Interests Board Investigates the Speaker Where Are the Prosecutors?
Ethics probe targets City Council speaker, consultant(CrainsNY)New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and one of her former political consultants are subjects of a city ethics probe, Crain's has learned. The noncriminal investigation, which is being conducted by the city's Conflicts of Interest Board, centers around Ms. Mark-Viverito's acceptance of free assistance during her 2013 race for council speaker, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter. In the midst of the competition to succeed Christine Quinn as speaker, the Daily News reportedthat Ms. Mark-Viverito's acceptance of pro bono help from the Advance Group—a prominent Manhattan lobbying and campaign consulting shop—could run afoul of a city ethics regulation. Good-government group Citizens Union called for the Conflicts of Interest Board to investigate * Mark-Viverito probed over ‘freebie’ from lobby firm(NYP)
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How Can Robbing New Yorkers of Their Voting Rights, Their Democracy Be Considered None Criminal?
The Advance Group had helped Ms. Mark-Viverito prepare for debates and to network with council members and county leaders, who behind closed doors helped decide the internal leadership race.  The ethics question arose because as a public servant, Ms. Mark-Viverito is prohibited by the City Charter from taking a "valuable gift" from a firm that intends to do business with the city. Lobbyists are also prohibited from providing such gifts. 


The Advance Group has extensive lobbying business before city government, including the powerful speaker. A public official found to have violated the rule can be fined up to $25,000, and someone providing improper assistance up to $5,000.In light of the scrutiny of Advance Group's pro bono work, Ms. Mark-Viverito said in December 2013 that she would stop accepting free help from the firm during her speaker bid. The New York Observer later reported, however, that an Advance Group employee had later played a role in brokering the deal that made Ms. Mark-Viverito speaker. After the split with the Advance Group, Ms. Mark-Viverito indeed made hefty payments to a number of other consultants (including lobbying and compliance firm Pitta Bishop) that aided her speaker bid. In a novel move, Pitta Bishop set up a 2017 campaign account for an unspecified city office, and Ms. Mark-Viverito raised more than $100,000, despite only needing the votes of 26 council colleagues to win the early 2014 leadership race. Speaker Hires A Lawyer The speaker recently paid $20,000 in campaign cash to a law firm to represent her in the investigation. In November 2014 and again this month, Ms. Mark-Viverito's campaign fund made $10,000 payments to Ballard Spahr Stillman & Friedman. The Conflicts of Interest Board has been deposing figures in the investigation.* Sources: The city's Conflict of Interest Board is conductingan ethics probe of Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (NY1)



Advance Also Did Mailings for the Speaker During Her Campaign Through Their PAC

Mark-Viverito Received Mailings From NYCLASS . . . Two Council Members Were Fined Because Advance Worked for Them and Gave Them NYCLASS PAC $$$ 
One ambiguity is that Ms. Mark-Viverito was not running in an election regulated by the city Campaign Finance Board, but rather in a leadership race within the council. City council members fined over money from anti-horse carriage group(NYP)Two city council members were slapped with hefty fines for accepting prohibited campaign contributions from a group at the center of the Central Park horse carriage brouhaha. Freshman member Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) was fined $7,868, and newbie Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) was fined $8,686 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board for accepting over-the-limit funding from a “prohibited source.” The board found that the funding source for both campaigns – New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Street (NYCLASS) – was too intertwined with the candidates’ consultant, The Advance Group (TAG).Campaigns are prohibited from coordinating with third-party groups that make “independent” expenditures. Yet TAG president and lobbyist Scott Levenson was political director for NYCLASS, and both groups shared the same office space.
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67% Of New Yorkers Support Horse Carriages
Media Covers the Council Horse Fight Ignores the Illegal Activities of NYCLASS in the 2013 Election 
Two Democratic state senators, Diane Savino and Jose Peralta, are the latest to come out in opposition to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s push to ban horse carriages in the city, the Daily News writes * Two N.Y. state senators oppose horse-carriage ban * The poll found 67 percent of New Yorkers support horse carriages, the highest level recorded by Quinnipiac since it first began asking about the issue in January, while the mayor has 47 percent approval, Crain’s reports:  Seventy-six percent of New Yorkers disagree with de Blasio’s quest to ban horse-drawn carriages from Central Parka Q poll found.* 'IT DOESN'T CHANGE MY BASIC BELIEF': Mayor de Blasio plans carriage horse visit, but will not be changing his mind on ending industry(NYDN)* Actor Lends Star Power as Poll Shows Most NYers Want Horse Carriages(NY1)





The NYClass Edison Cover Up 
NYCLASS and Pay to Play (Developer) Of Edison Parking Lots?

Chris Bragg ‏@ChrisBragg1  Days after deBlasio inaguration, Edison Properties inked the Advance Group to lobby him (CrainsNY) Edison and its related companies own some 40 parking lots and garages, and have made a fortune constructing everything from Manhattan Mini Storage facilities to luxury apartments on their extensive roster of parcels.* The man behind the horse-carriage fuss(Capital)  Steve Nislick believes his ally de Blasio will deliver

Edison Hires the Advance Group Six Days After de Blasio Became Mayor, Where is the Prosecutors?
 Edison is also pushing a plan to extend the No. 7 train from Manhattan's West Side, where it owns properties, to a Secaucus, N.J., site, where a major Edison parking facility sits next to a New Jersey Transit hub.  Six days after Mr. de Blasio's inauguration in January 2014, Edison inked a $7,500-a-month lobbying contract with Manhattan-based Advance—which had orchestrated the anti-Quinn political action committee and NYCLASS' own efforts to undermine Ms. Quinn's bid. Advance's political consulting activities during the campaign season are now reportedly being investigated by the FBI, and last week NYCLASS was  for violations stemming from its work with Advance.* Nislick &Feldman ('spender") held personally "LIABLE" for $26K @NYCCFB Hearing

 Edison’s StephenNislick pushes real estate agenda with mayor (Real Deal) Among other things, the developer is pushing for an extension of the 7-train to New Jersey. Nislick co-founded a political action committee — New York City Is Not For Sale — that spent more than $1 million to help defeat Christine Quinn, who was then de Blasio’s main opponent and didn’t support the horse carriage ban. A spokesman for the mayor told Crain’s that the meeting between de Blasio and Nislick in 2013 was about “parking rules and regulations, specifically things like parking minimums.” Developers have lobbied to city to try to cut down parking mandates. In May, the mayor said his administration would re-examine those mandates. [Crain's]

CFB Tells NYCLASS Your Responsible, NYCLASS Blames the Advance Group 

Can You Imagine Abzug, Messinger or Friedlander being silent if someone tried to Steal the Election from Them
On November 21, 2013 the Daily News reported how the political consultants secretly worked together to fixed elections, "The firm (Advance Group) admitted its work for City Action Coalition PAC was problematic. “We did a favor for a political operative that we have a longstanding relationship with by sending his mailer to a printer,” an Advance Group spokeswoman said. “It was a mistake that we regret and is completely inconsistent with our history.” The CFB blasted NYCLASS, also known as New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets, for not taking responsibility for their wrongdoing. “These are very serious and severe penalties. They are very severe because there were very serious violations by NYCLASS,” said Richard Davis, a CFB board member. “The Board feels very strongly that if you’re going to becomean independent spender you cannot outsource responsibility for compliance withthe law. (NYO)That is the responsibility of the independent spender and that responsibility was not met here.” The CFB said the Advance Group itself could face fines in the near future.  “We have all seen the disturbing increase in spending by outside groups in federal, state and even local elections in recent years,” said Rose Gill Hearn, a CFB board member. “The Board expects to consider violations and penalties against The Advance Group, the common agent to the spender and the candidates who benefited from these expenditures.”



Also Shocking NYP: 99 Words 4 Paragraphs On the NYCLASS Fine 
Shocking You Would Expect the NYP to Go to Town Attacking NYCLASS for Helping to Elect A Mayor and Speaker Who They Can't Disagree More WithHorse carriage haters get slammed with five figure fine(NYP)





Even the CFB is Ignoring the Damage PACs Are Doing to Public Financing of Campaigns 
The CFB ignored tens of million pured into the city's public financed campaigns to come up with a self serving conclusion on its work.  On the same day the CFB fined the Advance Group for corrupting two council campaigns with the NYCLASS PAC they released a report that Public Funds Reduced the Impact of Big Money and SpecialInterests.




Advance Group Got Away With Dark Money to Elect the Mayor is It Doing Again With Federal Rat Dorego
NYCLASS Got Dark $$$ From de Blasio's Cousin 
In 2014 the Daily News repored that the FBI was investigating donations to NYCLASS from men closeto Mayor de Blasio that may have been used toward anti-Christine Quinncampaigners  On May 21, lawyer Jay Eisenhofer gave $50,000 to NYCLASS, the animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. Ten days later, on May 31, NYCLASS gave an equal amount — $50,000, to the anti-Quinn group. On June 1, NYCLASS received another large donation, this time for $175,000. It came from UNITE HERE! — a labor union headed by John Wilhelm. Two days after that, on June 3, NYCLASS sent the same amount, $175,000, to the anti-Quinn campaign. The issue? Both Wilhelm and Eisenhofer have long-standing ties to Bill de Blasio, one of Quinn’s Democratic rivals in the mayoral campaign. Wilhelm is de Blasio’s cousin — and a prolific fund-raiser for him. Wilhelm raised $6,950 for de Blasio’s 2009 race for public advocate and $80,000 for de Blasio’s successful campaign for mayor.


All Signs of the Federal Investigation of NYCLASS Has Disappeared
Daily News May 4, 2014 EXCLUSIVE: FBIinvestigating donations to NYCLASS from men close to Mayor de Blasio that mayhave been used toward anti-Christine Quinn campaigners (NYDN) Two men with strong ties to Mayor de Blasio donated cash to the NYCLASS animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. The animal rights group then donated identical amounts to anti-Christine Quinn campaigners. The transactions are now under FBI investigation.* FBI investigates whetheranimal rights group linked to Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign EXTORTED hisopponent over carriage horse ban (Daily Mail) During mayoral campaign de Blasio's cousin John Wilhelm contributed $175,000 to the group NYCLASS, which supported the horse ban * BILL DE BLASIO'S DIRTY MAYORAL CAMPAIGN UNDER FBIINVESTIGATION If you want to follow de Blasio’s position on horse carriages, just follow the money.


Advance Bagged Dark Money From Pledge2 Funded By Federal Witness Dorego and Ex-Wife to Stop the Eastside Waste Transfer Station
Crain’s New York Business looked at how Bertha Lewis, an early de Blasio endorser, was hired to pressure the mayor on the Upper East Side waste transfer station, noting “a person with knowledge of the hiring said Ms. Lewis’ connection with him was ‘a huge part’ of the decision. It’s an example of how those in the new mayor’s orbit can benefit from proximity to him.”* De Blasio ally paid to fight him over Upper East Side trash station plan(NYDN)  Pledge 2 Protect hired the Advance Group, a Manhattan-based Democratic consulting firm that had just run a $1 million campaign to sink de Blasio rival Christine Quinn. Pledge 2 Protect also hired Ms. Lewis, who shares an office with the Advance Group and whose nonprofit is a client of it.  The Upper East Side transfer station is meant to alleviate the disproportionate burden of trash removal (which can bring rodents, garbage odors and truck pollution) in poor neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn. But the facility could also hurt Glenwood, which has luxury apartment buildings near the proposed transfer station. Dorego has long been heavily involved in the opposition.


More Garbage for the Poor From Silver and Skelos Glenwood's Dorego Bag Man . . .  Hidden Lobbying $$$
In April, court papers revealed that a cooperating witness against Skelos, who has been identified as Dorego, avoided prosecution because he was supplying information to the office of Manhattan-based U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Less is known about Dorego's ties to a shadowy lobbying campaign that for years has attempted to undermine efforts by New York City government to lessen the disproportionate burden faced by poor minority communities in the process of removing the metropolis' trash — a policy shift that could hurt Glenwood's business interests on Manhattan's Upper East Side.The ex-wife of Charles Dorego, the senior vice president and general counsel of Glenwood Management and a common denominator in the corruption scandals that felled two legislative leaders this year, funded a shadowy lobbying campaign that has attempted to undermine efforts by New York City to lessen the disproportionate burden faced by poor minority communities in removing the city’s trash.*   Glenwood Management executive's ex-wife was involved inhiding sources behind six-figure lobbying spending (TU) Less is known about Dorego's ties to a shadowy lobbying campaign that for years has attempted to undermine efforts by New York City government to lessen the disproportionate burden faced by poor minority communities in the process of removing the metropolis' trash — a policy shift that could hurt Glenwood's business interests on Manhattan's Upper East Side.  Now records reviewed by the Times Union reveal the identity of a key player in obscuring who was actually funding these anonymous lobbying efforts: Dorego's ex-wife, a prominent attorney named Doreen Small. Her close ties to Dorego are likely to add further grist for environmental justice groups who contend Glenwood was secretly bankrolling the efforts to kill the city waste removal initiative all along. 

Clusterfucker Dorego's Gleenwood is A Federal Witness In the Arrests of Both Skelos and Silver
The apparently legal maneuvers that have facilitated nearly $700,000 in anonymous lobbying spending could have broader implications for New York's lobbying disclosure laws. In July 2013, Small cofounded a new law firm called Marquart & Small, which was run out of a shared "work collective" office in Manhattan's Flatiron district. Despite being a start-up, just two weeks after its founding Marquart & Small made a $177,000 donation to a lobbying group called Pledge 2 Protect, a nonprofit that had been founded three months earlier to fight New York City's plan to build a marine waste transfer station on the Upper East Side that would haul away garbage by barge. Pledge 2 Protect has spent heavily on lobbyists and consultants in a thus far unsuccessful attempt to sway Mayor Bill de Blasio to cancel those plans.

In 2001, Dorego joined the leadership of Glenwood Management, the state's biggest political donor and one of the biggest players in New York City's real estate industry. He has handled many of the firm's political efforts. 
Through December 2013, Marquart & Small would end up giving a total of nearly $700,000 to Pledge 2 Protect. There is a way a new law firm like Marquart & Small could come up with that kind of cash: If it were simply acting as a "pass through" to shield the original donors to Pledge 2 Protect.  A 2011 state ethics law requires issue-oriented lobbying groups such as Pledge 2 Protect that spend more than $50,000 in a year on lobbying to disclose the source of donations over $5,000. But Pledge 2 Protect has apparently found a loophole around the requirement: Only direct donors, not intermediaries, must be disclosed under the law. As a result, only the name of Small's firm appears on Pledge 2 Protect's lobbying disclosure forms filed with state government, and not the names of the original donors that funneled money through the firm. The Upper East Side transfer station is meant to alleviate the disproportionate burden of trash removal (which can bring rodents, garbage odors and truck pollution) in poor neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn. But the facility could also hurt Glenwood, which has luxury apartment buildings near the proposed transfer station. Dorego has long been heavily involved in the opposition.


One Year Ago the NYT Reported Advance Claims It Had A Fire Wall Between the PAC and Campaigns it Ran 
“We took pains to have firewalls internal to the firm,” said Mr. Levenson, who acknowledged that he faced an investigation. “I can say unequivocally, independent expenditures were done independently and not coordinated.”

Now the NYT Reports That the CFB Said There Was No Fire Wall, In Fact Advance Ran the Show 
New YorkPanel Approves Fine for Group Against Carriage Horses(NYT)In documents released after its vote on Thursday, the board said it “found credible” statements by NYClass that it did not know the Advance Group was also consulting for Ms. Cumbo’s and Mr. Levine’s campaigns, and that it had relied on the Advance Group’s assurances that NYClass was in compliance with campaign-finance rules.


NYT, NYP and Daily News Silent On Local Impact of Citizens United on the City's Public Financing System

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




The Council Speaker is In the Middle of 2 CFB Cover-Ups . . . Data and Field 2009, Speakers Race 2013 

 
Daily News Charges Against Mark-Viverto
EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN) Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy (Daily News 11/27/2013)

Mark-Viverito Drops Advance


Politicker Reported That Advance Was A Crucial Player In the Seddio Deal After the Group Left the Speakers Race
An operative with the controversial Advance Group, Jonathan Yedin, who has been working in Brooklyn Democratic Party politics for more than a decade and belongs to Mr. Seddio’s political club. Though Ms. Mark-Viverito eventually stopped taking free advice from the Advance Group, Mr. Yedin remained a crucial  player in the brokering of the deal, sources said.  Inside Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Road to Victory(NYO) * Melissa Mark-Viverito Lobbyist Firm Never Quit, Continued Lobbying Despite Investigations More on the Advance Group Under Investigation  The Big 8 Lobbyists CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping



Its Not Ballot Position That Gives Power To the WFP, Its Their Illegal Use Of Campaign Finance 
WFP tensions rise over Cuomo-backed Women’s Equality Party(NYP) With disaffected leftists upset at Cuomo, WFP officials are conceding privately that the Green Party will likely surpass the WFP’s vote totals with little-known UPS worker Howie Hawkins as its gubernatorial candidate. Female leaders of the Working Families Party are fuming that Gov. Cuomo has created a new party geared to women that threatens to siphon votes from their ballot line.  “A Women’s Equality Party run by men? Please!” WFP co-founder Bertha Lewis told The Post. “The Women’s Equality Party is unnecessary. I don’t like it. It’s cynical.”  WFP co-chairperson Karen Scharff also ripped the women’s party.

NYT Silent On Local Impact of Citizens United Even After Two Councilmembers Were Fined

NYT's Not Even One Story today About the CFB Fines
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. Not Even Today after the CFB fined two city council members who were helped by the Advance Group campaign consultant who used the Citizens United PAC they controlled to help their candidates. Both the Daily News and NYP which reported on the fines, limited their coverage on the fines without comment on how far the CFB could go.  Nobody except this blog is doing the investigative reporting that shows the depth of corruption of the Advance Group and the Citizens United PACS in the 2013 city elections.  Have these PACs made NYC government worse (if that is possible)? Have these PACs and lobbyist consultants committed crimes? Stay Tuned. 


10 Important Facts left Out of the Daily News Story On de Blasio Relationship W/ NYCLASS
1.  NYCLASS has hired Martin Connor, the former state Senate minority leader, to represent the nonprofit, while the Advance Group has hired well-known attorney Lawrence Mandelker

2. Advance Group President Scott Levenson is no longer listed as the NYCLASS political director on the firm's website. In Campaign, Cash Flowed Circuitously - NYTimes.com Advance under investigation


3.  As noted by City & State, the Bertha Lewis-led nonprofit the Black Institute continues to operate out of the Advance Group offices, unlike NYCLASS. Ms. Lewis is close to Mayor Bill de Blasio. It is interesting to note that the Black Institute shares office space with the prominent consulting firm the Advance Group, which has deep ties to Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and WFP candidates generally. Until her recent departure from the Advance Group, both the firm and the Black Institute had the same spokeswoman, Chelsea Connor, who handled press inquiries for both organizations.

NYCLASS PAC Helped Both de Blasio/Thompson Campaigns UFT Backing Thompson/Advance Secret Relationship
4. The Advance Group also faces a CFB probe into an outside-spending campaign the firm ran on behalf of the United Federation of Teachers under the name "Strategic Consultants, Inc.," and separately, NYCLASS gave donations to the anti-Quinn efforts far above state-imposed limits.United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan consulting firm the Advance Group. Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY)* The advance group got paid $28,000 by gay city council candidate Yetta Kurland at the same time the firm work for the City Action Coalition PAC, which on its website touts itself as supporting candidates who oppose gay marriage and abortion rights.Advance was on both side of the Kurland race.  The firm also secretly worked to have been promot Johnson’s candidacy through an IE paid for by the UFT via a company called Strategic Consultants—apparently a dummy shell corporation set up to obscure the Advance Group’s double-dealing.  "Questions Raised Over U.F.T. Campaign Filing" [Beth Fertig]* * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN) 







Connecting the Horse-CarriageGate By the Numbers

1. De Blasio announced at a candidates’ forum in March 2013 that he would eliminate the horse-drawn carriages in his first week as mayor, delighting NYCLASS and other animal rights activists. 2. In early April, after Quinn refused to support the proposed carriage ban, NYCLASS founder Steve Nislick, and board member Wendy Neu, gave $200,000 each to New York City is Not for Sale, the political action committee formed by Levenson to carry out the Anybody But Quinn campaign of TV ads, robocalls and mailings — which began that month — attacking her.  3. In May and June, NYCLASS chipped a total of $225,000 to the anti-Quinn effort, records show. 4.  And in June, two of de Blasio’s top financial supporters gave $225,000 to NYCLASS, records show. 5. One of those supporters was de Blasio’s cousin, Wilhelm, who was then head of the union group UNITE HERE!, which wrote a check for $175,000 to NYCLASS — the biggest contribution NYCLASS had ever received. The other was Jay Eisenhoffer, an attorney. 6.
Wilhelm and Eisenhoffer also acted as “intermediaries” for de Blasio’s mayoral campaign, collecting $165,000 in contributions for him, records show. 7. Still, de Blasio has said that neither he nor his campaign coordinated with NYCLASS or New York City is Not for Sale in attacking Quinn. Any such coordination could be a violation of campaign laws.* Sources: Anti-Horse Carriage Push Under Investigation(NY1)


5. EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN) Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy.  Melissa Mark-Viverito Lobbyist Firm Never Quit, Continued Lobbying Despite Investigations

5. The Advance Group, run by Scott Levenson, made headlines for its campaign work in the 2013 elections, during which the firm apparently took campaign dollars from individual campaigns as well as from outside groups supporting the same candidates through independent expenditures.



6. Bertha Lewis, co-founder of the New York chapter of the Working Families Party, and the former head of ACORN, created the Black Institute in order to promote issues of concern to African-Americans, including education, economic fairness and immigration.Seth Barron () dives into the tangled web involving Bertha Lewis & Advance Group:  (City and State)

7.  Mr. Levenson’s firm also represented City Action Coalition, an anti-same-sex-marriage group financed by a hedge funder from Princeton, N.J., and led by an evangelical minister who says Nazi tolerance of gays led to the Holocaust. The PAC spent tens of thousands of dollars during the primary campaign on mailers stressing “family values” and on robocalls for opponents to three gay City Council candidates: Rosie Mendez, Ritchie Torres and Carlos Menchaca.* Will LGBT Groups Protest Scott Levenson for Espousing Anti-Gay Att(Video)

Favors Between Political Consultants Are Not Required to Reported on the State BOE or CFB Reporting Forms
8. Daily News - "The firm admitted its work for City Action Coalition PAC was problematic. “We did a favor for a political operative that we have a longstanding relationship with by sending his mailer to a printer,” an Advance Group spokeswoman said.

9. Animal rights group's exotic campaign financesEarlier this week, The Insider wrote that the Advance Group pushed the limits of campaign finance laws by working for council campaign clients and an outside group involved in those same races, despite a requirement that there be no coordination between them.

The Advance Group USAO SDNY Civilian Crime Reports

Where are the Prosecutors?
10.  De Blasio accused of coordinating with anti-Quinn Super PAC(NYP) A GOP political activist filed a complaint with the Campaign Finance Board accusing Bill de Blasio and key allies of illegally operating a super PAC that spent more than $1 million attacking Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary race for mayor. Civilian Crime Report filed with the U.S. Attorney's Office regarding The Advance Group and possible federal crimes during the recent past New York City municipal elections. The complaint alleges that Mr. Levenson and his group broke the law this election season by working for both candidates as well as independent expenditures backing them, which is barred, and allowing staffers with the firm to provide unpaid assistance to Melissa Mark-Viverito’s successful campaign for City Council Speaker–allegedly breaking city ethics rules to gain leverage for future clients. * Complaint Filed Against Advance Group for Election Work(NYO)


How Advance Group's Corruption Make A Council Speaker

The Lobbyist Consultant Firm the Advance Group after the Mark-Viverito End Her Relationship With Them After the Daily News Exposed They She May Be Breaking the City's Ethics Law

Daily News Charges Against Mark-Viverto
EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito(NYDN) Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy (Daily News 11/27/2013)

Mark-Viverito Drops Advance 
Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid(NYO) Ms. Mark-Viverito insisted today that this was not the case but out of an “abundance of caution,” the relationship would end. Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid - Blogs(TU)

Politicker Reports Than Advance Group Was A Crucial Player In the Seddio Deal To Back the Speaker
An operative with the controversial Advance Group, Jonathan Yedin, who has been working in Brooklyn Democratic Party politics for more than a decade and belongs to Mr. Seddio’s political club. Though Ms. Mark-Viverito eventually stopped taking free advice from the Advance Group, Mr. Yedin remained a crucial  player in the brokering of the deal, sources said.  Inside Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Road to Victory(NYO) * Melissa Mark-Viverito Lobbyist Firm Never Quit, Continued Lobbying Despite Investigations
A leadership role and a mayoral alliance turn a liberal firebrand Council speaker deferential




NYP Left Out that Cumbo Campaign Was Fined By the CFB Because Her Consultant the Advance Group Mixed Citizen United $$$ With Her Campaign Contributions  
More Member Items Abuse
Once again our City Council is proving — with your tax dollars — that even a good cause can start to lookugly when it looks to political connections for funding.  The latest example is Brooklyn Councilmember Laurie Cumbo’s $1.4 million taxpayer-financed gift to the Museum of Contemporary Arts. Her donations will be matched by another $1.4 million in the mayor’s executive budget, for a grand total of $2.8 million for this museum. That’s a nice chunk of change. One other relevant point: Cumbo is the founder of this museum.

We don’t suggest that any of this is illegal. But that’s the smelly part, at least with regard to council member items. This is money that the council’s politicians take from taxpayers and ladle out to their pet projects and causes without even a vote. The worthiness of the cause being supported is irrelevant. In fact, we think by participating in a process so open to abuse, non-profits risk their good names. Remember, member items were part of William Rapfogel’s scam at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. So we’re with Mayor de Blasio on this. End member items. And let these worthy causes raise money the old-fashioned way — either by persuading private benefactors to contribute, or, when taxpayer dollars are involved, by holding an up or down legislative vote.

The CFB Finds the Advance Coordinated PAC NYCLASS $$$ and Campaign $$$


The Investigation Of the Advance Group NYCLASS Corruption Continues With Fines Against Two CN Cumbo and Levenson  
City council members fined over money from anti-horse carriage group(NYP)Two city council members were slapped with hefty fines for accepting prohibited campaign contributions from a group at the center of the Central Park horse carriage brouhaha. Freshman member Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) was fined $7,868, and newbie Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) was fined $8,686 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board for accepting over-the-limit funding from a “prohibited source.” The board found that the funding source for both campaigns – New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Street (NYCLASS) – was too intertwined with the candidates’ consultant, The Advance Group (TAG).Campaigns are prohibited from coordinating with third-party groups that make “independent” expenditures. Yet TAG president and lobbyist Scott Levenson was political director for NYCLASS, and both groups shared the same office space.* Two NYC campaigns fined over cash from animal rights group(Newsday) But NYCLASS and The Advance Group were intertwined -- NYCLASS' political director doubled as The Advance Group's president, for example -- and spending by NYCLASS "could not be and" was "not independent" of the campaigns, the finance board said. The contributions were over the $2,750 limit as nonindependent spending and weren't reported by the campaigns, the board said. Cumbo and Levine responded with a joint statement, saying their campaigns are opposed to outside spending in elections.* 2 City Council members fined thousands for accepting improper campaign funds from anti-carriage horse group NYCLASS(NYDN)


Advance Group Breaks Another Law No Sign of Prosecutors 


Like Date and Field
The source close to Mr. Jackson’s operation said that the Advance Group also low-balled the reimbursement, writing a check for less than $400 while the campaign had shelled out $13,250 for the VAN system. But the insider said he knew of no plan to pursue the Advance Group legally for further restitution.New York's Watergate 

True News Wags the Daily News On the Citizens United, Advance Group, NYCLASS, Public Finance Scandal
The truth is beginning to come out how big money controlled by campaign consultants robbed New Yorkers of a fare democratic election in 2013

NYCLASS Kicks Advance Group Out



Saturday Update: NYCLASS Cuts Ties With the Advance Group
NYCLASS cuts ties with political consultant linked to ongoing FBI probe of mayoral race(NYDN) The anti-horse carriage group has cut ties with controversial political consultant Scott Levenson. The FBI has been questioning key players over whether Levenson pressured Christine Quinn to support NYCLASS’ campaign to end horse-drawn carriages. On Thursday the Advance Group emerged as a central player in city Campaign Finance Board rulings fining two city council candidates for dodging limits on campaign donations. Advance Group’s Levenson has been lobbying the council since 2011 for NYCLASS, records show. * NYCLASS Drops Advance Group Amid Mounting Bad Press(NYO)NYCLASS, the vocal animal rights group that is leading the charge to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City, has parted ways with the Advance Group, a source with close knowledge of the relationship confirmed to the Observer this afternoon. A clear majority of New Yorkers want to keep the horses. The drive to put them to pasture is gradually being exposed as nothing more than a big-money fix by an overzealous lobbying group.


Horsing around with cash(NYDN Ed) The drive to ban carriage horses from the city — and thow hundreds of New Yorkers out of work — was based on more than animal rights extremism. The higher power was illicit political cash. Rulings by the Campaign Finance Board certify that NYCLASS, the anti-horse ringleader, engaged in a concerted effort to funnel money into helping friendly City Council candidates in amounts far larger than permitted by law. The scheme laid out by the board was elaborate. Council candidates are entitled to generous public matching funds for their campaigns, on the condition that they abide by strict limits on their fundraising and spending.  According to the CFB, Brooklyn Council member Laurie Cumbo and Manhattan’s Mark Levine, both participants in the matching funds program, hired a firm called the Advance Group as their campaign consultants. At the same time, the Advance Group was raking in substantial sums from NYCLASS — and sending out campaign literature urging voters to back Cumbo and Levine. Same candidates, same consulting firm, same office — and a clear end run around the caps on how much candidates can spend on their races under the matching funds program.

Why Isn't the AG and the Manhattan DA Enforcing the Election Law?
The CFB determined under its rules that the Advance Group’s work on behalf of both Council candidates and the supposedly “independent” anti-carriage PAC really amounted to illegal coordination between the campaigns and NYCLASS. The board properly fined Cumbo and Levine. And its crackdown on the out-of-bounds campaign spending by NYCLASS has done the city a huge favor, by providing a badly needed glimpse into the big money play that successfully swung the 2013 city elections. Using funds from donors that included UNITE HERE — a union chaired by Mayor de Blasio’s cousin John Wilhelm — NYCLASS slimed mayoral rival Christine Quinn into oblivion.Now the FBI is probing the funding of the attacks on Quinn, and de Blasio’s flip-flop that led to his vow to ban the horses. The CFB needs to stay vigilant, making every effort to hold NYCLASS, the Advance Group and sponsored candidates to account for their actions in the 2013 campaign. Among the others benefiting from NYCLASS spending was Melissa Mark-Viverito, who took free services from the Advance Group in her successful bid to become City Council speaker.


NYT Silent On Local Impact of Citizens United Even After Two Councilmembers Were Fined

NYT's Not Even One Story today About the CFB Fines
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. Not Even Today after the CFB fined two city council members who were helped by the Advance Group campaign consultant who used the Citizens United PAC they controlled to help their candidates. Both the Daily News and NYP which reported on the fines, limited their coverage on the fines without comment on how far the CFB could go.  Nobody except this blog is doing the investigative reporting that shows the depth of corruption of the Advance Group and the Citizens United PACS in the 2013 city elections.  Have these PACs made NYC government worse (if that is possible)? Have these PACs and lobbyist consultants committed crimes? Stay Tuned. 



Politicker Reports Than Advance Group Was A Crucial Player In the Seddio Deal to Make Mark-Viverito Speaker
An operative with the controversial Advance Group, Jonathan Yedin, who has been working in Brooklyn Democratic Party politics for more than a decade and belongs to Mr. Seddio’s political club. Though Ms. Mark-Viverito eventually stopped taking free advice from the Advance Group, Mr. Yedin remained a crucial player in the brokering of the deal, sources said.  Inside Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Road to Victory(NYO) * Melissa Mark-Viverito Lobbyist Firm Never Quit, Continued Lobbying Despite Investigations

Speaker Mark- Viverito Nowhere Woman 
More than 2/3 of voters in NY13 haven't heard enough of  to have an opinion. 

Why the UFT Pay A Forge A Fake Group to Do Business With Advance?
Why Did the UFT's PAC United for the Future Hire the Advance Group? Was It Part of A Conspiracy to Coordinate their PAC and the Campaign Consultant?
The UFT PAC Paid Advance Through the Fake Group Strategic Consultants Inc. $370,000
Her campaign also got support by two PACs controlled by the Advance Group, NYCLASS and the UFT PAC United for the Future that the UFT tried to hid Advance Groups involvement in with a fake made up company called Strategic Consultants Inc., that CrainsNY found was located in the offices of Advance. Your can bet the farm that with Mayor Bloomberg last minute appointment to the CFB Rose Gill Hearn, his former DOI Commissioner, the finances of Advance client Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and others are in the middle of a hot hot hot investigation that the media is completely missing. * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)

Did Advance Double Dip Levine PACs?

Councilman Mark Levine Who Got fined for his advanced run campaign receiving from the Advance controlled PAC NYCLASS also got funds from the United for the Future PAC that Advance Also worked for.  Advance also worked for Councilman Rodriguez whose campaign was funded by the PAC that Advance worked for United for the Future






Almost the Entire Council is Infected: Advance Either Managed or Funded 31 of the 51 Council Members Including the Speaker

Candidates Funding By Advance's NYCLASS PAC: Yetta Krukland (Advance Client), Councilman Mark Levine (Advance Client), Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo (Advance Client)
Candidates Funding By Advance's United for the Future PAC:
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
More on the Advance Groups Corruption  *  CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping *  The Big 8 Lobbyists * Dark Pool Politics 

Advance Controlled PAC Funded Both Candidates in the 3rd Council District Krukland Vs Johnson

Advance Group Also Worked For An Anti Gay PAC 
The Advance  group was paid by democratic candidate Yetta Krukland $28,000 and the IE NYCLASS that Advance paid for $30,000 in mailings to promote Yetta Krukland.  The UFT PAC which Advance Was Working for United for the Future funded Krukland Opponent Corey Johnson. Krukland fired Advance during the campaign.)* The Advance Group got paid $28,000 by gay city council candidate Yetta Kurland at the same time the firm work for the City Action Coalition PAC, which on its website touts itself as supporting candidates who oppose gay marriage and abortion rights.Advance was on both side of the Kurland race. The PAC City Action Coalition, an anti-same-sex-marriage group financed by a hedge funder from Princeton, N.J., and led by an evangelical minister who says Nazi tolerance of gays led to the Holocaust. The PAC spent tens of thousands of dollars during the primary campaign on mailers stressing “family values” and on robocalls for opponents to three gay City Council candidates: Rosie Mendez, Ritchie Torres and Carlos Menchaca.

Did the Advance Group Do Favors For Other Political Consultants?
“We did a favor for a political operative that we have a longstanding relationship with by sending his mailer to a printer,” an Advance Group spokeswoman said. Advance Group 

The Crossing the Streams Ghost

Investigation Not About Quinn
The Big Crime of the is Mixing the Citizen Action PACs With the Public Funds (CFB) The Buzz going around the ever shrinking group who really know what is going on in this town, is that their are emails being look at between Advance and their political clients, and that those emails show no firewalls between the Citizens United PACs and the CFB campaigns.

CFB is looking at violations of the spending limits. The  City's public financing law says that any candidate who accepts public funding must not spend beyond the spending limit for that office.  For the City Council it is $168,000, For Mayor it is $6,400,026 million in the primary election.  If the CFB finds a campaign coordination with a PAC that would be counted as a violation of the spending limit, it is also a violation of the Citizen Action Supreme Court Ruling.  Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo used the Advance to run her campaign. Her campaign also got support by two PACs controlled by the Advance Group, NYCLASS and the UFT PAC United for the Future that the UFT tried to hid Advance Groups involvement in with a fake made up company called Strategic Consultants Inc., that CrainsNY found was located in the offices of Advance. Your can bet the farm that with Mayor Bloomberg last minute appointment to the CFB Rose Gill Hearn, his former DOI Commissioner, the finances of Advance client Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and others are in the middle of a hot hot hot investigation that the media is completely missing.

Councilman Corey Johnson got help from Advance's United for the future while he was running against Advance's client Yetta Krukland. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito who the Daily News reported lobbyist Advance Group was in violation of the city's ethics law because the firm was helping to make her speaker without pay also received money from United for the future. CrainsNY reported that after Speaker Mark-Viverito fired Advance (after the news' story), Advance workers were involved in her campaign till the end.





Red Horse Lobbyist Consultants Who Got Away With Scamming the CFB in 2013 Caught In Petition Fraud in 2015 
Candidate for StatenIsland DA says opponent collected fraud campaign signatures (WPIX) Joan Illuzzi is running as a Republican for Staten Island District Attorney. Mike McMahon is running as a Democrat and Independent for the same office. Both submitted approximately 4,000 signed petitions to have their names listed on the ballot, but Illuzzi’s campaign has questioned the accuracy of several of the signatures submitted by McMahon’s camp. McMahon’s campaign manager Ashleigh Owens released a statement to PIX 11 Tuesday that read in part, “Mike and our campaign unfortunately appear to have been victimized by a small group of individuals from Red Horse Strategies.”  Red Horse Strategies is a firm of political consultants. They were hired to collect petition signatures. Staten Island Acting District Attorney Daniel Master requested a special prosecutor look further into the allegations. McMahon didn't orchestrate or collect the forged signatures himself. He didn't sign off on them. He paid Red Horse Strategies to collect signatures for his Independence Party petitions. The Staten Island Democratic Party paid for the firm to collect signatures on Democratic petitions. 


 Fraudulent signatures were discovered on ballot petitions for McMahon, which included names of the deceased. The signatures were collected by a Democratic consulting group, Red Horse Strategies. * The Illuzzi camp asked the D.A.'s office to look into fraud allegations, considering criminal charges.* Special prosecutor requested for DA race fraud case SILive.com


The FollowingThe Following Were Red Horse Clients and Supported By A UFT PAC That Redhorse Also Worked for
The CFB Fined the Advance Group for Working for Two Council Candidate and the NYCLASS PAC.  The CFB Has Ignored Advances, Red Horse and Berlin Rosen Working for Both candidates and the UFT PAC United for the Future Which Funded the Candidates the Consultants Worked For
The UFT paid $252,233 to campaign consultant Red Horse Strategies to Help Run There PAC United for the Future Which Funded The Following City Council Candidates
Councilman James Vacca 
Councilwoman Annabel Palma 
Councilman Daneek Miller  
Councilman Richard Donovan  
Councilman Antonio Reynoso   
Councilman Richard Torres  
UFT Illegal PAC United for the Future
The UFT Coup d'é·tat Of NYC Election System and Democracy


The CFB Fines the NYCLASS Consultant PAC Conflict of Interests But Ignores the More Powerful ful UFT Consultant PAC Conflict of Interests
Last April, the CFB hit Ms. Cumbo and Mr. Levine’s campaigns  with $7,868 and $8,686 in fines respectively for accepting improper campaign contributions from NYCLASS. Both candidates were clients of the Advance Group* Anti-horse carriage group to settle campaign finance charge New York Daily NewsIn May, however, the board ruled that the spending could not be considered independent because Levine, Cumbo and NYCLASS shared the same political consultant, the Advance Group. The board said the spending had to be considered an “in-kind contribution” — and as such, it violated two Campaign Finance Board rules.* It was apparent enough for just looking at press releases. Meanwhile, NYCLASS and Advance shared same small office for months*


Red Horse and Other Consultant Lobbyists Compromise Local Prosecutors By Getting Them Elected or Unelected
Manhattan DA Vance Consultant Red Horse Broke the Law Along With Advance Working for the UFT PACs United for the Future that did mailings for the same  Council Clients that both firms represented  
Political consultant Red Horse worked for Brooklyn DA Thompson campaign along with Berlin Rosen.  Both Red Horse and Advance Group worked for the UFT's PAC United for the Future (the UFT attempted to covering up Advance involvement by paying them through a fake company) Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA. Red Horse worked for Brooklyn BP Adams, Bronx BP Diaz and PA James. Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA Cy Vance. Red Horse worked for Pitta Bishop for Brooklyn BP Adams. Red Horse worked with George Arzt in the Queens BP campaign.
Political consultant Red Horse worked for Brooklyn DA Thompson campaign along with Berlin Rosen.  Both Red Horse and Advance Group worked for the UFT's PAC United for the Future (the UFT attempted to covering up Advance involvement by paying them through a fake company) Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA. Red Horse worked for Brooklyn BP Adams, Bronx BP Diaz and PA James. Red Horse worked for Manhattan DA Cy Vance. Red Horse worked for Pitta Bishop for Brooklyn BP Adams. Red Horse worked with George Arzt in the Queens BP campaign. Berlin Rosen not only help elected Schneiderman to his AG position, both it partners worked for him when he was state senator. * Preet Bharara has become well-known in New York for prosecuting the state’s top political players. This month, the Manhattan U.S. attorney might be better known as the hottest ticket in town when it comes to law-school commencement speakers.



Has A Patty Hearst Type Stockholm Syndrome Cause Advance's 25 City Council Clients to Remain Silent?

Not Even A Ransom Note
Other Advance Group Clients 2012-13: Former DA Joe Hynes, Councilman Mark Levine, CWA District 1 PAC, State Senator Diane J. Savino, Voice of Teacher for Education CommitteeNYCLASS, Assemblyman Brook-Krasney, City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, Councilman Vincent Gentile, Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, Comptroller Scott Stringer, State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., Councilwoman Linda Rosenthal, Assemblyman Dan Quartz, Assemblyman Walter Mosley, Assemblyman Rafael Espinal, Assemblyman Brian Kavanaugh, Councilwoman Inez Dinkens, Assemblymen Robert J. Rodriguez, Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, Councilman Robert Jackson (running for Manhattan BP) Advance Losing Candidates for City Council 2013: Noah Gotbaum, Igor Oberman, Yetta Kirkland, Brian L. Gotlieb, Robert Waterman, John lisyanskiy; Advance Losing Candidates for Assembly 2012: Rodneyse Bichotte, John Mancuso 

Advance Either Managed or Funded 31 of the 51 Council Members Including the Speaker

Candidates Funding By Advance's NYCLASS PAC: Yetta Krukland (Advance Client), Councilman Mark Levine (Advance Client), Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo (Advance Client)
Candidates Funding By Advance's United for the Future PAC:
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
More on the Advance Groups Corruption  CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double DippingThe Big 8 Lobbyists * Dark Pool Politics 



 10 Important Facts left Out of the Daily News Story On de Blasio Relationship W/ NYCLASS
1.  NYCLASS has hired Martin Connor, the former state Senate minority leader, to represent the nonprofit, while the Advance Group has hired well-known attorney Lawrence Mandelker

2. Advance Group President Scott Levenson is no longer listed as the NYCLASS political director on the firm's website. In Campaign, Cash Flowed Circuitously - NYTimes.com Advance under investigation

 
3.  As noted by City & State, the Bertha Lewis-led nonprofit the Black Institute continues to operate out of the Advance Group offices, unlike NYCLASS. Ms. Lewis is close to Mayor Bill de Blasio. It is interesting to note that the Black Institute shares office space with the prominent consulting firm the Advance Group, which has deep ties to Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and WFP candidates generally. Until her recent departure from the Advance Group, both the firm and the Black Institute had the same spokeswoman, Chelsea Connor, who handled press inquiries for both organizations.

NYCLASS PAC Helped Both de Blasio/Thompson Campaigns UFT Backing Thompson/Advance Secret Relationship
4. The Advance Group also faces a CFB probe into an outside-spending campaign the firm ran on behalf of the United Federation of Teachers under the name "Strategic Consultants, Inc.," and separately, NYCLASS gave donations to the anti-Quinn efforts far above state-imposed limits.United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan consulting firm the Advance Group. Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY)* The advance group got paid $28,000 by gay city council candidate Yetta Kurland at the same time the firm work for the City Action Coalition PAC, which on its website touts itself as supporting candidates who oppose gay marriage and abortion rights.Advance was on both side of the Kurland race.  The firm also secretly worked to have been promot Johnson’s candidacy through an IE paid for by the UFT via a company called Strategic Consultants—apparently a dummy shell corporation set up to obscure the Advance Group’s double-dealing. "Questions Raised Over U.F.T. Campaign Filing" [Beth Fertig]* * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)


Connecting the Horse-CarriageGate By the Numbers

1. De Blasio announced at a candidates’ forum in March 2013 that he would eliminate the horse-drawn carriages in his first week as mayor, delighting NYCLASS and other animal rights activists. 2. In early April, after Quinn refused to support the proposed carriage ban, NYCLASS founder Steve Nislick, and board member Wendy Neu, gave $200,000 each to New York City is Not for Sale, the political action committee formed by Levenson to carry out the Anybody But Quinn campaign of TV ads, robocalls and mailings — which began that month — attacking her.  3. In May and June, NYCLASS chipped a total of $225,000 to the anti-Quinn effort, records show. 4.  And in June, two of de Blasio’s top financial supporters gave $225,000 to NYCLASS, records show. 5. One of those supporters was de Blasio’s cousin, Wilhelm, who was then head of the union group UNITE HERE!, which wrote a check for $175,000 to NYCLASS — the biggest contribution NYCLASS had ever received. The other was Jay Eisenhoffer, an attorney. 6.
Wilhelm and Eisenhoffer also acted as “intermediaries” for de Blasio’s mayoral campaign, collecting $165,000 in contributions for him, records show. 7. Still, de Blasio has said that neither he nor his campaign coordinated with NYCLASS or New York City is Not for Sale in attacking Quinn. Any such coordination could be a violation of campaign laws.* Sources: Anti-Horse Carriage Push Under Investigation(NY1)


5. EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN) Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy.  Melissa Mark-Viverito Lobbyist Firm Never Quit, Continued Lobbying Despite Investigations

5. The Advance Group, run by Scott Levenson, made headlines for its campaign work in the 2013 elections, during which the firm apparently took campaign dollars from individual campaigns as well as from outside groups supporting the same candidates through independent expenditures.



6. Bertha Lewis, co-founder of the New York chapter of the Working Families Party, and the former head of ACORN, created the Black Institute in order to promote issues of concern to African-Americans, including education, economic fairness and immigration.Seth Barron () dives into the tangled web involving , Bertha Lewis & Advance Group:  (City and State)
* ACORN, NY Communities for Change


7.  Mr. Levenson’s firm also represented City Action Coalition, an anti-same-sex-marriage group financed by a hedge funder from Princeton, N.J., and led by an evangelical minister who says Nazi tolerance of gays led to the Holocaust. The PAC spent tens of thousands of dollars during the primary campaign on mailers stressing “family values” and on robocalls for opponents to three gay City Council candidates: Rosie Mendez, Ritchie Torres and Carlos Menchaca.* Will LGBT Groups Protest Scott Levenson for Espousing Anti-Gay Att(Video)

Favors Between Political Consultants Are Not Required to Reported on the State BOE or CFB Reporting Forms
8. Daily News - "The firm admitted its work for City Action Coalition PAC was problematic. “We did a favor for a political operative that we have a longstanding relationship with by sending his mailer to a printer,” an Advance Group spokeswoman said.

9. Animal rights group's exotic campaign financesEarlier this week, The Insider wrote that the Advance Group pushed the limits of campaign finance laws by working for council campaign clients and an outside group involved in those same races, despite a requirement that there be no coordination between them.

The Advance Group USAO SDNY Civilian Crime ReportS

Where are the Prosecutors?
10.  De Blasio accused of coordinating with anti-Quinn Super PAC(NYP) A GOP political activist filed a complaint with the Campaign Finance Board accusing Bill de Blasio and key allies of illegally operating a super PAC that spent more than $1 million attacking Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary race for mayor. Civilian Crime Report filed with the U.S. Attorney's Office regarding The Advance Group and possible federal crimes during the recent past New York City municipal elections. The complaint alleges that Mr. Levenson and his group broke the law this election season by working for both candidates as well as independent expenditures backing them, which is barred, and allowing staffers with the firm to provide unpaid assistance to Melissa Mark-Viverito’s successful campaign for City Council Speaker–allegedly breaking city ethics rules to gain leverage for future clients. * Complaint Filed Against Advance Group for Election Work(NYO)
 
The Daily News Outlines the Corruption of the 2013 Campaign But Does Not Call for the Prosecution of This Crime

Bill at the trough (NYDN Ed) De Blasio's conversion on horse carriages coincided with a rush of campaign cash. This is the curious story of how a self-described skeptic of the ban in 2007 became, by March 2013, a man who pledged to “ban the horse carriages in Central Park within the first week on the job.” In 2007, then-City Councilman de Blasio declared himself “skeptical” of a bill seeking to ban the carriages. In January 2008, the checks began arriving — and, presumably, the reeducation of the politician got underway. Wendy Neu, a longtime animal rights advocate who would later become a NYCLASS board member, gave $1,000 to de Blasio’s campaign for public advocate.Before long, more checks from Neu, NYCLASS co-founder Stephen Nislick and others started rolling in.Conversion complete? Not quite. As public advocate, de Blasio did not co-sponsor a bill that would have further restricted the industry. Fast-forward to 2011. By January, de Blasio’s campaign collected more than $20,000 in checks from NYCLASS supporters. That February, de Blasio wrote, “The time has come for New York City to turn the page” and “embrace safer, more humane alternatives” to the ponies. By the time the race was in full swing, his campaign had banked a grand total of $50,300 from NYCLASS supporters, $4,950 of which had to be returned because it busted the legal limit. Meantime, NYCLASS started pouring vast amounts of cash — we’re talking hundreds of thousands — into a hugely successful campaign to take down then-front-runner Christine Quinn, opening the path for de Blasio’s rise.Despite prohibitions on coordination between the campaign and outside groups, the funds flowed in both directions. On the same day last June, two of de Blasio’s top financial backers — Jay Eisenhoffer, an attorney, and John Wilhelm, de Blasio’s cousin and a union leader — gave a total of $225,000 to NYCLASS. As that money poured in, the candidate and then mayor emerged as the carriage industry’s worst enemy — and the best friend of those who would kiss away hundreds of good-paying jobs.


Was Mark-Viverito's Election for Speaker illegal?

Speaking of speakers (NYDN Ed)  Gifts of service to Melissa Mark-Viverito must not go unpunished. When, after the 2013 elections, then-Councilwoman Mark-Viverito was angling, with Mayor de Blasio’s enthusiastic backing, to become Speaker Mark-Viverito, she relied on the help of a well-connected political consulting and lobbying firm called the Advance Group. The pros helped her prepare for debates, network with county leaders, court fellow Council members — and win the second-most powerful job in city government. She got those usually high-priced services for the low, low price of zero dollars and zero cents. In other words, Mark-Viverito received a highly valuable in-kind campaign contribution from a company with lots of business before the city — including representing dozens of clients who regularly lobby the Council. This column urged the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board to take up the matter. The City Charter, after all, states: “No public servant shall accept any valuable gift . . . from any person or firm” who “is or intends to become engaged in business dealings with the city.” To its credit, the board has now opened up a case; the speaker has filed campaign finance statements that she has spent $20,000 on lawyers to represent her. What could her defense possibly be? Neither the facts of her accepting freebies nor the rules against it are in dispute. She should be fined the max possible, $25,000. Even still, she’ll end up getting away with having violated the charter in order to be one of the top officials sworn to uphold it.

Have the Progressive Caucus Also Violated the City Ethic Law By Asking A Lobbyist to Work for Free ?
From the NYT: "The caucus asked a labor official, Alison Hirsh, the political director of 32BJ, the union of janitors and doormen, to negotiate with the county chairmen, other council members and speaker candidates on its behalf." Alison Hirsh, who is a registered lobbyist. The progressive has not registered with the BOE and CFB to legally hire a lobbyist.

To the Winner Lobbyists Goes the Spoils (City Council)
Since the 2013 elections Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin has picked up of 70 clients to lobby for. 51 clients to lobby the city council, 17 to lobby the office of the mayor


The Department of Investigation and the Conflicts of Interest Board both raised questions about work that Mr. Oberman claimed he did on behalf of Trump Village, a coöp for which Mr. Oberman served as board president.  Mr. Oberman retained the same consulting firm, The Advance Group, to both manage his political campaign and to lobby on behalf of Trump Village.  The Advance Group was paid nearly $73,100 for campaign consulting and $45,000 for lobbying services, according to records.  Mr. Oberman took a leave of absence from the Taxi Commission on April 23, 2013, and the lobbying contract commenced on April 1, 2013.  The Democratic Party primary election took place on Sept. 10, 2013, which Mr. Oberman lost, and the lobbying contract was set to end on Sept. 30, 2013.  The Conflicts of Interest Board noted that Mr. Oberman "failed to provide any documentation showing that Advance Group was also working on a Trump Village project during this period."  
The Advance Group is a controversial consulting firm that provides both campaign and lobbying work, duplicity that has worried good government groups for years.  In the 2013 mayoral campaign, The Advance Group advised a group, NY-CLASS, and the campaigns of two other New York City candidates, where the Campaign Finance Board found prohibited coördination, resulting in fines.  For providing unpaid consulting services to CouncilmemberMelissa Mark-Viverito during her successful speakership campaign and for possibly coördinating other electioneering work, The Advance Group was the subject of a complaint filed with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan.  The business publication, Crain's New York Business, has published numerous reports about controversies involving The Advance Group, including the use of an alternate business name to represent a Super PAC, which, in turn, made contributions to political campaign committees also being advised by The Advance Group.



Daily News Charges Against Mark-Viverto
EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN) Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy (Daily News 11/27/2013)

Mark-Viverito Drops Advance
Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid(NYO) Ms. Mark-Viverito insisted today that this was not the case but out of an “abundance of caution,” the relationship would end. Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid - Blogs(TU)

Politicker Reports Than Advance Group Was A Crucial Player In the Seddio Deal to Make Mark-Viverito Speaker
An operative with the controversial Advance Group, Jonathan Yedin, who has been working in Brooklyn Democratic Party politics for more than a decade and belongs to Mr. Seddio’s political club. Though Ms. Mark-Viverito eventually stopped taking free advice from the Advance Group, Mr. Yedin remained a crucial player in the brokering of the deal, sources said.  Inside Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Road to Victory(NYO) * Melissa Mark-Viverito Lobbyist Firm Never Quit, Continued Lobbying Despite Investigations
More on the Advance Group Under Investigation 
The Big 8 Lobbyists
CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping



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As Lobbyists Shadow Government Getting Bigger Media Still Ignores Their Work  

  • Lobbyists brought in a record $71.9 million—up roughly 15 percent from last year—targeting the New York City government in 2014, with James Capalino & Associates taking the top spotRecord $71.9M spent on lobbying city officials in 2014 (NYDN) The biggest spenders were real estate developers Albee Development, which paid $1.27 million to two lobbying firms, and Hallets A Development Company, which spent $740,474 at three firms. The lobbyist bringing in the biggest bucks was James F. Capalino & Associates, which earned $8.2 million. It took over the top spot from Kasirer Consulting, which dropped to No. 2.* Lobbyists brought in $71.9 million to target NYC government in 2014, a record high, according to the report by the city clerk’s office covering the first year since de Blasio and the new City Council took office.




The CFB Finds the Advance Coordinated PAC NYCLASS $$$ and Campaign $$$

The Investigation Of the Advance Group NYCLASS Corruption Continues With Fines Against Two CN Cumbo and Levenson  
City council members fined over money from anti-horse carriage group(NYP)Two city council members were slapped with hefty fines for accepting prohibited campaign contributions from a group at the center of the Central Park horse carriage brouhaha. Freshman member Laurie Cumbo (D-Brooklyn) was fined $7,868, and newbie Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) was fined $8,686 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board for accepting over-the-limit funding from a “prohibited source.” The board found that the funding source for both campaigns – New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Street (NYCLASS) – was too intertwined with the candidates’ consultant, The Advance Group (TAG).Campaigns are prohibited from coordinating with third-party groups that make “independent” expenditures. Yet TAG president and lobbyist Scott Levenson was political director for NYCLASS, and both groups shared the same office space.* Two NYC campaigns fined over cash from animal rights group(Newsday) But NYCLASS and The Advance Group were intertwined -- NYCLASS' political director doubled as The Advance Group's president, for example -- and spending by NYCLASS "could not be and" was "not independent" of the campaigns, the finance board said. The contributions were over the $2,750 limit as nonindependent spending and weren't reported by the campaigns, the board said. Cumbo and Levine responded with a joint statement, saying their campaigns are opposed to outside spending in elections.* 2 City Council members fined thousands for accepting improper campaign funds from anti-carriage horse group NYCLASS(NYDN)


Rat Leaving Sinking Advance Ship

The Advance Group—the consulting firm hired by animal rights activists to run the Anybody but Quinn campaign, which is being investigated by the FBI—saw six staff members quit in the last six months, the Daily News writes: 

Exodus at Troubled Advance Group(NYO)The troubled Advance Group, which is reportedly under FBI investigation along with other ongoing local, state and federal probes, has been shedding staff members, the Observer has learned. Six former staffers of the dozen-or-so-person team have departed in as many months in the wake of a series of scathing reports by Crain’s New York Business and other outlets into allegations of illicit coordination between the firm’s candidates for office and the outside spending groups it represented, among other issues.* NYPD must hand over horse carriage enforcement records(NYP) A Manhattan judge today ordered the NYPD to hand over records of its enforcement and oversight of the horse-carriage industry within 45 days. “Delay is injustice,” Judge Shlomo Hagler warned...* TV star Jillian Michaels headlines rally at City Hall to ban carriage horses(NYDN)* said asked to go on tonight but canceled without explanation.











































 AdvanceGate
EXCLUSIVE: FBI investigating claim Christine Quinn was threatened for refusing to support carriage horse ban during the mayoral race (NYDN) In the past few weeks, FBI agents have been asking questions about the campaign by the animal rights group NYCLASS to get Christine Quinn to support a ban on the iconic carriages, two sources familiar with the matter told The Daily News. The FBI wants to know if the nature of the threat became extortion. When Quinn refused to support a ban on the carriages, an ad blitz began, and she later lost the race. A political consultant hired by NYCLASS, Scott Levenson, twice approached aides to Quinn and allegedly told them that if she didn’t back the proposed ban on carriage horses, they would spend big money on a political campaign attacking her. The aides, Jamie McShane and Ramon Martinez, conveyed the message, but Quinn would not change her position. NYCLASS and its supporters then carried out Levenson’s threat — helping to fund months of negative commercials, robo-calls and mailings that began the downfall of her candidacy.  Sources said the FBI appears to be evaluating the nature of the threat and whether it went beyond the normal rough-and-tumble of politics and drifted into extortion. It could not be determined if the questioning is part of a broader investigation.* FBI Investigating Carriage-Ban Group for Basically Influencing the Entire Mayoral Race(NY Mag) 










































 What Did the Mayor Know and When Did He Know It?

A political action committee called New York City Is Not for Sale began its anti-Quinn ad blitz on April 8, 2013, funded in large part by anti-carriage horse activists.On April 10, a poll found Quinn leading the Democratic primary for mayor with 32% of the vote. Nine days later, Quinn was at 28%. By May 22, she had dropped to 25%. By the end of June, with the attacks still coming and a new Democrat in the race — Anthony Weiner — Quinn was down to 19%. She finished a distant third in the Sept. 10 primary with a little more than 15% of the vote. More on the Advance Group
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. Was de Blasio Threaten Also or Did He Do It For the Money?
De Blasio emerged as a darling of the anti-carriage crowd early last year when he vowed to ban the industry the first week he took office. By the Sept. 10 primary, de Blasio had received more than $50,000 from NYCLASS backers and had to return $4,950 that exceeded campaign spending limits, records show.
Advance Groups Gamed Public Fiance
Advance Groups Logo on Phony Group Makes Millions in Matching Funds, Main Stream Media Ignores
Several payments that a UUFT super PAC sent to a fictitious political consulting firm “Strategic Consultants” have the Advance Group logo on their invoices
Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY) Last week, The Insider broke the news that the United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan consulting firm the Advance Group. An open records request that came back on Tuesday from the City Campaign Finance Board (and is embedded below) offers fresh and somewhat amusing evidence of the connection between the two: Many of the invoices the agency received from Strategic Consultants have the Advance Group logo on them.






Friday's True News Wags the NYT
Katy Bar the Door: NYCLASS Type of PACS and Manipulation Trumps Democracy

Were Not In New York Anymore . . .
Judge forced to strike down NY campaign finance limit(NYP) Well-heeled campaign contributors can now funnel millions of dollars of cash into political Super PACS after a federal judge Thursday struck down New York’s $150,000 limit on such donations as unconstitutional. Manhattan federal Judge Paul Crotty said he reluctantly overturned the state law to abide by controversial Supreme Court decisions that found that such funding restrictions violate free speech — even though he disagreed with them. “Large political donations do not inspire confidence that the government in a representative democracy will do the right thing,”

Big spending by super PACs in state races also
Crotty said in the four-page ruling. “Indeed today’s reality is that the voices of ‘we the people’ are too often drowned out by the few who have great resources…Ordinary citizens recognize this; they know what is going on; they know they are not being included. It breeds cynicisms and distrust.” The legal challenge to New York’s $150,000 donation limit was brought last year by a group called New York Progress and Protection PAC, an independent political action committee that backed Republican Joe Lhota’s campaign for mayor. Crotty was actually forced to reverse himself. Last October, he defended New York’s $150,000 limit by refusing to issue an preliminary injunction to set aside the law. But a federal appeals court overruled him.“Once it is determined that NYPPP is an independent expenditure-only organization, there is little left for the court to do. The court must apply the Supreme Court’s binding decisions,” Crotty said. He referred to the high court’s 2010 ruling in the Citizens United case decision and the recent McCutcheon vs. FEC decision that struck down individual donation limits to outside political groups.* Judge Voids New York Cap on Super PACs(WSJ) * I support the horse carriage industry and the hardworking NYers who care for the horses.

The Left Build Their Own Koch Brothers Money Machine 
De Blasio has been invited to deliver the keynote address at the Democracy Alliance’s conference in Chicago next week, the Daily News reports:

The Media Covers the Horse-Carriage Fight But Ignores the Political Corruption That Caused the Controversy

The Very Able NYT Columnist Michael Powell Wrote the Following Last Year That The PAC NYCLASS controlled By Advance Group:
"There is evidence that near-unregulated independent spending helped mortally wound Ms. Quinn, who was the front-runner last spring." In Campaign, Cash Flowed Circuitously (Powell, NYT)* The Headless Horse Ban (Village Voice)
Bill de Blasio's pledge to abolish horse-drawn carriages is running away from him
Daily News Editorial Demands Equal Rights for Horses
 'It’s apples and oranges': Mayor de Blasio OK with NYPD horses roaming the streets — just not one's with carriages(NYDN)  * Equine equivalence(NYDN Ed) They want to ban carriage horses, but police ponies are okay. Hundreds of good New York jobs must be shipped off to the glue factory, we’re told, to liberate horses from the supposed torture of pulling happy families and newlyweds through beautiful Central Park.
“I believe it’s inhumane,” Mayor de Blasio said again on Friday. But the zealots’ deafening silence on the 50 horses in the NYPD’s Mounted Unit reveals just how asinine and arbitrary their crusade really is.




Powell Also Reported That A Couple of de Blasio Big Bucks Guys Backed NYCLASS Attacks on Quinn "Her opponents knew this. Jay Eisenhofer, a backer of Mr. de Blasio, gave $50,000 to a group that ostensibly wanted to ban carriage horses. And John Wilhelm, Mr. de Blasio’s cousin, is a powerful figure in Unite Here, the hotel workers’ union. That union also gave $175,000 to the horse group.  Perhaps Mr. Eisenhofer and Mr. Wilhelm are horse lovers. What’s clear is that the so-called horse group ran ads attacking Ms. Quinn on many fronts.)



Powell Reported That the Consultant Advance Group Was Under Investigation Over 100 Days Ago:



Other Reporters Did Not Notice
There have been thousands of media stories in every newspaper about Horse-Carriages but none about the Advance Groups investigation.  When it comes to investigative journalism as the U.S. Attorney has pointed out reporters and newspapers become "Vinny the Chin" ignoring the issues while pretending not to know what is going on. The NYT in all it wisdom is allowing Powell to be removed to sports.  This horse-carriage issues is so important to the media that Politico accuse a Times editorial board member of having family ties to the horses.  Politico said that Andrew Rosenthal whose greatest accomplishment is life is having the right father who nepotism him into the NYT, that his brother Daniel is the head of the Hunterdon Horse and Pony Association in Millford, N.J.

The Secret Investigation of NYCLASS' Political Consultant

Under scrutiny, animal-rights group goes it alone(CrainsNY)Many of New York's top election lawyers have one client or another wrapped up in the probe, according to sources, with various players retaining separate counsel. NYCLASS has hired Martin Connor, the former state Senate minority leader, to represent the nonprofit, while the Advance Group has hired well-known attorney Lawrence Mandelker. Messrs. Connor and Mandelker did not return requests for comment Monday. Others involved in the probe, such as individual City Council candidates, are also expected to separately hire attorneys if necessary.


Other recent changes in NYCLASS are also apparent. Advance Group President Scott Levenson is no longer listed as the NYCLASS political director on the firm's website, and nor are any other Advance Group staffers.* Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY) Last week, The Insider broke the news that the United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan consulting firm the Advance Group. An open records request that came back on Tuesday from the City Campaign Finance Board (and is embedded below) offers fresh and somewhat amusing evidence of the connection between the two: Many of the invoices the agency received from Strategic Consultants have the Advance Group logo on them. More on the Advance Groups Corruption  CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double DippingThe Big 8 Lobbyists * Dark Pool Politics

 NYT Silent On Local Impact of Citizens United on Public Financing

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


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

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


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




Mark-Viverito Advances Inconsistencies

The Lobbyist Consultant Firm the Advance Group after the Mark-Viverito End Her Relationship With Them After the Daily News Exposed They She May Be Breaking the City's Ethics Law

Daily News Charges Against Mark-Viverto
EXCLUSIVE: City Council Speaker candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito may have violated city ethics rules(NYDN) Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem councilwoman, accepted unpaid assistance from the Advance Group, a prominent lobbying firm working to further her candidacy (Daily News 11/27/2013)

Mark-Viverito Drops Advance
Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid(NYO) Ms. Mark-Viverito insisted today that this was not the case but out of an “abundance of caution,” the relationship would end. Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid - Blogs(TU)

Politicker Reports Than Advance Group Was A Crucial Player In the Seddio Deal
An operative with the controversial Advance Group, Jonathan Yedin, who has been working in Brooklyn Democratic Party politics for more than a decade and belongs to Mr. Seddio’s political club. Though Ms. Mark-Viverito eventually stopped taking free advice from the Advance Group, Mr. Yedin remained a crucial player in the brokering of the deal, sources said.  Inside Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Road to Victory(NYO) * Melissa Mark-Viverito Lobbyist Firm Never Quit, Continued Lobbying Despite Investigations
More on the Advance Group Under Investigation 
The Big 8 Lobbyists
CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping




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

Advance Groups Fake Logo on Phony Group Paid by the UFT
Several payments that a UFT super PAC sent to a fictitious political consulting firm “Strategic Consultants” have the Advance Group logo on their invoices
Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY) Last week, The Insider broke the news that the United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan consulting firm the Advance Group. An open records request that came back on Tuesday from the City Campaign Finance Board (and is embedded below) offers fresh and somewhat amusing evidence of the connection between the two: Many of the invoices the agency received from Strategic Consultants have the Advance Group logo on them.* Supreme Court Again Weighs Spending Limits In Campaigns. This decision could = the death of democracy




It is very clear that Wall Street has Dark Pools where traders operate beyond the regulators.  What is not clear is that their are also Dark Pool where lobbyists, campaign consultants and elected officials make  deals with each other undermining democracy hidden from public view.








Conflict of Interests Board and CFB Are A Real Tail of Two City's 
Both the CFB and Conflict of Interests Board Look the Other Way for the Political Connected as They Pound on the Small Guy Albanese
The city watchdog that only barks at little pups (NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s hiring of Stephanie Yazgi — the romantic partner of one of his key political aides — to a plum $150,000 job as national coordinator on immigration reform is bad enough. Worse is how a city “ethics watchdog” signed off on the move. The hire — for a job that was never publicly advertised — screamed of rank insider favoritism from the start, as other city Democrats have acknowledged. Yet the Conflicts of Interest Board blessed it.  A few years back, Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris took over the Bloomberg Foundation, overseeing the billionaire mayor’s overlapping personal and political interests. The board saw nothing wrong. The board also blessed the City Council’s end-run around the term-limits law — letting council members and Mike Bloomberg run for extra terms the people had twice voted to prohibit. Conversely, for some time, the Conflicts of Interest Board has hammered low-level folks.

Who are the Shadow Govt and Campaign Lobbyists and Donors Protectors, In NYC Media and Progressives?
In January, it fined a deputy to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. $3,500 for participating in a robo-call for Diaz’s 2013 re-election — in which she mentioned her official title. Last September, the board dinged a longtime Department of Health employee $3,000 for engaging in personal research and writing on department time and city equipment. In 2009, it fined a Human Resources Administration lawyer $1,500 for using her city-issued LexisNexis password to look up a few law-school classmates. Maybe the board did right in those cases. But how then to justify the double standard exposed by the rubber-stamping of the Yazgi hire? It’s enough to make you wonder if there are two New Yorks or something.

True News Reported Last Month That Team de Blasio Used NYCLASS To Scam Election Law

And it is Being Cover-Up By the Media . . . 
City Council Stands in Way of Carriage Horse Ban, de Blasio Tells Activists (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio, who promised during his campaign to end the Central Park carriage industry, said during a radio interview that advocates should use their energy to solidify votes in the Council. * De Blasio all but admits defeat in quest to ban carriage horses (NYP) * OPLESS TASK FORCE: ‘Aggressive’ man connected to near-nude women at Times Square arrested as de Blasio orders panel to find legal way to ban topless ladies (NYDN) * In a 40-minute interview with WNYC, de Blasio discussed the inaction on a Central Park horse carriage ban, the “vision” city officials are crafting for Uber and the effects of affordable housing and gentrification:  * De Blasio signaled in a WNYC interview that he has given up on driving carriage horses out of New York City, a move that would have been largely unpopular and destroyed jobs in the process, the Daily News writes:   Flashback EXCLUSIVE: FBIinvestigating donations to NYCLASS from men close to Mayor de Blasio that mayhave been used toward anti-Christine Quinn campaigners (NYDN May 4th, 2014) Two men with strong ties to Mayor de Blasio donated cash to the NYCLASS animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. The animal rights group then donated identical amounts to anti-Christine Quinn campaigners. The transactions are now under FBI investigation. The Daily News Forgot About the NYCLASS Investigation in Today Editorial  Bill’s horse senseas the Central Park carriages will remain (NYDN Ed) * ‘TAKEN’ FOR A RIDE: Liam Neeson says Mayor de Blasio should give up for good on banning Central Park horse carriages (NYDN) * BILL'S HORSE SENSE: Mayor rightly recognizes his misbegotten bid to ban carriage horses is kaput (NYDN Ed)

What True News Reporter Months Ago and NYT Ignored
Election Fraud is No Longer Limited to Ballot Stuffing at the Polls
The NYCLASS PAC Caper to Steal the 2013 Mayoral Election is Now Being Put to Sleep
NYCLASS which was used to destroy mayoral front runner Speaker Quinn race for mayor by forces close to de Blasio is now being sabotage from within to please the unions and other special interests who want to keep carriages rolling in the park.  It is not the voters who were behind the horse carriage ban, 70% of New Yorkers support the horses.  It was the money the NYCLASS PAC made available during the campaign that was the goal of the de Blasio conspiracy team.  NYCLASS PAC spent more than $1 million to help defeat Christine Quinn, who was then de Blasio’s main opponent and did not support the horse carriage ban. As a councilman and public advocate de Blasio supported horse carriages.  As a candidate for mayor, de Blasio switched positions and embraced NYCLASS’ call to banish the carriage horses from Central Park and city streets. de Blasio made his pledge to support the horse carriage ban in March of 2013, the next month the attacks on Quinn started. In the year and a half that de Blasio has been mayor there have been many promise to ban the horse carriages but no bill in the council to make the campaign promise real. During the 2013 campaign NYCLASS hired campaign consultant lobbyists Scott Levinson who runs the Advance Group. Before the NYCLASS campaign Levinson worked with  Bertha Lewis, co-founder of the New York chapter of the Working Families Party, and the former head of ACORN in a tangled web of political cover-ups disguises as activism.  It was during de Blasio run for public advocate that the WFP created Data and Field to help the candidates they endorsed.  During the 2009 campaign the CFB declared Data and Field connected to the WFP in violation of the city's campaign finance laws.  In 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation.  In 2013 Levinson was named the consultant for NYCLASS which is credited with taking out Quinn. The NYCLASS PAC was financed by true believer and team de Blasio. * As the Media Write About Not Enough Council Votes to Ban Horse Carriages TRUE NEWS Investigates How NYCLASS Was Hijacked To Fix the Outcome of the 2013 Mayoral Election

Team de Blasio Poured $$$ Into NYCLASS to Kill Quinn
In 2014 the Daily News repored that the FBI was investigating donations to NYCLASS from men closeto Mayor de Blasio that may have been used toward anti-Christine Quinncampaigners  On May 21, lawyer Jay Eisenhofer gave $50,000 to NYCLASS, the animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. Ten days later, on May 31, NYCLASS gave an equal amount — $50,000, to the anti-Quinn group. On June 1, NYCLASS received another large donation, this time for $175,000. It came from UNITE HERE! — a labor union headed by John Wilhelm. Two days after that, on June 3, NYCLASS sent the same amount, $175,000, to the anti-Quinn campaign. The issue? Both Wilhelm and Eisenhofer have long-standing ties to Bill de Blasio, one of Quinn’s Democratic rivals in the mayoral campaign. Wilhelm is de Blasio’s cousin — and a prolific fund-raiser for him. Wilhelm raised $6,950 for de Blasio’s 2009 race for public advocate and $80,000 for de Blasio’s successful campaign for mayor.

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Advance Groups Under Investigation

NYT:  The Advance Group Is Under Investigation By the CFB For Using PACs Illegally in the 2013 Election

Advance Group Abuse of PACs
Now the Campaign Finance Board is investigating the Advance Group’s role. Outside groups can spend themselves silly, but they cannot coordinate with individual candidates. “The board takes very seriously any allegation that campaigns have benefited from spending by an outside group where spending is coordinated,” noted Eric Friedman, a spokesman for the board. “It gives a big advantage.”

There Were Attempts to Hide Advance's Involvement in the UFT PAC . . .  Will Their Be A Criminal Investigation?
The United Federation of Teachers dropped millions of dollars and Mr. Levenson took at least a $370,000 cut. A group putatively devoted to carriage horses but focused intently on defeating the speaker of the City Council, Christine C. Quinn, spent a golden lode, and again Mr. Levenson took a cut.   As Crain’s New York noted in a spate of fine reporting, the Advance Group helped the city’s teachers’ union spend vast sums on Council races, even as the Advance Group ran individual Council campaigns. Advance used the same office and same press officer for both efforts, though in a halfhearted nod to the potential conflict, it changed its name for the teachers’ union work, to Strategic Consultants.
CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping



At the Same Time Advance Was Working for An Openly Gay Candidate It Was Also Running for A PAC Attacking Gays
Mr. Levenson’s work this cycle had an engorged manic quality. His political roots extend deep into liberal causes, but he seemed intent this year on representing anyone with a checkbook: clients backed by the Real Estate Board of New York and candidates vigorously attacking that board. Mr. Levenson’s firm also represented City Action Coalition, an anti-same-sex-marriage group financed by a hedge funder from Princeton, N.J., and led by an evangelical minister who says Nazi tolerance of gays led to the Holocaust.



The NYT Did Not Report That the Advance Group Was Working for Council Speaker Candidate Mark-Viverito

New York City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito’s ties to the consulting firm Advance Group may be hurting her candidacy for speaker(NYDN) The Advance Group, which is providing unpaid consultants to Mark-Viverito, worked for the City Action Coaltion PAC, which lists 'traditional marriage' as its platform and supported opponents of gay City Council candidates. The firm, headed by Scott Levenson, also collected more than $73,000 from the City Action Coalition PAC — a group that lists “sanctity of life for the born and unborn” and “traditional marriage” as its platform. The PAC spent tens of thousands of dollars during the primary campaign on mailers stressing “family values” and on robocalls for opponents to three gay City Council candidates: Rosie Mendez, Ritchie Torres and Carlos Menchaca. “(Melissa) picked someone who was paid to hurt Council members,” said another Council member. “You are who you associate with, and the Advance Group paid their bills off an anti-gay agenda.”

The New York Times Did Not Report How the Advance Group and 6 Other Consultant Lobbyist Control All the City Council Elections

The New Machine are the Campaign Consultant Lobbyists
The 8 royal families of New York City include: the Advance Group, the Parkside Group/Marathon Strategies (join at the hip), Berlin Rosen, Mercury Public Affairs, Brandford Communications, George Arzt, Multi-Media, Hudson TJ and Red Horse.

The  new Tammany Hall is Worse Than the old Tammany Hall The Old delivered services to the communities this new one does not

Advance Group Helping Melissa Mark-Viverito in Speaker’s Race(NYO)

Organized Crime Politics
The New Tammany Hall
Operating in Secret Dark Pools A Mob of Campaign Consultants/ Lobbyists Coup d'État of New York Government Goes Unreported * Will LGBT Groups Protest Scott Levenson for Espousing Anti-Gay Att(Video)  * Advance Group President Scott Levenson attended a birthday event in July for City Councilwoman Inez Dickens that doubled as a party supporting her speaker bid, despite his stated support for another speaker candidate, City & State reports: 

Scott Levenson, NY-CLASS, Citizens United Super PAC Investigation (Updated)

 


The New York Times Did Not Report How Advance and the Parkside Group Used PACs to Interacted With 6 Other Campaign Consultants Lobbyists in Every Important City Council Campaign




Parkside working for The Real Estate Board of New York's PAC Jobs4NY worked for and against 35 candidates in the 20 competitive council races.  The Advance Group working through 4 PACs NYCLASS, United for the Future, Citizen Action and Hotel Workers for A Strong Middle Class worked for 27 of candidates in the 20 competitive council campaigns. Of the 21 candidates supported by Parkside Jobs4NY 17 were run by the big 8. Another candidate Dickens who had no race is running for speaker and some Jobs4NY money went to a republican candidate. Of the 44 council candidates supported by PAC in which Advance worked for or had a relationship with 34 when to candidates run by the Big 8.  Half of the other 10 went to incumbent candidates who had no races.

 The big 8 worked for council candidates who may be running for speaker, who had no races.  Berlin Rosen Daniel Garodnick, Red Horse and Hudson TDG James Vacca, Hudson TG Mark Weprin. Multi-Media run by newspaper publisher Michael Nussbaum have been doing printing for the Parkside Group for years in the dark pools because state election law does not require subcontractors are reported. Red Horse worked alongside Parkside for DSCC where Melvin Lowe was indicted this week for fake printing invoices. Red Horse has at least 20 interest group clients. This summer the New York World reported Hudson TG LLC – offer lobbying services to represent special interests with the officials they have sometimes helped to get elected. The only campaign consultant that does not directly lobby is Brandford Communications. But Brandford's Ernie Lendler did pull a Melvin Lowe when he gave convicted Brooklyn Boss Norman fake invoices.  Lendler did not get indicted in exchanged for testifying against Norman Background on the Big 8 Consultants as Lobbyists * CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping (CrainsNY)
 More on the 8 Campaign Consultants

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


The NYT Did Not Report How Consultant Lobbyists Like Advance Are Replacing the Machine in Controlling Electing and Lobbying
As Reported in True News 3 Weeks Ago
The New Apalachin Crime Summit, 56 Years Later
These same big 8 consultants also have the same monopolized control of citywide, state election and law enforcement elections. There operating model resembles organize crime after the Apalachin crime meeting. That 1957 meeting included over 100 mobsters including "Joe the Barber," divided the illegal operations of loan sharking, narcotics trafficking and gambling  controlled by the late Albert Anastasia.  The big 8 include: the Advance Group, the Parkside Group/Marathon Strategies (join at the hip), Berlin Rosen, Mercury Public Affairs, Brandford Communications, George Arzt, Multi-Media, Hudson TJ and Red Horse. Like the Apalachin mobsters the consultants/lobbyist has divided up New York to control the government and rake in corrupt lobbying dollars. Also like the mobsters the big 8 may even be about the law. A Surprise Progressive Takeover of City Hall - Party Leaders, Partnership and Permanent Government Caught Flatfooted

There Were Attempts to Hide Advance's Involvement in the UFT PAC . . .  Will Their Be A Criminal Investigation?
The United Federation of Teachers dropped millions of dollars and Mr. Levenson took at least a $370,000 cut. A group putatively devoted to carriage horses but focused intently on defeating the speaker of the City Council, Christine C. Quinn, spent a golden lode, and again Mr. Levenson took a cut.   As Crain’s New York noted in a spate of fine reporting, the Advance Group helped the city’s teachers’ union spend vast sums on Council races, even as the Advance Group ran individual Council campaigns. Advance used the same office and same press officer for both efforts, though in a halfhearted nod to the potential conflict, it changed its name for the teachers’ union work, to Strategic Consultants.



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The New Tammany Hall

The New Machine are the Campaign Consultant Lobbyists
The 8 royal families of New York City include: the Advance Group, the Parkside Group/Marathon Strategies (join at the hip), Berlin Rosen, Mercury Public Affairs, Brandford Communications, George Arzt, Multi-Media, Hudson TJ and Red Horse.

The  new Tammany Hall is Worse Than the old Tammany Hall The Old delivered services to the communities this new one does not

Advance Group Helping Melissa Mark-Viverito in Speaker’s Race(NYO)

Organized Crime Politics
The New Tammany Hall
Operating in Secret Dark Pools A Mob of Campaign Consultants/ Lobbyists Coup d'État of New York Government Goes Unreported * Will LGBT Groups Protest Scott Levenson for Espousing Anti-Gay Att(Video)  * Advance Group President Scott Levenson attended a birthday event in July for City Councilwoman Inez Dickens that doubled as a party supporting her speaker bid, despite his stated support for another speaker candidate, City & State reports: 


How a pro-de Blasio union funded an anti-Quinn group (Capital)

CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping


Political Goodfellas Royals
Eight campaign consultants all but one are also lobbyists, have monopolized NYC elections system that only the Justice Department using the Sherman Antitrust Act can bust.  These consultants run every important campaign in New York.  The campaign monopoly is only part of a conspiracy that is not only about who gets elected.  It is also part of a second conspiracy to make money off of government as lobbyist or insiders. There is serious evidence of illegal coordination between the Independent Expenditure PACs and consultants
In this monopoly consultants work with each other at the same time they are oppose them in other races.  Some consultants help other consultant’s candidates often at the expense of their own clients. Two Consultant Lobbyists the Advance Group and the Parkside Group were involved in every competitive council race and even some that did not have races through Independent Expenditure PACs they control. These IE PACS have muscled their way in to having seats at the table along the Democratic Party bosses that will pick the next council speaker.  The big 8 along with the special interests whose millions fund PACs, have sabotage the whole idea of local representation and local elections. The pols are more loyal to the centralized campaign consultants and their money backers, the new ruling class, than they are to the voters in their districts. 

Lobbyists Extortion
What Happens When Lobbbyists Who Ran PACS And Broke the Law With the Candidate Knowledge Ask the Councilmembers for Help With Support for Government Contracts? 
The consultants work like Wall Street investors who trade in dark pools beyond the control of regulators. In NY's dark pool campaign consultants/lobbyists, special interests and elected officials make deals with each other hidden from public view. To understand the reasons for the takeover you must also be aware that the business opportunities for consultants don’t end on primary or election day. In an excellent investigation of the dangers the newly elected Cuomo would face from lobbyist, Wayne Barrett wrote in  the Village Voice in 2010. that campaign consultant lobbyist "Sheinkopf one of the worse consultant lobbyist, makes kings so he can then make deals with the kings he’s made."



Main Stream Media Ignores Advance Corruption Story Already Published In  CrainsNY and True News 
Who Was the Political Operative Running Anti Gay PAC?
Daily News - "The firm admitted its work for City Action Coalition PAC was problematic. “We did a favor for a political operative that we have a longstanding relationship with by sending his mailer to a printer,” an Advance Group spokeswoman said. “It was a mistake that we regret and is completely inconsistent with our history.” A Mark-Viverito spokesman, who first denied the pol was working with the Advance Group, said, “Melissa’s campaign, based on her progressive, inclusive, and effective tenure on the Council, is generating support from individuals across NYC.”

Fox5 Has the Advance Group Debating Horse Carriages 


Why Should the City Pay Million for Public Financing of Campaigns If the Race for Speaker is Being Run By A Lobbyists Which Was Part of A Larger Conspiracy of Political Consultants to Game the CFB 

Daily News - The Advance Group is providing unpaid consultants to Mark-Viverito’s City Council leadership bid, the firm said.




Queens Tribune Endorsed Parkside's Weprin's Speaker's Guy 
A Takeover Of Journalism by Lobbyist and Politicians (2011 True News)
NYT said A Court, Not Votes, Sustains a Political Machine in Queens. True News said it was much more than the court that was fueling that political machine.

Newspaper gives vote of approval to paying politicalcandidates (New York World) A New York World review of campaign finance records and endorsements found that of the 15 candidates who purchased services from Multi-Media Advertising in competitive races for amounts exceeding $1,000, 11 also received a public endorsement from the Tribune in that race.


Parkside Poorly Ran the Jobs4NY Supper PAC
Parkside Ran the Jobs4NY Campaign Which Tied to Buy the City Council Member by Member. At that same time, it had spent $4.4 million, with about $4.2 million of that going to the influential Midtown-based lobbying and consulting firm Parkside Group.* The role of Jobs for New York in Council races still resonates (if you notice) * The Parkside Monopoly * The Queens Tribune endorsed Queens Councilman Mark Weprin for speaker.* Council Watch: Win or Lose, Consultants Win (City and State)



More on Nussbaum and the Queens Tribune
How Does Nussbaum Get Away Without Being A Registered Lobbyists for the RKO Keith?
They work in campaigns and are lobbyist to the same elected officials they help elect or reelect.  The papers operate as the house organ for the Democratic  party to controling who becomes gets elected or becomes a judge in Queens county.  The judges in turn send the legal ads worth tens of thousands dollars to the local papers.* FOR MENG CONSULTANT NUSSBAUM, A HISTORY OF VOTE-SPLITTING(True News) NUSSBAUM...should have gone to jail back in the Manes days when he was caught red handed in ...wasn't it a Time Warner bribery scandal?  And this is the man who is "representing" the RKO Keith's owner de jour...Patrick Thompson. . . * True News: True News: Nussbaum Unplugged A New Organized ... * True News: The Queens Chronicle Asks Why is A Sex Sex Trafficker ... 


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Media Advance PAC Cover Up

Daily News Cherry Picks From A Larger Advance Group Corruption Story to Achieve Its Political Goals
 Daily News Uses Advance Connection to An Anti-Gay PAC To Attack or Undercut Mark-Viverito Support from Three CM attacked by the PAC
New York City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito’s ties to the consulting firm Advance Group may be hurting her candidacy for speaker(NYDN) The Advance Group, which is providing unpaid consultants to Mark-Viverito, worked for the City Action Coaltion PAC, which lists 'traditional marriage' as its platform and supported opponents of gay City Council candidates. The firm, headed by Scott Levenson, also collected more than $73,000 from the City Action Coalition PAC — a group that lists “sanctity of life for the born and unborn” and “traditional marriage” as its platform. The PAC spent tens of thousands of dollars during the primary campaign on mailers stressing “family values” and on robocalls for opponents to three gay City Council candidates: Rosie Mendez, Ritchie Torres and Carlos Menchaca. “(Melissa) picked someone who was paid to hurt Council members,” said another Council member. “You are who you associate with, and the Advance Group paid their bills off an anti-gay agenda.”* Bill de Blasio’s transition committee full of campaign supporters(NYP)


NY Consultant Lobbyists Culture of Doing Favors Has Created A Monopoly and 100% Corruption 
As Reported in True News 3 Weeks Ago
The New Apalachin Crime Summit, 56 Years Later

These same big 8 consultants also have the same monopolized control of citywide, state election and law enforcement elections. There operating model resembles organize crime after the Apalachin crime meeting. That 1957 meeting included over 100 mobsters including "Joe the Barber," divided the illegal operations of loan sharking, narcotics trafficking and gambling  controlled by the late Albert Anastasia.  The big 8 include: the Advance Group, the Parkside Group/Marathon Strategies (join at the hip), Berlin Rosen, Mercury Public Affairs, Brandford Communications, George Arzt, Multi-Media, Hudson TJ and Red Horse. Like the Apalachin mobsters the consultants/lobbyist has divided up New York to control the government and rake in corrupt lobbying dollars. Also like the mobsters the big 8 may even be about the law. A Surprise Progressive Takeover of City Hall - Party Leaders, Partnership and Permanent Government Caught Flatfooted


 
The Parkside Monopoly

Dem ldr AM Heastie lining up w/ his pal, George Gresham & 1199, instead of long-time ally, Qns Dems?  





Who is Paying the Advance Group to Lobby For Melissa Mark-Viverito

 

 
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Campaign Consults Monopoly


Advance Group Double Dipping Breaking the Law?
"While NYCLASS was paying [the Advance Group] to wage 'independent' campaigns to help certain council candidates, the firm was separately representing some of those same candidates." [Chris Bragg] * Animal rights group's exotic campaign financesEarlier this week, The Insider wrote that the Advance Group pushed the limits of campaign finance laws by working for council campaign clients and an outside group involved in those same races, despite a requirement that there be no coordination between them.In this latest instance, the Advance Group already had a well-paying and longstanding client in a central Brooklyn race, Robert Waterman, and another in a southern Brooklyn race, Igor Oberman. Then in late August the firm began working for a socially conservative outside group that backed different candidates in those races, and sending out mailers touting them. Meanwhile, in the Brooklyn council race to replace the term-limited Michael Nelson, Igor Oberman paid the Advance Group more than $60,000, the most his campaign spent on a single vendor. Yet the firm also was paid more than $7,000 by the City Action Coalition to print a mailer for his opponent, Chaim Deutsch, who earned a narrow victory.* Anti-Quinn group got $320K above legal limit - The Insider Blog ...(CrainsNY) NY's Politicals Consultant Monopoly Parkside Consultants Lobbyist Can't Lose When They Lose Pathetically (True News)
    1. Mad AdvanceGroup played both sides? Real conflict of interest: mail vendors doing strategy. Somehow advice is always "more mail".
    2. Yes, the Advance Group does that as well. Along with other main NYC firms
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Advance Groups Logo on Phony Group

Several payments that a UUFT super PAC sent to a fictitious political consulting firm “Strategic Consultants” have the Advance Group logo on their invoices
Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY) Last week, The Insider broke the news that the United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan consulting firm the Advance Group. An open records request that came back on Tuesday from the City Campaign Finance Board (and is embedded below) offers fresh and somewhat amusing evidence of the connection between the two: Many of the invoices the agency received from Strategic Consultants have the Advance Group logo on them.* Supreme Court Again Weighs Spending Limits In Campaigns. This decision could = the death of democracy




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Advance Groups Logo on Phony PACS
How Will These Secret PACS Push the Candidates They Elected to Vote In the Council Speakers Race?
Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY) Last week, The Insider broke the news that the United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan consulting firm the Advance Group. An open records request that came back on Tuesday from the City Campaign Finance Board (and is embedded below) offers fresh and somewhat amusing evidence of the connection between the two: Many of the invoices the agency received from Strategic Consultants have the Advance Group logo on them.*   

It is very clear that Wall Street has Dark Pools where traders operate beyond the regulators.  What is not clear is that their are also Dark Pool where lobbyists, campaign consultants and elected officials make  deals with each other undermining democracy hidden from public view.CrainsNY reporter Chris Bragg has done a great investigative job exposing how lobbyist/consultant the Advance Group was on both sides of many campaigns by using IE PACS and fake to run the UFT PAC. The Advance Group is also the lobbyist for the NYC Hotel and Motel Trades Council.  The Hotel Council ran a PAC that Spent $410,000 to make Quinn NYC's next mayor. The Advance Group ran a PAC that attacked Quinn. Anti-Quinn Group Set for Two Final Weeks of Battle - The Epoch Times The Advance Group's stable of clients include the anti-horse carriage group NYCLASS which spent 300,000 on anti-Quinn ads.*  

Consultant Worked for Gay Candidate and Anti-Gay Candidates At the Same Time
 The advance group got paid $28,000 by gay city council candidate Yetta Kurland at the same time the firm work for the City Action Coalition PAC, which on its website touts itself as supporting candidates who oppose gay marriage and abortion rights.Advance was on both side of the Kurland race.  The firm also secretly worked to have been promot Johnson’s candidacy through an IE paid for by the UFT via a company called Strategic Consultants—apparently a dummy shell corporation set up to obscure the Advance Group’s double-dealing.
Surprise: Anti-Abortion & Anti Gay-Marriage Groups Are
Uniting to Donate Lots of Money Against Gay City Council Candidates(Village Voice)  CrainsNY reports The Advance Group was paid more than $36,000 to produce mailers for the five candidates backed by the City Action Coalition PAC, which on its website touts itself as supporting candidates who oppose gay marriage and abortion rights. The alliance was odd because the Advance Group touts itself as one of the most progressive political consulting firms in the country, and has represented clients such as the Gay Men's Health Crisis, according to its own website. The Advance Group is listed as being paid by the group for "printing" and "postage," but it did not actually create the literature, according to spokeswoman for the firm. "We did not design any printed materials, we were not involved in creating the content, nor did we ever represent the candidates," said the spokeswoman for the Advance Group.  Then who designed the Mailers for City Action Coalition, the candidates?





De Blasio accused of coordinating with anti-Quinn Super PAC(NYP) A GOP political activist filed a complaint with the Campaign Finance Board accusing Bill de Blasio and key allies of illegally operating a super PAC that spent more than $1 million attacking Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary race for mayor. E. O’Brien Murray, a political consultant and adviser to Lhota’s campaign, filed a complaint with the Campaign Finance Board, accusing de Blasio of coordinating with a super PAC attacking Christine Quinn in the Democratic primary, * State Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein said he would aggressively push for de Blasio’s proposed New York City tax hike on those making more than $500,000, putting him at odds with Senate Republicans and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett reports:


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The Secret Dark Pool of Campaign Consultant/Lobbyists

Double whammy (NYDN Ed)
Shadowy UFT spending undermines campaign finance laws

Who Side Are You On . . .  Gaming NYC Politics

Permanent Government
Stealing NYC
CrainsNY reporter Chris Bragg has done a great investigative job exposing how lobbyist/consultant the Advance Group was on both sides of many campaigns by using IE PACS and fake to run the UFT PAC. The Advance Group is also the lobbyist for the NYC Hotel and Motel Trades Council.  The Hotel Council ran a PAC that Spent $410,000 to make Quinn NYC's next mayor. The Advance Group ran a PAC that attacked Quinn. Anti-Quinn Group Set for Two Final Weeks of Battle - The Epoch Times The Advance Group's stable of clients include the anti-horse carriage group NYCLASS which spent 300,000 on anti-Quinn ads.

The Secret World of Dark Pools Lobbyist/Political Consultant
The Hotel Council and their lobbyists the Advance Groups working against and for Quinn is all part of the NYC's Dark Pool politics Where political operators in the shadows work on more than one side in the same race.  Those operating in the dark pool use state's out dated election law to hide the  evidence that they are working against their clients. If the Moreland Commission ever gets around to sending a subpoena to the democratic senate campaign committee they would find that some of the $2 million it paid the Parkside Group found it way to other campaign consultants /lobbyists.  What happens in the dark pools of politics is that consultants/lobbyists trade favors with each other.  If George Artz needed support for one of his lobbyists clients, he just throws some work to the lobbyists consultants who deliver their stable of elected officials.  Consultants/lobbyists have cut up the city and clients the same way the mob did in the 50's at the Apalachin meeting. In this dark trading pool elected officials are for hire. So if the feds puts some of them in jail, it will not stop the corruption cancer destroying democracy in New York.  It is sad that the press is not covering Bragg's Crains investigation of the Advance Group.  More reporting will expose the root cause for corruption, not just the pols carrying water campaign consultant/lobbyists.  The press avoiding Bragg's ChainsNY story reminds me of the boy in Flatbush who watched the roaches run for dear life when he turn the light on.

It is very clear that Wall Street has Dark Pools where traders operate beyond the regulators.  What is not clear is that their are also Dark Pool where lobbyists, campaign consultants and elected officials make  deals with each other undermining democracy hidden from public view.* "The super PAC for the city teachers union may have violated campaign finance rules by not disclosing spending details for a robocall sent to voters during the 2013 primary elections, GothamSchools has found." [Geoff Decker] * "Questions Raised Over U.F.T. Campaign Filing" [Beth Fertig] * U.F.T. president Michael Mulgrew explains his union's campaign spending. [WNYC via SoundCloud] * The super PAC for the UFT may have violated campaign finance rules by not disclosing spending details for a robocall sent to voters during the 2013 primary elections

City and State Loser of the Week
Scott Levenson – Levenson’s consulting firm, The Advance Group, appears to have found a sure-fire way to come out on top in campaigns: secretly represent both sides! That’s what seems to have happened in the race for New York City Council between Yetta Kurland and Corey Johnson. On one hand, The Advance Group was getting paid to run an independent expenditure for the animal rights group NYCLASS supporting Kurland; on the other it appears to have been promoting Johnson’s candidacy through an IE paid for by the UFT via a company called Strategic Consultants—apparently a dummy shell corporation set up to obscure the Advance Group’s double-dealing. With consultants like that …




WSJ Says AG Pay to Play Journalism
One editorial page complains about New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's campaign receiving donations from lawyers who could benefit from his push to get JP Morgan Chase to admit wrongdoing during the financial collapse. [WSJ]





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Media  Hides UFT Campaign Corruption
The Media  Allows UFT Head to Spin About Tests and Does Not Ask Him Why He Hired A Fake Consulting Firm Tied to the Advance Group Which Has Legal  Problems Ahead
Meanwhile, teachers’ union head Michael Mulgrew took issue with a test question that involves evaluating Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s successes and failures. It reminded him “of some story coming out of North Korea and Kim Jong Il,” he said. “I doubt the mayor knew about it, but it’s just ridiculous.” * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)The city’s powerful teachers union is under fire from good-government groups for apparently trying to hide the identity of a consulting firm it was using to boost union-backed candidates.  "The listing of the phony firm, 'Strategic Consultants, Inc.,' in campaign filings, obscured that Advance Group was being paid both to promote candidates for the United Federation of Teachers' independent political action committee, and working as the main campaign consultant for several of those same candidates." [Chris Bragg]* A newly-created exam for seventh graders asks if Mayor Michael Bloomberg's career has been defined by successes or failures. [Rachel Monahan] * The super PAC for the United Federation of Teachers may have violated campaign finance rules by not disclosing spending details for a robocall sent to voters on behalf of former Manhattan borough president candidate Robert Jackson, Gotham Schools reports:


Top de Blasio supporters funded anti-Quinn group(CrainsNY)  The newly disclosed donations to NYCLASS include $50,000 from Jay Eisenhofer, an attorney who is Mr. de Blasio's largest campaign bundler, having separately raised nearly $85,000 for the candidate. The group also got $175,000 from the international labor union UNITE HERE, whose former president is John Wilhelm, Mr. de Blasio's cousin. UNITE HERE Local 100 backed Mr. de Blasio's candidacy in June, and Mr. Wilhelm bundled $17,000 in donations for his cousin. Ms. Quinn's campaign had accused NYCLASS of of being supportive of Mr. de Blasio, a charge the nonprofit has denied. Another major union funder of the anti-Quinn efforts, CWA Local 1180, backed the mayoral candidacy of city Comptroller John Liu. NYCLASS disclosed the donations to the city Campaign Finance Board Wednesday after The Insider reported last week that the group had not done so, in violation of city regulations.


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Campaign Lobbyists/Consults Monopoly

Update INBOX: calls for investigation into independent expenditure, as per 's story.

Advance Group Double Dipping Breaking the Law?
"While NYCLASS was paying [the Advance Group] to wage 'independent' campaigns to help certain council candidates, the firm was separately representing some of those same candidates." [Chris Bragg] * Animal rights group's exotic campaign finances Earlier this week, The Insider wrote that the Advance Group pushed the limits of campaign finance laws by working for council campaign clients and an outside group involved in those same races, despite a requirement that there be no coordination between them. The Advance  group was paid by democratic city council nominee Laurie Cumbo $90,000 and the IE NYCLASS that Advance paid for $7500 in mailings to promote Laurie Cumbo. Another PAC that the Advance Group

Advance Group Working On More Than One Side In Several Races  . . . Were Some Races Fixed?

UFT paid $370,000 to fake consultant (CrainsNY)
The UFT’s Super PAC paid more than $370,000 to an apparently fictitious political consulting firm, which was actually the well-known New York firm the Advance Group.
A "super PAC" formed by the powerful city teachers' union paid more than $370,000 to an apparently fictitious political consulting firm, which was actually the well-known New York firm the Advance Group, records and interviews show. As Mr. Levine, Ms. Cumbo and losing Manhattan borough president candidate Robert Jackson were paying the Advance Group, their campaigns also got outside help from the UFT's spending through mailers designed, printed and sent out by "Strategic Consultants." The union's super PAC paid the apparently fictitious firm more than $12,000 for mailers promoting Mr. Jackson, more than $18,000 to promote Ms. Cumbo and nearly $3,000 in support of Mr. Levine. The Advance  group was paid by democratic candidate Yetta Krukland $28,000 and the IE NYCLASS that Advance paid for $30,000 in mailings to promote Yetta Krukland. The Advance group was paid by democratic nominee  Mark Levine $33,000 and the IE NYCLASS that Advance paid for $11,000 in mailings to promote Mark Levine. Potential coordination between candidates and outside groups is subject to investigation by the city's Campaign Finance Board, an agency that has levied stiff penalties in an effort to level the playing field for candidates enrolled in the city's taxpayer-funded campaign system. City Council candidates seeking taxpayer matching funds cannot spend more than $168,000. In a required post-election Campaign Finance Board audit, if the agency finds coordinated spending between a campaign and an outside group, that spending counts against the cap, which can result in heavy repayment penalties and fines. * The Advance Group's work for the socially conservative coalition was also odd because the consulting firm touts itself as one of the most progressive in the nation. Its founder and president, Scott Levenson, has worked in the past for former Public Advocate Mark Green and former liberal advocacy group ACORN.

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Council the Great Horse Carriage Hope?

During Tuesday Nights Debate de Blasio Says He Will Need the Cit Council to Ban Horse Carriages

Council Speaker Race
The PACs and the Party Leaders might pick someone who will block the new mayor
HORSE CARRIAGE DRIVERS STICK WITH HORSES — Capital's Gloria Pazmino: "The Horse and Carriage Association and the union representing carriage drivers aren't interested in Bill de Blasio's plan to replace the horses with electric antique replica cars."  Association spokesman Ian McKeever: "There is not a chance that [de Blasio]'s gonna get rid of the horses, and I know the union will stand to protect us.” The union has endorsed de Blasio. The Horse and Carriage Association and the union representing carriage drivers rejected Mr. de Blasio’s plan to replace their carriages with antique replica cars. “It’s about the experience of having a live animal in front of you. That’s what’s made this a successful business,” the association’s spokesman, Ian McKeever, argued.* BURSTING THE DE BLASIO BUBBLE — The Nation's Leslie Savan: "[B]etween the fireworks, there were indeed de Blasio’s more subtle movements—call them fudges, inconsistencies or measured calculations—that made the debate feel at times like a preview of possible disappointments to come for the left. "…I do detect in him a need to please too many sides; and, assuming he’s the next mayor, we should watch closely how he deals with developers and financiers."


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de Blasio and Animal Rights


Campaign Consultant NYCLASS was very helpful to Bill de Blasio in the primary, so I'm not surprised he's doing a victory lap with them."
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will be the keynote speaker at a December 4th fundraiser for NYCLASS, the animal rights group that sunk the campaign of de Blasio’s Democratic mayoral rival Christine Quinn, Bill de Blasio will attend fund-raiser for pro-animal group NYCLASS, which helped beat Quinn
De Blasio headlines fundraiser for anti-Quinn group(CrainsNY)
An animal rights nonprofit that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to undermine City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's mayoral bid is holding a tony Manhattan fundraiser Dec. 4, and its main draw will be Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, whose campaign benefited from the heavy anti-Quinn spending.  NYCLASS donated $220,000 to an anti-Quinn super PAC "New York City Is Not For Sale," and separately spent $124,000 on anti-Quinn efforts. Top de Blasio supporters were major funders of NYCLASS, but his campaign has said that it was not involved in coordinating with the outside spending efforts, which would violate election rules.  A staffer for Joseph Lhota, Mr. de Blasio's defeated general-election opponent, recently filed a complaint with the New York City Campaign Finance Board charging that Mr. de Blasio's campaign had illegally coordinated with the anti-Quinn super PAC efforts, a complaint the de Blasio campaign called "frivolous."




Blogger and the Media Ignored the Fact That the Advance Group Under Investigation Central Role in NYCLASS At Last Nights Fund  Raiser

Horse-Drawn Carriage Supporters Protest De Blasio's Stance(NY1)

The Advance Group Being Drop by A Speaker Mark-Viverito, But the Reporter Did Not Ask the Speaker Candidate If Any Laws Were Broken?
NYCLASS and its board members were among the major funders of New York City is Not For Sale’s “Anybody But Quinn” campaign, which helped derail Mr. de Blasio’s fiercest challenger in the Democratic mayoral primary: Christine Quinn. While the group insisted that it was unaligned with Mr. de Blasio’s campaign, many of the group’s backers ended up supporting him–drawing questions from critics wondering if it was a de facto pro-de Blasio effort. The group also raised eyebrows for a series of over-the-limit campaign contributions and for its association with the Advance Group, which drew fire during the election for running both campaigns and independent expenditure efforts, among other issues. Melissa Mark-Viverito Drops Advance Group for Speaker Bid(NYO)Politicker's Incomplete Journalism About the Firing Of the Advance Group by the Leading Speaker's Candidate. The NYT Said Advance Was Being Investigated by the CFB But Did Not Say it Was Involved In Running Mark-Viverito Campaign to Become Speaker


The Advance Group USAO SDNY Civilian Crime Report
Civilian Crime Report filed with the U.S. Attorney's Office regarding The Advance Group and possible federal crimes during the recent past New York City municipal elections. The complaint alleges that Mr. Levenson and his group broke the law this election season by working for both candidates as well as independent expenditures backing them, which is barred, and allowing staffers with the firm to provide unpaid assistance to Melissa Mark-Viverito’s successful campaign for City Council Speaker–allegedly breaking city ethics rules to gain leverage for future clients. “Conduct and activities of The Advance Group during the last election cycle may have involved the coordinating of independent expenditure Super PAC’s with official campaigns, and The Advance Group provided unpaid lobbying services to a public official and, as a consequence, The Advance Group will benefit from selling access to the public official to influence official acts,” reads the complaint, which was expected to be delivered today–the four year anniversary of the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates to unlimited outside spending.* Complaint Filed Against Advance Group for Election Work(NYO)

More On Power Brokers Picking the Next Speaker 

Group targets cloaking lobbyists


On even the most inconsequential bills, New York City lobbyists are required to disclose their attempts to sway City Council members and other government officials. But on some of the biggest matters that are not by definition legislation or resolutions—from electing a speaker of the body, to the appointment of commissioners—lobbyists do not have to report such activity.

Many arguments for NYC-style elex system, but can spending-capped elex really be said to diminish role of outside $$?

New York Association of Community Organizations for Reform N


2906 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70119
United States of America
(504) 943-5954

01/01/2009 12/31/2009 The Advance Group Inc.
SCOTT LEVENSON
LAUREN BIERMAN
The Advance Group Inc.
39 Broadway, Suite 1740
New York, NY 10006
United States of America
(212) 239-7323


Scott Levenson
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