Monday, November 16, 2015

Second Trial Of Albany Three Men In A Room Starts: Skelos and Son
At Trial, Prosecutors to Detail Dean Skelos’s Favors for His Son (NYT)  The corruption trial for the state senator and his son, Adam Skelos, begins Monday; both face multiple federal charges, including bribery and extortion. * Inside the Trial of Dean Skelos *  Q. and A.: The Trial of Dean and Adam Skelos *The trial of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, in Federal District Court in Manhattan on an eight-count indictment that includes bribery and extortion charges is scheduled to begin today – just as the unrelated corruption case against Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the State Assembly, enters its third week.

Monday Update: Still Nothing In the Papers About the Silver Trial Testimony Showing the Pay to Play 421-a Real Estate Deal That Paid Silver Millions 

Sunday the Media Continues It Cover-Up Of the Damage 421-A Has Done to NYers

What Will Federal Rat Charles Dorego Testify About the the Agreement He Signed With Silver 
Letter Surfaces at Sheldon Silver Trial Showing Potentially Lucrative Deal (NYT) In early 2012, Sheldon Silver, then the New York Assembly speaker, and a large real estate company signed an agreement that promised to be beneficial to him. Mr. Silver, the letter said, would get a cut of any fees generated by a law firm that was doing business with that company, Glenwood Management. “As agreed, a proportionate division of fees will be made between Jay Arthur Goldberg P.C. and Sheldon Silver Esq.,” the letter read. The agreement surfaced on Thursday at the political corruption trial of Mr. Silver, now in its second week, laying out for the first time for jurors the potentially lucrative fee-sharing arrangement under which, the government says, Mr. Silver received illegal payments for using his influence to benefit Glenwood, a privately held firm that is one of the state’s largest contributors to political campaigns. Glenwood Management is also a big beneficiary of state tax breaks, many of which required the blessing of Mr. Silver, a Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The prosecutor, Andrew D. Goldstein, questioned Michael Hoenig, Glenwood’s vice president of finance, on the letter, but the executive said he had not seen it before, testimony that suggested it was a secret arrangement. Before being questioned on the letter, he said he oversaw the relationship with firms like Goldberg & Iryami and kept a file on Glenwood’s dealings with his tax certiorari firms. Mr. Silver’s lawyers questioned Mr. Hoenig and showed there were many decisions at the company he did not have direct knowledge of. However, they did not ask him about the 2012 letter between Mr. Silver and Glenwood, which was signed by Mr. Silver and Charles Dorego, a senior vice president and general counsel of Glenwood.

Yes Nepotism At Manattan Courthouse . . .  What Happen to Silvers Private Courtroom Investigation? 
Insiders say nepotism has returned to Manhattan courthouse(NYP) In another case of courthouse nepotism at the Appellate Division First Department, the boyfriend of a court secretary was hired in August only to be fired last month after threatening a co-worker, sources said. Julius “T-Kid” Cavero, a well-known graffiti artist from The Bronx, was hired as a $29,000-a-year-custodian at the Manhattan courthouse, city records show. According to the insider, he was dating Rita Alvarez, who had been secretary to Appellate Division Justice Darcel Clark before Clark stepped down in September to successfully run for Bronx district attorney. In 2010, Luis Gonzalez, the presiding justice of the First Department, had hired his ex-wife to work at the court. He also signed off on the hiring of his secretary’s brother, a son and a cousin of his driver and the nephews of two different executive assistants. 

Have The Courts Covered Up Corruption In Their Own House?
Flashback Silver's Court Feds probe civil court following Silver’s arrest(NYP) The country’s most important civil court is under federal investigation, an insider says. The probe is focusing on the state Supreme Court’s civil division at 60 Centre St. in lower Manhattan, where many tentacles reach to disgraced Assembly Speaker * Record asbestos payout slashed following Silver’s arrest (NYP) A judge who since Sheldon Silver’s arrest has come under scrutiny for large damages awarded to Weitz & Luxenberg clients reduced a record $190 million asbestos-related payout to less than $30 million. A judge who since Sheldon Silver’s arrest has come under scrutiny for the sky-high damages that juries in her court have awarded to Weitz & Luxenberg clients recently slashed a record $190 million asbestos-poisoning payout to less than $30 million. Defense attorneys on Wednesday speculated that the 84 percent reduction may be the result of bad publicity in The Post and other news outlets. In a decision dated Feb. 5, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden ordered a new hearing on a 2013 jury verdict in her court that gave five mesothelioma victims represented by Weitz a total of $190 million — the highest award of its kind at the time.* Unlike in the U.S. Senate, the New York State Senate spent very little time and scrutiny in its vetting process before confirming new state Court of Appeals Judges Leslie Stein and Eugene Fahey, the Daily Newswrites: * A legal ethics expert hired by Weitz & Luxenberg found Silver had a legitimate “of counsel” relationship to the firm, allowing it to give him unlimited referral fees without breaching professional conduct rules.* 

Pols Blessed Vito Lopez's Votes Not His Soul
De Blasio, Cuomo skip funeral for Vito Lopez  (NYP) Gov. Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver skipped former Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s funeral Saturday morning. Public officials, including then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, cozied up to the onetime Brooklyn Democratic Party boss when they needed his endorsement or political favors, but only a handful of lower-level pols were seen among the 300 mourners at Our Lady of the Rosary Pompeii in Williamsburg. Lopez, who died Monday at age 74, was stained in his final years by an array of scandals,including accusations that he groped and harassed several female staffers.

On 9-11, Le Monde's headline was "We Are All Americains" 
Today we are all French 


Shelly Laundromat Washes the Financial Disclosure Laws -Lobbyist Meara Testifies
Lobbyist Tells of Unusual Phone Call From Sheldon Silver,Ex-Speaker, at Trial ((NYT) It was Sheldon Silver, the powerful speaker of the New York State Assembly, and he started telling Mr. Meara about financial disclosure records, and how he might have to file new forms disclosing certain fees he had been receiving. Mr. Meara recalled that Mr. Silver then asked a peculiar question: Did the lobbyist represent Glenwood Management, a big real estate developer, as well as its limited liability companies, or just Glenwood itself?  Mr. Meara recalled that Mr. Silver then asked a peculiar question: Did the lobbyist represent Glenwood Management, a big real estate developer, as well as its limited liability companies, or just Glenwood itself?  Just Glenwood, Mr. Meara recalled replying. Mr. Silver then said that he was receiving fees only from Glenwood’s limited liability companies, and not Glenwood specifically, so there would not be “a problem” with the fees in question, Mr. Meara said. Prosecutors are expected to argue that the distinction, while apparently important to Mr. Silver, is meaningless; if either Glenwood or its limited liability companies paid Mr. Silver and in return received official actions from him that would favor the developer, the government will contend that it constitutes fraud. “I was surprised and concerned,” Mr. Meara said in Federal District Court in Manhattan, and testified that he did not understand the difference. Mr. Silver is on trial for political corruption; the government has accused him of receiving illegal payments in the form of referral fees from a small New York law firm. In turn, prosecutors have alleged that Mr. Silver has used his influence to benefit Glenwood, a privately held firm that is also one of the state’s largest contributors to political campaigns.

Juror Dozed Off During Meara Testifying 
Jurors doze off, doodle during Sheldon Silver trial (NYP)  Some jurors were behaving badly at Sheldon Silver’s corruption trial in Manhattan federal court on Friday. A woman nodded off during crucial morning testimony — and remained in dreamland for a full 12 minutes — while an alternate was more interested in doodling than paying attention. The woman’s catnap came as lobbyist Brian Meara was testifying about a meeting he arranged between the former Assembly speaker and a Glenwood Management bigwig to talk about legislation the real-estate company wanted passed in Albany regarding rent regulation and tax abatements. She dozed with her head slumped forward from at least 10:03 a.m. to about 10:15 a.m., when she woke with a start and started stretching her wrist. The alternate, meanwhile, spent much of the morning sketching a full page of cartoon-like faces in pen in his juror notebook, paying no attention to the testimony. Apparently, the judge, prosecutors and defense team were too absorbed in the testimony to notice the nap break and doodling.* Shelly wants the jury to believe everything is a big coincidence (NYP)

Glenwood LLCs Was Not Only Used to Contribute to Pols 
Silver Used the Real Estate LLCs of Glenwood to Avoided Reporting His Pay to Play Fees
At Silver’s corruption trial, veteran lobbyist recalls phone call (PoliticoNY) In that conversation, Meara testified, Silver first disclosed his financial relationship with the real estate developer Glenwood Management — a client on whose behalf Meara had regularly lobbied Silver. Meara said that on the call, Silver mentioned new disclosure regulations set to take effect for lawmakers, said the rules would mean “certain fees from certain people” and then asked Meara if he represented any of the limited-liability corporations under which Glenwood ran its individual properties. Meara said he was paid by Glenwood proper. “'Then that’s not a problem, because I’m only getting fees from the LLCs,'” Meara recalled Silver telling him. Meara said Silver had never told him he was getting referral fees from Glenwood properties through the law firm Goldberg & Iryami, and that he “didn’t understand the distinction” between Glenwood the parent company and the LLCs it owned. He said he hoped it wouldn’t be an issue “legally.” Meara also said he was worried about how Silver would be perceived in his district and in the Assembly's Democratic conference, should they learn the chamber's then-speaker was getting fees from work done on Glenwood’s behalf. “The conference is overwhelming pro-tenant and anti-landlord,” Meara explained in his testimony. Meara said he later had conversations with two Glenwood attorneys, Richard Runes and Charles Dorego, about his conversation with Silver. Both, Meara said, were also surprised and concerned and said they would “seek clarity” from Silver. Meara said he didn’t involve himself with the situation going forward, calling it “a dangerous position” to be in.* Jury Hears Testimony from Key Albany Lobbyist in Silver Trial (NY1)

Meara's Testimony Shows How the Shadow Govt That Corrupted NY Works
Lobbyist: I set up shady meeting between Silver and real estate exec (NYP) An Albany lobbyist testified Friday that he set up a shady meeting between former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and a real-estate executive that prosecutors say was part of a quid pro quo that netted the lawmaker $700,000 in illegal kickbacks. Brian Meara took the stand in Silver’s corruption trial at Manhattan federal court to reveal he organized the June 2011 meeting between the lawmaker and a Glenwood Management executive, with the executive presenting the company’s proposal for new rent-regulation laws. “Do you remember Mr. Silver’s reaction?” prosecutor Howard Master said. “He didn’t say yes; he didn’t say no. He probably said, ‘I hear you,’ and that was typical,” Meara replied. “How satisfied was Glenwood with the legislative package that was offered?” Master asked. “They were satisfied,” Meara said. Silver is accused of using his position to push legislation that would benefit Glenwood in exchange for the company sending tax work to a law firm that paid him big kickbacks.

Prosecutors also showed jurors a document illustrating how an earlier draft of the legislation would have harmed Glenwood by letting tax abatements expire and allowing the city to adopt stronger rent regulations.Prosecutors also showed jurors a document illustrating how an earlier draft of the legislation would have harmed Glenwood by letting tax abatements expire and allowing the city to adopt stronger rent regulations. The legislation that was adopted in July with Silver’s support extended the abatements and barred the city from enacting stricter rent regulations. In later testimony, the Glenwood exec, Richard Runes, was asked why Jay Arthur Goldberg of Goldberg & Iryami, the law firm that paid Silver for referrals, represented so many of Glenwood’s buildings. “He was recommended through Brian Meara by Speaker Silver to [Glenwood chief] Leonard Litwin,” Runes said. Meara earlier said Silver called him around Christmas 2011 to say he was pocketing some of the fees Glenwood paid Goldberg.“I was surprised and concerned,” Meara testified.

Glenwood LLCs Took Over NY's Govt and Politics

In last year’s New York gubernatorial election, LLCs tied to Glenwood outspent all other donors, according to data from the good government nonprofit New York Public Interest Research Group. In 2013, Glenwood and its affiliates were the second-biggest political donor to state-level candidates, NYPIRG data showed. In the complaint against Silver, prosecutors peg contributions from “Developer 1” to candidates for state office and state political committees at more than $10 million between 2005 and about 2014. Meanwhile, a report from good government group Common Cause/New York found that since 2005, Glenwood and related LLCs donated a total of $12.8 million to state politicians, including $1.2 million to Cuomo. * Glenwood Management,LLCs and Public Corruption * Skelos complaint details Glenwood connection | POLITICO *  Developer linked to Silver case tops 2014 donor list ...

Developers Who Have Destroyed NY's Govt Not Important to Break NY1 Shadow Govt Lobbyists Protection Racket
For those looking for a discussion of the Silver Trail on this weeks reporters round table on Inside City Hall were out of luck. The only sighting of Silver was a clip of the former speaker saying "I will be vindicated in their opening video.  In fact the entire show downplay the fact of the case. Zack Fink piece about the trial ignored the meat of Meara the lobbyists corruption.  Fink Reported: " Testifying Friday was lobbyist Brian Meara, who represents Glenwood Management. He explained how lobbying works for advancing legislation. He also testified that Silver had a longstanding relationship with Glenwood management that included drafting bills that were - if not necessarily helpful to Glenwood - certainly not as harmful as they could have been. Meara said Silver had a private relationship with Glenwood, while at the same time advocating publicly for tenant rights over issues like the rent regulations which need to be renewed every four years."

Developers Who Have Destroyed NY's Govt and Campaigns Are Lying Scum Bags
Group who knew about Sheldon Silver’s deal with taxationlaw firm kept it quiet: witness (NYDN)On the stand, Glenwood’s chief financial officer, Michael Hoenig, said he knew nothing of the deal — though he kept track of the company’s retainer agreements with law firms.“Where in this retainer agreement does it say part of the fee will be paid to Sheldon Silver?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Goldstein asked in Manhattan Federal Court Thursday. “It doesn't,” Hoenig replied. Goldstein produced a 2012 letter sent to a higher-ranking executive at Glenwood disclosing the deal with Silver. “That letter is new to me,” Hoenig said.Of Glenwood’s 26 New York properties, about a third received tax breaks and special financing under the 421a program, according to news reports and public records. On four Manhattan rental buildings alone — the 173-unit Liberty Plaza in Lower Manhattan, the 466-unit Paramount Tower on East 39th Street, the 272-unit Brittany on the Upper East Side and the 230-unit Hampton Court in Harlem — Glenwood has saved more than $181 million in property taxes, according to the New York Daily News.

Pay to Play Agreement Signed by Glenwood Executives That Paid Off Silver for 421-a Tax Breaks and Other Real Estate Give Aways
Letter Surfaces at Sheldon Silver Trial Showing Potentially Lucrative Deal (NYT) In early 2012, Sheldon Silver, then the New York Assembly speaker, and a large real estate company signed an agreement that promised to be beneficial to him. Mr. Silver, the letter said, would get a cut of any fees generated by a law firm that was doing business with that company, Glenwood Management. “As agreed, a proportionate division of fees will be made between Jay Arthur Goldberg P.C. and Sheldon Silver Esq.,” the letter read. The agreement surfaced on Thursday at the political corruption trial of Mr. Silver, now in its second week, laying out for the first time for jurors the potentially lucrative fee-sharing arrangement under which, the government says, Mr. Silver received illegal payments for using his influence to benefit Glenwood, a privately held firm that is one of the state’s largest contributors to political campaigns. Glenwood Management is also a big beneficiary of state tax breaks, many of which required the blessing of Mr. Silver, a Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The prosecutor, Andrew D. Goldstein, questioned Michael Hoenig, Glenwood’s vice president of finance, on the letter, but the executive said he had not seen it before, testimony that suggested it was a secret arrangement. Before being questioned on the letter, he said he oversaw the relationship with firms like Goldberg & Iryami and kept a file on Glenwood’s dealings with his tax certiorari firms. Mr. Silver’s lawyers questioned Mr. Hoenig and showed there were many decisions at the company he did not have direct knowledge of. However, they did not ask him about the 2012 letter between Mr. Silver and Glenwood, which was signed by Mr. Silver and Charles Dorego, a senior vice president and general counsel of Glenwood. The proceedings on Thursday also lifted the veil a bit on the day-to-day operations of Glenwood. From Mr. Hoenig’s testimony, it was clear that for many years the ultimate decision maker at the firm was Leonard Litwin, the 101-year-old principal of Glenwood. Mr. Hoenig was asked who picked the firm’s lawyers, lobbyists and decided which political candidates received contributions. The answer to all three questions was Mr. Litwin. “He was hands-on all the way,” Mr. Hoenig said. The Glenwood executive said that in recent years, Mr. Litwin’s health has been failing and his daughter, Carole Litwin Pittelman, had taken over the day-to-day running of the firm.* Prosecutors in the Sheldon Silver corruption case called two key players, including an official with Glenwood Management, to the stand today to answer questions about the former Assembly speaker’s alleged involvement in a real-estate kickback scheme. * Silver has been fairly upbeat during his trial – a switch from his normally reserved demeanor. Update Testimony just wrapped for the day in Sheldon Silver's trial. Preet sat in for several hours of afternoon portion. Jury will sit tomorrow. Prosecutors didn't have time to get to Glenwood lobbyist Brian Meara today, so he's now expected to testify tomorrow.* With 2 leaders on trial in corruption cases, no wonderethics and public integrity in NYS get poor marks * Prosecutors Move to Second Part of Legal Attack Against Sheldon Silver (NY1)

No hope for Shellyafter damning letter revealed in court (NYP) Michael Hoenig — the witness during whose testimony the document detonated in US District Court — is the chief finance officer for Glenwood Management, the real-estate firm at the center of the (second) set of dirty-dealings charges against Silver. Prosecutor Andrew Goldstein casually showed the jury a document containing the phrase a “division of fees will be made between Jay Arthur Goldberg, P.C. and Sheldon Silver, Esq.” For Team Silver, this wasn’t an “ouch” moment so much as it was the Hindenburg bursting into flames. When you’re defending an allegedly corrupt pol, the last thing you want to see is your client’s signature on a document showing him divvying up what ought to be public money with a megabucks lawyer. Goldberg, Silver’s childhood friend, represents real-estate firms that beg the government to reduce the assessment values of their properties to diminish their property taxes. Goldberg knocked millions of dollars off the official value of buildings for Glenwood after Silver referred their business to him. At a real-estate tax rate of over 12 percent, that meant millions of dollars of tax savings for Glenwood, the owner of the buildings. Goldberg, the government showed, in turn gave 25 percent of that pot of cash to his pal, Shelly.Silver’s lawyers are not a shy bunch: “Objection!” has been their favorite word throughout this trial. But they sat in glum silence as the government made the Sheldonburg blow up in flames.
The Lobbyist's Shadow Government

Skelos and Son Trash Talk Cuomo's Gal Pal and Want to Keep It Out of Jail
Skelos begs to keepCuomo ‘trash talk’ out of trial (NYP) Former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, fear that jurors will smell the “stink” of corruption if federal prosecutors get to play a secretly recorded conversation of their trash talk about Gov. Cuomo’s loved ones. Defense lawyer Christopher Coniff argued on Monday that the feds were relying on “prejudicial innuendo that creates a taint or smear” to convict the father and son on influence-peddling charges. “The introduction of all these little pieces is going to create a stink,” he said.* Jury to hear wiretapped conversation of Dean Skelos talking with son about using Cuomo’s girlfriend as pawn in budget battle (NYDN) *   Skelos Case Hearing Offers Hint of Possible Defense Strategy (NYT) During arguments, a lawyer for State Senator Dean G. Skelos said that witnesses would testify about “certain aspects” of his son Adam Skelos’s life. * * The judge overseeing the corruption trial of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam indicated she will allow certain wiretapped conversations - which are under seal - to be presented at trial, theTimes reports: The judge overseeing the corruption case of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, in Federal District Court in Manhattan indicated during a pretrial hearing that she was inclined to allow prosecutors to present certain wiretapped conversations at trial. Long Island Corruption Investigation Update Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano’s heavily redacted public calendar shows no local appearances on dates that travel records obtained by Newsday indicate he was scheduled to take vacations arranged and paid for by indicted restaurateur Harendra Singh.Saturday Skelos Expresses Confidence That He Will Be Acquitted Ahead of Corruption Trial (NY1) Sunday Corruption Trial Begins For Ex-Senate Leader DeanSkelos, Son 

Daily News Takes A Shot At Progressives an the UFT Machine 
Democrats vs.charters: Progressives are turning on an education movement that offers optionsand hope to many black and Latino families (NYDN) An idiot wind is blowing through the Democratic Party against an educational innovation championed by the last two Democratic Presidents — and it has swept up Hillary Clinton.After supporting charter schools for three decades, the party’s presidential front-runner suddenly gave voice to the baseless teachers union claim that the publicly financed, privately operated schools have rigged the game to show better results than traditional public schools.“Most charter schools, they don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids, or, if they do, they don’t keep them. And so the public schools are often in a no-win situation,” Clinton asserted, drawing the equally false picture that charters are damaging prevailing schools.The unions, backing Clinton, see charters as the enemy because they educate more than 2 million children nationwide, largely with non-union staffs. In parroting the union line, Clinton goes to bat for the status quo rather than support the enhanced opportunities charters give children to escape underperforming schools.Aides say she looked at new evidence indicating that charters are cherry-picking smart kids and dumping difficult ones, none of which they produced. In fact, charters enroll kids via lottery.

Those Wonderful People Who Gave Us Failed Schools, A Broken NYCHA and Homeless Gentrification Want 71% Raise
Monday Update
What the Council’sworth: How to raise the pay of New York City's legislature (NYDN Ed) De Blasio, Mark-Viverito and the rest should take their cue from subway fares. Often in the past, fearful governors and mayors let long periods of time pass between hikes, ultimately necessitating big hits to straphangers. More recently, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has stuck with inflation-based increase every two years. The pain arrives in an orderly, measure way with comparatively little public upset. So, ban lulus and establish a four-year schedule of prospective raises pegged to inflation and be done with it.

YOU POOR BASTARDS! City Council members say they will give up outside income for 71% raise — but most of them DON'T EVEN HAVE outside salaries (NYDN) A Daily News review found that 40 of 51 Council members report zero outside income — and most of those who do, pocket only small amounts as adjunct professors or part-time lawyers. Seven Council members did report part-time moonlighting gigs, but their minimum take-home income averaged around $1,000 to $5,000. One Council member, Barry Grodenchik, was elected in September and has yet to be sworn in. * Only three Council members reported what could be considered substantive income on the side:  Chaim Deutsch (D-Brooklyn), the only Council member to report minimum outside income that topped six figures — between $100,000 and $250,000 from his real estate company, Chasa Management. Peter Koo (D-Queens) continues to collect a minimum salary of $70,000 from his pharmacy companies, K&F Drug Corp. and Koo & Co.

The maximum is $195,997. David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn), an attorney, reports a minimum salary of $60,000 (the maximum at $99,999) for part-time law work. On Thursday, the plot to inflate their paychecks received another body blow when Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito ridiculed the idea of a pay hike that steep.  “It definitely is a ridiculous amount,” she told reporters. A commission appointed under the City Charter is mulling raises for elected officials. It’s expected to make a recommendation to the mayor regarding whether or not to grant lawmakers salary increases in early December. Mark-Viverito said she might support a raise, but hasn’t settled on an amount.* The vast majority - 40 of 51 - New York City Council members reported zero outside income — and most who do made small amounts, despite a plan hoping to give up outside income in order to get a 71 percent raise, the Daily News writes:

You Give Us 71% We Give Up Our Lulus and Outside Income that 40 out of 51 Do Not Have
As the Daily News reported, a group of Council members has been quietly pushing a plan to boost their paychecks to a whopping $192,500. They receive a base salary of $112,500, with some pocketing bonuses known as “lulus” for chairing committees. The average lulu is $8,000 but some — like the one Mark-Viverito gets as speaker — are as high as $25,000. The hope was that by agreeing to those concessions, some good government groups — who typically dislike lulus and pols holding outside jobs — would agree to back the generous pay package, City Council sources said. King Beyond Lulus  New York City Councilman Andy King was slapped with a nearly $17,000 fine by the Campaign Finance Board for, among other things, paying thousands to his wife without justifying it with paperwork, the Postreports:  * Bronx Councilman Andy King, who put his wife on his campaign payroll and used campaign funds to cover his home phone bill, was slapped with a $17,000 fine by the Campaign Finance Board.

Mayor Early to An Event Makes News  . . .  Give Him the 71% Raise
De Blasio wasactually early to the Flight 587 memorial this year (NYP) Mayor de Blasio made sure to show up to a memorial service for Flight 587 a half-hour early Thursday morning — after the families of crash victims blasted him last year for arriving 20 minutes late. The often tardy mayor made it to the ceremony in the Rockaways at 8:05 a.m., then stayed in his car until 8:30 a.m., when he got out to mingle with families who lost loved ones in the 2001 plane crash. It was a much different scene than last year, when de Blasio infuriated relatives after being so late that he missed the reading of the names of the victims, which begins just after a bell is tolled at exactly 9:16 a.m., marking the moment the American Airlines flight went down.

A Judge Attack de Blasio Because the Judge Let Cop Killer Go? de Blasio Basted Judge Back
 A  judge accused New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton of “putting out a false narrative” about the prior treatment of the man accused of killing Det. Randolph Holder before sentencing him to the maximum sentence of 12 years on drug charges separate from the murder, the Times reports:  * A state Supreme Court justice overseeing a drug case involving the man charged with killing a NYPD police officer last month said de Blasio should “look into a mirror” before blaming others for the officer’s death. * The judge, Patricia Nuñez, then sentenced the defendant, Tyrone Howard, to 12 years in prison — the maximum allowed — for breaking his promise under a plea agreement to go into a treatment program. Tyrone Howard, Man Charged With Killing Officer, Gets Maximum Term in Drug Case (NYT) Mr. Howard’s case has focused attention on the workings of Manhattan drug court, which offers treatment instead of prison to nonviolent addicts who deal drugs to support their habit.

 De Blasio "should look into the mirror" beforeblaming others for officer's death, judge Patricia Nunez says.(WSJ) * De Blasio unloads on judge who freed ‘cop killer’  (NYP) Mayor de Blasio unloaded Friday on the judge who said he should “look in a mirror” before blaming her for accused cop killer Tyrone Howard’s not being held behind bars on a previous drug rap. “I think that’s outrageous. I don’t know this judge — by the way the judge attackedCommissioner Bratton too and I think she owes him an apology,” the mayor said on WNYC radio. “This is ludicrous. This judge was part of what happened here, it went horribly wrong. The judge apologized profusely, now suddenly is turning the table — that’s ridiculous,” he added.“I think someone who I think handled the situation wrong should own up to it, not try and cast the blame.”* ‘Outrageous’ and ‘Ridiculous’: Bill de Blasio TrashesJudge After Courtroom Rebuke (NYO) * The state Department of Financial Services and the state’s health exchange announced several companies have agreed to auto-enroll individuals who had been customers of the failed Health Republic co-op, State of Politics reports Saturday Sorry, judge: You still share the blame for Officer Holder’s death (NYP) * BLAME GAME: De Blasio says judge who let slain cop Randolph Holder’s accused killer off with drug treatment needs to look in the mirror (NYDN)

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.

NY's Walmartiation Politics Drains Power Out of Communities and from Voters
WFP & DACC; Lobbyists Campaign Consultants Have Caused the Walmartization of NY's Politics . . . Using the Wal-Mart Business Model to Win Campaigns and Drive Out Candidates Loyal to Their District's Voters and Not the PACS Who Fund Them

NYC does not have a single Walmart because of the WFP and their friends in the progressive movement protesting the company unfair business practices. The protesters accuse Wal-mart of bulk purchasing and corporate financing to sell merchandise at low costs in order to drive competitors out of the market.  WFP says the Wal-Mart's business model pushes mom and pop business out of the market creating an economic monopoly.  It is now clear that less than a dozen lobbyists political consultants has use the Wal-Mart unfair business model to take over NY's politics by using unfir 2009 the WFP Data and Field model to give them and their candidates a competitive advantages in campaigns
Today the Media Protect the Corrupt Political Bosses, Ignaoring the Unfair Advantage Data and Field Gave Candidates in 2009, or PACs in 2013  
Organized Crime Politics: IE PACs
de Blasio One NY PAC Slush Fund, Berlin Rosen, Bill Hyers, Red Horse

Airbnb Pay More Taxes But the Gentrification Damage is Done On Hoteliering Not Home Sharing 
Will the Council Duck the Affordable Housing Gentrification Problem?

Airbnb vows to partner with cities, pay more taxes (NYP) ALBANY — After years of defying and vexing governments from New York to Berlin, Airbnb is taking a more cooperative stance and promising to “partner with cities” and pay taxes....* .@Airbnb won't acknowledge much/most of its biz in cities it mentions is not home "sharing" at all, but hoteliering.   * Airbnb Pledges to Work With Cities and Pay ‘Fair Share’ of Taxes  via @mikeisaac * After years of defying and vexing governments from New York to Berlin, Airbnb is taking a more cooperative stance and promising to “partner with cities” and pay taxes.
Airbnb Bad Neighbors, Warehouses Apartments -- Rising Rents and Increasing Gentrification

On the Animal Farm Some Are More Equal Than Others
Greedy City Council members seek whopping 71% raise that will bring salaries to up to $192G — as cops, firefighters face measly 1% to 2.5% hikes (NYDN) A rip-off at halfthe price: Say no to a City Council pay raise (NYDN ED) Whereas City Council members want to boost their pay to $192,500, up from $112,500, a 71% increase that would set their annual salary at almost three times New York’s median family income, and Whereas the Council would pull down a higher salary than received by members of Congress, as well as by even highly responsible, in fact, indispensable city workers, such as police and fire captains, and Whereas, the Council has passed budgets including minuscule raises for the municipal workforce, and Whereas, Council members routinely beat up on the 1%, into whose income neighborhood they would be moving, and

Hey Daily News Why You Keeping the Six Plotter For A Raise Secret? 
Daily News: "More than half a dozen Council members — who earn base pay of $112,500 — have been holding hush-hush meetings to try to engineer the huge raises, which would bring their salaries above those of the governor and members of Congress, multiple Council sources said."
 EXCLUSIVE: NYC City Council members seeking 71% raise (NYDN) * 'I THINK IT'S RIDICULOUS': Speaker Mark-Viverito trashes proposed 71% raise for NYC Council members (NYDN) * New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito,reacting to a front page Daily News story, said council members’ push to give themselves a 71 percent raise in exchange for ethics reforms was “ridiculous,” the Observer reports:* Melissa Mark-Viverito dismisses idea to raise NYC lawmakers’pay by 71%

On Time de Blasio Deserves A Raise?
De Blasio has been working to address his tardiness problem, and has been mostly on time to public and private events – sometimes even arriving early.* Mayor Answers Questions on Education at Town Hall Meeting in Jackson Heights (NY1)

The Fix is In for A Raise
Some elected city officials say they don’t need a raise (NYP) Some elected city officials say they’re satisfied with their paychecks and aren’t looking for raises — even as a mayoral commission studies whether to boost their salaries for the first time in nine years. “I’m perfectly happy with my salary,” said City Councilman Alan Maisel (D-Brooklyn), who like other legislators earns $112,500 a year in base pay, plus bonuses for serving as committee chairs. “I’m not pining for a raise. I’m doing OK.” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer echoed that stance Monday, but said it was not clear what the advisory panel would decide. The panel’s recommendations are due by the end of November.

Mayor's Lobbyists Berlin Rosen Working to Give de Blasio and Other Pols A Raise
FAO Schwarz to chair Mayor's Quadrennial Advisory Commission for the review of compensation levels of elected officials.  Schwarz is the Chief Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University.  Berlin Rosen is a Lobbyists for the Brennnan Center * De Blasio moves to give himself — and others at City Hall — a raise  (NYP) Mayor de Blasio is paving the way for hefty raises for himself and other elected officials. Hizzoner on Friday announced the formation of three-member advisory commission that will determine whether all city elected officials merit getting pay hikes for the first time in more than eight years. The commission will report its recommendations in November.* Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the formation of a three-member advisory commission that will determine whether all city elected officials merit getting pay hikes for the first time in more than eight years, the New York Post reports:  * Mayor de Blasio wantsto give himself a raise (NYP)Unregistered Lobbyists Berlin Rosen Bag Men to the Pols

Brennan Center Has Never Demanded That Berlin Rosen Register As A Lobbyists
A growing class of New York political consultants who enjoy close ties to elected officials but don’t register as lobbyists may well have to start doing so, in light of a proposed guidance issued by JCOPE. * The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics said consultants who take actions related to lobbying efforts must register as lobbyists, even if they do not directly ask officials to take action on bills,the Times Union reports:  * ALBANY’S TOP 10LOBBYISTS: City & State features the top 10 lobbying firms in Albany in 2014, including a summary of each and an introduction to their key players in Albany: * Queens state Sen. Tony Avella, who has been pushing a bill to require more disclosure by political consultants, is praising new guidelines from the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, the Times Union reports

At the Al Smith Dinner Looks Like de Blasio Warmer Tone to Bloomberg is One Sided

Michael Bloomberg pokes fun at Bill de Blasio at annual Al Smith Dinner (NYDN) “It’s great to see Mayor de Blasio actually in New York City tonight. To get him to show up, his staff told him that the dinner was in Iowa,” Bloomberg told the roaring crowd of heavyweights, in reference to the mayor’s habit of traveling out of town to be the spokesman for the American left. Saying he hadn’t been at such a big political event with Sen. Charles Schumer, one of many pols on the dais, since de Blasio’s inauguration, Bloomberg said, “Tonight is going to be a little more fun . . . at least for me.” He also joked that Gov. Cuomo, who was in attendance, and de Blasio were actually “an incredibly close couple” — then compared them to notorious rivals Cain and Abel, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. * De Blasio Adopts a Warmer Tone Toward Bloomberg -NYT (Oct 15) * De Blasio endured pointed barbs from his predecessor Michael Bloomberg at the annual Al Smith charity dinner, including “To get him to show up, his staff told him that the dinner was in Iowa,” the Times reports:  * The Post writes that while de Blasio’s next town hallwon’t be as blatantly rigged as the last one, it still isn’t right that guests need to pre-register, since his predecessors held town halls more often that were more open:

2nd Town Hall Ticket Controlled By de Blasio Supporter Dromm 

De Blasio’s next town hall is ‘open to the public’ — with a catch (NYP Ed) Well, Mayor de Blasio’s next “town hall” won’t be as clearly rigged as the dog-and-pony show he put on last time, which was by invitation only. But don’t think for a moment that Thursday night’s session at PS 69 in Jackson Heights actually qualifies as a genuine town hall. The mayor’s office claims the community gathering is open to the public. But — surprise, surprise! — there’s a catch. You can’t just show up. You must first register with the office of City Councilman Daniel Dromm, a teachers union lackey, who’s keeping a list of who’ll be let in. Space is limited, runs the official excuse. Bull. Mayors Ed Koch, Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg all held regular town-hall gatherings — meetings truly open to all, on a first-come, first-served basis.* De Blasio to host town hall Q&A on education in Queens (NYDN)* De Blasio’s second-ever town hall, to be held at a Queens public school, will be open to the public, and though it will be focused on education any questions can be asked.

de Blasio Hiding Failed Schools
How de Blasio is hiding the failure of city schools
 (NYP) Mayor de Blasio today will hold yet another carefully choreographed event designed to obscure the real state of New York City schools. It’s unclear if attendees at tonight’s town hall...

Daily News: The Truth About Homelessness in NY is that Cuomo, de Blasio and Advocates Failing, Leaving cop to Respond 
Since the Mayor Has Not Fixed the Homeless Problem? NYPD's Bratton Also Has A Modest Proposal 

de Blasio Back Bratton No Money to Panhandlers
De Blasio backs Bratton on not giving $ to homeless andpanhandlers:  *  NYC Mayor Rebukes Obama Administration on Homelessness (NYO) Mayor Bill de Blasio struck back at claims made by the Justice Department that the policy of clearing homelessness encampments—one pursued by the NYPD and other local law enforcement agencies nationwide—may be unconstitutional. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio struck back at claims made by the US Justice Department that the policy of clearing homelessness encampments – one pursued by the NYPD and other local law enforcement agencies nationwide – may be unconstitutional. * Bill Bratton’s Solution to Homeless Panhandling: Don’t GiveThem Money (NYO) * .@CommissBratton: "If [panhandling] is so upsetting to you, don’t give"  * New Yorkers who are frustrated with homeless people begging on city streets should stop giving them money, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said. * If you don’t like seeing bums, stop giving them money: Bratton (NYP)* BEG MISTAKE: NYPD boss Bratton says panhandlers would disappear if people stopped plunking coins in their cups — but homeless advocate says 'he's mistaken' (NYDN) * NYPD cops angry over tiny 1% raise to protest at Gracie Mansion, hoping to send a 'strong message' to Edelman and de Blasio (NYDN) * NYPD Commissioner Bratton says panhandlers would move on if they didn’t get money (NYDN) * Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said he hasn’t ruled out running for mayor as he accepts a job as vice chairman at the corporate investigations firm K2 Intelligence, The Wall Street Journal reports: * NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton urged New Yorkers to harden their hearts and close their wallets if they want to help stem the city’s vagrancy crisis.* Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly says he doesn’t miss his old job. He has been named vice chairman of K2 Intelligence, and won’t rule out a future run for NYC mayor.* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton a day after the commissioner outraged advocates by saying homelessness would disappear if people stopped giving money to homeless panhandlers, the Daily News reports: 

Shocking de Blasio Cancles Iowa Presidental Forum as Cuomo Hits From the Left on $15
NYC politics right now: de Blasio sulks out of Iowa forum, Cuomo rallying for higher minimum wage
De Blasio group cancels planned Iowa presidential forum @BilldeBlasio group cancels planned Iowapresidential forum  * WSJ story on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio canceling hispresidential forum. (WSJ) 500,000 Google Hits for de blasio iowa forum - Sorry the Reporters Had to Waste Their Time * De Blasio’s day today: Forum falls apart, Cuomo strikes from the left * Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to unilaterally raise the minimum wage for all state workers to $15 an hour using executive authority, making New York the first state to set such a high wage for about 10,000 state workers, the Times reports: * Bill de Blasio Admits Planned Iowa Presidential Forum Wasa Failure (NYO)

Yes I Failed In Iowa But I Am Not Done With National Politics 

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted his Iowa presidential forum collapsed because no one wanted to go, but said his forays into national politics are far from over.

State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said a conversation still needed to be had about the broader impact of the $15 minimum wage proposal and continued to raise concerns about the same wage floor for fast-food workers, State of Politics reports: -- The forum had become a political albatross for de Blasiowho had taken pains to distance himself from the planned event amid accusations that he was focusing too much on national politics at the expense of New York City's own problems. The cancellation of the forum allows him to shed that baggage and move on. He recently followed a similar playbook on an interrelated front: his non-endorsement of Hillary Clinton ... Much as the forum seemed designed to elevate de Blasio's national profile, his reluctance to endorse Clinton until he learned more about her progressive credentials seemed both forced, and designed to enhance his national stature. Instead, he became something of a laughingstock. * "I don't want to insult my friend like this, but there is a sense it was a 'legend in his own mind' kind of phenomenon," said Doug Muzzio, a political scientist at Baruch College. -- A.P.'s Jonathan Lemire: "a political embarrassment for a mayor with ambitions of influencing national dialogue. ... the latest misstep for de Blasio, a Democrat, in his efforts to impact the 2016 race." *  
 NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio confessed his much-mocked planned presidential candidates forum in Iowa was a failure—a day after his left-leaning non-profit claimed it was called off because it had been such a success.

The Media Does A Sidebar with Silvers Defense But Does Not Ask Lawmakers to Comment On the Trial
Shelly Sidebar (YNN) During Sheldon Silver’s federal corruption trial, defense attorneys have now tried at least twice to suggest heavy handed tactics on the part of prosecutors to cajole witnesses into cooperating with their case. It fits in with overall defense narrative that there is just no case here and prosecutors have bent the rules and overreached. Practically speaking, the defense has not denied any of the facts laid out by the government. Silver’s team has disputed the government’s presentation of the facts, but not the basic facts that Silver steered public money to cancer research, and received referral fees for cancer patients. The defense simply maintains that all of that is legal, if unseemly. And none of it rises to the level of a federal crime.

For $15 Dollars Cuomo Owns de Blasio's Left
 Mayor de Blasio did the inevitable, canceled hispresidential forum after no one signed on to attend:  @bpolitics * .@KarenHinton says Mayor @BilldeBlasio will not be issuing a statement tonight on decision to  Iowa presidential forum (PoliticoNY)  Faces criticism for Progressive Agenda event * Mayor de Blasio’s Group Abandons Plans for Inequality Forum in Iowa (NYT) The Progressive Agenda Committee, founded by Mayor Bill de Blasio, said the forum had become unnecessary, because inequality had already moved to the center of the 2016 presidential campaign.* The Progressive Agenda Committee, a liberal advocacy group founded by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, abandoned plans for an Iowa presidential forum on income inequality not long after he endorsed Hillary Clinton, the Times reports *  Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined a throng of union workers and other supporters of a $15 minimum wage in lower Manhattan and formally announced he would be using his executive authority to make sure it went up for at least one group of workers — state employees. * The wage increase will be phased in by the end of 2018 for state workers in New York City and by the end of 2021 for state workers elsewhere. About 10,000 employees could receive an increase as a result of the governor’s action. Cuomo said he expected other states would follow suit. * The increased hourly rate would appear to heavily affect the state’s part-time workforce, such as lifeguards and other seasonal workers at state parks, but it also will affect food service employees, clerical workers and a variety of blue-collar, health care posts that one state workers union said involves mostly entry-level government jobs. * Even as he made a concession to one of his longtime sparring partners – public sector employees – Cuomo took a jab at his main rival in the state Democratic Party: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. Asked if he thought the city should ensure the same pay rate to its employees, the governor answered in the affirmative. * Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said the statewide $15-an-hour minimum wage Cuomo is seeking will be discussed in detail by his conference, predicting “some kind of compromise” next year. * Cuomo’s minimum wage move became an issue during last night’s GOP presidential debate, with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio saying if $15 becomes the national hourly pay then “all the automation that is replacing jobs and people right now will be accelerated.” * Organizers have canceled de Blasio’s planned presidential forum, set for next month in Iowa, following months of dispute over the event. A spokeswoman for the Progressive Agenda Committee said the group would move on to other ways of advancing its agenda.New York's governor is raising the minimum wage for about 10,000 state workers to $15 an hour over the next six years. Andrew Cuomo's office says that will initially affect about 1,000 office assistants, custodial workers and lifeguards in New York City, whose hourly wage will reach $15 by the end of 2018. Another 9,000 employees upstate will see wages rise to that level three years later. New York's basic minimum wage is now $8.75 and is set to rise to $9 at year's end. The Democratic governor has called for a $15 basic minimum, ...    Full Story »

@GersonBorrero with a great line re DEB $15 minimum wage 4 NYC employees "Put up or shut up"

Cuomo vs de Blasio War 
Mayor, Governor Keep Their Distance at Somos El Futuro Conferenc Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s life miserable because it makes him feel good and provides focus and direction, but the rivalry may go back to their political mentors, sources tell the Post:  *Cuomo’s top priority is to torment de Blasio: aides (NYP)

Mayor Secret Meeting to Fix Minority Contracting Problem
De Blasio holds secret meeting to boost minority real estate developers (NYP) Mayor de Blasio had a secret meeting Tuesday with minority real-estate developers and told them he’s considering rewriting city contracts to give an advantage to projects that use minority firms. De Blasio also discussed setting aside six development projects, valued at $200 million, for minority developers, sources said. During the City Hall meeting, which was kept secret from the press, the mayor also agreed to create $10 million to $20 million in revolving loan funds that minority developers can tap into to cover start-up costs. The powwow comes as de Blasio faces criticism for failing to significantly boost minority participation in city contracting.* De Blasio told real-estate developers he’s considering rewriting city contracts to give an advantage to projects that use minority firms and plans to set aside certain development projects for such firms, thePost writes: 

Drivers Keep Killing Pedestrians, So the NYPD Will Crack Down On Jaywalkers 
Drivers Keep Killing Pedestrians, So The NYPD Will Crack Down On Jaywalkers (Gothamist) A dozen pedestrians have been killed by drivers in the past twelve days. At least three of them were killed crossing the street with the right of way, and four of them were killed as they walked on the sidewalk. In response to one of those deaths, in which a hit and run casino bus driver killed a pedestrian in Flushing, the NYPD is going to start handing out more jaywalking tickets. * NYPD: Driver arrested after car flips on curb, kills pedestrian (AMNY)

Vito Lopez is Dead  1941-2015
Judge-maker meetshis judge; Vito Lopez has made his last dirty deal (NYDN Ed)  reat political bosses are often charming rogues. Not Vito Lopez, former Brooklyn Democratic chairman. Lopez was an imperious fixer with little regard for the public good. He twisted the state’s primary affordable housing program to meet his aims. He installed his daughter, his girlfriend’s brother and a close woman friend in judgeships. He was driven from the Assembly for being a sex-harassing dirty old man. Now, Lopez is dead, claimed by leukemia. The public can rest in peace. May he as well.
Sources said the Brooklyn legislator was taken to Memorial Sloan Kettering Medical Center and passed away Monday night. Lopez, 74, had been battling cancer for years. The Brooklyn legislator was once one of the most powerful officials in the state until being brought down in a sexual harassment scandal. He resigned from the Legislature in 2013.

Vito Lopez Was A Pioneer in Using Govt $$$ for Re-Elections Which Made Incumbent Re-Elections 98% Assured
Vito Lopez Built a Government Funded Social Services Political Machine That Was the Blueprint of Corruption of Albany
The Govt Funded Non-Profit Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council not only operated as his re-election machine but made him the go to pol for any pol running for office in New York. Chairman of the Assembly's Housing Committee (421-a Tax Breaks)
In 1993 the NY Times wrote:Growth of a New-Age Political Machine * Seddio Remembers Lopez’s ‘Legacy’ (YNN) “His legacy is the work he did for the poorest residents of Bushwick and Ridgewood, where thousands of people live in affordable housing on lots that were once burned out and garbage-filled,” the chairman continued. “He was the foremost champion of affordable housing before it became the cause that it is today.” “As he faces the judgment on the value of his life, my hope is that all the good work that he did will outweigh the unfortunate way in which his career ended.” * Disgraced Former NY Lawmaker Vito Lopez Dead at 74 ABC News *
Vito J. Lopez, Assemblyman Tainted by Scandal, Is Dead … New York Times * Former Brooklyn Assemblyman and Albany power broker Vito Lopez died at age 74 after long suffering from cancer and leaves behind a scandal-scarred legacy due to scathing reports of sexual harassment of female staff members, The New YorkTimes reports:  * Vito Lopez and his Hour-of-Power | Deconstructing ... * Vito Lopez, Brooklyn assemblyman who resigned aftersexual harassment scandal, dies of cancer (Newsday) *  Vito J. Lopez, Ex-New York Assemblyman Tainted by Scandal, Dies at 74 (NYT)
Mr. Lopez, a former community organizer and legislator, was a power broker in New York City and Albany until he was brought down by a sexual harassment scandal. * 'He deteriorated quite a bit the last six months': Vito Lopez, disgraced assemblyman, succumbs to leukemia at 74 (NYDN)
Vito Lopez Uses Government Funds to Run His Machine, Sexual Abuse
Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline

Silver Created Hidden Pots of Gold for Himself Way Beyond Member Items Editorial Boards Silent
Prosecutors: Silver had final say over how grant money was spent (PoliticoNY) Sheldon Silver had sole discretion over whether to award funding to various groups from a little-known pot of money, federal prosecutors said Monday on the fourth day of his federal trial that hinges on whether the former state Assembly speaker was engaged in a quid-pro-quo with a Columbia University physician or whether it was simply business as usual at Albany.   Witnesses for the prosecution repeatedly testified that it was Silver who had the final say on how money from the Health Care Reform Act (HCRA) was spent, and that other agencies reviewed those grants only to make sure the paperwork was in order. They would not have considered the merit, said Dennis Whalen, who at the time of the grants was executive deputy health commissioner for the state.  "We were the banker and the bookkeeper," Whalen testified. "We didn't have any say over who got the money or how much." * Sheldon Silver’s Grants Suppressed in Budget Reports, Official Testifies in Corruption Trial (NYT) Testimony in the trial of Mr. Silver, the former speaker of the New York Assembly, focused on the extent of his power to approve discretionary financing without accountability.* * An Assembly staffer admitted to hiding former Speaker Sheldon Silver’s discretionary funds from public reports while testifying at Silver’s trial on corruption charges, The New York Times reports:  * Sheldon Silver Trial Update: Gary Klein from Weitz &Luxenberg is back on the stand this am.  #AlbanyOnTrial * In testimony during former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s corruption trial in lower Manhattan yesterday, prosecutors produced a document from January 2004, requesting a $250,000 grant for a mesothelioma research center out of Columbia University run by Dr. Robert Taub. More here and here. * Deputy Assembly Budget Director Victor Franco testified he would “hide” public money Silver allocated to himself from a spreadsheet listing allocations to all members of the Assembly, as was standard at the time. * Report: NY budget has billions 'in the shadows'  via @lohud * Sheldon Silver Was Paid for Referrals, Not Legal Work, LawFirm Leader Says at Trial: Lawyers from Weitz &…  * One of the best-kept secrets in New York politics: Sheldon Silver’slucrative outside legal work. (NYT) * SILVER DOLLARS: Lawyer says disgraced former assembly speaker wasn't getting referral fees 'fast enough' (NYDN) * Testimony at Sheldon Silver’s Trial Suggests How LucrativeMesothelioma Was (NYT) The testimony in court on Tuesday had provided an unsparing look at the Darwinian battles among lawyers to sign up clients from a small, lucrative pool of cancer patients who had mesothelioma, a disease that could be traced beyond doubt to asbestos exposure. Such cases were worth 10 to 20 times as much as other cancers with less certain causes, a law firm manager testified. * Attorney Testifies About Sheldon Silver's Perks Wall Street Journal 

Dying of Cancer Libous Will Not Be Sent to Jail
Federal prosecutors will not seek prison time for former state Senate Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous, citing a cancer expert who says he has a year or less to live and recommended house arrest and a substantial fine for the lawmaker, Gannett Albany reports: * Feds offer Libous no jail time, house arrest and substantialfine because of his cancer prognosis.  * Thomas Libous avoids jail because he’s aboutto die (NYP) * Acknowledging that former state Sen. Tom Libous likely has a year or less to live, the office of US Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara has recommended that the Senate Republicans’ former deputy leader should be sentenced to home confinement and pay a substantial fine.

2 Top Albany Lawmakers On Trial A Block Away From Each Other And This is All the Editorial Boards Say? DN: F Instead of the D given? 
Editorial: F-minus Albany correction (NYDN) After surveying the anti-corruption laws and practices of all 50 states, the Center for Public Integrity has ranked New York the 30th worst in the country, with a grade of D-minus. This is so unbelievably generous that, absent the center’s rock-solid public integrity, we’d be inclined to shout that the fix must have been in. Otherwise, all we can surmise is that the graders have never strayed close enough to Sheldon Silver or Dean Skelos to witness the swallowing of ethics by governmental black holes.* New York received a D- in the Center for Public Integrity’s state integrity rankings for 2015. The numeric score of 61 the Empire State received ties it for 30th on the list, which is part of the Washington D.C.-based organization’s State Integrity Investigation.

Pay to Play Bribery is For the Public Good Albany Deputy Budget Director? Editorial Boards Silent
Silver’s defenseconvinces witness ‘illegal quid pro quo’ was a ‘public good’ (NYP) Sheldon Silver’s defense team got a state budget official to admit Monday that the research money the then-Assembly speaker funneled to a cancer doctor represented a “public good,” even though prosecutors say it was part of an “illegal quid pro quo” from which Silver reaped $3 million. Deputy Budget Director Victor Franco Jr. testified during cross-examination in Manhattan federal court that Silver doled out “dozens and dozens” of taxpayer-funded grants during his decades in power. “You’d agree that to fund cancer research is a public good?” lawyer Justin Shur asked.  “Yes, I would,” Franco answered. *   New York Assembly budget worker says he would ‘hide’ money for Sheldon Silver (NYDN) * Witnesses: Silver had sole control over funds (Newsweek)

Socking Home Heating Oil Racketeering
 Nearly a dozen indictments unsealed detail a series of racketeering schemes that officials contend reveal widespread, institutional fraud in the heating oil industry across New York City and affected hundreds of buildings, theTimes writes: * Prosecutors Allege Persistent Heating Oil Fraud in New York City (NYT) The indictments, which were unsealed on Tuesday, charge nine companies and 44 people with defrauding a broad array of customers of oil they believed had been delivered.

True News Wags the NYP On the On the Only Man Reforming Albany BHARARA
"Sorry..there’s only one truly effective weapon against Albany’s culture of corruption&his name is Preet Bharara." 

New teeth for New York’s ethics watchmouse (NYP Ed) Good-government groups hail it as a major step forward, but the reforms offered in a 307-page report on the state’s ethics “watchdog” amount to little more than lipstick on a pig. They’re fine — as far as they go. But they don’t come close to addressing the core reason the Joint Commission on Public Ethics has become a joke. Simply put, JCOPE has no real independence. Its members are appointed by the very people it’s supposed to investigate — Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature. Even the folks on the “reform” panel were chosen by those very same people — including a governor who doesn’t hesitate to insert his heavy hand on investigative bodies like the late Moreland Commission. Consider: JCOPE’s first executive director, Ellen Biben, had been Cuomo’s inspector general and earlier a special deputy when he was attorney general. Replacing her was Letizia Tagliafierro, another ex-Cuomo aide — who on the eve of her own exit last summer hired three former Cuomo staffers to top posts without the commissioners’ OK. One of the three now wants to be the next executive director. The reform ideas aim to fix some of JCOPE’s inherent weaknesses — like the fact that a minority of members can block investigations of a political ally, and its secretive, closed-door mentality. But they’re only recommendations — and some can’t go through unless the Legislature agrees. Good luck there. Sorry: As things stand these days, there’s only one truly effective weapon against Albany’s culture of corruption — and his name is Preet Bharara.* Cox: Bharara ‘Right On Target’ (YNN)

True News Last Week
Why Are Good Govt Groups Ignoring That It Is A Prosecutor That Is Reforming Albany?

For example, most pols get to keep their state pensions even if they’re convicted. Fixing that requires amending the state Constitution — and the Assembly somehow keeps failing to fulfill its promise to get that ball rolling. Some insist that most lawmakers are clean. If so, they’re awfully blind to the shenanigans of the “few bad apples.” In fact, any truly honest politician has an obvious way to help clean up Albany: Just volunteer to wear a wire for Preet.* Jury selection is underway in Sheldon Silver's corruptiontrial (YNN)  *  The high-profile corruption scandals of Skelos and Silver have put unlikely state legislative races in play this year.*  NY’s Corruption Report Card: “D-“ (YNN) * According to a new report from the Center for Public Integrity, New York’s state government is “beset” by corruption and earns a “D-” when it comes to its public integrity index and ranked in a tie for 30th place, State of Politicsreports: 

Daily News Lovett Who Gets His News From Albany Insiders Writes About Their Dream of Defeating Bharara In the Silver and Skelos Trials
Ken Lovett: “Hard-charging US Attorney Preet Bharara’s crusading reputation could take a major hit if his office can’t win convictions against (former Assembly Speaker Sheldon) Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, whose separate corruption trial is set to begin Nov. 16.”* If former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is convicted, his staff would lose their jobs, including his Chief of Staff Judy Rapfogel, who at a salary of $180,000 makes more than Silver and even Cuomo, the 
DailyNews’ Lovett writes:  * Sheldon Silver’s schemes encouraged greed and corruption, lawyers say (NYP)The referral-fee system that let ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver pocket $3 million despite not doing any actual work is a powerful catalyst for greed and corruption, according to lawyers familiar with the practice. “In my opinion, that rule clearly encouraged an abuse of power, because Sheldon Silver was in a position where he was able to benefit monetarily without lifting a finger, by using taxpayers’ money to fill other people’s pockets,” said personal-injury lawyer Rosemarie Arnold. While Arnold pays for referrals in New Jersey — where she’s certified as a civil trial attorney with “extensive and substantial experience” — she won’t do so in New York because it lacks the Garden State’s certification program. * Politico New York details how a prominent physician who wasinvolved in former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s alleged money-making schemes that led to corruption charges, Dr. Robert Taub, became involved with the Manhattan Democrat’s crimes:
More on the Silver Trial 

GOP Which Lost Their Way On LI Spins de Blasio as Their Punching Bag Target
Fred Dicker: “(NYC Mayor Bill) de Blasio is so reviled across the state that Senate Republicans are planning to use criticism against Hizzoner to boost their candidates in next year’s campaigns — and they’ll use critiques leveled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to help demonize him.”* De Blasio-Cuomo feud is Republican ammo for 2016 (NYP) *  De Blasio Laments Citizens United While His CampaignNonprofit Benefits From It (NYO) * Does Bill de Blasio Have Enough Friends? (NYO) As poll numbers sag, his progressive pals hope more will start preaching the gospel of de Blasio.* In response to the report, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins knocked Senate Republicans for declining to take up ethics legislation and called the grade “disappointing,” but “not surprising,” State of Politicsreports:  * The Observer analyzed de Blasio’s approval rating and hisallies’ failure to defend him against mounting criticism and details the strengths and weaknesses of the de Blasio administration as he gears up for re-election in 2017:*
Catsimatidis goes easy on de Blasio as he debuts new press strategy(NYP) A de Blasio spokeswoman conceded the questions were grapefruit league. “The Cats Man is not known for asking tough questions, and there are plenty of other elected officials who have been thrown softballs on his show,” said de Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton, who said the program was taped Wednesday.
War: de Blasio vs Cuomo
IDC GOP Senate Coalition and Skelos  Flanagan

Mayor Shuts Down City Hospital IG After Bad Reports of Management
In This City of Corruption Controlling the Investigator and Prosecutors Important to Protect the Ruling Class
Inspector general of troubled city hospitals steps down (NYP) The public hospitals system is disbanding the office of its inspector general following a series of reports in The Post exposing long-running mismanagement— including a backlog of more than 800 open cases at one point. Sources said that 11-year IG Norman Dion was asked to resign in the wake of the unflattering headlines. Health and Hospitals Corp officials insisted the 62-year-old’s departure stemmed from his pending retirement. Responsibility for investigating the hospitals system is being moved to the Department of Investigation — even though HHC is only partially funded by the city.

NYP Attacks Cats for de Blasio Softballs. Is Cats Getting Close to Buying the Daily News?
Catsimatidis goes easy on de Blasio as he debuts new press strategy (NYP) Just two days after laying out a new press strategy that favors ducking City Hall reporters in favor of town-hall-like meetings and friendly radio and TV interviews, Mayor de Blasio followed through on his pledge — taking to the airwaves to field softball queries. Questions posed by WNYM/970 AM host John Catsimatidis on Sunday included: “How is it to be the 109th mayor of the City of New York?” “Are you afraid when the phone rings at 3 o’clock in the morning?” and “What can we do to improve our schools?”

More Fake Campaign Finance Reform Ideas From the Council
95% of the Money From People or Companies Who Do Business With the City Come to the Candidates Through PACs and the Lobbyists Who Run Their Campaigns 
 Legislation introduced to tighten New York City campaign finance rules (NYDN) The legislation would bar more people from giving big bucks to candidates because they do business with the city, and slap more restrictions on fundraising by such donors. “We’re taking on the onslaught of dark money and special interests in the city’s elections,” said Councilman Ben Kallos, chair of the government operations committee and one of the sponsors. People with city business can only give $400 for mayor and other citywide offices - compared to $4,950 for other donors. Under the new rules, when one business owns a chunk of another business that deals with the city, the parent company’s officials would have to follow the lower limits. “You have people who are effectively doing business with the city, behaving as if they’re not,” said Councilman Jumaane Williams, who is sponsoring the measure. “You should be following the same rules.” *  Richard Brodsky thinks the Silver, Skelos trials could helpclose the LLC loophole: 

Nail Biting or How To Buy Your Way Out of Reforming the Nail Business 
Backed by Nail Salon Owners, New York Legislator Now Helps Lead Fight Against Reforms (NYT) Assemblyman Ron Kim, who was instrumental in creating a law to protect workers, has since received tens of thousands of dollars in political donations from salon owners and industry groups.* Assemblyman Ron Kim helped craft a bill protecting nail salon workers from labor abuses and potentially dangerous chemicals, but now – after receiving tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from salon owners – opposes it* Assemblyman Ron Kim, who helped craft a bill protecting nail salon workers, has now become a vocal critic of the law, which many see as connected to generous campaign donations from nail salon owners, The New YorkTimes reports: 

The Pols Have Created A Gentrification Market Where Scam Predators Target Minorities to Flip Their Homes 

Real Estate Shell CompaniesScheme to Defraud Owners Out of Their Homes (NYT) Relying on the secrecy of limited liability companies, white-collar thieves are targeting pockets of New York City for fraudulent deed transfers, leaving the victims groping for redress. In Bedford-Stuyvesant and other pockets of the city, white-collar criminals are employing a variety of schemes to snatch properties from their owners. Often, they use the secrecy afforded to shell companies to rent out vacated properties until they are caught or sell them to third parties. Victims are left groping for redress, unable to identify their predators or even, in some cases, to prove a crime has been committed.  Attention lately has focused on the growing use of shell companies to buy prized real estate in Manhattan and other glittering destinations for global wealth. But the stealthy practice of deed theft illustrates another way that limited liability company law used to create such entities has been twisted and stretched to conceal the ownership of real estate. This is particularly true in Brooklyn neighborhoods where profits in the hundreds of thousands of dollars from quick turnaround sales have become common.In other cases, signatures are simply forged on deeds. The thieves, meanwhile, hide behind inscrutable mazes of limited liability companies, rented post office boxes and fake addresses.  Coming amid waves of gentrification, the reports of deed theft have helped feed the unease felt in neighborhoods where longtime residents — blacks and Hispanics, the poor and middle class — are increasingly being priced out.* Real estate shell companies are defrauding New York City residents out of their homes, and a growing number of fraudulent deed transfers are often difficult to crack due to the secrecy of limited liability companies, The NewYork Times reports: 

Cuomo Should Appoint  A New Seabury Commission to Investigate the 1NY Slush Fund Shadow Govt
The Spin de Blasio Laguardia "In 1934, “thegreatest mayor we ever had, Fiorello LaGuardia,” created the New York City Housing Authority, de Blasio said. LaGuardia “believed that something bold and ambitious and transcendent had to happen to protect the interests of working New Yorkers,” said the mayor, and his administration is, “humbly, humbly presenting Next Generation NYCHA in that same spirit.” 
The Real de Blasio Walker  Increasing corruption within his administration, forced Walker to testify before the investigative committee of Judge Samuel Seabury, the Seabury Commission (also known as the Hofstadter Committee). Walker caused his own downfall by accepting large sums of money from businessmen looking for municipal contracts. Facing pressure from Governor Roosevelt, Walker eluded questions about his personal bank accounts, stating instead that the money he received were “beneficences” and not bribes.  He delayed any personal appearances until after Roosevelt’s nomination for President of the U.S. was secured. It was at that time that the embattled mayor could fight no longer. Months from his national election, Roosevelt decided that he must remove Walker from office. Walker agreed and resigned on September 1, 1932, and went on a grand tour of Europe with Betty Compton, his Ziegfeld girl. *  Cuomo screws w/ de Blasio because he can't screw w/ Bharara- 

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.

Even Weak JCOPE Says consultants who take actions related to lobbying efforts must register as lobbyists
 The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics said consultants who take actions related to lobbying efforts must register as lobbyists, even if they do not directly ask officials to take action on bills,the Times Union reports * Legislative Gazette: Senator Avella worried about lobbyistsin consultants' clothing * Just don't call these consultants lobbyists | Crain's New York ... They move government without having to disclose their activities. Call them clever, call them stealthy.consultants' clothing." * Cuomo has pushed the legislature to enact a series of ethics reforms in response to scandals and public pressure, but public integrity in New York is worse today than it was three years ago, according to a new 50-state analysis. * Silver, Skelos &secrets and why JCOPE is a joke (NYDN) The Joint Commission on Public Ethics sprung in 2011 from seed planted by Gov. Cuomo, who saw a chance to strengthen New York’s pathetically weak oversight of elected officials after authorities had busted a string of legislators. But the beast of a law that emerged from his negotiations with Skelos and Silver made investigations of wayward legislators all but impossible. By statute, the half-Republican, half-Democratic JCOPE operates in near-total secrecy. Indeed, it is a crime for its 14 members to reveal anything about proceedings. Commission meetings, vote tallies and even the names of those under investigation are shielded from public view. Ugliest of all: a measly two commissioners can kill a probe before it’s begun, even if the other 12 members give the green light. How very convenient for the Assembly speaker and Senate majority leader who each appointed three commission members. Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan must kill the partisan veto and open JCOPE proceedings except where public disclosure would hamper an investigation. They need to understand that transparency breeds accountability and accountability breeds honesty. The blackout produces absurd results that undermine trust. In September, for example, JCOPE ended a 20-month study of a complaint filed by Donald Trump against Attorney General Eric Schneiderman — without any explanation. Did JCOPE conclude that Trump was full of bull? Or did it find that, although the accusations were true, Schneiderman violated no ethics rules?* The secrecy and partisan nature of the state’s Joint Committee on Public Ethics has rendered it a joke, but the state Legislature’s new leaders should make changes to ensure greater accountability, the DailyNews writes: * The reforms offered in a report on JCOPE don’t come close to addressing the issues of independence that have made it a joke, and the only real weapon against corruption in Albany now is Bharara, the Post writes:  * New teeth for New York’s ethics watchmouse (NYP) *  New York'santi-currption laws ranked 30th in the nation. Three men in a room budgeting?Dead last. (by @Mahoneyw
The Times Union writes the same JJOKE editorial over and over and over again  Gagan v Grandeau to lead JJOKE

A Record of Berlin Rosen Lobbying For Developers  
The NYT Wrote in 2014 Berlin Rosen Negotiated A Deal With the the Developer of the Domino Sugar Site
Berlin Rosen’s current and recent clients include Two Trees Management (3/3/2014, NYT) "Negotiations between Mr. de Blasio’s team and two trees' Walentas’s firm took place over a few days. The two men share a mutual adviser: Jonathan Rosen, one of the mayor’s top political hands and the chief executive of a public affairs firm, Berlin Rosen that counts Mr. Walentas’s company as a client."

Berlin Rosen Works for Blackstone Which Bought Stuy Town
The Guardian

Berlin Rosen Work for the Brooklyn Library System That Sold the Brooklyn Heights Library to A Developer Against Community Opposition 
Sold! Brooklyn Heights library to developer for $52 ...

Berlin Rosen is Work for Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards
In NYC Power 100, Ratner one notch ahead of City's Housing director; p.r. firm BerlinRosen continues rise; Lewis, James slip (AYO) BerlinRosen also represents developers Forest City Ratner and Two Trees Management, potentially putting the firm on both sides of a contentious issue: how much affordable housing must be part of residential projects. Two Trees clashed with de Blasio officials on that issue last winter but ultimately resolved the dispute.

Freedom of the Press
Thomas Jefferson Vs de Blasio: I Do Not Get Paid to Answer Media Questions
Bill de Blasio Says He Gets Paid to Be Mayor, Not AnswerMedia Questions (NYO) Confirming a strategy he had been executing for several months, Mayor Bill de Blasio said this afternoon he would cut down on the number of opportunities City Hall beat reporters would have to ask him questions–opting instead for more radio and TV interviews, as well as town halls.  * De Blasio spends an hour talking to reporters, vows not to do it again (NYP) Accused of ducking the press, Mayor de Blasio opened himself to an unprecedented 54 minutes of grilling from reporters on Friday — but warned not to expect a repeat. Instead, the mayor said he’d continue with a recent shift from fielding questions from reporters on any topic toward more radio, TV and town-hall appearances where he can speak directly to the public. “I know you know this: I have a job to do. Much more important than giving the answers to questions is actually doing the work,” the mayor said at City Hall when asked to explain the new strategy. 

A Constitutional Crisis At City Hall 
Mayor de Blasio, Amid Criticism, Tries to Keep Press Under Control (NYT) City Hall reporters object to restrictions on what questions can be asked. *  Bill de Blasio acknowledges engaging in new media strategy (NYDN) Bill de Blasio acknowledges engaging in new media strategy (NYDN) But de Blasio, whose approval ratings are at record lows, insisted he would make more of an effort to talk directly to the public, without the help of the Fourth Estate. That will involve meeting with community and church leaders, town hall meetings with the public, and appearances on radio shows where he takes calls from listeners, he said. The new strategy has been in place for several weeks — and has led to some testy confrontations with reporters who are used to more access. On Wednesday, his press secretary Karen Hinton had a beef with CBS political reporter Marcia Kramer — caught on cameras and broadcast on the station’s newscast — over de Blasio’s refusal to take questions at a public event. Ironically, he announced his new limited press availability in a freewheeling news conference Friday afternoon in the City Hall Blue Room, where he took over two dozen questions over close to an hour and a half. “We’re going to change the paradigm ... because we think there are better ways to communicate, and better ways to be connected to the people,” he said. * De Blasio, Down in Polls, Alters Media Strategy (WSJ) * De Blasio Indicates He'll Be More Open to the Public, Not So Much to the Media (NY1)

Mayor DeBlasio has tangled with a reporter, Marcia Kramer, over whether she had a right to ask him a question. The Mayor who promised to run a “transparent” administration has done the opposite. He insists on setting the agenda for his press conferences. He gives us the topic and then assesses each question. If it’s something he doesn’t want to discuss, he admonishes the reporter to stay “on topic.” I’ve been covering press conferences at City Hall for 60 years---and never has a Mayor had the temerity to enforce an agenda on journalists. This Mayor who proclaims he is a “progressive” is anything but. The word “retrogressive” might be a better fit. He needs a lesson in the history of freedom of the press in NY John Peter Zenger went to jail for criticizing the English governor of New York. That happened 300 years ago and, if it were not for Zenger, the principle of freedom of the press might never have been embedded in our constitution. Zenger, a half-literate German-born printer, was a true progressive.

NYC Journalism: From Throw the Bums Out to Bharara's Stenographers

Friends, moneyand progressive politics (NYDN) Where the prosecution stitches together a criminal conspiracy, Silver claims he engaged in unrelated and lawful acts like giving state grants for cancer research to a doctor, who then referred lucrative mesothelioma patients to a law firm that then paid Silver cash for each one. His lawyer protested that the feds have “twisted” into a crime “the fact that friends might do favors for friends.” Echoing “The Godfather: Part II,” he declared: “This is the system New York has chosen.” It’s a system in which candidates and elected officials game campaign finance and ethics rules to benefit themselves and their allies.  After NY1’s Grace Rauh reported this spring on the mayor’s outside advisors — some of whom meet with him more often than top city officials — de Blasio said of Jonathan Rosen of powerhouse progressive PR firm BerlinRosen (who’s also the spokesman for The Campaign for One New York):  Then there’s de Blasio ally Melissa Mark-Viverito, who accepted free help from the politically wired Advance Group when she ran for City Council speaker. Boss Scott Levenson ( later fined for his role in the shady Trojan and carriage horse politics of 2013) “volunteered” their services, explaining when The News exposed that arrangement that they were “just helping” a friend as “a long-standing progressive firm.”  In 2013, few saw the outside money flood coming. Now, we all know the new rules of the New York game.

New Yorkers, step up and run: As the Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos trials demonstrate, we've got big problems and small politicians (NYDN) “We will never bring disgrace on this our city by an act of dishonesty or cowardice,” goes the pledge, which was cited by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia at his first inauguration and Rudy Giuliani at his second. “We will revere and obey the city’s laws, and will do our best to incite a like reverence and respect in those above us who are prone to annul them or set them at naught. We will strive unceasingly to quicken the public’s sense of civic duty. Thus, in all these ways, we will transmit this city not only, not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.” Wonderful words. If only we could find more people — including voters — willing to take seriously the ideas behind them. More and better citizens need to consider sacrificing their comfortable lives to learn the ropes and stand for public office. And we in the public must use the time before every election to nudge and nag politicians about their ideas, their ethics and their alliances. There’s too much at stake to do otherwise.

Nobody Asked Me But . . . 

1.   What Daily News Reporter Siegel should have wrote after "Said de Blasio’s press secretary: The group “does not engage in politics” but “exists solely to advance the administration’s agenda.” Was that Bill Hyers who works for the One NY PAC slush fund is still being paid by the mayor 2013 campaign committee.
2.    Siegel Wrote: :Then there’s de Blasio ally Melissa Mark-Viverito, who accepted free help from the politically wired Advance Group when she ran for City Council speaker. Boss Scott Levenson ( later fined for his role in the shady Trojan and carriage horse politics of 2013) “volunteered” their services, explaining when The News exposed that arrangement that they were “just helping” a friend as “a long-standing progressive firm.”  Siegel did not write the the city's conflict of interests board was still sitting on their investigation of Advance Illegally Helping Mark-Viverito to win the speakership.  Siegel should have also said it was a joke for advance to be fined $15,000 for Funneling money into dozens of campaigns by a secret company created by the UFT to cover-up Advance's Involvement 
3.  Errol Louis or his headline writer wrote: "New Yorkers, step up and run: As the Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos trials demonstrate, we've got big problems and small politicians" Louis ran for office long before the lobbyists consultants and their PACs Hijacked NY's Election and he knew how hard it was to beat the machine way back when.

de Blasio Has No Plan to Keep Crime Down in NYCHA BuildingJust Reacts to the Headlines

EXCLUSIVE: Mayor de Blasio wants to make it easier to evict and exclude criminals – who terrorize residents – from NYCHA apartments (NYDN) As crime spiked across the authority’s 328 developments and wreaked havoc in surrounding neighborhoods, the city dropped the ball on doing something about the perps next door — and the mayor is now vowing to fix the problem. Mayor de Blasio’s spokeswoman Karen Hinton told The News Saturday the mayor has ordered a total overhaul of the entire referral process to make it faster and easier for NYCHA to evict or exclude residents who are committing crimes on authority properties. The number of eviction cases commenced by NYCHA against criminal tenants dropped 40% from 1,581 in 2011 to 942 last year — and it’s on pace to stay the same this year. The number of actual evictions dropped from 172 in 2009 to 45 last year. As of mid-October this year there have only been 20. Meanwhile, crime — including shootings, murders, assaults and robbery — jumped 31% at NYCHA projects from 2009 through 2013, far outpacing a 3% rise citywide. It dropped off slightly in 2014, but climbed 11% in the last month. NYCHA can also permanently exclude non-tenants of record who live in NYCHA apartments. Exclusions rose this year to 415 from 344 last year, but are still way down from 619 in 2010.  Tyrone Howard had been convicted repeatedly of dealing drugs out of the East River Houses, but he would do his time and then return to his old stomping grounds to sell more drugs.* Mayor's policy on policing has increased shootings inviolent neighborhoods (commentary)   via siadvance
NYCHA and Housing, Rent, Cameras

The NY Obsever Calls One NY A Campaign PAC Yet The CFB Ignores the Coordination With de Blasio 2017 Campaign

De Blasio LamentsCitizens United While His Campaign Nonprofit Benefits From It (NYO) Following increasing criticism over his use of a shadowy nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York, to promote his progressive agenda, Mayor Bill de Blasio wished today for Citizens United to be struck down–but implied he was fine with continuing to reap the rewards of the Supreme Court decision. Mr. de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York is a 501 c(4) nonprofit that does not have to conform to the strict limitations on donations and spending imposed by the New York City Campaign Finance Board. Mr. de Blasio voluntarily discloses the five and six-figure donations made to the group several times a year.

Crooked Brooklyn Judge, DA and Author 
Crooked Brooklyn Judge Garson: 'CROOKED BROOKLYN': New book details how Brooklyn D.A. took down dirty matrimonial judge selling rulings for a fee (NYDN) Frieda Hanimov is an attractive blonde with a Brooklyn accent right out of Russia via Israel. She is endearing and attractive. For 13 years, she was married to a man she paints as a con artist who left her and their three children penniless. Now, two years after the divorce, her ex was after custody of the children. So far, all of Judge Gerald P. Garson’s decisions were going against her. The first time she appeared in court, she was stung by Garson’s ranting at her and telling her she had no chance to get the kids. One day, Frieda, a nurse, complained about Garson to a woman she saw often in court. She was told Nissim Ellman, an electronics dealer, could help her. Ellman revealed he knew a lawyer who was close to Garson who, for the right sum, could pay off the judge and get Frieda custody of her children.
Crooked Brooklyn DA Hynes: The rise and fall of Joe Hynes - Leonard Levitt | am New York * Ex-Brooklyn Prosecutor Charles J. Hynes Accused of Misuse of Funds (NYT) A New York City Department of Investigation inquiry has implicatedCharles J. Hynes, the former Brooklyn district attorney, in the improper use of money seized from drug dealers and other criminal defendants to pay a political consultant more than $200,000 for his work on Mr. Hynes’s unsuccessful re-election campaign last year. * Ex-Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes may have used drug money seized from drugdealers, crooks to fund reelection bid: investigation (NYDN) A report by the city’s Department of Investigations says the former district attorney paid a political consultant more than $200,000 — possibly seized from drug dealers and other felons — and allowed staffers to work on his campaign on the job. Hynes' reputation had already been sullied by a spate of wrongful murder convictions and accusations of unlawful prosecution tactics when he was in office. * Man released from prison after wrongful conviction - AOL

The Criminal Investigation and the Dem Pick of of DA in Nassau County Good Indicator That State Senate In Play 

All five open seats in the state Legislature were filled by members of the previous occupants’ political party, setting up a fight to win the governing majority in next year’s senate elections, The New York Times reports:   * First-time political candidate Democrat Madeline Singas won the election for Nassau County district attorney, beating longtime politician Kate Murray, who Singas tried to connect to the embattled Dean Skelos, Newsday reports: * Democratic Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz easily won re-election over Republican challenger Ray Walter and emphasized the need to look at Buffalo as an urban hub for all of Erie County, The Buffalo News reports * A full listing of the results from around upstate New York can be found here. * In something of an upset, Democrat Madline Singas has defeated Republican Kate Murray in the Nassau County district attorney’s race.
Other Election Results
Democrat Michael McMahon won the Staten Island district attorney’s race, replacing Republican Dan Donovan, who is now in Congress.* Politico New York breaks down election results by region in a cycle that left the political landscape largely unchanged, particularly in the state Legislature where members elected to vacated seats were from the same party as their predecessors: * While Fred Akshar’s victory over Democrat Barbara Fiala in a state Senate race is being hailed by Republicans as a sign of things to come next year, Democrats believe the victory was a pyrrhic one, State of Politics writes: * Two good showings by Democratic candidates on Long Island in this week’s elections, with corruption playing a big role in both races, has Democrats hopeful as they try and gain a Senate majority next year, the DailyNews writes:  Low Vote Newsday decried low turnout this past Election Day, calling Long Island voters a “sorry lot.”* Queens Democratic state Sen. Mike Gianaris said the mainline Democratic conference will be competitive next year in elections on Long Island, where Republicans control all nine seats in Suffolk and Nassau counties, State of Politics reports: 

By Blaming the PBA for the 1% Proposal de Blasio Damaging Any Relationship He Has With Cops

Labor Victory at a Price (WSJ) Mayor Bill de Blasio’s apparent victory this week in labor negotiations with New York City’s biggest police union could reignite tensions with a group he has worked hard to placate in recent months. * De Blasio to PBA: You're to blame for 1% raise proposal (NYDN)
'SHE WAS TRULY AN AMAZING HUMAN BEING': NYPD Lt. Marci Simms, 51, dies from 9/11-related illness, family says (NYDN)* As Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch criticized de Blasio for a draft contract with his union, the mayor said Lynch’s views don’t reflect the opinions of the whole department, Politico New York writes:

De Blasio Governing by Dick Morris Triangulation - All Sides 1984 Doublespeak
He would not let himself be bullied by the top government official in New York. And, thanks to a brilliant lawyer and a courageous jury, he was acquitted of wrongdoing. Any question is fair game for every mayor. Indeed that principle has suited presidents and governors as well. For a reporter to be guided by any other code would be unprofessional and a betrayal of his obligation to the people. John Peter Zenger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia * The Trial of John Peter Zenger [] * The trial of John Peter Zenger * A day after one of his aides got into a heated argument with a TV reporter over his refusal to take questions on homelessness, de Blasio insisted his administration had an open door policy with both the press and the public. * After one of his aides argued with a TV reporter over hisrefusal to take questions on homelessness, de Blasio insisted his administration had an open-door policy with both the press and the public and promised more town hall meetings: 

If New Yorkers Can Not Get Mad As Hell At Silver for Pay to Play Cancer Research Then Something is Wrong With Our Culture
Taub admitted he lied to federal investigators when they came around at 6 a.m. one morning to ask him whether he had steered asbestos victims to Silver’s law firm, enriching Silver to the tune of more than $3 million. *Sheldon Silver corruption trial loses a juror (NYP) The Sheldon Silver corruption trial has already lost its first juror. ​​The juror begged off the lengthy trial so she could return to her job helping the homeless, court records...* Doctor at Sheldon Silver Trial Tells of ElaborateArrangement, Years in Making The corruption trial of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has already claimed its first victim: Juror No. 4. (She had a work conflict).* Defense Strategy in Sheldon Silver Trial Highlights Transactional Nature of Albany Politics (NY1)

From the Good Doctor Taub to Litwin's Glenwood to Killing Moreland

The Best is Yet to Come

Opening Soon: Skelos and Son No-Show Jobs, Inc
Dean Skelos, son, made thousands for ‘no-show jobs’: feds (NYP) Disgraced former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos used his political muscle to score “his own no-show job” and rake in nearly $200,000 per year, before pulling a similar move on his son’s behalf and getting arrested for it, prosecutors said in new court papers. Skelos got the job at the Ruskin Moscou Faltischek law firm starting in 1994 — and according to the new filing, he was paid a bundle to do nothing. “[The firm] pays the senator approximately $170,000 per year but . . . there is no indication the senator performs any legal services,” new court papers state. Skelos, 67, and his son Adam, 32, go to trial beginning Nov. 16 on charges that Dean peddled his influence in ­exchange for cash and no-show * Disgraced former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos used his political muscle to score “his own no-show job” and rake in nearly $200,000 per year, before pulling a similar move on his son’s behalf and getting arrested for it, prosecutors said in new court papers. More here. In 2013, as Skelos was pushing Cuomo to authorize natural gas fracking, the senator’s son, Adam, was angling to get payments from a wastewater treatment company seeking a piece of the hydrofracking windfall, the documents claim. * New court filings suggest former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos used his influence to score “his own no-show job” and rake in nearly $200,000 per year at the Ruskin Moscou Faltischek law firm starting in 1994, the Post writes *  In 2013, as then-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was pushing Cuomo to authorize natural gas fracking, Skelos' son was angling to get payments from a wastewater treatment company seeking a piece of the fracking windfall, Newsday reports: * The federal judge in the upcoming corruption trial of state Sen. Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, said she expects to admit evidence that the two strategized about using questions about the finances of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s girlfriend to weaken him in budget talks, Newsday reports:  * Federal prosecutors say there was no such thing as a “wall” between former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and clients at Ruskin, Moscou Faltischek, the Long Island law firm that employed him, despite claims to the contrary. * The federal judge in the upcoming corruption trial of Skelos and his son, Adam, said she expects to admit evidence that the two strategized about using questions about the finances of Cuomo’s girlfriend to weaken him in budget talks.

NYCHA Crime Up and the Mayor Cuts and Paste News Policy  
NYCHA moves to permanently exclude criminal tenants (NYDN) * BLAZ BAN: Mayor de Blasio wants to make it easier to evict criminals who terrorize residents from NYCHA housing (NYDN) * EXCLUSIVE: Mayor de Blasio wants to make it easier to evict and exclude criminals – who terrorize residents – from NYCHA apartments (NYDN) As crime spiked across the authority’s 328 developments and wreaked havoc in surrounding neighborhoods, the city dropped the ball on doing something about the perps next door — and the mayor is now vowing to fix the problem. Mayor de Blasio’s spokeswoman Karen Hinton told The News Saturday the mayor has ordered a total overhaul of the entire referral process to make it faster and easier for NYCHA to evict or exclude residents who are committing crimes on authority properties. The number of eviction cases commenced by NYCHA against criminal tenants dropped 40% from 1,581 in 2011 to 942 last year — and it’s on pace to stay the same this year. The number of actual evictions dropped from 172 in 2009 to 45 last year. As of mid-October this year there have only been 20. Meanwhile, crime — including shootings, murders, assaults and robbery — jumped 31% at NYCHA projects from 2009 through 2013, far outpacing a 3% rise citywide. It dropped off slightly in 2014, but climbed 11% in the last month. NYCHA can also permanently exclude non-tenants of record who live in NYCHA apartments. Exclusions rose this year to 415 from 344 last year, but are still way down from 619 in 2010.
NYCHA and Housing, Rent

HatTrick for the Feds This Weekend Mr. Malcolm Smith Goes to Jail 
Disgraced former Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith surrendered to prison today in rural Pennsylvania after a failed bid to stay out of jail pending appeal of his corruption conviction.  Disgraced official Malcolm Smith begins 7-year prison term (NYP) * Disgraced Queens politician Malcolm Smith, who was convicted of bribing political leaders to back a GOP mayoral bid, went to prison in rural Pennsylvania after a failed bid to stay out of jail pending an appeal, the Daily News reports:

Blasio Slush fund One NY PACs Full of Fat Cat Money, Like the PACs That Run the Lawmakers Campaigns In Albany 
Both Parties in the State Senate and Assembly Have Campaign Committee Stuffed With  Fat Cat Money That Runs Campaigns
The fat cats rule at de Blasio’s City Hall (NYP Ed) Since Mayor de Blasio took office, their firms have raked in $2.3 million — much of it via the mayor’s Campaign for One New York slush fund. That fund, in turn, gets cash from deep-pocketed donors (unions and businesses) looking for favors from the city. The favors, as The Post has reported, run from mayoral speeches to special access for special folk to multimillion-dollar deals.  BerlinRosen, the PR/lobbying firm that oversees the fund, is virtually a wing of City Hall. Meanwhile, actual top city officials can’t get face time with the mayor. Last year, de Blasio steered $42 million to school-bus firms. Donors with ties to the firms had given nearly $40,000 to his slush fund. Nice return on investment. OK: No one’s accused Hizzoner of breaking any laws (so far). But this isn’t all that different from what ex-Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver and ex-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos are on trial for this month. lus, de Blasio rose to power blasting the “consultant class” and donors who hide behind “political committees that masquerade as tax-exempt nonprofits.” He also vowed “transparency.” Ha! Never mind how his shadow government mocks the concept; the mayor won’t do a real town-hall meeting, fights Freedom of Information requests and won’t even answer press questions he dislikes. Thursday, Gabe Pressman said on Facebook he’s never seen anything like it in 60 years of covering City Hall. Shadowy consultants; special favors; secretive dealings: That’s “progressive” government.

When Will Reporters Ask Albany Lawmakers if They Agree With Silver's Defense That Corruption Is Normal Way to Do Business? 
Sheldon Silver’s stunning defense: Corruption is everywhere (NYP Ed) It’s not just Sheldon Silver on trial in Manhattan federal court: It’s the whole system. Silver’s defense is that corruption is the bread and butter of New York politics — so how can it be a crime? The prosecution says Silver, for decades the state’s second-most-powerful official, “picked the people’s pocket to line his own.” To which Silver’s team answers, So what?

Uh-uh. New Yorkers never intended it to work like that. (If they had, why did Silver keep his lucrative dealings secret?) But it’s clear the system does work that way — and then some. Heck, Molo basically agreed with prosecutor Carrie Cohen’s contention that Silver used “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” deals to line his pockets to the tune of $5 million. How corrupt is it? On Tuesday, Dr. Robert Taub testified he referred 25 patients ailing from asbestos exposure to Silver’s law firm in return for state funding Silver arranged for his research center. Silver then pocketed huge fees (on top of a six-figure salary) from the firm. Prosecutor Cohen says, “This was not politics as usual. This was bribes and kickbacks, illegal criminal conduct.” The jury will decide if it was a crime. But it sure looks like bribes and kickbacks — andAlbany politics-as-usual.* Sheldon Silver’s legal team is putting the whole New York political system of bribes and kickbacks on trial by using Albany’s culture as a defense in his corruption case, the Post writes:

Kramer Asks de Blasio Flack to Ask Questions, But She Does Not Ask Albany Lawmakers About the Silver Trial? 
CBS2's Marcia Kramer Grills De Blasio Administration About Transparency (NYDN) Mayor de Blasio’s spokeswoman got into a heated confrontation with a TV reporter Wednesday after the mayor refused to answer questions about a homeless encampment in Soho. The showdown between Karen Hinton and WCBS/Channel 2 reporter Marcia Kramer came in the Blue Room of City Hall, once the mayor rushed out following a bill-signing ceremony and ignored questions Kramer directed at him.

She then approached Hinton to ask why she had been told the homeless encampment had been removed when it was still there. “It was not true information, was it?” Kramer demanded. “It was inaccurate information,” Hinton responded. “There’s a difference between inaccurate information and a lie.”* CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer went toe-to-toe with NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press secretary Karen Hinton over the mayor’s refusal to take off topic questions from the City Hall press corps.

Besides the Press There is An Avoidance of the Public an Activists From Getting Involved In the Corruption Discussion
Where is the Outrage Of What Berlin Rosen or Sheldon Silver Has Done to Out Democracy?

Very Little Chatter on the Internet About the Trial
CrainsNY on the Advance Groups Double Dipping

Will the NYC DAs Donate Their Pay Increase to Bharara for Doing Their Job?
Five of New York City’s district attorneys seek 32% pay raise in hopes of having $250G annual salaries
 (NYDN) * EXCLUSIVE: NYC’s district attorneys seek 32% pay raise (NYDN)* The five NYC DAs penned a letter asking that their pay be hiked to $250,000 a year — up from the $190,000 they make now, a 32 percent bump. * As part of his ongoing rift with de Blasio, Cuomo reportedly has told his top police executives to pull investigators from various state and federal task forces and dispatch them — in uniform — to the city’s high-profile transit hubs to boost the state’s profile there.
Who Watchers the Watchman, Lobbyists, Grand Jury, AG - DAs Conflict of Interests With NYPD and Elected Officials

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.”

Albany On Trail 
Silver, and the system he led, go to trial (PoliticoNY)  What prosecutors cast as misdeeds — collecting referral fees from a real estate law firm employed by major developers and a firm that represented asbestos patients treated by a medical researcher that Silver gave state funding — were presented as the inevitable conflicts of a part-time Legislature where lawmakers have side jobs. “New York has adopted a citizen Legislature model. They not only live under these laws, they work under these laws … and this allows more points of view to be heard,” Molo said. “That may make you uncomfortable, but that is the system New York has chosen, and that is not a crime.” It's a system where campaign money flows, where powerful interests hire connected lobbyists to ensure their needs are whispered into the right ears. Where the speaker can prevent a vote on legislation that has the support of the majority of the chamber's elected representatives. It's a system where Silver doled out earmarks based on seniority and loyalty to consolidate his own grip on power. Where he traded a reduction in pension benefits for the ability to draw legislative districts and authorized the state's first charter schools in exchange for a pay raise.

Does de Blasio Still Think Silver is A Man of Integrity Like He Said Last January?
 "He picked the people's pocket to line his own" - from opening arguments against ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (DNAINFO) Sitting in the back row for the opening of the Silver corruption trial: Preet Bharara. Key phrase in opening statement from Sheldon Silver's attorney at his federal corruption trial: "No corrupt intent." Another surprise guest during opening statements at Sheldon Silver trial: one of the Assistant U.S attorneys prosecuting Dean Skelos's case. * Here's a full post on this morning's court action by @bcolbyhamilton: Openings paint two Sheldon Silvers * 'Power. Greed. Corruption.': Sheldon Silver's trial begins New York Post  Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was ripped by the feds as the quintessential greedy lawless power broker on the first day of his corruption trial Tuesday — while his lawyer portrayed him as nothing less than a devoted public servant.   * Prosecutors described former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as someone who manipulated public trust, while his defense attorneys portrayed him as a conscientious official during opening statements at his corruption trial, The Wall Street Journal reports: )

How Come Albany Pols Who Attack Cops Have No Serpico To Clean Up Their Own House?  
If Albany has any honest politicians left, they should be wearing wires (NYP) No wonder public faith in government is in the toilet. In a June poll, 55 percent of New York voters wanted all office-holders voted out. The trials will spotlight what US Attorney Preet Bharara calls Albany’s “show-me-the-money” culture. But he notes that “even a series of tough and successful prosecutions . . . has not been enough to thwart others from following in their felonious footsteps.” New Yorkers, he warns, can’t “prosecute our way to cleaner government.” Well, legislators aren’t doing much to clean house.* Albany Needs a Senator Serpico (2012, Morgan Pehme) If there are so many decent, upright members of the Legislature—as representatives of both houses insist—why is it not that one of them has the guts to step forward and breach the wall of silence that shields their unsavory colleagues from accountability and denies their victims—all of us—justice? It has often been remarked, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Right now, anyone who claims to be a reformer in Albany is just blowing smoke. Unless these supposedly virtuous men and women step up and take bold and brave action to root out the epidemic in their midst, they must be held as responsible for its ills as anyone. Officer Serpico risked his career and life—evidenced by the bullet he still has lodged in his face four decades later—because of his deep and abiding morality, an innate conviction that what is right transcends what is expedient. Is there no one in the Legislature who will put the interests of the people before his or her own? Out of the 212 members of the Senate and the Assembly, is there not a single hero? Thanks to his valor, the name Serpico has become synonymous with honest cop. Who in Albany has the backbone to earn the title of honest politician?

True News Tuesday Mets Manager Takes Blame for Losing Series When Was the Last Time A Pol Took the Blame for Homelessness Bad Schools?

True News Wags Daily News On Where de Blasio's Buck Stops
Wednesday Update: The buck stops withBill de Blasio: What the mayor should learn from rough new poll numbers(NYDN Ed) In May, he complained to Rolling Stone that “a lot of people outside New York City understand what happened in (his) first year of New York City better than people in New York City.” In September, he stopped blaming New Yorkers directly, and started blaming the media for confusing New Yorkers about the state of the city. “I don’t curse the darkness here,” he told the Daily News Editorial Board. “I don’t say, ‘Oh, why doesn’t the public see through it?’ I’m actually sympathetic — that if you hear the same message over and over again, it affects your judgment.” “I think there is a gap between reality and perception,” he said. “And I have to constantly take responsibility. If I got all this product and I’m not making it clear enough to people, of course that’s on me.” And now cotton candy, plus mayoral determination to get better at “explaining to people how (his progressive) vision is affecting their lives.” Politicians seek good PR, but poor messaging hardly explains why the public has soured on de Blasio’s handling of crime (32% approval), police-community relations (34% approval), schools (35% approval), and poverty and homelessness (28% approval) The Daily News writes that de Blasio’s low poll numbers are not “evaporating” and that almost halfway through his first term, they show discontent is lasting

It Took A Fall In Poll Numbers for the Press to Go After de Blasio
De Blasio’s insistence on “on-topic” versus “off-topic” questions is a break from his predecessors, and the mayor should remember the press is not his enemy, Josh Robin writes in the Daily News: 
Also good to remember: NYT and WSJ reporters get far more 1 on 1 interviews with this mayor than other news outlets 

Another Win for Developers Over Libraries Who Run NY Govt 
City approves deal to sell library and replace it with high-rise (NYP) The City Planning Commission unanimously approved a deal Monday to sell a Brooklyn Heights library branch and replace it with a high-rise. If the City Council goes along, the 60,000-square-foot branch library would give way to a 36-story luxury tower with a new 21,500-square-foot library and 139 condos. The Brooklyn Public Library would get $52 million for its property. Opponents argued several commissioners should have recused themselves because of potential conflicts. But City Planning chief Carl Weisbrod noted that the Conflicts of Interest Board reviewed those charges and found them without merit. *  The NYC Planning Commission unanimously approved a deal to sell a Brooklyn Heights library branch and replace it with a high-rise. If the City Council goes along, the 60,000-square-foot branch library would give way to a 36-story luxury tower with a new 21,500-square-foot library and 139 condos.

The Feds Case Against Silver: Kickbacks From Real Estate for 421-a and A Cancer Doctor
Leonard Litwin: The Cuomo-Silver Connection (Little Sis) First, prosecutors say Silver earned $3 million for referring asbestos sufferers to a personal injury law firm despite doing no legal work on the cases. Those patients came from a doctor who secretly received $500,000 in state money for research at Silver's direction, according to the government. * Prosecutors say the second scheme allowed Silver to collect $700,000 in kickbacks by steering real estate developers with business before the legislature to another law firm that specializes in challenging tax assessments. Prosecutors say the second scheme allowed Silver to collect $700,000 in kickbacks by steering real estate developers with business before the legislature to another law firm that specializes in challenging tax assessments. Prosecutors say that Silver referred two developers to the law firm Goldberg & Iryami, which specializes in real estate taxation.*  Inside the Trial of Sheldon Silver (NYT) The corruption trial of Assemblyman Sheldon Silver centers on charges that the former speaker cashed in on his political power. The list of people who may testify or be mentioned at his trial is a who’s who of Albany politics and New York City real estate.

Albany's Culture of Corruption Silver Trail Explained By Convicted Former Senator Malcolm Smith
With former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s corruption trial starting today, followed by the start of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ trial on Nov. 16, the entire culture of Albany will be in the spotlight. Court papers in the two cases suggest that testimony in Federal District Court will expose in granular detail what watchdog groups say is a seamy world where big money and politics have long intersected with government.  From the NYT: "Court papers in the two cases suggest that testimony in Federal District Court will expose in granular detail what watchdog groups say is a seamy world where big money and politics have long intersected with government. There are accounts of kickbacks disguised as legitimate income; no-show jobs for a lawmaker’s son; and the use of state money to influence a doctor to refer clients to a favored law firm that, in turn, paid millions of dollars to a lawmaker. The two trials — Mr. Silver’s case is to begin on Monday with jury selection, and the case against Mr. Skelos, who is going on trial with his son, Adam, is scheduled to start on Nov. 16 — could run as long as six weeks each, so they will probably overlap for about a month. Never before have two lawmakers of their stature gone on trial at the same time in New York. The trials come after roughly 18 months of intensive investigations by a large team of federal prosecutors in Manhattan, their investigators and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They zeroed in on not only Mr. Silver, a Democrat, and Mr. Skelos, a Republican, but also on up to a dozen other lawmakers from both parties. Some of those inquiries are still underway." * Q. and A.: The Trial of Sheldon Silver (NYT) Key questions in the corruption case against Mr. Silver, once one of the most powerful men in New York.

Will the Media Protect the Shadow Govt Permanent Bosses and Their Soldiers Lobbyists Consultants
Only the Daily News Did A Story Today About the Silver Trial Starting Monday

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

On Eve of Silver Trial Only Newsday Is Only Paper Took Bharara Advice to Investigate Corruption
Newsday Report Thrown Out of Public Building Asking for Public Records About  Long Island restaurateur Harendra Singh At the Center of the Skelos Corruption Trial
Newsday reporter seeking Oyster Bay public records escorted out by cop (Newsday) Oyster Bay Town Hall in 2014. Newsday reporter Ted Phillips was escorted out of Oyster Bay Town offices on Friday, Oct. 30, 2015, while seeking public records concerning town zoning board meetings. (Credit: Danielle Finkelstein) A Nassau County police officer escorted a Newsday reporter out of Oyster Bay Town offices Monday after the reporter requested records from the town's zoning board of appeals. The police officer told reporter Ted Phillips that he was responding to a call about a "disturbance" and led Phillips out of the building. No charges were filed against Phillips. The records the reporter requested are meeting minutes, available to the public, concerning appeals to the town's zoning board for variances from town code. Oyster Bay spokesman Brian Devine emailed a statement that said police were called "because the reporter conducted himself in a disorderly and disruptive manner. This was not the first time that he has engaged in such inappropriate and unprofessional behavior." Oyster Bay Town has been at the center of a controversy regarding the town's relationship with Long Island restaurateur Harendra Singh. Last month, federal authorities indicted Singh on charges that included bribing a then-Oyster Bay employee in exchange for the town's guarantee of $20 million in loans for two businesses that provide food concessions. Singh has pleaded not guilty.  "I was in the ZBA office for about three minutes," Phillips said. "I was firm about the law, but the conversation was cordial." As the town employee led Phillips to the offices of Commissioner of Planning and Development Frederick Ippolito and his deputy, Diana Aquiar, two town public safety officers asked the ZBA supervisor whom they had been called about. She said she didn't know, and she and Phillips entered the waiting room for Ippolito's office, Phillips said. Aquiar then came out and told Phillips that public safety officers would be "showing you out," according to Phillips' audio recording of the conversation. When Phillips responded that he had a legal right to look at the minutes, Aquiar said, "Well, they're not going to waste their time right now putting that together for you."

True News Wags the Daily News to Show Outrage Against Silver,  But Paper Still Not Investigating and Connect More Corruption Dots
Sheldon Silver'scrimes against New York (NYDN Ed) Federal prosecutors appear poised to give New Yorkers a civics lesson in how their state government has really been working. Silver rigged financial disclosure rules so as to hide the sources of his income, thus facilitating a hidden flow of money while brazenly claiming that he was living up to the letter of the law. He controlled internal Assembly ethics investigations, and perverted outside probes by maintaining secret sway over supposed watchdogs. And he perfected one-person rule of the Assembly so that he could decide which bills passed and on what terms

The governor’s creation of the anti-corruption panel in 2013, known as the Moreland Commission, brought high hopes; it began to uncover what many of its members believed were the institutional problems forming the bedrock of Albany’s troubled culture.  Among them were two broad issues that are expected to figure prominently in both trials: ineffectual campaign finance laws that give moneyed interests — especially large real estate developers — outsize influence; and lax financial disclosure rules that allow corrupt lawmakers to list part-time jobs or consulting work to mask political payoffs. Often, this work is listed at law firms that represent clients with business before the state. These laws and rules, largely written by the lawmakers themselves, are seldom enforced. The cases against Mr. Silver and Mr. Skelos, who remain in office but who relinquished their leadership positions after their arrests, were among several investigations that either grew out of or were spurred by the work of the Moreland Commission, which Mr. Cuomo abruptly shuttered in March 2014, outraging good-government groups. He closed it in a deal to pass modest ethics reforms that year, but the move led Mr. Bharara’s office to examine the shutdown and the governor’s role in it. The status of that investigation is unclear.

Insiders are Are Saying It is A Miracle 
That Developers Who Paid the Bribe, Lobbyists Who Arranged the Deal and Law Firms That Made Money Where Not Charged
“As the U.S. attorney has clearly outlined, Weitz & Luxenberg had no knowledge of the alleged scheme described by prosecutors,” a spokeswoman for the firm said. Both Litwin Glenwood's Charles Dorego and Glenwood's Lobbyist and Silver Pal Brian Meara were not charged with a crime in exchange for become a federal rat.* Last Week • As Assemblyman Silver and Skelos head to trial, lawmakers, lobbyists, aides and others involved in state politics are bracing For A Proctology Exam of  Albany’s culture and Corruption

For Some Reason the NYT Does Not Give the Name of the Govt Witnesses  Litwin Glenwood's Charles Dorego and Glenwood's Lobbyist and Silver Pal Brian Meara
"Prosecutors in the case against Mr. Skelos have contended that the developer funneled a $20,000 payment to the senator’s son and helped him get work as a consultant at an environmental technology company, a field in which he had no experience. They are expected to present evidence, including testimony from a Glenwood executive and a lobbyist for the company, that the senator pressured the developer to help his son and the developer did so because of concerns that Senator Skelos would take action to hurt the company. Two lobbyists for Glenwood are expected to testify at Mr. Silver’s trial.

The prosecutors have also alleged that Mr. Silver used his official position to get Glenwood to send its tax certiorari business to a small Manhattan law firm headed by a lawyer who served as Mr. Silver’s counsel decades ago. That firm then paid Mr. Silver hundreds of thousands of dollars in what prosecutors have called kickbacks. Outside income earned by legislators is another area that will figure prominently in the trials, and the cases could have far-reaching consequences if one or both of the men are convicted."

True News Wags the Daily News on Bronx DA Candidate Not Filing Proper Financial Report
Below the law as Bronx pols Rob Johnson and Darcel Clarke break the rules(NYDN  Ed)  Give a politician the power to win office without a competitive election and you give that politician the ability to violate rules and regulations with impunity. Cases in point: departing Bronx District Attorney Rob Johnson and his soon-to-be successor, ex-Appellate Division Justice Darcel Clark. Completing 27 years as DA, Johnson filed the paperwork to run for an eighth term and repeatedly gave the false impression that he intended to go for it. Instead, he was rigging the game for the Bronx Democratic organization. When the time was right, Johnson dropped the party’s nomination and switched to a pre-arranged spot on a ballot for certain election as a Supreme Court justice. The move gave the machine the authority to designate Johnson’s successor without the discipline of a primary election. The bosses chose Clark, although, darn it, she says she just can’t remember which one called with the offer of her dream job, DA. She and Johnson now stroll toward Tuesday’s election unopposed. Without competition, both have gotten ethically cavalier. Johnson became a judicial candidate on Sept. 24. Court rules then gave him 20 days to file a financial disclosure statement and to take judicial campaign training, which includes instruction on disclosure obligations. Although he completed the training, Johnson has blown off his financial disclosure Before he has even taken office, Johnson is a ready made case for discipline by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct. Clark, too, has failed to disclose her personal finances, in violation of Section 12-110 of the Administrative Code, which gives a district attorney candidate 15 days to file after entering a race. She is almost three weeks late and is subject to a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $10,000. Before she has even taken office, Clark is a ready made case for the Conflicts of Interest Board.

The DA Clark Campaign Has Just Filed A Financial Report But Only $208.77 in Expenses and No Red Horse 
True News Has Learned: Red Horse Working for Bronx DA Candidate  Darcel Clark and A Queens DA Candidate and Has Worked for the Brooklyn and New York DAs 

Red Horse Lobbyist Consultants Who Got Away With Scamming the CFB in 2013 Caught In Petition Fraud in 2015 for A SI DA Candidate 
Candidate for StatenIsland DA says opponent collected fraud campaign signatures (WPIX) Joan Illuzzi is running as a Republican for Staten Island District Attorney. Mike McMahon is running as a Democrat and Independent for the same office. Both submitted approximately 4,000 signed petitions to have their names listed on the ballot, but Illuzzi’s campaign has questioned the accuracy of several of the signatures submitted by McMahon’s camp. McMahon’s campaign manager Ashleigh Owens released a statement to PIX 11 Tuesday that read in part, “Mike and our campaign unfortunately appear to have been victimized by a small group of individuals from Red Horse Strategies.”  Red Horse Strategies is a firm of political consultants. They were hired to collect petition signatures. Staten Island Acting District Attorney Daniel Master requested a special prosecutor look further into the allegations. McMahon didn't orchestrate or collect the forged signatures himself. He didn't sign off on them. He paid Red Horse Strategies to collect signatures for his Independence Party petitions. The Staten Island Democratic Party paid for the firm to collect signatures on Democratic petitions. The Bronx DA Election Fix Run By A Consultant  Red Horse Who Has Fix Other Elections 

The Following Were Red Horse Clients and Supported By A UFT PAC That Redhorse Also Worked for
The CFB Fined the Advance Group for Working for Two Council Candidate and the NYCLASS PAC.  The CFB Has Ignored Advances, Red Horse and Berlin Rosen Working for Both candidates and the UFT PAC United for the Future Which Funded the Candidates the Consultants Worked For
The UFT paid $252,233 to campaign consultant Red Horse Strategies to Help Run There PAC United for the Future Which Funded The Following City Council Candidates
Councilman James Vacca 
Councilwoman Annabel Palma 
Councilman Daneek Miller  
Councilman Richard Donovan  
A Tale of Two CFBs: Albanese vs Campaign PAC NYCLASS, UFT's United for the Future 

Red Horse Works for de Blasio One New York PAC Slush Fund
The political organization that raises money for Mayor Bill de Blasio's issue-advocacy campaigns has hired longtime political operative Nathan Smith as its director, several sources told Capital. Smith, a founding partner of Red Horse Strategies, will oversee Campaign for One New York, which raised $1.76 million in private funds for the mayor's universal pre-kindergarten program last yearSmith has close ties to the de Blasio administration, having worked with the mayor's intergovernmental affairs director, Emma Wolfe, in winning a Democratic majority in the State Senate in 2008. (PoliticoNY)

Lobbyist Consultants in the City Council Campaign
Queens Democratic Party, Frank Bolz, collected $528 for petitioning expenses
Connective Strategies, a consulting firm run by Tyquana Henderson  Ali Najmi
 major chunk of Ms. Lynch’s cash has ended up in the pockets of BerlinRosen, a powerful consulting firm known best for helping Mayor Bill de Blasio win his 2013 mayoral race. For campaign mail and staff, Ms. Lynch has paid BerlinRosen about $52,000 Other Red Horse Clients Brooklyn Boro Presidents: Eric Adams, Ruben Diaz Jr., Melinda Katz, Jessica S Lappin,  Julie Menin, Daniel L Squadron, Letitia James,  Reshma M Saujani, Comptroller Scott Stringer, NYSDSC, Cuomo

Lobbyists Not Pols Attend de Blasio's Fund Raiser
Politicians stay away from de Blasio’s re-election fund-raiser (NYP) Among those notably absent at the Sheraton Times Square Thursday night were city Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James, potential de Blasio rivals in 2017. Sources at de Blasio’s fund-raiser said it was attended by no more than 150 people — most of them lobbyists. The de Blasio campaign put the count at 300 and said it raised $1 million. “There were a lot of lobbyists,” said one person who was there. “I didn’t see one elected official.”

Homeless Deputy Mayor Ignored Quits Because Of A National Agenda Pursued That Also Failed
Deputy Mayor Barrios-Paoli quit the de Blasio administration because she was tired of being ignored by the mayor about the growing homelessness problem
Fed-up deputy mayor quits after being ‘ignored’ by de Blasio (NYP) The city’s top official on health and homelessness quit because she was tired of being ignored by a mayor more interested in boosting his national profile than attending to the city’s day-to-day concerns, sources said. Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli worked for five mayors and oversaw seven city agencies under Mayor de Blasio — but she couldn’t get meetings with him, sources said. As the exploding homeless problem began capturing headlines over the summer, Barrios-Paoli said, “I told you so. If you’re not going to listen to anything I say, I’m out,” according to the source. The source added, “The mayor is so focused on national issues, he has not taken time to focus on ­local issues.” Bronx Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo lambasted Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña for being disrespectful and unresponsive. “I cannot work with you,” the lawmaker fumed during an Albany hearing on Oct. 14. “I make a call to your office and nobody answers me.” She sat in on meetings with the mayor and senior staff 23 times in the first five months of 2015. By comparison, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, in charge of housing and economic development, convened with de Blasio 98 times. City Hall has not filled Barrios-Paoli’s position. “Shorris is pissed,” one political source said. “He’s getting all the health work she had. He’s annoyed she left, and he’s drowning in it.”

After His 6 Months Journey to Become Progressive Voice He Winds Up With Bubkis
de Blasio Flip-Flops and Endorse Clinton Before His Iowa Town Hall

Voters say 48-42 percent that the mayor does not deserve re-election. There are signs of strength for Mr. de Blasio in the poll, particularly as he prepares to seek re-election. His approval rating is 61-30 percent among Democratic voters and primaries in New York are restricted to registered Democrats. Republicans, who are far outnumbered, disapprove of Mr. de Blasio 81-14 percent. In Quinnipiac’s poll of the primary field, Mr. de Blasio gets 41 percent, with 13 percent for Comptroller Scott Stringer, 7 percent for Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn and 4 percent for Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who has all but ruled out herself for a 2017 bid.  Two other rumored candidates, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Public Advocate Letitia James, were left off the poll. In a general election match-up, de Blasio gets 48 percent against former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, a rumored 2013 candidate for mayor who never ran and has not indicated he would run again, and Michel Faulkner, a reverend and former NFL player. Mr. Kelly and Mr. Faulkner got 28 percent and 6 percent respectively, with 13 percent undecided.* .@QuinnipiacPollMore than two years before he seeks re-election, @BilldeBlasio leads his potential opponents * Two years ahead of the next mayoral election, de Blasio leads all would-be challengers, though a third of democrats are still undecided, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll

Roosevelt A Real Progressive for the People, de Blasio Spin Progressive While Shilling for Real Estate, Pushing New Yorkers Out of Their Homes
Because the Campaign for One New York is a nonprofit and isn’t a re-election account tied directly to the mayor, donors aren’t required to follow the city’s campaign-finance laws that limit donations to candidates. Many developers and others in the industry said they were skeptical of Mr. de Blasio at first but have grown increasingly satisfied with his positions, including his work on behalf of 421-a. In 2015, the group’s focus shifted to Mr. de Blasio’s national agenda. Among the expenditures: more than $150,000 to AKPD Media, where Mr. de Blasio’s political consultant John Del Cecato is crafting his national agenda and about $140,000 to Mr. de Blasio’s polling and research firm. About $100,000 went to Hilltop Public Solutions, where de Blasio campaign manager Bill Hyers works. The group also spent more than $60,000 with Berlin Rosen, a firm run by de Blasio ally Jonathan Rosen that also represents real-estate companies. The group has paid for the mayor’s travel to San Francisco, hotel rooms in Milwaukee and travel to Iowa and WashingtonD.C. Last week, the Progressive Agenda Committee, a group sponsoring the mayor’s Iowa forum, said it would create another account to collect contributions. The Campaign for One New York can accept donations through limited-liability corporations, which shroud identities. One of the biggest givers, Two Trees Development, gave $100,000 through a limited liability company. Two Trees is developing the Domino Sugar refinery in Brooklyn and other sites. At least some entities contributed to the Campaign for One New York as they also paid representatives to lobby City Hall, a practice that is legal but also has been criticized by Mr. Horner and others. Toll Brothers spent $32,000 to lobby City Hall, but also gave $25,000 to the Campaign for One New York. In a statement, a spokesman said the firm gave because it supported affordable housing. Property Markets Group, which spent more than $80,000 to lobby City Hall in 2015, gave $5,000 to the Campaign for One New York. One of the firm’s lobbyists, James Capalino, also gave $10,000. He didn’t return a request for comment. Madd Equities, which spent $37,500 in lobbying city council members, gave the Campaign for One New York $10,000. The firm didn’t return a request for comment. Longtime real-estate developer Steven Nislick, who wants to ban horse carriages in New York and has funded the group NYCLASS, gave Mr. de Blasio $50,000. He declined to comment.* When 65% of NYC voters oppose carriage ban, only route for Nyclass is to buy Mayor's support with $50,000via @WSJ

Albany Business As Usual Cuomo? Meets Apocalypse Now 
Andrew Cuomo’s already reeling from Preet Bharara’s probes (NYP) Certainly an intense gubernatorial focus will be on two federal courtrooms in Manhattan next month, as a pair of former confederates in state government go on trial for their freedom — and the chief federal prosecutor makes no secret of his interest in Cuomo as well. It’s hard to believe that it was scarcely a year ago that Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos were riding high and handsome, one the Assembly speaker, the other the Senate majority leader — only to be brought low by Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara’s expressed antipathy for business as usual in Albany. And let’s face it: New York’s 57-year-old governor has been an Albany player since he came to the Capitol with his father Mario at the age of 25 — leaving only for a spot of resume-polishing in the Clinton administration. So when it comes to business-as-usual in Albany, Andrew Cuomo lost his virginity a very long time ago. No surprise, then, that Bharara has penciled Cuomo’s name onto his list of usual suspects. For cause, it would seem. The governor short-circuited his own earlier probe of Albany corruption — basically meant to be an attention deflector — when it began to show signs of going beyond his control. This excited Bharara’s interest, and he demanded a boxcar of relevant documents while hinting broadly that more will be heard on the topic. Then the prosecutor took direct aim at Cuomo’s signature “Buffalo Billion” economic-development project — and seems to have extended that probe to the multibillion-dollar SUNY Poly nanotech initiative, which dates to the Mario Cuomo administration.* A scathing critiqueof Cuomo’s Albany (Press Connect) Gov. Andrew “I am the state” Cuomo will likely be under federal indictment by early 2016. Only the radical left is welcome in his New York. It’s a one-party system where rich, urban “progressives” make war on the rural middle class as a hobby.* Amid corruption cases and probes in Albany, the governor has tried to appear productive while distancing himself from legislators by taking executive action on minimum wage and gender identity issues, the Post’s Bob McManus writes:  *Bob McManus: “Certainly an intense gubernatorial focus will be on two federal courtrooms in Manhattan next month, as a pair of former confederates in state government go on trial for their freedom — and the chief federal prosecutor makes no secret of his interest in Cuomo as well.”

The Dems On LI Are Using the Fed Investigation of the GOP in Nassau County to Campaign for DA
Corruption Looms Over G.O.P. in Nassau County District Attorney Race (NYT) Democrats in the Long Island county have tried to link Kate Murray, the Republican candidate, to criminal cases dogging her party
Mangano, Walker will refuse to answer feds' questionsabout ties to Singh, sources say (Newsday)
Albany Plan Would Expand Conflict-of-Interest Policies (NYT) A proposal made this week by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics would extend the current rules for state employees to also include elected officials.

Bharara Puts the Pay to Play Culture of Corruption Government On Trial
Preet Bharara focuses on political favors in New Yorkstate government probe (  With a widening probe of New York state government, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara appears to be taking aim at the nebulous relationship between money and politics itself — a long and murky association in Albany and in capitals across the nation. To politicians who grouse that Bharara is attempting to indict the political system itself, the latest probe appears to be an effort to criminalize what is essentially business as usual — something that has proven difficult for prosecutors before.  "Corporations don't spend tens of millions of dollars as a matter of good citizenship," he said. "The system is funded by investors and investors inevitably expect a return, regardless of whether actual laws are broken or not." A report from an anti-corruption commission Cuomo himself created in 2013 and then shut down the next year identified "eyebrow-raising patterns of potential misconduct" based on a review of campaign contributions to elected officials from donors with interests in legislative outcomes. * believed to be investigating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s deal (Daily Freeman)
Lobbyists Al D'Amato and the Long Island Investigation
A former high-ranking Suffolk County Board of Elections employee’s time-sheet and personnel records have been subpoenaed by the FBI, county sources said.
Buffalo Billions investigation
Bharara blasted for Libous prosecution:  * Howard Zemsky, a Buffalo businessman who runs the state’s Empire State Development Corp., maintained the Cuomo administration’s no-comment policy after repeated questions surrounding a federal probe of the Buffalo Billion program, the Buffalo News reports: * Howard Zemsky, the leader of New York’s economic development agency, maintained the Cuomo administration’s no-comment policy with regards to questions surrounding a probe by federal prosecutors of the Buffalo Billion program – other than to say the agency is cooperating fully.* ESDC's Zemsky toed the Cuomo admin line, declined to commenton US Attorney Bharara's Buffalo Billion probe.  *Cuomo has put up $750 million for the SolarCity project in Buffalo – the biggest economic development effort he has undertaken in his five years as governor – a project that isn’t without risk, and not the first time he has bet on a high-risk company as part of an economic development push. *  Right From the Reporter: Buffalo Billion

SolarCity's Buffalo Billion Fed Investigation Target Stocks Crash Mayday!
SolarCity: Mayday! Mayday! (Investigative Post) For starters, the company disclosed it posted a net loss of $234 million in the third quarter. That’s the biggest quarterly loss in the history of the company and brings the year-to-date losses to a staggering $537 million. That puts SolarCity on track to lose more than $700 million for 2015, compared with net losses of $375 million in 2014, $152 million in 2013 and $92 million in 2012.
See a pattern there? SolarCity stock prices also took a nasty tumble Thursday, prompting Business Insider to declare “SolarCity is getting nuked.” The bad news on earnings drove the company’s stock down to $31.15 in after-hours trading. A day earlier, the stock closed at $38.34. That’s down from a peak of $84.96 in February 2014. The stock price is continuing to drop today.* More bad news for SolarCity – and the governor’s investment in the company’s Western New York project.

Nobody Asked Me But
The mayor said it was “downright crazy” to ask whether he would be endorsing Cuomo’s re-election campaign in 2018 because there were several election cycles before 2018, but said that he was a “loyal Democrat,” the Post reports: 
Better Question to the Mayor: Are You Happy and Proud of Your 2014 Endorsement of Cuomo?

Newsday Only Paper Covering that Mangano Will Not Talk to the Feds About Sekos and de Blasio Contributor 
Mangano, Walker will refuse to answer feds' questionsabout ties to Singh, sources say (Newsday)*Harendra Singh was big de Blasio donor... * Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican, is not on the ballot this year, but his looming corruption trial has shadowed Kate Murray, the Republican candidate running for district attorney in his home base of Nassau County, on Long Island. * The NYT endorsed Madeline Singas, the Democratic Nassau County DA candidate, has been serving in an acting capacity in the job since the former occupant, Kathleen Rice, resigned in January to become a member of Congress. * Newsday“Singas doesn’t have Murray’s high name recognition. Instead, she brings 24 years of respected experience in law enforcement. The evidence points to only one verdict: Singas is by far the better choice.” * On the advice of their respective attorneys, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his chief deputy, Rob Walker, both plan to refuse to answer questions from federal prosecutors about their relationships with indicted Long Island restaurateur Harendra Singh, according to several sources.  * Democrats have sought to tie Republican Nassau County district attorney candidate Kate Murray to embattled state Sen. Dean Skelos, and strategists are watching to see what corruption may mean as an electoral concern, the Times reports: 

Bharara is unpacking 421a as the taxpayer-funded golden road of corruption to Albany  Behold, the ShellySilver trial
The stunning arrest capped a secret grand-jury probe that began in June 2013, court papers said, and marked the latest in a string of public-corruption cases spearheaded by crusading Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara.  Asked how the case stacked up against the many other public-corruption cases he’s brought, Bharara summed it up. “Any time you have an allegation — especially when it’s proven — against a public official, that is disturbing. And when you have an allegation against someone who is a public official — not just in a random file capacity, but a leader of an entire body who is known in the politics of Albany to be one of the ‘three men in a room’ — that is especially disturbing,” Bharara said.* Skelos’ attorney cited a @PolHudson post to try to discredit Preet Bharara. It didn’t work  * Bharara blasted for Libous prosecution: (LoHud)
@unitedNYblogs Preet is doing more than ThomasJefferson. He demands that people in power be honest fiduciaries or go to jail. And he warns!
@unitedNYblogs -Society had a choice: register lobbyists and have them self-report, or let them brown bag democracy into private property.

Millions Poured In Campaigns by Real Estate, Unions Run By Consultant Lobbyists has Weakend Voters Control Over Pols
The Progressive Caucus, a group of 19 liberal council members, will endorse a new congestion pricing plan tomorrow, sources say. They will be joined by “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz, the former city traffic commissioner who is the architect of the initiative, known as the Move NY Fair Plan. Mr. Schwartz is a listed speaker on a press release sent from the office of Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a Manhattan Democrat and chairman of the Transportation Committee. A press conference to announce the decision will be held at City Hall.* The New York City Council’s progressive caucus backed the MoveNY congestion pricing plan that would places tolls on East River bridges and lessen the cost to cross other bridges, theDaily News writes:  * New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens is supporting the congestion pricing plan that would toll free East River bridges and raise money to cut down on traffic and repair the subway system, the Daily News reports:

How the Middle Class are Being Pushed Out of New York City - Corruption Tax
New York City has lost 40% of apartments for low-income residents over the last decade, a new report says * Escape from NY Pensioners fleeing city -  31 percent of NY's pensions, went to addresses outside New York state. (NYP) * Tolls go up at bridges and tunnels as Port Authority hikes take effect *   RIP, NYC's middle class? (NYDN) New York is now America’s second most racially divided city, behind only Milwaukee. And New York City now has the nation’s single most segregated public school system. Con Ed Seeks Rate Increase(NYT) * A new Gallup Poll found that 41 percent of New Yorkers would move out if given the chance, which was actually a three-way tie with New Jersey and Massachusetts for sixth-worst. Illinois and Connecticut led the way. (TU) One of the Reasons for the Escape High taxes make NYers wait longer to earn financial ‘freedom’ * Law meant to lower NY auto insurance made it surge: study(NYDN) *  Some lawmakers and residents are demanding that de Blasio follow through on a campaign promise to lower water bills, which have surged as of late, CBS New York reports:  *NYC Is Even More Unaffordable Than You Think, In 6 Charts(Huff Post) Rents in New York City have skyrocketed over the past decade while New Yorkers' incomes have fallen, creating a dearth of affordable housing for the people that need it most. That's the takeaway from adisheartening report released by city Comptroller Scott Stringer this week. * Study Finds More New Yorkers Leaving State(NYT) * Census Shows New York Exodus(WSJ) *See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya: New Yorkers leave state at record rate(NYDN) * About 7.3 million residents have left NY for other states since 1960
Albany and City Hall Corruption
Real Estate Developers, Tax Breakes and Politics, 421-a 

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:

New MTA Budget Cuts Backs 2nd Avenue Subway Bring in El Chapo
De Blasio silent while the MTA screws over Harlem (NYP) The MTA released its revised five-year capital plan Wednesday — and the city got hosed. Especially Harlem. After months of sniping with Gov. Cuomo over how much the city should kick in to fix the MTA’s huge budget hole, Mayor de Blasio last week agreed to pony up $2.5 billion, way up from his offer of $657 million when the agency first came begging. But only now does the public learn the fine print on how the MTA is doing “its” share to close that hole. And the fine print is rotten. The MTA is slashing $1 billion from the planned $1.5 billion for the next phase of the Second Avenue Subway. That’s the phase that’s supposed to take the new line from 96th Street to 125th Street in Harlem. By contrast, the East Side Access scheme to bring the LIRR into Grand Central is still getting its full $2.57 billion.  * Calls for a new revenue source to fund the MTA only address half of the equation, ignoring growing costs of operating the transportation system, an approach that is like trying to outrun a train, the Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas writes:  * Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez said pushing back the next phase of the 2nd Avenue subway construction “screamed of inequality,” and U.S. Reps. Charles Rangel and Carolyn Maloney expressed concern, too, the Timesreports: * The Post writes that New York City, and particularly Harlem, got “hosed” in the MTA’s capital plan, and de Blasio was silent after getting a “consolation prize” in the form of a study about extending the Utica Avenue line:* A $1 billion cut in funding by the MTA for the Second Avenue subway will force New Yorkers to wait even longer for the long-delayed project’s completion.* Mayor de Blasio Joins in Criticism of 2nd Avenue Subway Cuts (NYT) State lawmakers and transit advocates continued to urge the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to restore $1 billion in funding for the East Harlem leg of the Second Avenue subway.
More on the MTA

Ticket Fix Cover-Up, Clean-Up Before Tammany DA Takes Power In the Bronx
Ticket-fix cop: We lost everything (NYP) Saying that cops have “lost everything” as a result of the Bronx ticket-fixing scandal, the last NYPD officer to plead guilty in the scam vented to a judge Thursday as he pleaded guilty, claiming that union bosses were targeted. “As I said, I take full responsibility for my actions, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the fact that 600 cops, over 600 cops were reported to the DA and had been internally disciplined on these very charges, and 10 were arrested, and eight lost everything,” said Bronx PBA trustee Joe Anthony.

First Team de Blasio Games the Election System, Now They are Looking Forward to See the City's Newspapers Die

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.

The Media Has Not Only Protected Lawmakers From Corruption But Has Ignored the Fact That Real Estate and Unions Fund NY Election System
That list also covers a variety of prominent faces with political ties, including real-estate executives Larry Silverstein, Gary Barnett and Charles Dorego; and Columbia mesothelioma researcher Dr. Robert Taub.

Real Estate and the UFT are the Two Main Controller's of the State's Election System

NYT's 485 Word Story of the CFB Fine Latest Move By Paper to Empower Consultant Lobbyist 

Powell When He Was Writing News Broke the News That the Advance Group Was Being Investigated Advance Group President Scott Levenson is no longer listed as the NYCLASS political director on the firm's website. In Campaign, Cash Flowed Circuitously - Advance under investigation * In Campaign, Cash Flowed Circuitously (Powell, NYT)

True News: Following Covered Up in CFB And AG Fines and How It Effects Campaigns and Governing
1. The UFT PAC Paid Advance Through the Fake Illegal Group Strategic Consultants Inc. $370,000 and More Than $4 Million in City Campaigns 
The Daily News and Good Government Groups In 2013 Blamed the UFT for the Strategic Payment Cover Up 
UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(2013 NYDN)The city’s powerful teachers union is under fire from good-government groups for apparently trying to hide the identity of a consulting firm it was using to boost union-backed candidates.  "The listing of the phony firm, 'Strategic Consultants, Inc.,' in campaign filings, obscured that Advance Group was being paid both to promote candidates for the United Federation of Teachers' independent political action committee, and working as the main campaign consultant for several of those same candidates."

2. Red Horse Like Advance Worked for the UFT PAC United for the Future
Clients in 2013 Who Received United for the Future Mailings and Red Horse work for:
James Vacca, Helen Rosenthal, Annabel Palm, Daneek Miller,  Antonio Reynoso,  Ritchie Torres

Red Horse In Addition to Working for 2 DAs and Two DA Candidates, Works in Dozens of Other Races

3. In the 3rd Council District Advance's Candidate  Krukland Received NYCLASS Mailing and Her Opponent Also Got PAC Mailings From UF PAC Also Controlled by Advance

The Lobbyists Consultants Work With Each Other Sometimes Against Their Own Candidates Interests

The Advance  group was paid by democratic candidate Yetta Krukland $28,000 and the IE NYCLASS that Advance paid for $30,000 in mailings to promote Yetta Krukland.  The UFT PAC which Advance Was Working for United for the Future funded Krukland Opponent Corey Johnson. Krukland fired Advance during the campaign. Advance Also Worked for Ydanis A Rodriguez who was funded by the United for the Future PAC Which Advance Worked for

4.  The Advance Group PAC NYCLASS Funded Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and Worked In Her Campaign to Become Speaker
The Advance Group also has faced a city Conflicts of Interest Board probe into free help it provided New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. The status of that probe is unclear.
Campaign Finance Board Votes on Penalty for The AdvanceGroup, Inc. - The New York City Campaign Finance Board today determined that The Advance Group, Inc., committed violations and assessed penalties totaling $15,000 for those violations. The Board determined that The Advance Group, acting as agent for an independent spender and two of its campaign clients, cooperated in expenditures reported to be independent. This substantial penalty sends a clear message that the Campaign Finance Board will vigorously enforce coordination between outside groups and candidates that violates the law. These violations strike at the very heart of our campaign finance program. When a consultant’s actions make it impossible for their clients to comply with the law, the Board will hold the consultant accountable. The facts in this matter are clear. The Advance Group arranged mailers for one client, NYCLASS, which promoted the election of two of their campaign clients. CFB staff notified The Advance Group that such expenditures would be violations, yet the expenditures went forward.  In addition, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is announcing today a $10,800 penalty against the Advance Group. Combined, our two agencies are penalizing The Advance Group $25,800. I want to thank Attorney General Schneiderman and his staff for their assistance on this matter

Advance's Yedin Who Was Push Out as Manager of McMahon DA Campagn Was Involved With the Speaker Race After Advance Said it Was No Longer Involved With Mark-Viverito 
Staten Island DA Race Fallout McMahon campaign manager resigns amid consulting firmfines (SI Advance) *  McMahon Campaign Manager Resigns Over Political Consulting Group Fine(NY1) * McMahon campaign manager resigns amid consulting firm fines  Politicker Reported That Advance Was A Crucial Player In the Seddio Deal After the Advance Group Left the Speakers Race

CFB Ignores That Fact That Their Fine On  Mark-Viverito Came From An Illegal Account
Melissa Mark-Viverito fined over consulting payments connected to re-election (NYP) Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was whacked by the city’s Campaign Finance Board Thursday after her 2013 campaign committee failed to show $3,000 in consulting payments were connected to her re-election efforts. The board fined her campaign $750 for a payment made to consultant Brendan Kelly on Nov. 16, 2013 — nearly two weeks after the general election that put Mark-Viverito back into her East Harlem/Bronx council seat. At the time, Kelly was a lead strategist on Mark-Viverito’s bid to become council speaker — a race she won in 2014 with Mayor de Blasio’s backing. Illegal to Use the 2013 Campaign Account to Pay for the Speaker Race Under city election rules, Ms. Mark-Viverito was not allowed to spend money from her 2013 campaign account for the speaker race. She was also not allowed to spend money from a "transition committee" meant to pay only for inauguration activities. And she was likewise not allowed to yet set up a new 2017 campaign committee with the city Campaign Finance Board. Instead, on Nov. 5, she set up a 2017 campaign committee for an as-to-be-determined city office, according to the state Board of Elections, and then spent on the speaker race.  Mark-Viverito spent big on speaker race (CrainsNY) Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito got a boost in her speaker campaign by spending nearly $80,000 in recent months.

5. The UFT is A Client of Berlin Rosen and Worked for the Following Candidates Funded By the UFT PAC United for the Future
Corey Johnson, Mark Levine, Ydanis A Rodriguez, Austin I Shafran, Rory Lancman, Elizabeth S Crowley, 

Head of Dept Financial Services Resigns Moreland Redux All About Controlling the Benjamin's? 
Anthony Albanese, the acting head of New York’s Department of Financial Services, will step down before the end of the year, giving Cuomo a run at reshaping a regulator that has levied billions of dollars of penalties against international banks and at times raised hackles in foreign capitals. * Albanese’s departure reportedly comes amid tensions between the agency and Cuomo over independence. * N.Y. Bank Regulators Exit After Clash With Governor Cuomo’s Office (WSJ) * New York State’s Financial Regulator Says He Is Leaving (NYT) Anthony J. Albanese, superintendent of the State Department of Financial Services, disputed reports he was resigning over tensions with the governor’s office.*As Anthony Albanese, the state Department of Financial Services’ top regulator, announced his resignation, he denied a report of a feud with the Cuomo administration over the agency’s independence, but sources said a Cuomo aide had asked to review DFS’ outgoing requests, The New York Timesreports:

NYPD Arrests Down 15% 
Some NYPD sources agreed with the FBI director’s claims that cops are less aggressive because they fear increased scrutiny, as NYPD statistics show arrests have dropped 15 percent so far this year
NYPD arrests down 15percent amid ‘attack’ on cops (NYP) While the White House has taken issue with FBI Director James Comey claiming cops are being less aggressive due to increased scrutiny, new NYPD data show that the nation’s top lawman wasn’t just shooting from the hip. Arrests in the Big Apple have plummeted 15 percent so far this year, from 333,673 in 2014 to 283,548, according to year-to-date statistics through Sunday. Over the past 28 days, the number has dropped even lower, with police making 26,569 arrests compared to 31,421 in 2014, for a 15.4 percent decline, records show. And in the past week, there were 6,610 arrests as opposed to 7,506 during the same period last year, a nearly 12 percent decrease. “We’re like potted plants, watching instead of responding — no one wants to lose their pension,’’ an NYPD source said. Background FBI chief tries to deal with the 'Ferguson effect' CNN, FBI director concedes he has little evidence to support 'Ferguson effect' The Guardian, Ferguson Effect? Hard Data Knocks Out FBI Director James Comey’s False Connection Between the Rise in Violent Crimes …

Canceled   Cuomo cancels plan to ‘scalp’ $5,500 Mets tickets (NYP)* 
Fundraiser with Cuomo's Mets World Series tickets canceled (NYP)*   News of the governor’s decision to shut down his fundraiser, which his campaign said was due to an “overwhelming demand” for the tickets, came during Game 2 of the World Series, which the Mets lost to the Kansas City Royals.

Cuomo Scalping for His Funding Raising, Is the Increased Ticket $$ An Inkind Donation By Mets? 
Cuomo Sells $5,500World Series Tickets in Citi Field Campaign Fundraiser (DNAINFO) Another said that it might seem “a bit unseemly” to capitalize on the Mets, but the governor’s campaign people have not violated any regulations in doing so. His 2018 fund reportedly contains more than $12 million already. Cuomo’s World Series scalping scam is outrageous and hypocritical (NYP) Now, scalping is perfectly legal in New York; a whole secondary market exists for that purpose. But Cuomo’s charging a major markup: The average Series ticket at Citifield is going for about $1,600 on StubHub. Worse is the unseemly air of insider access here. It’s far easier for a high-ranking official (or his flunkies) to score seats than it is for the average Joe. Did Cuomo forget the anger when Gov. David Paterson scored Yankees tickets? And to then milk the prized passes for campaign cash . . . It’s particularly tacky when Attorney General Andrew Cuomo was so tough on scalpers. Back in 2010, he went after folks who sat in line for free Shakespeare In The Park tickets, then resold them on Craigslist. Under Cuomo’s prodding, the site agreed to ban such ads. And that was to stop some low-level types from earning a few extra bucks.* Cuomo flew to the Mets game in Kansas City yesterday aboard the team owners’ private jet. He had three seats on an aircraft owned by the Wilpons, and his staff said he paid for them out of campaign funds. Accompanying him were two aides: Melissa DeRosa and Joe Percoco. (The Mets lost). * The NY Post slammed Cuomo for “scalping” tickets to the Mets’ World Series home games and using them as political fundraising tools. (He’s not alone, Rep. Grace Meng, a Queens Democratic, is doing something similar).* Cuomo Cancels Fund-Raisers at Mets’ World Series Games (NYT) Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had come under fire for asking $5,500 a ticket for games between the Mets and the Kansas City Royals at Citi Field.
With all due respect to good gov't groups, Gov Cuomo pulled plug on Mets tickets because he was Ripped all day on @WFAN660.

NY Still Sends More Money to Washington Than It Get Back
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released a report showing that for every dollar New York sends to Washington, it’s getting back about 91 cents in federal spending. That’s below the national average of $1.22 in spending going back the states. * Shortly after election, Moynihan analyzed the State of New York's budget to determine whether it was paying out more in federal taxes than it received in spending. 1976

How Pols Deliver the News by Bypassing the Media
Twitter, Facebook and Newspapers
How Felder Puts His News In ‘Focus’ (YNN) DC Leader Jeff Klein apparently isn’t the only member of the Senate with journalistic flair. The Gotham Gazette reported last month that the Bronx Democrat, who has had a contentious relationship with the local press, decided to step up his public relations game by publishing a “newspaper” of his own. The Riverdale Record, billed as the “official publication of Senator Jeff Klein and Our Community,” features all the news the senator sees fit to print and is paid for by his political campaign committee, Klein for New York. It turns out the Riverdale Record has some competition in the former of “The Felder Focus” – a 15-page, full-color publication sent to constituents of Sen. Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn Democrat. Unlike Klein’s paper, The Felder Focus looks like a cross between a magazine and a tabloid (in terms of size, not content), and is heavy on the photos. The lead “story” of the Fall 2015 issue is about Felder’s “heartfelt speech” on the Senate floor in favor of a bill that helps the parents of special needs children seeking to obtain tuition reimbursement from New York City for sending their kids to a non-public school. 

Other stories include a blurb on Felder calling on Manhattan Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler to reconsider his support for the Iran nuclear deal, (he hasn’t), the “sweeping” success of a Felder-sponsored community clean-up and some helpful safety tips from the senator , (“If you see something, say something”). And my favorite: “Want Free Ice Cream? Wear a Helmet” – a story about Felder’s partnering with stroke and brain injury advocates in response to reports that Brooklyn’s 66th Police Precinct is the second most dangerous for cyclist in all five boroughs. (Kids wearing bike helmets were given coupons for free ice cream or ices at participating neighborhood stores). Not exactly hard-hitting news, but it’s not meant to be, according to the senator. During a brief telephone interview, Felder said his publication is meant to be a beefed up newsletter that goes out to constituents once or twice a year.

Breaking Sharpton Not Going to Funeral Al Sharpton writes letter to father of #RandolphHolder & says he will not attend tomorrow's funeral. Says his invitation has become sideshow * Rev. Al Sharpton will not speak at Officer Randolph Holder's funeral tomorrow. Cites "union leaders" as reason in letter to Holder's dad *Sharpton backs out of cop’s funeral, blames police backlash (NYP)

Slain Cop's Fiancee: Sharton Eulogy Would Be An Insult
Mary Muhammad, who was engaged the slain NYPD Officer Randolph Holder, said he did not like the Rev. Al Sharpton and was stunned he would speak at his funeral, and sources said Holder’s father only invited the reverend to attend the funeral, not to speak at it*   I'M NOT A 'SIDESHOW': Al Sharpton refuses to give eulogy at officer's funeral, saying he will not allow union to divert attention from mourners (NYDN)
Slain cop’s fiancée: Sharpton eulogy would be an insult (NYP) Slain NYPD Officer Randolph Holder’s fiancée was stunned to hear that the Rev. Al Sharpton was asked to speak at his funeral — because the policeman detested the anti-cop preacher, she told The Post on Monday. “He didn’t like [Sharpton]. He wasn’t a fan. So I don’t know why [Sharpton] is speaking,’’ Mary Muhammad said. Sharpton claims that he met with Holder’s father and that the dad asked him to speak at Wednesday’s service.

At Officer Randolph Holder’s Funeral, Mayor Says New York Lost a ‘Remarkable Man’ (NYT) For the fourth time in less than a year, rank-and-file New York City officers in their dress blue uniforms mourned the killing of yet another colleague.*  CBS2 Exclusive: Mother Of Slain NYPD Detective Brian MooreSpeaks Out, Calls For Change  * Cop-bashing Tarantino has family in the force (NYP)*   Cemetery in Guyana Is Prepared for Fallen Officer Randolph Holder, a Native Son (NYP) Officer Holder will be buried on Saturday in Le Repentir Cemetery in Guyana, where he played as a child. * NYPD Officers Arrive in Guyana for Burial of Officer Randolph Holder (NY1) * Quentin Tarantino’s NYPD cousin nearly died in lineof duty (NYP)

To de Blasio Hospitals Are Nothing But A Campaign Prop 
Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood isn’t giving good reviews to a developer’s proposals for the Long Island College Hospital site. Neither of the two plans include a full-service hospital, something that de Blasio once vowed he would fight for.
De Blasio’s Stand on LICH Site Disheartens Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill Neighborhood (WSJ)  Developer’s plans don’t include full-service hospital, something mayor once vowed he would fight for.  In 2013, when Bill de Blasio was the city’s public advocate and campaigning for mayor, he was arrested at a demonstration over the possible closure of Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn. “This is about fighting for our hospitals,” Mr. de Blasio said as he was led away in disposable plastic handcuffs. Now, as a developer brings forward two proposals to rebuild and expand the LICH site, Mr. de Blasio’s administration has been publicly and privately supportive of one of the plans, which would include new affordable apartments. Both proposals include tall towers in the low-rise Cobble Hill neighborhood, but neither include a full-service hospital. Rebecca Katz, a former aide in the de Blasio administration, is now working with the developer, Fortis Property Group LLC, to persuade a skeptical community to support one of the plans. At the 2014 news conference, Mr. de Blasio and others celebrated the decision that forced the State University of New York, which then owned the site, to put out a new request for proposals. LICH had reported annual operating losses for 17 consecutive years, according to a state audit. “This is a transcendent moment for health care in New York City,” said Mr. de Blasio, who took partial credit for keeping the “wolf from the door.” The hospital is now closed. Many in the community, however, aren’t happy. Theirs is a historic community of low-rise brownstones and townhouses. And while some blamed SUNY and the state for not doing more to save the hospital, they all remember Mr. de Blasio’s 2013 protest. “It was an exercise to help him get elected as mayor,” said Roy Sloane, a longtime former president of the Cobble Hill Association. “I don’t think he did anything to save LICH.” Franklin Stone, a longtime resident who also has served as association president, said many in the community supported affordable housing but felt that a large tower and a new school would clog an already packed neighborhood—and still leave residents needing more health care options.

de Blasio Campaign Manager Bill Hires' Hilltop Now Works for Deverloper on the Hospital Site
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* 
Airbnb Accuses NYC Lawmakers Of "An Attack On TheMiddle Class": At a contentious City Council hearing earlier…  *   Airbnb is not happy with the NYC Council, which today will hear legislation that would further penalize hosts for renting out their homes illegally. In advance of the hearing, the apartment-rental platform delivered a letter to Council members signed by Airbnb hosts imploring them to back off. * Airbnb agrees to discuss sharing data with officials to crack down on illegal operators (NYDN) * City Council Members Clash with Airbnb Officials at Hearing (NY1) *  Councilman threatens $100K fines onAirbnb’s ‘illegal hotels’ (NYP)

4. Is de Blasio Using His 2013 Campaign Account to Pay Hires to Supplement His Pay the Director of His One NY PAC?
More About de Blasio Closing Hospitals
de Blasio One NY PAC Slush Fund, Berlin Rosen, Bill Hyers, Red Horse

 NYT Break From Flacking for de Blasio - Learns to Count Homeless 

But Still No Cause Given
.The Homeless Have Become the Victims of the Shadow Govt Lobbyists Pushing 421-a and Airbnb

Despite Vow, Mayor de Blasio Struggles to Stop Surge in Homelessness (NYT)  By one key measure after another, homelessness in New York City has worsened over the last two years. The number of people entering city shelters has increased under Mayor Bill de Blasio, and when they enter the system, people are staying longer, striking markers of a crisis that has forced its way to the top of the mayor’s agenda.  Many people across New York believe the city is experiencing an epidemic of street homelessness. Mayor Bill de Blasio, the embattled liberal steward of a city in which people have a legal right to shelter, has disputed this. And in another troubling sign, the number of families re-entering shelters within a year of leaving is increasing as well. “An ever-growing homeless population is unacceptable to the future of New York City,” he said. “It will not happen under our watch.” But it has happened.

More on the Homeless

The NYT Should Have "New York" Forcibly Remove From Its Name
City Room, a Blog With a Broad Mandate, Is Retiring (NYT)  The result was City Room. It debuted on June 14, 2007, “a news blog of live reporting, features and reader conversations about New York City.” Now, eight years, 20,000 posts, 425,000 reader comments and perhaps 100 million clicks later, City Room has an announcement to make: This is our last post. The reasons are mostly boring journalism-business stuff. In 2007, blogs were the wave of the future. At its blogmaniacal peak, The Times had about 80 of them.

But Times blogs run on a different publishing platform from the rest of the Times website, and eventually we realized they were creating a lot of extra work. Now The Times has only about 20 active blogs.*Shuttering of City Room blog reflects larger evolution atthe Times * NYT brass bullish on digital ads despite quarterly decline, slam ad-blockers (PoliticoNY) * New York Times shuts down City Room blog, to surprising chorus of grief (PoliticoNY)
Daily News Says More Info On Secret by Mayor Giving Blackstone's Stuy Town Deal on Air Rights and Forgiving Loan
The Daily News writes that straight accountings of deBlasio’s real estate dabblings  are needed after he did not mention the city was forgiving a loan and authorizing an air rights sale at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village: * Editorial: Fulldisclosure, please (NYDN Ed) As a huge landlord reached a deal buy Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, de Blasio trumpeted success in keeping almost half of the complexes affordable to the middle class. The mayor said that the city reached advantageous terms with the Blackstone Group. But what did Blackstone really get in the deal? New York “will fund a loan of up to $144 million,” de Blasio’s press release stated — without mentioning that he was actually forgiving the entire sum, plus $77 million, for a total $221 million. It turns out he added artificial sweetener: the mayor will help Blackstone get the okay to sell development rights that experts say are potentially worth $100 million to $350 million. New Yorkers need straight accountings of the costs of de Blasio real estate dabblings. Here that extends to the possible air rights bonanza. At least, the terms should have said that the bulk of any such sums would come back to taxpayers. * The Post writes that de Blasio should keep his “grubbypaws” off the city’s pension fund after the mayor suggested he may like to invest it in various subsidized housing program as part of his affordable housing program: *The recent sale of Stuy Town-Peter Cooper Village highlights the differences between the massive Manhattan complex and Parkchester, its similarly-designed Bronx counterpart with much lower rents, Crain’s reports:

Tish Going More Education Drifting 
Merryl Tisch to leave Board of Regents (NYP) She’s been a big booster of charter schools, and helped oversee the dramatic increase in the alternative, privately managed schools. Education reformers are worried that the state’s stop educational policy board will backtrack on the move for more rigorous standards and school choice with Tisch gone.Cuomo: Changes Coming To Education System (YNN)  * Merryl Tisch, the chancellor of the New York Board of Regents, will leave the board at the end of March after a tenure marked by broad changes and pushback to the Common Core standards, The New York Times reports:  * Merryl Tisch, Board of Regents Chancellor, Is Stepping Down (NYT)  Dr. Tisch, who has been New York State’s highest education official since 2009, announced she would leave at the end of her term in March.* A panel created by Cuomo to examine the Common Core education standards is set to hold its first public meeting tomorrow in New Rochelle, but you’ll have to act quick if you want to attend. (For the panel’s full schedule, click here).Thursday Update Cuomo names Common Core opponent to top education spot (NYP)Success Academy charter schools singled out students who they wanted to leave the network—allegations the organization and CEO Eva Moskawitz have repeatedly denied, The New York Times reports * Documents obtained by the New York Times show Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter schools suggest that some administrators in the network have singled out children they would like to see leave, and one school even maintained a “Got to Go” list of kids it wanted out.*  Eva Moskowitz said she will not fire the Success Academy principal who created the “got to go” list of struggling students he wanted to leave the school, as documented in a widely read New York Times article. *  .@MoskowitzEva:"We simply don't believe in throwing people on the trash heap for the sakeof public relations"(PoliticoNY) * Documents obtained by the New York Times show Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter schools suggest that some administrators in the network have singled out children they would like to see leave, and one school even maintained a “Got to Go” list of kids it wanted out. Saturday Charter head Moskowitz lashes out at ‘problem’ child report(NYP) School Safety  The number of suspensions at New York City public schools dropped 17 percent last year and the number of arrests made by school safety officers also dipped, The New York Times reports:  * The shrill debate over allegations that the Success Academy charter schools push disruptive students out ignores the more important discussion about the challenge of dealing with classroom disruptions that takes smarts and guts, Michael J. Petrilli writes in the Daily News:  *   NYC school suspensions down 17% from last year: officials (NYDN) *  Success Academy Founder Calls ‘Got to Go’ List an Anomaly (NYT) Eva S. Moskowitz, in response to a New York Times article about the list, said the charter school network did not have a practice of pushing out difficult students.
More on Common Core,Testing Debate

Will the Council Airbnb Fines Hold?
Bad Timing for Airbnb Will the Shadow Govt Lobbyist Save It? Will the Council Revert to Puppet Form?
Two shot at luxe Airbnb rental party: cops (NYP) Two people were shot early Sunday when gunfire erupted during an out-of-control party in a posh Queens house that was being rented out through Airbnb, cops said.*  As Council considers new penalties, Airbnb goes on offensive (PoliticoNY) * Airbnb representatives plan to protest on the steps of New York City Hall ahead of tomorrow’s City Council hearing over a bill that could further penalize New Yorkers who rent out their homes, Politico New York writes: 

Will de Blasio Campaign Manager Hires Who is A Lobbyists for Airbnb, Stop the Council Fines? 
Show time for Airbnb before the Council piles on the fines (NYDN) Fresh from trying to strangle the popular car service Uber, the City Council this week takes up legislation to smother the burgeoning apartment-share service Airbnb. A bill introduced by Manhattan Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal would hit New Yorkers with fines ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 for temporarily renting out their residences. Penalties of that magnitude would put Airbnb and its competitors out of business, because very few people would risk having to pay so much money in order to earn far less in rental fees. Other Lobbyists for Airbnb James F. Capalino and Bolton St. Johns Although a New York City bill that would fine Airbnb owners who rent out their apartments is well-intentioned, action on the bill should be postponed until more data can be gathered, including from Airbnb, which needs to release complete and credible data, the Daily News writes: 

How Airbnb "Hotelization" Is Killing NYC Middle Class, Gentrification Racial Push Out of Brooklyn Neighborhoods and Raising Rents
The Unsavory Side of Airbnb (American Prospect)  How the popular matching company facilitates landlord conversion of entire rental buildings to de facto hotels.  In touristy cities with housing shortages and hot real-estate markets—New YorkSan FranciscoLos Angeles, and many more—Airbnb plays a less savory role. Not only does Airbnb facilitate illegal conversions of entire buildings from tenant apartments to de facto hotels, it has also become part of the landlord lobby that resists enforcement of local laws prohibiting such abuses. To be sure, places like San Francisco would suffer the effects of conversions even without Airbnb, but the evidence shows that Airbnb supercharges the process. * Airbnb fights 'Freddy Krueger of bills' that would hit N.Y. homeowners who rent out their pads with up to $50G in fines (NYDN) * Airbnb is blasting a New York City Council bill that would hit homeowners who use home-sharing sites with fines as high as $50,000, saying it’s a “bad policy” that could bankrupt New Yorkers, the Daily News writes:  * Airbnb has come out swinging against a bill that would hit homeowners who rent out their pads on home-sharing sites with fines as high as $50,000, saying it’s “bad policy” that could bankrupt New Yorkers looking to make a quick buck.

In a story similar to San Francisco’s, many of Airbnb’s 25,000 or so “hosts” are not in fact “regular people” looking to rent out a spare room in their home; they are professional operators who took on multiple leases in desirable locations, resulting in what The New York Times called the “professionalization” of short-term rental hosting. “We call it the ‘hotelization’ of San Francisco. Seniors, families, and low-income tenants are being pushed out.”* Rent in #SanFrancisco is so expensive that it’s cheaper to commute from #LasVegas. * Airbnb fights 'Freddy Krueger of bills' that would hit N.Y. homeowners who rent out their pads with up to $50G in fines (NYDN) *  Airbnb has reached out to the New York City Council to set up a date to discuss sharing its data after years of resisting handing over the numbers, but lawmakers are skeptical of the company’s intentions, the Daily News writes:  * Airbnb will provide rental data to City Council: After a contentious hearing with the City Council, Airbnb is…* NYC lawmakers skeptical on Airbnb’s offer to share long-sought data (NYDN)

Dead Cop Game Change In Hypocritical, CYA No Morality, No Shame NYC Politics

Bad Cases Make Bad Law
De Blasio faces rare skepticism from left on bail-reform plan (NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s bail-reform proposal — requiring judges to consider whether a defendant is a danger to society and not just a flight risk — could face its biggest hurdle from left-leaning state lawmakers who are usually his staunchest supporters in the Legislature. Liberal Assembly Democrats called de Blasio’s plan a “knee-jerk” response to the murder of Police Officer Randolph Holder and said the plan needed further study. “Terrible cases usually make bad law,” said Codes Committee Chairman Joe Lentol (D-Williamsburg). “You shouldn’t act as a result of a terrible case — it isn’t going to fit in every other case.” Lentol said most judges already weigh an offender’s threat to public safety when they set bail and that a law would be redundant.

After Death of Officer Holder Mayor and Speaker Triangulate Bail Lock Up Policies and Nothing About Courts and DA 
de Blasio and Mark-Viverito Give Orwellian DoubleSpeak Answers to Bail 180 - No Investigation and Council Hearings
Bill toughensup on bail (NYDN Ed) A somber Mayor de Blasio on Friday called for overhauling New York’s bail and sentencing laws so the forces that set free the drug dealer accused of murdering Officer Randolph Holder can never again conspire to threaten public safety Far less helpfully, the mayor muddied churning waters by insisting on additional action to keep low-level defendants out of jail before trial. Although the concept was irrelevant to the public safety challenges exposed by Howard’s case, de Blasio declared the bail system “broken both in the way that we treat hardened criminals and how we treat first-time low-level offenders.” Consider it a call-and-response to the caucus that seeks to essentially eliminate bail for minor crimes, led by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who stood by de Blasio’s side Friday. While Howard’s gang and their rivals terrorized her East Harlem district while he was out on bail, she had busied the Council with a proposed bail fund for defendants who had been deemed by judges unlikely to show up for trials. You would never know that two in three prosecuted defendants are released on their own recognizance, with neither bail nor jail. Only when a judge deems a defendant a flight risk because of prior conduct does the law come down pre-trial. * What New York’s cops need now after yet another officer’s killing (Lynch PBA, NYP Ed) When our city’s leaders face yet another opportunity to either support police officers or add to their burdens, which will they choose? Police officers want City Hall to be our partner in keeping New York safe. But that partnership can’t succeed if the only time officers feel their efforts are supported and their contributions valued is when one of us has made the ultimate sacrifice. If the partnership doesn’t succeed, there will be more grief. More New Yorkers and police officers will lose their lives. We simply can’t go on like that. It’s time for officials to take meaningful actions to show they support the police officers on the street.*  The New YorkTimes writes that it was a wise move by Mayor Bill de Blasio to call for state action giving judges the power to factor in danger to the public, and not just flight risk, when setting bail: Before Murder of Officer Holder De Blasio unveils no-bail plan for low-level crimes — even felonies (July, 8 2015, NYP) Starting next year, the $17.8 million program would let about 3,400 defendants charged with low-level, nonviolent offenses — including some felonies — be placed under “supervised release” instead of getting locked up. Police sources predicted it would lead to more crime, given the history of low-level offenders eventually escalating to violent felonies, including murder.* City Needs Bail Reform, de Blasio Says After Kalief Browder ... (June 8, 2015, NYO)

More Pay to Play Development By Cuomo 
Builder linked to top Cuomo donors got tax deals, fundsover higher-rated rivals (TU)  Despite higher-rated rival plans, builder with ties to top Cuomo donors often got tax deals, funds.  Birchez Associates,  an affordable housing builder, donated more than $250,000 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and often got tax deals and state funds ahead of  higher-rated rival plans. The state of New York has been a generous friend to Birchez Associates, an Aaron-controlled firm that builds affordable housing. A development now being built in the rural village of Schoharie, for example, was promised millions of dollars in funds and tax credits from the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal after its then-commissioner, Darryl Towns, bypassed competing projects that had higher recommendations from his staff. It was one of several instances in recent years where Aaron's projects leapfrogged the competition despite subpar initial scores. Birchez Associates received millions in state support for the five projects (comprising 360 units) it completed between 2004 and the beginning of 2011, when Cuomo took office. Though three other Birchez projects have been proposed, only the Schoharie development is currently under construction. Almost half of Aaron's support for Cuomo comes from his company Rivergate Development LLC, which has given Cuomo $122,800 since 2010, including a gift of $25,000 in July. Rivergate gave an additional $50,000 to the "housekeeping" account of the Cuomo-controlled state Democratic Committee in February 2013.

The Only Winners of the Education War Between Cuomo Vs de Blasio are the Lobbyist$
Education, Labor Dominate Lobby Spending In First Half Of Year (YNN) The report found that overall the top lobbying entities spent $23.4 million during the first six months the year. Total lobbying spending accounted for some $131 million between January and June 2014. The report found the New York State United Teachers, the umbrella group for the state’s teachers unions, spent the second-highest amount, $3.8 million. Another education-oriented group aligned with Cuomo’s education policies, Students First NY, spent $2.2 million. Families For Excellent Schools Advocacy, a pro-charter organization, as well as its companion organization Families For Excellent Schools, Inc., spent a combined $2.3 million, the report found. But education wasn’t the only major issue discussed. Groups pushing for the extension of and changes to the 421a tax abatement in New York City also spent big. New York City and Vicinity Carpenters Labor Management spent the third highest amount, $3 million. Putting New Yorkers To Work spent $1.8 million, while the Greater NY Laborers-Employers Coop spent $1.2 million. The top lobbyist for the first half of the year in total compensation and billings was Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, which reported $5.4 million. Runner-up: Kaiser Consulting, which reported $4.1 million. Brown an Weinraub $4,082.732, Bolton St. Johns $4,049.464, James Capalino $3,759.722, Park Strategies $3,552.103, Greenberg Traurig $3,254, 387, Hnman Staub $2, 621.652, Manatt, Phelps $2,276.967, Pat Lynch $2,136.221 *  The two most contentious issues of the 2015 legislative session, education policy and real estate tax breaks, drove the biggest spending by lobbying groups in the first six months of the year, according to a report released by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.*  $131M in lobbying to push Cuomo, state lawmakers in 2015 (NYDN) The $130.9 million spent on lobbying from January through June marked a $21.1 million increase from the same period in 2014, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics said in its mid-year report Thursday. The biggest spender was the Coalition for Opportunity in Education, which spent $5 million in an unsuccessful push for the adoption of a tax credit for individuals who give money to educational institutions. New York State United Teachers, which opposed the tax credit, was second on the spending list with $3.8 million spent on lobbying.

Cuomo Wants to Tap Into Ride-Share and Taxi $$$ What War With de Blasio
How Lobbyists Make Millions From Ride-Share Companies
Ride-Share Companies Assemble Politically Connected Teams (YNN)  As such, both companies already have in place high-profile lobbying shops, according to the most recent data. Lobbying filings show Lyft has retained Berlin Rosen, a consulting firm with ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and has done campaign work for a host of elected officials, including Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Lyft has also turned to David Yassky LLC, run by the former taxi commissioner under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. On the state level, Lyft this year retained Albany Strategic Advisors, the firm that includes CEO Allison Lee, a prominent Albany lobbyist. Uber, meanwhile, has on its side Patrick Jenkins & Associates, a lobbying firm founded by an ally of the new Assembly speaker, Bronx Democrat Carl Heastie. Dentons, a firm that includes Democratic former Sen. Craig Johnson — who has close ties to Sen. Jeff Klein and the Independent Democratic Conference — was also retained by Uber this year to lobby both the state and on the local level. On the communications front, Uber has also in recent months hired Matt Wing, a former press secretary for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as well as Josh Gold, a former political director for the Hotel Trades Council who also conducted de Blasio’s universal pre-kindergarten campaign.* * A Bay Area start-up called Flywheel aims to challenge Uber’s dominance in the New York City market by breaking into the yellow taxi market and replacing the meter equipment with smartphone payment technology, Politico New York reports:  * New data shows yellow taxis averaged more than 410,000 daily trips in New York City in June and Uber drivers made more than 100,000 trips on the average day in July, which is a fourfold increase from last year, the Journal reports:

After They Become Federal Rats Lobbyist Meara and Glenwood Bagman Fear Giving $ to Silver Oh My
Bharara: Real estate firm panicked by Silver fees (TU) Law firm's disclosure prompted anxiety, prosecutor argues    In court papers filed Monday in the federal corruption case against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara said he wants to enter into evidence "expressions of concern, surprise and fear shared among the lobbyists and representatives of" real estate developer Glenwood Management.  Silver is accused of steering real estate developers including Glenwood, which have substantial business before state government, to a small law firm, Goldberg & Iryami, which allegedly paid him kickbacks. Bharara wants to introduce evidence showing that around December 2011 — when Silver learned the law firm needed to disclose to Glenwood his receipt of a share of Glenwood's fees — he called Brian Meara, one of Glenwood's lobbyists. During that call, Silver claimed "that there was no issue with him getting the fees because he 'only represented the (limited liability companies)' " controlled by Glenwood, the filing states. But the filing states that Meara "was surprised and concerned" by what Silver told him, and he shared his concern with Glenwood officials, including chief lobbyist Richard Runes and general counsel Charles Dorego

Silver Skelos were dealt setbacks as federal judges ruled against several legal challenges
 Setbacks for Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver in Corruption Cases (NYT) Federal judges rejected requests by the two former legislative leaders to exclude evidence and dismiss charges.In one case, a judge denied a request by State Senator Dean G. Skelos, the former majority leader, and his son Adam, for a hearing into their allegation that the government had “leaked grand jury information” to the news media in violation of grand jury secrecy rules — a claim that the federal authorities had denied. Another judge rejected a request by lawyers for State AssemblymanSheldon Silver, who had served as speaker, to exclude evidence that he argued was irrelevant and prejudicial. Judge Wood found that the defense had also failed to demonstrate that the information in question could have come only from government sources. The government, she said, in the months leading up to the grand jury, “issued subpoenas to more than 100 individuals and entities, interviewed approximately 20 individuals in connection with the investigation” and had talked with lawyers who represented many of those people. “There were thus hundreds of individuals” not covered by secrecy rules, she added, “who would have had information about the existence and aspects of the investigation and who could have provided this information to members of the press.” “Glenwood’s campaign contributions are relevant to Glenwood’s motive to enter into an alleged quid pro quo relationship with Silver, even if the contributions themselves were not part of the quid pro quo exchange,” Judge Caproni wrote.* Skelos strikes out in bid to toss corruption charges (NYP) * Judge refuses to toss out corruption charges against former NY Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (NYDN)*  
A judge has refused to throw out charges or evidence in the corruption case brought against former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam. The duo had wanted a hearing into their allegation that the government “leaked grand jury information” to the media in violation of secrecy rules — a claim federal authorities denied. * Another judge rejected a request by lawyers for former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to exclude evidence from his federal corruption trial that he argued was irrelevant and prejudicial. * According to pretrial conference proceedings, federal prosecutors handling the trial of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver may present more than 1,500 exhibits to the jury once the trial starts next week, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * Veteran constitutional activist Robert Schulz was back in court Friday appealing a ruling by a lower court that Silver was within his rights to pay victims of sexual harrassment $103,000 in “hush” money, the Times Union writes:   *  Sheldon Silver'slawyers want Dr. Taub to show documents (NYDN)

"Mr. Runes and Mr. Dorego then engaged in discussions in which they, too, expressed deep concern about the defendant's receipt of a share of fees from Glenwood, and the fear of adverse consequences should Glenwood refuse to consent to the arrangement," the filing states. The state Legislature has sway over key real estate laws affecting Glenwood, including the 421-a tax abatement program and rent regulation in New York CityThe matter was also discussed with Leonard Litwin, the owner of Glenwood, according to court documents. That allegedly resulted in an arrangement in which Glenwood, Silver and the law firm agreed to a "side letter" consenting to Silver's "continued receipt of fees from Glenwood, without acknowledging the defendant's financial interest in retainer agreements between Glenwood and the Goldberg Firm. * "Sheldon Silver’s cronies ‘afraid of him’ (NYP) Disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told officials at a powerful real-estate firm that there was no problem with him taking fees from a law firm to which they steered property-tax cases — even though they feared “adverse consequences” from pulling out of the deal, according to new court papers filed Monday.

Feds Have Discovered that Political Corruption in NY Made Up of Interconnected Families Like the Mobs Organized Crime Commission
The probe into Silver’s office also turned up incriminating material about former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who also now also faces corruption raps in Manhattan federal court. The prosecutors sent a grand-jury subpoena to the Glenwood real-estate companyuin May 2014 as part of their probe into kickbacks pocketed by Silver, according to the Manhattan federal court papers filed earlier this month. “As part of the document requests, the Silver [Glenwood] subpoena asked for all documents concerning political contributions to state officials or parties​​, and concerning the New York State Legislature,” the court papers stated. During public portions of Friday’s 2¹/-hour hearing, Caproni ruled against Silver and said that multiple pieces of potentially incriminating evidence could be shown to the jury at trial. The Lower East Side assemblyman’s attorneys had tried to keep from jurors certain pieces of evidence, including his allegedly incomplete financial-disclosure forms and his attempts to halt construction of a methadone clinic in an alleged quid pro quo with a real-estate developer.

Stringer Goes After the Pension Investment Companies 
When Comptroller Liu When After Them He Was Interrupted by A Federal Investigation That Put His Treasure In Jail
Controller Scott Stringer will propose to reform the waycity pension funds choose investment companies (NYDN)  New York City Controller Scott Stringer will propose next week a sweeping change in how the city’s $160 billion pension system — the fourth largest in the nation — chooses the private companies that invest its money. Stringer’s plan, according to several people briefed on it, will call for consolidating separate investment committees of the police, fire, teachers and other municipal union pension funds into a single combined umbrella group. That group would meet only four times a year, thus doing away with the current system, where the five major pension funds each hold their own separate monthly meetings to select investment managers. The trustees of each fund, however, would still vote separately on whether to park their money with a particular firm. Stringer declined to comment on his proposal until he releases it in the next few days.

How the Investigators Protect the Shadow Govt
After the AG and CFB Takes A Dive At Going After the Advance Group and other Lobbyists JCOPE Gives Them Amnesty
Tuesday Update 
Although there is a need for confidentiality on investigations, the nondisclosure language in JCOPE’s statute is so broad that commissioners and spokespeople have acted as if any information about the commission amounts to a state secret, the Times Union writes: 

The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics is offering lobbyists six months of amnesty starting Jan. 1 to “encourage lobbyists and clients of lobbyists” to file with the watchdog group, Gannett Albany writes: 
JCOPE to lobbyists: Tell us about yourselves, please  (LOHud) The much-maligned state agency said Tuesday it would offer six months of amnesty starting Jan. 1 to “encourage lobbyists and clients of lobbyists” to file with the watchdog group. A series this year by Gannett’s Albany Bureau called “Power in Money” has detailed the intersection of money and public policy in New York government, including on education.  Last month, an installment in the series showed that the public-relations firms have raked in more than $3 million since 2010 from political campaigns and then worked on efforts to promote key issues before the Legislature through coordinated lobbying efforts. And the firms don’t have to register as lobbyists — even as lobbying spending soared 56 percent over the past decade. JCOPE’s request may include those groups who straddle the line between lobbying and public relations.  JCOPE has been criticized for lax oversight of state government amid a series of corruption scandals in recent years since the agency was established by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature in 2011. The corruption cases have been brought against legislative leaders, as well as other lawmakers, mainly by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

Power in Money: When is lobbying in NY not lobbying? (LoHud) SKDKnickerbocker - The firms that provide the services to lawmakers and their causes said they are providing key strategic help. BerlinRosen, for example, was the top consultant that helped New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio get elected in 2013. It also has helped environmental groups in their anti-hydraulic fracturing campaign in Albany, aided some firms looking to win medical-marijuana licenses and collected $300,000 in campaign funds from candidates since 2010, a review of state records showed. In 2014, the firm received $10,000 from the campaign for former Sen. Ted O’Brien, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County, for Internet ads – a race he lost. In the case of SKDKnickerbocker, it received $1.2 million to help run campaigns since 2010, including more than $155,000 from the Monroe County Democratic Committee which was then headed by Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit.  The firm isn’t registered as a lobbying firm. It is run by Jennifer Cunningham, a former campaign adviser to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the ex-wife of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Another firm, Mercury Public Affairs, received $1 million last year to run a Jobs forNew York campaign funded by New York City business interests to aid Republican state Senate candidates, including upstate and in the Hudson Valley. It also has a prominent lobbying firm, including work for the Committee to Save New York in 2011 and 2012.

How NYC Luxury Housing Hides Dirty Money 
Lawsuit Says ManhattanReal Estate Was Used to Launder Money (WSJ) Two Kazakh men allegedly conspired with a developer to hide at least $40 million in New York property, a lawsuit says. A banker and a former politician from Kazakhstan tried to launder tens of millions of dollars of stolen money through New York real-estate holdings, a civil lawsuit alleges. The men allegedly conspired with New York developer Joseph Chetrit to hide at least $40 million by investing in a former Manhattan hotel and the Cabrini Medical Center, according to a complaint filed on Oct. 12 by Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, and one of the nation’s biggest lenders, BTA Bank. The Kazakh men, ex-BTA chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov and former Almaty mayor Viktor Khrapunov, are separately under investigation for criminal fraud in Kazakhstan, the complaint says. Mr. Ablyazov is alleged to have stolen billions of dollars from BTA and Mr. Khrapunov is alleged to have stolen about $300 million from Almaty, according to the complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan. The Kazakh men parked “corrupt assets” in New York City real estate to avoid the scrutiny of escalating international investigations, the complaint alleges. Mr. Chetrit, also a defendant in the lawsuit, was aware of the criminal investigations of the Kazakhs when he agreed to use their money for his projects, according to the complaint. The suit seeks damages of up to $18 billion and was filed by law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP. Mr. Ablyazov, who is being held by authorities in France, couldn’t be reached for comment. Previously, he has said he is innocent of any criminal wrongdoing and all accusations against him are ungrounded and politically motivated.

Berlin Rosen Is Not Only Ducking Lobbyists Disclosures . . . Also Failed to Register With the Foreign Agent Act
Two years ago True News broke the story that Berlin Rosen was not a registered lobbyist. CrainsNY's Bragg follow sometime later and last week NY1 reported the same information.  Playing fast and lose with the city and state lobbying regulations is not the only thing Berlin Rosen failed to registered for.  Berlin Rosen worked the ground breaking event for a government subsided building with Atlantic Yards developer Ratner and a Chinese government funded company called Greenland Group. According to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) enacted in 1938, a persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities. The purpose is to facilitate "evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons." At the least Berlin Rosen activities with the Chinese government company is fueling gentrification pushing the poor and middle class out of the projects surrounding communities.
Campaign Lobbyists Control A Secret Shadow Government 

Mayor Uses Media to Solve A Vet Homeless Problems That He Has Been Unable to Fix
Mayor de Blasio launches $400G ad campaign urginglandlords to house homeless veterans (NYDN) De Blasio pledged to end veteran homelessness by the end of the year in his State of the City address in February, but the Daily News reported last month he looks unlikely to meet the goal – there were still around 1,000 homeless veterans, a number that hadn’t budged since February. Now, the number is around 880. A large majority of those people have vouchers from the feds or city to pay rent, but haven’t found an apartment yet. The max rent is around $1,200 for one person, and many landlords want more. * The de Blasio administration is launching a $400,000 advertising campaign to urge landlords to house homeless veterans who have vouchers to pay their rent

The 2017 Ferry de Blasio Campaign 

Shadow Govt Campaign Consultan Lobbyists Arzt Questions In DA Hynes Investigation in Shady-Spending
Witnesses subpoenaed in Charles Hynes’ shady-spending case (NYP) The criminal probe of former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes — over allegations he used crime-fighting cash to pay a political consultant — is heating up, with authorities subpoenaing multiple witnesses in the past few weeks, sources told The Post. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn interviewed two more people under subpoena last week, in addition to questioning multiple DA staffers and campaign workers in the past month, according to sources. Almost a dozen investigators from the Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office, the state Attorney General’s Office, and both the city and state comptroller’s offices asked the ex-staffers whether Hynes’ neighborhood community relations offices were being used as de facto campaign outposts in the 2013 race, a source said.

 Is A 2014 Lawsuit of Hynes Wrongful Conviction Driving the Feds Investigation?

Hynes’ ex-spokesman testifies advisor held weekly meetings (2014, NYP) Arzt was deposed as part of a $150 million lawsuit by a man wrongfully convicted by Hynes’ office, Jabbar Collins, who was locked up for 15 years before he was exonerated.

Dirty Advance Group Also Worked for Hynes Were They Called In By the Feds?

Advance was payed $600,000 by the Hynes Campaign
“The bottom line is, did anyone who worked on the campaign get paid with city funds or state funds or forfeiture funds? That’s really the issue,” a source familiar with the probe said.  Investigators are also looking at whether the community relations workers were on the DA’s Office payroll or whether they were consultants paid from another source. Former Hynes staffers interviewed in the past month include campaign spokesman George Arzt, DA spokesman Jerry Schmetterer and campaign manager Dennis Quirk, who is also head of the court officers union, sources said. Arzt didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Quirk and Schmetterer declined to comment. The Post was the first to report in June 2014 that a Department of Investigation report accused Hynes of wrongly using $1 million in forfeiture funds seized from crooks to pay political p r consultant Morty Matz in his losing 2013 campaign against current DA Ken Thompson.
How the Advance Group Conspired to Steal the 2009 and 2013 Election

Hynes Spokesman Says He Was Paid for Officials DA Work, Arzt Says He Was At Campaign Meetings 
A campaign spokesman for Charles Hynes said the advisor whom authorities say was paid out of forfeiture cash held weekly campaign meetings with the then-DA and staffers during Hynes’ reelection bid But in a sworn deposition Monday, former Hynes spokesman George Arzt testified that Matz attended weekly campaign meetings — which included DA staff — and advised the campaign. “Was Matz present at all the meetings . . . in the summer of 2013?” lawyer Joel Rudin asked, according to the deposition. “Most or many,” answered Arzt “What was his role?” Rudin asked. “An adviser,” Arzt answered. “To Mr. Hynes?” Rudin pressed. “To the campaign,” Arzt said. Arzt also answered, “Yes,” when asked whether Matz “provided campaign advice” at those meetings, held in the Manhattan offices of the court-officers union. Reached Wednesday, Matz declined to comment  Arzt was deposed Monday as part of a $150 million lawsuit by a man wrongfully convicted by Hynes’ office, Jabbar Collins, who was locked up for 15 years before he was exonerated. * Hynes' ex-spokesman testifies advisor held weekly meetings 2014,

Arzt Who Talk to Feds Works As A Campaign Consultant So He Can Rake In the $$$ As A Lobbyists  
How Killing the Moreland Help Arzt's Real Estate Client Excell 
Cuomo said he has no problem with the anti-corruption Moreland Commission he convened sending subpoenas to real estate companies that have contributed to his campaign, including Extell Development, the Times Union writes:  *  Evan Davis, a lawyer who served as counsel to former Gov. Mario Cuomo, is spearheading the launch of a survey that will review the effectiveness and potential improvements for the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics, theTimes Union writes:   * George Arzt's clients is Extell, and Extell is the sponsor of the exclusive, luxury condo called One57 that is the target of an investigation for possible corruption. Extell has funneled approximately $75,000 in campaign contributions to Christine Quinn. According to this report, generated moments ago from the New York City Campaign Finance Board Web site, Mr. Arzt has contributed $90,500 in political donations to municipal candidates.2013-08-23 George Arzt Campaign Donations - Master List - Quick Search - New York City Campaign Finance Boa... * NYC : News & Analysis: George Arzt : The $90,500 ...Arzt contributed to political candidates. Tax break to Midtown luxury condo tower will cost NYC $65.6M in property taxes (NYDN) The city isn't getting much bang for its buck by awarding a huge tax break to a luxury condo tower in Midtown, the Independent Budget Office found. A tax break for One57 will cost the city $65.6 million in property taxes over 10 years, money that could have paid for 367 affordable apartments. Instead, under the deal with One57's developer, Extell Group, only 66 affordable units were built. That means taxpayers subsidized apartments at a rate of nearly $1 million per unit when affordable units on average cost $179,000 apiece. Hundreds protest tax breaks to New York City real estate developers in shadow of skyscraper for mega rich (NYDN) * Upper West Side condo has separate entrances for rich and poor(NYP)  This is rich! The poor will use a separate door under plans for a new Upper West Side luxury tower — where affordable housing will be segregated from ritzy waterfront condos despite being in the. *  Extell Lobbyist Money is Also Flying At the Hudson Yards * Sheldon Silver aided Gov. Cuomo in sneaking through tax breaks for luxury developer(NYDN) Two developers who stood to benefit from the tax breaks gave Cuomo big donations days before his bill-signing. Several sources involved in the process identified Silver as the creator of the lucrative tax relief. One 57th St. building in Manhattan was projected to save $35 million over 10 years. Between 2007 and 2011, as the median family income in the city dropped by 6.8%, the median monthly rent went up by 8.6%. Thirty-one percent of New Yorkers spent more than half their income on rent, as those not lifted up by New York’s booming, knowledge-intensive fields felt the squeeze.
Real Estate Developers, Tax Breakes and Politics, 421-a 

Lobbyists Arzt Spokesmen for Lobbyists Schlein in A Corruption Matter

 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.”
More About Bronx Powerman and Lobbyists Schlein

NYP's Dicker Cuomo Still Helping GOP Senate Stay In Control
Cuomo’s lack of support may lead to Senate candidate’s downfall (NYP) Democratic state Senate candidate Barbara Fiala’s campaign will be crushed by her Republican opponent because Gov. Andrew Cuomo reneged on his pledge to go all out to help and wants to maintain a GOP-controlled state Senate, the Post’s Fred Dicker writes:

Real Estate $$$ Funding Wright's Campaign for Congress
The congressional campaign of Assembly housing chair Keith Wright has been heavily funded by real estate interests regulated by his committee, with more than 43 percent of donations coming from the industry, Politico New York reports: *Former DNC official Clyde Williams, a candidate for Congress in 2012, said he will run for Congressman Charles Rangel’s seat once more, this time in an increasingly crowded open race, the Observer reports: 

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.

After True New Wags the NYP On How de Blasio Accused the Paper of Fear-Mongering the Tabloid is Still Half Asleep 
NYP Today:  “The media has put a lot of attention on this issue”
True News Friday: "On July 14th de Blasio Charges Homeless Crisis is A Case of Media Fear-Mongering
De Blasio knew about homeless crisis even as he was denying it (NYP Ed)  If you faulted Mayor de Blasio last summer for being ignorant of the spike in homelessness in the city, you gave him too much credit. Turns out Hizzoner was well aware of the crisis — even as he denied it. In fact, he’d been holding weekly emergency meetings on the issue all along, news reports this week said. Even while pooh-poohing the problem and denouncing “hype” from The Post, which ran stories and photos that documented the growing chaos. “The media has put a lot of attention on this issue,” he said back then. He asked if the focus was “proportionate to what’s happening,” insisting that “reality is a little different” than the news reports. It wasn’t — as he later admitted: In 2014, city homelessness set a record, at nearly 60,000. In August, 311 homeless complaints reportedly had spiked 60 percent under de Blasio. And The Post published hard evidence, including a front-page photo of one vagrant urinating right in the middle of the street.

On July 14th A Month After Secret Meetings on the Homeless Crisis de Blasio Said The Post Is Making Up the Increase Homeless Stories

Friday Update
ON THE RISE: Study predicts that spending on NYC's homeless, including 271 shelters, to reach close to $1B in 2015 (NYDN) * The New York City Independent Budget Office released a report showing spending on city homeless shelters grew 62 percent in the past eight years and is expected to amount to close to $1 billion this year, theDaily News reports:  *
Former NYC Council Speaker Chris Quinn, Christine Quinn, who unsuccessfully battled Bill de Blasio in the 2013 mayor’s race, is about two weeks away from taking over as head of a homeless service provider – a job that will put her in the trenches on an issue that has frustrated the de Blasio administration.* Report: City's Spending on Homelessness Has Risen Dramatically (NY1)
De Blasio thinks homeless crisis is a case of ‘fear-mongering (NYP) Mayor de Blasio on Monday ripped The Post’s coverage of the homelessness crisis — and touted an estimated drop in the vagrant population based on a single-day census conducted in sub-freezing temperatures. * The Agnew de Blame the Press "Fear-Mongering" Edition 

Secret Meetings on Homeless
De Blasio HeldWeekly Meetings on Homeless While Publicly Denying Problem (DNAINFO) Mayor Bill de Blasio held a "Weekly Homeless Meeting" for months this summer with top city officials even as he publicly denied the city was experiencing a problem with homelessness, DNAinfo New York has learned. The mayor brushed that off saying he had inherited the homeless surge from his predecessor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and blamed media coverage for overplaying the issue. "I think the media has put a lot of attention on this issue lately, more than previously," de Blasio said then. But de Blasio had been meeting with city officials about the homeless issue as far back as June 5, according to Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter's schedule, a copy which DNAinfo obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request. The FOIL request covered the period through the end of July.

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

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'eta   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."

de Blasio Who Attack Bloomberg Polices and Embarrassed Him At the Swearing In Now Needs His Help?
De Blasio Adopts a Warmer Tone Toward Bloomberg (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio has come to see his rift with Michael R. Bloomberg, his predecessor, as an unnecessary political liability and has recently hailed the former mayor as a champion for New York City.* De Blasio has recently changed his tune in relation to his predecessor former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, hailing the man he once worked to differentiate himself from during his campaign, the Times writes: 
De Blasio, a Democrat, and former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent, will hold a joint news conference Oct. 21 in the Bronx to plant the millionth tree of the Million Trees NYC program that Bloomberg launched in 2007 to improve the quality of life on the city’s streets. 

2013 Flashback  Did the speeches at the inauguration of Mayor Bill deBlasio show disrespect to Bloomberg, ignoring his accomplishments, or were they voicing the frustrations and aspirations of millions of New Yorkers who have rarely been heard? * Bloomberg blasted at de Blasio swearing in | New York Post * Mayor Bloomberg Blasts Bill de Blasio’s ‘Class-Warfareand Racist’ Campaign (NYO) 2012 Public Advocate Billde Blasio also called on the city to restructure the agency.  “It should not take a year to fix a broken lock or patch a wall — especially when the money is there, waiting to be used,” de Blasio said, noting that NYCHA is the No. 1 subject of complaints that flood into his office. 

On August 25th Team de Blasio Blamed the Homeless on Bloomberg Now Friends?
Homeless Flashback 

De Blasio aide blames Bloomberg for growing number ofhomeless New Yorkers (NYDN)

The Media Does Not Hold de Blasio Responsible for CSA Failures Like They Did Bloomberg
De Blasio and the city’s Administration for Children’s Services stand silent on the three deaths of infants in the last three months at the hands of their mothers and should swiftly account for, and end, the deadly “epidemic,” the Daily News writes: 
de Blasio Was Not Silent About Child Abuse Before He Became Mayor “That says we are missing an opportunity to intervene asearly as possible,” the public advocate, Bill de Blasio, said in an interview. (2012, NYT) * PUBLIC ADVOCATE BILL DE BLASIO CRITICIZES THE CITY FORCRITICIZING HIS REPORT ON CHILD DEATHS (2012, Village Voice) * There was a City Council hearing on the ACS in September 2007, announced by then-Councilman Bill de Blasio, the chairman of the General Welfare Committee, which has jurisdiction over the ACS. De Blasio cited the death of 21-month-old Hailey Gonzalez after she was allegedly beaten by her mother's boyfriend and the death of a 2-month-old after the child was allegedly shaken by his mother in a homeless shelter. The Councilman said that ACS has made some progress but noted that children were still being lost. * Following Reports of Abuse at PS 87, De Blasio Calls onChancellor to Explain Lack of Discipline for Prior Incident *   De Blasio: Six Years After Nixzmary, Children Still Lostin Preventable Deaths (Brooklyn Eagle) *  De Blasio's Past as ACS Watchdog in Spotlight After MylsDobson's Death (DNAINFO)

de Blasio Ran to His Mini Me Rodriquez to Protect Him in His First Town Hall Meeting  
As Chairman of the Transportation Committee Councilman Ydanis Rodriquez has been helping de Blasio's Pal and Attacking his foes.  de Blasio is such a pal to Rodriquez that he protected him from getting fined by the CFB in the Advance Scandal.  Rodriquez hired the Advance Group to work in his campaign and also received mailings from Advance NYCLASS PAC.  Both Councilmembers Mark Levine and Laurie Cumbo were fined by the CFB for having the same exact arrangement.  * De Blasio is set to headline a $1,000-a-head Manhattan fundraiser for Bronx Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, an early supporter, and the hefty price tag has raised some eyebrows among Democratic insiders, the Daily News reports:

Rodrique Still Fighting to Ban Horse Carriages 

Rodriquez Tried to Bail Out Taxi Boss That Contributed Big to de Blasio 
Ydanis Rodriguez, the chair of New York City CouncilTransportation Committee, will propose a bailout to rescue medallion owners, who have witnessed the value of their investment plummet as Uber and other ride apps disrupt the traditional taxi business.*  First Look: Inside Super Secret Taxi Bailout Meeting

Rodriquez Attacks de Blasio Foe Uber
Twitter Spat Breaks Out Between Councilman YdanisRodriguez and Uber (NYO) Councilman Rodriguez, who is also Chair of the Transportation Committee for the City Council, was also holding a press conference extolling the recently proposed “Uber cap” legislation at City Hall earlier today. When he claimed in a tweet that Uber drivers are not covered by insurance if they get into an accident, ride sharing app’s New York City general manager Josh Mohrer hit back on Twitter, referring to two of Mr. Rodriguez’s most scathing Tweets as “a lie.”

de Blasio Nominates Rodrique to MTA Board
Mayor de Blasio nominated City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, the council transportation committee chair to be his representative on the MTA Board.

Faking A Town Hall Meeting With the Mayor Being Protected By His Mini Me CM Ydanis Rodriguez ‏
De Blasio accused of stacking town-hall meeting with ‘handpicked’ allies (NYP) Critics of Mayor de Blasio accused him of stacking a town-hall-style meeting in Washington Heights Wednesday with a crew of “handpicked” allies. “Mayor de Blasio is using a public school building for a re-election rally disguised as a town hall meeting,” said Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association. “The Mayor and sponsors handpicked the attendees. It’s a sham audience packed with supporters only, and anyone else who shows up will be placed in another room outside of the main venue and not be allowed to ask questions.” The groups invited by the mayor’s office include the ultra-liberal Make the Road New York and New York Communities for Change, as well as members of union allies at SEIU 1199 and UNITE HERE. But invites also went to a number of broader, unaffiliated groups, including the local school board and Manhattan Community Board 12. About 300 people attended. Friday Update The New York Timeswrites that de Blasio did well to hold a town hall meeting this week, but that he took far too long to do so and that going forward he needs to face voters directly more often: * Curtis Sliwa,radio host and founder and CEO of the Guardian Angels, writes in the Post that de Blasio’s town hall meeting was more of a show than an honest interaction with the public, as his staff tightly controlled the content: * New York GOP Says Bill de Blasio’s Town Hall Was ‘Phony’ (YNN)

According to Strasburg, the choice invited softball questions because the city’s Rent Guidelines Board approved a zero percent increase on rent for rent-regulated apartments on one-year leases. There are about 53,000 rent-regulated units in Washington Heights and Inwood, the most of any part of the city. In response to a question inquiring about affordable housing options other than living in a homeless shelter, de Blasio pointed to his efforts to create more affordable housing, but said “we need for Albany to act” on raising the minimum wage so people can pay their rents.* .@BilldeBlasio brought Vicki Been, Rick Chander, @SholaOlatoye, Steve Banks, Kathryn Garcia, @DrMaryTBassett, others to town hall #squad * De Blasio’s first town hall lasted more than two hours and drew a crowd of about 250 to a Washington Heights school gym, where he reminded tenants that rent-stabilized one-year leases would not go up this year, theTimes reports: 

Similarly, the Post writes that de Blasio’s town hall was pure propaganda because attendees were invited by allies while the mayor operated under the pretense that he was open to taking questions from average New Yorkers: * De Blasio holds first townhall meeting of mayoralty in Manhattan, talks rent and affordable housing (NYDN) About 250 people attended the nearly two-hour meeting in Washington Heights. Most had been invited by City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez — a de Blasio ally who reps the area — and progressive community groups who backed the mayor's calls for a rent freeze. Nearly all of the local pols who introduced the mayor thanked him for the rent freeze — which he backed but was technically passed by the Rent Guidelines Board he appointed. Rodriguez asked the crowd to give de Blasio a standing ovation — and the audience obliged. * Critics accused the mayor of stacking the town hall audience with “handpicked” allies. * For Mayor Bill de Blasio, race-related attack ads are on therise (WSJ)* 60 percent of de Blasio’s agency reps no-show Brooklyn meeting (NYP) * The New York housing market closed its third quarter this year with a 9.1 percent increase in sales compared to the 2014 third quarter.

On May 22nd True News Introduced the Mayoral Bubble While de Blasio Used the Cops to Keep Protesters Away From A Boardwalk News Conference
When one woman asked about the city's failure to repair some abandoned buildings, Rodriguez— who appeared to know many of the questioners and addressed them by first name —told de Blasio "She's talking about a mess that you inherited." Joseph Strasburg, president of the landlord group Rent Stabilization Association, accused the mayor of using the town hall as a "re-election rally." Former mayors used town halls more frequently. Rudy Giuliani had a town hall once a month, Ed Koch did about over a dozen a year, and Bloomberg occasionally held the meetings, which are characterized by members of the public asking the mayor whatever they feel is important.* De Blasio's first town hall meeting drew mostly friendlyfeedback in Washington Heights: (DNAINFO)
Bubble Mayor No Town Hall de Blasio Spins and the NYC Press Defining Journalism Down

de Blasio Consumer Affairs Commissioner Husband Forced Tenants Out AG Fines Quietly Again 
Real estate companytries to force NY tenants out of homes (NYDN) A real estate company co-owned by the husband of the city's consumer affairs commissioner tried to improperly force dozens of tenants out of Upper East Side apartments they were converting to condos, the state attorney general charged Wednesday. Commissioner Julie Menin's husband, Bruce, and his co-investors agreed to settle the allegations by paying a $1.7 million fine, AG Eric Schneiderman announced Wednesday. Julie Menin runs the city agency that protects New Yorkers from scam artists. Her husband and his partners bought the fully occupied building at 165 E. 66th St. building in 2013 for $230 million and soon after filed plans to convert it to condos. Schneiderman said the company began inserting early termination clauses in 82 of the 150 leases in the building, where many of the residents have lived for years. Tenants told the AG’s investigators that the owners promised the termination clauses wouldn’t be enforced, then a few months later they found termination notices in their mailboxes. “Developers who convert buildings from rental to condominium ownership must respect tenants’ basic legal rights,” Schneiderman said.

Judicial Corruption Resigning - That is All?
Brooklyn Judge Resigning Amid Questions About Payments to Her Clerk (NYT) Justice Yvonne Lewis had been accused of improperly approving payments to her clerk, Kimberly L. Detherage, for her work as a court-appointed lawyer, a potential conflict of interest. * Brooklyn judge Yvonne Lewis, who has nearly 30 years on the bench, resigned after being accused of improperly approving payments to her clerk for the clerk’s work as a court-appointed lawyer, the Times reports  * 

Progressive Mayor Has A Minority Woman Contract Problem
'UNACCEPTABLY LOW' Controller Scott Stringer hits NYC poor low grade for hiring minority, women-owned companies (NYDN) * De Blasio gets a D+ for women and minority hiring (NYP) Stringer's Blasts de Blasio On Rikers Violence The NYC Comptroller’s Office is set to release a report today blasting de Blasio’s administration for the soaring costs of keeping inmates at Rikers Island as violence at the prison continues to rise.* Stringer set to rip de Blasio for rising violence, costs at Rikers (NYP) * New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is expected to release a report chiding Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration for failing to show “any real results or improvements” despite pumping tens of millions of dollars into reforming city jails, The New York Times writes: 

Developers Walk As NYC Housing Officials Heads to Jail
Ex-housing official gets three years in prison for taking $2.5M in bribes (NYP) A crooked former city housing official who hoped to avoid the clink by testifying against three pals who were eventually acquitted at trial was slapped with a three-year prison term Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court. Former Assistant Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development Wendell Walters eagerly cooperated with the feds in trying to nail three developers charged with showering him with bribes. But the accused men — Stevenson Dunn, Lee Hymowitz and Michael Freeman — beat their raps, and now Walters will be the only one doing time.

Team Hillary Cuomo Pols Dumps Our Campaign Manager Mayor In An Iowa Cornfield
Possible challenger blasts de Blasio’s out-of-town travels (NYP) The Congressman was tweaking Mayor de Blasio for planning a presidential forum in Iowa – while still not endorsing the woman who hired him to be her campaign manager in her New York Senate race 15 years ago. "It's not clear to me, however, that a town hall meeting in the corn fields of Iowa has anything to do with the quality of life of everyday New Yorkers," said Jeffries. * “He’s entitled to his own time­table, but it’s not clear to me that a town hall meeting in the cornfields of Iowa has anything to do with quality of life for people in New York City,” Jeffries said. “Many of my constituents are unclear as to why the mayor has made the decision to spend a significant amount of time out of state . * Cuomo attacks Sanders on Clinton’s behalf (PoliticoNY)* Gov. Andrew Cuomo boosted the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton by criticizing her rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s gun control record, State of Politicsreports: * While NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio remains conspicuously uncommitted in the presidential race, New York’s other top Democrats – including US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito – are already putting in work on behalf of Hillary Clinton. * Cuomo, who has endorsed Clintonattacked the gun control position taken by candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the Democratic presidential debate

Boxing the Mayor In
Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries announced his support for Clinton, and wondered by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who ran her 2000 campaign for the US Senate, isn’t doing the same. The congressman also said he’s not considering a 2017 run for mayor “at this point in time.”

In the Name of Diversity de Blasio Accomplished What the British and Tories Could Not Do Throw George Washington Thrown Out of New York
Is This Any Way to Honor the Nations First Capital

The de Blasios have dumped portraits of George Washington and others from Gracie Mansion to add more diversity to the artwork hanging in his residence. A new installation will include pictures of famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass and former slave-turned-philanthropist Pierre Toussaint among artifacts that portray the history of the working class in the time of former mayor Archibald Gracie.

Broker: Homeless Hurting Real Estate . . . Not Doing to Well for the Homeless Either

Cuomo's Pay to Play Crowd 
State workers were allowed and in some cases encouraged to attend a speech Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered last week on climate change, leaving their jobs in the middle of the day and being paid their full salaries,the Post writes:  * The NY Post reports state workers were allowed – if not outright required – to attend Cuomo’s climate change announcement with VP Al Gore last week on the taxpayers’ time.* BREAKING: State workers attended EVERY State of the State speech EVER on taxpayers dime!!! * The Post writes the governor should be ashamed of having state employees leave their jobs and attend his speech while on the payroll, which amounts to shelling out taxpayer money to feed his vanity: 

Gentrification Another Factor Killing Public Housing
de Blasio What Gentrification: Never saw his report that found gentrification doesn’t benefit NYCHA tenants
De Blasio hasn’t read a $250,000 study his administration paid for that found NYCHA tenants don’t reap the benefits of gentrification, but made clear he’s still dedicated to his plan to put up expensive market-rate apartments on NYCHA land, the Daily News reports:  *  Nevertheless, on Monday — after the Daily News uncovered the report, “The Effects of Neighborhood Change on NYCHA Residents” — he made clear he’s full steam ahead with the plan to put up expensive market-rate apartments on NYCHA land. “I haven’t seen the report, but I can say for sure we believe that the right kind of development on NYCHA sites will create more affordable housing for neighborhood residents,” de Blasio said.*  NYCHA residents see little benefit from gentrification in their neighborhoods, report shows (NYDN) The city hired five NYCHA residents to work as urban “interpreters” who gathered information for a $250,000 report that reached a conclusion most New Yorkers already accept as true: gentrification doesn't help the poor.* .@BilldeBlasio promotes #EastNewYork rezoning plan to skeptical locals

NYC Real Estate Barrons' Found Their Puppet A Progressive Mayor to Gentrify East New York
The study, "The Effects of Neighborhood Change on NYCHA Residents," written by the consulting firm Abt Associates with help from New York University's Furman Center for Real Estate, found that NYCHA tenants often wind up feeling like aliens in their own neighborhoods, surrounded by newcomers who claimed they'd just "discovered" the neighborhood. “NYCHA residents could be priced out of new private amenities and new, higher-income neighbors may not contribute to accessible community resources,” the report reads.* * New York City hired five NYCHA residents as urban “interpreters” who gathered information for a $250,000 report that concluded most New Yorkers already accept as true: gentrification doesn't help the poor,the Daily News reports de Blasio Spins Back The city's voluntary inclusionary housing program, which rewards developers who set aside apartments for low rents, yielded more than triple the number of units in fiscal year 2015 than it did previous year,Politico New York reports:

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.

de Blasio Admits Market Forces Causing Homelessness . . .  True News Has Been Saying So For Years
de Blasio: "The market dynamics are forcing people out faster than all of our tools can compensate.”
Bill’s de Blasio'shomelessness crisis (NYDN ED) Bill de Blasio came into office with a single-minded solution for homelessness: shut down dirty, dangerous shelters and use the savings to secure permanent housing. After The New York Times documented the harsh life of a young girl in a fetid city-run shelter, the then-mayor elect said: “We cannot let children of this city like Dasani down.” Now America’s champion of progressivism is reckoning with breaking that vow. Meeting with the Daily News Editorial Board on Thursday, de Blasio made the extraordinary admission that he cannot keep up with the tide of people seeking housing assistance:  “What we’re having a hell of a time with is.  * New York City is planning to add more housing for homeless adults and children fleeing domestic violence, the latest effort by de Blasio’s administration to deal with a homelessness problem that has persisted as housing costs in the city have continued to soar. One Exception the Hotel Unions NYC Mayor de Blasio defended his administration’s four-month-old law curtailing hotel conversions into residential space amid a legal battle with the powerful Real Estate Board of New York. “We obviously think the bill was appropriate,” the mayor said. * Only 3,000 of De Blasio's 20,000 Affordable Housing UnitsAre Permanent via @Dnainfo * Just months after Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration argued that hiring union workers would undermine the mayor’s affordable housing plan, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James announced a plan to partner with organized labor, the Observer writes: * Politico New York hasmapped the more than 3,000 affordable housing units being built in 2015 as part of New York City’s voluntary Inclusionary Housing Program: * Four Reasons You Can’t Stop the Brooklyn Juggernaut - Commercial Real Estate * In a clash with their landlord, these apartment tenantsstarted making covert recordings. (NYT) Residents of rent-stabilized units in an East Village apartment building used cellphones and camcorders to record talks with their landlord’s agent, who they say tried to scare them into leaving.* The affordable housing the mayor refuses to see (NYP) De Blasio might be surprised, then, to learn that the much-maligned private market is offering plenty of rental housing at prices equivalent to what the city would charge in new, subsidized units — but since city affordable housing costs New York either property-tax abatements or other cash subsidies, the private market’s affordable housing is cheaper. For everyone. * The Manhattan Institute’s Howard Husock and Alex Armlovichin the Post write that New York City ought to focus on spreading the word about the large amount of affordable housing that exists rather than building new units:* A report by the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development shows New York City subsidies have historically focused on areas that need the least help, but its push to change this seems like a long-shot,Crain’s reports:  * The de Blasio administration and New York City Councilman Corey Johnson announced plans to generate $100 million for repairs at Manhattan’s Pier 40 by authorizing a five-building housing development, the Daily News reports * Unions Slam de Blasio-Backed Affordable Housing WithStolen Wage Report (NYO)  * Nearly half of the affordable apartment tenants in a new survey say they're spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent, a level considered “rent-burdened,” and 14 percent say more than 50 percent of their income goes to rent, the Daily News writes:  * Survey shows some NYC affordable housing tenants still pay high rent

Opposition in the Mayor Own Circle to Rezoning East New York, Fears of Gentrification Anti-poverty activists allied with de Blasio are sharply criticizing his plan to rezone East New York, a low-income neighborhood at the heart of his affordable-housing initiative,the Journal reports:

When Willl NYPIRG Do A Study On Lobbyists Mr. Horner?
"Money follows power," said Blair Horner, of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

Village Voice Sold to Investor Who Vows to Invest in Paper
Village Voice is sold to Peter Barbey, the owner of a Pennsylvania newspaper.(NYT) The Village Voice, the storied alternative weekly newspaper that helped usher in a new era of journalism after its creation 60 years ago, but that has been struggling to find its way in an era of declining circulations and ad revenues, was sold on Monday to a scion of one of America’s wealthiest families with a long history in newspaper publishing. Peter D. Barbey, through his investment company Black Walnut Holdings L.L.C., bought the paper from Voice Media Group, which owns a string of weeklies around the country. The paper, he said, was once an essential “voice of the arts and cultural community in New York.” While he will not take over full control of the paper until February, Mr. Barbey said he would focus first on bolstering its arts coverage — mainly by attracting top writers. "I am flat-out serious about getting The Voice to be a major Manhattan publication,” he said.* Meet Peter Barbey, the latest owner to take on the @villagevoice: (PoliticoNY)* The Village Voice, the storied alternative weekly newspaper that helped usher in a new era of journalism after its creation 60 years ago, but that has been struggling to find its way in an era of declining circulations and ad revenues, was sold to a scion of one of America’s wealthiest families with a long history in newspaper publishing.
Journalism Disconnect

Ticket Pandering for Votes
Hasidic drivers get less tickets so they vote for de Blasio (NYP) Cops doled out fewer tickets to bad drivers in Williamsburg’s Hasidic neighborhoods because the de Blasio administration covets their votes and needs to keep them happy, a source said.  “They pander and he gives them a lot of what they want,” a former mayoral liaison said. “De Blasio is known to have tight ties to the Hasidic community.” Moving violations in the 90th Precinct, which includes an enclave of 70,000 ultra-religious Orthodox Jews, plummeted 32 percent since de Blasio took office, NYPD records show. Cops handed out 7,077 moving-violation tickets in the first nine months of the year and 8,242 in the same period last year. But in 2013, under Mayor Bloomberg, the area was blitzed with 10,365 summonses in the first nine months, records show. Religious leaders “get in with the Police Department and do their thing,” the former official said. “I’ll tell you one thing, they didn’t all take driver’s ed and change their driving habits.”

Pols Take Credit for Leandra's Law and Do Nothing to See If It is Working

Letting Leandra downas city fails to get drunks to install ignition locks (NYDN Ed) Relentless pressure by her father Lenny (and heat from the Daily News) resulted in Leandra’s Law, which requires convicted drunken drivers to install so-called ignition interlock devices on their vehicles. They must prove sobriety by blowing into the devices before their cars will start. Now, an audit by state Controller Tom DiNapoli has found that the courts turned 2,166 Leandra’s Law convictions over to the city Department of Probation for enforcement from the statute’s enactment in 2010 to the end of 2014. The department required only 111 drivers to install the devices, just over 5% of the convicted drunks. Queens DA Richard Brown processes four times as many Leandra’s Law cases as does Probation and takes them from across the city on behalf of the city’s four other DAs. Handling drivers from the same population and geography as Probation, the Queens compliance rate approaches that of the rest of the state, 22% of the 8,427 cases handled since 2010. Last year, for example, Probation took 459 cases and installed interlocks in just eight cars, a rate of less than 2%. The Queens DA supervised 1,983 cases, installing 373 devices, a rate of almost 19%.* City Probation Commissioner Ana Bermudez should take a lesson from Queens DA Richard Brown and better implement Leandra’s Law, which requires drunk driving offenders to install ignition blockers, the Daily Newswrites: 

The Governors Top Court
Judged worthy in weighing the seven contenders to be thenew state chief judge (NYDN Ed)
DiFiore, Garcia And Prudenti Round Out Judicial Recommendations (YNN)Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, along with former U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia and former Chief Administrative Judge Gail Prudenti are among the seven potential replacements for Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, who faces mandatory retirement at the end of the year. The seven recommendations — the others include four private practice attorneys including former Bar Association President Stephen Younger — were made on Thursday by the state Commission on Judicial Nomination.*Westchester County DA Janet DiFiore said she’s honored to be among seven candidates to be New York’s next chief judge. If appointed, she said she would be “privileged to serve as Chief Judge and would fulfill the duties of that office to the best of my ability.”* Seven Candidates Nominated for New York’s Next Chief Judge (NYT) The choices to succeed Jonathan Lippman include the Westchester County district attorney and a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan.* The slate of candidates to fill the seat of retiring Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, recommended by a state panel that has often put up people friendly with the current governor, is surprisingly short on political considerations, the DailyNews writes:  The court currently lacks an expert in commercial litigation, and the committee nominatedthree highly respected Manhattan litigators who could fill that need: Carey R. Dunne, Rowan D. Wilson and Stephen P. Younger. There are also two Republicans on the list – former US Attorney Michael Garcia and Gail Prudenti, an experienced jurist who retired as the chief administrative judge in July.

The governor in coming weeks must nominate two new members to the Court of Appeals, including for its highest position, chief judge. And by the time he fills an additional scheduled vacancy of an associate judge next year, Cuomo will have appointed every member of the court. So far, he has named only Democrats.*  
In a rebuke of Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s recent “overhaul” of the state bail system, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Edward McLaughlin has labelled the plan an “insult” to the judiciary. * In a stunning rebuke of state Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s recent “overhaul” of the state bail system, a Manhattan Supreme Court justice in a letter to fellow judges labelled the plan an “insult” to the judiciary, the Post reports: *  Judge says bail reform plan is an ‘insult’ to the judiciary (NYP) * The New York City Bar Association’s task force on the state constitutional convention includes two former top aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a former advisor to two Assembly speakers, State of Politics reports:  Bail As part of his efforts to reform New York City’s bail system, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an experimental initiative that could replace the cash-based method with new strategies such as reminders to get people to show up for court, the Daily News reports: * Editorial: Let the judges judge bail (NYDN Ed)* With Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Edward McLaughlin blasting plans to overhaul the state’s bail system, de Blasio should take note of the Justice's expert opinion and also recognize that bail reviews are already available, the Post writes:   The US Justice Department has granted early release to 167 inmates from Upstate New York as part of a new effort aimed at cutting harsh drug sentences and reducing prison overcrowding, according to federal officials.The Daily News writes some bail reforms are “nuts” and highlights the case of a schizophrenic who allegedly admitted to pouring boiling oil on a child, wasn’t held at Rikers and then allegedly threatened someone with a knife: *The state Commission on Judicial Nomination today will recommend seven potential candidates to be the next chief judge of New York. The powerful post will be vacant Jan. 1 because Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has hit the retirement age of 70.

How Local TV News Make Millions Rehabilitating Candidates, Lobbying on Issues While Dumbing Down the Public 
Spending on advertising has fueled the increase in TV lobbying costs. Well-funded special interests funnel millions to lobbyists for public campaigns to sway lawmakers on hot-button issues (TU)  Local News which is mainly weather, traffic, cooking and dog segments is making millions in lobbyists spending.  Union and business interest like the pro fracking interest are also spending millions on ads to local stations.  All this money is coming in as local news dumbs down.  Local TV stations stand to profit from boom in super-PAC spending (The Hill)*CSNY’s budget blitz: $3.9 million (updated)(TU) *Save NY airing tax cap ad(TU) *Budget opponents up their ads and mailers(TU) *Bloomberg Blames Negative Ads For Poor Showing In Education ...(Politico) *Save NY now airs on school money(TU) *NYC's Bloomberg Pays for TV Ads Backing Cuomo's Pension *  Bloomberg Defends His Administration With TV Ad - * Local TV News For $ale: How Special Interests Control News Content and Public Opinion

Escape From NYC 
Why Is Leaving New York the LatestTrend?  Between 2000 and 2010, the Tax Foundation found that 3.4 million residents moved out of New York, Forbes listed the state in their feature “The States People are Fleeing in 2014,” and New York was the third highest “moving out” or “outbound” state inUnited Van Lines’ 2013 Migration Study. So, what’s the deal? The Sunshine State has no income tax and no estate tax — both of which New York charges. In fact, each year from 1977 to 2011New York ranked No. 1 for the highest tax burden (except for 1984 where it came in second). The fact is, it’s expensive to live in New York and the additional tax burden over other states is becoming less appealing. When people renounce their New York citizenship, they take their tax dollars with them. The Tax Foundation estimates that New York lost more than $45.6 million in tax revenue over the last 10 years. Going along with that, the Tax Foundation listed New York as No. 49 on its 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index. Last year, it came in dead last. If the mass exodus intensifies, perhaps enough changes will be made to New York’s overall tax code to make living and retiring there more affordable. In the meantime, New York residency will continue to decline. *  

NYC's Economic Problems

Perkins Runs for Rangel Seat
Harlem state Sen. Bill Perkins is throwing his hat in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, who will give up his seat after more than four decades in office, the Post writes:  * Farrell Endorses Wright’s Bid To Replace Rangel(YNN) *  Harlem Pol Launches Bid for Congress—With Help From Two ofthe Central Park Five  (NYO) *Two rivals for Rangel seat tout backing from exoneratedCentral Park Five…  *Bill Perkins declares himself ‘front-runner’ to replace Rangel (PoliticoNY) * Former Mayor endorses Keith Wright to succeed Charles Rangel (NYP) Former Mayor Dave Dinkins is endorsing Keith Wright to succeed Rep. Charles Rangel in Congress. Dinkins noted that Harlem Assemblyman Wright, the Manhattan Democratic Party chairman * Manhattan Democrat (and Harvard grad) Michael Gallagherenters sweepstakes to replace Rep. Charles Rangel in NY -13. *   “I think I come into this race as the frontrunner" as @EspaillatNY looks to run forcongress * Harlem Lawmaker Calls Use of Term 'AffordableHousing' a 'Lie' (DNAINFO)
More About the 2016 Harlem Campaign 

Team de Blasio Connected to NYU OK Expansion . . . Now Want Payback for the Elected Officials $$
De Blasio’s NYU appointments may ‘influence’ expansion approval (NYP) An ivory tower has been erected at City Hall — with Mayor de Blasio appointing so many NYU-connected officials to top-tier jobs that advocates fear the university’s controversial development projects will be rubber-stamped. Last week, de Blasio named professor Vicki Been head of the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the agency charged with housing the city’s neediest residents. Been and her hubby, Richard Revesz, who was dean of NYU’s law school for 11 years, owe the university $6.4 million for sweetheart mortgages on their West Village town house and Connecticut vacation home. De Blasio’s first deputy mayor is former NYU Langone Medical Center honcho Anthony Shorris, who made $1 million as both a vice dean and hospital chief of staff. The mayor also tapped former Trinity Real Estate President Carl Weisbrod as chair of the City Planning Commission. Weisbrod, who served in the Lindsay, Koch and Dinkins administrations, was an academic chair at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate.   The city’s new corporation counsel, ex-US Attorney Zachary Carter, is an NYU Law trustee. “It looks like the fix is in,” said a community activist who refused to be identified for fear of retaliation by NYU. “People are afraid [the university] will have undo influence.” NYU is also a revolving door for politicos between jobs. Mayoral contender and former MTA chair Joe Lhota replaced Shorris earlier this year at NYU Langone. Brad Gair, who worked as a disaster-recovery manager in the mayor’s office, took a job with NYU Langone this week.

A Manhattan Councilman Yes Congestion Pricing  . . .  A Mayor Who Has to Run in 2017 NO

The Progressive de Blaiso Eds Art
Shortly after NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez called on his colleagues to pass a resolution supportive of congestion pricing, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that while he’s open to the idea, Albany – which must sign off on the idea – is not. * Council transportation chair aims to make cars more expendable (PoliticoNY) * De Blasio: Albany has ‘no appetite’ for congestion pricing (PoliticoNY)* De Blasio said a proposal to put tolls on the East River crossings into Manhattan would be dead on arrival with state lawmakers in Albany, so s to transit problems should focus on other alternatives

Sexual Harassment in Albany Continues 
Male assembly staffer getting paid amid sexual harassment suit  (NYP) A male Assembly staffer who accused his female boss of sexual harassment stopped showing up for work more than three months ago but continues to collect his full salary, The Post has learned. Insiders said Assembly leaders are stumped about what to do with Elias Farah, 29, who filed the charges against freshman Assemblywoman Angela Wozniak, a Republican who represents a district outside Buffalo.

What is the Best Part of Dividing Times Square Into 3 Parts?

This abandoned factory gave rise to the Times Square desnudas (NYP) “We used to go to parties in the Domino Sugar Factory, and they’d have body-painted girls handing out drinks and taking pictures with people,” said Olivieri, who does the painting for several desnudas and keeps watch as they work.  “It was exciting. So we were like, ‘We could try this [in Times Square]. The Naked Cowboy’s out there.’ So we tried it one day and it was a big success,” he said.* Topless Times SquareWorker: Officials ‘Can’t Do Anything’ (WCBS) * Despite the de Blasio administration’s effort to confine topless women and costumed characters to “activity zones” in Times Square, the nearly naked painted ladies say they’re not going anywhere.

Lobbyists Consultant Murder, Inc Run NY Govt and Campaigns Just As Much As Murder, Inc Ran NY in the 40's
The NYP and CFB Look At Gray Areas of Election Law While Covering-Up Illegal Coordination Between Lobbying Consultant, PACS and Candidates
The worst part of the city campaign-finance system is what’s legal (NYP Ed) News of a probe into Mayor de Blasio’s 2013 campaign finances might offer some great comic relief — if it didn’t also raise troubling questions about the city’s rules. As The Post’s Yoav Gonen reported this week, the Campaign Finance Board began looking into possible Team de Blasio no-nos in 2013, after a magazine reported that the 1199 SEIU union “coordinated with the [then-candidate’s] campaign.” Under the city’s rules, candidates must cover the costs of any “coordinated” activities or list them as donations, which are subject to strict limits. It seems the board focused on whether de Blasio’s folks complied. Thing is, the rules themselves are laughable — as is the entire system. For one thing, if de Blasio did break the rules, then he had an edge in the mayoral race.
de Blasio One NY PAC Slush Fund, Berlin Rosen, Bill Hyers, Red Horse

Problems for de Blasio Beyond Uber, Will He Mess Up So Bad He Won't Run Again?
Education  De Blasio, U.F.T. face test over staff in struggling schools (Capital) * NYC invalidates 3rd graders' test scores amid investigation  * @BilldeBlasio vs. Uber was a carbon copy of his fight w/ @MoskowitzEva. Including the outcome.(CNN)
Charter SchooGroups That Back Bloomberg’s Education Agenda Enjoy Success in Albany  (NYT)
A group that is devoted to continuing the education agenda of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has become one of the most powerful forces in Albany by pouring millions into lobbying and adroitly exploiting rivalries in state politics.
MTA Cuomo, MTA pressure de Blasio to increase transit funding to $3.2B (NYDN) *Cuomo Wants MoreMoney From the City to Fund MTA Capital Plan (DNAINFO) * Cuomo’s Plan to Close M.T.A. Funding Gap Revives Familiar Debate (NYT)The governor’s update on a five-year capital plan for the state-run transportation agency raised once again questions about the proper scope of New York City’s role in its own transit destiny.*  The battle between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has opened up two new fronts: MTA funding and Uber.*  The Times writes that the city has been paying too littleto support the MTA system’s capital needs, but that the city and state must sit down and sort out the agency’s budget without their respective executives feuding: * MTA Chief: NYC must pay fare share for MTAupgrades  * Who Will Fund the M.T.A.? (NYT Ed) The state and the city should seize this moment to find more lasting ways to sustain and upgrade the system. MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast writes in Newsday that it is only fair for New York City to contribute more to the public transit system, noting that the state took on a larger role amid the 1970s fiscal crisis: 
Homeless City Hall, NYPD ponder strategy as attacks by homeless increase  (Fox 5) As the city and police prepare to tackle homelessness, two recent violent attacks highlight the urgency to go after the issue as soon as possible.* CBS2 Demands Answers From Mayor On New York City's Homeless Crisis With a recent spike in violence by the homeless, the mayor has vowed to get more aggressive with aggressive street people. But why are there more people living on the streets? * E. Village residents blast NYPD guard tower: ‘Bums are still here’ (NYP) * NYPD’s Big Brother watch tower removed from East Village (NYP)
Law Suits  Legal payouts by New York City are forecast to spike 17.5 percent by the 2018-19 fiscal year, even as the de Blasio administration has pumped millions of dollars into a new war on so-called frivolous litigation, Newsday reports: 
Taxi Vs Uber Now on Uber’s behalf, Bloomberg veterans continue taxi fight (NYDN) * Q-Poll: Voters Back Uber, Walmart(YNN) *  most think pols trying to limit @uber’s size be of "donations from theyellow cab industry” 
Affordable Housing De Blasio administration shifts stance on housing subsidies(Crains) The mayor's office will allow double-dipping in an effort to achieve deeper affordability.  n a change from last year, the de Blasio administration will let some residential developers double or even triple-dip into subsidy pools by using the same group of affordable apartments to qualify for a variety of programs—a practice it initially pledged to eliminate. * No consensus on de Blasio’s latest affordable housing plan (Capital)

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Two Arms: Its Time for News Yorkers To Take Back the City From the Real Estate Barron and Their Hired Gun Lobbyists Who Control the Election Process and Run A Shadow Government

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