Friday, June 26, 2015

Bronx Lobbyists MirRam Group 567




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PA James Who Hired Lobbyist MirRam Consultant As Her Chief of Staff Says Using Consultants in Govt is A "Violation of Ethics"
Letitia James: De Blasio’s use of consultants a ‘violation of ethics’ (NYP) Public Advocate Letitia James joined the chorus of voices attacking Mayor de Blasio’s use of outside consultants Thursday, denouncing the practice as a “violation of ethics.”  James, who’s considered a potential 2017 mayoral challenger, said there should be “a firewall between those who lobby this city” and policy makers.  “Consultants, lobbyists — to me, it’s a distinction without much of a difference,” she said at an unrelated press conference. “The bottom line is when it comes to devising policy in the city of New York, a change in legislation, I just think it really should be between the principal and their staff.” Mayoral aides insisted that only the mayor and his staff are enacting policy. “The mayor and his staff make policy decisions, not the types of outside advisors any mayoral administration has,” said spokesman Eric Phillips. “I’m confident the public advocate knows that.” The mayor’s use of outside advisors came under fire after the administration claimed their communications with City Hall were exempt from press and public scrutiny * .Public Advocate Letitia James Names Chief of Staff (City and State)  New York City Public Advocate Letitia James has begun to fill out her office, hiring Ibrahim Khan, a communications consultant with the MirRam Group, as her chief of staff * New York City Public Advocate Letitia James said the new federal ban on smoking in public housing might inflame the relationship between cops and community and said she’s afraid of “aggressive enforcement” of the ban, the Daily News writes. * Surprisingly good sense from Letitia James (NYP)
More On Bronx Lobbyists MirRam Group







Klein, Lobbyists Mirram and Herbalife Connected 
New state lobbying filings raise questions about the level of coordination between a powerful state lawmaker – IDC Leader Jeff Klein – his influential political consultant (Luis Miranda) and a billionaire who has placed a $1 billion bet against the stock price of Herbalife, a multinational nutritional sales company.






Even the Post Has Joined the Fight With True News to Expose Lobbyists and The Shadow Govt They Run
Bill de Blasio, Melissa Mark-Viverito: Progressives for sale (NYP Ed)  Paying off the folks who helped you rise to power is nothing new. But it’s an odd way to deliver on rhetoric about bringing “a new progressive direction to New York.” BerlinRosen, the PR/lobbying firm behind Bill de Blasio’s mayoral run, enjoys unrivaled insider access at City Hall — even as it represents firms doing business with the city. And now Melissa Mark-Viverito has lavished over $1 million in taxpayer-funded pork on the clients of a lobbying firm that helped her become City Council speaker. As The Post’s Rich Calder reported Tuesday, 14 nonprofit clients of Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin won $1.08 million in council discretionary funds — $780,000 of it from Mark-Viverito herself. Council members have long used this pool of cash to buy support, without anyone voting on where the money goes. De Blasio has called rightly for an end to the practice — but hasn’t lifted a finger to try to abolish it. Which brings us back to his relationship with the firm of BerlinRosen — which also runs de Blasio’s external nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York, which has raised $2 million from public-worker unions, individuals and firms that do business with the city.

Speaker Porks Her Council to Lobbyists Pitta Bishop Del Giorno, MirRam and Berlin Rosen
New budget proves it really pays to be friends with Mark-Viverito (NYP)  A politically connected consulting firm that helped Melissa Mark-Viverito become City Council speaker scored big bucks for its clients in the city’s new budget, records show. The lobbying firm Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin was able to rake in at least $1.08 million in council discretionary funds for 14 nonprofit clients in fiscal year 2016 — including $780,000 directly funneled by Mark-Viverito, a Post analysis of city data shows. The Manhattan Democrat’s cozy relationship with the Staten Island-based lobbying firm includes once paying it more than $61,000 to help get her elected speaker in 2013. *  City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito directed her $16 million in discretionary funds toward a potpourri of progressive causes, but borough leaders say distribution is more even than in the past, City & State reports: 

 Pitta Bishop, the consulting firm that helped Melissa Mark-Viverito become New York City Council speaker, scored at least $1.08 million in discretionary funds for 14 nonprofit clients in the city’s budget
The Weisenthal Center didn’t receive any pork in fiscal 2014, but it received $305 million for fiscal 2015 through Mark-Viverito’s first budget as speaker. The $350 million she awarded the center for the new fiscal year beginning Wednesday is among the highest member items allocated in the new budget. Other Pitta Bishop beneficiaries include the Arab-American Family Support Center in Brooklyn, which went from $6,225 pre-Mark-Viverito to $63,750 for fiscal 2016, the records show.  Since Mark-Viverito took power in January 2014, Pitta Bishop’s influence has risen dramatically at City Hall, as it has been paid more than $3.3 million by clients to lobby the speaker and other council members.


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


Another big winner of 2013 made a similar argument. Jon Del Giorno, sitting in his firm's 28th-floor conference room a few blocks from City Hall, downplayed the notion that his closeness with Ms. Mark-Viverito will help his firm, Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin, which has hovered near the bottom of, or just out of, the top-10 list.  Pitta Bishop has done Ms. Mark-Viverito's election-law compliance since 2005, and last year Mr. Del Giorno quarterbacked her uphill speaker bid. In a clever and unprecedented move, the firm set up a 2017 campaign account for an unspecified office with the state Board of Elections, which allowed Ms. Mark-Viverito to raise $100,000 and hire a full staff for her run, despite needing just 26 votes from council colleagues to win. More than $21,000 of the money reportedly came from Pitta Bishop's long roster of business and labor clients, and gave Ms. Mark-Viverito an edge over her rivals. Common Cause New York said the new speaker was "exploiting" the state's lax campaign-finance system.

 In an unseemly but legal case of double-dealing, Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin helped Melissa Mark-Viverito become New York City Council speaker and is now lobbying Council members to pass mostly pro-union legislation

The Speakers Lobbyists Cash In
Pitta Bishop is A Lobbyist for A Nunber of LLCs Including Litwin's Glenwood management 


Lobby for the City Council Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin,: MedReview, Inc.,  Meadows Office Supply Co., Inc.,  National Lighthouse Museum,  Simon Wiesenthal Center, Inc.,  Knickerbocker Plaza LLC,  Local 420 AFSCME AFL-CIO,  Vera Institute of Justice, Inc.,   Hotel, Restaurant & Club Employees & Bartenders Union Local 6New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council AFL-CIO,   Detectives Endowment Association Police Department, City of New York Inc.,  Lakeside Manor Home For Adults Inc.,   Community Health Center of Richmond, Inc,,  Grasmere and Cameron Lakes Bluebelt Conservancy, Inc.,  Plumbers and Gasfitters Local Union No. 1 of the United Association,  New York State Conference of IUOE,  Richmond Uni Home Care, Inc.,  Adco Electrical Corp,  BIO-REFERENCE LABORATORIES, INC.,   New York Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Assoc. of NYC, Inc. Health Benefits Fund,  LOCAL 372 NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION EMPLOYEES,  UNITE HERE,  MagnaCare Administrative Services, LLC,  District Council No. 4, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, AFL-CIOA.T.U.-Division 1181-1061 AFL-CIO,  OFFICE &PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION LOCAL 153,  International Union of Painters and Allied Trades DC 9 ,  RICHMOND UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER,  BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc.,  International Union of Operating Engineers Local 14-14B,  Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A,  Glenwood Management Corp.,  LOCAL UNION NO. 94-94A-94B, I.U.O.E., AFL-CIO,  NYSARC, INC., NEW YORK CITY CHAPTER,    New York Black Operator's Injury Compensation Fund, Inc.,    UNIFORMED SANITATIONMEN'S ASS'N LOCAL 831 - I.B.T,   Associated Brick Mason Contractors of Greater New York, Inc.,  East Side Alliance Against Overdevelopment, Inc.,   Urgent-MD Hewlett Management LLC , SOSH Architects, P.A.,, Lobby for the City Council and office of the mayor Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin,:  New York Wheel LLCWellPoint, Inc.,  Pier A Battery Park Associates, LLC,  Garage Employees Local Union No. 272,  Staten Island Marine Development, LLC,  The Francis School,  Chef's Choice Cash & Carry Food Distributor, Inc.,  THE WITKOFF GROUP LLC,  Il Commandatore Restaurant Inc.,  RJ LEE GROUP, INC.,  Cameron Club of Staten island, Inc.,  Milrose Consultants, Inc.,  Jewish Community Center of Staten Island, Inc,  UNIFORMED FIRE ALARM DISPATCHERS BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION, INC. , Lobby for the office of the mayor Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin,:  Gardeners/Growers/Landscapers Association of New York, Inc.,  Council of School Supervisors and Administrators,  SOSH Architects, P.A.


Lobbyists MirRam Big Winner At Council Pork
Spending members Items jumping to $57 million, $7 million more than this year
City’s new budget allots $57M for ‘pork’ spending (NYP)  Spending on pet projects among City Council members is jumping to $57 million in the coming fiscal year — $7 million more than this year’s levels, new records show. The 14 percent boost in spending came out of negotiations between Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito as part of their agreement on a $78.5 billion citywide budget for fiscal 2016. The increase was OK’d by the mayor even though he has called for the elimination of such funding, which good-government groups and other critics deride as pork. The lion’s share of the council’s spending falls under the discretion of the speaker, who has direct say over $16.5 million in funds. Records released Thursday afternoon show her biggest beneficiaries are nonprofit clients of the MirRam Group, which consulted on her 2013 council campaign, and whose founder, Luis Miranda, is considered a pal. The lobbying firm’s clients — including the Hispanic Federation, Comunilife and the East Harlem Council for Community Improvement — got $1.2 million in earmarks collectively. * The mayor is quietly backing away from an effort to end member items on the New York City Council.

City Council Lives Up to Its Puppet Makeup

New York City Council Adopts Budget With Little Dissent (WSJ) The New York City Council on Friday approved a $78.5 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins next week, ending the annual debate about city spending with markedly less divisiveness than Albany’s end-of-session wrangling. * City Council Approves $78.5 Billion Budget(NY1)

Her other big beneficiaries include the nonprofit arm of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, which is getting $340,000. The Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, the controversial nonprofit founded by disgraced ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez, was earmarked $250,000 at the request of several Brooklyn councilmen. Two of those members, former protégés of Lopez — Brooklyn Democrats Rafael Espinal and Stephen Levin — additionally chipped in nearly $100,000 combined. Other members each allocated at least $660,000 to their pet causes — often to neighborhood groups with which they have close ties. Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) gave $25,000 to the nonprofit Fifth Avenue Committee, where he previously served as executive director for a decade. The Brooklyn delegation, where Lander wields a good deal of power, gave the organization an additional $75,000.  Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo (D-Bronx) earmarked $10,000 for The Bronx Defenders, a legal-aid group that recently came under fire when its staffers appeared in a rap video advocating cop-killing. Vito Lopez Corruption Lives The New York City Council funneled more than a half million dollars to the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, a nonprofit founded by disgraced former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the Observerwrites:  * City Council Continues to Fund Vito Lopez’s OldNonprofit (NYO) NY’s City Council feasts at the pig trough yet again (NYP Ed) Every year — without fail — budget negotiations end with the City Council’s little piggies going “wee-wee-wee” all the way to the pork trough. This year is no different. “Discretionary spending” by council members is up 14 percent, to $57 million in the just-concluded budget deal. And despite claims the system’s been fixed, it still functions like a slush fund for the speaker. And this year, the biggest winners of pork she herself ladeled to outsiders were the nonprofit clients of MirRam Group, which consulted on her own 2013 campaign.* City Council approves NYC's $78.6 billion 2016 budget, beefs up NYPD (NYDN)* The Post calls on the New York City Council and the mayor to do away with discretionary funding for members, arguing that giving politicians millions in cash to buy public and political support is an invitation to corruption: * City Council reaches $21 million deal to keep community-based nonprofits in business (NYDN)
Lobbyists Berlin Rosen Takes Over NYC Government






Klein and Ferreras Do Their Lobbyist Consultants MirRam Bidding to Mess Up Herbalife
Klein, other polstargeting Herbalife are clients of firm fighting it (TU) On Tuesday, Bronx state Sen. Jeff Klein and New York City Public Advocate Letitia James held a press conference releasing a“bombshell” investigation conducted jointly by their governmental offices into the multinational nutritional sales company Herbalife. In an adjoining press statement, Queens Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, chair of the body’s finance committee, also bashed the company’s “malicious recruitment tactics” for what the lawmakers contend is a pyramid scheme targeting immigrants in Latino communities. Klein, James and Ferreras-Copeland have something else in common: All have deep ties to the MirRam Group – a prominent Manhattan-based political consulting and lobbying firm – that is being paid to wage a campaign against Herbalife on behalf of an activist investor that has placed a $1 billion bet against the company’s stock. In the hours following Klein and James’ press conference, Herbalife’s stock price did slide by 2.5 percent, though it rose back on Wednesday,according to Bloomberg News. Klein has also said in the coming weeks he will introduce an Albany bill cracking down on multi-level marketing companies such as Herbalife.In 2014, the Daily News reported that MirRam officials prodded MirRam political clients – including New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Manhattan state Sen. Adriano Espaillat – to send letters to the Federal Trade Commission slamming Herbalife. The Federal Trade Commission ended up launching an investigation into the company.

Shadow Govt Lobbyists the Parkside Group an SKDKnickerbocker Are Working for Herbalife 
MirRam, whose co-founder along with Miranda is Roberto Ramirez, a former assemblyman and ex-Bronx Democratic Party chairman, is especially politically powerful in Latino communities in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. The firm also enjoys a close relationship with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie of the Bronx, and the firm’s client list has grown during Heastie’s tenure. Herbalife also has retained consultants with close ties to local politicians. ne of them is the lobbying firm the Parkside Group, which is close with the Queens Democratic organization and the mainline Senate Democrats from which Klein’s conference broke away in 2011. It also has employed the strategic consultant SKDKnickerbocker, whose employees generally to not register as lobbyists. The New York Post reported in 2014 that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was probing Herbalife. SKDK maintained at the time that Schneiderman’s ex-wife Jennifer Cunningham, a managing director at SKDK and Schneiderman campaign advisor, was not on the account.* Eric Schneiderman's conflicts of interest with Herbalife ... * NY attorney general probes Herbalife: sources | New York Post *  The Latino Victory Fund “super PAC,” which is committed to supporting Latino candidates and increasing voter turnout, named New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito as one of its three co-chairs, the Times writes:





The UFT Began Paying Heastie's Lobbyist MirRam $15,000 A Month Says NYP
MirRam co-founder Roberto Ramirez, a former assemblyman and Bronx Democratic leader, is reportedlyhelping Mr. Heastie with his transition. *  
Teachers union hires lobbyists tied to Sheldon Silver’s replacement (NYP)

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)

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

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)


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. 
More About Stany Schlein
More About Global Strategy Group
Campaign Lobbyists Control A Secret Shadow Government 



Council Speaker Campaign Gives the Most Member Items $$ to Her Campaign Consultants Lobbyists MirRam
After a Bad Night for Their Client Espaillat MirRam Still Made Money Today 
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)


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. 

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.



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