Tuesday, March 25, 2014

de Blasio's BOE

de Blasio's DOI Unexpectedly Going After BOE Corruption On Day One
BOE Surprise Attack

Board to investigate duplicate voters

NYC Department Of Investigation Chief: Board Of Elections "Hostile" To Reform Recommendations (NYDN) The new head of the city Department of Investigation testIfied Friday that his staff has encountered "outright hostility" at the highest levels of the Board of Elections while trying to get the embattled agency to clean up its act.  The Board has not been “anywhere near as cooperative” as necessary in responding to a 2013 DOI investigation that detailed nepotism, incompetence, inefficiency -- and even possible crimes, DOI Commissioner Mark Peters (pictured center) told a joint hearing of the City Council Government Operations and Oversight and Investigations Committees. Peters said DOI has referred several issues for possible civil prosecution, and said criminal charges are still possible. In describing "illegal" activity at the Board, Peters told the lawmakers, “I use the word deliberately. This is an ongoing investigation, so there are aspects of it I am not prepared to discuss."* Department of Investigation, Board of Elections Face Off at City Council (NY1) * Investigations chief briefs the Council on B.O.E. problems(Capital) * D.O.I. Report  The report listed nepotism, violations of voter privacy, and a staff of untrained workers among B.O.E.'s most glaring systemic problems. D.O.I. released a list of 40 recommended changes to the agency, but according to Peters, the agency has been less than cooperative in implementing changes. Peters went onto say that nepotism at the agency was rampant and that in one case, a B.O.E. commissioner admitted to hiring his wife in order to obtain health benefits he was not entitled to receive on his own. According to Peters, close to 10 percent of the staff at B.O.E. is related to other employees of the board.

Political Analysis: New Guard Beginning to Evict the Old Tammany Guard From the BOE

As True News reported last December if the old machine led by Queens Boss Crowley lost the speaker's race that would be there last Hurrah in power.  Well as they say elections have consequences and the newly empowered new guard has begun the process of pushing what is left of the old Tammany Hall out of their 100 year old home the Board of Elections.  The new machine led by the mayor, speaker, WFP, Sharpton and election consultant lobbyists, the Advance Group, Berlin Rosen and Pitta Bishop Del Giorno as their elections victories for mayor, speaker and council races indicate have not only beaten the old machine but understand how to use and gain power. 
 Now besides going after the old gang of 4 power base in Harlem they are looking to take over one of the last remaining power bases of the old Tammany machine the BOE. And who is going to stop them. Crowley army the Parkside Group lived fat off of the Queens machine protection for years, not their ability to win races. The GOP machine has turn into bottom feeders who are trying to stay out of jail for selling ballot lines and contracts at the BOE, not win elections. Brooklyn Boss Seddio who joined with the new guard when he could not control his councilmember is considered untrustworthy by the very group he helped gain power. 

It is a Family Affair At the BOE
BOE NepotismGate
Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan tangled -- protractedly -- with Councilman Ritchie Torres of the Bronx about the definition of "nepotism," saying that just because members of the same family work at the same agency doesn't indicate de facto corruption. Torres countered that the agency -- which gives limited notice of job openings when it gives them at all and hires many of its full- and part-time workers through a patronage system linked to the county parties -- has an inarguably high degree of family relationships in its ranks.* BOE exec dir: "W/ respect to multiple family members working for the , that does not necessarily bespeak of quote unquote nepotism."* * Board of Incompetence: Elections hacks botch introduction of new voting machines (DN Ed)

DOI's Peters told councilmembers, adding that his agency had been received with "outright hostility"
BoE's Ryan re DOI: "I believe that that report does not accurately reflect the reality when it comes to come certain of the recommendations" * Peters has a close relationship with DEB He should urge him to create an independent non partisan BOE we created an Ind Budget off years ago * CM Ulrich argues 4 nonpartisan . Ulrich argues 4 prohibiting employees from doing paid political consultant work. * The problem is that political class benefits from dysfunctional BOE & has for years given lip service to change * not rocket science remove party bosses from hiring process & you professionalize agency & fund it, ex IBO * Is Peters kidding? He's rehashing what everyone knows He should urge the pol class to create an indep non partisan BOE * It's hysterical listening to CM criticize BOE You would never think THEY have oversight & funding responsibility for agency * City report outlines millions wasted by Board of Elections for overstaffing 2011 elections  * Tammany Hall Board of Election Control Goes On and On (True News)

Council Has Oversight Powers Over BOE They Have Never Used to Demand Reform
SalAlbanese @SalAlbaneseNYC: @DNDailyPolitics It's hysterical listening to CM criticize BOE You would never think THEY have oversight & funding responsibility for agency 

The Council Could Use Their Power to Confirm Board of Election Commissioner to Demand Reforms of That Corruption Institution.  Quinn and a gang of 4 GOP councilmember used  the power to confirm BOE commissioners to throw out GOP commissioner in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx. The result is that GOP party leaders patronage appoints to the BOE are being replaced by people from the councilmembers and their friends. Why is the media not demand that the next council speaker clean out the BOE and restore Democracy to New York City?* GOP Councilmen seize opportunity to appoint election commissioners in Queens, Brooklyn, overruling county party leadership (NYDN) More on the Panic Over the Council Illegal Appointed Commissioners * Ulrich campaign accuses BOE of obstruction (CrainsNY)* The City Council Is Responsible for the Corruption - True News
DOI Got to Be Kidding About the BOE
"We have made several referrals to civil authorities for violations of the law, that is ongoing," Department of Investigations commissioner Mark Peters told City Council friday. "There are aspects of this ongoing investigation that could lead us to criminal referrals, it's too early to tell at this stage."

10 Areas Where de Blasio's DOI Can Start Criminal Investigations
1. Head of Board of Elections Fired One Week Before Election (WNYC)Sources at the Board of Elections say Gonzalez was fired over irregularities that initially appeared on the ballot of a special election in Queens for the City Council seat in the 28th district.*Election Board's "Bungle George" Gonzalez Was Mayor Bloomberg's Baby(Village Voice)*  Gonzalez Firing, DOI Investigation, Could Ease Awaited Bloomberg BoE Power Play(CHN)  (No Action by Bloomberg's DOI)

2. Why Did the City Spend $95 Million on Scanner That Don't Work? Bloomberg said the board’s real problem lay with the paper ballot and electronic scanner voting system it rolled out three years ago *Moving mayoral primary since scanners can’t handle a runoff does not compute(NYDN) * A Week Later, No End in Sight for Primary Vote Count(NYT) In 2010 Feds probing how Board of Elections choose flawed electronic voting(NYP) * Board Of Elections Pushes New Plan For Old Voting Machines During September Elections * Madness of the machines(NYDN Ed) * New York City Elections Are Becoming Ever More Costly(NYT)

3. The Daily News' Errol Louis reports today, the behind-the-scenes battle between Election Systems & Software and Dominion Voting Sytems(a/k/a Sequoia Voting) is being carried on by highly-paid proxies, namely the city's most politically wired lobbyists. Dominion/Sequoia's bid is being led by the estimable Stanley Schlein, who was Mayor Bloomberg's pick as chairman of the Civil Service Commission until he was found to be using the place and staff as his private law office. Not to be outdone, ES&S has its own congressional brother on its team, John "Sean" Crowley of Davidoff Malito law firm and brother of Joe Crowley, who is not only a congressman but also head of the Queens Democratic Party (a major plus, since Queens Dems have their own commissioner on the board) * The Village Voice, Tom Robbins delves into Stanley Schlein's record* Ballot Fixing involving a queens ballot by a Bronx power broker who is also the lobbyist on the losing vendor of the boards voting machines. (No Action by DOI) (No Action by Bloomberg's DOI)

4.  The NYC Board of Elections suspended an employee who’s also a top Queens GOP official, Stephen Graves, after he was caught on tape soliciting a “finder’s fee” from a voting machine contractor in exchange for recommending a particular lobbyist. Qns. elections official under fire for soliciting money from a contractor (NYP) *  Qns. elections official under fire for soliciting money from a contractor (NYP)(No Action by Bloomberg's DOI)

5. True News Has Confirmed From A Current Top Executive That BOE warehouse employee Phil Ragusa the nephew of the Queens GOP leader is on the payroll of ESS as A Paid Consultant.  More  * NYC Board Of Elections: Inquests & Invoices(NYDN) According to True News tipster Phil Ragusa nephew has been paid over 50,000 from ES&S last year in a two month period.  That means that nephew Ragusa was paid from the same voting machine vendor that his grandfather's BOE commission approved after a battle of the lobbyists for which voting machine the BOE would buy. Nephew Ragusa was paid $1800 by a day by ES&S at the same time we was on the BOE payroll. On one 4 day pay period nephew Ragusa was paid over $9000 for 4 days work on and hourly rate that would have taken two weeks to reach the $9000 bill. NYC Board Of Elections: Inquests & Invoices(NYDN)  * From the NY Daily News: The name would naturally jump out at anyone who's interested in Queens politics: Not only is Phil Ragusa the Queens GOP chairman, but his nephew -- also named Phil Ragusa -- works for the Board as a supervisor dealing with voting machines in the Queens warehouse. *Biagio Ragusa, the brother of Queens Republican boss Phil Ragusa. He worked in a board warehouse for 20 years before retiring recently. The job is now held by his son, also named Phil Ragusa. (No Action by Bloomberg's DOI)     

6. A few years back, the Westchester lawyer Anthony J. Mangone, who shared an office with Jay Savino, the Bronx Republican leader, earned a cool $100,000 lobbying the board on behalf of a voting machine company, Election Systems and Software. Former Bronx GOP Chairman Jay Savino pleaded guilty on corruption charges related to a failed scheme to let Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith run in the Republican primary for mayor. *Guilty Westchester attorney Anthony Mangone will help feds in two seperate probes * But his sentence is expected to be a fraction of that in exchange for his cooperation in two ongoing probes in which he is involved, sources confirmed yesterday. In addition to the Westchester case where Yonkers City Councilwoman Sandy Annabi and former Yonkers Republican chief Zehy Jereis also charged, there is a second into the selection of voting machines by New York City's Board of Elections. Mangone represented the winning bidder, Election Systems&Software, of Omaha, Neb. Political Parties for Sale: BallotCorruption 2009 Election Probe Emerges Again(WSJ)  * Bronx GOP boss adds to list of corruption(NYDN)  (No Action by Bloomberg's DOI)

7. The Feds are also investigating a Board Of Election (the cesspool of political corruption) contract for new machines that Hank Sheinkopf was a lobbyist for. Feds investigate switch by Board of Elections ... - New York PostVoting Machine Smack-Down: Lobbyists Brawl(Village Voice) Also pitching hard for ES&S is the team of Hank Sheinkopf and Norman Levy (No Action by Bloomberg's DOI) 8. Not to be outdone, ES&S has its own congressional brother on its team, John "Sean" Crowley of Davidoff Malito law firm and brother of Joe Crowley, who is not only a congressman but also head of the Queens Democratic Party * Sheinkopf took the 5th when asked questions by the NY former state Inspector General Joseph Fisch about the AEG scandal 

9.   Queens GOP Chair Drops Case To Get Ousted Board Of Elections Commissioner Back To Work(NYDN) Robert Hornak the director of machines for the Board of Election testified in sworn statements to the court that  the Queens leadership executive committee members met and voted Nov. 1 to reappoint Stupp, and that on Nov. 3, Ragusa signed a certificate saying so. That information was to have been mailed to the City Clerk and City Council on Nov. 19 -- although apparently neither envelope ever arrived * GOP Councilmen seize opportunity to appoint election commissioners in Queens, Brooklyn, overruling county party leadership (NYDN) More on the Panic Over the Council Illegal Appointed Commissioners * Tabone steps down as Queens GOP honcho amid corruption probe ...(NYP) * Queens GOP Chair Drops Case To Get Ousted Board Of Elections Commissioner Back To Work(NYDN)BOE Head of Machines Illegally Paid by Halloran
Robert Hornak who at the same time he was working at the Board of Elections was illegally getting paid by Councilman Dan Halloran through his consultant company Lexington Public Affairs. It is illegal for BOE employees to run a consultant company.  Hornak is Executive director of Queens County GOP.  His former boss and pal in the Queens GOP party was Vincent Tabone until he quit yesterday after getting arrested the day before.** Citizens Union sticks up for two GOP commissioners(CrainsNY) * rue News Told You On July 16th that the City Council Controls the Appointment of  BOE Commissioner.  

10.   Board of Elections does nothing as hundreds of Bronx votes go missing(NYDN Ed) Ignores warnings of busted ballot scanner  VOTE COUNTING in the fierce congressional battle between incumbent Charlie Rangel and his insurgent challenger Adriano Espaillat Board of Elections does nothing as hundreds of Bronx votes go missing(NYDN Ed) Ignores warnings of busted ballot scanner Why were the poll watchers reassigned in the Adriano Espaillat race to help Rangel?  (No Action by Bloomberg's DOI)

The Real Fight At the Board of Elections is About Control of the Ballot . . .  Will the City Council Hearing Go Beyond Putting Lipstick On A Pig?

Will the City Council Hearing try to put lipstick on a pig by fixing the election day problems at the polls?  Or will they deal with the real corruption problems at the BOE which is their Tammany Hall Function as Gatekeep to protect the incumbents and machine backed candidates, by knocking off challengers * “We need more accountability at the Board of Elections,” Congresswoman-elect Grace Meng said on Inside City Hall. “That’s probably one of the most bipartisan issues stemming from this election. It’s not a very efficient process.” * Congressman-elect Hakeem Jeffries was even more direct in the same segment. “Should the Board of Elections be run by partisan political appointees?” he asked. “I think we need competence; we need sophistication. We don’t need those who have obtained their position by political allegiance or their capacity to support the Democratic county machine.” It should be noted the GOP county organizations also contribute  to the cause *  Courtney Gross At nycboe, where they are deciding what affidavit ballots to count. At some sites, ballots were put in garbage bags when envelopes ran out

Voting Machine Smack-Down: Lobbyists Brawl - Village Voice B


Board of Election More Like Area 51
BOE Corrupt, Dumb and Now Nuts

“While the board has been a convenient foil for public criticism, it has at the same time been the victim of a funding scheme that seems to have been intentionally designed to cash starve the agency to accomplish some unknown and ultimately inconceivable goal,”   
     BOE ex. director Michael Ryan 

Pooling their ignorance the BOE responds to a damming DOI report, Tries to BS the Council. BOE director Michael Ryan made the conspiracy-laden accusation as part of a pitch to secure a whopping $55 million in additional funding from the city’s coffers, even as his agency remains under investigation by the city. 

A Tammany Hall Fixer Tries to Save the BOE for the Bad Guys

Michael Ryan is the latest secret agent sent into BOE by the political machines and incumbent politicians in power to fight off democracy.  To clueless reporters he looks like a professional knowledgeable man who knows what is wrong with the BOE and knows how to fix it.  Ryan was the first to testify this week at the City Council on what is wrong with the BOE.  His real secret mission is to rescue the BOE from its incompetent corrupt self and preserve it gatekeeper function of weeding out challengers to those in power.  The county leaders who really run the BOE, who would not as easily fool the media and public as Ryan, were not called to testify at the council hearing.

Board of Election's Corruption   . . .    

de Blasio's DOI and Council Unexpectedly Going After BOE Corruption
City Councilman Ben Kallos rips Board of Elections for dodging blame after probe revealed problems(NYDN) Kallos slammed the Board of Elections on Wednesday for dodging blame when responding to a scathing Department of Investigation probe. Kallos had told the board to hand in a plan on how it would fix problems identified by the Department of Investigation. Instead, officials sent in a response that dismissed most of department’s recommendations as outdated.
More on Corruption at the BOE  More 
A recent Department of Investigation probe identified a host of failings at the agency — including nepotism, voter roll deficiencies and poor training of poll workers.Council member David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn), who asked Ryan to elaborate on the “grand conspiracy” targeting the BOE, called the claim “a bit out there.” NYC Board Of Elections Pitches Pricey Voter Kiosks To Skeptical City Council(NYDN) Board of Election Pitches Pricey Voter Kiosks To Skeptical City Council* The NYC Board of Elections has formally responded to a damning report by the Department of Investigation by calling much of the probe outdated, vague and maybe illegal. Kallos said he was reluctant to sink more cash into the perpetually problem-plagued agency.

Remember Long Lines Than in 2012 Election 
“It is hard for me to want to invest more when we’re still dealing with allegations of nepotism and a commitment on the part of the organization to your constitutional right to patronage,” he said.  The board also submitted a formal response to a scathing Department of Investigation probe ahead of Tuesday's hearing. * B.O.E director: Council trying to ‘cash starve’ us(Capital)"While the board has historically been a convenient foil for public criticism, it has at the same time been the victim of a funding scheme that seems to have been intentionally designed to 'cash starve' the agency." Ryan's comments came the same day the board responded to a blistering Department of Investigations report, in which the board said the report's recommendations are inconsistent with how the B.O.E is required to operate under state law. The last time Ryan testified before the Council it was during an oversight hearing where D.O.I. commissioner Mark Peters detailed numerous B.O.E. operation illegalities and mismanagement. * Elections Board head claims agency deliberately underfunded(NYP)


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