Sunday, December 1, 2013

Brooklyn BP and Politics 575

Brooklyn BP Has A Slush Fund Like the Mayor Funded By Developers Shady Donors
Eric Adams’ nonprofit has links to shady donors (NYP) Mayor de Blasio isn’t the only elected official who launched a nonprofit that has raised funds from questionable donors. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has his own group — the One Brooklyn Fund — which has raised as much as $964,000 over the past two years, according to records obtained by The Post. And, like de Blasio’s nonprofit, it has taken money from entities whose activities are under review by law enforcement or that have business interests before the government. One donor, Park Developers & Builders, was subpoenaed by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office in recent weeks for its bid to raze a Bedford-Stuyvesant nursing home and replace it with a 241-unit residential building, according to a source. The group has given as much as $20,000 to Adams’ nonprofit since October. Its partner, the Allure Group, was also subpoenaed in that case — as well as in a Lower East Side real-estate deal involving the loss of a nursing home that was OK’d by the de Blasio administration. Another group that gave up to $20,000 to Adams’ group is Broadway Stages, a Brooklyn-based firm that is being questioned as part of the wide-ranging probe of de Blasio’s fund-raising. Other donors to Adams’ nonprofit include Airbnb, which gave as much as $60,000. Adams has been a vocal supporter of Airbnb. Other donors to Adams’ nonprofit include Airbnb, which gave as much as $60,000. Adams has been a vocal supporter of Airbnb. Dick Dadey, director of the watchdog group Citizens Union, said nonprofits run by elected officials are ripe for abuses. “It’s become a vehicle for self-promotion, as well as a vehicle for augmenting the services of the borough president’s office,” Dadey said.
“Entities within the borough may feel a certain responsibility to contribute.” While the mayor’s nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York, only touted his agenda, the One Brooklyn Fund is a city-affiliated group and sponsors events for the public.* Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ nonprofit One Brooklyn Fund has raised as much as $964,000 over the past two years and has taken money from entities whose activities are under review by law enforcement or that have business interests before the government, the Post reports.

One Brooklyn PAC is Brooklyn BP Adams One NY Slush Fund
Feds probe Eric Adams’ non-profit over donor favor claims (NYP)A nonprofit created by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to advance his pet projects is being probed by both federal authorities and the city’s Department of Investigation, The Post has learned. The feds are scrutinizing the fund-raising of Adams’ One Brooklyn Fund, to see if it is being used to dish out pay-to-play favors, sources briefed on the matter said. One source said the investigation is “similar” to a probe by Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara into Mayor de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York nonprofit. Like CONY, One Brooklyn has solicited cash from entities under review by authorities and that have business before the city. The DOI is investigating whether Adams violated any city laws by routinely asking outside groups to cut checks directly to his nonprofit to rent space at Borough Hall, rather than have payments go into the city coffers, sources said. Those payments slip under the radar because city-affiliated organizations like One Brooklyn aren’t required to report donations and other types of revenue under $5,000 with the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board. Since its formation two years ago, One Brooklyn has reported $315,000 to $860,000 in donations, disclosure forms show. It has pulled in another $344,000 in City Council funds.

Brooklyn BP Lobbyists Capalino and Another Slush Fund PAC
Capalino Buying Silence 
Airbnb Lobbyist's Firm Met 29 Times With Brooklyn Borough President, Staff (DNAINFO)  The city's top lobbyist met 29 times with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and his staff since he took office — and those chats made the politician a big believer in Airbnb. Adams became a cheerleader for the apartment-sharing website in 2015 after lobbyist James Capalino and his staff met with him and his staff, according to lobbying records. The borough president even lauded the tech firm in a June 4, 2015, keynote address he gave at the Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute's Brooklyn's most prominent politicians, including Public Advocate Letitia James and councilmembers Jumaane Williams, Brad Lander and Carlos Menchaca, have all publicly opposed Airbnb because of its negative effect on affordable housing."Building Brooklyn" conference.A 2015 report from New York Communities for Change and Real Affordability for All found that Brooklyn has eight of the city's top 20 neighborhoods for Airbnb. While the city's average rent increased 32 percent from 2002 to 2014, the average increase in the top Brooklyn Airbnb neighborhoods was 45 percent.Adams' praise came at a time when Airbnb had already been investigated by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and was facing scrutiny from local elected officials about the service's users skirting rental laws and occupancy taxes. Airbnb, which paid $150,000 to Capalino's firm in 2015 to lobby Adams and City Council members, also made a hefty donation to the Brooklyn borough president's nonprofit, the One Brooklyn Fund, according to disclosures made to the city's Conflicts of Interest Board. Adams met personally five times with Capalino's firm and two of those meetings were about Airbnb and had Airbnb representatives present, according to the borough president's office. Adams' staff met with Capalino's firm an additional time regarding Airbnb. For comparison, Mayor Bill de Blasio met with Capalino twice since taking office. Airbnb gave One Brooklyn's general fund a check for $32,000 on Aug. 20, 2015.Tom Cayler of the West Side Neighborhood Alliance, which opposes Airbnb, said he was disappointed to hear about its donation to the Brooklyn Borough President's office. "I'm shocked that as the borough president of Brooklyn that his first concern and commitment isn't to affordable housing for his constituents," Cayler said. "It's very clear to anyone dealing with housing issues that illegal hotels remove valuable housing stock from the market." One Brooklyn has received more than $900,000 in donations from more than 30 donors since it formed in 2014. Adams’ office said One Brooklyn was set up to solicit donations to pay for things such as his “International Day of Friendship" and his New Year's Eve "ball drop" in Coney Island. An advisory letter Adams' office obtained from the Conflicts of Interest Board said that he and his staff must make it clear that the One Brooklyn donor "will receive no special access to the Borough President or to the Office or preferential treatment as a result of the donation." Good government groups said One Brooklyn has similarities with the Campaign for One New York, the nonprofit formed by de Blasio to push his political agenda. "They raise money from people who do business with the city and the borough, which is a problem," said Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union. City records show Capalino has raised about $45,000 for de Blasio's re-election campaign. Capalino's firm also donated $10,000 to the Campaign for One New York. Other One Brooklyn donors were Brooklyn developer Two Trees Management's philanthropic arm the Walentas Foundation and film production firm Broadway Stages, which has  drawn scrutiny over its donations to de Blasio's campaigns.* Judge stops short-term rentals in single-room occupancy hotel (NYP) * Upper West Side apartment building that rented rooms to tourists ordered to stop taking reservations (NYDN)

Adam 2017
Brooklyn borough prez puts out feelers for mayoral run(NYP) *The next NYC mayoral election isn’t until 2017, but one of de Blasio’s supposed allies – former state Senator-turned-Brooklyn BP Eric Adams is already quietly making moves for a possible challenge. Publicly speaking, Adams has insisted he won’t run against the mayor. 

Brooklyn BP None Profit Trip
 Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and his deputy, Diana Reyna, took an 11-day trip to China to promote economic development and tourism paid for by a nonprofit run by a volunteer staff member, the New York Post reports:f

NYP Continues to Go After Brooklyn BP Adams China Trip Funding 

Mystery looms around funding of Eric Adams’ trip to China(NYP) A founder of the nonprofit that paid nearly $7,000 for Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and his top deputy to travel to China told The Post he doesn’t know where the group gets its money.

Borough President Eric Adams ‘Open’ to Future Mayoral Run(NYO)

Brooklyn Finest Pols Run Again
Former assemblywoman Diane Gordon, who spent two years in prison for taking bribes, has filed to run for district leader against New York City Councilwoman Inez Barron, the Observer reports:* Former New York City Councilman Charles Barron filed to run for the Assembly seat vacated by his wife, Inez, a move that Barron has hinted at for months since he left the City Council due to term limits, State of Politics writes: 

Brooklyn BP Aide Private Contract Under Investigation
City investigating nonprofit run by Brooklyn president’s aide(NYP)A nonprofit run by a top aide to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is being investigated following stories in The Post that exposed potential conflicts of interest.The mayor’s Office of Contract Services is reviewing city contracts awarded to Valerie Oliver-Durrah and her Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic, officials said Tuesday. The taxpayer-fueled group says it specializes in helping other nonprofits raise funds — and is based out of Oliver-Durrah’s Brooklyn brownstone. The New York City Mayor’s Office of Contract Services is reviewing city contracts awarded to Valerie Oliver-Durrah, a top aide to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and her Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic nonprofit

Welcome to Brooklyn and New York
Marty Markowitz Lands Tourism Gig in the de Blasio Administration(NYO)Brooklyn's Marty Markowitz lands tourism post(NYDN) Brooklyn’s most famous booster, Marty Markowitz, has landed a new job: “vice president of borough promotion and engagement” at NYC & Co.*Ex-Brooklyn borough president to promote NYC(NYP) * Marty Markowitz moves into city marketing role(NYPD)

Another Brooklyn BP None Profit Problem

The New York City Conflicts of Interest Board is reviewing the relationship between Valerie Oliver-Durrah’s job for Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams as a senior adviser for strategic alliances and her position as a nonprofit executive, the New York Post writes: * Activist for the poor Michael Kink, the executive director of the Strong Economy for All Coalition, makes more per year than Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whom the group has assailed on the issue of income inequality, the Daily News’s Ken Lovett reports:

The Markowization of New York City
ForgetAboutIt Manhattan Elitists

The Brooklyn Revolution

Brooklyn Takes Over 100+ Years After the Merger. 
East and West Siders, This is No Trick or Treat Nightmare
De Blasio's cabinet mostly resides in Brooklyn(NYDN) Of the 23 commissioners de Blasio has appointed since taking office, 13 call themselves Brooklynite* "In de Blasio’s press team, nine of 10 flacks live in their boss’ favorite borough."Someone is watching the press NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has tapped Tom Finkelpearl, the executive director of the Queens Museum, as the city’s next cultural-affairs commissioner.* Museum Director to Be Commissioner of Cultural Affairs(NYT) Mr. Finkelpearl after spending 12 years with the museum, will be the city’s point person on the arts, overseeing a $156 million budget.* De Blasio Taps New Cultural Affairs Commissioner(WSJ)

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

Ethics Problems
The senior adviser for strategic alliances to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams allegedly talked up the services of her private consulting firm during a meet-and-greet with business and community leaders, creating a possible ethics problem, the Post writes: 
Wednesday Update 
Brooklyn president probed over alleged fundraising fraud(NYP) The city’s Department of Investigation is probing Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams following complaints that he and his staff hit up local business and community leaders for cash to fund pet projects with money to be funneled through a nonprofit that doesn’t exist, sources told The Post.  Brooklyn Pres sought donations to fund non-existent non-profit(NYP) Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams shocked some local business and community leaders at a Borough Hall meet-and-greet recently, hitting them up for cash to fund pet projects — with the money to be funneled through a nonprofit that doesn’t even exist. “If this is how Eric is starting out, the borough is really in trouble,” said a business leader who attended Thursday’s event. The paperwork bears an official-looking insignia that includes the Seal of the City of Brooklyn over a ribbon bearing the words “One Brooklyn.” But the state Division of Corporations said it has no record of any such nonprofit or any other entity named One Brooklyn. Asked about the fund-raising effort, Adams acknowledged not having set up the nonprofit. He told The Post in an e-mail that his “office is working closely with the Conflicts of Interest Board and other relevant entities to ensure that public-private partnerships are pursued in the proper manner.” But the Conflicts Board said that Adams, as of Monday, hadn’t applied for any such approval.* The New York Post reports that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams “shocked some local business and community leaders at a Borough Hall meet-and-greet recently, hitting them up for cash to fund pet projects — with the money to be funneled through a nonprofit that doesn’t even exist.” Mr. Adams said he was in the process of setting up the nonprofit.* That didn’t take long(NYP Ed) Politicians getting in trouble for the mixture of money and non-profits is an old story in New York. Leave it to Eric Adams to find a way to land himself in the hot seat for a non-profit that doesn’t even exist.* reports on Questioned Over Donation Request for Non-Existent Charity

The Brooklyn Bureau took a look at what Borough President Eric Adams will bring to his new office after 12 years of Marty Markowitz. “Everybody knows I can be a flamethrower; now I have to be a coalition grower,” Mr. Adams said. “I have to evolve to the statesman who can run this borough.”

Police Protester Moves Inside

Longtime Critic of Police Policies Basks in a de Blasio Moment(NYT)
Eric L. Adams was once known for the often incendiary curbside news conferences he held outside One Police Plaza in Lower Manhattan. Now he is the Brooklyn borough president.* New York’s Broken Parole System(NYT Ed) For low-risk inmates, early release into parole should be the default and the board should have to articulate a good reason to keep them locked up.

Councilwoman Diana Reyna Named Deputy Brooklyn Borough President
The Unopposed Brooklyn BP

leaves unfinished biz as he prepares to exit office, but Childs venue is one step closer post-garden
Borough President-in-waiting Eric Adams opens up about credit, dogs, race relations and, of course, Marty Markowitz (NYDN) Current state Senator ran unopposed for borough president. Either the job is meaningless or he's a major heavyweight. * Eric Adams Says He’s Still Worried About Winning BP Race(NYO)

Adams names real estate exec as advisor.

Marty Markowitz looks back on his tenure as Brooklyn borough president

"Mr. Brooklyn" Marty Markowitz Reflects On 12 Years As Brooklyn Borough President (NY1)

Mr. Brooklyn to Sells Brooklyn to Democrats

Markowitz to lead push for Democratic convention at Barclays(NYP)
He led the fight to build Barclays Center — and now Brooklyn’s biggest booster has been tapped to convince the Democratic National Committee to bring the 2016 presidential convention to the new home of the NBA’s Nets.At Mayor de Blasio’s request, former Borough President Marty Markowitz is expected to meet with DNC honchos in Brooklyn Saturday to lead a PowerPoint presentation aimed at trying to convince them that the 18,000-seat arena is the perfect venue to host the convention, a de Blasio operative told The Post. “The mayor’s bringing in the big guns,” said the source. “Who can sell Brooklyn better than Marty?”

Nite Time Take Down of Community Garden

Residents Outraged By Bulldozing Of Brooklyn Community Garden(WCBS)
The city owns the land but the group Coney Island Holdings is leasing it and plans to build a new amphitheater on the site.* Brooklyn Residents Vow to Take City to Court After Garden is Removed (NBC)

Goodbye Mr. Brooklyn

Borough President for Not Much Longer, but a Brooklynite Always(NYT) Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president and one of the city’s most popular politicians with a personal touch, can be surprisingly polarizing.* Retirement Ends 4-Decade Career of Drafting Big Plans for New York City(NYT) Planning, Samuel Hornick presided over a legal apparatus that instructed developers where and how big they could build.

Don't Fuck With Brooklyn Gives Adams His First Markowitz Type Press Hit
Brooklyn B.P. Eric Adams released a Marty Markowitz-worthy statement trashing Toronto last night (NYO)Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams last night responded to the Toronto Raptors’ trash-talking with a little trash-talking of his own.After the basketball team’s general manager, Masai Ujiri, pumped up a Raptors crowd by yelling, “Fuck Brooklyn!” Mr. Adams released a statement noting Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s infamous crack-smoking scandal and the Canadian citizenship of pop star Justin Bieber.* Eric Adams Sticks Up For Brooklyn After Raptors GM Drops F-Bomb(WCBS)

Brooklyn Forgetabout It
First No Marty Now A Co-Op on Top of Cheesecake Junior's

Junior’s Brooklyn Site Will Be Sold to Developer, but Restaurant Will Return(NYT)


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