Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Speaker Heastie, Albany Campaign and Financial Reform 371

Lobbyist Jenkins Income Has Tripled Since Heastie Became Speaker  

Lobbyist’s income has tripled since Heastie became speaker (NYP) Patrick Jenkins, a longtime friend and $4,000-a-month political adviser to Speaker Carl Heastie, who replaced corrupt Sheldon Silver in the powerful post, has seen his lobbying business triple since his buddy became speaker last year, according to records reviewed by The Post. The number of lobbying clients represented by Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates skyrocketed from nine during the 2013-2014 legislative session to 27 in 2015-2016 sessions — making Heastie’s chum an emerging Albany power broker, records filed with the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics show. There’s a good reason folks with business before the statehouse hire Jenkins: He has the new speaker’s ear, as their close relationship goes back to being dorm mates while they attended SUNY Stony Brook. It’s no different than when Patricia Lynch was the “go to” lobbyist for clients seeking access and favorable action from Silver, according to Albany sources. Lynch had served as Silver’s communications director before becoming a lobbyist. “You hire a lobbyist for access,” said Arthur Schwartz, a public-relations guru. “If I had a client who needed access to Heastie, it’s a no-brainer. I would hire Patrick Jenkins.” For example, Jenkins landed a $12,500 joint monthly retainer from the major accounting firms Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG. That comes out to $150,000 a year.Fantasy-sports firms DraftKings and FanDuel paid Jenkins’ firm $6,000 apiece monthly this year as they sought state approval to legalize their transactions in New York. And Aqueduct Resorts World casino operator Genting pays Jenkins’ firm $240,000 a year. Major security firms are also seeking Jenkins’ help. They include Secure­Watch24, which provides defense for the Brooklyn Nets, and stun-gun maker Taser International. He’s getting a piece of the action tied to New York’s legalization of medical marijuana, too: Cannabis cultivator Palliatech pays Jenkins’ firm $7,500 monthly. The Post previously reported the unusual arrangement of Heastie paying Jenkins $4,000 a month as a campaign adviser while his pal lobbies him for a growing list of clients. They defended the arrangement.

It is Follow the Leader in Albany

The typical state Senate Republican cast his or her votes on legislation the same way as Majority Leader John Flanagan 98.9 percent of the time in 2016, up from 98.4 percent agreement with Flanagan’s predecessor, Dean Skelos, in 2014, Politico New York reportsWherethe Assembly math stands, seven weeks before Election Day(PoliticoNY)

County committees choose and fund candidates, aid campaigns and can pay for political expenses like travel. They must document their finances to the state Board of Elections. The board is based in Albany, the jurisdiction of the US attorney for the Northern District of New York, where the subpoena was issued. The Bronx committee had $80,000 in its coffers as of July 2015, state records show. Michael Whyland, a spokesman for Heastie, said, “We haven’t been advised of any investigation, so there is nothing to comment on.” But questions have long swirled around his campaign finances. His campaign committee paid for thousands of dollars in repairs on his personal car and for entertainment at nightclubs and bars, public records showed. The state’s Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, disbanded in 2014, had targeted his spending. His campaign bank-account records were reportedly subpoenaed by Moreland probers. The commission’s files were turned over to Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara. The Post reported last year that Heastie paid his former girlfriend and baby mama, Alvita “Lan” Robertson, $2,500 in campaign money to design a Web site. His campaign made two payments of $1,250 to her in 2011. Robertson, a model, subcontracted the work to someone else and still got paid. Heastie’s latest financial disclosures show that in 2014, he owed up to $50,000 on one credit card and up to $20,000 on another. He also owed up to $20,000 to Lending Club for debt consolidation.  Note NY Post story re Heastie may have the probers wrong. It sounds more like the work of the Special Enforcement Counsel at the State Bd of Elections.

Heastie: Snubs Cardinal Dolan on Tax Credits  

Carl Heastie snubs Cardinal Dolan during Albany visit (NYP) Timothy Cardinal Dolan traveled to the state Capitol Tuesday to join a rally for the $15 minimum wage and to meet with leaders, but couldn’t get a sit-down with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.  The snub of New York’s archbishop was the strongest signal yet that the Legislature has no intention of approving tax credits for families that send their kids to private and parochial schools. Heastie “obviously seems to be against the tax credit,” said Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who accompanied Dolan for meetings with Gov. Cuomo and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.* Cardinal Timothy Dolan was not pleased that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie declined to meet with him during a visit to Albany on Tuesday, which included lobbying for the $15 minimum wage and the education investment tax credit. *   The lack of a meeting between Dolan and Heastie is a signal the tax credit legislation has little chance of passing in the Assembly.

Heastie Spins to His Base on Taxing Millionaires - Cuomo and Flanagan Say Bill DOA What Ethics Reform? 

Mayor de Blasio voices support for Assembly plan to extend taxes on millionaires, disagreeing with Gov. Cuomo (NYDN) * A kabuki flame war to hide Carl Heastie’s real agenda (NYP Ed) It seems Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie doesn’t want anyone thinking about what he wants in this legislative session — because he spent the last week flaming hard about his dead-on-arrival millionaires tax. The speaker went loud on Twitter: “NYers are hungry for a system that puts the working poor and middle class ahead of millionaires.” Then he blasted out a dozen-plus followup tweets on inequality. The Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon hit back, with tweets such as: “Earners of [more than] $1 million pay 40% of [state personal income tax] while earning 27% of [adjusted gross income]. ‘Unfair,’ or merely ‘not enough to suit our friends’?” Mind you, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Gov. Cuomo both nixed the millionaires tax on Day One. Look not at Heastie’s words, but his actions. He’s installed the machine’s pick as the new Bronx DA, handed control of state education policy to teachers-union patsies — and is still protecting taxpayer pensions for felonious politicians. In New York politics, ideology is usually a show — and a flame war, just kabuki theater.* State legislators and Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group discussed ethics reform proposals in Albany, to combat “the cricket sounds that we've hearing over the past few weeks when it comes to ethics,” the Times Union reports: 

Heastie Protecting Pensions for Corrupt Pols 

Look who’s protecting taxpayer pensions for criminal politicians (NYP) New Yorkers overwhelmingly think crooked pols should retroactively lose their state pensions. But Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie keeps making sure it doesn’t happen. On Tuesday, he offered yet another excuse for nixing a constitutional fix for the outrage. It was his lamest yet. Basically, he claims to fear that a too-broad constitutional amendment would let future lawmakers change the rules by “which someone could lose their pension,” said Heastie. His members “just want clarity.” * Cuomo has in his budget proposal $145 billion to make New York the 38th state in the country to allow early voting. It would allow a limited number of polling places to open ahead of elections, freeing up voters from having to cast their ballot on a specific day

Tone Deaf Heastie Reappoints Silver's Appointees to Joke Ethics Committee JCOPE

 Recently convicted ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's two remaining appointees to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics were reappointed to five-year terms by his successor, Carl Heastie, but one will be "transitioning off," theTimes Union reports: * Heastie selects state ethics panelists originally picked by Silver (NYP)Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie just reappointed two “ethics watchdogs” originally named by the now-convicted Silver. Renee Roth and Marvin Jacob got new five-year terms at the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, a k a JCOPE. The last thing Heastie should be doing is keeping any Silver remnants. Especially on an ethics panel — even a joke like JCOPE. If Roth and Jacob were truly “ethical,” they would’ve quit JCOPE the minute their patron was convicted (if not before). Same for ex-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ JCOPE picks — George Weissman, Joseph Covello and ex-state Sen. Mary Lou Rath. Their terms expire this month; let’s hope Skelos’ successor, John Flanagan, is smart enough to offer an entirely new slate.* The Joint Commission on Public Ethics raised concerns that the state's latest ethics reform law contained significant loopholes that may obscure the disclosure of state lawmakers' legal clients, the Times Unionreports:  * The Joint Commission on Public Ethics raised concerns that the state’s latest ethics reform law contained potentially significant loopholes that could obscure the disclosure of state lawmakers’ legal clients. The law was passed this year in the wake of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s indictment on charges that he used his office to garner millions in legal payments. * JCOPE members are looking to offer guidance for when discussions of policy matters on social media constitute lobbying * In a letter to commissioners of JCOPE, the head of Citizens Union slammed a push by one of the commissioners to allow the “hand-delivery” of forms lawmakers submit seeking exemptions from a law requiring the listing of legal clients, the Times Union reports: *  Common Cause New York found only 40 percent of state lawmakers elected before the most recent cycle have income other than the $79,500 and stipend pay they are given for their job as elected officials,State of Politics reports: 

NYP Goes After Heastie and de Blasio's Lobbyists
One of the recipients (Paid by the Mayor's PAC 1NY), the p.r./lobbying firm BerlinRosen, is practically a wing of City Hall

 The Post writes that despite tough talk from city and state politicians on ethics reforms, many are still engaging in questionable, if legal, practices and are not serious about real changes  On ethics, New Yorkpoliticians still won’t walk the walk (NYP Ed) State and city politicians are talking tough on ethics reform these days — but their actions tell a different tale. Consider two disclosures, each perfectly legal, that smell to high heaven. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is paying $4,000 a month to Patrick Jenkins, his former college roommate and current political consultant. Yet Jenkins is also a high-powered lobbyist. His clients include Uber, the Trial Lawyers Association and Genting, the casino giant — all with business of their own before the Legislature. Which raises questions about whether the Jenkins-Heastie relationship gives those clients special access to the powerful speaker. Again, this is legal. Still, Heastie became speaker only after Sheldon Silver’s arrest on corruption charges — and now Silver’s been convicted, as has former state Senate boss Dean Skelos. You’d think the new speaker would try to avoid any hint of back-room dealing. Jenkins and Heastie note that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics cleared their arrangement — which tells you all you need to know about that ethics “watchdog.” Meanwhile, at City Hall, Mayor de Blasio’s key political consultants — who also represent clients doing city business — were paid $500,000 in the last six months by the mayor’s campaign committee and his slush fund, the Campaign for One New York. There’s nothing new here: One of the recipients, the p.r./lobbying firm BerlinRosen, is practically a wing of City Hall. On the other hand, de Blasio is the guy who vowed to undo the “consultant class.” What What Ethics? The ethics panels in the state Assembly and Senate, where ethics reform could begin, have largely disappeared from Albany, holding few meetings in recent years and with little in the way of punishment doled out, the Times reports: * * Cuomo has taken in about $5 million over the past six months from contributors, continuing to advocate for stitching up the so-called "LLC loophole" in state election law while taking such donations in large quantities, the Times Union reports:

Reaction to Silver Skelos Trials: NYT Cuomo Must Call Special Ethics Reform Session Immediately 

The Times writes that Cuomo should call a special session immediately to craft new ethics reforms that cannot be so easily evaded, unlike those that have been showcased during the two trials of two former legislative leaders in Albany* De Blasio moving away from his defense of ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver(NYDN) * De Blasio’s announcement that his administration will make an unprecedented investment in housing for the homeless puts more pressure on Cuomo to follow the mayor’s lead. De Blasio and Cuomo had been in talks about supportive-housing, but hadn’t reached an agreement. * Sleazy Business as Usual in Albany (NYT Ed) The separate federal trials this month of the former Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, and Dean Skelos, former leader of the State Senate, are about the same thing: public corruption at the highest levels of New York State government. Both men were bounced from their leadership jobs and both now confront multiple charges of kickbacks, bribery and extortion, all carefully hidden in secret documents and phone calls. No matter what the juries eventually decide, these trials provide indisputable evidence that New York’s porous ethics rules — hailed as “reform” only a few years ago — are not reforms at all, and that the time has come for a special legislative session to craft new rules that cannot be so easily evaded.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo should call such a session immediately. There is plenty to reform. Eight state senators have been convicted of various forms of corruption in the last five years. That does not count scandals involving two governors, a comptroller and assorted Assembly members. * As ex-leaders on trial, no ethics reforms planned at Capitol  * With two powerful legislative leaders on trial for corruption, advocates for changing the system hope media coverage of “Silver’s slew of sinecures” be be enough motivation to end outside income for lawmakers,the Observer writes:   Goo Goos Make It Look Like They Are Doing Something and Get Their Name In the Papers A collection of good government groups is calling on Cuomo to insert funding in his 2016-17 executive budget for two election reform proposals More Loophole Disclosure Laws Albany Ethics Panel Fears Loophole May Limit Disclosure Requirements (NYT) A new law to make lawmakers and state officials reveal their outside clients could be subverted by secrecy rules. * Even as concerns about lawmakers earning outside income percolate at the corruption trial of Assemblyman Sheldon Silver,  some on JCOPE worry revamped disclosure rules may be subverted through a loophole, TheNew York Times reports:  *Even as the issue of outside income for lawmakers percolates through Silver’s corruption trial, there is concern inside Albany’s chief ethics panel that public officials could subvert enhanced and soon-to-be-enacted disclosure requirements through a possible legal loophole.

Albany Has Not Only Not Pass Any Ethics Reforms But Maintains Its Own Blue Wall of Silence on Political Corruption 
As the trials, both being prosecuted by the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, have approached, state lawmakers have watched with fascination and fear as the names of potential witnesses, transcripts of recordings, and reams of emails and other documents have trickled out in court filings.  In the trial of Mr. Skelos, a Republican, Mr. Bharara’s office has indicated that it may introduce as many as 172 transcripts of wiretapped conversations. In the trial of Mr. Silver, a Democrat, the government may show to the jury as many as 1,500 exhibits.  In Mr. Silver’s case alone, the list of potential witnesses and names that may surface during proceedings includes some of the most familiar in state politics: Gov. Andrew Cuomo,Mr. Silver’s longtime aide Judy Rapfogel, his former counsel Jim Yates, lobbyist Brian Meara, New York state Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, and Dean Fuleihan, a former Silver aide who is now Mayor Bill de Blasio’s budget director.

To Keep the Money Flowing and Corruption Culture Albany Pols Ignore Their Beloved Leaders Trials
Silver then received nearly $700,000 in referral fees from the firm, according to court documents. In return, Silver allegedly took state actions that benefited the developers. One of the developers was Leonard Litwin, who runs Glenwood Management. Litwin, who is one of the biggest political donors in Albany, has not been charged with wrongdoing, nor has Goldberg & Iryami. In the second alleged scheme, Dr. Robert Taub referred patients suffering from the effects of exposure to asbestos to Silver. The pol then passed the patients with potentially lucrative legal claims to the firm Weitz & Luxenberg, according to papers. In return for the referrals from Taub, Silver secretly directed $500,000 in state grants to the doctor’s research, prosecutors charge. Silver received more than $3 million in referral fees from the law firm, court papers say.  Sheldon Silver's corruption trial kicks off - NY Daily News
Assembly Dems Plot to Back Incumbents in Primaries More Top to Bottom Control Of Campaigns 
Assembly Democrats plot to back incumbents in primaries (NYP) It’s going to be almost impossible to unseat a Democratic legislator in the state Assembly under a plan being hatched by Speaker Carl Heastie, The Post has learned. Heastie intends...* A shift by the state Assembly Democrats’ campaign arm could give the chamber’s leadership greater sway by increasing its ability to assist lawmakers facing difficult primary election challenges.* Assembly Democratic fund to help fight primary challenges (TU) Democratic Assembly majority acts to shield incumbents. Democratic Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, chairman of the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee, confirmed to the Times Union that DACC has shifted its policy to allow direct spending to help incumbent Assembly Democrats facing primaries. "The speaker charged me with raising more money to help more members," Morelle said on Wednesday. "For some of the members, the biggest political problem they face is the primary election, not the general election. We'll be helping candidates in 2016 and beyond." In the past, DACC has provided Assembly Democrats facing tough primaries with resources such as ground troops, fundraising help and technical expertise, according to people involved with the organization. But it has not spent directly from its account in primaries for expensive purchases such as campaign mailers or television commercials.In the past, DACC has provided Assembly Democrats facing tough primaries with resources such as ground troops, fundraising help and technical expertise, according to people involved with the organization. But it has not spent directly from its account in primaries for expensive purchases such as campaign mailers or television commercials.That at times has allowed forces — such as public sector unions and the labor-backed Working Families Party — to play an outsized role in primaries. The Assembly Democrats' campaign arm putting more resources into primary fights could allow leadership to have greater electoral influence, and to better whip votes in the face of pressures from various interest groups.*  City Council Speaker: Report On Exorbitant Pay Raises ForCouncil Members ‘Ridiculous’ (WNBC) * A shift by the state Assembly Democrats’ campaign arm could give the chamber’s leadership greater sway by increasing its ability to assist lawmakers facing difficult primary election challenges.

New Speaker Boss is Attempting to Run the State Like He Runs the Bronx Machine . . . What is Next New Assemblymembers Replacing Incumbents After Primaries?
Since 2010 DACC Has Paid WFP $100,000

Heastie Wants to Run the Assembly Like He Runs the Bronx
The Post writes that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s planto use Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee money on incumbents in the primaries is the kind of thing that allowed the corrupt Silver to rule with an iron fist. Carl Heastie is following in Sheldon Silver’s footsteps (NYP) The latest example is his decision to start spending Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee funds on incumbents facing primary challenges. ’Til now, the DACC has only spent on general elections — that is, against Republicans, not other Democrats. Talk about blows to democracy: The primary is often the public’s only real chance to oust an incumbent — because one party’s voters vastly outnumber the others’. (Of course, the speaker’s plainly not all that fond of democracy, as shown by his success in installing a new Bronx DA without giving the voters a chance to weigh in.) Note, too, that if reformers still manage to get a new face into the Assembly, these campaign funds give the speaker another way to legally bribe the new guy to play along with the establishment. Mainly, though, it will further entrench incumbents (on top of their other vast electoral advantages). Or, rather, entrench incumbents who play ball with Speaker Heastie — nicely bolstering his power. This is just the kind of thing that allowed Silver — now on trial for alleged corruption — to rule the Assembly with an iron fist.The excuse is that this move will blunt the impact of the Working Families Party and its union puppetmasters. Really? The Democrats and the WFP rarely find themselves at cross-purposes, anyway. And Heastie has already pushed similar schemes — like the “district allocations” pork that replaced member items — that work primarily to cement his power. Meanwhile, Heastie’s Assembly still hasn’t acted on a constitutional amendment (passed long ago by the GOP-run Senate) to retroactively strip corrupt public officials of their sweetheart pensions.

Heastie Spent Heavily On Shadow Government Consultants
Heastie spent heavily on consultants (Capital) Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie reported $351,745 in contributions over the past six months, a significant increase from the $97,350 he raised during the same filing period two years ago.  The campaign finance disclosure report he submitted to the New York State Board of Elections shows he made payments to multiple consulting groups soon after winning the speakership. In February alone, he paid Bedford Grove LLC $6,000, Marathon Strategies $9,750 and The Mirram Group $13,412. Later in the year, he made payments to Risa Heller Communications ($10,739) and Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates ($4,000), as well as additional payments to Bedford Grove and Mirram.

  Earlier this year, he sought the approval of the B.O.E. to spend campaign money on a trip to Cuba. Heastie’s filing show $8,157 in expenses from this trip. The Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee’s housekeeping account also appeared on the B.O.E.’s website Thursday morning. It raised $167,779, down from $387,743 two years ago. Heastie’s fellow legislative leader, John Flanagan, reported $276,290 in contributions and $501,890 in the bank. Bedford Grove LLC is the consulting firm sending out Thompson's public schedule and statements. It's home to former public advocate Betsy Gotbaum and her former aide, Ian MacDonald. Others members of the firm, Michael Giaccio, Kristie Stiles, worked on Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson's statewide campaigns

NYT Heastie's Campaign Filings Very Person
Carl Heastie’s Campaign Spending Blurs Line Between Political and Personal (NYT) assemblyman from the Bronx, his campaign paid a $270 tab for “food” at Happy Valley, a Manhattan nightclub that did not sell food but was popular for its throbbing dance floor and caged go-go dancers. When Mr. Heastie’s BMW needed repairs, which was about every 10 weeks, he charged his campaign for the work, more than $30,000 over nine years. During that time, he also billed the state $51,200 in mileage reimbursements, money meant to cover repairs and other costs for trips to and from Albany. And when it came time to file reports on how his campaign had spent its money — a total of nearly $1.1 million since he took office in 2001 — Mr. Heastie often did not detail where that money had gone. His filings contained no explanation at all for who ultimately received nearly $150,000 from the campaign — mostly, he asserted, because the expense amounts were less than $50 and did not need to be itemized under state rules, according to an analysis of his financial disclosure records by The New York Times.A review of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s campaign filings show he spent over $30,000 on repairs to his BMW in nine years and couldn’t account for nearly $150,000   Miranda Ramos from the MirRam Lobbyists Group Has Joined the Speaker Heastie Team  The speaker also hired Kim Ramos as one of two Garba deputies, which raised some eyebrows given she was previously a registered lobbyist for Miram Group, the politically-connected firm of former Assemblyman Roberto Ramirez, a close Heastie ally.Heastie has hired Mayor Bloomberg's former chief lobbyist inAlbany, Joseph Garba (NYDN) * Soon after becoming Assembly speaker, Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, pledged to restore trust in Albany by enacting ethics reform. But a close review of his campaign disclosure records suggests he has frequently used political donations to burnish his lifestyle, spending on everything from a go-go club to karaoke.* FOLLOW THE MONEY -- “Carl Heastie’s Campaign Spending Blurs Line Between Political and Personal,On the eve of the 39th birthday of Carl E. Heastie, then a little-known assemblyman from the Bronx, his campaign paid a $270 tab for “food” at Happy Valley, a Manhattan nightclub that did not sell food but was popular for its throbbing dance floor and caged go-go dancers in 2006. When Mr. Heastie’s BMW needed repairs, which was about every 10 weeks, he charged his campaign for the work, more than $30,000 over nine years. During that time, he also billed the state $51,200 in mileage reimbursements, money meant to cover repairs and other costs for trips to and from Albany. And when it came time to file reports on how his campaign had spent its money — a total of nearly $1.1 million since he took office in 2001 — Mr. Heastie often did not detail where that money had gone.”* Upsetting. TheNYS assembly speaker used campaign funds topay for a nightclub "popular for...caged go-go dancers." * Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie's campaign account spending topay for $30G in car services raises flags (NYDN) * Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has hired the one-time chief Albany lobbyist of ex-Mayor Bloomberg. Joseph Garba has begun work s the $150,000-a-year secretary for intergovernmental affairs – a newly created position. The speaker also hired Kim Ramos and Lanessa Owens for the newly created positions as Garba’s deputies.* The Buffalo News writes that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s fast and loose use of campaign funds show that he has some of the same tendencies that landed other leaders in trouble and questions his fitness for the position:* Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie used campaign cash to cover the cost of his trip to Cuba with Cuomo. The state Board of Elections says this was perfectly legal and appropriate.* HEASTIE GETS CUBA-TRIP RULING—Capital’s Bill Mahoney: The state Board of Elections said Wednesday that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s use of campaign funds to pay for an April trade mission to Cuba was appropriate. Heastie’s campaign spending, which was examined by the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, has been heavily scrutinized since he took office. The fact that he requested a ruling from the board suggests he has grown cautious since assuming the spotlight four months ago.

Black Caucus Asks Cuomo to Apologize for Saying Silver Not Heastie Runs the Assembly

The state Legislature’s Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic caucus called on the governor to apologize for “disturbing” comments that former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver still runs the chamber, the Daily Newsreports:  The state Legislature’s Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caucus called on Cuomo to publicly apologize for reportedly saying that the indicted former Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, is still running the chamber behind the scenes, saying the governor’s alleged comments show a “disturbing” lack of respect for the first black speaker, Carl Heastie.

Wayne Barrett Shows How Heastie Will Follow Silver and Skelos Corrupton 
HEASTIE'S HELPERS: THE BRONXGANG THAT MADE HIM ONE OF THE STATE'S MOST POWERFUL DEMOCRATS (Wayne Barrett, City and State) We are just getting to know Carl Heastie, the new speaker of the state Assembly, and there’s been no better introduction than the one that appeared in The New York Times recently. The Times reporters, Russ Buettner and David Chen, had earlier taught us some dark lessons about Sheldon Silver, the now-indicted speaker that Heastie succeeded in February. This time, they wrote a very late obit about Heastie’s mother Helene, who died in 1999, three weeks after she was sentenced for stealing $197,000 from a Bronx nonprofit where she worked. The Times discovered that Carl Heastie then ignored a January 1999 court order that he sell the apartment his mother bought with some of the “moneys that were stolen,” as the sentencing judge put it. A co-owner of the property with his mother, Heastie had agreed to sell it as part of a plea bargain deal that would keep his mother out of jail. The Heasties were to transfer the proceeds of the sale, plus another $40,000 from a separate judgment, to the city and the looted nonprofit. 

Member Items Reelection Funds

Leaders of the state Legislature defended a new earmarking program, brushing off charges that it's “pork” and unfairly distributed to favor the politically powerful, Politico New York reports:  *  Legislative leaders defended a new earmarking program, brushing off charges that it’s “pork” and unfairly distributed to favor the politically powerful. “If you want to call putting security cameras in a housing development that has a lot of crime pork, so be it; give me another ham sandwich,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said.

No Elections or Democracy In Heastie's Still Burning Bronx
When City & State described this story and asked Heastie’s spokesman Michael Whyland for an interview with the speaker, Whyland emailed: “Not interested in discussing old insider politics or theories anyone might have.” The saga starts with a man unnamed in the Times account—Roberto Ramírez, who was an assemblyman and the Bronx County Democratic leader when the court orders were issued in 1999. In early 2000, with the orders still hanging over Heastie’s head, Ramírez announced that Heastie was the party’s candidate for an open Assembly seat. art of a musical-chair package of party selections for several legislative and other positions, Heastie’s designation had been in the works going back to 1998.when his ally, attorney Joey Jackson, indicated he would run against Heastie, Ramírez stuck with Heastie, promising to back Jackson in a future city council or other race. Jackson, meanwhile, was so close to Ramírez that Ramírez had given him a top countywide party office and offered to make him the state committeeman from the Assembly district Heastie would represent. ut Jackson filed petitions to oppose Heastie anyway. He changed his mind, he told reporters, when he was “approached from behind on the street by two men who told him to drop out” and threatened to harm his wife and young child if he didn’t. Jackson said many of his friends and supporters thought the Bronx party “might be tied to the threats,” though he didn’t hold the organization responsible.When Jackson decided to withdraw, Heastie and Ramírez’s attorney, Stanley Schlein, a fixture of the Bronx machine for four decades, brought a declination form to Jackson’s house, got his signature and rushed to the Board of Elections to file it. Two hours later, Jackson changed his mind again and dashed to the board, canceling his declination 15 minutes before a midnight deadline. Ramírez’s lawyers opposed Jackson’s attempt to rescind the declination and the board rejected it, paving the way for Heastie to win the Democratic primary without opposition. Jackson went to District Attorney Johnson’s office about the threats to his family, but they did nothing. Schlein was representing Johnson at the same time that he was representing Heastie, rebuffing a 1999 court challenge to Johnson’s Bronx residency. A committee controlled by Ramírez donated $3,000 to Johnson’s 1999 campaign, all while the Heastie court orders were still a live issue.
Stanley Schlein Rides Again A Bronx fixer's scandalous history doesn't bother Yankees or Democrats * Stanley Schlein Rides Again A Bronx fixer's scandalous history doesn't bother Yankees or Democrats *  Bronx Lobbyist Serves as Espada's Lawyer in Senate Talks - NYTimes.com * Recent allies pedro espadastanley schlein had fistfight * Stanley Slime gets Largest Fine ever by Conflict of Interest Board * Stanley Schlein Fined for Conflict of interest | New York Politics 

The Lobbyists Who Run the Bronx, MirRam
An insider says Schlein urged Rivera in 2008—months before the coup—to support Johnson’s wife Renwick for an appointment to the First Judicial Department of the Appellate Division, the most prestigious appellate court in the state. Gov. David Paterson appointed her that April, though a spokesman for Paterson said she was part of a group of judges selected by his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in March as a result of a prostitution scandal. Sources involved in the Bronx process say that Ramírez, who shared an office with Spitzer and Paterson’s top political advisers at Global Strategy Group, pushed Renwick’s selection. Daz is the president of a booming, publicly funded, mostly nonprofit empire called Acacia and Ramírez’s firm, MirRam, is its lobbyist. Ramírez is so tied to Acacia that his MirRam partner, Luis Miranda, was chair of the Audubon Partnership, which merged with Acacia in 2013, and their firm represented Promesa, which was absorbed by Acacia a couple of years earlier. Lke Schlein, Ramírez remains so close to Heastie that the Daily News reporteda few days after Heastie’s selection that he was playing an “active role” with Heastie, “assisting Carl in getting things running.” MirRam’s lobbying clients, including the teachers union, have major matters before the Assembly. * In Consulting Group, Hints of How Albany Works - NYTimes ... * Twi$ted web of political nonprofits in Bx. | New York Post * Industry group cashes in with Heastie lobbyist | Crain's New ... * Charity tied to council speaker quadruples its funding ... * Mark-Viverito, Ferreras, Espaillat and Herbalife — City ...  Roberto Ramirez (politician) - Wikipedia, the free ... * New lobbyist for controversial bill has close Heastie ties. A lobbying firm with close ties to new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and many other minority politicians has been retained to push a controversial bill that would allow check cashers to make high-interest loans, records show. In December, the MirRam Group was hired by Financial Service Centers of New York, an industry group, for $10,000 a month to push the check cashers' bill in Albany. * Roberto Ramirez helping Carl Heastie settle in as speaker ... * Synergy edition: Espaillat and Miranda's 'Manhattan Times ... * Pension $$$ and the MirRam Group * Mirram Group Campaign Contributions

Council Speaker Campaign Gives the Most Member Items $$ to Her Campaign Consultants Lobbyists MirRam

Melissa Mark-Viverito Paid MirRam $35,000 for Her Campaign
Hispanic Federation gets biggest @NYCCouncil member item:$400K out of speaker's pot.  (Capital)The federation has ties to almost every Hispanic lawmaker in The Bronx, including Rivera, but primarily benefits two men: political strategist Luis Miranda, who co-founded it and once served as its president, and Roberto Ramirez, a former Bronx Democratic Party boss. The men run a private political consulting firm, the MirRam Group. It’s paid by the Hispanic Federation and is hired by politicians who steer taxpayer money to the nonprofit.Flashback Twi$ted web of political nonprofits in Bx.(NYP)

Acting in Defiance of Their Members Sent to Jail for Stealing Pork the Practice Continues
New York’s new pork reeks as badly as the old (NYP Ed) For all the years of scandal to rock Albany, one truth remains absolute: Never expect a legislative leader to apologize for pork. Carl Heastie may have become speaker after a corruption scandal felled Shelly Silver, but he’s singing the virtues of bacon. That includes the $1.1 billion in Albany’s latest version of now-banned earmarks, the State and Municipal Facilities Program, whose first list of outlays was only recently unveiled — three years into the SAM program. “If you want to call putting security cameras in a housing development that has a lot of crime pork, so be it,” Heastie said last week. “Give me another ham sandwich.” Added state Senate GOP boss John Flanagan: “If this is pork, I can live with that,” calling it all “investments.” It still reeks. The old earmark system — which then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo called Albany’s “silent conspiracy” — also largely went to worthy community projects. But the new pork, like the old, gets doled out on the basis of politics — the party that controls each chamber gets nearly all the dough. (In the Senate, the GOP sent a healthy slice to its partners in the Independent Democratic Conference.) And as E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center (whose Freedom of Information request uncovered the spending list) notes, the SAM cash was borrowed by the state, which now wants to raise its debt load still further to pay for its share of the MTA capital budget.
Says McMahon: “It’s really indefensible to borrow $1.1 billion for capital pork-barrel projects.” Call it “investments”; doesn’t matter. However much lipstick Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature smear on this pig, it still oinks.

Memo to NYP Political Director: David Seifman: MirRam Violated the City's Ethics Law

What the NYP left out was that MirRam that group that profited from the graft was illegally working on the the campaign to make Melissa Mark Viverito Speaker. The lines that the NYP did not copy from the CrainsNY piece was the most important to point out how MirRam acted illegally.  CrainsNY - "Last November, during the heart of the City Council speaker race, an employee of the MirRam group fielded a press request from Crain's on Ms. Mark-Viverito's behalf for an article about her past refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. But on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for MirRam said any work done for Ms. Mark-Viverito was only related work for her 2013 City Council campaign, though it had ended weeks before the press request was fielded by MirRam. The firm was not paid to assist her speaker campaign."  Another lobbying firm close to Ms. Mark-Viverito, the Advance Group, landed in hot water for providing free consulting services during Ms. Mark-Viverito's speaker campaign. 

The Times and Daily News Tells Speaker Heastie to Return the Stolen Money So He Can Reform Albany?
 The Times writes that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie should return money his mother got through embezzlement if he wants to push real change in Albany after assuming office as the result of yet another scandal:The Buffalo News writes that Assembly Speaker CarlHeastie, who came into the position as a reformer for scandal-plagued Albany, should repay the money his mother stole from a not-for-profit to keep that image * Meet the new boss. Speaker Heastie reaped $200K profit fromhis mom's embezzlement. (Albany Project) * Carl Heastie’s ill-gotten gains: The Assembly speakermust repay a debt to his late mother's employer (NYDN Ed) Heastie’s mother purchased the place in the 1990s as she was stealing from Southeast Bronx Neighborhood Centers. Before she died, Heastie made a $10,000 restitution payment. After her death, Heastie’s lawyer advised him that his mother’s debt was not his concern. He lived in the apartment without making additional restitution payments. In 2005, Heastie sold the place, netting roughly $80,000, which happens to be the sum owed to Southeast Bronx Neighborhood Centers. He put the profits toward buying a new home. Today, Heastie is not just any New Yorker. He took over as speaker of the state Assembly after Sheldon Silver’s arrest on corruption charges. He will preside as the beneficiary of a theft for as long as restitution remains unpaid. * Carl Heastie feels slighted (Watertown) In an interview with a reporter from WXXI, a PBS/NPR news organization in Rochester, Mr. Heastie said he was “angry and insulted that anyone would infer or suggest that I somehow benefited from my mother’s situation.” He was asked to respond to an article published Monday in The New York Times pointing out how he never fully compensated the Southeast Bronx Neighborhood Center for the money that his mother looted from the group. * Bill de Blasio Defends Carl Heastie (NYO) * De Blasio defended Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie following a negative story in the New York Times regarding his profitable sale of a house purchased with his mother’s embezzled funds.

Heastie Bronx Machine Under Investigation Fixes Its Financial Filings 
The Bronx Democratic Committee that until recently was run by new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has been quietly fixing years’ worth of financial filings with the state Board of Elections, the DailyNews’ * The Bronx Democratic Committee that until recently was run by new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has been quietly fixing years’ worth of financial filings with the state Board of Elections.

Heastie Rip Off Court and Non Profit on A Home His Mother Bought From Stolen Funds
NYT investigation found Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie benefitted from his mother’s embezzling, failing to sell an apartment purchased with ill-gotten gains when directed by a judge, and then profitting when he finally did so. About 16 years ago, when he had not yet run for public office but had already become entrenched in Bronx Democratic politics, Mr. Heastie was able to hold onto a home that prosecutors said his mother had bought with embezzled money and that a judge had instructed him to sell. Selling it years later brought what appears to be the only significant financial gain of his life. An unusual string of legal lapses enabled Mr. Heastie to keep the home, an apartment in a three-story rowhouse in the Bronx. * Former chief of asset forfeiture for Manhattan DA's office tells NYT that @CarlHeastie is “sitting on stolen money.”*Meet the New Boss.....NYT reveals how Carl Heastie, new Assembly Speaker, benefited from mother’s embezzling  *‘Bungles’ allowed Carl Heastie to make $200K off mom’s crime (NYP)

A judgment notice conveniently goes missing in the Bronx's ever-political courts, and a rising pol gets the benefit
Carelessness of those involved in the case could be to blame, or something more unsettling could have occurred given the Bronx Democratic Party’s influence on the court system and its long history of back-room deal-making. In 1998, Mr. Heastie’s mother, Helene, pleaded guilty to writing checks to herself from the nonprofit organization where she had worked. Prosecutors said she used some of the money to buy her family a home in 1995 that cost $165,000. To stay out of jail, she and her son agreed to sell their home, which, by then, they co-owned, and relinquish the proceeds to her former employer. “If it was purchased with moneys that were stolen, then no one should receive the benefit of that,” Justice Robert H. Straus told the Heasties during a hearing in January 1999 at State Supreme Court in the Bronx. But Mr. Heastie did, indeed, profit from his mother’s crime. Despite the judge’s instructions, Mr. Heastie was able to keep the apartment. His mother died at age 60 three weeks after being sentenced, and Mr. Heastie said he stopped trying to sell the property. When he finally did sell it — six years later for nearly $200,000 more than his mother had paid — he used the proceeds to buy a more expensive home.

Papers Not Filed and or Missing in DAs Office . . .  Only the DA Can Ask for the Money Back
But Duncan Levin, a former chief of asset forfeiture for the Manhattan district attorney’s office who reviewed the case for The New York Times, said Mr. Heastie was “sitting on stolen money” that prosecutors should have recovered during his mother’s criminal case or after her death. . .  The first break for the Heasties came when the Bronx district attorney’s office did not require Mrs. Heastie to sign a formal forfeiture agreement, as is common in such cases. Prosecutors also did not pursue a civil action against Mr. Heastie to force him to sell the home, which they could have done even after her death, Mr. Levin said.

Bronx Court Never Filed the Right Papers
Finally, a judgment against Mrs. Heastie that was signed by the judge was never filed in civil court by the Bronx County clerk’s office. The judgment, which essentially disappeared, could have been used to pursue money from her estate after her death. In November 1995, Justice Hansel L. McGee, a Bronx judge who served as chairman of the nonprofit where Mrs. Heastie worked, discovered that she had been forging checks from the organization’s accounts to herself and a co-worker. The judge fired them and reported the thefts to the authorities, according to a city Department of Investigation memorandum about the case. Not long after, Mrs. Heastie had a stroke. In October 1996, she gave her son power of attorney, and he signed over a 99 percent interest in the home to himself. The Heasties’ lawyer later said in court that the transfer “had nothing to do with hiding any assets” and was done because Mr. Heastie was paying the $1,000-a-month mortgage and wanted the income tax benefit.

Seabrook Took Heastie Under His Wing and Trough Him Everything He Knows
The criminal case against Mrs. Heastie concluded a year before her son first ran for office in 2000. But Mr. Heastie had by then been closely involved with the Bronx Democratic Party for almost a decade, and especially withLarry B. Seabrook, a longtime Bronx political powerhouse who was a political mentor to him. Mr. Seabrook was convicted of corruption charges in 2012 and is now in prison. . . He began working for Mr. Seabrook, then an assemblyman based in Co-op City, serving as treasurer to Mr. Seabrook’s campaigns and as a part-time bookkeeper for a nonprofit that Mr. Seabrook controlled. By 1995, the family’s fortunes appeared to be on an upswing. An article in The Daily News that year said Mr. Heastie was introduced at an event as a “bright newcomer” in the Seabrook entourage. And Mrs. Heastie bought the first home the family had ever owned, an apartment at 3631 De Reimer Avenue in the Bronx. She paid $165,000 in June 1995

True News Wags NYP Dicker On 2 to 1 Gang Up Of Heastie

On June 23 True News Wrote Two Against One: Pressure On HeastieCuomo used state Senate to stymie his own party: sources (Dicker, NYP) Despite public claims to the contrary, Gov. Cuomo worked behind-the-scenes with the Republican-led Senate to defeat Assembly Democrats on such key “progressive” initiatives as tenant rights and a minimum-wage hike, knowledgeable insiders have told The Post.   Throughout the negotiations, there was never any real difference between the positions of Cuomo and Flanagan. It was two against one with Cuomo pulling Flanagan’s strings to corner Heastie,” said a source with direct knowledge of the secret end-of-session deal-making. * The heavily criticized rent regulation laws that were extended last week for four years could be revisited much sooner if the Democrats win control of the state Senate next year, the Daily News’ reports: Rent Freeze?  New York City’s Rent Guidelines Board will vote today on whether to increase rents for more than one million stabilized apartments and is considering its first-ever rent freeze, the Times writes:  * New rent laws passed in Albany will only save about 2,500 apartments from losing rent protections, according to city Controller Scott Stringer, who said lawmakers “failed miserably” with the deal, the Daily News reports:  * State lawmakers again refused to pass real campaign finance reform, such as closing the LLC loophole, tightening the use of campaign funds and creating a system of public financing, the Times Union writes:  * Albany’s long legislative session is over, but teachers’ unions and education reform groupsare now engaged in spin campaigns involving the cap on charter schools. Both sides are claiming victory, and citing different numbers to prove their respective cases. * An upcoming fundraiser for a New York City community organization that is honoring Carl Heastie for becoming the Assembly’s first black speaker has two surprising names on the host committee: Senate GOP Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Republican Minority Brian Kolb.*
Heastie on surviving his first session, and what comes next (Capital) Speaker will have a new set of challenges next year * Heastie on surviving his first session, and what comes next (Capital) Speaker will have a new set of challenges next year

Bruno: Campaign Donations Open Doors (YNN) Campaign contributions can provide a different level of access for donors to politicians, former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno acknowledged in a radio interview on Tuesday morning.* Sen. Thomas Libous, who is battling cancer and a federal corruption trial, will remain out of Albany for the foreseeable future as he recovers from his latest back surgery, GannettAlbany reports:  * Former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno acknowledged that campaign contributions can provide a different level of access for donors to politicians, State of Politicsreports: *  14 convicted NY lawmakers are getting more than $500k a yearin taxpayer-funded pensions  .*Libous Kept From Albany Following Surgeries (YNN) Libous was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and, in 2012, it had spread to his lungs. Libous remains under indictment for a single charge of lying to the FBI regarding his son’s employment at a politically connect law firm in Westchester County. He is the second-highest ranking lawmaker in the state Senate. * Top Senate Republicans Affirm Support For Skelos (YNN) * Sources say the report in the Post on Monday that alleged de Blasio is eyeing a 2016 presidential run against Hillary Clinton is “fantasyland,” the Daily News reports:  *
  • Sources say the report in the Post on Monday that alleged de Blasio is eyeing a 2016 presidential run against Hillary Clinton is “fantasyland,” the Daily News reports: * Lawmakers Confirm Subpoenas In Skelos Probe (YNN)  source with knowledge had previously told Time Warner Cable News that eight of the nine Senate Republicans who represent Long Island had been subpoenaed in the investigation, which stems from an Arizona-based company that has hired Skelos’s son, Adam. On Tuesday, Sens. Jack Martins and Carl Marcellino confirmed they had received subpoenas.
More on Heastie Connections

Heastie Gets On the Transparency BS Express
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced a 12-member committee will review the chamber’s rules and operations with the goal of promoting transparency and public participation, State of Politics reports

Puppet Council Speaker Controlled By A Private Tammany Hall

Top Speaker Lobbyists Puts A Man Inside
Council speaker puts connected lobbyist on payroll(CrainsNY) Melissa Mark-Viverito quietly handed a $130,000-a-year staff position to a lobbyist from the firm that helped propel her to the City Council speakership, payroll records show. In late March, Carlos Beato, who was a lobbyist at the firm Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, joined the City Council payroll as a deputy general counsel. The move came not long after the lobbying shop—which has long served as Ms. Mark-Viverito’s campaign compliance consultant—quarterbacked her council speaker bid. The firm’s Jon Del Giorno set up an “appointments committee” for Ms. Mark-Viverito to vet applicants for the council staff. The firm lobbied Ms. Mark-Viverito as her speaker bid was ongoing, and has continued to do so since her ascension to the city's second-most powerful post. The close ties have drawn scrutiny and a call from the Daily News for Ms. Mark-Viverito to sever ties with the firm and its clients. In an unprecedented and clever move, the Pitta Bishop set up a 2017 campaign accountto facilitate Ms. Mark-Viverito’s speaker run. That allowed her to raise $100,000, with more than $20,000 coming from the lobbying firm’s clients. The good-government group Common Cause accused Ms. Mark-Viverito of exploiting loopholes in state election law. Pitta Bishop's clients also reportedly funded much of her $27,000 inauguration party. * NY lobbying grows another 4%, spent $109 M in first sixmonths of this year; now 32 lobbyists for every legislator   * Police unions asked de Blasio to denounce MelissaMark-Viverito (NYDN) The leaders of the city's NYPD unions asked Mayor de Blasio to publicly denounce City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for wearing an "I can't breathe" tee shirt but he refused, according to one of the union heads.

Organized Crime Toxic Muck in the Bronx Touches the Speaker 
Records show Heastie accepted cash from a convicted mobster (NYP)The state’s newly minted Assembly Speaker, Carl Heastie, accepted cash from a mobster convicted of racketeering and steered thousands more to a man who did time for manslaughter, records show.Between 2003 and 2008, more than $2,800 flowed into the Bronx Democrat’s campaign coffers from Tri-State Employment Services and its top executives, including reputed Bonanno associate Neil Messina, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison last April in connection with a 1992 home-invasion murder.Heastie also directed at least $250,000 to the Bronx Business Alliance. The now-defunct non-profit’s head, John Bonizio, was convicted of manslaughter in 1982 for bludgeoning a man to death with a baseball bat. Bonizio also made a plea deal after being indicted in the same year for trying to bribe an NYPD detective. Heastie said through a spokesman he did not know of Bonizio’s brutal crime, which was reported in newspaper accounts in 1989, or of Messina’s reputed ties to the Bonanno family.* Top de Blasio aidesuse personal accounts for city-related emails despite mayor's transparencypromise (NYDN)  First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris and director of intergovernmental affairs Emma Wolfe routinely communicate on city issues via their private email addresses, according to multiple insiders. Good-government groups say that’s a covert way to dodge oversight and contrary to the open government de Blasio vowed to run.

“These contributions were made years ago, before the accusations, and [Heastie] will be donating them to charity,” spokesman Michael Whyland said. “The Speaker has no input regarding the makeup of the [Bronx Business Alliance] board.”Heastie did not receive campaign contributions from Bonizio, state financial-disclosure records show. But Bonizio hasn’t been quiet when it comes to political money. He’s shoveled campaign cash to Mayor de Blasio, and to Council members Ritchie Torres and Annabel Palma, according to city campaign-finance records. The city recently announced it was cancelling a $10 million contract with Tri-State. * Assembly SpeakerCarl Heastie aided nonprofit that stopped filing taxes before going bankrupt (NYDN)  The Bronx Business Alliance stopped filing tax forms after the 2008-09 tax year, reporting a $34,000 deficit. Nevertheless, Heastie kept sponsoring funding for the group. His final grant was for $115,000 in 2009-2010, and other politicians directed hundreds of thousands of dollars more in 2010-2011. Assembly Ethics The Assembly introduced Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget amendments meant to strengthen ethics laws after initially refusing to accept them, but the state Senate has not yet done so, Newsday reports: Term Limits Senate Advances Term Limits Bill (YNN) * A power play by the legislature against Cuomo weakened yesterday as the Assembly agreed to introduce the governor’s budget amendments. The Democratic-led chamber introduced the governor’s budget amendments containing ethics measures aimed at the legislature, state officials confirmed. Senate Republicans haven’t yet followed suit.
More On Speaker Heastie 

Breaking  NYP: Federal Investigation of the Bronx Political Machine
FBI ‘probing’ Bronx political machine(NYP) Federal investigators are looking at voter fraud and financial mismanagement in the borough, sources tell me. It’s unclear who the target is, or if there is more than one. But I’m told that the investigation is — at least in part — spurred on by information provided to Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara. Bharara, whose jurisdiction includes The Bronx, is on a bit of a crusade. He was incensed, sources said, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year abruptly shut down the one-year-old Moreland Commission, which was investigating public corruption. I’m also told that FBI agents from upstate New York, and not Manhattan, are working the case.  Depending on the outcome, any probe could be embarrassing to Heastie and Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx borough president who is considered Heastie’s mentor, as well as the Albany establishment in general. The impetus for the probe could have been information provided to Bharara by opponents of Diaz, one of whom I spoke with last week. Included in the material was evidence of alleged voter fraud — particularly alleged fake signatures on voter petitions. I’m hearing that one document turned over to Bharara shows that some candidates in certain Bronx districts got more votes than the number of voters who went into the booths. There is also a question about the use of campaign funds for personal purposes, a source tells me. Stay tuned. This coul interesting quickly.* FBI 'probing' Bronx political machine - Info 24 US The FBI is investigating The Bronx. Not the whole borough. Just the way politics is conducted, according to a pair of reliable sources. And that could prove interesting since power Federal investigators from upstate are reportedly looking at voter fraud and financial mismanagement in the Bronx, which could prove embarrassing to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
Assemblyman Marcos Crespo is favored to succeed Heastie as Bronx Democratic Party chairman, but his record – including a “no” vote on same-sex marriage and the Women’s Equality Act – has rankled some progressives.

More Metro-North stations, an infrastructure overhaul and a new golf course are some of the initiatives that Bronx officials are lobbying Carl Heastie to bring to fruition in his new role of New York state Assembly speaker.

Bharara the 4th Man in the Room Puts On the Pressure to Change Will They Resist?
It’s the same-old relay at the New York Assembly(NYP) Banish any nagging doubts that new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie isn’t up to the job. He assumes his thronebearing an endorsement from none other than the disgraced Sheldon Silver, who declares Heastie “a good man.” Well, then, off we go into the brave new world of Albany make-believe. Out with the old, in with the old. Heastie, of The Bronx, is a creature of the crooked system Silver created. From rewarding donors to skirting the rules on per-diem claims and spending campaign cash for personal use, the new boss followed the lead of the old boss. He got ahead by going along. Still fearful of him, or perhaps having something to hide, most lawmakers remained silent over the corruption charges, saying only that Silver’s predicament is a “distraction.” They pass no judgment because . . . why? In a speech on Silver’s last day as speaker, Cuomo rolled out proposed ethics changes that were greeted with polite yawns. And his threat not to sign a budget unless legislators approved those changes echoed his flawed approach to the Moreland Commission. 

He huffed and puffed for four years about invoking the Moreland Act’s subpoena power before he actually did it, then abruptly pulled the plug in a deal with the Legislature. That trade-off is one of the things federal prosecutors are examining, in part because the Moreland panel was on to a number of crooked lawmakers when Cuomo disbanded it. But Cuomo said all this many times before, going back to his 2010 campaign. Last year, he told me he was as “serious as a heart attack” about using Moreland to “follow the money” and connect the dots, yet punted just as investigators got close to pay dirt. Worse, he has refused to explain fully why he backed down, or admit it was a mistake. Remember, absent federal prosecutor Preet Bharara, Silver still would be speaker and three-men-in-a-room negotiations over a budget still would be accepted as the way Albany works. Whether Cuomo realizes it or not, Bharara changed the equation, first with his charges against Silver, and second by mocking the idea that the state should be treated like a fiefdom. 

“When did 20 million New Yorkers agree to be ruled like a triumvirate in Roman times?” the prosecutor asked in a subsequent speech.* New Speaker in Albany: A Skilled Operator, Embracing Change(NYT) Carl E. Heastie says he hopes to reform the almost czarlike system in which the Assembly is ruled by its speaker, though his political career would seem to make him better suited to thrive in that environment.* Excerpts From Carl Heastie's Speech (NYT) * Will A Tammany Hall Boss Be Able to Clean Up Albany Corruption, INC,  Will He Try beyond PR Spin? Stay Tuned?* Speaker Carl Heastie: ‘Three Men in a Room’ Is ‘Overstated’(NYO)* In-depth on the background of the new speaker, Carl Heastie.The speaker from Baychester  via @capitalnewyork * Assemblyman Carl Heastie was officially elected the first black speaker in the chamber’s more than 200-year history. He spoke for almost eight minutes after his formal ascension, and said that was the longest speech he had ever given. * He kicked off his tenure in the leadership post by angering reporters with an unusually short press conference. The new speaker returned to take more questions after LCA members protested that two minutes was too short a period in which to ask him anything significant. * Heastie’s first word after becoming speaker was: “Wow.” (Actually, he said that twice). He followed that up with a pledge to reform the chamber and also to push for pay raises for its member. * The new speaker pledged to bring a more inclusive leadership style to the chamber, insisting that even as Bronx Democratic chairman he “didn’t just give out marching orders.” * Michael Goodwin is not impressed by Heastie, and he calls the governor a reform of “last resort.”* The TU says Cuomo’s ethics plan is “incomplete,” and suggests lawmakers one up him by making it better, instead of complaining about his hardball tactics.* Testifying before a joint legislative budget hearing, NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina criticized Cuomo’s teacher evaluation plan, which relies more heavily on test results than before.Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday doubled down on his “all or nothing” demand of the Legislature when it comes to ethics reform, saying he needs lawmakers to approve the“whole loaf” of what he’s proposing, or risk a late budget – the first since he took office in January 2011.Wow  A 1995 Daily News story describes Heastie as a “bright newcomer” among Seabrook’s Bronx entourage, a group that included Al Sharpton, future City Council candidate Larry Warden, district leader Al DeCastro, and members of the nonprofit Seabrook controlled, the Northeast Bronx Redevelopment Corporation (NEBRC). Heastie is described in the article as Seabrook’s campaign treasurer, and the bookkeeper for the NEBRC. The speaker from Baychester(Capital)In 1996, Carl's mother Helene suffered a stroke that left her partly paralyzed, a spokesman said. Shortly afterward, Carl R. Heastie fell ill, and suddenly died. In 1997, Helene, then working as an executive director of the nonprofit neighborhood advocacy group the Southeast Bronx Neighborhood Center, was arrested by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office on charges she’d pocketed $197,000 of the organization’s funds. She pled guilty and was ordered to pay restitution, but died soon after. In 2000, Heastie made his own, successful bid for Assembly. Wednesday PM  Newly elected Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is vowing to make a clean break from his predecessor and is pushing ethics legislation, including a cap on outside income and scaling back per diems, State of Politics reports: * As Cuomo seeks a new teacher evaluation law and a strengthening of charter schools, the governor said today in Rochester that he respects teachers and their work, State of Politicsreports * Heastie received 102 votes to replace Sheldon Silver as speaker, while 40 Republican lawmakers backed Minority Leader Brian Kolb and three were listed as having voted for “neither” choice, State of Politics reports * The Assembly Democrats who either didn’t vote for Carl Heastie for speaker or weren’t present for the vote explain themselves, (with the exception of Assemblywoman Deborah Glick).*There’s a Sheldon Silver cameo in David Axelrod’s memoir.* When a group of Assembly members met last month to consider the fate of Sheldon Silver, they turned to a new member from Long Island to assess the strength of federal corruption charges against their longtime leader: former Eastern District prosecutor Todd Kaminsky. * Courting reform (Riverdale Press)* Carl Heastie isn’t just the first black Assembly speaker in New York history. He’s also one of the most liberal state lawmakers in the nation, according to an analysis by two political scientists. * Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “Is Heastie going to have as much confidence and control of the conference as Silver did? Shelly’s control was unbelievable.”

Seabrook also requested funding for another organization with a checkered past, the Northeast Bronx Redevelopment Corporation, which also uses the address of 1530 East 222nd Street, where the chamber was initially incorporated. In 2006, the City revoked money allocated to the group to construct a hip-hop museum in The Bronx after an audit by small business services uncovered “unsatisfactory performance,” causing the group to be “red-flagged.”

  1. Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie Reports to the People ...
New York State Assembly
Jun 30, 2008 - Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie and Councilman Larry Seabrook have secured $1 million in capital construction funding for the Tilden Towers II ...

Cuomo: Silver Still the Boss
 Cuomo believes Silver is still running Assembly: source(NYDN)  According to an inside source, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is telling his political backers he believes that indicted ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is still calling the shots in the chamber

Start with Heastie’s home political club, the Northeast Bronx Community Democrats, which was founded and run by Larry Seabrook, a mentor and predecessor of Heastie’s who served in the Assembly, state Senate and City Council before ending up in federal prison, where he is currently serving a five-year sentence for steering millions in public funds to friends, family members and nonprofit groups that did little or no good for the Bronx.

WHAT ABOUT THETHREE MEN IN A ROOM? By State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz * Diaz: What’s good for the ethics goose … * Newly-minted Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie more or less shrugged off Cuomo’s ultimatum. The Bronx Democrat said he has no problem discussing ethics reform in the context of the budget, and does not expect the Legislature to miss the mandated April 1 deadline because of it. But some of Heastie’s members are not so sanguine. Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, (who had questioned the speed with which Heastie rose to power), said on CapTon two nights ago that Cuomo is not an “emperor” and should not be stuffing so much policy into the budget, where state lawmakers have little power to impact it.* With Silver Out, Ethics Legislation Pushed To Front Burner(YNN)* Heastie History(YNN) * Changing the Guard (YNN) * Assembly SpeakerCarl Heastie keeps key aides of Sheldon Silver (NYDN)
Heastie has retained some of Silver’s key aides, including Counsel James Yates and Program and Policy Secretary Lou Ann Ciccone. A Democrat close to the new speaker said Heastie has kept the right people to help him in his new role. In addition, former Assemblyman Roberto Ramirez has been active in helping Heastie with his transition to speaker, insiders say.

Will A Tammany Hall Boss Be Able to Clean Up Albany Corruption, INC . . . Will He Try?
He put Heastie to shame. When the trauma of Silver’s arrest was fresh, the Assembly’s ruling Democrats set a vote on a successor for Feb. 10 to give candidates a chance to make their cases and to allow the Assembly to check into their backgrounds. Regardless, Heastie, who serves as Bronx Democratic boss, joined forces with the Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan party leaders in pummeling Assembly members to back him. Now that he has them sewn up, he wanted an immediate coronation and he is going to get it. So much for an open, rules-based process. Most shocking, in an era when lawmakers have been arrested at the rate of one every five months, and at a time when Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has warned New Yorkers to “stay tuned” for more, Heastie sees no culture of corruption in the capital. “I think it’s isolated to a few bad apples,” he said, offering an assessment all the more frightening because Heastie is no boob. It now falls to Cuomo to take charge. In addition to full disclosure of outside income, he would amend the state constitution to strip government pensions from convicted officials; crack down on expense padding; ban the use of campaign funds for personal expenses; and enact the strongest campaign-finance disclosure in the nation.* Errol Louis: Carl Heastie’s shady associates (NYDN) Start with Heastie’s home political club, the Northeast Bronx Community Democrats, which was founded and run by Larry Seabrook, a mentor and predecessor of Heastie’s who served in the Assembly, state Senate and City Council before ending up in federal prison, where he is currently serving a five-year sentence for steering millions in public funds to friends, family members and nonprofit groups that did little or no good for the Bronx. * Heastie’s rapid rise to the speaker’s post suffered an unforeseen bump in the last several days when a number of news stories called attention to his campaign spending and the amount of money he has taken from the government to cover work-related travel and expenses. But initial indications were that the reports had had little impact on his popularity among the Assembly’s rank and file.* Cuomo unveils ethics reforms for pols, threatens to block budget until they’re in place (NYDN)  The Bronx Democrat told the Daily News Editorial Board that he thinks 'it’s isolated to a few bad apples.' Assembly Democrats formally made Heastie their choice for speaker on Monday.* Uber lobbyist/consultant Roberto Ramirez, a former assemblyman from the Bronx, is on hand for the @CarlHeastie coronation.

Cuomo Speaker Heastie reach 2-way agreement on ethics package to be included in budget

2/3 Secret Ethics Deal
agreed on new ethics reforms that would include more detailed disclosures of lawmakers’ outside income. Cuomo said the measures are essentially what he proposed as part of a state budget for the coming fiscal year starting April 1. * Cuomo, Heastie come to agreement on ethics reform(NYP) * The two-way deal, details of which are expected to be announced today, places significant pressure on the state Senate Republican majority to sign on within the framework of the state budget. A spokesman for the GOP conference declined to comment. *  Gov. Andrew Cuomo reached an agreement on new ethics policies with the Assembly, but he has not secured a deal with the state Senate  * Cuomo Lauds Ethics Deal With Assembly, But Senate Deal Remains Up In Air (YNN) 

Republicans in the state Senate are expected to discuss in a closed-door conference this afternoon the ethics agreement forged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Democrats, State of Politicsreports: * Cuomo, Heastie detail ethics agreement (Capital)  Cuomo, who has said ethics changes are a top priority as he negotiates a budget, said the agreement matches the five principles he sketched out after the arrest and ouster of former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver. That means greater disclosure of business and law clients from legislators' side jobs, a ban on the personal use of campaign funds, greater safeguards for per diem reimbursement, pension forfeiture for lawmakers convicted of public corruption and greater disclosure by independent expenditure campaign accounts. * Skelos: Cuomo-Assembly Deal Doesn’t Include Executive Branch Reforms (YNN) * Bonacic: Cuomo Put Himself In A Box On Ethics (YNN) Bonacic, an Orange County Republican, said he didn’t want to comment on Cuomo’s divide-and-conquer strategy with the two legislative houses on ethics. But he added the governor painted himself into a corner on the issue by including ethics legislation in budget amendments that tied the policy to spending measures. * .@NYGovCuomo & @CarlHeastie have releasedan ethics reform deal. Now, they're looking to the Senate to pass it. (NY1) * NY Senate leader: Ethics reform must include Cuomo.(CBS Albany)

Cuomo's Hug On the hug-heard-’round-the-world: “The governor inappropriately lifted the speaker off his feet in a show of dominance,” said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, a Manhattan Democrat. * On the hug-heard-’round-the-world: “The governor inappropriately lifted the speaker off his feet in a show of dominance,” said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, a Manhattan Democrat.

Cuomo Makes A Deal With Heastie A Day After the AG Proposes Ethics Reform
Cuomo Gains Support for Ethics Policies (NYT) With a budget deadline two weeks away, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Tuesday that he had come to an agreement on new ethics policies with the State Assembly, which his fellow Democrats control, though a deal with the Republicans who lead the State Senate was not secure. Details of the ethics package were scarce, though Mr. Cuomo said he was “more than happy” with the deal. * Lawmakers briefed on the agreement said it includes disclosure of income larger than $5,000, including the name of legal clients, verification for per-diem expenses and tighter campaign fund rules, the Daily News reports:  * Cuomo begins his second term with his lowest job approval rating, at 50 percent, and those polled indicated they trust the teachers union more than Cuomo to improve education, a Quinnipiac University poll found The Times Union writes that an “unfortunate new narrative”on police-community relations promoted by Rudy Giuliani has lent support to a state law that keeps details about the discipline of cops secret: Quid Pro Quo From Cuomo Prompts Battle With Lawmakers Over State Budget (NYT) Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s prevailing mode of governance this year appears to be extreme horse-trading: demanding changes from the Legislature, or else.* Albany veterans say few executives engaged in trading policy changes for budget concessions with the same gusto as Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but legislative leaders have rebuffed this strategy. “Call it quid pro quo or tit for tat, but the prevailing mode of governance this year for (Cuomo) is tying appropriations to new policy — or else.” This has prompted pushback from state lawmakers.Cuomo said he was “cautiously optimistic” that his agreement with the Assembly would pass with senators as well. “I think we’re there,” he said, adding: “There is going to be more disclosure, more transparency than has ever existed in this government.” The state Senate Democrats, tired of their “bounce-back clown punching bag” relationship with Cuomo, are finally distancing themselves and asserting some independence from the governor.* Schneiderman, Bharara Team Up On Bank Settlement (YNN)

Updated  The Post writes that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastiedeserves the perk of a taxpayer-funded Jeep Grand Cherokee, noting that his predecessor, Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, expensed flights to Albany:

The Assembly has spent $39,448 to pay for a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited used by new Speaker Carl Heastie, while his predecessor used a less flashy 2011 Ford Taurus, the Daily News reports: * Report: Lawmaker gets Cuomo admin job offer,then lawmakergoes on PR offensive against Cuomo critics  Astorino Astorino, In Albany, Says Cuomo Is Isolated (YNN) * Cuomo Is Pushed On Paid Leave (YNN) Woman Rights The Assembly will pass a package of anti-human trafficking legislation, but only a bill proposed by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin will then move toward the governor’s desk as the others are sent to the Senate for approval, the Times Union reports: * In a letter to Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Cuomo’s office challenged the mainline Democratic conference to voluntarily submit to the state’s Freedom of Information Law, State of Politics reports:  * Lawmakers including Sens. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Liz Krueger, and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito pushed Cuomo to back a paid leave measure that’s been embraced by both the Senate and Assembly, Stateof Politicsreports

Will Schlein, Vargas and Other Join Forces With Albany Corruption, INC?
An even more urgent question surrounds Heastie’s newer pals. As News columnist Juan Gonzalez recently noted of Heastie: “He’s surrounded himself over the years with some advisers for whom the word ‘sleazy’ would be a compliment.” One close ally, Stanley Schlein — who Heastie says he speaks to every day — was fined $15,000 by the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board after admitting to using his position as chairman of the city’s Civil Service Commission to illegally force public employees to run parts of his private law practice. Another crony, Howard Vargas — a Heastie staff member who doubles as the lawyer for the Bronx Democratic Party — runs a lucrative side business as a court-appointed receiver who’s supposed to take over distressed multifamily properties when landlords fall down on the job. But as a blistering Riverdale Press editorial pointed out in 2013: “With Mr. Vargas as the receiver, five buildings have been added to the city’s list of most distressed properties . . . while Mr. Vargas collects up to 5% of their rent. Despite his troubling performance, 

What Roll Will the Private Tammany Play With Heastie?
Eric Soufer who works for Risa Heller Communications who represents companies like Airbnb was listed as spokesperson for Heastie in a news story this week.  Heller guests on Louis's NY1 show was not part of his article today in the Daily News
Mr. Vargas never seems to have trouble landing more appointments.” And why should he? Like other county Democratic bosses, Heastie largely controls who gets the party’s nod for judgeships, and those judges hand out receiverships to favored insiders like Vargas. In 2009, reporter Tom Robbins noted, the Bronx judicial convention, where candidates get selected, was run by none other than Schlein. It could be that Heastie is an honest man who happens not to inquire too deeply into the ethics and behavior of the people around him.But the leader of a scandal-scarred institution has to create — and enforce — a much higher standard. And members should ask questions and demand that Heastie raise the ethical bar. They should heed the words of Joseph Lentol, the 72-year-old Brooklyn Assembly veteran in his 22nd term who hoped to become speaker, but dropped out when he realized his colleagues wouldn’t support his bid. “I thought I was the clean candidate, but that didn’t seem to matter,” Lentol said in a rueful radio interview, reported on by The New York Observer. It does matter. If the Assembly Dems haven’t figured that out by now, our state is in much more trouble than we think.* Worst illegal hotels in city to be revealed in report(NYDN)

You Got to Love It When Those With No Morals Under Silver Get Ethics Now
Glick: ‘Troubling Questions’ Should Push Back SpeakerVote (YNN) In an email newsletter released to constituents on Monday, Manhattan Assemblywoman Deborah Glick called for a vote on the next speaker to be pushed back to Feb. 10, the originally scheduled election date, after “troubling questions” have been raised over the process. Glick appears to be alluding to scrutiny that has been placed on the front runner to replace Sheldon Silver as speaker: Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie. Veteran Assemblywoman Wants to Keep Speaker Voteon February 10 (NYO)* The Assn. for a Better New York, composed of real estate and business machers in NYC, just blessed Carl Heastie's #nyassembly speaker bid.

Heastie Took Away Indicted Scarborough Committee Chairmanship . . .  Keeps Silver's Leadership Team
Indicted assemblymantemporarily loses committee chairman post(NYDN) New Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has removed indicted Assemblyman William Scarborough as chairman of the chamber's small business committee. Scarborough was replaced on a temporary basis by Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. If Scarborough his cleared of state charges that the he used more than $38,000 in campaign funds for his own personal benefit. The stipend for the committee chairmanship is $12,500. Thiele will not get the stipend since he already has another leadership post. * Heastie’s Assembly lists leadership posts (Capital). Heastie retained Herman Farrell (D-Manhattan) to run the Assembly’s Budget Committee and Majority Leader Joe Morelle (D-Rochester) to run the day-to-day operations of the Assembly, jobs that come with $34,000 stipends. Heastie also kept Assembly members Joe Lentol (D-Brooklyn), Cathy Nolan (D-Queens), and Keith Wright (D-Manhattan) in place as heads of the Codes, Education and Housing committees, even though they ran against him.*Only one member (temporarily) lost his committee chairmanship, which came with a $12,500 stipend: Assemblyman William Scarborough, who has been indicted on state and federal corruption charges, no longer heads the Small Business Committee.* A surprise fromSpeaker Carl Heastie (NYDN Ed)  In a good move out of the gate, the new Assembly boss sets a new policy and sidelines an indicted committee chair

Skelos Asks Cuomo for Help Against Heastie Insiders say state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos expects tough fights with new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and is turning to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who will not be supportive, the Post’s Fredric Dickerreports "Rumors persist that Skelos won’t be GOP leader for much longer and is eyeing retirement at the end of next yr."If Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is looking for an ally in the governor against the uber-progressive agenda laid out by new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, he’s looking in the wrong place, according to Fred Dicker. Heastie College Access Hoping to boost college access for low- and middle-income New Yorkers, Heastie outlineda series of initiatives his chamber will prioritize in the upcoming state budget talks. Though he supported the Education Investment Tax Credit in the past, he’s now re-evaluating based on his new position.* Minority caucus touts Heastie (TU) New Assembly speaker brings diversity to leadership, members say* As the state Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators looks to make its mark on state policy this year, one of its own – Heastie – holds one of the three most powerful jobs in Albany.* Public Financing Lobby On The Sidelines For Now(YNN) * Sheldon Silver Says He SteppedDown For 'Good of the Institution'(JP Jewishpress) * DiNapoli: Conversations Underway On Per Diem Reform (YNN) * Cuomo Gifts Heastie With A Ceremonial Gavel(YNN) * Heastie removed his name as a sponsor from all state legislation, including a mixed martial arts bill, a move a spokesman said is intended to minimize undue influence on members, the Daily News reports:  Pay Us More Not to Rip Off the Per Diem Pay? State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said he is discussing reforms to the per diem system for state lawmakers with Heastie and that it could be part of a legislative pay raise, State of Politics reports:   * Cuomo has begun his second term with little of the presidential buzz that attended his first year in office, as reflected in declining poll numbers and lackluster memoir sales, the Times Union reports: * In his letter of resignation from the speaker’s post, Assemblyman Sheldon Silver said he stepped down for the good of the institution.

Heastie Black Agenda and the Sharpton Stop 
Sharpton defends three men in a room: "Don't talk about breaking up the trio now. We just got in the trio." 

Assembly SpeakerCarl Heastie hopes to boost college access for low, middle income New Yorkers (NYDN) Speaking at a City University luncheon at the state Capitol complex, Heastie said the Assembly Democrats will push for creation of a state DREAM Act to provide public tuition assistance money to the college kids of undocumented immigrants.

New York’s New Assembly Leader Vows to Aid Blacks(NYT)  At a rally in Harlem, Carl E. Heastie, the first African-American speaker of the New York Assembly, cited reforming the criminal justice system as one of his goals. “This is a tremendous opportunity for our community,” Mr. Heastie said at a rally hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton in Harlem. As speaker, Mr. Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, will join the governor and the State Senate majority leader as Albany’s “three men in a room” who negotiate the state budget and other important matters. “All of you are going to be sitting at that table with me for the first time in history,” Mr. Heastie said at the headquarters of Mr. Sharpton’s National Action Network. He cited reforming the criminal justice system as one of his goals.* Sharpton: "You respected Shelly Silver. You gave him deference. And you're going to show the same respect to Carl Heastie." * Carl Heastie on WBLS right now comparing the "3 men in a room" concept to how the President does business in D.C.* New York Speaker Calls Stronger Rent Laws His Top Priority(NYT)In his first public appearance with Mayor Bill de Blasio since being elected Assembly speaker, Carl E. Heastie allied himself with Mr. de Blasio’s tenants’-rights efforts.* * Newly elected Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced the appointments of two key staffers to handle budget issues—Blake Washington and Philip Fields, State of Politicsreports:  The Observer takes an in depth look at Heastie and whetherhe will be able to step out of the shadow of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and hold his own during budget negotiations with Cuomo* Allowing lawmakers to have an outside income but requiring full disclosure of the job would be a far simpler way to clean up Albany, instead of a full-time legislature, which would allow a significant pay raise, the Postwrites:

Speaker Heastie Lobbyists Pals MirRam Groups Pushes Predatory Lending Targeted to Minoritie
Industry group cashes in with Heastie lobbyist(CrainsNY)A lobbying firm with close ties to new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and many other minority politicians has been retained to push a controversial bill that would allow check cashers to make high-interest loans, records show. In December, the MirRam Group was hired by Financial Service Centers of New York, an industry group, for $10,000 a month to push check cashers' bill in Albany. Mr. Heastie, D-Bronx, then became speaker—a development that clients of MirRam may see as a stroke of luck. MirRam co-founder Roberto Ramirez, a former assemblyman and Bronx Democratic leader, is reportedlyhelping Mr. Heastie with his transition. Mr. Heastie had in 2013 sponsored the check cashers' legislation, which the Daily News called "horrendeous" and which was also opposed by Benjamin Lawsky, the Cuomo administration's chief banking regulator. MirRam is particularly influential among minority elected officials in Manhattan and the Bronx. Mr. Lawsky, who heads the Department of Financial Services, has said the check cashers' bill would legalize predatory lending, which he is trying to eradicate.*  NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito's "HonestGraft"? (BoricuaVision.com)* Will Carl Heastie Be His Own Man or a SheldonSilver Clone? (NYO)

The newly picked speaker of the state Assembly, Carl Heastie, met with @TheRevAl Saturday (Newsday) Sharpton on how black New Yorkers view Heastie: "If you mess with Carl, you’re messing with us”* Sharpton: "Even in my rebel days...my medallion had Martin Luther King on it. I didnt have Che Guevara.” * "A de Blasioaide said Mr. Sharpton wasn't central to the conversation between the mayor andthe union chiefs." (WSJ) * Al Sharpton on Carl Heastie: "He doesn't holler loud like me, but he ain't no punk, I want y'all to know that." * Assembly SpeakerCarl Heastie aided nonprofit that stopped filing taxes before going bankrupt (NYDN) The Bronx Business Alliance stopped filing tax forms after the 2008-09 tax year, reporting a $34,000 deficit. Nevertheless, Heastie kept sponsoring funding for the group.* After a late State of the State address and an Assembly leadership roller coaster, state government appears to be back on track with a month of session already past. In that time, the state Senate, a house known for its own turmoil in recent years, has plugged away, acting as a rudder for legislative action.* "I'll lean whichever way the conference leans"-Assembly Speaker Heastie on rules re legislators' outside income 

No Transparency In Communications Between de Blasio and Sharpton
"City Hall took6 months to produce just 1 exchange totaling 11 words.” (NYP) Nothing in writing!Although Mayor de Blasio and Rev. Al Sharpton are close confidants who are said to speak regularly and at length on the phone, it seems they want to circumvent scrutiny by avoiding e-mail. When The Post asked for all correspondence between the two from the time the mayor took office on Jan. 1, 2014, until early last August, City Hall took six months to produce just one exchange totaling 11 words.Sharpton refused to talk about how he talks to the mayor. The Mayor’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.

Heastie Got $26,000 From the Trial Lawyers 
 His final grant was for $115,000 in 2009-2010, and other politicians directed hundreds of thousands of dollars more in 2010-2011. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie steered more than $600,000 to a Bronx nonprofit that had no official board, filed no tax forms for years while receiving taxpayer funding and ultimately went bankrupt. The Bronx Business Alliance stopped filing tax forms after the 2008-09 tax year, reporting a $34,000 deficit.bankrupt The Bronx Business Alliance stopped filing tax forms after the 2008-09 tax year, reporting a $34,000 deficit. Nevertheless, Heastie kept sponsoring funding for the group. His final grant was for $115,000 in 2009-2010, and other politicians directed hundreds of thousands of dollars more in 2010-2011.* ‘Call me': De Blasio and Sharpton’s single email exchange(NYP)* "City Hall took six months to produce just one exchangetotaling 11 words." (NYP)

Assembly SpeakerCarl Heastie's mentor once targeted by federal corruption investigation (NYDN) Prosecutors were probing whether employees at a nonprofit Bronx politician Larry Seabrook controlled and funded with taxpayer dollars were forced to work on his 1994 campaign for Assembly. ‘Call me': De Blasio and Sharpton’s single email exchange (NYP)Ruben Diaz Jr. slips Carl Heastie cash at Sharpton event(NYP) But it wasn’t your typical Albany payoff. It was just Diaz trying to save his fellow Dem from looking ungenerous. The two pols were seated next to each other on stage when Sharpton, as he usually does after his Saturday speeches, called out for handouts like an auctioneer. As people began tossing money into a wicker collection basket in front of the stage, the new speaker seemed to come up empty-handed.* Reading tea leaveson new speaker (CrainsNY) Though not a prodigious bill writer, he once sponsored legislation to let check-cashers make high-interest loans. Bill proponents donated $10,000 to the Bronx Democratic Party that Mr. Heastie led; Mr. Heastie has said that had no effect on him. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's chief banking regulator, Benjamin Lawsky, helped kill the bill, arguing that poor people would be sucked into debt.Heastie Keep Rent Laws De Blasio, Heastie meet to discuss rent reform  * Heastie, de Blasio promise to extend rent regulations(NYDN)* New Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has retained the staff from his predecessor Sheldon Silver and is expected to keep them on at least through the transition and budget talks, the Post reports: * * De Blasio and Heastie said they sought to strengthen rent regulation laws up for renewal in Albany, which the speaker called his “number one priority,” the Times reports: * New Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio met yesterday at Ebbets Field Apartments in Brooklyn to discuss the urgent need to renew and strengthen rent regulations this legislative session and for more effective enforcement against violating rent laws.* Heastie vows affordable housing will be his top priority(NYP)* * State Sen. John Flanagan questioned the push to prohibit lawmakers from earning an outside income and asserted that New York would be the only state to have such a measure in place, State of Politicsreports:

Heastie Flack Comments On the Felony Conviction of His Mother 
Carl Heastie addresses mom's felony embezzling conviction: 'a sad chapter' (NYDN) Helene Heastie pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree grand larceny after her arrest for embezzling $197,000 from a nonprofit in the mid-1990s. The new speaker of the Assembly had remained silent about the incident until a statement issued Friday by his spokesman.  In his first public comments on this incident, Heastie (D-Bronx) addressed what he dubbed “a sad chapter” in his life in a statement issued Friday by his spokesman Michael Whyland in response to questions from the Daily News. “The lessons imparted to the speaker over the course of a lifetime, including this painful and sad time for his family, included owning up to mistakes and taking responsibility,” Why land stated.  The DA charged she and a co-worker systematically raided the charity’s bank accounts to pay off credit card debt and make personal purchases. They used a rubber stamp of the charity’s board chairman, a local judge, to authorize checks, including for $5,877 worth of furniture for Helene Heastie's home in the Bronx.* Heastie made his first public comments on a “sad chapter” in his life in which his mother was arrested and convicted in the mid-1990s on charges of looting a taxpayer-funded nonprofit that was supposed to help the elderly and sick.

Heastie made his first public comments on his mother’s conviction of embezzling $197,000 from a nonprofit that provided home health care to Medicare and Medicaid recipients
When a co-worker at Southeast Bronx tipped off the chairman to the ruse, Helene Heastie and the co-worker were terminated in November 1995 and arrested in April 1997. On Friday, Whyland called the arrest “a sad chapter in the speaker’s life,” made worse by debilitating illnesses afflicting both his mother and father at the time. On Sunday, The News reported Heastie sponsored more than $600,000 for a Bronx nonprofit that had no official board, stopped filing tax returns while receiving some of that money, and went bankrupt. Heastie responded, “It was a group that did good work. We give the documentation, but it’s really up to the regulatory agencies to follow through on their paperwork. I didn’t have any involvement in the day-to-day operations. But I will say this, I would expect any organization that gets public funding should follow with the documentation.” The News also reported that Carl Heastie was the bookkeeper of another Bronx nonprofit in the mid-1990s that was the subject of a federal corruption probe over the misuse of funds. Workers at the nonprofit, which was funded and controlled by Heastie’s mentor, Bronx politician Larry Seabrook, had come forward to say they’d been forced to work on Seabrook’s political campaign while on the nonprofit’s clock. Besides being the nonprofit’s bookkeeper, Heastie was also treasurer of Seabrook’s campaign. On Friday, Heastie said he had no knowledge of the nonprofit’s workers doing double duty on the campaign, emphasizing that he was a part-time bookkeeper and saying he merely filed Seabrook’s campaign disclosure documents with the state. No charges resulted from that probe, but in a later investigation of the same nonprofit, after Heastie was in the Assembly and no longer its bookkeeper — Seabrook was indicted and convicted of looting the nonprofit.* * State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said his Republican conference and Cuomo are discussing ethics reform and that there needs to be “full transparency” in state government, State of Politics reports * The IDC is taking a hardline approach to non-legislative income in its new ethics reform package, calling for a complete ban.

Fun facts: #ShellySilver dislikes Stanley Schlein. Bill Clinton, Bill de Blasio, Rev Al Sharpton & I have used Schlein as an elex lawyer.

 Carl Heastie's first weekend as NYS Assembly speaker & what's first thing on his schedule? Obeisance to Sharpton.

More on Speaker Heastie

Daily News New King Heastie Same As the Old King Silver
Heastie’s inability to recognize that the Assembly and the rest of Albany need fundamental change makes Cuomo insistence that he won’t sign the budget without key reforms
Assembly Democrats:They've learned nothing from Sheldon Silver scandal (NYDN Ed) The new boss in Albany, Carl Heastie, settles all too comfortably into his predecessor's secrecy. The new boss in Albany sees no evil and hears no evil. New Yorkers can only pray that, with Carl Heastie as speaker, members of the state Assembly will do no evil. Count on dashed hopes. Heastie has not the slightest interest in, nor an instinct for, transparent governance. His inability to recognize that the Assembly and the rest of Albany need fundamental change makes it all the more welcome that Gov. Cuomo has drawn a line in the sand, declaring that he won’t sign the budget without key reforms. Topping Cuomo’s list is full disclosure of members’ outside income, including who’s paying and for what work. * Neither snow nor rain, nor gloom spread by prosecutors stopped the Assembly from business as usual—abandoning even the facade of a vetting process for its new leader, Heastie, Newsday writes * Process For Speaker Conducted Behind The Scenes (YNN)

Where Are the Reforms? 

The New Mob Boss Speaker Will Be As Corrupt As the Mob Boss Silver

The bottom line is that Silver wasn’t the cause of Albany’s dysfunction – but merely its biggest symptom. There’s nothing stopping the next Speaker from launching a law practice or a political consulting firm and then covering his client list with a legal veil of secrecy that might only be lifted if an investigator with subpoena powers comes along. Albany needs lobbying reform before the new speaker is picked.
“He’s angered the Republicans in the Senate [by supporting Democrats in last year’s elections], and you know he can’t count on [Gov.] Cuomo.” Silver was pivotal in helping the city secure hundreds of millions of dollars for expanding pre-kindergarten in 2014.* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he still supported Silver as Assembly speaker and denied his staff was pushing any replacement in Albany, but he said any new leader should be from the city, the Daily News says: 

Silver's Leaving Only Offers the Opportunity of Change 
Sheldon Silver and New York’s ‘Caldron of Corruption’(NYT)  The arrest of the Assembly speaker doesn’t let the governor and lawmakers off the hook. Here’s how they can start the cleanup.Without real change, New York’s lawmakers could simply continue to rob the public of more than money, as the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, said recently. These lawmakers cheat New Yorkers of the honest and productive representation they need and deserve. Lawmakers have a chokehold on taxes, development, traffic and even education in New York City.Over the last decade, more than 30 state officials have gone to prison or been accused of sexual or civic wrongdoing ranging from bribery to stealing state money and extortion. The group of 30 includes several lawmakers accused of sexual harassment. One governor resigned in scandal, a comptroller — the watchdog of the public purse — was jailed for fraud. Of Albany’s many ethical problems, here are the three most urgent. In each case, we offer an ideal, long-term solution and a short-term “until then” fix. 1. Outside Income 2. Campaign Finance 3. Oversight * New York’sReal Scandal (NYT) “The scandal isn’t what’s illegal,” goes one of Michael Kinsley’s best-known sayings. “The scandal is what’s legal.” 

You Do Not Fix the Speaker's Corrupt by Electing A New Mob Head Speaker
To elect a less corrupt speaker you need to change the players that elected the members that elect the speaker lobbyist, party leaders
"I hope Silver's removal will lead to many necessary changes so Assembly can operate as true democracy & better serve all people across NY."

True News Question: Why did not a single lawmaker ever saw something that led him to say something. It is not humanly possible that none ever suspected that, as Bharara charged, Silver “monetized public office.”After all, Silver disclosed most of the outside income at the heart of the charges and the lawmakers had to notice how the Speaker doled out cash to favorite people and organizations.  If nobody suspected something amiss, Albany is the dumbest place in America. More likely, lawmakers of both parties were fine with the obvious corruption; as Bharara’s record proves, some elected crooks saw Silver as a role model and got on gravy train of their own.

Cup Cake to change the system you have to change reform lobbyists and party leaders who elect the bums electing the New Speaker
Mr. Heastie will now be one of the three most powerful politicians in NYS
This speech from Heastie is in part a rebuke of Silver's leadership: calls for reform, outside income caps, devolving of power from speaker * Heastie said among immediate priorities:min wage hike,Dream Act,Women's Equality Act,crimin justice reforms,on-time budget. * Carl Heastie becomes first African-American State Assembly Speaker(NYP) * Heastie Is Elected Speaker of New York Assembly (NYT) * Cuomo Congratulates Heastie(YNN)* New Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie brought his daughterTaylor, to Albany to witness today’s historic vote.* Heastie got a celebratory cake. * Speaker Vote Set For 11 A.M.(YNN) The die for Heastie’s election as speaker was cast when Queens Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan this afternoon acknowledged she did not have the votes to defeat Heastie’s bid and withdrew from consideration. Nolan insisted she was not dropping out of the race, but conceded defeat. Lawmakers emerged from a closed-door meeting after support had coalesced around Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, to replace outgoing speaker Sheldon Silver, who faces five counts of corruption charges. “We cast a unanimous ballot,” Morelle said. “It was for Carl Heastie. Morelle insisted Heastie had been properly vetted over the last several days ahead of the vote. Initially, Democrats planned for a vote on Feb. 10, but with support rapidly building around Heastie, lawmakers moved for an accelerated time frame. “People had an opportunity to talk to him and answer questions and we’re prepared to move forward,” Morelle said. * Carl Heastie, Legislator From Bronx, Is Poised to Become New York Assembly Speaker (NYT)  After the last of four challengers dropped out, Mr. Heastie, whose ascent has not been stopped by reports that his campaign spending was once under scrutiny, became the sole candidate for the post. * Meet Carl Heastie, the Flawed Politician Who Might Lead the N.Y. Assembly (NYT) He has a thin legislative record and racked up $23,440 in per diem and travel expenses in 2014.* BREAKING: Carl Heastie Is Elected the First African-AmericanSpeaker of the State Assembly * 'WE WILL CHANGE THE CYNICISM INTO TRUST': Bronx Democrat Carl Heastie formally selected as Assembly speaker, officially replacing embattled Sheldon Silver(NYDN)

Getting to Know Heastie Governing Style 
Bronx AssemblymanCarl Heastie, set to become the next speaker, is similar to Sheldon Silver(NYDN)  While of different generations, boroughs and backgrounds, Heastie and Silver are both career politicians who rose up the ranks of local city Democratic clubs through behind-the-scenes maneuvering and alliance building to become major players in state politics. “It’s sort of like Shelly (Silver),” said a veteran state lawmaker from the city, referring to the recently arrested and often-inscrutable current speaker who isstepping down Monday. “(Heastie) has a quiet, self-effacing attitude that makes it hard to read him.” Yet, at a time when corruption in Albany has become the only story in the state’s capital — and lawmakers and officials remain squarely in the sights of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara — Heastie hardly stands out as a reformer, a change agent. 

Just the opposite, in fact. Heastie, who also heads the Democratic County Committee in the notoriously corrupt Bronx, comes to the new position with some baggage. Four Bronx lawmakers have been arrested on corruption charges since he became chairman in 2008. When he did vote, Heastie sided with Silver 98.9% of the time. He introduced a relatively modest 51 bills during the 2014 session, only five of which were approved by the Assembly, according to NYPIRG. Critics have suggested Heastie’s personality, including his aversion to the press, could be problematic as he takes on the high-profile post of Assembly speaker. “I find him to be thin-skinned,” said one veteran Bronx political operative. 

Supporters are confident, however, he will grow into the role. Unlike other lawmakers who have lucrative nonlegislative jobs or financial investments, Heastie’s outside interests are limited largely to a job as an adjunct professor at Monroe College, where he reported earnings of between $5,000 and $20,000 in 2013. Heastie’s most recent financial disclosure statement also showed modest investments worth less than $10,000 — a far cry from Silver’s stock portfolio of up to $2.5 million — up to $50,000 in credit card debts and $20,000 in debt consolidation liabilities. Heastie, however, is perhaps best known in political circles for leading a multiethnic coalition — dubbed the Rainbow Rebels — that ousted Assemblyman Jose Rivera as leader of the Bronx Democratic Party in 2008, ending what had been years of tumult within the organization. “After he was elected as county leader, he could have taken the point of view that he should push out the losing side, but he thought the wiser thing was to bring all the factions together,” said Dinowitz, who, along with Diaz, was a member of the Rainbow Rebels.* Heastie: Speakerwould be ‘my only job’  *Heastie steered hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money to campaign contributors, including those with business before the committee he chairs, Capital New Yorkreports: * * The Assembly’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus is backing Assemblyman Carl Heastie in his bid to succeed Sheldon Silver and become the first speaker of color, the Times Union writes: Heastie's Trial Lawyers Connect  Business advocates are worried trial lawyers may have sway with Silver’s likely successor, Heastie, because his political adviser and friend is a lobbyist for the state Trial Lawyers Association, the Post reports:  * A top Heastie political adviser and college pal, Patrick Jenkins, is a lobbyist for the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Jenkins pulls in $8,000 a month fighting for trial lawyers in the halls of Albany — which often means killing any legislation that could cut fat jury payouts to lawyers and litigation costs for local governments and businesses. Heastie pays Jenkins $4,000 a month as his political consultant through the Bronx Democratic Party’s housekeeping account, state Board of Elections show. Heastie is the county’s Democratic leader. Heastie has received $26,300 in campaign contributions from trial lawyer groups since 2000, more than any of the other candidates that have sought to become Assembly speaker, according to the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York.* Bronx’s Heastie Gains Early Support To Be Speaker(WSJ) Bronx power broker Carl Heastie has emerged as the front-runner to succeed Sheldon Silver, who departs Monday as speaker of the New York state Assembly.

Heastie Unlike Silver Did Not Use Government to Become A Rich
Heastie Has No Skin In the Silver Game to Use Government to Make Money for Himself and His Developer Friends NY Times vets Bronx Democratic Assemblyman @CarlHeastie, who's poised to become next Speaker of the State Assembly
Speaker Candidate Drew Ethics Panel’s Notice(NYT) Carl E. Heastie, a lawmaker from the Bronx who has emerged as the favorite to succeed Sheldon Silver, attracted the attention of the now-defunct Moreland Commission on corruption in Albany.Over $10,000 for car repairs. Hundreds of dollars in interest and finance charges on credit-card balances. Thousands of dollars in expenses for which no explanation was given. Moreland subpoenaed his campaign’s bank records to see whether he was using political donations for personal expenses, records show.Assemblyman Heastie has been accused of no wrongdoing, federal prosecutors have signaled no interest in him, and the potential violations of campaign spending rules flagged by Moreland investigators — who were halted before they could finish their work — were a far cry from out-and-out graft.

Heastie Will Be Pressured By the Permanent Government to Continue Their VIP Service
Mr. Heastie’s spokesman has said he believed the campaign was in compliance.In a statement on Friday, Mr. Heastie said: “I am eager to work with my colleagues to develop and enact reforms that will bring more transparency, openness, and accountability to the Assembly. It is time for us to move forward.”  An internal memorandum prepared by the Moreland staff cited Mr. Heastie among 28 lawmakers — out of the 213-seat Legislature — whose campaign reports from 2008 to 2013 showed more than $10,000 in spending that was not detailed. The memo said the failure to identify recipients or itemize credit-card payments “raises questions about whether campaign funds are being used for personal expenses instead of permissible election purposes.

”Mr. Heastie’s campaign bank account at HSBC was subpoenaed by investigators, the memo said. But the commission’s work was not completed when the panel was closed last year in a deal between lawmakers and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat.The review of Mr. Heastie’s filings also showed that he has been somewhat lax in his accounting. His campaign paid more than $900 for parking and traffic tickets. The elections board prohibits lawmakers from billing parking tickets to their campaign accounts. “It was the committee’s understanding that this was an allowable expense under existing law,” Mr. Soufer said. “However, if that is not the case, we will address the issue immediately.” His campaign has also paid over $10,000 in charges at an auto body shop in the Bronx. He pays for his own car, but Mr. Soufer said he used it to campaign. The campaign also covered more than $1,500 in interest charges on the campaign’s own American Express card.* N.Y. Ethics Agency Faces Questions (WSJ) After a series of high-profile arrests and corruption scandals in Albany, some are questioning the effectiveness of an ethics agency that Gov. Andrew Cuomo created to clean up the Capitol.

Daily News Called Heastie An Empty Suit . . . A Puppet of the Party Boss Fixers
Bronx's Carl Heastie Rises from Obscurity to Likely Speaker Successor(NY1) Daily News says Assembly Democratsare being too hasty about Carl Heastie (NYDN Ed)  It’s an open secret that many legislators milk the Assembly’s loosey-goosey expense accounts to pad their paychecks — by making extraneous trips to Albany to collect “per diems” for meals and lodging that are currently worth $182 a day. Heastie stands out for claiming the third-largest expense haul of any Assembly member in 2014 — collecting mileage and per diems exceeding $22,000. (That’s on top of a salary of $93,500.) A call to Heastie’s office seeking an explanation got us nowhere, no doubt because any attempt to portray him as a legislative dynamo would not fly. Heastie missed votes on 173 bills — or 15% of the legislation the Assembly passed in 2014, according to an analysis by the New York Public Interest Research Group. Only 13 other members skipped more. When Heastie was present in the chamber, NYPIRG found that he spoke during debate on only four of the 1,138 bills that he didn’t sponsor. And the Labor Committee that he chairs — for a stipend of $14,000 — held just one announced hearing all year. Still more, Heastie’s campaign committee has reimbursed him for thousands of dollars in credit-card charges without giving details as required. And the Bronx Democratic Committee that he heads has yet to file financial disclosure reports that were due on Jan. 15.

Memo to NYT CityDesk: This is just one of Carl Heastie's other bad dogs. Neither are namedSpot. (Riverdale Press) What's left unsaid is that the judges owe their jobs to Heastie and Schlein

If You Looking for Reform of Our Broken Election System Forgetaboutit
The Kinds of Reforms that are Likely to Pass are Making It Easier to Get Bill Heard on the Floor.   Reforms That Will Give More Power to the Member Not the Voters
Declaring that, above all, they wanted to restore trust, the Democrats said that Silver would depart by Monday and that candidates for speaker would have until Feb. 10 to campaign for the post. But now the bosses are short-circuiting the process. Heastie doesn’t dare. While his paid public relations people spout about trust and openness, he is granting very limited press interviews. He favored the Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez but shuns extensive probing, including by this Editorial Board. Heastie Moreland Problem No surprise there, because Heastie is a man with blemishes. He happens to be a featured name in the files of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, for having failed to properly account for $25,000 in campaign spending. No Comment Heastie Many have pointed out that Heastie’s favorite phrase is “no comment.”  Does this mean New Yorkers will continue to have no idea what is going on in Albany when he is Speaker?* Heastie Solidifies Support For Speaker (YNN) Closer to speakership, Carl Heastie has high per diems andcredit card debt; missed 173 votes last year

Heastie Solidifies Support in 1 Day  . . .  County Leads See They Opportunity and They Are Taking It  
The Election for Speaker is Ending So Fast, Where are The Reform Demands?

As for the progressive paragon’s Assembly record, Heastie sponsored a 2013 bill that would have allowed check-cashing outlets to make loans to low-income New Yorkers at interest rates up to 200%. The check cashers had dumped $10,000 into his party accounts.The Democratic bosses went into eclipse when Rudy Giuliani was elected mayor. Mostly, they had to be satisfied with plundering Surrogate’s Court for patronage, as Heastie has done. For a brief time, Seddio even took a seat on the Surrogate’s bench, only to be driven out by the Commission on Judicial Conduct for ethical breaches.Now, with Mayor de Blasio’s assistance, the bosses have sugar-plum dreams of holding sway over the Assembly, dispenser of billions of dollars and granter of an infinite number of legislative benefits. In Heastie, they would have one of their own. * Sheldon Silver is not the only one who had off-budget fundsat the state Health Department(WNYC) * The quicker-than-expected succession process has drawn concern from Assembly Republicans and various good-government groups, who had called for a more open proceeding, Gannett Albany writes:  * Heastie will meet with the Assembly’s newly minted “Reform Caucus”, a group of at least 30 lawmakers who are pushing for reforms in the wake of Silver’s arrest, Gannett Albany reports: * Following Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s demise, restoring the public trust in government through a robust reform agenda should be Cuomo’s top priority, the NYT says.

Shadow Government Lobbyists Schlein Tied to Heastie at the Hip
“The only constant in Bronx politics for the past 35 years has been Stanley Schlein,” said Michael Benjamin, a former Bronx assemblyman. “He is the last man standing. He is the institutional memory.”
Stanley Schlein, a City Island attorney and lobbyist who speaks daily with Assemblyman Carl Heastie, will amass more influence if Heastie is vaulted to Assembly speaker
A Seasoned Bronx PowerBroker Looks to Rise With Carl Heastie (NYO) Mr. Schlein, 67, is not an elected official or the leader of the Bronx machine, like Mr. Heastie. Rather, the canny attorney and lobbyist is the unseen architect of much of what does or doesn’t happen in Bronx politics, orchestrating coups when the Democratic elite ignores him or ensuring his well-heeled clients, like the New York Yankees, extract the best deal from an intransigent, or sometimes pliant, bureaucracy.

Schlein is de Blasio's Election Lawyer
Along the way, he’s faced his share of scandals, including his ouster as chairman of the city’s Civil Service Commission.A Heastie speakership would be a boon to Mr. Schlein and the many clients—the Rent Stabilization Association, the New York Hall of Science, Dominion Voting Systems and the Yankees, to name a few—he has represented before the city and state government. Having friends in power is nothing new to Mr. Schlein. Regarded as a masterful election lawyer and maker of judges,

Flack Lobbyists Arzt Represented Lobbyist Schlein When he was Fired From the NYC Civil Service Commission

When the The New York City Conflicts of Interest Board has fined Stanley K. Schlein, a prominent political lawyer, lobbyist and former chairman of the New York City Civil Service Commission, $15,000 for misusing city resources and personnel to perform work for his private law practice, Flack George Arzt represented Schlein.   Mr. Schlein did not respond to messages left on his cellphone. But a spokesman, George Arzt, said, “Mr. Schlein decided to settle this matter on an expeditious basis and has agreed to the stipulated payment called for in the settlement.”
Mr. Schlein has cultivated ties in every single mayoral administration from Abraham Beame in the tumultuous 1970s to Bill de Blasio today. Mr. Schlein was one of Mr. de Blasio’s election lawyers during his campaigns for mayor and public advocate, bailing out the future mayor in 2009 when he was initially booted off the ballot. When ex-State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. and his Democratic renegade allies initially refused to help give the Democratic Conference their long-sought-after majority unless they were properly rewarded in their share of the spoils, there was Mr. Schlein, representing the Espada faction in their negotiations with Gov. David Paterson and the Senate. Mr. Espada would briefly become majority leader before the legislative chaos, and his own legal troubles, ended his political career.Mr. Schlein, of course, survived. 

And for his ability to negotiate deals, drive insurgents off the ballot and protect those that pay for his services, the Bronx attorney is revered Mr. Schlein also served as a court-appointed fiduciary, a choice reward for Democratic loyalists, and this too did not end well. In 2006, the Office of Court Administration barred him from taking new assignments after he mishandled the finances of the infirm and the elderly. Whether it was successfully pushing for taxpayers to finance a new Yankee Stadium, defending the Bronx machine or bungling his fiduciary duties, Mr. Schlein has attracted plenty of prominent critics. Tom Robbins, a CUNY Graduate Center journalism professor and former Village Voice investigative journalist, was never enamored with the Bronx power broker he often covered. “Look, the lovable political rascal part of Stanley Schlein fades pretty quickly when you take a close look at how he’s used his clout over the years,” Mr. Robbins said.  Here Comes the Mud Carl Heastie made campaign payments to ex for work she didn’t do (NYP) The Bronx Democrat on the verge of becoming the next Assembly speaker paid his baby mama $2,500 from his campaign treasury — raising ethical concerns following disgraced Sheldon Silver’s corruption bust, The Post has learned. Assemblyman Carl Heast­ie’s campaign made two payments of $1,250 in 2011 to aspiring model Alvita “Lan” Robertson, the mother of his 5-year-old daughter, to design a campaign Web site. Robertson subcontracted the work to someone else — and still got paid.

Board of Election Reforms Forgetaboutit
In October, 2010, the Board of Elections booted executive director George Gonzalez after revelations that he had incorrectly placed Wills on the Republican ballot line beneath GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, rather than beneath Democrat Andrew Cuomo, among other mistakes. The error would likely have cost Wills votes in the heavily Democratic district, but ballots were eventually fixed. A number of people close to the situation suspected the ballot placement was politically motivated, given Gonzalez’s close connections with election lawyer Stanley Schlein, who was serving as the attorney for Nicole Paultre-Bell, Wills’ chief rival in the Council race. * Election Board's "Bungle George" Gonzalez Was Mayor Bloomberg's Baby

Skelos the Third Amigo Under Fed Investigation . . .  Shocking Feds Looking at Ties to Real Estate Industry 
Senate leader Dean Skelos is Preet’s new target(NYP) In the latest probe of a high-ranking state legislator, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is being investigated by federal authorities over his sources of income, ­according to a new report. Skelos’ connections to real-estate deals were being looked into by US Attorney Preet Bharara, who last week jolted Albany with the arrest of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, WNBC/Channel 4 reported Thursday. Skelos, the highest ranking Republican in state government, has not been charged with a crime and could not be reached for comment Thursday. The Nassau County, LI, politician serves as a counsel for the law firm Ruskin, Moscou Faltischek, which is engaged in ­real-estate litigation.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s investigators are examining state Sen. Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ outside income and ties to the real estate industry, but the legal firm employing Skelos said it was not itself being probed, NBC New York reports: * YOU'RE NEXT, PAL! After targeting shady Sheldon Silver, Preet Bharara shifts attention to state Senate boss Dean Skelos and his questionable outside income(NYDN) * Feds investigating NY Senate leader Dean Skelos, sourcestell (WNBC) * Skelos Comes Under Scrutiny(YNN) * NY Senate MajorityLeader Skelos called a report that he's under investigation 'irresponsible'(Newsday) * Skelos Denies Being Contacted By Feds (YNN) * State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos being investigatednext by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara: report(WNBC)* Just wanted to remindeveryone that Dean Skelos sent $711K of our tax money to fight subpoenas to hisprivate lawfirm (YNN)

In huge boost forCarl Heastie, Joseph Morelle abandons campaign for speaker. Cathy Nolan says she'sstill in it (NYDN)* A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos pushed back against a report that the Long Island Republican is under federal investigation after Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested last week, State of Politics reports: * Dean Skelos laughs off reports he’s being investigated(NYP)  Sources told The Post that US Attorney Preet Bharara, who brought charges against Silver and has vowed to clean up Albany, is looking at Skelos’ connections to various real-estate deals. He serves as a counsel for the law firm Ruskin Moscou Faltischek in Uniondale, which specializes in ­real-estate litigation. In 2013, Skelos ­reported being paid between $150,000 and $250,000 by the firm, which did not respond to a request for comment. “People over the years have raised the question, ‘What does Dean do for that firm?’ People are nervous,” an Albany insider said.* Shel-Skel hell (NYP Ed)  So that’s why Dean Skelos never asked Shelly Silver to step down as Assembly speaker: According to new reports, the Senate majority leader is himself under federal investigation. * No word from feds on probe of state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, spokeswoman says(NYDN)

New Speaker's Race Wraping Up . . .  Wright Out . . .  Brooklyn for Heastie? 

Next Speaker?
Inbox: @Wright4Harlem drops out of Assembly speaker race, throws his support to @CarlHeastie
Rangel's congressional district extends into the Bronx, where Heastie is the Democratic leader. Wright's base is in Manhattan, in Harlem.*Wright Withdraws From Speaker Race, Backs Heastie (YNN) @CTLizB @Wright4Harlem March to 76 just got easier for @CarlHeastie Brooklyn Democratic Party to Back Heastie Brooklyn Democratic Party to back Carl Heastie for Assembly speaker(NYP) * Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, a Brooklyn Democrat, has dropped out of the race for Assembly speaker, throwing his support behind Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, Gannett Albanyreports: * Albany’s male-dominated culture makes it difficult for women to rise to power, according to Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, the lone woman seeking to replace Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver,Gannett Albany reports:  * The Times Uniondetails the JCOPE filings of the four proclaimed candidates for Assembly speaker, but the filings reveal less than one might hope: * Brooklyn AssemblymanJoe Lentol abandons bid for speaker, endorses Heastie (NYDN) * Lentol Withdraws From Speaker’s Race, Backs Carl Heastie(YNN) Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan said she’s continuing with her speaker bid even though support is consolidating behind Assemblyman Carl Heastie.*Heastie’s potential hurdles to locking up the speakership: The reformers and women.* Eight Questions forCarl Heastie * Heastie would be the first black speaker in history if he’s elected by his colleagues to succeed Silver. He told NY1′s Zack Fink that he “loves being a person who breaks the glass ceiling.Here’s what Assembly Speaker-in-Waiting Carl Heastie looked like in 1985.

The Assembly Democrats' belated "Reform Coalition" looks more like the "Coalition of the Left Out" as Carl Heastie locks up the vote.

UNDER PRESSURE,KEITH WRIGHT LEAVES ASSEMBLY SPEAKER RACE (CS) With Mayor Bill de Blasio supporting Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie behind the scenes and Gov. Andrew Cuomo actively pushing for Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, who will serve as interim speaker until a Feb. 10 vote, Wright struggled to gain traction, a knowledgeable source told City & State. Both Wright and Heastie are African American, which played a role in the pressure on Wright to step aside, the source added.  "The city people are listening to Cuomo and de Blasio—two white guys are telling us what to do,” said the source, who had supported Wright's candidacy.* The Assembly may be getting its first African-American speaker(NYP) * 6 Days That Felled Sheldon Silver, the Speaker Who Ruled Albany for Decades(NYT) Mr. Silver’s staggering fall from grace as Assembly speaker played out over a week of secret deliberations and shifting alliances. * Sheldon Silver Taking Leave of Absence From Law Firm(NYT) * Morelle Says He’s A Candidate For Speaker(YNN) *Reform Caucus Pressures Speaker Candidates(YNN) * Lentol Claims Brooklyn Support (Updated) (YNN) * Nolan: A Female Speaker Will Bring ‘Collaborative Style’(YNN) * Lentol, In Letter To Reform Caucus, Backs Term Limits For Speaker (YNN) * Brooklyn DemocraticParty Will Back Carl Heastie for Assembly Speaker: Sources (NYO)* Source: Queens Dem meeting on Asmbly speaker race over. No consensus on a favorite yet. Delegation agreed to stick together.
If Heastie Becomes Speaker Get Used to Reading About Bronx Lobbyists StanleySchlein

The American Tort Reform Association last year called the asbestos court the nation’s top “judicial hellhole” where plaintiffs’ lawyers are “brazenly favored by the judges.” Silver has been blocking tort-reform bills for decades in Albany.* Time to cut New York’s sky-high litigation costs(NYP Ed) Silver’s indictment alleges that the former speaker worked to funnel $500,000 in state money to a prominent New York doctor who specializes in asbestos-related lung ailments. The doctor, in turn, funneled patients to Silver’s law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg. Those patients turned into clients with lawsuits worth ­millions. Asbestos litigation is the nation’s longest-running mass tort, going on 50 years, and law firms heavily advertise to find new “victims.” In 2008, 20 of the 30 most-expensive paid Google search terms involved asbestos. The Weitz firm is one of the nation’s most prominent asbestos-litigation firms. Silver was a paid “counsel” to the firm, earning more than $5 million over the years, according to the indictment. * Flashback 2006 State Bars a Bronx Lawyer From Receiving Court Appointments (NYT) Stanley K. Schlein, the politically influential Bronx lawyer who is the chairman of the city's Civil Service Commission, has been barred indefinitely by state court officials from accepting guardianships and other potentially lucrative judicial appointments.* The MorelandCommission was looking at Heastie for $60,000 in unitemized campaignexpenditures (Capital) More Carl Heastie questions, via @mahoneyw: He steered $383,400 in member items to campaign donors or their group Heastie Ethics Reform Heastie Outlines Ethics Rules Proposals(YNN) * Potential speaker CarlHeastie promises per diem, income reforms (LoHud) * Influential Businessand Civic Group Backs Carl Heastie for Speaker (NYO)* Morelle: There’s Been A ‘Public Airing’ On Speakers Race (NYO)* Despite calls for transparency, it looks like the next speaker of the state Assembly could be picked in the same “sleazy and secretive style that has long characterized Albany politics,” theTimes’ Eleanor Randolph writes:
How active has Carl Heastie been in Albany affairs? "I've actually barely talked to the man." Veteran WNYC legislature reporter @kdewitt7

Who Replaces Heastie As Bronx County Leader

 So if Carl Heastie becomes speaker, he won't be county leader in the Bronxanymore. Who will replace him? Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, a Riverdale lawmaker, and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, a South Bronx lawmaker, are the top two contenders for the influential post if Mr. Heastie is elected speaker, which could happen as early as this Tuesday. Mr. Heastie has chaired the Bronx Democratic Party since he helped orchestrate a coup of the old leader, Assemblyman José Rivera, in 2008. Like county organizations elsewhere, the Bronx Democratic Party does not have the same ability to turn out voters and repel challengers like it did three or four decades ago. Mr. Heastie endorsed Adriano Espaillat for Congress and Bill Thompson for mayor, only to watch both candidates lose in wrenching fashion to Congressman Charles Rangel and Bill de Blasio, now the mayor of New York, respectively. But a county leader is still influential in other ways. The parties pick civil court judges and continue to have an outsized influence on the local legal system

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