Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How True News Investigation Exposed the Campaign for One NY Interlocking Directories Story 4455

How True News Got the Mayor 

True News Wags the NYT On de Blasio's OneNY PAC Slush Fund Lobbyists Run City Hall
These consultants helped guide Mr. de Blasio’s campaign for mayor in 2013, and they have remained at his side as a kind of privately funded brain trust, offering strategic advice and helping to shape the message that comes from City Hall. Their involvement also poses conflict-of-interest concerns; some of their firms have clients that do business with the city. For their place in the mayor’s orbit, these consultants have been well compensated: In the first year and a half of his term, their firms have collected nearly $2.3 million in payments. Most of the money has come from a nonprofit organization, the Campaign for One New York, that was created by political professionals from his mayoral campaign as a vehicle to push his initiatives, and whose donors have included real estate developers and unions.

NYT: Perception to de Blasio is In the Pocket of Real Estate is Very Real
Development, de Blasio-Style  (NYT) To what extent is it fair to lay blame for this disruption at the feet of Bill de Blasio? Much of what is happening in TriBeCa specifically is the consequence of Bloomberg-era deals and policies. But the perception that the current mayor too easily capitulates to real estate interests, that he cares little about the hazards of extreme density and lacks any vision for urban planning, is very real. This line of thinking certainly didn’t lose credibility after a report in The New York Times last week indicating that the mayor’s Campaign for One New York, which has given money to private consultants who advise Mr. de Blasio, received over $1 million from the real estate industry.

One New York PAC is A Campaign PAC To Re-Elect the Mayor
It is Illegal to Coordinate Campaign Funds and PACs Where Are the Prosecutors 
de Blasio's Campaign Team 
$3.9 million Campaign for One New York
Mr. Del Cecato — who is credited with developing the attention-grabbing television advertisement during the 2013 mayoral race that featured Mr. de Blasio’s son, Dante — has regularly met with the mayor in planning meetings that also include other consultants and high-ranking City Hall officials, as well as in smaller gatherings. He declined to comment on his relationship with the mayor. Mr. Del Cecato is one of several major playersfrom the 2013 campaign who have remained in Mr. de Blasio’s orbit. Others include Mr. Rosen and Nick Baldick, a top campaign adviser who is managing partner at another firm, Hilltop Public Solutions.
BerlinRosen  $488,413
Hilltop Public Solutions $228,965

NYT Wrote Today:
"During that 18-month period, Mr. Baldick’s firm, Hilltop Public Solutions, where Mr. Hyers is now a partner, was paid about $230,000, along with about $100,000 paid by the 2013 campaign. Hilltop, a political consulting and public affairs firm, said it did not lobby city government, but it has clients that are keenly interested in decisions made at City Hall. Its clients include Airbnb and Fortis Property Group, which is redeveloping the former Long Island College Hospital complex in Brooklyn."

True Wrote Months Ago 
de Blasio Campaign Manager Bill Hires' Hilltop Helps Run the OneNY PAC 
1. Hires: de Blasio Campaign Manager Who Uses Candidate Fake Arrest to Protest A Closing Hospital As A Prop 

2. Once the Hospital is Closed Hires Who Works for the Mayor Slush Fund PAC One NY Uses It to Tell the Community That the Band Aid ER the Developer Agreed to Build is As Good As the Closed Hospital

3. Hires: Sell A Large Development to Replace te Closed to A Community Who Opposes It

4. Is de Blasio Using His 2013 Campaign Account to Pay Hires to Supplement His Pay the Director of His One NY PAC?

NY Times Wrote Today:
Mr. Del Cecato — who is credited with developing the attention-grabbing television advertisement during the 2013 mayoral race that featured Mr. de Blasio’s son, Dante — has regularly met with the mayor in planning meetings that also include other consultants and high-ranking City Hall officials, as well as in smaller gatherings. He declined to comment on his relationship with the mayor. Mr. Del Cecato is one of several major playersfrom the 2013 campaign who have remained in Mr. de Blasio’s orbit. Others include Mr. Rosen and Nick Baldick, a top campaign adviser who is managing partner at another firm, Hilltop Public Solutions.

True News Wrote Last May About How Berlin Rosen Conspired to Blame the Gov for the Increase of Homeless, Even NYT Got Caught In the Lie 
From the NYT Cuomo and de Blasio Clash Again, This Time Over Homelessness(May 25th, 2014, NYT)Adding to the insults for the mayor, Governor Cuomo has rerouted almost $100 million in funds that were supposed to go directly to the city to help repair the roofs of its famously decrepit public housing. Instead, Mr. Cuomo is allowing state legislators to apply to use that money on smaller, less urgent projects, like landscaping or playgrounds. It’s called “ribbon cutting” money in Albany, because it allows legislators to take a little of the political glory. The governor’s explanation for taking control of the funds was that “the state has a better track record at construction.” Cuomo, de Blasio Exchange Increasingly Bitter Charges Over Controversial Housing Program (NY1)  * Cuomo said complicated issues cannot get done with “this Senate and Assembly” in a matter of days, in response to de Blasio’s 421-a proposal and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s ethics plan, the Times Union reports:

Even the Council Blames Cuomo for Their Own NYCHA Oversight Failure Pols fight Cuomo's move to take money from NYCHA 'worst roof' fixes (NYDN)

NY1's Louis Concerned That Lobbyist Have Manipulated and Comprised Journalism

On Inside City Hall host Errol Louis in a discussion of the stations report on Berlin Rosen admitted that he was surprised at the reach of Berlin Rosen. He expressed concern that advocates that use the media might not be independent.  He said he was shocked to lean that the Coalition for the Homeless which was blaming Cuomo for the increase the city's homeless hired Berlin Rosen as its consultant.  Louis on NY1: "Last week when I interviewed the coalition for the homeless, I did not know they were a Berlin Rosen client. The report (the coalitions issued) goes out of their way to blame everyone but the mayor for the record high homelessness in the city.  They talked (blamed) the governor and (blamed) at length the last past mayor.   When I realized they were a client, I realized this is a problem not just for transparency and private sector clients not being registered lobbyist . . . this works both ways. Maybe we got advocates who are not independent advocates."

Berlin Rosen Black Box Blame Cuomo Homeless Operation as Ratner Creates More Homeless by Gentrification   

Patrick Markee of the Coalition for the Homeless Who Hired Berlin Rosen, Who Bashed Cuomo Praised de Blasio is Married to Ratner's Daughter
When NY1's Louis interviewed Patrick Markee, head of the Coalition for the Homeless he did no know that Berlin Rosen worked for them. Unregulated Berlin Rosen Will Lead to Foreign Control of New York's Government - A Silent Coup d'etat * The Atlantic Yards CBA promised a path to union apprenticeships. Instead, BUILD's coveted program provoked a bitter lawsuit.(AYR)

 Through the middle of this year, 77 percent of the group’s spending went to several consulting firms that also worked for Mr. de Blasio’s 2013 campaign. The mayor’s reliance on private consultants seems to run contrary to the image he has cultivated. As mayor, he has criticized the role that the “consultant class” played in politics; in his previous elective office, as the city’s public advocate, he assailed the influence of political donors hiding behind “political committees that masquerade as tax-exempt nonprofits.” Yet a review by The New York Times of hundreds of pages of the mayor’s daily schedules, as well as email correspondence and other records, shows the central role that private consultants have played in his administration. The correspondence highlights how some consultants have almost unfiltered access to City Hall, with the dialogue conveying a casual atmosphere.
Speaker Sheldon Silver, His Law Firm $$$

de Blasio's One New York PAC Has Created A Privatization of the Tammany Hall Machine

$1.1 million Wendy Neu and Stephen Nislick, who have led the effort to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city, have given more than $100,000. Two Trees Management, the developer of the Domino Sugar factory site in Williamsburg, has given generously, as have others with Brooklyn waterfront interests.* UNIONS $1.3 million The big health care union, 1199/SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, and the American Federation of Teachers account for a fifth of the campaign’s budget. Unite Here, the hotel workers union once run by the mayor’s cousin, gave $200,000.

True News Wrote Months Ago
Berlin Rosen Helps A Developer Win Approval of Sugar Development From Mayor it Elected and Collects $100,000 For the Mayor's Slush PAC That It Runs 
The communications strategy for the Campaign for One New York’s work to promote the mayor’s agenda has been overseen by BerlinRosen, a public affairs consulting firm known for its political work. It represents numerous clients that do business with the city, including real estate developers and nonprofit organizations. The firm had a central role in Mr. de Blasio’s successful bid for City Hall, and one of its principals, Jonathan Rosen, is a close friend and adviser.

From the NYT
"It is not unusual for elected officials to seek the counsel of outside advisers or friends as they formulate policy or navigate turbulent political waters. But Mr. de Blasio has given new dimension to that practice, meeting with some consultants more often than some senior members of his administration."

de Blasio PAC & Campaign Funded by Real Estate and Run By Lobbyists Campaign Consultants

On the Eve of the Silver Skelos Real Estate Corruption Trial 
Why is CFB, DAs, AG Not Questing de Blasio Real Estate Slush PAC Runing his Political Operation?

During the first half of 2015, real estate developers and firms gave more than any other industry to de Blasio’s nonprofit advocacy group, the Campaign for One New York, The Wall Street Journal reports: Mayor Bill de Blasio and his closest advisers have financed much of his political activity with money from the powerful real estate community, including developers whose projects need city approval. In the first half of 2015, real-estate developers and firms gave about $800,000 to the Campaign for One New York, a nonprofit advocacy group run by de Blasio allies—an amount more than any other industry has contributed and much more than they gave in 2014, according to disclosure reports.

Over the same months, the Campaign for One New York spent about $700,000 on political consultants, national travel and research as the mayor worked to bolster his progressive agenda—and profile. The Campaign for One New York also has benefited from progressive groups and unions, such as 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, which gave $250,000 this year. Asked about developers’ support for Campaign for One New York during the 421-a fight, Dan Levitan, a spokesman for the group, said: “During this reporting period, more than a million renters saw the first rent freeze in New York City history, and Mayor de Blasio negotiated major reforms to the 421a program that will end giveaways to developers and require them to build more affordable housing for New Yorkers.”

True News Pushes NYT Ends the Cover-Up and JCOPE Tries To Make Them Register As A Lobbyists
JCOPE clarifies proposal targeting 'strategic consultants' (Chris Bragg, Times Union)  JCOPE first published a draft opinion on the matter in May, and has now updated its proposal. It still must be approved by a majority of JCOPE’s 14 commissioners. Some of New York’s most successful “strategic consulting” firms – such as Manhattan-based BerlinRosen and SKDKnickerbocker – have close relationships with politicians who are their campaign clients, and also represent interests with business before these clients. But their employees hardly ever register as lobbyists. These firms maintain, however, that they do not actually ask those elected officials to make policy decisions benefitting those interests, and focus on public relations enhanced by insight into the thinking of public officials. But JCOPE’s advisory opinion, if eventually passed, would expand the definition of lobbying beyond how its traditionally been interpreted by the industry and regulators. It is intended to cover not just direct lobbying, but consultants that use their connections to powerful officials to grease the wheels for direct lobbying – or for “door opening,” as JCOPE director of lobbying and senior counsel Martin Levine described at a commission meeting on Tuesday. “While the consultant may not make the ultimate argument to the public official, what they’ve done by opening these doors is has made them possible,” Levine said.  * State ethics bodymay force communications firms to register as lobbyists (NYDN) A slew of prominent communications firms may be forced to register as lobbyists under a proposal by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which would force firms that have helped craft messages for lobbying efforts to register with the stateThe idea is to cover “people who are not currently registered as lobbyists but are doing what can be considered lobbying activity,” said commission spokesman Walt McClure. Among the groups that could be impacted are SKDKickerbocker, BerlinRosen Public Affairs and Mercury Public Affairs, all of which have been involved in key issues on the state level and have ties to top New York leaders. The Joint Public Commission on Public Ethics is seeking comments through Dec. 4 on its proposal. At some point after that, the commission will decide whether to approve it.* A slew of prominent communications firms may be forced to register as lobbyists under a proposal by the state ethics commission, JCOPE. The plan would force private consulting groups that have helped craft messages for lobbying efforts to register with the state. Until now, their activities have not been considered lobbying.

According to the updated advisory opinion, JCOPE would consider the definition of lobbying to including a consultant’s contact with public officials to enable or facilitate direct advocacy –  even if what’s traditionally been thought of as lobbying is done by someone else. A consultant setting up or attending a lobbying meeting with a public official, even if they don’t directly lobby themselves, would appear to be lobbying under the opinion; so it appears would a consultant’s presence on a lobbying phone call with a public official, even if they don’t personally ask for a policy decision to be made. The idea, as Levine described at a commission meeting on Tuesday, is that there can be an unstated influence a powerful consultant can have. “Even observing a consultant’s presence can be meant to influence,” Levine said, adding that this can add an air of “familiarity, legitimacy or prestige.” In order to be forced to register, those covered by these new provisions would still have to hit a $5,000 annual payment threshold for their services, as is the case with all lobbyists. 

The advisory opinion also addresses so-called “grassroots lobbying.” Oftentimes, major New York lobbying campaigns now spend less on traditional lobbyists than they do on public persuasion campaigns through mediums such as mailers, radio and television. Under the advisory opinion, to be considered lobbying, grassroots communication would have to take a clear position on an issue such as legislation or a veto – and urge the public to take action, such as contacting a legislator. For a consultant on a grassroots lobbying campaign to considered to be lobbying, they must have a “meaningful” role in “both the content and delivery of the message” of the campaign, according to the proposed opinion. Those such as copy editors, film crews or media buyers that are not involved in the overall strategy and messaging of such a campaign would be exempt.*   Political Consulting Firms in NY State May Soon Need toRegister as Lobbyists (NY1) When Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his plan to build more housing for homeless people this week, he did so in the lobby of a residential development that does just that. It's run by a group called Breaking Ground. They are a client of the mayor's favored consulting firm, BerlinRosen, which was co-founded by Jonathan Rosen, a close adviser to the mayor.The relationship between Breaking Ground and the communications firm that also advises de Blasio is not something either party has had to publicly disclose, but that may be changing. The state's ethics commission is preparing to start treating communications consultants like lobbyists.If adopted by the state ethics commission, the regulations could affect de Blasio. He seeks advice regularly from outside consultants. It's a practice that may be called into question if those same advisers are considered lobbyists under the law.

Mayor Says Berlin Rosen Does Not Lobby - Why Do Their Real Estate Clients Pay Them? Good Looks?
Azi ‏@Azi  "That’s the point … they don’t lobby” — @BilldeBlasio, when asked about @BerlinRosen, by @gracerauh.

The mayor also defended the work of his political nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York. The group, which boosts his administration’s agenda, has accepted donations as large as $500,000 from individuals, corporations and unions that have business matters before the city. Critics say the nonprofit serves as a slush fund and is at odds with de Blasio’s condemnation of the US Supreme Court decision on Citizens United in 2010, which effectively opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate contributions into politics.
The Lobbyist's Shadow Government
The Privatization of the Tammany Hall Machine
More on Dark Pool Corrupt Consultant Who Will Have to Register As Lobbyists
CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping 

Wayne Barrett Drills Down On the Mayor's Campaign for One NY Slush Fund
Morgan Pehme:  Last week there was an article on the cover of the New York Times about several political consultants who are playing a major role advising the mayor, even though they are not on the government employees.  The Times investigation which I should note was built in part on some stellar work by True News’s Gary Tilzer and NY1’s Grace Rauh and others.   Found over the first 18 months of the de blasio administration there consultants were paid $2.3 million dollars, by the a non-profit organization called Campaign for One New York, that exists to pretty much so to promote the mayor’s agenda and can accept unlimited money from interests groups.(Effective Radio with Bill Samuels)

Wayne Barrett: What is the relationship between this consultant and the mayor?
All it is a cesspool of money for the Mayor, I think it is a complete end run if not violation of the city’s campaign finance laws. I think if we had a more aggressive Campaign Finance Board they might well be perusing this.  Look if they spend $2.3 Million on the consultants and they raise this money completely outside the boundaries of campaign finance laws, with contributions like from teachers Union $350,000, which was given right after the mayor signed a new very very expensive contract with the teachers union.  They are complete exceeding all boundaries and raising this money and spending it all on consultants. 77% of the money was spent on the consultants, I don’t think they are giving him very good advice - his numbers have plummeted, all the time he is getting all this advice he is getting from is allies . . . We never seen anything like this, I think it’s a new form of   It not like a political consultant has never received a nickel between elections from an incumbent mayor, but ever on this on this scale

What is really troubling about this, all of the people on this payroll not only consultants to the mayor through this committee, there are lobbyists who refuse to admit they are lobbyists and refuse to register as lobbyists   Berlin Rosen is the largest company has 50 Clients with business before the mayor and they don’t even register as lobbyists, 50 clients with business before the mayor.    How can we possible know what goes on when the Times reveal many many that these lobbyists have it the mayor? That these lobbyist who refuse to call themselves lobbyists    How can we possible know that those conversations don’t include exchanges that benefit their lobbing clients or their strategic advice clients?  The whole appearance of collusion that is extraordinary and repellent Listen to Wayne Barrett Interview

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