Saturday, March 22, 2014

Citizens United PACs Have Destroyed Public Financing Mayor One NY PAC, Why is the Media Cover-Up the NYCLASS Investigation? 112a





Cuomo Says Public Financing Kills Citizens United
Common Cause: Citizens United Isn’t Blocking Reforms (YNN) The good-government group Common Cause vehemently disagreed with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s assertion on Monday in a radio interview that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case made it impossible for major campaign-finance law changes. “You need people in office who are going to use their best judgment in office,” Cuomo said on WNYC this morning, “because you’re not going to change the campaign finance system because of Citizens United.” * Cuomo (YNN) In urging state lawmakers to take up the latest round of soon-to-be-announced ethics measures, Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned on Monday they could face the wrath of voters should the proposals not be made law.* Cuomo, the state's most prolific campaign fundraiser, said in a radio interview that calls to take money out of politics won't affect change until the courts or the federal government reverse the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, the Times Union reports *  The Times Unionasks its readers to urge one of the 31 state senators who have not signed on toa letter asking Congress to put limits on political spending, adding it needs only one more signature for New York to become the 17th state calling for an amendment: * Cuomo, the state’s most prolific campaign fundraiser, said in a radio interview that calls to take money out of politics won’t effect change until the courts or the federal government reverse the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.*Former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno has been out of office for the better part of a decade, but a recent seven-figure political donation by the once-powerful Republican has kicked up a new election law complaint by Democrats. * Cuomo says the Supreme Courtlimits what he can do to fix money in politics 



Public Financing Contaminated by Lobbyists PACs Will Not Stop Albany Corruption
Time for Term Limits, Ban Lobbyists from Campaigns, Better Investigative Reporting and Putting Pressure on Local Prosecutors to Go After Political Corruption
NY Democrats have learned nothing from Shelly Silver’s downfall  (NYP) Sheldon Silver hasn’t even been sentenced yet, and already the left is plumping for public financing of elections. Or to put it another way, if Albany is going to lose its access to graft, why not force the taxpayers to pay up? Our Democrats couldn’t care less that Silver sold his office for reasons that had nothing to do with raising money for his campaign. They know that he represented a safe district on the Lower East Side, winning easily (in 2008 he got 100 percent of the vote). Yet we’re already hearing how his conviction is grounds for the Legislature to force the taxpayers to pay politicians’ election expenses. The New York Times greeted the verdict with an editorial calling for “public funding of elections for all state offices.”


The Times isn’t alone. The jury had barely spoken when the Green Party of New York rushed out a statement by co-chair Gloria Mattera arguing that “only full public financing of elections will put an end to this ‘pay to play’ system.”* The governor and the successors to Silver and Skelos must close the LLC loophole to prevent the funnelling of money from outside interests into campaign operations and help clean up the way Albany does business, the Daily News writes  : * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is doing the public a great service in exposing some of the larcenous deals that have occurred in the hallways of Albany, but the real focus needs to be on the whispered deals that keep the state at the bottom of so many economic categories, Republican consultant William O’Reilly writes in Newsday: * Buy, buy Silver & Skelos: Close the LLC loophole corrupting Albany politicians left, right and center (NYDN Ed)* Two decades after the legislation that created limited liability companies in New York, the business entities have taken on a central role in the funding of political campaigns,according to a new report from state Sen. Daniel Squadron, a Democrat who has been one of the most vehement opponents of the so-called “LLC loophole.”




Are The Business Dollars Pump Into de Blasio's One NY Slush Fund Social Justice $$$? 
De Blasio’s bogus progressivism exposed by school injustices (NYP Ed) Friday morning, the mayor will speak at an event on “Forging a New Alliance: the Progressive Movement and the Socially Conscious Business Community.”  Funny: De Blasio’s “alliance” with business back home seems to consist largely of taking donations for his pet nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York, from firms with business before the city. Where’s the “social conscience” in that? * Super PACContributions Can Be Considered Bribes: Judge Clusterfucker Advance Group Keeps Bagging Hidden Money Dollars, NYCLASS to Clushterfucker Dorego Westside Transfer Station $$$



de Blasio Slush Fund PAC Controlled By Berlin Rosen 
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been soliciting contributions to his non-profit Campaign for One New York for advertising campaigns that will support his top policy goals
Mayor de Blasio Is Quietly Soliciting Donations for Future Policy Battles (NYT)  Mr. de Blasio and his fund-raising team have quietly solicited large contributions in recent weeks from donors in the mayor’s inner circle, according to three people who requested anonymity to describe moves by the administration that were not yet intended to be public.  Donors are being asked to contribute to a nonprofit fund, the Campaign for One New York, that is operated by political consultants with close ties to Mr. de Blasio. The fund can accept donations that are significantly larger than those allowed within New York City’s strict campaign finance system.* De Blasio is ramping up a political campaign to promote his housing and education priorities, with an eye toward amassing a financial war chest that can compete with well-funded opponents. The mayor and his fund-raising team have quietly solicited large contributions in recent weeks. Donors are being asked to contribute to a nonprofit fund, the Campaign for One New York, that is operated by political consultants close to de Blasio.

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.


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)


CFB Fining NYCLASS is Like Stopping the Watergate At the Point of the 5 Cubans Getting Arrested At the Breakin
CampaignFinance Board Will Slap NYCLASS With ‘Five-Figure’ Penalty Tomorrow (NYO)The Campaign Finance Board is set to hammer NYCLASS with fines related to two City Council campaigns, but the powerful animal rights group is blaming their old consultant for the alleged wrongdoing. Tomorrow, the CFB will hit NYCLASS, also known as New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets, with penalties in the “low five-figure range,” according to a source with knowledge of the situation. NYCLASS, however, wants the Advance Group to reimburse them for the penalties; the CFB will cite NYCLASS for exceeding donation limits in its support of Mark Levine and Laurie Cumbo, City Council candidates who won their elections. Randy Mastro, a lawyer for NYCLASS, claimed the Campaign Finance Board acknowledged “that TAG is to blame for any violation here but believes current law does not allow it to go after the agent, only the principal.” In 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.* An influential group trying to ban horse-drawn carriagesfrom the city is being fined for campaign finance violations(NY1)* Horse carriage haters get $lammed with five figure fine(NYP)* 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*As first reported by Crain's, NYCLASS and its former consulting firm, the Advance Group, worked out of the same office in 2013. Advance worked for council candidates supported by NYCLASS' outside spending efforts, and was also the consultant for NYCLASS' spending. 

NYCLASS and Pay to Play (Develop) 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.

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 fined $26,000 by the Campaign Finance Board for violations stemming from its work with Advance.


CFB Fine Update

New York Group Against Carriage Horses Is Fined for Illegal Campaign Donations (NYT) But NYClass made clear on Wednesday that it would seek repayment from the Advance Group, a political consulting firm whose president, Scott Levenson, served as political director for NYClass and also had Ms. Cumbo and Mr. Levine as clients. In a letter to Mr. Levenson’s attorney on Wednesday, a lawyer for NYClass, Randy Mastro, asserted that the Campaign Finance Board found that the Advance Group “is to blame here but believes the current law does not allow it to go after the agent, only the principal.” The Advance Group had been under scrutiny for its work on campaigns and with NYClass and the United Federation of Teachers. Though the firm acknowledged the Campaign Finance Board’s inquiry, Mr. Baraff said the firm had not been contacted about any issue by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as had been reported.



Why Isn't the AG and the Manhattan DA Indicting the Advance Group?
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.

How Advance Group's Corruption Made A Council Speaker Who Now Wants to Ban Horses
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)



Walking Dead Pols Campaign
‘Ghost committees’ continue to proliferate (Capital)  At least 55 campaign committees registered for politicians who are no longer in state or local office or actively campaigning have reported some activity in 2015, according to disclosure reports submitted to the state Board of Elections. These committees have more than $14.7 million in their campaign accounts, more than 15 percent of the total reported by every state and local politician. Many belong to former elected officials who are lobbyists, deceased or incarcerated. The practice of maintaining so-called "ghost committees" seems to be increasing. In 2012, former politicians had about $11 million in their campaign accounts. That year, theNew York Times editorial board criticized the continued existence of these campaign accounts. “After a state politician leaves office, it’s time to close up shop, including the campaign fund,” they wrote.

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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


How Come the Daily News Never Follow Up It Report That th FBI Was Investigating Advance for its Role In the Mayor's Race?

In addition to backing City Council candidates, NYCLASS supporters raised more than $34,000 for Bill de Blasio’s 2013 mayoral campaign. he group and its supporters also had a hand in directing another $1 million to an advocacy group, New York City Is Not for Sale, which attacked one of de Blasio’s rivals for mayor, Christine Quinn. As a candidate for mayor, de Blasio switched positions and embraced NYCLASS’ call to banish the carriage horses from Central Park and city streets. At his direction, legislation to enact the ban was introduced in the Council on Monday.Scott Levenson, NY-CLASS, Citizens United Super PACInvestigation (Updated)* EXCLUSIVE: FBIinvestigation of mayoral race includes de Blasio's pledge to ban carriagehorses(NYDN) FBI agents have been questioning people about the pledge de Blasio made in March 2013, and the ads launched the next month by animal rights activists attacking Christine Quinn, the Daily News has learned. Agents also appear interested in a $175,000 contribution to the animal rights group NYCLASS from a union tied to de Blasio's cousin, labor leader John Wilhelm.

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The Advance Group Also Illegally Worked for the UFT's PAC United for the Future 

The CFB Only Finds 2 Examples of PAC and Campaign Coordination Where There Are Dozens and Dozens
The Advance Coordinated PAC NYCLASS $$$ and Campaign $$$   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.

The CFB Has Ignored A Fake Group the UFT Has Created to Use Advance to Help Run Its PAC That Funded 2013 Council Campaigns
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.
The Advance Group Ran the Following Campaigns That Received United for the Future Funding: Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (Advance was helping Mark-Viverito to become speaker illegally without pay), Inez Dickens, Councilmembers Mark Levine and Laurie Cumbo (who were both fined for Advance's coordination with the NYCLASS PAC in their campaigns), Robert Jackson campaign for Boro President whose campaign in addition to mailing from United for the Future also got NYCLASS PAC mailing and employed Advance as a consultant has not gotten fined by the CFB.   The Red Horse consulting firm also worked for the UFT's United for the Future PAC and work for several campaigns funded by that PAC.  Red Horse Coordinated consulting work and PAC work and Had Not Been Fined By the Following Campaigns:  Councilmembers Ritchie Torres, Helen   Rosenthal, James Vacca, Annabel Palma, Daneek Miller and Antonio Reynoso * CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping(CrainsNY)* Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY)


Advance Works With Other Dark Pool Lobbyists to Break the Election Law 

UFT To Expand Political Operation
After seeing its clout diminished in last month’s elections, the state teachers’ union plans to expand its political operation as Albany takes up key education issues that include raising the... After seeing its clout diminished in last month’s elections, the state teachers’ union plans to expand its political operation as Albany takes up key education issues that include raising the cap on charter schools,the New York Post writes:


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, Gotham Schools 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


Advance Worked for Gay Candidate and Anti-Gay Candidates In the Same Race
 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

Yetta Krukland Fired the Advance Group During Her Campaign 
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?*Did Scott Levenson sabotage Yetta Kurland's campaign inorder to elect Corey Johnson ?




NYT's Tells de Blasio Forgetabout Banning the Horses  
Horse Nonsense From City Hall(NYT Ed)  Mayor Bill de Blasio should forget about his foolish campaign promise and let the carriage rides continue. Details are lacking, but questions are many. Why eliminate an entire class of Teamsters union jobs? How will the horses escape slaughter? What will happen to the stables, on coveted property on the West Side of Manhattan? (Not for nothing do people wonder why the force behind NYClass, the group pushing the anticarriage crusade, is a real estate developer, Stephen Nislick.) And does this have anything to do with the $1 million ad campaign financed by NYClass to eliminate Mr. de Blasio’s main rival in the primary, then-Council Speaker (and carriage defender) Christine Quinn? So many tough questions. One simple answer: Dump the bill. Keep the horses.** The 2.5-million-member New York State AFL-CIO unanimously decided to oppose Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to ban the horse carriage industry in New York Citythe Observer reports: 

Horse Ban Bill Introduced in Council  
Amid rallies by animal-rights advocates and drivers of horse-drawn carriages, the New York City Council on Monday introduced legislation to ban carriage horses, acting on a much-delayed campaign promise by de Blasio, the Times writes: Horse carriage ban hits City Hall(NYP)*Labor’s love lost (NYDN) Unions refuse to join Mayor de Blasio in killing hundreds of jobs*Bill to Ban HorseCarriages in NYC Prompts Dueling Rallies(WNYC)

The Daily News and NYT Both Wear Blinders When It Comes to Explaining the Corruption Behind NYClass
NYT Also Puts On A Pair of Blinders When It Comes to NYCLASS True Mission.  The paper uses the PAC to threaten de Blasio to not ban the horses, but does not explain or give details on the true mission of NYCLASS or that it is under investigation.  TRUE NEWS HAS BEEN REPORTING THAT NYCLASS LIKE DATA AND FIELD IN 2009 WERE CREATED TO GO AROUND THE ELECTION LAW TO GIVE UNFAIR ADVANTAGE TO THE CANDIDATES THEY SUPPORTED.
More on the Horse Fight

When It Comes to de Blasio and the Horses the NYT and Daily News Catches Horse Blinders 


The Horses After the Mayor  . . .  But How Does the Daily News Write About the Council Vote Without Reporting About The Corruption Behind NYCLASS, Mayor and Speaker's 2013 Race?

Bucking Bill (NYDN Ed) City Council members are running away from the mayor's job-killing, knuckle-headed horse ban. Friday, four members of the labor committee (anti-carriage-horse bill sponsor Danny Dromm is the fifth) sent colleagues a letter declaring that they cannot participate in putting working people, earning a good living, out of work.  Also balking: Brooklyn Councilman Mark Treyger, formerly in the mayor’s ring. He’s switching from yea to nay specifically because of the plan’s failure to provide decent alternative jobs.* City councilman who supported horse carriage ban flips sides(NYDN)* R.E. sharks circlingaround horse carriage stables #NYC 

True News and CrainsNY Wags the Campaign Finance Board to Investigate the Advance Group's NYCLASS Conspiracy
Probe underway tofind whether anti-carriage group NYCLASS helped candidates in 2013 city elections(NYDN)  EXCLUSIVE: The Campaign Finance Board is investigating whether NYCLASS helped candidates in last year’s city elections. So-called independent political organizations can spend money to support candidates as long as they do not coordinate their efforts with those candidates.The Campaign Finance Board is investigating whether the animal-rights group leading the crusade against horse-drawn carriages helped candidates in last year’s city election in violation of campaign finance rules. The investigation already has determined that the group, NYCLASS, improperly steered more money than was allowed to some City Council candidates. On Tuesday, a day after Mayor de Blasio confirmed he would move ahead with a NYCLASS-endorsed bill to ban carriages, officials would not say when the investigation will conclude. But Scott Levenson, the political consultant whose Advance Group worked for NYCLASS and is now at the center of the investigation, said that he was told by Campaign Finance Board staff that “recommendations have been made.” He declined to elaborate.  Board spokesman Eric Friedman said only, “There is an ongoing investigation of potential coordination between certain independent spenders and candidates via their common agent, The Advance Group.”

CFB Investigation How Lobbyists and Special Interests Destroyed New Yorker's Democracy and Took Over Control of City Hall


Daily News Saving Horses, Not Concerned About A Conspiracy to Take Away New Yorkers Right to Democracy

The Daily News comes to the wrong conclusion when it called the CFB's NYCLASS fine a conspiracy to purchase political influence. It was in fact a conspiracy to elect a mayor and speaker by going around the city campaign finance laws to give unfair advance to candidates supported by the conspirators. It is outrageous for the Daily News to conclude that Advance Group ran its corrupt campaigns through the PACs NYCLASS, United for the Future and Citizen Action to ensure that Horses are banned from Central Park. The Daily News was about to reach it limited pay to play conspiracy by leaving out the Advance Group other illegal activities during the 2013 campaign that the paper has written about.

The Daily News Needed to Not Report What They Already Reported to Reach Their False Limited Conclusion on How Far the Advance Group Corruption Went
 On October 25, 2013 the Daily News Editorial wrote, "The union’s super PAC’s latest filings show $370,000 in payments to an unknown consulting firm that shared an address with the Advance Group, a prominent Democratic firm that was working directly with numerous UFT-endorsed candidates."  On November 27, 2017 the Daily News reported, "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."



Gang of Lobbyists Who Have Taken Over the Election System In New York Is Above the Law
In May and June 2014, Pledge 2 Protect paid $78,000 to Advance Group, a Manhattan political consulting firm that ran a campaign last year helping to bring down a de Blasio rival, former Council Speaker Christine Quinn; $20,000 to the Black Institute, a nonprofit founded by de Blasio ally Bertha Lewis; $20,000 to Gladstein Neandross and Associates, a California environmental consulting firm; and $7,000 to Rubenstein Public Relations.Boutique law firm Marquart & Small doesn't seem like the sort of business that could give $690,000 to a lobbying group. It has three employees, is just a year old and operates out of a shared "work collective" office in Manhattan's Flatiron district.

Ever Notice How the Advance Group, WFP and Bertha Lewis Always Finds A Loophole and Forms A Group
 Yet within six months of its founding, the fashion, arts and media specialist law firm had given that amount to a nonprofit called Pledge 2 Protect, which is fighting the building of a waste-transfer plant on the Upper East Side. Marquart & Small made its initial, $177,000 donation just two weeks after the limited liability partnership was formed in July 2013. But there's a way a startup law firm could muster that kind of money: if it were acting as a "pass-through" to shield Pledge 2 Protect contributors from public scrutiny. Lobbying compliance lawyer David Grandeau, who represents Pledge 2 Protect, wouldn't say whether Marquart & Small is a conduit for donors but pointed out that only the "first level" of funding given to lobbying groups must be disclosed.

Why Did A UFT PAC Pay 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)


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.


NYT Silent On Local Impact of Citizens United Has Enabled the Coordination Between PACs and Campaigns to Be Taken Over By Lobbyists 

Even After Two Councilmembers Were Fined
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 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. Or about how Berlin Rosen and the One New York PAC coordinated with a candidate in the 52nd.  Have these PACs made NY government worse (if that is possible)? Have these PACs and lobbyist consultants committed crimes? Have these groups legalized bribery

Nobody is Enforcing the City's Conflict of Interests Law

Mayor's Slush Fund "One New York Conflict" of Interests Money
De Blasio’s ‘conflicting’ accepted donations(NYP)A nonprofit launched by Mayor de Blasio accepted money from at least two donors that his mayoral campaign had rejected because they had city contracts, a Post review found.Joseph and Chris Termini, owners of the yellow-school-bus companies Hoyt Transportation and Dak Transportation, respectively, each donated $4,500 to de Blasio’s mayoral-transition campaign in December. But their checks were ­returned just weeks later. The campaign refused to say why, but rules don’t allow firms doing business with the city to donate to the kitty of those about to take office — out of conflict-of-interest concerns.Yet the mayor’s Campaign for One New York — a cheerleading group that backed Hizzoner’s push to tax the wealthy for the expansion of universal pre-K — had no qualms accepting $10,000 from the Terminis in April. The Terminis, who have contracts with the school system, didn’t respond to requests for comment. Dan Levitan, a spokesman for both the mayoral campaign and Campaign for One New York, declined to explain the discrepancy. But the mayor said he saw no problem because the two campaigns had different goals.

de Blasio Not So Different When It Come to PACs From the Koch Brothers
Follow de Blasio’s Money(NYP)  de Blasio Campaign for One New York.is an organization that grew out of de Blasio’s campaign for mayor, is run by his former campaign associates and now lobbies only for his policies. Yet he insists it’s independent. Donors include businessmen from real-estate developer Donald Capoccia to Google founder Eric Schmidt. But the really big bucks came from — you guessed it — public-sector unions. The largest came from the American Federation of Teachers, parent organization of the United  Federation of Teachers. The $350,000 contribution came just before the city came to terms with the UFT on generous teachers contract.  The next largest came from 1199 SEIU, which donated $250,000 and also represents many government workers.  When asked if he is comfortable with this, Mayor Bill went straight to the legalities. His personal campaign and Campaign for One New York are, he said, “very different realities.” He also noted that while campaign-finance laws generally impose limits on contributions to the campaigns of individual candidates, “when you’re talking about an issue-oriented organization, it’s a different approach.”He’s right about that. The Campaign for One New York is a 501(c)4, which is devoted to issues and not individuals. In principle, we have no problem with these groups. But there sure seems to be a double standard. Back when the 501(c)4s in question were conservative, we had Democrats such as Sen. Chuck Schumer demanding investigations and the IRS targeting them for special treatment. But when the leaders of public-sector unions have their parent organizations make six-figure deposits into a Democratic mayor’s pet lobbying group, even while they are negotiating with him over their own salaries and benefits, suddenly it’s no longer a problem.


de Blasio Defends His Dark Money Lobbying Group That He Used To Mislead New Yorkers About Closing LICH Hospital  
De Blasio defends lobbying group's contributions from firms that do business with the city(NYDN)
Mayor de Blasio defended a lobbying group formed to push his agenda for accepting donations from firms that do business with the city, a practice that is strictly limited for individual candidates.  The group, Campaign For One New York, dedicated to pushing de Blasio’s pre-K plan and his other priorities, has brought in $1.7 million in private donations.  A number of the donors have contracts or bids before the city. That includes real estate developers Donald Capoccia, who gave $10,000, and Jon Halpern, who gave $5000, and Queens contracting company Ashnu International, which kicked in $5000.People who do business with the city can give no more than $400 to a mayoral campaign, and candidates can’t get public matching funds for those donations like they can for others. Those limits don’t apply to lobbying groups like the Campaign For One New York, which also raked in big bucks from unions and others.  “They’re different realities,” de Blasio said when asked about the issue Monday.


A Dark Pool Lobbyist Slush Fund Tries to Fool the Public About A Broken Promise Not to Close A Hospital 

Alarm Raised About ‘Dark Money’ Behind de Blasio’s LICH - Fortis Letter


The backlash continues against a letter sent out by a de Blasio lobbying group supporting the sale of Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital (LICH) to a developer.   The government watchdog group Common Cause raised alarms on Tuesday about “dark money” funding the mass mailing, and the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) has added its voice to those debunking the letter's claims. The controversial June 26 letter touts the “stand-alone ER” that will be replacing the historic hospital. Although it was signed by Carroll Gardens’ resident Gary Reilly, the letter was mailed from the headquarters of de Blasio lobbyists operating under the name “The Campaign for One New York.” In the letter, Reilly says, “I was asked by Mayor de Blasio to share my views on what [the sale of LICH] means for families in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn and Red Hook.”  The outcome, Reilly writes, “. . . is a lot better than we had reason to think one year ago.” With SUNY selling the hospital complex to developer Fortis Property Group, “We will have a freestanding, high quality emergency room, with up to 20 observational beds.” The letter has evoked a storm of criticism from residents of these neighborhoods who fought for more than a year to save the hospital, and who supported de Blasio in his campaign for mayor largely based on his promise to save LICH.  That promise was seemingly forgotten after the election, however.* Big city unions bankroll $1.7M to Mayor de Blasio's lobbying arm(NYDN)* * An advocacy group set up by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign aides raised nearly $1.8 million during his first six months in office to promote his policy agenda, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * Apartment sharing website Airbnb, which is under fire for flouting New York City law, has hired Mayor Bill de Blasio’s former campaign manager Bill Hyers as a consultant, the Daily News reports


At Long Last the Daily News Has Admitted That Because of Citizen United the Public Financing System is A Joke

The Unions, Left and Progressives Follow the Koch Brothers In Using the Citizen United Ruling to Game Democracy
Bill’s cash grab(NYDN) Say goodbye to the role public campaign financing has played in limiting the power of big-moneyed interests to sway mayoral elections. Mayor de Blasio is happily opening the door to donors with the fattest wallets in town. But in 2013, the wheels began to come off the system de Blasio has praised as “empowering” to voters — and de Blasio played a big role in making that happen. Outside money, enabled by Supreme Court decisions, was crucial to toppling early frontrunner Christine Quinn and opening up a path for de Blasio.

Those outside groups, some of whose big donors overlap with his supporters, can receive and spend nearly unlimited funds. De Blasio continued that practice after his election win, with some of his closest allies and advisers founding UPKNYC, nominally to fight on behalf of his pledge to secure money from Albany for universal pre-K. That group accepted donations far beyond campaign limits and kept its contributors’ identities secret for months under lax reporting rules. Now, de Blasio’s inner circle aims to make the group, rebranded as the Campaign for One New York, a perpetual presence, and he and they insist it will promote other issues close to the mayor’s heart without boosting his political fortunes. The distinction is laughable.

And revelations about how the group has already raised and spent money show it. Its biggest single donor to date was the American Federation of Teachers, the parent union of the UFT, which gave $350,000 just weeks before de Blasio reached a deal for a new teacher contract that offered billions in back pay. The AFT’s gift was disclosed weeks after the deal came in. 1199 SEIU, the potent health care workers union whose members staff city hospitals, gave $250,000. Another $200,000 came from UNITE Here, a union formerly run by de Blasio’s cousin. It also contributed heavily to NYCLASS, the outside group whose spending kneecapped Quinn last year and whose finances are now reportedly being examined by the FBI. Using the royal we, de Blasio said of the group Thursday:

“We’re going to look at the whole agenda and what’s needed to achieve the agenda.”  And, he insisted, the six-figure donations weren’t buying anything. “I don’t think they expect anything, and I would never feel comfortable if they did.” Incredibly, as Crain’s reported Friday, the group was nearly broke when the AFT donation came in — and it promptly spent an amount equivalent to the union’s gift on the TV ad promoting the mayor.  Next mayoral election, no candidate will be able to compete without a similar group that pulls in huge bucks from interest groups without immediately disclosing the gifts. Remember to thank de Blasio for paving the way.

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 Unreported Citizen United NYC 2013 Election Scandal
We have just gone though the first local election since the Citizen United ruling where two major IE groups Jobs4NT and NYClass has pumped money into almost every first time winning candidate or attacked their opponent.  CrainsNY reporter Chris Bragg has done a good job showing that on of the big PAC groups headed by Advance's Scott Levinson was not following the election law and was in some elections working against the interests of his council clients.

Only True News has asked where is the media on Citizens United effect on the city's elections. Mark Levine ran  in a minority created district he did not even live in won with the help of Jobs4NY, NYClass and United for the Future.* Politicians for Sale (NYT Ed)The Supreme Court should follow its own precedent and uphold overall campaign contribution limits.
More on the Advance Groups Corruption 
CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping
The Big 8 Lobbyists  
Dark Pool Politics




When Will the Daily News Discover the Using Citizens Action PACs the Big 8 Has Gamed New York's Not Only The Mayor's Postition But the Council As Well



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)





TARGET A.G. -- “Citizens United to sue over donor info,” by POLITICO’s Maggie Haberman: “The conservative group Citizens United says it is suing New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over his interpretation of how much information the organization is legally obliged to disclose about its donors. Citizens United President David Bossie said the legal challenge … in Manhattan federal court … would be on behalf of the group and an affiliate, the Citizens United Foundation. … At issue in the latest case is Schneiderman’s reading of a regulation adopted in 2006 that required donor disclosures for certain nonprofits. Bossie’s groups argue Schneiderman is overreaching on a law that applies to non-political groups.” http://goo.gl/iDn6Zl
Congressional Leadership PACs Slush Funds


Most Americans believe it's illegal for politicians to profit from their public office but, as Steve Kroft reports, that's not the case. "Since [leadership PACs] weren't around when the ban on personal use was put into place, they're not covered by it. And they can be used for literally anything." Congressman Meeks spent $35,000 on football tickets.


 PACs give LI reps 'extra pocket' for donor cash - Newsdayvia

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

Citizens United, the group that brought the landmark Supreme Court case that opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate campaign contributions, is reportedly suing Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over his interpretation of how much information non-profits are required to disclose about their donors, Politico reported. “New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s constitutional overreach needs to be addressed in a court of law,” the group’s president told the outlet.


No Public Trust: Clue 2

Unions Have Their Own NY Citizens United To Control City and State Elections

The Politically Impotent Average 
New Yorker


Look for the union label(NYP) Even as New York legislators decry the corrupting influence of money in politics, they’re busy protecting their union pals from the annoying glare of having to disclose how much they spend to promote their candidates during political campaigns. Exhibit A is the recently passed state budget. This budget requires more disclosure of spending on issues and advocacy. Except for one thing: It exempts spending by labor unions on campaign messages that target their members and retirees. The exemption also applies to spending corporations direct at their members and ­retirees. But because union spending on such messages dwarfs that of corporations in New York politics, this special carve-out has a disproportionately favorable impact for unions. If this all sounds familiar, it should. Last spring, the City Council voted to give unions the same exemption in city races. Then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed it, but the council overrode his veto. Now Albany has basically adopted the same provision at the state level. New Yorkers are going to know less about the real moneybags behind our campaigns. The example Crain’s noted was the massive campaign on behalf of Bill de Blasio by 1199 SEIU. It was exempt from reporting on the grounds that officially the health-care workers union was only targeting its members. * Cap NY: "A vote by a state teachers' [union] to overhaul its leadership may be a sign of trouble for [Cuomo]."



NYT, NYP and DN Silent On Local Impact of Citizens United on Public Financing
What CFB Corruption is the NYP Talking About?  Why is the Media Trying So Hard to Avoid Reporting on the PAC Corruption in the 2013 NYC Election?
Maybe Albany wouldn’t have so much trouble meeting its budget deadlines if it didn’t waste so much time on a favorite sideshow: public financing of political campaigns. This, our politicians tell us, is the answer to the endemic corruption. What they don’t tell you is that public financing invites corruption, too — as New York City has found out from its own program.

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)More on Campaign Reform and Citizens United
In Campaign, Cash Flowed Circuitously (Powell, NYT)
Bill de Blasio and his Democratic supporters had warned for months this summer that Republican boogeymen — particularly David Koch — would take advantage of a Supreme Court decision and loosen mighty rivers of money and turn our mayoral election inside out. “Don’t let the Koch brothers buy the election,” he said. David Koch retreated in November to his Park Avenue co-op after spending a relative pittance. But New York City saw a spasm of unregulated campaign money, most of it unleashed by wealthy Democrats and unions. And no one channeled those rivulets of cash more aggressively than Scott Levenson and the Advance Group, the strategic consulting firm he heads.

Campaign Reform?
Can New York Lead on Campaign Finance Reform?(NYT) Senate Finance Chairman John DeFrancisco explained the squishy campaign finance language thusly: “We’re rejecting the governor’s proposal and we want to talk.”The NYT wants Cuomo to push hard for a public campaign finance system, editorializing that he “can earn the most credit at home and nationally if he finally makes campaign finance reform and public financing a workable reality.”* None of the budget subcommittees wanted to own public campaign financing.

 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) * Liberal Donors Pollute Politics, Too(NYT Ed) * Campaign finance reformers take a hard line(TU)


The Unreported Citizen United NYC 2013 Election Scandal
We have just gone though the first local election since the Citizen United ruling where two major IE groups Jobs4NT and NYClass has pumped money into almost every first time winning candidate or attacked their opponent.  CrainsNY reporter Chris Bragg has done a good job showing that on of the big PAC groups headed by Advance's Scott Levinson was not following the election law and was in some elections working against the interests of his council clients.

Only True News has asked where is the media on Citizens United effect on the city's elections. Mark Levine ran  in a minority created district he did not even live in won with the help of Jobs4NY, NYClass and United for the Future.* Politicians for Sale (NYT Ed)The Supreme Court should follow its own precedent and uphold overall campaign contribution limits.
More on the Advance Groups Corruption 
CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping
The Big 8 Lobbyists 
Dark Pool Politics



Nobody Noticed Citizens United PACs Have Corrupted NYC Public Financing System
There have been not studies or media investigations of the effects of PACs on 2013 local elections

More Crack for Political Consultant Lobbyists
Ad Campaign Seeks to Increase Chances of Cuomo’s Campaign Finance Plan(NYT) A national group that seeks to lessen the influence of big campaign donors plans to unveil a $1 million advertising campaign aimed at promoting the governor’s plan. The advertising campaign is being financed by Public Campaign Action Fund, which plans to broadcast a television commercial in targeted areas around the state beginning Monday, and will also advertise online and on mobile devices. * N.Y.U. Hospital’s Political Fund-Raising Questioned(NYT) A major benefactor of NYU Langone Medical Center has sent emails to employees and hosted fund-raisers for Senate and House members who helped pass $60 billion in post-Hurricane Sandy disaster aid.

Coming soon to a statewide election near you? NYC-style taxpayer-funded campaign rules rigged to favor unions. (WSJ)






The Commission That Elects

The first, best way to clean up Albany (NYDN Ed)
Use tax dollars to help fund elections

Why Are Goo Goos Calling for public financing of state campaigns without calling for an investigation of the impact of Citizen United PACs on the 2013 NYC local elections public financing?





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."

Breaking Supreme Court strikes down overall campaign contribution cap (CBS)

Back to the Days of the Robber Barons
The role of money in politics is expected to increase after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down aggregate limits for federal contributions, which will allow individuals to donate unlimited money as long as they don’t exceed the contribution limits to individual candidates   5-4 Ruling Expected to Increase the Role of Money in Politics(NYT) * Justices strike down overall contribution limits(Washington Post) * What Does The McCutcheon Ruling Mean For New York? (Updated)(YNN) For supporters of public financing in New York, the concern is that the case, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, could be imposed on New York should its aggregate limits be challenged.  As Jessica Alaimo at Capital notes, Shaun McCutcheon was the Alabama-based Republican activist who in 2013 challenged New York’s cap on independent expenditure campaign committees, which ultimately paved the way for a super PAC fueled by David Koch to support Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota. The Advance Group combined PACs the ran with campaigns they ran or their friends ran. Updated: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement he is “deeply disappointed” by the Supreme Court decision striking down the contribution limits.* More Money in Politics Couldn't Hurt, Supreme Court Rules(NY Mag) * Schumer fears ‘dramatic and just dark’ campaign finance future(Capital) * The US Supreme Court’s McCutcheon ruling has opened the door to a legal challenge to the $5,000 overall campaign contribution limit per calendar year for corporations in New York.* Sen. Chuck Schumer says this ruling indicates the US Supreme Court wants to take the country “back to the days of the robber barons.”* OPENING THE DOOR FOR LAWSUITS—McCutcheon could have NY impact—Capital’s Jessica Alaimo: A Supreme Court opinion that riled good government advocates overturned aggregate campaign contribution limits on the federal level. While the case doesn’t directly affect New York’s state aggregate limits, this could open the floodgates for these state limits to be challenged.* The McCutcheon decision could be good news after all (Wash Post)

Can New York City's public advocate hold back a flood of corporate campaign spending? De Blasio's strategy is simple enough. Since this spring, he's been approaching major corporations and lobbying them to publicly pledge that they won't avail themselves of the free-for-all made possible by the Citizens United decision.


Host of de Blasio's One NY Slush Fund Fund Raiser  is A Lobbyists for A Queens Developer Whose Project Will Destroy de Blasio Afforable Housing  Goals 
Davidoff and Malito Represents 2030 Astoria Developers Who Want to Build Astoria Cove Waterfront Development Which Will Raise Rents In Queens
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing ambitions are being tested by the Astoria Cove project, a 2.2-million-square-foot development on the Queens waterfront that is raising fears of skyrocketing rents, The Wall Street Journal writes: 

Monday the NYT Was Wrong When They Said Lobbyists Davidoff Was Adopt de Blasio's Agenda
From the NYT Lobbying Group Adopts de Blasio’s Agenda(NYT)
The One New York event was hosted by the lobbying firm of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. Sid Davidoff, one of the firm’s partners — who was married at City Hall earlier this year in a ceremony officiated by the mayor* The One New York event was hosted by the lobbying firm of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. Sid Davidoff, one of the firm’s partners — who was married at City Hall earlier this year in a ceremony officiated by the mayor

Mayor de Blasio says donors to his lobbying group expect nothing in return(NYDN)


de Blasio's One New York Lobbyist Works to Bring Brooklyn Gentrification and Rising Rents to Queens
 Davidoff Cashing in Again  5-building complex OK'd for Queens waterfront (CrainsNY) The City Planning Department has given a preliminary thumbs-up to a proposed residential project set to include three towers, each with as many as 32 stories, plus a pair of six-floor buildings farther inland, with a total of 1,698 apartments. "This project will take what is presently an isolated and desolate, underutilized area and transform it into a vibrant mixed-use community," said Howard Weiss, chair of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron's land-use group, who is representing the developer. Astoria Cove, south of Astoria Park on a gritty waterfront peninsula, is being developed by 2030 Astoria Developers Group, which includes Queens-based Alma Realty. The property will include 295 units of affordable housing, a public school and a supermarket, plus a waterfront park that will be open to the public.

This is What the Activists Are Upset About?



Lobbying Group Adopts de Blasio’s Agenda(NYT) Campaign for One New York began advocating universal prekindergarten, but it has moved on to other issues dear to Mayor Bill de Blasio. de Blasio has had his hands full in his first six months in office, with labor contracts, budgets and day-to-day crises to negotiate. But he made time last month to headline a fund-raiser for a new lobbying group: one seeking to promote his political agenda.

Mr. de Blasio, who has called himself a strong proponent of transparency, did not disclose the event on his schedule, and has not mentioned it since. But one New York City vendor subsequently posted a picture of himself on his company’s website talking with the mayor at the chummy event, which was sponsored by one of the city’s biggest lobbying firms and held at the Friars Club in Manhattan Asked about the photo, the vendor declined to discuss it with a reporter; it was taken off the website. But the mayor’s appearance at the June 10 fund-raiser provides a rare glimpse at Mr. de Blasio’s political  operation as it continues to take shape outside the confines of City Hall. Created by his campaign strategists to promote his plans for universal prekindergarten, the lobbying entity, initially called UPKNYC but renamed the Campaign for One New York, has begun branching out to advocate other aspects of the mayor’s agenda. Campaign for One New York, a lobbying group that can accept contributions of unlimited size and has to disclose only large ones, has taken up de Blasio’s political agenda

Who is Funding the One New York PAC
Wendy Neu Who Funded NYCLASS Also Funding One NY
The group, which is called Campaign for One New York, was previously known as UPKNYC. It raised nearly $1.8 million, much of it from labor unions, including the American Federation of Teachers; 1199 S.E.I.U., the health care workers’ union; and Unite Here, the hotel workers’ union formerly headed by a cousin of Mr. de Blasio. The Rockefeller Family Fund, which publicly supported Mr. de Blasio’s prekindergarten plan, contributed $250,000.  Among them were several real estate developers, including JSR Capital ($50,000), the Toll Brothers ($25,000), Argent Ventures ($10,000) and Donald Capoccia (10,000). Several taxi companies; a lawyer and former taxi commissioner, Matthew Daus; and Frias Transportation Infrastructure, a company that has developed technology to record taxis’ trips, also contributed.  Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, gave $50,000; Alexander Levin, a real estate developer, contributed $20,000; and Wendy Neu, the chief executive of an electronics recycling firm who last year supported a political action committee devoted to defeating Christine C. Quinn in the mayoral race, contributed $25,000.* Mayor de Blasio's pre-k lobbying group took in $800K fromunions including #AFT, $1.76m total(WNYC)* Unions raised $1.7M for mayoral non-profit group(NYP)* An total $625,000 was donated by three union groups: SEIU Local 1199, the giant healthcare union that was first to back de Blasio’s 2013 campaign; Unite Here, formerly headed by de Blasio’s cousin John Wilhem; and New York Progress PAC, which spent $1 million fighting Joe Lhota in last year’s general election. “To have a newly elected mayor start a nonprofit organization to support his big initiative — and then go calling for dollars from those who are involved in the city’s business — is unseemly,” said Dick Dadey, director of the good government group Citizens Union.* De Blasio’s union rally at public school broke rules, critics say(NYP)* Before @UFT contract, teachers gave to Mayor @BilldeBlasiocharity(CrainsNY)* * The same day in April that a nonprofit lobbying group closely tied to de Blasio received a $350,000 donation from the American Federation of Teachers, the nonprofit group spent exactly $350,000 to continue running campaign-style television ads touting the mayor's accomplishments, Crain’s reports: 


The NYT Left Out Two Other Attempts to Game the CFB NYCLASS and Data and Field
“It makes it seem as if public policy and the people’s business is up for sale to the largest bidder,” Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, a government watchdog group.  “This is getting around New York City’s campaign finance system in an unseemly way,” she added.






Notice What the NYT Left Out
1. Jonathan Rosen Who Runs UPKNYC is Not A Registered Lobbyists
2. Johnathan Rosen was Representing the Developer in the Dominos Sugar Deal With the City
3. Johnathan Rosen in 2009 Worked for All the Candidates That Got Help from  Data & Field
On Tuesday, the Campaign for One New York will file a list of contributors  with the state. Lobbyists are required to disclose only donations exceeding $5,000, but a spokesman for the group, Jonathan Rosen, said in a statement that it would disclose “all of our fund-raising and spending, beyond what the law requires.” Mr. Parikh said in the post on his company’s website that the event was hosted by the lobbying firm of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. Sid Davidoff, one of the firm’s partners — who was married at City Hall earlier this year in a ceremony officiated by the mayor — referred questions about the event to Dan Levitan, who works for Mr. Rose



Advance Groups Gamed Public Fiance
Advance Groups Logo on Phony Group Makes Millions in Matching Funds, Main Stream Media Ignores
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.






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:




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)

 

A Piece of Tape Took Down A President . . . NYT Says Horses Taking Up Mayor's Time 
Times Forgot to Blame the Horses for the Mayor Always Running Late, Keeping the Schools Open During A Snow Storm and For Trying to Close Down Charter Schools

Only the Washington Post Took A Taped Door Seriously
For de Blasio, Carriage Horse Ban Is No Walk in the Park(NYT) The New York City mayor has seemingly avoided Central Park and is struggling to turn public attention toward other issues on his agenda: housing and wages. “The horse carriages have reached the point where they have the potential to divert the mayoral agenda. “Mayors in the past have used the park to enhance their stature. Now, the issue of the park is diminishing his stature,” Kenneth Sherrill, a longtime teacher of political science at Hunter College, said of Mr. de Blasio. “Everybody knows that this issue is not what he wanted to have people talking about right now.” The horses show few signs of leaving the news. Animal-rights activists and the carriage industry have hired high-priced political consultants to aid their cause. Scott Levenson, a political consultant involved in the anti-Quinn effort, said in an interview on Friday that he had “not been contacted by any investigative agency regarding the Anybody But Quinn campaign.” He said that his firm’s activities were “democracy as usual” and that he had not coordinated his activities with Mr. de Blasio or his campaign aides, which could be a violation of election law.

Memo to the NYT's Editorial Board:
PAC Corruption Came To NYC In the 2013 Not With Judge Crotty Ruling This Week

Unlimited Koch Cash Comes to New York(NYT) Judge Paul Crotty reluctantly allowed unlimited contributions to independent political groups in New York State. He wrote that he was bound to follow the high court’s directives “no matter how misguided the court [referring to himself may think it to be.” And he explained in detail why the Supreme Court’s rulings, in both the Citizens United case and more recent McCutcheon case, were so imprudent. With only a few exceptions, he said, political donors give money “in the hope — indeed the expectation — that the contribution will affect the candidate’s votes or actions.
That expectancy creates an implied promise to be fulfilled by the candidate once in office.” The use of money to win that promise, he wrote, does not inspire public confidence that the government will do the right thing. “Indeed, today’s reality is that the voices of ‘we the people’ are too often drowned out by the few who have great resources,” the judge wrote. “In today’s never-ending cycle of campaigning and lobbying, lobbying and campaigning, elected officials know where their money is coming from and that it must keep coming if they are to stay in office. Ordinary citizens recognize this; they know what is going on; they know they are not being included. It breeds cynicism and distrust.”

But Soros cash for state Senate Democrats and Eric Schneiderman is ok? Unlimited Koch Cash Comes to New York
More About the Advance Group 


Citizen United Type PACs Are Mailing Lying to the Voters All Over the City Unchecked by the  Media 

Not A Word Has Been Written In the Newspapers Since the Brooklyn Eagle Published Their Dirty Money Story In the Middle of July
Alarm raised about ‘dark money’ in de Blasio’s LICH - Fortis letter (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)  The backlash continues against a letter sent out by a de Blasio lobbying group supporting the sale of Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital (LICH) to a developer.  The government watchdog group Common Cause raised alarms on Tuesday about “dark money” funding the mass mailing, and the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) has added its voice to those debunking the letter's claims. The controversial June 26 letter touts the “stand-alone ER” that will be replacing the historic hospital. Although it was signed by Carroll Gardens’ resident Gary Reilly, the letter was mailed from the headquarters of de Blasio lobbyists operating under the name “The Campaign for One New York.” The letter has evoked a storm of criticism from residents of these neighborhoods who fought for more than a year to save the hospital, and who supported de Blasio in his campaign for mayor largely based on his promise to save LICH. That promise was seemingly forgotten after the election, however. In its statement, the BHA disputes the letter’s claim that a “stand-alone ER” could replace the 156-year-old hospital. After consulting area doctors, BHA found that patients with serious conditions would have to be transported to other hospitals to be treated.  “When seconds count, we’ll be out of luck,” their statement reads. BHA lists some of the conditions that will not be able to be treated at the Fortis ER, including, “acute heart attack or cardiac arrest, acute stroke, most pediatric emergencies, massive gastrointestinal bleed, pulmonary embolism, appendicitis, overwhelming infection leading to acute shock, high-risk pregnancy with bleeding, or other major traumas, including car accidents.” (See full letter below this article.) * BerlinRosen(Red Star)



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